Baack, Eric J
Polyploid speciation is an important source of angiosperm diversity. Insights into the origin and establishment of new polyploid species may be gained by studying the distributions of ancestral and derivative cytotypes at multiple spatial scales. Diploid (2n = 16) and tetraploid (2n = 32) snow buttercups (Ranunculus adoneus: Ranunculaceae) occur in the alpine of the central and southern Rocky Mountains. Root-tip squashes and flow cytometry were used to determine the ploidy of 1618 individuals from 35 populations. Samples from 31 of the 35 sites were entirely of one cytotype, either diploid or tetraploid. Diploid and tetraploid snow buttercups have nonoverlapping regional distributions. Where both cytotypes occur on the same site, the two are spatially segregated despite no apparent change in habitat. Triploid snow buttercups were only found at a diploid/tetraploid contact zone, while two hexaploid plants were found in tetraploid populations. Tetraploid establishment once or twice in the history of the species complex could account for the regional distribution of the two cytotypes. Habitat differentiation between cytotypes or reproductive exclusion of minority cytotypes may explain the observed segregation at both microgeographic and regional scales.
The genus Ranunculus is treated for The Jepson Manual of the higher plants of California, a detailed floristic manual for the state published by the University of California. Thirty-one species are recognized; full morphological descriptions, dichotomous keys, and brief summaries of geographical an...
Hoffmann, Matthias H.; von Hagen, K. Bernhard; Hörandl, Elvira; Röser, Martin; Tkach, Natalia V.
The arctic biome is a relatively young ecosystem with ~2300 species of vascular plants. We studied the genus Ranunculus as an example of the origin and evolution of the arctic flora. For this purpose we used molecular phylogenetic and clock analyses based on evaluation of nuclear ITS and chloroplast matK-trnK DNA sequences in 194 taxa of Ranunculus and closely related genera. Taxa occurring in the Arctic arose form seven phylogenetic lineages of Ranunculus and also in the genera Coptidium and...
Bhatti, Muhammad Zeeshan; Ali, Amjad; Ahmad, Ayaz; Saeed, Asma; Malik, Salman Akbar
Ranunculus arvensis L. (R. arvensis) has long been used to treat a variety of medical conditions such as arthritis, asthma, hay fever, rheumatism, psoriasis, gut diseases and rheumatic pain. Here, we screened R. arvensis for antioxidant activity, phytochemical and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analyses. The chloroform, chloroform:methanol, methanol, methanol:acetone, acetone, methanol:water and water extracts of R. arvensis were examined for DPPH (1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) free radical scavenging assay, hydrogen peroxide scavenging assay, phosphomolybdenum assay, reducing power assay, flavonoid content, phenolic content and high performance liquid chromatography analysis. Significant antioxidant activity was displayed by methanol extract (IC 50 34.71 ± 0.02) in DPPH free radical scavenging assay. Total flavonoids and phenolics ranged 0.96-6.0 mg/g of extract calculated as rutin equivalent and 0.48-1.43 mg/g of extract calculated as gallic acid equivalent respectively. Significant value of rutin and caffeic acid was observed via high performance liquid chromatography. These results showed that extracts of R. arvensis exhibited significant antioxidant activities. Moreover, R. arvensis is a rich source of rutin, flavonoids and phenolics.
Hoffmann, Matthias H.; von Hagen, K. Bernhard; Hörandl, Elvira; Röser, Martin; Tkach, Natalia V.
The arctic biome is a relatively young ecosystem with ~2300 species of vascular plants. We studied the genus Ranunculus as an example of the origin and evolution of the arctic flora. For this purpose we used molecular phylogenetic and clock analyses based on evaluation of nuclear ITS and chloroplast matK-trnK DNA sequences in 194 taxa of Ranunculus and closely related genera. Taxa occurring in the Arctic arose form seven phylogenetic lineages of Ranunculus and also in the genera Coptidium and Halerpestes. Two clades of Ranunculus are species-rich in the Arctic, i.e., Ranunculus sect. Ranunculus and R. sect. Auricomus (both from R. subg. Ranunculus), but this is due to a number of arctic “microtaxa” morphologically barely separate from R. acris in the former clade and the widely agamospermic species complex of R. auricomus in the latter. Lineages with species adapted to wetlands or aquatic habitats are significant groups represented in the arctic flora (R. subg. Ranunculus sectt. Flammula and Hecatonia/Xanthobatrachium, R. subg. Batrachium, genus Coptidium) but show no clear signs of radiation in the Arctic or the northern boreal zone, except for sectt. Hecatonia/Xanthobatrachium, with R. hyperboreus and R. sceleratus subsp. reptabundus. Astonishingly few of the otherwise numerous lineages of Ranunculus with distributions in the higher mountain systems of Eurasia and North America have acted as “founding sources” for the arctic flora. The only clear example is that of the arctic-alpine R. glacialis and the Beringian R. chamissonis from the lineage of subg. R. sectt. Aconitifolii/Crymodes, although there might be others in sect. Auricomus not recovered in the current molecular data. Lineages that gave rise to arctic taxa diverged from each other from the early Miocene (R. glacialis/R. chamissonis, Coptidium, lineages in Halerpestes) and continued at an even rate throughout the Tertiary. There are no signs that the intense climate changes of the late Pliocene
Lundqvist, A.; Østerbye, U.; Larsen, K.
-genes acting on the haploid pollen grain be matched in the pistil. This type of incompatibility system was previously considered to be unique for the grasses. However, whereas two S-loci with such complementary interaction have been established in the grasses, there are at least three S-loci in Ranunculus...
van Diggelen, R.; Beukema, Hendrien; Noorman, Klaas
In The Netherlands Ranunculus hederaceus is a rare species that occurs in running waters. It appears to be confined to zones with a constant supply of mineral-poor groundwater, originating from highly fertilized fields. The relation between species performance and chemical composition of the water
In this thesis, seed development is investigated in celery-leafed buttercup ( Ranunculus sceleratus L.), bean ( Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and poplar ( Populus nigra L.). Developing embryos, endosperms and seed coats are
Fernández Prieto, J. A.
Full Text Available Notes on genome size in the hybrid Ranunculus x luizetii (Ranunculaceae and its parents by flow cytometry.- Flow cytometry was used to estimate the nuclear DNA content in the natural hybrid Ranunculus x luizetii and its parents. Our results indicate that the genome size of the hybrid R. x luizetii is closer to R. pyrenaeus than to R. parnassiifolius, providing an evidence of genome downsizing.Notas sobre el tamaño del genoma en el híbrido Ranunculus x luizetii (Ranunculaceae y sus progenitores mediante citometría de flujo.- Se ha empleado la citometría de flujo para estimar el contenido de ADN nuclear en el híbrido Ranunculus x luizetii y sus progenitores. Nuestros resultados indican que el tamaño del genoma del híbrido R. x luizetii se acerca más a R. pyrenaeus que a R. parnassiifolius, con una evidencia de reducción del genoma.
Full Text Available Two new ent-kaurane diterpene glycosides, ranunculosides A (1 and B (2, and a new benzophenone, ranunculone C (3, were isolated from the aerial part of Ranunculus muricatus Linn. The chemical structures of compounds 1–3 were established to be (2S-ent-kauran-2β-ol-15-en-14-O-β-d-glucopyranoside, (2S,4S-ent-kauran-2β,18-diol-15-en-14-O-β-d-glucopyranoside, and (R-3-[2-(3,4-dihydroxybenzoyl-4,5-dihydroxy-phenyl]-2-hydroxylpropanoic acid, respectively, by spectroscopic data and chemical methods. The absolute configuration of 1 was determined by the combinational application of RP-HPLC analysis and Mosher’s method.
Raubeso, Linda A.; Peery, Rhiannon; Chumley, Timothy W.; Dziubek,Chris; Fourcade, H. Matthew; Boore, Jeffrey L.; Jansen, Robert K.
The number of completely sequenced plastid genomes available is growing rapidly. This new array of sequences presents new opportunities to perform comparative analyses. In comparative studies, it is most useful to compare across wide phylogenetic spans and, within angiosperms, to include representatives from basally diverging lineages such as the new genomes reported here: Nuphar advena (from a basal-most lineage) and Ranunculus macranthus (from the basal group of eudicots). We report these two new plastid genome sequences and make comparisons (within angiosperms, seed plants, or all photosynthetic lineages) to evaluate features such as the status of ycf15 and ycf68 as protein coding genes, the distribution of simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and longer dispersed repeats (SDR), and patterns of nucleotide composition.
Full Text Available Maramureşului Mountains Nature Park is widely known as one of the last wilderness areas in Europe and also represents a real oasis for naturalists eager to explore the flora and fauna of this special land not very researched. During a botanical trip in the area of Farcău Peak (on 19 July 2014 the authors of this paper found three very rare species (all 3 threatened, included in Romanian Red Book of Vascular Plants: Trifolium lupinaster L., Heracleum carpaticum Porcius and Ranunculus thora L. Based on field studies, analyses of herbarium material and literature data, the authors managed to record the occurrence of Trifolium lupinaster, Heracleum carpaticum and Ranunculus thora in the Romanian Carpathians and determined the threatened status of species according to criteria and categories of IUCN.
Boore Jeffrey L
Full Text Available Abstract Background The number of completely sequenced plastid genomes available is growing rapidly. This array of sequences presents new opportunities to perform comparative analyses. In comparative studies, it is often useful to compare across wide phylogenetic spans and, within angiosperms, to include representatives from basally diverging lineages such as the genomes reported here: Nuphar advena (from a basal-most lineage and Ranunculus macranthus (a basal eudicot. We report these two new plastid genome sequences and make comparisons (within angiosperms, seed plants, or all photosynthetic lineages to evaluate features such as the status of ycf15 and ycf68 as protein coding genes, the distribution of simple sequence repeats (SSRs and longer dispersed repeats (SDR, and patterns of nucleotide composition. Results The Nuphar [GenBank:NC_008788] and Ranunculus [GenBank:NC_008796] plastid genomes share characteristics of gene content and organization with many other chloroplast genomes. Like other plastid genomes, these genomes are A+T-rich, except for rRNA and tRNA genes. Detailed comparisons of Nuphar with Nymphaea, another Nymphaeaceae, show that more than two-thirds of these genomes exhibit at least 95% sequence identity and that most SSRs are shared. In broader comparisons, SSRs vary among genomes in terms of abundance and length and most contain repeat motifs based on A and T nucleotides. Conclusion SSR and SDR abundance varies by genome and, for SSRs, is proportional to genome size. Long SDRs are rare in the genomes assessed. SSRs occur less frequently than predicted and, although the majority of the repeat motifs do include A and T nucleotides, the A+T bias in SSRs is less than that predicted from the underlying genomic nucleotide composition. In codon usage third positions show an A+T bias, however variation in codon usage does not correlate with differences in A+T-richness. Thus, although plastome nucleotide composition shows "A
Raubeson, Linda A; Peery, Rhiannon; Chumley, Timothy W; Dziubek, Chris; Fourcade, H Matthew; Boore, Jeffrey L; Jansen, Robert K
The number of completely sequenced plastid genomes available is growing rapidly. This array of sequences presents new opportunities to perform comparative analyses. In comparative studies, it is often useful to compare across wide phylogenetic spans and, within angiosperms, to include representatives from basally diverging lineages such as the genomes reported here: Nuphar advena (from a basal-most lineage) and Ranunculus macranthus (a basal eudicot). We report these two new plastid genome sequences and make comparisons (within angiosperms, seed plants, or all photosynthetic lineages) to evaluate features such as the status of ycf15 and ycf68 as protein coding genes, the distribution of simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and longer dispersed repeats (SDR), and patterns of nucleotide composition. The Nuphar [GenBank:NC_008788] and Ranunculus [GenBank:NC_008796] plastid genomes share characteristics of gene content and organization with many other chloroplast genomes. Like other plastid genomes, these genomes are A+T-rich, except for rRNA and tRNA genes. Detailed comparisons of Nuphar with Nymphaea, another Nymphaeaceae, show that more than two-thirds of these genomes exhibit at least 95% sequence identity and that most SSRs are shared. In broader comparisons, SSRs vary among genomes in terms of abundance and length and most contain repeat motifs based on A and T nucleotides. SSR and SDR abundance varies by genome and, for SSRs, is proportional to genome size. Long SDRs are rare in the genomes assessed. SSRs occur less frequently than predicted and, although the majority of the repeat motifs do include A and T nucleotides, the A+T bias in SSRs is less than that predicted from the underlying genomic nucleotide composition. In codon usage third positions show an A+T bias, however variation in codon usage does not correlate with differences in A+T-richness. Thus, although plastome nucleotide composition shows "A+T richness", an A+T bias is not apparent upon more in
J. C. Manning
Full Text Available The five native and naturalised species of Ranunculus L. and Peltocalathos Tamaru (Ranunculaceae: Ranunculeae from southern Africa are reviewed, with full descriptions and nomenclature, taxonomic history, ecological notes, and distribution data. All species are illustrated. Peltocalathos, a monotypic genus based on R. baurii MacOwan, has been overlooked in the regional literature until now. The new name R. dregei J.C.Manning & Goldblatt is proposed as a replacement name for the later homonym R. meyeri Harv., non Lowe. We conclude that the poorly known R. capensis Thunb. represents juvenile forms of the widespread and variable R. multifidus Forssk. and we synonymise the name, along with the three trivial epithets R. pinnatus var. hermannii DC., R. pubescens var. glabrescens Burtt Davy and R. pubescens var. harveyanus Burtt Davy, which have been overlooked in the recent literature. Based on number (mostly < 40 achenes per head and size (mostly 1.2–1.8 mm long of achenes, we conclude that the southern African material of the aquatic species recently re-identified as R. rionii Lagger is more appropriately treated as R. trichophyllus Chaix.
Cursach, Joana; Besnard, Aurélien; Rita, Juan; Fréville, Hélène
Ranunculus weyleri is a narrow endemic protected plant from Majorca Island. It is known from only five populations located in two mountain areas 48 km apart. Using demographic data collected from 2007 to 2010, we assessed the demographic status of two populations - font des Coloms (FC) and talaia Moreia (TM) - using Integral Projection Models (IPMs). We showed that none of the two populations were declining under a deterministic model. Population FC was stable (λ = 1.026, CI95% = 0.965-1.093), while population TM showed sign of demographic expansion (λ = 1.113, CI95% = 1.032-1.219). Plant survival, flowering probability and the mean number of seedlings per floral peduncle were lower in TM, whereas growth and the number of floral peduncles per reproductive plant were lower in FC. Elasticity analyses showed that management strategies increasing plant survival and growth would be the most efficient to increase λ for both populations. Herbivory pressure by goats has been shown to be high in TM, resulting in high predation rate on floral peduncles. Controlling goat pressure may thus represent a promising management option, provided that we can demonstrate a negative impact of herbivory by goats on survival and growth which are the most critical parts of the life cycle in this species. Meanwhile, initiating a long-term monitoring is of crucial importance to get more insights into the relationships between environmental variation, plant performance and population dynamics.
O'Keeffe, Juliette; Bendell-Young, L I
The objective of this study was to compare the accumulation and partitioning of cadmium (Cd) in a fibrous versus a tap root weed, Ranunculus repens and Geranium robertianum respectively. To meet this objective, we compared the accumulation by and the partitioning of Cd in R repens versus G. robertianum grown in soils spiked with 0.015 grams of Cd for a period of three weeks. The rate of Cd uptake was also compared by following the fate of 109Cd within the root, stem and leaf of the two weeds. Prior to Cd exposure, leaf and stem of control R. repens contained significantly greater amounts of Cd as compared to G. robertianum, whereas Cd concentrations in roots of the control plants for the two species were not significantly different (p > 0.05, student's t-test). Post Cd exposure the two species contained similar amounts of Cd in leaf and stem, however, roots of R. repens contained almost two-fold the amounts of Cd as compared to G. robertianum. Comparison of k (h(-1), rate of 109Cd uptake) for stem, leaf and root of the two species indicated that G. robertianum accumulated 109Cd over the first 24-48 h at a faster rate as compared to R. repens. For both species and all three organs, maximum accumulation of 109Cd occurred within the first 24-48 h. Our findings indicate that the fate of Cd within these two species is quite different with the fibrous root of R. repens serving to accumulate and store Cd whereas in G. robertianum, Cd is rapidly taken up and tends to be accumulated within its leaf.
Angélica L. González
Full Text Available The niche concept is essential to understanding how biotic and abiotic factors regulate the abundance and distribution of living entities, and how these organisms utilize, affect and compete for resources in the environment. However, it has been challenging to determine the number and types of important niche dimensions. By contrast, there is strong mechanistic theory and empirical evidence showing that the elemental composition of living organisms shapes ecological systems, from organismal physiology to food web structure. We propose an approach based on a multidimensional elemental view of the ecological niche. Visualizing the stoichiometric composition of individuals in multivariate space permits quantification of niche dimensions within and across species. This approach expands on previous elemental characterizations of plant niches, and adapts metrics of niche volume, overlap and nestedness previously used to quantify isotopic niches. We demonstrate the applicability of the multidimensional stoichiometric niche using data on carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus of terrestrial and freshwater communities composed by multiple trophic groups. First, we calculated the stoichiometric niche volumes occupied by terrestrial and freshwater food webs, by trophic groups, by individual species, and by individuals within species, which together give a measure of the extent of stoichiometric diversity within and across levels of organization. Then we evaluated complementarity between these stoichiometric niches, through metrics of overlap and nestedness. Our case study showed that vertebrates, invertebrates, and primary producers do not overlap in their stoichiometric niches, and that large areas of stoichiometric space are unoccupied by organisms. Within invertebrates, niche differences emerged between freshwater and terrestrial food webs, and between herbivores and non-herbivores (detritivores and predators. These niche differences were accompanied by
Kirchheimer, Bernhard; Schinkel, Christoph C F; Dellinger, Agnes S; Klatt, Simone; Moser, Dietmar; Winkler, Manuela; Lenoir, Jonathan; Caccianiga, Marco; Guisan, Antoine; Nieto-Lugilde, Diego; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Thuiller, Wilfried; Vittoz, Pascal; Willner, Wolfgang; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Hörandl, Elvira; Dullinger, Stefan
Emerging polyploids may depend on environmental niche shifts for successful establishment. Using the alpine plant Ranunculus kuepferi as a model system, we explore the niche shift hypothesis at different spatial resolutions and in contrasting parts of the species range. European Alps. We sampled 12 individuals from each of 102 populations of R. kuepferi across the Alps, determined their ploidy levels, derived coarse-grain (100 × 100 m) environmental descriptors for all sampling sites by downscaling WorldClim maps, and calculated fine-scale environmental descriptors (2 × 2 m) from indicator values of the vegetation accompanying the sampled individuals. Both coarse and fine-scale variables were further computed for 8239 vegetation plots from across the Alps. Subsequently, we compared niche optima and breadths of diploid and tetraploid cytotypes by combining principal components analysis and kernel smoothing procedures. Comparisons were done separately for coarse and fine-grain data sets and for sympatric, allopatric and the total set of populations. All comparisons indicate that the niches of the two cytotypes differ in optima and/or breadths, but results vary in important details. The whole-range analysis suggests differentiation along the temperature gradient to be most important. However, sympatric comparisons indicate that this climatic shift was not a direct response to competition with diploid ancestors. Moreover, fine-grained analyses demonstrate niche contraction of tetraploids, especially in the sympatric range, that goes undetected with coarse-grained data. Although the niche optima of the two cytotypes differ, separation along ecological gradients was probably less decisive for polyploid establishment than a shift towards facultative apomixis, a particularly effective strategy to avoid minority cytotype exclusion. In addition, our results suggest that coarse-grained analyses overestimate niche breadths of widely distributed taxa. Niche comparison
Cantrell, S A; Dianese, J C; Fell, J; Gunde-Cimerman, N; Zalar, P
Fungi are found in all aerobic ecosystems, colonizing a diversity of substrates and performing a wide diversity of functions, some of which are not well understood. Many spices of fungi are cosmopolitan and generalists or habitats. Unusual fungal niches are habitats where extreme conditions would be expected to prevent the development of a mycobiota. In this review we describe five unusual fungal habitats in which fungi occupy poorly understood niches: Antarctic dry valleys, high Arctic glaciers, salt flats and salterns, hypersaline microbial mats and plant trichomes. Yeasts, black yeast-like fungi, melanized filamentous species as well as representatives of Aspergillus and Penicillium seem to be dominant among the mycobiota adapted to cold and saline niches. Plant trichomes appear to be a taxa. The advent of new sequencing technologies is helping to elucidate the microbial diversity in many ecosystems, but more studies are needed to document the functional role of fungi in the microbial communities thriving in these unusual environments.
Aichinger, Ernst; Kornet, Noortje; Friedrich, Thomas; Laux, Thomas
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.
Project focusing on developing a public affairs advice for the corporate business case aiming at development of LNG niche market. The advice is based on research in five areas: (1) an overview of existent regulatory framework with regard to the use of LNG in a small scale market in the EU and
Peinado, Héctor; Zhang, Haiying; Matei, Irina R.
-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....
Schönswetter, P; Paun, O; Tribsch, A; Niklfeld, H
Ranunculus glacialis ssp. glacialis is an arctic-alpine plant growing in central and southern European and Scandinavian mountain ranges and the European Arctic. In order to elucidate the taxon's migration history, we applied amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) to populations from the Pyrenees, Tatra mountains and Northern Europe and included data from a previous study on Alpine accessions. Populations from the Alps and the Tatra mountains were genetically highly divergent and harboured many private AFLP fragments, indicating old vicariance. Whereas nearly all Alpine populations of R. glacialis were genetically highly variable, the Tatrean population showed only little variation. Our data suggest that the Pyrenees were colonized more recently than the separation of the Tatra from the Alps. Populations in Northern Europe, by contrast, were similar to those of the Eastern Alps but showed only little genetic variation. They harboured no private AFLP fragments and only a subset of East Alpine ones, and they exhibited no phylogeographical structure. It is very likely therefore that R. glacialis colonized Northern Europe in postglacial times from source populations in the Eastern Alps.
There is a widely used crude method to estimate the age of hedgerows (Hooper's rule) based on species' richness. The aim of this study was to try and establish a similar field method for estimating the age of grasslands based on the accumulation of macro-somatic mutations. A countrywide survey was carried out by the British public to investigate the relationship between grassland age and the number of Ranunculus repens (creeping buttercup) plants with extra petals. In addition the relationship between grassland age and R. repens pollen viability was also investigated. Each plant with flowers with additional petals in a sample of 100 was found to equate to approx. 7 years. A higher significant correlation was observed between pollen viability and population age; however, this is not amenable to providing field estimates. The age of British grasslands can be easily and reliably estimated in the field by counting the number flowers with additional petals in R. repens in meadows up to 200 years old. An attempt to estimate the heritability of extra petals suggests that the phenotype results from the slow accumulation of somatic mutations in a species that primarily reproduces vegetatively.
A. T. Peterson; J. Soberón; V. Sánchez-Cordero
.... Reciprocal geographic predictions based on ecological niche models of sister taxon pairs of birds, mammals, and butterflies in southern Mexico indicate niche conservatism over several million years...
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 ni...
The metagenomics approach has revolutionised the fields of bacterial diversity, ecology and evolution, as well as derived applications like bioremediation and obtaining bioproducts. A further associated conceptual change has also occurred since in the metagenomics methodology the species is no longer the unit of study, but rather partial genome arrangements or even isolated genes. In spite of this, concepts coming from ecological and evolutionary fields traditionally centred on the species, like the concept of niche, are still being applied without further revision. A reformulation of the niche concept is necessary to deal with the new operative and epistemological challenges posed by the metagenomics approach. To contribute to this end, I review past and present uses of the niche concept in ecology and in microbiological studies, showing that a new, updated definition need to be used in the context of the metagenomics. Finally, I give some insights into a more adequate conceptual background for the utilisation of the niche concept in metagenomic studies. In particular, I raise the necessity of including the microbial genetic background as another variable into the niche space.
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.
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.
Paun, O.; Schönswetter, P.; Winkler, M.; Tribsch, A.
Although many species have similar total distributional ranges, they might be restricted to very different habitats and might have different phylogeographic histories. In the European Alps, our excellent knowledge of the evolutionary history of silicate-dwelling (silicicole) plants is contrasted by a virtual lack of data from limestone-dwelling (calcicole) plants. These two categories exhibit fundamentally different distribution patterns within the Alps and are expected to differ strongly with respect to their glacial history. The calcicole Ranunculus alpestris group comprises three diploid species of alpine habitats. Ranunculus alpestris s. str is distributed over the southern European mountain system, while R. bilobus and R. traunfellneri are Southern Alpine narrow endemics. To explore their phylogenetic relationships and phylogeographic history, we investigated the correlation between information given by nuclear and chloroplast DNA data. Analyses of AFLP fingerprints and matK sequences gave incongruent results, indicative for reticulate evolution. Our data highlight historical episodes of range fragmentation and expansion, occasional long distance dispersal and on-going gene flow as important processes shaping the genetic structure of the group. Genetic divergence, expressed as a rarity index (“frequency-down-weighted marker values”) seems a better indicator of historical processes than patterns of genetic diversity, which rather mirror contemporary processes as connectivity of populations and population sizes. Three phylogeographical subgroups have been found within the R. alpestris group, neither following taxonomy nor geography. Genetic heterogeneity in the Southern Alps contrasts with Northern Alpine uniformity. The Carpathians have been stepwise colonised from the Eastern Alpine lineage resulting in a marked diversity loss in the Southern Carpathians. The main divergence within the group, separating the ancestor of the two endemic species from R
Hulgard, K.; Ratcliffe, J. M.
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......, these would interfere with their subsequent learning of a spatial memory task. We trained free-flying Myotis nattereri to approach palatable and unpalatable insect prey suspended below polystyrene objects. Experimentally naive bats learned to associate different objects with palatable and unpalatable prey...... 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....
Fisher-Reid, M Caitlin; Kozak, Kenneth H; Wiens, John J
The rate of climatic-niche evolution is important to many research areas in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology, including responses of species to global climate change, spread of invasive species, speciation, biogeography, and patterns of species richness. Previous studies have implied that clades with higher rates of climatic-niche evolution among species should have species with narrower niche breadths, but there is also evidence suggesting the opposite pattern. However, the relationships between rate and breadth have not been explicitly analyzed. Here, we examine the relationships between the rate of climatic-niche evolution and climatic-niche breadth using phylogenetic and climatic data for 250 species in the salamander family Plethodontidae, a group showing considerable variation in both rates of climatic-niche evolution and climatic-niche breadths. Contrary to some expectations, we find no general relationship between climatic-niche breadth and the rate of climatic-niche evolution. Climatic-niche breadths for some ecologically important climatic variables considered separately (temperature seasonality and annual precipitation) do show significant relationships with the rate of climatic-niche evolution, but rates are faster in clades in which species have broader (not narrower) niche breadths. In summary, our results show that narrower niche breadths are not necessarily associated with faster rates of niche evolution. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Krakauer, David C; Page, Karen M; Erwin, Douglas H
The behavior of organisms can contribute to the transformation of their environments. When organismal impacts on the environment feed back to influence organismal density, viability, fertility, or persistence, the environment can be construed as an extension of the organism. This process of fitness-enhancing environmental transformation has been called niche construction. We focus on the relationship of niche construction with species or strain diversity and on the variability of investment in niche construction versus reproduction. We demonstrate a fundamental dilemma of niche construction, whereby the construction of a shared resource leads to a tragedy of the commons, with competition tending to eliminate niche construction strategies. The ability to monopolize a niche, either through spatial proximity or through preferential exploitation, can stabilize niche construction and promote ecological coexistence among polymorphic constructors. We consider both sympatric and allopatric origins of niche construction. Under a variety of different construction mechanisms, variability in the investment in niche construction versus reproduction suggests reproductive altruism but is fully consistent with selfish behavior. We discuss the implications of niche-construction theory on the evolution of life cycles and development, behavioral plasticity, the division of labor, and long-term macroevolutionary trends.
Noel, Florence; Machon, Nathalie; Porcher, Emmanuelle
Background and Aims Although conservation biology has long focused on population dynamics and genetics, phenotypic plasticity is likely to play a significant role in population viability. Here, an investigation is made into the relative contribution of genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity to the phenotypic variation in natural populations of Ranunculus nodiflorus, a rare annual plant inhabiting temporary puddles in the Fontainebleau forest (Paris region, France) and exhibiting metapopulation dynamics. Methods The genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity of quantitative traits (morphological and fitness components) were measured in five populations, using a combination of field measurements, common garden experiments and genotyping at microsatellite loci. Key Results It is shown that populations exhibit almost undetectable genetic diversity at molecular markers, and that the variation in quantitative traits observed among populations is due to a high level of phenotypic plasticity. Despite the lack of genetic diversity, the natural population of R. nodiflorus exhibits large population sizes and does not appear threatened by extinction; this may be attributable to large phenotypic plasticity, enabling the production of numerous seeds under a wide range of environmental conditions. Conclusions Efficient conservation of the populations can only be based on habitat management, to favour the maintenance of microenvironmental variation and the resulting strong phenotypic plasticity. In contrast, classical actions aiming to improve genetic diversity are useless in the present case. PMID:17468109
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.
Gómez, Camila; Tenorio, Elkin A.; Montoya, Paola; Cadena, Carlos Daniel
Differences in life-history traits between tropical and temperate lineages are often attributed to differences in their climatic niche dynamics. For example, the more frequent appearance of migratory behaviour in temperate-breeding species than in species originally breeding in the tropics is believed to have resulted partly from tropical climatic stability and niche conservatism constraining tropical species from shifting their ranges. However, little is known about the patterns and processes underlying climatic niche evolution in migrant and resident animals. We evaluated the evolution of overlap in climatic niches between seasons and its relationship to migratory behaviour in the Parulidae, a family of New World passerine birds. We used ordination methods to measure seasonal niche overlap and niche breadth of 54 resident and 49 migrant species and used phylogenetic comparative methods to assess patterns of climatic niche evolution. We found that despite travelling thousands of kilometres, migrants tracked climatic conditions across the year to a greater extent than tropical residents. Migrant species had wider niches than resident species, although residents as a group occupied a wider climatic space and niches of migrants and residents overlapped extensively. Neither breeding latitude nor migratory distance explained variation among species in climatic niche overlap between seasons. Our findings support the notion that tropical species have narrower niches than temperate-breeders, but does not necessarily constrain their ability to shift or expand their geographical ranges and become migratory. Overall, the tropics may have been historically less likely to experience the suite of components that generate strong selection pressures for the evolution of migratory behaviour. PMID:26865303
McInerny, Greg J.; Etienne, Rampal S.
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
McInerny, Greg J.; Etienne, Rampal S.
In this first of three papers we examine the use of niche concepts in ecology and especially in species distribution modelling (SDM). This paper deliberately focuses on the lack of clarity found in the term niche. Because its meanings are so diverse, the term niche tends to create confusion and
There are distinct differences in the way in which Poicephalus parrots utilise food resources within their distributional range. Our study evaluated the niche metrics of all Poicephalus parrots studied thus far for evidence of linkages between body mass, distributional range and niche breadth. We calibrated the degree of ...
Flynn, Emma G.; Laland, Kevin N.; Kendal, Rachel L.; Kendal, Jeremy R.
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…
Meyer, Thomas M; Miller, Bernhard
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.
... communities; connochaetes taurinus taurinus; discriminant function analysis; equus burchelli burchelli; feeding; grass; grasses; habitat; herbivores; hluhluwe game reserve; kwazulu-natal; large herbivores; latent roots; natal; niche; niche overlap; niche separation; south africa; syncerus caffer caffer; white rhinoceros; ...
Full Text Available In this study, we examined the chromosome number, detailed male meiosis, microsporogenesis, pollen fertility and morphological features and distribution of 2× and 4× cytotypes of Ranunculus hirtellus Royle, 1834. The majority of the populations scored now from cold regions of the northwest Himalayas showed tetraploid (n=16 meiotic chromosome count and one of the populations studied from the Manimahesh hills existed at diploid level (n=8. The individuals of diploid cytotype exhibited perfectly normal meiotic course resulting in 100% pollen fertility and pollen grains of uniform sizes. On the other hand, the plants of the tetraploid cytotype from all the populations in spite of showing normal bivalent formation and equal distribution to the opposite poles at anaphases showed various meiotic abnormalities. The most prominent among these meiotic abnormalities was the cytomixis which involved inter PMC (pollen mother cell chromatin material transfer at different stages of meiosis-I. The phenomenon of cytomixis induced various meiotic abnormalities which include chromatin stickiness, pycnotic chromatin, laggards and chromatin bridges, out of plate bivalents at metaphase-I, disoriented chromatin material at anaphase/telophase and micronuclei. Consequently, these populations exhibited varying percentages of pollen sterility (24 - 77 % and pollen grains of heterogeneous sizes. Analysis of various morphometric features including the stomata in 2× and 4× cytotypes showed that increase in ploidy level in the species is correlated with gigantism of vegetative and floral characters and the two cytotypes can be distinguished from each other on the basis of morphological characters. The distribution patterns of the 2× and 4× cytotypes now detected and 2×, 3×, 4× cytotypes detected earlier by workers from other regions of the Indian Himalayas have also been discussed.
Scott-Phillips, Thomas C; Laland, Kevin N; Shuker, David M; Dickins, Thomas E; West, Stuart A
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
Pianka, Eric R; Vitt, Laurie J; Pelegrin, Nicolás; Fitzgerald, Daniel B; Winemiller, Kirk O
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.
Brun, Philipp Georg; Vogt, Meike; Payne, Mark
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...
Kendal, Jeremy; Tehrani, Jamshid J; Odling-Smee, John
Niche construction is an endogenous causal process in evolution, reciprocal to the causal process of natural selection. It works by adding ecological inheritance, comprising the inheritance of natural selection pressures previously modified by niche construction, to genetic inheritance in evolution. Human niche construction modifies selection pressures in environments in ways that affect both human evolution, and the evolution of other species. Human ecological inheritance is exceptionally potent because it includes the social transmission and inheritance of cultural knowledge, and material culture. Human genetic inheritance in combination with human cultural inheritance thus provides a basis for gene-culture coevolution, and multivariate dynamics in cultural evolution. Niche construction theory potentially integrates the biological and social aspects of the human sciences. We elaborate on these processes, and provide brief introductions to each of the papers published in this theme issue.
Kendal, Jeremy; Tehrani, Jamshid J.; Odling-Smee, John
Niche construction is an endogenous causal process in evolution, reciprocal to the causal process of natural selection. It works by adding ecological inheritance, comprising the inheritance of natural selection pressures previously modified by niche construction, to genetic inheritance in evolution. Human niche construction modifies selection pressures in environments in ways that affect both human evolution, and the evolution of other species. Human ecological inheritance is exceptionally potent because it includes the social transmission and inheritance of cultural knowledge, and material culture. Human genetic inheritance in combination with human cultural inheritance thus provides a basis for gene–culture coevolution, and multivariate dynamics in cultural evolution. Niche construction theory potentially integrates the biological and social aspects of the human sciences. We elaborate on these processes, and provide brief introductions to each of the papers published in this theme issue. PMID:21320894
Dobrev, S.; Kim, T-Y; Hannan, M.T.
This article examines the effects of crowding in a market center on rates of change in organizational niche width and on organizational mortality. It proposes that, although firms with wide niches benefit from risk spreading and economies of scale, they are simultaneously exposed to intense competition. An analysis of organizational dynamics in automobile manufacturing firms in France, Germany, and Great Britain shows that competitive pressure not only increases the hazard of disbanding but a...
Rader, Jonathan A; Newsome, Seth D; Sabat, Pablo; Chesser, R Terry; Dillon, Michael E; Martínez Del Rio, Carlos
Because a broad spectrum of resource use allows species to persist in a wide range of habitat types, and thus permits them to occupy large geographical areas, and because broadly distributed species have access to more diverse resource bases, the resource breadth hypothesis posits that the diversity of resources used by organisms should be positively related with the extent of their geographic ranges. We investigated isotopic niche width in a small radiation of South American birds in the genus Cinclodes. We analysed feathers of 12 species of Cinclodes to test the isotopic version of the resource breadth hypothesis and to examine the correlation between isotopic niche breadth and morphology. We found a positive correlation between the widths of hydrogen and oxygen isotopic niches (which estimate breadth of elevational range) and widths of the carbon and nitrogen isotopic niches (which estimates the diversity of resources consumed, and hence of habitats used). We also found a positive correlation between broad isotopic niches and wing morphology. Our study not only supports the resource breadth hypothesis but it also highlights the usefulness of stable isotope analyses as tools in the exploration of ecological niches. It is an example of a macroecological application of stable isotopes. It also illustrates the importance of scientific collections in ecological studies. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.
Rader, Jonathan A.; Newsome, Seth D.; Sabat, Pablo; Chesser, R. Terry; Dillon, Michael E.; Martinez del Rio, Carlos
Because a broad spectrum of resource use allows species to persist in a wide range of habitat types, and thus permits them to occupy large geographical areas, and because broadly distributed species have access to more diverse resource bases, the resource breadth hypothesis posits that the diversity of resources used by organisms should be positively related with the extent of their geographic ranges.We investigated isotopic niche width in a small radiation of South American birds in the genus Cinclodes. We analysed feathers of 12 species of Cinclodes to test the isotopic version of the resource breadth hypothesis and to examine the correlation between isotopic niche breadth and morphology.We found a positive correlation between the widths of hydrogen and oxygen isotopic niches (which estimate breadth of elevational range) and widths of the carbon and nitrogen isotopic niches (which estimates the diversity of resources consumed, and hence of habitats used). We also found a positive correlation between broad isotopic niches and wing morphology.Our study not only supports the resource breadth hypothesis but it also highlights the usefulness of stable isotope analyses as tools in the exploration of ecological niches. It is an example of a macroecological application of stable isotopes. It also illustrates the importance of scientific collections in ecological studies.
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 exogenetic 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.
Wiens, John J.
In this paper, I review the relevance of the niche to biogeography, and what biogeography may tell us about the niche. The niche is defined as the combination of abiotic and biotic conditions where a species can persist. I argue that most biogeographic patterns are created by niche differences over space, and that even ‘geographic barriers’ must have an ecological basis. However, we know little about specific ecological factors underlying most biogeographic patterns. Some evidence supports the importance of abiotic factors, whereas few examples exist of large-scale patterns created by biotic interactions. I also show how incorporating biogeography may offer new perspectives on resource-related niches and species interactions. Several examples demonstrate that even after a major evolutionary radiation within a region, the region can still be invaded by ecologically similar species from another clade, countering the long-standing idea that communities and regions are generally ‘saturated’ with species. I also describe the somewhat paradoxical situation where competition seems to limit trait evolution in a group, but does not prevent co-occurrence of species with similar values for that trait (called here the ‘competition–divergence–co-occurrence conundrum’). In general, the interface of biogeography and ecology could be a major area for research in both fields. PMID:21768150
Annette H. Schmitt-Graeff
Full Text Available Specialized microanatomical areas of the bone marrow provide the signals that are mandatory for the maintenance and regulation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs and progenitor cells. A complex microenvironment adjacent to the marrow vasculature (vascular niche and close to the endosteum (endosteal niche harbors multiple cell types including mesenchymal stromal cells and their derivatives such as CAR cells expressing high levels of chemokines C-X-C motif ligand 12 and early osteoblastic lineage cells, endothelial cells, and megakaryocytes. The characterization of the cellular and molecular networks operating in the HSC niche has opened new perspectives for the understanding of the bidirectional cross-talk between HSCs and stromal cell populations in normal and malignant conditions. A structural and functional remodeling of the niche may contribute to the development of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN. Malignant HSCs may alter the function and survival of MSCs that do not belong to the neoplastic clone. For example, a regression of nestin+ MSCs by apoptosis has been attributed to neuroglial damage in MPN. Nonneoplastic MSCs in turn can promote aggressiveness and drug resistance of malignant cells. In the future, strategies to counteract the pathological interaction between the niche and neoplastic HSCs may offer additional treatment strategies for MPN patients.
Galang Surya Gumilang
Full Text Available Abstract: This article describes and discusses (1 understanding of "niche", (2 niche counselor in Indonesia, (3 niche counselor on formal education, (4 niche counselor "to come" in Indonesia. Constraints to realize the role of school counselors, among others, principals and subject teachers who do not understand the function of guidance and counseling. Many school counselors who are not graduates of Guidance and Counseling but are merely odd or functional. Many and almost average in school School counselors do not have adequate facilities to work ideally, so the counselor's performance is less than optimal. School counselors are not considered important by students and educational components in schools. To overcome these obstacles required the participation of both governments, ABKIN, own counselor, and community environment, especially the school environment. From the counselor and the institution that shelter it needs to show good performance and from other components need to give trust and opportunity to the counselor to show its performance.Keywords: Niche, Counselor, Formal Education
Full Text Available Mashups enable end-users to "mix and match" data and services available on the web to create applications. Their creation is supported by a complex ecosystem of i data providers who offer open APIs to users, ii users who combine APIs into mashups, and iii platforms, such as the ProgrammableWeb or Mashape, that facilitate the construction and publication of mashups. In this article, we argue that the evolution of the mashup ecosystem can be explained in terms of ecosystem niches anchored around hub or keystone APIs. The members of a niche are focused on an area of specialization (e.g., mapping applications and contribute their knowledge to the value proposition of the ecosystem as a whole. To demonstrate the formation of niches in the mashup ecosystem, we model groups of related mashups as species, and we reconstruct the evolution of mashup species through phylogenetic analysis.
Christensen, Mette Krogh; Lund, Ole
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...... in a successful ecological niche of doctoral education, and the ways in which the microclimate support the doctoral students’ learning. The methods we applied in the case study were based on short-term ethnographic fieldwork. The results reveal four key features of the emotional atmosphere in the microclimate......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...
A. S. Erst
Full Text Available Сообщается о находке на территории Республики Тыва (хребты Чайлалыг-Даг и Обручева нового для Сибири вида Ranunculus punctatus (Ranunculaceae, считавшегося до настоящего времени эндемиком Чукотки.
Flynn, Emma G; Laland, Kevin N; Kendal, Rachel L; Kendal, Jeremy R
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 discussion between researchers interested in niche construction and those interested in human cognitive development by highlighting some of the related processes. We discuss the transmission of culturally relevant information, how the human mind is a symbol-generating and artefact-devising system, and how these processes are bi-directional, with infants and children both being directed, and directing, their own development. We reflect on these in the light of four approaches: natural pedagogy, activity theory, distributed cognition and situated learning. Throughout, we highlight pertinent examples in non-humans that parallel or further explicate the processes discussed. Finally we offer three future directions; two involving the use of new techniques in the realms of neuroscience and modelling, and the third suggesting exploration of changes in the effects of niche construction across the lifespan. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Dimenstein, Izak B; Dimenstein, Simon I
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.
Spisak, B.R.; O'Brien, M.; Nicholson, N.; van Vugt, M.
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
Chen, Shuyi; Lewallen, Michelle; Xie, Ting
Stem cell self-renewal is tightly controlled by the concerted action of stem cell-intrinsic factors and signals within the niche. Niche signals often function within a short range, allowing cells in the niche to self-renew while their daughters outside the niche differentiate. Thus, in order for stem cells to continuously self-renew, they are often anchored in the niche via adhesion molecules. In addition to niche anchoring, however, recent studies have revealed other important roles for adhesion molecules in the regulation of stem cell function, and it is clear that stem cell-niche adhesion is crucial for stem cell self-renewal and is dynamically regulated. Here, we highlight recent progress in understanding adhesion between stem cells and their niche and how this adhesion is regulated. PMID:23250203
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.
Sareni, Bruno; Krähenbühl, Laurent; Nicolas, Alain
Niching methods extend genetic algorithms and permit the investigation of multiple optimal solutions in the search space. In this paper, we review and discuss various strategies of niching for optimization in electromagnetics. Traditional mathematical problems and an electromagnetic benchmark are solved using niching genetic algorithms to show their interest in real world optimization.
Winemiller, Kirk O; Fitzgerald, Daniel B; Bower, Luke M; Pianka, Eric R
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.
Aguiar, Cândida; Santos, Gilberto; Martins, Celso; Presley, Steven
International audience; Trophic niche breadth and niche overlap of bees were studied in a region of Caatinga (a deciduous dry thorn scrub forest) in Brazil with the lowest mean annual rainfall of the country, highly seasonal environmental variation, and an unpredictable rainy season. A null model approach was used to determine if the observed niche overlap in the community differed from that expected by chance. In general, even bee species with wider trophic niches concentrated foraging effor...
Peng, Wen-jun; Wang, Xiao-ming
Proceeding from the niche concept; the article commented the main points of each concept's connotation basing on a systematic review of development on niche concepts, and divided the process into four phases including germination, standardization, quantification and perfection, with two main academic schools. Questions and challenges during niche's development and advancement were presented to extract the characteristics and components of niche concept. On these bases, we explored the orientation of niche concept in ecology, and suggested to position it as a macro concept and detail it in specific applications. Further research points and application perspectives were stated in the end.
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
DeSantis, Larisa R G; Beavins Tracy, Rachel A; Koontz, Cassandra S; Roseberry, John C; Velasco, Matthew C
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 terminal Pleistocene
Chen, Ming-Jun; Huang, Bo; Li, Zeng-Zhi
An investigation was made on the quantitative composition, niche width, and niche overlap of dominant entomopathogenic fungi in three different forest ecosystems, i.e., natural broad-leaved forest, natural secondary broad-leaved forest, and pure Masson' s pine plantation. In the three forest ecosystems, Beauveria bassiana was the first dominant species in natural secondary broad-leaved forest, the second in pure Masson's pine plantation, and the third in natural broad-leaved forest. B. bassiana had the broadest temporal niche width and nutritional niche width, whereas the dominant species Isaria cateinannulata, L. farinose, and I. tenuipes had much smaller niche widths. Meanwhile, B. bassiana had larger temporal niche overlaps but smaller nutritional niche overlaps with other dominant entomopathogenic fungi. It was suggested that in the three forest ecosystems, B. bassiana had the longest occurrence duration, widest host range, and strongest environmental adaptability.
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" , 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
Woolverton, Andrea E.; Parcell, Joseph L.
This industry-level case study focuses on the growth cycles of craft brewing, a niche industry. The research case is defined as the craft beer industry evolution including the surrounding institutional and consumer environments. The research goal is to provide insight for niche agriculturalists by examining the case of the successful niche craft beer industry. First, the environment surrounding craft beer reemergence is analyzed. We examine the current state of the craft beer industry with a ...
Pesch, U.; Vernay, A.L.; van Bueren, E.M.; Pandis Iveroth, S
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
Peli, G; Raftery, AE
Logical formalization is a formal method for the analysis of theoretical arguments in the social sciences. Hannan and Freeman's organizational niche theory (1989) is rebuilt by means of First-Order Logic, and its predictions are derived as theorems. Translation into a formal language makes the
Cloyed, Carl S; Eason, Perri K
Intra-population niche differences in generalist foragers have captured the interest of ecologists, because such individuality can have important ecological and evolutionary implications. Few researchers have investigated how these differences affect the relationships among ecologically similar, sympatric species. Using stable isotopes, stomach contents, morphology and habitat preference, we examined niche partitioning within a group of five anurans and determined whether variation within species could facilitate resource partitioning. Species partitioned their niches by trophic level and by foraging habitat. However, there was considerable intraspecific variation in trophic level, with larger individuals generally feeding at higher trophic levels. For species at intermediate trophic levels, smaller individuals overlapped in trophic level with individuals of smaller species and larger individuals overlapped with the smallest individuals from larger species. Species varied in carbon isotopes; species with enriched carbon isotope ratios foraged farther from ponds, whereas species with depleted carbon isotope values foraged closer to ponds. Our study shows that these species partition their niches by feeding at different trophic levels and foraging at different distances from ponds. The intraspecific variation in trophic level decreased the number of individuals from each species that overlapped in trophic level with individuals from other species, which can facilitate species coexistence.
Rowley-Conwy, Peter; Layton, Robert
All forager (or hunter–gatherer) societies construct niches, many of them actively by the concentration of wild plants into useful stands, small-scale cultivation, burning of natural vegetation to encourage useful species, and various forms of hunting, collectively termed ‘low-level food production’. Many such niches are stable and can continue indefinitely, because forager populations are usually stable. Some are unstable, but these usually transform into other foraging niches, not geographically expansive farming niches. The Epipalaeolithic (final hunter–gatherer) niche in the Near East was complex but stable, with a relatively high population density, until destabilized by an abrupt climatic change. The niche was unintentionally transformed into an agricultural one, due to chance genetic and behavioural attributes of some wild plant and animal species. The agricultural niche could be exported with modifications over much of the Old World. This was driven by massive population increase and had huge impacts on local people, animals and plants wherever the farming niche was carried. Farming niches in some areas may temporarily come close to stability, but the history of the last 11 000 years does not suggest that agriculture is an effective strategy for achieving demographic and political stability in the world's farming populations. PMID:21320899
Hof, Christian; Rahbek, Carsten; Araújo, Miguel B.
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...... 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...
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.
Vaira, A M; Accotto, G P; Costantini, A; Milne, R G
A 4018 nucleotide sequence was obtained for RNA 1 of Ranunculus white mottle virus (RWMV), genus Ophiovirus, representing an incomplete ORF of 1339 aa. Amino acid sequence analysis revealed significant similarities with RNA polymerases of viruses in the family Rhabdoviridae and a conserved domain of 685 aa, corresponding to the RdRp domain of those in the order Mononegavirales. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the genus Ophiovirus is not related to the genus Tenuivirus or the family Bunyaviridae, with which it has been linked, and probably deserves a special taxonomic position, within a new family. A pair of degenerate primers was designed from a consensus sequence obtained from a relatively conserved region in the RNA 1 of two members of the genus, Citrus psorosis virus (CPsV) and RWMV. The primers, used in RT-PCR experiments, amplified a 136 bp DNA fragment from all the three recognized members of the genus, i.e. CPsV, RWMV and Tulip mild mottle mosaic virus (TMMMV) and from two tentative ophioviruses from lettuce and freesia. The amplified DNAs were sequenced and compared with the corresponding sequences of CPsV and RWMV and phylogenetic relationships were evaluated. Assays using extracts from plants infected by viruses belonging to the genera Tospovirus, Tenuivirus, Rhabdovirus and Varicosavirus indicated that the primers are genus-specific.
Niche marketing can be a form of diversification and a means to achieving business success in all economic climates-boom, recession and depression. There are several niche marketing potentials farm entrepreneurs can exploit in start-up and existing small and large farm businesses. Dynamic entrepreneurism, and ...
Jeffrey M. Diez; Itamar Giladi; Robert Warren; H. Ronald. Pulliam
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...
Bakker, S.; Lente, H. van; Engels, R.
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’
Hut, Roelof A.; Kronfeld-Schor, Noga; van der Vinne, Vincent; De la Iglesia, Horacio
Time as an ecological niche variable or "temporal niche" can be defined in the context of the most prominent environmental cycles, including the tidal cycle, the lunar day and month, the solar day, and the earth year. For the current review, we focus on the 24-h domain generated through the earth's
Baldeck, Claire A; Kembel, Steven W; Harms, Kyle E; Yavitt, Joseph B; John, Robert; Turner, Benjamin L; Chuyong, George B; Kenfack, David; Thomas, Duncan W; Madawala, Sumedha; Gunatilleke, Nimal; Gunatilleke, Savitri; Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh; Kiratiprayoon, Somboon; Yaacob, Adzmi; Nur Supardi, Mohd N; Valencia, Renato; Navarrete, Hugo; Davies, Stuart J; Hubbell, Stephen P; Dalling, James W
The integration of ecology and evolutionary biology requires an understanding of the evolutionary lability in species' ecological niches. For tropical trees, specialization for particular soil resource and topographic conditions is an important part of the habitat niche, influencing the distributions of individual species and overall tree community structure at the local scale. However, little is known about how these habitat niches are related to the evolutionary history of species. We assessed the relationship between taxonomic rank and tree species' soil resource and topographic niches in eight large (24-50 ha) tropical forest dynamics plots. Niche overlap values, indicating the similarity of two species' distributions along soil or topographic axes, were calculated for all pairwise combinations of co-occurring tree species at each study site. Congeneric species pairs often showed greater niche overlap (i.e., more similar niches) than non-congeneric pairs along both soil and topographic axes, though significant effects were found for only five sites based on Mantel tests. No evidence for taxonomic effects was found at the family level. Our results indicate that local habitat niches of trees exhibit varying degrees of phylogenetic signal at different sites, which may have important ramifications for the phylogenetic structure of these communities.
Schwisow, C R
While niche marketing is not a new strategy, an increasing number of competitors are pursuing the same niches, resulting in stiff competition within the health care industry, writes C. Ronald Schwisow. This means marketers need to be resourceful to maximize their communications efforts. One such approach is specialty advertising.
Bergmüller, Ralph; Taborsky, Michael
The existence of 'animal personality', i.e. consistent individual differences in behaviour across time and contexts, is an evolutionary puzzle that has recently generated considerable research interest. Although social factors are generally considered to be important, it is as yet unclear how they might select for personality. Drawing from ecological niche theory, we explore how social conflict and alternative social options can be key factors in the evolution and development of consistent individual differences in behaviour. We discuss how animal personality research might benefit from insights into the study of alternative tactics and illustrate how selection can favour behavioural diversification and consistency due to fitness benefits resulting from conflict reduction among social partners. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Grappiolo, Corrado; Togelius, Julian; Yannakakis, Georgios N.
We present a new evolutionary algorithm for com- munity structure detection in both undirected and unweighted (sparse) graphs and fully connected weighted digraphs (complete networks). Previous investigations have found that, although evolutionary computation can identify community structure...... in complete networks, this approach seems to scale badly due to solutions with the wrong number of communities dominating the population. The new algorithm is based on a niching model, where separate compartments of the population contain candidate solutions with different numbers of communities. We...... experimentally compare the new algorithm to the well-known algorithms of Pizzuti and Tasgin, and find that we outperform those algorithms for sparse graphs under some conditions, and drastically outperform them on complete networks under all tested conditions....
The model presented is one theoretical approach within a broader research program that could verify the nonlinear conjectures made, such that to quantify and predict potential discontinuous behaviour. In this case, the crisis behaviour associated with financial funds reallocation among various credit instruments, described as memes with the sense of Dawkins, is shown to be of discontinuous nature stemming from a logistic penetration in the behaviour niche. Actually the logistic penetration is typical in creating cyclic behaviour of economic structures as shown by Marchetti and others from IIASA. A Fokker-Planck equation description results in a stationary solution having a bifurcation like solution with evolution trajectories on a `cusp' type catastrophe that may describe discontinuous decision behaviour.
Leibold, Mathew A; McPeek, Mark A
The neutral theory for community structure and biodiversity is dependent on the assumption that species are equivalent to each other in all important ecological respects. We explore what this concept of equivalence means in ecological communities, how such species may arise evolutionarily, and how the possibility of ecological equivalents relates to previous ideas about niche differentiation. We also show that the co-occurrence of ecologically similar or equivalent species is not incompatible with niche theory as has been supposed, because niche relations can sometimes favor coexistence of similar species. We argue that both evolutionary and ecological processes operate to promote the introduction and to sustain the persistence of ecologically similar and in many cases nearly equivalent species embedded in highly structured food webs. Future work should focus on synthesizing niche and neutral perspectives rather than dichotomously debating whether neutral or niche models provide better explanations for community structure and biodiversity.
Vasileiadou, E Eleftheria; Huijben, JCCM Boukje; Raven, RPJM Rob
TThere is a huge gap between demand and supply of finance for energy transitions, and the financial and economic crisis have had a negative impact in the already meagre funds for transforming the energy system towards renewable resources. In this paper we explore whether crowdfunding can provide an adequate business model for the creation, nurturing and upscaling of renewable energy niches. We empirically investigate crowdfunding initiatives and platforms linked to renewable electricity proje...
Peterson T. Leivas
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.
Scriven, Jessica J; Whitehorn, Penelope R; Goulson, Dave; Tinsley, Matthew C
Competition theory states that multiple species should not be able to occupy the same niche indefinitely. Morphologically, similar species are expected to be ecologically alike and exhibit little niche differentiation, which makes it difficult to explain the co-occurrence of cryptic species. Here, we investigated interspecific niche differentiation within a complex of cryptic bumblebee species that co-occur extensively in the United Kingdom. We compared the interspecific variation along different niche dimensions, to determine how they partition a niche to avoid competitive exclusion. We studied the species B. cryptarum, B. lucorum, and B. magnus at a single location in the northwest of Scotland throughout the flight season. Using mitochondrial DNA for species identification, we investigated differences in phenology, response to weather variables and forage use. We also estimated niche region and niche overlap between different castes of the three species. Our results show varying levels of niche partitioning between the bumblebee species along three niche dimensions. The species had contrasting phenologies: The phenology of B. magnus was delayed relative to the other two species, while B. cryptarum had a relatively extended phenology, with workers and males more common than B. lucorum early and late in the season. We found divergent thermal specialisation: In contrast to B. cryptarum and B. magnus, B. lucorum worker activity was skewed toward warmer, sunnier conditions, leading to interspecific temporal variation. Furthermore, the three species differentially exploited the available forage plants: In particular, unlike the other two species, B. magnus fed predominantly on species of heather. The results suggest that ecological divergence in different niche dimensions and spatio-temporal heterogeneity in the environment may contribute to the persistence of cryptic species in sympatry. Furthermore, our study suggests that cryptic species provide distinct
Silva, Daniel P.; Vilela, Bruno; De Marco, Paulo; Nemésio, André
The role of past connections between the two major South American forested biomes on current species distribution has been recognized a long time ago. Climatic oscillations that further separated these biomes have promoted parapatric speciation, in which many species had their continuous distribution split, giving rise to different but related species (i.e., different potential distributions and realized niche features). The distribution of many sister species of orchid bees follow this pattern. Here, using ecological niche models and niche analyses, we (1) tested the role of ecological niche differentiation on the divergence between sister orchid-bees (genera Eulaema and Eufriesea) from the Amazon and Atlantic forests, and (2) highlighted interesting areas for new surveys. Amazonian species occupied different realized niches than their Atlantic sister species. Conversely, species of sympatric but distantly related Eulaema bees occupied similar realized niches. Amazonian species had a wide potential distribution in South America, whereas Atlantic Forest species were more limited to the eastern coast of the continent. Additionally, we identified several areas in need of future surveys. Our results show that the realized niche of Atlantic-Amazonian sister species of orchid bees, which have been previously treated as allopatric populations of three species, had limited niche overlap and similarity. These findings agree with their current taxonomy, which treats each of those populations as distinct valid species. PMID:25422941
The extreme disjunction between Beringia and Europe in Ranunculus glacialis s. l. (Ranunculaceae) does not coincide with the deepest genetic split - a story of the importance of temperate mountain ranges in arctic-alpine phylogeography.
Ronikier, M; Schneeweiss, G M; Schönswetter, P
The arctic-alpine Ranunculus glacialis s. l. is distributed in high-mountain ranges of temperate Europe and in the North, where it displays an extreme disjunction between the North Atlantic Arctic and Beringia. Based on comprehensive sampling and employing plastid and nuclear marker systems, we (i) test whether the European/Beringian disjunction correlates with the main evolutionary diversification, (ii) reconstruct the phylogeographic history in the Arctic and in temperate mountains and (iii) assess the susceptibility of arctic and mountain populations to climate change. Both data sets revealed several well-defined lineages, mostly with a coherent geographic distribution. The deepest evolutionary split did not coincide with the European/Beringian disjunction but occurred within the Alps. The Beringian lineage and North Atlantic Arctic populations, which reached their current distribution via rapid postglacial colonization, show connections to two divergent pools of Central European populations. Thus, immigration into the Arctic probably occurred at least twice. The presence of a rare cpDNA lineage related to Beringia in the Carpathians supports the role of these mountains as a stepping stone between temperate Europe and the non-European Arctic, and as an important area of high-mountain biodiversity. The temperate and arctic ranges presented contrasting phylogeographic histories: a largely static distribution in the former and rapid latitudinal spread in the latter. The persistence of ancient lineages with a strictly regional distribution suggests that the ability of R. glacialis to survive repeated climatic changes within southern mountain ranges is greater than what recently was predicted for alpine plants from climatic envelope modelling. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Levine, Jonathan M; HilleRisLambers, Janneke
Ecological communities characteristically contain a wide diversity of species with important functional, economic and aesthetic value. Ecologists have long questioned how this diversity is maintained. Classic theory shows that stable coexistence requires competitors to differ in their niches; this has motivated numerous investigations of ecological differences presumed to maintain diversity. That niche differences are key to coexistence, however, has recently been challenged by the neutral theory of biodiversity, which explains coexistence with the equivalence of competitors. The ensuing controversy has motivated calls for a better understanding of the collective importance of niche differences for the diversity observed in ecological communities. Here we integrate theory and experimentation to show that niche differences collectively stabilize the dynamics of experimental communities of serpentine annual plants. We used field-parameterized population models to develop a null expectation for community dynamics without the stabilizing effects of niche differences. The population growth rates predicted by this null model varied by several orders of magnitude between species, which is sufficient for rapid competitive exclusion. Moreover, after two generations of community change in the field, Shannon diversity was over 50 per cent greater in communities stabilized by niche differences relative to those exhibiting dynamics predicted by the null model. Finally, in an experiment manipulating species' relative abundances, population growth rates increased when species became rare--the demographic signature of niche differences. Our work thus provides strong evidence that species differences have a critical role in stabilizing species diversity.
Wooten, J A; Gibbs, H L
Comparing niche divergence among closely related taxa can yield important insights into the ecological distinctiveness of genetically similar forms, and identify the processes that are responsible for diversification in such organisms. Here, we apply newly developed techniques for analysing niche divergence to assess how ecologically distinct a group of closely related rattlesnakes (Sistrurus sp.) are and to explore the role that niche divergence may have played in their diversification. We find that all taxa even the most recently evolved subspecies (approximately 100,000 years old) are now ecologically distinct, implying a role for ecology in the diversification process. Statistical analysis based on comparisons with null models show that niche divergence between forms is more common than niche conservation. Finally, there is nonlinear relationship between phylogenetic and niche divergence in this group whereby niche divergence develops more rapidly between recently diverged subspecies than more distantly related forms. Overall, our results argue that ecology may play an important role in the diversification process in these snakes. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Bonetti, Maria Fernanda; Wiens, John J
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.
Nogues, David Bravo
Predicting past distributions of species climatic niches, hindcasting, by using climate envelope models (CEMs) is emerging as an exciting research area. CEMs are used to examine veiled evolutionary questions about extinctions, locations of past refugia and migration pathways, or to propose...... the theoretical assumptions behind niche modelling and using inadequate methods for hindcasting CEMs may well entail a cascade of errors and naïve ecological and evolutionary inferences. We should also push integrative research lines linking macroecology, physiology, population biology, palaeontology......, evolutionary biology and CEMs for a better understanding of niche dynamics across space and time....
Dorn, David C; Dorn, August
The best known cases of cell autotomy are the formation of erythrocytes and thrombocytes (platelets) from progenitor cells that reside in special niches. Recently, autotomy of stem cells and its enigmatic interaction with the niche has been reported from male germline stem cells (GSCs) in several insect species. First described in lepidopterans, the silkmoth, followed by the gipsy moth and consecutively in hemipterans, foremost the milkweed bug. In both, moths and the milkweed bug, GSCs form finger-like projections toward the niche, the apical cells (homologs of the hub cells in Drosophila). Whereas in the milkweed bug the projection terminals remain at the surface of the niche cells, in the gipsy moth they protrude deeply into the singular niche cell. In both cases, the projections undergo serial retrograde fragmentation with progressing signs of autophagy. In the gipsy moth, the autotomized vesicles are phagocytized and digested by the niche cell. In the milkweed bug the autotomized vesicles accumulate at the niche surface and disintegrate. Autotomy and sprouting of new projections appears to occur continuously. The significance of the GSC-niche interactions, however, remains enigmatic. Our concept on the signaling relationship between stem cell-niche in general and GSC and niche (hub cells and cyst stem cells) in particular has been greatly shaped by Drosophila melanogaster. In comparing the interactions of GSCs with their niche in Drosophila with those in species exhibiting GSC autotomy it is obvious that additional or alternative modes of stem cell-niche communication exist. Thus, essential signaling pathways, including niche-stem cell adhesion (E-cadherin) and the direction of asymmetrical GSC division - as they were found in Drosophila - can hardly be translated into the systems where GSC autotomy was reported. It is shown here that the serial autotomy of GSC projections shows remarkable similarities with Wallerian axonal destruction, developmental axon
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.
Full Text Available Humans influence and depend on natural systems worldwide, creating complex societal-ecological feedbacks that make it difficult to assess the long-term sustainability of contemporary human activities. We use ecological niche theory to consider the short-term (transient and long-term (equilibrium effects of improvements in health, agriculture, or efficiency on the abundances of humans, our plant and animal resources, and our natural enemies. We also consider special cases of our model where humans shift to a completely vegetarian diet, or completely eradicate natural enemies. We find that although combinations of health, agriculture, and efficiency improvements tend to support more people and plant resources, they also result in more natural enemies and fewer animal resources. Considering each of these improvements separately reveals that they lead to different, and sometimes opposing, long-term effects. For example, health improvements can reduce pathogen abundances and make it difficult to sustain livestock production, whereas agricultural improvements tend to counterbalance these effects. Our exploratory analysis of a deliberately simple model elucidates trade-offs and feedbacks that could arise from the cascading effects of human activities.
Litsios, Glenn; Kostikova, Anna; Salamin, Nicolas
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
Higgins, Steven I; Richardson, David M
Invasive species cost the global economy billions of dollars each year, but ecologists have struggled to predict the risk of an introduced species naturalizing and invading. Although carefully designed experiments are needed to fully elucidate what makes some species invasive, much can be learned from unintentional experiments involving the introduction of species beyond their native ranges. Here, we assess invasion risk by linking a physiologically based species distribution model with data on the invasive success of 749 Australian acacia and eucalypt tree species that have, over more than a century, been introduced around the world. The model correctly predicts 92% of occurrences observed outside of Australia from an independent dataset. We found that invasiveness is positively associated with the projection of physiological niche volume in geographic space, thereby illustrating that species tolerant of a broader range of environmental conditions are more likely to be invasive. Species achieve this broader tolerance in different ways, meaning that the traits that define invasive success are context-specific. Hence, our study reconciles studies that have failed to identify the traits that define invasive success with the urgent and pragmatic need to predict invasive success.
Rompolas, Panteleimon; Greco, Valentina
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
. Laland et al. .... architects and their style of architecture exert great influence on the final form that the building takes. Laland's (2015) ..... Hui C. and Yue D. 2005 Niche construction and polymorphism maintenance in.
Nick Jukes; Siri Martinsen
「Abstract」The InterNICHE Humane Education Award is an annual grant program established to support ethical and effective education and training within biological science, medicine and veterinary medicine...
Nick Jukes; Siri Martinsen
「Abstract」The InterNICHE Humane Education Award is an annual grant program established to support ethical and effective education and training within biological science, medicine and veterinary medicine...
Sánchez-Fernández, David; Arribas, Paula; Abellán, Pedro
Phylogeography and ecological niche modelling are two key approaches advancing biogeography. A special issue of Folia Zoologica (64: 2015) considers these advances in eight articles, including two reviews—on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM)—and six research articles, plus two book reviews. The reviews on NGS and ENM stand out as the main interests of the issue. The six research articles provide different biogeographical case studies in which phylogeography...
Lima-Brito, Jeisiane dos Santos; Núcleo de Teoria e Pesquisa do Comportamento (NTPC). Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPA).; Tavernard, Edimeire Pastori de Magalhães; Doutoranda do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Teoria e Pesquisa do Comportamento (PPGTPC). Núcleo de Teoria e Pesquisa do Comportamento (NTPC), da Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPA).; Magalhães, Celina Maria Colino; Núcleo de Teoria e Pesquisa do Comportamento. Universidade Federal do Pará.; Pontes, Fernando Augusto Ramos; Núcleo de Teoria e Pesquisa do Comportamento. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Teoria e Pesquisa do Comportamento. Universidade Federal do Pará.
The objective was to systematize the studies that adopt the concept of Development Niche and use it to understand the development in old age. Six articles were identified, all addressing the theme of development in childhood, among the limitations of the studies cited the lack of standardization in the investigation of the niche subsystems. It highlights the need for further research on the relationship between the context, the developing person and the psychological characteristics of their ...
Broennimann, O.; Treier, Urs; Müller-Schärer, H.
in the invaded ranges. We test this assumption by analysing the climatic niche spaces of Spotted Knapweed in western North America and Europe. We show with robust cross-continental data that a shift of the observed climatic niche occurred between native and non-native ranges, providing the first empirical...... of introduction and establishment of newly or not-yet-introduced neophytes, but may not predict the full extent of invasions....
Escobar, Luis E.; Craft, Meggan E.
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. PMID:27547199
Aguilée, Robin; Shaw, Frank H; Rousset, François; Shaw, Ruth G; Ronce, Ophélie
In heterogeneous landscapes, the genetic and demographic consequences of dispersal influence the evolution of niche width. Unless pollen is limiting, pollen dispersal does not contribute directly to population growth. However, by disrupting local adaptation, it indirectly affects population dynamics. We compare the effect of pollen versus seed dispersal on the evolution of niche width in heterogeneous habitats, explicitly considering the feedback between maladaptation and demography. We consider two scenarios: the secondary contact of two subpopulations, in distinct, formerly isolated habitats, and the colonization of an empty habitat with dispersal between the new and ancestral habitat. With an analytical model, we identify critical levels of genetic variance leading to niche contraction (secondary contact scenario), or expansion (new habitat scenario). We confront these predictions with simulations where the genetic variance freely evolves. Niche contraction occurs when habitats are very different. It is faster as total gene flow increases or as pollen predominates in overall gene flow. Niche expansion occurs when habitat heterogeneity is not too high. Seed dispersal accelerates it, whereas pollen dispersal tends to retard it. In both scenarios very high seed dispersal leads to extinction. Overall, our results predict a wider niche for species dispersing seeds more than pollen. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Lane, Steven W; Williams, David A; Watt, Fiona M
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
Escobar, Luis E; Craft, Meggan E
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.
Rucci, N; Sanità, P; Angelucci, A
Metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a cluster of at least 23 enzymes belonging to the more wide family of endopeptidases called Metzincins, whose structure is characterized by the presence of a zinc ion at the catalytic site. Although the general view of MMPs as physiologic scissors involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation and tissue remodeling is still valid, additional functions have recently emerged, including the ability to cleave non ECM molecules such as growth factors, cytokines and chemokines from their membrane-anchored proforms. These functions are utilized by tumor cells and are fundamental in the determination of tumor progression and invasion. The effect of MMPs activity in cancer progression has been traditionally associated with the acquisition by tumor cells of an invasive phenotype, an indispensable requisite for the metastatic spreading of cancer cells. In addition to the traditional view, a new role for MMPs in creating a favourable microenvironment has been proposed, so that MMPs are not only involved in cell invasion, but also in signaling pathways that control cell growth, inflammation, or angiogenesis. Finally, recent evidence suggest a role of MMPs in the so called "pre-metastatic niche" that is the hypothesis of an early distant modification of the premetastatic site by primary cancer cells. This new hypothesis is changing our traditional view about MMPs and provides important insights into the effective time window for the therapeutic use of MMP inhibitors. In this review we provide the main available data about the ability of MMPs in creating a suitable microenvironment for tumor growth in metastatic sites and we indicate the implication of these data on the potential use of MMP inhibitors in the metastatic therapy.
Ruggiero, Salvatore; Martiskainen, Mari; Onkila, Tiina
The growing phenomenon of civil society involvement in renewable energy generation has attracted researchers’ interest. However, rather little is known of how a diverse and relatively small sector such as community energy could scale up and promote a change in energy production. We examine this issue through the lens of Strategic Niche Management (SNM) and conceptualize community energy as a socio-technical niche that holds the potential to promote a transition to renewable energy. Drawing on...
religious concerns, convenience, food safety, and food quality issues. Opportunities exist to develop niche marketing opportunities for fresh goat with local ethnic or faith based populations.
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.
Kamilar, Jason M; Muldoon, Kathleen M
Numerous researchers have posited that there should be a strong negative relationship between the evolutionary distance among species and their ecological similarity. Alternative evidence suggests that members of adaptive radiations should display no relationship between divergence time and ecological similarity because rapid evolution results in near-simultaneous speciation early in the clade's history. In this paper, we performed the first investigation of ecological diversity in a phylogenetic context using a mammalian adaptive radiation, the Malagasy primates. We collected data for 43 extant species including: 1) 1064 species by locality samples, 2) GIS climate data for each sampling locality, and 3) the phylogenetic relationships of the species. We calculated the niche space of each species by summarizing the climatic variation at localities of known occurrence. Climate data from all species occurrences at all sites were entered into a principal components analysis. We calculated the mean value of the first two PCA axes, representing rainfall and temperature diversity, for each species. We calculated the K statistic using the Physig program for Matlab to examine how well the climatic niche space of species was correlated with phylogeny. We found that there was little relationship between the phylogenetic distance of Malagasy primates and their rainfall and temperature niche space, i.e., closely related species tend to occupy different climatic niches. Furthermore, several species from different genera converged on a similar climatic niche. These results have important implications for the evolution of ecological diversity, and the long-term survival of these endangered species.
Alley, T R
This article examines some of the main tenets of competition theory in light of the theory of evolution and the concept of an ecological niche. The principle of competitive exclusion and the related assumption that communities exist at competitive equilibrium - fundamental parts of many competition theories and models - may be violated if non-equilibrium conditions exist in natural communities or are incorporated into competition models. Furthermore, these two basic tenets of competition theory are not compatible with the theory of evolution. Variation in ecologically significant environmental factors and non-equilibrium in population numbers should occur in most natural communities, and such changes have important effects on community relations, niche overlap, and the evolution of ecosystems. Ecologists should view competition as a process occurring within a complex dynamic system, and should be wary of theoretical positions built upon simple laboratory experiments or simplistic mathematical models. In considering the relationship between niche overlap and competition, niche overlap should not be taken as a sufficient condition for competition; many factors may prevent or diminish competition between population with similar resource utilization patterns. The typically opposing forces of intraspecific and interspecific competition need to be simultaneously considered, for it is the balance between them that in large part determines niche boundaries.
Laland, Kevin; Odling-Smee, John; Endler, John
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.
Nikkels, C; Vervoort, Anke J M W; Mol, Ben Willem; Hehenkamp, Wouter J K; Huirne, Judith A F; Brölmann, Hans A M
The research objective of the current systematic literature review is to classify the laparoscopic niche repair according to the IDEAL framework of 'innovation stages' and to recommend the required research setting to facilitate safe and properly timed implementation of the technique. In doing so, we are also able to evaluate the practical applicability of the IDEAL framework. A systematic search of the available literature on laparoscopic niche repair was performed in PubMed, Embase, and the Wiley/Cochrane library. Articles were classified according to the IDEAL framework and recommendations were given on additional required research before the technique can be safely implemented. Practical applicability of the IDEAL framework was also evaluated. Introduction of laparoscopic niche repair matches Idea (1) and Development (2a), according to the stages of IDEAL framework, although most studies are retrospective and complications have not been registered structurally in a considerable number of the articles. As feasibility and safety have been more or less established and surgery has been further developed we enter stage 2b (Exploration) and need prospective trials preferably comparing the effectiveness of laparoscopic niche repair to expectant management, the current standard care. Available studies were classified with the use of the IDEAL framework, achieving an overall IDEAL stage to be 2a Development. As clinical outcomes, though poorly registered, have been substantially improved, laparoscopic niche repair needs to be carried forward by more advanced study designs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Nicenboim, J; Malkinson, G; Lupo, T; Asaf, L; Sela, Y; Mayseless, O; Gibbs-Bar, L; Senderovich, N; Hashimshony, T; Shin, M; Jerafi-Vider, A; Avraham-Davidi, I; Krupalnik, V; Hofi, R; Almog, G; Astin, J W; Golani, O; Ben-Dor, S; Crosier, P S; Herzog, W; Lawson, N D; Hanna, J H; Yanai, I; Yaniv, K
How cells acquire their fate is a fundamental question in developmental and regenerative biology. Multipotent progenitors undergo cell-fate restriction in response to cues from the microenvironment, the nature of which is poorly understood. In the case of the lymphatic system, venous cells from the cardinal vein are thought to generate lymphatic vessels through trans-differentiation. Here we show that in zebrafish, lymphatic progenitors arise from a previously uncharacterized niche of specialized angioblasts within the cardinal vein, which also generates arterial and venous fates. We further identify Wnt5b as a novel lymphatic inductive signal and show that it also promotes the ‘angioblast-to-lymphatic’ transition in human embryonic stem cells, suggesting that this process is evolutionarily conserved. Our results uncover a novel mechanism of lymphatic specification, and provide the first characterization of the lymphatic inductive niche. More broadly, our findings highlight the cardinal vein as a heterogeneous structure, analogous to the haematopoietic niche in the aortic floor.
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.
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.
Beniamin G. BOŞCAI
Full Text Available Based on technological evolution and a very large number of users, the Internet plays a key role in attracting talented employees which can generate competitive advantage for the organization. Therefore nowadays niche websites, specialised recruitment sites, become increasingly important. With the creation of such sites also appeared several applications for recruiting. The purpose of this paper is to analyze these sites and applications in order to determine the advantages and disadvantages of specialised recruitment websites (1, career sites of organizations (2 social professional sites (3 . Using these online recruitment tools lead to the development of e-recruitment. Our conclusion is that these websites do not represent yet a universal solution for organizations although the number of users is growing. For being successful in the recruitment process, recruiters have to combine niche websites in recruiting and not use only one type of niche websites.
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.
Ikeda, Dana H; Max, Tamara L; Allan, Gerard J; Lau, Matthew K; Shuster, Stephen M; Whitham, Thomas G
We examined the hypothesis that ecological niche models (ENMs) more accurately predict species distributions when they incorporate information on population genetic structure, and concomitantly, local adaptation. Local adaptation is common in species that span a range of environmental gradients (e.g., soils and climate). Moreover, common garden studies have demonstrated a covariance between neutral markers and functional traits associated with a species' ability to adapt to environmental change. We therefore predicted that genetically distinct populations would respond differently to climate change, resulting in predicted distributions with little overlap. To test whether genetic information improves our ability to predict a species' niche space, we created genetically informed ecological niche models (gENMs) using Populus fremontii (Salicaceae), a widespread tree species in which prior common garden experiments demonstrate strong evidence for local adaptation. Four major findings emerged: (i) gENMs predicted population occurrences with up to 12-fold greater accuracy than models without genetic information; (ii) tests of niche similarity revealed that three ecotypes, identified on the basis of neutral genetic markers and locally adapted populations, are associated with differences in climate; (iii) our forecasts indicate that ongoing climate change will likely shift these ecotypes further apart in geographic space, resulting in greater niche divergence; (iv) ecotypes that currently exhibit the largest geographic distribution and niche breadth appear to be buffered the most from climate change. As diverse agents of selection shape genetic variability and structure within species, we argue that gENMs will lead to more accurate predictions of species distributions under climate change. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Høye, Anette M; Erler, Janine T
The aim of this review is to give an overview of the extracellular matrix (ECM) components that are important for creating structural changes in the premetastatic and metastatic niche. The successful arrival and survival of cancer cells that have left the primary tumor and colonized distant sites...... depends on the new microenvironment they encounter. The primary tumor itself releases factors into the circulation that travel to distant organs and then initiate structural changes, both non-enzymatic and enzymatic, to create a favorable niche for the disseminating tumor cells. Therapeutic strategies...
Scadden, David T
No metazoan cell survives on its own, absent the signals and support of its milieu. For multicellular life with specialized tissues to persist, organization is everything and so defining the association of position with cell state is critical to understanding how tissues function, maintain, and repair. This review focuses specifically on place for progenitor and stem cells. Especially emphasized are hematopoietic cells that balance free movement and stable position and where concepts of regulatory interrelationships have been shown with some precision. It reviews classical and emerging concepts of the niche, particularly considering how niche functions may participate in neoplastic disease. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Acoustic niche analysis of the 14 species producing airborne advertisement calls integrated the spatial dimension, i.e. the microhabitat used for calling, the temporal dimension, i.e. the time of day when calling takes place, and the call structure dimension, i.e. the physical features of the advertisement call. Average ...
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
Roets, F; Wingfield, M J; Crous, P W; Dreyer, L L
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.
Caniels, Marjolein C. J.; Romijn, Henny A.
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…
The aim of the studies presented in this thesis was the search for niche differentiation between the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria in aquatic environments. Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria are chemolitho-autotrophic microorganisms responsible for the first, mostly rate-limiting step of the nitrification
Kühl, Michael; Chen, Min; Ralph, Peter J
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...
In Nigeria, vast niche marketing potential that exists in general farm business, domestic and export markets, processing, product differentiation, organics, and other value addition sought by consumers can be tapped. For the vast majority of the farmers who are not operating farming as a business, intensive step-by-step ...
Jul 6, 2017 ... niche construction; standard evolutionary theory; coevolution; natural selection; philosophy of biology; post-truth. ... Jakkur, Bengaluru 560 064, India; Department of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali, Knowledge City, Sector 81, SAS Nagar, P.O. Manauli, Mohali ...
Jul 5, 2017 ... 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 ...
Creanza, Nicole; Fogarty, Laurel; Feldman, Marcus W
Niche construction is a process through which organisms modify their environment and, as a result, alter the selection pressures on themselves and other species. In cultural niche construction, one or more cultural traits can influence the evolution of other cultural or biological traits by affecting the social environment in which the latter traits may evolve. Cultural niche construction may include either gene-culture or culture-culture interactions. Here we develop a model of this process and suggest some applications of this model. We examine the interactions between cultural transmission, selection, and assorting, paying particular attention to the complexities that arise when selection and assorting are both present, in which case stable polymorphisms of all cultural phenotypes are possible. We compare our model to a recent model for the joint evolution of religion and fertility and discuss other potential applications of cultural niche construction theory, including the evolution and maintenance of large-scale human conflict and the relationship between sex ratio bias and marriage customs. The evolutionary framework we introduce begins to address complexities that arise in the quantitative analysis of multiple interacting cultural traits.
Kellermann, Vanessa; Loeschcke, Volker; Hoffmann, Ary A
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...... climate responses, with limited scope for rapid adaptive responses to future climate change...
In contrast, distance to market, farm and household size negatively influenced the adoption of forages. Gender, age, off/non-farm income and number of livestock did not influence adoption of forages. Farm size, agro-ecological zone and type of livestock management system influenced the choice of niches for forage ...
Whiten, Andrew; Erdal, David
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.
Fort, H.; Scheffer, M.; van Nes, E.
We show analytically and numerically that the appearance of lumps and gaps in the distribution of n competing species along a niche axis is a robust phenomenon whenever the finiteness of the niche space is taken into account. In this case, depending on whether the niche width of the species σ is above or below a threshold σc, which for large n coincides with 2/n, there are two different regimes. For σ > σc the lumpy pattern emerges directly from the dominant eigenvector of the competition matrix because its corresponding eigenvalue becomes negative. For σ <= σc the lumpy pattern disappears. Furthermore, this clumping transition exhibits critical slowing down as σ is approached from above. We also find that the number of lumps of the species distribution versus σ displays a stair-step structure. The positions of these steps are distributed according to a power law. It is thus straightforward to predict the number of groups that can be packed along a niche axis and this value is consistent with field measurements for a wide range of the model parameters.
Meador, Jessica P.; Caldwell, Matthew E.; Cohen, Paul S.
Since the first step of the infection process is colonization of the host, it is important to understand how Escherichia coli pathogens successfully colonize the intestine. We previously showed that enterohemorrhagic O157:H7 strain E. coli EDL933 colonizes a niche in the streptomycin-treated mouse intestine that is distinct from that of human commensal strains, which explains how E. coli EDL933 overcomes colonization resistance imparted by some, but not all, commensal E. coli strains. Here we sought to determine if other E. coli pathogens use a similar strategy. We found that uropathogenic E. coli CFT073 and enteropathogenic E. coli E2348/69 occupy intestinal niches that are distinct from that of E. coli EDL933. In contrast, two enterohemorrhagic strains, E. coli EDL933 and E. coli Sakai, occupy the same niche, suggesting that strategies to prevent colonization by a given pathotype should be effective against other strains of the same pathotype. However, we found that a combination of commensal E. coli strains that can prevent colonization by E. coli EDL933 did not prevent colonization by E. coli CFT073 or E. coli E2348/69. Our results indicate that development of probiotics to target multiple E. coli pathotypes will be problematic, as the factors that govern niche occupation and hence stable colonization vary significantly among strains. PMID:24566621
Odling-Smee, John; Erwin, Douglas H; Palkovacs, Eric P; Feldman, Marcus W; Laland, Kevin N
Niche construction theory (NCT) explicitly recognizes environmental modication by organisms ("niche construction") and their legacy overtime ("ecological inheritance") to be evolutionary processes in their own right. Here we illustrate how niche construction theory provides usedl conceptual tools and theoretical insights for integrating ecosystem ecology and evolutionary theory. We begin by briefly describing NCT, and illustrating how it deifers from conventional evolutionary approaches. We then distinguish between two aspects ofniche construction--environment alteration and subsequent evolution in response to constructed environments--equating the first of these with "ecosystem engineering." We describe some of the ecological and evolutionary impacts on ecosystems of niche construction, ecosystem engineering and ecological inheritance, and illustrate how these processes trigger ecological and evolutionary feedbacks and leave detectable ecological signatures that are open to investigation. FIinally, we provide a practical guide to how NCT could be deployed by ecologists and evolutionary biologists to aeplore ecoeoolutionay dynamics. We suggest that, by highlighting the ecological and evolutionay ramifications of changes that organisms bring about in ecosystems, NCT helps link ecosystem ecology to evolutionary biology, potentially leading to a deeper understanding of how ecosystems change over time.
Adriano Barreto Nogueira
Full Text Available The subgranular zone (SGZ of the dentate gyrus and the subventricular zone (SVZ are known neurogenic niches in adult mammals. Nonetheless, the existence of neurogenic niches in adult humans is controversial. We hypothesized that mapping neurogenic niches in the human temporal lobe could clarify this issue. Neurogenic niches and neurogenesis were investigated in 28 temporal lobes via immunostaining for nestin and doublecortin (DCX, respectively. Nestin was observed in a continuous layer formed by the SVZ, the subpial zone of the medial temporal lobe and the SGZ, terminating in the subiculum. In the subiculum, remarkable DCX expression was observed through the principal efferent pathway of the hippocampus to the fimbria. A possible explanation for the results is that the SVZ, the subpial zone of the medial temporal lobe and the SGZ form a unit containing neural stem cells that differentiate into neurons in the subiculum. Curiously, the area previously identified as the human rostral migratory stream may in truth be the fornix, which contains axons that originate in the subiculum. This study suggests that neurogenesis may occur in an orchestrated manner in a broad area of the human temporal lobe.
Altmann, Eduardo G; Pierrehumbert, Janet B; Motter, Adilson E
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.
Carter, A J; English, S; Clutton-Brock, T H
The social niche specialization hypothesis predicts that group-living animals should specialize in particular social roles to avoid social conflict, resulting in alternative life-history strategies for different roles. Social niche specialization, coupled with role-specific life-history trade-offs, should thus generate between-individual differences in behaviour that persist through time, or distinct personalities, as individuals specialize in particular nonoverlapping social roles. We tested for support for the social niche specialization hypothesis in cooperative personality traits in wild female meerkats (Suricata suricatta) that compete for access to dominant social roles. As cooperation is costly and dominance is acquired by heavier females, we predicted that females that ultimately acquired dominant roles would show noncooperative personality types early in life and before and after role acquisition. Although we found large individual differences in repeatable cooperative behaviours, there was no indication that individuals that ultimately acquired dominance differed from unsuccessful individuals in their cooperative behaviour. Early-life behaviour did not predict social role acquisition later in life, nor was cooperative behaviour before and after role acquisition correlated in the same individuals. We suggest that female meerkats do not show social niche specialization resulting in cooperative personalities, but that they exhibit an adaptive response in personality at role acquisition. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Eduardo G Altmann
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.
Charles B. Yackulic; James D. Nichols; Janice Reid; Ricky Der
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 speciesâ niche). However, the current distributions of many species are unlikely to be at equilibrium with the current distribution of environmental conditions, both...
Ivy A. W. Ho
Full Text Available Glioblastoma is the most aggressive cancer of the brain. The dismal prognosis is largely attributed to the heterogeneous nature of the tumor, which in addition to intrinsic molecular and genetic changes is also influenced by the microenvironmental niche in which the glioma cells reside. The cancer stem cells (CSCs hypothesis suggests that all cancers arise from CSCs that possess the ability to self-renew and initiate tumor formation. CSCs reside in specialized niches where interaction with the microenvironment regulates their stem cell behavior. The reciprocal interaction between glioma stem cells (GSCs and cells from the microenvironment, such as endothelial cells, immune cells, and other parenchymal cells, may also promote angiogenesis, invasion, proliferation, and stemness of the GSCs and be likely to have an underappreciated role in their responsiveness to therapy. This crosstalk may also promote molecular transition of GSCs. Hence the inherent plasticity of GSCs can be seen as an adaptive response, changing according to the signaling cue from the niche. Given the association of GSCs with tumor recurrence and treatment sensitivity, understanding this bidirectional crosstalk between GSCs and its niche may provide a framework to identify more effective therapeutic targets and improve treatment outcome.
Birdwatching is a subsector of wildlife tourism that focuses explicitly on looking at bird populations. Over the past decade there has emerged a growing international literature about the role of birdwatching as a recreational activity and increasingly as a niche form of tourism. Recognition of the potential opportunities ...
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
Most U.S. teenagers participate in online social network sites, devoting hours to these networks, often at the expense of other leisure-time activities. This article describes young people's activities within one topic-focused niche network, outlining its unique features and the role of young people as content producers within and beyond the…
Purwandana, Deni; Ariefiandy, Achmad; Imansyah, M. Jeri; Seno, Aganto; Ciofi, Claudio; Letnic, Mike; Jessop, Tim S.
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.
Jorge Luis Becerra López; Citlalli Edith Esparza Estrada; Ulises Romero Méndez; José Jesús Sigala Rodríguez; Irene Goyenechea Mayer Goyenechea; Jesús Martín Castillo Cerón
...-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...
Andrew D. Foote; Jason Newton; María C. Ávila-Arcos; Marie-Louise Kampmann; Jose A. Samaniego; Klaas Post; Aqqalu Rosing-Asvid; Mikkel-Holger S. Sinding; M. Thomas P. Gilbert
.... Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopie niche variation over millennial timescales and investigate the evolutionary outcomes...
Cedeno, Walter [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
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.
Jason M Kamilar
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Numerous researchers have posited that there should be a strong negative relationship between the evolutionary distance among species and their ecological similarity. Alternative evidence suggests that members of adaptive radiations should display no relationship between divergence time and ecological similarity because rapid evolution results in near-simultaneous speciation early in the clade's history. In this paper, we performed the first investigation of ecological diversity in a phylogenetic context using a mammalian adaptive radiation, the Malagasy primates. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We collected data for 43 extant species including: 1 1064 species by locality samples, 2 GIS climate data for each sampling locality, and 3 the phylogenetic relationships of the species. We calculated the niche space of each species by summarizing the climatic variation at localities of known occurrence. Climate data from all species occurrences at all sites were entered into a principal components analysis. We calculated the mean value of the first two PCA axes, representing rainfall and temperature diversity, for each species. We calculated the K statistic using the Physig program for Matlab to examine how well the climatic niche space of species was correlated with phylogeny. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We found that there was little relationship between the phylogenetic distance of Malagasy primates and their rainfall and temperature niche space, i.e., closely related species tend to occupy different climatic niches. Furthermore, several species from different genera converged on a similar climatic niche. These results have important implications for the evolution of ecological diversity, and the long-term survival of these endangered species.
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
Sara Amirpour Haredasht
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.
Goncalves, Estefany; Herrera, Ileana; Duarte, Milén; Bustamante, Ramiro O; Lampo, Margarita; Velásquez, Grisel; Sharma, Gyan P; García-Rangel, Shaenandhoa
Lantana camara, a native plant from tropical America, is considered one of the most harmful invasive species worldwide. Several studies have identified potentially invasible areas under scenarios of global change, on the assumption that niche is conserved during the invasion process. Recent studies, however, suggest that many invasive plants do not conserve their niches. Using Principal Components Analyses (PCA), we tested the hypothesis of niche conservatism for L. camara by comparing its native niche in South America with its expressed niche in Africa, Australia and India. Using MaxEnt, the estimated niche for the native region was projected onto each invaded region to generate potential distributions there. Our results demonstrate that while L. camara occupied subsets of its original native niche in Africa and Australia, in India its niche shifted significantly. There, 34% of the occurrences were detected in warmer habitats nonexistent in its native range. The estimated niche for India was also projected onto Africa and Australia to identify other vulnerable areas predicted from the observed niche shift detected in India. As a result, new potentially invasible areas were identified in central Africa and southern Australia. Our findings do not support the hypothesis of niche conservatism for the invasion of L. camara. The mechanisms that allow this species to expand its niche need to be investigated in order to improve our capacity to predict long-term geographic changes in the face of global climatic changes.
Foote, Andrew David; Newton, Jason; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen
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...
Strubbe, D.; Beauchard, O.; Matthysen, E.
Niche conservatism, the hypothesis that niches remain constant through time and space, is crucial for the study of biological invasions as it underlies native-range based predictions of invasion risk. Niche changes between native and non-native populations are increasingly reported. However, it has
Hsu, Ya-Chieh; Fuchs, Elaine
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.
Nygaard, Ivan; Bolwig, Simon
This article draws on the multi-level perspective (MLP) and global value chain (GVC) frameworks to analyse the drivers and trajectories of foreign private investment in biofuel production in Ghana. The analyses are based on a narrative of the evolution of a niche for jatropha production in Ghana...... attributes, including chain structure, governance, ownership, and access to land and capital. The study identifies significant entry barriers to establishing new agriculture-based value chains for global biofuel markets, especially high volume requirements, high capital needs and international market risks......, 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...
Stem cells are essential for the correct development and homeostasis of adult organisms, as well as having obvious potential therapeutic importance. Analysis of the biology of stem cells and their regulatory microenvironment in adult organs has, however, been hindered by the rarity of these cells in mature tissues and by the lack of positive markers for them. The ovary of the Drosophila melanogaster female is a stem cell niche in which such analyses can be performed. The stromal cells of the microenvironment act as a regulatory centre to control the proliferation and differentiation of the germline stem cells, using several signalling molecules, among them the protein DPP - a Drosophila homologue of the human bone morphogenetic proteins BMP2 and BMP4. Recent work shows that DE-cadherin-mediated adhesion is used for the initial recruitment and posterior anchoring of the germline-derived stem cells in their niche.
Vrijenhoek, Robert C.; Parker, Dave
Clonally reproducing all-female lineages of plants and animals are often more frequent at higher latitudes and altitudes, on islands, and in disturbed habitats. Attempts to explain this pattern, known as geographical parthenogenesis, generally treat the parthenogens as fugitive species that occupy...... 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......, they are complex syllogisms that share common assumptions regarding the likely origins of clonal diversity and the strength of interclonal selection in shaping the ecological breadth of asexual populations. Both models find support in ecological and phylogeographic studies of a wide range of organisms...
Redondo, Patricia A; Pavlou, Marina; Loizidou, Marilena; Cheema, Umber
Adult stem cells are crucial for tissue homeostasis. These cells reside within exclusive locations in tissues, termed niches, which protect adult stem cell fidelity and regulate their many functions through biophysical-, biochemical- and cellular-mediated mechanisms. There is a growing understanding of how these mechanisms and their components contribute towards maintaining stem cell quiescence, self-renewal, expansion and differentiation patterns. In vitro expansion of adult stem cells is a powerful tool for understanding stem cell biology, and for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. However, it is technically challenging, since adult stem cell removal from their native microenvironment has negative repercussions on their sustainability. In this review, we overview specific elements of the biomimetic niche and how recreating such elements can help in vitro propagation of adult stem cells.
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...
Liang, Jingjing; Zhou, Mo; Tobin, Patrick C; McGuire, A David; Reich, Peter B
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.
Klawonn, M.; Dow, E. M.
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.
Stem cells are essential for the correct development and homeostasis of adult organisms, as well as having obvious potential therapeutic importance. Analysis of the biology of stem cells and their regulatory microenvironment in adult organs has, however, been hindered by the rarity of these cells in mature tissues and by the lack of positive markers for them. The ovary of the Drosophila melanogaster female is a stem cell niche in which such analyses can be performed. The stromal cells of the ...
Kulkarni, Girish; Gohil, Kushal; Misra, Vatsala; Kakrani, Arjun L; Misra, Sri P; Patole, Milind; Shouche, Yogesh; Dharne, Mahesh
The human stomach is colonized by diverse bacterial species. The presence of non-Helicobacter pylori bacteria in urease-positive biopsies of individuals has been reported. Bacteria belonging to the Ochrobactrum genus have been documented in the human gastric niche. The co-occurrence of Ochrobactrum spp. with H. pylori was previously reported in an antral biopsy of a non-ulcer dyspeptic (NUD) subject from Northern India. There is no information on the genetic diversity of Ochrobactrum spp. isolated from the gastric niche in the stomach. We aimed to study the species distribution and diversity of Ochrobactrum spp. with and without H. pylori in urease-positive biopsies across three different geographical regions in India. Sixty-two Ochrobactrum isolates recovered from patients with an upper gastric disorder (n=218) were subjected to molecular identification and multilocus sequence typing. H. pylori DNA was found in the majority of biopsies, which had a variable degree of Ochrobactrum spp present. Interestingly, some of the urease-positive biopsies only had Ochrobactrum without any H. pylori DNA. Based on phylogenetic analysis, the Ochrobactrum isolates were distributed into the O. intermedium, O. anthropi and O. oryzae groups. This indicates there are multiple species in the gastric niche irrespective of the presence or absence of H. pylori. Antibiotyping based on colistin and polymyxin B could differentiate between O. intermedium and O. anthropi without revealing the resistance-driven diversity. Considering the prevalence of multiple Ochrobactrum spp. in the human gastric niche, it is important to evaluate the commensal and/or pathogenic nature of non-H. pylori bacteria with respect to their geographical distribution, lifestyle and nutrition needs. Copyright © 2016 King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Beniamin G. BOŞCAI
Based on technological evolution and a very large number of users, the Internet plays a key role in attracting talented employees which can generate competitive advantage for the organization. Therefore nowadays niche websites, specialised recruitment sites, become increasingly important. With the creation of such sites also appeared several applications for recruiting. The purpose of this paper is to analyze these sites and applications in order to determine the advantages and disadvant...
The paper describes the use of genetic algorithms with the concept of niching for the conceptual design of superconducting magnets for the Large Hadron Collider, LHC at CERN. The method provides the designer with a number of possible solutions which can then be further optimized for field quality and manufacturability. Two 6 block dipole coils were found and proved to have advantages compared to the standard 5 block version.
Wang, Su; Gao, Yuan; Song, Xiaoqing; Ma, Xing; Zhu, Xiujuan; Mao, Ying; Yang, Zhihao; Ni, Jianquan; Li, Hua; Malanowski, Kathryn E; Anoja, Perera; Park, Jungeun; Haug, Jeff; Xie, Ting
Adult stem cells continuously undergo self-renewal and generate differentiated cells. In the Drosophila ovary, two separate niches control germ line stem cell (GSC) self-renewal and differentiation processes. Compared to the self-renewing niche, relatively little is known about the maintenance and function of the differentiation niche. In this study, we show that the cellular redox state regulated by Wnt signaling is critical for the maintenance and function of the differentiation niche to promote GSC progeny differentiation. Defective Wnt signaling causes the loss of the differentiation niche and the upregulated BMP signaling in differentiated GSC progeny, thereby disrupting germ cell differentiation. Mechanistically, Wnt signaling controls the expression of multiple glutathione-S-transferase family genes and the cellular redox state. Finally, Wnt2 and Wnt4 function redundantly to maintain active Wnt signaling in the differentiation niche. Therefore, this study has revealed a novel strategy for Wnt signaling in regulating the cellular redox state and maintaining the differentiation niche.
Ravichandran, Srikanth; Del Sol, Antonio
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.
Colwell, Robert K; Futuyma, Douglas J
Measures of niche breadth and overlap that depend on the distribution of individual among resource states (ecological categories) should be independent of the relative abundance of the species and of the number of resource states considered. Such measures should also take into account the degree of distinctness of the resource states from the point of view of the organisms concerned. An ecoassay of the distinctness of resource states may well be easier and more meaningful than measurements of physical and chemical factors. We propose that the species composition of communities utilizing different resource states may be used to develop weighting factors with which each state may be weighted in proportion to its degree of distinctness. The weighting factors are used in the development of indices of niche breadth and overlap that correct for variation in the range and distinctness of resource states and that suffer less from human subjectivity than do the measures used to date. The use of such indices and the relationship of niche overlap to competition are discussed. © 1971 by the Ecological Society of America.
Madigan, Daniel J.; Carlisle, Aaron B.; Gardner, Luke D.; Jayasundara, Nishad; Micheli, Fiorenza; Schaefer, Kurt M.; Fuller, Daniel W.; Block, Barbara A.
Endothermy in vertebrates has been postulated to confer physiological and ecological advantages. In endothermic fish, niche expansion into cooler waters is correlated with specific physiological traits and is hypothesized to lead to greater foraging success and increased fitness. Using the seasonal co-occurrence of three tuna species in the eastern Pacific Ocean as a model system, we used cardiac gene expression data (as a proxy for thermal tolerance to low temperatures), archival tag data, and diet analyses to examine the vertical niche expansion hypothesis for endothermy in situ. Yellowfin, albacore, and Pacific bluefin tuna (PBFT) in the California Current system used more surface, mesopelagic, and deep waters, respectively. Expression of cardiac genes for calcium cycling increased in PBFT and coincided with broader vertical and thermal niche utilization. However, the PBFT diet was less diverse and focused on energy-rich forage fishes but did not show the greatest energy gains. Ecosystem-based management strategies for tunas should thus consider species-specific differences in physiology and foraging specialization. PMID:26100889
Johnson, Matthew G; Granath, Gustaf; Tahvanainen, Teemu; Pouliot, Remy; Stenøien, Hans K; Rochefort, Line; Rydin, Håkan; Shaw, A Jonathan
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.
Batalha, Helena R.; Ramos, Jaime A.; Cardoso, Gonçalo C.
Biological invasions often threaten biodiversity, yet their ecological effects are unpredictable and in some cases may be neutral. Assessing potential interactions between invasive and native species is thus important to understand community functioning and prioritize conservation efforts. With this purpose, we compared the ecological niche and occurrence of a successful avian invader in SW Europe, the common waxbill (Estrildidae: Estrilda astrild), with those of co-occurring native passerine species. We found that common waxbills occupy a marginal niche relative to the community of native passerines, with a larger average ecological distance to the remaining species in the community compared to the native species amongst themselves, and a nearest-neighbour ecological distance identical to those of native species. Furthermore, ecological similarity did not predict co-occurrence of waxbills with other bird species. This is consistent with the invasion using a vacant niche in unsaturated communities, which is likely related to invading waxbills occupying partly human-modified habitats. Similar explanations may apply to other biological invasions of human-modified environments. Results also suggest that detrimental ecological effects due to interspecific competition with native passerines are unlikely. Notwithstanding, the ecological nearest-neighbour of common waxbills was the reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus), whose SW European subspecies are endangered, and may justify conservation attention regarding possible interactions between these two species.
Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Ramli, Rosli
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.
Lansing, J Stephen; Fox, Karyn M
Human niche construction encompasses both purely biological phenomena, such as the evolution of lactose tolerance, and dual inheritance theory, which investigates the transmission of cultural information. But does niche construction help to explain phenomena in which conscious intention also plays a role? The creation of the engineered landscape of Balinese rice terraces offers a test case. Population genetic analysis and archaeological evidence are used to investigate whether this phenomenon emerged historically from trial and error by generations of farmers, or alternatively was designed by Bali's rulers. In light of strong support for the former hypothesis, two models are developed to explore the emergence of functional structure at both local and global scales. As time goes forward and selected patterns of irrigation schedules are implemented, local variation in rice harvests influences future decisions by the farmers, creating a coupled human-natural system governed by feedback from the environment. This mathematical analysis received a measure of empirical support when government agricultural policies severed the local feedback channels, resulting in the almost instantaneous collapse of rice harvests. The historical process of niche construction may also have included an evolution of religious consciousness, reflected in the beliefs and practices of the water temple cult.
Domingues, Mélanie J; Cao, Huimin; Heazlewood, Shen Y; Cao, Benjamin; Nilsson, Susan K
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.
Adam L. MacLean
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.
Shen, Qin; Wang, Yue; Kokovay, Erzsebet; Lin, Gang; Chuang, Shu-Mien; Goderie, Susan K; Roysam, Badrinath; Temple, Sally
There is an emerging understanding of the importance of the vascular system within stem cell niches. Here, we examine whether neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult subventricular zone (SVZ) lie close to blood vessels, using three-dimensional whole mounts, confocal microscopy, and automated computer-based image quantification. We found that the SVZ contains a rich plexus of blood vessels that snake along and within neuroblast chains. Cells expressing stem cell markers, including GFAP, and proliferation markers are closely apposed to the laminin-containing extracellular matrix (ECM) surrounding vascular endothelial cells. Apical GFAP+ cells are admixed within the ependymal layer and some span between the ventricle and blood vessels, occupying a specialized microenvironment. Adult SVZ progenitor cells express the laminin receptor alpha6beta1 integrin, and blocking this inhibits their adhesion to endothelial cells, altering their position and proliferation in vivo, indicating that it plays a functional role in binding SVZ stem cells within the vascular niche.
Shen, Qin; Wang, Yue; Kokovay, Erzsebet; Lin, Gang; Chuang, Shu-Mien; Goderie, Susan K.; Roysam, Badrinath; Temple, Sally
There is an emerging understanding of the importance of the vascular system within stem cell niches. Here we examine whether neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult subventricular zone (SVZ) lie close to blood vessels, using 3-dimensional wholemounts, confocal microscopy and automated computer-based image quantification. We found that the SVZ contains a rich plexus of blood vessels that snake along and within neuroblast chains. Cells expressing stem cell markers, including GFAP, and proliferati...
Lipatov, Mikhail; Brown, Melissa J.; Feldman, Marcus W.
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
Lipatov, Mikhail; Brown, Melissa J; Feldman, Marcus W
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.
Eric W Seabloom
Full Text Available The pathogen and parasite community that inhabits every free-living organism can control host vital rates including lifespan and reproductive output. To date, however, there have been few experiments examining pathogen community assembly replicated at large-enough spatial scales to inform our understanding of pathogen dynamics in natural systems. Pathogen community assembly may be driven by neutral stochastic colonization and extinction events or by niche differentiation that constrains pathogen distributions to particular environmental conditions, hosts, or vectors. Here, we present results from a regionally-replicated experiment investigating the community of barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses (B/CYDV's in over 5000 experimentally planted individuals of six grass species along a 700 km latitudinal gradient along the Pacific coast of North America (USA in response to experimentally manipulated nitrogen and phosphorus supplies. The composition of the virus community varied predictably among hosts and across nutrient-addition treatments, indicating niche differentiation among virus species. There were some concordant responses among the viral species. For example, the prevalence of most viral species increased consistently with perennial grass cover, leading to a 60% increase in the richness of the viral community within individual hosts (i.e., coinfection in perennial-dominated plots. Furthermore, infection rates of the six host species in the field were highly correlated with vector preferences assessed in laboratory trials. Our results reveal the importance of niche differentiation in structuring virus assemblages. Virus species distributions reflected a combination of local host community composition, host species-specific vector preferences, and virus responses to host nutrition. In addition, our results suggest that heterogeneity among host species in their capacity to attract vectors or support pathogens between growing seasons can
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.
Robert W. Siggins
Full Text Available Effects of tobacco smoke on hematologic derangements have received little attention. This study employed a mouse model of cigarette smoke exposure to explore the effects on bone marrow niche function. While lung cancer is the most widely studied consequence of tobacco smoke exposure, other malignancies, including leukemia, are associated with tobacco smoke exposure. Animals received cigarette smoke exposure for 6 h/day, 5 days/week for 9 months. Results reveal that the hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC pool size is reduced by cigarette smoke exposure. We next examined the effect of cigarette smoke exposure on one supporting cell type of the niche, the mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs. Smoke exposure decreased the number of MSCs. Transplantation of naïve HSPCs into irradiated mice with cigarette smoke exposure yielded fewer numbers of engrafted HSPCs. This result suggests that smoke-exposed mice possess dysfunctional niches, resulting in abnormal hematopoiesis. Co-culture experiments using MSCs isolated from control or cigarette smoke-exposed mice with naïve HSPCs in vitro showed that MSCs from cigarette smoke-exposed mice generated marked expansion of naïve HSPCs. These data show that cigarette smoke exposure decreases in vivo MSC and HSC number and also increases pro-proliferative gene expression by cigarette smoke-exposed MSCs, which may stimulate HSPC expansion. These results of this investigation are clinically relevant to both bone marrow donors with a history of smoking and bone marrow transplant (BMT recipients with a history of smoking.
Thomas W Crowther
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.
Full Text Available Most competition studies between species are conducted from a population-level approach. Few studies have examined inter-specific competition in conjunction with intra-specific competition, with an individual-based approach. To our knowledge, none has been conducted on marine top predators. Sympatric Galapagos fur seals (Arctocephalus galapagoensis and sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki share similar geographic habitats and potentially compete. We studied their foraging niche overlap at Cabo Douglas, Fernandina Island from simultaneously collected dive and movement data to examine spatial and temporal inter- and intra-specific competition. Sea lions exhibited 3 foraging strategies (shallow, intermediate and deep indicating intra-specific competition. Fur seals exhibited one foraging strategy, diving predominantly at night, between 0-80 m depth and mostly at 19-22 h. Most sea lion dives also occurred at night (63%, between 0-40 m, within fur seals' diving depth range. 34% of sea lions night dives occurred at 19-22 h, when fur seals dived the most, but most of them occurred at dawn and dusk, when fur seals exhibited the least amount of dives. Fur seals and sea lions foraging behavior overlapped at 19 and 21 h between 0-30 m depths. Sea lions from the deep diving strategy exhibited the greatest foraging overlap with fur seals, in time (19 h, depth during overlapping time (21-24 m, and foraging range (37.7%. Fur seals foraging range was larger. Cabo Douglas northwest coastal area, region of highest diving density, is a foraging "hot spot" for both species. Fur seals and sea lions foraging niche overlap occurred, but segregation also occurred; fur seals primarily dived at night, while sea lions exhibited night and day diving. Both species exploited depths and areas exclusive to their species. Niche breadth generally increases with environmental uncertainty and decreased productivity. Potential competition between these species could be greater during
Hansen, Ulrich Elmer
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...... because it was against their economic interests. When the government decided to improve incentive structures through a reduction in fossil fuel subsidies and by introducing a feed-in tariff system, the niche development momentum had already been lost because investors had limited confidence in project...
Wasof, Safaa; Lenoir, Jonathan; Aarrestad, Per Arild
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...... disjunct populations and 358 species having either a contiguous or a patchy distribution with distant populations. First, we used species distribution modelling to test for a region effect on each species' climatic niche. Second, we quantified niche overlap and shifts in niche width (i.e. ecological...... between populations that are separated between the Alps and Fennoscandia and have probably been so for 10,000-15,000 years. Therefore, the basic assumption of species distribution models that a species' climatic niche is constant in space and time - at least on time scales 104 years or less - seems...
Ruziska, Flávia M.; Arashiro, Everaldo; Tomé, Tânia
We consider an ecological system in which two species interact with two niches. To this end we introduce a stochastic model with four states. Our analysis is founded in three approaches: Monte Carlo simulations of the model on a square lattice, mean-field approximation, and birth and death master equation. From this last approach we obtain a description in terms of Langevin equations which show in an explicit way the role of noise in population biology. We focus mainly on the description of time oscillations of the species population and the alternating dominance between them. The model treated here may provide insights on these properties.
Hayes, Stephen; Mahony, Jennifer; Nauta, Arjen; van Sinderen, Douwe
Bacteriophages are ubiquitous and numerous parasites of bacteria and play a critical evolutionary role in virtually every ecosystem, yet our understanding of the extent of the diversity and role of phages remains inadequate for many ecological niches, particularly in cases in which the host is unculturable. During the past 15 years, the emergence of the field of viral metagenomics has drastically enhanced our ability to analyse the so-called viral ‘dark matter’ of the biosphere. Here, we review the evolution of viral metagenomic methodologies, as well as providing an overview of some of the most significant applications and findings in this field of research. PMID:28538703
Seabrooke, Leonard; Young, Kevin L.
We analyze the organizational logics of how social clustering operates within International Political Economy (IPE). Using a variety of new data on IPE publishing, teaching, and conference attendance, we use network analysis and community detection to understand social clustering within the field....... We find that when it comes to publishing and intellectual engagement, IPE is highly pluralistic and driven by a logic of ‘niche proliferation’. Teaching IPE, however, is characterized by a ‘reduction to polarity’ that emphasizes a dualism in ontological and epistemological frames. In the face...
Whitney, James E.; Whittier, Joanna B.; Paukert, Craig
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
Ricklefs, Robert E.
The population component of a species’ niche corresponds to the distribution of individuals across environments within a region. As evolutionary clades of species diversify, they presumably fill niche space, and, consequently, the rate of increase in species numbers slows. Total niche space and species numbers appear to be relatively stable over long periods, and so an increase in the species richness of one clade must be balanced by decrease in others. However, in several analyses, the total...
Tarjuelo, Rocío; Morales, Manuel B; Arroyo, Beatriz; Mañosa, Santiago; Bota, Gerard; Casas, Fabián; Traba, Juan
Interspecific competition is a dominant force in animal communities that induces niche shifts in ecological and evolutionary time. If competition occurs, niche expansion can be expected when the competitor disappears because resources previously inaccessible due to competitive constraints can then be exploited (i.e., ecological release). Here, we aimed to determine the potential effects of interspecific competition between the little bustard (Tetrax tetrax) and the great bustard (Otis tarda) using a multidimensional niche approach with habitat distribution data. We explored whether the degree of niche overlap between the species was a density-dependent function of interspecific competition. We then looked for evidences of ecological release by comparing measures of niche breadth and position of the little bustard between allopatric and sympatric situations. Furthermore, we evaluated whether niche shifts could depend not only on the presence of great bustard but also on the density of little and great bustards. The habitat niches of these bustard species partially overlapped when co-occurring, but we found no relationship between degree of overlap and great bustard density. In the presence of the competitor, little bustard's niche was displaced toward increased use of the species' primary habitat. Little bustard's niche breadth decreased proportionally with great bustard density in sympatric sites, in consistence with theory. Overall, our results suggest that density-dependent variation in little bustard's niche is the outcome of interspecific competition with the great bustard. The use of computational tools like kernel density estimators to obtain multidimensional niches should bring novel insights on how species' ecological niches behave under the effects of interspecific competition in ecological communities.
Latombe, Guillaume; Hui, Cang; McGeoch, Melodie A
Neutral and niche processes are generally considered to interact in natural communities along a continuum, exhibiting community patterns bounded by pure neutral and pure niche processes. The continuum concept uses niche separation, an attribute of the community, to test the hypothesis that communities are bounded by pure niche or pure neutral conditions. It does not accommodate interactions via feedback between processes and the environment. By contrast, we introduce the Community Assembly Phase Space (CAPS), a multi-dimensional space that uses community processes (such as dispersal and niche selection) to define the limiting neutral and niche conditions and to test the continuum hypothesis. We compare the outputs of modelled communities in a heterogeneous landscape, assembled by pure neutral, pure niche and composite processes. Differences in patterns under different combinations of processes in CAPS reveal hidden complexity in neutral-niche community dynamics. The neutral-niche continuum only holds for strong dispersal limitation and niche separation. For weaker dispersal limitation and niche separation, neutral and niche processes amplify each other via feedback with the environment. This generates patterns that lie well beyond those predicted by a continuum. Inferences drawn from patterns about community assembly processes can therefore be misguided when based on the continuum perspective. CAPS also demonstrates the complementary information value of different patterns for inferring community processes and captures the complexity of community assembly. It provides a general tool for studying the processes structuring communities and can be applied to address a range of questions in community and metacommunity ecology. © 2015 The Author(s).
Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J.; Serna-Chavez, H.M.; Villalobos-Arambula, A.R.; Pérez de la Rosa, J.A.; Raes, N.
Aim In the face of global environmental change, identifying the factors that shape the ecological niches of species and understanding the mechanisms behind them can help to draft effective conservation plans. The differences in the ecological factors that shape species distributions may then help to highlight differences between closely related taxa. We investigate the applicability of ecological niche modelling and the comparison of species distributions in ecological niche space to detect a...
Skeels, Alexander; Cardillo, Marcel
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.
Litsios, Glenn; Pellissier, Loïc; Forest, Félix; Lexer, Christian; Pearman, Peter B.; Zimmermann, Niklaus E.; Salamin, Nicolas
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. PMID:22719034
Jeglinski, Jana W E; Goetz, Kimberley T; Werner, Christiane; Costa, Daniel P; Trillmich, Fritz
1. In vertebrates, patterns of resource utilization change throughout development according to age- and or size-specific abilities and requirements. Thus, interspecific competition affects different age classes differently. 2. Adults of sympatric species often show distinct foraging niche segregation, but juvenile resource use might overlap with adult competitors of similar body size. Resultant negative effects on juveniles can have important consequences for population dynamics, yet such interactions have received little attention in studies of mammalian communities. 3. Using GPS tracking devices, time-depth recorders and stable isotope data, we compared diving depth, activity time, trophic position and foraging habitat characteristics to investigate foraging niche overlap between similar-sized sympatric juvenile Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) and adult Galapagos fur seals (Arctocephalus galapagoensis) and compared each group with much larger-bodied adult Galapagos sea lions. 4. We found little indication for direct competition but a complex pattern of foraging niche segregation: juvenile sea lions and adult fur seals dived to shallow depths at night, but foraged in different habitats with limited spatial overlap. Conversely, juvenile and adult sea lions employed different foraging patterns, but their foraging areas overlapped almost completely. 5. Consistency of foraging habitat characteristics between juvenile and adult sea lions suggests that avoidance of competition may be important in shaping foraging habitat utilization. Resultant specialization on a limited habitat could contribute to low sea lion numbers that contrast with high fur seal abundance. Our data suggest that exploitation by multiple predators within spatially restricted foraging ranges of juveniles might negatively impact juvenile foraging success and ultimately influence population dynamics. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society.
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.
Batstone, Rebecca T; Carscadden, Kelly A; Afkhami, Michelle E; Frederickson, Megan E
For a mutualism to remain evolutionarily stable, theory predicts that mutualists should limit their associations to high-quality partners. However, most mutualists either simultaneously or sequentially associate with multiple partners that confer the same type of reward. By viewing mutualisms through the lens of niche breadth evolution, we outline how the environment shapes partner availability and relative quality, and ultimately a focal mutualist's partner breadth. We argue that mutualists that associate with multiple partners may have a selective advantage compared to specialists for many reasons, including sampling, complementarity, and portfolio effects, as well as the possibility that broad partner breadth increases breadth along other niche axes. Furthermore, selection for narrow partner breadth is unlikely to be strong when the environment erodes variation in partner quality, reduces the costs of interacting with low-quality partners, spatially structures partner communities, or decreases the strength of mutualism. Thus, we should not be surprised that most mutualists have broad partner breadth, even if it allows for ineffective partners to persist. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Zuppinger-Dingley, Debra; Schmid, Bernhard; Petermann, Jana S; Yadav, Varuna; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Flynn, Dan F B
In experimental plant communities, relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning have been found to strengthen over time, a fact often attributed to increased resource complementarity between species in mixtures and negative plant-soil feedbacks in monocultures. Here we show that selection for niche differentiation between species can drive this increasing biodiversity effect. Growing 12 grassland species in test monocultures and mixtures, we found character displacement between species and increased biodiversity effects when plants had been selected over 8 years in species mixtures rather than in monocultures. When grown in mixtures, relative differences in height and specific leaf area between plant species selected in mixtures (mixture types) were greater than between species selected in monocultures (monoculture types). Furthermore, net biodiversity and complementarity effects were greater in mixtures of mixture types than in mixtures of monoculture types. Our study demonstrates a novel mechanism for the increase in biodiversity effects: selection for increased niche differentiation through character displacement. Selection in diverse mixtures may therefore increase species coexistence and ecosystem functioning in natural communities and may also allow increased mixture yields in agriculture or forestry. However, loss of biodiversity and prolonged selection of crops in monoculture may compromise this potential for selection in the longer term.
Freshwater bacterioplankton assemblages are composed of sympatric populations that can be delineated, for example, by ribosomal RNA gene relatedness and that differ in key ecophysiological properties. They may be free-living or attached, specialized for particular concentrations or subsets of substrates, or invest a variable amount of their resources in defence traits against protistan predators and viruses. Some may be motile and tactic whereas others are not, with far-reaching implications for their respective life styles and niche partitioning. The co-occurrence of competitors with overlapping growth requirements has profound consequences for the stability of community functions; it can to some extent be explained by habitat factors such as the microscale complexity and spatiotemporal variability of the lacustrine environments. On the other hand, the composition and diversity of freshwater microbial assemblages also reflects non-equilibrium states, dispersal and the stochasticity of community assembly processes. This review synoptically discusses the competition and niche separation of heterotrophic bacterial populations (defined at various levels of phylogenetic resolution) in the pelagic zone of inland surface waters from a variety of angles, focusing on habitat heterogeneity and the resulting biogeographic distribution patterns, the ecophysiological adaptations to the substrate field and the interactions of prokaryotes with predators and viruses. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Gerbault, Pascale; Liebert, Anke; Itan, Yuval; Powell, Adam; Currat, Mathias; Burger, Joachim; Swallow, Dallas M.; Thomas, Mark G.
Niche construction is the process by which organisms construct important components of their local environment in ways that introduce novel selection pressures. Lactase persistence is one of the clearest examples of niche construction in humans. Lactase is the enzyme responsible for the digestion of the milk sugar lactose and its production decreases after the weaning phase in most mammals, including most humans. Some humans, however, continue to produce lactase throughout adulthood, a trait known as lactase persistence. In European populations, a single mutation (−13910*T) explains the distribution of the phenotype, whereas several mutations are associated with it in Africa and the Middle East. Current estimates for the age of lactase persistence-associated alleles bracket those for the origins of animal domestication and the culturally transmitted practice of dairying. We report new data on the distribution of −13910*T and summarize genetic studies on the diversity of lactase persistence worldwide. We review relevant archaeological data and describe three simulation studies that have shed light on the evolution of this trait in Europe. These studies illustrate how genetic and archaeological information can be integrated to bring new insights to the origins and spread of lactase persistence. Finally, we discuss possible improvements to these models. PMID:21320900
Ramanathan, Renuka; Woodrow, Kim
The mucosal surfaces of the genital tract are the site of entry to over 30 different bacterial, parasitic, and viral pathogens that are the cause of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV. Women and adolescent girls are more severely impacted by STIs than men due in part to a greater biological susceptibility for acquiring infections and differences in disease sequelae. While it is widely accepted that preventative vaccines against the most commonly transmitted STIs would have a major impact on decreasing the global health burden of STIs for women worldwide, several challenges preclude their development. The female genital tract is a complex niche of microflora, hormonal influences, and immune tissues and cells that result in a mucosal immune system that is distinct from other mucosal sites and from our systemic immune system. An appreciation of these differences and their effect on shaping mucosal immunity to sexually transmitted pathogens is an important determinant for the design of effective STI vaccines. Here we describe the anatomy and mucosal immune system of the female reproductive tract, and discuss bioengineering strategies to design mucosal vaccines that overcome delivery challenges and coordinate the presentation kinetics and compartmentalization of antigens and adjuvants to relevant mucosal immune cell subsets. In particular, we describe recent progress in understanding the role of specific mucosal dendritic cell subsets in facilitating immune responses to pathogenic microbes in the genital mucosa. We also discuss the development of pathogen-mimicking materials that may be useful for engineering protective immunity in this mucosal niche. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Ryan, P A; Powers, S T; Watson, R A
Social evolution theory conventionally takes an externalist explanatory stance, treating observed cooperation as explanandum and the positive assortment of cooperative behaviour as explanans. We ask how the circumstances bringing about this positive assortment arose in the first place. Rather than merely push the explanatory problem back a step, we move from an externalist to an interactionist explanatory stance, in the spirit of Lewontin and the Niche Construction theorists. We develop a theory of 'social niche construction' in which we consider biological entities to be both the subject and object of their own social evolution. Some important cases of the evolution of cooperation have the side-effect of causing changes in the hierarchical level at which the evolutionary process acts. This is because the traits (e.g. life-history bottlenecks) that act to align the fitness interests of particles (e.g. cells) in a collective can also act to diminish the extent to which those particles are bearers of heritable fitness variance, while augmenting the extent to which collectives of such particles (e.g. multicellular organisms) are bearers of heritable fitness variance. In this way, we can explain upward transitions in the hierarchical level at which the Darwinian machine operates in terms of particle-level selection, even though the outcome of the process is a collective-level selection regime. Our theory avoids the logical and metaphysical paradoxes faced by other attempts to explain evolutionary transitions.
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.
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
Pigott, David M; Golding, Nick; Mylne, Adrian; Huang, Zhi; Henry, Andrew J; Weiss, Daniel J; Brady, Oliver J; Kraemer, Moritz UG; Smith, David L; Moyes, Catherine L; Bhatt, Samir; Gething, Peter W; Horby, Peter W; Bogoch, Isaac I; Brownstein, John S; Mekaru, Sumiko R; Tatem, Andrew J; Khan, Kamran; Hay, Simon I
Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a complex zoonosis that is highly virulent in humans. The largest recorded outbreak of EVD is ongoing in West Africa, outside of its previously reported and predicted niche. We assembled location data on all recorded zoonotic transmission to humans and Ebola virus infection in bats and primates (1976–2014). Using species distribution models, these occurrence data were paired with environmental covariates to predict a zoonotic transmission niche covering 22 countries across Central and West Africa. Vegetation, elevation, temperature, evapotranspiration, and suspected reservoir bat distributions define this relationship. At-risk areas are inhabited by 22 million people; however, the rarity of human outbreaks emphasises the very low probability of transmission to humans. Increasing population sizes and international connectivity by air since the first detection of EVD in 1976 suggest that the dynamics of human-to-human secondary transmission in contemporary outbreaks will be very different to those of the past. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04395.001 PMID:25201877
Rebecca S Levine
Full Text Available Monkeypox virus, a zoonotic member of the genus Orthopoxviridae, can cause a severe, smallpox-like illness in humans. Monkeypox virus is thought to be endemic to forested areas of western and Central Africa. Considerably more is known about human monkeypox disease occurrence than about natural sylvatic cycles of this virus in non-human animal hosts. We use human monkeypox case data from Africa for 1970-2003 in an ecological niche modeling framework to construct predictive models of the ecological requirements and geographic distribution of monkeypox virus across West and Central Africa. Tests of internal predictive ability using different subsets of input data show the model to be highly robust and suggest that the distinct phylogenetic lineages of monkeypox in West Africa and Central Africa occupy similar ecological niches. High mean annual precipitation and low elevations were shown to be highly correlated with human monkeypox disease occurrence. The synthetic picture of the potential geographic distribution of human monkeypox in Africa resulting from this study should support ongoing epidemiologic and ecological studies, as well as help to guide public health intervention strategies to areas at highest risk for human monkeypox.
Yin, Hang; Price, Feodor
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
Full Text Available Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e. ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits and whole plant traits in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species’ ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance.
van de Wardt, M.
This study explores agenda-setting dynamics between mainstream and niche parties on two issues owned by niche parties: immigration and European integration. It proposes an analytical distinction between opposition and government parties to understand which mainstream parties will engage in dialogue
J.A. Lau; A McCall; K Davies; J McKay; J Wright
Biotic interactions, such as competition and herbivory, can limit plant species ranges to a subset of edaphically suitable habitats, termed the realized niche. Here we explored the role that herbivores play in restricting the niche of serpentine ecotypes of the native California annual Collinsia sparsiflora...
Butakka, C M M; Ragonha, F H; Takeda, A M
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.
Poole, LeJon; Davis, Jullet A; Gunby, Norris W
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.
Jin, Zhigang; Kirilly, Daniel; Weng, Changjiang; Kawase, Eihachiro; Song, Xiaoqing; Smith, Sarah; Schwartz, Joel; Xie, Ting
Rapid progress has recently been made regarding how the niche controls stem cell function, but little is yet known about how stem cells in the same niche interact with one another. In this study, we show that differentiation-defective Drosophila ovarian germline stem cells (GSCs) can outcompete normal ones for niche occupancy in a cadherin-dependent manner. The differentiation-defective bam or bgcn mutant GSCs invade the niche space of neighboring wild-type GSCs and gradually push them out of the niche by upregulating E-cadherin expression. Furthermore, the bam/bgcn-mediated GSC competition requires E-cadherin and normal GSC division, but not the self-renewal-promoting BMP niche signal, while different E-cadherin levels can sufficiently stimulate GSC competition. Therefore, we propose that GSCs have a competitive relationship for niche occupancy, which may serve as a quality control mechanism to ensure that accidentally differentiated stem cells are rapidly removed from the niche and replaced by functional ones.
Fox, J Trent; Reinstein, Shelby; Jacob, Megan E; Nagaraja, T G
Niche-marketed food products are rapidly gaining market share in today's society. Consumers are willing to pay premium prices for food perceived to be safer, healthier, more nutritious, and better tasting than conventional food. This review outlines typical production practices for niche-market beef production systems in the United States and compares prevalence estimates of foodborne pathogens in animals and produce from conventional and niche-market production systems. The two main niches for food animal production are organic and natural productions. Organic and natural beef productions are becoming increasingly popular and there is high consumer demand. Two major differences between conventional beef production systems and niche-market production systems (natural and organic) are in the use of antimicrobials and growth-promoting hormones. The impacts of these production systems on foodborne pathogens in beef cattle are variable and often data are nonexistent. Studies directly comparing conventional and niche-market production systems for dairy, swine, poultry, and produce have observed that the prevalence of foodborne pathogens was seldom statistically different between production systems, but when differences were observed, prevalence was typically greater for the niche-market production systems than the conventional production system. The published literature suggests that the perception of niche-marketed food products being safer and healthier for consumers with regard to foodborne pathogens may not be justified.
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
Jesse D’Elia; Susan M. Haig; Matthew Johnson; Richard Young; Bruce G. Marcot
Ecological niche models can be a useful tool to identify candidate reintroduction sites for endangered species but have been infrequently used for this purpose. In this paper, we (1) develop activity-specific ecological niche models (nesting, roosting, and feeding) for the critically endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) to aid in...
Peers, Michael J L; Thornton, Daniel H; Murray, Dennis L
Determining the patterns, causes and consequences of character displacement is central to our understanding of competition in ecological communities. However, the majority of competition research has occurred over small spatial extents or focused on fine-scale differences in morphology or behaviour. The effects of competition on broad-scale distribution and niche characteristics of species remain poorly understood but critically important. Using range-wide species distribution models, we evaluated whether Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) or bobcat (Lynx rufus) were displaced in regions of sympatry. Consistent with our prediction, we found that lynx niches were less similar to those of bobcat in areas of sympatry versus allopatry, with a stronger reliance on snow cover driving lynx niche divergence in the sympatric zone. By contrast, bobcat increased niche breadth in zones of sympatry, and bobcat niches were equally similar to those of lynx in zones of sympatry and allopatry. These findings suggest that competitively disadvantaged species avoid competition at large scales by restricting their niche to highly suitable conditions, while superior competitors expand the diversity of environments used. Our results indicate that competition can manifest within climatic niche space across species' ranges, highlighting the importance of biotic interactions occurring at large spatial scales on niche dynamics.
Schlötzer-Schrehardt, U; Freudenberg, U; Kruse, F E
Limbal stem cells reside in a highly specialized complex microenvironment that is known as the stem cell niche, an anatomically protected region at the bottom of the Palisades of Vogt, where the stem cells are located and where their quiescence, proliferation and differentiation are maintained in balance. Besides the epithelial stem and progenitor cell clusters, the limbal niche comprises several types of supporting niche cells and a specific extracellular matrix mediating biochemical and biophysical signals. Stem cell-based tissue engineering aims to mimic the native stem cell niche and to present appropriate microenvironmental cues in a controlled and reproducible fashion in order to maintain stem cell function within the graft. Current therapeutic approaches for ex vivo expansion of limbal stem cells only take advantage of surrogate niches. However, new insights into the molecular composition of the limbal niche and innovative biosynthetic scaffolds have stimulated novel strategies for niche-driven stem cell cultivation. Promising experimental approaches include collagen-based organotypic coculture systems of limbal epithelial stem cells with their niche cells and biomimetic hydrogel platforms prefunctionalized with appropriate biomolecular and biophysical signals. Future translation of these novel regenerative strategies into clinical application is expected to improve long-term outcomes of limbal stem cell transplantation for ocular surface reconstruction.
Stomp, M.; Huisman, J.; Stal, L.J.; Matthijs, H.C.P.
The photosynthetic pigments of phototrophic microorganisms cover different regions of the solar light spectrum. Utilization of the light spectrum can be interpreted in terms of classical niche theory, as the light spectrum offers opportunities for niche differentiation and allows coexistence of
Stomp, M.; Huisman, J.; Stal, L.J.; Matthijs, H.C.P.
The photosynthetic pigments of phototrophic microorganisms cover different regions of the solar light spectrum. Utilization of the light spectrum can be interpreted in terms of classical niche theory, as the light spectrum offers opportunities for niche differentiation and allows coexistence of
Wasof, Safaa; Lenoir, Jonathan; Aarrestad, Per Arild
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 be...
Darimont, Chris T; Paquet, Paul C; Reimchen, Thomas E
1. Inquiries into niche variation within populations typically focus on proximate ecological causes such as competition. Here we examine how landscape heterogeneity and allochthonous (marine) subsidy might ultimately generate intrapopulation niche diversity. 2. Using stable isotope analysis, we detected extensive terrestrial-marine isotopic niche variation among subpopulations, social groups, and individual grey wolves (Canis lupus) that occupy a spatially heterogeneous landscape in coastal British Columbia comprising a mainland area and adjacent archipelago. 3. The inner island subpopulation exhibited the widest isotopic niche in the population, consuming extensive terrestrial and marine resources. Mainland and outer island subpopulations occupied comparatively narrow and primarily terrestrial, and primarily marine, niches respectively. Within these biogeographical subpopulations, social groups also diverged in niche. 4. To support examination at the individual level, we used an isotopic approach to test Van Valen's (1965) niche variation hypothesis. Consistent with the hypothesis, we observed that among-individual variation increased with subpopulation niche width. 5. Patterns at all levels related to how a spatially heterogeneous coastal landscape structured the competitive environment, which in turn mediated the availability and use of terrestrial and marine resources. Broadly, our results suggest that spatial heterogeneity and allochthonous subsidy--both widespread but commonly subject to contemporary anthropogenic change--might provide novel opportunities for examination and conservation of ecological variation within populations.
Manuela T. Raimondi
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.
Ricklefs, Robert E
The population component of a species' niche corresponds to the distribution of individuals across environments within a region. As evolutionary clades of species diversify, they presumably fill niche space, and, consequently, the rate of increase in species numbers slows. Total niche space and species numbers appear to be relatively stable over long periods, and so an increase in the species richness of one clade must be balanced by decrease in others. However, in several analyses, the total population niche space occupied per clade is independent of the number of species, suggesting that species in more diverse clades overlap more in niche space. This overlap appears to be accommodated by variation in the populations of each species, including their absence, within suitable niche space. I suggest that the uneven filling of niche space results from localized outcomes of the dynamic coevolutionary interactions of populations with their pathogens or other antagonists. Furthermore, I speculate that relationships with pathogens might constrain diversification if pathogen diversity increased with host diversity and resulted in more frequent host switching and emergent disease. Many indirect observations are consistent with these scenarios. However, the postulated influence of pathogens on the filling of niche space and diversification of clades primarily highlights our lack of knowledge concerning the space and time dimensions of coevolutionary interactions and their influence on population distribution and species diversification.
McInerny, Greg J.; Etienne, Rampal S.
In a discussion it is often easier to staunchly reject or offer resolute support for an idea. This third paper on the niche concept aims to develop a balanced argument by exploring general principles for determining an appropriate level for pitching the niche concept that will guide better use and
Kostikova, Anna; Litsios, Glenn; Salamin, Nicolas; Pearman, Peter B
Macroevolutionary and microevolutionary studies provide complementary explanations of the processes shaping the evolution of niche breadth. Macroevolutionary approaches scrutinize factors such as the temporal and spatial environmental heterogeneities that drive differentiation among species. Microevolutionary studies, in contrast, focus on the processes that affect intraspecific variability. We combine these perspectives by using macroevolutionary models in a comparative study of intraspecific variability. We address potential differences in rates of evolution of niche breadth and position in annual and perennial plants of the Eriogonoideae subfamily of the Polygonaceae. We anticipated higher rates of evolution in annuals than in perennials owing to differences in generation time that are paralleled by rates of molecular evolution. Instead, we found that perennial eriogonoid species present greater environmental tolerance (wider climate niche) than annual species. Niche breadth of perennial species has evolved two to four times faster than in annuals, while niche optimum has diversified more rapidly among annual species than among perennials. Niche breadth and average elevation of species are correlated. Moreover, niche breadth increases more rapidly with mean species elevation in perennials than in annuals. Our results suggest that both environmental gradients and life-history strategy influence rates and patterns of niche breadth evolution.
Seeholzer, Glenn F; Claramunt, Santiago; Brumfield, Robb T
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.
Moen, Daniel S; Wiens, John J
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.
Hunter, Malcolm L; Redford, Kent H; Lindenmayer, David B
A divergence of values has become apparent in recent debates between conservationists who focus on ecosystem services that can improve human well-being and those who focus on avoiding the extinction of species. These divergent points of view fall along a continuum from anthropocentric to biocentric values, but most conservationists are relatively closer to each other than to the ends of the spectrum. We have some concerns with both positions but emphasize that conservation for both people and all other species will be most effective if conservationists focus on articulating the values they all share, being respectful of divergent values, and collaborating on common interests. The conservation arena is large enough to accommodate many people and organizations whose diverse values lead them to different niches that can, with good will and foresight, be far more complementary than competitive. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.
Alberto Leongómez Herrera
Full Text Available The main thesis in this essay is the idea that, having entered into a new era marked by the use of nuclear energy and the detonation of the atomic bombs in 1945 in Japan, the human species went into an evolutionary crisis which -among other expressions- takes shape as an identity crisis whose main evidence is the absence of an Idea of Man. So to fill this empty niche -the compass without which every education attempt proves vain- it is necessary to search for possible connections between the various theories and knowledge facts directly addressing the structure of human consciousness: linguistic sign and conditioned reflex, perception and relativity theory, evolution and complexity.
Thai, Thi Minh; Friederichsen, Rupert; Neef, Andreas
Drawing upon institution, power, and network concepts, this article analyzes how different actors interact with institutions in institutional change processes at niche level. The analysis builds on action research which developed and reflected upon the Farmer Research and Extension Network...... – an innovative, demand-driven approach to agricultural extension in Vietnam’s north-western uplands. The action-researcher identified commune extension workers as strategic actors in the system and, consequently, supported them in exploiting and widening their existing room for maneuver. Throughout the research...... process, new rules and roles were developed with local stakeholders and carefully introduced into the local extension system. Thereby, the action research process helped institutionalizing demand-oriented approaches to public service delivery, in a manner firmly rooted in everyday action and politics...
Full Text Available The model presented is proposing an approach that could verify the nonlinear behaviour during a crisis, such that to quantify and predict potential discontinuous behaviour. In this case, the crisis behaviour associated with financial funds reallocation among various credit instruments, described as memes with the sense of Dawkins, is shown to be of discontinuous nature stemming from a logistic penetration in the financial behaviour niche. Actually the logistic penetration is typical in creating cyclic behaviour of economic structures as shown by Marchetti and others from IIASA. A Fokker-Planck equation description results in a stationary solution having a bifurcation like solution with evolution trajectories on a ‘cusp’ type catastrophe that may describe discontinuous decision behaviour
Erwin, Douglas H
Organisms influence their environments through activities that range from bioturbation to modification of redox gradients and construction of structures. Some of these activities modify the selective regime of the builder (niche construction) and some influence the ecological success of other species (ecosystem engineering) as well as their evolutionary prospects. In this article, I argue that these processes produce effects that persist over geological time, modulating macroevolutionary patterns and diversity. Examples include greater sediment bioturbation and increased thickness and persistence of shell beds. The impact of these processes has been increasing over time, with recent communities encompassing greater ecosystem engineering than those of the early Phanaerozoic. Thus, positive feedback through environmentally mediated selection seems to have increasingly enhanced biodiversity through the Phanaerozoic.
Caniels, M.C.J. [Open University of the Netherlands OUNL, Faculty of Management Sciences MW, Heerlen (Netherlands); Van Eijck, J. [Diligent Tanzania, Moshi (Tanzania); Romijn, H.A. [Faculty of Technology Management, Eindhoven University of Technology TUE, Eindhoven (Netherlands)
The extant supply chain literature devotes remarkably little attention to possible strategies and instruments of supply chain design associated with the development of radically new innovations. The main argument put forward in this paper is that an analytical framework derived from evolutionary innovation studies, Strategic Niche Management, is helpful for this purpose. The framework offers a set of concepts with which one can shed light on three key dynamic processes that have to form an integral part of the setting up of a new supply chain, namely networking, learning and the management of actor expectations. It also helps to understand how these processes are embedded into a wider societal context, which forms the setting within which supply chain design decisions have to be made. We illustrate these points with a case study about the setting up of a new supply chain in the biofuels sector in East Africa. Some implications for strategic managerial decision making are also addressed.
Glioblastoma, the most frequent and aggressive malignant brain tumor, has a very poor prognosis of approximately 1-year. The associated aggressive phenotype and therapeutic resistance of glioblastoma is postulated to be due to putative brain tumor stem-like cells (BTSC). The best hope for improved therapy lies in the ability to understand the molecular biology that controls BTSC behavior. The tumor vascular microenvironment of brain tumors has emerged as important regulators of BTSC behavior. Emerging data have identified the vascular microenvironment as home to a multitude of cell types engaged in various signaling that work collectively to foster a supportive environment for BTSCs. Characterization of the signaling pathways and intercellular communication between resident cell types in the microvascular niche of brain tumors is critical to the identification of potential BTSC-specific targets for therapy. PMID:20714216
Brem, Alexander; Radziwon, Agnieszka
Collaboration between universities and their local stakeholders is becoming a key success factor for the growth of regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. Efficient energy solutions are often facing challenges in innovation diffusion, which is in contrast to the growing demand for providing answers...... to key ecological problems. In order to present how an efficient Triple Helix collaboration could foster and support niche innovations, an applied research project is introduced. This unique university-industry-government cooperation brings a students' idea to a proof-of-concept project thus covers...... the entire innovation process. The selected case offers insights of how and why such initiative could emerge, as well as discusses its implications for future technological innovations and in particular those that are about to emerge in regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. Networking, win...
Song, Xiaoqing; Zhu, Chun-Hong; Doan, Chuong; Xie, Ting
How stem cells are recruited to and maintained in their niches is crucial to understanding their regulation and use in regenerative medicine. Here, we demonstrate that DE-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion is required for anchoring germline stem cells (GSCs) in their niches in the Drosophila ovary. Two major components of this adhesion process, DE-cadherin and Armadillo/beta-catenin, accumulate at high levels in the junctions between GSCs and cap cells, one of the niche components. Removal of these proteins from GSCs results in stem cell loss. Furthermore, DE-cadherin is required for recruiting GSCs to their niche. Our study demonstrates that anchorage of GSCs in their niche by DE-cadherin-mediated adhesion is important for stem cell maintenance and function.
Krumhansl, Carol Lynne
This article investigates the contexts, or "listening niches", in which people hear popular music. The study spanned a century of popular music, divided into 10 decades, with participants born between 1940 and 1999. It asks about whether they know and like the music in each decade, and their emotional reactions. It also asks whether the music is associated with personal memories and, if so, with whom they were listening, or whether they were listening alone. Finally, it asks what styles of music they were listening to, and the music media they were listening with, in different periods of their lives. The results show a regular progression through the life span of listening with different individuals (from parents to children) and with different media (from records to streaming services). A number of effects found in previous studies were replicated, but the study also showed differences across the birth cohorts. Overall, there was a song specific age effect with preferences for music of late adolescence and early adulthood; however, this effect was stronger for the older participants. In general, music of the 1940s, 1960s, and 1980s was preferred, particularly among younger participants. Music of these decades also produced the strongest emotional responses, and the most frequent and specific personal memories. When growing up, the participants tended to listen to the older music on the older media, but rapidly shifted to the new music technologies in their late teens and early 20s. Younger listeners are currently listening less to music alone than older listeners, suggesting an important role of socially sharing music, but they also report feeling sadder when listening to music. Finally, the oldest listeners had the broadest taste, liking music that they had been exposed to during their lifetimes in different listening niches.
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
Benítez-López, Ana; Viñuela, Javier; Suárez, Francisco; Hervás, Israel; García, Jesús T
Ascertaining which niche processes allow coexistence between closely related species is of special interest in ecology. We quantified variations in the environmental niches and densities of two congeneric species, the pin-tailed and the black-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata and Pterocles orientalis) in allopatry and sympatry under similar abiotic, habitat and dispersal contexts to understand their coexistence. Using principal component analysis, we defined environmental gradients (niche dimensions) including abiotic, habitat and anthropogenic variables, and calculated niche breadth, position and overlap of both species in sympatry and allopatry. Additionally, sandgrouse density was modelled as a function of the niche dimensions and the density of the other species. We found evidence that each species occupies distinct environmental niches in sympatry and in allopatry. The black-bellied sandgrouse exploits a broader range of environmental conditions (wider niche breadth) while the pin-tailed sandgrouse reaches high densities where conditions seem to match its optimum. In sympatry, both species shift their niches to intermediate positions, indicating the importance of abiotic factors in setting coexistence areas. Environmental conditions determine regional densities of pin-tailed sandgrouse whereas biotic interactions explain the density of the black-bellied sandgrouse in areas with abiotic conditions similarly conducive for both species. Highly suitable areas for the pin-tailed sandgrouse fall beyond the upper thermal limit of the black-bellied sandgrouse, leading to niche segregation and low densities for the latter. Finally, local niche shift and expansion plus possible heterospecific aggregation allow the pin-tailed sandgrouse to thrive in a priori less favourable environments. This work provides insight into how different mechanisms allow species coexistence and how species densities vary in sympatry compared to allopatry as a result of environmental
Enrique G. de la Riva
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
Camenen, Etienne; Porté, Annabel J; Benito Garzón, Marta
Four North American trees are becoming invasive species in Western Europe: Acer negundo, Prunus serotina, Quercus rubra, and Robinia pseudoacacia. However, their present and future potential risks of invasion have not been yet evaluated. Here, we assess niche shifts between the native and invasive ranges and the potential invasion risk of these four trees in Western Europe. We estimated niche conservatism in a multidimensional climate space using niche overlap Schoener's D, niche equivalence, and niche similarity tests. Niche unfilling and expansion were also estimated in analogous and nonanalogous climates. The capacity for predicting the opposite range between the native and invasive areas (transferability) was estimated by calibrating species distribution models (SDMs) on each range separately. Invasion risk was estimated using SDMs calibrated on both ranges and projected for 2050 climatic conditions. Our results showed that native and invasive niches were not equivalent with low niche overlap for all species. However, significant similarity was found between the invasive and native ranges of Q. rubra and R. pseudoacacia. Niche expansion was lower than 15% for all species, whereas unfilling ranged from 7 to 56% when it was measured using the entire climatic space and between 5 and 38% when it was measured using analogous climate only. Transferability was low for all species. SDMs calibrated over both ranges projected high habitat suitability in Western Europe under current and future climates. Thus, the North American and Western European ranges are not interchangeable irrespective of the studied species, suggesting that other environmental and/or biological characteristics are shaping their invasive niches. The current climatic risk of invasion is especially high for R. pseudoacacia and A. negundo. In the future, the highest risks of invasion for all species are located in Central and Northern Europe, whereas the risk is likely to decrease in the
Gómez, J. M.; Muñoz-Pajares, A. J.; Abdelaziz, M.; Lorite, J.; Perfectti, F.
Background and Aims How generalist plants diverge in response to pollinator selection without becoming specialized is still unknown. This study explores this question, focusing on the evolution of the pollination system in the pollination generalist Erysimum mediohispanicum (Brassicaceae). Methods Pollinator assemblages were surveyed from 2001 to 2010 in 48 geo-referenced populations covering the entire geographic distribution of E. mediohispanicum. Bipartite modularity, a complex network tool, was used to find the pollination niche of each population. Evolution of the pollination niches and the correlated evolution of floral traits and pollination niches were explored using within-species comparative analyses. Key Results Despite being generalists, the E. mediohispanicum populations studied can be classified into five pollination niches. The boundaries between niches were not sharp, the niches differing among them in the relative frequencies of the floral visitor functional groups. The absence of spatial autocorrelation and phylogenetic signal indicates that the niches were distributed in a phylogeographic mosaic. The ancestral E. mediohispanicum populations presumably belonged to the niche defined by a high number of beetle and ant visits. A correlated evolution was found between pollination niches and some floral traits, suggesting the existence of generalist pollination ecotypes. Conclusions It is conjectured that the geographic variation in pollination niches has contributed to the observed floral divergence in E. mediohispanicum. The process mediating this floral divergence presumably has been adaptive wandering, but the adaptation to the local pollinator faunas has been not universal. The outcome is a landscape where a few populations locally adapted to their pollination environment (generalist pollination ecotypes) coexist with many populations where this local adaptation has failed and where the plant phenotype is not primarily shaped by pollinators. PMID
Tsiftsis, Spyros; Tsiripidis, Ioannis; Karagiannakidou, Vassiliki; Alifragis, Dimitrios
The orchid family is one of the largest in the flowering plant kingdom and includes a lot of rare, threatened or endangered species. The determination of plant species niche is considered fundamental for their conservation. Two parameters closely related with species niche are niche marginality and breadth. The first parameter is a measure of how typical or atypical a species niche is within an area, while the second is a measure of species tolerance. This study deals with niche analysis of the orchids of east Macedonia (NE Greece). Factors that are known to determine species distribution on a regional scale, such as altitude, aspect, habitat type, bedrock type and soil properties (acidity, organic matter, and phosphorus content) were used as explanatory variables. Geographical coordinates were also employed in order to explore spatial patterns in orchid distribution. Niche analysis was carried out using the Outlying Mean Index (OMI) analysis. Out of the total data of 55 taxa that were analyzed, 41 had a significant marginal niche compared with the average niche of the study area. Altitude, soil acidity and certain habitat types were found to be the most important factors in determining orchid distribution. Five different species groups were distinguished on the basis of their ecological preferences and niche breadth. Species niche marginality and breadth, the amplitude of their geographical distribution, the size of their populations and the rareness and conservation status of their habitats were taken into account in order to set conservation priorities for the orchids in the study area. The above characteristics combined with intuitive criteria (e.g. geographical distribution, endemicity) for the species with a small number of occurrences could form a sound basis for setting conservation priorities.
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.
Becerra López, Jorge Luis; Esparza Estrada, Citlalli Edith; Romero Méndez, Ulises; Sigala Rodríguez, José Jesús; Mayer Goyenechea, Irene Goyenechea; Castillo Cerón, Jesús Martín
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.
Fernandez Garcia, Rut; MacLeod, C. D.; Pierce, G. J.
, the niches occupied by five of the most commonly encountered odontocete species off Galicia (NW Iberia) were compared, based on seven ecogeographic variables, using a PCA-based methodology and Classification trees. Significant differences in niche centres and niche widths were found among all the species...
Joddar, Binata; Ito, Yoshihiro
Stem cells possess the ability to self-renew and differentiate into other cell types. In vivo, stem cells reside in their own anatomic niches in a defined physiological environment, from which they are released to differentiate into a required cell type when deemed appropriate. While a resident within the niche, the stem cell receives signals that in turn maintain the cell in a pluripotent state. In addition, the niche also provides nourishment to the cell. Physically, the niche also serves to anchor the cell via various ECM components and cell-adhesion molecules. Therefore, in vitro models that replicate the in vivo niche will lead to a better understanding of stem cell fate and turnover. In turn, this will help inform attempts to culture stem cells in vitro on artificial niche-like substrates. In this review, we have highlighted recent studies describing artificial niche-like substrates used to culture embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells in vitro. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Xing, Zhenlong; Zhang, Linya; Wu, Shengyong; Yi, Hao; Gao, Yulin; Lei, Zhongren
Fundamental to competitive displacement in biological invasion is that exotic species occupy the ecological niches of native species in novel environments. Contrasting outcomes of competitive displacement have occurred between Liriomyza trifolii and L. sativae in different geographical regions following their introduction. Various factors have been advanced in an attempt to explain these different competitive outcomes, although none of these explanations have addressed the effects of niche differences. We conducted field cage experiments to compare the feeding and habitat niches of the two leafminer species and their primary parasitoid, Opius biroi, when occurring together on kidney bean. A wider spatiotemporal niche breadth was found in L. trifolii (0.3670) than in L. sativae (0.3496). With respect to the parasitoid, the proportional niche similarity between L. sativae and the parasitoid was 0.3936 but only 0.0835 for L. trifolii, while similar results were found for niche overlap, indicating that stronger trailing behaviour and parasitic effects of O. biroi occurred in L. sativae. In conclusion, L. trifolii has outperformed L. sativae in occupying the ecological niche and is superior to L. sativae in avoiding parasitization by the pupal parasitoid, O. biroi.
Nava, Michele M; Raimondi, Manuela T; Credi, Caterina; De Marco, Carmela; Turri, Stefano; Cerullo, Giulio; Osellame, Roberto
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.
Wilder, Bryan; Stanley, Kenneth O.
The evolutionary origin of altruism is a long-standing puzzle. Numerous explanations have been proposed, most prominently based on inclusive fitness or group selection. One possibility that has not yet been considered is that new niches will be created disproportionately often when altruism appears, perhaps by chance, causing altruists to be over-represented in such new niches. This effect is a novel variant of group selection in which altruistic groups benefit by discovering unoccupied niches instead of by competing for the limited resources within a single niche. Both an analytical population genetics model and computational simulations support that altruism systematically arises due to this side effect of increased carrying capacity even when it is strongly selected against within any given niche. In fact, even when selection is very strongly negative and altruism does not develop in most populations, it can still be expected to be observed in a consistent fraction of species. The ecological structure provided by niches thereby may be sufficient for altruists to proliferate even if they are always at a disadvantage within each niche considered individually. PMID:26030734
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.
Ramírez-Albores, Jorge E; Bustamante, Ramiro O; Badano, Ernesto I
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
Ackerly, D D; Schwilk, D W; Webb, C O
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 (alpha niche) evolve before or after differentiation of macrohabitat affinity or climatic tolerances (beta 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 alpha niche difference evolved early in the divergence of two major subclades within Ceanothus, whereas climatic distributions (beta 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 beta 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 alpha niche traits might be a common feature of niche
Full Text Available Stem cells and their niches constitute units that act cooperatively to achieve adult body homeostasis. How such units form and whether stem cell and niche precursors might be coordinated already during organogenesis are unknown. In fruit flies, primordial germ cells (PGCs, the precursors of germ line stem cells (GSCs, and somatic niche precursors develop within the larval ovary. Together they form the 16-20 GSC units of the adult ovary. We show that ecdysone receptors are required to coordinate the development of niche and GSC precursors. At early third instar, ecdysone receptors repress precocious differentiation of both niches and PGCs. Early repression is required for correct morphogenesis of the ovary and for protecting future GSCs from differentiation. At mid-third instar, ecdysone signaling is required for niche formation. Finally, and concurrent with the initiation of wandering behavior, ecdysone signaling initiates PGC differentiation by allowing the expression of the differentiation gene bag of marbles in PGCs that are not protected by the newly formed niches. All the ovarian functions of ecdysone receptors are mediated through early repression, and late activation, of the ecdysone target gene broad. These results show that, similar to mammals, a brain-gland-gonad axis controls the initiation of oogenesis in insects. They further exemplify how a physiological cue coordinates the formation of a stem cell unit within an organ: it is required for niche establishment and to ensure that precursor cells to adult stem cells remain undifferentiated until the niches can accommodate them. Similar principles might govern the formation of additional stem cell units during organogenesis.
Cooney, Christopher R; Seddon, Nathalie; Tobias, Joseph A
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.
Carvalho, D M; Presley, S J; Santos, G M M
Different resource use strategies manifest as differences in the realized niches of species. Niche segregation may involve several dimensions of the niche, such as diet, space, and time. We measured the level of redundancy and complementarity of a bee-plant interaction network in an agricultural system. Because flower resource diversity is high and resource abundance associated with flowering phenology varies throughout the year, we hypothesized that trophic overlap in the community would be low (i.e., high niche complementarity). In contrast, we expected a combination of physiological constraints and exploitation competition to create high temporal overlap, leading to high redundancy in the time of use of floral resources. Dietary overlap was low (NOih = 0.18): niches of 88% of species pairs had less than 30% overlap. In contrast, temporal overlap was intermediate (NOih = 0.49): niches of 65% of species pairs had 30% to 60% overlap. Network analysis showed that bees separated their dietary niches and had intermediate complementary specialization (H2' = 0.46). In terms of their temporal niches (H2' = 0.12), bees were generalists, with high temporal redundancy. Temperature was not a key factor in the determination of niche overlap, suggesting that environmental factors do not likely have a primary role in determining high redundancy in the temporal use of floral resources. Rather, temporal overlap is likely associated with the timing of nectar production by flowers. Our results suggest that bees partition a wide variety of available floral resources, resulting in low dietary overlap and intermediate temporal overlap.
Jorge E Ramírez-Albores
Full Text Available 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
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  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  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.
Full Text Available Oak galls are spectacular extended phenotypes of gallwasp genes in host oak tissues and have evolved complex morphologies that serve, in part, to exclude parasitoid natural enemies.Parasitoids and their insect herbivore hosts have coevolved to produce diverse communities comprising about a third of all animal species. The factors structuring these communities, however, remain poorly understood. An emerging theme in community ecology is the need to consider the effects of host traits, shaped by both natural selection and phylogenetic history, on associated communities of natural enemies. Here we examine the impact of host traits and phylogenetic relatedness on 48 ecologically closed and species-rich communities of parasitoids attacking gall-inducing wasps on oaks. Gallwasps induce the development of spectacular and structurally complex galls whose species- and generation-specific morphologies are the extended phenotypes of gallwasp genes. All the associated natural enemies attack their concealed hosts through gall tissues, and several structural gall traits have been shown to enhance defence against parasitoid attack. Here we explore the significance of these and other host traits in predicting variation in parasitoid community structure across gallwasp species. In particular, we test the "Enemy Hypothesis," which predicts that galls with similar morphology will exclude similar sets of parasitoids and therefore have similar parasitoid communities. Having controlled for phylogenetic patterning in host traits and communities, we found significant correlations between parasitoid community structure and several gall structural traits (toughness, hairiness, stickiness, supporting the Enemy Hypothesis. Parasitoid community structure was also consistently predicted by components of the hosts' spatiotemporal niche, particularly host oak taxonomy and gall location (e.g., leaf versus bud versus seed. The combined explanatory power of structural and
La Sorte, Frank A; Jetz, Walter
1. Global climate has changed significantly during the past 30 years and especially in northern temperate regions which have experienced poleward shifts in temperature regimes. While there is evidence that some species have responded by moving their distributions to higher latitudes, the efficiency of this response in tracking species' climatic niche boundaries over time has yet to be addressed. 2. Here, we provide a continental assessment of the temporal structure of species responses to recent spatial shifts in climatic conditions. We examined geographic associations with minimum winter temperature for 59 species of winter avifauna at 476 Christmas Bird Count circles in North America from 1975 to 2009 under three sampling schemes that account for spatial and temporal sampling effects. 3. Minimum winter temperature associated with species occurrences showed an overall increase with a weakening trend after 1998. Species displayed highly variable responses that, on average and across sampling schemes, contained a strong lag effect that weakened in strength over time. In general, the conservation of minimum winter temperature was relevant when all species were considered together but only after an initial lag period (c. 35 years) was overcome. The delayed niche tracking observed at the combined species level was likely supported by the post1998 lull in the warming trend. 4. There are limited geographic and ecological explanations for the observed variability, suggesting that the efficiency of species' responses under climate change is likely to be highly idiosyncratic and difficult to predict. This outcome is likely to be even more pronounced and time lags more persistent for less vagile taxa, particularly during the periods of consistent or accelerating warming. Current modelling efforts and conservation strategies need to better appreciate the variation, strength and duration of lag effects and their association with climatic variability. Conservation
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
Voet, Lucy Lucet F van der; Vaate, A Marjolein J Bij de; Heymans, Martijn W; Brölmann, Hans A M; Veersema, Sebastiaan; Huirne, Judith A F
In a prospective study on 134 women after their first cesarean section prognostic factors for developing an uterine niche (scar defect) measured with sonohysterography were evaluated. With multivariable logistic regression anlaysis the following prognostic factors were identified; enlarged cervical dilatation and induction of labour. Contractions before labour reduced the risk for niche development. The predictive value of the model made with this prognostic factors was low. The development of a niche is a multifactorial proces and more studies are needed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Wright, Bernice; De Bank, Paul A; Luetchford, Kim A; Acosta, Fernando R; Connon, Che J
Chemical and biochemical modification of hydrogels is one strategy to create physiological constructs that maintain cell function. The aim of this study was to apply oxidised alginate hydrogels as a basis for development of a biomimetic niche for limbal epithelial stem cells that may be applied to treating corneal dysfunction. The stem phenotype of bovine limbal epithelial cells (LEC) and the viability of corneal epithelial cells (CEC) were examined in oxidised alginate gels containing collagen IV over a 3-day culture period. Oxidation increased cell viability (P ≤ 0.05) and this improved further with addition of collagen IV (P ≤ 0.01). Oxidised gels presented larger internal pores (diameter: 0.2–0.8 µm) than unmodified gels (pore diameter: 0.05–0.1 µm) and were significantly less stiff (P ≤ 0.001), indicating that an increase in pore size and a decrease in stiffness contributed to improved cell viability. The diffusion of collagen IV from oxidised alginate gels was similar to that of unmodified gels suggesting that oxidation may not affect the retention of extracellular matrix proteins in alginate gels. These data demonstrate that oxidised alginate gels containing corneal extracellular matrix proteins can influence corneal epithelial cell function in a manner that may impact beneficially on corneal wound healing therapy. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A Published byWiley Periodicals, Inc. Part A: 102A: 3393–3400, 2014. PMID:24142706
Olson, R J; Young, J W; Ménard, F; Potier, M; Allain, V; Goñi, N; Logan, J M; Galván-Magaña, F
Tunas are highly specialized predators that have evolved numerous adaptations for a lifestyle that requires large amounts of energy consumption. Here we review our understanding of the bioenergetics and feeding dynamics of tunas on a global scale, with an emphasis on yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, albacore, and Atlantic bluefin tunas. Food consumption balances bioenergetics expenditures for respiration, growth (including gonad production), specific dynamic action, egestion, and excretion. Tunas feed across the micronekton and some large zooplankton. Some tunas appear to time their life history to take advantage of ephemeral aggregations of crustacean, fish, and molluscan prey. Ontogenetic and spatial diet differences are substantial, and significant interdecadal changes in prey composition have been observed. Diet shifts from larger to smaller prey taxa highlight ecosystem-wide changes in prey availability and diversity and provide implications for changing bioenergetics requirements into the future. Where tunas overlap, we show evidence of niche separation between them; resources are divided largely by differences in diet percentages and size ranges of prey taxa. The lack of long-term data limits the ability to predict impacts of climate change on tuna feeding behaviour. We note the need for systematic collection of feeding data as part of routine monitoring of these species, and we highlight the advantages of using biochemical techniques for broad-scale analyses of trophic relations. We support the continued development of ecosystem models, which all too often lack the regional-specific trophic data needed to adequately investigate climate and fishing impacts. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Chasis, Joel Anne
This review focuses on current understanding of molecular mechanisms operating within erythroblastic islands including cell-cell adhesion, regulatory feedback, and central macrophage function. RECENT FINDINGS: Erythroblasts express a variety of adhesion molecules and recently two interactions have been identified that appear to be critical for island integrity. Erythroblast macrophage protein, expressed on erythroblasts and macrophages, mediates cell-cell attachments via homophilic binding. Erythroblast intercellular adhesion molecule-4 links erythroblasts to macrophages through interaction with macrophage alphav integrin. In intercellular adhesion molecule-4 knockout mice, erythroblastic islands are markedly reduced, whereas the erythroblast macrophage protein null phenotype is severely anemic and embryonic lethal. Retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (Rb) protein stimulates macrophage differentiation by counteracting inhibition of Id2 on PU.1, a transcription factor that is a crucial regulator of macrophage differentiation. Rb-deficient macrophages do not bind Rb null erythroblasts and the Rb null phenotype is anemic and embryonic lethal. Lastly, extruded nuclei rapidly expose phosphatidylserine on their surface, providing a recognition signal similar to apoptotic cells. SUMMARY: Although understanding of molecular mechanisms operating within islands is at an early stage, tantalizing evidence suggests that erythroblastic islands are specialized niches where intercellular interactions in concert with cytokines play critical roles in regulating erythropoiesis.
Tashireva L. A.
Full Text Available Aim. To investigate the expression of the genes TGFB1, TNF, CSF1, CSF2, VEGFA and HIF1A in the patients with invasive breast carcinoma of no special type considering the intratumoral morphological heterogeneity. Methods. The technology of laser capture microdissection PALM was used to isolate five types of morphological tumor structures from three patients with invasive carcinoma of no special type (IC NST, luminal A subtype, T1-2NxMx. The level of expression of the cytokine (TNF, growth factor genes (TGFB1, CSF1, CSF2, VEGFA and the HIF1A gene was assessed in the samples obtained using real-time PCR, TaqMan-probes and specific oligonucleotides. Results. The study demonstrated the absence of the expression of the growth factor gene CSF2 in tumor cells of IC NST, and the expression of the gene CSF1, independent from the metastasis status and tumor structure type. The prevalence of the expression of the genes VEGFA and TGFB1 was revealed in the alveolar and solid structures along with the rare expression of the gene TNF. Conclusions. The expression of pre-metastatic niche genes in the tumors of patients with IC NST is heterogeneous. The hypoxia-mediated change in the cytokine gene expression may be expected in the alveolar and solid structures, which ultimately results in the formation of microenvironment, facilitating tumor growth and the formation of tumor metastatic potential.
Yackulic, Charles B.; Nichols, James D.; Reid, Janice; Der, Ricky
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.
Bodelier, Paul LE; Meima-Franke, Marion; Hordijk, Cornelis A; Steenbergh, Anne K; Hefting, Mariet M; Bodrossy, Levente; von Bergen, Martin; Seifert, Jana
Microbes catalyze all major geochemical cycles on earth. However, the role of microbial traits and community composition in biogeochemical cycles is still poorly understood mainly due to the inability to assess the community members that are actually performing biogeochemical conversions in complex environmental samples. Here we applied a polyphasic approach to assess the role of microbial community composition in modulating methane emission from a riparian floodplain. We show that the dynamics and intensity of methane consumption in riparian wetlands coincide with relative abundance and activity of specific subgroups of methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB), which can be considered as a minor component of the microbial community in this ecosystem. Microarray-based community composition analyses demonstrated linear relationships of MOB diversity parameters and in vitro methane consumption. Incubations using intact cores in combination with stable isotope labeling of lipids and proteins corroborated the correlative evidence from in vitro incubations demonstrating γ-proteobacterial MOB subgroups to be responsible for methane oxidation. The results obtained within the riparian flooding gradient collectively demonstrate that niche partitioning of MOB within a community comprised of a very limited amount of active species modulates methane consumption and emission from this wetland. The implications of the results obtained for biodiversity–ecosystem functioning are discussed with special reference to the role of spatial and temporal heterogeneity and functional redundancy. PMID:23788331
Arnal, Luc H; Flinker, Adeen; Kleinschmidt, Andreas; Giraud, Anne-Lise; Poeppel, David
Screaming is arguably one of the most relevant communication signals for survival in humans. Despite their practical relevance and their theoretical significance as innate  and virtually universal [2, 3] vocalizations, what makes screams a unique signal and how they are processed is not known. Here, we use acoustic analyses, psychophysical experiments, and neuroimaging to isolate those features that confer to screams their alarming nature, and we track their processing in the human brain. Using the modulation power spectrum (MPS [4, 5]), a recently developed, neurally informed characterization of sounds, we demonstrate that human screams cluster within restricted portion of the acoustic space (between ∼30 and 150 Hz modulation rates) that corresponds to a well-known perceptual attribute, roughness. In contrast to the received view that roughness is irrelevant for communication , our data reveal that the acoustic space occupied by the rough vocal regime is segregated from other signals, including speech, a pre-requisite to avoid false alarms in normal vocal communication. We show that roughness is present in natural alarm signals as well as in artificial alarms and that the presence of roughness in sounds boosts their detection in various tasks. Using fMRI, we show that acoustic roughness engages subcortical structures critical to rapidly appraise danger. Altogether, these data demonstrate that screams occupy a privileged acoustic niche that, being separated from other communication signals, ensures their biological and ultimately social efficiency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Tong, Cheuk Ka; Chen, Jiadong; Cebrián-Silla, Arantxa; Mirzadeh, Zaman; Obernier, Kirsten; Guinto, Cristina D.; Tecott, Laurence H.; García-Verdugo, Jose Manuel; Kriegstein, Arnold; Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo
SUMMARY The ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ) is an extensive germinal niche containing neural stem cells (NSC) in the walls of the lateral ventricles of the adult brain. How the adult brain’s neural activity influences the behavior of adult NSCs remains largely unknown. We show that serotonergic (5HT) axons originating from a small group of neurons in the raphe form an extensive plexus on most of the ventricular walls. Electron microscopy revealed intimate contacts between 5HT axons and NSCs (B1) or ependymal cells (E1) and these cells were labeled by a transsynaptic viral tracer injected into the raphe. B1 cells express the 5HT receptors 2C and 5A. Electrophysiology showed that activation of these receptors in B1 cells induced small inward currents. Intraventricular infusion of 5HT2C agonist or antagonist increased or decreased V-SVZ proliferation, respectively. These results indicate that supraependymal 5HT axons directly interact with NSCs to regulate neurogenesis via 5HT2C. PMID:24561083
Mylne, Adrian Q N; Pigott, David M; Longbottom, Joshua; Shearer, Freya; Duda, Kirsten A; Messina, Jane P; Weiss, Daniel J; Moyes, Catherine L; Golding, Nick; Hay, Simon I
Lassa fever is a viral haemorrhagic illness responsible for disease outbreaks across West Africa. It is a zoonosis, with the primary reservoir species identified as the Natal multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis. The host is distributed across sub-Saharan Africa while the virus' range appears to be restricted to West Africa. The majority of infections result from interactions between the animal reservoir and human populations, although secondary transmission between humans can occur, particularly in hospital settings. Using a species distribution model, the locations of confirmed human and animal infections with Lassa virus (LASV) were used to generate a probabilistic surface of zoonotic transmission potential across sub-Saharan Africa. Our results predict that 37.7 million people in 14 countries, across much of West Africa, live in areas where conditions are suitable for zoonotic transmission of LASV. Four of these countries, where at-risk populations are predicted, have yet to report any cases of Lassa fever. These maps act as a spatial guide for future surveillance activities to better characterise the geographical distribution of the disease and understand the anthropological, virological and zoological interactions necessary for viral transmission. Combining this zoonotic niche map with detailed patient travel histories can aid differential diagnoses of febrile illnesses, enabling a more rapid response in providing care and reducing the risk of onward transmission. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Grigoriev, Igor; Gobler, Christopher; Salamov, Asaf; Kuo, Alan; Terry, Astrid; Pangillian, Jasmyn; Lindquist, Erika; Lucas, Susan; Berry, Dianna; Dyhrman, Sonya; Wilhelm, Steven; Lobanov, Alexei; Zhang, Yan; Collier, Jackie; Wurch, Louie; Kusta, Adam; Dill, Brian; Shsh, Manesh; VerBerkmoes, Nathan; Paulsen, Ian; Hattenrath-Lehmann, Theresa; Talmage, Stephanie; Walker, Elyse; Koch, Florian; Burson, Amanda; Marcoval, Maria; Tang, Yin-Zhong; LeCleir, Gary; Coyne, Kathyrn; Berg, Gry; Bertrand, Erin; Saito, Mak; Gladyshev, Vadim
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) cause significant economic and ecological damage worldwide. Despite considerable efforts, a comprehensive understanding of the factors that promote these blooms has been lacking, because the biochemical pathways that facilitate their dominance relative to other phytoplankton within specific environments have not been identified. Here, biogeochemical measurements showed that the harmful alga Aureococcus anophagefferens outcompeted co-occurring phytoplankton in estuaries with elevated levels of dissolved organic matter and turbidity and low levels of dissolved inorganic nitrogen. We subsequently sequenced the genome of A. anophagefferens and compared its gene complement with those of six competing phytoplankton species identified through metaproteomics. Using an ecogenomic approach, we specifically focused on gene sets that may facilitate dominance within the environmental conditions present during blooms. A. anophagefferens possesses a larger genome (56 Mbp) and has more genes involved in light harvesting, organic carbon and nitrogen use, and encoding selenium- and metal-requiring enzymes than competing phytoplankton. Genes for the synthesis of microbial deterrents likely permit the proliferation of this species, with reduced mortality losses during blooms. Collectively, these findings suggest that anthropogenic activities resulting in elevated levels of turbidity, organic matter, and metals have opened a niche within coastal ecosystems that ideally suits the unique genetic capacity of A. anophagefferens and thus, has facilitated the proliferation of this and potentially other HABs.
Gobler, C J; Grigoriev, I V; Berry, D L; Dyhrman, S T; Wilhelm, S W; Salamov, A; Lobanov, A V; Zhang, Y; Collier, J L; Wurch, L L; Kustka, A B; Dill, B D; Shah, M; VerBerkomes, N C; Kuo, A; Terry, A; Pangilinan, J; Lindquist, E A; Lucas, S; Paulsen, I; Hattenrath-Lehmann, T K; Talmage, S; Walker, E A; Koch, F; Burson, A M; Marcoval, M A; Tang, Y; LeCleir, G R; Coyne, K J; Berg, G M; Bertrand, E M; Saito, M A; Gladyshev, V N
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) cause significant economic and ecological damage worldwide. Despite considerable efforts, a comprehensive understanding of the factors that promote these blooms has been lacking because the biochemical pathways that facilitate their dominance relative to other phytoplankton within specific environments have not been identified. Here, biogeochemical measurements demonstrated that the harmful alga Aureococcus anophagefferens outcompeted co-occurring phytoplankton in estuaries with elevated levels of dissolved organic matter and turbidity and low levels of dissolved inorganic nitrogen. We subsequently sequenced the first HAB genome (A. anophagefferens) and compared its gene complement to those of six competing phytoplankton species identified via metaproteomics. Using an ecogenomic approach, we specifically focused on the gene sets that may facilitate dominance within the environmental conditions present during blooms. A. anophagefferens possesses a larger genome (56 mbp) and more genes involved in light harvesting, organic carbon and nitrogen utilization, and encoding selenium- and metal-requiring enzymes than competing phytoplankton. Genes for the synthesis of microbial deterrents likely permit the proliferation of this species with reduced mortality losses during blooms. Collectively, these findings suggest that anthropogenic activities resulting in elevated levels of turbidity, organic matter, and metals have opened a niche within coastal ecosystems that ideally suits the unique genetic capacity of A. anophagefferens and thus has facilitated the proliferation of this and potentially other HABs.
Gobler, Christopher J. [Stony Brook University (SUNY); Berry, Dianna L. [Stony Brook University (SUNY); Dyhrman, Sonya T. [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods Hole, MA; Wilhelm, Steven W [ORNL; Salamov, Asaf [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Lobanov, Alexei V. [Brigham and Women' s Hospital; Zhang, Yan [Brigham and Women' s Hospital; Collier, Jackie L. [Stony Brook University (SUNY); Wurch, Louie L. [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods Hole, MA; Kustka, Adam B. [Rutgers University; Dill, Brian [ORNL; Shah, Manesh B [ORNL; Verberkmoes, Nathan C [ORNL
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) cause significant economic and ecological damage worldwide. Despite considerable efforts, a comprehensive understanding of the factors that promote these blooms has been lacking, because the biochemical pathways that facilitate their dominance relative to other phytoplankton within specific environments have not been identified. Here, biogeochemical measurements showed that the harmful alga Aureococcus anophagefferens outcompeted co-occurring phytoplankton in estuaries with elevated levels of dissolved organic matter and turbidity and low levels of dissolved inorganic nitrogen. We subsequently sequenced the genome of A. anophagefferens and compared its gene complement with those of six competing phytoplankton species identified through metaproteomics. Using an ecogenomic approach, we specifically focused on gene sets that may facilitate dominance within the environmental conditions present during blooms. A. anophagefferens possesses a larger genome (56 Mbp) and has more genes involved in light harvesting, organic carbon and nitrogen use, and encoding selenium- and metal-requiring enzymes than competing phytoplankton. Genes for the synthesis of microbial deterrents likely permit the proliferation of this species, with reduced mortality losses during blooms. Collectively, these findings suggest that anthropogenic activities resulting in elevated levels of turbidity, organic matter, and metals have opened a niche within coastal ecosystems that ideally suits the unique genetic capacity of A. anophagefferens and thus, has facilitated the proliferation of this and potentially other HABs.
Karlson, Agnes M. L.; Gorokhova, Elena; Elmgren, Ragnar
Successful establishment of invasive species is often related to the existence of vacant niches. Competition occurs when invaders use the same limiting resources as members of the recipient community, which will be reflected in some overlap of their trophic niches. The concept of isotopic niche has been used to study trophic niche partitioning among species. Here, we present a two-year field study comparing isotopic niches of the deposit-feeding community in a naturally species-poor system. The isotopic niche analyses showed no overlap between a recent polychaete invader and any of the native species suggesting that it has occupied a vacant niche. Its narrow isotopic niche suggests specialized feeding, however, the high δ15N values compared to natives are most likely due to isotope fractionation effects related to nitrogen recycling and a mismatch between biological stoichiometry of the polychaete and the sediment nitrogen content. Notably, highly overlapping isotopic niches were inferred for the native species, which is surprising in a food-limited system. Therefore, our results demonstrate that invaders may broaden the community trophic diversity and enhance resource utilization, but also raise questions about the congruence between trophic and isotopic niche concepts and call for careful examination of assumptions underlying isotopic niche interpretation. PMID:25988260
Allgeier, Jacob E; Adam, Thomas C; Burkepile, Deron E
Resolving how species compete and coexist within ecological communities represents a long-standing challenge in ecology. Research efforts have focused on two predominant mechanisms of species coexistence: complementarity and redundancy. But findings also support an alternative hypothesis that within-species variation may be critical for coexistence. Our study focuses on nine closely related and ecologically similar coral reef fish species to test the importance of individual- versus species-level traits in determining the size of dietary, foraging substrate, and behavioural interaction niches. Specifically, we asked: (i) what level of biological organization best describes individual-level niches? and (ii) how are herbivore community niches partitioned among species, and are niche widths driven by species- or individual-level traits? Dietary and foraging substrate niche widths were best described by species identity, but no level of taxonomy explained behavioural interactions. All three niches were dominated by only a few species, contrasting expectations of niche complementarity. Species- and individual-level traits strongly drove foraging substrate and behavioural niches, respectively, whereas the dietary niche was described by both. Our findings underscored the importance of species-level traits for community-level niches, but highlight that individual-level trait variation within a select few species may be a key driver of the overall size of niches. © 2017 The Author(s).
Alexander Pyron, R; Burbrink, Frank T
Niche conservatism and niche divergence are both important ecological mechanisms associated with promoting allopatric speciation across geographical barriers. However, the potential for variable responses in widely distributed organisms has not been fully investigated. For allopatric sister lineages, three patterns for the interaction of ecological niche preference and geographical barriers are possible: (i) niche conservatism at a physical barrier; (ii) niche divergence at a physical barrier; and (iii) niche divergence in the absence of a physical barrier. We test for the presence of these patterns in a transcontinentally distributed snake species, the common kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula), to determine the relative frequency of niche conservatism or divergence in a single species complex inhabiting multiple distinct ecoregions. We infer the phylogeographic structure of the kingsnake using a range-wide data set sampled for the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b. We use coalescent simulation methods to test for the presence of structured lineage formation vs. fragmentation of a widespread ancestor. Finally, we use statistical techniques for creating and evaluating ecological niche models to test for conservatism of ecological niche preferences. Significant geographical structure is present in the kingsnake, for which coalescent tests indicate structured population division. Surprisingly, we find evidence for all three patterns of conservatism and divergence. This suggests that ecological niche preferences may be labile on recent phylogenetic timescales, and that lineage formation in widespread species can result from an interaction between inertial tendencies of niche conservatism and natural selection on populations in ecologically divergent habitats.
Gilberto Parolo; Graziano Rossi; Alessandro Ferrarini
.... In this study, we used the recent Maxent algorithm for modelling the niche of Arnica montana within a Site of Community Importance in the Alps, with the ultimate aim of providing a rigorous evidence...
Pekar, Stano; Martisova, Martina; Bilde, Trine
.... 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...
Christensen, Karina; Schrøder, Henrik Daa; Kristensen, Bjarne Winther
with CD133 and the candidate stem cell markers Sox2, Bmi-1, EGFR, podoplanin and nestin, the proliferation marker Ki67 and the endothelial cell markers CD31, CD34, and VWF. Cell counting showed that the CD133(+) cells in the niches had a significantly higher expression of Sox2, EGFR and nestin compared...... to CD133(+) single cells, but only a 3% Ki67 labeling index versus 14% found for CD133(+) single cells. Only low endothelial cell marker expression was found in the niches or the CD133(-) tumor areas, while 43% CD133(+)/CD31(+) and 25% CD133(+)/CD34(+) single cells were found. CD133(+) blood vessels...... within CD133(+) niches were less proliferative and more often Bmi-1(+) than CD133(+) blood vessels outside niches. In conclusion, different CD133(+) cell phenotypes exist according to the in situ localization, and also the phenotype of CD133(+) blood vessels vary according to the localization. CD133...
Full Text Available The carotenoids content in Posidonia oceanica, Nelumbium nuciferum, Opuntia ficus-indica and Zygophyllum album from different ecological niches in Egypt was studied. Considerable differences, both qualitative and quantitative among four investigated plant species were found.
Shirzad, R.; Shahrabi, S.; Ahmadzadeh, A.; Kampen, K. R.; Shahjahani, M.; Saki, N.
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
Ehninger, Armin; Trumpp, Andreas
Stem cell niches are defined as the cellular and molecular microenvironments that regulate stem cell function together with stem cell autonomous mechanisms. This includes control of the balance between quiescence, self-renewal, and differentiation, as well as the engagement of specific programs in response to stress. In mammals, the best understood niche is that harboring bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Recent studies have expanded the number of cell types contributing to the HSC niche. Perivascular mesenchymal stem cells and macrophages now join the previously identified sinusoidal endothelial cells, sympathetic nerve fibers, and cells of the osteoblastic lineage to form similar, but distinct, niches that harbor dormant and self-renewing HSCs during homeostasis and mediate stem cell mobilization in response to granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.
Schmidt, Stephanie N; Harvey, Chris J; Vander Zanden, M Jake
Anthropogenic activities have significantly altered freshwater fish communities. Extirpations of deepwater coregonines (Coregonus spp.), a diverse group of fish species, have left vast areas of the Laurentian Great Lakes devoid of a deepwater fish community. Currently, fisheries managers are considering restoring populations by reintroducing deepwater coregonines from Lake Superior and Lake Nipigon. However, little is known about the historical ecology of deepwater coregonines, and species characterization has proved difficult. We used stable isotope analysis of museum-preserved and contemporary specimens to investigate if (1) coregonine species historically occupied distinct niches and (2) the pattern of trophic niche partitioning has changed over the last century. Across all lakes, individual species occupied distinct trophic niches, confirming that these species were ecologically distinct. Understanding trophic niche partitioning helps resolve uncertainty about distinctness of species within and across lakes and may provide a better ecological basis for rehabilitation of Great Lakes food webs and ecosystems.
Olalla-Tárraga1, Miguel Á.; McInnes, Linsey; Bini, Luis M.
in extant continental mammals and amphibians in order to identify those factors that are most evolutionarily conserved, and thus hypothesized to have played a major role in determining the geographic distributions of many species. We also test whether amphibians show stronger signals of climatic niche...... 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....... Results Amphibians and mammals showed congruent patterns of conservatism in cold tolerance, with assemblages of escapee species (i.e. those escaping most from the climatic constraints of their ancestors) aggregated in the North Temperate Zone. Main conclusions The relative strength of climatic niche...
Ecologists have long been intrigued by the ways co-occurring species divide limiting resources, and have proposed that such resource partitioning, or niche differentiation, promotes species diversity by reducing competition. Although resource partitioning is an important determi...
Slingerland, M.A.; Schut, M.
This article investigates the transition dynamics related to Jatropha developments in Mozambique. The analysis focuses on how structural conditions (infrastructure, institutions, interaction and collaboration and capabilities and resources) enable or constrain interactions between niche-level
Eli R. Wilson
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.
Colmone, Angela; Amorim, Maria; Pontier, Andrea L; Wang, Sheng; Jablonski, Elizabeth; Sipkins, Dorothy A
The host tissue microenvironment influences malignant cell proliferation and metastasis, but little is known about how tumor-induced changes in the microenvironment affect benign cellular ecosystems. Applying dynamic in vivo imaging to a mouse model, we show that leukemic cell growth disrupts normal hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC) bone marrow niches and creates abnormal microenvironments that sequester transplanted human CD34+ (HPC-enriched) cells. CD34+ cells in leukemic mice declined in number over time and failed to mobilize into the peripheral circulation in response to cytokine stimulation. Neutralization of stem cell factor (SCF) secreted by leukemic cells inhibited CD34+ cell migration into malignant niches, normalized CD34+ cell numbers, and restored CD34+ cell mobilization in leukemic mice. These data suggest that the tumor microenvironment causes HPC dysfunction by usurping normal HPC niches and that therapeutic inhibition of HPC interaction with tumor niches may help maintain normal progenitor cell function in the setting of malignancy.
Voet, Lucy Lucet F van der; Vaate, A Marjolein J Bij de; Heymans, Martijn W; Brölmann, Hans A M; Veersema, Sebastiaan; Huirne, Judith A F
In a prospective study on 134 women after their first cesarean section prognostic factors for developing an uterine niche (scar defect) measured with sonohysterography were evaluated. With multivariable logistic regression anlaysis the following prognostic factors were identified; enlarged cervical
Båstrup-Spohr, Lars; Iversen, Lars Lønsman; Borum, Jens
. Also, it is expected that charophytes with generalist niches and functional traits, such as tolerance of a broad salinity range and large height, should thrive owing to available habitats and stronger competitive ability. 2. These hypotheses were tested comparing the rarity of charophytes in the Nordic...... countries with other autotrophs and analysing the relationship to species niche specialization and functional traits. A value on a rarity–commonness scale was assigned to each species based on their Red List status. Niche specialization was evaluated by the Outlying Mean Index using a large Danish dataset...... while traits were derived from the literature. 3. Supporting the hypotheses, 50–87% of charophyte species were Red Listed, which is much greater than for vascular aquatic (30–35%) and terrestrial plants (18–28%). Commonness of charophytes decreased significantly with niche specialization in separate...
Matthews Blake; De Meester L.; Jones C.G; Ibelings B.W; Bouma T.J.; Nuutinen V.; Van De Koppel J; Odling-Smee J
All living organisms modify their biotic and abiotic environment. Niche construction theory posits that organism-mediated modifications to the environment can change selection pressures and influence the evolutionary trajectories of natural populations. While there is broad support for this proposition in general, there is considerable uncertainty about how niche construction is related to other similar concepts in ecology and evolution. Comparative studies dealing with certain aspects of nic...
Vafaei, Rana; Nassiri, Seyed Mahdi; Siavashi, Vahid
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.
Montiglio, Pierre-Olivier; Ferrari, Caterina; Réale, Denis
Several personality traits are mainly expressed in a social context, and others, which are not restricted to a social context, can be affected by the social interactions with conspecifics. In this paper, we focus on the recently proposed hypothesis that social niche specialization (i.e. individuals in a population occupy different social roles) can explain the maintenance of individual differences in personality. We first present ecological and social niche specialization hypotheses. In parti...
Wasof, Safaa; Lenoir, Jonathan; Aarrestad, Per Arild; Alsos, Inger Greve; Armbruster, W. Scott; Austrheim, Gunnar; Bakkestuen, Vegar; Birks, H. John B.; Bråthen, Kari Anne; Broennimann, Olivier; Brunet, Jörg; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Dahlberg, Carl Johan; Diekmann, Martin; Dullinger, Stefan
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 separated for thousands of years.LocationEuropean Alps and Fennoscandia. Methods Of the studied pool of 888 terrestrial vascular plant species occurring in both the Alps and Fennoscandia, we used tw...
Mohlenhoff, Kathryn A; Codding, Brian F
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
Mandle, Lisa; Warren, Dan L.; Hoffmann, Matthias H.; Peterson, A. Townsend; Schmitt, Johanna; von Wettberg, Eric J.
Determining the degree to which climate niches are conserved across plant species' native and introduced ranges is valuable to developing successful strategies to limit the introduction and spread of invasive plants, and also has important ecological and evolutionary implications. Here, we test whether climate niches differ between native and introduced populations of Impatiens walleriana, globally one of the most popular horticultural species. We use approaches based on both raw climate data...
Marturano-Kruik, Alessandro; Nava, Michele Maria; Yeager, Keith; Chramiec, Alan; Hao, Luke; Robinson, Samuel; Guo, Edward; Raimondi, Manuela Teresa; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana
Eight out of 10 breast cancer patients die within 5 years after the primary tumor has spread to the bones. Tumor cells disseminated from the breast roam the vasculature, colonizing perivascular niches around blood capillaries. Slow flows support the niche maintenance by driving the oxygen, nutrients, and signaling factors from the blood into the interstitial tissue, while extracellular matrix, endothelial cells, and mesenchymal stem cells regulate metastatic homing. Here, we show the feasibility of developing a perfused bone perivascular niche-on-a-chip to investigate the progression and drug resistance of breast cancer cells colonizing the bone. The model is a functional human triculture with stable vascular networks within a 3D native bone matrix cultured on a microfluidic chip. Providing the niche-on-a-chip with controlled flow velocities, shear stresses, and oxygen gradients, we established a long-lasting, self-assembled vascular network without supplementation of angiogenic factors. We further show that human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, which have undergone phenotypical transition toward perivascular cell lineages, support the formation of capillary-like structures lining the vascular lumen. Finally, breast cancer cells exposed to interstitial flow within the bone perivascular niche-on-a-chip persist in a slow-proliferative state associated with increased drug resistance. We propose that the bone perivascular niche-on-a-chip with interstitial flow promotes the formation of stable vasculature and mediates cancer cell colonization.
Philippsen, Juliana S; Hauser, Marília; Benedito, Evanilde
This study investigated the isotopic niches of two fish species, one exotic and one native. It was hypothesized that these species would show little or no isotopic niche overlap. This hypothesis was tested with the isotopic niche concept and the trophic Layman's metrics. A considerable isotopic niche overlap was observed between the species, mainly for the exotic that showed the greater percentage of overlapping, indicating an interspecific competition for food resources. Layman's metrics also showed this species probably exploits a more specific array of food resources when compared with the native species. The native species probably has the ability to exploit a wider array of resources, highlighted by the higher values given for the Layman's metrics. The juveniles and adults of native species showed minor overlapping between the isotopic niches. This indicates that they have probably adopted different foraging strategies, minimizing intraspecific competition. Evidences that the exotic species explores a narrower range of resources and that the native species has a greater isotopic niche and possibly suffer less intraspecific competition, indicates that the native species can tolerate the presence of the exotic species and promote survival and maintenance of its population even under possible competition effects imposed by the exotic species.
Juliana S. Philippsen
Full Text Available This study investigated the isotopic niches of two fish species, one exotic and one native. It was hypothesized that these species would show little or no isotopic niche overlap. This hypothesis was tested with the isotopic niche concept and the trophic Layman's metrics. A considerable isotopic niche overlap was observed between the species, mainly for the exotic that showed the greater percentage of overlapping, indicating an interspecific competition for food resources. Layman's metrics also showed this species probably exploits a more specific array of food resources when compared with the native species. The native species probably has the ability to exploit a wider array of resources, highlighted by the higher values given for the Layman's metrics. The juveniles and adults of native species showed minor overlapping between the isotopic niches. This indicates that they have probably adopted different foraging strategies, minimizing intraspecific competition. Evidences that the exotic species explores a narrower range of resources and that the native species has a greater isotopic niche and possibly suffer less intraspecific competition, indicates that the native species can tolerate the presence of the exotic species and promote survival and maintenance of its population even under possible competition effects imposed by the exotic species.
Semmens, Brice X; Ward, Eric J; Moore, Jonathan W; Darimont, Chris T
Variability in resource use defines the width of a trophic niche occupied by a population. Intra-population variability in resource use may occur across hierarchical levels of population structure from individuals to subpopulations. Understanding how levels of population organization contribute to population niche width is critical to ecology and evolution. Here we describe a hierarchical stable isotope mixing model that can simultaneously estimate both the prey composition of a consumer diet and the diet variability among individuals and across levels of population organization. By explicitly estimating variance components for multiple scales, the model can deconstruct the niche width of a consumer population into relevant levels of population structure. We apply this new approach to stable isotope data from a population of gray wolves from coastal British Columbia, and show support for extensive intra-population niche variability among individuals, social groups, and geographically isolated subpopulations. The analytic method we describe improves mixing models by accounting for diet variability, and improves isotope niche width analysis by quantitatively assessing the contribution of levels of organization to the niche width of a population.
Matthew Ogburn, R; Edwards, Erika J
Despite the recent focus on phylogenetic niche conservatism in macroevolutionary studies, many clades have diversified widely along multiple niche dimensions. The factors underlying lineage-specific niche lability are still not well understood. We examined morphological and climate niche evolution in Montiaceae (Caryophyllales), an ecologically variable plant lineage distributed primarily along the mountain chains of the western Americas. Montiaceae inhabit a broader range of temperatures than their relatives, with an increase in the evolutionary rate of temperature niche diversification at the node subtending this clade. Within Montiaceae, life history is highly labile and significantly correlated with temperature, with perennials consistently occurring in cooler environments. This elevated evolutionary lability facilitated repeated shifts between habitats as new environments were created by post-Eocene orogenic events and aridification in the western Americas. The shifts between annual and perennial forms are elaborations of an underlying rosette body plan in most cases, and may involve simple alterations in biomass allocation. Montiaceae stand as another clear counterexample to phylogenetic niche conservatism, and demonstrate a mechanism by which pronounced ecological shifts may occur frequently and rapidly among closely related species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Murrow, Lyndsay M; Weber, Robert J; Gartner, Zev J
For many tissues, single resident stem cells grown in vitro under appropriate three-dimensional conditions can produce outgrowths known as organoids. These tissues recapitulate much of the cell composition and architecture of the in vivo organ from which they derive, including the formation of a stem cell niche. This has facilitated the systematic experimental manipulation and single-cell, high-throughput imaging of stem cells within their respective niches. Furthermore, emerging technologies now make it possible to engineer organoids from purified cellular and extracellular components to directly model and test stem cell-niche interactions. In this Review, we discuss how organoids have been used to identify and characterize stem cell-niche interactions and uncover new niche components, focusing on three adult-derived organoid systems. We also describe new approaches to reconstitute organoids from purified cellular components, and discuss how this technology can help to address fundamental questions about the adult stem cell niche. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Brice X Semmens
Full Text Available Variability in resource use defines the width of a trophic niche occupied by a population. Intra-population variability in resource use may occur across hierarchical levels of population structure from individuals to subpopulations. Understanding how levels of population organization contribute to population niche width is critical to ecology and evolution. Here we describe a hierarchical stable isotope mixing model that can simultaneously estimate both the prey composition of a consumer diet and the diet variability among individuals and across levels of population organization. By explicitly estimating variance components for multiple scales, the model can deconstruct the niche width of a consumer population into relevant levels of population structure. We apply this new approach to stable isotope data from a population of gray wolves from coastal British Columbia, and show support for extensive intra-population niche variability among individuals, social groups, and geographically isolated subpopulations. The analytic method we describe improves mixing models by accounting for diet variability, and improves isotope niche width analysis by quantitatively assessing the contribution of levels of organization to the niche width of a population.
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.
Delerue, Florian; Gonzalez, Maya; Michalet, Richard; Pellerin, Sylvain; Augusto, Laurent
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
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.
Higuchi, Sayaka; Yoshina, Sawako; Mitani, Shohei
Stem cells are regulated by their surrounding microenvironments, called niche, such as cell-cell interaction and extracellular matrix. Classically, feeder cells as a niche have been used in the culture of iPS cells from both the mouse and the human. However, the regulation mechanism of stem cells by feeder cells as a niche still have been partially unclear. In this study, we used three murine iPS cell lines, iPS-MEF-Ng-20D-17, iPS-MEF-Ng-178B-5 and iPS-MEF-Fb/Ng-440A-3, which were generated by different reprogramming methods. In general, these cell lines commonly need the feeder cells as a niche to culture. Recently, the effect of substrate stiffness is known in stem cell study. First, we focused on the mechanical properties of feeder cells, and then we speculated that feeder-less culture might be made possible by using molecules in place of the mechanical properties of the niche. Finally, we found that the combination of disintegrin (echistatin) and 2i (GSK3 inhibitor and MEK inhibitor) is a sufficient condition for three murine iPS culture. This novel method of mimicking the murine iPS cell niche may be useful to understand signaling pathways to maintain the pluripotency of stem cells. © 2016 The Authors. Development, Growth & Differentiation published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.
Full Text Available The ecological niche concept has regained interest under environmental change (e.g., climate change, eutrophication, and habitat destruction, especially to study the impacts on niche shift and conservatism. Here, we propose the within outlying mean indexes (WitOMI, which refine the outlying mean index (OMI analysis by using its properties in combination with the K-select analysis species marginality decomposition. The purpose is to decompose the ecological niche into subniches associated with the experimental design, i.e., taking into account temporal and/or spatial subsets. WitOMI emphasize the habitat conditions that contribute (1 to the definition of species’ niches using all available conditions and, at the same time, (2 to the delineation of species’ subniches according to given subsets of dates or sites. The latter aspect allows addressing niche dynamics by highlighting the influence of atypical habitat conditions on species at a given time and/or space. Then, (3 the biological constraint exerted on the species subniche becomes observable within Euclidean space as the difference between the existing fundamental subniche and the realized subniche. We illustrate the decomposition of published OMI analyses, using spatial and temporal examples. The species assemblage’s subniches are comparable to the same environmental gradient, producing a more accurate and precise description of the assemblage niche distribution under environmental change. The WitOMI calculations are available in the open-access R package “subniche.”
Mumby, James; Johson, Timothy; Stewart, Thomas; Halfyard, Edward; Walsh, Maureen; Weidel, Brian C.; Lantry, Jana; Fisk, Aarron
The forage fish communities of the Laurentian Great Lakes continue to experience changes that have altered ecosystem structure, yet little is known about how they partition resources. Seasonal, spatial and body size variation in δ13C and δ15N was used to assess isotopic niche overlap and resource and habitat partitioning among the five common offshore Lake Ontario forage fish species (n = 2037) [Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), Rainbow Smelt (Osmerus mordax), Round Goby (Neogobius melanostomus), and Deepwater (Myoxocephalus thompsonii) and Slimy (Cottus cognatus) Sculpin]. Round Goby had the largest isotopic niche (6.1‰2, standard ellipse area (SEAC)), followed by Alewife (3.4‰2) while Rainbow Smelt, Slimy Sculpin and Deepwater Sculpin had the smallest and similar niche size (1.7-1.8‰2), with only the Sculpin species showing significant isotopic niche overlap (>63%). Stable isotopes in Alewife, Round Goby and Rainbow Smelt varied with location, season and size, but did not in the Sculpin spp. Lake Ontario forage fish species have partitioned food and habitat resources, and non-native Alewife and Round Goby have the largest isotopic niche, suggestive of a boarder ecological niche, and may contribute to their current high abundance.
Wan, Ji-Zhong; Wang, Chun-Jing; Tan, Jing-Fang; Yu, Fei-Hai
Testing climatic niche divergence and modeling habitat suitability under conditions of climate change are important for developing strategies to limit the introduction and expansion of alien invasive weeds (AIWs) and providing important ecological and evolutionary insights. We assessed climatic niches in both native and invasive ranges as well as habitat suitability under climate change for eight representative Chinese AIWs from the American continent. We used climatic variables associated with occurrence records and developed ecological niche models with Maxent. Interestingly, the climatic niches of all eight AIWs diverged significantly between the native and invasive ranges (the American continent and China). Furthermore, the AIWs showed larger climatic niche breadths in the invasive ranges than in the native ranges. Our results suggest that climatic niche shifts between native and invasive ranges occurred. Thus, the occurrence records of both native and invasive regions must be considered when modeling and predicting the spatial distributions of AIWs under current and future climate scenarios. Owing to high habitat suitability, AIWs were more likely to expand into regions of low latitude, and future climate change was predicted to result in a shift in the AIWs in Qinghai and Tibet (regions of higher altitude) as well as Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, and Gansu (regions of higher latitude). Our results suggest that we need measures to prevent and control AIW expansion at the country-wide level.
Montiglio, Pierre-Olivier; Ferrari, Caterina; Réale, Denis
Several personality traits are mainly expressed in a social context, and others, which are not restricted to a social context, can be affected by the social interactions with conspecifics. In this paper, we focus on the recently proposed hypothesis that social niche specialization (i.e. individuals in a population occupy different social roles) can explain the maintenance of individual differences in personality. We first present ecological and social niche specialization hypotheses. In particular, we show how niche specialization can be quantified and highlight the link between personality differences and social niche specialization. We then review some ecological factors (e.g. competition and environmental heterogeneity) and the social mechanisms (e.g. frequency-dependent, state-dependent and social awareness) that may be associated with the evolution of social niche specialization and personality differences. Finally, we present a conceptual model and methods to quantify the contribution of ecological factors and social mechanisms to the dynamics between personality and social roles. In doing so, we suggest a series of research objectives to help empirical advances in this research area. Throughout this paper, we highlight empirical studies of social niche specialization in mammals, where available.
Joly, Simon; Heenan, Peter B; Lockhart, Peter J
Adaptive radiations such as the Darwin finches in the Galapagos or the cichlid fishes from the Eastern African Great Lakes have been a constant source of inspiration for biologists and a stimulus for evolutionary thinking. A central concept behind adaptive radiation is that of evolution by niche shifts, or ecological speciation. Evidence for adaptive radiations generally requires a strong correlation between phenotypic traits and the environment. But adaptive traits are often cryptic, hence making this phenotype-environment approach difficult to implement. Here we propose a procedure for detecting adaptive radiation that focuses on species' ecological niche comparisons. It evaluates whether past ecological disparity in a group fits better a neutral Brownian motion model of ecological divergence or a niche shift model. We have evaluated this approach on New Zealand rockcresses (Pachycladon) that recently radiated in the New Zealand Alps. We show that the pattern of ecological divergence rejects the neutral model and is consistent with that of a niche shift model. Our approach to detect adaptive radiation has the advantage over alternative approaches that it focuses on ecological niches, a key concept behind adaptive radiation. It also provides a way to evaluate the importance of ecological speciation in adaptive radiations and will have general application in evolutionary studies. In the case of Pachycladon, the high estimated diversification rate, the distinctive ecological niches of species, and the evidence for ecological speciation suggest a remarkable example of adaptive radiation.
Jorge E Lopez
Full Text Available Food habits of 15 species of frugivorous bats were studied at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. Eight hundred and fifty-four (854 fecal samples and 169 samples from fruit parts and seeds discarded by bats beneath feeding roosts were analyzed. During eight months of study, 47 fruit species consumed by bats were identified. Five plant genera (Cecropia, Ficus, Piper, Solanum, and Vismia constituted 85% of all plants found in fecal samples. Feeding niche breadth differed significantly among the six most common species of frugivorous bats (Artibeus jamaicensis, Carollia sowelli, C. castanea, C. perspicillata, Dermanura sp., and Glossophaga commissarisi. All species, except for Dermanura sp., showed a diet dominated by one or two plant species. This suggests a pattern of resource partitioning at a generic level, in which Carollia consumed mainly Piper, Artibeus consumed Ficus and Cecropia, and Glossophaga consumed Vismia. Cluster analysis revealed higher values of food niche overlap in congeneric species than among species of different genera. Results show that if food is a limiting factor, mechanisms other than trophic selection must reduce interspecific interference or competition for food in this frugivorous bat guild. Rev. Biol. Trop. 55 (1: 301-313. Epub 2007 March. 31.Estudiamos los hábitos alimentarios de 15 especies de murciélagos frugívoros en la Estación Biológica La Selva. Se analizó 854 muestras de heces y 169 muestras de restos de frutos y semillas en comederos. Durante ocho meses de estudio, se identificó 47 especies de frutos, que fueron consumidos por los murciélagos. Cinco géneros de plantas (Cecropia, Ficus, Piper, Solanum y Vismia constituyeron el 85% de los hallazgos en las muestras de heces y los comederos. La amplitud de nicho trófico difirió significativamente entre las seis especies de murciélagos frugívoros más frecuentemente capturados (Artibeus jamaicensis, Carollia sowelli, C. castanea, C. perspicillata
Berry, Jody D; Gaudet, Ryan G
Antibody preparations have a long history of providing protection from infectious diseases. Although antibodies remain the only natural host-derived defense mechanism capable of completely preventing infection, as products, they compete against inexpensive therapeutics such as antibiotics, small molecule inhibitors and active vaccines. The continued discovery in the monoclonal antibody (mAb) field of leads with broadened cross neutralization of viruses and demonstrable synergy of antibody with antibiotics for bacterial diseases, clearly show that innovation remains. The commercial success of mAbs in chronic disease has not been paralleled in infectious diseases for several reasons. Infectious disease immunotherapeutics are limited in scope as endemic diseases necessitate active vaccine development. Also, the complexity of these small markets draws the interest of niche companies rather than big pharmaceutical corporations. Lastly, the cost of goods for mAb therapeutics is inherently high for infectious agents due to the need for antibody cocktails, which better mimic polyclonal immunoglobulin preparations and prevent antigenic escape. In cases where vaccine or convalescent populations are available, current polyclonal hyperimmune immunoglobulin preparations (pIgG), with modern and highly efficient purification technology and standardized assays for potency, can make economic sense. Recent innovations to broaden the potency of mAb therapies, while reducing cost of production, are discussed herein. On the basis of centuries of effective use of Ab treatments, and with growing immunocompromised populations, the question is not whether antibodies have a bright future for infectious agents, but rather what formats are cost effective and generate safe and efficacious treatments to satisfy regulatory approval. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Valladares Linares, Rodrigo
This review focuses on the present status of forward osmosis (FO) niches in two main areas: seawater desalination and wastewater reuse. Specific applications for desalination and impaired-quality water treatment and reuse are described, as well as the benefits, advantages, challenges, costs and knowledge gaps on FO hybrid systems are discussed. FO can play a role as a bridge to integrate upstream and downstream water treatment processes, to reduce the energy consumption of the entire desalination or water recovery and reuse processes, thus achieving a sustainable solution for the water-energy nexus. FO hybrid membrane systems showed to have advantages over traditional membrane process like high pressure reverse osmosis and nanofiltration for desalination and wastewater treatment: (i) chemical storage and feed water systems may be reduced for capital, operational and maintenance cost, (ii) water quality is improved, (iii) reduced process piping costs, (iv) more flexible treatment units, and (v) higher overall sustainability of the desalination and wastewater treatment process. Nevertheless, major challenges make FO systems not yet a commercially viable technology, the most critical being the development of a high flux membrane, capable of maintaining an elevated salt rejection and a reduced internal concentration polarization effect, and the availability of appropriate draw solutions (cost effective and non-toxic), which can be recirculated via an efficient recovery process. This review article highlights the features of hybrid FO systems and specifically provides the state-of-the-art applications in the water industry in a novel classification and based on the latest developments toward scaling up these systems.
Planetary orbits may change due to gravitational perturbations by external bodies. Such changes can occur both on short and long timescales, and give rise to significant changes in the planetary climate and habitability. Such changes may render the climate inhabitable for any original pre-existing organisms. However, if the climate change timescale is longer than the timescale for organism genetic adaptation over several generations, the population of pre- existing organisms may evolve and adapt to the new conditions. This raises the possibility for the existence of planets in which life formed and evolved under favorable conditions, and then adapted to extreme conditions once significant climate-change occured. Such planets may therefore appear today as having too-extreme conditions as to allow for the emergence of life, even though life could have formed at ealier epoch at which time the planet climate differed. One can therefore discuss the possibility of "adaptable habitability", which relies not only on the current conditions but on the climate history and the dynamics of the planetary system. Moreover, once life emerges and evolves to the stage in which rapid adaptababilty is possible, organisms may adapt as to fill extreme environmental nches (e.g. extremophiles on Earth). Once climate-change leads to overall extreme planetary conditions, such originally extreme- niche filling organisms can prevail and occupy the main environments of the planets, where as such extreme planetary conditions, if they existed primordially, wouldn't have allowed for the emergence of life to begin with. We discuss these issues, and provide detailed planetary dynamics examples for such adaptable habitability to occur.
Valladares Linares, R; Li, Z; Sarp, S; Bucs, Sz S; Amy, G; Vrouwenvelder, J S
This review focuses on the present status of forward osmosis (FO) niches in two main areas: seawater desalination and wastewater reuse. Specific applications for desalination and impaired-quality water treatment and reuse are described, as well as the benefits, advantages, challenges, costs and knowledge gaps on FO hybrid systems are discussed. FO can play a role as a bridge to integrate upstream and downstream water treatment processes, to reduce the energy consumption of the entire desalination or water recovery and reuse processes, thus achieving a sustainable solution for the water-energy nexus. FO hybrid membrane systems showed to have advantages over traditional membrane process like high pressure reverse osmosis and nanofiltration for desalination and wastewater treatment: (i) chemical storage and feed water systems may be reduced for capital, operational and maintenance cost, (ii) water quality is improved, (iii) reduced process piping costs, (iv) more flexible treatment units, and (v) higher overall sustainability of the desalination and wastewater treatment process. Nevertheless, major challenges make FO systems not yet a commercially viable technology, the most critical being the development of a high flux membrane, capable of maintaining an elevated salt rejection and a reduced internal concentration polarization effect, and the availability of appropriate draw solutions (cost effective and non-toxic), which can be recirculated via an efficient recovery process. This review article highlights the features of hybrid FO systems and specifically provides the state-of-the-art applications in the water industry in a novel classification and based on the latest developments toward scaling up these systems. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Carstens, Bryan C; Richards, Corinne L
Understanding the factors that contribute to the formation of population genetic structure is a central goal of phylogeographic research, but achieving this goal can be complicated by the stochastic variance inherent to genetic processes. Statistical approaches to testing phylogeographic hypotheses accommodate this stochasticity by evaluating competing models of putative historical population structure, often by simulating null distributions of the expected variance. The effectiveness of these tests depends on the biological realism of the models. Information from the fossil record can aid in reconstructing the historical distributions of some taxa. However, for the majority of taxa, which lack sufficient fossils, paleodistributional modeling can provide valuable spatial-geographic data concerning ancestral distributions. Paleodistributional models are generated by projecting ecological niche models, which predict the current distribution of each species, onto a model of past climatic conditions. Here, we generate paleodistributional models describing the suitable habitat during the last glacial maximum for lineages from the mesic forests of the Pacific Northwest of North America, and use these models to generate alternative phylogeographic hypotheses. Coalescent simulations are then used to test these hypotheses to improve our understanding of the historical events that promoted the formation of population genetic structure in this ecosystem. Results from Pacific Northwest mesic forest organisms demonstrate the utility of these combined approaches. Paleodistribution models and population genetic structure are congruent across three amphibian lineages, suggesting that they have responded in a concerted manner to environmental change. Two other species, a willow and a water vole, despite being currently codistributed and having similar population genetic structure, were predicted by the paleodistributional model to have had markedly different distributions during
Rita de Cassia Bianchi
Full Text Available We investigated the home range size, habitat selection, as well as the spatial and activity overlap, of four mid-sized carnivore species in the Central Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. From December 2005 to September 2008, seven crab-eating foxes Cerdocyon thous, seven brown-nosed coatis Nasua nasua, and six ocelots Leopardus pardalis were radio-collared and monitored. Camera trap data on these species were also collected for the crab-eating raccoon Procyon cancrivorus. We hypothesized that there would be large niche differentiation in preferred habitat-type or active period between generalist species with similar diet, and higher similarity in habitat-type or activity time between the generalist species (crab-eating foxes and coatis and the more specialized ocelot. Individual home ranges were estimated using the utilization distribution index (UD- 95% fixed Kernel. With data obtained from radio-collared individuals, we evaluated habitat selection using compositional analysis. Median home range size of ocelots was 8 km2. The proportion of habitats within the home ranges of ocelots did not differ from the overall habitat proportion in the study area, but ocelots preferentially used forest within their home range. The median home range size of crab-eating foxes was 1.4 km2. Foxes showed second-order habitat selection and selected savanna over shrub-savanna vegetation. The median home range size for coati was 1.5 km2. Coati home ranges were located randomly in the study area. However, within their home range, coatis occurred more frequently in savanna than in other vegetation types. Among the four species, the overlap in activity period was the highest (87% between ocelots and raccoons, with the least overlap occurring between the ocelot and coati (25%. We suggest that temporal segregation of carnivores was more important than spatial segregation, notably between the generalist coati, crab-eating fox and crab-eating raccoon.
Gillian L. Moritz
Full Text Available The fovea is a declivity of the retinal surface associated with maximum visual acuity. Foveae are widespread across vertebrates, but among mammals they are restricted to haplorhine primates (tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans, which are primarily diurnal. Thus primates have long contributed to the prevailing view that the fovea is a functional adaptation to diurnal color vision. The foveae of nocturnal taxa, such as tarsiers, are widely interpreted as vestigial traits and therefore evidence of a diurnal ancestry. This enduring premise has been central to adaptive hypotheses on the origins of anthropoid primates; however, the question of whether the fovea of tarsiers is a functionless anachronism or a nocturnal adaptation remains open. To address this question, we focused on the diets of tarsiers (Tarsius and scops owls (Otus, two taxa united by numerous anatomical homoplasies, including foveate vision. A functional interpretation of these homoplasies predicts dietary convergence and competition. This prediction can be tested with an analysis of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes in tissues, which integrate dietary information. As predicted, the isotopic niches of Tarsius and Otus overlapped. In both Borneo and the Philippines, the δ13C values were indistinguishable, whereas the δ15N values of Otus were marginally higher than those of Tarsius. Our results indicate that both diets consisted mainly of ground-dwelling prey and raise the possibility of some resource partitioning. Taken together, our isotopic analysis supports a functional interpretation of the many homoplasies shared by tarsiers and scops owls, including a retinal fovea. We suggest that the fovea might function similarly in tarsiers and scops owls by calibrating the auditory localization pathway. The integration of auditory localization and visual fixation during prey detection and acquisition might be critical at low light levels.
Krumhansl, Carol Lynne
This article investigates the contexts, or “listening niches”, in which people hear popular music. The study spanned a century of popular music, divided into 10 decades, with participants born between 1940 and 1999. It asks about whether they know and like the music in each decade, and their emotional reactions. It also asks whether the music is associated with personal memories and, if so, with whom they were listening, or whether they were listening alone. Finally, it asks what styles of music they were listening to, and the music media they were listening with, in different periods of their lives. The results show a regular progression through the life span of listening with different individuals (from parents to children) and with different media (from records to streaming services). A number of effects found in previous studies were replicated, but the study also showed differences across the birth cohorts. Overall, there was a song specific age effect with preferences for music of late adolescence and early adulthood; however, this effect was stronger for the older participants. In general, music of the 1940s, 1960s, and 1980s was preferred, particularly among younger participants. Music of these decades also produced the strongest emotional responses, and the most frequent and specific personal memories. When growing up, the participants tended to listen to the older music on the older media, but rapidly shifted to the new music technologies in their late teens and early 20s. Younger listeners are currently listening less to music alone than older listeners, suggesting an important role of socially sharing music, but they also report feeling sadder when listening to music. Finally, the oldest listeners had the broadest taste, liking music that they had been exposed to during their lifetimes in different listening niches. PMID:28424637
Fields, William R.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Lowe, Winsor H.
Ontogenetic niche shifts (ONS) are important drivers of population and community dynamics, but they can be difficult to identify for species with prolonged larval or juvenile stages, or for species that inhabit continuous habitats. Most studies of ONS focus on single transitions among discrete habitat patches at local scales. However, for species with long larval or juvenile periods, affinity for particular locations within connected habitat networks may differ among cohorts. The resulting spatial patterns of distribution can result from a combination of landscape-scale habitat structure, position of a habitat patch within a network, and local habitat characteristics—all of which may interact and change as individuals grow. We estimated such spatial ONS for spring salamanders (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus), which have a larval period that can last 4 years or more. Using mixture models to identify larval cohorts from size frequency data, we fit occupancy models for each age class using two measures of the branching structure of stream networks and three measures of stream network position. Larval salamander cohorts showed different preferences for the position of a site within the stream network, and the strength of these responses depended on the basin-wide spatial structure of the stream network. The isolation of a site had a stronger effect on occupancy in watersheds with more isolated headwater streams, while the catchment area, which is associated with gradients in stream habitat, had a stronger effect on occupancy in watersheds with more paired headwater streams. Our results show that considering the spatial structure of habitat networks can provide new insights on ONS in long-lived species.
Decimo, Ilaria; Fumagalli, Guido; Berton, Valeria; Krampera, Mauro; Bifari, Francesco
Meninges are a three tissue membrane primarily known as coverings of the brain. More in depth studies on meningeal function and ultrastructure have recently changed the view of meninges as a merely protective membrane. Accurate evaluation of the anatomical distribution in the CNS reveals that meninges largely penetrate inside the neural tissue. Meninges enter the CNS by projecting between structures, in the stroma of choroid plexus and form the perivascular space (Virchow-Robin) of every parenchymal vessel. Thus, meninges may modulate most of the physiological and pathological events of the CNS throughout the life. Meninges are present since the very early embryonic stages of cortical development and appear to be necessary for normal corticogenesis and brain structures formation. In adulthood meninges contribute to neural tissue homeostasis by secreting several trophic factors including FGF2 and SDF-1. Recently, for the first time, we have identified the presence of a stem cell population with neural differentiation potential in meninges. In addition, we and other groups have further described the presence in meninges of injury responsive neural precursors. In this review we will give a comprehensive view of meninges and their multiple roles in the context of a functional network with the neural tissue. We will highlight the current literature on the developmental feature of meninges and their role in cortical development. Moreover, we will elucidate the anatomical distribution of the meninges and their trophic properties in adult CNS. Finally, we will emphasize recent evidences suggesting the potential role of meninges as stem cell niche harbouring endogenous precursors that can be activated by injury and are able to contribute to CNS parenchymal reaction. PMID:23671802
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.
Hu, Cheng-ye; Shui, Yu-yue; Du, Xiao; Shui, Bo-nian
In this paper, the interaction between the species Population were analyzed based on the data of major nekton species in the south coastal waters of Cangnan in spring and autumn 2014. A series of methods including niche breadth, niche overlap, χ2 - test and association coefficient (AC) based on a 2x2 contingency table were used. The results showed that the major nekton species in the south coastal waters of Cangnan were classified into three groups, i.e. wide niche breadth species, moderate niche breadth species and narrow niche breadth species based on the niche breadth values. The wide niche breadth species of nekton were Harpodon nehereus, Portunus trituberculatus, mantis shrimp and other 2 species. The moderate niche breadth species of nekton were Collichthys lucidus, Parapenaeopsis hardwickii, Parapenaeopsis tenella and other 5 species. While the species with narrow niche breadths were Charybdis japonica, Amblychaeturichthys hexanema, Palaemon gravieri and other 7 species. There were great differences in the niche overlap values among the major nekton populations, with the maximum value of 0.93 and the minimum of 0, which indicated that resource utilization competition in some nekton might exist. The results of variance ratio analysis for major nekton in the south coastal waters of Cangnan showed that they were significantly positively correlated. χ2 - test results showed that there were significantly interspecific association for 78 species pairs (χ2≥3.841), among which more association coefficients (AC) of species pairs are positive.
Ortega-García, Stephanie; Guevara, Lázaro; Arroyo-Cabrales, Joaquín; Lindig-Cisneros, Roberto; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique; Vega, Ernesto; Schondube, Jorge E
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.
Full Text Available Signals between stem cells and stroma are important in establishing the stem cell niche. However, very little is known about the regulation of any mammalian stem cell niche as pure isolates of stem cells and their adjacent mesenchyme are not readily available. The prostate offers a unique model to study signals between stem cells and their adjacent stroma as in the embryonic prostate stem cell niche, the urogenital sinus mesenchyme is easily separated from the epithelial stem cells. Here we investigate the distinctive molecular signals of these two stem cell compartments in a mammalian system.We isolated fetal murine urogenital sinus epithelium and urogenital sinus mesenchyme and determined their differentially expressed genes. To distinguish transcripts that are shared by other developing epithelial/mesenchymal compartments from those that pertain to the prostate stem cell niche, we also determined the global gene expression of epidermis and dermis of the same embryos. Our analysis indicates that several of the key transcriptional components that are predicted to be active in the embryonic prostate stem cell niche regulate processes such as self-renewal (e.g., E2f and Ap2, lipid metabolism (e.g., Srebp1 and cell migration (e.g., Areb6 and Rreb1. Several of the enriched promoter binding motifs are shared between the prostate epithelial/mesenchymal compartments and their epidermis/dermis counterparts, indicating their likely relevance in epithelial/mesenchymal signaling in primitive cellular compartments. Based on differential gene expression we also defined ligand-receptor interactions that may be part of the molecular interplay of the embryonic prostate stem cell niche.We provide a comprehensive description of the transcriptional program of the major regulators that are likely to control the cellular interactions in the embryonic prostatic stem cell niche, many of which may be common to mammalian niches in general. This study provides a
Blum, Roy; Gupta, Rashmi; Burger, Patricia E; Ontiveros, Christopher S; Salm, Sarah N; Xiong, Xiaozhong; Kamb, Alexander; Wesche, Holger; Marshall, Lisa; Cutler, Gene; Wang, Xiangyun; Zavadil, Jiri; Moscatelli, David; Wilson, E Lynette
Signals between stem cells and stroma are important in establishing the stem cell niche. However, very little is known about the regulation of any mammalian stem cell niche as pure isolates of stem cells and their adjacent mesenchyme are not readily available. The prostate offers a unique model to study signals between stem cells and their adjacent stroma as in the embryonic prostate stem cell niche, the urogenital sinus mesenchyme is easily separated from the epithelial stem cells. Here we investigate the distinctive molecular signals of these two stem cell compartments in a mammalian system. We isolated fetal murine urogenital sinus epithelium and urogenital sinus mesenchyme and determined their differentially expressed genes. To distinguish transcripts that are shared by other developing epithelial/mesenchymal compartments from those that pertain to the prostate stem cell niche, we also determined the global gene expression of epidermis and dermis of the same embryos. Our analysis indicates that several of the key transcriptional components that are predicted to be active in the embryonic prostate stem cell niche regulate processes such as self-renewal (e.g., E2f and Ap2), lipid metabolism (e.g., Srebp1) and cell migration (e.g., Areb6 and Rreb1). Several of the enriched promoter binding motifs are shared between the prostate epithelial/mesenchymal compartments and their epidermis/dermis counterparts, indicating their likely relevance in epithelial/mesenchymal signaling in primitive cellular compartments. Based on differential gene expression we also defined ligand-receptor interactions that may be part of the molecular interplay of the embryonic prostate stem cell niche. We provide a comprehensive description of the transcriptional program of the major regulators that are likely to control the cellular interactions in the embryonic prostatic stem cell niche, many of which may be common to mammalian niches in general. This study provides a comprehensive source
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
Gesteira, Tarsis F; Sun, Mingxia; Coulson-Thomas, Yvette M; Yamaguchi, Yu; Yeh, Lung-Kun; Hascall, Vincent; Coulson-Thomas, Vivien J
Limbal epithelial stem cells (LSCs), located in the basal layer of the corneal epithelium in the corneal limbus, are vital for maintaining the corneal epithelium. LSCs have a high capacity of self-renewal with increased potential for error-free proliferation and poor differentiation. To date, limited research has focused on unveiling the composition of the limbal stem cell niche, and, more important, on the role the specific stem cell niche may have in LSC differentiation and function. Our work investigates the composition of the extracellular matrix in the LSC niche and how it regulates LSC differentiation and function. Hyaluronan (HA) is naturally synthesized by hyaluronan synthases (HASs), and vertebrates have the following three types: HAS1, HAS2, and HAS3. Wild-type and HAS and TSG-6 knockout mice-HAS1-/-;HAS3-/-, HAS2Δ/ΔCorEpi, TSG-6-/--were used to determine the importance of the HA niche in LSC differentiation and specification. Our data demonstrate that the LSC niche is composed of a HA rich extracellular matrix. HAS1-/-;HAS3-/-, HAS2Δ/ΔCorEpi, and TSG-6-/- mice have delayed wound healing and increased inflammation after injury. Interestingly, upon insult the HAS knock-out mice up-regulate HA throughout the cornea through a compensatory mechanism, and in turn this alters LSC and epithelial cell specification. The LSC niche is composed of a specialized HA matrix that differs from that present in the rest of the corneal epithelium, and the disruption of this specific HA matrix within the LSC niche leads to compromised corneal epithelial regeneration. Finally, our findings suggest that HA has a major role in maintaining the LSC phenotype.
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
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. 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, 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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
Pekár, Stano; Martišová, Martina; Bilde, Trine
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 selected to
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
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.
Friedlaender, Ari S.; Johnston, David W.; Fraser, William R.; Burns, Jennifer; Halpin, Patrick N.; Costa, Daniel P.
Adélie penguins ( Pygoscelis adeliae), carabeater seals ( Lobodon carcinophagus), humpback ( Megaptera novaeangliae), and minke whales ( Balaenoptera bonaernsis) are found in the waters surrounding the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Each species relies primarily on Antarctic krill ( Euphausia superba) and has physiological constraints and foraging behaviors that dictate their ecological niches. Understanding the degree of ecological overlap between sympatric krill predators is critical to understanding and predicting the impacts on climate-driven changes to the Antarctic marine ecosystem. To explore ecological relationships amongst sympatric krill predators, we developed ecological niche models using a maximum entropy modeling approach (Maxent) that allows the integration of data collected by a variety of means (e.g. satellite-based locations and visual observations). We created spatially explicit probability distributions for the four krill predators in fall 2001 and 2002 in conjunction with a suite of environmental variables. We find areas within Marguerite Bay with high krill predator occurrence rates or biological hot spots. We find the modeled ecological niches for Adélie penguins and crabeater seals may be affected by their physiological needs to haul-out on substrate. Thus, their distributions may be less dictated by proximity to prey and more so by physical features that over time provide adequate access to prey. Humpback and minke whales, being fully marine and having greater energetic demands, occupy ecological niches more directly proximate to prey. We also find evidence to suggest that the amount of overlap between modeled niches is relatively low, even for species with similar energetic requirements. In a rapidly changing and variable environment, our modeling work shows little indication that krill predators maintain similar ecological niches across years around Marguerite Bay. Given the amount of variability in the marine environment around the
Alba, T. W.; Goertz, G.; Williams, A. J.; Cole, J. K.; Murugapiran, S. K.; Dodsworth, J. A.; Hedlund, B. P.
';Aigarchaeota' (formerly known as pSL4 and Hot Water Crenarchaeotic Group I (HWCGI)) is a candidate phylum of Archaea known only by 16S rRNA gene fragments from cultivation-independent microbial surveys and a single composite genome from Candidatus ';Caldiarchaeum subterraneum', an inhabitant of a subterranean gold mine in Japan. Sequences reported in various publications are found exclusively in geothermal settings, but a comprehensive assessment has not yet been performed. We mined public databases for 16S rRNA gene sequences related to known ';Aigarchaeota' and used a combination of approaches to rigorously define the phylogenetic boundaries of the phylum. The analyses supported the proposed relationship between ';Aigarchaeota', Thaumarchaeota, Crenarchaeota, and Korarchaeota in the so-called 'TACK superphylum' and identified ~200 16S rRNA genes and gene fragments belonging to ';Aigarchaeota', including those recovered from terrestrial geothermal systems on several continents (North America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania) and marine geothermal and subsurface samples in both the Atlantic and Pacific. ';Aigarchaeota' belonged to at least three family- to order-level groups and at least seven genus-level groups. All genus-level groups were recovered from geographically distant locations, suggesting a global distribution within amenable habitats. ';Aigarchaeota'-specific primers for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of 16S rRNA genes were designed using SP-Designer and reviewed using the Ribosomal Database Project Probe Match tool. The primers will be used to determine the presence and abundance of ';Aigarchaeota' in a wide variety of samples from terrestrial geothermal systems in the western U.S. and Asia. These phylogenetic data, along with a large geochemical database, will be analyzed using multivariate statistics to develop biogeographic and habitat niche models for ';Aigarchaeota'. This study offers the first coherent view of the
O. Y. Pakhomov
, mesotrophocoenomorphs, and endogeic topomorphs. The measured soil characteristics have been shown to play an important role in structuring an ecological niche of mesopedobionts community. The basic trends in structure transformation of the soil mesofauna community are ecotone effect and edaphic properties determined by a vegetation cover.
Randall B. Boone
Full Text Available I sought to evolve plant species richness patterns on 22 Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, as an exploration of the utility of evolutionary computation and an agent-based approach in biogeography research. The simulation was spatially explicit, where agents were plant monocultures defined by three niche dimensions, lava (yes or no, elevation, and slope. Niches were represented as standard normal curves subjected to selection pressure, where neighboring plants bred if their niches overlapped sufficiently, and were considered the same species, otherwise they were different species. Plants that bred produced seeds with mutated niches. Seeds dispersed locally and longer distances, and established if the habitat was appropriate given the seed's niche. From a single species colonizing a random location, hundreds of species evolved to fill the islands. Evolved plant species richness agreed very well with observed plant species richness. I review potential uses of an agent-based representation of evolving niches in biogeography research.
Full Text Available Climatic niche shifts have been documented in a number of invasive species by comparing the native and adventive climatic ranges in which they occur. However, these shifts likely represent changes in the realized climatic niches of invasive species, and may not necessarily be driven by genetic changes in climatic affinities. Until now the role of rapid niche evolution in the spread of invasive species remains a challenging issue with conflicting results. Here, we document a likely genetically-based climatic niche expansion of an annual plant invader, the common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L., a highly allergenic invasive species causing substantial public health issues. To do so, we looked for recent evolutionary change at the upward migration front of its adventive range in the French Alps. Based on species climatic niche models estimated at both global and regional scales we stratified our sampling design to adequately capture the species niche, and localized populations suspected of niche expansion. Using a combination of species niche modeling, landscape genetics models and common garden measurements, we then related the species genetic structure and its phenotypic architecture across the climatic niche. Our results strongly suggest that the common ragweed is rapidly adapting to local climatic conditions at its invasion front and that it currently expands its niche toward colder and formerly unsuitable climates in the French Alps (i.e. in sites where niche models would not predict its occurrence. Such results, showing that species climatic niches can evolve on very short time scales, have important implications for predictive models of biological invasions that do not account for evolutionary processes.
Gallien, Laure; Thuiller, Wilfried; Fort, Noémie; Boleda, Marti; Alberto, Florian J; Rioux, Delphine; Lainé, Juliette; Lavergne, Sébastien
Climatic niche shifts have been documented in a number of invasive species by comparing the native and adventive climatic ranges in which they occur. However, these shifts likely represent changes in the realized climatic niches of invasive species, and may not necessarily be driven by genetic changes in climatic affinities. Until now the role of rapid niche evolution in the spread of invasive species remains a challenging issue with conflicting results. Here, we document a likely genetically-based climatic niche expansion of an annual plant invader, the common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.), a highly allergenic invasive species causing substantial public health issues. To do so, we looked for recent evolutionary change at the upward migration front of its adventive range in the French Alps. Based on species climatic niche models estimated at both global and regional scales we stratified our sampling design to adequately capture the species niche, and localized populations suspected of niche expansion. Using a combination of species niche modeling, landscape genetics models and common garden measurements, we then related the species genetic structure and its phenotypic architecture across the climatic niche. Our results strongly suggest that the common ragweed is rapidly adapting to local climatic conditions at its invasion front and that it currently expands its niche toward colder and formerly unsuitable climates in the French Alps (i.e. in sites where niche models would not predict its occurrence). Such results, showing that species climatic niches can evolve on very short time scales, have important implications for predictive models of biological invasions that do not account for evolutionary processes.
Gallien, Laure; Thuiller, Wilfried; Fort, No?mie; Boleda, Marti; Alberto, Florian J.; Rioux, Delphine; Lain?, Juliette; Lavergne, S?bastien
Climatic niche shifts have been documented in a number of invasive species by comparing the native and adventive climatic ranges in which they occur. However, these shifts likely represent changes in the realized climatic niches of invasive species, and may not necessarily be driven by genetic changes in climatic affinities. Until now the role of rapid niche evolution in the spread of invasive species remains a challenging issue with conflicting results. Here, we document a likely genetically...
Barônio, Gudryan Jackson; Torezan-Silingardi, Helena Maura
International audience; Spatial and temporal limited resource and niche overlap studies have been widely used to explain resource-sharing in community ecology. Furthermore, morphological and behavioral differences among species are relevant to predict how they may share niche availabilities. We evaluated temporal niche overlap and the ability of visitors to collect floral resources on three Malpighiaceae species in the Brazilian savannah. We hypothesized: (I) an overlap between the temporal n...
Stutz, Aaron J
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.
Heino, Jani; Grönroos, Mira
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
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.
Full Text Available The perivascular niche is critical for intercellular communication between resident cell types in glioblastoma (GBM, and it plays a vital role in maintaining the glioma stem cell (GSC microenvironment. It is shown in abundant research that different microvascular patterns exist in GBM; and it can be implied that different microvascular patterns are associated with different pathological structures in the perivascular niche. However, the pathological structure of the perivascular niche is still not clear. Here, we investigated the distribution and biological characteristics of different microvascular pattern niches (MVPNs in GBM by detecting the expression of CD34, CD133, Nestin, α-SMA, GFAP and CD14 in the perivascular niche using multiple -fluorescence. The four basic microvascular patterns are microvascular sprouting (MS, vascular cluster (VC, vascular garland (VG, and glomeruloid vascular proliferation (GVP. By analyzing the proportion of the area of each marker in four types of formations, the results indicated that the expression of CD34, CD133 and Nestin in MS and VC was significantly lower than that in VG and GVP (P0.05. According to the area distributions of different markers, we mapped four precise simulation diagrams to provide an effective foundation for the accurate simulation of glioblastoma in vitro.
Bodey, Thomas W; Ward, Eric J; Phillips, Richard A; McGill, Rona A R; Bearhop, Stuart
Interspecific competitive interactions typically result in niche differentiation to alleviate competition through mechanisms including character displacement. However, competition is not the sole constraint on resource partitioning, and its effects are mediated by factors including the environmental context in which species coexist. Colonial seabirds provide an excellent opportunity to investigate the importance of competition in shaping realized niche widths because their life histories lead to variation in intra- and interspecific competition across the annual cycle. Dense breeding aggregations result in intense competition for prey in surrounding waters, whereas non-breeding dispersal to larger geographical areas produces lower densities of competitors. Bayesian hierarchical models of the isotopic niche, closely aligned to the trophic niche, reveal the degree of segregation between species and functional groups during both time periods. Surprisingly, species explained far more of the variance in the isotopic niche during the non-breeding than the breeding period. Our results underline the key role of non-breeding dynamics in alleviating competition and promoting distinctions between species through the facilitation of resource partitioning. Such situations may be common in a diverse range of communities sustained by ephemeral but abundant food items. This highlights how consideration of the hierarchical grouping of competitive interactions alongside consideration of abiotic constraints across the complete annual cycle allows a full understanding of the role of competition in driving patterns of character displacement. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society.
Full Text Available Genetic divergence of mitochondrial DNA does not necessarily correspond to reproductive isolation. However, if mitochondrial DNA lineages occupy separate segments of environmental space, this supports the notion of their evolutionary independence. We explore niche differentiation among three candidate species of crested newt (characterized by distinct mitochondrial DNA lineages and interpret the results in the light of differences observed for recognized crested newt species. We quantify niche differences among all crested newt (candidate species and test hypotheses regarding niche evolution, employing two ordination techniques (PCA-env and ENFA. Niche equivalency is rejected: all (candidate species are found to occupy significantly different segments of environmental space. Furthermore, niche overlap values for the three candidate species are not significantly higher than those for the recognized species. As the three candidate crested newt species are, not only in terms of mitochondrial DNA genetic divergence, but also ecologically speaking, as diverged as the recognized crested newt species, our findings are in line with the hypothesis that they represent cryptic species. We address potential pitfalls of our methodology.
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.
Mulye, Minal; Samanta, Dhritiman; Winfree, Seth; Heinzen, Robert A; Gilk, Stacey D
endocarditis, which can be fatal if untreated. The existing treatment strategy requires prolonged antibiotic treatment, with a 10-year mortality rate of 19% in treated patients. Therefore, new clinical therapies are needed and can be achieved by better understanding C. burnetii pathogenesis. Upon infection of host cells, C. burnetii grows within a specialized replication niche, the parasitophorous vacuole (PV). Recent data have linked cholesterol to intracellular C. burnetii growth and PV formation, leading us to further decipher the role of cholesterol during C. burnetii-host interaction. We observed that increasing PV cholesterol concentration leads to increased acidification of the PV and bacterial death. Further, treatment with FDA-approved drugs that alter host cholesterol homeostasis also killed C. burnetii through PV acidification. Our findings suggest that targeting host cholesterol metabolism might prove clinically efficacious in controlling C. burnetii infection. Copyright © 2017 Mulye et al.
Full Text Available Place prioritization for biodiversity representation is essential for conservation planning, particularly in megadiverse countries where high deforestation threatens biodiversity. Given the collecting biases and uneven sampling of biological inventories, there is a need to develop robust models of species’ distributions. By modeling species’ ecological niches using point occurrence data and digitized environmental feature maps, we can predict potential and extant distributions of species in untransformed landscapes, as well as in those transformed by vegetation change (including deforestation. Such distributional predictions provide a framework for use of species as biodiversity surrogates in place prioritization procedures such as those based on rarity and complementarity. Beyond biodiversity conservation, these predictions can also be used for place prioritization for ecological restoration under current conditions and under future scenarios of habitat change (e.g., deforestation scenarios. To illustrate these points, we (1 predict distributions under current and future deforestation scenarios for the Mexican endemic mammal Dipodomys phillipsii, and show how areas for restoration may be selected; and (2 propose conservation areas by combining nonvolant mammal distributional predictions as biodiversity surrogates with place prioritization procedures, to connect decreed natural protected areas in a region holding exceptional biodiversity: the Transvolcanic Belt in central Mexico. La selección de áreas prioritarias de conservación es fundamental en la planeación sistemática de la conservación, particularmente en países de mega-diversidad, en donde la alta deforestación es una de las amenazas a la biodiversidad. Debido a los sesgos taxonómicos y geográficos de colecta de los inventarios biológicos, es indispensable generar modelos robustos de distribución de especies. Al modelar el nicho ecológico de especies usando localidades de
Pekár, Stanislav; Martisová, Martina; Bilde, T.
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...
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.
Full Text Available Ecological niche modelingthat is, estimation of the dimensions of fundamental ecological niches of speciesto predict their geographic distributions is increasingly being employed in systematics, ecology, conservation, public health, etc. This technique is often (of necessity based on data comprising records of presences only. In recent years, many modeling approaches have been devised to estimate these interrelated expressions of a species’ ecology, distributional biology, and evolutionary historynevertheless, in many cases, a formal basis in ecological and evolutionary theory has been lacking. In this paper, we outline such a formal basis for the suite of techniques that can be termed ‘ecological niche modeling,’ analyze example situations that can be modeled using these techniques, and clarify the interpretation of results.
Hain, Daniel S.; Jurowetzki, Roman
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...... endowment and experience enables them to stem large research projects and bring them all the way to the market. However, the involvement of incumbents might alter niche dynamics, making technology outcomes more incremental and adapted to the current unsustainable sociotechnical regime. The incumbents...... will enable them to inherit central and dominant positions and thus shape the niche's further development by their will. Deploying a stochastic-actor-based model, we analyze if network dynamics of public funded R&DD in technological niches favor incumbent actors in a way that they are able to occupy central...
Auffret, Alistair G.; Meineri, Eric; Bruun, Hans Henrik
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....... uliginosum and V. vitis-idaea on a mountain slope in northern Sweden in relation to current adult occurrence. Methods: We combined a seed-sowing experiment in seven community types with adult occurrence observations and species distribution mapping. Results: Emergence of V. myrtillus and V. vitis......-idaea seedlings was significantly related to community type, while V. uliginosum was indifferent, but exhibited the highest average emergence. Adult occurrence was related to community, and ontogenetic niche shifts were observed for all three study species. V. myrtillus was shown to have the highest potential...
Magnuson, J J
These perspectives on climate change come largely from two views, i.e. that of a fish and fisheries ecologist with an autecological interest and that of a limnologist interested in long-term dynamics and change. Ideas about the thermal niche evolved from the late F. E. J. Fry's (University of Toronto) paradigm of fish response to environmental factors and the late G. Evelyn Hutchinson's (Yale University) formalization of the niche concept. In contrast, ideas about climatic change and variability have been shaped by long-term observation records from lakes around the northern hemisphere. The history of each set of ideas, i.e. the thermal niche of fishes and learning from nature's long-term dynamics, is briefly reviewed in the context of climatic change. © 2010 The Author. Journal of Fish Biology © 2010 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
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.
M. M. Cavallini
Full Text Available The concept of ecological niche, considered by the food dimension point of view, was used to characterize a small farmers community from the south of Minas Gerais State (Brazil. Ten small farmer families and 76 different meals eaten by them were evaluated in this study, during three different periods: September 1995 (end of the dry season, December 1995 (rainy season and April 1996 (end of the rainy season. The analysed community appeared to depend markedly on certain food items showing little seasonal variation in their diet and appeared also to be self-sufficient in food supply, with satisfactory nutritional status. The food niche breadth for the studied small farmer families was always below 50%, with high seasonal overlap of the food niche, around 72% to 80%. The results are discussed based on social-cultural, economical and agrarian context.
Cachera, M.; Ernande, B.; Villanueva, M. C.; Lefebvre, S.
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
Moo-Llanes, David; Ibarra-Cerdeña, Carlos N.; Rebollar-Téllez, Eduardo A.; Ibáñez-Bernal, Sergio; González, Camila; Ramsey, Janine M.
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
Alahuhta, Janne; Virtala, Antti; Hjort, Jan; Ecke, Frauke; Johnson, Lucinda B; Sass, Laura; Heino, Jani
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.
Culumber, Zachary W; Tobler, Michael
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.
Vidal-García, Marta; Keogh, J Scott
Invasive species are an important issue worldwide but predicting invasiveness, and the underlying mechanisms that cause it, is difficult. There are several primary hypotheses to explain invasion success. Two main hypothesis based on niche spaces stand out as alternative, although not exclusive. The empty niche hypothesis states that invaders occupy a vacant niche space in the recipient community, and the niche competition hypothesis states that invaders overlap with native species in niche space. Studies on trait similarity/dissimilarity between the invader and native species can provide information on their niche overlap. Here, we use the highly invasive and well-studied cane toad (Rhinella marina) to test these two hypotheses in Australia, and assess its degree of overlap with native species in several niche dimensions. We compare extensive morphological and environmental data of this successful invader to 235 species (97%) of native Australian frogs. Our study is the first to document the significant morphological differences between the invasive cane toad and a continent-wide frog radiation: despite significant environmental overlap, cane toads were distinct in body size and shape from most Australian frog species, suggesting that in addition to their previously documented phenotypic plasticity and wide environmental and trophic niche breadth, their unique shape also may have contributed to their success as an invasive species in Australia. Thus, the invasive success of cane toads in Australia may be explained through them successfully colonizing an empty niche among Australian anurans. Our results support that the cane toad's distinct morphology may have played a unique role in the invasiveness of this species in Australia, which coupled with a broad environmental niche breadth, would have boosted their ability to expand their distribution across Australia. We also propose RLLR (Relative limb length ratio) as a potentially useful measure of identifying
Ólafsdóttir, G Á; Gunnarsson, G S; Karlsson, H
Trophic use by Atlantic cod Gadus morhua juveniles was examined early and late in the shift from pelagic to benthic habitats. Changes in the proportion of pelagic copepods, estimates of benthic prey indicated by isotope mixing models and stable-isotope values between sample periods suggested a gradual shift towards a benthic niche. Values of the trophic proxies, however, changed most markedly in the largest juvenile group, suggesting a more rapid trophic niche shift, and in turn competitive advantage, of larger juveniles. © 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
Steinbauer, Manuel; Field, Richard; Fernández-Palacios, José María
species in radiating clades in oceanic archipelagos, where closely related species exist in both sympatry and allopatry and the species’ entire ranges are known. We took advantage of this natural experimental system to test whether the climatic niche relationships predicted by the two hypotheses are found....... Location: Canary Islands. Methods: For the plant clades Aeonium, Argyranthemum, Descurainia, Echium, Lotus and Sonchus, separately, we tested relationships between phylogenetic distance and climatic niche differentiation (in temperature, precipitation and their combination), using a high-resolution dataset...
Winck, Gisele R; Hatano, Fabio; Vrcibradic, Davor; VAN Sluys, Monique; Rocha, Carlos F D
Communities are structured by interactions of historical and ecological factors, which influence the use of different resources in time and space. We acquired data on time of activity, microhabitat use and diet of a lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat in a coastal area, southeastern Brazil (Restinga de Jurubatiba). We analyzed the data of niche overlap among species in these three axes (temporal, spatial and trophic) using null models. We found a significant overlap within the trophic niche, whereas the overlap for the other axes did not differ from the expected. Based on this result, we discuss the factors acting on the structure of the local lizard community.
Shannon M. Still; Bryce A. Richardson
Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) is one of the most widespread and abundant plant species in the intermountain regions of western North America. This species occupies an extremely wide ecological niche ranging from the semi-arid basins to the subalpine. Within this large niche, three widespread subspecies are recognized. Montane ecoregions are occupied by...
John R Pearson
Full Text Available The extracellular matrix (ECM is a pivotal component adult tissues and of many tissue-specific stem cell niches. It provides structural support and regulates niche signaling during tissue maintenance and regeneration. In many tissues, ECM remodeling depends on the regulation of MMP (matrix metalloproteinase activity by inhibitory TIMP (tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases proteins. Here, we report that the only Drosophila timp gene is required for maintaining the normal organization and function of the germline stem cell niche in adult females. timp mutant ovaries show reduced levels of both Drosophila Collagen IV α chains. In addition, tissue stiffness and the cellular organization of the ovarian niche are affected in timp mutants. Finally, loss of timp impairs the ability of the germline stem cell niche to generate new cysts. Our results demonstrating a crucial role for timp in tissue organization and gamete production thus provide a link between the regulation of ECM metabolism and tissue homeostasis.
Heather A. Himburg
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.
Fu, Haiyan; Tian, Yuan; Zhou, Lili; Zhou, Dong; Tan, Roderick J; Stolz, Donna B; Liu, Youhua
Kidney fibrosis initiates at certain focal sites in which the fibrogenic niche provides a specialized microenvironment that facilitates fibroblast activation and proliferation. However, the molecular identity of these fibrogenic niches is poorly characterized. Here, we determined whether tenascin-C (TNC), an extracellular matrix glycoprotein, is a component of the fibrogenic niche in kidney fibrosis. In vivo, TNC expression increased rapidly in kidneys subjected to unilateral ureteral obstruction or ischemia/reperfusion injury and predominantly localized at the foci rich in fibroblasts in renal interstitium. In vitro, TNC selectively promoted renal interstitial fibroblast proliferation, bromodeoxyuridine incorporation, and the expression of proliferation-related genes. The mitogenic activity of TNC required the integrin/focal adhesion kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling cascade. Using decellularized extracellular matrix scaffolds, we found that TNC-enriched scaffolds facilitated fibroblast proliferation, whereas TNC-deprived scaffolds inhibited proliferation. Matrix scaffold prepared from fibrotic kidney also promoted greater ex vivo fibroblast proliferation than did scaffolds prepared from healthy kidney. Conversely, small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of TNC in vivo repressed injury-induced fibroblast expansion and renal fibrosis. These studies identify TNC as a major constituent of the fibrogenic niche that promotes fibroblast proliferation, and illustrate a pivotal role for the TNC-enriched microenvironment in kidney fibrogenesis. Copyright © 2017 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Ramírez-Barahona, Santiago; González, Clementina; González-Rodríguez, Antonio; Ornelas, Juan Francisco
The prevalent view on genetic structuring in parasitic plants is that host-race formation is caused by varying degrees of host specificity. However, the relative importance of ecological niche divergence and host specificity to population differentiation remains poorly understood. We evaluated the factors associated with population differentiation in mistletoes of the Psittacanthus schiedeanus complex (Loranthaceae) in Mexico. We used genetic data from chloroplast sequences and nuclear microsatellites to study population genetic structure and tested its association with host preferences and climatic niche variables. Pairwise genetic differentiation was associated with environmental and host preferences, independent of geography. However, environmental predictors appeared to be more important than host preferences to explain genetic structure, supporting the hypothesis that the occurrence of the parasite is largely determined by its own climatic niche and, to a lesser degree, by host specificity. Genetic structure is significant within this mistletoe species complex, but the processes associated with this structure appear to be more complex than previously thought. Although host specificity was not supported as the major determinant of population differentiation, we consider this to be part of a more comprehensive ecological model of mistletoe host-race formation that incorporates the effects of climatic niche evolution. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.
Gomez Puerto, MC
Two main components of the hematopoietic niche are hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). FOXO transcription factors play a fundamental role in the maintenance of these cells through the regulation of cell cycle and oxidative stress. Other gene expression programs
The investigative strategy that Vaesen uses presumes that cognitive skills are to some extent hardwired; developmentally plastic traits would not provide the relevant comparative information. But recent views of cognition that stress external resources, and evolutionary accounts such as cultural niche construction, urge us to think carefully about the role of technology in shaping cognition.
Purnell, Mark; Nedza, Christopher; Rychlik, Leszek
Recent work shows that tooth microwear analysis can be applied further back in time and deeper into the phylogenetic history of vertebrate clades than previously thought (e.g. niche partitioning in early Jurassic insectivorous mammals; Gill et al., 2014, Nature). Furthermore, quantitative approaches to analysis based on parameterization of surface roughness are increasing the robustness and repeatability of this widely used dietary proxy. Discriminating between taxa within dietary guilds has the potential to significantly increase our ability to determine resource use and partitioning in fossil vertebrates, but how sensitive is the technique? To address this question we analysed tooth microwear texture in sympatric populations of shrew species (Neomys fodiens, Neomys anomalus, Sorex araneus, Sorex minutus) from BiaŁ owieza Forest, Poland. These populations are known to exhibit varying degrees of niche partitioning (Churchfield & Rychlik, 2006, J. Zool.) with greatest overlap between the Neomys species. Sorex araneus also exhibits some niche overlap with N. anomalus, while S. minutus is the most specialised. Multivariate analysis based only on tooth microwear textures recovers the same pattern of niche partitioning. Our results also suggest that tooth textures track seasonal differences in diet. Projecting data from fossils into the multivariate dietary space defined using microwear from extant taxa demonstrates that the technique is capable of subtle dietary discrimination in extinct insectivores.
Functional diversity loss among pollinators has rapidly progressed across the globe and is expected to influence plant–pollinator interactions in natural communities. Although recent findings suggest that the disappearance of a certain pollinator functional group may cause niche expansions and/or shifts in other groups, no study has examined this prediction in natural communities with high plant and pollinator diversities. By comparing coastal pollination networks on continental and oceanic islands, we examined how community-level flower visit patterns are influenced by the relative biomass of long-tongued pollinators (RBLP). We found that RBLP significantly correlated with pollinator functional diversity and was lower in oceanic than in continental islands. Pollinator niches shifted with decreasing RBLP, such that diverse species with various proboscis lengths, especially short-tongued species, increasingly visited long-tubed flowers. However, we found no conspicuous negative impacts of low RBLP and the consequent niche shifts on pollinator visit frequencies to flowers in oceanic island communities. Notably, fruit set significantly decreased as RBLP decreased in a study plant species. These results suggest that niche shifts by other functional groups can generally compensate for a decline in long-tongued pollinators in natural communities, but there may be negative impacts on plant reproduction. PMID:28077773
Pitteloud, C.; Arrigo, N.; Suchan, T.; Mastretta-Yanes, A.; Vila, R.; Dincă, V.; Hernández-Roldán, J.; Brockmann, E.; Chittaro, Y.; Klečková, Irena; Fumagalli, L.; Buerki, S.; Pellissier, L.; Alvarez, N.
Roč. 284, č. 1852 (2017), č. článku 20170208. ISSN 0962-8452 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : climatic niche * macro-evolutionary processes * parametric biogeography Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.940, year: 2016 http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1852/20170208
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.
Full Text Available The increasing evidence of coexistence of cryptic species with no recognized niche differentiation has called attention to mechanisms reducing competition that are not based on niche-differentiation. Only sex-based mechanisms have been shown to create the negative feedback needed for stable coexistence of competitors with completely overlapping niches. Here we show that density-dependent sexual and diapause investment can mediate coexistence of facultative sexual species having identical niches. We modelled the dynamics of two competing cyclical parthenogens with species-specific density-dependent sexual and diapause investment and either equal or different competitive abilities. We show that investment in sexual reproduction creates an opportunity for other species to invade and become established. This may happen even if the invading species is an inferior competitor. Our results suggests a previously unnoticed mechanism for species coexistence and can be extended to other facultative sexual species and species investing in diapause where similar density-dependent life-history switches could act to promote coexistence.
Kommineni, Sushma; Bretl, Daniel J; Lam, Vy; Chakraborty, Rajrupa; Hayward, Michael; Simpson, Pippa; Cao, Yumei; Bousounis, Pavlos; Kristich, Christopher J; Salzman, Nita H
Enterococcus faecalis is both a common commensal of the human gastrointestinal tract and a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. Systemic infections with multidrug-resistant enterococci occur subsequent to gastrointestinal colonization. Preventing colonization by multidrug-resistant E. faecalis could therefore be a valuable approach towards limiting infection. However, little is known about the mechanisms E. faecalis uses to colonize and compete for stable gastrointestinal niches. Pheromone-responsive conjugative plasmids encoding bacteriocins are common among enterococcal strains and could modulate niche competition among enterococci or between enterococci and the intestinal microbiota. We developed a model of colonization of the mouse gut with E. faecalis, without disrupting the microbiota, to evaluate the role of the conjugative plasmid pPD1 expressing bacteriocin 21 (ref. 4) in enterococcal colonization. Here we show that E. faecalis harbouring pPD1 replaces indigenous enterococci and outcompetes E. faecalis lacking pPD1. Furthermore, in the intestine, pPD1 is transferred to other E. faecalis strains by conjugation, enhancing their survival. Colonization with an E. faecalis strain carrying a conjugation-defective pPD1 mutant subsequently resulted in clearance of vancomycin-resistant enterococci, without plasmid transfer. Therefore, bacteriocin expression by commensal bacteria can influence niche competition in the gastrointestinal tract, and bacteriocins, delivered by commensals that occupy a precise intestinal bacterial niche, may be an effective therapeutic approach to specifically eliminate intestinal colonization by multidrug-resistant bacteria, without profound disruption of the indigenous microbiota.
This thesis deals with innovative long-term care projects that aimed at changing long-term care delivery practices. Around the world, long-term care systems are pressured by an aging population, increasing costs and the scarcity of care professionals. Therefore, the concept of niches becomes ever
Palmer amaranth, a dioecious summer annual forb originating in Sonoran desert washes, compromises crop yields in much of the southern U.S., and is expanding its range northward. Appropriate tactics for proactively managing this weed in the upper Midwest will depend on characterizing its damage niche...
Nijhoff-Savvaki, R.; Trienekens, J.H.; Omta, S.W.F.
Purpose - This paper aims to provide insight in the set-up and governance of niche (organic, local and/or regional) pork supply chains and networks (netchains) in the UK, Greece, and Spain, characterized by societal embeddedness and differentiation in food production. Design/methodology/approach -
Mitsiadis, Thimios A; Catón, Javier; Pagella, Pierfrancesco; Orsini, Giovanna; Jimenez-Rojo, Lucia
Dental pulp stem/progenitor cells guarantee tooth homeostasis, repair and regeneration throughout life. The decision between renewal and differentiation of these cells is influenced by physical and molecular interactions with stromal cells and extracellular matrix molecules forming the specialized microenvironment of dental pulp stem cell niches. Here we study the activation of putative pulp niches after tooth injury through the upregulation of Notch signaling pathway. Notch1, Notch2, and Notch3 molecules were used as markers of dental pulp stem/progenitor cells. Upon dental injury, Notch1 and Notch3 are detected in cells related to vascular structures suggesting a role of these proteins in the activation of specific pulpal perivascular niches. In contrast, a population of Notch2-positive cells that are actively proliferative is observed in the apical part of the pulp. Kinetics of these cells is followed up with a lipophilic DiI labeling, showing that apical pulp cells migrate toward the injury site where dynamic regenerative/repair events occur. The knowledge of the activation and regulation of dental pulp stem/progenitor cells within their niches in pathologic conditions may be helpful for the realization of innovative dental treatments in the near future.
Nougué, Odrade; Gallet, Romain; Chevin, Luis-Miguel; Lenormand, Thomas
Symbiosis generally causes an expansion of the niche of each partner along the axis for which a service is mutually provided. However, for other axes, the niche can be restricted to the intersection of each partner's niche and can thus be constrained rather than expanded by mutualism. We explore this phenomenon using Artemia as a model system. This crustacean is able to survive at very high salinities but not at low salinities, although its hemolymph's salinity is close to freshwater. We hypothesized that this low-salinity paradox results from poor performance of its associated microbiota at low salinity. We showed that, in sterile conditions, Artemia had low survival at all salinities when algae were the only source of carbon. In contrast, survival was high at all salinities when fed with yeast. We also demonstrated that bacteria isolated from Artemia's gut reached higher densities at high salinities than at low salinities, including when grown on algae. Taken together, our results show that Artemia can survive at low salinities, but their gut microbiota, which are required for algae digestion, have reduced fitness. Widespread facultative symbiosis may thus be an important determinant of niche limits along axes not specific to the mutualistic interaction.
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
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.
Navarro-López, Juan; Fargallo, Juan Antonio
Recent research reports that many populations of species showing a wide trophic niche (generalists) are made up of both generalist individuals and individuals with a narrow trophic niche (specialists), suggesting trophic specializations at an individual level. If true, foraging strategies should be associated with individual quality and fitness. Optimal foraging theory predicts that individuals will select the most favourable habitats for feeding. In addition, the "landscape heterogeneity hypothesis" predicts a higher number of species in more diverse landscapes. Thus, it can be predicted that individuals with a wider realized trophic niche should have foraging territories with greater habitat diversity, suggesting that foraging strategies, territory quality and habitat diversity are inter-correlated. This was tested for a population of common kestrels Falco tinnunculus. Diet diversity, territory occupancy (as a measure of territory quality) and habitat diversity of territories were measured over an 8-year period. Our results show that: 1) territory quality was quadratically correlated with habitat diversity, with the best territories being the least and most diverse; 2) diet diversity was not correlated with territory quality; and 3) diet diversity was negatively correlated with landscape heterogeneity. Our study suggests that niche generalist foraging strategies are based on an active search for different prey species within or between habitats rather than on the selection of territories with high habitat diversity.
Rasmussen, Stine; Imitola, Jaime; Ayuso-Sacido, Angel
OBJECTIVE: The subventricular zone (SVZ) of the brain constitutes a niche for neural stem and progenitor cells that can initiate repair after central nervous system (CNS) injury. In a relapsing-remitting model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the neural stem cells (NSCs) become...
Hoorweg, Kerim; Narang, Priyanka; Li, Zhi; Thuery, Anne; Papazian, Natalie; Withers, David R; Coles, Mark C; Cupedo, Tom
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.
Jul 20, 2017 ... This is unfortunate, as their poor scholarship has done a disservice to the evolutionary biology community through propagating misinformation.We correct Gupta et al.'s misunderstandings, stressing that NCT does not suggest that the fact that organisms engage in niche constructionis neglected, nor does it ...
Xie, Weiliang; Fisher, John T; Lynch, Thomas J; Luo, Meihui; Evans, Turan I A; Neff, Traci L; Zhou, Weihong; Zhang, Yulong; Ou, Yi; Bunnett, Nigel W; Russo, Andrew F; Goodheart, Michael J; Parekh, Kalpaj R; Liu, Xiaoming; Engelhardt, John F
In cystic fibrosis (CF), a lack of functional CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channels causes defective secretion by submucosal glands (SMGs), leading to persistent bacterial infection that damages airways and necessitates tissue repair. SMGs are also important niches for slow-cycling progenitor cells (SCPCs) in the proximal airways, which may be involved in disease-related airway repair. Here, we report that calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) activates CFTR-dependent SMG secretions and that this signaling pathway is hyperactivated in CF human, pig, ferret, and mouse SMGs. Since CGRP-expressing neuroendocrine cells reside in bronchiolar SCPC niches, we hypothesized that the glandular SCPC niche may be dysfunctional in CF. Consistent with this hypothesis, CFTR-deficient mice failed to maintain glandular SCPCs following airway injury. In wild-type mice, CGRP levels increased following airway injury and functioned as an injury-induced mitogen that stimulated SMG progenitor cell proliferation in vivo and altered the proliferative potential of airway progenitors in vitro. Components of the receptor for CGRP (RAMP1 and CLR) were expressed in a very small subset of SCPCs, suggesting that CGRP indirectly stimulates SCPC proliferation in a non-cell-autonomous manner. These findings demonstrate that CGRP-dependent pathways for CFTR activation are abnormally upregulated in CF SMGs and that this sustained mitogenic signal alters properties of the SMG progenitor cell niche in CF airways. This discovery may have important implications for injury/repair mechanisms in the CF airway.
Anderson, Robert P
Predicting species geographic distributions in the future is an important yet exceptionally challenging endeavor. Overall, it requires a two-step process: (1) a niche model characterizing suitability, applied to projections of future conditions and linked to (2) a dispersal/demographic simulation estimating the species' future occupied distribution. Despite limitations, for the vast majority of species, correlative approaches are the most feasible avenue for building niche models. In addition to myriad technical issues regarding model building, researchers should follow critical principles for selecting predictor variables and occurrence data, demonstrating effective performance in prediction across space, and extrapolating into nonanalog conditions. Many of these principles relate directly to the niche space, dispersal/demographic noise, biotic noise, and human noise assumptions defined here. Issues requiring progress include modeling interactions between abiotic variables, integrating biotic variables, considering genetic heterogeneity, and quantifying uncertainty. Once built, the niche model identifying currently suitable conditions must be processed to approximate the areas that the species occupies. That estimate serves as a seed for the simulation of persistence, dispersal, and establishment in future suitable areas. The dispersal/demographic simulation also requires data regarding the species' dispersal ability and demography, scenarios for future land use, and the capability of considering multiple interacting species simultaneously. © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.
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.
ten Brink, H.; de Roos, A.M.
Many free-living animal species, including the majority of fish, insects, and amphibians, change their food and habitat during their life. Even though these ontogenetic changes in niche are common, it is not well understood which ecological conditions have favored the evolution of these shifts.
Iraola, Gregorio; Pérez, Ruben; Naya, Hugo; Paolicchi, Fernando; Pastor, Eugenia; Valenzuela, Sebastián; Calleros, Lucía; Velilla, Alejandra; Hernández, Martín; Morsella, Claudia
The genus Campylobacter includes some of the most relevant pathogens for human and animal health; the continuous effort in their characterization has also revealed new species putatively involved in different kind of infections. Nowadays, the available genomic data for the genus comprise a wide variety of species with different pathogenic potential and niche preferences. In this work, we contribute to enlarge this available information presenting the first genome for the species Campylobacter sputorum bv. sputorum and use this and the already sequenced organisms to analyze the emergence and evolution of pathogenicity and niche preferences among Campylobacter species. We found that campylobacters can be unequivocally distinguished in established and putative pathogens depending on their repertory of virulence genes, which have been horizontally acquired from other bacteria because the nonpathogenic Campylobacter ancestor emerged, and posteriorly interchanged between some members of the genus. Additionally, we demonstrated the role of both horizontal gene transfers and diversifying evolution in niche preferences, being able to distinguish genetic features associated to the tropism for oral, genital, and gastrointestinal tissues. In particular, we highlight the role of nonsynonymous evolution of disulphide bond proteins, the invasion antigen B (CiaB), and other secreted proteins in the determination of niche preferences. Our results arise from assessing the previously unmet goal of considering the whole available Campylobacter diversity for genome comparisons, unveiling notorious genetic features that could explain particular phenotypes and set the basis for future research in Campylobacter biology. PMID:25193310
Gerlagh, R.; van der Zwaan, B.C.C.; Hofkes, M.W.; Klaassen, G.
In this paper, we analyse the impact of carbon taxes on emission levels, when niche markets exist for new carbon-free technologies, and when these technologies experience "learning-by-doing" effects. For this purpose, a general equilibrium model has been developed, DEMETER, that specifies two energy
Pech-May, Angélica; Moo-Llanes, David A; Puerto-Avila, María Belem; Casas, Mauricio; Danis-Lozano, Rogelio; Ponce, Gustavo; Tun-Ku, Ezequiel; Pinto-Castillo, José Francisco; Villegas, Alejandro; Ibáñez-Piñon, Clemente R; González, Cassandra; Ramsey, Janine M
The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus (Skuse), is one of the most invasive mosquito species worldwide. In Mexico it is now recorded in 12 states and represents a serious public health problem, given the recent introduction of Chikungunya on the southern border. The aim of this study was to analyze the population genetics of A. albopictus from all major recorded foci, and model its ecological niche. Niche similarity with that from its autochthonous distribution in Asia and other invaded countries were analyzed and its potential future expansion and potential human exposure in climate change scenarios measured. We analyzed 125 sequences of a 317 bp fragment of the cyt b gene from seven A. albopictus populations across Mexico. The samples belong to 25 haplotypes with moderate population structuring (Fst=0.081, palbopictus, which is expected to increase to 45.6 million by 2070. Genetic evidence supports collection information that A. albopictus was introduced to Mexico principally by land from the USA and Central and South America. Prevalent haplotypes from Mexico are shared with most invasive regions across the world, just as there was high niche similarity with both natural and invaded regions. The important overlap with the Asian niche model suggests a high potential for the species to disperse to sylvatic regions in Mexico. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Sánchez-Fernández, David; Rizzo, Valeria; Cieslak, Alexandra; Faille, Arnaud; Fresneda, Javier; Ribera, Ignacio
For management strategies in the context of global warming, accurate predictions of species response are mandatory. However, to date most predictions are based on niche (bioclimatic) models that usually overlook biotic interactions, behavioral adjustments or adaptive evolution, and assume that species can disperse freely without constraints. The deep subterranean environment minimises these uncertainties, as it is simple, homogeneous and with constant environmental conditions. It is thus an ideal model system to study the effect of global change in species with poor dispersal capabilities. We assess the potential fate of a lineage of troglobitic beetles under global change predictions using different approaches to estimate their thermal niche: bioclimatic models, rates of thermal niche change estimated from a molecular phylogeny, and data from physiological studies. Using bioclimatic models, at most 60% of the species were predicted to have suitable conditions in 2080. Considering the rates of thermal niche change did not improve this prediction. However, physiological data suggest that subterranean species have a broad thermal tolerance, allowing them to stand temperatures never experienced through their evolutionary history. These results stress the need of experimental approaches to assess the capability of poor dispersal species to cope with temperatures outside those they currently experience.
De Boer, W.; Folman, L.B.; Summerbell, R.C.; Boddy, L.
The colonization of land by plants appears to have coincided with the appearance of mycorrhiza-like fungi. Over evolutionary time, fungi have maintained their prominent role in the formation of mycorrhizal associations. In addition, however, they have been able to occupy other terrestrial niches of
Huettmann, Falk; Magnuson, Emily Elizabeth; Hueffer, Karsten
Rabies is a disease of global significance including in the circumpolar Arctic. In Alaska enzootic rabies persist in northern and western coastal areas. Only sporadic cases have occurred in areas outside of the regions considered enzootic for the virus, such as the interior of the state and urbanized regions. Here we examine the distribution of diagnosed rabies cases in Alaska, explicit in space and time. We use a geographic information system (GIS), 20 environmental data layers and provide a quantitative non-parsimonious estimate of the predicted ecological niche, based on data mining, machine learning and open access data. We identify ecological correlates and possible drivers that determine the ecological niche of rabies virus in Alaska. More specifically, our models show that rabies cases are closely associated with human infrastructure, and reveal an ecological niche in remote northern wilderness areas. Furthermore a model utilizing climate modeling suggests a reduction of the current ecological niche for detection of rabies virus in Alaska, a state that is disproportionately affected by a changing climate. Our results may help to better inform public health decisions in the future and guide further studies on individual drivers of rabies distribution in the Arctic.
Cobben, M.M.P.; van Treuren, R.; Castañeda-Álvarez, N.P.; Khoury, C.K.; Kik, C.; van Hintum, T.J.L.
Niche modelling software can be used to assess the probability of detecting a population of a plant species at a certain location. In this study, we used the distribution of the wild relatives of lettuce (Lactuca spp.) to investigate the applicability of Maxent species distribution models for
Lataillade, J.J.; Pierre-Louis, O.; Uzan, G.
of PMF stem cells to their specific signals are discussed. A proposal for integrating a potential role for the JAK2 mutation in their altered sensitivity is made. A better understanding of the cross talk between stem cells and their niche should imply new therapeutic strategies targeting not only...
A.E. Noble; N.M. Temme (Nico); W.F. Fagan; T.H. Keitt
textabstractWe introduce the first analytical model of a dispersal-limited, niche-structured community to yield Hubbell's neutral theory in the limit of functional equivalence among all species. Dynamics of the multivariate species abundance distribution (SAD) for an asymmetric local community are
Tamplin, Owen J; Durand, Ellen M; Carr, Logan A; Childs, Sarah J; Hagedorn, Elliott J; Li, Pulin; Yzaguirre, Amanda D; Speck, Nancy A; Zon, Leonard I
Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) can reconstitute and sustain the entire blood system. We generated a highly specific transgenic reporter of HSPCs in zebrafish. This allowed us to perform high-resolution live imaging on endogenous HSPCs not currently possible in mammalian bone marrow. Using this system, we have uncovered distinct interactions between single HSPCs and their niche. When an HSPC arrives in the perivascular niche, a group of endothelial cells remodel to form a surrounding pocket. This structure appears conserved in mouse fetal liver. Correlative light and electron microscopy revealed that endothelial cells surround a single HSPC attached to a single mesenchymal stromal cell. Live imaging showed that mesenchymal stromal cells anchor HSPCs and orient their divisions. A chemical genetic screen found that the compound lycorine promotes HSPC-niche interactions during development and ultimately expands the stem cell pool into adulthood. Our studies provide evidence for dynamic niche interactions upon stem cell colonization. PAPERFLICK: Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J.; Serna-Chavez, H.M.; Villalobos-Arambula, A.R.; Pérez de la Rosa, J.A.; Raes, N.
Aim In the face of global environmental change, identifying the factors that shape the ecological niches of species and understanding the mechanisms behind them can help to draft effective conservation plans. The differences in the ecological factors that shape species distributions may then help to
Kundu, D.K.; Mol, A.P.J.; Gupta, A.
Arsenic contamination of shallow hand pump tube well drinking water in Bangladesh has created opportunities for radical innovations to emerge. One such innovation is the household Sono filter, designed to remove arsenic from water supplies. Applying a strategic niche management approach, and based
Emmons, Russell; Niemiro, Grace M; De Lisio, Michael
Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC), the most primitive cells of the hematopoietic system responsible for maintaining all mature blood cells, display the hallmark characteristics of self-renewal and multi-potent differentiation into mature cell lineages. HSPC activity is directed by the bone marrow niche, a complex environment composed of heterogeneous cell populations that regulate HSPC function through the secretion of a wide array of cytokines and growth factors. Diet induced obesity results in a dramatic remodeling of the bone marrow niche, skewing HSPC function resulting in a compromised immune system. Exercise is a viable treatment option for deficits imposed by obesity and to combat immune dysfunction; however, the impact of exercise on the bone marrow niche is not well defined. This review summarizes the available information on how obesity disrupts the normal bone marrow niche and HSPC function. In addition, we review the limited data available detailing how exercise may be used to combat obesity induced bone marrow dysfunction, and discuss future directions for research in this field. Copyright © 2016 International Society of Exercise and Immunology. All rights reserved.
López-Alvarez, Diana; Manzaneda, Antonio J; Rey, Pedro J; Giraldo, Patricia; Benavente, Elena; Allainguillaume, Joël; Mur, Luis; Caicedo, Ana L; Hazen, Samuel P; Breiman, Adina; Ezrati, Smadar; Catalán, Pilar
• We conducted environmental niche modeling (ENM) of the Brachypodium distachyon s.l. complex, a model group of two diploid annual grasses (B. distachyon, B. stacei) and their derived allotetraploid (B. hybridum), native to the circum-Mediterranean region. We (1) investigated the ENMs of the three species in their native range based on present and past climate data; (2) identified potential overlapping niches of the diploids and their hybrid across four Quaternary windows; (3) tested whether speciation was associated with niche divergence/conservatism in the complex species; and (4) tested for the potential of the polyploid outperforming the diploids in the native range.• Geo-referenced data, altitude, and 19 climatic variables were used to construct the ENMs. We used paleoclimate niche models to trace the potential existence of ancestral gene flow among the hybridizing species of the complex.• Brachypodium distachyon grows in higher, cooler, and wetter places, B. stacei in lower, warmer, and drier places, and B. hybridum in places with intermediate climatic features. Brachypodium hybridum had the largest niche overlap with its parent niches, but a similar distribution range and niche breadth.• Each species had a unique environmental niche though there were multiple niche overlapping areas for the diploids across time, suggesting the potential existence of several hybrid zones during the Pleistocene and the Holocene. No evidence of niche divergence was found, suggesting that species diversification was not driven by ecological speciation but by evolutionary history, though it could be associated to distinct environmental adaptations. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.
Wirsel Stefan GR
Full Text Available Abstract Background Fungal endophyte communities are often comprised of many species colonizing the same host. However, little is known about the causes of this diversity. On the one hand, the apparent coexistence of closely related species may be explained by the traditional niche differentiation hypothesis, which suggests that abiotic and/or biotic factors mediate partitioning. For endophytes, such factors are difficult to identify, and are therefore in most cases unknown. On the other hand, there is the neutral hypothesis, which suggests that stochastic factors may explain high species diversity. There is a need to investigate to what extent each of these hypotheses may apply to endophytes. Results The niche partitioning of two closely related fungal endophytes, Microdochium bolleyi and M. phragmitis, colonizing Phragmites australis, was investigated. The occurrences of each species were assessed using specific nested-PCR assays for 251 field samples of common reed from Lake Constance, Germany. These analyses revealed niche preferences for both fungi. From three niche factors assessed, i.e. host habitat, host organ and season, host habitat significantly differentiated the two species. M. bolleyi preferred dry habitats, whereas M. phragmitis prevailed in flooded habitats. In contrast, both species exhibited a significant preference for the same host organ, i.e. roots. Likewise the third factor, season, did not significantly distinguish the two species. Differences in carbon utilization and growth temperature could not conclusively explain the niches. The inclusion of three unrelated species of Ascomycota, which also colonize P. australis at the same locations, indicated spatio-temporal niche partitioning between all fungi. None of the species exhibited the same preferences for all three factors, i.e. host habitat, host organ, and time of the season. Conclusions The fungal species colonizing common reed investigated in this study seem to
Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Svenning, J.-C.; Baker, William J.
How fast species’ environmental tolerances can evolve is crucial for their survival prospect under climate change. Phylogenetic information can yield insights into the tempo of niche evolution. Phylogenetic community structure (PCS) complements the more widely used approach of studying niche...
Mar 28, 2011 ... Res. 72:129–134. Molento BM (2009). Parasite control in the age of drug resistance and changing agricultural practices. Vet. Parasitol. 163: 229-234. Murray JA, Slater DN, Parsons MA, Fox M, Smith S, Platts MM (1984). Splenic siderosis and parenteral iron dextran in maintenance haemodialysis patients.
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
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
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.
Aaron Jonas Stutz
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.
Bonato, Karine Orlandi; Fialho, Clarice Bernhardt
Ontogenetic influences in patterns of niche breadth and feeding overlap were investigated in three species of Siluriformes (Heptapterus sp., Rhamdia quelen and Trichomycterus poikilos) aiming at understanding the species coexistence. Samplings were conducted bimonthly by electrofishing technique from June/2012 to June/2013 in ten streams of the northwestern state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The stomach contents of 1,948 individuals were analyzed by volumetric method, with 59 food items identified. In general Heptapterus sp. consumed a high proportion of Aegla sp., terrestrial plant remains and Megaloptera; R. quelen consumed fish, and Oligochaeta, followed by Aegla sp.; while the diet of T. poikilos was based on Simuliidae, Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera. Specie segregation was observed in the NMDS. Through PERMANOVA analysis feeding differences among species, and between a combination of species plus size classes were observed. IndVal showed which items were indicators of these differences. Niche breadth values were high for all species. The niche breadth values were low only for the larger size of R. quelen and Heptapterus sp. while T. poikilos values were more similar. Overall the species were a low feeding overlap values. The higher frequency of high feeding overlap was observed for interaction between Heptapterus sp. and T. poikilos. The null model confirmed the niche partitioning between the species. The higher frequency of high and intermediate feeding overlap values were reported to smaller size classes. The null model showed resource sharing between the species/size class. Therefore, overall species showed a resource partitioning because of the use of occasional items. However, these species share resources mainly in the early ontogenetic stages until the emphasized change of morphological characteristics leading to trophic niche expansion and the apparent segregation observed. PMID:25340614
Koecke, A Valerie; Muellner-Riehl, Alexandra N; Pennington, Terence D; Schorr, Gertrud; Schnitzler, Jan
Climatic and geological changes have been considered as major drivers of biological diversification. However, it has been generally assumed that lineages retain common environmental affinities, suggesting a limited capacity to switch their climatic niche. We tested this assumption with a study of the evolution of climatic niches in the Neotropical tree genus Cedrela (Meliaceae). • We combined distribution models of extant Cedrela with a dated molecular phylogeny based on one nuclear (ITS) and three plastid markers (psbA-trnH, trnS-G and psbB-T-N) to reconstruct the evolutionary dynamics of climatic niches. We calculated relative disparity of climatic tolerances over time to test for niche evolution within subclades or divergence between subclades and conservatism among closely related groups. Published fossil records and studies on paleosols were evaluated for the distribution and climatic conditions of extinct Cedrela. • The fossil record of Cedrela suggested a major biome shift from paratropical conditions into warm-temperate seasonal climates in the Early Oligocene of western North America. In the Miocene, Cedrela extended from North America (John Day Formation, Oregon, USA) to southern Central America (Gatún, Panama). Diversification in the early evolutionary history was mainly driven by changes in precipitation. Temperature had an increasing impact on ecological diversification of the genus from the Miocene onwards. Sister-species comparisons revealed that recent speciation events may be related to divergence of climatic tolerances. • Our study highlights the complexity of climatic niche dynamics, and shows how conservatism and evolution have acted on different temporal scales and climatic parameters in Cedrela.
Arrizabalaga-Escudero, Aitor; Clare, Elizabeth L; Salsamendi, Egoitz; Alberdi, Antton; Garin, Inazio; Aihartza, Joxerra; Goiti, Urtzi
Niche partitioning through foraging is a mechanism likely involved in facilitating the coexistence of ecologically similar and co-occurring animal species by separating their use of resources. Yet, this mechanism is not well understood in flying insectivorous animals. This is particularly true of bats, where many ecologically similar or cryptic species coexist. The detailed analysis of the foraging niche in sympatric, cryptic sibling species provides an excellent framework to disentangle the role of specific niche factors likely involved in facilitating coexistence. We used DNA metabarcoding to determine the prey species consumed by a population of sympatric sibling Rhinolophus euryale and R. mehelyi whose use of habitat in both sympatric and allopatric ranges has been well established through radio tracking. Although some subtle dietary differences exist in prey species composition, the diet of both bats greatly overlapped (Ojk = 0.83) due to the consumption of the same common and widespread moths. Those dietary differences we did detect might be related to divergences in prey availabilities among foraging habitats, which prior radio tracking on the same population showed are differentially used and selected when both species co-occur. This minor dietary segregation in sympatry may be the result of foraging on the same prey-types and could contribute to reduce potential competitive interactions (e.g. for prey, acoustic space). Our results highlight the need to evaluate the spatial niche dimension in mediating the co-occurrence of similar insectivorous bat species, a niche factor likely involved in processes of bat species coexistence. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Chozas, Sergio; Chefaoui, Rosa M; Correia, Otília; Bonal, Raúl; Hortal, Joaquín
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
Lin, Ruihe; Iacovitti, Lorraine
Neural stem cells (NSCs) critical for the continued production of new neurons and glia are sequestered in distinct areas of the brain called stem cell niches. Until recently, only two forebrain sites, the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the anterolateral ventricle and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampus, have been recognized adult stem cell niches (Alvarez-Buylla and Lim, 2004; Doetsch et al., 1999a, 1999b; Doetsch, 2003a, 2003b; Lie et al., 2004; Ming and Song, 2005). Nonetheless, the last decade has been witness to a growing literature suggesting that in fact the adult brain contains stem cell niches along the entire extent of the ventricular system. These niches are capable of widespread neurogenesis and gliogenesis, particularly after injury (Barnabé-Heider et al., 2010; Carlén et al., 2009; Decimo et al., 2012; Lin et al., 2015; Lindvall and Kokaia, 2008; Robins et al., 2013) or other inductive stimuli (Bennett et al., 2009; Cunningham et al., 2012; Decimo et al., 2011; Kokoeva et al., 2007, 2005; Lee et al., 2012a, 2012b; Migaud et al., 2010; Pencea et al., 2001b; Sanin et al., 2013; Suh et al., 2007; Sundholm-Peters et al., 2004; Xu et al., 2005; Zhang et al., 2007). This review focuses on the role of these novel and classic brain niches in maintaining adult neurogenesis and gliogenesis in response to normal physiological and injury-related pathological cues. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Neuroprotection. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Jeanblanc, Christine; Goodrich, A. Daisy; Colletti, Evan; Mokhtari, Saloomeh; Porada, Christopher D.; Zanjani, Esmail D.; Almeida-Porada, Graça
The fetal sheep model has served as a biologically relevant and translational model to study in utero haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (IUHSCT), yet little is known about the ontogeny of the bone marrow (BM) niches in this model. Because the BMmicroenvironment plays a critical role in the outcome of haematopoietic engraftment, we have established the correlation between the fetal-sheep and fetal-human BM niche ontogeny, so that studies addressing the role of niche development at the time of IUHSCT could be accurately performed. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopic analysis of sheep fetal bone from gestational days (gd) 25-68 showed that the BM microenvironment commences development with formation of the vascular niche between 25-36 gd in sheep; correlating with the events at 10-11 gestational weeks (gw) in humans. Subsequently, between 45-51 gd in sheep (~14 gw in humans), the osteoblastic/endosteal niche started developing, the presence of CD34+CD45+ cells were promptly detected, and their number increased with gestational age. IUHSCT, performed in sheep at 45 and 65 gd, showed significant haematopoietic engraftment only at the later time point, indicating that a fully functional BM microenvironment improved engraftment. These studies show that sheep niche ontogeny closely parallels human, validating this model for investigating niche influence/manipulation in IUHSCT engraftment. PMID:24673111
Full Text Available The quantification of realized niche overlap and the integration of species distribution models (SDMs with calibrated phylogenies to study niche evolution are becoming not only powerful tools to understand speciation events, but can also be used as proxies regarding the delimitation of cryptic species. We applied these techniques in order to unravel how the fundamental niche evolved during cladogenesis within the Tarentola mauritanica species-complex. Our results suggest that diversification within this complex, during the Miocene and Pleistocene, is associated with both niche divergence and niche conservatism, with a pattern that varies depending on whether the variables involved are related to the mean or seasonality of temperature and humidity. Moreover, climatic variables related to humidity and temperature seasonality were involved in the niche shift and genetic diversification of the European/North African clade during the Pleistocene and in its maintenance in a fundamental niche distinct from that of the remaining members of the group. This study further highlights the need for a taxonomic revision of the T. mauritanica species-complex.
White, Thomas H.; Collazo, Jaime A.; Dinsmore, Stephen J.; Llerandi-Roman, I. C.
The factors which govern species‘ distribution and abundance are myriad, and together constitute the ecological niche of a given species. Because abiotic factors are arguably the most profound of the factors influencing niche boundaries and thus, species distributions, substantial changes in either climatic or habitat-related parameters can be expected to produce interrelated and profound niche shifts. Habitat loss and degradation can also effectively induce a de facto climate change by forcing populations to relocate to environmentally suboptimal habitats. Populations experiencing niche shifts due to range restrictions and geographic isolation become subject to a suite of factors that may act synergistically to amplify deleterious ecological effects of habitat loss. These factors tend to exert a greater influence on populations of rare or endemic species with inherently restricted ranges. The Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) is an example of a tropical, insular, endemic and critically-endangered species that has suffered from extensive habitat loss and degradation over the past century, resulting in a single relict wild population restricted for more than 70 years to the montane rainforest of the Luquillo Mountains in northeastern Puerto Rico. In this chapter, we examine the current ecological situation of this geographically and demographically isolated parrot population by reviewing the history of landscape-level changes in and around the Luquillo Mountains, and concurrent biotic and abiotic limiting factors in relation to both historical population trajectory and current prognosis for species recovery. We used a decade (2000-2009) of empirical data on parrot fledgling survival together with long-term climatological data to model effects of local climate on fledgling survival and gain insights into its influence on population growth. We also modeled hypothetical survival of parrot fledglings in the lowlands surrounding the Luquillo Mountains, areas
M. Santos, Gilberto; Carvalho, Carlos; Aguiar, Cândida; Macêdo, Leonardo; Mello, Marco
International audience; In tropical dry and hot forests, flower-visiting bees are able to forage only during the few hours a day with mild temperatures, but they may chose more freely among the plant species to be visited. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that the overlap in temporal niches should be higher than the overlap in trophic niches among these bees. Between pairs of species (Schoener index), the overlap in trophic niches varied from 0.007 to 0.745, whereas the temporal overlap va...
Full Text Available In the adult subventricular zone (neurogenic niche, neural stem cells double-positive for two markers of subsets of neural stem cells in the adult central nervous system, glial fibrillary acidic protein and CD133, lie in proximity to fractones and to blood vessel basement membranes, which contain the heparan sulfate proteoglycan perlecan. Here, we demonstrate that perlecan deficiency reduces the number of both GFAP/CD133-positive neural stem cells in the subventricular zone and new neurons integrating into the olfactory bulb. We also show that FGF-2 treatment induces the expression of cyclin D2 through the activation of the Akt and Erk1/2 pathways and promotes neurosphere formation in vitro. However, in the absence of perlecan, FGF-2 fails to promote neurosphere formation. These results suggest that perlecan is a component of the neurogenic niche that regulates FGF-2 signaling and acts by promoting neural stem cell self-renewal and neurogenesis.
Moss, Wynne E; Alldredge, Mathew W; Logan, Kenneth A; Pauli, Jonathan N
There is growing recognition that developed landscapes are important systems in which to promote ecological complexity and conservation. Yet, little is known about processes regulating these novel ecosystems, or behaviours employed by species adapting to them. We evaluated the isotopic niche of an apex carnivore, the cougar (Puma concolor), over broad spatiotemporal scales and in a region characterized by rapid landscape change. We detected a shift in resource use, from near complete specialization on native herbivores in wildlands to greater use of exotic and invasive species by cougars in contemporary urban interfaces. We show that 25 years ago, cougars inhabiting these same urban interfaces possessed diets that were intermediate. Thus, niche expansion followed human expansion over both time and space, indicating that an important top predator is interacting with prey in novel ways. Thus, though human-dominated landscapes can provide sufficient resources for apex carnivores, they do not necessarily preserve their ecological relationships.
Christensen, Karina; Schrøder, Henrik; Kristensen, Bjarne
The aim of the present study was to investigate the localization and distribution of the putative brain tumour stem cell marker CD133 in formalin fixed paraffin embedded astrocytomas. A retrospective analysis of 114 grade II, III and IV astrocytomas was undertaken. The immunohistochemical...... volume fraction of CD133(+) niches and all CD133(+) tumour cells and tumour grade. However, the volume fraction of CD133(+) blood vessels increased significantly from 0.4% in diffuse astrocytomas to 2.2% in glioblastomas. Neither of them was related to patient survival. Double immunofluorescence...... stainings showed that the CD133(+) niches both contained CD133(+) cells with and without co-expression of the intermediate filament protein marker nestin, and only few CD133(+)/MIB-1(+) proliferating cells were found. In conclusion, a CD133(+) perivascular stem cell-like entity exists in astrocytomas. CD133...
Dallas, Tad; Decker, Robin R; Hastings, Alan
The pervasive idea that species should be most abundant in the centre of their geographic range or centre of their climatic niche is a key assumption in many existing ecological hypotheses and has been declared a general macroecological rule. However, empirical support for decreasing population abundance with increasing distance from geographic range or climatic niche centre (distance-abundance relationships) remains fairly weak. We examine over 1400 bird, mammal, fish and tree species to provide a thorough test of distance-abundance relationships, and their associations with species traits and phylogenetic relationships. We failed to detect consistent distance-abundance relationships, and found no association between distance-abundance slope and species traits or phylogenetic relatedness. Together, our analyses suggest that distance-abundance relationships may be rare, difficult to detect, or are an oversimplification of the complex biogeographical forces that determine species spatial abundance patterns. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.
Zhao, Hu; Feng, Jifan; Ho, Thach-Vu; Grimes, Weston; Urata, Mark; Chai, Yang
Bone tissue undergoes constant turnover supported by stem cells. Recent studies showed that perivascular mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) contribute to the turnover of long bones. Craniofacial bones are flat bones derived from a different embryonic origin than the long bones. The identity and regulating niche for craniofacial bone MSCs remain unknown. Here, we identify Gli1+ cells within the suture mesenchyme as the major MSC population for craniofacial bones. They are not associated with vasculature, give rise to all craniofacial bones in the adult and are activated during injury repair. Gli1+ cells are typical MSCs in vitro. Ablation of Gli1+ cells leads to craniosynostosis and arrest of skull growth, indicating these cells are an indispensible stem cell population. Twist1+/− mice with craniosynostosis show reduced Gli1+ MSCs in sutures, suggesting that craniosynostosis may result from diminished suture stem cells. Our study indicates that craniofacial sutures provide a unique niche for MSCs for craniofacial bone homeostasis and repair. PMID:25799059
Marta I. Duré
Full Text Available The niche overlap and resource partitioning were analyzed for five sympatric bufonids from Northeastern Argentina: Rhinella schneideri, R. bergi, R. fernandezae, R. granulosa, and Melanophryniscus cupreuscapularis. The primary objectives were to analyze the diet and pattern of coexistence relative to the microhabitats among species. The bufonids, which are primarily terrestrial, exhibited a preference for small, hard prey such as formicids or coleopterans. The smallest species preferably consumed ants, while R. schneideri preferred beetles. Significant differences were detected for the diets of these five species. In addition, significant overlap in the trophic niche was noted for all species except between R. granulosa and R. schneideri. Studying the diet behaviors and trophic parameters of sympatric species provides important data for understandingthe community and for the development of conservation guidelines.
Laubichler, Manfred D; Renn, Jürgen
This paper introduces a conceptual framework for the evolution of complex systems based on the integration of regulatory network and niche construction theories. It is designed to apply equally to cases of biological, social and cultural evolution. Within the conceptual framework we focus especially on the transformation of complex networks through the linked processes of externalization and internalization of causal factors between regulatory networks and their corresponding niches and argue that these are an important part of evolutionary explanations. This conceptual framework extends previous evolutionary models and focuses on several challenges, such as the path-dependent nature of evolutionary change, the dynamics of evolutionary innovation and the expansion of inheritance systems. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Saravana K. Ramasamy
Full Text Available Bone provides nurturing microenvironments for an array of cell types that coordinate important physiological functions of the skeleton, such as energy metabolism, mineral homeostasis, osteogenesis, and haematopoiesis. Endothelial cells form an intricate network of blood vessels that organises and sustains various microenvironments in bone. The recent identification of heterogeneity in the bone vasculature supports the existence of multiple vascular niches within the bone marrow compartment. A unique combination of cells and factors defining a particular microenvironment, supply regulatory signals to mediate a specific function. This review discusses recent developments in our understanding of vascular niches in bone that play a critical role in regulating the behaviour of multipotent haematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells during development and homeostasis.
Quitzau, Maj-Britt; Hoffmann, Birgitte; Elle, Morten
such a gap between policy visions and their implementation in practice specific forms of strategic work is needed, according to new transformative ideas in spatial planning. The aim of this paper is to characterize the transformative capacities of this kind of strategic work at the spatial scale of the town...... in order to assess how such activities engage with sustainable transitions. The theoretical contribution of the paper is to compare strategic work performed in transformative forms of spatial planning with the strategic work intended in strategic niche management, which represent a change......-management process for enabling transitions. The study outlines the proactive spatial planning of a Danish local authority in order to illustrate how the strategic work performed in this kind of local development project represents a special form of niche management that is able to create room for innovation...
Full Text Available Ecological niche modeling of Triatominae bugs allow us to establish the local risk of transmission of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease. This information could help to guide health authority recommendations on infection monitoring, prevention, and control. In this study, we estimated the geographic distribution of triatomine species in Colombia and identified the relationship between landscape structure and climatic factors influencing their occurrence. A total of 2451 records of 4 triatomine species (Panstrongylus geniculatus, Rhodnius pallescens, R. prolixus, and Triatoma maculata were analyzed. The variables that provided more information to explain the ecologic niche of these vectors were related to precipitation, altitude, and temperature. We found that the species with the broadest potential geographic distribution were P. geniculatus, R. pallescens, and R. prolixus. In general, the models predicted the highest occurrence probability of these vectors in the eastern slope of the Eastern Cordillera, the southern region of the Magdalena valley, and the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta.
Jin, Guorui; Li, Kai
Stem cells with multipotent and self-renewal abilities play a vital role in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. They can assist tissue reconstruction through specific differentiation and secretion of various bioactive macromolecules. More and more studies confirm that the cell-fate commitment can be manipulated via constructing a specific stem cell niche. The construction of specific niches with conductive materials (conducting polymers, carbon nanotubes and graphene) can promote stem cell differentiation towards electro-active lineages and emphasize the promising role of stem cells in electro-active tissue regeneration (e.g., nerve and heart). In this review, we summarize the commonly applied conductive materials for scaffold construction and evaluate their contributions in the regeneration of electro-active tissues. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Prescribing medicine, providing contraception, delivering babies – although we may turn to physicians, rural Rajasthani women turn to Barefoot Doctors out of necessity. Such care is available courtesy of the Barefoot College, a pioneering NGO that transforms the skills of the illiterate poor into local infrastructure. Barefoot Doctors are innovative because of their origins as dais (traditional midwives; once abundant across South Asia, dais are mostly extinct due to government/NGO interventions emphasizing “modernity”, like the Accredited Social Health Activist program. Why, then, have dais survived as Barefoot Doctors when they are extinct elsewhere? Ecological niche differentiation refers to when competing species successfully coexist; one species adapts to fulfill another role. Using over fifty interviews with stakeholders, I explain the persistence of Barefoot Doctors as health resources using “professional niche differentiation”. Barefoot Doctors exemplify how health infrastructure can be sustainable in resource-poor settings when created according to local needs and ideologies.
Brown, Melissa J
The incorporation of niche construction theory (NCT) and epigenetics into an extended evolutionary synthesis (EES) increases the explanatory power of evolutionary analyses of human history. NCT allows identification of distinct social inheritance and cultural inheritance and can thereby account for how an existing-but-dynamic social system yields variable influences across individuals and also how these individuals' microlevel actions can feed back to alter the dynamic heterogeneously across time and space. An analysis of Chinese footbinding, as it was ending during the first half of the twentieth century and China was industrializing, illustrates the evolutionary dynamics of niche construction across inheritance tracks and explains regional heterogeneity as well as the persistence of a cultural belief that was socially inaccurate. Incorporating anthropological and sociological insights into an EES with NCT has the potential to proffer source laws for relationships between individual actions and macro-patterns in beliefs, structures, climate, and demography.
Cosette M. Rivera-Cruz
Full Text Available Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs represent a promising tool for cell therapy, particularly for their antitumor effects. This cell population can be isolated from multiple tissue sources and also display an innate ability to home to areas of inflammation, such as tumors. Upon entry into the tumor microenvironment niche, MSCs promote or inhibit tumor progression by various mechanisms, largely through the release of soluble factors. These factors can be immunomodulatory by activating or inhibiting both the adaptive and innate immune responses. The mechanisms by which MSCs modulate the immune response are not well understood. Because of this, the relationship between MSCs and immune cells within the tumor microenvironment niche continues to be an active area of research in order to help explain the apparent contradictory findings currently available in the literature. The ongoing research aims to enhance the potential of MSCs in future therapeutic applications.
Fox, Matthew F; Pontier, Andrea; Gurbuxani, Sandeep; Sipkins, Dorothy A
Our group has previously demonstrated that expression of the cytokine stem cell factor (SCF) by leukemic blasts is a frequent finding in pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Whether SCF expression is a feature of other B cell malignancies and whether cross-talk from the local microenvironment modulates malignant cell SCF production are, however, unknown. Here we show using immunohistochemistry that SCF is expressed by a wide variety of indolent and aggressive B cell malignancies involving the bone marrow (BM) or lymph nodes (LNs). In diseases such as follicular lymphoma (FL), however, where lymphoma cells uniquely associate with the BM endosteal niche, BM lymphoma does not express SCF, while LN involvement is SCF positive. In contrast, cases of FL with high-grade transformation in the BM are SCF positive. These data suggest that lymphoma cell interaction with the endosteal niche inhibits SCF production, and that FL cells become independent of this microenvironment effect following transformation.
Xu, Jun; Wen, Zhourui; Gong, Zhijun; Zhang, Min; Xie, Ping; Hansson, Lars-Anders
Few studies have examined how foraging niche shift of a predator over time cascade down to local prey communities. Here we examine patterns of temporal foraging niche shifts of a generalist predator (yellow catfish, Pelteobagrus fulvidraco) and the abundance of prey communities in a subtropical lake. We predicted that the nature of these interactions would have implications for patterns in diet shifts and growth of the predator. Our results show significant decreases in planktivory and benthivory from late spring to summer and autumn, whereas piscivory increased significantly from mid-summer until late autumn and also increased steadily with predator body length. The temporal dynamics in predator/prey ratios indicate that the predation pressure on zooplankton and zoobenthos decreased when the predation pressure on the prey fish and shrimps was high. Yellow catfish adjusted their foraging strategies to temporal changes in food availability, which is in agreement with optimal foraging theory. Meanwhile the decrease in planktivory and benthivory of yellow catfish enabled primary consumers, such as zooplankton and benthic invertebrates, to develop under low grazing pressure via trophic cascading effects in the local food web. Thus, yellow catfish shifts its foraging niche to intermediate consumers in the food web to benefit the energetic demand on growth and reproduction during summer, which in turn indirectly facilitate the primary consumers. In complex food webs, trophic interactions are usually expected to reduce the strength and penetrance of trophic cascades. However, our study demonstrates strong associations between foraging niche of piscivorous fish and abundance of prey. This relationship appeared to be an important factor in producing top-down effects on both benthic and planktonic food webs.
Full Text Available Few studies have examined how foraging niche shift of a predator over time cascade down to local prey communities. Here we examine patterns of temporal foraging niche shifts of a generalist predator (yellow catfish, Pelteobagrus fulvidraco and the abundance of prey communities in a subtropical lake. We predicted that the nature of these interactions would have implications for patterns in diet shifts and growth of the predator. Our results show significant decreases in planktivory and benthivory from late spring to summer and autumn, whereas piscivory increased significantly from mid-summer until late autumn and also increased steadily with predator body length. The temporal dynamics in predator/prey ratios indicate that the predation pressure on zooplankton and zoobenthos decreased when the predation pressure on the prey fish and shrimps was high. Yellow catfish adjusted their foraging strategies to temporal changes in food availability, which is in agreement with optimal foraging theory. Meanwhile the decrease in planktivory and benthivory of yellow catfish enabled primary consumers, such as zooplankton and benthic invertebrates, to develop under low grazing pressure via trophic cascading effects in the local food web. Thus, yellow catfish shifts its foraging niche to intermediate consumers in the food web to benefit the energetic demand on growth and reproduction during summer, which in turn indirectly facilitate the primary consumers. In complex food webs, trophic interactions are usually expected to reduce the strength and penetrance of trophic cascades. However, our study demonstrates strong associations between foraging niche of piscivorous fish and abundance of prey. This relationship appeared to be an important factor in producing top-down effects on both benthic and planktonic food webs.
Lam, Lilian H.; Monack, Denise M.
In order to be transmitted, a pathogen must first successfully colonize and multiply within a host. Ecological principles can be applied to study host-pathogen interactions to predict transmission dynamics. Little is known about the population biology of Salmonella during persistent infection. To define Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium population structure in this context, 129SvJ mice were oral gavaged with a mixture of eight wild-type isogenic tagged Salmonella (WITS) strains. Distinct subpopulations arose within intestinal and systemic tissues after 35 days, and clonal expansion of the cecal and colonic subpopulation was responsible for increases in Salmonella fecal shedding. A co-infection system utilizing differentially marked isogenic strains was developed in which each mouse received one strain orally and the other systemically by intraperitoneal (IP) injection. Co-infections demonstrated that the intestinal subpopulation exerted intraspecies priority effects by excluding systemic S. Typhimurium from colonizing an extracellular niche within the cecum and colon. Importantly, the systemic strain was excluded from these distal gut sites and was not transmitted to naïve hosts. In addition, S. Typhimurium required hydrogenase, an enzyme that mediates acquisition of hydrogen from the gut microbiota, during the first week of infection to exert priority effects in the gut. Thus, early inhibitory priority effects are facilitated by the acquisition of nutrients, which allow S. Typhimurium to successfully compete for a nutritional niche in the distal gut. We also show that intraspecies colonization resistance is maintained by Salmonella Pathogenicity Islands SPI1 and SPI2 during persistent distal gut infection. Thus, important virulence effectors not only modulate interactions with host cells, but are crucial for Salmonella colonization of an extracellular intestinal niche and thereby also shape intraspecies dynamics. We conclude that priority effects and
Bogard, Nicholas; Lan, Lan; Xu, Jiang; Cohen, Robert S
All stem cells have the ability to balance their production of self-renewing and differentiating daughter cells. The germline stem cells (GSCs) of the Drosophila ovary maintain such balance through physical attachment to anterior niche cap cells and stereotypic cell division, whereby only one daughter remains attached to the niche. GSCs are attached to cap cells via adherens junctions, which also appear to orient GSC division through capture of the fusome, a germline-specific organizer of mitotic spindles. Here we show that the Rab11 GTPase is required in the ovary to maintain GSC-cap cell junctions and to anchor the fusome to the anterior cortex of the GSC. Thus, rab11-null GSCs detach from niche cap cells, contain displaced fusomes and undergo abnormal cell division, leading to an early arrest of GSC differentiation. Such defects are likely to reflect a role for Rab11 in E-cadherin trafficking as E-cadherin accumulates in Rab11-positive recycling endosomes (REs) and E-cadherin and Armadillo (beta-catenin) are both found in reduced amounts on the surface of rab11-null GSCs. The Rab11-positive REs through which E-cadherin transits are tightly associated with the fusome. We propose that this association polarizes the trafficking by Rab11 of E-cadherin and other cargoes toward the anterior cortex of the GSC, thus simultaneously fortifying GSC-niche junctions, fusome localization and asymmetric cell division. These studies bring into focus the important role of membrane trafficking in stem cell biology.
Justin Douglas Yeakel
Full Text Available Consumer foraging behaviors are dynamic, changing in response to prey availability, seasonality, competition, and even the consumer's physiological state. The isotopic composition of a consumer is a product of these factors as well as the isotopic `landscape' of its prey, i.e. the isotopic mixing space. Stable isotope mixing models are used to back-calculate the most likely proportional contribution of a set of prey to a consumer's diet based on their respective isotopic distributions, however they are disconnected from ecological process. Here we build a mechanistic framework that links the ecological and physiological processes of an individual consumer to the isotopic distribution that describes its diet, and ultimately to the isotopic composition of its own tissues, defined as its `isotopic niche’. By coupling these processes, we systematically investigate under what conditions the isotopic niche of a consumer changes as a function of both the geometric properties of its mixing space and foraging strategies that may be static or dynamic over time. Results of our derivations reveal general insight into the conditions impacting isotopic niche width as a function of consumer specialization on prey, as well as the consumer's ability to transition between diets over time. We show analytically that moderate specialization on isotopically unique prey can serve to maximize a consumer's isotopic niche width, while temporally dynamic diets will tend to result in peak isotopic variance during dietary transitions. We demonstrate the relevance of our theoretical findings by examining a marine system composed of nine invertebrate species commonly consumed by sea otters. In general, our analytical framework highlights the complex interplay of mixing space geometry and consumer dietary behavior in driving expansion and contraction of the isotopic niche. Because this approach is established on ecological mechanism, it is well-suited for enhancing the
Stefan, Laura M; Gómez-Díaz, Elena; Elguero, Eric; Proctor, Heather C; McCoy, Karen D; González-Solís, Jacob
According to classic niche theory, species can coexist in heterogeneous environments by reducing interspecific competition via niche partitioning, e.g. trophic or spatial partitioning. However, support for the role of competition on niche partitioning remains controversial. Here, we tested for spatial and trophic partitioning in feather mites, a diverse and abundant group of arthropods. We focused on the two dominant mite species, Microspalax brevipes and Zachvatkinia ovata, inhabiting flight feathers of the Cory's shearwater, Calonectris borealis. We performed mite counts across and within primary and tail feathers on free-living shearwaters breeding on an oceanic island (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands). We then investigated trophic relationships between the two mite species and the host using stable isotope analyses of carbon and nitrogen on mite tissues and potential host food sources. The distribution of the two mite species showed clear spatial segregation among feathers; M. brevipes showed high preference for the central wing primary feathers, whereas Z. ovata was restricted to the two outermost primaries. Morphological differences between M. brevipes and Z. ovata support an adaptive basis for the spatial segregation of the two mite species. However, the two mites overlap in some central primaries and statistical modeling showed that Z. ovata tends to outcompete M. brevipes. Isotopic analyses indicated similar isotopic values for the two mite species and a strong correlation in carbon signatures between mites inhabiting the same individual host suggesting that diet is mainly based on shared host-associated resources. Among the four candidate tissues examined (blood, feather remains, skin remains and preen gland oil), we conclude that the diet is most likely dominated by preen gland oil, while the contribution of exogenous material to mite diets is less marked. Our results indicate that ongoing competition for space and resources plays a central role in
Laura M Stefan
Full Text Available According to classic niche theory, species can coexist in heterogeneous environments by reducing interspecific competition via niche partitioning, e.g. trophic or spatial partitioning. However, support for the role of competition on niche partitioning remains controversial. Here, we tested for spatial and trophic partitioning in feather mites, a diverse and abundant group of arthropods. We focused on the two dominant mite species, Microspalax brevipes and Zachvatkinia ovata, inhabiting flight feathers of the Cory's shearwater, Calonectris borealis. We performed mite counts across and within primary and tail feathers on free-living shearwaters breeding on an oceanic island (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. We then investigated trophic relationships between the two mite species and the host using stable isotope analyses of carbon and nitrogen on mite tissues and potential host food sources. The distribution of the two mite species showed clear spatial segregation among feathers; M. brevipes showed high preference for the central wing primary feathers, whereas Z. ovata was restricted to the two outermost primaries. Morphological differences between M. brevipes and Z. ovata support an adaptive basis for the spatial segregation of the two mite species. However, the two mites overlap in some central primaries and statistical modeling showed that Z. ovata tends to outcompete M. brevipes. Isotopic analyses indicated similar isotopic values for the two mite species and a strong correlation in carbon signatures between mites inhabiting the same individual host suggesting that diet is mainly based on shared host-associated resources. Among the four candidate tissues examined (blood, feather remains, skin remains and preen gland oil, we conclude that the diet is most likely dominated by preen gland oil, while the contribution of exogenous material to mite diets is less marked. Our results indicate that ongoing competition for space and resources plays a
Salsamendi, Egoitz; Garin, Inazio; Arostegui, Inmaculada; Goiti, Urtzi; Aihartza, Joxerra
Our purpose was to assess how pairs of sibling horseshoe bats coexists when their morphology and echolocation are almost identical. We collected data on echolocation, wing morphology, diet, and habitat use of sympatric Rhinolophus mehelyi and R. euryale. We compared our results with literature data collected in allopatry with similar protocols and at the same time of the year (breeding season). Echolocation frequencies recorded in sympatry for R. mehelyi (mean = 106.8 kHz) and R. euryale (105.1 kHz) were similar to those reported in allopatry (R. mehelyi 105-111 kHz; R. euryale 101-109 kHz). Wing parameters were larger in R. mehelyi than R. euryale for both sympatric and allopatric conditions. Moths constitute the bulk of the diet of both species in sympatry and allopatry, with minor variation in the amounts of other prey. There were no inter-specific differences in the use of foraging habitats in allopatry in terms of structural complexity, however we found inter-specific differences between sympatric populations: R. mehelyi foraged in less complex habitats. The subtle inter-specific differences in echolocation frequency seems to be unlikely to facilitate dietary niche partitioning; overall divergences observed in diet may be explained as a consequence of differential prey availability among foraging habitats. Inter-specific differences in the use of foraging habitats in sympatry seems to be the main dimension for niche partitioning between R. mehelyi and R. euryale, probably due to letter differences in wing morphology. Coexistence between sympatric sibling horseshoe bats is likely allowed by a displacement in spatial niche dimension, presumably due to the wing morphology of each species, and shifts the niche domains that minimise competition. Effective measures for conservation of sibling/similar horseshoe bats should guarantee structural diversity of foraging habitats.
Myers, Jay; Huang, Yuanshuai; Wei, Lebing; Yan, Quanjian; Huang, Alex; Zhou, Lan
Modification of Notch receptors by O-linked fucose and its further elongation by the Fringe family of glycosyltransferase has been shown to be important for Notch signaling activation. Our recent studies disclose a myeloproliferative phenotype, hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) dysfunction, and abnormal Notch signaling in mice deficient in FX, which is required for fucosylation of a number of proteins including Notch. The purpose of this study was to assess the self-renewal and stem cell niche features of fucose-deficient HSCs. Homeostasis and maintenance of HSCs derived from FX(-/-) mice were studied by serial bone marrow transplantation, homing assay, and cell cycle analysis. Two-photon intravital microscopy was performed to visualize and compare the in vivo marrow niche occupancy by fucose-deficient and wild-type (WT) HSCs. Marrow progenitors from FX(-/-) mice had mild homing defects that could be partially prevented by exogenous fucose supplementation. Fucose-deficient HSCs from FX(-/-) mice displayed decreased self-renewal capability compared with the WT controls. This is accompanied with their increased cell cycling activity and suppressed Notch ligand binding. When tracked in vivo by two-photon intravital imaging, the fucose-deficient HSCs were found localized farther from the endosteum of the calvarium marrow than the WT HSCs. The current reported aberrant niche occupancy by HSCs from FX(-/-) mice, in the context of a faulty blood lineage homeostasis and HSC dysfunction in mice expressing Notch receptors deficient in O-fucosylation, suggests that fucosylation-modified Notch receptor may represent a novel extrinsic regulator for HSC engraftment and HSC niche maintenance. © 2010 American Association of Blood Banks.
López-López, Arantxa; Camelo-Castillo, Anny; Ferrer, María D.; Simon-Soro, Áurea; Mira, Alex
Oral diseases, including dental caries and periodontitis, are among the most prevalent diseases worldwide and develop as a consequence of a microbial dysbiosis. Several bacterial strains are being tested as potential oral health-promoting organisms, but usually they are species isolated from niches other than the site where they must exert its probiotic action, typically from fecal samples. We hypothesize that oral inhabitants associated to health conditions will be more effective than tradit...
The competition within the management consulting industry is increasing and many of the smaller consultancies are having trouble attracting new business and achieving company growth. In order for smaller firms to be able to compete, many choose to focus on a niche market. However, firms are still having trouble growing and attracting business from new customers. A way for these firms to increase their market share and sales is to build and maintain a strong brand by working with branding. Gre...
Vallejo Esquerra, Eduardo; Yang, Hong; Sanchez, Savannah E.; Omsland, Anders
Bacterial obligate intracellular parasites are clinically significant animal and human pathogens. Central to the biology of these organisms is their level of adaptation to intracellular replication niches associated with physicochemical and nutritional constraints. While most bacterial pathogens can adapt to a wide range of environments, severe niche restriction—an inability to thrive in diverse environments—is a hallmark of bacterial obligate intracellular parasites. Herein the physicochemical and nutritional factors underlying the physiological basis for niche restriction in the zoonotic bacterial obligate intracellular parasite and Q fever agent Coxiella burnetii are characterized. Additionally, these factors are reviewed in the context of C. burnetii evolution and continued (patho) adaptation. C. burnetii replication was strictly dependent on a combination of moderately acidic pH, reduced oxygen tension, and presence of carbon dioxide. Of macronutrients, amino acids alone support replication under physicochemically favorable conditions. In addition to utilizing gluconeogenic substrates for replication, C. burnetii can also utilize glucose to generate biomass. A mutant with a disruption in the gene pckA, encoding phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), the first committed step in gluconeogenesis, could be complemented chemically by the addition of glucose. Disruption of pckA resulted in a moderate glucose-dependent growth defect during infection of cultured host cells. Although, C. burnetii has the theoretical capacity to synthesize essential core metabolites via glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, amino acid auxotrophy essentially restricts C. burnetii replication to a niche providing ample access to amino acids. Overall, the described combination of physiochemical and nutritional growth requirements are strong indicators for why C. burnetii favors an acidified phagolysosome-derived vacuole in respiring tissue for replication. PMID:28620582
Cunze, Sarah; Koch, Lisa K; Kochmann, Judith; Klimpel, Sven
Aedes albopictus and Ae. japonicus are two of the most widespread invasive mosquito species that have recently become established in western Europe. Both species are associated with the transmission of a number of serious diseases and are projected to continue their spread in Europe. In the present study, we modelled the habitat suitability for both species under current and future climatic conditions by means of an Ensemble forecasting approach. We additionally compared the modelled MAXENT niches of Ae. albopictus and Ae. japonicus regarding temperature and precipitation requirements. Both species were modelled to find suitable habitat conditions in distinct areas within Europe: Ae. albopictus within the Mediterranean regions in southern Europe, Ae. japonicus within the more temperate regions of central Europe. Only in few regions, suitable habitat conditions were projected to overlap for both species. Whereas Ae. albopictus is projected to be generally promoted by climate change in Europe, the area modelled to be climatically suitable for Ae. japonicus is projected to decrease under climate change. This projection of range reduction under climate change relies on the assumption that Ae. japonicus is not able to adapt to warmer climatic conditions. The modelled MAXENT temperature niches of Ae. japonicus were found to be narrower with an optimum at lower temperatures compared to the niches of Ae. albopictus. Species distribution models identifying areas with high habitat suitability can help improving monitoring programmes for invasive species currently in place. However, as mosquito species are known to be able to adapt to new environmental conditions within the invasion range quickly, niche evolution of invasive mosquito species should be closely followed upon in future studies.
Iraola, Gregorio; Pérez, Ruben; Naya, Hugo; Paolicchi, Fernando; Pastor, Eugenia; Valenzuela, Sebastián; Calleros, Lucía; Velilla, Alejandra; Hernández, Martín; Morsella, Claudia
The genus Campylobacter includes some of the most relevant pathogens for human and animal health; the continuous effort in their characterization has also revealed new species putatively involved in different kind of infections. Nowadays, the available genomic data for the genus comprise a wide variety of species with different pathogenic potential and niche preferences. In this work, we contribute to enlarge this available information presenting the first genome for the species Campylobacter sputorum bv. sputorum and use this and the already sequenced organisms to analyze the emergence and evolution of pathogenicity and niche preferences among Campylobacter species. We found that campylobacters can be unequivocally distinguished in established and putative pathogens depending on their repertory of virulence genes, which have been horizontally acquired from other bacteria because the nonpathogenic Campylobacter ancestor emerged, and posteriorly interchanged between some members of the genus. Additionally, we demonstrated the role of both horizontal gene transfers and diversifying evolution in niche preferences, being able to distinguish genetic features associated to the tropism for oral, genital, and gastrointestinal tissues. In particular, we highlight the role of nonsynonymous evolution of disulphide bond proteins, the invasion antigen B (CiaB), and other secreted proteins in the determination of niche preferences. Our results arise from assessing the previously unmet goal of considering the whole available Campylobacter diversity for genome comparisons, unveiling notorious genetic features that could explain particular phenotypes and set the basis for future research in Campylobacter biology. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.
Litchman, Elena; Edwards, Kyle F.; Klausmeier, Christopher A.
Phytoplankton are major primary producers in aquatic ecosystems and are sensitive to various aspects of global environmental change. They can respond through phenotypic plasticity, species sorting, genetic adaptation, or a combination of these processes. Here we present conceptual, experimental...... and theoretical ways to predict different phytoplankton responses to global change. Using phytoplankton ecological niches to predict their responses to multiple environmental stressors is a promising new approach. Functional traits of phytoplankton, such as resource utilization traits and tolerance curves...
Delhey, K; Smith, J; Peters, A
Coloration fulfils a variety of adaptive functions in animals. Colour variability, both between and within species, can be caused by different colours being favoured for different functions and in different environments. Thus, species with highly variable coloration may have greater potential to persist in new and changing environments. As a consequence, such colour-variable species may be more able to adapt, colonize new areas and niches, occupy larger ranges, speciate more readily and in general be less vulnerable to environmental change and extinction. These predictions have been supported by comparative analyses on amphibians and reptiles. However, as coloration in ectotherms plays a key role in thermoregulation, it is unclear whether these results can be generalized to endotherms, such as birds and mammals. Here, we test the hypothesis that more colour-variable endotherms occupy larger ranges/niches and are less vulnerable to the threat of extinction by focussing on colour variation in Australian parrots and passerine birds. As predicted, colour variability was correlated with range size (parrots and passerines) and niche breadth (dietary heterogeneity, parrots only). These relationships support the predicted link between colour variability and adaptability, whereby range size and niche breadth may be a cause of colour variability or vice versa. Irrespective, and as predicted, colour variability was lower in threatened species, even after statistically controlling for other confounding variables. Hence, our study supports the hypothesis that colour-variable species in general are more resilient to environmental change. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Clement, Amanda L; Moutinho, Thomas J; Pins, George D
Although tissue engineered skin substitutes have demonstrated some clinical success for the treatment of chronic wounds such as diabetic and venous ulcers, persistent graft take and stability remain concerns. Current bilayered skin substitutes lack the characteristic microtopography of the dermal-epidermal junction that gives skin enhanced mechanical stability and creates cellular microniches that differentially promote keratinocyte function to form skin appendages and enhance wound healing. We developed a novel micropatterned dermal-epidermal regeneration matrix (μDERM) which incorporates this complex topography and substantially enhances epidermal morphology. Here, we describe the use of this three-dimensional (3-D) in vitro culture model to systematically evaluate different topographical geometries and to determine their relationship to keratinocyte function. We identified three distinct keratinocyte functional niches: the proliferative niche (narrow geometries), the basement membrane protein synthesis niche (wide geometries) and the putative keratinocyte stem cell niche (narrow geometries and corners). Specifically, epidermal thickness and keratinocyte proliferation is significantly (p<0.05) increased in 50 and 100 μm channels while laminin-332 deposition is significantly (p<0.05) increased in 400 μm channels compared to flat controls. Additionally, β1(bri)p63(+) keratinocytes, putative keratinocyte stem cells, preferentially cluster in channel geometries (similar to clustering observed in native skin) compared to a random distribution on flats. This study identifies specific target geometries to enhance skin regeneration and graft performance. Furthermore, these results suggest the importance of μDERM microtopography in designing the next generation of skin substitutes. Finally, we anticipate that 3-D organotypic cultures on μDERMS will provide a novel tissue engineered skin substitute for in vitro investigations of skin morphogenesis, wound healing and
was submitted in August, 2011. Positive results from this proposed investigation would provide an explanation for the defects in MaSC /progenitor...Slits resulting in delayed senescence of MaSC /progenitor cells. These studies suggest that SLITs may function in the stem cell niche to control MaSC ...during mammary branching morphogenesis. Recently, the basal cell population has been shown to contain a subpopulation of mammary stem cells ( MaSCs
Blackburn, Jason K; Matakarimov, Saitbek; Kozhokeeva, Sabira; Tagaeva, Zhyldyz; Bell, Lindsay K; Kracalik, Ian T; Zhunushov, Asankadyr
AbstractAnthrax, caused by the environmental bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is an important zoonosis nearly worldwide. In Central Asia, anthrax represents a major veterinary and public health concern. In the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, ongoing anthrax outbreaks have been reported in humans associated with handling infected livestock and contaminated animal by-products such as meat or hides. The current anthrax situation has prompted calls for improved insights into the epidemiology, ecology, and spatial distribution of the disease in Kyrgyzstan to better inform control and surveillance. Disease control for both humans and livestock relies on annual livestock vaccination ahead of outbreaks. Toward this, we used a historic database of livestock anthrax reported from 1932 to 2006 mapped at high resolution to develop an ecological niche model-based prediction of B. anthracis across Kyrgyzstan and identified spatial clusters of livestock anthrax using a cluster morphology statistic. We also defined the seasonality of outbreaks in livestock. Cattle were the most frequently reported across the time period, with the greatest number of cases in late summer months. Our niche models defined four areas as suitable to support pathogen persistence, the plateaus near Talas and Bishkek, the valleys of western Kyrgyzstan along the Fergana Valley, and the low-lying areas along the shore of Lake Isyk-Kul. These areas should be considered "at risk" for livestock anthrax and subsequent human cases. Areas defined by the niche models can be used to prioritize anthrax surveillance and inform efforts to target livestock vaccination campaigns.
Larkin, Alyse A; Martiny, Adam C
With rapidly improving sequencing technologies, scientists have recently gained the ability to examine diverse microbial communities at high genomic resolution, revealing that both free-living and host-associated microbes partition their environment at fine phylogenetic scales. This 'microdiversity,' or closely related (> 97% similar 16S rRNA gene) but ecologically and physiologically distinct sub-taxonomic groups, appears to be an intrinsic property of microorganisms. However, the functional implications of microdiversity as well as its effects on microbial biogeography are poorly understood. Here, we present two theoretical models outlining the evolutionary mechanisms that drive the formation of microdiverse 'sub-taxa.' Additionally, we review recent literature and reveal that microdiversity influences a wide range of functional traits across diverse ecosystems and microbes. Moving to higher levels of organization, we use laboratory data from marine, soil, and host-associated bacteria to demonstrate that the aggregated trait-based response of microdiverse sub-taxa modifies the fundamental niche of microbes. The correspondence between microdiversity and niche space represents a critical tool for future studies of microbial ecology. By combining growth experiments on diverse isolates with examinations of environmental abundance patterns, researchers can better quantify the fundamental and realized niches of microbes and improve understanding of microbial biogeography and response to future environmental change. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Chase, Jonathan M; Myers, Jonathan A
Deterministic theories in community ecology suggest that local, niche-based processes, such as environmental filtering, biotic interactions and interspecific trade-offs largely determine patterns of species diversity and composition. In contrast, more stochastic theories emphasize the importance of chance colonization, random extinction and ecological drift. The schisms between deterministic and stochastic perspectives, which date back to the earliest days of ecology, continue to fuel contemporary debates (e.g. niches versus neutrality). As illustrated by the pioneering studies of Robert H. MacArthur and co-workers, resolution to these debates requires consideration of how the importance of local processes changes across scales. Here, we develop a framework for disentangling the relative importance of deterministic and stochastic processes in generating site-to-site variation in species composition (β-diversity) along ecological gradients (disturbance, productivity and biotic interactions) and among biogeographic regions that differ in the size of the regional species pool. We illustrate how to discern the importance of deterministic processes using null-model approaches that explicitly account for local and regional factors that inherently create stochastic turnover. By embracing processes across scales, we can build a more synthetic framework for understanding how niches structure patterns of biodiversity in the face of stochastic processes that emerge from local and biogeographic factors.
Full Text Available Climate niche modeling has been widely used to assess the impact of climate change on forest trees at the species level. However, geographically divergent tree populations are expected to respond differently to climate change. Considering intraspecific local adaptation in modeling species responses to climate change will thus improve the credibility and usefulness of climate niche models, particularly for genetic resources management. In this study, we used five Platycladus orientalis (L. seed zones (Northwestern; Northern; Central; Southern; and Subtropical covering the entire species range in China. A climate niche model was developed and used to project the suitable climatic conditions for each of the five seed zones for current and various future climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways: RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and RCP8.5. Our results indicated that the Subtropical seed zone would show consistent reduction for all climate change scenarios. The remaining seed zones, however, would experience various degrees of expansion in suitable habitat relative to their current geographic distributions. Most of the seed zones would gain suitable habitats at their northern distribution margins and higher latitudes. Thus, we recommend adjusting the current forest management strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.
M. J. Santos
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.
Chase, Jonathan M.; Myers, Jonathan A.
Deterministic theories in community ecology suggest that local, niche-based processes, such as environmental filtering, biotic interactions and interspecific trade-offs largely determine patterns of species diversity and composition. In contrast, more stochastic theories emphasize the importance of chance colonization, random extinction and ecological drift. The schisms between deterministic and stochastic perspectives, which date back to the earliest days of ecology, continue to fuel contemporary debates (e.g. niches versus neutrality). As illustrated by the pioneering studies of Robert H. MacArthur and co-workers, resolution to these debates requires consideration of how the importance of local processes changes across scales. Here, we develop a framework for disentangling the relative importance of deterministic and stochastic processes in generating site-to-site variation in species composition (β-diversity) along ecological gradients (disturbance, productivity and biotic interactions) and among biogeographic regions that differ in the size of the regional species pool. We illustrate how to discern the importance of deterministic processes using null-model approaches that explicitly account for local and regional factors that inherently create stochastic turnover. By embracing processes across scales, we can build a more synthetic framework for understanding how niches structure patterns of biodiversity in the face of stochastic processes that emerge from local and biogeographic factors. PMID:21768151
Quarta, Marco; Brett, Jamie O; DiMarco, Rebecca; De Morree, Antoine; Boutet, Stephane C; Chacon, Robert; Gibbons, Michael C; Garcia, Victor A; Su, James; Shrager, Joseph B; Heilshorn, Sarah; Rando, Thomas A
A promising therapeutic strategy for diverse genetic disorders involves transplantation of autologous stem cells that have been genetically corrected ex vivo. A major challenge in such approaches is a loss of stem cell potency during culture. Here we describe an artificial niche for maintaining muscle stem cells (MuSCs) in vitro in a potent, quiescent state. Using a machine learning method, we identified a molecular signature of quiescence and used it to screen for factors that could maintain mouse MuSC quiescence, thus defining a quiescence medium (QM). We also engineered muscle fibers that mimic the native myofiber of the MuSC niche. Mouse MuSCs maintained in QM on engineered fibers showed enhanced potential for engraftment, tissue regeneration and self-renewal after transplantation in mice. An artificial niche adapted to human cells similarly extended the quiescence of human MuSCs in vitro and enhanced their potency in vivo. Our approach for maintaining quiescence may be applicable to stem cells isolated from other tissues.
Yang SONG,Chen ZHU,Waseem RAZA,Dongsheng WANG,Qiwei HUANG,Shiwei GUO,Ning LING,Qirong SHEN
Full Text Available Grafting is commonly used to overcome soil-borne diseases. However, its effects on the rhizodeposits as well as the linkages between the rhizosphere chemical niche and microbiome remained unknown. In this paper, significant negative correlations between the bacterial alpha diversity and both the disease incidence (r = -0.832, P = 0.005 and pathogen population (r = - 0.786, P = 0.012 were detected. Moreover, our results showed that the chemical diversity not only predicts bacterial alpha diversity but also can impact on overall microbial community structure (beta diversity in the rhizosphere. Furthermore, some anti-fungal compounds including heptadecane and hexadecane were identified in the rhizosphere of grafted watermelon. We concluded that grafted watermelon can form a distinct rhizosphere chemical niche and thus recruit microbial communities with high diversity. Furthermore, the diverse bacteria and the antifungal compounds in the rhizosphere can potentially serve as biological and chemical barriers, respectively, to hinder pathogen invasion. These results not only lead us toward broadening the view of disease resistance mechanism of grafting, but also provide clues to control the microbial composition by manipulating the rhizosphere chemical niche.
Full Text Available Background and Purpose: Forest trees are adapted to the specific climatic conditions and other ecological factors that dominate within their distribution range. However, the climate is in constant flux. In addition to natural climatic oscillations, the climate has also been changed directly or indirectly by human activities. The issue of climate change is tied mostly to air temperature and precipitation. The objective of this study was to assess the potential influence of climate change on a part of the ecological niche of pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L. in Croatia. Materials and Methods: A forecast model was developed for the ecological niche of pedunculate oak in Croatia from the present day to 2080 using logistical regression, on the basis of a climate change model. Results: Within the lowland areas of Croatia, the model forecasts an increase in the minimum temperatures of the coldest month and maximum temperature of the warmest month, and reduced precipitation in both the driest and wettest months. Conclusion: The results indicate that climate change will negatively impact the ecological niche of pedunculate oak in the future.
Schuster, Anne; Klotz, Markus; Schwab, Tanja; Di Liddo, Rosa; Bertalot, Thomas; Schrenk, Sandra; Martin, Monika; Nguyen, The Duy; Nguyen, Thi Nha Quyen; Gries, Manuela; Faßbender, Klaus; Conconi, Maria Teresa; Parnigotto, Pier Paolo; Schäfer, Karl-Herbert
The enteric nervous system (ENS) has to respond to continuously changing microenvironmental challenges within the gut and is therefore dependent on a neural stem cell niche to keep the ENS functional throughout life. In this study, we hypothesize that this stem cell niche is also affected during inflammation and therefore investigated lipopolysaccharides (LPS) effects on enteric neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs). NSPCs were derived from the ENS and cultured under the influence of different LPS concentrations. LPS effects upon proliferation and differentiation of enteric NSPC cultures were assessed using immunochemistry, flow cytometry, western blot, Multiplex ELISA and real-time PCR. LPS enhances the proliferation of enteric NSPCs in a dose-dependent manner. It delays and modifies the differentiation of these cells. The expression of the LPS receptor toll-like receptor 4 on NSPCs could be demonstrated. Moreover, LPS induces the secretion of several cytokines. Flow cytometry data gives evidence for individual subgroups within the NSPC population. ENS-derived NSPCs respond to LPS in maintaining at least partially their stem cell character. In the case of inflammatory disease or trauma where the liberation and exposure to LPS will be increased, the expansion of NSPCs could be a first step towards regeneration of the ENS. The reduced and altered differentiation, as well as the induction of cytokine signalling, demonstrates that the stem cell niche may take part in the LPS-transmitted inflammatory processes in a direct and defined way. PMID:24780093
Thiebot, Jean-Baptiste; Bost, Charles-André; Dehnhard, Nina; Demongin, Laurent; Eens, Marcel; Lepoint, Gilles; Cherel, Yves; Poisbleau, Maud
Strong pair bonds generally increase fitness in monogamous organisms, but may also underlie the risk of hampering it when re-pairing fails after the winter season. We investigated whether partners would either maintain contact or offset this risk by exploiting sex-specific favourable niches during winter in a migratory monogamous seabird, the southern rockhopper penguin Eudyptes chrysocome. Using light-based geolocation, we show that although the spatial distribution of both sexes largely overlapped, pair-wise mates were located on average 595 ± 260 km (and up to 2500 km) apart during winter. Stable isotope data also indicated a marked overlap between sex-specific isotopic niches (δ¹³C and δ¹⁵N values) but a segregation of the feeding habitats (δ¹³C values) within pairs. Importantly, the tracked females remained longer (12 days) at sea than males, but all re-mated with their previous partners after winter. Our study provides multiple evidence that migratory species may well demonstrate pair-wise segregation even in the absence of sex-specific winter niches (spatial and isotopic). We suggest that dispersive migration patterns with sex-biased timings may be a sufficient proximal cause for generating such a situation in migratory animals.
Samy, Abdallah M; van de Sande, Wendy W J; Fahal, Ahmed Hassan; Peterson, A Townsend
In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized mycetoma as one of the neglected tropical conditions due to the efforts of the mycetoma consortium. This same consortium formulated knowledge gaps that require further research. One of these gaps was that very few data are available on the epidemiology and transmission cycle of the causative agents. Previous work suggested a soil-borne or Acacia thorn-prick-mediated origin of mycetoma infections, but no studies have investigated effects of soil type and Acacia geographic distribution on mycetoma case distributions. Here, we map risk of mycetoma infection across Sudan and South Sudan using ecological niche modeling (ENM). For this study, records of mycetoma cases were obtained from the scientific literature and GIDEON; Acacia records were obtained from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. We developed ENMs based on digital GIS data layers summarizing soil characteristics, land-surface temperature, and greenness indices to provide a rich picture of environmental variation across Sudan and South Sudan. ENMs were calibrated in known endemic districts and transferred countrywide; model results suggested that risk is greatest in an east-west belt across central Sudan. Visualizing ENMs in environmental dimensions, mycetoma occurs under diverse environmental conditions. We compared niches of mycetoma and Acacia trees, and could not reject the null hypothesis of niche similarity. This study revealed contributions of different environmental factors to mycetoma infection risk, identified suitable environments and regions for transmission, signaled a potential mycetoma-Acacia association, and provided steps towards a robust risk map for the disease.
Full Text Available We set a model to replicate the vascular bone marrow niche by using endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs, and we used it to explore the vascular niche function in patients with low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS. Overall, we investigated 56 patients and we observed higher levels of ECFCs in MDS than in healthy controls; moreover, MDS ECFCs were found variably hypermethylated for p15INK4b DAPK1, CDH1, or SOCS1. MDS ECFCs exhibited a marked adhesive capacity to normal mononuclear cells. When normal CD34+ cells were co-cultured with MDS ECFCs, they generated significant lower amounts of CD11b+ and CD41+ cells than in co-culture with normal ECFCs. At gene expression profile, several genes involved in cell adhesion were upregulated in MDS ECFCs, while several members of the Wingless and int (Wnt pathways were underexpressed. Furthermore, at miRNA expression profile, MDS ECFCs hypo-expressed various miRNAs involved in Wnt pathway regulation. The addition of Wnt3A reduced the expression of intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 on MDS ECFCs and restored the defective expression of markers of differentiation. Overall, our data demonstrate that in low-risk MDS, ECFCs exhibit various primary abnormalities, including putative MDS signatures, and suggest the possible contribution of the vascular niche dysfunction to myelodysplasia.
Yang, Hanseul; Adam, Rene C; Ge, Yejing; Hua, Zhong L; Fuchs, Elaine
Adult tissue stem cells (SCs) reside in niches, which, through intercellular contacts and signaling, influence SC behavior. Once activated, SCs typically give rise to short-lived transit-amplifying cells (TACs), which then progress to differentiate into their lineages. Here, using single-cell RNA-seq, we unearth unexpected heterogeneity among SCs and TACs of hair follicles. We trace the roots of this heterogeneity to micro-niches along epithelial-mesenchymal interfaces, where progenitors display molecular signatures reflective of spatially distinct local signals and intercellular interactions. Using lineage tracing, temporal single-cell analyses, and chromatin landscaping, we show that SC plasticity becomes restricted in a sequentially and spatially choreographed program, culminating in seven spatially arranged unilineage progenitors within TACs of mature follicles. By compartmentalizing SCs into micro-niches, tissues gain precise control over morphogenesis and regeneration: some progenitors specify lineages immediately, whereas others retain potency, preserving self-renewing features established early while progressively restricting lineages as they experience dynamic changes in microenvironment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Stem cells reside within specialized microenvironments, or niches, that control many aspects of stem cell behavior. Somatic hub cells in the Drosophila testis regulate the behavior of cyst stem cells (CySCs and germline stem cells (GSCs and are a primary component of the testis stem cell niche. The shutoff (shof mutation, characterized by premature loss of GSCs and CySCs, was mapped to a locus encoding the evolutionarily conserved transcription factor Escargot (Esg. Hub cells depleted of Esg acquire CySC characteristics and differentiate as cyst cells, resulting in complete loss of hub cells and eventually CySCs and GSCs, similar to the shof mutant phenotype. We identified Esg-interacting proteins and demonstrate an interaction between Esg and the corepressor C-terminal binding protein (CtBP, which was also required for maintenance of hub cell fate. Our results indicate that niche cells can acquire stem cell properties upon removal of a single transcription factor in vivo.
Weimerskirch, Henri; Bustamante, Paco; Cherel, Yves
Very little is known about trophic ontogenetic changes over the prolonged immaturity period of long-lived, wide-ranging seabirds. By using blood and feather trophic tracers (δ13C and δ15N, and mercury, Hg), we studied age-related changes in feeding ecology during the immature phase of wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans when they gradually change from a pure oceanic life to visits to their future breeding grounds. Immatures fed in subtropical waters at high trophic positions during moult. Between- and within-individual variations in isotopic niche were very high, irrespective of age, highlighting wide-ranging exploratory behaviours. In summer, while acting as central-place foragers from their future breeding colony, individuals progressively relied on lower trophic level prey and/or southern latitudes as they aged, until occupying a similar isotopic niche to that of adults. Immatures had exceptionally high Hg burdens, with males having lower Hg concentrations than females, suggesting that they foraged more in subantarctic waters. Our findings suggest a progressive ontogenetic niche shift during central-place foraging of this long-lived species. PMID:29134098
Lloyd-Smith, James O.
A recurring theme in the epidemiological literature on disease eradication is that each pathogen occupies an ecological niche, and eradication of one pathogen leaves a vacant niche that favours the emergence of new pathogens to replace it. However, eminent figures have rejected this view unequivocally, stating that there is no basis to fear pathogen replacement and even that pathogen niches do not exist. After exploring the roots of this controversy, I propose resolutions to disputed issues by drawing on broader ecological theory, and advance a new consensus based on robust mechanistic principles. I argue that pathogen eradication (and cessation of vaccination) leads to a ‘vacated niche’, which could be re-invaded by the original pathogen if introduced. Consequences for other pathogens will vary, with the crucial mechanisms being competitive release, whereby the decline of one species allows its competitors to perform better, and evolutionary adaptation. Hence, eradication can cause a quantitative rise in the incidence of another infection, but whether this leads to emergence as an endemic pathogen depends on additional factors. I focus on the case study of human monkeypox and its rise following smallpox eradication, but also survey how these ideas apply to other pathogens and discuss implications for eradication policy. PMID:23798698
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.
Tosh, Colin R; Ruxton, Graeme D; Krause, Jens; Franks, Daniel W
One theory to explain the high incidence of niche specialization in many animals is that it reduces attentional load during resource-seeking behaviour and thus leads to more accurate resource selection. A recent neural network model refined the predictions of this theory, indicating that a cognitive advantage in specialists is likely to occur under realistic ecological conditions, namely when 'mistakes' (i.e. selection of non-host resources) contribute moderately but positively to fitness. Here, we present a formal empirical test of the predictions of this model. Using a human-computer interactive, we demonstrate that the central prediction of the model is supported: specialist humans are more accurate decision-makers than generalists when their mistakes are rewarded, but not when mistakes are punished. The idea that increased decision accuracy drives the evolution of niche width in animals has been supported in almost all empirical systems in which it has been investigated. Theoretical work supports the idea, and now the predictions of a key theoretical model have been demonstrated in a real biological information-processing system. Considering these interlocking pieces of evidence, we argue that specialization through increased decision accuracy may contribute significantly, along with other mechanisms, to promote niche specialization in animals.
Guo, Xian-Jian; Shen, Wan-Fang; Liu, Yu-Jun; Chen, Ming-Jun
The species diversity and temporal niche of entomopathogenic fungi community in the rhizosphere soil collected from the extensively managed Huangshan fuzz tip tea plantation were investigated. A total of 140 soil samples were collected at the location of Tangkou Town, Huangshan of Anhui Province during August, 2012 to June, 2013, and totally 1041 fungal isolates were obtained on selective medium with soil dilution plating. The results showed that the entomopathogenic fungi community in the tea plantation soil was diverse with 13 species in 6 genera. Purpureocillium lilacinum (309 strains), Beauveria bassiana (255 strains), and Metarhizium anisopliae (101 strains) were the dominant species accounting for 29.7%, 24.5% and 9.7% of the relative frequency, respectively. P. lilacinum had the widest temporal niche breadth among these dominant entomopathogenic fungi from the tea plantation soil, while B. bassiana had the narrowest. Among the entomopathogenic fungi, B. bassiana and B. brongniartii had the biggest temporal niche overlap of 1.965, while Isaria javanicus and B. bassiana had the smallest of 0.374.
Wirdzek, Phillip; Lintner, William; Mathew, Paul; Carlisle, Nancy
Most federal programs that promote energy efficiency and environmental sustainability in the building industry focus on the larger market segments such as offices, residential buildings, etc. Niche markets such as laboratories are often overlooked and beyond the scope of such programs, for at least two reasons: (a) by definition, niche markets are a relatively small ''wedge'' of the overall energy consumption ''pie''; and (b) laboratories have health and safety concerns, complex flexibility requirements and are perceived to be less amenable to broadly applicable strategies. Nevertheless, laboratories and other ''high-tech'' buildings demand the attention of the energy efficiency and sustainable design community for several reasons: (1) They are a growing segment of the building sector. (2) They are very energy and resource intensive laboratories on average are four to six times as energy intensive as office buildings, and five to ten times as expensive to build. (3) There are significant opportunities for efficiency and conservation, especially when compared to other buildings. In this paper, we describe how the Labs21 program, a joint program of the US EPA and US DOE, is structured to meet these needs recognizing that laboratories require very specialized engineering and design knowledge not addressed in academia or industry, and not readily shared to a level commensurate with the needs of this building sector. While Labs21 is focused on one niche market, we also highlight some experiences from this program applicable to other specialized building types.
Tong, Xinming; Yang, Fan
Hydrogels have been widely used as artificial cell niche to mimic extracellular matrix with tunable properties. However, changing biochemical cues in hydrogels developed-to-date would often induce simultaneous changes in mechanical properties, which do not support mechanistic studies on stem cell-niche interactions. Here we report the development of a PEG-based interpenetrating network (IPN), which is composed of two polymer networks that can independently and simultaneously crosslink to form hydrogels in a cell-friendly manner. The resulting IPN hydrogel allows independently tunable biochemical and mechanical properties, as well as stable and more homogeneous presentation of biochemical ligands in 3D than currently available methods. We demonstrate the potential of our IPN platform for elucidating stem cell-niche interactions by modulating osteogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells. The versatility of such IPN hydrogels is further demonstrated using three distinct and widely used polymers to form the mechanical network while keeping the biochemical network constant. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Van Eijck, J. [Diligent Tanzania, Moshi (Tanzania); Romijn, H.A. [Faculty of Technology Management, Eindhoven University of Technology TUE, Eindhoven (Netherlands)
The paper reports on recent 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 oil can be used in diesel engines, oil lamps and cooking stoves, and as a basic component in soapmaking. The seedcake can be used for biogas production and as fertiliser. Our principal analytic tool is Strategic Niche Management (SNM), a recently developed approach rooted in evolutionary innovation theory. We analyse how the scope for an energy transition is influenced by factors at three societal levels distinguished in SNM, namely: 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 there are still many obstacles in Tanzania's prevailing energy regime. The development of Jatropha biofuels is still in an early phase. The SNM analysis yields several policy recommendations. Methodological issues arising from the use of SNM are discussed as well.
Shinen, Jennifer L; Navarrete, Sergio A
Reconciling how niche and neutral processes may be important in species coexistence has revealed two important weaknesses in our collective understanding of species diversity: few empirical studies have determined whether species are truly coexisting, and fewer still have properly evaluated whether coexistence is achieved through niche differentiation or ecological equivalence. Here, we ask whether two common barnacles, Jehlius cirratus and Notochthamalus scabrosus, coexist locally and whether the slight but persistent differences in their distribution provide sufficient fitness trade-offs to overcome differences in competition. Both species recovered after experimental reduction; that is, they coexist, with no indication of hierarchical exclusion. No fitness inequalities affected species performance or interference effects on vital rates at any shore level, indicating no trade-offs in intra-interspecific effects across the ecological gradient. Additionally, no relationship was found between per capita population growth rates of either species with its own relative abundance; that is, neither species has a demographic advantage when rare. Instead, a lottery for space during settlement largely determines species' distributions, evidenced by the positive correlation across sites and tidal elevations between the relative abundances of adults and the recruits of the prior season. We conclude that Jehlius and Notochthamalus coexist neutrally, or nearly so, but discuss whether small, nonsignificant, and probably ephemeral fitness differences, which are inconsistent across the tidal gradient, could provide enough niche differentiation to promote coexistence.
Tan, Jing; Liu, Ting; Hou, Li; Meng, Wentong; Wang, Yuchun; Zhi, Wei; Deng, Li
In this study, we employed bio-derived bone scaffold and composited with the marrow mesenchymal stem cell induced into osteoblast to replicate a "biomimetic niche." The CD34(+) cells or mononuclear cells (MNC) from umbilical cord blood were cultured for 2-5 weeks in the biomimetic niche (3D system) was compared with conventional two dimensional cultures (2D system) without adding cytokine supplement. After 2 weeks in culture, the CD34(+) cells from umbilical cord blood in the 3D system increased 3.3-4.8 folds when compared with the initial CD34(+) cells. CD34(+)/CD38(-) cells accounted for 82-90% of CD34(+) cells. After 5 weeks, CD34(+)/CD38(-) cells in the 3D system increased when compared with initial (1.3 ± 0.3 × 10(3) vs. 1.0 ± 0.5 × 10(4), p mimicry of natural bone marrow HSC niche. Our primary work has demonstrated it could maintain and expand HSC/HPC in vitro.
Beaudrot, Lydia H; Marshall, Andrew J
1. A major goal in community ecology is to identify mechanisms that govern the assembly and maintenance of ecological communities. Current models of metacommunity dynamics differ chiefly in the relative emphasis placed on dispersal limitation and niche differentiation as causal mechanisms structuring ecological communities. Herein we investigate the relative roles of these two mechanisms in structuring primate communities in Africa, South America, Madagascar and Borneo. 2. We hypothesized that if dispersal limitation is important in structuring communities, then community similarity should depend on geographical proximity even after controlling for ecological similarity. Conversely, if communities are assembled primarily through niche processes, then community similarity should be determined by ecological similarity regardless of geographical proximity. 3. We performed Mantel and partial Mantel tests to investigate correlations among primate community similarity, ecological distance and geographical distance. Results showed significant and strongly negative relationships between diurnal primate community similarity and both ecological similarity and geographical distance in Madagascar, but significant and stronger negative relationships between community similarity and geographical distance in African, South American and Bornean metacommunities. 4. We conclude that dispersal limitation is an important determinant of primate community structure and may play a stronger role in shaping the structure of some terrestrial vertebrate communities than niche differentiation. These patterns are consistent with neutral theory. We recommend tests of functional equivalence to determine the extent to which neutral theory may explain primate community composition. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ecological Society.
Henrique N. Cabral
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.
Falk, Jay J.; ter Hofstede, Hannah M.; Jones, Patricia L.; Dixon, Marjorie M.; Faure, Paul A.; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.; Page, Rachel A.
Many predators and parasites eavesdrop on the communication signals of their prey. Eavesdropping is typically studied as dyadic predator–prey species interactions; yet in nature, most predators target multiple prey species and most prey must evade multiple predator species. The impact of predator communities on prey signal evolution is not well understood. Predators could converge in their preferences for conspicuous signal properties, generating competition among predators and natural selection on particular prey signal features. Alternatively, predator species could vary in their preferences for prey signal properties, resulting in sensory-based niche partitioning of prey resources. In the Neotropics, many substrate-gleaning bats use the mate-attraction songs of male katydids to locate them as prey. We studied mechanisms of niche partitioning in four substrate-gleaning bat species and found they are similar in morphology, echolocation signal design and prey-handling ability, but each species preferred different acoustic features of male song in 12 sympatric katydid species. This divergence in predator preference probably contributes to the coexistence of many substrate-gleaning bat species in the Neotropics, and the substantial diversity in the mate-attraction signals of katydids. Our results provide insight into how multiple eavesdropping predator species might influence prey signal evolution through sensory-based niche partitioning. PMID:25994677