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Sample records for terrestrial carnivores united

  1. Pathogenicity of morbilliviruses for terrestrial carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appel, M J; Summers, B A

    1995-05-01

    Many different species of the order Carnivora are susceptible to canine distemper and the mortality rate varies greatly between species. Ailuridae, Canidae, Hyaenidae, Mustelidae, Procyonidae, Ursidae, Viverridae and now Felidae have been reported to be susceptible to canine distemper virus infection. Although distemper outbreaks in dogs, fur farms and in zoo carnivores have been greatly reduced in recent years due to vaccination, there are still regular outbreaks in free-living carnivores. Unexpected outbreaks of canine distemper have occurred in exotic felids in a California wildlife park and in the Serengeti in Tanzania as well as in javelinas (collared peccaries, Tayassu tajacu) in Arizona. Although safe and efficacious in dogs, modified live canine distemper virus vaccines may be dangerous for a variety of zoo and wildlife carnivores, especially red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) and black footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes).

  2. The large terrestrial carnivore guild in Quaternary Southeast Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louys, Julien

    2014-07-01

    Much of Southeast Asia's large terrestrial carnivores appeared, evolved and disappeared from the region for reasons that remain poorly understood. Two of the most significant extinctions are represented by the charismatic Pleistocene megacarnivores Pachycrocuta and Pliocrocuta. Southeast Asia hosts the last populations of these species globally. Their persistence in southern China until the late Pleistocene suggests their extinction was not tied to that of the machairodont cats, which like the rest of the world became extinct sometime in the early Pleistocene in this region. Instead the disappearance of the hyenids is probably related to climate change and deteriorating environmental conditions. There is some evidence that the wolf and domesticated dog first appeared in Southeast Asia, although confirmation of this awaits more detailed fossil records. There does not appear to be a large carnivore guild turnover of the same scale or time as recorded in Europe and Africa, although an extinction event in the late Pleistocene is provisionally recorded. Environmental changes and fluctuating sea levels have had a unique impact on the region's large carnivore guild. Several large carnivores from Java show unique genetic and morphological variations, and this could potentially be related to the connection between Java and the Indochinese mainland sometime during the middle Pleistocene. The effects of islands on the large carnivores are complicated and at times contradictory. Nevertheless, periods of isolation of large carnivores on Java, Sumatra and Borneo from the continent had impacts on both extinctions and speciations, with at least one well documented endemic large carnivore evolving in Sundaland (Sunda clouded leopard). Hunting and deforestation ongoing since the mid- to late Holocene means that many extant members of the large carnivore guild are at high risk of extinction.

  3. Does litter size variation affect models of terrestrial carnivore extinction risk and management?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleanor S Devenish-Nelson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Individual variation in both survival and reproduction has the potential to influence extinction risk. Especially for rare or threatened species, reliable population models should adequately incorporate demographic uncertainty. Here, we focus on an important form of demographic stochasticity: variation in litter sizes. We use terrestrial carnivores as an example taxon, as they are frequently threatened or of economic importance. Since data on intraspecific litter size variation are often sparse, it is unclear what probability distribution should be used to describe the pattern of litter size variation for multiparous carnivores. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used litter size data on 32 terrestrial carnivore species to test the fit of 12 probability distributions. The influence of these distributions on quasi-extinction probabilities and the probability of successful disease control was then examined for three canid species - the island fox Urocyon littoralis, the red fox Vulpes vulpes, and the African wild dog Lycaon pictus. Best fitting probability distributions differed among the carnivores examined. However, the discretised normal distribution provided the best fit for the majority of species, because variation among litter-sizes was often small. Importantly, however, the outcomes of demographic models were generally robust to the distribution used. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: These results provide reassurance for those using demographic modelling for the management of less studied carnivores in which litter size variation is estimated using data from species with similar reproductive attributes.

  4. Terrestrial Ecosystems of the Conterminous United States

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) modeled the distribution of terrestrial ecosystems for the contiguous United States using a standardized, deductive approach to...

  5. Using molecular epidemiology to track Toxoplasma gondii from terrestrial carnivores to marine hosts: implications for public health and conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth VanWormer

    Full Text Available Environmental transmission of the zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which is shed only by felids, poses risks to human and animal health in temperate and tropical ecosystems. Atypical T. gondii genotypes have been linked to severe disease in people and the threatened population of California sea otters. To investigate land-to-sea parasite transmission, we screened 373 carnivores (feral domestic cats, mountain lions, bobcats, foxes, and coyotes for T. gondii infection and examined the distribution of genotypes in 85 infected animals sampled near the sea otter range.Nested PCR-RFLP analyses and direct DNA sequencing at six independent polymorphic genetic loci (B1, SAG1, SAG3, GRA6, L358, and Apico were used to characterize T. gondii strains in infected animals. Strains consistent with Type X, a novel genotype previously identified in over 70% of infected sea otters and four terrestrial wild carnivores along the California coast, were detected in all sampled species, including domestic cats. However, odds of Type X infection were 14 times higher (95% CI: 1.3-148.6 for wild felids than feral domestic cats. Type X infection was also linked to undeveloped lands (OR = 22, 95% CI: 2.3-250.7. A spatial cluster of terrestrial Type II infection (P = 0.04 was identified in developed lands bordering an area of increased risk for sea otter Type II infection. Two spatial clusters of animals infected with strains consistent with Type X (P ≤ 0.01 were detected in less developed landscapes.Differences in T. gondii genotype prevalence among domestic and wild felids, as well as the spatial distribution of genotypes, suggest co-existing domestic and wild T. gondii transmission cycles that likely overlap at the interface of developed and undeveloped lands. Anthropogenic development driving contact between these cycles may increase atypical T. gondii genotypes in domestic cats and facilitate transmission of potentially more pathogenic genotypes to humans

  6. Type X Toxoplasma gondii in a wild mussel and terrestrial carnivores from coastal California: new linkages between terrestrial mammals, runoff and toxoplasmosis of sea otters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, M A; Miller, W A; Conrad, P A; James, E R; Melli, A C; Leutenegger, C M; Dabritz, H A; Packham, A E; Paradies, D; Harris, M; Ames, J; Jessup, D A; Worcester, K; Grigg, M E

    2008-09-01

    Sea otters in California are commonly infected with Toxoplasma gondii. A unique Type X strain is responsible for 72% of otter infections, but its prevalence in terrestrial animals and marine invertebrates inhabiting the same area was unknown. Between 2000 and 2005, 45 terrestrial carnivores (lions, bobcats, domestic cats and foxes) and 1396 invertebrates (mussels, clams and worms) were screened for T. gondii using PCR and DNA sequencing to determine the phylogeographic distribution of T. gondii archetypal I, II, III and Type X genotypes. Marine bivalves have been shown to concentrate T. gondii oocysts in the laboratory, but a comprehensive survey of wild invertebrates has not been reported. A California mussel from an estuary draining into Monterey Bay was confirmed positive for Type X T. gondii by multilocus PCR and DNA sequencing at the B1 and SAG1 loci. This mussel was collected from nearshore marine waters just after the first significant rainfall event in the fall of 2002. Of 45 carnivores tested at the B1, SAG1, and GRA6 typing loci, 15 had PCR-confirmed T. gondii infection; 11 possessed alleles consistent with infection by archetypal Type I, II or III strains and 4 possessed alleles consistent with Type X T. gondii infection. No non-canonical alleles were identified. The four T. gondii strains with Type X alleles were identified from two mountain lions, a bobcat and a fox residing in coastal watersheds adjacent to sea otter habitat near Monterey Bay and Estero Bay. Confirmation of Type X T. gondii in coastal-dwelling felids, canids, a marine bivalve and nearshore-dwelling sea otters supports the hypotheses that feline faecal contamination is flowing from land to sea through surface runoff, and that otters can be infected with T. gondii via consumption of filter-feeding marine invertebrates.

  7. The Chloroplast Genome of Utricularia reniformis Sheds Light on the Evolution of the ndh Gene Complex of Terrestrial Carnivorous Plants from the Lentibulariaceae Family.

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    Saura R Silva

    Full Text Available Lentibulariaceae is the richest family of carnivorous plants spanning three genera including Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia. Utricularia is globally distributed, and, unlike Pinguicula and Genlisea, has both aquatic and terrestrial forms. In this study we present the analysis of the chloroplast (cp genome of the terrestrial Utricularia reniformis. U. reniformis has a standard cp genome of 139,725bp, encoding a gene repertoire similar to essentially all photosynthetic organisms. However, an exclusive combination of losses and pseudogenization of the plastid NAD(PH-dehydrogenase (ndh gene complex were observed. Comparisons among aquatic and terrestrial forms of Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia indicate that, whereas the aquatic forms retained functional copies of the eleven ndh genes, these have been lost or truncated in terrestrial forms, suggesting that the ndh function may be dispensable in terrestrial Lentibulariaceae. Phylogenetic scenarios of the ndh gene loss and recovery among Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia to the ancestral Lentibulariaceae cladeare proposed. Interestingly, RNAseq analysis evidenced that U. reniformis cp genes are transcribed, including the truncated ndh genes, suggesting that these are not completely inactivated. In addition, potential novel RNA-editing sites were identified in at least six U. reniformis cp genes, while none were identified in the truncated ndh genes. Moreover, phylogenomic analyses support that Lentibulariaceae is monophyletic, belonging to the higher core Lamiales clade, corroborating the hypothesis that the first Utricularia lineage emerged in terrestrial habitats and then evolved to epiphytic and aquatic forms. Furthermore, several truncated cp genes were found interspersed with U. reniformis mitochondrial and nuclear genome scaffolds, indicating that as observed in other smaller plant genomes, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, and the related and carnivorous Genlisea nigrocaulis and G

  8. The mitochondrial genome of the terrestrial carnivorous plant Utricularia reniformis (Lentibulariaceae: Structure, comparative analysis and evolutionary landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saura R Silva

    Full Text Available The carnivorous plants of the family Lentibulariaceae have attained recent attention not only because of their interesting lifestyle, but also because of their dynamic nuclear genome size. Lentibulariaceae genomes span an order of magnitude and include species with the smallest genomes in angiosperms, making them a powerful system to study the mechanisms of genome expansion and contraction. However, little is known about mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA sequences of this family, and the evolutionary forces that shape this organellar genome. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of the complete mtDNA from the endemic terrestrial Brazilian species Utricularia reniformis. The 857,234bp master circle mitochondrial genome encodes 70 transcriptionaly active genes (42 protein-coding, 25 tRNAs and 3 rRNAs, covering up to 7% of the mtDNA. A ltrA-like protein related to splicing and mobility and a LAGLIDADG homing endonuclease have been identified in intronic regions, suggesting particular mechanisms of genome maintenance. RNA-seq analysis identified properties with putative diverse and important roles in genome regulation and evolution: 1 672kbp (78% of the mtDNA is covered by full-length reads; 2 most of the 243kbp intergenic regions exhibit transcripts; and 3 at least 69 novel RNA editing sites in the protein-coding genes. Additional genomic features are hypothetical ORFs (48%, chloroplast insertions, including truncated plastid genes that have been lost from the chloroplast DNA (5%, repeats (5%, relics of transposable elements mostly related to LTR retrotransposons (5%, and truncated mitovirus sequences (0.4%. Phylogenetic analysis based on 32 different Lamiales mitochondrial genomes corroborate that Lentibulariaceae is a monophyletic group. In summary, the U. reniformis mtDNA represents the eighth largest plant mtDNA described to date, shedding light on the genomic trends and evolutionary characteristics and phylogenetic history of the family

  9. The mitochondrial genome of the terrestrial carnivorous plant Utricularia reniformis (Lentibulariaceae): Structure, comparative analysis and evolutionary landmarks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Saura R; Alvarenga, Danillo O; Aranguren, Yani; Penha, Helen A; Fernandes, Camila C; Pinheiro, Daniel G; Oliveira, Marcos T; Michael, Todd P; Miranda, Vitor F O; Varani, Alessandro M

    2017-01-01

    The carnivorous plants of the family Lentibulariaceae have attained recent attention not only because of their interesting lifestyle, but also because of their dynamic nuclear genome size. Lentibulariaceae genomes span an order of magnitude and include species with the smallest genomes in angiosperms, making them a powerful system to study the mechanisms of genome expansion and contraction. However, little is known about mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of this family, and the evolutionary forces that shape this organellar genome. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of the complete mtDNA from the endemic terrestrial Brazilian species Utricularia reniformis. The 857,234bp master circle mitochondrial genome encodes 70 transcriptionaly active genes (42 protein-coding, 25 tRNAs and 3 rRNAs), covering up to 7% of the mtDNA. A ltrA-like protein related to splicing and mobility and a LAGLIDADG homing endonuclease have been identified in intronic regions, suggesting particular mechanisms of genome maintenance. RNA-seq analysis identified properties with putative diverse and important roles in genome regulation and evolution: 1) 672kbp (78%) of the mtDNA is covered by full-length reads; 2) most of the 243kbp intergenic regions exhibit transcripts; and 3) at least 69 novel RNA editing sites in the protein-coding genes. Additional genomic features are hypothetical ORFs (48%), chloroplast insertions, including truncated plastid genes that have been lost from the chloroplast DNA (5%), repeats (5%), relics of transposable elements mostly related to LTR retrotransposons (5%), and truncated mitovirus sequences (0.4%). Phylogenetic analysis based on 32 different Lamiales mitochondrial genomes corroborate that Lentibulariaceae is a monophyletic group. In summary, the U. reniformis mtDNA represents the eighth largest plant mtDNA described to date, shedding light on the genomic trends and evolutionary characteristics and phylogenetic history of the family Lentibulariaceae.

  10. Terrestrial Ecosystems - Topographic Moisture Potential of the Conterminous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cress, Jill J.; Sayre, Roger G.; Comer, Patrick; Warner, Harumi

    2009-01-01

    As part of an effort to map terrestrial ecosystems, the U.S. Geological Survey has generated topographic moisture potential classes to be used in creating maps depicting standardized, terrestrial ecosystem models for the conterminous United States, using an ecosystems classification developed by NatureServe. A biophysical stratification approach, developed for South America and now being implemented globally, was used to model the ecosystem distributions. Substrate moisture regimes strongly influence the differentiation and distribution of terrestrial ecosystems, and therefore topographic moisture potential is one of the key input layers in this biophysical stratification. The method used to produce these topographic moisture potential classes was based on the derivation of ground moisture potential using a combination of computed topographic characteristics (CTI, slope, and aspect) and mapped National Wetland Inventory (NWI) boundaries. This method does not use climate or soil attributes to calculate relative topographic moisture potential since these characteristics are incorporated into the ecosystem model though other input layers. All of the topographic data used for this assessment were derived from the USGS 30-meter National Elevation Dataset (NED ) including the National Compound Topographic Index (CTI). The CTI index is a topographically derived measure of slope for a raster cell and the contributing area from upstream raster cells, and thus expresses potential for water flow to a point. In other words CTI data are 'a quantification of the position of a site in the local landscape', where the lowest values indicate ridges and the highest values indicate stream channels, lakes and ponds. These CTI values were compared to independent estimates of water accumulation by obtaining geospatial data from a number of sample locations representing two types of NWI boundaries: freshwater emergent wetlands and freshwater forested/shrub wetlands. Where these shorelines

  11. Evolution of Gyrification in Carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyras, George A; Giannakopoulou, Aggeliki; Kouvari, Miranda; Papadopoulos, Georgios C

    2016-01-01

    The order Carnivora is a large and highly diverse mammalian group with a long and well-documented evolutionary history. Nevertheless, our knowledge on the degree of cortical folding (or degree of gyrification) is limited to just a few species. Here we investigate the degree of cortical folding in 64 contemporary and 37 fossil carnivore species. We do so by measuring the length of gyri impressions on endocranial casts. We use this approach because we have found that there is a very good correlation between the degree of cortical folding and the relative length of the gyri that are exposed on the outer surface of the hemispheres. Our results indicate that aquatic and semiaquatic carnivores have higher degrees of cortical folding than terrestrial carnivores. The degree of cortical folding varies among modern families, with viverrids having the lowest values. Furthermore, the scaling of cortical folding with brain size follows different patterns across specific carnivore families. Forty million years ago, the first carnivores had a relatively small cortex and limited cortical folding. Both the size of the cortex and the degree of cortical folding increased independently in each family during evolution. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. Carnivorous heterotopias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lapina, Linda; Leer, Jonatan

    2016-01-01

    The past years have seen an upsurge of burger and barbecue restaurants in a Copenhagen gastronomic scene otherwise dominated by trends toward sustainability, ‘wholesome’, local and organic food. In these new spaces, meat is glorified and consumed materially and symbolically (through design......’, opened in 2014 and elected as the 2014 Best New Restaurant in Copenhagen) and WarPigs, a Texas-inspired barbecue opened in 2015. We discuss negotiations of masculinity in these meatscapes that challenge contemporary ideals for (sustainable, moderate, wholesome) food consumption and gender performances...... and decorations), appeasing a presumed masculine appetite and conveying ideas about masculine, carnivorous bonding/community and a masculine, heterosexual, middle-class gaze. This article examines two manifestations of these celebrations of meat and masculinity: the hotdog restaurant Foderbrættet (‘The Bird Table...

  13. Carnivorous heterotopias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lapina, Linda; Leer, Jonatan

    2016-01-01

    The past years have seen an upsurge of burger- and barbecue restaurants in a Copenhagen gastronomic scene otherwise dominated by trends towards sustainability, ‘wholesome’, local and organic food. In these new spaces, meat is glorified and consumed materially and symbolically (through design......’, opened in 2014 and elected as the 2014 Best New Restaurant in Copenhagen) and WarPigs, a Texas-inspired barbecue opened in 2015. We discuss negotiations of masculinity in these meatscapes that challenge contemporary ideals for (sustainable, moderate, wholesome) food consumption and gender performances...... and decorations), appeasing a presumed masculine appetite and conveying ideas about masculine, carnivorous bonding/community and a masculine, heterosexual, middle class gaze. This article examines two manifestations of these celebrations of meat and masculinity: the hotdog restaurant Foderbrættet (‘The Bird Table...

  14. Phylogenetic and functional diversity in large carnivore assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalerum, F

    2013-06-07

    Large terrestrial carnivores are important ecological components and prominent flagship species, but are often extinction prone owing to a combination of biological traits and high levels of human persecution. This study combines phylogenetic and functional diversity evaluations of global and continental large carnivore assemblages to provide a framework for conservation prioritization both between and within assemblages. Species-rich assemblages of large carnivores simultaneously had high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but species contributions to phylogenetic and functional diversity components were not positively correlated. The results further provide ecological justification for the largest carnivore species as a focus for conservation action, and suggests that range contraction is a likely cause of diminishing carnivore ecosystem function. This study highlights that preserving species-rich carnivore assemblages will capture both high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but that prioritizing species within assemblages will involve trade-offs between optimizing contemporary ecosystem function versus the evolutionary potential for future ecosystem performance.

  15. Terrestrial Ecosystems - Surficial Lithology of the Conterminous United States

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has generated a new classification and map of the lithology of surficial materials for the contiguous United States. This was...

  16. Terrestrial Ecosystems - Land Surface Forms of the Conterminous United States

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has generated land surface form classes for the contiguous United States. These land surface form classes were created as part of...

  17. Terrestrial Ecosystems - Isobioclimates of the Conterminous United States

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has generated and mapped isobioclimate classes for the contiguous United States. These isobioclimate classes were created as part...

  18. Terrestrial Ecosystems - Topographic Moisture Potential of the Conterminous United States

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has generated topographic moisture potential classes for the contiguous United States. These topographic moisture potential classes...

  19. Aquatic carbon cycling in the conterminous United States and implications for terrestrial carbon accounting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butman, David; Stackpoole, Sarah M.; Stets, Edward G.; McDonald, Cory P.; Clow, David W.; Striegl, Robert G.

    2016-01-01

    Inland water ecosystems dynamically process, transport, and sequester carbon. However, the transport of carbon through aquatic environments has not been quantitatively integrated in the context of terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we present the first integrated assessment, to our knowledge, of freshwater carbon fluxes for the conterminous United States, where 106 (range: 71–149) teragrams of carbon per year (TgC⋅y−1) is exported downstream or emitted to the atmosphere and sedimentation stores 21 (range: 9–65) TgC⋅y−1 in lakes and reservoirs. We show that there is significant regional variation in aquatic carbon flux, but verify that emission across stream and river surfaces represents the dominant flux at 69 (range: 36–110) TgC⋅y−1 or 65% of the total aquatic carbon flux for the conterminous United States. Comparing our results with the output of a suite of terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs), we suggest that within the current modeling framework, calculations of net ecosystem production (NEP) defined as terrestrial only may be overestimated by as much as 27%. However, the internal production and mineralization of carbon in freshwaters remain to be quantified and would reduce the effect of including aquatic carbon fluxes within calculations of terrestrial NEP. Reconciliation of carbon mass–flux interactions between terrestrial and aquatic carbon sources and sinks will require significant additional research and modeling capacity.

  20. Trypanosoma cruzi infection in neotropical wild carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora): at the top of the T. cruzi transmission chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Fabiana Lopes; Roque, André Luiz Rodrigues; de Lima, Juliane Saab; Cheida, Carolina Carvalho; Lemos, Frederico Gemesio; de Azevedo, Fernanda Cavalcanti; Arrais, Ricardo Corassa; Bilac, Daniele; Herrera, Heitor Miraglia; Mourão, Guilherme; Jansen, Ana Maria

    2013-01-01

    Little is known on the role played by Neotropical wild carnivores in the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles. We investigated T. cruzi infection in wild carnivores from three sites in Brazil through parasitological and serological tests. The seven carnivore species examined were infected by T. cruzi, but high parasitemias detectable by hemoculture were found only in two Procyonidae species. Genotyping by Mini-exon gene, PCR-RFLP (1f8/Akw21I) and kDNA genomic targets revealed that the raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus) harbored TcI and the coatis (Nasua nasua) harbored TcI, TcII, TcIII-IV and Trypanosoma rangeli, in single and mixed infections, besides four T. cruzi isolates that displayed odd band patterns in the Mini-exon assay. These findings corroborate the coati can be a bioaccumulator of T. cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTU) and may act as a transmission hub, a connection point joining sylvatic transmission cycles within terrestrial and arboreal mammals and vectors. Also, the odd band patterns observed in coatis' isolates reinforce that T. cruzi diversity might be much higher than currently acknowledged. Additionally, we assembled our data with T. cruzi infection on Neotropical carnivores' literature records to provide a comprehensive analysis of the infection patterns among distinct carnivore species, especially considering their ecological traits and phylogeny. Altogether, fifteen Neotropical carnivore species were found naturally infected by T. cruzi. Species diet was associated with T. cruzi infection rates, supporting the hypothesis that predator-prey links are important mechanisms for T. cruzi maintenance and dispersion in the wild. Distinct T. cruzi infection patterns across carnivore species and study sites were notable. Musteloidea species consistently exhibit high parasitemias in different studies which indicate their high infectivity potential. Mesocarnivores that feed on both invertebrates and mammals, including the coati, a host that can be

  1. Trypanosoma cruzi infection in neotropical wild carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora: at the top of the T. cruzi transmission chain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiana Lopes Rocha

    Full Text Available Little is known on the role played by Neotropical wild carnivores in the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles. We investigated T. cruzi infection in wild carnivores from three sites in Brazil through parasitological and serological tests. The seven carnivore species examined were infected by T. cruzi, but high parasitemias detectable by hemoculture were found only in two Procyonidae species. Genotyping by Mini-exon gene, PCR-RFLP (1f8/Akw21I and kDNA genomic targets revealed that the raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus harbored TcI and the coatis (Nasua nasua harbored TcI, TcII, TcIII-IV and Trypanosoma rangeli, in single and mixed infections, besides four T. cruzi isolates that displayed odd band patterns in the Mini-exon assay. These findings corroborate the coati can be a bioaccumulator of T. cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTU and may act as a transmission hub, a connection point joining sylvatic transmission cycles within terrestrial and arboreal mammals and vectors. Also, the odd band patterns observed in coatis' isolates reinforce that T. cruzi diversity might be much higher than currently acknowledged. Additionally, we assembled our data with T. cruzi infection on Neotropical carnivores' literature records to provide a comprehensive analysis of the infection patterns among distinct carnivore species, especially considering their ecological traits and phylogeny. Altogether, fifteen Neotropical carnivore species were found naturally infected by T. cruzi. Species diet was associated with T. cruzi infection rates, supporting the hypothesis that predator-prey links are important mechanisms for T. cruzi maintenance and dispersion in the wild. Distinct T. cruzi infection patterns across carnivore species and study sites were notable. Musteloidea species consistently exhibit high parasitemias in different studies which indicate their high infectivity potential. Mesocarnivores that feed on both invertebrates and mammals, including the coati, a host that

  2. Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat

    OpenAIRE

    Crooks, Kevin R.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Theobald, David M.; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-01-01

    Although mammalian carnivores are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and require landscape connectivity, their global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity have not been examined. We use recently developed high-resolution habitat suitability models to conduct comparative analyses and to identify global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity for the world's terrestrial carnivores. Species with less fragmentation (i.e. more interior high-quality habitat) had larger geographical ranges...

  3. Trypanosoma cruzi Infection in Neotropical Wild Carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora): At the Top of the T. cruzi Transmission Chain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Fabiana Lopes; Roque, André Luiz Rodrigues; de Lima, Juliane Saab; Cheida, Carolina Carvalho; Lemos, Frederico Gemesio; de Azevedo, Fernanda Cavalcanti; Arrais, Ricardo Corassa; Bilac, Daniele; Herrera, Heitor Miraglia; Mourão, Guilherme; Jansen, Ana Maria

    2013-01-01

    Little is known on the role played by Neotropical wild carnivores in the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles. We investigated T. cruzi infection in wild carnivores from three sites in Brazil through parasitological and serological tests. The seven carnivore species examined were infected by T. cruzi, but high parasitemias detectable by hemoculture were found only in two Procyonidae species. Genotyping by Mini-exon gene, PCR-RFLP (1f8/Akw21I) and kDNA genomic targets revealed that the raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus) harbored TcI and the coatis (Nasua nasua) harbored TcI, TcII, TcIII-IV and Trypanosoma rangeli, in single and mixed infections, besides four T. cruzi isolates that displayed odd band patterns in the Mini-exon assay. These findings corroborate the coati can be a bioaccumulator of T. cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTU) and may act as a transmission hub, a connection point joining sylvatic transmission cycles within terrestrial and arboreal mammals and vectors. Also, the odd band patterns observed in coatis’ isolates reinforce that T. cruzi diversity might be much higher than currently acknowledged. Additionally, we assembled our data with T. cruzi infection on Neotropical carnivores’ literature records to provide a comprehensive analysis of the infection patterns among distinct carnivore species, especially considering their ecological traits and phylogeny. Altogether, fifteen Neotropical carnivore species were found naturally infected by T. cruzi. Species diet was associated with T. cruzi infection rates, supporting the hypothesis that predator-prey links are important mechanisms for T. cruzi maintenance and dispersion in the wild. Distinct T. cruzi infection patterns across carnivore species and study sites were notable. Musteloidea species consistently exhibit high parasitemias in different studies which indicate their high infectivity potential. Mesocarnivores that feed on both invertebrates and mammals, including the coati, a host that can be

  4. Trends in the extinction of carnivores in Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cartagena–Matos, B.

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The extinction of top predators, such as mammalian carnivores can lead to dramatic changes in foodweb structure and ecosystem dynamics. Since all native Malagasy terrestrial mammalian carnivores are endemic, their extinction implies a significant loss of biodiversity in Madagascar. Here we review the literature on Madagascar’s mammalian carnivores, aiming to determine which species are most likely to become extinct in the near future in view of the factors threatening their survival. We scored each factor according to its impact on the species. According to our results, the giant–striped mongoose, Galidictis grandidieri, is the most likely species to next become extinct. This is no surprise because this species is considered one of the rarest carnivores in the world, inhabiting only a small, threatened forest ecosystem. Our results emphasize the need for robust data about each species to help and support decision–makers implement conservation measures.

  5. Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration in National Parks: Values for the Conterminous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Leslie A.; Huber, Christopher; Zhu, Zhi-Liang; Koontz, Lynne

    2015-01-01

    Lands managed by the National Park Service (NPS) provide a wide range of beneficial services to the American public. This study quantifies the ecosystem service value of carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems within NPS units in the conterminous United States for which data were available. Combining annual net carbon balance data with spatially explicit NPS land unit boundaries and social cost of carbon estimates, this study calculates the net metric tons of carbon dioxide sequestered annually by park unit under baseline conditions, as well as the associated economic value to society. Results show that, in aggregate, NPS lands in the conterminous United States are a net carbon sink, sequestering more than 14.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. The associated societal value of this service is estimated at approximately $582.5 million per year. While this analysis provides a broad overview of the annual value of carbon sequestration on NPS lands averaged over a five year baseline period, it should be noted that carbon fluxes fluctuate from year to year, and there can be considerable variation in net carbon balance and its associated value within a given park unit. Future research could look in-depth at the spatial heterogeneity of carbon flux within specific NPS land units.

  6. thesis that carnivorous fish

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    The work of Iverson (1990) supported the hypo- thesis that carnivorous fish (and squid) production is controlled by the quantity of new nitrogen (NO3-N) incorporated annually into phytoplankton biomass. (annual new production) and transferred through marine foodwebs. This hypothesis is tested here in the context of the ...

  7. Functional Unit Testing: An Idea for Evaluating Ideas in Terrestrial Biogeochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, A. W.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Thornton, P. E.; Wang, D.; Warren, J.

    2014-12-01

    Experimental observations of terrestrial biogeochemistry are often made at the scale of leaves and the rhizosphere or at spatial scales finer than that of the entire ecosystem. Classic examples include measurements of leaf-level photosynthesis and of soil respiration using soil chambers. Field experiments are often designed to test hypotheses at these finer scales or to test larger scale hypotheses linked to those finer-scale processes. In turn, functional representations of processes within a model are themselves scale-dependent hypotheses. They may be hypotheses that are broadly supported by experimental results or they may be more tentative. In either case, there is a need to evaluate the finer-scale hypotheses within the context of the model's integrated representation of larger-scale higher-level behavior. For example, model results can indicate how a hypothesized process at the scale of fine roots might be expressed at the scale of whole stand evapotranspiration. These results can then inform the design of experiments and observations best suited for capturing that multi-scale behavior and dependency. However, it is often extremely difficult to extract results of finer scale hypotheses (functions) from fully integrated large-scale ecosystem models. Accordingly, we have developed a framework for extracting individual process representations from the Community Land Model (CLM) into modular units for functional testing. These modules encapsulate fine-scale hypotheses about terrestrial biogeochemistry. Results can be generated quickly with these modules and compared directly with the experimental observations at the appropriate scale. Alternative hypotheses can be quickly implemented and evaluated. We illustrate this concept with results from CLM and the Partitioning in Trees and Soils loblolly pine field experiment. Our findings suggest deficits in the model's hypothesized relationship between photosynthesis and temperature and suggest a focus in subsequent

  8. Carnivores of Syria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Masseti

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research is to outline the local occurrence and recent distribution of carnivores in Syria (Syrian Arab Republic in order to offer a starting point for future studies. The species of large dimensions, such as the Asiatic lion, the Caspian tiger, the Asiatic cheetah, and the Syrian brown bear, became extinct in historical times, the last leopard being reputed to have been killed in 1963 on the Alauwit Mountains (Al Nusyriain Mountains. The checklist of the extant Syrian carnivores amounts to 15 species, which are essentially referable to 4 canids, 5 mustelids, 4 felids – the sand catbeen reported only recently for the first time – one hyaenid, and one herpestid. The occurrence of the Blandford fox has yet to be confirmed. This paper is almost entirely the result of a series of field surveys carried out by the author mainly between 1989 and 1995, integrated by data from several subsequent reports and sightings by other authors.

  9. Global large carnivore conservation and international law

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trouwborst, A.

    2015-01-01

    International cooperation, including through international legal instruments, appears important for the conservation of large carnivores worldwide. This is due to, inter alia, the worrying conservation status and population trends of many large carnivore species; the importance of large carnivores

  10. Assessment of potential risk of environmental radioactive contamination in northern Europe from terrestrial nuclear units in north-west Russia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lisovsky, I. [St. Petersburg State Technical Univ. (Russian Federation); Baklanov, A. [Inst. of the Northern Ecology Problems (INEP) (Russian Federation); Jacovlev, V. [St. Petersburg State Technical Univ. (Russian Federation); Prutskov, V. [Ministry of Defence (Russian Federation). First Central Research Inst. of Naval Shipbuilding; Tarasov, I. [Ministry of Defence (Russian Federation). 23 State Marine Project Inst.; Blecher, A. [State Unitary Enterprise (Russian Federation). Research Inst. of Industrial and Marine Medicine; Zvonariev, B.; Kuchin, N.; Rubanov, S.; Sergeiev, I. [State Scientific Centre (Russian Federation). Central Research Inst. of A. Krylov; Morozov, S.; Koshkin, V.; Fedorenko, Yu.; Rigina, O. [Inst. of the Northern Ecology Problems (INEP) (Russian Federation); Bergman, R. [ed.] [Defence Research Establishment, Umeaa (Sweden). Div. of NBC Defence

    1999-05-01

    This Technical Report, being part of the INTAS project 96-1802, constitutes a comprehensive presentation - covering basic results from separate contributions as specified below - of work performed during the first period (February 1998- February 1999). The aim of the INTAS project 96-1802: `Assessment of potential risk of environmental radioactive contamination in northern Europe from terrestrial nuclear units in north-west Russia` is to assess the potential risk of environmental radioactive contamination from nuclear units in north-west Russia and resulting impacts on population and terrestrial ecosystems in the north. The work focuses mainly on airborne radioactive contamination, but some case studies also deal with accidental leakage from terrestrial nuclear sites to soil and coastal waters. The present material comprises in more detail the contributions from participants no.4 and no.5 based on the four internal reports referred to below: (1) Assessment of potential risk of environmental radioactive contamination in Northern Europe from terrestrial nuclear units in north-west Russia: `Determination of the list of typical sources of danger emergency radioactive releases in an environment in connection with military activity in the North of Russia.` Technical report no.1 of the team no.5. St.-Petersburg State Technical University, St.-Petersburg. July 1998. 43 p.; (2) Assessment of potential risk of environmental radioactive contamination in Northern Europe from terrestrial nuclear units in North-west Russia: `Analysis and description of source-term characteristics for accident linked with airborne radioactive releases from Kola Nuclear Power Plant. Establishing a network facility at INEP for communication among the INTAS Project participants.` Technical report no.1 of the team no.4. Kola Science Centre, Apatity. August 1998. 56 p.; (3) Assessment of potential risk of environmental radioactive contamination in Northern Europe from terrestrial nuclear units in

  11. Prey depletion as a threat to the world's large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Christopher; Ripple, William J

    2016-08-01

    Large terrestrial carnivores are an ecologically important, charismatic and highly endangered group of species. Here, we assess the importance of prey depletion as a driver of large carnivore endangerment globally using lists of prey species for each large carnivore compiled from the literature. We consider spatial variation in prey endangerment, changes in endangerment over time and the causes of prey depletion, finding considerable evidence that loss of prey base is a major and wide-ranging threat among large carnivore species. In particular, the clouded leopard ( Neofelis nebulosa ), Sunda clouded leopard ( Neofelis diardi ), tiger ( Panthera tigris ), dhole ( Cuon alpinus ) and Ethiopian wolf ( Canis simensis ) all have at least 40% of their prey classified as threatened on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and, along with the leopard ( Panethra pardus ), all of these species except the Ethiopian wolf have at least 50% of their prey classified as declining. Of the 494 prey species in our analysis, an average of just 6.9% of their ranges overlap protected areas. Together these results show the importance of a holistic approach to conservation that involves protecting both large carnivores directly and the prey upon which they depend.

  12. Dissolved Organic Carbon Fluxes in Rivers of the Conterminous United States: Influence of Terrestrial - Aquatic Linkages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stackpoole, S. M.; Butman, D. E.; Stets, E.; Striegl, R. G.; Bachelet, D. M.; Zhu, Z.; Liu, S.

    2015-12-01

    Management of terrestrial carbon stocks in natural ecosystems has been proposed as a sustainable approach to counteracting the anthropogenic contribution of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. One factor of uncertainty in carbon accounting is that a portion of carbon assumed to be sequestered in soils may in fact be transported to river networks. The primary objectives of this study are to: 1) determine if the magnitude of empirical estimates of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) export in rivers correlates with simulated soil DOC leachate values from terrestrial carbon models, and 2) quantify terrestrial loading of DOC to river networks across the conterminous US. We evaluated the magnitude of riverine DOC fluxes relative to carbon storage in terrestrial biomass and soils using the aggregated results from the terrestrial carbon models included in the LandCarbon and Multi-scale Synthesis and Terrestrial Model Intercomparison Projects. We also compared gridded terrestrial DOC leaching values to downstream DOC fluxes in rivers estimated by the USGS LOADEST model. Quantification of terrestrial-aquatic linkages is necessary to better evaluate ecosystem carbon sequestration as a potential tool for mitigating anthropogenic perturbance to the global carbon cycle.

  13. Analysis of trophic structure of two carnivore assemblages by means of guild identification

    OpenAIRE

    Zapata, Sonia C.; Travaini, Alejandro; Ferreras, Pablo; Delibes, M.

    2007-01-01

    We evaluated the existence of trophic guild struc- ture, considering seasonal and annual variation, in two terrestrial carnivore assemblages: one from Santa Cruz province (Argentinean Patagonia, composed by six carni- vore species), and the other from Doñana National Park (SW Spain, composed by five carnivore species). To identify trophic guilds, we first studied seasonal and annual diets of predators, calculated trophic overlap among species pairs, and then constructed overlap matrices (...

  14. Can we save large carnivores without losing large carnivore science?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Benjamin L.; Allen, Lee R.; Andrén, Henrik; Ballard, Guy; Boitani, Luigi; Engeman, Richard M.; Fleming, Peter J.S.; Haswell, Peter M.; Ford, Adam T.; Kowalczyk, Rafał; Mech, L. David; Linnell, John D.C.; Parker, Daniel M.

    2017-01-01

    Large carnivores are depicted to shape entire ecosystems through top-down processes. Studies describing these processes are often used to support interventionist wildlife management practices, including carnivore reintroduction or lethal control programs. Unfortunately, there is an increasing tendency to ignore, disregard or devalue fundamental principles of the scientific method when communicating the reliability of current evidence for the ecological roles that large carnivores may play, eroding public confidence in large carnivore science and scientists. Here, we discuss six interrelated issues that currently undermine the reliability of the available literature on the ecological roles of large carnivores: (1) the overall paucity of available data, (2) reliability of carnivore population sampling techniques, (3) general disregard for alternative hypotheses to top-down forcing, (4) lack of applied science studies, (5) frequent use of logical fallacies, and (6) generalisation of results from relatively pristine systems to those substantially altered by humans. We first describe how widespread these issues are, and given this, show, for example, that evidence for the roles of wolves (Canis lupus) and dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) in initiating trophic cascades is not as strong as is often claimed. Managers and policy makers should exercise caution when relying on this literature to inform wildlife management decisions. We emphasise the value of manipulative experiments and discuss the role of scientific knowledge in the decision-making process. We hope that the issues we raise here prompt deeper consideration of actual evidence, leading towards an improvement in both the rigour and communication of large carnivore science.

  15. The systematics of carnivorous sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hestetun, Jon Thomassen; Vacelet, Jean; Boury-Esnault, Nicole; Borchiellini, Carole; Kelly, Michelle; Ríos, Pilar; Cristobo, Javier; Rapp, Hans Tore

    2016-01-01

    Carnivorous sponges are characterized by their unique method of capturing mesoplanktonic prey coupled with the complete or partial reduction of the aquiferous system characteristic of the phylum Porifera. Current systematics place the vast majority of carnivorous sponges within Cladorhizidae, with certain species assigned to Guitarridae and Esperiopsidae. Morphological characters have not been able to show whether this classification is evolutionary accurate, and whether carnivory has evolved once or in several lineages. In the present paper we present the first comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the carnivorous sponges, interpret these results in conjunction with morphological characters, and propose a revised classification of the group. Molecular phylogenies were inferred using 18S rDNA and a combined dataset of partial 28S rDNA, COI and ALG11 sequences. The results recovered carnivorous sponges as a clade closely related to the families Mycalidae and Guitarridae, showing family Cladorhizidae to be monophyletic and also including carnivorous species currently placed in other families. The genus Lycopodina is resurrected for species currently placed in the paraphyletic subgenus Asbestopluma (Asbestopluma) featuring forceps spicules and lacking sigmas or sigmancistras. The genera Chondrocladia and Cladorhiza are found to be monophyletic. However, results indicate that the subgenus Chondrocladia is polyphyletic with respect to the subgenera Meliiderma and Symmetrocladia. Euchelipluma, formerly Guitarridae, is retained, but transferred to Cladorhizidae. The four known carnivorous species currently in Esperiopsis are transferred to Abyssocladia. Neocladia is a junior homonym and is here renamed Koltunicladia. Our results provide strong evidence in support of the hypothesis that carnivory in sponges has evolved only once. While spicule characters mostly reflect monophyletic groups at the generic level, differences between genera represent evolution within family

  16. Mapping the Relative Probability of Common Toad Occurrence in Terrestrial Lowland Farm Habitat in the United Kingdom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosie D Salazar

    Full Text Available The common toad (Bufo bufo is of increasing conservation concern in the United Kingdom (UK due to dramatic population declines occurring in the past century. Many of these population declines coincided with reductions in both terrestrial and aquatic habitat availability and quality and have been primarily attributed to the effect of agricultural land conversion (of natural and semi-natural habitats to arable and pasture fields and pond drainage. However, there is little evidence available to link habitat availability with common toad population declines, especially when examined at a broad landscape scale. Assessing such patterns of population declines at the landscape scale, for instance, require an understanding of how this species uses terrestrial habitat.We intensively studied the terrestrial resource selection of a large population of common toads in Oxfordshire, England, UK. Adult common toads were fitted with passive integrated transponder (PIT tags to allow detection in the terrestrial environment using a portable PIT antenna once toads left the pond and before going into hibernation (April/May-October 2012 and 2013. We developed a population-level resource selection function (RSF to assess the relative probability of toad occurrence in the terrestrial environment by collecting location data for 90 recaptured toads.The predicted relative probability of toad occurrence for this population was greatest in wooded habitat near to water bodies; relative probability of occurrence declined dramatically > 50 m from these habitats. Toads also tended to select habitat near to their breeding pond and toad occurrence was negatively related to urban environments.

  17. Retrospective ecotoxicological data and current information needs for terrestrial vertebrates residing in coastal habitat of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rattner, B.A.; Eisenreich, K.M.; Golden, N.H.; McKernan, M.A.; Hothem, R.L.; Custer, T.W.

    2005-01-01

    The Contaminant Exposure and Effects—Terrestrial Vertebrates (CEE-TV) database was developed to conduct simple searches for ecotoxicological information, examine exposure trends, and identify significant data gaps. The CEE-TV database contains 16,696 data records on free-ranging amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals residing in estuarine and coastal habitats of the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Great Lakes. Information in the database was derived from over 1800 source documents, representing 483 unique species (about 252,000 individuals), with sample collection dates spanning from 1884 to 2003. The majority of the records contain exposure data (generally contaminant concentrations) on a limited number (n = 209) of chlorinated and brominated compounds, cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides, economic poisons, metals, and petroleum hydrocarbons, whereas only 9.3% of the records contain biomarker or bioindicator effects data. Temporal examination of exposure data provides evidence of declining concentrations of certain organochlorine pesticides in some avian species (e.g., ospreys, Pandion haliaetus), and an apparent increase in the detection and possibly the incidence of avian die-offs related to cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides. To identify spatial data gaps, 11,360 database records with specific sampling locations were combined with the boundaries of coastal watersheds, and National Wildlife Refuge and National Park units. Terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological data were lacking in 41.9% of 464 coastal watersheds in the continental United States. Recent (1990–2003) terrestrial vertebrate contaminant exposure or effects data were available for only about half of the National Wildlife Refuge and National Park units in the geographic area encompassed by the database. When these data gaps were overlaid on watersheds exhibiting serious water quality problems and/or high vulnerability to pollution, 72 coastal watersheds, and

  18. Terrestrial carbon dynamics. Case studies in the former Soviet Union, the conterminous United States, Mexico and Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cairns, M.A.; Phillips, D.L. [Western Ecology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Corvallis (United States); Winjum, J.K. [Western Ecology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement USEPA, Corvallis (United States); Kolchugina, T.P.; Vinson, T.S. [Department of Civil Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis (United States)

    1997-10-01

    This research assessed land-use impacts on C flux at a national level in four countries: former Soviet Union, United States, Mexico and Brazil, including biotic processes in terrestrial ecosystems (closed forests, woodlands, and croplands), harvest of trees for wood and paper products, and direct C emission from fires. The terrestrial ecosystems of the four countries contain approximately 40% of the world`s terrestrial biosphere C pool, with the FSU alone having 27% of the global total. Average phytomass C densities decreased from south to north while average soil C densities in all three vegetation types generally increased from south to north. The C flux from land cover conversion was divided into a biotic component and a land-use component. We estimate that the total net biotic flux (Tg/yr) was positive (uptake) in the FSU (631) and the U.S. (332), but negative in Mexico (-37) and Brazil (-16). In contrast, total flux from land use was negative (emissions) in all four countries (TgC/yr): FSU -342; U.S. -243; Mexico -35; and Brazil -235. The total net effect of the biotic and land-use factors was a C sink in the FSU and the U.S. and a C source in both Brazil and Mexico. 2 figs., 6 tabs., 97 refs.

  19. Foraging constraints reverse the scaling of activity time in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzuto, Matteo; Carbone, Chris; Pawar, Samraat

    2017-12-04

    The proportion of time an animal spends actively foraging in a day determines its long-term fitness. Here, we derive a general mathematical model for the scaling of this activity time with body size in consumers. We show that this scaling can change from positive (increasing with size) to negative (decreasing with size) if the detectability and availability of preferred prey sizes is a limiting factor. These predictions are supported by a global dataset on 73 terrestrial carnivore species from 8 families spanning >3 orders of magnitude in size. Carnivores weighing ∼5 kg experience high foraging costs because their diets include significant proportions of relatively small (invertebrate) prey. As a result, they show an increase in activity time with size. This shifts to a negative scaling in larger carnivores as they shift to foraging on less costly vertebrate prey. Our model can be generalized to other classes of terrestrial and aquatic consumers and offers a general framework for mechanistically linking body size to population fitness and vulnerability in consumers.

  20. Ecophysiological characterization of carnivorous plant roots: oxygen fluxes, respiration, and water exudation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Adamec, Lubomír

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 49, č. 2 (2005), s. 247-255 ISSN 0006-3134 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA6005909 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6005908 Keywords : terrestrial carnivorous plants * soil anoxia * Genlisea traps Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.792, year: 2005

  1. Carnivorous leaves from Baltic amber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadowski, Eva-Maria; Seyfullah, Leyla J; Sadowski, Friederike; Fleischmann, Andreas; Behling, Hermann; Schmidt, Alexander R

    2015-01-06

    The fossil record of carnivorous plants is very scarce and macrofossil evidence has been restricted to seeds of the extant aquatic genus Aldrovanda of the Droseraceae family. No case of carnivorous plant traps has so far been reported from the fossil record. Here, we present two angiosperm leaves enclosed in a piece of Eocene Baltic amber that share relevant morphological features with extant Roridulaceae, a carnivorous plant family that is today endemic to the Cape flora of South Africa. Modern Roridula species are unique among carnivorous plants as they digest prey in a complex mutualistic association in which the prey-derived nutrient uptake depends on heteropteran insects. As in extant Roridula, the fossil leaves possess two types of plant trichomes, including unicellular hairs and five size classes of multicellular stalked glands (or tentacles) with an apical pore. The apices of the narrow and perfectly tapered fossil leaves end in a single tentacle, as in both modern Roridula species. The glandular hairs of the fossils are restricted to the leaf margins and to the abaxial lamina, as in extant Roridula gorgonias. Our discovery supports current molecular age estimates for Roridulaceae and suggests a wide Eocene distribution of roridulid plants.

  2. Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crooks, Kevin R; Burdett, Christopher L; Theobald, David M; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-09-27

    Although mammalian carnivores are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and require landscape connectivity, their global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity have not been examined. We use recently developed high-resolution habitat suitability models to conduct comparative analyses and to identify global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity for the world's terrestrial carnivores. Species with less fragmentation (i.e. more interior high-quality habitat) had larger geographical ranges, a greater proportion of habitat within their range, greater habitat connectivity and a lower risk of extinction. Species with higher connectivity (i.e. less habitat isolation) also had a greater proportion of high-quality habitat, but had smaller, not larger, ranges, probably reflecting shorter distances between habitat patches for species with restricted distributions; such species were also more threatened, as would be expected given the negative relationship between range size and extinction risk. Fragmentation and connectivity did not differ among Carnivora families, and body mass was associated with connectivity but not fragmentation. On average, only 54.3 per cent of a species' geographical range comprised high-quality habitat, and more troubling, only 5.2 per cent of the range comprised such habitat within protected areas. Identification of global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity will help guide strategic priorities for carnivore conservation.

  3. The Carnivore Connection Hypothesis: Revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennie C. Brand-Miller

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The “Carnivore Connection” hypothesizes that, during human evolution, a scarcity of dietary carbohydrate in diets with low plant : animal subsistence ratios led to insulin resistance providing a survival and reproductive advantage with selection of genes for insulin resistance. The selection pressure was relaxed at the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution when large quantities of cereals first entered human diets. The “Carnivore Connection” explains the high prevalence of intrinsic insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in populations that transition rapidly from traditional diets with a low-glycemic load, to high-carbohydrate, high-glycemic index diets that characterize modern diets. Selection pressure has been relaxed longest in European populations, explaining a lower prevalence of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, despite recent exposure to famine and food scarcity. Increasing obesity and habitual consumption of high-glycemic-load diets worsens insulin resistance and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes in all populations.

  4. Diversity and disparity of sparassodonts (Metatheria) reveal non-analogue nature of ancient South American mammalian carnivore guilds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croft, Darin A; Engelman, Russell K; Dolgushina, Tatiana; Wesley, Gina

    2018-01-10

    This study investigates whether terrestrial mammalian carnivore guilds of ancient South America, which developed in relative isolation, were similar to those of other continents. We do so through analyses of clade diversification, ecomorphology and guild structure in the Sparassodonta, metatherians that were the predominant mammalian carnivores of pre-Pleistocene South America. Body mass and 16 characters of the dentition are used to quantify morphological diversity (disparity) in sparassodonts and to compare them to extant marsupial and placental carnivores and extinct North American carnivoramorphans. We also compare trophic diversity of the Early Miocene terrestrial carnivore guild of Santa Cruz, Argentina to that of 14 modern and fossil guilds from other continents. We find that sparassodonts had comparatively low ecomorphological disparity throughout their history and that South American carnivore palaeoguilds, as represented by that of Santa Cruz, Argentina, were unlike modern or fossil carnivore guilds of other continents in their lack of mesocarnivores and hypocarnivores. Our results add to a growing body of evidence highlighting non-analogue aspects of extinct South American mammals and illustrate the dramatic effects that historical contingency can have on the evolution of mammalian palaeocommunities. © 2018 The Authors.

  5. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zach J Farris

    Full Text Available The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore conservation worldwide. Utilizing photographic, line-transect, and habitat sampling, as well as landscape analyses and village-based bushmeat hunting surveys, we provide the first investigation of how multiple forms of habitat degradation (fragmentation, exotic carnivores, human encroachment, and hunting affect carnivore occupancy across Madagascar's largest protected area: the Masoala-Makira landscape. We found that as degradation increased, native carnivore occupancy and encounter rates decreased while exotic carnivore occupancy and encounter rates increased. Feral cats (Felis species and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris had higher occupancy than half of the native carnivore species across Madagascar's largest protected landscape. Bird and small mammal encounter rates were negatively associated with exotic carnivore occupancy, but positively associated with the occupancy of four native carnivore species. Spotted fanaloka (Fossa fossana occupancy was constrained by the presence of exotic feral cats and exotic small Indian civet (Viverricula indica. Hunting was intense across the four study sites where hunting was studied, with the highest rates for the small Indian civet (mean=90 individuals consumed/year, the ring-tailed vontsira (Galidia elegans (mean=58 consumed/year, and the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox (mean=31 consumed/year. Our modeling results suggest hunters target intact forest where carnivore occupancy, abundance, and species richness, are highest

  6. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farris, Zach J; Golden, Christopher D; Karpanty, Sarah; Murphy, Asia; Stauffer, Dean; Ratelolahy, Felix; Andrianjakarivelo, Vonjy; Holmes, Christopher M; Kelly, Marcella J

    2015-01-01

    The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore conservation worldwide. Utilizing photographic, line-transect, and habitat sampling, as well as landscape analyses and village-based bushmeat hunting surveys, we provide the first investigation of how multiple forms of habitat degradation (fragmentation, exotic carnivores, human encroachment, and hunting) affect carnivore occupancy across Madagascar's largest protected area: the Masoala-Makira landscape. We found that as degradation increased, native carnivore occupancy and encounter rates decreased while exotic carnivore occupancy and encounter rates increased. Feral cats (Felis species) and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) had higher occupancy than half of the native carnivore species across Madagascar's largest protected landscape. Bird and small mammal encounter rates were negatively associated with exotic carnivore occupancy, but positively associated with the occupancy of four native carnivore species. Spotted fanaloka (Fossa fossana) occupancy was constrained by the presence of exotic feral cats and exotic small Indian civet (Viverricula indica). Hunting was intense across the four study sites where hunting was studied, with the highest rates for the small Indian civet (mean=90 individuals consumed/year), the ring-tailed vontsira (Galidia elegans) (mean=58 consumed/year), and the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox) (mean=31 consumed/year). Our modeling results suggest hunters target intact forest where carnivore occupancy, abundance, and species richness, are highest. These various

  7. Impacts of urbanization on carbon balance in terrestrial ecosystems of the Southern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chi; Tian, Hanqin; Chen, Guangsheng; Chappelka, Arthur; Xu, Xiaofeng; Ren, Wei; Hui, Dafeng; Liu, Mingliang; Lu, Chaoqun; Pan, Shufen; Lockaby, Graeme

    2012-05-01

    Using a process-based Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model, we assessed carbon dynamics of urbanized/developed lands in the Southern United States during 1945-2007. The results indicated that approximately 1.72 (1.69-1.77) Pg (1P = 10(15)) carbon was stored in urban/developed lands, comparable to the storage of shrubland or cropland in the region. Urbanization resulted in a release of 0.21 Pg carbon to the atmosphere during 1945-2007. Pre-urbanization vegetation type and time since land conversion were two primary factors determining the extent of urbanization impacts on carbon dynamics. After a rapid decline of carbon storage during land conversion, an urban ecosystem gradually accumulates carbon and may compensate for the initial carbon loss in 70-100 years. The carbon sequestration rate of urban ecosystem diminishes with time, nearly disappearing in two centuries after land conversion. This study implied that it is important to take urbanization effect into account for assessing regional carbon balance. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. An Analysis of Terrestrial and Aquatic Environmental Controls of Riverine Dissolved Organic Carbon in the Conterminous United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qichun Yang

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Analyses of environmental controls on riverine carbon fluxes are critical for improved understanding of the mechanisms regulating carbon cycling along the terrestrial-aquatic continuum. Here, we compile and analyze riverine dissolved organic carbon (DOC concentration data from 1402 United States Geological Survey (USGS gauge stations to examine the spatial variability and environmental controls of DOC concentrations in the United States (U.S. surface waters. DOC concentrations exhibit high spatial variability in the U.S., with an average of 6.42 ± 6.47 mg C/L (Mean ± Standard Deviation. High DOC concentrations occur in the Upper Mississippi River basin and the southeastern U.S., while low concentrations are mainly distributed in the western U.S. Soil properties such as soil organic matter, soil water content, and soil sand content mainly show positive correlations with DOC concentrations; forest and shrub land have positive correlations with DOC concentrations, but urban area and cropland demonstrate negative impacts; and total instream phosphorus and dam density correlate positively with DOC concentrations. Notably, the relative importance of these environmental controls varies substantially across major U.S. water resource regions. In addition, DOC concentrations and environmental controls also show significant variability from small streams to large rivers. In sum, our results reveal that general multi-linear regression of twenty environmental factors can partially explain (56% the DOC concentration variability. This study also highlights the complexity of the interactions among these environmental factors in determining DOC concentrations, thus calls for processes-based, non-linear methodologies to constrain uncertainties in riverine DOC cycling.

  9. Predicting carnivore occurrence with noninvasive surveys and occupancy modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Robert A.; Donovan, Therese M.; MacKay, Paula; Zielinski, William J.; Buzas, Jeffrey S.

    2011-01-01

    Terrestrial carnivores typically have large home ranges and exist at low population densities, thus presenting challenges to wildlife researchers. We employed multiple, noninvasive survey methods—scat detection dogs, remote cameras, and hair snares—to collect detection–nondetection data for elusive American black bears (Ursus americanus), fishers (Martes pennanti), and bobcats (Lynx rufus) throughout the rugged Vermont landscape. We analyzed these data using occupancy modeling that explicitly incorporated detectability as well as habitat and landscape variables. For black bears, percentage of forested land within 5 km of survey sites was an important positive predictor of occupancy, and percentage of human developed land within 5 km was a negative predictor. Although the relationship was less clear for bobcats, occupancy appeared positively related to the percentage of both mixed forest and forested wetland habitat within 1 km of survey sites. The relationship between specific covariates and fisher occupancy was unclear, with no specific habitat or landscape variables directly related to occupancy. For all species, we used model averaging to predict occurrence across the study area. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses of our black bear and fisher models suggested that occupancy modeling efforts with data from noninvasive surveys could be useful for carnivore conservation and management, as they provide insights into habitat use at the regional and landscape scale without requiring capture or direct observation of study species.

  10. Wolves-coyotes-foxes: a cascade among carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levi, Taal; Wilmers, Christopher C

    2012-04-01

    Due to the widespread eradication of large canids and felids, top predators in many terrestrial ecosystems are now medium-sized carnivores such as coyotes. Coyotes have been shown to increase songbird and rodent abundance and diversity by suppressing populations of small carnivores such as domestic cats and foxes. The restoration of gray wolves to many parts of North America, however, could alter this interaction chain. Here we use a 30-year time series of wolf, coyote, and fox relative abundance from the state of Minnesota, USA, to show that wolves suppress coyote populations, which in turn releases foxes from top-down control by coyotes. In contrast to mesopredator release theory, which has often considered the consequence of top predator removal in a three-species interaction chain (e.g., coyote-fox-prey), the presence of the top predator releases the smaller predator in a four-species interaction chain. Thus, heavy predation by abundant small predators might be more similar to the historical ecosystem before top-predator extirpation. The restructuring of predator communities due to the loss or restoration of top predators is likely to alter the size spectrum of heavily consumed prey with important implications for biodiversity and human health.

  11. Normal glucose metabolism of healthy carnivores mimics diabetes pathology of non-carnivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eSchermerhorn

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Carnivores, such as the dolphin and the domestic cat, have numerous adaptations that befit consumption of diets with high protein and fat content, with little carbohydrate content. Consequently, nutrient metabolism in carnivorous species differs substantially from that of non-carnivores. Important metabolic pathways known to differ between carnivores and non-carnivores are implicated in the development of diabetes and insulin resistance in non-carnivores: 1. the hepatic glucokinase (GCK pathway is absent in healthy carnivores yet GCK deficiency may result in diabetes in rodents and humans, 2. healthy dolphins and cats are prone to periods of fasting hyperglycemia and exhibit insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for diabetes in non-carnivores. Similarly, carnivores develop naturally-occurring diseases such as hemachromatosis, fatty liver, obesity and diabetes that have strong parallels with the same disorders in humans. Understanding how evolution, environment, diet and domestication may play a role with nutrient metabolism in the dolphin and cat may also be relevant to human diabetes.

  12. Cats and Carbohydrates: The Carnivore Fantasy?

    OpenAIRE

    Adronie Verbrugghe; Myriam Hesta

    2017-01-01

    The domestic cat’s wild ancestors are obligate carnivores that consume prey containing only minimal amounts of carbohydrates. Evolutionary events adapted the cat’s metabolism and physiology to this diet strictly composed of animal tissues and led to unique digestive and metabolic peculiarities of carbohydrate metabolism. The domestic cat still closely resembles its wild ancestor. Although the carnivore connection of domestic cats is well recognised, little is known about the precise nutrient ...

  13. Managing conflict between large carnivores and livestock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Eeden, Lily M; Crowther, Mathew S; Dickman, Chris R; Macdonald, David W; Ripple, William J; Ritchie, Euan G; Newsome, Thomas M

    2018-02-01

    Large carnivores are persecuted globally because they threaten human industries and livelihoods. How this conflict is managed has consequences for the conservation of large carnivores and biodiversity more broadly. Mitigating human-predator conflict should be evidence-based and accommodate people's values while protecting carnivores. Despite much research into human and large-carnivore coexistence strategies, there have been few attempts to document the success of conflict-mitigation strategies on a global scale. We conducted a meta-analysis of global research on conflict mitigation related to large carnivores and humans. We focused on conflicts that arise from the threat large carnivores pose to livestock. We first used structured and unstructured searching to identify replicated studies that used before-after or control-impact design to measure change in livestock loss as a result of implementing a management intervention. We then extracted relevant data from these studies to calculate an overall effect size for each intervention type. Research effort and focus varied among continents and aligned with the histories and cultures that shaped livestock production and attitudes toward carnivores. Livestock guardian animals most effectively reduced livestock losses. Lethal control was the second most effective control, although its success varied the most, and guardian animals and lethal control did not differ significantly. Financial incentives have promoted tolerance of large carnivores in some settings and reduced retaliatory killings. We suggest coexistence strategies be location-specific, incorporate cultural values and environmental conditions, and be designed such that return on financial investment can be evaluated. Improved monitoring of mitigation measures is urgently required to promote effective evidence-based policy. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. Are carnivores universally good sentinels of plague?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkerhoff, R Jory; Collinge, Sharon K; Bai, Ying; Ray, Chris

    2009-10-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a flea-borne disease that primarily affects rodents but has been detected in over 200 mammal species worldwide. Mammalian carnivores are routinely surveyed as sentinels of local plague activity, since they can present antibodies to Y. pestis infection but show few clinical signs. In Boulder County, Colorado, USA, plague epizootic events are episodic and occur in black-tailed prairie dogs. Enzootic hosts are unidentified as are plague foci. For three years, we systematically sampled carnivores in two distinct habitat types to determine whether carnivores may play a role in maintenance or transmission of Y. pestis and to identify habitats associated with increased plague prevalence. We sampled 83 individuals representing six carnivore species and found only two that had been exposed to Y. pestis. The low overall rate of plague exposure in carnivores suggests that plague may be ephemeral in this study system, and thus we cannot draw any conclusions regarding habitat-associated plague foci or temporal changes in plague activity. Plague epizootics involving prairie dogs were confirmed in this study system during two of the three years of this study, and we therefore suggest that the targeting carnivores to survey for plague may not be appropriate in all ecological systems.

  15. Pollinator-prey conflict in carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jürgens, Andreas; Sciligo, Amber; Witt, Taina; El-Sayed, Ashraf M; Suckling, D Max

    2012-08-01

    Most carnivorous plants utilize insects in two ways: the flowers attract insects as pollen vectors for sexual reproduction, and the leaves trap insects for nutrients. Feeding on insects has been explained as an adaptation to nutrient-poor soil, and carnivorous plants have been shown to benefit from insect capture through increased growth, earlier flowering and increased seed production. Most carnivorous plant species seem to benefit from insect pollination, although many species autonomously self-pollinate and some propagate vegetatively. However, assuming that outcross pollen is advantageous and is a more important determinant of reproductive success than the nutrients gained from prey, there should be a selective pressure on carnivorous plants not to feed on their potential pollen vectors. Therefore, it has been suggested that carnivorous plants are subject to a conflict, often called the pollinator-prey conflict (PPC). The conflict results from a trade-off of the benefits from feeding on potentially pollinating insects versus the need to use them as pollen vectors for sexual reproduction. In this review we analyze the conditions under which a PPC may occur, review the evidence for the existence of PPCs in carnivorous plants, and explore the mechanisms that may be in place to prevent or alleviate a PPC. With respect to the latter, we discuss how plant signals such as olfactory and visual cues may play a role in separating the functions of pollinator attraction and prey capture. © 2011 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2011 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  16. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farris, Zach J.; Golden, Christopher D.; Karpanty, Sarah; Murphy, Asia; Stauffer, Dean; Ratelolahy, Felix; Andrianjakarivelo, Vonjy; Holmes, Christopher M.; Kelly, Marcella J.

    2015-01-01

    The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore conservation worldwide. Utilizing photographic, line-transect, and habitat sampling, as well as landscape analyses and village-based bushmeat hunting surveys, we provide the first investigation of how multiple forms of habitat degradation (fragmentation, exotic carnivores, human encroachment, and hunting) affect carnivore occupancy across Madagascar’s largest protected area: the Masoala-Makira landscape. We found that as degradation increased, native carnivore occupancy and encounter rates decreased while exotic carnivore occupancy and encounter rates increased. Feral cats (Felis species) and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) had higher occupancy than half of the native carnivore species across Madagascar’s largest protected landscape. Bird and small mammal encounter rates were negatively associated with exotic carnivore occupancy, but positively associated with the occupancy of four native carnivore species. Spotted fanaloka (Fossa fossana) occupancy was constrained by the presence of exotic feral cats and exotic small Indian civet (Viverricula indica). Hunting was intense across the four study sites where hunting was studied, with the highest rates for the small Indian civet (x¯ = 90 individuals consumed/year), the ring-tailed vontsira (Galidia elegans) (x¯ = 58 consumed/year), and the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox) (x¯ = 31 consumed/year). Our modeling results suggest hunters target intact forest where carnivore occupancy, abundance, and species richness, are

  17. Isotopic investigation of niche partitioning among native carnivores and the non-native coyote (Canis latrans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warsen, Scott A; Frair, Jacqueline L; Teece, Mark A

    2014-01-01

    We employed stable carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) isotopes within a hypothetico-deductive framework to explore potential resource partitioning among terrestrial mammalian carnivores. Isotope values were acquired using guard hair samples from bobcat (Lynx rufus), coyote (Canis latrans), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in the Adirondack Park, NY, USA. Enrichment along the δ(13)C axis was expected to reflect the use of human sources of food (reflecting a corn subsidy), and by extension tolerance for human-modified environments, whereas enrichment along the δ(15)N axis was expected to reflect a higher level of carnivory (i.e. amount of animal-based protein in the diet) - two mechanisms by which these now sympatric species may achieve a dynamic coexistence. Although bobcats were the only obligate carnivore, all four species shared a similar δ(15)N space. In contrast, bobcat had a lower and distinct δ(13)C signature compared to foxes, consistent with the a priori expectation of bobcats being the species least tolerant of human activities. Isotope signatures for coyotes, which colonized the region in the 1920s, overlapped all three native carnivores, bobcats the least, gray fox the most, indicating their potential competitive influence on this suite of native carnivores.

  18. Global priorities for national carnivore conservation under land use change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Di Minin, E.; Slotow, R.; Hunter, L.T.B.; Montesino Pouzols, F.; Toivonen, T.; Verburg, P.H.; Leader-Williams, N.; Petracca, L.; Moilanen, A.

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian carnivores have suffered the biggest range contraction among all biodiversity and are particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation. Therefore, we identified priority areas for the conservation of mammalian carnivores, while accounting for species-specific requirements for

  19. Flea diversity on small carnivores in the Northern Cape Province ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    , followed by the yellow mongoose, Cynictispenicillata. The flea community on the small carnivores consisted of fleas that prefer carnivores as principal hosts and also fleas that prefer rodents. The latter maybe acquired through predation on ...

  20. A semi-aquatic Arctic mammalian carnivore from the Miocene epoch and origin of Pinnipedia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybczynski, Natalia; Dawson, Mary R; Tedford, Richard H

    2009-04-23

    Modern pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and the walrus) are semi-aquatic, generally marine carnivores the limbs of which have been modified into flippers. Recent phylogenetic studies using morphological and molecular evidence support pinniped monophyly, and suggest a sister relationship with ursoids (for example bears) or musteloids (the clade that includes skunks, badgers, weasels and otters). Although the position of pinnipeds within modern carnivores appears moderately well resolved, fossil evidence of the morphological steps leading from a terrestrial ancestor to the modern marine forms has been weak or contentious. The earliest well-represented fossil pinniped is Enaliarctos, a marine form with flippers, which had appeared on the northwestern shores of North America by the early Miocene epoch. Here we report the discovery of a nearly complete skeleton of a new semi-aquatic carnivore from an early Miocene lake deposit in Nunavut, Canada, that represents a morphological link in early pinniped evolution. The new taxon retains a long tail and the proportions of its fore- and hindlimbs are more similar to those of modern terrestrial carnivores than to modern pinnipeds. Morphological traits indicative of semi-aquatic adaptation include a forelimb with a prominent deltopectoral ridge on the humerus, a posterodorsally expanded scapula, a pelvis with relatively short ilium, a shortened femur and flattened phalanges, suggestive of webbing. The new fossil shows evidence of pinniped affinities and similarities to the early Oligocene Amphicticeps from Asia and the late Oligocene and Miocene Potamotherium from Europe. The discovery suggests that the evolution of pinnipeds included a freshwater transitional phase, and may support the hypothesis that the Arctic was an early centre of pinniped evolution.

  1. Moving to stay in place: behavioral mechanisms for coexistence of African large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanak, Abi Tamim; Fortin, Daniel; Thaker, Maria; Ogden, Monika; Owen, Cailey; Greatwood, Sophie; Slotow, Rob

    2013-11-01

    Most ecosystems have multiple predator species that not only compete for shared prey, but also pose direct threats to each other. These intraguild interactions are key drivers of carnivore community structure, with ecosystem-wide cascading effects. Yet, behavioral mechanisms for coexistence of multiple carnivore species remain poorly understood. The challenges of studying large, free-ranging carnivores have resulted in mainly coarse-scale examination of behavioral strategies without information about all interacting competitors. We overcame some of these challenges by examining the concurrent fine-scale movement decisions of almost all individuals of four large mammalian carnivore species in a closed terrestrial system. We found that the intensity ofintraguild interactions did not follow a simple hierarchical allometric pattern, because spatial and behavioral tactics of subordinate species changed with threat and resource levels across seasons. Lions (Panthera leo) were generally unrestricted and anchored themselves in areas rich in not only their principal prey, but also, during periods of resource limitation (dry season), rich in the main prey for other carnivores. Because of this, the greatest cost (potential intraguild predation) for subordinate carnivores was spatially coupled with the highest potential benefit of resource acquisition (prey-rich areas), especially in the dry season. Leopard (P. pardus) and cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) overlapped with the home range of lions but minimized their risk using fine-scaled avoidance behaviors and restricted resource acquisition tactics. The cost of intraguild competition was most apparent for cheetahs, especially during the wet season, as areas with energetically rewarding large prey (wildebeest) were avoided when they overlapped highly with the activity areas of lions. Contrary to expectation, the smallest species (African wild dog, Lycaon pictus) did not avoid only lions, but also used multiple tactics to minimize

  2. Implementation uncertainty when using recreational hunting to manage carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bischof, Richard; Nilsen, Erlend B; Brøseth, Henrik; Männil, Peep; Ozoliņš, Jaānis; Linnell, John D C; Bode, Michael

    2012-08-01

    1. Wildlife managers often rely on resource users, such as recreational or commercial hunters, to achieve management goals. The use of hunters to control wildlife populations is especially common for predators and ungulates, but managers cannot assume that hunters will always fill annual quotas set by the authorities. It has been advocated that resource management models should account for uncertainty in how harvest rules are realized, requiring that this implementation uncertainty be estimated.2. We used a survival analysis framework and long-term harvest data from large carnivore management systems in three countries (Estonia, Latvia and Norway) involving four species (brown bear, grey wolf, Eurasian lynx and wolverine) to estimate the performance of hunters with respect to harvest goals set by managers.3. Variation in hunter quota-filling performance was substantial, ranging from 40% for wolverine in Norway to nearly 100% for lynx in Latvia. Seasonal and regional variation was also high within country-species pairs. We detected a positive relationship between the instantaneous potential to fill a quota slot and the relative availability of the target species for both wolverine and lynx in Norway.4. Survivor curves and hazards - with survival time measured as the time from the start of a season until a quota slot is filled - can indicate the extent to which managers can influence harvest through adjustments of season duration and quota limits.5.Synthesis and applications. We investigated seven systems where authorities use recreational hunting to manage large carnivore populations. The variation and magnitude of deviation from harvest goals was substantial, underlining the need to incorporate implementation uncertainty into resource management models and decisions-making. We illustrate how survival analysis can be used by managers to estimate the performance of resource users with respect to achieving harvest goals set by managers. The findings in this study come

  3. Quantification of terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics in the conterminous United States combining a process-based biogeochemical model and MODIS and AmeriFlux data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Chen

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Satellite remote sensing provides continuous temporal and spatial information of terrestrial ecosystems. Using these remote sensing data and eddy flux measurements and biogeochemical models, such as the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM, should provide a more adequate quantification of carbon dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems. Here we use Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI, Land Surface Water Index (LSWI and carbon flux data of AmeriFlux to conduct such a study. We first modify the gross primary production (GPP modeling in TEM by incorporating EVI and LSWI to account for the effects of the changes of canopy photosynthetic capacity, phenology and water stress. Second, we parameterize and verify the new version of TEM with eddy flux data. We then apply the model to the conterminous United States over the period 2000–2005 at a 0.05° × 0.05° spatial resolution. We find that the new version of TEM made improvement over the previous version and generally captured the expected temporal and spatial patterns of regional carbon dynamics. We estimate that regional GPP is between 7.02 and 7.78 Pg C yr−1 and net primary production (NPP ranges from 3.81 to 4.38 Pg C yr−1 and net ecosystem production (NEP varies within 0.08–0.73 Pg C yr−1 over the period 2000–2005 for the conterminous United States. The uncertainty due to parameterization is 0.34, 0.65 and 0.18 Pg C yr−1 for the regional estimates of GPP, NPP and NEP, respectively. The effects of extreme climate and disturbances such as severe drought in 2002 and destructive Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were captured by the model. Our study provides a new independent and more adequate measure of carbon fluxes for the conterminous United States, which will benefit studies of carbon-climate feedback and facilitate policy-making of carbon management and climate.

  4. Quantification of terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics in the conterminous United States combining a process-based biogeochemical model and MODIS and AmeriFlux data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Min; Zhuang, Qianlai; Cook, D.; Coulter, Richard L.; Pekour, Mikhail S.; Scott, Russell L.; Munger, J. W.; Bible, Ken

    2011-08-31

    Satellite remote sensing provides continuous temporal and spatial information of terrestrial ecosystems. Using these remote sensing data and eddy flux measurements and biogeochemical models, such as the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), should provide a more adequate quantification of carbon dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems. Here we use Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), Land Surface Water Index (LSWI) and carbon flux data of AmeriFlux to conduct such a study. We first modify the gross primary production (GPP) modeling in TEM by incorporating EVI and LSWI to account for the effects of the changes of canopy photosynthetic capacity, phenology and water stress. Second, we parameterize and verify the new version of TEM with eddy flux data. We then apply the model to the conterminous United States over the period 2000-2005 at a 0.05-0.05 spatial resolution. We find that the new version of TEM made improvement over the previous version and generally captured the expected temporal and spatial patterns of regional carbon dynamics. We estimate that regional GPP is between 7.02 and 7.78 PgC yr{sup -1} and net primary production (NPP) ranges from 3.81 to 4.38 Pg Cyr{sup -1} and net ecosystem production (NEP) varies within 0.08- 0.73 PgC yr{sup -1} over the period 2000-2005 for the conterminous United States. The uncertainty due to parameterization is 0.34, 0.65 and 0.18 PgC yr{sup -1} for the regional estimates of GPP, NPP and NEP, respectively. The effects of extreme climate and disturbances such as severe drought in 2002 and destructive Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were captured by the model. Our study provides a new independent and more adequate measure of carbon fluxes for the conterminous United States, which will benefit studies of carbon-climate feedback and facilitate policy-making of carbon management and climate.

  5. Quantification of Terrestrial Ecosystem Carbon Dynamics in the Conterminous United States Combining a Process-Based Biogeochemical Model and MODIS and AmeriFlux data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Min; Zhuang, Qianlai; Cook, David R.; Coulter, Richard L.; Pekour, Mikhail S.; Scott, Russell L.; Munger, J. W.; Bible, Ken

    2011-09-21

    Satellite remote sensing provides continuous temporal and spatial information of terrestrial 24 ecosystems. Using these remote sensing data and eddy flux measurements and biogeochemical 25 models, such as the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), should provide a more adequate 26 quantification of carbon dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems. Here we use Moderate Resolution 27 Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), Land Surface Water Index 28 (LSWI) and carbon flux data of AmeriFlux to conduct such a study. We first modify the gross primary 29 production (GPP) modeling in TEM by incorporating EVI and LSWI to account for the effects of the 30 changes of canopy photosynthetic capacity, phenology and water stress. Second, we parameterize and 31 verify the new version of TEM with eddy flux data. We then apply the model to the conterminous 32 United States over the period 2000-2005 at a 0.05o ×0.05o spatial resolution. We find that the new 33 version of TEM generally captured the expected temporal and spatial patterns of regional carbon 34 dynamics. We estimate that regional GPP is between 7.02 and 7.78 Pg C yr-1 and net primary 35 production (NPP) ranges from 3.81 to 4.38 Pg C yr-1 and net ecosystem production (NEP) varies 36 within 0.08-0.73 Pg C yr-1 over the period 2000-2005 for the conterminous United States. The 37 uncertainty due to parameterization is 0.34, 0.65 and 0.18 Pg C yr-1 for the regional estimates of GPP, 38 NPP and NEP, respectively. The effects of extreme climate and disturbances such as severe drought in 39 2002 and destructive Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were captured by the model. Our study provides a 40 new independent and more adequate measure of carbon fluxes for the conterminous United States, 41 which will benefit studies of carbon-climate feedback and facilitate policy-making of carbon 42 management and climate.

  6. Forelimb anatomy and the discrimination of the predatory behavior of carnivorous mammals: the thylacine as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janis, Christine M; Figueirido, Borja

    2014-12-01

    Carnivorous mammals use their forelimbs in different ways to capture their prey. Most terrestrial carnivores have some cursorial (running) adaptations, but ambush predators retain considerable flexibility in their forelimb movement, important for grappling with their prey. In contrast, predators that rely on pursuit to run down their prey have sacrificed some of this flexibility for locomotor efficiency, in the greater restriction of the forelimb motion to the parasagittal plane. In this article, we measured aspects of the forelimb anatomy (44 linear measurements) in 36 species of carnivorous mammals of known predatory behavior, and used multivariate analyses to investigate how well the forelimb anatomy reflects the predatory mode (ambush, pursuit, or pounce-pursuit). A prime intention of this study was to establish morphological correlates of behavior that could then be applied to fossil mammals: for this purpose, five individuals of the recently extinct thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) were also included as unknowns. We show that the three different types of predators can be distinguished by their morphology, both in analyses where all the forelimb bones are included together, and in the separate analyses of each bone individually. Of particular interest is the ability to distinguish between the two types of more cursorial predators, pursuit and pounce-pursuit, which have previously been considered as primarily size-based categories. Despite a prior consideration of the thylacine as a "pounce-pursuit" or an "ambush" type of predator, the thylacines did not consistently cluster with any type of predatory carnivores in our analyses. Rather, the thylacines appeared to be more generalized in their morphology than any of the extant carnivores. The absence of a large diversity of large carnivorous mammals in Australia, past and present, may explain the thylacine's generalized morphology. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Body size of insular carnivores: little support for the island rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiri, Shai; Dayan, Tamar; Simberloff, Daniel

    2004-03-01

    Large mammals are thought to evolve to be smaller on islands, whereas small mammals grow larger. A negative correlation between relative size of island individuals and body mass is termed the "island rule." Several mechanisms--mainly competitive release, resource limitation, dispersal ability, and lighter predation pressure on islands, as well as a general physiological advantage of modal size--have been advanced to explain this pattern. We measured skulls and teeth of terrestrial members of the order Carnivora in order to analyze patterns of body size evolution between insular populations and their near mainland conspecifics. No correlations were found between the size ratios of insular/mainland carnivore species and body mass. Only little support for the island rule is found when individual populations rather than species are considered. Our data are at odds with those advanced in support of theories of optimal body size. Carnivore size is subjected to a host of selective pressures that do not vary uniformly from place to place. Mass alone cannot account for the patterns in body size of insular carnivores.

  8. Origin and evolution of carnivorism in the Ascomycota (fungi).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ence; Xu, Lingling; Yang, Ying; Zhang, Xinyu; Xiang, Meichun; Wang, Chengshu; An, Zhiqiang; Liu, Xingzhong

    2012-07-03

    Carnivorism is one of the basic life strategies of fungi. Carnivorous fungi possess the ability to trap and digest their preys by sophisticated trapping devices. However, the origin and development of fungal carnivorism remains a gap in evolution biology. In this study, five protein-encoding genes were used to construct the phylogeny of the carnivorous fungi in the phylum Ascomycota; these fungi prey on nematodes by means of specialized trapping structures such as constricting rings and adhesive traps. Our analysis revealed a definitive pattern of evolutionary development for these trapping structures. Molecular clock calibration based on two fossil records revealed that fungal carnivorism diverged from saprophytism about 419 Mya, which was after the origin of nematodes about 550-600 Mya. Active carnivorism (fungi with constricting rings) and passive carnivorism (fungi with adhesive traps) diverged from each other around 246 Mya, shortly after the occurrence of the Permian-Triassic extinction event about 251.4 Mya. The major adhesive traps evolved around 198-208 Mya, which was within the time frame of the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event about 201.4 Mya. However, no major carnivorous ascomycetes divergence was correlated to the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, which occurred more recently (about 65.5 Mya). Therefore, a causal relationship between mass extinction events and fungal carnivorism evolution is not validated in this study. More evidence including additional fossil records is needed to establish if fungal carnivorism evolution was a response to mass extinction events.

  9. Phylogeny and biogeography of the carnivorous plant family Sarraceniaceae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron M Ellison

    Full Text Available The carnivorous plant family Sarraceniaceae comprises three genera of wetland-inhabiting pitcher plants: Darlingtonia in the northwestern United States, Sarracenia in eastern North America, and Heliamphora in northern South America. Hypotheses concerning the biogeographic history leading to this unusual disjunct distribution are controversial, in part because genus- and species-level phylogenies have not been clearly resolved. Here, we present a robust, species-rich phylogeny of Sarraceniaceae based on seven mitochondrial, nuclear, and plastid loci, which we use to illuminate this family's phylogenetic and biogeographic history. The family and genera are monophyletic: Darlingtonia is sister to a clade consisting of Heliamphora+Sarracenia. Within Sarracenia, two clades were strongly supported: one consisting of S. purpurea, its subspecies, and S. rosea; the other consisting of nine species endemic to the southeastern United States. Divergence time estimates revealed that stem group Sarraceniaceae likely originated in South America 44-53 million years ago (Mya (highest posterior density [HPD] estimate = 47 Mya. By 25-44 (HPD = 35 Mya, crown-group Sarraceniaceae appears to have been widespread across North and South America, and Darlingtonia (western North America had diverged from Heliamphora+Sarracenia (eastern North America+South America. This disjunction and apparent range contraction is consistent with late Eocene cooling and aridification, which may have severed the continuity of Sarraceniaceae across much of North America. Sarracenia and Heliamphora subsequently diverged in the late Oligocene, 14-32 (HPD = 23 Mya, perhaps when direct overland continuity between North and South America became reduced. Initial diversification of South American Heliamphora began at least 8 Mya, but diversification of Sarracenia was more recent (2-7, HPD = 4 Mya; the bulk of southeastern United States Sarracenia originated co-incident with Pleistocene glaciation

  10. Model estimates of net primary productivity, evaportranspiration, and water use efficiency in the terrestrial ecosystems of the southern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanqin Tian; Guangsheng Chen; Mingliang Liu; Chi Zhang; Ge Sun; Chaoqun Lu; Xiaofeng Xu; Wei Ren; Shufen Pan; Arthur. Chappelka

    2010-01-01

    The effects of global change on ecosystem productivity and water resources in the southern United States (SUS), a traditionally ‘water-rich’ region and the ‘timber basket’ of the country, are not well quantified. We carried out several simulation experiments to quantify ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), evapotranspiration (ET)...

  11. The cost of maturing early in a solitary carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilsen, Erlend B; Brøseth, Henrik; Odden, John; Linnell, John D C

    2010-12-01

    Central to the theory of life history evolution is the existence of trade-offs between different traits, such as the trade-off between early maturity and an extended period of body growth. Based on analysis of the reproductive tracts of harvested Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) females in Norway, we find that females that mature early are generally heavier than those that postpone maturation. A higher proportion of 1.5-year-old females showed signs of ovulation in areas with high prey density, where they were also heavier. Further, we show that female Eurasian lynx that mature early have the same number of placental scars (an index of breeding investment and litter size) as older females, suggesting that they have a relatively high investment in their first litter. This induces a cost in terms of body weight development, as those females that had matured at the age of 1.5 years were substantially lighter by the age of 2.5 years than those that postponed breeding. This effect tended to be more pronounced in areas with low prey density. We discuss to what extent this might affect their future fitness prospects, and suggest that such costs of maturing early in terms of body weight development might be high in terrestrial large carnivores due to a prolonged period of postnatal care.

  12. Long-range gene flow and the effects of climatic and ecological factors on genetic structuring in a large, solitary carnivore: the Eurasian lynx.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratkiewicz, Mirosław; Matosiuk, Maciej; Saveljev, Alexander P; Sidorovich, Vadim; Ozolins, Janis; Männil, Peep; Balciauskas, Linas; Kojola, Ilpo; Okarma, Henryk; Kowalczyk, Rafał; Schmidt, Krzysztof

    2014-01-01

    Due to their high mobility, large terrestrial predators are potentially capable of maintaining high connectivity, and therefore low genetic differentiation among populations. However, previous molecular studies have provided contradictory findings in relation to this. To elucidate patterns of genetic structure in large carnivores, we studied the genetic variability of the Eurasian lynx, Lynx lynx throughout north-eastern Europe using microsatellite, mitochondrial DNA control region and Y chromosome-linked markers. Using SAMOVA we found analogous patterns of genetic structure based on both mtDNA and microsatellites, which coincided with a relatively little evidence for male-biased dispersal. No polymorphism for the cytochrome b and ATP6 mtDNA genes and Y chromosome-linked markers were found. Lynx inhabiting a large area encompassing Finland, the Baltic countries and western Russia formed a single genetic unit, while some marginal populations were clearly divergent from others. The existence of a migration corridor was suggested to correspond with distribution of continuous forest cover. The lowest variability (in both markers) was found in lynx from Norway and Białowieża Primeval Forest (BPF), which coincided with a recent demographic bottleneck (Norway) or high habitat fragmentation (BPF). The Carpathian population, being monomorphic for the control region, showed relatively high microsatellite diversity, suggesting the effect of a past bottleneck (e.g. during Last Glacial Maximum) on its present genetic composition. Genetic structuring for the mtDNA control region was best explained by latitude and snow cover depth. Microsatellite structuring correlated with the lynx's main prey, especially the proportion of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in its diet. Eurasian lynx are capable of maintaining panmictic populations across eastern Europe unless they are severely limited by habitat continuity or a reduction in numbers. Different correlations of mtDNA and microsatellite

  13. Long-range gene flow and the effects of climatic and ecological factors on genetic structuring in a large, solitary carnivore: the Eurasian lynx.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirosław Ratkiewicz

    Full Text Available Due to their high mobility, large terrestrial predators are potentially capable of maintaining high connectivity, and therefore low genetic differentiation among populations. However, previous molecular studies have provided contradictory findings in relation to this. To elucidate patterns of genetic structure in large carnivores, we studied the genetic variability of the Eurasian lynx, Lynx lynx throughout north-eastern Europe using microsatellite, mitochondrial DNA control region and Y chromosome-linked markers. Using SAMOVA we found analogous patterns of genetic structure based on both mtDNA and microsatellites, which coincided with a relatively little evidence for male-biased dispersal. No polymorphism for the cytochrome b and ATP6 mtDNA genes and Y chromosome-linked markers were found. Lynx inhabiting a large area encompassing Finland, the Baltic countries and western Russia formed a single genetic unit, while some marginal populations were clearly divergent from others. The existence of a migration corridor was suggested to correspond with distribution of continuous forest cover. The lowest variability (in both markers was found in lynx from Norway and Białowieża Primeval Forest (BPF, which coincided with a recent demographic bottleneck (Norway or high habitat fragmentation (BPF. The Carpathian population, being monomorphic for the control region, showed relatively high microsatellite diversity, suggesting the effect of a past bottleneck (e.g. during Last Glacial Maximum on its present genetic composition. Genetic structuring for the mtDNA control region was best explained by latitude and snow cover depth. Microsatellite structuring correlated with the lynx's main prey, especially the proportion of red deer (Cervus elaphus in its diet. Eurasian lynx are capable of maintaining panmictic populations across eastern Europe unless they are severely limited by habitat continuity or a reduction in numbers. Different correlations of mtDNA and

  14. A synthesis of terrestrial mercury in the western United States: Spatial distribution defined by land cover and plant productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obrist, Daniel; Pearson, Christopher; Webster, Jackson; Kane, Tyler J.; Lin, Che-Jen; Aiken, George R.; Alpers, Charles N.

    2016-01-01

    A synthesis of published vegetation mercury (Hg) data across 11 contiguous states in the western United States showed that aboveground biomass concentrations followed the order: leaves (26 μg kg− 1) ~ branches (26 μg kg− 1) > bark (16 μg kg− 1) > bole wood (1 μg kg− 1). No spatial trends of Hg in aboveground biomass distribution were detected, which likely is due to very sparse data coverage and different sampling protocols. Vegetation data are largely lacking for important functional vegetation types such as shrubs, herbaceous species, and grasses.Soil concentrations collected from the published literature were high in the western United States, with 12% of observations exceeding 100 μg kg− 1, reflecting a bias toward investigations in Hg-enriched sites. In contrast, soil Hg concentrations from a randomly distributed data set (1911 sampling points; Smith et al., 2013a) averaged 24 μg kg− 1 (A-horizon) and 22 μg kg− 1 (C-horizon), and only 2.6% of data exceeded 100 μg kg− 1. Soil Hg concentrations significantly differed among land covers, following the order: forested upland > planted/cultivated > herbaceous upland/shrubland > barren soils. Concentrations in forests were on average 2.5 times higher than in barren locations. Principal component analyses showed that soil Hg concentrations were not or weakly related to modeled dry and wet Hg deposition and proximity to mining, geothermal areas, and coal-fired power plants. Soil Hg distribution also was not closely related to other trace metals, but strongly associated with organic carbon, precipitation, canopy greenness, and foliar Hg pools of overlying vegetation. These patterns indicate that soil Hg concentrations are related to atmospheric deposition and reflect an overwhelming influence of plant productivity — driven by water availability — with productive landscapes showing high soil Hg accumulation and unproductive barren soils and shrublands

  15. Conflict Misleads Large Carnivore Management and Conservation: Brown Bears and Wolves in Spain

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Fernández-Gil, Alberto; Naves, Javier; Ordiz, Andrés; Quevedo, Mario; Revilla, Eloy; Delibes, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Large carnivores inhabiting human-dominated landscapes often interact with people and their properties, leading to conflict scenarios that can mislead carnivore management and, ultimately, jeopardize conservation...

  16. Conflict Misleads Large Carnivore Management and Conservation: Brown Bears and Wolves in Spain: e0151541

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Alberto Fernández-Gil; Javier Naves; Andrés Ordiz; Mario Quevedo; Eloy Revilla; Miguel Delibes

    2016-01-01

      Large carnivores inhabiting human-dominated landscapes often interact with people and their properties, leading to conflict scenarios that can mislead carnivore management and, ultimately, jeopardize conservation...

  17. Patterns of natural and human-caused mortality factors of a rare forest carnivore, the fisher (Pekania pennanti) in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mourad W. Gabriel; Leslie W. Woods; Greta M. Wengert; Nicole Stephenson; J. Mark Higley; Craig Thompson; Sean M. Matthews; Rick A. Sweitzer; Kathryn Purcell; Reginald H. Barrett; Stefan M. Keller; Patricia Gaffney; Megan Jones; Robert Poppenga; Janet E. Foley; Richard N. Brown; Deana L. Clifford; Benjamin N. Sacks

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife populations of conservation concern are limited in distribution, population size and persistence by various factors, including mortality. The fisher (Pekania pennanti), a North American mid-sized carnivore whose range in the western Pacific United States has retracted considerably in the past century, was proposed for threatened status...

  18. Radio telemetry equipment and applications for carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Mark R.; Fuller, Todd K.; Boitani, Luigi; Powell, Roger A.

    2012-01-01

    Radio-telemetry was not included in the first comprehensive manual of wildlife research techniques (Mosby 1960) because the first published papers were about physiological wildlife telemetry (LeMunyan et al. 1959) and because research using telemetry in field ecology was just being initiated (Marshall et al. 1962; Cochran and Lord 1963). Among the first uses of telemetry to study wildlife, however, was a study of carnivores (Craighead et al. 1963), and telemetry has become a common method for studying numerous topics of carnivore biology. Our goals for this chapter are to provide basic information about radio-telemetry equipment and procedures. Although we provide many references to studies using telemetry equipment and methods, we recommend Kenward's (2001) comprehensive book, A manual of wildlife radio tagging for persons who are unfamiliar with radio-telemetry, Fuller et al. (2005), and Tomkiewicz et al. (2010). Compendia of uses of radio-telemetry in animal research appear regularly as chapters in manuals (Cochran 1980; Samuel and Fuller 1994), in books about equipment, field procedures, study design, and applications (Amlaner and Macdonald 1980; Anderka 1987; Amlaner 1989; White and Garrott 1990; Priede and Swift 1992; Kenward 2001; Millspaugh and Marzluff 2001; Mech and Barber 2002), and in reviews highlighting new developments (Cooke et al. 2004; Rutz and Hays 2009; Cagnacci et al. 2010). Some animal telemetry products and techniques have remained almost unchanged for years, but new technologies and approaches emerge and replace previously available equipment at an increasing pace. Here, we emphasize recent studies for which telemetry was used with carnivores.

  19. Prevalence of echinococcosis in dogs and wild carnivores in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A prevalence study on echinococcosis in dogs and wild carnivores was conducted in northen Tanzania. Copro-antigen ELISA was used to screen 442 dog faecal samples from Magu, Bariadi and Ngorongoro districts, together with 88 wild carnivore samples from Serengeti National Park. Overall prevalence of E. granulosus ...

  20. Feeding ecology of major carnivorous fish from four eastern Cape ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1984-03-29

    Mar 29, 1984 ... Feeding ecology of major carnivorous fish from four eastern Cape estuaries. J.F.K. Marais. Department of Zoology, University of Port Elizabeth, Port Elizabeth. Stomach content analyses were performed on eight carnivorous fish from four eastem Cape estuaries. Dietary importance was assessed by using ...

  1. Wild carnivores (Mammalia) as hosts for ticks (Ixodida) in Panama

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bermudez, S.E.; Esser, H.J.; Miranda, R.; Moreno, R.S.

    2015-01-01

    This study reports ticks collected from wild carnivores from different habitat types in Panama. We examined 94 individual wild carnivores and we found 87 parasitized by ticks: seven coyotes, six crab-eating foxes, 54 coatis, four raccoons, five ocelots, two pumas, two gray foxes, two skunks, and one

  2. Population trends for common prairie pothole carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwood, Raymond J.; Sovada, Marsha A.; Mac, M.J.; Opler, P.A.; Puckett Haecker, C. E.; Doran, P.D.

    1998-01-01

    Since settlement of the prairie pothole region of the northern Great Plains by Europeans in the late 1800’s, carnivore populations have changed considerably—mostly due to habitat alteration and humaninflicted mortality. At least 19 species of carnivorous mammals once occurred in the prairie pothole region (Jones et al. 1983). Presently, only eight are common throughout the region—coyote, red fox, raccoon, American badger, striped skunk, mink, ermine, and long-tailed weasel (Sargeant et al. 1993). Other species that occur locally or intermittently are mountain lion, lynx, bobcat, gray wolf, gray fox, swift fox, spotted skunk, and least weasel. Grizzly bears, wolverines, and river otters once occurred in the region but are now extirpated. Competition among species affects the distribution of coyotes, wolves, and foxes (Carbyn 1982; Rudzinski et al. 1982; Sargeant et al. 1987; Bailey 1992). These larger canids are keystone species that suppress the distribution of smaller canids (Johnson and Sargeant 1977; Dekker 1989; Johnson et al. 1989).

  3. The Miocene carnivore assemblage of Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koufos, G. D.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The Miocene carnivore assemblage of Greece includes a great number of taxa, described in numerous articles since the first decades of the 19th Century. The present article is a revision of all these taxa, providing information about their history, localities, age, as well as their stratigraphic distribution and palaeoenvironment. The Early/Middle Miocene carnivore record of Greece is poor as the available fossiliferous sites and material are rare. However, the Late Miocene one is quite rich, including numerous taxa. The Miocene localities with carnivores and their age are given in a stratigraphic table covering the European Mammal zones from MN 4 to MN 13. The type locality, holotype, and some historical and morphological remarks are given for each taxon. Several carnivore taxa were erected from Greek material and new photos of their holotypes are given. The stratigraphic distribution of the Greek carnivore taxa indicates that they are covering the time span from ~19.0-5.3Ma. The majority of the Miocene taxa (Adcrocuta, Hyaenictitherium, Plioviverrops, Protictitherium, Ictitherium, Indarctos, Dinocrocuta, Promephitis disappeared at the end of Miocene. The composition of the Early/Middle Miocene carnivore assemblage of Greece includes mainly viverrids (Lophocyon, Euboictis, while the hyaenids, percrocutids, felids and mustelids are very few. On the contrary the Late Miocene assemblage is richer, including more subfamilies and species; the hyaenids and mustelids dominate, while the viverrids are absent. The Late Miocene carnivore guild structure is similar to that of the modern Serengeti, indicating a relatively open, savannah-like environment.

    La asociación de carnívoros miocenos de Grecia incluye un gran número de taxones, descritos en numerosos artículos desde las primeras décadas del siglo XIX. El presente artículo supone un esfuerzo de síntesis de todos estos taxones, suministrando información sobre su

  4. Overcoming DNA extraction problems from carnivorous plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fleischmann, Andreas

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available We tested previously published protocols for DNA isolation from plants with high contents of polyphenols and polysaccharides for several taxa of carnivorous plants. However, we did not get satisfying results with fresh or silica dried leaf tissue obtained from field collected or greenhouse grown plants, nor from herbarium specimens. Therefore, we have developed a simple modified protocol of the commercially available Macherey- Nagel NucleoSpin® Plant kit for rapid, effective and reproducible isolation of high quality genomic DNA suitable for PCR reactions. DNA extraction can be conducted from both fresh and dried leaf tissue of various carnivorous plant taxa, irrespective of high contents of polysaccharides, phenolic compounds and other secondary plant metabolites that interfere with DNA isolation and amplification.

    Probamos algunos protocolos publicados previamente para el aislamiento del ADN de plantas con alto contenido de polifenoles y polisacáridos para varios táxones de plantas carnívoras. Sin embargo, no conseguimos muy buenos resultados ni con tejidos de hojas frescas, ni con tejidos de hojas secadas en gel de sílice obtenidas de plantas colectadas en el campo o cultivadas en los invernaderos, ni de especímenes de herbario. Por lo tanto, hemos desarrollado un protocolo sencillo, modificado del Macherey- Nagel NucleoSpin® Plant kit disponible en el mercado para el aislamiento rápido, eficaz y reproducible de ADN genómico de alta calidad conveniente para la reacción en cadena de la polimerasa. La extracción del ADN se puede realizar en tejidos de hojas frescas o secas de varios táxones de plantas carnívoras, sin importar el grado de contenido de polisacáridos, compuestos fenólicos u otros metabolitos secundarios que interfieren con el aislamiento y la amplificación del ADN.

  5. Human Perceptions Mirror Realities of Carnivore Attack Risk for Livestock: Implications for Mitigating Human-Carnivore Conflict.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer R B Miller

    Full Text Available Human-carnivore conflict is challenging to quantify because it is shaped by both the realities and people's perceptions of carnivore threats. Whether perceptions align with realities can have implications for conflict mitigation: misalignments can lead to heightened and indiscriminant persecution of carnivores whereas alignments can offer deeper insights into human-carnivore interactions. We applied a landscape-scale spatial analysis of livestock killed by tigers and leopards in India to model and map observed attack risk, and surveyed owners of livestock killed by tigers and leopards for their rankings of threats across habitats to map perceived attack risk. Observed tiger risk to livestock was greatest near dense forests and at moderate distances from human activity while leopard risk was greatest near open vegetation. People accurately perceived spatial differences between tiger and leopard hunting patterns, expected greater threat in areas with high values of observed risk for both carnivores. Owners' perception of threats largely did not depend on environmental conditions surrounding their village (spatial location, dominant land-use or observed carnivore risk. Surveys revealed that owners who previously lost livestock to carnivores used more livestock protection methods than those who had no prior losses, and that owners who had recently lost livestock for the first time expressed greater interest in changing their protection methods than those who experienced prior losses. Our findings suggest that in systems where realities and perceptions of carnivore risk align, conservation programs and policies can optimize conservation outcomes by (1 improving the effectiveness of livestock protection methods and (2 working with owners who have recently lost livestock and are most willing to invest effort in adapting protection strategies to mitigate human-carnivore conflict.

  6. Human Perceptions Mirror Realities of Carnivore Attack Risk for Livestock: Implications for Mitigating Human-Carnivore Conflict

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jennifer R. B.; Jhala, Yadvendradev V.; Schmitz, Oswald J.

    2016-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflict is challenging to quantify because it is shaped by both the realities and people’s perceptions of carnivore threats. Whether perceptions align with realities can have implications for conflict mitigation: misalignments can lead to heightened and indiscriminant persecution of carnivores whereas alignments can offer deeper insights into human-carnivore interactions. We applied a landscape-scale spatial analysis of livestock killed by tigers and leopards in India to model and map observed attack risk, and surveyed owners of livestock killed by tigers and leopards for their rankings of threats across habitats to map perceived attack risk. Observed tiger risk to livestock was greatest near dense forests and at moderate distances from human activity while leopard risk was greatest near open vegetation. People accurately perceived spatial differences between tiger and leopard hunting patterns, expected greater threat in areas with high values of observed risk for both carnivores. Owners’ perception of threats largely did not depend on environmental conditions surrounding their village (spatial location, dominant land-use or observed carnivore risk). Surveys revealed that owners who previously lost livestock to carnivores used more livestock protection methods than those who had no prior losses, and that owners who had recently lost livestock for the first time expressed greater interest in changing their protection methods than those who experienced prior losses. Our findings suggest that in systems where realities and perceptions of carnivore risk align, conservation programs and policies can optimize conservation outcomes by (1) improving the effectiveness of livestock protection methods and (2) working with owners who have recently lost livestock and are most willing to invest effort in adapting protection strategies to mitigate human-carnivore conflict. PMID:27617831

  7. Simplified large African carnivore density estimators from track indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterbach, Christiaan W; Ferreira, Sam M; Funston, Paul J; Somers, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    The range, population size and trend of large carnivores are important parameters to assess their status globally and to plan conservation strategies. One can use linear models to assess population size and trends of large carnivores from track-based surveys on suitable substrates. The conventional approach of a linear model with intercept may not intercept at zero, but may fit the data better than linear model through the origin. We assess whether a linear regression through the origin is more appropriate than a linear regression with intercept to model large African carnivore densities and track indices. We did simple linear regression with intercept analysis and simple linear regression through the origin and used the confidence interval for ß in the linear model y = αx + ß, Standard Error of Estimate, Mean Squares Residual and Akaike Information Criteria to evaluate the models. The Lion on Clay and Low Density on Sand models with intercept were not significant (P > 0.05). The other four models with intercept and the six models thorough origin were all significant (P African carnivores using track counts on sandy substrates in areas where carnivore densities are 0.27 carnivores/100 km2 or higher. To improve the current models, we need independent data to validate the models and data to test for non-linear relationship between track indices and true density at low densities.

  8. Ecological drivers of antipredator defenses in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stankowich, Theodore; Haverkamp, Paul J; Caro, Tim

    2014-05-01

    Mammals have evolved several morphological and behavioral adaptations to reduce the risk of predation, but we know little about the ecological factors that favor their evolution. For example, some mammalian carnivores have the ability to spray noxious anal secretions in defense, whereas other species lack such weaponry but may instead rely on collective vigilance characteristic of cohesive social groups. Using extensive natural history data on 181 species in the order Carnivora, we created a new estimate of potential predation risk from mammals and birds of prey and used comparative phylogenetic methods to assess how different sources of predation risk and other ecological variables influence the evolution of either noxious weaponry or sociality in this taxon. We demonstrate that the evolution of enhanced spraying ability is favored by increased predation risk from other mammals and by nocturnality, but the evolution of sociality is favored by increased predation risk from birds of prey and by diurnality, which may allow for enhanced early visual detection. These results suggest that noxious defenses and sociality are alternative antipredator strategies targeting different predator guilds under different lighting conditions. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  9. Examining predator-prey body size, trophic level and body mass across marine and terrestrial mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Marlee A; Rogers, Tracey L

    2014-12-22

    Predator-prey relationships and trophic levels are indicators of community structure, and are important for monitoring ecosystem changes. Mammals colonized the marine environment on seven separate occasions, which resulted in differences in species' physiology, morphology and behaviour. It is likely that these changes have had a major effect upon predator-prey relationships and trophic position; however, the effect of environment is yet to be clarified. We compiled a dataset, based on the literature, to explore the relationship between body mass, trophic level and predator-prey ratio across terrestrial (n = 51) and marine (n = 56) mammals. We did not find the expected positive relationship between trophic level and body mass, but we did find that marine carnivores sit 1.3 trophic levels higher than terrestrial carnivores. Also, marine mammals are largely carnivorous and have significantly larger predator-prey ratios compared with their terrestrial counterparts. We propose that primary productivity, and its availability, is important for mammalian trophic structure and body size. Also, energy flow and community structure in the marine environment are influenced by differences in energy efficiency and increased food web stability. Enhancing our knowledge of feeding ecology in mammals has the potential to provide insights into the structure and functioning of marine and terrestrial communities. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Examining predator–prey body size, trophic level and body mass across marine and terrestrial mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Marlee A.; Rogers, Tracey L.

    2014-01-01

    Predator–prey relationships and trophic levels are indicators of community structure, and are important for monitoring ecosystem changes. Mammals colonized the marine environment on seven separate occasions, which resulted in differences in species' physiology, morphology and behaviour. It is likely that these changes have had a major effect upon predator–prey relationships and trophic position; however, the effect of environment is yet to be clarified. We compiled a dataset, based on the literature, to explore the relationship between body mass, trophic level and predator–prey ratio across terrestrial (n = 51) and marine (n = 56) mammals. We did not find the expected positive relationship between trophic level and body mass, but we did find that marine carnivores sit 1.3 trophic levels higher than terrestrial carnivores. Also, marine mammals are largely carnivorous and have significantly larger predator–prey ratios compared with their terrestrial counterparts. We propose that primary productivity, and its availability, is important for mammalian trophic structure and body size. Also, energy flow and community structure in the marine environment are influenced by differences in energy efficiency and increased food web stability. Enhancing our knowledge of feeding ecology in mammals has the potential to provide insights into the structure and functioning of marine and terrestrial communities. PMID:25377460

  11. The Role of Large Carnivore Committees in Legitimising Large Carnivore Management in Finland and Sweden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellikka, Jani; Sandström, Camilla

    2011-07-01

    Many countries, including Sweden and Finland, are decentralizing the management of large carnivore species within their borders and emphasizing the role of stakeholder participation in legitimizing formal policy. Regional large carnivore committees (RLCCs), including representatives of authorities and non-governmental organizations, are essential to these endeavors. These committees are formally constituted in Sweden, whereas in Finland, they are informally developed from the bottom-up. In both countries, the declared roles of these committees are consultative. A comparative study based on survey data is described here, which address the question of how procedural legitimacy is shaped and maintained in institutional settings with different origins, such as top-down or bottom-up. The results indicate no clear difference in the representatives' general satisfaction with the country-specific arrangements. Notable differences were found in specific perceptions of the clarity and purposes of the RLCCs. In both countries, the perceived rationale for the establishment of RLCCs emphasized the knowledge and expertise of the represented interest groups and authorities. Between the countries, similarities were also found in the strong links between overall satisfaction and personally perceived success and progress in communication and information exchange, i.e., deliberative processes. The capacity of the RLCCs to improve trust and acceptability with regard to different opinions was viewed as a key element underlying satisfactory RLCC activities, irrespective of the institutional settings.

  12. CARNIVORE: A Disruption-Tolerant System for Studying Wildlife

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Williams TerrieM

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We present CARNIVORE, a system for in situ, unobtrusive monitoring of cryptic, difficult-to-catch/observe wildlife in their natural habitat. CARNIVORE is a network of mobile and static nodes with sensing, processing, storage, and wireless communication capabilities. CARNIVORE's compact, low-power, mobile animal-borne nodes collect sensor data and transmit it to static nodes, which then relay it to the Internet. Depending on the wildlife being studied, the network can be quite sparse and therefore disconnected frequently for arbitrarily long periods of time. To support "disconnected operation", CARNIVORE uses an "opportunistic routing" approach taking advantage of every encounter between nodes (mobile-to-mobile and mobile-to-static to propagate data. With a lifespan of 50–100 days, a CARNIVORE mobile node, outfitted on a collar, collects and transmits 1 GB of data compared to 450 kB of data from comparable commercially available wildlife collars. Each collar records 3-axis accelerometer and GPS data to infer animal behavior and energy consumption.Testing in both laboratory and free-range settings with domestic dogs shows that galloping and trotting behavior can be identified. Data collected from first deployments on mountain lions (Puma concolor near Santa Cruz, CA, USA show that the system is a viable and useful tool for wildlife research.

  13. Right place, wrong species: a 20-year review of rabies virus cross species transmission among terrestrial mammals in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan M Wallace

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: In the continental US, four terrestrial mammalian species are reservoirs for seven antigenic rabies virus variants. Cross species transmission (CST occurs when a rabies virus variant causes disease in non-reservoir species. METHODS: This study analyzed national surveillance data for rabies in terrestrial mammals. The CST rate was defined as: number of rabid non-reservoir animals/number of rabid reservoir animals. CST rates were analyzed for trend. Clusters of high CST rate counties were evaluated using space-time scanning statistics. RESULTS: The number of counties reporting a raccoon variant CST rate >1.0 increased from 75 in 1992 to 187 in 2011; counties with skunk variant CST rates >1.0 remained unchanged during the same period. As of 2011, for every rabid raccoon reported within the raccoon variant region, there were 0.73 cases of this variant reported in non-reservoir animals. Skunks were the most common non-reservoir animal reported with the raccoon rabies variant. Domestic animals were the most common non-reservoir animal diagnosed with a skunk rabies virus variant (n = 1,601. Cross species transmission rates increased fastest among domestic animals. CONCLUSIONS: Cross species transmission of rabies virus variants into non-reservoir animals increases the risk of human exposures and threatens current advances toward rabies control. Cross species transmission in raccoon rabies enzootic regions increased dramatically during the study period. Pet owners should vaccinate their dogs and cats to ensure against CST, particularly in regions with active foci of rabies circulation. Clusters of high CST activity represent areas for further study to better understand interspecies disease transmission dynamics. Each CST event has the potential to result in a rabies virus adapted for sustained transmission in a new species; therefore further understanding of the dynamics of CST may help in early detection or prevention of the emergence

  14. Simplified large African carnivore density estimators from track indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christiaan W. Winterbach

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background The range, population size and trend of large carnivores are important parameters to assess their status globally and to plan conservation strategies. One can use linear models to assess population size and trends of large carnivores from track-based surveys on suitable substrates. The conventional approach of a linear model with intercept may not intercept at zero, but may fit the data better than linear model through the origin. We assess whether a linear regression through the origin is more appropriate than a linear regression with intercept to model large African carnivore densities and track indices. Methods We did simple linear regression with intercept analysis and simple linear regression through the origin and used the confidence interval for ß in the linear model y = αx + ß, Standard Error of Estimate, Mean Squares Residual and Akaike Information Criteria to evaluate the models. Results The Lion on Clay and Low Density on Sand models with intercept were not significant (P > 0.05. The other four models with intercept and the six models thorough origin were all significant (P < 0.05. The models using linear regression with intercept all included zero in the confidence interval for ß and the null hypothesis that ß = 0 could not be rejected. All models showed that the linear model through the origin provided a better fit than the linear model with intercept, as indicated by the Standard Error of Estimate and Mean Square Residuals. Akaike Information Criteria showed that linear models through the origin were better and that none of the linear models with intercept had substantial support. Discussion Our results showed that linear regression through the origin is justified over the more typical linear regression with intercept for all models we tested. A general model can be used to estimate large carnivore densities from track densities across species and study areas. The formula observed track density = 3.26 × carnivore

  15. The Microbiome and Occurrence of Methanotrophy in Carnivorous Sponges

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    Jon Thomassen Hestetun

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available As shown by recent studies, filter-feeding sponges are known to host a wide variety of microorganisms. However, the microbial community of the non-filtering carnivorous sponges (Porifera, Cladorhizidae has been the subject of less scrutiny. Here, we present the results from a comparative study of the methanotrophic carnivorous sponge Cladorhiza methanophila from a mud volcano-rich area at the Barbados Accretionary Prism (BAP, and five carnivorous species from the Jan Mayen Vent Field (JMVF at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge. Results from 16S rRNA microbiome data indicate the presence of a diverse assemblage of associated microorganisms in carnivorous sponges mainly from the Gamma- and Alphaproteobacteria, Flavobacteriaceae and Thaumarchaeota. While the abundance of particular groups varied throughout the dataset, we found interesting similarities to previous microbiome results from non-carnivorous deep sea sponges, suggesting that the carnivorous sponges share characteristics of a previously hypothesized putative deep-sea sponge microbial community. Chemolithoautotrophic symbiosis was confirmed for C. methanophila through a microbial community with a high abundance of Methylococcales and very light isotopic δ13C and δ15N ratios (-60 to -66‰/3.5 to 5.2‰ compared to the other cladorhizid species (-22 to -24‰/8.5-10.5‰. We provide evidence for the presence of putative sulfur-oxidizing Gammaproteobacteria in the arctic cladorhizids; however, δ13C and δ15N signatures did not provide evidence for significant chemoautotrophic symbiosis in this case, and the slightly higher abundance of cladorhizids at the JMVF site compared to the nearby deep sea likely stem from an increased abundance of prey rather than a more direct vent association. The phylogenetic position of C. methanophila in relation to other carnivorous sponges was established using a three-gene phylogenetic analysis, and it was found to be closely related to other non

  16. Mapping trends of large and medium size carnivores of conservation interest in Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihai Cristian Adamescu

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available We analysed yearly estimates of population size data during 2001-2012 for five carnivores species of conservation interest (Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Lynx lynx, Felis silvestris and Canis aureus. Population size estimations were done by the game management authorities and integrated by the competent authorities on the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Trends in data were detected using non-parametric Mann-Kendall test. This test was chosen considering the short length of data series and its usefulness for non-normal distributed data. The trend was tested at three spatial scales: game management units (n=1565, biogeographical region (n=5 and national. Trends depicted for each game management unit were plotted using ArcGIS, resulting species trend distribution maps. For the studied period increasing population trends were observed for Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Canis aureus and Lynx lynx, while for Felis silvestris there was no trend recorded. Such an analysis in especially useful for conservation proposes, game management and reporting obligations under article 17 of the EC Habitat Directive, using population trend as a proxy for population dynamics. We conclude that the status of the five carnivore species is favourable during the study period.

  17. Determination of carnivores prey base by scat analysis in Samburu ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    depredation, while all the other big cats depredated more on wild ungulates. Key words: Scat, group ranch, domestic, wild ungulate, prey, depredation. INTRODUTION. Livestock predation by large carnivores and their retaliatory persecution by pastoralists are worldwide conservation concerns; this has resulted in an ...

  18. Relative brain size in the mammalian carnivores of the Cape ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Relative brain sizes (encephalization quotients; EO) of the 30. Cape mammalian carnivores were calculated by regressing cranial volume against body mass. Within this taxon relative brain size appears to show no association with sociality, loco· motion, activity regimen or habitat, but is positively correlated with body mass.

  19. Small carnivores of Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, southern Western Ghats, India

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    R. Sreehari

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The first ever detailed study on the small carnivores of the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve (PkTR in the southern Western Ghats, using camera trap techniques, reported 11 species.  A total of 1,350 camera-trap nights were used for the study.  This was supplemented with 242km of day transects and 344km of night transects using spot-lights.  The small carnivores reported were the Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica, Common Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Brown Palm Civet Paradoxurus jerdoni, Indian Grey Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii, Stripe-necked Mongoose Herpestes vitticollis, Brown Mongoose Herpestes fuscus, Ruddy Mongoose Herpestes smithii, Smooth-coated Otter Lutrogale perspicillata, Nilgiri Marten Martes gwatkinsii, Jungle Cat Felis chaus and Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis.  About 90% of the small carnivores captured in the camera traps in PKTR were members of the Viverridae family such as the Small Indian Civet (31.67%, Common Palm Civet (30% and Brown Palm Civet (28.33%.  The study recorded all the four species of mongoose known from the Western Ghats from PkTR.  Two out of the 11 small carnivores belong to the ‘Vulnerable’ category on the IUCN Red List. 

  20. Small carnivores of Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve, Karnataka, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Honnavalli N. Kumara

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available During the present study in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve (BRT, nine species of small carnivores viz., Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Rusty-spotted Cat Prionalilurus rubiginosus, Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis, Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica, Asian Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Striped-necked Mongoose Herpestes vitticollis, Ruddy Mongoose Herpestes smithii, Common Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii and Smooth-coated Otter Lutrogale perspicillata, were recorded using camera-trapping technique, transect walks, and night surveys. Vegetation type strongly influences the presence and abundance of each species. The most sightings of small carnivores occurred in dry deciduous forests. Among all the species, the Asian Palm Civet was the most abundant and was followed by the small Indian Civet. Compared to many other forests or regions in India, the sight records of the Rusty-spotted Cat were relatively higher in BRT. Although we were unable to use statistical methods to search for higher levels of interdependencies between forest types and small carnivore abundance, our study sheds light on patterns of small carnivore distribution in this unique habitat which bridges the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats.

  1. Stable isotopes in collagen and Late Quaternary carnivore palaeoecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocherens, Hervé

    2010-05-01

    Several taxa of large carnivores co-occurred during the late Pleistocene in the steppe-tundra ecosystem, such as wolf Canis lupus, cave lion Panthera leo spelaea, cave hyaena Crocuta crocuta spelaea, brown bear Ursus arctos and cave bear Ursus spelaeus and Ursus ingressus. This abundance of taxa belonging to the same guild raises questions about niche partitioning, especially in terms of dietary specialization and prey selection. Observations of the dietary ecology of the extant relatives of these late Pleistocene carnivores does not provide unambiguous answers as these populations live under very different environmental conditions where other potential prey species are present, but it appears that most of these modern large carnivores are relatively flexible in their prey selection. Palaeontological investigations dealing with faunal associations and activity marks on fossil bones also have their limitations, such as taphonomic biases (palimpsests rather than biological associations) and do not allow the quantification of consumption of various preys. In contrast, carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures of bone collagen depend directly on those of the average diet. Since different potential prey species occurring in the steppe-tundra exhibit consistent isotopic differences for these chemical elements, it is possible to relate the carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures measured in fossil carnivores with the preferential consumption of some prey species. Some amount of quantification can be provided using modified versions of mixing models developed for modern ecosystems. In addition, this isotopic approach is individual-based and it is therefore possible to investigate intra- and inter-population differences in prey selection, as well as possible chronological trends and differences linked to genetic differences by combining isotopic and ancient DNA studies on the same material. The isotopic approach has already shown that among the tested large carnivores, cave

  2. Carnivore activity in the Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca, Spain) hominin sample

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana

    2014-08-01

    The Sima de los Huesos (SH) site is the largest accumulation of human remains from the Middle Pleistocene known to date. Studies in the last two decades have proposed different hypotheses to explain carnivore activity in the SH human sample. This study provides new data in order to test these different interpretations, and therefore to understand the role of the carnivores in site formation at SH. Carnivores are usually not the origin of large accumulations of hominin fossils in the Eurasian record. The results show that marks of carnivore activity in the SH sample appear very infrequently, which we interpret as indicating that carnivore activity was very sporadic at the site. This is in stark contrast with previous studies. The comparison of bone modification patterns at SH to actualistic carnivore data allows us to suggest that bears were likely to have been the carnivore responsible for the modification observed on both human and bear fossils.

  3. Financial costs of large carnivore translocations--accounting for conservation.

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    Florian J Weise

    Full Text Available Human-carnivore conflict continues to present a major conservation challenge around the world. Translocation of large carnivores is widely implemented but remains strongly debated, in part because of a lack of cost transparency. We report detailed translocation costs for three large carnivore species in Namibia and across different translocation scenarios. We consider the effect of various parameters and factors on costs and translocation success. Total translocation cost for 30 individuals in 22 events was $80,681 (US Dollars. Median translocation cost per individual was $2,393, and $2,669 per event. Median cost per cheetah was $2,760 (n = 23, and $2,108 per leopard (n = 6. One hyaena was translocated at a cost of $1,672. Tracking technology was the single biggest cost element (56%, followed by captive holding and feeding. Soft releases, prolonged captivity and orphaned individuals also increased case-specific costs. A substantial proportion (65.4% of the total translocation cost was successfully recovered from public interest groups. Less than half the translocations were confirmed successes (44.4%, 3 unknown with a strong species bias. Four leopards (66.7% were successfully translocated but only eight of the 20 cheetahs (40.0% with known outcome met these strict criteria. None of the five habituated cheetahs was translocated successfully, nor was the hyaena. We introduce the concept of Individual Conservation Cost (ICC and define it as the cost of one successfully translocated individual adjusted by costs of unsuccessful events of the same species. The median ICC for cheetah was $6,898 and $3,140 for leopard. Translocations are costly, but we demonstrate that they are not inherently more expensive than other strategies currently employed in non-lethal carnivore conflict management. We conclude that translocation should be one available option for conserving large carnivores, but needs to be critically evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  4. Financial costs of large carnivore translocations--accounting for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weise, Florian J; Stratford, Ken J; van Vuuren, Rudolf J

    2014-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflict continues to present a major conservation challenge around the world. Translocation of large carnivores is widely implemented but remains strongly debated, in part because of a lack of cost transparency. We report detailed translocation costs for three large carnivore species in Namibia and across different translocation scenarios. We consider the effect of various parameters and factors on costs and translocation success. Total translocation cost for 30 individuals in 22 events was $80,681 (US Dollars). Median translocation cost per individual was $2,393, and $2,669 per event. Median cost per cheetah was $2,760 (n = 23), and $2,108 per leopard (n = 6). One hyaena was translocated at a cost of $1,672. Tracking technology was the single biggest cost element (56%), followed by captive holding and feeding. Soft releases, prolonged captivity and orphaned individuals also increased case-specific costs. A substantial proportion (65.4%) of the total translocation cost was successfully recovered from public interest groups. Less than half the translocations were confirmed successes (44.4%, 3 unknown) with a strong species bias. Four leopards (66.7%) were successfully translocated but only eight of the 20 cheetahs (40.0%) with known outcome met these strict criteria. None of the five habituated cheetahs was translocated successfully, nor was the hyaena. We introduce the concept of Individual Conservation Cost (ICC) and define it as the cost of one successfully translocated individual adjusted by costs of unsuccessful events of the same species. The median ICC for cheetah was $6,898 and $3,140 for leopard. Translocations are costly, but we demonstrate that they are not inherently more expensive than other strategies currently employed in non-lethal carnivore conflict management. We conclude that translocation should be one available option for conserving large carnivores, but needs to be critically evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  5. Use of terrestrial field studies in the derivation of bioaccumulation potential of chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Brink, Nico W; Arblaster, Jennifer A; Bowman, Sarah R; Conder, Jason M; Elliott, John E; Johnson, Mark S; Muir, Derek C G; Natal-da-Luz, Tiago; Rattner, Barnett A; Sample, Bradley E; Shore, Richard F

    2016-01-01

    Field-based studies are an essential component of research addressing the behavior of organic chemicals, and a unique line of evidence that can be used to assess bioaccumulation potential in chemical registration programs and aid in development of associated laboratory and modeling efforts. To aid scientific and regulatory discourse on the application of terrestrial field data in this manner, this article provides practical recommendations regarding the generation and interpretation of terrestrial field data. Currently, biota-to-soil-accumulation factors (BSAFs), biomagnification factors (BMFs), and bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) are the most suitable bioaccumulation metrics that are applicable to bioaccumulation assessment evaluations and able to be generated from terrestrial field studies with relatively low uncertainty. Biomagnification factors calculated from field-collected samples of terrestrial carnivores and their prey appear to be particularly robust indicators of bioaccumulation potential. The use of stable isotope ratios for quantification of trophic relationships in terrestrial ecosystems needs to be further developed to resolve uncertainties associated with the calculation of terrestrial trophic magnification factors (TMFs). Sampling efforts for terrestrial field studies should strive for efficiency, and advice on optimization of study sample sizes, practical considerations for obtaining samples, selection of tissues for analysis, and data interpretation is provided. Although there is still much to be learned regarding terrestrial bioaccumulation, these recommendations provide some initial guidance to the present application of terrestrial field data as a line of evidence in the assessment of chemical bioaccumulation potential and a resource to inform laboratory and modeling efforts. © 2015 SETAC.

  6. Do Large Carnivores and Mesocarnivores Have Redundant Impacts on Intertidal Prey?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clinchy, Michael; Zanette, Liana Y.

    2017-01-01

    The presence of large carnivores can affect lower trophic levels by suppressing mesocarnivores and reducing their impacts on prey. The mesopredator release hypothesis therefore predicts prey abundance will be higher where large carnivores are present, but this prediction assumes limited dietary overlap between large and mesocarnivores. Where dietary overlap is high, e.g., among omnivorous carnivore species, or where prey are relatively easily accessible, the potential exists for large and mesocarnivores to have redundant impacts on prey, though this possibility has not been explored. The intertidal community represents a potentially important but poorly studied resource for coastal carnivore populations, and one for which dietary overlap between carnivores may be high. To evaluate usage of the intertidal community by coastal carnivores and the potential for redundancy between large and mesocarnivores, we surveyed (i) intertidal prey abundance (crabs and fish) and (ii) the abundance and activity of large carnivores (predominantly black bears) and mesocarnivores (raccoons and mink) in an area with an intact carnivore community in coastal British Columbia, Canada. Overall carnivore activity was strongly related to intertidal prey availability. Notably, this relationship was not contingent on carnivore species identity, suggestive of redundancy–high intertidal prey availability was associated with either greater large carnivore activity or greater mesocarnivore activity. We then compared intertidal prey abundances in this intact system, in which bears dominate, with those in a nearby system where bears and other large carnivores have been extirpated, and raccoons are the primary intertidal predator. We found significant similarities in intertidal species abundances, providing additional evidence for redundancy between large (bear) and mesocarnivore (raccoon) impacts on intertidal prey. Taken together, our results indicate that intertidal prey shape habitat use and

  7. Predator-prey interactions amongst Permo-Triassic terrestrial vertebrates as a deterministic factor influencing faunal collapse and turnover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codron, J; Botha-Brink, J; Codron, D; Huttenlocker, A K; Angielczyk, K D

    2017-01-01

    Unlike modern mammalian communities, terrestrial Paleozoic and Mesozoic vertebrate systems were characterized by carnivore faunas that were as diverse as their herbivore faunas. The comparatively narrow food base available to carnivores in these paleosystems raises the possibility that predator-prey interactions contributed to unstable ecosystems by driving populations to extinction. Here, we develop a model of predator-prey interactions based on diversity, abundance and body size patterns observed in the Permo-Triassic vertebrate fossil record of the Karoo Basin, South Africa. Our simulations reflect empirical evidence that despite relatively high carnivore: herbivore species ratios, herbivore abundances were sufficient for carnivores to maintain required intake levels through most of the Karoo sequence. However, high mortality rates amongst herbivore populations, even accounting for birth rates of different-sized species, are predicted for assemblages immediately preceding the end-Guadalupian and end-Permian mass extinctions, as well as in the Middle Triassic when archosaurs replaced therapsids as the dominant terrestrial fauna. These results suggest that high rates of herbivore mortality could have played an important role in biodiversity declines leading up to each of these turnover events. Such declines would have made the systems especially vulnerable to subsequent stochastic events and environmental perturbations, culminating in large-scale extinctions. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  8. Levels of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in the critically endangered Iberian lynx and other sympatric carnivores in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mateo, Rafael; Millán, Javier; Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime; Camarero, Pablo R; Palomares, Francisco; Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E

    2012-02-01

    Accumulation of organochlorine compounds is well studied in aquatic food chains whereas little information is available from terrestrial food chains. This study presents data of organochlorine levels in tissue and plasma samples of 15 critically endangered Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) and other 55 wild carnivores belonging to five species from three natural areas of Spain (Doñana National Park, Sierra Morena and Lozoya River) and explores their relationship with species diet. The Iberian lynx, with a diet based on the consumption of rabbit, had lower PCB levels (geometric means, plasma: Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra; liver: 3873-5426 ng g(-1)) from the industrialized region of Madrid. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Passive dosing of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) mixtures to terrestrial springtails: Linking mixture toxicity to chemical activities, equilibrium lipid concentrations, and toxic units

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Stine Nørgaard; Holmstrup, Martin; Smith, Kilian E. C.

    2013-01-01

    treatments, containing the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) naphthalene, phenanthrene, and pyrene. Springtail lethality was then linked to sum chemical activities (∑a), sum equilibrium lipid concentrations (∑Clipid eq.), and sum toxic units (∑TU). In each case, the effects of all 12 mixture treatments...

  10. A simple visual estimation of food consumption in carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine R Potgieter

    Full Text Available Belly-size ratings or belly scores are frequently used in carnivore research as a method of rating whether and how much an animal has eaten. This method provides only a rough ordinal measure of fullness and does not quantify the amount of food an animal has consumed. Here we present a method for estimating the amount of meat consumed by individual African wild dogs Lycaon pictus. We fed 0.5 kg pieces of meat to wild dogs being temporarily held in enclosures and measured the corresponding change in belly size using lateral side photographs taken perpendicular to the animal. The ratio of belly depth to body length was positively related to the mass of meat consumed and provided a useful estimate of the consumption. Similar relationships could be calculated to determine amounts consumed by other carnivores, thus providing a useful tool in the study of feeding behaviour.

  11. Pleistocene Hominins as a Resource for Carnivores: A c. 500,000-Year-Old Human Femur Bearing Tooth-Marks in North Africa (Thomas Quarry I, Morocco.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camille Daujeard

    Full Text Available In many Middle Pleistocene sites, the co-occurrence of hominins with carnivores, who both contributed to faunal accumulations, suggests competition for resources as well as for living spaces. Despite this, there is very little evidence of direct interaction between them to-date. Recently, a human femoral diaphysis has been recognized in South-West of Casablanca (Morocco, in the locality called Thomas Quarry I. This site is famous for its Middle Pleistocene fossil hominins considered representatives of Homo rhodesiensis. The bone was discovered in Unit 4 of the Grotte à Hominidés (GH, dated to c. 500 ky and was associated with Acheulean artefacts and a rich mammalian fauna. Anatomically, it fits well within the group of known early Middle Pleistocene Homo, but its chief point of interest is that the diaphyseal ends display numerous tooth marks showing that it had been consumed shortly after death by a large carnivore, probably a hyena. This bone represents the first evidence of consumption of human remains by carnivores in the cave. Whether predated or scavenged, this chewed femur indicates that humans were a resource for carnivores, underlining their close relationships during the Middle Pleistocene in Atlantic Morocco.

  12. Pleistocene Hominins as a Resource for Carnivores: A c. 500,000-Year-Old Human Femur Bearing Tooth-Marks in North Africa (Thomas Quarry I, Morocco).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daujeard, Camille; Geraads, Denis; Gallotti, Rosalia; Lefèvre, David; Mohib, Abderrahim; Raynal, Jean-Paul; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2016-01-01

    In many Middle Pleistocene sites, the co-occurrence of hominins with carnivores, who both contributed to faunal accumulations, suggests competition for resources as well as for living spaces. Despite this, there is very little evidence of direct interaction between them to-date. Recently, a human femoral diaphysis has been recognized in South-West of Casablanca (Morocco), in the locality called Thomas Quarry I. This site is famous for its Middle Pleistocene fossil hominins considered representatives of Homo rhodesiensis. The bone was discovered in Unit 4 of the Grotte à Hominidés (GH), dated to c. 500 ky and was associated with Acheulean artefacts and a rich mammalian fauna. Anatomically, it fits well within the group of known early Middle Pleistocene Homo, but its chief point of interest is that the diaphyseal ends display numerous tooth marks showing that it had been consumed shortly after death by a large carnivore, probably a hyena. This bone represents the first evidence of consumption of human remains by carnivores in the cave. Whether predated or scavenged, this chewed femur indicates that humans were a resource for carnivores, underlining their close relationships during the Middle Pleistocene in Atlantic Morocco.

  13. Pleistocene Hominins as a Resource for Carnivores: A c. 500,000-Year-Old Human Femur Bearing Tooth-Marks in North Africa (Thomas Quarry I, Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daujeard, Camille; Geraads, Denis; Gallotti, Rosalia; Lefèvre, David; Mohib, Abderrahim; Raynal, Jean-Paul; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2016-01-01

    In many Middle Pleistocene sites, the co-occurrence of hominins with carnivores, who both contributed to faunal accumulations, suggests competition for resources as well as for living spaces. Despite this, there is very little evidence of direct interaction between them to-date. Recently, a human femoral diaphysis has been recognized in South-West of Casablanca (Morocco), in the locality called Thomas Quarry I. This site is famous for its Middle Pleistocene fossil hominins considered representatives of Homo rhodesiensis. The bone was discovered in Unit 4 of the Grotte à Hominidés (GH), dated to c. 500 ky and was associated with Acheulean artefacts and a rich mammalian fauna. Anatomically, it fits well within the group of known early Middle Pleistocene Homo, but its chief point of interest is that the diaphyseal ends display numerous tooth marks showing that it had been consumed shortly after death by a large carnivore, probably a hyena. This bone represents the first evidence of consumption of human remains by carnivores in the cave. Whether predated or scavenged, this chewed femur indicates that humans were a resource for carnivores, underlining their close relationships during the Middle Pleistocene in Atlantic Morocco. PMID:27120202

  14. Molecular Characterization of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in Wild Carnivores in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santín, Mónica; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Carmena, David; Mateo, Marta; Balseiro, Ana; Barral, Marta; Lima Barbero, José Francisco; Habela, Miguel Ángel

    2017-12-12

    Microsporidia comprises a diverse group of obligate intracellular parasites that infect a broad range of invertebrates and vertebrates. Among Microsporidia, Enterocytozoon bieneusi is the most frequently detected species in humans and animals worldwide bringing into question the possible role of animal reservoirs in the epidemiology of this pathogen. Although E. bieneusi is an emerging zoonotic pathogen able to infect many domestic and wild mammals that could act as reservoir of infection for humans and other animals, only few studies have documented its occurrence in wild carnivores. To determine the occurrence of E. bieneusi in wild carnivores, we examined 190 wild carnivores collected from different locations in Spain. Twenty-five fecal samples (13.2%) from three host species (European badger, beech marten, and red fox) were E. bieneusi-positive by PCR. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the ITS region revealed a high degree of genetic diversity with a total of eight distinct genotypes including four known (PtEbIX, S5, S9, and WildBoar3) and four novel (EbCar1-EbCar4) genotypes identified. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the four novel genotypes (EbCar1-EbCar4), S5, S9, and WildBoar3 clustered within the previously designated zoonotic Group 1. Our results demonstrate that human-pathogenic genotypes are present in wild carnivores, corroborating their potential role as a source of human infection and environmental contamination. © 2017 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2017 International Society of Protistologists.

  15. Nomenclatural review of long digital forelimb flexors in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spoor, C F; Badoux, D M

    1986-12-01

    A hitherto-unknown atavistic muscle in the dog initiated a review of the literature on the homologies and nomenclature of the forelimb flexors in carnivores and man. A consequence is that we recommend a revision of the nomenclature in the Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria (Ithaca, New York, 1983) so that it is in agreement with the Nomina Anatomica (Wilkins, Baltimore, 1983). This revision mainly consists of the incorporation of the terms M. palmaris longus and Mm. flexores breves manus.

  16. Isotopic tracking of large carnivore palaeoecology in the mammoth steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocherens, Hervé

    2015-06-01

    Isotopic tracking of carnivore palaeoecology is a relatively new approach that yielded important results for the study of the non-analogue mammoth steppe biome. After describing the prerequisite to apply this approach and the possible complications, the main achievements will be described for extinct carnivore species such as scimitar-tooth cat Homotherium serum, cave lion Panthera spelaea, giant short-faced bear Arctodus simus, cave bear Ursus spelaeus s.l., as well as for ancient representatives of extant species such as brown bear Ursus arctos and wolf Canis lupus. Isotopic tracking showed that scimitar-tooth cats in Alaska were not specialist proboscidean predators but rather generalist consumers of other large herbivores. The majority of cave lions analysed so far were focused on reindeer, some individuals were specialized on cave bears, especially in contexts of competition with cave hyenas. Giant short-faced bears in Alaska were not pure herbivores and consumed meat from reindeer, muskoxen and possibly other predators, but may have still incorporated plant resources in their menu. In contrast, all cave bear populations studied so far for which a clear dietary reconstruction could be done were virtually pure herbivores, only a few cases are still unclear. Interestingly, brown bears used the opposite extreme of the dietary spectrum when competing with other large bears such as cave bears and giant short-faced bears, i.e. were more carnivorous in Europe and more herbivorous in Alaska. Finally wolves seem to have been outcompeted by hyenas but became dominant predators during the Lateglacial in Europe to the expense of the last cave lions. The results obtained through this approach are also relevant for improving conservation strategies of endangered extant large carnivores.

  17. Viral metagenomic analysis of feces of wild small carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodewes, Rogier; Ruiz-Gonzalez, Aritz; Schapendonk, Claudia M E; van den Brand, Judith M A; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Smits, Saskia L

    2014-05-15

    Recent studies have clearly demonstrated the enormous virus diversity that exists among wild animals. This exemplifies the required expansion of our knowledge of the virus diversity present in wildlife, as well as the potential transmission of these viruses to domestic animals or humans. In the present study we evaluated the viral diversity of fecal samples (n = 42) collected from 10 different species of wild small carnivores inhabiting the northern part of Spain using random PCR in combination with next-generation sequencing. Samples were collected from American mink (Neovison vison), European mink (Mustela lutreola), European polecat (Mustela putorius), European pine marten (Martes martes), stone marten (Martes foina), Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) and Eurasian badger (Meles meles) of the family of Mustelidae; common genet (Genetta genetta) of the family of Viverridae; red fox (Vulpes vulpes) of the family of Canidae and European wild cat (Felis silvestris) of the family of Felidae. A number of sequences of possible novel viruses or virus variants were detected, including a theilovirus, phleboviruses, an amdovirus, a kobuvirus and picobirnaviruses. Using random PCR in combination with next generation sequencing, sequences of various novel viruses or virus variants were detected in fecal samples collected from Spanish carnivores. Detected novel viruses highlight the viral diversity that is present in fecal material of wild carnivores.

  18. A conceptual framework for understanding illegal killing of large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Neil H; López-Bao, José Vicente; Bruskotter, Jeremy T; Gore, Meredith; Chapron, Guillaume; Johnson, Arlyne; Epstein, Yaffa; Shrestha, Mahendra; Frank, Jens; Ohrens, Omar; Treves, Adrian

    2017-04-01

    The growing complexity and global nature of wildlife poaching threaten the survival of many species worldwide and are outpacing conservation efforts. Here, we reviewed proximal and distal factors, both social and ecological, driving illegal killing or poaching of large carnivores at sites where it can potentially occur. Through this review, we developed a conceptual social-ecological system framework that ties together many of the factors influencing large carnivore poaching. Unlike most conservation action models, an important attribute of our framework is the integration of multiple factors related to both human motivations and animal vulnerability into feedbacks. We apply our framework to two case studies, tigers in Laos and wolverines in northern Sweden, to demonstrate its utility in disentangling some of the complex features of carnivore poaching that may have hindered effective responses to the current poaching crisis. Our framework offers a common platform to help guide future research on wildlife poaching feedbacks, which has hitherto been lacking, in order to effectively inform policy making and enforcement.

  19. A coprological survey of parasites of wild carnivores in Ireland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Peter; Golden, Olwen; Zintl, Annetta; de Waal, Theo; Mulcahy, Grace; McCarthy, Elaine; Lawton, Colin

    2013-10-01

    The increasing movement of people to wilderness areas, shrinking of wildlife habitats and the resulting urbanisation of wildlife has led to growing concerns about the transfer of parasitic diseases, particularly from contaminated faeces. Faecal samples from wild carnivores in Ireland were examined for the presence of protozoan and nematode parasites. Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) samples (n = 91) were positive for Uncinaria stenocephala (38%), Eucoleus aerophilus (26%), Toxocara canis (20%), Trichuris vulpis (4%) and Isospora-like oocysts (9%). Badger (Meles meles) samples (n = 50) were positive for Uncinaria criniformis (40%), E. aerophilus (6%) and Isospora-like oocysts (16%). No parasites were observed in pine marten (n = 48; Martes martes) faeces. Approximately 5% of American mink (Mustela vison) samples were positive for Cryptosporidium by polymerase chain reaction (identified as Cryptosporidium andersoni (n = 3) and 'mink' genotype (n = 1)). The results suggest that wild carnivores in Ireland have a range of parasites, although it is unclear from the present study to what extent these infections are associated with morbidity. While it can be expected that, via their faeces, wild carnivores contribute to the spread of these parasites, they are unlikely the primary source of environmental contamination. Therefore, they should not always be the principal target of control measures.

  20. Bite forces and evolutionary adaptations to feeding ecology in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Per; Wroe, Stephen

    2007-02-01

    The Carnivora spans the largest ecological and body size diversity of any mammalian order, making it an ideal basis for studies of evolutionary ecology and functional morphology. For animals with different feeding ecologies, it may be expected that bite force represents an important evolutionary adaptation, but studies have been constrained by a lack of bite force data. In this study we present predictions of bite forces for 151 species of extant carnivores, comprising representatives from all eight families and the entire size and ecological spectrum within the order. We show that, when normalized for body size, bite forces differ significantly between the various feeding categories. At opposing extremes and independent of genealogy, consumers of tough fibrous plant material and carnivores preying on large prey both have high bite forces for their size, while bite force adjusted for body mass is low among specialized insectivores. Omnivores and carnivores preying on small prey have more moderate bite forces for their size. These findings indicate that differences in bite force represent important adaptations to and indicators of differing feeding ecologies throughout carnivoran evolution. Our results suggest that the incorporation of bite force data may assist in the construction of more robust evolutionary and palaeontological analyses of feeding ecology.

  1. Canine evolution in sabretoothed carnivores: natural selection or sexual selection?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela Randau

    Full Text Available The remarkable elongated upper canines of extinct sabretoothed carnivorous mammals have been the subject of considerable speculation on their adaptive function, but the absence of living analogues prevents any direct inference about their evolution. We analysed scaling relationships of the upper canines of 20 sabretoothed feliform carnivores (Nimravidae, Barbourofelidae, Machairodontinae, representing both dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, and 33 non-sabretoothed felids in relation to body size in order to characterize and identify the evolutionary processes driving their development, using the scaling relationships of carnassial teeth in both groups as a control. Carnassials display isometric allometry in both sabretooths and non-sabretooths, supporting their close relationship with meat-slicing, whereas the upper canines of both groups display positive allometry with body size. Whereas there is no statistical difference in allometry of upper canine height between dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, the significantly stronger positive allometry of upper canine height shown by sabretooths as a whole compared to non-sabretooths reveals that different processes drove canine evolution in these groups. Although sabretoothed canines must still have been effective for prey capture and processing by hypercarnivorous predators, canine morphology in these extinct carnivores was likely to have been driven to a greater extent by sexual selection than in non-sabretooths. Scaling relationships therefore indicate the probable importance of sexual selection in the evolution of the hypertrophied sabretooth anterior dentition.

  2. Hearing in the sea otter (Enhydra lutris): auditory profiles for an amphibious marine carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghoul, Asila; Reichmuth, Colleen

    2014-11-01

    In this study we examine the auditory capabilities of the sea otter (Enhydra lutris), an amphibious marine mammal that remains virtually unstudied with respect to its sensory biology. We trained an adult male sea otter to perform a psychophysical task in an acoustic chamber and at an underwater apparatus. Aerial and underwater audiograms were constructed from detection thresholds for narrowband signals measured in quiet conditions at frequencies from 0.125-40 kHz. Aerial hearing thresholds were also measured in the presence of octave-band masking noise centered at eight signal frequencies (0.25-22.6 kHz) so that critical ratios could be determined. The aerial audiogram of the sea otter resembled that of sea lions and showed a reduction in low-frequency sensitivity relative to terrestrial mustelids. Best sensitivity was -1 dB re 20 µPa at 8 kHz. Under water, hearing sensitivity was significantly reduced when compared to sea lions and other pinniped species, demonstrating that sea otter hearing is primarily adapted to receive airborne sounds. Critical ratios were more than 10 dB higher than those measured for pinnipeds, suggesting that sea otters are less efficient than other marine carnivores at extracting acoustic signals from background noise, especially at frequencies below 2 kHz.

  3. Agricultural production in the United States by county: a compilation of information from the 1974 census of agriculture for use in terrestrial food-chain transport and assessment models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shor, R.W.; Baes, C.F. III; Sharp, R.D.

    1982-01-01

    Terrestrial food-chain models that simulate the transport of environmentally released radionuclides incorporate parameters describing agricultural production and practice. Often a single set of default parameters, such as that listed in USNRC Regulatory Guide 1.109, is used in lieu of site-specific information. However, the geographical diversity of agricultural practice in the United States suggests the limitations of a single set of default parameters for assessment models. This report documents default parameters with a county-wide resolution based on analysis of the 1974 US Census of Agriculture for use in terrestrial food chain models. Data reported by county, together with state-based information from the US Department of Agriculture, Economic and Statistics Service, provided the basis for estimates of model input parameters. This report also describes these data bases, their limitations, and lists default parameters by county. Vegetable production is described for four categories: leafy vegetables; vegetables and fruits exposed to airborne material; vegetables, fruits, and nuts protected from airborne materials; and grains. Livestock feeds were analyzed in categories of hay, silage, pasture, and grains. Pasture consumption was estimated from cattle and sheep inventories, their feed requirements, and reported quantities of harvested forage. The results were compared with assumed yields of the pasture areas reported. In addition, non-vegetable food production estimates including milk, beef, pork, lamb, poultry, eggs, goat milk, and honey are described. The agricultural parameters and land use information - in all 47 items - are tabulated in four appendices for each of the 3067 counties of the US reported to the Census of Agriculture, excluding those in Hawaii and Alaska.

  4. Genetic population structure and relatedness in the narrow-striped mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata), a social Malagasy carnivore with sexual segregation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Tilman C; Kappeler, Peter M; Pozzi, Luca

    2016-06-01

    Information on the genetic structure of animal populations can allow inferences about mechanisms shaping their social organization, dispersal, and mating system. The mongooses (Herpestidae) include some of the best-studied mammalian systems in this respect, but much less is known about their closest relatives, the Malagasy carnivores (Eupleridae), even though some of them exhibit unusual association patterns. We investigated the genetic structure of the Malagasy narrow-striped mongoose ( Mungotictis decemlineata ), a small forest-dwelling gregarious carnivore exhibiting sexual segregation. Based on mtDNA and microsatellite analyses, we determined population-wide haplotype structure and sex-specific and within-group relatedness. Furthermore, we analyzed parentage and sibship relationships and the level of reproductive skew. We found a matrilinear population structure, with several neighboring female units sharing identical haplotypes. Within-group female relatedness was significantly higher than expected by chance in the majority of units. Haplotype diversity of males was significantly higher than in females, indicating male-biased dispersal. Relatedness within the majority of male associations did not differ from random, not proving any kin-directed benefits of male sociality in this case. We found indications for a mildly promiscuous mating system without monopolization of females by males, and low levels of reproductive skew in both sexes based on parentages of emergent young. Low relatedness within breeding pairs confirmed immigration by males and suggested similarities with patterns in social mongooses, providing a starting point for further investigations of mate choice and female control of reproduction and the connected behavioral mechanisms. Our study contributes to the understanding of the determinants of male sociality in carnivores as well as the mechanisms of female competition in species with small social units.

  5. Assessing sloth bears as surrogates for carnivore conservation in Sri Lanka

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratnayeke, Shyamala; Van Manen, Frank T.

    2012-01-01

    Bears are large, charismatic mammals whose presence often garners conservation attention. Because healthy bear populations typically require large, contiguous areas of habitat, land conservation actions often are assumed to benefit co-occurring species, including other mammalian carnivores. However, we are not aware of an empirical test of this assumption. We used remote camera data from 2 national parks in Sri Lanka to test the hypothesis that the frequency of detection of sloth bears (Melursus ursinus) is associated with greater richness of carnivore species. We focused on mammalian carnivores because they play a pivotal role in the stability of ecological communities and are among Sri Lanka's most endangered species. Seven of Sri Lanka's carnivores are listed as endangered, vulnerable, or near threatened, and little empirical information exists on their status and distribution. During 2002–03, we placed camera traps at 152 sites to document carnivore species presence. We used Poisson regression to develop predictive models for 3 categories of dependent variables: species richness of (1) all carnivores, (2) carnivores considered at risk, and (3) carnivores of least conservation concern. For each category, we analyzed 8 a priori models based on combinations of sloth bear detections, sample year, and study area and used Akaike's information criterion (AICc) to test our research hypothesis. We detected sloth bears at 55 camera sites and detected 13 of Sri Lanka's 14 Carnivora species. Species richness of all carnivores showed positive associations with the number of sloth bear detections, regardless of study area. Sloth bear detections were also positively associated with species richness of carnivores at risk across both study years and study areas, but not with species richness of common carnivores. Sloth bears may serve as a valuable surrogate species whose habitat protection would contribute to conservation of other carnivores in Sri Lanka.

  6. Modelling disjunct carnivore distributions: the case of the wolf (Canis lupus) in the Iberian Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Barbosa, A.M.; Puerto, M.A.; Figueiredo, D.; Real, R.

    2012-01-01

    Book Description: In this book, the authors present current research in the conservation, species and management of carnivores. Topics discussed include the adaptation, impact and management of the raccoon dog in Europe; human perceptions of cougars in Canada and El Salvador; the impact on wildlife conservation of emerging protozoal tick-borne diseases of canids; mitigating conflict between humans and large carnivores in carnivore conservation; the management and conservation of wolves in the...

  7. Volatile halocarbons emissions through interaction of saltwater intrusion and terrestrial organic matter along a salinity gradient in coastal southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Y.; Wang, J. J.; Chow, A. T.; Rhew, R. C.

    2015-12-01

    Freshwater wetlands along the coast of southeastern United States can be subjected to inputs of halogens from seawater intrusion following long-term sea level rise. The interaction of halogens with organic-rich sediments can lead to the formation of organohalogens. In this study, we report field and laboratory emission rates of volatile halocarbons (methyl halides and chloroform) along a salinity gradient in coastal South Carolina, including freshwater forest, degraded oligohaline forest, and salt marsh. For chloroform, the oligohaline (intermediate) forest showed the largest mean emissions, compared to the freshwater forest and mesohaline saltmarsh. Soil cores were measured intact live, spread out live, intact dead, and spread out dead. Interestingly, the dead soil and live soil incubations showed no statistical difference in chloroform emissions, suggesting that their formation is predominately abiotic. For methyl chloride and methyl bromide, saltmarsh soils were sources while freshwater forest and degraded oligohaline forest soils were sinks. Sterilization of soils caused emissions rates to be higher, even converting sinks to sources, suggesting that live microorganisms and enzymes in the soils were sinks for the methyl halides, thereby masking the abiotic production rates. The simultaneous production and consumption of methyl halides in these soils is consistent with prior studies investigating the bidirectional fluxes of these compounds. Our study indicates that long-term sea level rise that turns freshwater forest wetlands to degraded forest wetlands or saltmarsh can significantly change the halocarbon biogeochemistry in southeastern United States.

  8. Halogenated flame retardants in bobcats from the midwestern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyles, Esmarie; Tan, Hongli; Wu, Yan; Nielsen, Clayton K; Shen, Li; Reiner, Eric J; Chen, Da

    2017-02-01

    In response to the restrictions of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants in various consumer products, alternative halogenated flame retardants have been subjected to increased use. Compared to aquatic ecosystems, relatively little information is available on the contamination of alternative flame retardants in terrestrial ecosystems, especially with regards to mammalian wildlife. In this study we used a top terrestrial carnivore, the bobcat (Lynx rufus), as a unique biomonitoring species for assessing flame retardant contamination in the Midwestern United States (U.S.) terrestrial ecosystems. Concentrations of ∑PBDEs (including all detectable PBDE congeners) ranged from 8.3 to 1920 ng/g lipid weight (median: 50.3 ng/g lw) in livers from 44 bobcats collected during 2013-2014 in Illinois. Among a variety of alternative flame retardants screened, Dechloranes (including anti- and syn-Dechlorane Plus and Dechlorane-602, 603, and 604), tetrabromo-o-chlorotoluene (TBCT), and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) were also frequently detected, with median concentrations of 28.7, 5.2, and 11.8 ng/g lw, respectively. Dechlorane analogue compositions in bobcats were different from what has been reported in other studies, suggesting species- or analogue-dependent bioaccumulation, biomagnification, or metabolism of Dechlorane chemicals in different food webs. Our findings, along with previously reported food web models, suggest Dechloranes may possess substantial bioaccumulation and biomagnification potencies in terrestrial mammalian food webs. Thus, attention should be given to these highly bioavailable flame retardants in future environmental biomonitoring and risk assessments in a post-PBDE era. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. From aquatic to terrestrial food webs: decrease of the docosahexaenoic acid/linoleic acid ratio.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koussoroplis, Apostolos-Manuel; Lemarchand, Charles; Bec, Alexandre; Desvilettes, Christian; Amblard, Christian; Fournier, Christine; Berny, Philippe; Bourdier, Gilles

    2008-05-01

    Fatty acid composition of the adipose tissue of six carnivorous mammalian species (European otter Lutra lutra, American mink Mustela vison, European Mink Mustela lutreola, European polecat Mustela putorius, stone marten Martes foina and European wild cat Felis silvestris) was studied. These species forage to differing degrees in aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Fatty acid analysis revealed significant differences in polyunsaturated fatty acid composition between species. More specifically, our results underline a gradual significant decrease in the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)/linoleic acid (LNA) ratio of carnivore species as their dependence on aquatic food webs decreases. In conclusion, the use of the DHA/LNA ratio in long-term studies is proposed as a potential proxy of changes in foraging behaviour of semi-aquatic mammals.

  10. Persistence of canine distemper virus in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's carnivore community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almberg, E.S.; Cross, P.C.; Smith, D.W.

    2010-01-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) is an acute, highly immunizing pathogen that should require high densities and large populations of hosts for long-term persistence, yet CDV persists among terrestrial carnivores with small, patchily distributed groups. We used CDV in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem's (GYE) wolves (Canis lupus) and coyotes (Canis latrans) as a case study for exploring how metapopulation structure, host demographics, and multi-host transmission affect the critical community size and spatial scale required for CDV persistence. We illustrate how host spatial connectivity and demographic turnover interact to affect both local epidemic dynamics, such as the length and variation in inter-epidemic periods, and pathogen persistence using stochastic, spatially explicit susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered simulation models. Given the apparent absence of other known persistence mechanisms (e.g., a carrier or environmental state, densely populated host, chronic infection, or a vector), we suggest that CDV requires either large spatial scales or multi-host transmission for persistence. Current GYE wolf populations are probably too small to support endemic CDV. Coyotes are a plausible reservoir host, but CDV would still require 50 000-100 000 individuals for moderate persistence (>50% over 10 years), which would equate to an area of 1-3 times the size of the GYE (60000-200000 km2). Coyotes, and carnivores in general, are not uniformly distributed; therefore, this is probably a gross underestimate of the spatial scale of CDV persistence. However, the presence of a second competent host species can greatly increase the probability of long-term CDV persistence at much smaller spatial scales. Although no management of CDV is currently recommended for the GYE, wolf managers in the region should expect periodic but unpredictable CDV-related population declines as often as every 2-5 years. Awareness and monitoring of such outbreaks will allow corresponding

  11. Introduced Terrestrial Species (Future)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — These data represent predicted future potential distributions of terrestrial plants, animals, and pathogens non-native to the Middle-Atlantic region. These data are...

  12. Dinosaurs and the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, Graeme T; Davis, Katie E; Pisani, Davide; Tarver, James E; Ruta, Marcello; Sakamoto, Manabu; Hone, David W.E; Jennings, Rachel; Benton, Michael J

    2008-01-01

    The observed diversity of dinosaurs reached its highest peak during the mid- and Late Cretaceous, the 50 Myr that preceded their extinction, and yet this explosion of dinosaur diversity may be explained largely by sampling bias. It has long been debated whether dinosaurs were part of the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution (KTR), from 125–80 Myr ago, when flowering plants, herbivorous and social insects, squamates, birds and mammals all underwent a rapid expansion. Although an apparent explosion of dinosaur diversity occurred in the mid-Cretaceous, coinciding with the emergence of new groups (e.g. neoceratopsians, ankylosaurid ankylosaurs, hadrosaurids and pachycephalosaurs), results from the first quantitative study of diversification applied to a new supertree of dinosaurs show that this apparent burst in dinosaurian diversity in the last 18 Myr of the Cretaceous is a sampling artefact. Indeed, major diversification shifts occurred largely in the first one-third of the group's history. Despite the appearance of new clades of medium to large herbivores and carnivores later in dinosaur history, these new originations do not correspond to significant diversification shifts. Instead, the overall geometry of the Cretaceous part of the dinosaur tree does not depart from the null hypothesis of an equal rates model of lineage branching. Furthermore, we conclude that dinosaurs did not experience a progressive decline at the end of the Cretaceous, nor was their evolution driven directly by the KTR. PMID:18647715

  13. Pairing call-response surveys and distance sampling for a mammalian carnivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Sara J. K.; Frair, Jacqueline L.; Underwood, Harold B.; Gibbs, James P.

    2015-01-01

    Density estimates accounting for differential animal detectability are difficult to acquire for wide-ranging and elusive species such as mammalian carnivores. Pairing distance sampling with call-response surveys may provide an efficient means of tracking changes in populations of coyotes (Canis latrans), a species of particular interest in the eastern United States. Blind field trials in rural New York State indicated 119-m linear error for triangulated coyote calls, and a 1.8-km distance threshold for call detectability, which was sufficient to estimate a detection function with precision using distance sampling. We conducted statewide road-based surveys with sampling locations spaced ≥6 km apart from June to August 2010. Each detected call (be it a single or group) counted as a single object, representing 1 territorial pair, because of uncertainty in the number of vocalizing animals. From 524 survey points and 75 detections, we estimated the probability of detecting a calling coyote to be 0.17 ± 0.02 SE, yielding a detection-corrected index of 0.75 pairs/10 km2 (95% CI: 0.52–1.1, 18.5% CV) for a minimum of 8,133 pairs across rural New York State. Importantly, we consider this an index rather than true estimate of abundance given the unknown probability of coyote availability for detection during our surveys. Even so, pairing distance sampling with call-response surveys provided a novel, efficient, and noninvasive means of monitoring populations of wide-ranging and elusive, albeit reliably vocal, mammalian carnivores. Our approach offers an effective new means of tracking species like coyotes, one that is readily extendable to other species and geographic extents, provided key assumptions of distance sampling are met.

  14. Macronutrient content of plant-based food affects growth of a carnivorous arthropod.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Shawn M; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2011-02-01

    Many arthropods engage in mutualisms in which they consume plant-based foods including nectar, extrafloral nectar, and honeydew. However, relatively little is known about the manner in which the specific macronutrients in these plant-based resources affect growth, especially for carnivorous arthropods. Using a combination of laboratory and field experiments, we tested (1) how plant-based foods, together with ad libitum insect prey, affect the growth of a carnivorous ant, Solenopsis invicta, and (2) which macronutrients in these resources (i.e., carbohydrates, amino acids, or both) contribute to higher colony growth. Access to honeydew increased the production of workers and brood in experimental colonies. This growth effect appeared to be due to carbohydrates alone as colonies provided with the carbohydrate component of artificial extrafloral nectar had greater worker and brood production compared to colonies deprived of carbohydrates. Surprisingly, amino acids only had a slight interactive effect on the proportion of a colony composed of brood and negatively affected worker survival. Diet choice in the laboratory and field matched performance in the laboratory with high recruitment to carbohydrate baits and only slight recruitment to amino acids. The strong, positive effects of carbohydrates on colony growth and the low cost of producing this macronutrient for plants and hemipterans may have aided the evolution of food-for-protection mutualisms and help explain why these interactions are so common in ants. In addition, greater access to plant-based resources in the introduced range of S. invicta may help to explain the high densities achieved by this species throughout the southeastern United States.

  15. Glucose transporter 1 localisation throughout pregnancy in the carnivore placenta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wooding, F.B.P.; Dantzer, Vibeke; Klisch, K.

    2007-01-01

    Glucose is one of the major fetal nutrients. Maternofetal transfer requires transport across the several placental membranes. This transfer is mediated by one or more of the fourteen known isoforms of glucose transporter. So far only Glucose Transporters 1 and 3 (GT1, GT3) have been shown to be l...... (cat, dog and mink) endotheliochorial placental membranes. GT1 is invariably present on both apical and basal surfaces of the cyto- and syncytiotrophoblast in all carnivore species examined and the pattern of development is described from implantation to term....

  16. Interactions Between Carnivores in Madagascar and the Risk of Disease Transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa; Farris, Zach J; Andrianalizah, Hertz; Parker, Patricia G

    2017-12-01

    Introduced carnivores exert considerable pressure on native predators through predation, competition and disease transmission. Recent research shows that exotic carnivores negatively affect the distribution and abundance of the native and endangered carnivores of Madagascar. In this study, we provide information about the frequency and distribution of interactions between exotic (dogs and cats) and native carnivores (Eupleridae) in the Betampona Natural Reserve (BNR), Madagascar, using noninvasive camera trap surveys. Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) were the most frequently detected carnivore species within the BNR, and we found that indirect interactions between exotic and native carnivores were frequent (n = 236). Indirect interactions were more likely to occur near the research station (incidence rate ratio = 0.91), which may constitute a disease transmission hot spot for carnivores at BNR. The intervals between capture of native and exotic carnivores suggest that there is potential for pathogen transmission between species in BNR. These capture intervals were significantly shorter near the edge of the reserve (P = 0.04). These data could be used to implement biosecurity measures to monitor interactions and prevent disease transmission between species at the domestic animal and wildlife interface.

  17. Integrating resource selection into spatial capture-recapture models for large carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    K. M. Proffitt; J. F. Goldberg; M. Hebblewhite; R. Russell; B. S. Jimenez; H. S. Robinson; Kristine Pilgrim; Michael Schwartz

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife managers need reliable methods to estimate large carnivore densities and population trends; yet large carnivores are elusive, difficult to detect, and occur at low densities making traditional approaches intractable. Recent advances in spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models have provided new approaches for monitoring trends in wildlife abundance and...

  18. First findings and prevalence of adult heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) in wild carnivores from Serbia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Penezic, Aleksandra; Selakovic, Sanja; Pavlovic, Ivan; Cirovic, Dusko

    Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a parasitic roundworm that causes a zoonotic disease known as dirofilariosis. Little is known about the role of wild carnivores serving as reservoirs in nature. Therefore, we examined 738 hearts and lungs of free ranging wild carnivores from Serbia to determine the

  19. Carnivore translocations and conservation: insights from population models and field data for fishers (Martes pennanti)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey C. Lewis; Roger A. Powell; William J. Zielinski

    2012-01-01

    Translocations are frequently used to restore extirpated carnivore populations. Understanding the factors that influence translocation success is important because carnivore translocations can be time consuming, expensive, and controversial. Using population viability software, we modeled reintroductions of the fisher, a candidate for endangered or threatened status in...

  20. Space use of African wild dogs in relation to other large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darnell, Angela M; Graf, Jan A; Somers, Michael J; Slotow, Rob; Szykman Gunther, Micaela

    2014-01-01

    Interaction among species through competition is a principle process structuring ecological communities, affecting behavior, distribution, and ultimately the population dynamics of species. High competition among large African carnivores, associated with extensive diet overlap, manifests in interactions between subordinate African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) and dominant lions (Panthera leo) and spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). Using locations of large carnivores in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa, we found different responses from wild dogs to their two main competitors. Wild dogs avoided lions, particularly during denning, through a combination of spatial and temporal avoidance. However, wild dogs did not exhibit spatial or temporal avoidance of spotted hyenas, likely because wild dog pack sizes were large enough to adequately defend their kills. Understanding that larger carnivores affect the movements and space use of other carnivores is important for managing current small and fragmented carnivore populations, especially as reintroductions and translocations are essential tools used for the survival of endangered species, as with African wild dogs.

  1. Effects of urbanization on carnivore species distribution and richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordenana, Miguel A.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Boydston, Erin E.; Fisher, Robert N.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Siudyla, Shalene; Haas, Christopher D.; Harris, Sierra; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Turschak, Greta M.; Miles, A. Keith; Van Vuren, Dirk H.

    2010-01-01

    Urban development can have multiple effects on mammalian carnivore communities. We conducted a meta-analysis of 7,929 photographs from 217 localities in 11 camera-trap studies across coastal southern California to describe habitat use and determine the effects of urban proximity (distance to urban edge) and intensity (percentage of area urbanized) on carnivore occurrence and species richness in natural habitats close to the urban boundary. Coyotes (Canis latrans) and bobcats (Lynx rufus) were distributed widely across the region. Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), raccoons (Procyon lotor), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), mountain lions (Puma concolor), and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were detected less frequently, and long-tailed weasels (Mustela frenata), American badgers (Taxidea taxus), western spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis), and domestic cats (Felis catus) were detected rarely. Habitat use generally reflected availability for most species. Coyote and raccoon occurrence increased with both proximity to and intensity of urbanization, whereas bobcat, gray fox, and mountain lion occurrence decreased with urban proximity and intensity. Domestic dogs and Virginia opossums exhibited positive and weak negative relationships, respectively, with urban intensity but were unaffected by urban proximity. Striped skunk occurrence increased with urban proximity but decreased with urban intensity. Native species richness was negatively associated with urban intensity but not urban proximity, probably because of the stronger negative response of individual species to urban intensity.

  2. Human population density and extinction risk in the world's carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardillo, Marcel; Purvis, Andy; Sechrest, Wes; Gittleman, John L; Bielby, Jon; Mace, Georgina M

    2004-07-01

    Understanding why some species are at high risk of extinction, while others remain relatively safe, is central to the development of a predictive conservation science. Recent studies have shown that a species' extinction risk may be determined by two types of factors: intrinsic biological traits and exposure to external anthropogenic threats. However, little is known about the relative and interacting effects of intrinsic and external variables on extinction risk. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we show that extinction risk in the mammal order Carnivora is predicted more strongly by biology than exposure to high-density human populations. However, biology interacts with human population density to determine extinction risk: biological traits explain 80% of variation in risk for carnivore species with high levels of exposure to human populations, compared to 45% for carnivores generally. The results suggest that biology will become a more critical determinant of risk as human populations expand. We demonstrate how a model predicting extinction risk from biology can be combined with projected human population density to identify species likely to move most rapidly towards extinction by the year 2030. African viverrid species are particularly likely to become threatened, even though most are currently considered relatively safe. We suggest that a preemptive approach to species conservation is needed to identify and protect species that may not be threatened at present but may become so in the near future.

  3. Human population density and extinction risk in the world's carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcel Cardillo

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Understanding why some species are at high risk of extinction, while others remain relatively safe, is central to the development of a predictive conservation science. Recent studies have shown that a species' extinction risk may be determined by two types of factors: intrinsic biological traits and exposure to external anthropogenic threats. However, little is known about the relative and interacting effects of intrinsic and external variables on extinction risk. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we show that extinction risk in the mammal order Carnivora is predicted more strongly by biology than exposure to high-density human populations. However, biology interacts with human population density to determine extinction risk: biological traits explain 80% of variation in risk for carnivore species with high levels of exposure to human populations, compared to 45% for carnivores generally. The results suggest that biology will become a more critical determinant of risk as human populations expand. We demonstrate how a model predicting extinction risk from biology can be combined with projected human population density to identify species likely to move most rapidly towards extinction by the year 2030. African viverrid species are particularly likely to become threatened, even though most are currently considered relatively safe. We suggest that a preemptive approach to species conservation is needed to identify and protect species that may not be threatened at present but may become so in the near future.

  4. Terrestrial and extraterrestrial fullerenes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heymann, D.; Jenneskens, L.W.; Jehlicka, J; Koper, C.; Vlietstra, E. [Rice Univ, Houston, TX (United States). Dept. of Earth Science

    2003-07-01

    This paper reviews reports of occurrences of fullerenes in circumstellar media, interstellar media, meteorites, interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), lunar rocks, hard terrestrial rocks from Shunga (Russia), Sudbury (Canada) and Mitov (Czech Republic), coal, terrestrial sediments from the Cretaceous-Tertiary-Boundary and Pennian-Triassic-Boundary, fulgurite, ink sticks, dinosaur eggs, and a tree char. The occurrences are discussed in the context of known and postulated processes of fullerene formation, including the suggestion that some natural fullerenes might have formed from biological (algal) remains.

  5. Can polar bears use terrestrial foods to offset lost ice-based hunting opportunities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D.; Robbins, Charles T.; Nelson, Lynne; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    Increased land use by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) due to climate-change-induced reduction of their sea-ice habitat illustrates the impact of climate change on species distributions and the difficulty of conserving a large, highly specialized carnivore in the face of this global threat. Some authors have suggested that terrestrial food consumption by polar bears will help them withstand sea-ice loss as they are forced to spend increasing amounts of time on land. Here, we evaluate the nutritional needs of polar bears as well as the physiological and environmental constraints that shape their use of terrestrial ecosystems. Only small numbers of polar bears have been documented consuming terrestrial foods even in modest quantities. Over much of the polar bear's range, limited terrestrial food availability supports only low densities of much smaller, resident brown bears (Ursus arctos), which use low-quality resources more efficiently and may compete with polar bears in these areas. Where consumption of terrestrial foods has been documented, polar bear body condition and survival rates have declined even as land use has increased. Thus far, observed consumption of terrestrial food by polar bears has been insufficient to offset lost ice-based hunting opportunities but can have ecological consequences for other species. Warming-induced loss of sea ice remains the primary threat faced by polar bears.

  6. The terrestrial silica pump.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna C Carey

    Full Text Available Silicon (Si cycling controls atmospheric CO(2 concentrations and thus, the global climate, through three well-recognized means: chemical weathering of mineral silicates, occlusion of carbon (C to soil phytoliths, and the oceanic biological Si pump. In the latter, oceanic diatoms directly sequester 25.8 Gton C yr(-1, accounting for 43% of the total oceanic net primary production (NPP. However, another important link between C and Si cycling remains largely ignored, specifically the role of Si in terrestrial NPP. Here we show that 55% of terrestrial NPP (33 Gton C yr(-1 is due to active Si-accumulating vegetation, on par with the amount of C sequestered annually via marine diatoms. Our results suggest that similar to oceanic diatoms, the biological Si cycle of land plants also controls atmospheric CO(2 levels. In addition, we provide the first estimates of Si fixed in terrestrial vegetation by major global biome type, highlighting the ecosystems of most dynamic Si fixation. Projected global land use change will convert forests to agricultural lands, increasing the fixation of Si by land plants, and the magnitude of the terrestrial Si pump.

  7. Batteries for terrestrial applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kulin, T.M.

    1998-07-01

    Extensive research has been conducted in the design and manufacture of very long life vented and sealed maintenance free nickel-cadmium aircraft batteries. These batteries have also been used in a number of terrestrial applications with good success. This study presents an overview of the Ni-Cd chemistry and technology as well as detailed analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the Ni-Cd couple for terrestrial applications. The performance characteristics of both sealed and vented Ni-Cd's are presented. Various charge algorithms are examined and evaluated for effectiveness and ease of implementation. Hardware requirements for charging are also presented and evaluated. The discharge characteristics of vented and sealed Ni-Cd's are presented and compared to other battery chemistries. The performance of Ni-Cd's under extreme environmental conditions is also compared to other battery chemistries. The history of various terrestrial applications is reviewed and some of the lessons learned are presented. Applications discussed include the NASA Middeck Payload Battery, Raytheon Aegis Missile System Battery, THAAD Launcher battery, and the Titan IV battery. The suitability of the Ni-Cd chemistry for other terrestrial applications such as electric vehicles and Uninterruptible Power Supply is discussed.

  8. Terrestrial planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.

  9. Habitat differentiation within the large-carnivore community of Norway's multiple-use landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, Roel; van Dijk, Jiska; Wabakken, Petter; Swenson, Jon E; Linnell, John Dc; Zimmermann, Barbara; Odden, John; Pedersen, Hans C; Andersen, Reidar; Landa, Arild

    2008-10-01

    The re-establishment of large carnivores in Norway has led to increased conflicts and the adoption of regional zoning for these predators. When planning the future distribution of large carnivores, it is important to consider details of their potential habitat tolerances and strength of inter-specific differentiation. We studied differentiation in habitat and kill sites within the large-carnivore community of south-eastern Norway.We compared habitat selection of the brown bear Ursus arctos L., Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx L., wolf Canis lupus L. and wolverine Gulo gulo L., based on radio-tracking data. Differences in kill site locations were explored using locations of documented predator-killed sheep Ovis aries L. We modelled each species' selection for, and differentiation in, habitat and kill sites on a landscape scale using resource selection functions and multinomial logistic regression. Based on projected probability of occurrence maps, we estimated continuous patches of habitat within the study area.Although bears, lynx, wolves and wolverines had overlapping distributions, we found a clear differentiation for all four species in both habitat and kill sites. The presence of bears, wolves and lynx was generally associated with rugged, forested areas at lower elevations, whereas wolverines selected rugged terrain at higher elevations. Some degree of sympatry was possible in over 40% of the study area, although only 1.5% could hold all four large carnivores together.Synthesis and applications. A geographically differentiated management policy has been adopted in Norway, aimed at conserving viable populations of large carnivores while minimizing the potential for conflicts. Sympatry of all four carnivores will be most successful if regional zones are established of adequate size spanning an elevational gradient. High prey densities, low carnivore densities, low dietary overlap and scavenging opportunities have most probably led to reduced competitive exclusion

  10. Environmental Impact and Relative Invasiveness of Free-Roaming Domestic Carnivores-a North American Survey of Governmental Agencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepe, Ana; Kaplan, Valerie; Arreaza, Alirio; Szpanderfer, Robert; Bristol, David; Sinclair, M Scott

    2017-10-14

    A survey of the United States and Canadian governmental agencies investigated the environmental impact and relative invasiveness of free-roaming domestic non-native carnivores-dogs, cats, and ferrets. Agencies represented wildlife, fish, game, natural or environmental resources, parks and recreation, veterinary and human health, animal control, and agriculture. Respondents were asked to document the number and frequency of sightings of unconfined animals, evidence for environmental harm, and the resulting "degree of concern" in their respective jurisdictions. Results confirmed the existence of feral (breeding) cats and dogs, documenting high levels of concern regarding the impact of these animals on both continental and surrounding insular habitats. Except for occasional strays, no free-roaming or feral ferrets were reported; nor were there reports of ferrets impacting native wildlife, including ground-nesting birds, or sensitive species. This is the first study to report the relative impact of free-roaming domestic carnivores. Dogs and cats meet the current definition of "invasive" species, whereas ferrets do not. Differences in how each species impacts the North American environment highlights the complex interaction between non-native species and their environment. Public attitudes and perceptions regarding these species may be a factor in their control and agency management priorities.

  11. Coronavirus genotype diversity and prevalence of infection in wild carnivores in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goller, Katja V; Fickel, Jörns; Hofer, Heribert; Beier, Sandra; East, Marion L

    2013-04-01

    Knowledge of coronaviruses in wild carnivores is limited. This report describes coronavirus genetic diversity, species specificity and infection prevalence in three wild African carnivores. Coronavirus RNA was recovered from fresh feces from spotted hyena and silver-backed jackal, but not bat-eared fox. Analysis of sequences of membrane (M) and spike (S) gene fragments revealed strains in the genus Alphacoronavirus, including three distinct strains in hyenas and one distinct strain in a jackal. Coronavirus RNA prevalence was higher in feces from younger (17 %) than older (3 %) hyenas, highlighting the importance of young animals for coronavirus transmission in wild carnivores.

  12. Clinical trials with canine distemper vaccines in exotic carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montali, R J; Bartz, C R; Teare, J A; Allen, J T; Appel, M J; Bush, M

    1983-12-01

    Two types of killed canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccine and a modified-live CDV vaccine were clinically evaluated in four species of exotic carnivores. In 16 trials in which 13 red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) were given the killed vaccine, only 1 animal had a virus-neutralization titer that exceeded 1:100. A red panda given modified-live CDV vaccine deemed safe for gray foxes and ferrets died of bacterial pneumonia 16 days later. There was no pathologic evidence of canine distemper in that panda. The same modified-live vaccine proved to be immunogenic and safe in 12 bush dogs (Speothos venaticus), 5 maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus), and 3 fennec foxes (Fennecus zerda) in which virus-neutralization titers often exceeded 1:512 and persisted for several months after vaccination.

  13. Early Cretaceous Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous angiosperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Oki Wong

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Archaeamphora longicervia H.Q.Li was described as an herbaceous, Sarraceniaceae-like pitcher plant from the mid Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Here, a re-investigation of A. longicervia specimens from the Yixian Formation provides new insights into its identity and the morphology of pitcher plants claimed by Li. We demonstrate that putative pitchers of Archaeamphora are insect-induced leaf galls that consist of three components: (1 an innermost larval chamber with a distinctive outer wall; (2 an intermediate zone of nutritive tissue; and (3 an outermost zone of sclerenchyma. Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous, Sarraceniaceae-like angiosperm, but represents insect-galled leaves of the formerly reported gymnosperm Liaoningocladus boii G.Sun et al. from the Yixian Formation.

  14. Advances in reproductive science for wild carnivore conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comizzoli, P; Crosier, A E; Songsasen, N; Gunther, M Szykman; Howard, J G; Wildt, D E

    2009-07-01

    Knowledge about reproduction is critical for predicting the viability of wildlife populations in nature and for managing breeding programmes in captivity. Intensive species-based studies are the priority, because reproductive mechanisms are extraordinarily diverse, even within the same taxonomic family. Carnivores deserve more attention as such species are highly vulnerable to environmental change and human persecution. The present review provides contemporary illustrations of how reproductive science is contributing to understand unique reproductive mechanisms that are both of fundamental and applied interest. In the case of the endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) free-living in South Africa, non-invasive faecal corticosteroid assessments have yielded new insights about the impact of animal relocation and reintroduction on adaptive responses, reproductive fitness and survival. For the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), advances have been made in characterizing and comparing reproductive traits in free-ranging vs captive individuals. For the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), recent studies have focused on the cryosensitivity of sperm and the ability to develop a field-friendly sperm cryo-method. The by-product has been a large-scale frozen repository of sperm from wild-caught cheetahs useful for infusing new genes into ex situ populations. Finally, rigorous, multi-disciplinary and cross-institutional reproductive studies of the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), including the use of artificial insemination, have contributed to the remarkable recovery and restoration of this species, once on the brink of extinction. In summary, advances in reproductive science are not necessarily related to 'assisted breeding'. However, understanding the unique ways of carnivore reproduction greatly contributes to species management and conservation.

  15. Tigers and their prey: Predicting carnivore densities from prey abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanth, K.U.; Nichols, J.D.; Kumar, N.S.; Link, W.A.; Hines, J.E.

    2004-01-01

    The goal of ecology is to understand interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. In principle, ecologists should be able to identify a small number of limiting resources for a species of interest, estimate densities of these resources at different locations across the landscape, and then use these estimates to predict the density of the focal species at these locations. In practice, however, development of functional relationships between abundances of species and their resources has proven extremely difficult, and examples of such predictive ability are very rare. Ecological studies of prey requirements of tigers Panthera tigris led us to develop a simple mechanistic model for predicting tiger density as a function of prey density. We tested our model using data from a landscape-scale long-term (1995-2003) field study that estimated tiger and prey densities in 11 ecologically diverse sites across India. We used field techniques and analytical methods that specifically addressed sampling and detectability, two issues that frequently present problems in macroecological studies of animal populations. Estimated densities of ungulate prey ranged between 5.3 and 63.8 animals per km2. Estimated tiger densities (3.2-16.8 tigers per 100 km2) were reasonably consistent with model predictions. The results provide evidence of a functional relationship between abundances of large carnivores and their prey under a wide range of ecological conditions. In addition to generating important insights into carnivore ecology and conservation, the study provides a potentially useful model for the rigorous conduct of macroecological science.

  16. Solar-Terrestrial Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    satellite for polar cap passes during large SEP events to determine the experimental geographic cutoff latitudes for the two energy ranges. 9 These...E. Lamanna, Societa Italiana di Fisica , Bologna, Italy, 1997.) Shea, M.A., and D.F. Smart, Overview of the Effects of Solar Terrestrial Phenomena...Conference, Invited, Rapporteurs, & Highlight Papers, edited by N. Iucci and E. Lamanna, Societa Italiana di Fisica , Bologna, Italy, 1997.) 27

  17. Large-scale evaluation of carnivore road mortality: the effect of landscape and local scale characteristics

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Červinka, J.; Riegert, J.; Grill, S.; Šálek, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 60, č. 3 (2015), s. 233-243 ISSN 2199-2401 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Carnivores * Landscape characteristics * Linear structures * Local characteristics * Road mortality * Temporal pattern Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  18. Living with large carnivores: predation on livestock by the snow leopard (Uncia uncia)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bagchi, S.; Mishra, C.

    2006-01-01

    Livestock predation by large carnivores and their retaliatory persecution by pastoralists are worldwide conservation concerns. Poor understanding of the ecological and social underpinnings of this human¿wildlife conflict hampers effective conflict management programs. The endangered snow leopard

  19. Recovery of large carnivores in Europe's modern human-dominated landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapron, Guillaume; Kaczensky, Petra; Linnell, John D C; von Arx, Manuela; Huber, Djuro; Andrén, Henrik; López-Bao, José Vicente; Adamec, Michal; Álvares, Francisco; Anders, Ole; Balčiauskas, Linas; Balys, Vaidas; Bedő, Péter; Bego, Ferdinand; Blanco, Juan Carlos; Breitenmoser, Urs; Brøseth, Henrik; Bufka, Luděk; Bunikyte, Raimonda; Ciucci, Paolo; Dutsov, Alexander; Engleder, Thomas; Fuxjäger, Christian; Groff, Claudio; Holmala, Katja; Hoxha, Bledi; Iliopoulos, Yorgos; Ionescu, Ovidiu; Jeremić, Jasna; Jerina, Klemen; Kluth, Gesa; Knauer, Felix; Kojola, Ilpo; Kos, Ivan; Krofel, Miha; Kubala, Jakub; Kunovac, Saša; Kusak, Josip; Kutal, Miroslav; Liberg, Olof; Majić, Aleksandra; Männil, Peep; Manz, Ralph; Marboutin, Eric; Marucco, Francesca; Melovski, Dime; Mersini, Kujtim; Mertzanis, Yorgos; Mysłajek, Robert W; Nowak, Sabina; Odden, John; Ozolins, Janis; Palomero, Guillermo; Paunović, Milan; Persson, Jens; Potočnik, Hubert; Quenette, Pierre-Yves; Rauer, Georg; Reinhardt, Ilka; Rigg, Robin; Ryser, Andreas; Salvatori, Valeria; Skrbinšek, Tomaž; Stojanov, Aleksandar; Swenson, Jon E; Szemethy, László; Trajçe, Aleksandër; Tsingarska-Sedefcheva, Elena; Váňa, Martin; Veeroja, Rauno; Wabakken, Petter; Wölfl, Manfred; Wölfl, Sybille; Zimmermann, Fridolin; Zlatanova, Diana; Boitani, Luigi

    2014-12-19

    The conservation of large carnivores is a formidable challenge for biodiversity conservation. Using a data set on the past and current status of brown bears (Ursus arctos), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), gray wolves (Canis lupus), and wolverines (Gulo gulo) in European countries, we show that roughly one-third of mainland Europe hosts at least one large carnivore species, with stable or increasing abundance in most cases in 21st-century records. The reasons for this overall conservation success include protective legislation, supportive public opinion, and a variety of practices making coexistence between large carnivores and people possible. The European situation reveals that large carnivores and people can share the same landscape. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  20. Dinitrogen fixation associated with shoots of aquatic carnivorous plants: is it ecologically important?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sirová, Dagmara; Santrůček, Jiří; Adamec, Lubomír; Bárta, Jiří; Borovec, Jakub; Pech, Jiří; Owens, Sarah M; Santrůčková, Hana; Schäufele, Rudi; Storchová, Helena; Vrba, Jaroslav

    2014-01-01

    .... In this study, an investigation was made of the importance of microbial dinitrogen (N2) fixation in the N acquisition of four aquatic Utricularia species and another aquatic carnivorous plant, Aldrovanda vesiculosa...

  1. WOODS, THE MOST COMPLEX TERRESTRIAL ECOSISTEM

    OpenAIRE

    BLAJ Robert; SAND Camelia; Gligor CIORTEA

    2012-01-01

    A forest ecosystem is a terrestrial unit of living organisms (plants, animals and microorganisms), all interacting among themselves and with the environment (soil, climate, water and light) in which they live. The environmental "common denominator" of that forest ecological community is a tree, who most faithfully obeys the ecological cycles of energy, water, carbon and nutrients. A forest ecosystem would be considered having boundaries and would include a forest of trees out to the limit of ...

  2. Space Use of African Wild Dogs in Relation to Other Large Carnivores

    OpenAIRE

    Angela M Darnell; Graf, Jan A.; Michael J. Somers; Rob Slotow; Micaela Szykman Gunther

    2014-01-01

    Interaction among species through competition is a principle process structuring ecological communities, affecting behavior, distribution, and ultimately the population dynamics of species. High competition among large African carnivores, associated with extensive diet overlap, manifests in interactions between subordinate African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) and dominant lions (Panthera leo) and spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). Using locations of large carnivores in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, Sou...

  3. A review of carnivorous sponges (Porifera: Cladorhizidae) from the Boreal North Atlantic and Arctic

    OpenAIRE

    Hestetun, Jon Thomassen; Tompkins-Macdonald, Gabrielle; Rapp, Hans Tore

    2017-01-01

    Family Cladorhizidae, comprising the carnivorous sponges, represents a unique innovation within the phylum Porifera. Rather than filter feeding, carnivorous sponges have developed the ability to passively capture small invertebrates such as crustaceans using filaments or other appendages, coupled with an adhesive surface and the ability of sponge cells to migrate to and envelop prey items. Cladorhizids are most commonly deep-sea species and are found worldwide, with around 150 species current...

  4. Chromosomal rearrangements and karyotype evolution in carnivores revealed by chromosome painting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, W; Wang, J; Su, W; Wang, D; Tanomtong, A; Perelman, P L; Graphodatsky, A S; Yang, F

    2012-01-01

    Chromosomal evolution in carnivores has been revisited extensively using cross-species chromosome painting. Painting probes derived from flow-sorted chromosomes of the domestic dog, which has one of the most rearranged karyotypes in mammals and the highest dipoid number (2n=78) in carnivores, are a powerful tool in detecting both evolutionary intra- and inter-chromosomal rearrangements. However, only a few comparative maps have been established between dog and other non-Canidae species. Here, we extended cross-species painting with dog probes to seven more species representing six carnivore families: Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), the stone marten (Martes foina), the small Indian civet (Viverricula indica), the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphrodites), Javan mongoose (Hepestes javanicas), the raccoon (Procyon lotor) and the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). The numbers and positions of intra-chromosomal rearrangements were found to differ among these carnivore species. A comparative map between human and stone marten, and a map among the Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis), stone marten and human were also established to facilitate outgroup comparison and to integrate comparative maps between stone marten and other carnivores with such maps between human and other species. These comparative maps give further insight into genome evolution and karyotype phylogenetic relationships among carnivores, and will facilitate the transfer of gene mapping data from human, domestic dog and cat to other species. PMID:22086079

  5. Spatio-temporal interactions facilitate large carnivore sympatry across a resource gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanth, K. Ullas; Srivathsa, Arjun; Puri, Mahi; Parameshwaran, Ravishankar; Kumar, N. Samba

    2017-01-01

    Species within a guild vary their use of time, space and resources, thereby enabling sympatry. As intra-guild competition intensifies, such behavioural adaptations may become prominent. We assessed mechanisms of facilitating sympatry among dhole (Cuon alpinus), leopard (Panthera pardus) and tiger (Panthera tigris) in tropical forests of India using camera-trap surveys. We examined population-level temporal, spatial and spatio-temporal segregation among them across four reserves representing a gradient of carnivore and prey densities. Temporal and spatial overlaps were higher at lower prey densities. Combined spatio-temporal overlap was minimal, possibly due to chance. We found fine-scale avoidance behaviours at one high-density reserve. Our results suggest that: (i) patterns of spatial, temporal and spatio-temporal segregation in sympatric carnivores do not necessarily mirror each other; (ii) carnivores are likely to adopt temporal, spatial, and spatio-temporal segregation as alternative mechanisms to facilitate sympatry; and (iii) carnivores show adaptability across a gradient of resource availability, a driver of inter-species competition. We discuss behavioural mechanisms that permit carnivores to co-occupy rather than dominate functional niches, and adaptations to varying intensities of competition that are likely to shape structure and dynamics of carnivore guilds. PMID:28179511

  6. Road Killed Carnivores Illustrate the Status of Zoonotic Helminthes in Caspian Sea Littoral of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aida VAFAE ESLAHI

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Carnivore carcasses on the roads can be regarded as study materials in parasitology and eco-epidemiology. Stray carnivores such as dogs and cats are known to harbor so many different pathogens like zoonotic helminthes. The current investigation, apparent the status of the helminthic parasites found in road killed carnivores from different parts of Guilan Province north of Iran.Methods: Fifty road killed carnivores including 27 stray dogs (Canis familiaris, 11 golden jackals (Canis aureus and 12 stray cats (Felis catus were collected from 21 locations of Guilan Province, during Apr to Nov 2015. Internal organs of the carcasses, including digestive tract, heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, skin, eyes as well as muscles were carefully inspected and sampled for helminthological investigation.Results: About 80% of the 50 carnivores, (stray dogs 77.77%, golden jackals 81.81%, and stray cats 91.66% were found naturally infected with helminthic parasites. Dipylidum caninum, Toxocara cati, Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonine, Ancylostoma caninum, Ancylostoma tubaeforme, Dirofilaria immitis, Dioctophyma renale, Dipylidum caninum, Echinococcus granulosus, Mesocestoides spp., Taenia hydatigena, Taenia hydatigera, Joyuxiella spp., Spirometra spp. are reported herein.Conclusion: The prevalent occurrence of zoonotic helminthes such as T. canis, T. cati, T. leonina, E. granulosus, D. immitis and D. renale in stray carnivores should be considered as a public health hazard, specifically within a vast tourism area like Guilan Province.

  7. Road Killed Carnivores Illustrate the Status of Zoonotic Helminthes in Caspian Sea Littoral of Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vafae Eslahi, Aida; Kia, Eshrat Beigom; Mobedi, Iraj; Sharifdini, Meysam; Badri, Milad; Mowlavi, Gholamreza

    2017-01-01

    Carnivore carcasses on the roads can be regarded as study materials in parasitology and eco-epidemiology. Stray carnivores such as dogs and cats are known to harbor so many different pathogens like zoonotic helminthes. The current investigation, apparent the status of the helminthic parasites found in road killed carnivores from different parts of Guilan Province north of Iran. Fifty road killed carnivores including 27 stray dogs (Canis familiaris), 11 golden jackals (Canis aureus) and 12 stray cats (Felis catus) were collected from 21 locations of Guilan Province, during Apr to Nov 2015. Internal organs of the carcasses, including digestive tract, heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, skin, eyes as well as muscles were carefully inspected and sampled for helminthological investigation. About 80% of the 50 carnivores, (stray dogs 77.77%, golden jackals 81.81%, and stray cats 91.66%) were found naturally infected with helminthic parasites. Dipylidum caninum, Toxocara cati, Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonine, Ancylostoma caninum, Ancylostoma tubaeforme, Dirofilaria immitis, Dioctophyma renale, Dipylidum caninum, Echinococcus granulosus, Mesocestoides spp., Taenia hydatigena, Taenia hydatigera, Joyuxiella spp., Spirometra spp. are reported herein. The prevalent occurrence of zoonotic helminthes such as T. canis, T. cati, T. leonina, E. granulosus, D. immitis and D. renale in stray carnivores should be considered as a public health hazard, specifically within a vast tourism area like Guilan Province.

  8. Terrestrial Steering Group. 2014. Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aastrup, Peter; Aronsson, Mora; Barry, Tom

    implementation of the Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan for the next two years. Identify expert networks required for successful implementation of the plan. Identify key gaps and opportunities for the TSG related to plan implementation and identify near-term next steps to address gaps.......The Terrestrial Steering Group (TSG), has initiated the implementation phase of the CBMP Terrestrial Plan. The CBMP Terrestrial Steering Group, along with a set of invited experts (see Appendix A for a participants list), met in Iceland from February 25-27th to develop a three year work plan...... to guide implementation of the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan. This report describes the outcome of that workshop. The aim of the workshop was to develop a three year work plan to guide implementation of the CBMP-Terrestrial Plan. The participants were tasked with devising an approach to both (a) determine what...

  9. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XLIV. Fleas (Insecta : Siphonaptera : Pulicidae collected from 15 carnivore species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.G. Horak

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Fleas were collected from 61 wild carnivores belonging to 13 species in various nature reserves and on farms, two feral domestic cats in a nature reserve and a domestic dog in the city of Johannesburg. Eleven flea species, including two subspecies of one of these, belonging to six genera were recovered. Amongst these only Ctenocephalides felis felis and Ctenocephalides felis strongylus are considered specific parasites of carnivores. The remaining ten species normally infest the prey animals of the various carnivores.

  10. Tracking neighbours promotes the coexistence of large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Bao, José Vicente; Mattisson, Jenny; Persson, Jens; Aronsson, Malin; Andrén, Henrik

    2016-03-16

    The study of competition and coexistence among similar interacting species has long been considered a cornerstone in evolutionary and community ecology. However, understanding coexistence remains a challenge. Using two similar and sympatric competing large carnivores, Eurasian lynx and wolverines, we tested the hypotheses that tracking among heterospecifics and reactive responses to potential risk decreases the probability of an agonistic encounter when predators access shared food resources, thus facilitating coexistence. Lynx and wolverines actively avoided each other, with the degree of avoidance being greater for simultaneous than time-delayed predator locations. Wolverines reacted to the presence of lynx at relatively short distances (mean: 383 m). In general, lynx stayed longer, and were more stationary, around reindeer carcasses than wolverines. However, when both predators were present at the same time around a carcass, lynx shortened their visits, while wolverine behavior did not change. Our results support the idea that risk avoidance is a reactive, rather than a predictive, process. Since wolverines have adapted to coexist with lynx, exploiting lynx-killed reindeer carcasses while avoiding potential encounters, the combined presence of both predators may reduce wolverine kill rate and thus the total impact of these predators on semi-domestic reindeer in Scandinavia. Consequently, population management directed at lynx may affect wolverine populations and human-wolverine conflicts.

  11. Feliform carnivores have a distinguished constitutive innate immune response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonja K. Heinrich

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Determining the immunological phenotype of endangered and threatened populations is important to identify those vulnerable to novel pathogens. Among mammals, members of the order Carnivora are particularly threatened by diseases. We therefore examined the constitutive innate immune system, the first line of protection against invading microbes, of six free-ranging carnivore species; the black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas, the brown hyena (Hyena brunnea, the caracal (Caracal caracal, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus, the leopard (Panthera pardus and the lion (Panthera leo using a bacterial killing assay. The differences in immune responses amongst the six species were independent of their foraging behaviour, body mass or social organisation but reflected their phylogenetic relatedness. The bacterial killing capacity of black-backed jackals, a member of the suborder Caniformia, followed the pattern established for a wide variety of vertebrates. In contrast, the five representatives of the suborder Feliformia demonstrated a killing capacity at least an order of magnitude higher than any species reported previously, with a particularly high capacity in caracals and cheetahs. Our results suggest that the immunocompetence of threatened felids such as the cheetah has been underestimated and its assessment ought to consider both innate and adaptive components of the immune system.

  12. Aleutian mink disease parvovirus in wild riparian carnivores in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mañas, S; Ceña, J C; Ruiz-Olmo, J; Palazón, S; Domingo, M; Wolfinbarger, J B; Bloom, M E

    2001-01-01

    Serious declines in populations of native European mink (Mustela lutreola) have occurred in Europe. One responsible factor may be infectious diseases introduced by exotic American mink (Mustela vison). In order to investigate a possible role for Aleutian mink disease parvovirus (ADV), we surveyed native riparian carnivores and feral American mink. When serum samples from 12 free-ranging European and 16 feral American mink were tested, antibodies to ADV were detected from three of nine European mink. ADV DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction in whole cell DNA from four of seven carcasses; two American mink, one European mink and a Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra). Lesions typical of Aleutian disease were present in one of the American mink. A portion of the ADV VP2 capsid gene was sequenced and the results suggested that two sequence types of ADV were circulating in Spain, and that the Spanish ADVs differed from other described isolates from North America and Europe. Future conservation and restoration efforts should include measures to avoid introduction or spread of ADV infection to native animals.

  13. Angiostrongylus species in wild carnivores in the Iberian Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerrikagoitia, X; Barral, M; Juste, R A

    2010-11-24

    A survey of Angiostrongylus parasites was carried out between 2003 and 2006 in wild carnivore species in the Basque Country (Northern Spain). Parasitological examination consisted in the dissection of heart and lungs for the extraction of adult worms. Nematodes were identified using morphometrical features and also PCR amplification and sequencing analysis. The animal species included in this study were Eurasian badger (Meles meles), Weasel (Mustela nivalis), Beech marten (Martes foina), Pine marten (Martes martes), Polecat (Mustela putorius), American mink (Mustela vison), Red fox (Vulpes vulpes), Wolf (Canis lupus), Wild cat (Felis silvestris), and Small-spotted genet (Genetta genetta). Angiostrongylus parasites were only found in foxes and badgers at prevalences of 33.3% and 24%, respectively. Identification of the nematodes by morphometrical features revealed that foxes were infected with A. vasorum while badgers were infected by a different species of Angiostrongylus most likely A. daskalovi. Sequencing data of the second internal transcribed spacer region of ribosomal DNA (ITS2) of isolates from each species confirmed the species difference. The high prevalence of Angiostrongylus found in the present survey, indicates that the wild cycle of two different species of Angiostrongylus is present in the Basque Country. To our knowledge this is the first report of A. daskalovi in the Iberian Peninsula. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Brain size predicts problem-solving ability in mammalian carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson-Amram, Sarah; Dantzer, Ben; Stricker, Gregory; Swanson, Eli M; Holekamp, Kay E

    2016-03-01

    Despite considerable interest in the forces shaping the relationship between brain size and cognitive abilities, it remains controversial whether larger-brained animals are, indeed, better problem-solvers. Recently, several comparative studies have revealed correlations between brain size and traits thought to require advanced cognitive abilities, such as innovation, behavioral flexibility, invasion success, and self-control. However, the general assumption that animals with larger brains have superior cognitive abilities has been heavily criticized, primarily because of the lack of experimental support for it. Here, we designed an experiment to inquire whether specific neuroanatomical or socioecological measures predict success at solving a novel technical problem among species in the mammalian order Carnivora. We presented puzzle boxes, baited with food and scaled to accommodate body size, to members of 39 carnivore species from nine families housed in multiple North American zoos. We found that species with larger brains relative to their body mass were more successful at opening the boxes. In a subset of species, we also used virtual brain endocasts to measure volumes of four gross brain regions and show that some of these regions improve model prediction of success at opening the boxes when included with total brain size and body mass. Socioecological variables, including measures of social complexity and manual dexterity, failed to predict success at opening the boxes. Our results, thus, fail to support the social brain hypothesis but provide important empirical support for the relationship between relative brain size and the ability to solve this novel technical problem.

  15. Metabolite profiling of the carnivorous pitcher plants Darlingtonia and Sarracenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannu Hotti

    Full Text Available Sarraceniaceae is a New World carnivorous plant family comprising three genera: Darlingtonia, Heliamphora, and Sarracenia. The plants occur in nutrient-poor environments and have developed insectivorous capability in order to supplement their nutrient uptake. Sarracenia flava contains the alkaloid coniine, otherwise only found in Conium maculatum, in which its biosynthesis has been studied, and several Aloe species. Its ecological role and biosynthetic origin in S. flava is speculative. The aim of the current research was to investigate the occurrence of coniine in Sarracenia and Darlingtonia and to identify common constituents of both genera, unique compounds for individual variants and floral scent chemicals. In this comprehensive metabolic profiling study, we looked for compound patterns that are associated with the taxonomy of Sarracenia species. In total, 57 different Sarracenia and D. californica accessions were used for metabolite content screening by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The resulting high-dimensional data were studied using a data mining approach. The two genera are characterized by a large number of metabolites and huge chemical diversity between different species. By applying feature selection for clustering and by integrating new biochemical data with existing phylogenetic data, we were able to demonstrate that the chemical composition of the species can be explained by their known classification. Although transcriptome analysis did not reveal a candidate gene for coniine biosynthesis, the use of a sensitive selected ion monitoring method enabled the detection of coniine in eight Sarracenia species, showing that it is more widespread in this genus than previously believed.

  16. Individual and collective responses to large carnivore management: the roles of trust, representation, knowledge spheres, communication and leadership

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sjölander-Lindqvist, A; Johansson, Maria; Sandström, C

    2015-01-01

    Overseeing the continued recovery, dispersal and management of large carnivore populations while simultaneously considering human viability and welfare requires delicately balancing local concerns for rural communities...

  17. Microstructure of terrestrial catastrophism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clube, S.V.M. (Oxford Univ. (UK). Dept. of Astrophysics); Napier, W.M. (Royal Observatory, Edinburgh (UK))

    1984-12-15

    The theory of evolution involving episodic terrestrial catastrophism predicts that the Oort cloud is disturbed by close encounters with massive nebulae. Each disturbance generates bombardment pulses of a few million years duration, the pulse frequencies being determined by the Sun's passage through the spiral arms and central plane of the Galaxy where nebulae concentrate. The structure within a pulse is shown here to be dominated by a series of 'spikes' of approx. 0.01-0.1 Myr duration separated by approx. 0.1-1.0 Myr, each caused by the arrival in circumterrestrial space of the largest comets followed by their disintegration into short-lived Apollo asteroids. Evidence is presented that a bombardment pulse was induced 3-5 Myr ago and that a 'spike' in the form of debris from a Chiron-like progenitor of Encke's comet has dominated the terrestrial environment for the last 0.02 Myr.

  18. Landscape suitability in Botswana for the conservation of its six large African carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanlie E K Winterbach

    Full Text Available Wide-ranging large carnivores often range beyond the boundaries of protected areas into human-dominated areas. Mapping out potentially suitable habitats on a country-wide scale and identifying areas with potentially high levels of threats to large carnivore survival is necessary to develop national conservation action plans. We used a novel approach to map and identify these areas in Botswana for its large carnivore guild consisting of lion (Panthera leo, leopard (Panthera pardus, spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta, brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea, cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus and African wild dog (Lycaon pictus. The habitat suitability for large carnivores depends primarily on prey availability, interspecific competition, and conflict with humans. Prey availability is most likely the strongest natural determinant. We used the distribution of biomass of typical wild ungulate species occurring in Botswana which is preyed upon by the six large carnivores to evaluate the potential suitability of the different management zones in the country to sustain large carnivore populations. In areas where a high biomass of large prey species occurred, we assumed interspecific competition between dominant and subordinated competitors to be high. This reduced the suitability of these areas for conservation of subordinate competitors, and vice versa. We used the percentage of prey biomass of the total prey and livestock biomass to identify areas with potentially high levels of conflict in agricultural areas. High to medium biomass of large prey was mostly confined to conservation zones, while small prey biomass was more evenly spread across large parts of the country. This necessitates different conservation strategies for carnivores with a preference for large prey, and those that can persist in the agricultural areas. To ensure connectivity between populations inside Botswana and also with its neighbours, a number of critical areas for priority management actions exist

  19. Landscape suitability in Botswana for the conservation of its six large African carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterbach, Hanlie E K; Winterbach, Christiaan W; Somers, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    Wide-ranging large carnivores often range beyond the boundaries of protected areas into human-dominated areas. Mapping out potentially suitable habitats on a country-wide scale and identifying areas with potentially high levels of threats to large carnivore survival is necessary to develop national conservation action plans. We used a novel approach to map and identify these areas in Botswana for its large carnivore guild consisting of lion (Panthera leo), leopard (Panthera pardus), spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta), brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and African wild dog (Lycaon pictus). The habitat suitability for large carnivores depends primarily on prey availability, interspecific competition, and conflict with humans. Prey availability is most likely the strongest natural determinant. We used the distribution of biomass of typical wild ungulate species occurring in Botswana which is preyed upon by the six large carnivores to evaluate the potential suitability of the different management zones in the country to sustain large carnivore populations. In areas where a high biomass of large prey species occurred, we assumed interspecific competition between dominant and subordinated competitors to be high. This reduced the suitability of these areas for conservation of subordinate competitors, and vice versa. We used the percentage of prey biomass of the total prey and livestock biomass to identify areas with potentially high levels of conflict in agricultural areas. High to medium biomass of large prey was mostly confined to conservation zones, while small prey biomass was more evenly spread across large parts of the country. This necessitates different conservation strategies for carnivores with a preference for large prey, and those that can persist in the agricultural areas. To ensure connectivity between populations inside Botswana and also with its neighbours, a number of critical areas for priority management actions exist in the

  20. A hairy case: The evolution of filtering carnivorous Drusinae (Limnephilidae, Trichoptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitecek, Simon; Graf, Wolfram; Kučinić, Mladen; Oláh, János; Bálint, Miklós; Previšić, Ana; Keresztes, Lujza; Pauls, Steffen U; Waringer, Johann

    2015-12-01

    The caddisfly subfamily Drusinae BANKS comprises roughly 100 species inhabiting mountain ranges in Europe, Asia Minor and the Caucasus. A 3-gene phylogeny of the subfamily previously identified three major clades that were corroborated by larval morphology and feeding ecologies: scraping grazers, omnivorous shredders and filtering carnivores. Larvae of filtering carnivores exhibit unique head capsule complexities, unknown from other caddisfly larvae. Here we assess the species-level relationships within filtering carnivores, hypothesizing that head capsule complexity is derived from simple shapes observed in the other feeding groups. We summarize the current systematics and taxonomy of the group, clarify the systematic position of Cryptothrix nebulicola, and present a larval key to filtering carnivorous Drusinae. We infer relationships of all known filtering carnivorous Drusinae and 34 additional Drusinae species using Bayesian species tree analysis and concatenated Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of 3805bp of sequence data from six gene regions (mtCOI5-P, mtCOI3-P, 16S mrDNA, CADH, WG, 28S nrDNA), morphological cladistics from 308 characters, and a total evidence analysis. All analyses support monophyly of the three feeding ecology groups but fail to fully resolve internal relationships. Within filtering carnivores, variation in head setation and frontoclypeus structure may be associated with progressive niche adaptation, with less complex species recovered at a basal position. We propose that diversification of complex setation and frontoclypeus shape represents a recent evolutionary development, hypothetically enforcing speciation and niche specificity within filtering carnivorous Drusinae. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Terrestrial Plume Impingement Testbed Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Masten Space Systems proposes to create a terrestrial plume impingement testbed for generating novel datasets for extraterrestrial robotic missions. This testbed...

  2. Some effects of pollutants in terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stickel, W.H.; McIntyre, A.D.; Mills, C.F.

    1975-01-01

    occur when persistent chemicals enter organisms that eliminate them poorly. However, loss of chemicals in the food chain must be more common than accumulation. The great concentration from water to aquatic organism is chiefly a physical phenomenon, not a food chain effect, but it affords high starting levels for these chains. Terrestrial food chains often start at a high level with heavily contaminated, struggling prey. Litter feeders are another important base. Vegetation may be contaminated enough to be dangerous to animals that eat it. Dermal and respiratory routes of intoxication occur in the wild, but the oral route is far more important at most times and places. The organisms that govern soil fertility and texture are affected more by cultivation than by pesticides. Above ground, growing knowledge of resistance, species differences, and biological controls is leading to integrated control, in which use of chemicals is limited and specific. We do not know what is happening to most nontarget invertebrates. Amphibians and reptiles may be killed by applications of insecticides, but are not highly sensitive and can carry large residues. Effects of these residues on reproduction are little known. Heavy kills of birds by pesticides still occur in the field. Fish-eating and bird-eating birds also undergo shell thinning and related reproductive troubles in many areas, sometimes to the point of population decline and local or regional extermination. DDE most often correlates with shell thinning in the wild and in experiments. No other known chemical approaches DDE in causing severe and lasting shell thinning. Herbivorous birds seem to be largely immune to this effect. It is uncertain how much dieldrin and PCBs contribute to embryotoxicity in carnivorous birds. Mammals may be killed by the more toxic pesticides, but some of the commonest small rodents are so resistant, and lose their residues so rapidly, that they are of little

  3. Female brain size and parental care in carnivores.

    OpenAIRE

    Gittleman, J. L.

    1994-01-01

    Comparative studies indicate that species differences in mammalian brain size relate to body size, ecology, and life-history traits. Previous analyses failed to show intrasexual or behavioral patterns of brain size in mammals. Across the terrestrial Carnivora, I find to the contrary. Differences in female, but not male, brain size associate with a fundamental ecological and evolutionary characteristic of female behavior. Other factors equal, females that provide the sole parental care have la...

  4. Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldocchi, Dennis; Ryu, Youngryel; Keenan, Trevor

    2016-01-01

    A growing literature is reporting on how the terrestrial carbon cycle is experiencing year-to-year variability because of climate anomalies and trends caused by global change. As CO 2 concentration records in the atmosphere exceed 50 years and as satellite records reach over 30 years in length, we are becoming better able to address carbon cycle variability and trends. Here we review how variable the carbon cycle is, how large the trends in its gross and net fluxes are, and how well the signal can be separated from noise. We explore mechanisms that explain year-to-year variability and trends by deconstructing the global carbon budget. The CO 2 concentration record is detecting a significant increase in the seasonal amplitude between 1958 and now. Inferential methods provide a variety of explanations for this result, but a conclusive attribution remains elusive. Scientists have reported that this trend is a consequence of the greening of the biosphere, stronger northern latitude photosynthesis, more photosynthesis by semi-arid ecosystems, agriculture and the green revolution, tropical temperature anomalies, or increased winter respiration. At the global scale, variability in the terrestrial carbon cycle can be due to changes in constituent fluxes, gross primary productivity, plant respiration and heterotrophic (microbial) respiration, and losses due to fire, land use change, soil erosion, or harvesting. It remains controversial whether or not there is a significant trend in global primary productivity (due to rising CO 2 , temperature, nitrogen deposition, changing land use, and preponderance of wet and dry regions). The degree to which year-to-year variability in temperature and precipitation anomalies affect global primary productivity also remains uncertain. For perspective, interannual variability in global gross primary productivity is relatively small (on the order of 2 Pg-C y -1 ) with respect to a large and uncertain background (123 +/- 4 Pg-C y -1 ), and

  5. Transcriptomics and molecular evolutionary rate analysis of the bladderwort (Utricularia, a carnivorous plant with a minimal genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herrera-Estrella Alfredo

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba (bladderwort is remarkable in having a minute genome, which at ca. 80 megabases is approximately half that of Arabidopsis. Bladderworts show an incredible diversity of forms surrounding a defined theme: tiny, bladder-like suction traps on terrestrial, epiphytic, or aquatic plants with a diversity of unusual vegetative forms. Utricularia plants, which are rootless, are also anomalous in physiological features (respiration and carbon distribution, and highly enhanced molecular evolutionary rates in chloroplast, mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal sequences. Despite great interest in the genus, no genomic resources exist for Utricularia, and the substitution rate increase has received limited study. Results Here we describe the sequencing and analysis of the Utricularia gibba transcriptome. Three different organs were surveyed, the traps, the vegetative shoot bodies, and the inflorescence stems. We also examined the bladderwort transcriptome under diverse stress conditions. We detail aspects of functional classification, tissue similarity, nitrogen and phosphorus metabolism, respiration, DNA repair, and detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS. Long contigs of plastid and mitochondrial genomes, as well as sequences for 100 individual nuclear genes, were compared with those of other plants to better establish information on molecular evolutionary rates. Conclusion The Utricularia transcriptome provides a detailed genomic window into processes occurring in a carnivorous plant. It contains a deep representation of the complex metabolic pathways that characterize a putative minimal plant genome, permitting its use as a source of genomic information to explore the structural, functional, and evolutionary diversity of the genus. Vegetative shoots and traps are the most similar organs by functional classification of their transcriptome, the traps expressing hydrolytic enzymes for prey

  6. Terrestrial plant methane production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard; Bruhn, Dan; Møller, Ian M.

    We evaluate all experimental work published on the phenomenon of aerobic methane (CH4) generation in terrestrial plants. We conclude that the phenomenon is true. Four stimulating factors have been observed to induce aerobic plant CH4 production, i.e. cutting injuries, increasing temperature......, ultraviolet radiation and reactive oxygen species. Further, we analyze rates of measured emission of aerobically produced CH4 in pectin and in plant tissues from different studies and argue that pectin is very far from the sole contributing precursor. Hence, scaling up of aerobic CH4 emission needs to take...... the aerobic methane emission in plants. Future work is needed for establishing the relative contribution of several proven potential CH4 precursors in plant material....

  7. Space Weather: Terrestrial Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pulkkinen Tuija

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Space weather effects arise from the dynamic conditions in the Earth’s space environment driven by processes on the Sun. While some effects are influenced neither by the properties of nor the processes within the Earth’s magnetosphere, others are critically dependent on the interaction of the impinging solar wind with the terrestrial magnetic field and plasma environment. As the utilization of space has become part of our everyday lives, and as our lives have become increasingly dependent on technological systems vulnerable to space weather influences, understanding and predicting hazards posed by the active solar events has grown in importance. This review introduces key dynamic processes within the magnetosphere and discusses their relationship to space weather hazards.

  8. Complex inter-Kingdom interactions: carnivorous plants affect growth of an aquatic vertebrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, Jon M; Riley, Alex W

    2017-05-01

    Coexistence of organisms in nature is more likely when phenotypic similarities of individuals are reduced. Despite the lack of similarity, distantly related taxa still compete intensely for shared resources. No larger difference between organisms that share a common prey could exist than between carnivorous plants and animals. However, few studies have considered inter-Kingdom competition among carnivorous plants and animals. In order to evaluate interactions between a carnivorous plant (greater bladderwort, Utricularia vulgaris) and a vertebrate (bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus) on a shared prey (zooplankton), we conducted a mesocosm experiment. We deployed two levels of bladderwort presence (functional and crushed) and measured bluegill responses (survival and growth). Zooplankton abundance was reduced the greatest in bluegill and functional bladderwort treatments. Bluegill survival did not differ among treatments, but growth was greatest with crushed bladderwort. Thus, bluegill growth was facilitated by reducing interference competition in the presence of crushed bladderwort. The facilitating effect was dampened, however, when functional bladderwort removed a shared prey. To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to experimentally demonstrate interactions between a carnivorous plant and a fish. Our data suggest that carnivorous plants may actively promote or reduce animal co-occurrence from some ecosystems via facilitation or competition. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society.

  9. Use of an action-selection framework for human-carnivore conflict in the Bangladesh Sundarbans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, Adam C D; Greenwood, Christina J; Ahmad, Ishtiaq U; Smith, James L D

    2010-10-01

    Human-carnivore conflict is manifested in the death of humans, livestock, and carnivores. The resulting negative local attitudes and retribution killings imperil the future of many endangered carnivores. We tailored existing management tools to create a framework to facilitate the selection of actions to alleviate human-carnivore conflict and applied the framework to the human-tiger conflict in the Bangladesh Sundarbans. We identified potential actions that consider previous management efforts, local knowledge, cost-effectiveness, fieldwork experience of authors and project staff, previous research on tiger ecology by the authors, and recommendations from human-carnivore conflict studies in other countries. Our framework includes creation of a profile to improve understanding of the nature of the conflict and its underlying causality. Identified actions include deterrents, education, direct tiger management, and response teams. We ranked actions by their potential to reduce conflict and the monetary cost of their implementation. We ranked tiger-response teams and monitoring problem tigers as the two best actions because both had relatively high impact and cost-effectiveness. We believe this framework could be used under a wide range of human-wildlife conflict situations because it provides a structured approach to selection of mitigating actions. © 2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Space use of African wild dogs in relation to other large carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela M Darnell

    Full Text Available Interaction among species through competition is a principle process structuring ecological communities, affecting behavior, distribution, and ultimately the population dynamics of species. High competition among large African carnivores, associated with extensive diet overlap, manifests in interactions between subordinate African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus and dominant lions (Panthera leo and spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta. Using locations of large carnivores in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa, we found different responses from wild dogs to their two main competitors. Wild dogs avoided lions, particularly during denning, through a combination of spatial and temporal avoidance. However, wild dogs did not exhibit spatial or temporal avoidance of spotted hyenas, likely because wild dog pack sizes were large enough to adequately defend their kills. Understanding that larger carnivores affect the movements and space use of other carnivores is important for managing current small and fragmented carnivore populations, especially as reintroductions and translocations are essential tools used for the survival of endangered species, as with African wild dogs.

  11. A viscoelastic deadly fluid in carnivorous pitcher plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurence Gaume

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes, widely distributed in the Asian tropics, rely mostly on nutrients derived from arthropods trapped in their pitcher-shaped leaves and digested by their enzymatic fluid. The genus exhibits a great diversity of prey and pitcher forms and its mechanism of trapping has long intrigued scientists. The slippery inner surfaces of the pitchers, which can be waxy or highly wettable, have so far been considered as the key trapping devices. However, the occurrence of species lacking such epidermal specializations but still effective at trapping insects suggests the possible implication of other mechanisms. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a combination of insect bioassays, high-speed video and rheological measurements, we show that the digestive fluid of Nepenthes rafflesiana is highly viscoelastic and that this physical property is crucial for the retention of insects in its traps. Trapping efficiency is shown to remain strong even when the fluid is highly diluted by water, as long as the elastic relaxation time of the fluid is higher than the typical time scale of insect movements. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This finding challenges the common classification of Nepenthes pitchers as simple passive traps and is of great adaptive significance for these tropical plants, which are often submitted to high rainfalls and variations in fluid concentration. The viscoelastic trap constitutes a cryptic but potentially widespread adaptation of Nepenthes species and could be a homologous trait shared through common ancestry with the sundew (Drosera flypaper plants. Such large production of a highly viscoelastic biopolymer fluid in permanent pools is nevertheless unique in the plant kingdom and suggests novel applications for pest control.

  12. Carnivore-caused livestock mortality in Trans-Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namgail, Tsewang; Fox, Joseph L; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer

    2007-04-01

    The loss of livestock to wild predators is an important livelihood concern among Trans-Himalayan pastoralists. Because of the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, few studies have been carried out to quantify livestock depredation by wild predators. In the present study, we assessed the intensity of livestock depredation by snow leopard Uncia uncia, Tibetan wolf Canis lupus chanku, and Eurasian lynx Lynx l. isabellina in three villages, namely Gya, Rumtse, and Sasoma, within the proposed Gya-Miru Wildlife Sanctuary in Ladakh, India. The three villages reported losses of 295 animals to these carnivores during a period of 2.5 years ending in early 2003, which represents an annual loss rate of 2.9% of their livestock holdings. The Tibetan wolf was the most important predator, accounting for 60% of the total livestock loss because of predation, followed by snow leopard (38%) and lynx (2%). Domestic goat was the major victim (32%), followed by sheep (30%), yak (15%), and horse (13%). Wolves killed horses significantly more and goats less than would be expected from their relative abundance. Snow leopards also killed horses significantly more than expected, whereas they killed other livestock types in proportion to their abundance. The three villages combined incurred an estimated annual monetary loss of approximately $USD 12,120 amounting to approximately $USD 190/household/y. This relatively high total annual loss occurred primarily because of depredation of the most valuable livestock types such as yak and horse. Conservation actions should initially attempt to target decrease of predation on these large and valuable livestock species.

  13. Effectiveness of scat detection dogs for detecting forest carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Robert A.; Donovan, T.M.; MacKay, Paula; Zielinski, William J.; Buzas, Jeffrey S.

    2007-01-01

    We assessed the detection and accuracy rates of detection dogs trained to locate scats from free-ranging black bears (Ursus americanus), fishers (Martes pennanti), and bobcats (Lynx rufus). During the summers of 2003-2004, 5 detection teams located 1,565 scats (747 putative black bear, 665 putative fisher, and 153 putative bobcat) at 168 survey sites throughout Vermont, USA. Of 347 scats genetically analyzed for species identification, 179 (51.6%) yielded a positive identification, 131 (37.8%) failed to yield DNA information, and 37 (10.7%) yielded DNA but provided no species confirmation. For 70 survey sites where confirmation of a putative target species' scat was not possible, we assessed the probability that ???1 of the scats collected at the site was deposited by the target species (probability of correct identification; P ID). Based on species confirmations or PID values, we detected bears at 57.1% (96) of sites, fishers at 61.3% (103) of sites, and bobcats at 12.5%o (21) of sites. We estimated that the mean probability of detecting the target species (when present) during a single visit to a site was 0.86 for black bears, 0.95 for fishers, and 0.40 for bobcats. The probability of detecting black bears was largely unaffected by site- or visit-specific covariates, but the probability of detecting fishers varied by detection team. We found little or no effect of topographic ruggedness, vegetation density, or local weather (e.g., temp, humidity) on detection probability for fishers or black bears (data were insufficient for bobcat analyses). Detection dogs were highly effective at locating scats from forest carnivores and provided an efficient and accurate method for collecting detection-nondetection data on multiple species.

  14. A Viscoelastic Deadly Fluid in Carnivorous Pitcher Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaume, Laurence; Forterre, Yoel

    2007-01-01

    Background The carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes, widely distributed in the Asian tropics, rely mostly on nutrients derived from arthropods trapped in their pitcher-shaped leaves and digested by their enzymatic fluid. The genus exhibits a great diversity of prey and pitcher forms and its mechanism of trapping has long intrigued scientists. The slippery inner surfaces of the pitchers, which can be waxy or highly wettable, have so far been considered as the key trapping devices. However, the occurrence of species lacking such epidermal specializations but still effective at trapping insects suggests the possible implication of other mechanisms. Methodology/Principal Findings Using a combination of insect bioassays, high-speed video and rheological measurements, we show that the digestive fluid of Nepenthes rafflesiana is highly viscoelastic and that this physical property is crucial for the retention of insects in its traps. Trapping efficiency is shown to remain strong even when the fluid is highly diluted by water, as long as the elastic relaxation time of the fluid is higher than the typical time scale of insect movements. Conclusions/Significance This finding challenges the common classification of Nepenthes pitchers as simple passive traps and is of great adaptive significance for these tropical plants, which are often submitted to high rainfalls and variations in fluid concentration. The viscoelastic trap constitutes a cryptic but potentially widespread adaptation of Nepenthes species and could be a homologous trait shared through common ancestry with the sundew (Drosera) flypaper plants. Such large production of a highly viscoelastic biopolymer fluid in permanent pools is nevertheless unique in the plant kingdom and suggests novel applications for pest control. PMID:18030325

  15. Terrestrial Ecology Guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, James W., Ed.; Hall, James A., Ed.

    This collection of study units focuses on the study of the ecology of land habitats. Considered are such topics as map reading, field techniques, forest ecosystem, birds, insects, small mammals, soils, plant ecology, preparation of terrariums, air pollution, photography, and essentials of an environmental studies program. Each unit contains…

  16. Genetic predictions of prion disease susceptibility in carnivore species based on variability of the prion gene coding region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Stewart

    Full Text Available Mammalian species vary widely in their apparent susceptibility to prion diseases. For example, several felid species developed prion disease (feline spongiform encephalopathy or FSE during the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE epidemic in the United Kingdom, whereas no canine BSE cases were detected. Whether either of these or other groups of carnivore species can contract other prion diseases (e.g. chronic wasting disease or CWD remains an open question. Variation in the host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C largely explains observed disease susceptibility patterns within ruminant species, and may explain interspecies differences in susceptibility as well. We sequenced and compared the open reading frame of the PRNP gene encoding PrP(C protein from 609 animal samples comprising 29 species from 22 genera of the Order Carnivora; amongst these samples were 15 FSE cases. Our analysis revealed that FSE cases did not encode an identifiable disease-associated PrP polymorphism. However, all canid PrPs contained aspartic acid or glutamic acid at codon 163 which we propose provides a genetic basis for observed susceptibility differences between canids and felids. Among other carnivores studied, wolverine (Gulo gulo and pine marten (Martes martes were the only non-canid species to also express PrP-Asp163, which may impact on their prion diseases susceptibility. Populations of black bear (Ursus americanus and mountain lion (Puma concolor from Colorado showed little genetic variation in the PrP protein and no variants likely to be highly resistant to prions in general, suggesting that strain differences between BSE and CWD prions also may contribute to the limited apparent host range of the latter.

  17. Genetic predictions of prion disease susceptibility in carnivore species based on variability of the prion gene coding region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Paula; Campbell, Lauren; Skogtvedt, Susan; Griffin, Karen A; Arnemo, Jon M; Tryland, Morten; Girling, Simon; Miller, Michael W; Tranulis, Michael A; Goldmann, Wilfred

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian species vary widely in their apparent susceptibility to prion diseases. For example, several felid species developed prion disease (feline spongiform encephalopathy or FSE) during the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic in the United Kingdom, whereas no canine BSE cases were detected. Whether either of these or other groups of carnivore species can contract other prion diseases (e.g. chronic wasting disease or CWD) remains an open question. Variation in the host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C)) largely explains observed disease susceptibility patterns within ruminant species, and may explain interspecies differences in susceptibility as well. We sequenced and compared the open reading frame of the PRNP gene encoding PrP(C) protein from 609 animal samples comprising 29 species from 22 genera of the Order Carnivora; amongst these samples were 15 FSE cases. Our analysis revealed that FSE cases did not encode an identifiable disease-associated PrP polymorphism. However, all canid PrPs contained aspartic acid or glutamic acid at codon 163 which we propose provides a genetic basis for observed susceptibility differences between canids and felids. Among other carnivores studied, wolverine (Gulo gulo) and pine marten (Martes martes) were the only non-canid species to also express PrP-Asp163, which may impact on their prion diseases susceptibility. Populations of black bear (Ursus americanus) and mountain lion (Puma concolor) from Colorado showed little genetic variation in the PrP protein and no variants likely to be highly resistant to prions in general, suggesting that strain differences between BSE and CWD prions also may contribute to the limited apparent host range of the latter.

  18. Carnivore use of avocado orchards across an agricultural-wildland gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogeire, Theresa M; Davis, Frank W; Duggan, Jennifer M; Crooks, Kevin R; Boydston, Erin E

    2013-01-01

    Wide-ranging species cannot persist in reserves alone. Consequently, there is growing interest in the conservation value of agricultural lands that separate or buffer natural areas. The value of agricultural lands for wildlife habitat and connectivity varies as a function of the crop type and landscape context, and quantifying these differences will improve our ability to manage these lands more effectively for animals. In southern California, many species are present in avocado orchards, including mammalian carnivores. We examined occupancy of avocado orchards by mammalian carnivores across agricultural-wildland gradients in southern California with motion-activated cameras. More carnivore species were detected with cameras in orchards than in wildland sites, and for bobcats and gray foxes, orchards were associated with higher occupancy rates. Our results demonstrate that agricultural lands have potential to contribute to conservation by providing habitat or facilitating landscape connectivity.

  19. Carnivore use of avocado orchards across an agricultural-wildland gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogeire, Theresa M.; Davis, Frank W.; Duggan, Jennifer M.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Boydston, Erin E.

    2013-01-01

    Wide-ranging species cannot persist in reserves alone. Consequently, there is growing interest in the conservation value of agricultural lands that separate or buffer natural areas. The value of agricultural lands for wildlife habitat and connectivity varies as a function of the crop type and landscape context, and quantifying these differences will improve our ability to manage these lands more effectively for animals. In southern California, many species are present in avocado orchards, including mammalian carnivores. We examined occupancy of avocado orchards by mammalian carnivores across agricultural-wildland gradients in southern California with motion-activated cameras. More carnivore species were detected with cameras in orchards than in wildland sites, and for bobcats and gray foxes, orchards were associated with higher occupancy rates. Our results demonstrate that agricultural lands have potential to contribute to conservation by providing habitat or facilitating landscape connectivity.

  20. Carnivore use of avocado orchards across an agricultural-wildland gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theresa M Nogeire

    Full Text Available Wide-ranging species cannot persist in reserves alone. Consequently, there is growing interest in the conservation value of agricultural lands that separate or buffer natural areas. The value of agricultural lands for wildlife habitat and connectivity varies as a function of the crop type and landscape context, and quantifying these differences will improve our ability to manage these lands more effectively for animals. In southern California, many species are present in avocado orchards, including mammalian carnivores. We examined occupancy of avocado orchards by mammalian carnivores across agricultural-wildland gradients in southern California with motion-activated cameras. More carnivore species were detected with cameras in orchards than in wildland sites, and for bobcats and gray foxes, orchards were associated with higher occupancy rates. Our results demonstrate that agricultural lands have potential to contribute to conservation by providing habitat or facilitating landscape connectivity.

  1. Characterization of a western North American carnivore community using PCR-RFLP of cytochrome b obtained from fecal samples

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bidlack, Allison L.; Reed, Sarah E.; Palsboll, Per J.; Getz, Wayne M.

    2007-01-01

    We developed a simple and reliable method to identify carnivore scats to species using PCR and RFLP of a portion of the mtDNA cytochrome b gene, which works for seven of the most common carnivores in western North America. We identified a short (196 bp) polymorphic region of cytochrome b which would

  2. Assessing Genetic Structure in Common but Ecologically Distinct Carnivores: The Stone Marten and Red Fox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basto, Mafalda P; Santos-Reis, Margarida; Simões, Luciana; Grilo, Clara; Cardoso, Luís; Cortes, Helder; Bruford, Michael W; Fernandes, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    The identification of populations and spatial genetic patterns is important for ecological and conservation research, and spatially explicit individual-based methods have been recognised as powerful tools in this context. Mammalian carnivores are intrinsically vulnerable to habitat fragmentation but not much is known about the genetic consequences of fragmentation in common species. Stone martens (Martes foina) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) share a widespread Palearctic distribution and are considered habitat generalists, but in the Iberian Peninsula stone martens tend to occur in higher quality habitats. We compared their genetic structure in Portugal to see if they are consistent with their differences in ecological plasticity, and also to illustrate an approach to explicitly delineate the spatial boundaries of consistently identified genetic units. We analysed microsatellite data using spatial Bayesian clustering methods (implemented in the software BAPS, GENELAND and TESS), a progressive partitioning approach and a multivariate technique (Spatial Principal Components Analysis-sPCA). Three consensus Bayesian clusters were identified for the stone marten. No consensus was achieved for the red fox, but one cluster was the most probable clustering solution. Progressive partitioning and sPCA suggested additional clusters in the stone marten but they were not consistent among methods and were geographically incoherent. The contrasting results between the two species are consistent with the literature reporting stricter ecological requirements of the stone marten in the Iberian Peninsula. The observed genetic structure in the stone marten may have been influenced by landscape features, particularly rivers, and fragmentation. We suggest that an approach based on a consensus clustering solution of multiple different algorithms may provide an objective and effective means to delineate potential boundaries of inferred subpopulations. sPCA and progressive partitioning

  3. Assessing Genetic Structure in Common but Ecologically Distinct Carnivores: The Stone Marten and Red Fox.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mafalda P Basto

    Full Text Available The identification of populations and spatial genetic patterns is important for ecological and conservation research, and spatially explicit individual-based methods have been recognised as powerful tools in this context. Mammalian carnivores are intrinsically vulnerable to habitat fragmentation but not much is known about the genetic consequences of fragmentation in common species. Stone martens (Martes foina and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes share a widespread Palearctic distribution and are considered habitat generalists, but in the Iberian Peninsula stone martens tend to occur in higher quality habitats. We compared their genetic structure in Portugal to see if they are consistent with their differences in ecological plasticity, and also to illustrate an approach to explicitly delineate the spatial boundaries of consistently identified genetic units. We analysed microsatellite data using spatial Bayesian clustering methods (implemented in the software BAPS, GENELAND and TESS, a progressive partitioning approach and a multivariate technique (Spatial Principal Components Analysis-sPCA. Three consensus Bayesian clusters were identified for the stone marten. No consensus was achieved for the red fox, but one cluster was the most probable clustering solution. Progressive partitioning and sPCA suggested additional clusters in the stone marten but they were not consistent among methods and were geographically incoherent. The contrasting results between the two species are consistent with the literature reporting stricter ecological requirements of the stone marten in the Iberian Peninsula. The observed genetic structure in the stone marten may have been influenced by landscape features, particularly rivers, and fragmentation. We suggest that an approach based on a consensus clustering solution of multiple different algorithms may provide an objective and effective means to delineate potential boundaries of inferred subpopulations. sPCA and progressive

  4. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nawa Sugiyama

    Full Text Available From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1-550, one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma's zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24 and felids (n = 29.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daryl eCodron

    2016-02-01

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

  6. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiyama, Nawa; Somerville, Andrew D; Schoeninger, Margaret J

    2015-01-01

    From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1-550), one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N) of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma's zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24) and felids (n = 29).

  7. Patterns of Livestock Predation by Carnivores: Human-Wildlife Conflict in Northwest Yunnan, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xueyou; Buzzard, Paul; Chen, Yongchun; Jiang, Xuelong

    2013-12-01

    Alleviating human-carnivore conflict is central to large carnivore conservation and is often of economic importance, where people coexist with carnivores. In this article, we report on the patterns of predation and economic losses from wild carnivores preying on livestock in three villages of northern Baima Xueshan Nature Reserve, northwest Yunnan during a 2-year period between January 2010 and December 2011. We analyzed claims from 149 households that 258 head of livestock were predated. Wolves ( Canis lupus) were responsible for 79.1 % of livestock predation; Asiatic black bears ( Selenarctos thibetanus) and dholes ( Cuon alpinus) were the other predators responsible. Predation frequency varied between livestock species. The majority of livestock killed were yak-cattle hybrids or dzo (40.3 %). Wolves killed fewer cattle than expected, and more donkeys and horses than expected. Wolves and bears killed more adult female and fewer adult male livestock than expected. Intensified predation in wet season coincided with livestock being left to graze unattended in alpine meadows far away from villages. On average, carnivore attacks claimed 2.1 % of range stock annually. This predation represented an economic loss of 17 % (SD = 14 %) of the annual household income. Despite this loss and a perceived increase in carnivore conflict, a majority of the herders (66 %) still supported the reserve. This support is primarily due to the benefits from the collection of nontimber resources such as mushrooms and medicinal plants. Our study also suggested that improvement of husbandry techniques and facilities will reduce conflicts and contribute to improved conservation of these threatened predators.

  8. Female brain size and parental care in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gittleman, J L

    1994-01-01

    Comparative studies indicate that species differences in mammalian brain size relate to body size, ecology, and life-history traits. Previous analyses failed to show intrasexual or behavioral patterns of brain size in mammals. Across the terrestrial Carnivora, I find to the contrary. Differences in female, but not male, brain size associate with a fundamental ecological and evolutionary characteristic of female behavior. Other factors equal, females that provide the sole parental care have larger brains than those of biparental or communal species. For females, more parental investment accompanies larger brains. Future comparative studies of mammalian brain size must recognize that some patterns arise independently in the two sexes. PMID:8202515

  9. Locating Human-Wildlife Interactions: Landscape Constructions and Responses to Large Carnivore Conservation in India and Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunetro Ghosal

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available People′s reactions to large carnivores take many forms, ranging from support and coexistence to resistance and conflict. While these reactions are the outcome of many different factors, in this paper we specifically explore the link between social constructions of landscapes and divergent responses to large carnivore presence. We compare case studies from four different landscapes shared by people and large carnivores, in India and Norway. We use social construction of landscapes as a key concept to explore responses to large carnivores in the context of ecological, economic, social, and cultural changes in these areas. Based on this comparison, we argue that the process of change is complex, with a plurality of responses from the groups affected by it. The response to large carnivore presence is influenced by many different factors, of which the interpretation of change-particularly landscape change-plays a significant role.

  10. Patterns of Natural and Human-Caused Mortality Factors of a Rare Forest Carnivore, the Fisher (Pekania pennanti in California.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mourad W Gabriel

    Full Text Available Wildlife populations of conservation concern are limited in distribution, population size and persistence by various factors, including mortality. The fisher (Pekania pennanti, a North American mid-sized carnivore whose range in the western Pacific United States has retracted considerably in the past century, was proposed for threatened status protection in late 2014 under the United States Endangered Species Act by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in its West Coast Distinct Population Segment. We investigated mortality in 167 fishers from two genetically and geographically distinct sub-populations in California within this West Coast Distinct Population Segment using a combination of gross necropsy, histology, toxicology and molecular methods. Overall, predation (70%, natural disease (16%, toxicant poisoning (10% and, less commonly, vehicular strike (2% and other anthropogenic causes (2% were causes of mortality observed. We documented both an increase in mortality to (57% increase and exposure (6% from pesticides in fishers in just the past three years, highlighting further that toxicants from marijuana cultivation still pose a threat. Additionally, exposure to multiple rodenticides significantly increased the likelihood of mortality from rodenticide poisoning. Poisoning was significantly more common in male than female fishers and was 7 times more likely than disease to kill males. Based on necropsy findings, suspected causes of mortality based on field evidence alone tended to underestimate the frequency of disease-related mortalities. This study is the first comprehensive investigation of mortality causes of fishers and provides essential information to assist in the conservation of this species.

  11. Terrestrial locomotion in arachnids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spagna, Joseph C; Peattie, Anne M

    2012-05-01

    In this review, we assess the current state of knowledge on terrestrial locomotion in Arachnida. Arachnids represent a single diverse (>100,000 species) clade containing well-defined subgroups (at both the order and subordinal levels) that vary morphologically around a basic body plan, yet exhibit highly disparate limb usage, running performance, and tarsal attachment mechanisms. Spiders (Araneae), scorpions (Scorpiones), and harvestmen (Opiliones) have received the most attention in the literature, while some orders have never been subject to rigorous mechanical characterization. Most well-characterized taxa move with gaits analogous to the alternating tripod gaits that characterize fast-moving Insecta - alternating tetrapods or alternating tripods (when one pair of legs is lifted from the ground for some other function). However, between taxa, there is considerable variation in the regularity of phasing between legs. Both large and small spiders appear to show a large amount of variation in the distribution of foot-ground contact, even between consecutive step-cycles of a single run. Mechanisms for attachment to vertical surfaces also vary, and may depend on tufts of adhesive hairs, fluid adhesives, silks, or a combination of these. We conclude that Arachnida, particularly with improvements in microelectronic force sensing technology, can serve as a powerful study system for understanding the kinematics, dynamics, and ecological correlates of sprawled-posture locomotion. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Hierarchical multi-species modeling of carnivore responses to hunting, habitat and prey in a West African protected area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Cole Burton

    Full Text Available Protected areas (PAs are a cornerstone of global efforts to shield wildlife from anthropogenic impacts, yet their effectiveness at protecting wide-ranging species prone to human conflict--notably mammalian carnivores--is increasingly in question. An understanding of carnivore responses to human-induced and natural changes in and around PAs is critical not only to the conservation of threatened carnivore populations, but also to the effective protection of ecosystems in which they play key functional roles. However, an important challenge to assessing carnivore communities is the often infrequent and imperfect nature of survey detections. We applied a novel hierarchical multi-species occupancy model that accounted for detectability and spatial autocorrelation to data from 224 camera trap stations (sampled between October 2006 and January 2009 in order to test hypotheses about extrinsic influences on carnivore community dynamics in a West African protected area (Mole National Park, Ghana. We developed spatially explicit indices of illegal hunting activity, law enforcement patrol effort, prey biomass, and habitat productivity across the park, and used a Bayesian model selection framework to identify predictors of site occurrence for individual species and the entire carnivore community. Contrary to our expectation, hunting pressure and edge proximity did not have consistent, negative effects on occurrence across the nine carnivore species detected. Occurrence patterns for most species were positively associated with small prey biomass, and several species had either positive or negative associations with riverine forest (but not with other habitat descriptors. Influences of sampling design on carnivore detectability were also identified and addressed within our modeling framework (e.g., road and observer effects, and the multi-species approach facilitated inference on even the rarest carnivore species in the park. Our study provides insight for the

  13. Hierarchical multi-species modeling of carnivore responses to hunting, habitat and prey in a West African protected area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, A Cole; Sam, Moses K; Balangtaa, Cletus; Brashares, Justin S

    2012-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) are a cornerstone of global efforts to shield wildlife from anthropogenic impacts, yet their effectiveness at protecting wide-ranging species prone to human conflict--notably mammalian carnivores--is increasingly in question. An understanding of carnivore responses to human-induced and natural changes in and around PAs is critical not only to the conservation of threatened carnivore populations, but also to the effective protection of ecosystems in which they play key functional roles. However, an important challenge to assessing carnivore communities is the often infrequent and imperfect nature of survey detections. We applied a novel hierarchical multi-species occupancy model that accounted for detectability and spatial autocorrelation to data from 224 camera trap stations (sampled between October 2006 and January 2009) in order to test hypotheses about extrinsic influences on carnivore community dynamics in a West African protected area (Mole National Park, Ghana). We developed spatially explicit indices of illegal hunting activity, law enforcement patrol effort, prey biomass, and habitat productivity across the park, and used a Bayesian model selection framework to identify predictors of site occurrence for individual species and the entire carnivore community. Contrary to our expectation, hunting pressure and edge proximity did not have consistent, negative effects on occurrence across the nine carnivore species detected. Occurrence patterns for most species were positively associated with small prey biomass, and several species had either positive or negative associations with riverine forest (but not with other habitat descriptors). Influences of sampling design on carnivore detectability were also identified and addressed within our modeling framework (e.g., road and observer effects), and the multi-species approach facilitated inference on even the rarest carnivore species in the park. Our study provides insight for the conservation

  14. Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment 2004

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, J. M.; Boutrup, S.; Bijl, L. van der

    This report presents the 2004 results of the Danish National Monitoring and Assess-ment Programme for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environments (NOVANA). 2004 was the first year in which terrestrial nature was included in the monitoring pro-gramme. The report reviews the state of the groundwater......, watercourses, lakes and marine waters and the pressures upon them and reviews the monitoring of terrestrial natural habitats and selected plants and animals. The report is based on the annual reports prepared for each subprogramme by the Topic Centres. The latter reports are mainly based on data collected...

  15. A Ten-Year Molecular Survey on Parvoviruses Infecting Carnivores in Bulgaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filipov, C; Desario, C; Patouchas, O; Eftimov, P; Gruichev, G; Manov, V; Filipov, G; Buonavoglia, C; Decaro, N

    2016-08-01

    Parvoviruses represent the most important infectious agents that are responsible for severe to fatal disease in carnivores. This study reports the results of a 10-year molecular survey conducted on carnivores in Bulgaria (n = 344), including 262 dogs and 19 cats with gastroenteritis, and 57 hunted wild carnivores. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), followed by virus characterization by minor groove binder (MGB) probe assays, detected 216 parvovirus positive dogs with a predominance of canine parvovirus type 2a (CPV-2a, 79.17%) over CPV-2b (18.52%) and CPV-2c (2.31%). Rottweilers and German shepherds were the most frequent breeds among CPV-positive pedigree dogs (n = 96). Eighteen cats were found to shed parvoviruses in their faeces, with most strains being characterized as FPLV (n = 17), although a single specimen tested positive for CPV-2a. Only two wild carnivores were parvovirus positive, a wolf (Canis lupus) and a red fox (Vulpes vulpes), both being infected by CPV-2a strains. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  16. The acclimation of carnivorous round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.) to solar radiation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tkalec, Mirta; Doboš, Marko; Babić, Marija; Jurak, Edita

    2015-01-01

    Round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.) is a carnivorous plant which inhabits nutrient-poor, moist, and sun-exposed areas such as peat bogs and sandpits. These habitats are threatened by succession which could lead to substantial shading of sundews. Nevertheless, D. rotundifolia can also

  17. Jasmonic acid and herbivory differentially induce carnivore-attracting plant volatiles in Lima bean plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dicke, M.; Gols, R.; Ludeking, D.; Posthumus, M.A.

    1999-01-01

    Lima bean plants respond to feeding damage of two-spotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) with the emission of a complex blend of volatiles that are products of several different biosynthetic pathways. These volatiles attract the carnivorous mite Phytoseiulus persimilis, a specialist predator of

  18. Molecular characterization of canine kobuvirus in wild carnivores and the domestic dog in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olarte-Castillo, Ximena A; Heeger, Felix; Mazzoni, Camila J; Greenwood, Alex D; Fyumagwa, Robert; Moehlman, Patricia D; Hofer, Heribert; East, Marion L

    2015-03-01

    Knowledge of Kobuvirus (Family Picornaviridae) infection in carnivores is limited and has not been described in domestic or wild carnivores in Africa. To fill this gap in knowledge we used RT-PCR to screen fresh feces from several African carnivores. We detected kobuvirus RNA in samples from domestic dog, golden jackal, side-striped jackal and spotted hyena. Using next generation sequencing we obtained one complete Kobuvirus genome sequence from each of these species. Our phylogenetic analyses revealed canine kobuvirus (CaKV) infection in all four species and placed CaKVs from Africa together and separately from CaKVs from elsewhere. Wild carnivore strains were more closely related to each other than to those from domestic dogs. We found that the secondary structure model of the IRES was similar to the Aichivirus-like IRES subclass and was conserved among African strains. We describe the first CaKVs from Africa and extend the known host range of CaKV. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Species-Specific Responses of Carnivores to Human-Induced Landscape Changes in Central Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Nicolás; Lucherini, Mauro; Fortin, Daniel; Casanave, Emma B

    2016-01-01

    The role that mammalian carnivores play in ecosystems can be deeply altered by human-driven habitat disturbance. While most carnivore species are negatively affected, the impact of habitat changes is expected to depend on their ecological flexibility. We aimed to identify key factors affecting the habitat use by four sympatric carnivore species in landscapes of central Argentina. Camera trapping surveys were carried out at 49 sites from 2011 to 2013. Each site was characterized by 12 habitat attributes, including human disturbance and fragmentation. Four landscape gradients were created from Principal Component Analysis and their influence on species-specific habitat use was studied using Generalized Linear Models. We recorded 74 events of Conepatus chinga, 546 of Pseudalopex gymnocercus, 193 of Leopardus geoffroyi and 45 of Puma concolor. We found that the gradient describing sites away from urban settlements and with low levels of disturbance had the strongest influence. L. geoffroyi was the only species responding significantly to the four gradients and showing a positive response to modified habitats, which could be favored by the low level of persecution by humans. P. concolor made stronger use of most preserved sites with low proportion of cropland, even though the species also used sites with an intermediate level of fragmentation. A more flexible use of space was found for C. chinga and P. gymnocercus. Our results demonstrate that the impact of human activities spans across this guild of carnivores and that species-specific responses appear to be mediated by ecological and behavioral attributes.

  20. Species-Specific Responses of Carnivores to Human-Induced Landscape Changes in Central Argentina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolás Caruso

    Full Text Available The role that mammalian carnivores play in ecosystems can be deeply altered by human-driven habitat disturbance. While most carnivore species are negatively affected, the impact of habitat changes is expected to depend on their ecological flexibility. We aimed to identify key factors affecting the habitat use by four sympatric carnivore species in landscapes of central Argentina. Camera trapping surveys were carried out at 49 sites from 2011 to 2013. Each site was characterized by 12 habitat attributes, including human disturbance and fragmentation. Four landscape gradients were created from Principal Component Analysis and their influence on species-specific habitat use was studied using Generalized Linear Models. We recorded 74 events of Conepatus chinga, 546 of Pseudalopex gymnocercus, 193 of Leopardus geoffroyi and 45 of Puma concolor. We found that the gradient describing sites away from urban settlements and with low levels of disturbance had the strongest influence. L. geoffroyi was the only species responding significantly to the four gradients and showing a positive response to modified habitats, which could be favored by the low level of persecution by humans. P. concolor made stronger use of most preserved sites with low proportion of cropland, even though the species also used sites with an intermediate level of fragmentation. A more flexible use of space was found for C. chinga and P. gymnocercus. Our results demonstrate that the impact of human activities spans across this guild of carnivores and that species-specific responses appear to be mediated by ecological and behavioral attributes.

  1. Nutrient-specific compensatory feeding in a mammalian carnivore, the mink, Neovison vison

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kim; Simpson, Stephen J; Nielsen, Vivi H

    2014-01-01

    Balancing of macronutrient intake has only recently been demonstrated in predators. In particular, the ability to regulate carbohydrate intake is little studied in obligate carnivores, as carbohydrate is present at very low concentrations in prey animal tissue. In the present study, we determined...

  2. The ecology of large carnivores in the highlands of northern Ethiopia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yirga, Gidey; De Iongh, Hans H.; Leirs, Herwig

    2013-01-01

    The degradation and fragmentation of the northern Ethiopian highlands has resulted in frequent encounters of large carnivores with humans and their livestock. We interviewed 500 randomly selected households to estimate economic impact of livestock predation by spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta), le...

  3. A new carnivorous sponge, Chondrocladia robertballardi sp. nov. (Porifera: Cladorhizidae) from two Northeast Atlantic seamounts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cristobo, J.; Rios, P.; Pomponi, S.A.; Xavier, J.R.

    2015-01-01

    Carnivorous sponges (Porifera: Cladorhizidae) are a particularly interesting group of species typically occurring in deep-sea habitats. In this study a new species, Chondrocladia (Chondrocladia) robertballardi sp. nov., is described from specimens collected on two large north-east Atlantic seamounts

  4. Notes on some smaller carnivores from the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. G. L Mills

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available Notes on relative densities, habitat choice, food and foraging, social organisation and anti-predatory behaviour of certain small and medium-sized carnivores are presented. Possible mechanisms of niche separation and the evolution of different anti- predatory behaviours are briefly discussed.

  5. Usability of large carnivore as a keystone species in Eastern Black ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of the study was to investigate the keystone species property of Brown bear (Ursus arctos), Wolf (Canis lupus) and Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx). The main selecting criteria for keystone species can be summarized as top predator or large carnivore important prey species or provide key resources and species having ...

  6. Notes on Distributional Records and Some Characteristics of Five Carnivore Species (Mammalia: Carnivora) in Turkey

    OpenAIRE

    ÖZKURT, Şakir

    1998-01-01

    In this study, carnivore specimens such as Herpestes ichneumon, Hyaena hyaena, Meles meles, Vulpes vulpes, Lutra lutra from various localities were evaluated based on external and cranial morphology, and then were compared with the published papers. Thus, the present status in Turkey of these species along with distribution records were evaluated.

  7. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous Nepenthes plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buch, F. (Franziska); W.E. Kaman (Wendy); F.J. Bikker (Floris); Yilamujiang, A. (Ayufu); Mithöfer, A. (Axel)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractCarnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the

  8. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous Nepenthes plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buch, F.; Kaman, W.E.; Bikker, F.J.; Yilamujiang, A.; Mithöfer, A.

    2015-01-01

    Carnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the plants

  9. Iridoid and caffeoyl phenylethanoid glycosides of the endangered carnivorous plant Pinguicula lusitanica L. (Lentibulariaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grevenstuk, T.; Hooft, van der J.J.J.; Vervoort, J.J.M.; Waard, de P.; Romano, A.

    2009-01-01

    This work reports for the first time the identification of the major compounds of Pinguicula lusitanica, an endangered carnivorous plant species, using minimal amounts of plant material. A methanol extract was prepared from in vitro cultured plantlets and analyzed by HPLC–SPE–NMR/HPLC–MS. Three

  10. Increasing game prices may alter farmers' behaviours towards leopards (Panthera pardus) and other carnivores in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirie, Tara J; Thomas, Rebecca L; Fellowes, Mark D E

    2017-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflict occurs globally, particularly in regions where large carnivores predate livestock. Retaliatory killings do occur, and although predation of livestock by carnivores happens, losses from other factors such as disease or injury can be misattributed because of landowner perceptions. Game farming for both trophy hunting and eco-tourism is becoming increasingly common in South Africa, and there has been a rapid increase in the cost of game animals (in some species as much as five-fold) between 2010 and 2015. This could result in an increase in conflict between commercial game farmers and carnivores. We conducted two questionnaire surveys of farmers in 2010 and 2015 to investigate this. We asked if there had been changes in farming practices, perceived predator activity, perceived amount of livestock and commercial game losses, and actions taken towards carnivores in a South African farming community. We found no significant change in farming types in the area or losses of livestock between the years. However, there was a significant increase in perceived commercial game losses reported, even though protection of game had increased. Actions taken towards carnivores by livestock/game farmers were also significantly more negative in 2015 compared to farmers growing crops, but there was no such difference in 2010. We suggest that these changes could be a result of the increase in game prices over that period, leading to greater financial losses when an animal is predated, which in turn could increase the likelihood of retaliatory killings of carnivores.

  11. Geo-spatial aspects of acceptance of illegal hunting of large carnivores in Scandinavia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin E Gangaas

    Full Text Available Human-carnivore conflicts are complex and are influenced by: the spatial distribution of the conflict species; the organisation and intensity of management measures such as zoning; historical experience with wildlife; land use patterns; and local cultural traditions. We have used a geographically stratified sampling of social values and attitudes to provide a novel perspective to the human - wildlife conflict. We have focused on acceptance by and disagreements between residents (measured as Potential Conflict Index; PCI towards illegal hunting of four species of large carnivores (bear, lynx, wolf, wolverine. The study is based on surveys of residents in every municipality in Sweden and Norway who were asked their opinion on illegal hunting. Our results show how certain social values are associated with acceptance of poaching, and how these values differ geographically independent of carnivore abundance. Our approach differs from traditional survey designs, which are often biased towards urban areas. Although these traditional designs intend to be representative of a region (i.e. a random sample from a country, they tend to receive relatively few respondents from rural areas that experience the majority of conflict with carnivores. Acceptance of poaching differed significantly between Norway (12.7-15.7% of respondents and Sweden (3.3-4.1% of respondents. We found the highest acceptance of illegal hunting in rural areas with free-ranging sheep and strong hunting traditions. Disagreements between residents (as measured by PCI were highest in areas with intermediate population density. There was no correlation between carnivore density and either acceptance of illegal hunting or PCI. A strong positive correlation between acceptance of illegal hunting and PCI showed that areas with high acceptance of illegal hunting are areas with high potential conflict between people. Our results show that spatially-stratified surveys are required to reveal the

  12. Leptospirosis in wild and domestic carnivores in natural areas in Andalusia, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millán, Javier; Candela, Mónica G; López-Bao, José Vicente; Pereira, Marian; Jiménez, María Angeles; León-Vizcaíno, Luis

    2009-10-01

    Leptospirosis is a zoonosis that affects humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. Carnivores are at the top of the feeding chain, thus being exposed to pathogens through their preys. From June 2004 to April 2007, we analyzed for evidences of contact with 14 serovars of Leptospira interrogans Sensu Lato serum (analyzed by indirect Microscopic Agglutination Test) and urine or kidney samples (analyzed by microscopic observation, immunostaining and culture) collected from 201 wild and domestic carnivores, including 26 free-living Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), 33 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 33 Egyptian mongooses (Herpestes ichneumon), 25 common genets (Genetta genetta), two Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) and one Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), and 53 free-roaming cats and 28 rural dogs in protected areas in Andalusia (southern Spain). Twenty-three percent of the animals presented evidences of contact, being the prevalence similar among wild (23.5%) and domestic species (22.2%). Contact with Lesptospira was detected in all the species but the otter. Prevalence was: lynx (11% by bacteriological detection, 32% by serology), fox (0%, 47%), mongoose (5%, 20%), genet (0%, 12%), badger (0%, 50%), cat (20%, 14%), dog (only serology: 36%). Serovar Icterohemorragiae accounted for 2/3 of the cases. Serovar Canicola was detected in half of the positive dogs and one lynx. Other serovars detected were Ballum, Sejroë, and Australis. No macroscopic lesions were observed in necropsied animals that showed evidence of contact with the agent, although histopathologic lesions (chiefly chronic interstitial nephritis) were observed in 7 out of the 11 microscopically analyzed individuals. Thus, L. interrogans may cause previously unrecorded disease in wild carnivores in Spain. Wild and free-roaming carnivores may not act as reservoir of L. interrogans but as a dead-end hosts, though the dog may act as reservoir of serovar Canicola. Carnivores are apparently good sentinels for the epidemiological

  13. Thelazia callipaeda in wild carnivores from Romania: new host and geographical records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihalca, Andrei Daniel; Ionică, Angela Monica; D'Amico, Gianluca; Daskalaki, Aikaterini Alexandra; Deak, Georgiana; Matei, Ioana Adriana; Șimonca, Vasile; Iordache, Daniel; Modrý, David; Gherman, Călin Mircea

    2016-06-18

    Thelazia callipaeda is a vector-borne zoonotic nematode parasitizing the conjunctival sac of domestic and wild carnivores, rabbits and humans, with a vast distribution in Asia and the former Soviet Union. In Europe, the nematode has an emerging trend, being reported in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, Greece and Serbia, with human cases known in Italy, France, Spain, Serbia and Croatia. In Romania, the infection was so far reported only in dogs, whereas there are no reports in wildlife despite the large numbers of wild carnivores in the country. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of wild carnivores in the natural cycle of T. callipaeda in Romania. Between 2014 and 2016, 89 wild carnivores (64 golden jackals, Canis aureus, 13 grey wolves, Canis lupus, nine wildcats, Felis silvestris and three Eurasian lynxes, Lynx lynx) have been examined. During the necropsy, both eyes of all the examined animals have been thoroughly inspected for the presence of parasites. If present, all nematodes were collected in absolute ethanol (for molecular analysis of the partial cox1 gene) or in 4 % formalin (for morphological identification). In total, three animals were found to be infected with T. callipaeda: a grey wolf, a golden jackal and a wildcat. The BLAST analysis of all the sequences showed a 100 % similarity to T. callipaeda haplotype h1. To the best of our knowledge, this study represents the first report of T. callipaeda in golden jackals, and the first study on T. callipaeda in wildlife from Romania. Our data broaden the host spectrum and geographical distribution of T. callipaeda, highlighting the role of wild carnivores as natural reservoirs for the infection and confirming the ongoing expanding trend of this zoonotic nematode in Europe.

  14. Poor construction, not time, takes its toll on subsidised fences designed to deter large carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens Frank

    Full Text Available Large carnivore conservation may be considered as successful in Sweden, as wolf (Canis lupus, lynx (Lynx lynx, brown bear (Ursus arctos, golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos, and wolverine (Gulo gulo populations have recovered from extinction or near extinction to viable populations during the last three decades. Particularly the wolf and lynx populations have returned at the cost of an increasing number of carnivore attacks on domestic livestock. To support coexistence between carnivores and livestock production, the Swedish authorities subsidise interventions to prevent or reduce the number of carnivore attacks. The most commonly used intervention is carnivore deterring fencing, and all livestock owners can apply for subsidies to build a fence. To receive reimbursement the fence must be approved by the authorities according to predefined criteria. An important part of any management aiming to be adaptive is evaluating interventions. In this paper we evaluate to what extent previously subsidised fences still meet the criteria 1-15 years after their approval. Of 296 fences that had received subsidies in the county of Värmland, 100 randomly selected fences were revisited in 2016. From this subsample 14% of the fences still met the initial criteria for subsidies. None of the fences that still fulfilled the criteria were more than 8 years old, whereas fences with identified failures occurred in all age groups. Of the 86 fences that failed to meet the criteria, construction failures were the most commonly occurring problem. Maintenance failures, wear and tear, only explain a minor part of the failures. To improve the quality of fencing, as well as the quality and longevity of the subsidies programme, there is a need for improved communication between authorities, and improved communication and support from the authorities to livestock producers before and during construction of fences, as well as more rigorous inspection when the fences are built.

  15. Phantoms of the forest: legacy risk effects of a regionally extinct large carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahlén, Ellinor; Noell, Sonja; DePerno, Christopher S; Kindberg, Jonas; Spong, Göran; Cromsigt, Joris P G M

    2016-02-01

    The increased abundance of large carnivores in Europe is a conservation success, but the impact on the behavior and population dynamics of prey species is generally unknown. In Europe, the recolonization of large carnivores often occurs in areas where humans have greatly modified the landscape through forestry or agriculture. Currently, we poorly understand the effects of recolonizing large carnivores on extant prey species in anthropogenic landscapes. Here, we investigated if ungulate prey species showed innate responses to the scent of a regionally exterminated but native large carnivore, and whether the responses were affected by human-induced habitat openness. We experimentally introduced brown bear Ursus arctos scent to artificial feeding sites and used camera traps to document the responses of three sympatric ungulate species. In addition to controls without scent, reindeer scent Rangifer tarandus was used as a noncarnivore, novel control scent. Fallow deer Dama dama strongly avoided areas with bear scent. In the presence of bear scent, all ungulate species generally used open sites more than closed sites, whereas the opposite was observed at sites with reindeer scent or without scent. The opening of forest habitat by human practices, such as forestry and agriculture, creates a larger gradient in habitat openness than available in relatively unaffected closed forest systems, which may create opportunities for prey to alter their habitat selection and reduce predation risk in human-modified systems that do not exist in more natural forest systems. Increased knowledge about antipredator responses in areas subjected to anthropogenic change is important because these responses may affect prey population dynamics, lower trophic levels, and attitudes toward large carnivores. These aspects may be of particular relevance in the light of the increasing wildlife populations across much of Europe.

  16. An advanced method to assess the diet of free-ranging large carnivores based on scats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Wachter

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The diet of free-ranging carnivores is an important part of their ecology. It is often determined from prey remains in scats. In many cases, scat analyses are the most efficient method but they require correction for potential biases. When the diet is expressed as proportions of consumed mass of each prey species, the consumed prey mass to excrete one scat needs to be determined and corrected for prey body mass because the proportion of digestible to indigestible matter increases with prey body mass. Prey body mass can be corrected for by conducting feeding experiments using prey of various body masses and fitting a regression between consumed prey mass to excrete one scat and prey body mass (correction factor 1. When the diet is expressed as proportions of consumed individuals of each prey species and includes prey animals not completely consumed, the actual mass of each prey consumed by the carnivore needs to be controlled for (correction factor 2. No previous study controlled for this second bias. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we use an extended series of feeding experiments on a large carnivore, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus, to establish both correction factors. In contrast to previous studies which fitted a linear regression for correction factor 1, we fitted a biologically more meaningful exponential regression model where the consumed prey mass to excrete one scat reaches an asymptote at large prey sizes. Using our protocol, we also derive correction factor 1 and 2 for other carnivore species and apply them to published studies. We show that the new method increases the number and proportion of consumed individuals in the diet for large prey animals compared to the conventional method. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results have important implications for the interpretation of scat-based studies in feeding ecology and the resolution of human-wildlife conflicts for the conservation of large carnivores.

  17. Differential Habitat Use or Intraguild Interactions: What Structures a Carnivore Community?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew E Gompper

    Full Text Available Differential habitat use and intraguild competition are both thought to be important drivers of animal population sizes and distributions. Habitat associations for individual species are well-established, and interactions between particular pairs of species have been highlighted in many focal studies. However, community-wide assessments of the relative strengths of these two factors have not been conducted. We built multi-scale habitat occupancy models for five carnivore taxa of New York's Adirondack landscape and assessed the relative performance of these models against ones in which co-occurrences of potentially competing carnivore species were also incorporated. Distribution models based on habitat performed well for all species. Black bear (Ursus americanus and fisher (Martes pennanti distribution was similar in that occupancy of both species was negatively associated with paved roads. However, black bears were also associated with larger forest fragments and fishers with smaller forest fragments. No models with habitat features were more supported than the null habitat model for raccoons (Procyon lotor. Martens (Martes americana were most associated with increased terrain ruggedness and elevation. Weasel (Mustela spp. occupancy increased with the cover of deciduous forest. For most species dyads habitat-only models were more supported than those models with potential competitors incorporated. The exception to this finding was for the smallest carnivore taxa (marten and weasel where habitat plus coyote abundance models typically performed better than habitat-only models. Assessing this carnivore community as whole, we conclude that differential habitat use is more important than species interactions in maintaining the distribution and structure of this carnivore guild.

  18. Big cats in our backyards: persistence of large carnivores in a human dominated landscape in India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidya Athreya

    Full Text Available Protected areas are extremely important for the long term viability of biodiversity in a densely populated country like India where land is a scarce resource. However, protected areas cover only 5% of the land area in India and in the case of large carnivores that range widely, human use landscapes will function as important habitats required for gene flow to occur between protected areas. In this study, we used photographic capture recapture analysis to assess the density of large carnivores in a human-dominated agricultural landscape with density >300 people/km(2 in western Maharashtra, India. We found evidence of a wide suite of wild carnivores inhabiting a cropland landscape devoid of wilderness and wild herbivore prey. Furthermore, the large carnivores; leopard (Panthera pardus and striped hyaena (Hyaena hyaena occurred at relatively high density of 4.8±1.2 (sd adults/100 km(2 and 5.03±1.3 (sd adults/100 km(2 respectively. This situation has never been reported before where 10 large carnivores/100 km(2 are sharing space with dense human populations in a completely modified landscape. Human attacks by leopards were rare despite a potentially volatile situation considering that the leopard has been involved in serious conflict, including human deaths in adjoining areas. The results of our work push the frontiers of our understanding of the adaptability of both, humans and wildlife to each other's presence. The results also highlight the urgent need to shift from a PA centric to a landscape level conservation approach, where issues are more complex, and the potential for conflict is also very high. It also highlights the need for a serious rethink of conservation policy, law and practice where the current management focus is restricted to wildlife inside Protected Areas.

  19. Geo-spatial aspects of acceptance of illegal hunting of large carnivores in Scandinavia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangaas, Kristin E; Kaltenborn, Bjørn P; Andreassen, Harry P

    2013-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflicts are complex and are influenced by: the spatial distribution of the conflict species; the organisation and intensity of management measures such as zoning; historical experience with wildlife; land use patterns; and local cultural traditions. We have used a geographically stratified sampling of social values and attitudes to provide a novel perspective to the human - wildlife conflict. We have focused on acceptance by and disagreements between residents (measured as Potential Conflict Index; PCI) towards illegal hunting of four species of large carnivores (bear, lynx, wolf, wolverine). The study is based on surveys of residents in every municipality in Sweden and Norway who were asked their opinion on illegal hunting. Our results show how certain social values are associated with acceptance of poaching, and how these values differ geographically independent of carnivore abundance. Our approach differs from traditional survey designs, which are often biased towards urban areas. Although these traditional designs intend to be representative of a region (i.e. a random sample from a country), they tend to receive relatively few respondents from rural areas that experience the majority of conflict with carnivores. Acceptance of poaching differed significantly between Norway (12.7-15.7% of respondents) and Sweden (3.3-4.1% of respondents). We found the highest acceptance of illegal hunting in rural areas with free-ranging sheep and strong hunting traditions. Disagreements between residents (as measured by PCI) were highest in areas with intermediate population density. There was no correlation between carnivore density and either acceptance of illegal hunting or PCI. A strong positive correlation between acceptance of illegal hunting and PCI showed that areas with high acceptance of illegal hunting are areas with high potential conflict between people. Our results show that spatially-stratified surveys are required to reveal the large scale

  20. Nitrogen deposition and prey nitrogen uptake control the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Millett, J., E-mail: j.millett@lboro.ac.uk [Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science, Department of Geography, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU (United Kingdom); Foot, G.W. [Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science, Department of Geography, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU (United Kingdom); Svensson, B.M. [Department of Plant Ecology and Evolution, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18 D, SE-752 36 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2015-04-15

    Nitrogen (N) deposition has important negative impacts on natural and semi-natural ecosystems, impacting on biotic interactions across trophic levels. Low-nutrient systems are particularly sensitive to changes in N inputs and are therefore more vulnerable to N deposition. Carnivorous plants are often part of these ecosystems partly because of the additional nutrients obtained from prey. We studied the impact of N deposition on the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia growing on 16 ombrotrophic bogs across Europe. We measured tissue N, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) concentrations and prey and root N uptake using a natural abundance stable isotope approach. Our aim was to test the impact of N deposition on D. rotundifolia prey and root N uptake, and nutrient stoichiometry. D. rotundifolia root N uptake was strongly affected by N deposition, possibly resulting in reduced N limitation. The contribution of prey N to the N contained in D. rotundifolia ranged from 20 to 60%. N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey, but this varied below this maximum. D. rotundifolia tissue N concentrations were a product of both root N availability and prey N uptake. Increased prey N uptake was correlated with increased tissue P concentrations indicating uptake of P from prey. N deposition therefore reduced the strength of a carnivorous plant–prey interaction, resulting in a reduction in nutrient transfer between trophic levels. We suggest that N deposition has a negative impact on D. rotundifolia and that responses to N deposition might be strongly site specific. - Highlights: • We measured nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia across Europe. • We measured tissue nutrient concentrations and prey and root N uptake at 16 sites. • Tissue N concentrations were a product of root N availability and prey N uptake. • N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey. • N deposition reduced the strength of a

  1. Determinants of persistence and tolerance of carnivores on Namibian ranches: implications for conservation on Southern African private lands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsey, Peter Andrew; Havemann, Carl Peter; Lines, Robin; Palazy, Lucille; Price, Aaron Ernest; Retief, Tarryn Anne; Rhebergen, Tiemen; Van der Waal, Cornelis

    2013-01-01

    Changing land use patterns in southern Africa have potential to dramatically alter the prospects for carnivore conservation. Understanding these influences is essential for conservation planning. We interviewed 250 ranchers in Namibia to assess human tolerance towards and the distribution of large carnivores. Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), leopards (Panthera pardus) and brown hyaenas (Hyaena brunnea) were widely distributed on Namibian farmlands, spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) had a narrower distribution, and wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) and lions (Panthera leo) are largely limited to areas near source populations. Farmers were most tolerant of leopards and least tolerant of lions, wild dogs and spotted hyaenas. Several factors relating to land use correlated consistently with carnivore-presence and landowner tolerance. Carnivores were more commonly present and/or tolerated where; wildlife diversity and biomass were higher; income from wildlife was higher; income from livestock was lower; livestock biomass was lower; in conservancies; game fencing was absent; and financial losses from livestock depredation were lower. Efforts to create conditions whereby the costs associated with carnivores are lowest, and which confer financial value to them are likely to be the most effective means of promoting carnivore conservation. Such conditions are achieved where land owners pool land to create conservancies where livestock are replaced with wildlife (or where livestock husbandry is improved) and where wildlife generates a significant proportion of ranch income. Additional measures, such as promoting improved livestock husbandry and educational outreach efforts may also help achieve coexistence with carnivores. Our findings provide insights into conditions more conducive to the persistence of and tolerance towards large carnivores might be increased on private (and even communal) lands in Namibia, elsewhere in southern and East Africa and other parts of the world where

  2. Determinants of persistence and tolerance of carnivores on Namibian ranches: implications for conservation on Southern African private lands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Andrew Lindsey

    Full Text Available Changing land use patterns in southern Africa have potential to dramatically alter the prospects for carnivore conservation. Understanding these influences is essential for conservation planning. We interviewed 250 ranchers in Namibia to assess human tolerance towards and the distribution of large carnivores. Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus, leopards (Panthera pardus and brown hyaenas (Hyaena brunnea were widely distributed on Namibian farmlands, spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta had a narrower distribution, and wild dogs (Lycaon pictus and lions (Panthera leo are largely limited to areas near source populations. Farmers were most tolerant of leopards and least tolerant of lions, wild dogs and spotted hyaenas. Several factors relating to land use correlated consistently with carnivore-presence and landowner tolerance. Carnivores were more commonly present and/or tolerated where; wildlife diversity and biomass were higher; income from wildlife was higher; income from livestock was lower; livestock biomass was lower; in conservancies; game fencing was absent; and financial losses from livestock depredation were lower. Efforts to create conditions whereby the costs associated with carnivores are lowest, and which confer financial value to them are likely to be the most effective means of promoting carnivore conservation. Such conditions are achieved where land owners pool land to create conservancies where livestock are replaced with wildlife (or where livestock husbandry is improved and where wildlife generates a significant proportion of ranch income. Additional measures, such as promoting improved livestock husbandry and educational outreach efforts may also help achieve coexistence with carnivores. Our findings provide insights into conditions more conducive to the persistence of and tolerance towards large carnivores might be increased on private (and even communal lands in Namibia, elsewhere in southern and East Africa and other parts of the world

  3. Differential predation by age and sex classes in blue wildebeest in Serengeti: study of a modern carnivore den in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mari Carmen Arriaza

    Full Text Available Age and sex selection of prey is an aspect of predator ecology which has been extensively studied in both temperate and African ecosystems. This dimension, along with fecundity, survival rates of prey and mortality factors other than predation are important in laying down the population dynamics of prey and have important implications in the management of species. A carnivore den located in the short-grassland ecological unit of the Serengeti was studied. Sex- and age- class (using five age categories of the wildebeest remains recovered were analyzed through horn morphology, biometrics of the bones and tooth wear patterns. We compared our results with previous studies from lion and hyaena kills through multivariate analyses. Seasonality of the accumulation was analyzed through tooth histology. PCA and CVA results show that age class selection by predators depends on season, habitat-type, and growth rate of the wildebeest population. Female-biased predation was found to contradict classical hypotheses based on territorial male behaviour. The lion and spotted hyaena showed strong selection on age classes, contrary to previous studies. Migratory wildebeest sex ratio is regulated through differential predation by seasons and female deaths in the wet season are a trade-off for population stability. These data are crucial for an effective management of the species and the new method created may be useful for different carnivore species and their prey.

  4. Pacific Remote Islands MNM: Initial Survey Instructions for Terrestrial Plant Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of the terrestrial plant observations survey is to document vegetation species presence/absence and distribution on the island unit of the refuge. The...

  5. Terrestrial ecosystems and climatic change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Emanuel, W.R. (Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (USA)); Schimel, D.S. (Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (USA). Natural Resources Ecology Lab.)

    1990-01-01

    The structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems depend on climate, and in turn, ecosystems influence atmospheric composition and climate. A comprehensive, global model of terrestrial ecosystem dynamics is needed. A hierarchical approach appears advisable given currently available concepts, data, and formalisms. The organization of models can be based on the temporal scales involved. A rapidly responding model describes the processes associated with photosynthesis, including carbon, moisture, and heat exchange with the atmosphere. An intermediate model handles subannual variations that are closely associated with allocation and seasonal changes in productivity and decomposition. A slow response model describes plant growth and succession with associated element cycling over decades and centuries. These three levels of terrestrial models are linked through common specifications of environmental conditions and constrain each other. 58 refs.

  6. Groundwater and Terrestrial Water Storage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodell, Matthew; Chambers, Don P.; Famiglietti, James S.

    2011-01-01

    Most people think of groundwater as a resource, but it is also a useful indicator of climate variability and human impacts on the environment. Groundwater storage varies slowly relative to other non-frozen components of the water cycle, encapsulating long period variations and trends in surface meteorology. On seasonal to interannual timescales, groundwater is as dynamic as soil moisture, and it has been shown that groundwater storage changes have contributed to sea level variations. Groundwater monitoring well measurements are too sporadic and poorly assembled outside of the United States and a few other nations to permit direct global assessment of groundwater variability. However, observational estimates of terrestrial water storage (TWS) variations from the GRACE satellites largely represent groundwater storage variations on an interannual basis, save for high latitude/altitude (dominated by snow and ice) and wet tropical (surface water) regions. A figure maps changes in mean annual TWS from 2009 to 2010, based on GRACE, reflecting hydroclimatic conditions in 2010. Severe droughts impacted Russia and the Amazon, and drier than normal weather also affected the Indochinese peninsula, parts of central and southern Africa, and western Australia. Groundwater depletion continued in northern India, while heavy rains in California helped to replenish aquifers that have been depleted by drought and withdrawals for irrigation, though they are still below normal levels. Droughts in northern Argentina and western China similarly abated. Wet weather raised aquifer levels broadly across western Europe. Rains in eastern Australia caused flooding to the north and helped to mitigate a decade long drought in the south. Significant reductions in TWS seen in the coast of Alaska and the Patagonian Andes represent ongoing glacier melt, not groundwater depletion. Figures plot time series of zonal mean and global GRACE derived non-seasonal TWS anomalies (deviation from the mean of

  7. Tracking cats: problems with placing feline carnivores on δO, δD isoscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie J Pietsch

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Several felids are endangered and threatened by the illegal wildlife trade. Establishing geographic origin of tissues of endangered species is thus crucial for wildlife crime investigations and effective conservation strategies. As shown in other species, stable isotope analysis of hydrogen and oxygen in hair (δD(h, δ(18O(h can be used as a tool for provenance determination. However, reliably predicting the spatial distribution of δD(h and δ(18O(h requires confirmation from animal tissues of known origin and a detailed understanding of the isotopic routing of dietary nutrients into felid hair. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: We used coupled δD(h and δ(18O(h measurements from the North American bobcat (Lynx rufus and puma (Puma concolor with precipitation-based assignment isoscapes to test the feasibility of isotopic geo-location of felidae. Hairs of felid and rabbit museum specimens from 75 sites across the United States and Canada were analyzed. Bobcat and puma lacked a significant correlation between H/O isotopes in hair and local waters, and also exhibited an isotopic decoupling of δ(18O(h and δD(h. Conversely, strong δD and δ(18O coupling was found for key prey, eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus; hair and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; collagen, bone phosphate. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Puma and bobcat hairs do not adhere to expected pattern of H and O isotopic variation predicted by precipitation isoscapes for North America. Thus, using bulk hair, felids cannot be placed on δ(18O and δD isoscapes for use in forensic investigations. The effective application of isotopes to trace the provenance of feline carnivores is likely compromised by major controls of their diet, physiology and metabolism on hair δ(18O and δD related to body water budgets. Controlled feeding experiments, combined with single amino acid isotope analysis of diets and hair, are needed to reveal mechanisms and physiological traits

  8. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dario Moreira-Arce

    Full Text Available Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250 m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250 m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500 m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in

  9. Large carnivores, moose, and humans: A changing paradigm of predator management in the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Charles C.; Swenson, J.E.; Miller, Sterling D.

    2003-01-01

    We compare and contrast the evolution of human attitudes toward large carnivores between Europe and North America. In general, persecution of large carnivores began much earlier in Europe than North America. Likewise, conservation programs directed at restoration and recovery appeared in European history well before they did in North America. Together, the pattern suggests there has been an evolution in how humans perceive large predators. Our early ancestors were physically vulnerable to large carnivores and developed corresponding attitudes of respect, avoidance, and acceptance. As civilization evolved and man developed weapons, the balance shifted. Early civilizations, in particular those with pastoral ways, attempted to eliminate large carnivores as threats to life and property. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) and wolves (Canis lupus) were consequently extirpated from much of their range in Europe and in North America south of Canada. Efforts to protect brown bears began in the late 1880s in some European countries and population reintroductions and augmentations are ongoing. They are less controversial than in North America. On the other hand, there are no wolf introductions, as has occurred in North America, and Europeans have a more negative attitude towards wolves. Control of predators to enhance ungulate harvest varies. In Western Europe, landowners own the hunting rights to ungulates. In the formerly communistic Eastern European countries and North America, hunting rights are held in common, although this is changing in some Eastern European countries. Wolf control to increase harvests of moose (Alces alces) occurs in parts of North America and Russia; bear control for similar reasons only occurs in parts of North America. Surprisingly, bears and wolves are not controlled to increase ungulates where private landowners have the hunting rights in Europe, although wolves were originally exterminated from these areas. Both the inability of scientific research to

  10. Carnivore specific bone bioapatite and collagen carbon isotope fractionations: Case studies of modern and fossil grey wolf populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox-Dobbs, K.; Wheatley, P. V.; Koch, P. L.

    2006-12-01

    Stable isotope analyses of modern and fossil biogenic tissues are routinely used to reconstruct present and past vertebrate foodwebs. Accurate isotopic dietary reconstructions require a consumer and tissue specific understanding of how isotopes are sorted, or fractionated, between trophic levels. In this project we address the need for carnivore specific isotope variables derived from populations that are ecologically well- characterized. Specifically, we investigate the trophic difference in carbon isotope values between mammalian carnivore (wolf) bone bioapatite and herbivore (prey) bone bioapatite. We also compare bone bioapatite and collagen carbon isotope values collected from the same individuals. We analyzed bone specimens from two modern North American grey wolf (Canis lupus) populations (Isle Royale National Park, Michigan and Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming), and the ungulate herbivores that are their primary prey (moose and elk, respectively). Because the diets of both wolf populations are essentially restricted to a single prey species, there were no confounding effects due to carnivore diet variability. We measured a trophic difference of approximately -1.3 permil between carnivore (lower value) and herbivore (higher value) bone bioapatite carbon isotope values, and an average inter-tissue difference of 5.1 permil between carnivore bone collagen (lower value) and bioapatite (higher value) carbon isotope values. Both of these isotopic differences differ from previous estimates derived from a suite of African carnivores; our carnivore-herbivore bone bioapatite carbon isotope spacing is smaller (-1.3 vs. -4.0 permil), and our carnivore collagen-bioapatite carbon difference is larger (5.1 vs. 3.0 permil). These discrepancies likely result from comparing values measured from a single hypercarnivore (wolf) to average values calculated from several carnivore species, some of which are insectivorous or partly omnivorous. The trophic and inter

  11. Predation impact of carnivorous macrozooplankton in the vicinity of the Prince Edward Island archipelago (Southern Ocean) in austral autumn 1998

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froneman, P. W.; Pakhomov, E. A.; Gurney, L. J.; Hunt, B. P. V.

    The composition, biomass, feeding and predation impact of carnivorous macrozooplankton (>2 cm) on mesozooplankton (0.2-2 cm) in the sub-Antarctic waters of the southwest Indian Ocean were investigated at 19 stations in austral autumn (April/May) 1998. Zooplankton abundances and biomass ranged from 6.9 to 95.2 ind m -3 and between 1.8 and 18.1 mg Dwt m -3, respectively. Throughout the investigation, mesozooplankton comprising mainly copepods numerically and by biomass dominated net samples. Among the copepods, Calanus simillimus, Clausocalanus brevipes, Ctenocalanus vanus, and Oithona spp. dominated. The carnivore component of the macrozooplankton consisted mainly of five groups: decapods, amphipods, chaetognaths, euphausiids and gelatinous zooplankton. Among these, chaetognaths ( Eukrohnia hamata and Sagitta gazellae) and euphausiids ( Nematoscelis megalops and Euphausia longirostris) were the most prominent. Collectively, the carnivorous macrozooplankton comprised between 11% and 72% of total zooplankton biomass. Total predation impact of the carnivorous macrozooplankton varied considerably but generally accounted for <5% (range 0.7-44%) of the total mesozooplankton standing stock. Tentative calculations suggest that carnivorous macrozooplankton may contribute, via vertical migrations and production of fast sinking faecal pellets, to a downward flux of carbon equivalent to up to 9% of the total mesozooplankton stock per day within the Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone. As a consequence, carnivorous macrozooplankton may increase the localised efficiency of the biological pump.

  12. PREVALENCE OF ANTIBODIES TO SELECTED VIRUSES AND PARASITES IN INTRODUCED AND ENDEMIC CARNIVORES IN WESTERN MADAGASCAR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomerantz, Julie; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa T; Dollar, Luke; Rahajanirina, Leon Pierrot; Andrianaivoarivelo, Radosoa; Parker, Patricia; Dubovi, Edward

    2016-07-01

    Introduced animals impact endemic populations through predation, competition, and disease transmission. Populations of endemic carnivores in Madagascar are declining, and pathogens transmitted from introduced species may further endanger these unique species. We assessed the exposure of introduced and endemic carnivores to common viral and parasitic pathogens in two national parks of Madagascar (Kirindy Mitea National Park and Ankarafantsika National Park) and their neighboring villages. We also identified variables associated with the presence of antibodies to these pathogens in fosa ( Cryptoprocta ferox ). Introduced and endemic species were exposed to canine parvovirus, canine herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, and Toxoplasma gondii . Domestic dogs ( Canis familiaris ) and cats ( Felis catus ) may be sources of infection for these pathogens. Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma in captured fosa was >93%, and adults were more likely to be exposed than immature individuals. Our data provide a basis upon which to evaluate and manage risks of pathogen transmission between species.

  13. Terrestrial ecosystems and their change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anatoly Z. Shvidenko; Eric Gustafson; A. David McGuire; Vjacheslav I. Kharuk; Dmitry G. Schepaschenko; Herman H. Shugart; Nadezhda M. Tchebakova; Natalia N. Vygodskaya; Alexander A. Onuchin; Daniel J. Hayes; Ian McCallum; Shamil Maksyutov; Ludmila V. Mukhortova; Amber J. Soja; Luca Belelli-Marchesini; Julia A. Kurbatova; Alexander V. Oltchev; Elena I. Parfenova; Jacquelyn K. Shuman

    2012-01-01

    This chapter considers the current state of Siberian terrestrial ecosystems, their spatial distribution, and major biometric characteristics. Ongoing climate change and the dramatic increase of accompanying anthropogenic pressure provide different but mostly negative impacts on Siberian ecosystems. Future climates of the region may lead to substantial drying on large...

  14. The carnivorous feeding behavior of early Homo at HWK EE, Bed II, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pante, Michael C; Njau, Jackson K; Hensley-Marschand, Blaire; Keevil, Trevor L; Martín-Ramos, Carmen; Peters, Renata Franco; de la Torre, Ignacio

    2017-08-07

    The regular consumption of large mammal carcasses, as evidenced by butchery marks on fossils recovered from Early Stone Age archaeological sites, roughly coincides with the appearance of Homo habilis. However, the significance of this niche expansion cannot be appreciated without an understanding of hominin feeding behavior and their ecological interactions with mammalian carnivores. The Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (OGAP) has recovered a large and well-preserved fossil assemblage from the HWK EE site, which was deposited just prior to the first appearance of Acheulean technology at Olduvai Gorge and likely represents one of the last H. habilis sites at Olduvai. This taphonomic analysis of the larger mammal fossil assemblage excavated from HWK EE shows evidence of multiple occupations over a long period of time, suggesting the site offered resources that were attractive to hominins. There was a water source indicated by the presence of fish, crocodiles, and hippos, and there was possible tree cover in an otherwise open habitat. The site preserves several stratigraphic intervals with large fossil and artifact assemblages within two of these intervals. Feeding traces on bone surfaces suggest hominins at the site obtained substantial amounts of flesh and marrow, particularly from smaller size group 1-2 carcasses, and exploited a wide range of taxa, including megafauna. A strong carnivore signal suggests hominins scavenged much of their animal foods during the two main stratigraphic intervals. In the later interval, lower carnivore tooth mark and hammerstone percussion mark frequencies, in addition to high epiphyseal to shaft fragment ratios, suggest hominins and carnivores did not fully exploit bone marrow and grease, which may have been acquired from nutritionally-stressed animals that died during a dry period at Olduvai. The diversity of fauna that preserve evidence of butchery suggests that the HWK EE hominins were opportunistic in their

  15. Human-carnivore conflict over livestock: The African wild dog in central Botswana

    OpenAIRE

    Swarner, Matthew

    2004-01-01

    African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) have been the focus of intensive conservation concern due a severe reduction in range, successive extinctions even in protected areas, and the endangered status of the remaining 3,000-5,000 individuals. Like many large carnivores, mortality due to conflict with humans, particularly control associated with livestock depredation, is a major cause of decline. Reversal of the decline will require mitigating the conflict, which in turn necessitates assessment of t...

  16. Diet composition of carnivorous fishes from coral reef lagoons of New Caledonia

    OpenAIRE

    Kulbicki, Michel; Bozec, Yves-Marie; Labrosse, P.; Letourneur, Y.; Mou Tham, Gérard; Wantiez, L.

    2005-01-01

    A total of 212 carnivorous coastal fish species from New Caledonia, represented by 7335 individuals, were analysed for their diet. Fifty two prey items were identified and later grouped into broader taxonomic categories refered as "prey types". For each fish species 6 biological traits were defined: maximum adult size, major biotope, schooling behaviour, home range, nycthemeral behaviour, degree of crypticity. A general linear model was fit to the diet data taking into account these traits, a...

  17. Conflict Misleads Large Carnivore Management and Conservation: Brown Bears and Wolves in Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Fernández-Gil

    Full Text Available Large carnivores inhabiting human-dominated landscapes often interact with people and their properties, leading to conflict scenarios that can mislead carnivore management and, ultimately, jeopardize conservation. In northwest Spain, brown bears Ursus arctos are strictly protected, whereas sympatric wolves Canis lupus are subject to lethal control. We explored ecological, economic and societal components of conflict scenarios involving large carnivores and damages to human properties. We analyzed the relation between complaints of depredations by bears and wolves on beehives and livestock, respectively, and bear and wolf abundance, livestock heads, number of culled wolves, amount of paid compensations, and media coverage. We also evaluated the efficiency of wolf culling to reduce depredations on livestock. Bear damages to beehives correlated positively to the number of female bears with cubs of the year. Complaints of wolf predation on livestock were unrelated to livestock numbers; instead, they correlated positively to the number of wild ungulates harvested during the previous season, the number of wolf packs, and to wolves culled during the previous season. Compensations for wolf complaints were fivefold higher than for bears, but media coverage of wolf damages was thirtyfold higher. Media coverage of wolf damages was unrelated to the actual costs of wolf damages, but the amount of news correlated positively to wolf culling. However, wolf culling was followed by an increase in compensated damages. Our results show that culling of the wolf population failed in its goal of reducing damages, and suggest that management decisions are at least partly mediated by press coverage. We suggest that our results provide insight to similar scenarios, where several species of large carnivores share the landscape with humans, and management may be reactive to perceived conflicts.

  18. Conflict Misleads Large Carnivore Management and Conservation: Brown Bears and Wolves in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Gil, Alberto; Naves, Javier; Ordiz, Andrés; Quevedo, Mario; Revilla, Eloy; Delibes, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Large carnivores inhabiting human-dominated landscapes often interact with people and their properties, leading to conflict scenarios that can mislead carnivore management and, ultimately, jeopardize conservation. In northwest Spain, brown bears Ursus arctos are strictly protected, whereas sympatric wolves Canis lupus are subject to lethal control. We explored ecological, economic and societal components of conflict scenarios involving large carnivores and damages to human properties. We analyzed the relation between complaints of depredations by bears and wolves on beehives and livestock, respectively, and bear and wolf abundance, livestock heads, number of culled wolves, amount of paid compensations, and media coverage. We also evaluated the efficiency of wolf culling to reduce depredations on livestock. Bear damages to beehives correlated positively to the number of female bears with cubs of the year. Complaints of wolf predation on livestock were unrelated to livestock numbers; instead, they correlated positively to the number of wild ungulates harvested during the previous season, the number of wolf packs, and to wolves culled during the previous season. Compensations for wolf complaints were fivefold higher than for bears, but media coverage of wolf damages was thirtyfold higher. Media coverage of wolf damages was unrelated to the actual costs of wolf damages, but the amount of news correlated positively to wolf culling. However, wolf culling was followed by an increase in compensated damages. Our results show that culling of the wolf population failed in its goal of reducing damages, and suggest that management decisions are at least partly mediated by press coverage. We suggest that our results provide insight to similar scenarios, where several species of large carnivores share the landscape with humans, and management may be reactive to perceived conflicts.

  19. Common waxbills use carnivore scat to reduce the risk of nest predation

    OpenAIRE

    Justin G. Schuetz

    2005-01-01

    For many animals, nest construction is a prerequisite for successful breeding. The choice of nesting materials is an important component of nest construction, because material properties can influence nest design and, potentially, reproductive success. Common waxbills are small African finches that select carnivore scat as a material to include in, on, and around their nests. I investigated the hypothesis that scat functions to reduce predation risk by documenting its use in a wild population...

  20. Life on wood - the carnivorous deep-sea mussel Idas argenteus (Bathymodiolinae, Mytilidae, Bivalvia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ockelmann, Kurt W.; Dinesen, Grete E.

    2011-01-01

    to an ephemeral habitat in the deep sea of both species are described herein. Although larviphagi is known to occur in some filter-feeding bivalves, Idas argenteus is the first mytilid known to be specifically adapted to a carnivorous life. Further, it is argued that the modifications of I. argenteus with regard...... to its shell development, alimentary system, gill anatomy and life habits provide important clues to the evolution of the Bathymodiolinae....

  1. The evolution of fetal membranes and placentation in carnivores and ungulates (Ferungulata)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Anthony Michael; Mess, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    of the chorioallantoic placenta are derived, including the diffuse and cotyledonary placental types in ungulates and zonary placenta in carnivores, specializations of the interhaemal barrier, the presence of areolae or haemophagous regions and lack of stromal decidual cells. Ungulates produce large amounts of placental...... proteins including placental lactogens and pregnancy-associated glycoproteins. Evolutionary innovations of the placental system may contribute to the high diversity of lifestyles within Ferungulata and be linked to the evolution of highly precocial offspring in ungulates....

  2. Periodontal disease diagnosis in a group of captive native carnivores at Jaime Duque Zoo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviana Vásquez C.

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available A diagnose of periodontal diseases was performed in 12 species of carnivores at Jaime Duque Zoo. 23 animals were sampled under different general anesthesia protocols. A protocol of the oral cavity examination was designed and implemented, making emphasis in the periodontal anomalies. 16 of the 23 individuals presented periodontal disease. A microbiological culture was performed from the oral cavity of 9 individuals, this results indicated mostly normal bacterial flora.

  3. Frequent Cross-Species Transmission of Parvoviruses among Diverse Carnivore Hosts

    OpenAIRE

    Allison, Andrew B.; Kohler, Dennis J.; Fox, Karen A.; Brown, Justin D.; Gerhold, Richard W.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Dubovi, Edward J.; Parrish, Colin R.; Holmes, Edward C.

    2013-01-01

    Although parvoviruses are commonly described in domestic carnivores, little is known about their biodiversity in nondomestic species. A phylogenetic analysis of VP2 gene sequences from puma, coyote, gray wolf, bobcat, raccoon, and striped skunk revealed two major groups related to either feline panleukopenia virus (“FPV-like”) or canine parvovirus (“CPV-like”). Cross-species transmission was commonplace, with multiple introductions into each host species but, with the exception of raccoons, r...

  4. Predicting the distribution pattern of small carnivores in response to environmental factors in the Western Ghats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riddhika Kalle

    Full Text Available Due to their secretive habits, predicting the pattern of spatial distribution of small carnivores has been typically challenging, yet for conservation management it is essential to understand the association between this group of animals and environmental factors. We applied maximum entropy modeling (MaxEnt to build distribution models and identify environmental predictors including bioclimatic variables, forest and land cover type, topography, vegetation index and anthropogenic variables for six small carnivore species in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. Species occurrence records were collated from camera-traps and vehicle transects during the years 2010 and 2011. We used the average training gain from forty model runs for each species to select the best set of predictors. The area under the curve (AUC of the receiver operating characteristic plot (ROC ranged from 0.81 to 0.93 for the training data and 0.72 to 0.87 for the test data. In habitat models for F. chaus, P. hermaphroditus, and H. smithii "distance to village" and precipitation of the warmest quarter emerged as some of the most important variables. "Distance to village" and aspect were important for V. indica while "distance to village" and precipitation of the coldest quarter were significant for H. vitticollis. "Distance to village", precipitation of the warmest quarter and land cover were influential variables in the distribution of H. edwardsii. The map of predicted probabilities of occurrence showed potentially suitable habitats accounting for 46 km(2 of the reserve for F. chaus, 62 km(2 for V. indica, 30 km(2 for P. hermaphroditus, 63 km(2 for H. vitticollis, 45 km(2 for H. smithii and 28 km(2 for H. edwardsii. Habitat heterogeneity driven by the east-west climatic gradient was correlated with the spatial distribution of small carnivores. This study exemplifies the usefulness of modeling small carnivore distribution to prioritize and direct conservation planning for habitat specialists

  5. Human attacks by large felid carnivores in captivity and in the wild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Suzanne M; Mills, Angela; Shoff, William H

    2014-06-01

    Whereas those who live in the native ranges of the large feline carnivores are well aware of the risks of cat and human encounters, North Americans and Europeans are increasingly exposed to exotic animals through travel, ecotourism, leisure pursuits in rural areas, occupational exposure, zoo and animal park visits, wild habitat encroachment at the urban-wildlands interface, and contact with exotic pets. In encounters during which persons have been severely injured, lapses in animal management protocols, lack of appropriate adult supervision, and intoxication have been reported. Unlike common domestic pets that have lived in close association with humans for thousands of years, no matter where individual large felines may have been raised, they remain wild carnivores with strong prey-drive and territorial instincts. The emergency management of large felid attacks is similar to that of other major trauma: stabilization; management of significant orthopedic, neurologic, vascular, and soft tissue injuries; antibiotic coverage provided for the number of organisms that inhabit their mouths and the potential for tetanus and rabies; and early management in survivors of likely posttraumatic stress disorder. We must actively explore responsible measures globally that can be taken to ensure biologically appropriate, ethical, safe, and sustainable conservation of these large carnivores in both their natural habitats and captivity. Copyright © 2014 Wilderness Medical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. High prevalence of Trichinella spp. in sylvatic carnivore mammals of Latvia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deksne, Gunita; Segliņa, Zanda; Jahundoviča, Inese; Esīte, Zanda; Bakasejevs, Eduards; Bagrade, Guna; Keidāne, Dace; Interisano, Marilena; Marucci, Gianluca; Tonanzi, Daniele; Pozio, Edoardo; Kirjušina, Muza

    2016-11-15

    Trichinella spp. are zoonotic parasites transmitted to humans by the consumption of raw or insufficiently cooked meat of different animal species. Carnivore mammals are important reservoir hosts of these nematodes. The aims of this work were to establish the prevalence of Trichinella spp. and infection intensity in sylvatic carnivore mammals of Latvia, to identify the etiological agents at the species level and their circulation in the Latvian regions. From 2010 to 2014, muscle samples were collected from 1286 hunted animals (2 European badgers, 137 pine martens, 24 stone martens, 4 golden jackals, 394 raccoon dogs, 668 red foxes, 23 grey wolves, and 34 Eurasian lynxes). Trichinella spp. larvae were isolated by muscle digestion. Overall, 633 animals (49.2%; 95% CI 46.5%-52.0%) belonging to all the eight investigated species, tested positive for Trichinella spp. larvae. Trichinella britovi was the most common species (94.0%; 95% CI 91.7%-95.7%). Trichinella nativa was detected in 30 animals as single (6, 1.1%; 95% CI 0.4%-2.3%) or mixed infection (24, 4.4%; 95% CI 2.9%-6.4%) with T. britovi. Trichinella spiralis was detected in only three animals as mixed infection with T. britovi. The high prevalence of Trichinella spp. infection in sylvatic carnivore mammals suggests that they are good indicators for the risk assessment of Trichinella spp. in Latvia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. The carnivore remains from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, N; Arsuaga, J L; Torres, T

    1997-01-01

    Remains of carnivores from the Sima de los Huesos site representing at least 158 adult individuals of a primitive (i.e., not very speleoid) form of Ursus deningeri Von Reichenau 1906, have been recovered through the 1995 field season. These new finds extend our knowledge of this group in the Sierra de Atapuerca Middle Pleistocene. Material previously classified as Cuoninae indet, is now assigned to Canis lupus and a third metatarsal assigned in 1987 to Panthera of gombaszoegensis, is in our opinion only attributable to Panthera sp. The family Mustelidae is added to the faunal list and includes Martes sp. and a smaller species. The presence of Panthera leo cf. fossilis, Lynx pardina spelaea and Felis silvestris, is confirmed. The presence of a not very speloid Ursus deningeri, together with the rest of the carnivore assemblage, points to a not very late Middle Pleistocene age, i.e., oxygen isotope stage 7 or older. Relative frequencies of skeletal elements for the bear and fox samples are without major biases. The age structure of the bear sample, based on dental wear stages, does not follow the typical hibernation mortality profile and resembles a catastrophic profile. The site was not a natal or refuge den. The hypothesis that the site was a natural trap is the most plausible. If the Sima de los Huesos functioned as a natural trap (without an egress out), the human accumulation cannot be attributed to carnivore: activities and must be explained differently.

  8. Investigating the role of wild carnivores in the epidemiology of bovine neosporosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Peter; Zintl, Annetta; De Waal, Theo; Mulcahy, Grace; Hawkins, Conall; Lawton, Colin

    2013-03-01

    Neospora caninum is a protozoan parasite, primarily associated with bovine abortion. The only definitive hosts discovered to date are carnivores. This study aimed to identify the role of mammalian carnivores in the epidemiology of bovine neosporosis. A sample bank of serum, fecal and brain samples was established: American mink (Mustela vison), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), pine martens (Martes martes), badgers (Meles meles), stoats (Mustela erminea), otters (Lutra lutra) and feral ferrets (Mustela putorius). Approximately 1% of mink and 1% of fox samples were positive by IFAT. According to PCR analysis of DNA extracted from brain tissue, 3% of the mink, 4% of the otters and 6% of the foxes examined were infected with N. caninum. All fecal samples tested negative for N. caninum DNA (n = 311), suggesting that the species that tested positive were intermediate not definitive hosts. This is the first time that tissues from mustelids have tested positive for N. caninum. The need to test 2 relatively large (~200 mg) targeted parts of the brain to avoid false negatives was also identified. The relatively low prevalence of N. caninum in Irish carnivores suggests that the local ecology of a species has an important influence on its epidemiological role.

  9. Phylogenetic inference and comparative evolution of a complex microsatellite and its flanking regions in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domingo-Roura, Xavier; López-Giráldez, Francesc; Saeki, Midori; Marmi, Josep

    2005-06-01

    We sequenced locus Mel 08, with complex short repetitive motifs, in 24 carnivore species belonging to five different families in order to explore mutational changes in the region in the context of locus and species evolution. This non-coding locus includes up to four different parts or repetitive motifs showing size variability. The variability consists of repeat additions and deletions; substitutions, insertions and/or deletions creating interruptions in the repeat; and substitutions, insertions and deletions in the flanking regions. The locus has different repeat expansions in different carnivore subfamilies. We hypothesize that the complexity of this locus is due to a high mutation rate at an ancestral DNA sequence and, thus, prompts the emergence of repeats at mutational hotspots. High levels of homoplasy were evident, with nine electromorphs representing 28 haplotypes never shared across species. The variability in flanking regions was informative for phylogenetic inference and their evolutionary content. Tree topologies were congruent with relevant hypotheses on current conflicts in carnivore phylogenies, such as: (i) the monophyly of Lutrinae, (ii) the paraphyly of Mustelinae, (iii) the basal position of the Eurasian badger, Meles meles , in the Mustelidae, (iv) the classification of skunks as a separate family, Mephitidae, and (v) the placement of the red panda, Ailurus fulgens , as a monotypic family, Ailuridae, at a basal position in the Musteloidea.

  10. Research on reproduction is essential for captive breeding of endangered carnivore species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jewgenow, K; Braun, B C; Dehnhard, M; Zahmel, J; Goeritz, F

    2017-04-01

    Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has great potential for conservation, but its successful application in captive breeding programmes of endangered species is often compromised by limited background on species' biology. Although carnivore species benefit from knowledge obtained in domesticated species (dogs, cats and ferrets), the focus of research is different. In pet animals, research in reproduction has mainly been focused on ovarian function and contraception, although substantial progress has also been made in the field of in vitro embryo production, transgenic embryos and cloning to aid relevant medical models. In endangered species, however, research should focus on characterizing reproductive traits (cyclicity and seasonality) to unravel species-specific endocrine principles of reproduction physiology. Based on this knowledge, it is crucial to enhance the ability to manipulate female reproductive cycles, especially those of embryo recipients. Furthermore, research conducted on molecular and cellular mechanisms of gamete and embryo development, as well as on cryopreservation protocols of gametes and embryos, is required for successful implementation of advanced ART to wild carnivores. This review will provide a summary on the state of the art with focus on ART contributing to conservation breeding of endangered carnivores. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  11. Effective prey attraction in the rare Drosophyllum lusitanicum, a flypaper-trap carnivorous plant.

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    Bertol, Nils; Paniw, Maria; Ojeda, Fernando

    2015-05-01

    Carnivorous plants have unusually modified leaves to trap insects as an adaptation to low-nutrient environments. Disparate mechanisms have been suggested as luring traits to attract prey insects into their deadly leaves, ranging from very elaborate to none at all. Drosophyllum lusitanicum is a rare carnivorous plant with a common flypaper-trap mechanism. Here we tested whether Drosophyllum plants lure prey insects into their leaves or they act just as passive traps. We compared prey capture between live, potted plants and Drosophyllum-shaped artificial mimics coated with odorless glue. Since this species is insect-pollinated, we also explored the possible existence of a pollinator-prey conflict by quantifying the similarity between the pollination and prey guilds in a natural population. All experiments were done in southern Spain. The sticky leaves of Drosophyllum captured significantly more prey than mimics, particularly small dipterans. Prey attraction, likely exerted by scent or visual cues, seems to be unrelated to pollinator attraction by flowers, as inferred from the low similarity between pollinator and prey insect faunas found in this species. Our results illustrate the effectiveness of this carnivorous species at attracting insects to their flypaper-trap leaves. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  12. Brain size is not correlated with forelimb dexterity in fissiped carnivores (Carnivora): A comparative test of the principle of proper mass.

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    Iwaniuk, A N; Pellis, S M; Whishaw, I Q

    1999-09-01

    To test the hypothesis that brain size and forelimb dexterity are positively correlated, the relative brain size of 41 species of fissiped (terrestrial) carnivores (Order: Carnivora) was examined with respect to their forelimb use during feeding. With the use of a newly derived dexterity index, the forelimb dexterity executed by each of the species was calculated as a single, continuous variable which was then regressed against the residuals of brain size. To account for confounding effects of phylogenetic inertia, the analysis was performed with independent contrasts analysis using a speciational model of evolutionary change (i.e. equal branch lengths). The results suggest that relative brain size and isocortex size are not correlated with the dexterity of the proximal or distal segments or a combination of the two (total forelimb dexterity). The presence of species with widely different brain sizes and similar dexterities, and vice versa, suggests that an increase in the amount of neural substrate might not be necessary for the production of finely coordinated forelimb movements. It is suggested that this outcome is representative of the plasticity of both mammalian brain size and behavior and that variations in brain size and forelimb dexterity could be linked to disparate ecological and phylogenetic factors which act in concert to promote or constrain neural development and behavior in different species.

  13. Terrestrial hyperspectral image shadow restoration through fusion with terrestrial lidar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartzell, Preston J.; Glennie, Craig L.; Finnegan, David C.; Hauser, Darren L.

    2017-05-01

    Recent advances in remote sensing technology have expanded the acquisition and fusion of active lidar and passive hyperspectral imagery (HSI) from exclusively airborne observations to include terrestrial modalities. In contrast to airborne collection geometry, hyperspectral imagery captured from terrestrial cameras is prone to extensive solar shadowing on vertical surfaces leading to reductions in pixel classification accuracies or outright removal of shadowed areas from subsequent analysis tasks. We demonstrate the use of lidar spatial information for sub-pixel HSI shadow detection and the restoration of shadowed pixel spectra via empirical methods that utilize sunlit and shadowed pixels of similar material composition. We examine the effectiveness of radiometrically calibrated lidar intensity in identifying these similar materials in sun and shade conditions and further evaluate a restoration technique that leverages ratios derived from the overlapping lidar laser and HSI wavelengths. Simulations of multiple lidar wavelengths, i.e., multispectral lidar, indicate the potential for HSI spectral restoration that is independent of the complexity and costs associated with rigorous radiometric transfer models, which have yet to be developed for horizontal-viewing terrestrial HSI sensors. The spectral restoration performance of shadowed HSI pixels is quantified for imagery of a geologic outcrop through improvements in spectral shape, spectral scale, and HSI band correlation.

  14. Mars : a small terrestrial planet

    OpenAIRE

    Mangold, N.; Baratoux, David; Witasse, O.; Encrenaz, T.; Sotin, C.

    2016-01-01

    Mars is characterized by geological landforms familiar to terrestrial geologists. It has a tenuous atmosphere that evolved differently from that of Earth and Venus and a differentiated inner structure. Our knowledge of the structure and evolution of Mars has strongly improved thanks to a huge amount of data of various types (visible and infrared imagery, altimetry, radar, chemistry, etc) acquired by a dozen of missions over the last two decades. In situ data have provided ground truth for rem...

  15. Direct evidence of megamammal-carnivore interaction decoded from bone marks in historical fossil collections from the Pampean region

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    Karina Vanesa Chichkoyan

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Pleistocene South American megafauna has traditionally attracted the interest of scientists and the popular media alike. However, ecological interactions between the species that inhabited these ecosystems, such as predator-prey relationships or interspecific competition, are poorly known. To this regard, carnivore marks imprinted on the fossil bones of megamammal remains are very useful for deciphering biological activity and, hence, potential interspecific relationships among taxa. In this article, we study historical fossil collections housed in different European and Argentinean museums that were excavated during the 19th and early 20th centuries in the Pampean region, Argentina, in order to detect carnivore marks on bones of megamammals and provide crucial information on the ecological relationships between South American taxa during the Pleistocene. Our results indicate that the long bones of megafauna from the Pampean region (e.g., the Mylodontidae and Toxodontidae families exhibit carnivore marks. Furthermore, long bones of medium-sized species and indeterminate bones also present punctures, pits, scores and fractures. Members of the large-carnivore guild, such as ursids, canids and even felids, are recognised as the main agents that inflicted the marks. We hypothesize that the analysed carnivore marks represent the last stages of megaherbivore carcass exploitation, suggesting full consumption of these animals by the same or multiple taxa in a hunting and/or scavenging scenario. Moreover, our observations provide novel insights that help further our understanding of the palaeoecological relationships of these unique communities of megamammals.

  16. Exposure of free-ranging wild carnivores, horses and domestic dogs to Leptospira spp in the northern Pantanal, Brazil

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    Rodrigo Silva Pinto Jorge

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease affecting most mammals and is distributed throughout the world. Several species of domestic and wild animals may act as reservoirs for this disease. The purpose of this study was to assess the exposure of free-ranging wild carnivores, horses and domestic dogs on a private reserve located in the northern Pantanal (Brazil and the surrounding areas to Leptospira spp from 2002-2006, 75 free-ranging wild carnivores were captured in the Pantanal and serum samples were collected. In addition, samples from 103 domestic dogs and 23 horses in the region were collected. Serum samples were tested for the presence of Leptospira antibodies using the microscopic agglutination test. Thirty-two wild carnivores (42.7% were considered positive with titres > 100, and 18 domestic dogs (17.5% and 20 horses (74.1% were also found to be positive. Our study showed that horses, dogs and several species of free-ranging wild carnivores have been exposed to Leptospira spp in the Pantanal, suggesting that the peculiar characteristics of this biome, such as high temperatures and an extended period of flooding, may favour bacterial persistence and transmission. In this region, wild carnivores and horses seem to be important hosts for the epidemiology of Leptospira species.

  17. Exposure of free-ranging wild carnivores, horses and domestic dogs to Leptospira spp in the northern Pantanal, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorge, Rodrigo Silva Pinto; Ferreira, Fernando; Ferreira Neto, José Soares; Vasconcellos, Silvio de Arruda; Lima, Edson de Souza; Morais, Zenaide Maria de; Souza, Gisele Oliveira de

    2011-06-01

    Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease affecting most mammals and is distributed throughout the world. Several species of domestic and wild animals may act as reservoirs for this disease. The purpose of this study was to assess the exposure of free-ranging wild carnivores, horses and domestic dogs on a private reserve located in the northern Pantanal (Brazil) and the surrounding areas to Leptospira spp from 2002-2006, 75 free-ranging wild carnivores were captured in the Pantanal and serum samples were collected. In addition, samples from 103 domestic dogs and 23 horses in the region were collected. Serum samples were tested for the presence of Leptospira antibodies using the microscopic agglutination test. Thirty-two wild carnivores (42.7%) were considered positive with titres ≥ 100, and 18 domestic dogs (17.5%) and 20 horses (74.1%) were also found to be positive. Our study showed that horses, dogs and several species of free-ranging wild carnivores have been exposed to Leptospira spp in the Pantanal, suggesting that the peculiar characteristics of this biome, such as high temperatures and an extended period of flooding, may favour bacterial persistence and transmission. In this region, wild carnivores and horses seem to be important hosts for the epidemiology of Leptospira species.

  18. Isotopic and anatomical evidence of an herbivorous diet in the Early Tertiary giant bird Gastornis. Implications for the structure of Paleocene terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angst, D.; Lécuyer, C.; Amiot, R.; Buffetaut, E.; Fourel, F.; Martineau, F.; Legendre, S.; Abourachid, A.; Herrel, A.

    2014-04-01

    The mode of life of the early Tertiary giant bird Gastornis has long been a matter of controversy. Although it has often been reconstructed as an apex predator feeding on small mammals, according to other interpretations, it was in fact a large herbivore. To determine the diet of this bird, we analyze here the carbon isotope composition of the bone apatite from Gastornis and contemporaneous herbivorous mammals. Based on 13C-enrichment measured between carbonate and diet of carnivorous and herbivorous modern birds, the carbonate δ13C values of Gastornis bone remains, recovered from four Paleocene and Eocene French localities, indicate that this bird fed on plants. This is confirmed by a morphofunctional study showing that the reconstructed jaw musculature of Gastornis was similar to that of living herbivorous birds and unlike that of carnivorous forms. The herbivorous Gastornis was the largest terrestrial tetrapod in the Paleocene biota of Europe, unlike the situation in North America and Asia, where Gastornis is first recorded in the early Eocene, and the largest Paleocene animals were herbivorous mammals. The structure of the Paleocene terrestrial ecosystems of Europe may have been similar to that of some large islands, notably Madagascar, prior to the arrival of humans.

  19. Habitat selection of a large carnivore along human-wildlife boundaries in a highly modified landscape.

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    Takahata, Chihiro; Nielsen, Scott Eric; Takii, Akiko; Izumiyama, Shigeyuki

    2014-01-01

    When large carnivores occupy peripheral human lands conflict with humans becomes inevitable, and the reduction of human-carnivore interactions must be the first consideration for those concerned with conflict mitigation. Studies designed to identify areas of high human-bear interaction are crucial for prioritizing management actions. Due to a surge in conflicts, against a background of social intolerance to wildlife and the prevalent use of lethal control throughout Japan, Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) are now threatened by high rates of mortality. There is an urgent need to reduce the frequency of human-bear encounters if bear populations are to be conserved. To this end, we estimated the habitats that relate to human-bear interactions by sex and season using resource selection functions (RSF). Significant seasonal differences in selection for and avoidance of areas by bears were estimated by distance-effect models with interaction terms of land cover and sex. Human-bear boundaries were delineated on the basis of defined bear-habitat edges in order to identify areas that are in most need of proactive management strategies. Asiatic black bears selected habitats in close proximity to forest edges, forest roads, rivers, and red pine and riparian forests during the peak conflict season and this was correctly predicted in our human-bear boundary maps. Our findings demonstrated that bears selected abandoned forests and agricultural lands, indicating that it should be possible to reduce animal use near human lands by restoring season-specific habitat in relatively remote areas. Habitat-based conflict mitigation may therefore provide a practical means of creating adequate separation between humans and these large carnivores.

  20. Habitat selection of a large carnivore along human-wildlife boundaries in a highly modified landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chihiro Takahata

    Full Text Available When large carnivores occupy peripheral human lands conflict with humans becomes inevitable, and the reduction of human-carnivore interactions must be the first consideration for those concerned with conflict mitigation. Studies designed to identify areas of high human-bear interaction are crucial for prioritizing management actions. Due to a surge in conflicts, against a background of social intolerance to wildlife and the prevalent use of lethal control throughout Japan, Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus are now threatened by high rates of mortality. There is an urgent need to reduce the frequency of human-bear encounters if bear populations are to be conserved. To this end, we estimated the habitats that relate to human-bear interactions by sex and season using resource selection functions (RSF. Significant seasonal differences in selection for and avoidance of areas by bears were estimated by distance-effect models with interaction terms of land cover and sex. Human-bear boundaries were delineated on the basis of defined bear-habitat edges in order to identify areas that are in most need of proactive management strategies. Asiatic black bears selected habitats in close proximity to forest edges, forest roads, rivers, and red pine and riparian forests during the peak conflict season and this was correctly predicted in our human-bear boundary maps. Our findings demonstrated that bears selected abandoned forests and agricultural lands, indicating that it should be possible to reduce animal use near human lands by restoring season-specific habitat in relatively remote areas. Habitat-based conflict mitigation may therefore provide a practical means of creating adequate separation between humans and these large carnivores.

  1. Clostridium difficile and Clostridium perfringens from wild carnivore species in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Rodrigo Otávio Silveira; D'Elia, Mirella Lauria; Tostes Teixeira, Erika Procópio; Pereira, Pedro Lúcio Lithg; de Magalhães Soares, Danielle Ferreira; Cavalcanti, Álvaro Roberto; Kocuvan, Aleksander; Rupnik, Maja; Santos, André Luiz Quagliatto; Junior, Carlos Augusto Oliveira; Lobato, Francisco Carlos Faria

    2014-08-01

    Despite some case reports, the importance of Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium difficile for wild carnivores remains unclear. Thus, the objective of this study was to identify C. perfringens and C. difficile strains in stool samples from wild carnivore species in Brazil. A total of 34 stool samples were collected and subjected to C. perfringens and C. difficile isolation. Suggestive colonies of C. perfringens were then analyzed for genes encoding the major C. perfringens toxins (alpha, beta, epsilon and iota) and the beta-2 toxin (cpb2), enterotoxin (cpe) and NetB (netb) genes. C. difficile strains were analyzed by multiplex-PCR for toxins A (tcdA) and B (tcdB) and a binary toxin gene (cdtB) and also submitted to a PCR ribotyping. Unthawed aliquots of samples positive for C. difficile isolation were subjected to the detection of A/B toxins by a cytotoxicity assay (CTA). C. perfringens was isolated from 26 samples (76.5%), all of which were genotyped as type A. The netb gene was not detected, whereas the cpb2 and cpe genes were found in nine and three C. perfringens strains, respectively. C. difficile was isolated from two (5.9%) samples. A non-toxigenic strain was recovered from a non-diarrheic maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus). Conversely, a toxigenic strain was found in the sample of a diarrheic ocelot (Leopardus pardallis); an unthawed stool sample was also positive for A/B toxins by CTA, indicating a diagnosis of C. difficile-associated diarrhea in this animal. The present work suggests that wild carnivore species could carry C. difficile strains and that they could be susceptible to C. difficile infection. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. GENETIC CHARACTERIZATION OF CANINE PARVOVIRUS IN SYMPATRIC FREE-RANGING WILD CARNIVORES IN PORTUGAL.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Carla; Santos, Nuno; Parrish, Colin; Thompson, Gertrude

    2017-10-01

    Since its emergence in the 1970s, canine parvovirus (CPV) has been reported in domestic and nondomestic carnivores worldwide with severe implications on their health and survival. Here, we aim to better understand CPV circulation in multihost-pathogens systems by characterizing CPV DNA or viruses in 227 free-ranging wild carnivores of 12 species from Portugal. Collected samples during 1995-2011 were analyzed by PCR and sequence analysis. The canine parvovirus DNA was detected in 4 (2%) animals of two species, namely in wolves (Canis lupus; 3/63, 5%, 95% confidence interval=1.6-3.15) and in a stone marten (Martes foina; 1/36, 3%, 95% confidence interval=0.5-14.2). Viruses in two wolves had VP2 residue 426 as aspartic acid (so-called CPV-2b) and the third had VP2 residue 426 as asparagine (CPV-2a), while the virus in the stone marten uniquely had VP2 residue 426 as glutamic acid (CPV-2c). The comparative analysis of the full-length VP2 gene of our isolates showed other nonsynonymous mutations. The phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the sequences from wolves clustered together, showing a close relationship with European domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and wolf strains while the viral sequence from the stone marten grouped with other viruses contained the glutamic acid VP2 426 along with raccoon (Procyon lotor), bobcat (Lynx rufus), and domestic dog strains. This study confirmed that wild carnivores in Portugal are infected by CPV variants, strongly suggesting viral transmission between the wild and domestic populations and suggesting a need for a better understanding of the epidemiology of the disease and its management in wild populations.

  3. Implications of Harvest on the Boundaries of Protected Areas for Large Carnivore Viewing Opportunities.

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    Bridget L Borg

    Full Text Available The desire to see free ranging large carnivores in their natural habitat is a driver of tourism in protected areas around the globe. However, large carnivores are wide-ranging and subject to human-caused mortality outside protected area boundaries. The impact of harvest (trapping or hunting on wildlife viewing opportunities has been the subject of intense debate and speculation, but quantitative analyses have been lacking. We examined the effect of legal harvest of wolves (Canis lupus along the boundaries of two North American National Parks, Denali (DNPP and Yellowstone (YNP, on wolf viewing opportunities within the parks during peak tourist season. We used data on wolf sightings, pack sizes, den site locations, and harvest adjacent to DNPP from 1997-2013 and YNP from 2008-2013 to evaluate the relationship between harvest and wolf viewing opportunities. Although sightings were largely driven by wolf population size and proximity of den sites to roads, sightings in both parks were significantly reduced by harvest. Sightings in YNP increased by 45% following years with no harvest of a wolf from a pack, and sightings in DNPP were more than twice as likely during a period with a harvest buffer zone than in years without the buffer. These findings show that harvest of wolves adjacent to protected areas can reduce sightings within those areas despite minimal impacts on the size of protected wolf populations. Consumptive use of carnivores adjacent to protected areas may therefore reduce their potential for non-consumptive use, and these tradeoffs should be considered when developing regional wildlife management policies.

  4. Small rodents as paratenic or intermediate hosts of carnivore parasites in Berlin, Germany.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen Krücken

    Full Text Available Rodents are important intermediate and paratenic hosts for carnivore parasites, including the important zoonotic agents Toxoplasma, Echinococcus and Toxocara. Monitoring of such parasites in rodents can be used to detect increasing risks for human and veterinary public health. Rodents were trapped at four sites in Berlin, two near the city center, two at the periphery. PCRs were conducted to detect Coccidia (target ITS-1 and specifically Toxoplasma gondii (repetitive element in brain and ascarids (ITS-2 in muscle or brain tissue. During necropsies, metacestodes were collected and identified using ITS-2 and 12S rRNA PCRs. An ELISA to detect antibodies against Toxocara canis ES antigens was performed. Within the 257 examined rodents, the most frequently observed parasite was Frenkelia glareoli predominantly found in Myodes glareolus. T. gondii was only detected in 12 rodents and Microtus spp. (although strongly underrepresented had a significantly increased chance of being positive. Neither Echinococcus nor typical Taenia parasites of dogs and cats were found but Mesocestoides litteratus and Taenia martis metacestodes were identified which can cause severe peritoneal or ocular cysticercosis in dogs, primates and humans. Using PCR, the ascarids T. canis (n = 8, Toxocara cati (4 and Parascaris sp. (1 were detected predominantly in muscles. Seroprevalence of T. canis was 14.2% and ELISA was thus more sensitive than PCR to detect infection with this parasite. Non-parametric multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis revealed that parasite communities could be grouped into an urban and a peri-urban cluster with high frequency of ascarid-positive rodents in urban and high frequency of F. glareoli in peri-urban sites. Prevalence rates of parasites in rodents with potential impact for human or veterinary public health are considerable and the monitoring of transmission cycles of carnivore parasites in intermediate rodent hosts is recommended to

  5. Carnivore distributions across chaparral habitats exposed to wildfire and rural housing in southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuette, P.A.; Diffendorfer, J.E.; Deutschman, D.H.; Tremor, S.; Spencer, W.

    2014-01-01

    Chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitats in southern California support biologically diverse plant and animal communities. However, native plant and animal species within these shrubland systems are increasingly exposed to human-caused wildfires and an expansion of the human–wildland interface. Few data exist to evaluate the effects of fire and anthropogenic pressures on plant and animal communities found in these environments. This is particularly true for carnivore communities. To address this knowledge gap, we collected detection–non-detection data with motion-sensor cameras and track plots to measure carnivore occupancy patterns following a large, human-caused wildfire (1134 km2) in eastern San Diego County, California, USA, in 2003. Our focal species set included coyote (Canis latrans), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), bobcat (Lynx rufus) and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis). We evaluated the influence on species occupancies of the burned environment (burn edge, burn interior and unburned areas), proximity of rural homes, distance to riparian area and elevation. Gray fox occupancies were the highest overall, followed by striped skunk, coyote and bobcat. The three species considered as habitat and foraging generalists (gray fox, coyote, striped skunk) were common in all conditions. Occupancy patterns were consistent through time for all species except coyote, whose occupancies increased through time. In addition, environmental and anthropogenic variables had weak effects on all four species, and these responses were species-specific. Our results helped to describe a carnivore community exposed to frequent fire and rural human residences, and provide baseline data to inform fire management policy and wildlife management strategies in similar fire-prone ecosystems.

  6. Structural and functional characterisation of a class I endochitinase of the carnivorous sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jopcik, Martin; Moravcikova, Jana; Matusikova, Ildiko; Bauer, Miroslav; Rajninec, Miroslav; Libantova, Jana

    2017-02-01

    Chitinase gene from the carnivorous plant, Drosera rotundifolia , was cloned and functionally characterised. Plant chitinases are believed to play an important role in the developmental and physiological processes and in responses to biotic and abiotic stress. In addition, there is growing evidence that carnivorous plants can use them to digest insect prey. In this study, a full-length genomic clone consisting of the 1665-bp chitinase gene (gDrChit) and adjacent promoter region of the 698 bp in length were isolated from Drosera rotundifolia L. using degenerate PCR and a genome-walking approach. The corresponding coding sequence of chitinase gene (DrChit) was obtained following RNA isolation from the leaves of aseptically grown in vitro plants, cDNA synthesis with a gene-specific primer and PCR amplification. The open reading frame of cDNA clone consisted of 978 nucleotides and encoded 325 amino acid residues. Sequence analysis indicated that DrChit belongs to the class I group of plant chitinases. Phylogenetic analysis within the Caryophyllales class I chitinases demonstrated a significant evolutionary relatedness of DrChit with clade Ib, which contains the extracellular orthologues that play a role in carnivory. Comparative expression analysis revealed that the DrChit is expressed predominantly in tentacles and is up-regulated by treatment with inducers that mimick insect prey. Enzymatic activity of rDrChit protein expressed in Escherichia coli was confirmed and purified protein exhibited a long oligomer-specific endochitinase activity on glycol-chitin and FITC-chitin. The isolation and expression profile of a chitinase gene from D. rotundifolia has not been reported so far. The obtained results support the role of specific chitinases in digestive processes in carnivorous plant species.

  7. Detection of Echinococcus multilocularis in carnivores in Razavi Khorasan province, Iran using mitochondrial DNA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molouk Beiromvand

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Echinococcus multilocularis is the source of alveolar echinococcosis, a potentially fatal zoonotic disease. This investigation assessed the presence of E. multilocularis infection in definitive hosts in the Chenaran region of Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Fecal samples from 77 domestic and stray dogs and 14 wild carnivores were examined using the flotation/sieving method followed by multiplex PCR of mitochondrial genes. The intestinal scraping technique (IST and the sedimentation and counting technique (SCT revealed adult Echinococcus in the intestines of five of 10 jackals and of the single wolf examined. Three jackals were infected only with E. multilocularis but two, and the wolf, were infected with both E. multilocularis and E. granulosus. Multiplex PCR revealed E. multilocularis, E. granulosus, and Taenia spp. in 19, 24, and 28 fecal samples, respectively. Echinococcus multilocularis infection was detected in the feces of all wild carnivores sampled including nine jackals, three foxes, one wolf, one hyena, and five dogs (6.5%. Echinococcus granulosus was found in the fecal samples of 16.9% of dogs, 66.7% of jackals, and all of the foxes, the wolf, and the hyena. The feces of 16 (21.8% dogs, 7 of 9 (77.8% jackals, and all three foxes, one wolf and one hyena were infected with Taenia spp. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The prevalence of E. multilocularis in wild carnivores of rural areas of the Chenaran region is high, indicating that the life cycle is being maintained in northeastern Iran with the red fox, jackal, wolf, hyena, and dog as definitive hosts.

  8. Detection of Echinococcus multilocularis in Carnivores in Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran Using Mitochondrial DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beiromvand, Molouk; Akhlaghi, Lame; Fattahi Massom, Seyed Hossein; Mobedi, Iraj; Meamar, Ahmad Reza; Oormazdi, Hormozd; Motevalian, Abbas; Razmjou, Elham

    2011-01-01

    Background Echinococcus multilocularis is the source of alveolar echinococcosis, a potentially fatal zoonotic disease. This investigation assessed the presence of E. multilocularis infection in definitive hosts in the Chenaran region of Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran. Methodology/Principal Findings Fecal samples from 77 domestic and stray dogs and 14 wild carnivores were examined using the flotation/sieving method followed by multiplex PCR of mitochondrial genes. The intestinal scraping technique (IST) and the sedimentation and counting technique (SCT) revealed adult Echinococcus in the intestines of five of 10 jackals and of the single wolf examined. Three jackals were infected only with E. multilocularis but two, and the wolf, were infected with both E. multilocularis and E. granulosus. Multiplex PCR revealed E. multilocularis, E. granulosus, and Taenia spp. in 19, 24, and 28 fecal samples, respectively. Echinococcus multilocularis infection was detected in the feces of all wild carnivores sampled including nine jackals, three foxes, one wolf, one hyena, and five dogs (6.5%). Echinococcus granulosus was found in the fecal samples of 16.9% of dogs, 66.7% of jackals, and all of the foxes, the wolf, and the hyena. The feces of 16 (21.8%) dogs, 7 of 9 (77.8%) jackals, and all three foxes, one wolf and one hyena were infected with Taenia spp. Conclusions/Significance The prevalence of E. multilocularis in wild carnivores of rural areas of the Chenaran region is high, indicating that the life cycle is being maintained in northeastern Iran with the red fox, jackal, wolf, hyena, and dog as definitive hosts. PMID:22132245

  9. Small rodents as paratenic or intermediate hosts of carnivore parasites in Berlin, Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krücken, Jürgen; Blümke, Julia; Maaz, Denny; Demeler, Janina; Ramünke, Sabrina; Antolová, Daniela; Schaper, Roland; von Samson-Himmelstjerna, Georg

    2017-01-01

    Rodents are important intermediate and paratenic hosts for carnivore parasites, including the important zoonotic agents Toxoplasma, Echinococcus and Toxocara. Monitoring of such parasites in rodents can be used to detect increasing risks for human and veterinary public health. Rodents were trapped at four sites in Berlin, two near the city center, two at the periphery. PCRs were conducted to detect Coccidia (target ITS-1) and specifically Toxoplasma gondii (repetitive element) in brain and ascarids (ITS-2) in muscle or brain tissue. During necropsies, metacestodes were collected and identified using ITS-2 and 12S rRNA PCRs. An ELISA to detect antibodies against Toxocara canis ES antigens was performed. Within the 257 examined rodents, the most frequently observed parasite was Frenkelia glareoli predominantly found in Myodes glareolus. T. gondii was only detected in 12 rodents and Microtus spp. (although strongly underrepresented) had a significantly increased chance of being positive. Neither Echinococcus nor typical Taenia parasites of dogs and cats were found but Mesocestoides litteratus and Taenia martis metacestodes were identified which can cause severe peritoneal or ocular cysticercosis in dogs, primates and humans. Using PCR, the ascarids T. canis (n = 8), Toxocara cati (4) and Parascaris sp. (1) were detected predominantly in muscles. Seroprevalence of T. canis was 14.2% and ELISA was thus more sensitive than PCR to detect infection with this parasite. Non-parametric multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis revealed that parasite communities could be grouped into an urban and a peri-urban cluster with high frequency of ascarid-positive rodents in urban and high frequency of F. glareoli in peri-urban sites. Prevalence rates of parasites in rodents with potential impact for human or veterinary public health are considerable and the monitoring of transmission cycles of carnivore parasites in intermediate rodent hosts is recommended to estimate the health

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  11. Terrestrial ecosystems under warmer and drier climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Future warmer and drier climates will likely affect many of the world's terrestrial ecosystems. These changes will fundamentally reshape terrestrial systems through their components and across organization levels. However, it is unclear to what extent terrestrial ecosystems would be resilient enough to stay put to increased temperature and water stress by only adjusting carbon fluxes and water balances? And to what extent it would reach the thresholds at which terrestrial ecosystems were forced to alter species compositions and ecosystem structures for adapting to newer climates? The energy balance of terrestrial ecosystems link thermal and water conditions to defines terrestrial carbon processes and feedbacks to climate, which will inevitably change under warmer and drier climates. Recent theoretical studies provide a new framework, suggesting that terrestrial ecosystems were capable of balancing costs of carbon gain and water transport to achieve optimums for functioning and distribution. Such a paradigm is critical for understanding the dynamics of future terrestrial ecosystems under climate changes, and facilitate modeling terrestrial ecosystems which needs generalized principles for formulating ecosystem behaviors. This study aims to review some recent studies that explore responses of terrestrial ecosystems to rather novel climate conditions, such as heat-induced droughts, intending to provide better comprehension of complex carbon-water interactions through plants to an ecosystem, and relevant factors that may alleviate or worsen already deteriorated climates such as elevated CO2 and soil conditions.

  12. Groundwater and Terrestrial Water Storage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodell, Matthew; Chambers, Don P.; Famiglietti, James S.

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial water storage (TWS) comprises groundwater, soil moisture, surface water, snow,and ice. Groundwater typically varies more slowly than the other TWS components because itis not in direct contact with the atmosphere, but often it has a larger range of variability onmultiannual timescales (Rodell and Famiglietti, 2001; Alley et al., 2002). In situ groundwaterdata are only archived and made available by a few countries. However, monthly TWSvariations observed by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE; Tapley et al.,2004) satellite mission, which launched in 2002, are a reasonable proxy for unconfinedgroundwater at climatic scales.

  13. Consumer Control of Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, D.

    2012-12-01

    More than half of the earth's terrestrial surface is grazed by large herbivores and their effects on plant and soil carbon and nitrogen processes are large and widespread. Yet the large effects of these animals on terrestrial processes have largely been ignored in global change models. This presentation will explore the many pathways that consumers affect short and long time-scale terrestrial nitrogen and carbon processes. Large herbivores influence the quality of soil organic matter and the size of the active (i.e., labile) pool of soil carbon and nitrogen in several ways. Herbivory leads to greater abundance of species producing low quality material in forest and dry grassland, via feeding preferentially on high quality forage, and high quality material in mesic grassland habitat, via the high quality of material that regrows after a plant is grazed. Defoliation stimulates the rate of root exudation that enhances rhizospheric processes and the availability of nitrogen in the plant rhizosphere. Herbivores also change the species composition of mycorrhizae fungal associates that influence plant growth and affect soil structure and the turnover rate of soil carbon. Recent radiocarbon measurements have revealed that herbivores also markedly affect the turnover dynamics of the large pool of old soil carbon. In Yellowstone Park, ungulates slow the mean turnover of the relatively old (i.e., slow and passive) 0 - 20 cm deep soil organic carbon by 350 years in upland, dry grassland and speed up that rate in slope-bottom, mesic grassland by 300 years. This represents a 650 year swing in the turnover period of old soil carbon across the Yellowstone landscape. By comparison, mean turnover time for the old pool of 0 - 10 cm deep soil organic carbon shifts by about 300 years across the steep climatic gradient that includes tropical, temperate, and northern hardwood forest, and tallgrass, shortgrass and desert grassland. This large body of evidence suggests consumers play a

  14. Coprological prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in carnivores and small mammals at Dhaka zoo, Bangladesh

    OpenAIRE

    M.M.R.U. Raja; Dey, A.R.; Begum, N.; Kundu, U.K.; F.A. Ashad

    2014-01-01

    A study on the coprological prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites using 94 faecal samples from different carnivores (n=32) and small mammals (n=15) was undertaken from January to May 2012 at Dhaka Zoo. The overall prevalence of parasitic infection was 78.72%, with a prevalence of 51.06% for helminths and 27.66% for protozoa. The identified parasites included—Toxascaris leonina (9.57%), Balantidium coli (25.53%) Spirometra sp. (10.64%), Toxocara cati (12.76%), Hook worm (4.26%), unidentifie...

  15. Extensive production of Neospora caninum tissue cysts in a carnivorous marsupial succumbing to experimental neosporosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Jessica S; McAllan, Bronwyn; Spielman, Derek S; Lindsay, Scott A; Hůrková-Hofmannová, Lada; Hartigan, Ashlie; Al-Qassab, Sarwat E; Ellis, John T; Slapeta, Jan

    2011-06-02

    Experimental infections of Sminthopsis crassicaudata, the fat-tailed dunnart, a carnivorous marsupial widely distributed throughout the arid and semi-arid zones of Australia, show that this species can act as an intermediate host for Neospora caninum. In contrast to existing models that develop relatively few N. caninum tissue cysts, dunnarts offer a new animal model in which active neosporosis is dominated by tissue cyst production. The results provide evidence for a sylvatic life cycle of N. caninum in Australia between marsupials and wild dogs. It establishes the foundation for an investigation of the impact and costs of neosporosis to wildlife.

  16. Extensive production of Neospora caninum tissue cysts in a carnivorous marsupial succumbing to experimental neosporosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    King Jessica S

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Experimental infections of Sminthopsis crassicaudata, the fat-tailed dunnart, a carnivorous marsupial widely distributed throughout the arid and semi-arid zones of Australia, show that this species can act as an intermediate host for Neospora caninum. In contrast to existing models that develop relatively few N. caninum tissue cysts, dunnarts offer a new animal model in which active neosporosis is dominated by tissue cyst production. The results provide evidence for a sylvatic life cycle of N. caninum in Australia between marsupials and wild dogs. It establishes the foundation for an investigation of the impact and costs of neosporosis to wildlife.

  17. Capturing Insects and Student Interest: First Graders Learn about Unusual Plants in Their Area in This Multimodal Investigation of Carnivorous Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradbury, Leslie; Wilson, Rachel; Pepper, Nancy; Ledford, Mitzi

    2016-01-01

    Most plants are able to obtain all of the nutrients that they need from air, water, and soil; however, this is not true of carnivorous plants. Because they tend to live in boggy soils where there are small amounts of nitrogen, carnivorous plants have developed specialized structures that enable them to lure and capture insects and sometimes other…

  18. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  19. Rabies virus and canine distemper virus in wild and domestic carnivores in Northern Kenya: are domestic dogs the reservoir?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prager, K C; Mazet, Jonna A K; Dubovi, Edward J; Frank, Laurence G; Munson, Linda; Wagner, Aaron P; Woodroffe, Rosie

    2012-12-01

    Rabies virus (RV) and canine distemper virus (CDV) can cause significant mortality in wild carnivore populations, and RV threatens human lives. We investigated serological patterns of exposure to CDV and RV in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas), spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), striped hyenas (Hyaena hyaena) and African lions (Panthera leo), over a 10-year period, in a Kenyan rangeland to assess the role domestic dogs may play in the transmission dynamics of these two important canid pathogens. Observed patterns of RV exposure suggested that repeated introduction, rather than maintenance, occurred in the wild carnivore species studied. However, RV appeared to have been maintained in domestic dogs: exposure was more likely in domestic dogs than in the wild carnivores; was detected consistently over time without variation among years; and was detected in juveniles (≤1-year-old) as well as adults (>1-year-old). We conclude that this domestic dog population could be a RV reservoir. By contrast, the absence of evidence of CDV exposure for each carnivore species examined in the study area, for specific years, suggested repeated introduction, rather than maintenance, and that CDV may require a larger reservoir population than RV. This reservoir could be a larger domestic dog population; another wildlife species; or a "metareservoir" consisting of multiple interconnected carnivore populations. Our findings suggest that RV risks to people and wild carnivores might be controlled by domestic dog vaccination, but that CDV control, if required, would need to target the species of concern.

  20. A review of piroplasmid infections in wild carnivores worldwide: importance for domestic animal health and wildlife conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarado-Rybak, Mario; Solano-Gallego, Laia; Millán, Javier

    2016-10-10

    Piroplasmids are tick-borne protozoan parasites that infect blood cells (erythrocytes, lymphocytes or other leukocytes) or endothelial cells of numerous wild and domestic vertebrates worldwide. They cause severe disease in livestock, dogs, cats, wild mammals and, occasionally, in humans. Piroplasmid infections are prevalent in wild carnivores worldwide although there is limited information about their clinical and epidemiological importance. There are currently nine recognized species of Babesia, two of Theileria, two of Cytauxzoon and one of Rangelia infecting captive and wild carnivores, including members of Canidae, Felidae, Mustelidae, Procyonidae, Ursidae, Viverridae, Hyaenidae and Herpestidae in the Americas, Eurasia and Africa. However, the number of piroplasmid species is likely higher than currently accepted due to the reported existence of DNA sequences that may correspond to new species and the lack of studies on many host species and biogeographical areas. Indeed, many species have been recognized in the last few years with the advancement of molecular analyses. Disease and mortality have been documented in some wild carnivores, whereas other species appear to act as natural, subclinical reservoirs. Various factors (e.g. unnatural hosts, stress due to captivity, habitat degradation, climate fluctuation or immunosuppression) have been associated with disease susceptibility to piroplasmid infections in some species in captivity. We aimed to review the current knowledge on the epidemiology of piroplasmid infections in wild carnivores and associated tick vectors. Emphasis is given to the role of wild carnivores as reservoirs of clinical piroplasmosis for domestic dogs and cats, and to the importance of piroplasmids as disease agents for endangered carnivores.

  1. Tectonic evolution of terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, J. W.; Solomon, S. C.

    1981-01-01

    The tectonic style of each terrestrial planet, referring to the thickness and division of its lithosphere, can be inferred from surface features and compared to models of planetary thermal history. Factors governing planetary tectonic evolution are planet diameter, chemistry, and external and internal heat sources, all of which determine how a planet generates and rids itself of heat. The earth is distinguished by its distinct, mobile plates, which are recycled into the mantle and show large-scale lateral movements, whereas the moon, Mars, and Mercury are single spherical shells, showing no evidence of destruction and renewal of the lithospheric plates over the latter 80% of their history. Their smaller volume to surface area results in a more rapid cooling, formation, and thickening of the lithosphere. Vertical tectonics, due to lithospheric loading, is controlled by the local thickness and rheology of the lithosphere. Further studies of Venus, which displays both the craterlike surface features of the one-plate planets, and the rifts and plateaus of earth, may indicate which factors are most important in controlling the tectonic evolution of terrestrial planets.

  2. The Laboratory for Terrestrial Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    The Laboratory for Terrestrial Physics is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge in Earth and planetary science, by conducting innovative research using space technology. The Laboratory's mission and activities support the work and new initiatives at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The Laboratory's success contributes to the Earth Science Directorate as a national resource for studies of Earth from Space. The Laboratory is part of the Earth Science Directorate based at the GSFC in Greenbelt, MD. The Directorate itself is comprised of the Global Change Data Center (GCDC), the Space Data and Computing Division (SDCD), and four science Laboratories, including Laboratory for Terrestrial Physics, Laboratory for Atmospheres, and Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes all in Greenbelt, MD. The fourth research organization, Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), is in New York, NY. Relevant to NASA's Strategic Plan, the Laboratory ensures that all work undertaken and completed is within the vision of GSFC. The philosophy of the Laboratory is to balance the completion of near term goals, while building on the Laboratory's achievements as a foundation for the scientific challenges in the future.

  3. Increasing pressure on freshwater resources due to terrestrial feed ingredients for aquaculture production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pahlow, M; van Oel, P R; Mekonnen, M M; Hoekstra, A Y

    2015-12-01

    As aquaculture becomes more important for feeding the growing world population, so too do the required natural resources needed to produce aquaculture feed. While there is potential to replace fish meal and fish oil with terrestrial feed ingredients, it is important to understand both the positive and negative implications of such a development. The use of feed with a large proportion of terrestrial feed may reduce the pressure on fisheries to provide feed for fish, but at the same time it may significantly increase the pressure on freshwater resources, due to water consumption and pollution in crop production for aquafeed. Here the green, blue and gray water footprint of cultured fish and crustaceans related to the production of commercial feed for the year 2008 has been determined for the major farmed species, representing 88% of total fed production. The green, blue and gray production-weighted average feed water footprints of fish and crustaceans fed commercial aquafeed are estimated at 1629 m3/t, 179 m3/t and 166 m3/t, respectively. The estimated global total water footprint of commercial aquafeed was 31-35 km3 in 2008. The top five contributors to the total water footprint of commercial feed are Nile tilapia, Grass carp, Whiteleg shrimp, Common carp and Atlantic salmon, which together have a water footprint of 18.2 km3. An analysis of alternative diets revealed that the replacement of fish meal and fish oil with terrestrial feed ingredients may further increase pressure on freshwater resources. At the same time economic consumptive water productivity may be reduced, especially for carnivorous species. The results of the present study show that, for the aquaculture sector to grow sustainably, freshwater consumption and pollution due to aquafeed need to be taken into account. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. An objective approach to determining the weight ranges of prey preferred by and accessible to the five large African carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, Hayley S; Tambling, Craig J; Hayward, Matt W; Kerley, Graham I H

    2014-01-01

    Broad-scale models describing predator prey preferences serve as useful departure points for understanding predator-prey interactions at finer scales. Previous analyses used a subjective approach to identify prey weight preferences of the five large African carnivores, hence their accuracy is questionable. This study uses a segmented model of prey weight versus prey preference to objectively quantify the prey weight preferences of the five large African carnivores. Based on simulations of known predator prey preference, for prey species sample sizes above 32 the segmented model approach detects up to four known changes in prey weight preference (represented by model break-points) with high rates of detection (75% to 100% of simulations, depending on number of break-points) and accuracy (within 1.3±4.0 to 2.7±4.4 of known break-point). When applied to the five large African carnivores, using carnivore diet information from across Africa, the model detected weight ranges of prey that are preferred, killed relative to their abundance, and avoided by each carnivore. Prey in the weight ranges preferred and killed relative to their abundance are together termed "accessible prey". Accessible prey weight ranges were found to be 14-135 kg for cheetah Acinonyx jubatus, 1-45 kg for leopard Panthera pardus, 32-632 kg for lion Panthera leo, 15-1600 kg for spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta and 10-289 kg for wild dog Lycaon pictus. An assessment of carnivore diets throughout Africa found these accessible prey weight ranges include 88±2% (cheetah), 82±3% (leopard), 81±2% (lion), 97±2% (spotted hyaena) and 96±2% (wild dog) of kills. These descriptions of prey weight preferences therefore contribute to our understanding of the diet spectrum of the five large African carnivores. Where datasets meet the minimum sample size requirements, the segmented model approach provides a means of determining, and comparing, the prey weight range preferences of any carnivore species.

  5. An objective approach to determining the weight ranges of prey preferred by and accessible to the five large African carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hayley S Clements

    Full Text Available Broad-scale models describing predator prey preferences serve as useful departure points for understanding predator-prey interactions at finer scales. Previous analyses used a subjective approach to identify prey weight preferences of the five large African carnivores, hence their accuracy is questionable. This study uses a segmented model of prey weight versus prey preference to objectively quantify the prey weight preferences of the five large African carnivores. Based on simulations of known predator prey preference, for prey species sample sizes above 32 the segmented model approach detects up to four known changes in prey weight preference (represented by model break-points with high rates of detection (75% to 100% of simulations, depending on number of break-points and accuracy (within 1.3±4.0 to 2.7±4.4 of known break-point. When applied to the five large African carnivores, using carnivore diet information from across Africa, the model detected weight ranges of prey that are preferred, killed relative to their abundance, and avoided by each carnivore. Prey in the weight ranges preferred and killed relative to their abundance are together termed "accessible prey". Accessible prey weight ranges were found to be 14-135 kg for cheetah Acinonyx jubatus, 1-45 kg for leopard Panthera pardus, 32-632 kg for lion Panthera leo, 15-1600 kg for spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta and 10-289 kg for wild dog Lycaon pictus. An assessment of carnivore diets throughout Africa found these accessible prey weight ranges include 88±2% (cheetah, 82±3% (leopard, 81±2% (lion, 97±2% (spotted hyaena and 96±2% (wild dog of kills. These descriptions of prey weight preferences therefore contribute to our understanding of the diet spectrum of the five large African carnivores. Where datasets meet the minimum sample size requirements, the segmented model approach provides a means of determining, and comparing, the prey weight range preferences of any carnivore

  6. Impact of Quaternary climatic changes and interspecific competition on the demographic history of a highly mobile generalist carnivore, the coyote.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koblmüller, Stephan; Wayne, Robert K; Leonard, Jennifer A

    2012-08-23

    Recurrent cycles of climatic change during the Quaternary period have dramatically affected the population genetic structure of many species. We reconstruct the recent demographic history of the coyote (Canis latrans) through the use of Bayesian techniques to examine the effects of Late Quaternary climatic perturbations on the genetic structure of a highly mobile generalist species. Our analysis reveals a lack of phylogeographic structure throughout the range but past population size changes correlated with climatic changes. We conclude that even generalist carnivorous species are very susceptible to environmental changes associated with climatic perturbations. This effect may be enhanced in coyotes by interspecific competition with larger carnivores.

  7. Relative influence of human harvest, carnivores, and weather on adult female elk survival across western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, Jedediah; Johnson, Heather; Mitchell, Michael; Zager, Peter; Proffitt, Kelly; Hebblewhite, Mark; Kauffman, Matthew; Johnson, Bruce; Bissonette, John; Bishop, Chad; Gude, Justin; Herbert, Jeff; Hersey, Kent R.; Hurley, Mark; Lukacs, Paul M.; McCorquodale, Scott; McIntire, Eliot; Nowak, Josh; Sawyer, Hall; Smith, Douglas; White, P.J.

    2013-01-01

    Well-informed management of harvested species requires understanding how changing ecological conditions affect demography and population dynamics, information that is lacking for many species. We have limited understanding of the relative influence of carnivores, harvest, weather and forage availability on elk Cervus elaphus demography, despite the ecological and economic importance of this species. We assessed adult female survival, a key vital rate for population dynamics, from 2746 radio-collared elk in 45 populations across western North America that experience wide variation in carnivore assemblage, harvest, weather and habitat conditions. Proportional hazard analysis revealed that 'baseline' (i.e. not related to human factors) mortality was higher with very high winter precipitation, particularly in populations sympatric with wolves Canis lupus. Mortality may increase via nutritional stress and heightened vulnerability to predation in snowy winters. Baseline mortality was unrelated to puma Puma concolor presence, forest cover or summer forage productivity. Cause-specific mortality analyses showed that wolves and all carnivore species combined had additive effects on baseline elk mortality, but only reduced survival by human factors were included, ‘total’ adult mortality was solely related to harvest; the influence of native carnivores was compensatory. Annual total mortality rates were lowest in populations sympatric with both pumas and wolves because managers reduced female harvest in areas with abundant or diverse carnivores. Mortality from native carnivores peaked in late winter and early spring, while harvest-induced mortality peaked in autumn. The strong peak in harvest-induced mortality during the autumn hunting season decreased as the number of native carnivore species increased. Synthesis and applications. Elevated baseline adult female elk mortality from wolves in years with high winter precipitation could affect elk abundance as winters across

  8. Riparian vegetation in the alpine connectome: Terrestrial-aquatic and terrestrial-terrestrial interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaharescu, Dragos G; Palanca-Soler, Antonio; Hooda, Peter S; Tanase, Catalin; Burghelea, Carmen I; Lester, Richard N

    2017-12-01

    Alpine regions are under increased attention worldwide for their critical role in early biogeochemical cycles, their high sensitivity to environmental change, and as repositories of natural resources of high quality. Their riparian ecosystems, at the interface between aquatic and terrestrial environments, play important geochemical functions in the watershed and are biodiversity hotspots, despite a harsh climate and topographic setting. With climate change rapidly affecting the alpine biome, we still lack a comprehensive understanding of the extent of interactions between riparian surface, lake and catchment environments. A total of 189 glacial - origin lakes were surveyed in the Central Pyrenees to test how key elements of the lake and terrestrial environments interact at different scales to shape riparian plant composition. Secondly, we evaluated how underlying ecotope features drive the formation of natural communities potentially sensitive to environmental change and assessed their habitat distribution. At the macroscale, vegetation composition responded to pan-climatic gradients altitude and latitude, which captured in a narrow geographic area the transition between large European climatic zones. Hydrodynamics was the main catchment-scale factor connecting riparian vegetation with major water fluxes, followed by topography and geomorphology. Lake sediment Mg and Pb, and water Mn and Fe contents reflected local influences from mafic bedrock and soil water saturation. Community analysis identified four keystone ecosystems: (i) damp ecotone, (ii) snow bed-silicate bedrock, (iii) wet heath, and (iv) calcareous substrate. These communities and their connections with ecotope elements could be at risk from a number of environmental change factors including warmer seasons, snow line and lowland species advancement, increased nutrient/metal input and water level fluctuations. The results imply important natural terrestrial-aquatic linkages in the riparian environment

  9. Herbivore diet breadth mediates the cascading effects of carnivores in food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Michael S; Lichter-Marck, Isaac H; Farkas, Timothy E; Aaron, Eric; Whitney, Kenneth D; Mooney, Kailen A

    2014-07-01

    Predicting the impact of carnivores on plants has challenged community and food web ecologists for decades. At the same time, the role of predators in the evolution of herbivore dietary specialization has been an unresolved issue in evolutionary ecology. Here, we integrate these perspectives by testing the role of herbivore diet breadth as a predictor of top-down effects of avian predators on herbivores and plants in a forest food web. Using experimental bird exclosures to study a complex community of trees, caterpillars, and birds, we found a robust positive association between caterpillar diet breadth (phylodiversity of host plants used) and the strength of bird predation across 41 caterpillar and eight tree species. Dietary specialization was associated with increased enemy-free space for both camouflaged (n = 33) and warningly signaled (n = 8) caterpillar species. Furthermore, dietary specialization was associated with increased crypsis (camouflaged species only) and more stereotyped resting poses (camouflaged and warningly signaled species), but was unrelated to caterpillar body size. These dynamics in turn cascaded down to plants: a metaanalysis (n = 15 tree species) showed the beneficial effect of birds on trees (i.e., reduced leaf damage) decreased with the proportion of dietary specialist taxa composing a tree species' herbivore fauna. We conclude that herbivore diet breadth is a key functional trait underlying the trophic effects of carnivores on both herbivores and plants.

  10. Molecular and serological detection of Babesia spp. in neotropical and exotic carnivores in Brazilian zoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, Marcos Rogério; Adania, Cristina Harumi; Teixeira, Rodrigo Hidalgo Friciello; Allegretti, Silmara Marques; Machado, Rosangela Zacarias

    2011-03-01

    Large and small piroplasms have been observed in the blood smears of various wild carnivores, but few studies utilizing molecular characterization have been done. The goal of this present study was to investigate the presence of Babesia sp. by molecular and serologic techniques in exotic and neotropical carnivores maintained in captivity at Brazilian zoos. Blood and sera samples were collected from 146 Brazilian wild felids, 21 exotic felids, 1 genet (Genetta tigrina), 3 European wolves (Canis lupus), and 94 Brazilian wild canids in Brazilian zoos in the São Paulo and Mato Grosso states and in the Federal District. A total of 53 wild felids (31.74%) and 10 wild canids (10.31%) were seropositive for Babesia canis by Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Test (IFAT). Antibodies were detected in ocelots, little-spotted cats, margays, pampas cats, jaguars, pumas, jaguarundis, crab-eating foxes, and bush dogs. Babesia sp. DNA, with high similarity to B. leo, was detected in one pampas cat and one genet.

  11. Assessing the potential threat landscape of a proposed reintroduction site for carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Samantha K; Parker, Daniel M; Peinke, Dean M; Davies-Mostert, Harriet T

    2015-01-01

    This study provides a framework to assess the feasibility of reintroducing carnivores into an area, using African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) as an example. The Great Fish River Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, has been identified as a potential reserve to reintroduce wild dogs, and we applied this framework to provide a threat assessment of the surrounding area to determine potential levels of human-wildlife conflict. Although 56% of neighbouring landowners and local communities were positive about a wild dog reintroduction, data collected from questionnaire surveys revealed that human-wild dog conflict is a potential threat to wild dog survival in the area. Additional potential threats include diseases, snaring, poaching and hunting wild dogs for the use of traditional medicine. A threat index was developed to establish which properties harboured the greatest threats to wild dogs. This index was significantly influenced by the respondent's first language (isiXhosa had more positive indices), education level (poorer education was synonymous with more positive threat indices), land use (wildlife ranching being the most negative) and land tenure (community respondents had more positive indices than private landowners). Although threats are present, they can be effectively mitigated through strategies such as carnivore education programs, vaccination campaigns and anti-snare patrols to promote a successful reintroduction of this endangered canid.

  12. Spatial and temporal avoidance of risk within a large carnivore guild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dröge, Egil; Creel, Scott; Becker, Matthew S; M'soka, Jassiel

    2017-01-01

    Within a large carnivore guild, subordinate competitors (African wild dog, Lycaon pictus, and cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus) might reduce the limiting effects of dominant competitors (lion, Panthera leo, and spotted hyena, Crocuta crocuta) by avoiding them in space, in time, or through patterns of prey selection. Understanding how these competitors cope with one other can inform strategies for their conservation. We tested how mechanisms of niche partitioning promote coexistence by quantifying patterns of prey selection and the use of space and time by all members of the large carnivore guild within Liuwa Plain National Park in western Zambia. Lions and hyenas specialized on wildebeest, whereas wild dogs and cheetahs selected broader diets including smaller and less abundant prey. Spatially, cheetahs showed no detectable avoidance of areas heavily used by dominant competitors, but wild dogs avoided areas heavily used by lions. Temporally, the proportion of kills by lions and hyenas did not detectably differ across four time periods (day, crepuscular, early night, and late night), but wild dogs and especially cheetahs concentrated on time windows that avoided nighttime hunting by lions and hyenas. Our results provide new insight into the conditions under which partitioning may not allow for coexistence for one subordinate species, the African wild dog, while it does for cheetah. Because of differences in responses to dominant competitors, African wild dogs may be more prone to competitive exclusion (local extirpation), particularly in open, uniform ecosystems with simple (often wildebeest dominated) prey communities, where spatial avoidance is difficult.

  13. Assessing the potential threat landscape of a proposed reintroduction site for carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha K Page

    Full Text Available This study provides a framework to assess the feasibility of reintroducing carnivores into an area, using African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus as an example. The Great Fish River Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, has been identified as a potential reserve to reintroduce wild dogs, and we applied this framework to provide a threat assessment of the surrounding area to determine potential levels of human-wildlife conflict. Although 56% of neighbouring landowners and local communities were positive about a wild dog reintroduction, data collected from questionnaire surveys revealed that human-wild dog conflict is a potential threat to wild dog survival in the area. Additional potential threats include diseases, snaring, poaching and hunting wild dogs for the use of traditional medicine. A threat index was developed to establish which properties harboured the greatest threats to wild dogs. This index was significantly influenced by the respondent's first language (isiXhosa had more positive indices, education level (poorer education was synonymous with more positive threat indices, land use (wildlife ranching being the most negative and land tenure (community respondents had more positive indices than private landowners. Although threats are present, they can be effectively mitigated through strategies such as carnivore education programs, vaccination campaigns and anti-snare patrols to promote a successful reintroduction of this endangered canid.

  14. Molecular epidemiology of Giardia duodenalis in an endangered carnivore--the African painted dog.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ash, A; Lymbery, A; Lemon, J; Vitali, S; Thompson, R C A

    2010-12-15

    The African painted dog (Lycaon pictus) is an endangered carnivore of sub-Saharan Africa. To assist in conservation efforts a parasitological survey was conducted on wild and captive populations. Faecal samples were collected and examined for the presence of parasites using traditional microscopy techniques. The protozoan Giardia duodenalis was identified at a prevalence of approximately 26% in the wild populations and 62% in the captive population. Molecular characterisation of these isolates using three loci, 18S rRNA, β-giardin and the glutamate dehydrogenase gene revealed the zoonotic assemblages A and B existed in high proportions in both populations. The dog assemblages C and D were rarely observed. The identification of the zoonotic genotype suggests this species has the potential to act as a reservoir for human infections. Zoonotic transmission may be possible in captive populations due to the close interaction with humans however, in wild populations anthropozoonotic transmission seems more likely. This study is the first to observe G. duodenalis in the African painted dog and to identify a possible emerging disease in this wild carnivore. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Comparing scat detection dogs, cameras, and hair snares for surveying carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Robert A.; Donovan, T.M.; MacKay, Paula; Zielinski, William J.; Buzas, Jeffrey S.

    2007-01-01

    Carnivores typically require large areas of habitat, exist at low natural densities, and exhibit elusive behavior - characteristics that render them difficult to study. Noninvasive survey methods increasingly provide means to collect extensive data on carnivore occupancy, distribution, and abundance. During the summers of 2003-2004, we compared the abilities of scat detection dogs, remote cameras, and hair snares to detect black bears (Ursus americanus), fishers (Martes pennanti), and bobcats (Lynx rufus) at 168 sites throughout Vermont. All 3 methods detected black bears; neither fishers nor bobcats were detected by hair snares. Scat detection dogs yielded the highest raw detection rate and probability of detection (given presence) for each of the target species, as well as the greatest number of unique detections (i.e., occasions when only one method detected the target species). We estimated that the mean probability of detecting the target species during a single visit to a site with a detection dog was 0.87 for black bears, 0.84 for fishers, and 0.27 for bobcats. Although the cost of surveying with detection dogs was higher than that of remote cameras or hair snares, the efficiency of this method rendered it the most cost-effective survey method.

  16. Toward Human-Carnivore Coexistence: Understanding Tolerance for Tigers in Bangladesh.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chloe Inskip

    Full Text Available Fostering local community tolerance for endangered carnivores, such as tigers (Panthera tigris, is a core component of many conservation strategies. Identification of antecedents of tolerance will facilitate the development of effective tolerance-building conservation action and secure local community support for, and involvement in, conservation initiatives. We use a stated preference approach for measuring tolerance, based on the 'Wildlife Stakeholder Acceptance Capacity' concept, to explore villagers' tolerance levels for tigers in the Bangladesh Sundarbans, an area where, at the time of the research, human-tiger conflict was severe. We apply structural equation modeling to test an a priori defined theoretical model of tolerance and identify the experiential and psychological basis of tolerance in this community. Our results indicate that beliefs about tigers and about the perceived current tiger population trend are predictors of tolerance for tigers. Positive beliefs about tigers and a belief that the tiger population is not currently increasing are both associated with greater stated tolerance for the species. Contrary to commonly-held notions, negative experiences with tigers do not directly affect tolerance levels; instead, their effect is mediated by villagers' beliefs about tigers and risk perceptions concerning human-tiger conflict incidents. These findings highlight a need to explore and understand the socio-psychological factors that encourage tolerance towards endangered species. Our research also demonstrates the applicability of this approach to tolerance research to a wide range of socio-economic and cultural contexts and reveals its capacity to enhance carnivore conservation efforts worldwide.

  17. Toward Human-Carnivore Coexistence: Understanding Tolerance for Tigers in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inskip, Chloe; Carter, Neil; Riley, Shawn; Roberts, Thomas; MacMillan, Douglas

    2016-01-01

    Fostering local community tolerance for endangered carnivores, such as tigers (Panthera tigris), is a core component of many conservation strategies. Identification of antecedents of tolerance will facilitate the development of effective tolerance-building conservation action and secure local community support for, and involvement in, conservation initiatives. We use a stated preference approach for measuring tolerance, based on the 'Wildlife Stakeholder Acceptance Capacity' concept, to explore villagers' tolerance levels for tigers in the Bangladesh Sundarbans, an area where, at the time of the research, human-tiger conflict was severe. We apply structural equation modeling to test an a priori defined theoretical model of tolerance and identify the experiential and psychological basis of tolerance in this community. Our results indicate that beliefs about tigers and about the perceived current tiger population trend are predictors of tolerance for tigers. Positive beliefs about tigers and a belief that the tiger population is not currently increasing are both associated with greater stated tolerance for the species. Contrary to commonly-held notions, negative experiences with tigers do not directly affect tolerance levels; instead, their effect is mediated by villagers' beliefs about tigers and risk perceptions concerning human-tiger conflict incidents. These findings highlight a need to explore and understand the socio-psychological factors that encourage tolerance towards endangered species. Our research also demonstrates the applicability of this approach to tolerance research to a wide range of socio-economic and cultural contexts and reveals its capacity to enhance carnivore conservation efforts worldwide.

  18. Comparative pathogenesis of rabies in bats and carnivores, and implications for spillover to humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begeman, Lineke; GeurtsvanKessel, Corine; Finke, Stefan; Freuling, Conrad M; Koopmans, Marion; Müller, Thomas; Ruigrok, Tom J H; Kuiken, Thijs

    2017-10-31

    Bat-acquired rabies is becoming increasingly common, and its diagnosis could be missed partly because its clinical presentation differs from that of dog-acquired rabies. We reviewed the scientific literature to compare the pathogenesis of rabies in bats and carnivores-including dogs-and related this pathogenesis to differences in the clinical presentation of bat-acquired and dog-acquired rabies in human beings. For bat-acquired rabies, we found that the histological site of exposure is usually limited to the skin, the anatomical site of exposure is more commonly the face, and the virus might be more adapted for entry via the skin than for dog-acquired rabies. These factors could help to explain several differences in clinical presentation between individuals with bat-acquired and those with dog-acquired rabies. A better understanding of these differences should improve the recording of a patient's history, enable drawing up of a more sophisticated list of clinical characteristics, and therefore obtain an earlier diagnosis of rabies after contact with a bat or carnivore that has rabies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Dietary differentiation and the evolution of population genetic structure in a highly mobile carnivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Małgorzata Pilot

    Full Text Available Recent studies on highly mobile carnivores revealed cryptic population genetic structures correlated to transitions in habitat types and prey species composition. This led to the hypothesis that natal-habitat-biased dispersal may be responsible for generating population genetic structure. However, direct evidence for the concordant ecological and genetic differentiation between populations of highly mobile mammals is rare. To address this we analyzed stable isotope profiles (δ(13C and δ(15N values for Eastern European wolves (Canis lupus as a quantifiable proxy measure of diet for individuals that had been genotyped in an earlier study (showing cryptic genetic structure, to provide a quantitative assessment of the relationship between individual foraging behavior and genotype. We found a significant correlation between genetic distances and dietary differentiation (explaining 46% of the variation in both the marginal test and crucially, when geographic distance was accounted for as a co-variable. These results, interpreted in the context of other possible mechanisms such as allopatry and isolation by distance, reinforce earlier studies suggesting that diet and associated habitat choice are influencing the structuring of populations in highly mobile carnivores.

  20. Nutritional status and functional digestive histology of the carnivorous Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stannard, Hayley J; Tong, Lydia; Shaw, Michelle; Van Sluys, Monique; McAllan, Bronwyn; Raubenheimer, David

    2017-03-01

    Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) are the largest carnivorous marsupial in Australia. Currently many animals are being held in captivity as a management procedure to combat Devil Facial Tumor Disease. Only one published study thus far has investigated nutrition in Tasmanian devils, determining their maintenance energy requirements and digestibility on a rodent diet. More information is needed on Tasmanian devil nutritional and gastrointestinal function to aid in their management. Our study aimed to investigate the current nutritional status of Tasmanian devils in a captive population and functional morphology and histology of their gastrointestinal tract. Animals were maintained on a diet of kangaroo, rabbit, quail and chicken wings and digestibility of these items by the devils was high (>85% for dry matter, protein and lipid). Kangaroo and rabbit were high protein diet items while the quail and chicken wings provided high lipid to the diet, and carbohydrates were minimal (≤3% energy). Maintenance energy requirements were determined to be 620kJkg-0.75d-1 with no significant difference between males and females. Opportunistic samples for gastrointestinal morphology were obtained from captive specimens. Tasmanian devils have a simple digestive tract similar to other dasyurid species. Both the morphology and histology of the gastrointestinal tract show specialization for a high protein carnivorous diet. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Biting through constraints: cranial morphology, disparity and convergence across living and fossil carnivorous mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Anjali; Milne, Nick; Wroe, Stephen

    2011-06-22

    Carnivory has evolved independently several times in eutherian (including placental) and metatherian (including marsupial) mammals. We used geometric morphometrics to assess convergences associated with the evolution of carnivory across a broad suite of mammals, including the eutherian clades Carnivora and Creodonta and the metatherian clades Thylacoleonidae, Dasyuromorphia, Didelphidae and Borhyaenoidea. We further quantified cranial disparity across eutherians and metatherians to test the hypothesis that the marsupial mode of reproduction has constrained their morphological evolution. This study, to our knowledge the first to extensively sample pre-Pleistocene taxa, analysed 30 three-dimensional landmarks, focused mainly on the facial region, which were digitized on 130 specimens, including 36 fossil taxa. Data were analysed with principal components (PC) analysis, and three measures of disparity were compared between eutherians and metatherians. PC1 showed a shift from short to long faces and seemed to represent diet and ecology. PC2 was dominated by the unique features of sabre-toothed forms: dramatic expansion of the maxilla at the expense of the frontal bones. PC3, in combination with PC1, distinguished metatherians and eutherians. Metatherians, despite common comparisons with felids, were more similar to caniforms, which was unexpected for taxa such as the sabre-toothed marsupial Thylacosmilus. Contrary to previous studies, metatherian carnivores consistently exhibited disparity which exceeded that of the much more speciose eutherian carnivore radiations, refuting the hypothesis that developmental constraints have limited the morphological evolution of the marsupial cranium.

  2. Replacement of moist ingredients in the feed training of carnivorous fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Lúcia Salaro

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The study evaluated the replacement of bovine heart by gelatin in the feed training of carnivorous fish, using giant trahira (Hoplias lacerdae as an experimental model. A completely randomized design with four treatments and five repetitions was employed. The treatments were composed of wet ingredients beef heart (control, gelatin diluted in water, gelatin diluted in beef heart broth, and gelatin diluted in water mixed with fish meal. The fish (3.22±0.03 cm and 0.57±0.01 g were conditioned to accept industrialized diets by the technique of gradual feed ingredients transition in the diet. Gains in weight and length, efficiency of feed training, specific growth rate, cannibalism, mortality and survival rates were evaluated. There was significant difference in weight and length gains and specific growth rate, whereby the use of bovine heart gave the best results. Greater efficiency of feed training was observed for fish fed diets containing beef heart and gelatin diluted in water mixed with fish meal. The high survival rates and the absence of significant differences among treatments for rates of cannibalism, mortality and survival indicate the feasibility of using gelatin as a moist ingredient in the feed training of carnivorous fish.

  3. Triggering a false alarm: wounding mimics prey capture in the carnivorous Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovič, Andrej; Jakšová, Jana; Novák, Ondřej

    2017-11-01

    In the carnivorous plant Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), the sequence of events after prey capture resembles the well-known plant defence signalling pathway in response to pathogen or herbivore attack. Here, we used wounding to mimic prey capture to show the similarities and differences between botanical carnivory and plant defence mechanisms. We monitored movement, electrical signalling, jasmonate accumulation and digestive enzyme secretion in local and distal (systemic) traps in response to prey capture, the mechanical stimulation of trigger hairs and wounding. The Venus flytrap cannot discriminate between wounding and mechanical trigger hair stimulation. Both induced the same action potentials, rapid trap closure, hermetic trap sealing, the accumulation of jasmonic acid (JA) and its isoleucine conjugate (JA-Ile), and the secretion of proteases (aspartic and cysteine proteases), phosphatases and type I chitinase. The jasmonate accumulation and enzyme secretion were confined to the local traps, to which the stimulus was applied, which correlates with the propagation of electrical signals and the absence of a systemic response in the Venus flytrap. In contrast to plant defence mechanisms, the absence of a systemic response in carnivorous plant may represent a resource-saving strategy. During prey capture, it could be quite expensive to produce digestive enzymes in the traps on the plant without prey. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. The carnivorous Venus flytrap uses prey-derived amino acid carbon to fuel respiration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasbender, Lukas; Maurer, Daniel; Kreuzwieser, Jürgen; Kreuzer, Ines; Schulze, Waltraud X; Kruse, Jörg; Becker, Dirk; Alfarraj, Saleh; Hedrich, Rainer; Werner, Christiane; Rennenberg, Heinz

    2017-04-01

    The present study was performed to elucidate the fate of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) derived from protein of prey caught by carnivorous Dionaea muscipula. For this, traps were fed 13 C/15 N-glutamine (Gln). The release of 13 CO2 was continuously monitored by isotope ratio infrared spectrometry. After 46 h, the allocation of C and N label into different organs was determined and tissues were subjected to metabolome, proteome and transcriptome analyses. Nitrogen of Gln fed was already separated from its C skeleton in the decomposing fluid secreted by the traps. Most of the Gln-C and Gln-N recovered inside plants were localized in fed traps. Among nonfed organs, traps were a stronger sink for Gln-C compared to Gln-N, and roots were a stronger sink for Gln-N compared to Gln-C. A significant amount of the Gln-C was respired as indicated by 13 C-CO2 emission, enhanced levels of metabolites of respiratory Gln degradation and increased abundance of proteins of respiratory processes. Transcription analyses revealed constitutive expression of enzymes involved in Gln metabolism in traps. It appears that prey not only provides building blocks of cellular constituents of carnivorous Dionaea muscipula, but also is used for energy generation by respiratory amino acid degradation. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  5. Terrestrial pathways of radionuclide particulates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boone, F.W. (Allied-General Nuclear Services, Barnwell, SC (USA)); Ng, Y.C. (California Univ., Livermore (USA). Lawrence Livermore National Lab.); Palms, J.M. (Emory Univ., Atlanta, GA (USA))

    1981-11-01

    Formulations are developed for computing potential human intake of 13 radionuclides via the terrestrial food chains. The formulations are an extension of the NRC methodology. Specific regional crop and livestock transfer and fractional distribution data from the southern part of the U.S.A. are provided and used in the computation of comparative values with those computed by means of USNRC Regulatory Guide 1.109 formulations. In the development of the model, emphasis was also placed on identifying the various time-delay compartments of the food chains and accounting for all of the activity initially deposited. For all radionuclides considered, except /sup 137/Cs, the new formulations predict lower potential intakes from the total of all food chains combined than do the comparable Regulatory Guide formulations by as much as a factor of 40. For /sup 137/Cs the new formulations predict 10% higher potential intakes.

  6. Terrestrial atmosphere, water and astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coradini M.

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Primitive life, defined as a chemical system capable to transfer its molecular information via self-replication and also capable to evolve, originated about 4 billion years ago from the processing of organic molecules by liquid water. Terrestrial atmosphere played a key role in the process by allowing the permanent presence of liquid water and by participating in the production of carbon-based molecules. Water molecules exhibit specific properties mainly due to a dense network of hydrogen bonds. The carbon-based molecules were either home made in the atmosphere and/or in submarine hydrothermal systems or delivered by meteorites and micrometeorites. The search for possible places beyond the earth where the trilogy atmosphere/water/life could exist is the main objective of astrobiology. Within the Solar System, exploration missions are dedicated to Mars, Europa, Titan and the icy bodies. The discovery of several hundreds of extrasolar planets opens the quest to the whole Milky Way.

  7. Extreme solar-terrestrial events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dal Lago, A.; Antunes Vieira, L. E.; Echer, E.; Balmaceda, L. A.; Rockenbach, M.; Gonzalez, W. D.

    2017-10-01

    Extreme solar-terrestrial events are those in which very energetic solar ejections hit the earth?s magnetosphere, causing intense energization of the earth?s ring current. Statistically, their occurrence is approximately once per Gleissberg solar cycle (70-100yrs). The solar transient occurred on July, 23rd (2012) was potentially one of such extreme events. The associated coronal mass ejection (CME), however, was not ejected towards the earth. Instead, it hit the STEREO A spacecraft, located 120 degrees away from the Sun-Earth line. Estimates of the geoeffectiveness of such a CME point to a scenario of extreme Space Weather conditions. In terms of the ring current energization, as measured by the Disturbance Storm-Time index (Dst), had this CME hit the Earth, it would have caused the strongest geomagnetic storm in space era.

  8. Crenarchaeota colonize terrestrial plant roots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, H M; Dodsworth, J A; Goodman, R M

    2000-10-01

    Microorganisms that colonize plant roots are recruited from, and in turn contribute substantially to, the vast and virtually uncharacterized phylogenetic diversity of soil microbiota. The diverse, but poorly understood, microorganisms that colonize plant roots mediate mineral transformations and nutrient cycles that are central to biosphere functioning. Here, we report the results of epifluorescence microscopy and culture-independent recovery of small subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences showing that members of a previously reported clade of soil Crenarchaeota colonize both young and senescent plant roots at an unexpectedly high frequency, and are particularly abundant on the latter. Our results indicate that non-thermophilic members of the Archaea inhabit an important terrestrial niche on earth and direct attention to the need for studies that will determine their possible roles in mediating root biology.

  9. Adaptation policies to increase terrestrial ecosystem resilience. Potential utility of a multicriteria approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    de Bremond, Ariane [Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); Joint Global Change Research Inst., College Park, MD (United States); Engle, Nathan L. [World Bank, Washington, DC (United States)

    2014-01-30

    Climate change is rapidly undermining terrestrial ecosystem resilience and capacity to continue providing their services to the benefit of humanity and nature. Because of the importance of terrestrial ecosystems to human well-being and supporting services, decision makers throughout the world are busy creating policy responses that secure multiple development and conservation objectives- including that of supporting terrestrial ecosystem resilience in the context of climate change. This article aims to advance analyses on climate policy evaluation and planning in the area of terrestrial ecosystem resilience by discussing adaptation policy options within the ecology-economy-social nexus. The paper evaluates these decisions in the realm of terrestrial ecosystem resilience and evaluates the utility of a set of criteria, indicators, and assessment methods, proposed by a new conceptual multi-criteria framework for pro-development climate policy and planning developed by the United Nations Environment Programme. Potential applications of a multicriteria approach to climate policy vis-A -vis terrestrial ecosystems are then explored through two hypothetical case study examples. The paper closes with a brief discussion of the utility of the multi-criteria approach in the context of other climate policy evaluation approaches, considers lessons learned as a result efforts to evaluate climate policy in the realm of terrestrial ecosystems, and reiterates the role of ecosystem resilience in creating sound policies and actions that support the integration of climate change and development goals.

  10. Mapping and Quantifying Terrestrial Vertebrate Biodiversity at ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast functions of ecosystems is critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our environment. Because of the variability among living organisms and levels of organization (e.g. genetic, species, ecosystem), biodiversity has always been difficult to measure precisely, especially within a systematic manner and over multiple scales. In answer to this challenge, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created a partnership with other Federal agencies, academic institutions, and Non-Governmental Organizations to develop the EnviroAtlas (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas), an online national Decision Support Tool that allows users to view and analyze the geographical description of the supply and demand for ecosystem services, as well as the drivers of change. As part of the EnviroAtlas, an approach has been developed that uses deductive habitat models for all terrestrial vertebrates of the conterminous United States and clusters them into biodiversity metrics that relate to ecosystem service-relevant categories. Metrics, such as species and taxon richness, have been developed and integrated with other measures of biodiversity. Collectively, these metrics provide a consistent scalable process from which to make geographic comparisons, provide thematic assessments, and to monitor status and trends in biodiversity. The national biodiversity component operates across approximatel

  11. Carnivorous heterotopias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lapina, Linda; Leer, Jonatan

    2016-01-01

    The past years have seen an upsurge of burger- and barbecue restaurants in a Copenhagen gastronomic scene otherwise dominated by trends towards sustainability, ‘wholesome’, local and organic food. In these new spaces, meat is glorified and consumed materially and symbolically (through design....... We argue that these spaces of consumption express nostalgia and longing for authenticity that are simultaneously articulated as progressive and emancipatory. Consequently, these sites represent middle class masculine counter-spaces where archaic, working class modes of doing masculinity (such...

  12. Hepatoprotective and Antioxidant Activities of Tribulus Terrestris

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harraz, Fathalla M; Ghazy, Nabila M; Hammoda, Hala M; Nafeaa, Abeer A.; Abdallah, Ingy I.

    2015-01-01

    Tribulus terrestris L. has been used in folk medicine throughout history. The present study examined the acute toxicity of the total ethanolic extract of T. Terrestris followed by investigation of the hepatoprotective activity of the total ethanolic extract and different fractions of the aerial

  13. Is It Necessary Managing Carnivores to Reverse the Decline of Endangered Prey Species? Insights from a Removal Experiment of Mesocarnivores to Benefit Demographic Parameters of the Pyrenean Capercaillie.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubén Moreno-Opo

    Full Text Available Mesopredator control has long been used to alleviate the effect of elevated predation pressure on vulnerable, threatened or valuable species. However, the convenience of using mesopredator controls is technically questionable and scientifically-sound research is therefore required to evaluate the impact of predation on prey case by case. In this study we evaluated the effect of the alteration of terrestrial mesopredator dynamics on the demographic parameters of a relict capercaillie Tetrao urogallus aquitanicus population currently in decline for which the impact of predation has not previously been assessed. We used a six-year mesocarnivore removal experiment (2008-2013 together with seven-years of previous demographic information on capercaillies (1999-2007 within a before-after control-impact (BACI design to evaluate the effect of mesocarnivore removal on capercaillie demographic parameters and on spatial behaviour of the most frequent predatory mesocarnivores of the capercaillie (Martes spp. and red fox Vulpes vulpes. Using a dynamic site-occupancy approach, the reduction of mesocarnivore population levels as a result of removal was clear for marten species, mainly during key months for capercaillie reproduction, but not for the red fox. Our results show that the breeding success of capercaillies was enhanced in areas where carnivores were removed and was inversely related to the occupation level of the studied mesocarnivores, although being only significant for Martes spp. Moreover, capercaillie predation rates were lower and adult survival seemingly higher in treatment during the removal phase. Cost-effective, long-term management interventions to ensure the recovery of this threatened capercaillie population are discussed in the light of the results. At our study area, the decision for implementing predation management should be included within a broader long-term conservation perspective. In this regard, a more feasible and sustainable

  14. Is It Necessary Managing Carnivores to Reverse the Decline of Endangered Prey Species? Insights from a Removal Experiment of Mesocarnivores to Benefit Demographic Parameters of the Pyrenean Capercaillie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Opo, Rubén; Afonso, Iván; Jiménez, José; Fernández-Olalla, Mariana; Canut, Jordi; García-Ferré, Diego; Piqué, Josep; García, Francisco; Roig, Job; Muñoz-Igualada, Jaime; González, Luis Mariano; López-Bao, José Vicente

    2015-01-01

    Mesopredator control has long been used to alleviate the effect of elevated predation pressure on vulnerable, threatened or valuable species. However, the convenience of using mesopredator controls is technically questionable and scientifically-sound research is therefore required to evaluate the impact of predation on prey case by case. In this study we evaluated the effect of the alteration of terrestrial mesopredator dynamics on the demographic parameters of a relict capercaillie Tetrao urogallus aquitanicus population currently in decline for which the impact of predation has not previously been assessed. We used a six-year mesocarnivore removal experiment (2008–2013) together with seven-years of previous demographic information on capercaillies (1999–2007) within a before-after control-impact (BACI) design to evaluate the effect of mesocarnivore removal on capercaillie demographic parameters and on spatial behaviour of the most frequent predatory mesocarnivores of the capercaillie (Martes spp. and red fox Vulpes vulpes). Using a dynamic site-occupancy approach, the reduction of mesocarnivore population levels as a result of removal was clear for marten species, mainly during key months for capercaillie reproduction, but not for the red fox. Our results show that the breeding success of capercaillies was enhanced in areas where carnivores were removed and was inversely related to the occupation level of the studied mesocarnivores, although being only significant for Martes spp. Moreover, capercaillie predation rates were lower and adult survival seemingly higher in treatment during the removal phase. Cost-effective, long-term management interventions to ensure the recovery of this threatened capercaillie population are discussed in the light of the results. At our study area, the decision for implementing predation management should be included within a broader long-term conservation perspective. In this regard, a more feasible and sustainable management

  15. Mutualists or parasites? Context-dependent influence of symbiotic fly larvae on carnivorous investment in the Albany pitcher plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lymbery, Samuel J; Didham, Raphael K; Hopper, Stephen D; Simmons, Leigh W

    2016-11-01

    Carnivorous plants allocate more resources to carnivorous structures under nutrient-limited conditions, and relative investment can also be influenced by animals (infauna) that live in association with these plants and feed on their prey. We investigated these effects within a population of the pitcher plant Cephalotus follicularis containing varying densities of larvae of the fly Badisis ambulans . For plants with a relatively high proportion of adult pitchers, increasing larval density was associated with lower relative leaf allocation to new pitcher buds. For plants with relatively few adult pitchers, however, there was greater relative leaf allocation to pitcher buds with increasing larval density. In a field experiment, there was no significant effect of experimental larval presence or absence on the change in carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratio of plants. Although the direction of the correlation between B. ambulans larvae and relative investment in carnivorous and non-carnivorous structures depends on the relative number of mature structures, whether the larvae enhance or reduce nutrient stress under different conditions remains unclear. The change in C/N was, however, less variable for pitchers that contained larvae, suggesting a stabilizing effect. Eighteen of 52 experimental pitchers were damaged by an unknown species, causing the pitcher fluid to drain. These pitchers were significantly more likely to survive if they contained larvae. These results suggest that the relationship between infauna and host varies with the initial resource status and environmental context of the host plant.

  16. Interannual abundance changes of gelatinous carnivore zooplankton unveil climate-driven hydrographic variations in the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ambrosio, Mariaelena; Molinero, Juan C; Azeiteiro, Ulisses M; Pardal, Miguel A; Primo, Ana L; Nyitrai, Daniel; Marques, Sónia C

    2016-09-01

    The persistent massive blooms of gelatinous zooplankton recorded during recent decades may be indicative of marine ecosystem changes. In this study, we investigated the potential influence of the North Atlantic climate (NAO) variability on decadal abundance changes of gelatinous carnivore zooplankton in the Mondego estuary, Portugal, over the period 2003-2013. During the 11-year study, the community of gelatinous carnivores encompassed a larger diversity of hydromedusae than siphonophores; the former dominated by Obelia spp., Lizzia blondina, Clythia hemisphaerica, Liriope tetraphylla and Solmaris corona, while the latter dominated by Muggiaea atlantica. Gelatinous carnivore zooplankton displayed marked interannual variability and mounting species richness over the period examined. Their pattern of abundance shifted towards larger abundances ca. 2007 and significant phenological changes. The latter included a shift in the mean annual pattern (from unimodal to bimodal peak, prior and after 2007 respectively) and an earlier timing of the first annual peak concurrent with enhanced temperatures. These changes were concurrent with the climate-driven environmental variability mainly controlled by the NAO, which displayed larger variance after 2007 along with an enhanced upwelling activity. Structural equation modelling allowed depicting cascading effects derived from the NAO influence on regional climate and upwelling variability further shaping water temperature. Such cascading effect percolated the structure and dynamics of the community of gelatinous carnivore zooplankton in the Mondego estuary. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Landscape permeability for large carnivores in Washington: a geographic information system weighted-distance and least-cost corridor assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter H. Singleton; William L. Gaines; John F. Lehmkuhl

    2002-01-01

    We conducted a regional-scale evaluation of landscape permeability for large carnivores in Washington and adjacent portions of British Columbia and Idaho. We developed geographic information system based landscape permeability models for wolves (Canis lupus), wolverine (Gulo gulo), lynx (Lynx canadensis),...

  18. Lima bean leaves exposed to herbivore-induced conspecific plant volatiles attract herbivores in addition to carnivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horiuchi, J.I.; Arimura, G.I.; Ozawa, R.; Shimoda, T.; Dicke, M.; Takabayashi, J.; Nishioka, T.

    2003-01-01

    We tested the response of the herbivorous mite Tetranychus urticae to uninfested lima bean leaves exposed to herbivore-induced conspecific plant volatiles by using a Y-tube olfactometer. First, we confirmed that exposed uninfested leaves next to infested leaves were more attractive to carnivorous

  19. Isolation by distance, resistance and/or clusters? Lessons learned from a forest-dwelling carnivore inhabiting a heterogeneous landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aritz Ruiz-Gonzalez; Samuel A. Cushman; Maria Jose Madeira; Ettore Randi; Benjamin J. Gomez-Moliner

    2015-01-01

    Landscape genetics provides a valuable framework to understand how landscape features influence gene flow and to disentangle the factors that lead to discrete and/or clinal population structure. Here, we attempt to differentiate between these processes in a forest-dwelling small carnivore [European pine marten (Martes martes)]. Specifically, we used...

  20. Determinants of Persistence and Tolerance of Carnivores on Namibian Ranches: Implications for Conservation on Southern African Private Lands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lindsey, P.A.; Havemann, C.P.; Lines, R.M.; Palazy, L.; Price, A.E.; Retief, T.A.; Rhebergen, T.; Waal, van der C.

    2013-01-01

    Changing land use patterns in southern Africa have potential to dramatically alter the prospects for carnivore conservation. Understanding these influences is essential for conservation planning. We interviewed 250 ranchers in Namibia to assess human tolerance towards and the distribution of large

  1. Molecular characterization and evolution of carnivorous sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.) class V β-1,3-glucanase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalko, Jaroslav; Renner, Tanya; Mészáros, Patrik; Socha, Peter; Moravčíková, Jana; Blehová, Alžbeta; Libantová, Jana; Polóniová, Zuzana; Matušíková, Ildikó

    2017-01-01

    A gene for β-1,3-glucanase was isolated from carnivorous sundew. It is active in leaves and roots, but not in digestive glands. Analyses in transgenic tobacco suggest its function in germination. Ancestral plant β-1,3-glucanases (EC 3.2.1.39) played a role in cell division and cell wall remodelling, but divergent evolution has extended their roles in plant defense against stresses to decomposition of prey in carnivorous plants. As available gene sequences from carnivorous plants are rare, we isolated a glucanase gene from roundleaf sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.) by a genome walking approach. Computational predictions recognized typical gene features and protein motifs described for other plant β-1,3-glucanases. Phylogenetic reconstructions suggest strong support for evolutionary relatedness to class V β-1,3-glucanases, including homologs that are active in the traps of related carnivorous species. The gene is expressed in sundew vegetative tissues but not in flowers and digestive glands, and encodes for a functional enzyme when expressed in transgenic tobacco. Detailed analyses of the supposed promoter both in silico and in transgenic tobacco suggest that this glucanase plays a role in development. Specific spatiotemporal activity was observed during transgenic seed germination. Later during growth, the sundew promoter was active in marginal and sub-marginal areas of apical true leaf meristems of young tobacco plants. These results suggest that the isolated glucanase gene is regulated endogenously, possibly by auxin. This is the first report on a nuclear gene study from sundew.

  2. Changes in home range sizes and population densities of carnivore species along the natural to urban habitat gradient

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Drahníková, L.; Tkadlec, Emil

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 45, č. 1 (2015), s. 1-14 ISSN 0305-1838 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Carnivores * home range size * natural–urban gradient * population density * review Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 4.116, year: 2015

  3. Insignificant solar-terrestrial triggering of earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Jeffrey J.; Thomas, Jeremy N.

    2013-01-01

    We examine the claim that solar-terrestrial interaction, as measured by sunspots, solar wind velocity, and geomagnetic activity, might play a role in triggering earthquakes. We count the number of earthquakes having magnitudes that exceed chosen thresholds in calendar years, months, and days, and we order these counts by the corresponding rank of annual, monthly, and daily averages of the solar-terrestrial variables. We measure the statistical significance of the difference between the earthquake-number distributions below and above the median of the solar-terrestrial averages by χ2 and Student's t tests. Across a range of earthquake magnitude thresholds, we find no consistent and statistically significant distributional differences. We also introduce time lags between the solar-terrestrial variables and the number of earthquakes, but again no statistically significant distributional difference is found. We cannot reject the null hypothesis of no solar-terrestrial triggering of earthquakes.

  4. Dinitrogen fixation associated with shoots of aquatic carnivorous plants: is it ecologically important?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirová, Dagmara; Santrůček, Jiří; Adamec, Lubomír; Bárta, Jiří; Borovec, Jakub; Pech, Jiří; Owens, Sarah M; Santrůčková, Hana; Schäufele, Rudi; Storchová, Helena; Vrba, Jaroslav

    2014-07-01

    Rootless carnivorous plants of the genus Utricularia are important components of many standing waters worldwide, as well as suitable model organisms for studying plant-microbe interactions. In this study, an investigation was made of the importance of microbial dinitrogen (N2) fixation in the N acquisition of four aquatic Utricularia species and another aquatic carnivorous plant, Aldrovanda vesiculosa. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing was used to assess the presence of micro-organisms with known ability to fix N2. Next-generation sequencing provided information on the expression of N2 fixation-associated genes. N2 fixation rates were measured following (15)N2-labelling and were used to calculate the plant assimilation rate of microbially fixed N2. Utricularia traps were confirmed as primary sites of N2 fixation, with up to 16 % of the plant-associated microbial community consisting of bacteria capable of fixing N2. Of these, rhizobia were the most abundant group. Nitrogen fixation rates increased with increasing shoot age, but never exceeded 1·3 μmol N g(-1) d. mass d(-1). Plant assimilation rates of fixed N2 were detectable and significant, but this fraction formed less than 1 % of daily plant N gain. Although trap fluid provides conditions favourable for microbial N2 fixation, levels of nif gene transcription comprised aquatic Utricularia, despite the large potential capacity, is the high concentration of NH4-N (2·0-4·3 mg L(-1)) in the trap fluid. Resulting from fast turnover of organic detritus, it probably inhibits N2 fixation in most of the microorganisms present. Nitrogen fixation is not expected to contribute significantly to N nutrition of aquatic carnivorous plants under their typical growth conditions; however, on an annual basis the plant-microbe system can supply nitrogen in the order of hundreds of mg m(-2) into the nutrient-limited littoral zone, where it may thus represent an important N source. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University

  5. Monitoring carnivore populations at the landscape scale: occupancy modelling of tigers from sign surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanth, Kota Ullas; Gopalaswamy, Arjun M.; Kumar, Narayanarao Samba; Vaidyanathan, Srinivas; Nichols, James D.; MacKenzie, Darryl I.

    2011-01-01

    1. Assessing spatial distributions of threatened large carnivores at landscape scales poses formidable challenges because of their rarity and elusiveness. As a consequence of logistical constraints, investigators typically rely on sign surveys. Most survey methods, however, do not explicitly address the central problem of imperfect detections of animal signs in the field, leading to underestimates of true habitat occupancy and distribution. 2. We assessed habitat occupancy for a tiger Panthera tigris metapopulation across a c. 38 000-km2 landscape in India, employing a spatially replicated survey to explicitly address imperfect detections. Ecological predictions about tiger presence were confronted with sign detection data generated from occupancy sampling of 205 sites, each of 188 km2. 3. A recent occupancy model that considers Markovian dependency among sign detections on spatial replicates performed better than the standard occupancy model (ΔAIC = 184·9). A formulation of this model that fitted the data best showed that density of ungulate prey and levels of human disturbance were key determinants of local tiger presence. Model averaging resulted in a replicate-level detection probability [inline image] = 0·17 (0·17) for signs and a tiger habitat occupancy estimate of [inline image] = 0·665 (0·0857) or 14 076 (1814) km2 of potential habitat of 21 167 km2. In contrast, a traditional presence-versus-absence approach underestimated occupancy by 47%. Maps of probabilities of local site occupancy clearly identified tiger source populations at higher densities and matched observed tiger density variations, suggesting their potential utility for population assessments at landscape scales. 4. Synthesis and applications. Landscape-scale sign surveys can efficiently assess large carnivore spatial distributions and elucidate the factors governing their local presence, provided ecological and observation processes are both explicitly modelled. Occupancy

  6. Host-specific parvovirus evolution in nature is recapitulated by in vitro adaptation to different carnivore species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew B Allison

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Canine parvovirus (CPV emerged as a new pandemic pathogen of dogs in the 1970s and is closely related to feline panleukopenia virus (FPV, a parvovirus of cats and related carnivores. Although both viruses have wide host ranges, analysis of viral sequences recovered from different wild carnivore species, as shown here, demonstrated that>95% were derived from CPV-like viruses, suggesting that CPV is dominant in sylvatic cycles. Many viral sequences showed host-specific mutations in their capsid proteins, which were often close to sites known to control binding to the transferrin receptor (TfR, the host receptor for these carnivore parvoviruses, and which exhibited frequent parallel evolution. To further examine the process of host adaptation, we passaged parvoviruses with alternative backgrounds in cells from different carnivore hosts. Specific mutations were selected in several viruses and these differed depending on both the background of the virus and the host cells in which they were passaged. Strikingly, these in vitro mutations recapitulated many specific changes seen in viruses from natural populations, strongly suggesting they are host adaptive, and which were shown to result in fitness advantages over their parental virus. Comparison of the sequences of the transferrin receptors of the different carnivore species demonstrated that many mutations occurred in and around the apical domain where the virus binds, indicating that viral variants were likely selected through their fit to receptor structures. Some of the viruses accumulated high levels of variation upon passage in alternative hosts, while others could infect multiple different hosts with no or only a few additional mutations. Overall, these studies demonstrate that the evolutionary history of a virus, including how long it has been circulating and in which hosts, as well as its phylogenetic background, has a profound effect on determining viral host range.

  7. Selection for adaptation to dietary shifts: towards sustainable breeding of carnivorous fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Le Boucher

    Full Text Available Genetic adaptation to dietary environments is a key process in the evolution of natural populations and is of great interest in animal breeding. In fish farming, the use of fish meal and fish oil has been widely challenged, leading to the rapidly increasing use of plant-based products in feed. However, high substitution rates impair fish health and growth in carnivorous species. We demonstrated that survival rate, mean body weight and biomass can be improved in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss after a single generation of selection for the ability to adapt to a totally plant-based diet (15.1%, 35.3% and 54.4%, respectively. Individual variability in the ability to adapt to major diet changes can be effectively used to promote fish welfare and a more sustainable aquaculture.

  8. Feed based on vegetable materials changes the muscle proteome of the carnivore rainbow trout

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jessen, Flemming; Wulff, Tune; Bach Mikkelsen, J.

    2011-01-01

    for a sustainable production of fish from aquaculture. However, such a change in feed will have an effect on the fish composition and metabolism and may also affect eating quality as well as different health and nutritional properties. A proteomic approach was taken to compare the muscle protein profile of rainbow...... trout fed two different diets identical in protein and oil content, but with diet C based on fish meal and oil and diet V based on rapeseed oil and vegetable proteins. In addition to the proteomic investigation the textural properties of the fish were analysed by sensory profiling. Protein expression......Feed production for aquaculture of carnivore fish species relies heavily on protein and lipid from the limited resources of wild fish and other sea living organisms. Thus the development of alternative feeds replacing fish meal and oil with components of vegetable origin is important...

  9. Antibodies to Mycobacterium bovis in wild carnivores from Doñana National Park (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín-Atance, P; León-Vizcaíno, L; Palomares, F; Revilla, E; González-Candela, M; Calzada, J; Cubero-Pablo, M J; Delibes, M

    2006-07-01

    We conducted a retrospective serologic survey for antibodies against the MPB70 protein of Mycobacterium bovis in wild carnivores from Doñana National Park (southwestern Spain). Serum samples from 118 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 39 Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), 31 Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), five Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon), four European genet (Genetta genetta), and one Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) were analyzed using an indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunoassay. Antibodies against the MPB70 protein of M. bovis were detected in seven badgers, five foxes, and one lynx. The frequency of positive animals was significantly higher in badger (23%) than in lynx (3%) and fox (4%). Antibodies were not detected in other species. Annual antibody frequency peaked at 38% in badgers and 11% for red fox. These species may contribute to persistence of bovine tuberculosis in Doñana.

  10. Age determination methods in harbour seals (Phoca vitulina with a review of methods applicable to carnivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Lockyer

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The development of age determination methods in marine mammals is reviewed with particular reference to the use of teeth Growth Layer Groups (GLGs formed in the dentine and cement of carnivores. Using this background, practices for sampling, tooth extraction and collection, storage and different methods of preparation of teeth as well as reading and counting GLGs are discussed and evaluated for the harbour seal (Phoca vitulina. The paper includes comments on best practices for counting GLGs with new examples from known-age seals, and also a detailed examination of confounding factors in interpreting GLGs such as mineralization anomalies and the phenomena of accessory lines, “false annuli” and “paired laminae” which have not been discussed previously. The paper concludes with recommendations for undertaking age estimation in harbour seals from sampling through final GLG interpretation with special emphasis on standardization of methods with other researchers.

  11. Does terrestrial epidemiology apply to marine systems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCallum, Hamish I.; Kuris, Armand M.; Harvell, C. Drew; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Smith, Garriet W.; Porter, James

    2004-01-01

    Most of epidemiological theory has been developed for terrestrial systems, but the significance of disease in the ocean is now being recognized. However, the extent to which terrestrial epidemiology can be directly transferred to marine systems is uncertain. Many broad types of disease-causing organism occur both on land and in the sea, and it is clear that some emergent disease problems in marine environments are caused by pathogens moving from terrestrial to marine systems. However, marine systems are qualitatively different from terrestrial environments, and these differences affect the application of modelling and management approaches that have been developed for terrestrial systems. Phyla and body plans are more diverse in marine environments and marine organisms have different life histories and probably different disease transmission modes than many of their terrestrial counterparts. Marine populations are typically more open than terrestrial ones, with the potential for long-distance dispersal of larvae. Potentially, this might enable unusually rapid propagation of epidemics in marine systems, and there are several examples of this. Taken together, these differences will require the development of new approaches to modelling and control of infectious disease in the ocean.

  12. A molecular palaeobiological exploration of arthropod terrestrialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano-Fernandez, Jesus; Carton, Robert; Tanner, Alastair R; Puttick, Mark N; Blaxter, Mark; Vinther, Jakob; Olesen, Jørgen; Giribet, Gonzalo; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Pisani, Davide

    2016-07-19

    Understanding animal terrestrialization, the process through which animals colonized the land, is crucial to clarify extant biodiversity and biological adaptation. Arthropoda (insects, spiders, centipedes and their allies) represent the largest majority of terrestrial biodiversity. Here we implemented a molecular palaeobiological approach, merging molecular and fossil evidence, to elucidate the deepest history of the terrestrial arthropods. We focused on the three independent, Palaeozoic arthropod terrestrialization events (those of Myriapoda, Hexapoda and Arachnida) and showed that a marine route to the colonization of land is the most likely scenario. Molecular clock analyses confirmed an origin for the three terrestrial lineages bracketed between the Cambrian and the Silurian. While molecular divergence times for Arachnida are consistent with the fossil record, Myriapoda are inferred to have colonized land earlier, substantially predating trace or body fossil evidence. An estimated origin of myriapods by the Early Cambrian precedes the appearance of embryophytes and perhaps even terrestrial fungi, raising the possibility that terrestrialization had independent origins in crown-group myriapod lineages, consistent with morphological arguments for convergence in tracheal systems.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using rocks and clocks'. © 2016 The Authors.

  13. A molecular palaeobiological exploration of arthropod terrestrialization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carton, Robert; Edgecombe, Gregory D.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding animal terrestrialization, the process through which animals colonized the land, is crucial to clarify extant biodiversity and biological adaptation. Arthropoda (insects, spiders, centipedes and their allies) represent the largest majority of terrestrial biodiversity. Here we implemented a molecular palaeobiological approach, merging molecular and fossil evidence, to elucidate the deepest history of the terrestrial arthropods. We focused on the three independent, Palaeozoic arthropod terrestrialization events (those of Myriapoda, Hexapoda and Arachnida) and showed that a marine route to the colonization of land is the most likely scenario. Molecular clock analyses confirmed an origin for the three terrestrial lineages bracketed between the Cambrian and the Silurian. While molecular divergence times for Arachnida are consistent with the fossil record, Myriapoda are inferred to have colonized land earlier, substantially predating trace or body fossil evidence. An estimated origin of myriapods by the Early Cambrian precedes the appearance of embryophytes and perhaps even terrestrial fungi, raising the possibility that terrestrialization had independent origins in crown-group myriapod lineages, consistent with morphological arguments for convergence in tracheal systems. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Dating species divergences using rocks and clocks’. PMID:27325830

  14. Mars: a small terrestrial planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangold, N.; Baratoux, D.; Witasse, O.; Encrenaz, T.; Sotin, C.

    2016-11-01

    Mars is characterized by geological landforms familiar to terrestrial geologists. It has a tenuous atmosphere that evolved differently from that of Earth and Venus and a differentiated inner structure. Our knowledge of the structure and evolution of Mars has strongly improved thanks to a huge amount of data of various types (visible and infrared imagery, altimetry, radar, chemistry, etc) acquired by a dozen of missions over the last two decades. In situ data have provided ground truth for remote-sensing data and have opened a new era in the study of Mars geology. While large sections of Mars science have made progress and new topics have emerged, a major question in Mars exploration—the possibility of past or present life—is still unsolved. Without entering into the debate around the presence of life traces, our review develops various topics of Mars science to help the search of life on Mars, building on the most recent discoveries, going from the exosphere to the interior structure, from the magmatic evolution to the currently active processes, including the fate of volatiles and especially liquid water.

  15. Ectoparasites of the endangered Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus and sympatric wild and domestic carnivores in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millán, J; Ruiz-Fons, F; Márquez, F J; Viota, M; López-Bao, J V; Paz Martín-Mateo, M

    2007-09-01

    Ectoparasites can cause important skin disorders in animals and can also transmit pathogens. The Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus has been stated to be the most endangered felid in the world and such vector-borne pathogens may threaten its survival. We surveyed 98 wild carnivores (26 Iberian lynxes, 34 red foxes Vulpes vulpes, 24 Egyptian mongooses Herpestes ichneumon, 11 common genets Genetta genetta, two Eurasian badgers Meles meles, one polecat Mustela putorius) and 75 domestic but free-ranging carnivores (46 cats Felis catus, 29 dogs Canis familiaris) from June 2004 to June 2006 in the two areas where the last lynx metapopulations survive: Sierra Morena and Doñana (Andalusia, southern Spain). A total of 65% of lynxes were parasitized (50% by ticks, 19% by fleas, 4% by lice, 31% by hippoboscid flies), as were 75% of foxes (58%, 60%, 0%, 19%), 71% of mongooses (50%, 4%, 46%, 0%), 54% of genets (18%, 36%, 0%, 0%), 30% of cats (22%, 14%, 0%, 2%), and 7% of dogs (surveyed only for ticks). Both badgers presented ticks, fleas and lice. Five species of ixodid ticks (Rhipicephalus pusillus Gil Collado, Rhipicephalus turanicus Pomerantzev and Matikashvili, Ixodes ricinus (Linnaeus), Ixodes hexagonus Leach and Ixodes ventalloi Gil Collado; and Hyalomma sp.), four species of fleas (Ctenocephalides canis Curtis, Pulex irritans Linnaeus, Spilopsyllus cuniculi (Dale), Xenopsylla cunicularis Smit), three species of chewing lice (Felicola (Felicola) inequalis (Piaget), Trichodectes (Trichodectes) melis (Fabricius), and Felicola (Lorisicola) isidoroi Pérez and Palma), and one species of hippoboscid fly (Hippobosca longipennis (Fabricius)) were found. We did not detect any cases of mange. Hippobosca longipennis is a new record for Spanish wildlife, and all the flea species are new records for the Iberian lynx. Fleas were more frequent on lynxes and foxes in winter than in spring. Rhipicephalus spp. were more frequent on cats in spring than in any other season. These and other

  16. When species' ranges meet: assessing differences in habitat selection between sympatric large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauset, Geir Rune; Mattisson, Jenny; Andrén, Henrik; Chapron, Guillaume; Persson, Jens

    2013-07-01

    Differentiation in habitat selection among sympatric species may depend on niche partitioning, species interactions, selection mechanisms and scales considered. In a mountainous area in Sweden, we explored hierarchical habitat selection in Global Positioning System-collared individuals of two sympatric large carnivore species; an obligate predator, the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), and a generalist predator and scavenger, the wolverine (Gulo gulo). Although the species' fundamental niches differ widely, their ranges overlap in this area where they share a prey base and main cause of mortality. Both lynx and wolverines selected for steep and rugged terrain in mountainous birch forest and in heaths independent of scale and available habitats. However, the selection of lynx for their preferred habitats was stronger when they were forming home ranges and they selected the same habitats within their home ranges independent of home range composition. Wolverines displayed a greater variability when selecting home ranges and habitat selection also varied with home range composition. Both species selected for habitats that promote survival through limited encounters with humans, but which also are rich in prey, and selection for these habitats was accordingly stronger in winter when human activity was high and prey density was low. We suggest that the observed differences between the species result primarily from different foraging strategies, but may also depend on differences in ranging and resting behaviour, home range size, and relative density of each species. Our results support the prediction that sympatric carnivores with otherwise diverging niches can select for the same resources when sharing main sources of food and mortality.

  17. Serologic evidence of canine parvovirus in domestic dogs, wild carnivores, and marsupials in the Argentinean Chaco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orozco, María Marcela; Miccio, Luciano; Enriquez, Gustavo Fabián; Iribarren, Fabián Eduardo; Gürtler, Ricardo Esteban

    2014-09-01

    The transmission of pathogens between domestic dogs and generalist wildlife species may be modified by environmental degradation, biodiversity losses, host densities, and increased contact rates in remnant forest patches. A serologic survey of canine parvovirus (CPV) in rural domestic dogs and wild mammals was conducted in two neighboring rural areas (disturbed and protected) from Pampa del Indio, northeastern Argentina, between 2008 and 2011. A total of 174 domestic dogs and 26 wild mammals-4 crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous), 3 crab-eating raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus), 17 white-eared opossums (Didelphis albiventris), and 2 gray four-eyed opossums (Philander opossum)-were examined for antibodies to CPV using a hemagglutination inhibition assay. Domestic dogs were numerous and their movements unrestricted. The main function of dogs differed significantly between areas, with more dogs used for herding or hunting around the protected area. The seroprevalence of antibodies to CPV in dogs from both areas was very high (93.9-94.6%) and increased steeply with age. Nearly all carnivores and marsupials showed high exposure to CPV. Although a higher exposure to CPV was expected in wild mammals from disturbed areas as a result of enhanced contact between dogs and wildlife, no significant differences were found between areas. To the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to document exposure to CPV of free-ranging Pr. cancrivorus, D. albiventris, and Ph. opossum, and include a detailed demographic study of the domestic dog populations living in the area. This study highlights that dogs and wildlife have potential opportunities for contact and shows that the edges of the protected area may be as suitable as other fragmented areas for the transmission of CPV. Rural domestic dogs may pose serious threats to the health and conservation of wild carnivores in both disturbed and protected areas, especially in the Gran Chaco, where habitat fragmentation is severely

  18. Rabies, canine distemper, and canine parvovirus exposure in large carnivore communities from two Zambian ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berentsen, Are R; Dunbar, Mike R; Becker, Matthew S; M'soka, Jassiel; Droge, Egil; Sakuya, Nicholas M; Matandiko, Wigganson; McRobb, Rachel; Hanlon, Cathleen A

    2013-09-01

    Disease transmission within and among wild and domestic carnivores can have significant impacts on populations, particularly for threatened and endangered species. We used serology to evaluate potential exposure to rabies virus, canine distemper virus (CDV), and canine parvovirus (CPV) for populations of African lions (Panthera leo), African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), and spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park (SLNP) and Liuwa Plain National Park (LPNP) as well as community lands bordering these areas. In addition, domestic dogs in the study region were evaluated for exposure to CDV and rabies. We provide the first comprehensive disease exposure data for these species in these ecosystems. Twenty-one lions, 20 hyenas, 13 wild dogs, and 38 domestic dogs were sampled across both regions from 2009 to 2011. Laboratory results show 10.5% of domestic dogs, 5.0% of hyenas, and 7.7% of wild dogs sampled were positive for CDV exposure. All lions were negative. Exposure to CPV was 10.0% and 4.8% for hyenas and lions, respectively. All wild dogs were negative, and domestic dogs were not tested due to insufficient serum samples. All species sampled were negative for rabies virus neutralizing antibodies except lions. Forty percent of lions tested positive for rabies virus neutralizing antibodies. Because these lions appeared clinically healthy, this finding is consistent with seroconversion following exposure to rabies antigen. To our knowledge, this finding represents the first ever documentation of rabies virus neutralizing antibodies consistent with rabies exposure that did not lead to clinical disease in free-ranging African lions from this region. With ever-increasing human pressure on these ecosystems, understanding disease transmission dynamics is essential for proper management and conservation of these carnivore species.

  19. Evidence for widespread Leishmania infantum infection among wild carnivores in L. infantum periendemic northern Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Río, L; Chitimia, L; Cubas, A; Victoriano, I; De la Rúa, P; Gerrikagoitia, X; Barral, M; Muñoz-García, C I; Goyena, E; García-Martínez, D; Fisa, R; Riera, C; Murcia, L; Segovia, M; Berriatua, E

    2014-03-01

    Leishmania spp. infection was investigated in tissue samples of wild carnivores from the Spanish Basque Country (BC), by PCR and DNA sequencing. The region is at the northern periphery of Leishmania infantum endemic Iberian Peninsula and infection in the dog (reservoir) or other species has not been previously reported. Leishmania kinetoplast DNA was detected by real-time PCR (rtPCR) in 28% (44/156) of animals. Specifically, in 26% of Eurasian badgers (n=53), 29% of foxes (n=48), 29% of stone martens (n=21) and in 25-50% of less numerous species including genets, wild cats, pole cats, European mink and weasels. Infected animals particularly badgers, were most prevalent in the southernmost province of the BC (Araba) in areas dominated by arable land. Subsequent amplification and sequencing of a fragment of the rRNA internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) from a subset of rtPCR positives samples confirmed the species as L. infantum, showing a high sequence homogeneity with ITS2 sequences of L. infantum from dogs and humans from southern Spain. In summary, this study reports for the first time L. infantum infection in wild carnivores from the BC including in stone martens, pole cats and minks in which infection has not been previously described. It supports the need to study infection in dogs and people in this region and is an example of the value of infection surveillance in wildlife to assess potential risks in the domestic environment and their role in spreading infections in non-endemic areas. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Structural habitat predicts functional dispersal habitat of a large carnivore: how leopards change spots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattebert, Julien; Robinson, Hugh S; Balme, Guy; Slotow, Rob; Hunter, Luke

    2015-10-01

    Natal dispersal promotes inter-population linkage, and is key to spatial distribution of populations. Degradation of suitable landscape structures beyond the specific threshold of an individual's ability to disperse can therefore lead to disruption of functional landscape connectivity and impact metapopulation function. Because it ignores behavioral responses of individuals, structural connectivity is easier to assess than functional connectivity and is often used as a surrogate for landscape connectivity modeling. However using structural resource selection models as surrogate for modeling functional connectivity through dispersal could be erroneous. We tested how well a second-order resource selection function (RSF) models (structural connectivity), based on GPS telemetry data from resident adult leopard (Panthera pardus L.), could predict subadult habitat use during dispersal (functional connectivity). We created eight non-exclusive subsets of the subadult data based on differing definitions of dispersal to assess the predictive ability of our adult-based RSF model extrapolated over a broader landscape. Dispersing leopards used habitats in accordance with adult selection patterns, regardless of the definition of dispersal considered. We demonstrate that, for a wide-ranging apex carnivore, functional connectivity through natal dispersal corresponds to structural connectivity as modeled by a second-order RSF. Mapping of the adult-based habitat classes provides direct visualization of the potential linkages between populations, without the need to model paths between a priori starting and destination points. The use of such landscape scale RSFs may provide insight into predicting suitable dispersal habitat peninsulas in human-dominated landscapes where mitigation of human-wildlife conflict should be focused. We recommend the use of second-order RSFs for landscape conservation planning and propose a similar approach to the conservation of other wide-ranging large

  1. Carnivores from the Middle Miocene Ngorora Formation (13-12 Ma, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pickford, M.

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The late Middle Miocene Ngorora Formation has yielded several interesting carnivore fossils. Among these are a huge creodont, Megistotherium osteothlastes, at 12 Ma, possibly the youngest record of the species, an amphicyonid, two species of mustelids (an otter and a honey badger, two kinds of viverrids (one about the size of a civet, one the size of a genet and an extremely small herpestid the size of a dwarf mongoose. It has also yielded remains of a moderate sized percrocutid. Perhaps the most interesting carnivore is a new genus and species of bundont viverrid that is intermediate in size and morphology between Early Miocene Orangictis on the one hand and Plio-Pleistocene Pseudocivetta on the other. This lineage of bundont viverrids appears to have been restricted to Africa.La Formación Mioceno medio final de Ngorora (Kenia ha suministrado carnívoros muy interesantes. Entre los que se encuentran un enorme creodonto, Megistotherium osteothlastes, de 12 Ma, que posiblemente es el registro más moderno de la especie, un amphicyonido, dos especies de mustélidos (una nutria y un melivorino, dos diferentes tipos de vivérridos (uno de la talla de una civeta y el otro de la de una jineta y un herpéstido diminuto de la talla de una mangosta enana. También hay fósiles de un percrocútido de talla moderada. Tal vez el carnívoro más interesante es un nuevo género y especie de vivérrido bunodonto que presenta una talla y morfología intermedia entre Oragictis del Mioceno inferior y Pseudocivetta del Plio-Pleistoceno. Esta línea de vivérridos bunodontos parece estar restringida a Africa.

  2. Nutrient-specific compensatory feeding in a mammalian carnivore, the mink, Neovison vison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Kim; Simpson, Stephen J; Nielsen, Vivi H; Hunt, John; Raubenheimer, David; Mayntz, David

    2014-10-14

    Balancing of macronutrient intake has only recently been demonstrated in predators. In particular, the ability to regulate carbohydrate intake is little studied in obligate carnivores, as carbohydrate is present at very low concentrations in prey animal tissue. In the present study, we determined whether American mink (Neovison vison) would compensate for dietary nutritional imbalances by foraging for complementary macronutrients (protein, lipid and carbohydrate) when subsequently given a dietary choice. We used three food pairings, within which two macronutrients differed relative to each other (high v. low concentration), while the third was kept at a constant level. The mink were first restricted to a single nutritionally imbalanced food for 7 d and then given a free choice to feed from the same food or a nutritionally complementary food for three consecutive days. When restricted to nutritionally imbalanced foods, the mink were willing to overingest protein only to a certain level ('ceiling'). When subsequently given a choice, the mink compensated for the period of nutritional imbalance by selecting the nutritionally complementary food in the food choice pairing. Notably, this rebalancing occurred for all the three macronutrients, including carbohydrate, which is particularly interesting as carbohydrate is not a major macronutrient for obligate carnivores in nature. However, there was also a ceiling to carbohydrate intake, as has been demonstrated previously in domestic cats. The results of the present study show that mink regulate their intake of all the three macronutrients within limits imposed by ceilings on protein and carbohydrate intake and that they will compensate for a period of nutritional imbalance by subsequently selecting nutritionally complementary foods.

  3. Limno-terrestrial Tardigrada of the Nearctic Realm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana G. HINTON

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available We examined all available records of limno-terrestrial tardigrade distribution in the Nearctic realm (Greenland, Canada, Alaska, the continental United States of America, and northern Mexico, both to compare this fauna with other realms and to investigate distribution within North America. We included only those records in which tardigrades had been identified to species. Of 204 Nearctic limno-terrestrial tardigrade species, 38 were cosmopolitan, while 55 were unique to the Nearctic realm. The Nearctic tardigrade fauna is most similar to the Palearctic, with 135 species in common, 39 of which have not been reported elsewhere. The Nearctic realm shares 82 species with the Neotropical realm, only 10 which are not also Palearctic. These data are consistent with the geological history of the three realms, and indicate a distinction between Laurasian and Gondwanan tardigrade faunas. Although little is known about limno-terrestrial tardigrade distribution in much of North America, there are several excellent regional or local surveys. Many species are distributed widely throughout the continent, but 30.0% of Nearctic species have been reported from a single site. Cluster analysis of the fauna of 11 Nearctic regions shows that the Arctic and sub-Arctic fauna constitute a regional fauna distinct from the rest of the continent. Ecological analysis is hampered by inconsistent reporting of tardigrade substrate, though available data suggest little substrate specificity in terrestrial tardigrades. Most species are found in both mosses and lichens. Many are also present in soil and leaf litter, but few are found only in these substrates.

  4. A molecular palaeobiological exploration of arthropod terrestrialization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lozano-Fernandez, Jesus; Carton, Robert; Tanner, Alastair R.

    2016-01-01

    amolecular palaeobiological approach, merging molecular and fossil evidence, to elucidate the deepest history of the terrestrial arthropods. We focused on the three independent, Palaeozoic arthropod terrestrialization events (those of Myriapoda, Hexapoda and Arachnida) and showed that a marine route...... to the colonization of land is the most likely scenario.Molecular clock analyses confirmed an origin for the three terrestrial lineages bracketed between the Cambrian and the Silurian. While molecular divergence times for Arachnida are consistent with the fossil record,Myriapoda are inferred to have colonized land...

  5. Possible climates on terrestrial exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forget, F; Leconte, J

    2014-04-28

    What kind of environment may exist on terrestrial planets around other stars? In spite of the lack of direct observations, it may not be premature to speculate on exoplanetary climates, for instance, to optimize future telescopic observations or to assess the probability of habitable worlds. To begin with, climate primarily depends on (i) the atmospheric composition and the volatile inventory; (ii) the incident stellar flux; and (iii) the tidal evolution of the planetary spin, which can notably lock a planet with a permanent night side. The atmospheric composition and mass depends on complex processes, which are difficult to model: origins of volatiles, atmospheric escape, geochemistry, photochemistry, etc. We discuss physical constraints, which can help us to speculate on the possible type of atmosphere, depending on the planet size, its final distance for its star and the star type. Assuming that the atmosphere is known, the possible climates can be explored using global climate models analogous to the ones developed to simulate the Earth as well as the other telluric atmospheres in the solar system. Our experience with Mars, Titan and Venus suggests that realistic climate simulators can be developed by combining components, such as a 'dynamical core', a radiative transfer solver, a parametrization of subgrid-scale turbulence and convection, a thermal ground model and a volatile phase change code. On this basis, we can aspire to build reliable climate predictors for exoplanets. However, whatever the accuracy of the models, predicting the actual climate regime on a specific planet will remain challenging because climate systems are affected by strong positive feedbacks. They can drive planets with very similar forcing and volatile inventory to completely different states. For instance, the coupling among temperature, volatile phase changes and radiative properties results in instabilities, such as runaway glaciations and runaway greenhouse effect.

  6. Terrestrial Radiodetermination Potential Users and Their Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-07-01

    The report summarizes information gathered during a preliminary study of the application of electronic techniques to geographical position determination on land and on inland waterways. Systems incorporating such techniques have been called terrestri...

  7. Transfer of terrestrial technology for lunar mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Robert A.; Green, Patricia A.

    The functions, operational procedures, and major items of equipment that comprise the terrestrial mining process are characterized. These data are used to synthesize a similar activity on the lunar surface. Functions, operations, and types of equipment that can be suitably transferred to lunar operation are identified. Shortfalls, enhancements, and technology development needs are described. The lunar mining process and what is required to adapt terrestrial equipment are highlighted. It is concluded that translation of terrestrial mining equipment and operational processes to perform similar functions on the lunar surface is practical. Adequate attention must be given to the harsh environment and logistical constraints of the lunar setting. By using earth-based equipment as a forcing function, near- and long-term benefits are derived (i.e., improved terrestrial mining in the near term vis-a-vis commercial production of helium-3 in the long term.

  8. The Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program Terrestrial Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Tom; Payne, J.; Doyle, M.

    The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, established the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) to address the need for coordinated and standardized monitoring of Arctic environments in terrestrial, marine, freshwater...... and coastal environments. The CBMP Terrestrial Plan is a framework to focus and coordinate monitoring of terrestrial biodiversity across the Arctic. The goal of the plan is to improve the collective ability of Arctic traditional knowledge (TK) holders, northern communities, and scientists to detect......, understand and report on long-term change in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity, and to identify knowledge gaps and priorities. This poster will outline the key management questions the plan aims to address and the proposed nested, multi-scaled approach linking targeted, research based monitoring...

  9. The circumpolar biodiversity monitoring program - Terrestrial plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Tom; Payne, J.; Doyle, M.

    and attributes to monitor in the plan related to soil invertebrates. Focal Ecosystem Components (FECs) of the soil decomposer system include the soil living invertebrates such as microarthropods, enchytraeids and earthworms and the functions performed by microorganisms such as nitrification, decomposition......The Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program, CBMP, Terrestrial Plan, www.caff.is/terrestrial, is a framework to focus and coordinate monitoring of terrestrial biodiversity across the Arctic. The goal of the plan is to improve the collective ability of Arctic traditional knowledge (TK) holders......, northern communities, and scientists to detect, understand and report on long-term change in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity. This presentation will outline the key management questions the plan aims to address and the proposed nested, multi-scaled approach linking targeted, research based...

  10. Influence of Feeding and Body Mass on IUCN Extinction Threat of Extant Marine and Terrestrial Mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, G.; Wang, I. M.; Heim, N.; Payne, J.

    2016-12-01

    Extinction is a fundamental phenomenon that has been occurring for millions of years and is critical to the development of new organisms and niches. However, the current extinction rate is now one hundred to a thousand times the past background extinction rate due to human influences and rapidly changing environments. Research on geographic range and life history has been performed in extinction analyses, but rarely any on feeding type and trophic level. We compiled data from the IUCN Red List Database, Paleobiology database and diets from Pauly et al. (1998) to explore the possible correlation between various aspects of ecology and extinction threat. By doing so, we can better understand where to focus our conservation efforts, and what type of approach will reap the best results. We discovered that terrestrial carnivores are slightly less at risk than herbivores and omnivores, and that the feeding and tiering of marine mammals have minimal effect on their IUCN threat level. Body mass is the most influential factor on risk level, with larger adult body masses being most at risk.

  11. Landscape‐scale accessibility of livestock to tigers: implications of spatial grain for modeling predation risk to mitigate human–carnivore conflict

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Miller, Jennifer R. B; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Jena, Jyotirmay; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-01-01

    .... To detect the best resolution for predicting where carnivores access livestock, we examined the spatial attributes associated with livestock killed by tigers in Kanha Tiger Reserve, India, using risk...

  12. Differentiation of water-related traits in terrestrial and epiphytic Cymbidium species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi-Bao eZhang

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Epiphytes that grow in the canopies of tropical and subtropical forests experience different water regimes when compared with terrestrial plants. However, the differences in adaptive strategies between epiphytic and terrestrial plants with respect to plant water relations remain poorly understood. To understand how water-related traits contrast between epiphytic and terrestrial growth forms within the Cymbidium (Orchidaceae, we assessed leaf anatomy, hydraulics, and physiology of seven terrestrial and 13 epiphytic species using a common garden experiment. Compared with terrestrial species, epiphytic species had higher values for leaf mass per unit area (LMA, leaf thickness (LT, epidermal thickness, saturated water content (SWC and the time required to dry saturated leaves to 70% relative water content (T70. However, vein density (Dvein, stomatal density (SD, and photosynthetic capacity (Amax did not differ significantly between the two forms. T70 was positively correlated with LT, LMA, and SWC, and negatively correlated with stomatal index (SI. Amax showed positive correlations with SD and SI, but not with Dvein. Vein density was marginally correlated with SD, and significantly correlated with SI. Overall, epiphytic orchids exhibited substantial ecophysiological differentiations from terrestrial species, with the former type showing trait values indicative of greater drought tolerance and increased water storage capacity. The ability to retain water in the leaves plays a key role in maintaining a water balance in those epiphytes. Therefore, the process of transpiration depends less upon the current substrate water supply and enables epiphytic Cymbidium species to adapt more easily to canopy habitats.

  13. Terrestrial animals as invasive species and as species at risk from invasions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Dean Pearson; Joseph Wunderle; Wayne Arendt

    2010-01-01

    Including terrestrial animal species in the invasive species strategy plan is an important step in invasive species management. Invasions by nonindigenous species threaten nearly 50 percent of imperiled native species in the United States and are the Nation's second leading cause of species endangerment. Invasion and conversion of native habitats by exotic species...

  14. Red trap colour of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foot, G; Rice, S P; Millett, J

    2014-01-01

    The traps of many carnivorous plants are red in colour. This has been widely hypothesized to serve a prey attraction function; colour has also been hypothesized to function as camouflage, preventing prey avoidance. We tested these two hypotheses in situ for the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia. We conducted three separate studies: (i) prey attraction to artificial traps to isolate the influence of colour; (ii) prey attraction to artificial traps on artificial backgrounds to control the degree of contrast and (iii) observation of prey capture by D. rotundifolia to determine the effects of colour on prey capture. Prey were not attracted to green traps and were deterred from red traps. There was no evidence that camouflaged traps caught more prey. For D. rotundifolia, there was a relationship between trap colour and prey capture. However, trap colour may be confounded with other leaf traits. Thus, we conclude that for D. rotundifolia, red trap colour does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function.

  15. Serologic survey for canine distemper virus and canine parvovirus in free-ranging wild carnivores from Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Nuno; Almendra, Cláudia; Tavares, Luís

    2009-01-01

    A serologic survey for Canine distemper virus (CDV) and canine parvovirus (CPV) was performed on serum and lung extract from an opportunistic sample of 120 free-ranging wild carnivores (13 species) from Portugal, collected from 1995 to 2006. Antibodies to CDV were detected in wolf (Canis lupus; 3/27) and red fox (Vulpes vulpes; 2/22). Antibodies to CPV were detected in wolf (9/28), red fox (2/14), wildcat (Felis silvestris;1/8), genet (Genetta genetta; 17/18), and stone marten (Martes foina; 3/17). Antibodies to CPV were detected throughout the study, whereas for CDV antibodies were detected in 3 of 10 yr and only during winter. The extremely high CPV antibody prevalence in genets is unprecedented. Although based on a limited sample, these data suggest widespread exposure of free-ranging Iberian carnivores to CDV and CPV.

  16. Predatory behaviour of carnivorous dinosaurs: Ecological interpretations based on tooth marked dinosaur bones and wear patterns of theropod teeth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    Predation marks on bones are a source on information on the feeding behaviour of the carnivores involved. Although predator damaged bone is common in the fossil record, published reports of such marks on dinosaur bones are rare. Patterns of bone modification by mammalian carnivores overlap patterns...... left by theropod dinosaurs.Differences in tooth morphology can also be correlated with characteristics of the marks left by the teeth. In a study of tooth marks on dinosaur bones from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada, it was possible to identify the feeding theropods to family, generic...... different taxa and different skeletal elements produced some interesting results. The frequency of tooth marked dinosaur bones is higher than expected. Up to 14 % of the observed hadrosaur bones were predator damaged. The lower incidence of damage in ceratopsian bones can be explained by the fact...

  17. Incorporation of microplastics from litter into burrows of Lumbricus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huerta Lwanga, Esperanza; Gertsen, Hennie; Gooren, Harm; Peters, Piet; Salánki, Tamás; van der Ploeg, Martine; Besseling, Ellen; Koelmans, Albert A; Geissen, Violette

    2017-01-01

    Pollution caused by plastic debris is an urgent environmental problem. Here, we assessed the effects of microplastics in the soil surface litter on the formation and characterization of burrows built by the anecic earthworm Lumbricus terrestris in soil and quantified the amount of microplastics that was transported and deposited in L. terrestris burrows. Worms were exposed to soil surface litter treatments containing microplastics (Low Density Polyethylene) for 2 weeks at concentrations of 0%, 7%, 28%, 45% and 60%. The latter representing environmentally realistic concentrations found in hot spot soil locations. There were significantly more burrows found when soil was exposed to the surface treatment composed of 7% microplastics than in all other treatments. The highest amount of organic matter in the walls of the burrows was observed after using the treatments containing 28 and 45% microplastics. The highest microplastic bioturbation efficiency ratio (total microplastics (mg) in burrow walls/initial total surface litter microplastics (mg)) was found using the concentration of 7% microplastics, where L. terrestris introduced 73.5% of the surface microplastics into the burrow walls. The highest burrow wall microplastic content per unit weight of soil (11.8 ± 4.8 g kg- 1 ) was found using a concentration of 60% microplastics. L. terrestris was responsible for size-selective downward transport when exposed to concentrations of 7, 28 and 45% microplastics in the surface litter, as the fraction ≤50 μm microplastics in burrow walls increased by 65% compared to this fraction in the original surface litter plastic. We conclude that the high biogenic incorporation rate of the small-fraction microplastics from surface litter into burrow walls causes a risk of leaching through preferential flow into groundwater bodies. Furthermore, this leaching may have implications for the subsequent availability of microplastics to terrestrial organisms or for the transport

  18. Recent host range expansion of canine distemper virus and variation in its receptor, the signaling lymphocyte activation molecule, in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohishi, Kazue; Suzuki, Rintaro; Maeda, Taro; Tsuda, Miwako; Abe, Erika; Yoshida, Takao; Endo, Yasuyuki; Okamura, Maki; Nagamine, Takashi; Yamamoto, Hanae; Ueda, Miya; Maruyama, Tadashi

    2014-07-01

    The signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) is a receptor for morbilliviruses. To understand the recent host range expansion of canine distemper virus (CDV) in carnivores, we determined the nucleotide sequences of SLAMs of various carnivores and generated three-dimensional homology SLAM models. Thirty-four amino acid residues were found for the candidates binding to CDV on the interface of the carnivore SLAMs. SLAM of the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) were similar to those of other members of the suborder Caniformia, indicating that the animals in this group have similar sensitivity to dog CDV. However, they were different at nine positions from those of felids. Among the nine residues, four of domestic cat (Felis catus) SLAM (72, 76, 82, and 129) and three of lion (Panthera leo persica) SLAM (72, 82, and 129) were associated with charge alterations, suggesting that the felid interfaces have lower affinities to dog CDV. Only the residue at 76 was different between domestic cat and lion SLAM interfaces. The domestic cat SLAM had threonine at 76, whereas the lion SLAM had arginine, a positively charged residue like that of the dog SLAM. The cat SLAM with threonine is likely to have lower affinity to CDV-H and to confer higher resistance against dog CDV. Thus, the four residues (72, 76, 82, and 129) on carnivore SLAMs are important for the determination of affinity and sensitivity with CDV. Additionally, the CDV-H protein of felid strains had a substitution of histidine for tyrosine at 549 of dog CDV-H and may have higher affinity to lion SLAM. Three-dimensional model construction is a new risk assessment method of morbillivirus infectivity. Because the method is applicable to animals that have no information about virus infection, it is especially useful for morbillivirus risk assessment and wildlife conservation.

  19. The use of Emeraid Exotic Carnivore Diet improves postsurgical recovery and survival of long-tailed ducks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Glenn H.; Ford, Scott; Perry, Matthew C.; Wells-Berlin, Alicia M.

    2010-01-01

    Gavage feeding is a commonly used technique in wildlife rehabilitation. While implanting satellite transmitters in long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis), a need for extra postsurgical nutritional support was identified. A new product, Emeraid Exotic Carnivore Diet, has proven effective in maintaining and even increasing the birds' body weights while in captivity. This has resulted in a 54-g increase in weight at release and better survival postrelease. Tips for mixing and using the new diet are included.

  20. Conservation endocrinology: A noninvasive tool to understand relationships between carnivore colonization and ecological carrying capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, J.; Testa, J.W.; Roffe, T.; Monfort, S.L.

    1999-01-01

    Reproductive technology, especially the diagnosis of pregnancy by radioimmunoassay of fecal steroid metabolites, is an important component of captive propagation, but its role in our understanding of ecological interactions and in situ biological restoration has been more limited. Where large herbivores have been 'released' from predation by the extirpation of carnivores, controversy often exists about possible detrimental effects at the ecosystem level A related concern is that the reestablishment of large carnivores may decrease the availability of prey populations for human subsistence. We suggest that pregnancy assays can be a valuable tool to help distinguish between the roles of predation versus food-imposed limitations on population size and their effects on juvenile recruitment in wild species. We explored this issue through analyses of fecal progestagen concentration (FPC) levels to document pregnancy in moose (Alces alces) in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, a site where wolves (Canis lupus) and grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) are recolonizing former habitats after an absence of more than 60 years. Pregnancy was clearly discernible (mean FPC for pregnant and nonpregnant females, respectively: 10.60 vs. 2.57 ??g/g; p < 0.0001). Among the potential confounding variables that need to be considered if FPC is applied to ecological and demographic questions are whether baseline values are affected by handling, whether neonate survival has been assessed, and whether sampling efforts are directed at both pregnant and nonpregnant animals. With these issues accounted for, the local moose population experienced juvenile survival rates among the highest in North America. Pregnancy rates, however, dropped from 90% in 1966 to about 75% today, rendering them in the lowest fifteenth percentile among moose populations in North America. Our findings suggest that a relatively low frequency of juvenile moose is not the likely result of predation, and they illustrate

  1. Cytokinin, auxin and physiological polarity in the aquatic carnivorous plants Aldrovanda vesiculosa and Utricularia australis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šimura, Jan; Spíchal, Lukáš; Adamec, Lubomír; Pěnčík, Aleš; Rolčík, Jakub; Novák, Ondřej; Strnad, Miroslav

    2016-05-01

    The typical rootless linear shoots of aquatic carnivorous plants exhibit clear, steep polarity associated with very rapid apical shoot growth. The aim of this study was to determine how auxin and cytokinin contents are related to polarity and shoot growth in such plants. The main auxin and cytokinin metabolites in separated shoot segments and turions of two carnivorous plants, Aldrovanda vesiculosa and Utricularia australis, were analysed using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with triple quad mass spectrometry. In both species, only isoprenoid cytokinins were identified. Zeatin cytokinins predominated in the apical parts, with their concentrations decreasing basipetally, and the trans isomer predominated in A. vesiculosa whereas the cis form was more abundant in U australis. Isopentenyladenine-type cytokinins, in contrast, increased basipetally. Conjugated cytokinin metabolites, the O-glucosides, were present at high concentrations in A. vesiculosa but only in minute amounts in U. australis. N(9)-glucoside forms were detected only in U. australis, with isopentenyladenine-9-glucoside (iP9G) being most abundant. In addition to free indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), indole-3-acetamide (IAM), IAA-aspartate (IAAsp), IAA-glutamate (IAGlu) and IAA-glycine (IAGly) conjugates were identified. Both species show common trends in auxin and cytokinin levels, the apical localization of the cytokinin biosynthesis and basipetal change in the ratio of active cytokinins to auxin, in favour of auxin. However, our detailed study of cytokinin metabolic profiles also revealed that both species developed different regulatory mechanisms of active cytokinin content; on the level of their degradation, in U. australis, or in the biosynthesis itself, in the case of A. vesiculosa Results indicate that the rapid turnover of these signalling molecules along the shoots is essential for maintaining the dynamic balance between the rapid polar growth and development of the apical

  2. A hypothetico-deductive approach to assessing the social function of chemical signalling in a non-territorial solitary carnivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Clapham

    Full Text Available The function of chemical signalling in non-territorial solitary carnivores is still relatively unclear. Studies on territorial solitary and social carnivores have highlighted odour capability and utility, however the social function of chemical signalling in wild carnivore populations operating dominance hierarchy social systems has received little attention. We monitored scent marking and investigatory behaviour of wild brown bears Ursus arctos, to test multiple hypotheses relating to the social function of chemical signalling. Camera traps were stationed facing bear 'marking trees' to document behaviour by different age sex classes in different seasons. We found evidence to support the hypothesis that adult males utilise chemical signalling to communicate dominance to other males throughout the non-denning period. Adult females did not appear to utilise marking trees to advertise oestrous state during the breeding season. The function of marking by subadult bears is somewhat unclear, but may be related to the behaviour of adult males. Subadults investigated trees more often than they scent marked during the breeding season, which could be a result of an increased risk from adult males. Females with young showed an increase in marking and investigation of trees outside of the breeding season. We propose the hypothesis that females engage their dependent young with marking trees from a young age, at a relatively 'safe' time of year. Memory, experience, and learning at a young age, may all contribute towards odour capabilities in adult bears.

  3. The competitor release effect applied to carnivore species: how red foxes can increase in numbers when persecuted

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lozano, J.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of our study was to numerically simulate the population dynamics of a hypothetical community of three species of small to medium–sized carnivores subjected to non–selective control within the context of the competitor release effect (CRE. We applied the CRE to three carnivore species, linking interspecific competition with predator control efforts. We predicted the population response of European badger, the red fox and the pine marten to this wildlife management tool by means of numerical simulations. The theoretical responses differed depending on the intrinsic rate of growth (r, although modulated by the competition coefficients. The red fox, showing the highest r value, can increase its populations despite predator control efforts if control intensity is moderate. Populations of the other two species, however, decreased with control efforts, even reaching extinction. Three additional theoretical predictions were obtained. The conclusions from the simulations were: 1 predator control can play a role in altering the carnivore communities; 2 red fox numbers can increase due to control; and 3 predator control programs should evaluate the potential of unintended effects on ecosystems.

  4. Genetic identification of mammalian carnivore species in the Kushiro Wetland, eastern Hokkaido, Japan, by analysis of fecal DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimatani, Yukari; Takeshita, Tsuyoshi; Tatsuzawa, Shirow; Ikeda, Tohru; Masuda, Ryuichi

    2008-07-01

    To identify mammalian carnivore species distributed in the Kushiro Wetland, eastern Hokkaido, Japan, we developed molecular-genetic methods for identification of the species from fecal samples collected from the field. Species-specific primers and PCR programs were established for five native and six alien species of carnivores: Martes zibellina, Mustela nivalis, Mustela erminea, Vulpes vulpes, and Nyctereutes procyonoides as native species, and Neovison vison, Martes melampus, Mustela itatsi, Canis familiaris, Felis catus, and Procyon lotor as alien species in Hokkaido. Touchdown PCR, in which the annealing temperature is decreased 1 degrees C every cycle, was more effective for some species from which fecal DNA was not amplified species-specifically with standard PCR programs. Of 405 fecal samples collected from the Kushiro Wetland, the species of origin of 246 samples were successfully identified: 88 samples for N. vison, 140 for M. zibellina, 13 for V. vulpes, four for C. familiaris and one for F. catus. The results show the particular applicability of this method to monitoring M. zibellina and N. vison. In addition, methods to PCR-amplify DNA from two crayfish species (Pacifastacus leniusculus and Cambaroides japonicus) were developed to determine whether the carnivore fecal samples contained detectable DNA from the prey crayfishes. DNA from P. leniusculus was amplified from feces of N. vison identified in the present study, but no DNA from C. japonicus was detected. This indicates that N. vison preys on the alien species P. leniusculus.

  5. Multiplex PCR system for identifying the carnivore origins of faeces for an epidemiological study on Echinococcus multilocularis in Hokkaido, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonaka, Nariaki; Sano, Takafumi; Inoue, Takashi; Teresa Armua, Maria; Fukui, Daisuke; Katakura, Ken; Oku, Yuzaburo

    2009-12-01

    A multiplex PCR system was developed to identify the carnivore origins of faeces collected in Hokkaido, Japan, for epidemiological studies on Echinococcus multilocularis. Primers were designed against the D-loop region of mitochondrial DNA. Two separate primer mixtures (mix 1, specific forward primers to fox, raccoon dog and dog, and a universal reverse primer [prH]; and mix 2, specific forward primers to cat, raccoon and weasels and prH) were used so that the PCR products (160 bp, fox and cat; 240 bp, raccoon dog and raccoon; and 330 bp, dog and weasel) were distinguished by size. The multiplex PCR exhibited no cross-reactivity between carnivore species and did not amplify DNA from rodent prey. When 270 field-collected faeces were examined, 250 showed single PCR products belonging to specific target sizes, suggesting successful carnivore identification for 92.6% of samples. Taeniid eggs were detected in 11.1% of samples and coproantigen in 30.4%; whereas the prevalences of taeniid eggs and coproantigen were 12.9% and 34.0% in fox faeces, and 0% and 26.3% in cat faeces, respectively. These results suggest that the prevalence in different target animals can be evaluated individually and precisely using multiplex PCR system.

  6. Microplastics in the terrestrial ecosystem: Implications for Lumbricus terrestris (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huerta Lwanga, Esperanza; Gertsen, H.F.; Gooren, H.; Peters, P.D.; Salanki, T.E.; Ploeg, van der M.J.C.; Besseling, E.; Koelmans, A.A.; Geissen, V.

    2016-01-01

    Plastic debris is widespread in the environment, but information on the effects of microplastics on terrestrial fauna is completely lacking. Here, we studied the survival and fitness of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae) exposed to microplastics (Polyethylene, <150 μm)

  7. Numerical simulations for terrestrial planets formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji J.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available We investigate the formation of terrestrial planets in the late stage of planetary formation using two-planet model. At that time, the protostar has formed for about 3 Myr and the gas disk has dissipated. In the model, the perturbations from Jupiter and Saturn are considered. We also consider variations of the mass of outer planet, and the initial eccentricities and inclinations of embryos and planetesimals. Our results show that, terrestrial planets are formed in 50 Myr, and the accretion rate is about 60%–80%. In each simulation, 3–4 terrestrial planets are formed inside “Jupiter” with masses of 0.15–3.6 M⊕. In the 0.5–4 AU, when the eccentricities of planetesimals are excited, planetesimals are able to accrete material from wide radial direction. The plenty of water material of the terrestrial planet in the Habitable Zone may be transferred from the farther places by this mechanism. Accretion may also happen a few times between two giant planets only if the outer planet has a moderate mass and the small terrestrial planet could survive at some resonances over time scale of 108 yr.

  8. Predictability of the terrestrial carbon cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yiqi; Keenan, Trevor F; Smith, Matthew

    2015-05-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems sequester roughly 30% of anthropogenic carbon emission. However this estimate has not been directly deduced from studies of terrestrial ecosystems themselves, but inferred from atmospheric and oceanic data. This raises a question: to what extent is the terrestrial carbon cycle intrinsically predictable? In this paper, we investigated fundamental properties of the terrestrial carbon cycle, examined its intrinsic predictability, and proposed a suite of future research directions to improve empirical understanding and model predictive ability. Specifically, we isolated endogenous internal processes of the terrestrial carbon cycle from exogenous forcing variables. The internal processes share five fundamental properties (i.e., compartmentalization, carbon input through photosynthesis, partitioning among pools, donor pool-dominant transfers, and the first-order decay) among all types of ecosystems on the Earth. The five properties together result in an emergent constraint on predictability of various carbon cycle components in response to five classes of exogenous forcing. Future observational and experimental research should be focused on those less predictive components while modeling research needs to improve model predictive ability for those highly predictive components. We argue that an understanding of predictability should provide guidance on future observational, experimental and modeling research. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Phytolith carbon sequestration in global terrestrial biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhaoliang; Liu, Hongyan; Strömberg, Caroline A E; Yang, Xiaomin; Zhang, Xiaodong

    2017-12-15

    Terrestrial biogeochemical carbon (C) sequestration is coupled with the biogeochemical silicon (Si) cycle through mechanisms such as phytolith C sequestration, but the size and distribution of the phytolith C sink remain unclear. Here, we estimate phytolith C sequestration in global terrestrial biomes. We used biome data including productivity, phytolith and silica contents, and the phytolith stability factor to preliminarily determine the size and distribution of the phytolith C sink in global terrestrial biomes. Total phytolith C sequestration in global terrestrial biomes is 156.7±91.6TgCO2yr-1. Grassland (40%), cropland (35%), and forest (20%) biomes are the dominant producers of phytolith-based carbon; geographically, the main contributors are Asia (31%), Africa (24%), and South America (17%). Practices such as bamboo afforestation/reforestation and grassland recovery for economic and ecological purposes could theoretically double the above phytolith C sink. The potential terrestrial phytolith C sequestration during 2000-2099 under such practices would be 15.7-40.5PgCO2, equivalent in magnitude to the C sequestration of oceanic diatoms in sediments and through silicate weathering. Phytolith C sequestration contributes vitally to the global C cycle, hence, it is essential to incorporate plant-soil silica cycling in biogeochemical C cycle models. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Phylogenetic Analysis of Conservation Priorities for Aquatic Mammals and Their Terrestrial Relatives, with a Comparison of Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    May-Collado, Laura J.; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2011-01-01

    Background Habitat loss and overexploitation are among the primary factors threatening populations of many mammal species. Recently, aquatic mammals have been highlighted as particularly vulnerable. Here we test (1) if aquatic mammals emerge as more phylogenetically urgent conservation priorities than their terrestrial relatives, and (2) if high priority species are receiving sufficient conservation effort. We also compare results among some phylogenetic conservation methods. Methodology/Principal Findings A phylogenetic analysis of conservation priorities for all 620 species of Cetartiodactyla and Carnivora, including most aquatic mammals. Conservation priority ranking of aquatic versus terrestrial species is approximately proportional to their diversity. However, nearly all obligated freshwater cetartiodactylans are among the top conservation priority species. Further, ∼74% and 40% of fully aquatic cetartiodactylans and carnivores, respectively, are either threatened or data deficient, more so than their terrestrial relatives. Strikingly, only 3% of all ‘high priority’ species are thought to be stable. An overwhelming 97% of these species thus either show decreasing population trends (87%) or are insufficiently known (10%). Furthermore, a disproportional number of highly evolutionarily distinct species are experiencing population decline, thus, such species should be closely monitored even if not currently threatened. Comparison among methods reveals that exact species ranking differs considerably among methods, nevertheless, most top priority species consistently rank high under any method. While we here favor one approach, we also suggest that a consensus approach may be useful when methods disagree. Conclusions/Significance These results reinforce prior findings, suggesting there is an urgent need to gather basic conservation data for aquatic mammals, and special conservation focus is needed on those confined to freshwater. That evolutionarily distinct

  11. Do high levels of diffuse and chronic metal pollution in sediments of Rhine and Meuse floodplains affect structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rozema, Jelte [Department of Systems Ecology, Institute of Ecological Science, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands)], E-mail: jelte.rozema@ecology.falw.vu.nl; Notten, Martje J.M.; Aerts, Rien [Department of Systems Ecology, Institute of Ecological Science, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands); Gestel, Cornelis A.M. van; Hobbelen, Peter H.F. [Department of Animal Ecology, Institute of Ecological Science, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Hamers, Timo H.M. [Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    2008-12-01

    This paper (re)considers the question if chronic and diffuse heavy metal pollution (cadmium, copper, lead and zinc) affects the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems of Biesbosch National Park, the floodplain area of rivers Meuse and Rhine. To reach this aim, we integrated the results of three projects on: 1. the origin, transfer and effects of heavy metals in a soil-plant-snail food chain; 2. the impact of bioavailability on effects of heavy metals on the structure and functioning of detritivorous communities; 3. the risk assessment of heavy metals for an herbivorous and a carnivorous small mammal food chain. Metal pollution levels of the Biesbosch floodplain soils are high. The bioavailability of metals in the soils is low, causing low metal levels in plant leaves. Despite this, metal concentrations in soil dwelling detritivores and in land snails at polluted locations are elevated in comparison to animals from 'non-polluted' reference sites. However, no adverse effects on ecosystem structure (species richness, density, biomass) and functioning (litter decomposition, leaf consumption, reproduction) have been found. Sediment metal pollution may pose a risk to the carnivorous small mammal food chain, in which earthworms with elevated metal concentrations are eaten by the common shrew. Additional measurements near an active metal smelter, however, show reduced leaf consumption rates and reduced reproduction by terrestrial snails, reflecting elevated metal bioavailability at this site. Since future management may also comprise reintroduction of tidal action in the Biesbosch area, changes in metal bioavailability, and as a consequence future ecosystem effects, cannot be excluded.

  12. Experimental determinations of carcass processing by Plio-Pleistocene hominids and carnivores at FLK 22 (Zinjanthropus). Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capaldo, S D

    1997-11-01

    Published and unpublished skeletal and surface mark data from the large, well-preserved, bovid dominated FLK 22 (Zinjanthropus) archaeofauna are analyzed using data derived from four different experimental control samples. The control samples are realistic because they are based on natural history and paleoecological data collected from FLK 22, and other Olduvai Gorge assemblages; they are precise because independent experimental studies following the same methods have generated the same results; and they restore generality to the study of site formation because each one models a different hominid and/or carnivore scenario of site formation. Comparability between FLK 22 and the control samples is established by excluding specimens from the former which do not meet identification and reporting standards derived from the latter. As in two previous studies, a comprehensive analysis of tooth marks and tool marks on long bone specimens from FLK 22 indicates that they were processed in three stages. In stage one, carnivores defleshed long bones, as inferred from the high percentage of tooth marks on midshaft fragments. In stage two, hominids processed intact long bones for marrow, as inferred from percussion mark percentages. Cut marks suggest that long bones retained flesh, but the amount, as yet, cannot be determined using cut mark percentages. In stage three, carnivores processed long bone epiphyses for grease, as inferred from the under-representation of long bone epiphyses and the high percentage of tooth marks on near-epiphyses and surviving epiphyses. The lack of comprehensive skeletal and surface mark data on cranial, axial, compact, and other specimens currently limits the application of experimental results. However, the available data suggest that the condition and representation of these items in the FLK 22 assemblage are also consistent with a carnivore to hominid to carnivore sequence of site formation. The variety of elements present, and their extensive

  13. Hierarchical Structure and Multifunctional Surface Properties of Carnivorous Pitcher Plants Nepenthes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Chiao-Peng; Lin, Yu-Min; Chen, Po-Yu

    2015-04-01

    Carnivorous pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes have evolved specialized leaves fulfilling the multi-functions of attracting, capturing, retaining and digesting the prey, mostly arthropods. Different capturing mechanisms have been proposed and discussed in previous works. The most important capture mechanism is the unique super-hydrophilic surface properties of the peristome. The combination of a hierarchical surface structure and nectar secretions results in an exceptional water-lubricated trapping system. Anisotropic and unidirectional wettability is attributed to the ridge-like surface and epidermal folding. The three-dimensional plate-like wax crystals in the hydrophobic waxy zone can further prevent the prey from escaping. The captured prey are then digested in the hydrophilic digestive zone. The hybrid species Nepenthes × Miranda was investigated in this study. The surface morphology and hierarchical microstructure were characterized by scanning electron microscope. Contact angle measurement and wetting efficiency tests were performed to determine the wettability of the peristome under fresh, nectar-free and sucrose-coated conditions with controlled temperature and humidity. The results showed that sucrose-coated peristome surfaces possess the best wetting efficiency. The structure-property-function relationship and the capturing mechanism of Nepenthes were elucidated, which could further lead to the design and synthesis of novel bio-inspired surfaces and potential applications.

  14. In vitro regeneration of Drosera burmannii Vahl.: a carnivorous plant of north-east India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanthan, J Sureni; Kehie, Mechuselie; Kumaria, Suman; Tandon, Pramod

    2017-06-01

    An efficient in vitro regeneration protocol has been developed from shoot tips of Drosera burmannii Vahl., a carnivorous plant of north-east India. Various plant growth regulators were used to study their efficacy in the induction of multiple shoots and roots. Of the various treatments, the maximum number of shoots (28.8 ± 1.5) and roots (9.7 ± 0.6) was observed in one-fourth strength standard medium (MS with 50 mg/l citric acid and 10 mg/l ascorbic acid) supplemented with 4 mg/l 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) and 4 mg/l α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) followed by 26.8 ± 1.4 shoots in one-fourth strength SM fortified with 4 mg/l kinetin (KN) and 4 mg/l NAA. The well-developed plantlets with shoots and roots were potted in small plastic glasses filled with a mixture of sand and farmyard manure (3:1); these plantlets when transferred to a glasshouse for hardening and acclimatization showed 90% survival.

  15. Would carnosine or a carnivorous diet help suppress aging and associated pathologies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hipkiss, Alan R

    2006-05-01

    Carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) is found exclusively in animal tissues. Carnosine has the potential to suppress many of the biochemical changes (e.g., protein oxidation, glycation, AGE formation, and cross-linking) that accompany aging and associated pathologies. Glycation, generation of advanced glycosylation end-products (AGEs), and formation of protein carbonyl groups play important roles in aging, diabetes, its secondary complications, and neurodegenerative conditions. Due to carnosine's antiglycating activity, reactivity toward deleterious carbonyls, zinc- and copper-chelating activity and low toxicity, carnosine and related structures could be effective against age-related protein carbonyl stress. It is suggested that carnivorous diets could be beneficial because of their carnosine content, as the dipeptide has been shown to suppress some diabetic complications in mice. It is also suggested that carnosine's therapeutic potential should be explored with respect to neurodegeneration. Olfactory tissue is normally enriched in carnosine, but olfactory dysfunction is frequently associated with neurodegeneration. Olfactory administration of carnosine could provide a direct route to compromised tissue, avoiding serum carnosinases.

  16. Stable isotopes reveal rail-associated behavior in a threatened carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, John B; Whittington, Jesse; Clevenger, Anthony P; Sawaya, Michael A; St Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2014-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflict is a leading cause of adult mortality for large carnivores worldwide. Train collision is the primary cause of mortality for threatened grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Banff National Park. We investigated the use of stable isotope analysis as a tool for identifying bears that use the railway in Banff. Rail-associated bears had higher δ(15)N and δ(34)S values than bears sampled away from the rail, but similar δ(13)C values. Because elevated δ(15)N values are indicative of higher animal protein consumption, rail-associated bears likely preyed on ungulates that foraged along the rail or scavenged on train-killed animals. The higher δ(34)S values in bear hair could have resulted from bears consuming sulfur pellets spilled on the rail or through the uptake of sulfur in the plants bears or animals consumed. Similar δ(13)C values suggest that the two types of bears had generally similar plant-based diets. Results from this study suggest that stable isotopes analysis could be used as a non-invasive, affordable, and efficient technique to identify and monitor bears that forage on the railway in Banff and potentially other transportation corridors worldwide.

  17. Emerging ecosystems change the spatial distribution of top carnivores even in poorly populated areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Facundo Barbar

    Full Text Available Humans affect biological diversity and species distribution patterns by modifying resource availability and generating novel environments where generalist species benefit and specialist species are rare. In particular, cities create local homogenization while roads fragment habitat, although both processes can increase food availability for some species that may be able to take advantage of this new source. We studied space use by birds of prey in relation to human construction, hypothesizing that these birds would be affected even in poorly populated areas. We worked in Northwestern Patagonia, Argentina, which is experiencing a high population growth, but still having very large unpopulated areas. We related the presence of raptors with different sources of human disturbance and found that both the abundance and richness of these birds were positively associated with anthropogenic environments. These results are driven mostly by a strong association between the medium-sized generalist species and these novel environments (mainly roads and cities. This may create an imbalance in intra-guild competitive abilities, modifying the normal structures of top carnivore hierarchies. Indeed, the structure of raptor communities seems to be changing, even in poorly populated areas, with anthropogenic constructions seemingly producing changes in wild areas more promptly than thought, a cause for concern in ecosystems conservation issues.

  18. Carnivorous sponges (Porifera, Cladorhizidae) from the Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge seamounts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hestetun, Jon Thomassen; Rapp, Hans Tore; Xavier, Joana

    2017-03-01

    The family Cladorhizidae (Porifera) comprises a particularly interesting group of sponges that has developed a carnivorous feeding strategy unique within the phylum. Cladorhizids are typically considered deep-sea sponges, are frequently found at oceanic ridges and seamount systems, and new species are continuously discovered as new areas are explored. In this study we describe nine new cladorhizid sponges collected on three seamounts of the Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge (SWIOR) during the RRS ;James Cook; cruise JC066: Abyssocladia boletiphora, Ab. corniculiphora, Ab. hemiradiata, Asbestopluma (Asbestopluma) unguiferata, As. (A.) jamescooki, As. (A.) laminachela, As. (A.) pseudoisochela, As. (A.) ramuscula and Chondrocladia (Meliiderma) rogersi; and re-describe four species, viz. Ab. symmetrica, Ch. (M.) stipitata, Cladorhiza moruliformis and Cl. tridentata collected during the ;Challenger; expedition in the Southwest Indian Ocean. Barcodes and a phylogenetic analysis showing the systematic position of the new species are included as additional information. Our results show that the cladorhizid fauna of the Southwestern Indian Ocean is diverse and seems to be bathymetrically structured with no observed overlap between the newly reported upper bathyal species ( 1000 m) and previously described lower bathyal and abyssal species from the area. While the upper bathyal SWIOR species are unique and represent a regionally endemic cladorhizid fauna, similarities in morphology and spicule characters as well as molecular evidence suggests biogeographical affinities to species from the SW Pacific and SW Atlantic, but no similarities to previously reported Antarctic fauna were found. A table of cladorhizid species from the Southwest Indian Ocean and neighboring areas is provided.

  19. Urban landscapes can change virus gene flow and evolution in a fragmentation-sensitive carnivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain-Jones, Nicholas M.; Craft, Meggan E.; Funk, W. Chris; Kozakiewicz, Chris; Trumbo, Daryl; Boydston, Erin E.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Lee, Justin S.; VandeWoude, Sue; Carver, Scott

    2017-01-01

    Urban expansion has widespread impacts on wildlife species globally, including the transmission and emergence of infectious diseases. However, there is almost no information about how urban landscapes shape transmission dynamics in wildlife. Using an innovative phylodynamic approach combining host and pathogen molecular data with landscape characteristics and host traits, we untangle the complex factors that drive transmission networks of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in bobcats (Lynx rufus). We found that the urban landscape played a significant role in shaping FIV transmission. Even though bobcats were often trapped within the urban matrix, FIV transmission events were more likely to occur in areas with more natural habitat elements. Urban fragmentation also resulted in lower rates of pathogen evolution, possibly owing to a narrower range of host genotypes in the fragmented area. Combined, our findings show that urban landscapes can have impacts on a pathogen and its evolution in a carnivore living in one of the most fragmented and urban systems in North America. The analytical approach used here can be broadly applied to other host-pathogen systems, including humans.

  20. Evidence of a false thumb in a fossil carnivore clarifies the evolution of pandas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salesa, Manuel J; Antón, Mauricio; Peigné, Stéphane; Morales, Jorge

    2006-01-10

    The "false thumb" of pandas is a carpal bone, the radial sesamoid, which has been enlarged and functions as an opposable thumb. If the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) are not closely related, their sharing of this adaptation implies a remarkable convergence. The discovery of previously unknown postcranial remains of a Miocene red panda relative, Simocyon batalleri, from the Spanish site of Batallones-1 (Madrid), now shows that this animal had a false thumb. The radial sesamoid of S. batalleri shows similarities with that of the red panda, which supports a sister-group relationship and indicates independent evolution in both pandas. The fossils from Batallones-1 reveal S. batalleri as a puma-sized, semiarboreal carnivore with a moderately hypercarnivore diet. These data suggest that the false thumbs of S. batalleri and Ailurus fulgens were probably inherited from a primitive member of the red panda family (Ailuridae), which lacked the red panda's specializations for herbivory but shared its arboreal adaptations. Thus, it seems that, whereas the false thumb of the giant panda probably evolved for manipulating bamboo, the false thumbs of the red panda and of S. batalleri more likely evolved as an aid for arboreal locomotion, with the red panda secondarily developing its ability for item manipulation and thus producing one of the most dramatic cases of convergence among vertebrates.

  1. Carnivorous Nutrition in Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes spp.) via an Unusual Complement of Endogenous Enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Linda; Zhang, Ye; Ozar, Brittany; Sensen, Christoph W; Schriemer, David C

    2016-09-02

    Plants belonging to the genus Nepenthes are carnivorous, using specialized pitfall traps called "pitchers" that attract, capture, and digest insects as a primary source of nutrients. We have used RNA sequencing to generate a cDNA library from the Nepenthes pitchers and applied it to mass spectrometry-based identification of the enzymes secreted into the pitcher fluid using a nonspecific digestion strategy superior to trypsin in this application. This first complete catalog of the pitcher fluid subproteome includes enzymes across a variety of functional classes. The most abundant proteins present in the secreted fluid are proteases, nucleases, peroxidases, chitinases, a phosphatase, and a glucanase. Nitrogen recovery involves a particularly rich complement of proteases. In addition to the two expected aspartic proteases, we discovered three novel nepenthensins, two prolyl endopeptidases that we name neprosins, and a putative serine carboxypeptidase. Additional proteins identified are relevant to pathogen-defense and secretion mechanisms. The full complement of acid-stable enzymes discovered in this study suggests that carnivory in the genus Nepenthes can be sustained by plant-based mechanisms alone and does not absolutely require bacterial symbiosis.

  2. Parasite species of the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus and a sympatric widespread carnivore

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Figueiredo

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Parasites have a profound impact on wildlife population dynamics. However, until some years ago, studies on the occurrence and prevalence of wildlife parasites were neglected comparatively with the studies on humans and domestic animals. In this study, we determined the parasite prevalence of two sympatric wild canids: the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus and the widespread red fox (Vulpes vulpes, in central Portugal. From November 2014 to July 2015, fresh fecal samples from both species were collected monthly in several transects distributed throughout the study area. All samples were submitted to several coprological techniques. In total, 6 helminth parasites (Crenosoma vulpis, Angiostrongylus vasorum, Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis, Ancylostomatidae, Toxascaris leonina, and a protozoa (Balantidium coli were identified based on size and morphology. The red fox was infected by seven different parasites while the Iberian wolf was infected by four. All parasites present in wolf were also present in the red fox. C. vulpis had the higher prevalence in red fox, while Ancylostomatidae were the most prevalent parasites in wolf. To our knowledge, this is the first study in this isolated subpopulation of the Iberian wolf. Our results show that both carnivores carry parasites that are of concern as they are pathogenic to humans and other wild and domestic animals. We suggest that surveillance programs must also include monitoring protocols of wildlife; particularly endangered species.

  3. Parasite species of the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) and a sympatric widespread carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueiredo, Ana; Oliveira, Lucia; Madeira de Carvalho, Luís; Fonseca, Carlos; Torres, Rita Tinoco

    2016-08-01

    Parasites have a profound impact on wildlife population dynamics. However, until some years ago, studies on the occurrence and prevalence of wildlife parasites were neglected comparatively with the studies on humans and domestic animals. In this study, we determined the parasite prevalence of two sympatric wild canids: the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) and the widespread red fox (Vulpes vulpes), in central Portugal. From November 2014 to July 2015, fresh fecal samples from both species were collected monthly in several transects distributed throughout the study area. All samples were submitted to several coprological techniques. In total, 6 helminth parasites (Crenosoma vulpis, Angiostrongylus vasorum, Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis, Ancylostomatidae, Toxascaris leonina), and a protozoa (Balantidium coli) were identified based on size and morphology. The red fox was infected by seven different parasites while the Iberian wolf was infected by four. All parasites present in wolf were also present in the red fox. C. vulpis had the higher prevalence in red fox, while Ancylostomatidae were the most prevalent parasites in wolf. To our knowledge, this is the first study in this isolated subpopulation of the Iberian wolf. Our results show that both carnivores carry parasites that are of concern as they are pathogenic to humans and other wild and domestic animals. We suggest that surveillance programs must also include monitoring protocols of wildlife; particularly endangered species.

  4. Metatranscriptome analysis reveals host-microbiome interactions in traps of carnivorous Genlisea species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hieu X. Cao

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available In the carnivorous plant genus Genlisea a unique lobster pot trapping mechanism supplements nutrition in nutrient-poor habitats. A wide spectrum of microbes frequently occurs in Genlisea’s leaf-derived traps without clear relevance for Genlisea carnivory. We sequenced the metatranscriptomes of subterrestrial traps versus the aerial chlorophyll-containing leaves of G. nigrocaulis and of G. hispidula. Ribosomal RNA assignment revealed soil-borne microbial diversity in Genlisea traps, with 92 genera of 19 phyla present in more than one sample. Microbes from 16 of these phyla including proteobacteria, green algae, amoebozoa, fungi, ciliates and metazoans, contributed additionally short-lived mRNA to the metatranscriptome. Furthermore, transcripts of 438 members of hydrolases (e.g. proteases, phosphatases, lipases, mainly resembling those of metazoans, ciliates and green algae, were found. Compared to aerial leaves, Genlisea traps displayed a transcriptional up-regulation of endogenous NADH oxidases generating reactive oxygen species as well as of acid phosphatases for prey digestion. A leaf-versus-trap transcriptome comparison reflects that carnivory provides inorganic P- and different forms of N-compounds (ammonium, nitrate, amino acid, oligopeptides and implies the need to protect trap cells against oxidative stress. The analysis elucidates a complex food web inside the Genlisea traps, and suggests ecological relationships between this plant genus and its entrapped microbiome.

  5. Phagocytosis of sperm by follicle cells of the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma occidentalis (Porifera, Demospongiae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riesgo, Ana

    2010-06-01

    During spermatogenesis of the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma occidentalis, follicle cells that lined the spermatocysts phagocytosed unreleased mature sperm. Such follicle cells are part of the complex envelope that limits spermatocysts of A. occidentalis, which is also comprised of a collagen layer, a thick layer of intertwined cells, and spicules. Follicle cells showed vesicles containing single phagocytosed spermatozoa within their cytoplasm. Additionally, lipids and other inclusions were observed within the cytoplasm of follicle cells. It is likely that follicle cells recapture nutrients by phagocytosing spermatozoa and use them to form lipids and other inclusions. Such sperm phagocytosis is usually performed in higher invertebrates and vertebrates by Sertoli cells that are located in the testis wall. While Sertoli cells develop a wide range of functions such as creating a blood-testis barrier, providing crucial factors to ensure correct progression of spermatogenesis, and phagocytosis of aberrant, degenerating, and unreleased sperm cells, sponge follicle cells may only display phagocytotic activity on spermatogenic cells. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous nepenthes plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franziska Buch

    Full Text Available Carnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the plants themselves. In order to digest caught prey in their pitchers, Nepenthes plants produce various hydrolytic enzymes including aspartic proteases, nepenthesins (Nep. Knowledge about the generation and induction of these proteases is limited. Here, by employing a FRET (fluorescent resonance energy transfer-based technique that uses a synthetic fluorescent substrate an easy and rapid detection of protease activities in the digestive fluids of various Nepenthes species was feasible. Biochemical studies and the heterologously expressed Nep II from Nepenthes mirabilis proved that the proteolytic activity relied on aspartic proteases, however an acid-mediated auto-activation mechanism was necessary. Employing the FRET-based approach, the induction and dynamics of nepenthesin in the digestive pitcher fluid of various Nepenthes plants could be studied directly with insect (Drosophila melanogaster prey or plant material. Moreover, we observed that proteolytic activity was induced by the phytohormone jasmonic acid but not by salicylic acid suggesting that jasmonate-dependent signaling pathways are involved in plant carnivory.

  7. Species identification refined by molecular scatology in a community of sympatric carnivores in Xinjiang, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laguardia, Alice; Wang, Jun; Shi, Fang-Lei; Shi, Kun; Riordan, Philip

    2015-03-18

    Many ecological studies and conservation management plans employ noninvasive scat sampling based on the assumption that species' scats can be correctly identified in the field. However, in habitats with sympatric similarly sized carnivores, misidentification of scats is frequent and can lead to bias in research results. To address the scat identification dilemma, molecular scatology techniques have been developed to extract DNA from the donor cells present on the outer lining of the scat samples. A total of 100 samples were collected in the winter of 2009 and 2011 in Taxkorgan region of Xinjiang, China. DNA was extracted successfully from 88% of samples and genetic species identification showed that more than half the scats identified in the field as snow leopard (Panthera uncia) actually belonged to fox (Vulpes vulpes). Correlation between scat characteristics and species were investigated, showing that diameter and dry weight of the scat were significantly different between the species. However it was not possible to define a precise range of values for each species because of extensive overlap between the morphological values. This preliminary study confirms that identification of snow leopard feces in the field is misleading. Research that relies upon scat samples to assess distribution or diet of the snow leopard should therefore employ molecular scatology techniques. These methods are financially accessible and employ relatively simple laboratory procedures that can give an indisputable response to species identification from scats.

  8. Coprological prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in carnivores and small mammals at Dhaka zoo, Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.M.R.U. Raja

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available A study on the coprological prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites using 94 faecal samples from different carnivores (n=32 and small mammals (n=15 was undertaken from January to May 2012 at Dhaka Zoo. The overall prevalence of parasitic infection was 78.72%, with a prevalence of 51.06% for helminths and 27.66% for protozoa. The identified parasites included—Toxascaris leonina (9.57%, Balantidium coli (25.53% Spirometra sp. (10.64%, Toxocara cati (12.76%, Hook worm (4.26%, unidentified strongyles (3.19%, Trichuris sp. (7.45%, Coccidia sp. (2.12%, Capillaria sp. (1.06%, Trichostrongylus sp. (1.06%, and Physaloptera sp. (1.06%. Mixed infection was observed in Indian Lion (Toxascaris leonina and Spirometra sp., Royal Bengal Tiger (Balantidium coli and Toxocara cati, Spotted Hyena (Balantidium coli and hook worm, Leopard (Balantidium coli and Spirometra/I> sp., Rhesus Macaque (Trichuris sp. and Coccidia sp., Pig-tailed Macaque (Balantidium coli and Trichuris sp., Hamadryas Baboon (Balantidium coli and Trichuris sp., Golden Mangabey (Trichuris sp., Balantidium coli and unidentified strongyles, Large Indian Civet (Balantidium coli and unidentified strongyles, Torior Dog (Balantidium coli and Physaloptera, Rabbit (Balantidium coli and Hook worm, Hanuman Langur (Balantidium coli and Capillaria sp.. Due to the high prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites, the present study suggests to apply control measures against these parasites in order to safeguard the health of housed wild animals, especially in case of threatened species.

  9. Terrestrial propagation of long electromagnetic waves

    CERN Document Server

    Galejs, Janis; Fock, V A

    2013-01-01

    Terrestrial Propagation of Long Electromagnetic Waves deals with the propagation of long electromagnetic waves confined principally to the shell between the earth and the ionosphere, known as the terrestrial waveguide. The discussion is limited to steady-state solutions in a waveguide that is uniform in the direction of propagation. Wave propagation is characterized almost exclusively by mode theory. The mathematics are developed only for sources at the ground surface or within the waveguide, including artificial sources as well as lightning discharges. This volume is comprised of nine chapte

  10. Were early pterosaurs inept terrestrial locomotors?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark P. Witton

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Pterodactyloid pterosaurs are widely interpreted as terrestrially competent, erect-limbed quadrupeds, but the terrestrial capabilities of non-pterodactyloids are largely thought to have been poor. This is commonly justified by the absence of a non-pterodactyloid footprint record, suggestions that the expansive uropatagia common to early pterosaurs would restrict hindlimb motion in walking or running, and the presence of sprawling forelimbs in some species. Here, these arguments are re-visited and mostly found problematic. Restriction of limb mobility is not a problem faced by extant animals with extensive fight membranes, including species which routinely utilise terrestrial locomotion. The absence of non-pterodactyloid footprints is not necessarily tied to functional or biomechanical constraints. As with other fully terrestrial clades with poor ichnological records, biases in behaviour, preservation, sampling and interpretation likely contribute to the deficit of early pterosaur ichnites. Suggestions that non-pterodactyloids have slender, mechanically weak limbs are demonstrably countered by the proportionally long and robust limbs of many Triassic and Jurassic species. Novel assessments of pterosaur forelimb anatomies conflict with notions that all non-pterodactyloids were obligated to sprawling forelimb postures. Sprawling forelimbs seem appropriate for species with ventrally-restricted glenoid articulations (seemingly occurring in rhamphorhynchines and campylognathoidids. However, some early pterosaurs, such as Dimorphodon macronyx and wukongopterids, have glenoid arthrologies which are not ventrally restricted, and their distal humeri resemble those of pterodactyloids. It seems fully erect forelimb stances were possible in these pterosaurs, and may be probable given proposed correlation between pterodactyloid-like distal humeral morphology and forces incurred through erect forelimb postures. Further indications of terrestrial habits include

  11. Were early pterosaurs inept terrestrial locomotors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witton, Mark P

    2015-01-01

    Pterodactyloid pterosaurs are widely interpreted as terrestrially competent, erect-limbed quadrupeds, but the terrestrial capabilities of non-pterodactyloids are largely thought to have been poor. This is commonly justified by the absence of a non-pterodactyloid footprint record, suggestions that the expansive uropatagia common to early pterosaurs would restrict hindlimb motion in walking or running, and the presence of sprawling forelimbs in some species. Here, these arguments are re-visited and mostly found problematic. Restriction of limb mobility is not a problem faced by extant animals with extensive fight membranes, including species which routinely utilise terrestrial locomotion. The absence of non-pterodactyloid footprints is not necessarily tied to functional or biomechanical constraints. As with other fully terrestrial clades with poor ichnological records, biases in behaviour, preservation, sampling and interpretation likely contribute to the deficit of early pterosaur ichnites. Suggestions that non-pterodactyloids have slender, mechanically weak limbs are demonstrably countered by the proportionally long and robust limbs of many Triassic and Jurassic species. Novel assessments of pterosaur forelimb anatomies conflict with notions that all non-pterodactyloids were obligated to sprawling forelimb postures. Sprawling forelimbs seem appropriate for species with ventrally-restricted glenoid articulations (seemingly occurring in rhamphorhynchines and campylognathoidids). However, some early pterosaurs, such as Dimorphodon macronyx and wukongopterids, have glenoid arthrologies which are not ventrally restricted, and their distal humeri resemble those of pterodactyloids. It seems fully erect forelimb stances were possible in these pterosaurs, and may be probable given proposed correlation between pterodactyloid-like distal humeral morphology and forces incurred through erect forelimb postures. Further indications of terrestrial habits include antungual

  12. Herbivory and growth in terrestrial and aquatic populations of amphibious stream plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sand-Jensen, Kaj; Jacobsen, Dean

    2002-01-01

    1. Many amphibious plant species grow in the transition between terrestrial and submerged vegetation in small lowland streams. We determined biomass development, leaf turnover rate and invertebrate herbivory during summer in terrestrial and aquatic populations of three amphibious species...... production (average 1.2-5.1%) than aquatic populations (2.9-17.3%), while the same plant dry mass was consumed per unit ground area. 3. Grazing loss increased linearly with leaf age apart from the youngest leaf stages. Grazing loss during the lifetime of leaves was therefore 2.4-3.1 times higher than mean...... apparent loss to standing leaves of all ages. The results imply that variation in density of grazers relative to plant production can account for differences in grazing impact between terrestrial and aquatic populations, and that fast leaf turnover keeps apparent grazing damage down. 4. We conclude...

  13. Baleen whales host a unique gut microbiome with similarities to both carnivores and herbivores

    OpenAIRE

    Sanders, Jon G.; Beichman, Annabel C.; Roman, Joe; Scott, Jarrod J.; Emerson, David; McCarthy, James J.; Girguis, Peter R.

    2015-01-01

    Mammals host gut microbiomes of immense physiological consequence, but the determinants of diversity in these communities remain poorly understood. Diet appears to be the dominant factor, but host phylogeny also seems to be an important, if unpredictable, correlate. Here we show that baleen whales, which prey on animals (fish and crustaceans), harbor unique gut microbiomes with surprising parallels in functional capacity and higher level taxonomy to those of terrestrial herbivores. These simi...

  14. NEON Airborne Remote Sensing of Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kampe, T. U.; Leisso, N.; Krause, K.; Karpowicz, B. M.

    2012-12-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is the continental-scale research platform that will collect information on ecosystems across the United States to advance our understanding and ability to forecast environmental change at the continental scale. One of NEON's observing systems, the Airborne Observation Platform (AOP), will fly an instrument suite consisting of a high-fidelity visible-to-shortwave infrared imaging spectrometer, a full waveform small footprint LiDAR, and a high-resolution digital camera on a low-altitude aircraft platform. NEON AOP is focused on acquiring data on several terrestrial Essential Climate Variables including bioclimate, biodiversity, biogeochemistry, and land use products. These variables are collected throughout a network of 60 sites across the Continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico via ground-based and airborne measurements. Airborne remote sensing plays a critical role by providing measurements at the scale of individual shrubs and larger plants over hundreds of square kilometers. The NEON AOP plays the role of bridging the spatial scales from that of individual organisms and stands to the scale of satellite-based remote sensing. NEON is building 3 airborne systems to facilitate the routine coverage of NEON sites and provide the capacity to respond to investigator requests for specific projects. The first NEON imaging spectrometer, a next-generation VSWIR instrument, was recently delivered to NEON by JPL. This instrument has been integrated with a small-footprint waveform LiDAR on the first NEON airborne platform (AOP-1). A series of AOP-1 test flights were conducted during the first year of NEON's construction phase. The goal of these flights was to test out instrument functionality and performance, exercise remote sensing collection protocols, and provide provisional data for algorithm and data product validation. These test flights focused the following questions: What is the optimal remote

  15. High efficiency, long life terrestrial solar panel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, T.; Khemthong, S.; Ling, R.; Olah, S.

    1977-01-01

    The design of a high efficiency, long life terrestrial module was completed. It utilized 256 rectangular, high efficiency solar cells to achieve high packing density and electrical output. Tooling for the fabrication of solar cells was in house and evaluation of the cell performance was begun. Based on the power output analysis, the goal of a 13% efficiency module was achievable.

  16. Forest inventory with terrestrial LiDAR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bauwens, Sébastien; Bartholomeus, Harm; Calders, Kim; Lejeune, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    The application of static terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) in forest inventories is becoming more effective. Nevertheless, the occlusion effect is still limiting the processing efficiency to extract forest attributes. The use of a mobile laser scanner (MLS) would reduce this occlusion. In this

  17. Dental anomaly in Tapirus terrestris (L.)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooijer, D.A.

    1961-01-01

    A male skull of Tapirus terrestris (L.) originating from Dutch Guiana (Leiden Museum, reg. no. 11632), received from the Rotterdam Zoological Garden through the kind intermediary of Mr. F. J. APPELMAN on July 15, 1952, is remarkable for the abnormal development of its right P1. The full permanent

  18. Strategies for monitoring terrestrial animals and habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard Holthausen; Raymond L. Czaplewski; Don DeLorenzo; Greg Hayward; Winifred B. Kessler; Pat Manley; Kevin S. McKelvey; Douglas S. Powell; Leonard F. Ruggiero; Michael K. Schwartz; Bea Van Horne; Christina D. Vojta

    2005-01-01

    This General Technical Report (GTR) addresses monitoring strategies for terrestrial animals and habitats. It focuses on monitoring associated with National Forest Management Act planning and is intended to apply primarily to monitoring efforts that are broader than individual National Forests. Primary topics covered in the GTR are monitoring requirements; ongoing...

  19. Ethnopharmacological Studies of Tribulus Terrestris (Linn). in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Synergism and antagonism impact of different plant metabolites present in crude fruit extract of Tribulus terrestris 'the herbal Viagra' have been studied. Variability in plant composition, biomass and metabolites concentration in different modules was significantly contributed by spatial factor. However the edhaphic ...

  20. Exposure of Free-Ranging Wild Carnivores and Domestic Dogs to Canine Distemper Virus and Parvovirus in the Cerrado of Central Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furtado, Mariana Malzoni; Hayashi, Erika Midori Kida; Allendorf, Susan Dora; Coelho, Claudio José; de Almeida Jácomo, Anah Tereza; Megid, Jane; Ramos Filho, José Domingues; Silveira, Leandro; Tôrres, Natália Mundim; Ferreira Neto, José Soares

    2016-09-01

    Human population growth around protected areas increases the contact between wild and domestic animals, promoting disease transmission between them. This study investigates the exposure of free-ranging wild carnivores and domestic dogs to canine distemper virus (CDV) and parvovirus in Emas National Park (ENP) in the Cerrado savanna of central Brazil. Serum samples were collected from 169 wild carnivores, including the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous), hoary fox (Pseudalopex vetulus), puma (Puma concolor), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), pampas cat (Leopardus colocolo), jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi), striped hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus semistriatus) and coati (Nasua nasua), and from 35 domestic dogs living on rural properties bordering ENP. Serological tests showed that 10.6% of wild carnivores (maned wolves, crab-eating foxes and ocelots) and 71.4% of domestic dogs were exposed to CDV, and 56.8% of wild carnivores, including all species sampled except coatis, and 57.1% of domestic dogs were exposed to parvovirus. This report is the first to indicate that the free-ranging pampas cat, jaguarundi and striped hog-nosed skunk are exposed to parvovirus. CDV and parvovirus deserve attention in ENP, and it is extremely important to monitor the health of carnivore populations and perform molecular diagnosis of the viruses to determine the possible involvement of the domestic dog in their transmission.

  1. Trichinella patagoniensis n. sp. (Nematoda), a new encapsulated species infecting carnivorous mammals in South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krivokapich, Silvio J; Pozio, Edoardo; Gatti, Graciana M; Prous, Cinthia L Gonzalez; Ribicich, Mabel; Marucci, Gianluca; La Rosa, Giuseppe; Confalonieri, Viviana

    2012-09-01

    Until a few years ago, Trichinella spiralis was the only taxon of the genus Trichinella detected in both domestic and wild animals of South America. Recently, a new genotype, named Trichinella T12, was identified in cougars (Puma concolor) from Argentina, on the basis of molecular studies using mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal markers. In the present study, cross-breeding experiments indicated that Trichinella T12 is reproductively isolated from all other encapsulated Trichinella spp. and suggested that it is biologically more similar to Trichinella britovi and Trichinella murrelli than to the other encapsulated species/genotypes. Biological assays revealed that the reproductive capacity index of Trichinella T12 was ~4 and >2000 times lower than those of T. spiralis in mice and rats, respectively. The reproductive capacity index of Trichinella T12 in domestic pigs ranged from 0.0 to 0.05. Larvae parasitising the muscles of carnivores were infective to mice after freezing at -5°C for 3 months, but they lost infectivity after freezing at -18°C for 1 week. The region within the rDNA, known as the expansion segment V, showed a unique sequence which differs from those of all other known Trichinella spp./genotypes. The biological, geographical and molecular data support the classification of the genotype Trichinella T12 as a new species widespread in the Neotropical region, for which we propose the name Trichinella patagoniensis n. sp. Copyright © 2012 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Can rare positive interactions become common when large carnivores consume livestock?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundararaj, Vijayan; McLaren, Brian E; Morris, Douglas W; Goyal, S P

    2012-02-01

    Livestock populations in protected areas are viewed negatively because of their interaction with native ungulates through direct competition for food resources. However, livestock and native prey can also interact indirectly through their shared predator. Indirect interactions between two prey species occur when one prey modifies either the functional or numerical responses of a shared predator. This interaction is often manifested as negative effects (apparent competition) on one or both prey species through increased predation risk. But indirect interactions can also yield positive effects on a focal prey if the shared predator modifies its functional response toward increased consumption of an abundant and higher-quality alternative prey. Such a phenomenon between two prey species is underappreciated and overlooked in nature. Positive indirect effects can be expected to occur in livestock-dominated wildlife reserves containing large carnivores. We searched for such positive effects in Acacia-Zizhypus forests of India's Gir sanctuary where livestock (Bubalus bubalis and Bos indicus) and a coexisting native prey (chital deer, Axis axis) are consumed by Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica). Chital vigilance was higher in areas with low livestock density than in areas with high livestock density. This positive indirect effect occurred because lion predation rates on livestock were twice as great where livestock were abundant than where livestock density was low. Positive indirect interactions mediated by shared predators may be more common than generally thought with rather major consequences for ecological understanding and conservation. We encourage further studies to understand outcomes of indirect interactions on long-term predator-prey dynamics in livestock-dominated protected areas.

  3. Effects of breeder turnover and harvest on group composition and recruitment in a social carnivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ausband, David E.; Mitchell, Michael S.; Waits, Lisette P.

    2017-01-01

    Breeder turnover can influence population growth in social carnivores through changes to group size, composition and recruitment.Studies that possess detailed group composition data that can provide insights about the effects of breeder turnover on groups have generally been conducted on species that are not subject to recurrent annual human harvest. We wanted to know how breeder turnover affects group composition and how harvest, in turn, affects breeder turnover in cooperatively breeding grey wolves (Canis lupus Linnaeus 1758).We used noninvasive genetic sampling at wolf rendezvous sites to construct pedigrees and estimate recruitment in groups of wolves before and after harvest in Idaho, USA.Turnover of breeding females increased polygamy and potential recruits per group by providing breeding opportunities for subordinates although resultant group size was unaffected 1 year after the turnover. Breeder turnover had no effect on the number of nonbreeding helpers per group. After breeding male turnover, fewer female pups were recruited in the new males’ litters. Harvest had no effect on the frequency of breeder turnover.We found that breeder turnover led to shifts in the reproductive hierarchies within groups and the resulting changes to group composition were quite variable and depended on the sex of the breeder lost. We hypothesize that nonbreeding females direct help away from non-kin female pups to preserve future breeding opportunities for themselves. Breeder turnover had marked effects on the breeding opportunities of subordinates and the number and sex ratios of subsequent litters of pups. Seemingly subtle changes to groups, such as the loss of one individual, can greatly affect group composition, genetic content, and short-term population growth when the individual lost is a breeder.

  4. Effects of breeder turnover and harvest on group composition and recruitment in a social carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ausband, David E; Mitchell, Michael S; Waits, Lisette P

    2017-09-01

    Breeder turnover can influence population growth in social carnivores through changes to group size, composition and recruitment. Studies that possess detailed group composition data that can provide insights about the effects of breeder turnover on groups have generally been conducted on species that are not subject to recurrent annual human harvest. We wanted to know how breeder turnover affects group composition and how harvest, in turn, affects breeder turnover in cooperatively breeding grey wolves (Canis lupus Linnaeus 1758). We used noninvasive genetic sampling at wolf rendezvous sites to construct pedigrees and estimate recruitment in groups of wolves before and after harvest in Idaho, USA. Turnover of breeding females increased polygamy and potential recruits per group by providing breeding opportunities for subordinates although resultant group size was unaffected 1 year after the turnover. Breeder turnover had no effect on the number of nonbreeding helpers per group. After breeding male turnover, fewer female pups were recruited in the new males' litters. Harvest had no effect on the frequency of breeder turnover. We found that breeder turnover led to shifts in the reproductive hierarchies within groups and the resulting changes to group composition were quite variable and depended on the sex of the breeder lost. We hypothesize that nonbreeding females direct help away from non-kin female pups to preserve future breeding opportunities for themselves. Breeder turnover had marked effects on the breeding opportunities of subordinates and the number and sex ratios of subsequent litters of pups. Seemingly subtle changes to groups, such as the loss of one individual, can greatly affect group composition, genetic content, and short-term population growth when the individual lost is a breeder. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society.

  5. Balancing sample accumulation and DNA degradation rates to optimize noninvasive genetic sampling of sympatric carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lonsinger, Robert C; Gese, Eric M; Dempsey, Steven J; Kluever, Bryan M; Johnson, Timothy R; Waits, Lisette P

    2015-07-01

    Noninvasive genetic sampling, or noninvasive DNA sampling (NDS), can be an effective monitoring approach for elusive, wide-ranging species at low densities. However, few studies have attempted to maximize sampling efficiency. We present a model for combining sample accumulation and DNA degradation to identify the most efficient (i.e. minimal cost per successful sample) NDS temporal design for capture-recapture analyses. We use scat accumulation and faecal DNA degradation rates for two sympatric carnivores, kit fox (Vulpes macrotis) and coyote (Canis latrans) across two seasons (summer and winter) in Utah, USA, to demonstrate implementation of this approach. We estimated scat accumulation rates by clearing and surveying transects for scats. We evaluated mitochondrial (mtDNA) and nuclear (nDNA) DNA amplification success for faecal DNA samples under natural field conditions for 20 fresh scats/species/season from <1-112 days. Mean accumulation rates were nearly three times greater for coyotes (0.076 scats/km/day) than foxes (0.029 scats/km/day) across seasons. Across species and seasons, mtDNA amplification success was ≥95% through day 21. Fox nDNA amplification success was ≥70% through day 21 across seasons. Coyote nDNA success was ≥70% through day 21 in winter, but declined to <50% by day 7 in summer. We identified a common temporal sampling frame of approximately 14 days that allowed species to be monitored simultaneously, further reducing time, survey effort and costs. Our results suggest that when conducting repeated surveys for capture-recapture analyses, overall cost-efficiency for NDS may be improved with a temporal design that balances field and laboratory costs along with deposition and degradation rates. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Serosurvey of infectious disease agents of carnivores in captive red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Qin; Wei, Fuwen; Li, Ming; Dubovi, Edward J; Loeffler, I Kati

    2007-03-01

    The future of the endangered red panda (Ailurusfulgens) depends in part on the development of protective measures against infectious diseases. The present study is a first step toward improved understanding of infectious diseases in the species' home regions. Serum samples obtained from 73 red pandas in 10 captive facilities in southwest, east, and northeast China from October to December 2004 were tested for antibodies against nine common infectious pathogens of carnivores. Antibody titers against canine distemper virus (CDV), canine parvovirus (CPV), and canine adenovirus (CAV) in the three facilities in which red pandas were vaccinated were highly variable. The CAV titer in one vaccinated red panda was high enough to suggest infection with the field virus following vaccination. Together with anecdotal reports of vaccine-associated morbidity and mortality, our results suggest that the Chinese vaccine is not suitable for this species. In the seven unvaccinated groups, CDV titers were low and occurred in 20-100% of the animals; antibody titers against CPV were found in seven of eight areas. Only one of 61 and two of 61 unvaccinated red pandas had CAV and canine coronavirus titers, respectively, and these titers were all low. Positive titers to Toxoplasma gondii were found in four locations (33-94% seropositive); the titers in 52% of seropositive individuals were of a magnitude consistent with active disease in other species (1:1,024 to > or = 1:4,096). One red panda in each of three locations was seropositive for Neospora caninum. Antibodies against canine herpesvirus and Brucella canis were not detected in any of the samples. Only one of the 73 red pandas had a weak positive influenza A titer. The results of this study emphasize the need for research on and protection against infectious diseases of red pandas and other endangered species in China.

  7. Impact of climate change in the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases in domestic carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beugnet, F; Chalvet-Monfray, K

    2013-12-01

    Vector-borne diseases are medically important in humans and animals but were long considered tropical and known to first affect production animals. This is no longer true and we can see today that they are common in domestic animals and that they are also present in temperate countries, especially in Europe. In recent years, an increase in the diagnosis of vector borne diseases among humans and animals has been observed, which may partly due to the development of diagnostic tools. Their study requires exchanges and collaborations between the many actors involved, especially since the epidemiology seems to be constantly evolving. The veterinary practitioner is the first one to notice the emergence of cases and to implement prevention measures. He also acts as a sentinel to alert epidemiologists. Many factors can explain the epidemiological changes, i.e. all human factors, such as the increase in commercial transportation, but also owners traveling with their pet during the holidays, the development of "outdoor" activities, the increase of individual housings with gardens; to these human factors must be added the ignorance of the risks, linked to animals in general and to wildlife in particular; then the environmental changes: forest fragmentation, establishment of parks; the increase of wild mammal populations (deer, carnivores, rodents, etc.); finally, climate changes. Climate change is a reality which may explain the increase of density of arthropod vectors, but also of their hosts, changes in periods of activity and variations in geographical distribution. The authors show the proof of the climate modifications and then explain how it has an impact in Europe on ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies and even fleas. They conclude on the practical consequences for veterinary practitioners, especially with the diagnosis of parasitic diseases or diseases in areas where they usually do not occur. However, not any epidemiological modification should be linked to climate change

  8. Slow food: insect prey and chitin induce phytohormone accumulation and gene expression in carnivorous Nepenthes plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yilamujiang, Ayufu; Reichelt, Michael; Mithöfer, Axel

    2016-08-01

    Carnivorous Nepenthes plants use modified leaves forming pitfall traps to capture and digest prey, mainly insects, for additional nutrient supply. These traps, so called pitchers, contain a plant-derived fluid composed of many hydrolytic enzymes and defence-related proteins. In this study, the prey-induced induction of corresponding genes of those proteins and a role for phytohormones in this process was analysed. Tissue from insect prey-fed, chitin- and phytohormone-challenged pitchers was harvested and analysed for selected gene expressions by a quantitative PCR technique. Phytohormone levels were determined by LC-MS/MS. Nepenthesin proteolytic activities were measured in the digestive fluid using a fluorescence substrate. Insect prey in the pitchers induced the accumulation of phytohormones such as jasmonates as well as the transcription of studied genes encoding a chitinase 3 and a protease (nepenthesin I), whereas a defence-related protein (PR-1) gene was not induced. Treatment with chitin as a component of the insects' exoskeleton triggered the accumulation of jasmonates, the expression of nepenthesin I and chitinase 3 genes similar to jasmonic acid treatment, and induced protease activity in the fluid. All detectable responses were slowly induced. The results suggest that upon insect prey catch a sequence of signals is initiated: (1) insect-derived chitin, (2) jasmonate as endogenous phytohormone signal, (3) the induction of digestive gene expression and (4) protein expression. This resembles a similar hierarchy of events as described from plant pathogen/herbivore interactions, supporting the idea that carnivory evolved from plant defences. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Integumental amino acid uptake in a carnivorous predator mollusc (Sepia officinalis, Cephalopoda).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Eguileor, M; Leonardi, M G; Grimaldi, A; Tettamanti, G; Fiandra, L; Giordana, B; Valvassori, R; Lanzavecchia, G

    2000-10-01

    The epithelial cells of the integument of body, arms and tentacles of Sepia officinalis present on their apical membrane a well-organised brush border and show the morphological and histochemical characteristics of a typical absorptive epithelium. The ability of the integument to absorb amino acids was investigated both in the arms incubated in vitro and in a purified preparation of brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV). Autoradiographic pictures of the integument after incubation of the arms in sea-water with or without sodium, showed that proline intake was Na+-dependent, whereas leucine intake appeared to be a largely cation-independent process. Time course experiments of labelled leucine, proline and lysine uptakes in BBMV evidenced that these amino acids are accumulated within the vesicles in the presence of an inwardly directed sodium gradient. The sodium-driven accumulation proves that cationic and neutral amino acids are taken up by the apical membrane of the epithelium of Sepia integument through a secondary active mechanism. For leucine, a 90% inhibition of the uptake was recorded in the presence of a large excess of the substrate. In agreement with the autoradiography results, an analysis of the cation specificity transport in BBMV showed that leucine uptake had a low cation specificity, whereas lysine and proline uptakes were Na+-dependent. An excess of lysine and proline, which share with alanine two different transport systems in the gill epithelium of marine bivalves, reduced eucine uptake. The possible role of the absorptive ability of the integument in a carnivorous mollusc is discussed.

  10. Floral micromorphology of the Australian carnivorous bladderwort Utricularia dunlopii, a putative pseudocopulatory species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Płachno, Bartosz J; Stpiczyńska, Małgorzata; Świątek, Piotr; Davies, Kevin L

    2016-11-01

    Flowers of sexually deceptive taxa generally possess a set of morphological and physiological characters that mimic their insect pollinators. These characters often include a specific insect-like floral configuration, together with scent glands (osmophores) that produce fragrances which chemically resemble insect sex pheromones. Furthermore, these flowers tend not to produce pollinator food rewards. According to some authors, flowers of the Australian bladderwort Utricularia dunlopii (and species of the Utricularia capilliflora complex) resemble insects, and pollination perhaps occurs by pseudocopulation. The aims of this paper are to compare the structure and distribution of floral glandular trichomes in the Australian carnivorous plant U. dunlopii with those of closely related species assigned to the same section and to discuss their putative function. Floral tissues of U. dunlopii P. Taylor, Utricularia paulinae Lowrie, Utricularia dichotoma Labill. and Utricularia uniflora R.Br. (section Pleiochasia) were investigated using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and histochemistry. In U. dunlopii, two long, erect, filiform appendages arising from the upper lip of the corolla, together with three arising from the lower lip, bear numerous glandular trichomes that may function as osmophores. In other species, such as U. uniflora and U. paulinae, glandular papillae on the corolla palate may also function as osmophores. The floral anatomical and morphological organisation of U. dunlopii differs from that of the other investigated species, indicating that its insect pollinators are also likely to differ. Morphological and ultrastructural observations, while generally contributing to our understanding of the flower of U. dunlopii, do not refute the possibility that pollination here may occur by pseudocopulation. Further field-based investigations, however, are now necessary to test this hypothesis.

  11. Comparative neuronal morphology of the cerebellar cortex in afrotherians, carnivores, cetartiodactyls, and primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bob eJacobs

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Although the basic morphological characteristics of neurons in the cerebellar cortex have been documented in several species, virtually nothing is known about the quantitative morphological characteristics of these neurons across different taxa. To that end, the present study investigated cerebellar neuronal morphology among eight different, large-brained mammalian species comprising a broad phylogenetic range: afrotherians (African elephant, Florida manatee, carnivores (Siberian tiger, clouded leopard, cetartiodactyls (humpback whale, giraffe and primates (human, common chimpanzee. Specifically, several neuron types (e.g., stellate, basket, Lugaro, Golgi, and granule neurons; N = 317 of the cerebellar cortex were stained with a modified rapid Golgi technique and quantified on a computer-assisted microscopy system. There was a 64-fold variation in brain mass across species in our sample (from clouded leopard to the elephant and a 103-fold variation in cerebellar volume. Most dendritic measures tended to increase with cerebellar volume. The cerebellar cortex in these species exhibited the trilaminate pattern common to all mammals. Morphologically, neuron types in the cerebellar cortex were generally consistent with those described in primates (Fox et al., 1967 and rodents (Palay and Chan-Palay, 1974, although there was substantial quantitative variation across species. In particular, Lugaro neurons in the elephant appeared to be disproportionately larger than those in other species. To explore potential quantitative differences in dendritic measures across species, MARSplines analyses were used to evaluate whether species could be differentiated from each other based on dendritic characteristics alone. Results of these analyses indicated that there were significant differences among all species in dendritic measures.

  12. Addressing Questions on Life in Terrestrial Geothermal Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedlund, Brian P.; Li, Wen-Jun; Zhang, Chuanlun

    2013-09-01

    A binational research team met on the campus of Yunnan University in Kunming, China, to discuss recent progress and future plans to leverage binational support to address major questions on life in terrestrial geothermal systems. The symposium included about 90 faculty, postdocs, and students from China and about 30 faculty, postdocs, students, and high school teachers from the United States. The introductory session reviewed the progress of the Tengchong PIRE project funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) program (OISE-0836450). It also introduced a new collaborative project funded as a Key Project of International Cooperation by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST, 2013DFA31980), which is the first project funded through a memorandum of understanding between NSF and MOST to promote China-U.S. collaboration.

  13. Diversity of Crenarchaeota in terrestrial hot springs in Tengchong, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhao-Qi; Chen, Jing-Quan; Jiang, Hong-Chen; Zhou, En-Min; Tang, Shu-Kun; Zhi, Xiao-Yang; Zhang, Li-Xin; Zhang, Chuan-Lun L; Li, Wen-Jun

    2010-05-01

    Diversity of Crenarchaeota was investigated in eight terrestrial hot springs (pH 2.8-7.7; temperature 44-96 degrees C) located in Tengchong, China, using 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis. A total of 826 crenarchaeotal clones were sequenced and a total of 47 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified. Most (93%) of the identified OTUs were closely related (89-99%) to those retrieved from hot springs and other thermal environments. Our data showed that temperature may predominate over pH in affecting crenarchaeotal diversity in Tengchong hot springs. Crenarchaeotal diversity in moderate-temperature (59-77 degrees C) hot springs was the highest, indicating that the moderately hot-temperature springs may provide optimal conditions for speciation of Crenarchaeota.

  14. Fleas and Ticks in Carnivores From a Domestic-Wildlife Interface: Implications for Public Health and Wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poo-Muñoz, Daniela A; Elizondo-Patrone, Claudia; Escobar, Luis E; Astorga, Francisca; Bermúdez, Sergio E; Martínez-Valdebenito, Constanza; Abarca, Katia; Medina-Vogel, Gonzalo

    2016-11-01

    Fleas and ticks are parasites of wild and domestic mammals, and can be vectors of several pathogens. In rural areas, domestic carnivores such as the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris L.), may act as a "bridge" between natural areas and human settlements where ectoparasites can be used as a metric of such link. The aim of this study was to identify fleas, ticks, and Rickettsia spp., collected from domestic and wild carnivores in a natural reserve and surrounding human settlements in Central Chile, using morphological keys and molecular analysis. We surveyed 170 households from which 107 dogs and eight cats were sampled. From the natural reserve, we sampled two chilla foxes (Pseudalopex griseus Gray), two lesser grison (Galictis cuja Molina), three kodkods (Leopardus guigna Molina), and four dogs. From dogs, we collected Ctenocephalides felis Bouché, Ctenocephalides canis Curtis, Pulex irritans L., and Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l. Latreille; C. felis was the most frequent ectoparasite. Cats were infested only by C. felis and Rh. sanguineus s.l. From wild carnivores, we obtained C. canis and P. irritans, the latter being most frequent. Molecular analysis of P. irritans detected 10 haplotypes and two main clades, which tended to separate fleas from wild and domestic hosts. Molecular analysis of ompA and ompB genes confirmed the presence of Rickettsia felis in fleas collected from owned dogs and cats, which could represent a potential risk factor of R. felis transmission in the area. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Mark-recapture and mark-resight methods for estimating abundance with remote cameras: a carnivore case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso, Robert S; McClintock, Brett T; Lyren, Lisa M; Boydston, Erin E; Crooks, Kevin R

    2015-01-01

    Abundance estimation of carnivore populations is difficult and has prompted the use of non-invasive detection methods, such as remotely-triggered cameras, to collect data. To analyze photo data, studies focusing on carnivores with unique pelage patterns have utilized a mark-recapture framework and studies of carnivores without unique pelage patterns have used a mark-resight framework. We compared mark-resight and mark-recapture estimation methods to estimate bobcat (Lynx rufus) population sizes, which motivated the development of a new "hybrid" mark-resight model as an alternative to traditional methods. We deployed a sampling grid of 30 cameras throughout the urban southern California study area. Additionally, we physically captured and marked a subset of the bobcat population with GPS telemetry collars. Since we could identify individual bobcats with photos of unique pelage patterns and a subset of the population was physically marked, we were able to use traditional mark-recapture and mark-resight methods, as well as the new "hybrid" mark-resight model we developed to estimate bobcat abundance. We recorded 109 bobcat photos during 4,669 camera nights and physically marked 27 bobcats with GPS telemetry collars. Abundance estimates produced by the traditional mark-recapture, traditional mark-resight, and "hybrid" mark-resight methods were similar, however precision differed depending on the models used. Traditional mark-recapture and mark-resight estimates were relatively imprecise with percent confidence interval lengths exceeding 100% of point estimates. Hybrid mark-resight models produced better precision with percent confidence intervals not exceeding 57%. The increased precision of the hybrid mark-resight method stems from utilizing the complete encounter histories of physically marked individuals (including those never detected by a camera trap) and the encounter histories of naturally marked individuals detected at camera traps. This new estimator may be

  16. Deficiencies in Natura 2000 for protecting recovering large carnivores: A spotlight on the wolf Canis lupus in Poland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom A Diserens

    Full Text Available If protected areas are to remain relevant in our dynamic world they must be adapted to changes in species ranges. In the EU one of the most notable such changes is the recent recovery of large carnivores, which are protected by Natura 2000 at the national and population levels. However, the Natura 2000 network was designed prior to their recent recovery, which raises the question whether the network is sufficient to protect the contemporary ranges of large carnivores. To investigate this question we evaluated Natura 2000 coverage of the three wolf Canis lupus populations in Poland. Wolf tracking data showed that wolves have recolonised almost all suitable habitat in Poland (as determined by a recent habitat suitability model, so we calculated the overlap between the Natura 2000 network and all wolf habitat in Poland. On the basis of published Natura 2000 criteria, we used 20% as the minimum required coverage. At the national level, wolves are sufficiently protected (22% coverage, but at the population level, the Baltic and Carpathian populations are far better protected (28 and 47%, respectively than the endangered Central European Lowland population (12%. As Natura 2000 insufficiently protects the most endangered wolf population in Poland, we recommend expansion of Natura 2000 to protect at least an additional 8% of wolf habitat in western Poland, and discuss which specific forests are most in need of additional coverage. Implementation of these actions will have positive conservation implications and help Poland to fulfil its Habitats Directive obligations. As it is likely that similar gaps in Natura 2000 are arising in other EU member states experiencing large carnivore recoveries, particularly in Central Europe, we make the case for a flexible approach to Natura 2000 and suggest that such coverage evaluations may be beneficial elsewhere.

  17. Deficiencies in Natura 2000 for protecting recovering large carnivores: A spotlight on the wolf Canis lupus in Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diserens, Tom A; Borowik, Tomasz; Nowak, Sabina; Szewczyk, Maciej; Niedźwiecka, Natalia; Mysłajek, Robert W

    2017-01-01

    If protected areas are to remain relevant in our dynamic world they must be adapted to changes in species ranges. In the EU one of the most notable such changes is the recent recovery of large carnivores, which are protected by Natura 2000 at the national and population levels. However, the Natura 2000 network was designed prior to their recent recovery, which raises the question whether the network is sufficient to protect the contemporary ranges of large carnivores. To investigate this question we evaluated Natura 2000 coverage of the three wolf Canis lupus populations in Poland. Wolf tracking data showed that wolves have recolonised almost all suitable habitat in Poland (as determined by a recent habitat suitability model), so we calculated the overlap between the Natura 2000 network and all wolf habitat in Poland. On the basis of published Natura 2000 criteria, we used 20% as the minimum required coverage. At the national level, wolves are sufficiently protected (22% coverage), but at the population level, the Baltic and Carpathian populations are far better protected (28 and 47%, respectively) than the endangered Central European Lowland population (12%). As Natura 2000 insufficiently protects the most endangered wolf population in Poland, we recommend expansion of Natura 2000 to protect at least an additional 8% of wolf habitat in western Poland, and discuss which specific forests are most in need of additional coverage. Implementation of these actions will have positive conservation implications and help Poland to fulfil its Habitats Directive obligations. As it is likely that similar gaps in Natura 2000 are arising in other EU member states experiencing large carnivore recoveries, particularly in Central Europe, we make the case for a flexible approach to Natura 2000 and suggest that such coverage evaluations may be beneficial elsewhere.

  18. Pacific Remote Islands MNM: Initial Survey Instructions for Terrestrial Arthropods

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purposes of the terrestrial arthropod surveys are to: develop a species list of native and non-native terrestrial arthropods on land portions of the refuge;...

  19. 77 FR 18271 - Terrestrial Environmental Studies for Nuclear Power Stations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-27

    ... COMMISSION Terrestrial Environmental Studies for Nuclear Power Stations AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission... revision to Regulatory Guide (RG) 4.11, ``Terrestrial Environmental Studies for Nuclear Power Stations... environmental studies and analyses supporting licensing decisions for nuclear power reactors. ADDRESSES: Please...

  20. Louisiana ESI: T_MAMMAL (Terrestrial Mammal Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for terrestrial mammals in Louisiana. Vector polygons in this data set represent terrestrial mammal...

  1. A new map of standardized terrestrial ecosystems of Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayre, Roger G.; Comer, Patrick; Hak, Jon; Josse, Carmen; Bow, Jacquie; Warner, Harumi; Larwanou, Mahamane; Kelbessa, Ensermu; Bekele, Tamrat; Kehl, Harald; Amena, Ruba; Andriamasimanana, Rado; Ba, Taibou; Benson, Laurence; Boucher, Timothy; Brown, Matthew; Cress, Jill J.; Dassering, Oueddo; Friesen, Beverly A.; Gachathi, Francis; Houcine, Sebei; Keita, Mahamadou; Khamala, Erick; Marangu, Dan; Mokua, Fredrick; Morou, Boube; Mucina, Ladislav; Mugisha, Samuel; Mwavu, Edward; Rutherford, Michael; Sanou, Patrice; Syampungani, Stephen; Tomor, Bojoi; Vall, Abdallahi Ould Mohamed; Vande Weghe, Jean Pierre; Wangui, Eunice; Waruingi, Lucy

    2013-01-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems and vegetation of Africa were classified and mapped as part of a larger effort and global protocol (GEOSS – the Global Earth Observation System of Systems), which includes an activity to map terrestrial ecosystems of the earth in a standardized, robust, and practical manner, and at the finest possible spatial resolution. To model the potential distribution of ecosystems, new continental datasets for several key physical environment datalayers (including coastline, landforms, surficial lithology, and bioclimates) were developed at spatial and classification resolutions finer than existing similar datalayers. A hierarchical vegetation classification was developed by African ecosystem scientists and vegetation geographers, who also provided sample locations of the newly classified vegetation units. The vegetation types and ecosystems were then mapped across the continent using a classification and regression tree (CART) inductive model, which predicted the potential distribution of vegetation types from a suite of biophysical environmental attributes including bioclimate region, biogeographic region, surficial lithology, landform, elevation and land cover. Multi-scale ecosystems were classified and mapped in an increasingly detailed hierarchical framework using vegetation-based concepts of class, subclass, formation, division, and macrogroup levels. The finest vegetation units (macrogroups) classified and mapped in this effort are defined using diagnostic plant species and diagnostic growth forms that reflect biogeographic differences in composition and sub-continental to regional differences in mesoclimate, geology, substrates, hydrology, and disturbance regimes (FGDC, 2008). The macrogroups are regarded as meso-scale (100s to 10,000s of hectares) ecosystems. A total of 126 macrogroup types were mapped, each with multiple, repeating occurrences on the landscape. The modeling effort was implemented at a base spatial resolution of 90 m. In

  2. Terrestrial forest management plan for Palmyra Atoll

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hathaway, Stacie A.; McEachern, Kathryn; Fisher, Robert N.

    2011-01-01

    This 'Terrestrial Forest Management Plan for Palmyra Atoll' was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Palmyra Program to refine and expand goals and objectives developed through the Conservation Action Plan process. It is one in a series of adaptive management plans designed to achieve TNC's mission toward the protection and enhancement of native wildlife and habitat. The 'Terrestrial Forest Management Plan for Palmyra Atoll' focuses on ecosystem integrity and specifically identifies and addresses issues related to assessing the status and distribution of resources, as well as the pressures acting upon them, most specifically nonnative and potentially invasive species. The plan, which presents strategies for increasing ecosystem integrity, provides a framework to implement and track the progress of conservation and restoration goals related to terrestrial resources on Palmyra Atoll. The report in its present form is intended to be an overview of what is known about historical and current forest resources; it is not an exhaustive review of all available literature relevant to forest management but an attempt to assemble as much information specific to Palmyra Atoll as possible. Palmyra Atoll is one of the Northern Line Islands in the Pacific Ocean southwest of the Hawai`ian Islands. It consists of many heavily vegetated islets arranged in a horseshoe pattern around four lagoons and surrounded by a coral reef. The terrestrial ecosystem consists of three primary native vegetation types: Pisonia grandis forest, coastal strand forest, and grassland. Among these vegetation types, the health and extent of Pisonia grandis forest is of particular concern. Overall, the three vegetation types support 25 native plant species (two of which may be extirpated), 14 species of sea birds, six shore birds, at least one native reptile, at least seven native insects, and six native land crabs. Green and hawksbill turtles forage at Palmyra Atoll

  3. Space and Terrestrial Photovoltaics: Synergy and Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Sheila; Raffaelle, Ryne; Emery, Keith

    2002-01-01

    A historical view of the research and development in photovoltaics from the perspective of both the terrestrial and the space communities is presented from the early days through the '70s and '80s and the '90s and beyond. The synergy of both communities in the beginning and once again in the present and hopefully future are highlighted, with examples of the important features in each program. The space community which was impressed by the light-weight and reliability of photovoltaics drove much of the early development. Even up to today, nearly every satellites and other scientific space probe that has been launched has included some solar power. However, since the cost of these power systems were only a small fraction of the satellite and launch cost, the use of much of this technology for the terrestrial marketplace was not feasible. It was clear that the focus of the terrestrial community would be best served by reducing costs. This would include addressing a variety of manufacturing issues and raising the rate of production. Success in these programs and a resulting globalization of effort resulted in major strides in the reduction of PV module costs and increased production. Although, the space community derived benefit from some of these advancements, its focus was on pushing the envelope with regard to cell efficiency. The gap between theoretical efficiencies and experimental efficiencies for silicon, gallium arsenide and indium phosphide became almost non-existent. Recent work by both communities have focused on the development thin film cells of amorphous silicon, CuInSe2 and CdTe. These cells hold the promise of lower costs for the terrestrial community as well as possible flexible substrates, better radiation resistance, and higher specific power for the space community. It is predicted that future trends in both communities will be directed toward advances through the application of nanotechnology. A picture is emerging in which the space and

  4. MODIS-derived terrestrial primary production [chapter 28

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maosheng Zhao; Steven Running; Faith Ann Heinsch; Ramakrishna Nemani

    2011-01-01

    Temporal and spatial changes in terrestrial biological productivity have a large impact on humankind because terrestrial ecosystems not only create environments suitable for human habitation, but also provide materials essential for survival, such as food, fiber and fuel. A recent study estimated that consumption of terrestrial net primary production (NPP; a list of...

  5. Interacting effects of climate change, landscape conversion, and harvest on carnivore populations at the range margin: marten and lynx in the northern Appalachians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Carlos

    2007-08-01

    Assessing the effects of climate change on threatened species requires moving beyond simple bioclimatic models to models that incorporate interactions among climatic trends, landscape change, environmental stochasticity, and species life history. Populations of marten (Martes americana) and lynx (Lynx canadensis) in southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States represent peninsular extensions of boreal ranges and illustrate the potential impact of these threats on semi-isolated populations at the range margin. Decreased snowfall may affect marten and lynx through decreased prey vulnerability and decreased competitive advantage over sympatric carnivores. I used a spatially explicit population model to assess potential effects of predicted changes in snowfall by 2055 on regional marten and lynx populations. The models' habitat rankings were derived from previous static models that correlated regional distribution with snowfall and vegetation data. Trapping scenarios were parameterized as a 10% proportional decrease in survival, and logging scenarios were parameterized as a 10% decrease in the extent of older coniferous or mixed forest. Both species showed stronger declines in the simulations due to climate change than to overexploitation or logging. Marten populations declined 40% because of climate change, 16% because of logging, and 30% because of trapping. Lynx populations declined 59% because of climate change, 36% because of trapping, and 20% in scenarios evaluating the effects of population cycles. Climate change interacted with logging in its effects on the marten and with trapping in its effects on the lynx, increasing overall vulnerability. For both species larger lowland populations were vulnerable to climate change, which suggests that contraction may occur in the core of their current regional range as well as among smaller peripheral populations. Despite their greater data requirements compared with bioclimatic models, mesoscale spatial

  6. Oligotyping reveals differences between gut-microbiomes of free-ranging sympatric Namibian carnivores (Acinonyx jubatus, Canis mesomelas on a bacterial species-like level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian eMenke

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Recent gut microbiome studies in model organisms emphasize the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on the variation of the bacterial composition and its impact on the overall health status of the host. Species occurring in the same habitat might share a similar microbiome, especially if they overlap in ecological and behavioral traits. So far, the natural variation in microbiomes of free-ranging wildlife species has not been thoroughly investigated. The few existing studies exploring microbiomes through 16S rRNA gene reads clustered sequencing reads into operational taxonomic units (OTUs based on a similarity threshold (e.g. 97%. This approach, in combination with the low resolution of target databases, generally limits the level of taxonomic assignments to the genus level. However, distinguishing natural variation of microbiomes in healthy individuals from abnormal microbial compositions that affect host health requires knowledge of the normal microbial flora at a high taxonomic resolution. This gap can now be addressed using the recently published oligotyping approach, which can resolve closely related organisms into distinct oligotypes by utilizing subtle nucleotide variation. Here, we used Illumina MiSeq to sequence amplicons generated from the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene to investigate the gut microbiome of two free-ranging sympatric Namibian carnivore species, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus and the black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas. Bacterial phyla with proportions > 0.2 % were identical for both species and included Firmicutes, Fusobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. At a finer taxonomic resolution, black-backed jackals exhibited 69 bacterial taxa with proportions ≥ 0.1 %, whereas cheetahs had only 42. Finally, oligotyping revealed that shared bacterial taxa consisted of distinct oligotype profiles. Thus, in contrast to 3 % OTUs, oligotyping can detect fine-scale taxonomic differences between

  7. Dragon's paradise lost: palaeobiogeography, evolution and extinction of the largest-ever terrestrial lizards (Varanidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott A Hocknull

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The largest living lizard species, Varanus komodoensis Ouwens 1912, is vulnerable to extinction, being restricted to a few isolated islands in eastern Indonesia, between Java and Australia, where it is the dominant terrestrial carnivore. Understanding how large-bodied varanids responded to past environmental change underpins long-term management of V. komodoensis populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We reconstruct the palaeobiogeography of Neogene giant varanids and identify a new (unnamed species from the island of Timor. Our data reject the long-held perception that V. komodoensis became a giant because of insular evolution or as a specialist hunter of pygmy Stegodon. Phyletic giantism, coupled with a westward dispersal from mainland Australia, provides the most parsimonious explanation for the palaeodistribution of V. komodoensis and the newly identified species of giant varanid from Timor. Pliocene giant varanid fossils from Australia are morphologically referable to V. komodoensis suggesting an ultimate origin for V. komodoensis on mainland Australia (>3.8 million years ago. Varanus komodoensis body size has remained stable over the last 900,000 years (ka on Flores, a time marked by major faunal turnovers, extinction of the island's megafauna, the arrival of early hominids by 880 ka, co-existence with Homo floresiensis, and the arrival of modern humans by 10 ka. Within the last 2000 years their populations have contracted severely. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Giant varanids were once a ubiquitous part of Subcontinental Eurasian and Australasian faunas during the Neogene. Extinction played a pivotal role in the reduction of their ranges and diversity throughout the late Quaternary, leaving only V. komodoensis as an isolated long-term survivor. The events over the last two millennia now threaten its future survival.

  8. Dragon's paradise lost: palaeobiogeography, evolution and extinction of the largest-ever terrestrial lizards (Varanidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocknull, Scott A; Piper, Philip J; van den Bergh, Gert D; Due, Rokus Awe; Morwood, Michael J; Kurniawan, Iwan

    2009-09-30

    The largest living lizard species, Varanus komodoensis Ouwens 1912, is vulnerable to extinction, being restricted to a few isolated islands in eastern Indonesia, between Java and Australia, where it is the dominant terrestrial carnivore. Understanding how large-bodied varanids responded to past environmental change underpins long-term management of V. komodoensis populations. We reconstruct the palaeobiogeography of Neogene giant varanids and identify a new (unnamed) species from the island of Timor. Our data reject the long-held perception that V. komodoensis became a giant because of insular evolution or as a specialist hunter of pygmy Stegodon. Phyletic giantism, coupled with a westward dispersal from mainland Australia, provides the most parsimonious explanation for the palaeodistribution of V. komodoensis and the newly identified species of giant varanid from Timor. Pliocene giant varanid fossils from Australia are morphologically referable to V. komodoensis suggesting an ultimate origin for V. komodoensis on mainland Australia (>3.8 million years ago). Varanus komodoensis body size has remained stable over the last 900,000 years (ka) on Flores, a time marked by major faunal turnovers, extinction of the island's megafauna, the arrival of early hominids by 880 ka, co-existence with Homo floresiensis, and the arrival of modern humans by 10 ka. Within the last 2000 years their populations have contracted severely. Giant varanids were once a ubiquitous part of Subcontinental Eurasian and Australasian faunas during the Neogene. Extinction played a pivotal role in the reduction of their ranges and diversity throughout the late Quaternary, leaving only V. komodoensis as an isolated long-term survivor. The events over the last two millennia now threaten its future survival.

  9. Single Mutations in the VP2 300 Loop Region of the Three-Fold Spike of the Carnivore Parvovirus Capsid Can Determine Host Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Organtini, Lindsey J.; Zhang, Sheng; Hafenstein, Susan L.; Holmes, Edward C.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Sylvatic carnivores, such as raccoons, have recently been recognized as important hosts in the evolution of canine parvovirus (CPV), a pandemic pathogen of domestic dogs. Although viruses from raccoons do not efficiently bind the dog transferrin receptor (TfR) or infect dog cells, a single mutation changing an aspartic acid to a glycine at capsid (VP2) position 300 in the prototype raccoon CPV allows dog cell infection. Because VP2 position 300 exhibits extensive amino acid variation among the carnivore parvoviruses, we further investigated its role in determining host range by analyzing its diversity and evolution in nature and by creating a comprehensive set of VP2 position 300 mutants in infectious clones. Notably, some position 300 residues rendered CPV noninfectious for dog, but not cat or fox, cells. Changes of adjacent residues (residues 299 and 301) were also observed often after cell culture passage in different hosts, and some of the mutations mimicked changes seen in viruses recovered from natural infections of alternative hosts, suggesting that compensatory mutations were selected to accommodate the new residue at position 300. Analysis of the TfRs of carnivore hosts used in the experimental evolution studies demonstrated that their glycosylation patterns varied, including a glycan present only on the domestic dog TfR that dictates susceptibility to parvoviruses. Overall, there were significant differences in the abilities of viruses with alternative position 300 residues to bind TfRs and infect different carnivore hosts, demonstrating that the process of infection is highly host dependent and that VP2 position 300 is a key determinant of host range. IMPORTANCE Although the emergence and pandemic spread of canine parvovirus (CPV) are well documented, the carnivore hosts and evolutionary pathways involved in its emergence remain enigmatic. We recently demonstrated that a region in the capsid structure of CPV, centered around VP2 position 300

  10. Efficiency of box-traps and leg-hold traps with several bait types for capturing small carnivores (Mammalia in a disturbed area of Southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda Michalski

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Capturing small carnivores is often necessary for obtaining key ecological data. We compared the efficiency of box and leg-hold traps, using live and dead bait, to capture six carnivore species (Herpailurus yagouaroundi (É. Geoffroyi, 1803, Leopardus tigrinus (Schreber, 1775, Nasua nasua (Linnaeus, 1766, Cerdocyon thous (Linnaeus, 1766, Eira barbara (Linnaeus, 1758, and Galictis cuja (Molina, 1782. The use of leg-hold traps significantly increased the capture rate of carnivores (5.77% and non-target species (non-carnivores, 11.54%. Dead bait significantly attracted more non-carnivores than carnivores and live bait was more efficient for capturing carnivores (2.56% than non-carnivores (0.77%. Both box and leg-hold traps caused some minor injuries (swelling and claw loss. We provide recommendations for the ethical use of these trap and bait types. Rev. Biol. Trop. 55 (1: 315-320. Epub 2007 March. 31.La captura de pequeños carnívoros es una práctica común para obtener datos ecológicos. Comparamos la eficiencia de cepos (trampas acolchadas y trampas tomahawk para capturar seis especies carnívoras (Herpailurus yagouaroundi (É. Geoffroyi, 1803, Leopardus tigrinus (Schreber, 1775, Nasua nasua (Linnaeus, 1766, Cerdocyon thous (Linnaeus, 1766, Eira barbara (Linnaeus, 1758, and Galictis cuja (Molina, 1782, utilizando carnadas vivas y muertas. Con los cepos se incrementó significativamente la tasa de captura de carnívoros (5.77% y otros mamíferos (no-carnívoros, 11.54%. La carnada muerta atrajo significativamente mas no-carnívoros que carnívoros, mientras que con la carnada viva se capturaron más carnívoros (2.56% vs 0.77% no-carnívoros. Ambos tipos de trampas; cepos y tomahawk, causaron algunas pequeñas lastimaduras (inflamación y pérdida de garras. Hacemos algunas recomendaciones para el uso ético de este tipo de trampas y cebos.

  11. Terrestrial freshwater lenses: Unexplored subterranean oases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laattoe, Tariq; Werner, Adrian D.; Woods, Juliette A.; Cartwright, Ian

    2017-10-01

    Freshwater lenses are lenticular bodies of fresh (TDS lenses in coastal aquifers, the formation, location and persistence of freshwater lenses in terrestrial settings are poorly understood. This is despite inland aquifers commonly containing saline groundwater, particularly in arid and semi-arid climates, and the local occurrences of freshwater being critical for ecosystems and human endeavour. We identify and classify known terrestrial freshwater lenses (TFLs) using four formation categories, namely topography, geology, groundwater-surface water interaction and recharge mechanisms. The resulting typology highlights the importance of buoyancy in the formation of TFLs in otherwise unlikely situations, implying that TFLs may be more prevalent than previously thought. TFLs represent some of the most vulnerable and precious freshwater resources on Earth that require considerably more research into mechanisms of formation and threats to their existence.

  12. Effect factors for terrestrial acidification in Brazil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Crespo Mendes, Natalia; Laurent, Alexis; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

    conditions, which is an essential approach considering countries like Brazil, with high biodiversity. Previous studies have assessed the impacts of terrestrial acidification from the estimations of the potential losses of vascular plants species richness as a result of exposure to acidifying substances...... for 13 biomes, with 2409 species addressed for whole world. In this context this work aims to provide spatially-differentiated effect factors (EF) for terrestrial acidification in Brazil and support the development of spatially-differentiated characterization factors for Brazil. In order to maintain...... in Brazil, represented by 33167 species, indicating that this is a comprehensive study. Maps of soil pH in Brazil were extracted at 1-km resolution and pH values were extracted for the depth range of 0-30cm. For each ecoregion, species richness was plotted against soil pH and the exposure-response curves...

  13. Spiral arms, comets and terrestrial catastrophism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clube, S.V.M.; Napier, W.M. (Royal Observatory, Edinburgh (UK))

    1982-03-01

    A review is presented of an hypothesis of terrestrial catastrophism in which comets grow in molecular clouds and are captured by the Sun as it passes through the spiral arms of the Galaxy. Assuming that comets are a major supplier of the Earth-crossing (Appollo) asteroid population, the latter fluctuates correspondingly and leads to episodes of terrestrial bombardment. Changes in the rotational momentum of core and mantle, generated by impacts, lead to episodes of magnetic field reversal and tectonic activity, while surface phenomena lead to ice-ages and mass extinctions. An episodic geophysical history with an interstellar connection is thus implied. If comets in spiral arms are necessary intermediaries in the process of star formation, the theory also has implications relating to early solar system history and galactic chemistry. These aspects are briefly discussed with special reference to the nature of spiral arms.

  14. Innovative Technologies for Terrestrial Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Aplin

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Characterizing and monitoring terrestrial, or land, surface features, such as forests, deserts, and cities, are fundamental and continuing goals of Earth Observation (EO. EO imagery and related technologies are essential for increasing our scientific understanding of environmental processes, such as carbon capture and albedo change, and to manage and safeguard environmental resources, such as tropical forests, particularly over large areas or the entire globe. This measurement or observation of some property of the land surface is central to a wide range of scientific investigations and industrial operations, involving individuals and organizations from many different backgrounds and disciplines. However, the process of observing the land provides a unifying theme for these investigations, and in practice there is much consistency in the instruments used for observation and the techniques used to map and model the environmental phenomena of interest. There is therefore great potential benefit in exchanging technological knowledge and experience among the many and diverse members of the terrestrial EO community. [...

  15. The overlooked terrestrial impacts of mountaintop mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickham, James; Wood, Petra Bohall; Nicholson, Matthew C.; Jenkins, William; Druckenbrod, Daniel; Suter, Glenn W.; Strager, Michael P.; Mazzarella, Christine; Galloway, Walter; Amos, John

    2013-01-01

    Ecological research on mountaintop mining has been focused on aquatic impacts because the overburden (i.e., the mountaintop) is disposed of in nearby valleys, which leads to a wide range of water-quality impacts on streams. There are also numerous impacts on the terrestrial environment from mountaintop mining that have been largely overlooked, even though they are no less wide ranging, severe, and multifaceted. We review the impacts of mountaintop mining on the terrestrial environment by exploring six broad themes: (1) the loss of topographic complexity, (2) forest loss and fragmentation, (3) forest succession and soil loss, (4) forest loss and carbon sequestration, (5) biodiversity, and (6) human health and well-being.

  16. Accuracy assessment of the integration of GNSS and a MEMS IMU in a terrestrial platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madeira, Sergio; Yan, Wenlin; Bastos, Luísa; Gonçalves, José A

    2014-11-04

    MEMS Inertial Measurement Units are available at low cost and can replace expensive units in mobile mapping platforms which need direct georeferencing. This is done through the integration with GNSS measurements in order to achieve a continuous positioning solution and to obtain orientation angles. This paper presents the results of the assessment of the accuracy of a system that integrates GNSS and a MEMS IMU in a terrestrial platform. We describe the methodology used and the tests realized where the accuracy of the positions and orientation parameters were assessed using an independent photogrammetric technique employing cameras that integrate the mobile mapping system developed by the authors. Results for the accuracy of attitude angles and coordinates show that accuracies better than a decimeter in positions, and under a degree in angles, can be achieved even considering that the terrestrial platform is operating in less than favorable environments.

  17. Terrestrial imaging of military test centers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Steven D.

    2010-04-01

    Military test centers require detailed site descriptions. Test agencies demand significant written and visual information of test sites in order to facilitate successful test preparation and execution. New terrestrial imaging techniques (360 degree FOV collection) have recently become feasible to collect in the field. Combined with GIS and mapping applications, image and video data is now provided to test agencies for their use. Test sites for this study include locations in Alaska and Panama with planned image data collection in Arizona and Maryland.

  18. Terrestrial analogues for lunar impact melt flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neish, C. D.; Hamilton, C. W.; Hughes, S. S.; Nawotniak, S. Kobs; Garry, W. B.; Skok, J. R.; Elphic, R. C.; Schaefer, E.; Carter, L. M.; Bandfield, J. L.; Osinski, G. R.; Lim, D.; Heldmann, J. L.

    2017-01-01

    Lunar impact melt deposits have unique physical properties. They have among the highest observed radar returns at S-Band (12.6 cm wavelength), implying that they are rough at the decimeter scale. However, they are also observed in high-resolution optical imagery to be quite smooth at the meter scale. These characteristics distinguish them from well-studied terrestrial analogues, such as Hawaiian pāhoehoe and ´a´ā lava flows. The morphology of impact melt deposits can be related to their emplacement conditions, so understanding the origin of these unique surface properties will help to inform us as to the circumstances under which they were formed. In this work, we seek to find a terrestrial analogue for well-preserved lunar impact melt flows by examining fresh lava flows on Earth. We compare the radar return and high-resolution topographic variations of impact melt flows to terrestrial lava flows with a range of surface textures. The lava flows examined in this work range from smooth Hawaiian pāhoehoe to transitional basaltic flows at Craters of the Moon (COTM) National Monument and Preserve in Idaho to rubbly and spiny pāhoehoe-like flows at the recent eruption at Holuhraun in Iceland. The physical properties of lunar impact melt flows appear to differ from those of all the terrestrial lava flows studied in this work. This may be due to (a) differences in post-emplacement modification processes or (b) fundamental differences in the surface texture of the melt flows due to the melts' unique emplacement and/or cooling environment. Information about the surface properties of lunar impact melt deposits will be critical for future landed missions that wish to sample these materials.

  19. Tidally driven evolution of differentiated terrestrial exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walterova, M.; Behounkova, M.

    2017-09-01

    We present a numerical model of tidally driven orbital evolution based on the solution of continuum mechanics equations for a differentiated spherical body, whose mantle is governed by either the Maxwell or the Andrade viscoelastic rheology. The model enables generally heterogeneous structure of the mantle, making thus possible the analysis of coupling between the internal and the orbital evolution of terrestrial exoplanets or icy moons.

  20. Terrestrial Impack Cratering Chronology : A Preliminary Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Kyu Moon

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available We have recently compiled a database of the properties of 192 impact craters, which supercedes previous compilations. Using our database, the impact structures found in North America, Europe and Australia have been examined; these cratonic areas have been relatively stable for considerably long geological periods, and thus have been best preserved. It is confirmed that there is a close correlation between the geological epoch boundaries, the epochs of mass extinctions, and the ``timing'' of impacts. In addition, the terrestrial cumulative flux of objects >20km is found to be 1.77×10-15km-2yr-1, over the last 120 Myr, which is much smaller than the published values in McEwen et al. (1997 and Shoemaker (1998 (5.6±2.8×10-15km-2yr-1. For terrestrial impact structures with D>50 km, the apparent cumulative flux over the last 2450 Myr is ~50 times smaller than the corresponding value for the Moon. If we assume that the Earth and the Moon suffered the same level of bombardment over this time, this would mean that the actual flux of impacting bodies, capable of making craters with D>50 km, was ~ 50 times larger than the apparent flux estimated from the currently known terrestrial records.

  1. Obliquity and Eccentricity Constraints for Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Stephen R.; Torres, Stephanie M.

    2017-11-01

    Exoplanet discoveries over recent years have shown that terrestrial planets are exceptionally common. Many of these planets are in compact systems that result in complex orbital dynamics. A key step toward determining the surface conditions of these planets is understanding the latitudinally dependent flux incident at the top of the atmosphere as a function of orbital phase. The two main properties of a planet that influence the time-dependent nature of the flux are the obliquity and orbital eccentricity of the planet. We derive the criterion for which the flux variation due to obliquity is equivalent to the flux variation due to orbital eccentricity. This equivalence is computed for both the maximum and average flux scenarios, the latter of which includes the effects of the diurnal cycle. We apply these calculations to four known multi-planet systems (GJ 163, K2-3, Kepler-186, and Proxima Centauri), where we constrain the eccentricity of terrestrial planets using orbital dynamics considerations and model the effect of obliquity on incident flux. We discuss the implications of these simulations on climate models for terrestrial planets and outline detectable signatures of planetary obliquity.

  2. Examining the occupancy–density relationship for a low-density carnivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linden, Daniel W.; Fuller, Angela K.; Royle, J. Andrew; Hare, Matthew P.

    2017-01-01

    The challenges associated with monitoring low-density carnivores across large landscapes have limited the ability to implement and evaluate conservation and management strategies for such species. Non-invasive sampling techniques and advanced statistical approaches have alleviated some of these challenges and can even allow for spatially explicit estimates of density, one of the most valuable wildlife monitoring tools.For some species, individual identification comes at no cost when unique attributes (e.g. pelage patterns) can be discerned with remote cameras, while other species require viable genetic material and expensive laboratory processing for individual assignment. Prohibitive costs may still force monitoring efforts to use species distribution or occupancy as a surrogate for density, which may not be appropriate under many conditions.Here, we used a large-scale monitoring study of fisher Pekania pennanti to evaluate the effectiveness of occupancy as an approximation to density, particularly for informing harvest management decisions. We combined remote cameras with baited hair snares during 2013–2015 to sample across a 70 096-km2 region of western New York, USA. We fit occupancy and Royle–Nichols models to species detection–non-detection data collected by cameras, and spatial capture–recapture (SCR) models to individual encounter data obtained by genotyped hair samples. Variation in the state variables within 15-km2 grid cells was modelled as a function of landscape attributes known to influence fisher distribution.We found a close relationship between grid cell estimates of fisher state variables from the models using detection–non-detection data and those from the SCR model, likely due to informative spatial covariates across a large landscape extent and a grid cell resolution that worked well with the movement ecology of the species. Fisher occupancy and density were both positively associated with the proportion of coniferous

  3. Genome of the Tasmanian tiger provides insights into the evolution and demography of an extinct marsupial carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feigin, Charles Y; Newton, Axel H; Doronina, Liliya; Schmitz, Jürgen; Hipsley, Christy A; Mitchell, Kieren J; Gower, Graham; Llamas, Bastien; Soubrier, Julien; Heider, Thomas N; Menzies, Brandon R; Cooper, Alan; O'Neill, Rachel J; Pask, Andrew J

    2018-01-01

    The Tasmanian tiger or thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was the largest carnivorous Australian marsupial to survive into the modern era. Despite last sharing a common ancestor with the eutherian canids ~160 million years ago, their phenotypic resemblance is considered the most striking example of convergent evolution in mammals. The last known thylacine died in captivity in 1936 and many aspects of the evolutionary history of this unique marsupial apex predator remain unknown. Here we have sequenced the genome of a preserved thylacine pouch young specimen to clarify the phylogenetic position of the thylacine within the carnivorous marsupials, reconstruct its historical demography and examine the genetic basis of its convergence with canids. Retroposon insertion patterns placed the thylacine as the basal lineage in Dasyuromorphia and suggest incomplete lineage sorting in early dasyuromorphs. Demographic analysis indicated a long-term decline in genetic diversity starting well before the arrival of humans in Australia. In spite of their extraordinary phenotypic convergence, comparative genomic analyses demonstrated that amino acid homoplasies between the thylacine and canids are largely consistent with neutral evolution. Furthermore, the genes and pathways targeted by positive selection differ markedly between these species. Together, these findings support models of adaptive convergence driven primarily by cis-regulatory evolution.

  4. Roads influence movement and home ranges of a fragmentation-sensitive carnivore, the bobcat, in an urban landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poessel, Sharon A; Boydston, Erin E.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Alonso, Robert S.; Crooks, Kevin R.

    2014-01-01

    Roads in urbanized areas can impact carnivore populations by constraining their movements and increasing mortality. Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are felids capable of living in urban environments, but are sensitive to habitat fragmentation and, thus, useful indicators of landscape connectivity; in particular, bobcat habitat selection, movement, and mortality may be affected by roads. We analyzed movement patterns of 52 bobcats in southern California in three study sites and investigated: (1) how bobcats responded to two types of roads within their home ranges; (2) how they placed their home ranges with respect to roads within the study area; and (3) whether male and female bobcats differed in their behavioral responses to roads. Within home ranges, primary and secondary roads did not influence movements, but bobcats more frequently crossed secondary roads when road densities were higher within their home ranges, thus increasing mortality risk. However, road densities within each study site were several times higher than road densities within home ranges, suggesting bobcats selected against roaded areas in home-range placement. Male home ranges bordering roads were smaller than home ranges for other males, but male home ranges containing roads were larger than those without roads. Male bobcats also were more likely to cross roads than females, potentially reflecting larger male home range sizes. Our results suggest roads have important impacts on urban bobcats, with stronger effects on males than females, and continued efforts to mitigate the effects of roads on carnivores and other fragmentation-sensitive species would help promote connectivity conservation in urban systems.

  5. Venus Flytrap HKT1-Type Channel Provides for Prey Sodium Uptake into Carnivorous Plant Without Conflicting with Electrical Excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhm, J; Scherzer, S; Shabala, S; Krol, E; Neher, E; Mueller, T D; Hedrich, R

    2016-03-07

    The animal diet of the carnivorous Venus flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, contains a sodium load that enters the capture organ via an HKT1-type sodium channel, expressed in special epithelia cells on the inner trap lobe surface. DmHKT1 expression and sodium uptake activity is induced upon prey contact. Here, we analyzed the HKT1 properties required for prey sodium osmolyte management of carnivorous Dionaea. Analyses were based on homology modeling, generation of model-derived point mutants, and their functional testing in Xenopus oocytes. We showed that the wild-type HKT1 and its Na(+)- and K(+)-permeable mutants function as ion channels rather than K(+) transporters driven by proton or sodium gradients. These structural and biophysical features of a high-capacity, Na(+)-selective ion channel enable Dionaea glands to manage prey-derived sodium loads without confounding the action potential-based information management of the flytrap. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Peculiarities of One-Carbon Metabolism in the Strict Carnivorous Cat and the Role in Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marica Bakovic

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Research in various species has indicated that diets deficient in labile methyl groups (methionine, choline, betaine, folate produce fatty liver and links to steatosis and metabolic syndrome, but also provides evidence of the importance of labile methyl group balance to maintain normal liver function. Cats, being obligate carnivores, rely on nutrients in animal tissues and have, due to evolutionary pressure, developed several physiological and metabolic adaptations, including a number of peculiarities in protein and fat metabolism. This has led to specific and unique nutritional requirements. Adult cats require more dietary protein than omnivorous species, maintain a consistently high rate of protein oxidation and gluconeogenesis and are unable to adapt to reduced protein intake. Furthermore, cats have a higher requirement for essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Hastened use coupled with an inability to conserve certain amino acids, including methionine, cysteine, taurine and arginine, necessitates a higher dietary intake for cats compared to most other species. Cats also seemingly require higher amounts of several B-vitamins compared to other species and are predisposed to depletion during prolonged inappetance. This carnivorous uniqueness makes cats more susceptible to hepatic lipidosis.

  7. Fossil worm burrows reveal very early terrestrial animal activity and shed light on trophic resources after the end-cretaceous mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Karen; Pearson, Dean; Ekdale, A A

    2013-01-01

    The widespread mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous caused world-wide disruption of ecosystems, and faunal responses to the one-two punch of severe environmental perturbation and ecosystem collapse are still unclear. Here we report the discovery of in situ terrestrial fossil burrows from just above the impact-defined Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary in southwestern North Dakota. The crisscrossing networks of horizontal burrows occur at the interface of a lignitic coal and silty sandstone, and reveal intense faunal activity within centimeters of the boundary clay. Estimated rates of sedimentation and coal formation suggest that the burrows were made less than ten thousand years after the end-Cretaceous impact. The burrow characteristics are most consistent with burrows of extant earthworms. Moreover, the burrowing and detritivorous habits of these annelids fit models that predict the trophic and sheltering lifestyles of terrestrial animals that survived the K/Pg extinction event. In turn, such detritus-eaters would have played a critical role in supporting secondary consumers. Thus, some of the carnivorous vertebrates that radiated after the K/Pg extinction may owe their evolutionary success to thriving populations of earthworms.

  8. Geographical variation in the use of intertidal rocky shores by the lizard Microlophus atacamensis in relation to changes in terrestrial productivity along the Atacama Desert coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farina, J M; Sepulveda, M; Reyna, M V; Wallem, K P; Ossa-Zazzali, P G

    2008-05-01

    1. The movement of materials and organisms between ecosystems is a common process in nature. 2. In the present study we investigate the hypothesis that the movement of consumers between ecosystems depends not only on the differences in productivity between ecosystems and prey availability, but also on these animals' biological characteristics. 3. To address this hypothesis we investigated the changes in abundance, habitat utilization and diet of the lizard Microlophus atacamensis along its geographical range on the coast of the Atacama Desert. Within this range, intertidal rocky shore communities do not show important variations in their species composition and abundance, but terrestrial communities show a steep gradient of productivity associated with the increase in rainfall from north to south. 4. Our results show that the use of intertidal habitats and the consumption of intertidal prey by M. atacamensis change within its geographical range: in the North, the species uses intertidal areas and behaves as an herbivore consuming mostly algae, whereas in the South it expends most of the time in terrestrial habitats as a carnivore mainly of arthropods. 5. Our study gives new evidence for cross-ecosystem connections created by consumer movement between habitats of contrasting but variable productivity levels.

  9. Fossil worm burrows reveal very early terrestrial animal activity and shed light on trophic resources after the end-cretaceous mass extinction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Chin

    Full Text Available The widespread mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous caused world-wide disruption of ecosystems, and faunal responses to the one-two punch of severe environmental perturbation and ecosystem collapse are still unclear. Here we report the discovery of in situ terrestrial fossil burrows from just above the impact-defined Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg boundary in southwestern North Dakota. The crisscrossing networks of horizontal burrows occur at the interface of a lignitic coal and silty sandstone, and reveal intense faunal activity within centimeters of the boundary clay. Estimated rates of sedimentation and coal formation suggest that the burrows were made less than ten thousand years after the end-Cretaceous impact. The burrow characteristics are most consistent with burrows of extant earthworms. Moreover, the burrowing and detritivorous habits of these annelids fit models that predict the trophic and sheltering lifestyles of terrestrial animals that survived the K/Pg extinction event. In turn, such detritus-eaters would have played a critical role in supporting secondary consumers. Thus, some of the carnivorous vertebrates that radiated after the K/Pg extinction may owe their evolutionary success to thriving populations of earthworms.

  10. Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyl congeners in wild terrestrial mammals from Croatia: Interspecies comparison of residue levels and compositions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herceg Romanić, Snježana; Klinčić, Darija; Kljaković-Gašpić, Zorana; Kusak, Josip; Reljić, Slaven; Huber, Đuro

    2015-10-01

    In this pilot study, we investigated levels of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the adipose tissues of two free-ranging terrestrial carnivores from Croatia sampled in 2010 and 2011: the brown bear (Ursus arctos; N=32) and the grey wolf (Canis lupus; N=29). Concentrations of ∑OCPs and ΣPCBs ranged from 0.45 to 4.09 ng g(-1) lipid mass (lm) and from 0.93 to 8.52 ng g(-1) lm in brown bear, and from 1.18 to 5.67 ng g(-1) lm and 2.68 to 48.9 ng g(-1) lm in grey wolf adipose tissues, respectively. PCBs were dominant accounting for over 72% of total analyzed persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The sum of six indicator non-dioxin-like PCBs (Σ6IndNDL PCBs) made up 60-93% and 58-85% of the total congener concentrations in brown bears and wolves, respectively. Although the levels of the measured parameters were significantly higher in grey wolves than in bears, the contaminant profiles of the two species were similar, with γ-HCH, HCB, β-HCH and DDE as major OCP contaminants, and PCB-153>PCB-180≈PCB-170>PCB-138 as the dominant congeners. The sum of hexachlorocyclohexanes (ΣHCHs) and 8 toxicologically relevant dioxin-like PCBs (Σ8ToxDL PCBs) was higher in the males than in the females of the brown bear. Concentrations of ΣDDTs, HCB, ΣOCP, ΣPCBs, Σ6IndNDL PCBs, and toxicologically relevant non-dioxin-like PCBs (ΣToxNDL PCBs) were significantly positively correlated with lipid content in the grey wolf. Concentrations of OCPs and PCBs in brown bears and wolves from Croatia were low and normal for large terrestrial mammals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Microplastics in the Terrestrial Ecosystem: Implications for Lumbricus terrestris (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huerta Lwanga, Esperanza; Gertsen, Hennie; Gooren, Harm; Peters, Piet; Salánki, Tamás; van der Ploeg, Martine; Besseling, Ellen; Koelmans, Albert A; Geissen, Violette

    2016-03-01

    Plastic debris is widespread in the environment, but information on the effects of microplastics on terrestrial fauna is completely lacking. Here, we studied the survival and fitness of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae) exposed to microplastics (Polyethylene, microplastics in the litter than at 7% w/w and in the control (0%). Growth rate was significantly reduced at 28, 45, and 60% w/w microplastics, compared to the 7% and control treatments. Due to the digestion of ingested organic matter, microplastic was concentrated in cast, especially at the lowest dose (i.e., 7% in litter) because that dose had the highest proportion of digestible organic matter. Whereas 50 percent of the microplastics had a size of microplastics in the casts was microplastic in terrestrial ecosystems.

  12. Leveraging Terrestrial Industry for Utilization of Space Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gerald B.; Linne, Diane L.; Starr, Stan O.; Boucher, Dale

    2017-01-01

    NASA's Journey to Mars: Pioneering Next Steps in Space Exploration released in October of 2015 states that NASA is working toward the capability to work, operate, and sustainably live safely beyond Earth. To progress from our current "Earth-Reliant" approach to exploration and eventually become "Earth Independent", we need to first identify resources in space and then learn to use and harvest them to minimize logistics from Earth, reduce costs, and enable sustainable and affordable space transportation and surface operations. Known as In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), the collection and conversion of space resources into products such as propellants, fuel cell reactants, and life support consumables can greatly reduce the mass, cost, and risk of space exploration. Also, the ability to perform civil engineering, construction, and manufacturing at sites of exploration can also allow for increased crew safety and sustainable growth in critical infrastructure. Much of what NASA wants to do on the Moon and Mars with respect to harnessing and utilizing space resources has been performed and perfected on Earth over the centuries. While minimizing mass and operating in the vacuum of space may be unique challenges to NASA, both terrestrial industry and NASA face many of the same challenges associated with operating in severe environments, minimizing maintenance and logistics, maximizing performance per unit mass and volume, performing remote and autonomous operations, and integrating hardware from many vendors and countries. In the end, both NASA and terrestrial industry need to obtain a return on the investment for the development and deployment of these capabilities. This paper will first examine what is ISRU and what are the space resources of interest. The paper will than discuss what are NASA's approach, life cycle, and economic considerations for implementing ISRU. The paper will outline the site and infrastructure needs associated with a phased implementation of

  13. Exposure of Lima bean leaves to volatiles from herbivore-induced conspecific plants results in emission of carnivore attractants: active or passive process?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Choh, Y.; Shimoda, T.; Ozawa, R.; Dicke, M.; Takabayashi, J.

    2004-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that volatiles emitted by herbivore-damaged plants can cause responses in downwind undamaged neighboring plants, such as the attraction of carnivorous enemies of herbivores. One of the open questions is whether this involves an active (production of volatiles) or passive

  14. Teppeki, selective insecticide about Bombus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanigliulo, Angela; Filì, Vittorio; Pacella, Rosa; Comes, Soccorsa; Crescenzi, Aniello

    2009-01-01

    At a time when a highly controversial debate about the causes of the widespread deaths of bees is taking place all over Europe, which accused the agriculture and its practices with particular reference to the harmful effects of some insecticides, it seems important to point out as another insecticide, the Teppeki, can be selective about bumble and have a good compatibility with the activity of the apiaries. This insecticide has the active ingredient flonicamid (500 g/kg) belonging to a new chemical class, called pyridinecarboxamides: the product works systemic and is known as having a long lasting efficacy against all important aphid species. Bioagritest test facility of Pignola (PZ, Italy) has conducted in two successive production cycles an experimental trial on a tomato hydroponic cultivation within the Agricola Bonsai farm in Sibari (CS, Italy), whose objective was to measure the selectivity of flonicamid on Bombus terrestris, insects playing an important role in the pollination of certain species grown in greenhouse such as Tomato, Eggplant, Pepper and Cucumber. On the pollinated flower B. terrestris leaves some trace of its visit, a typical dark trademark: on the detection of the marking of flowers was based the testing program conducted by Bioagritest. Two thesis were compared: A, standard) treatment with a foliar insecticide, the neonicotinoide acetamiprid, normally used for control of aphids and whiteflies (unlike other neonicotinoides--imidacloprid and thiametoxam--quite selective about B. terrestris) and B, Teppeki) foliar treatment with Teppeki, to the maximum dose indicated on the label. The experimental design included the use of randomized blocks with 4 repetitions (4 plots/thesis with 100 plants each). In every thesis six B. terrestris hives were placed 2 days before treatment: the respective holes remained closed during the treatment and the 12 following hours. In order to verify the pollination, by the detection of the flower marking, 2 flowers

  15. Stochasticity and predictability in terrestrial planet formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Volker; Grimm, Simon L.; Moore, Ben; Stadel, Joachim

    2017-02-01

    Terrestrial planets are thought to be the result of a vast number of gravitational interactions and collisions between smaller bodies. We use numerical simulations to show that practically identical initial conditions result in a wide array of final planetary configurations. This is a result of the chaotic evolution of trajectories which are highly sensitive to minuscule displacements. We determine that differences between systems evolved from virtually identical initial conditions can be larger than the differences between systems evolved from very different initial conditions. This implies that individual simulations lack predictive power. For example, there is not a reproducible mapping between the initial and final surface density profiles. However, some key global properties can still be extracted if the statistical spread across many simulations is considered. Based on these spreads, we explore the collisional grow