WorldWideScience

Sample records for terrestrial vertebrate species

  1. V. Terrestrial vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean Pearson; Deborah Finch

    2011-01-01

    Within the Interior West, terrestrial vertebrates do not represent a large number of invasive species relative to invasive weeds, aquatic vertebrates, and invertebrates. However, several invasive terrestrial vertebrate species do cause substantial economic and ecological damage in the U.S. and in this region (Pimental 2000, 2007; Bergman and others 2002; Finch and...

  2. Contaminant exposure in terrestrial vertebrates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, Philip N.; Cobb, George P.; Godard-Codding, Celine; Hoff, Dale; McMurry, Scott T.; Rainwater, Thomas R.; Reynolds, Kevin D.

    2007-01-01

    Here we review mechanisms and factors influencing contaminant exposure among terrestrial vertebrate wildlife. There exists a complex mixture of biotic and abiotic factors that dictate potential for contaminant exposure among terrestrial and semi-terrestrial vertebrates. Chemical fate and transport in the environment determine contaminant bioaccessibility. Species-specific natural history characteristics and behavioral traits then play significant roles in the likelihood that exposure pathways, from source to receptor, are complete. Detailed knowledge of natural history traits of receptors considered in conjunction with the knowledge of contaminant behavior and distribution on a site are critical when assessing and quantifying exposure. We review limitations in our understanding of elements of exposure and the unique aspects of exposure associated with terrestrial and semi-terrestrial taxa. We provide insight on taxa-specific traits that contribute, or limit exposure to, transport phenomenon that influence exposure throughout terrestrial systems, novel contaminants, bioavailability, exposure data analysis, and uncertainty associated with exposure in wildlife risk assessments. Lastly, we identify areas related to exposure among terrestrial and semi-terrestrial organisms that warrant additional research. - Both biotic and abiotic factors determine chemical exposure for terrestrial vertebrates

  3. Globally threatened vertebrates on islands with invasive species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spatz, Dena R; Zilliacus, Kelly M; Holmes, Nick D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Genovesi, Piero; Ceballos, Gerardo; Tershy, Bernie R; Croll, Donald A

    2017-10-01

    Global biodiversity loss is disproportionately rapid on islands, where invasive species are a major driver of extinctions. To inform conservation planning aimed at preventing extinctions, we identify the distribution and biogeographic patterns of highly threatened terrestrial vertebrates (classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature) and invasive vertebrates on ~465,000 islands worldwide by conducting a comprehensive literature review and interviews with more than 500 experts. We found that 1189 highly threatened vertebrate species (319 amphibians, 282 reptiles, 296 birds, and 292 mammals) breed on 1288 islands. These taxa represent only 5% of Earth's terrestrial vertebrates and 41% of all highly threatened terrestrial vertebrates, which occur in vertebrates was available for 1030 islands (80% of islands with highly threatened vertebrates). Invasive vertebrates were absent from 24% of these islands, where biosecurity to prevent invasions is a critical management tool. On the 76% of islands where invasive vertebrates were present, management could benefit 39% of Earth's highly threatened vertebrates. Invasive mammals occurred in 97% of these islands, with Rattus sp. as the most common invasive vertebrate (78%; 609 islands). Our results provide an important baseline for identifying islands for invasive species eradication and other island conservation actions that reduce biodiversity loss.

  4. Beta Diversity in a Highly Heterogeneous Area: Disentangling Species and Taxonomic Dissimilarity for Terrestrial Vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M; Goyenechea, Irene; Ortiz-Pulido, Raúl; Castillo-Cerón, Jesús; Manriquez, Norma; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Rojas-Martínez, Alberto E; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana; Moreno, Claudia E

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying differences in species composition among communities provides important information related to the distribution, conservation and management of biodiversity, especially when two components are recognized: dissimilarity due to turnover, and dissimilarity due to richness differences. The ecoregions in central Mexico, within the Mexican Transition Zone, have outstanding environmental heterogeneity and harbor huge biological richness, besides differences in the origin of the biota. Therefore, biodiversity studies in this area require the use of complementary measures to achieve appropriate information that may help in the design of conservation strategies. In this work we analyze the dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, and the components of turnover and richness differences, among six ecoregions in the state of Hidalgo, central Mexico. We follow two approaches: one based on species level dissimilarity, and the second on taxonomic dissimilarity. We used databases from the project "Biodiversity in the state of Hidalgo". Our results indicate that species dissimilarity is higher than taxonomic dissimilarity, and that turnover contributes more than richness differences, both for species and taxonomic total dissimilarity. Moreover, total dissimilarity, turnover dissimilarity and the dissimilarity due to richness differences were positively related in the four vertebrate groups. Reptiles had the highest values of dissimilarity, followed by mammals, amphibians and birds. For reptiles, birds, and mammals, species turnover was the most important component, while richness differences had a higher contribution for amphibians. The highest values of dissimilarity occurred between environmentally contrasting ecoregions (i.e., tropical and temperate forests), which suggests that environmental heterogeneity and differences in the origin of biotas are key factors driving beta diversity of terrestrial vertebrates among ecoregions in this complex area.

  5. Beta Diversity in a Highly Heterogeneous Area: Disentangling Species and Taxonomic Dissimilarity for Terrestrial Vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M.; Goyenechea, Irene; Ortiz-Pulido, Raúl; Castillo-Cerón, Jesús; Manriquez, Norma; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Rojas-Martínez, Alberto E.; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying differences in species composition among communities provides important information related to the distribution, conservation and management of biodiversity, especially when two components are recognized: dissimilarity due to turnover, and dissimilarity due to richness differences. The ecoregions in central Mexico, within the Mexican Transition Zone, have outstanding environmental heterogeneity and harbor huge biological richness, besides differences in the origin of the biota. Therefore, biodiversity studies in this area require the use of complementary measures to achieve appropriate information that may help in the design of conservation strategies. In this work we analyze the dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, and the components of turnover and richness differences, among six ecoregions in the state of Hidalgo, central Mexico. We follow two approaches: one based on species level dissimilarity, and the second on taxonomic dissimilarity. We used databases from the project “Biodiversity in the state of Hidalgo”. Our results indicate that species dissimilarity is higher than taxonomic dissimilarity, and that turnover contributes more than richness differences, both for species and taxonomic total dissimilarity. Moreover, total dissimilarity, turnover dissimilarity and the dissimilarity due to richness differences were positively related in the four vertebrate groups. Reptiles had the highest values of dissimilarity, followed by mammals, amphibians and birds. For reptiles, birds, and mammals, species turnover was the most important component, while richness differences had a higher contribution for amphibians. The highest values of dissimilarity occurred between environmentally contrasting ecoregions (i.e., tropical and temperate forests), which suggests that environmental heterogeneity and differences in the origin of biotas are key factors driving beta diversity of terrestrial vertebrates among ecoregions in this complex area. PMID:27500934

  6. Threats from climate change to terrestrial vertebrate hotspots in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maiorano, Luigi; Amori, Giovanni; Capula, Massimo; Falcucci, Alessandra; Masi, Monica; Montemaggiori, Alessandro; Pottier, Julien; Psomas, Achilleas; Rondinini, Carlo; Russo, Danilo; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Boitani, Luigi; Guisan, Antoine

    2013-01-01

    We identified hotspots of terrestrial vertebrate species diversity in Europe and adjacent islands. Moreover, we assessed the extent to which by the end of the 21(st) century such hotspots will be exposed to average monthly temperature and precipitation patterns which can be regarded as extreme if compared to the climate experienced during 1950-2000. In particular, we considered the entire European sub-continent plus Turkey and a total of 1149 species of terrestrial vertebrates. For each species, we developed species-specific expert-based distribution models (validated against field data) which we used to calculate species richness maps for mammals, breeding birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Considering four global circulation model outputs and three emission scenarios, we generated an index of risk of exposure to extreme climates, and we used a bivariate local Moran's I to identify the areas with a significant association between hotspots of diversity and high risk of exposure to extreme climates. Our results outline that the Mediterranean basin represents both an important hotspot for biodiversity and especially for threatened species for all taxa. In particular, the Iberian and Italian peninsulas host particularly high species richness as measured over all groups, while the eastern Mediterranean basin is particularly rich in amphibians and reptiles; the islands (both Macaronesian and Mediterranean) host the highest richness of threatened species for all taxa occurs. Our results suggest that the main hotspots of biodiversity for terrestrial vertebrates may be extensively influenced by the climate change projected to occur over the coming decades, especially in the Mediterranean bioregion, posing serious concerns for biodiversity conservation.

  7. The fragmentation of Pangaea and Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vavrek, Matthew J

    2016-09-01

    During the Mesozoic (242-66 million years ago), terrestrial regions underwent a massive shift in their size, position and connectivity. At the beginning of the era, the land masses were joined into a single supercontinent called Pangaea. However, by the end of the Mesozoic, terrestrial regions had become highly fragmented, both owing to the drifting apart of the continental plates and the extremely high sea levels that flooded and divided many regions. How terrestrial biodiversity was affected by this fragmentation and large-scale flooding of the Earth's landmasses is uncertain. Based on a model using the species-area relationship (SAR), terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity would be expected to nearly double through the Mesozoic owing to continental fragmentation, despite a decrease of 24% in total terrestrial area. Previous studies of Mesozoic vertebrates have generally found increases in terrestrial diversity towards the end of the era, although these increases are often attributed to intrinsic or climatic factors. Instead, continental fragmentation over this time may largely explain any observed increase in terrestrial biodiversity. This study demonstrates the importance that non-intrinsic effects can have on the taxonomic success of a group, and the importance of geography to understanding past biodiversity. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. Hotspots of species richness, threat and endemism for terrestrial vertebrates in SW Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascual, López-López; Luigi, Maiorano; Alessandra, Falcucci; Emilio, Barba; Luigi, Boitani

    2011-09-01

    The Mediterranean basin, and the Iberian Peninsula in particular, represent an outstanding "hotspot" of biological diversity with a long history of integration between natural ecosystems and human activities. Using deductive distribution models, and considering both Spain and Portugal, we downscaled traditional range maps for terrestrial vertebrates (amphibians, breeding birds, mammals and reptiles) to the finest possible resolution with the data at hand, and we identified hotspots based on three criteria: i) species richness; ii) vulnerability, and iii) endemism. We also provided a first evaluation of the conservation status of biodiversity hotspots based on these three criteria considering both existing and proposed protected areas (i.e., Natura 2000). For the identification of hotspots, we used a method based on the cumulative distribution functions of species richness values. We found no clear surrogacy among the different types of hotspots in the Iberian Peninsula. The most important hotspots (considering all criteria) are located in the western and southwestern portions of the study area, in the Mediterranean biogeographical region. Existing protected areas are not specifically concentrated in areas of high species richness, with only 5.2% of the hotspots of total richness being currently protected. The Natura 2000 network can potentially constitute an important baseline for protecting vertebrate diversity in the Iberian Peninsula although further improvements are needed. We suggest taking a step forward in conservation planning in the Mediterranean basin, explicitly considering the history of the region as well as its present environmental context. This would allow moving from traditional reserve networks (conservation focused on "patterns") to considerations about the "processes" that generated present biodiversity.

  9. Survey of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation 1995 annual progress report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vail, E.R.; Mitchell, J.M.; Webb, J.W.; King, A.L.; Hamlett, P.A.

    1995-11-01

    This progress report discusses surveys of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) from October 1994 through September 1995. These surveys are important to help avoid or minimize potential impacts of projects on the ORR to species listed as threatened, endangered, or in need of management by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Currently, there are 69 species of federally or state-listed terrestrial vertebrates that may occur in Tennessee. Not all of these are expected to occur on the ORR, nor do resources permit comprehensive sampling for all of them over the entire ORR. To effectively organize sampling efforts, listed animal species that might be present were targeted using a prioritization system based on historical and recent sightings, species distributions, literature reviews, and personal communications. Sampling was conducted during the time of the year when each targeted species would most likely be encountered. Several trapping and surveying methods were used, including pitfall traps, Sherman traps, seining, artificial covers, and cave and avian surveys.

  10. Survey of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mitchell, J.M.; Vail, E.R.; Webb, J.W.; King, A.L.; Hamlett, P.A. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States). Environmental Restoration Div.

    1996-05-01

    Surveys of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) were conducted from October 1994 through May 1996. The surveys were undertaken to help avoid or minimize the potential impacts of projects on the ORR to species listed by the state or federal government as endangered, threatened, or in need-of-management; federal species of concern were included. Results of the survey will also assist in effectively managing the ORR. Currently, there are 69 species of federal- or state-listed terrestrial vertebrates (20 reptiles and amphibians, 20 mammals, and 29 birds) that may occur in Tennessee. Listed animal species that might be present on the ORR were targeted for survey using a prioritization system based on historical and recent sightings, known species distributions, presence of suitable habitat, literature reviews, and personal communications. Survey methods included trapping, seining, monitoring artificial covers, active searching, and avian surveys. Surveys were conducted during the time of year when each targeted species was most likely to be encountered. The report also includes ancillary information. Records are provided for nonlisted species (44 species of reptiles and amphibians, 155 species of birds, and 28 species of mammals). Categorization of survey sites into 1 or more of 19 habitat types, which are briefly described, is presented. Notes are summarized on the occurrence of threatened and endangered species on the ORR. The report also lists threatened and endangered species not found that might be located by additional surveys, recommends three survey areas for natural-area status due to wildlife value, and suggests several avenues for future work.

  11. Survey of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, J.M.; Vail, E.R.; Webb, J.W.; King, A.L.; Hamlett, P.A.

    1996-05-01

    Surveys of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) were conducted from October 1994 through May 1996. The surveys were undertaken to help avoid or minimize the potential impacts of projects on the ORR to species listed by the state or federal government as endangered, threatened, or in need-of-management; federal species of concern were included. Results of the survey will also assist in effectively managing the ORR. Currently, there are 69 species of federal- or state-listed terrestrial vertebrates (20 reptiles and amphibians, 20 mammals, and 29 birds) that may occur in Tennessee. Listed animal species that might be present on the ORR were targeted for survey using a prioritization system based on historical and recent sightings, known species distributions, presence of suitable habitat, literature reviews, and personal communications. Survey methods included trapping, seining, monitoring artificial covers, active searching, and avian surveys. Surveys were conducted during the time of year when each targeted species was most likely to be encountered. The report also includes ancillary information. Records are provided for nonlisted species (44 species of reptiles and amphibians, 155 species of birds, and 28 species of mammals). Categorization of survey sites into 1 or more of 19 habitat types, which are briefly described, is presented. Notes are summarized on the occurrence of threatened and endangered species on the ORR. The report also lists threatened and endangered species not found that might be located by additional surveys, recommends three survey areas for natural-area status due to wildlife value, and suggests several avenues for future work

  12. Dry paths effectively reduce road mortality of small and medium-sized terrestrial vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemi, Milla; Jääskeläinen, Niina C; Nummi, Petri; Mäkelä, Tiina; Norrdahl, Kai

    2014-11-01

    Wildlife passages are widely used mitigation measures designed to reduce the adverse impacts of roads on animals. We investigated whether road kills of small and medium-sized terrestrial vertebrates can be reduced by constructing dry paths adjacent to streams that pass under road bridges. The study was carried out in southern Finland during the summer of 2008. We selected ten road bridges with dry paths and ten bridges without them, and an individual dry land reference site for each study bridge on the basis of landscape and traffic features. A total of 307 dead terrestrial vertebrates were identified during the ten-week study period. The presence of dry paths decreased the amount of road-killed terrestrial vertebrates (Poisson GLMM; p road-kills on mammals was not such clear. In the mammal model, a lack of dry paths increased the amount of carcasses (p = 0.001) whereas the number of casualties at dry path bridges was comparable with dry land reference sites. A direct comparison of the dead ratios suggests an average efficiency of 79% for the dry paths. When considering amphibians and mammals alone, the computed effectiveness was 88 and 70%, respectively. Our results demonstrate that dry paths under road bridges can effectively reduce road-kills of small and medium-sized terrestrial vertebrates, even without guiding fences. Dry paths seemed to especially benefit amphibians which are a threatened species group worldwide and known to suffer high traffic mortality. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Spatial scale and β-diversity of terrestrial vertebrates in Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Ochoa-Ochoa, Leticia M.; Munguía, Mariana; Lira-Noriega, Andrés; Sánchez-Cordero, Víctor; Flores-Villela, Oscar; Navarro-Sigüenza, Adolfo; Rodríguez, Pilar

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of diversity are scale dependent and beta-diversity is not the exception. Mexico is megadiverse due to its high beta diversity, but little is known if it is scale-dependent and/or taxonomic-dependent. We explored these questions based on the self-similarity hypothesis of beta-diversity across spatial scales. Using geographic distribution ranges of 2 513 species, we compared the beta-diversity patterns of 4 groups of terrestrial vertebrates, across 7 spatial scales (from ~10 km² to 16...

  14. Survey of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mitchell, J.M.; Vail, E.R.; Webb, J.W.; Evans, J.W. [and others

    1996-07-01

    This document is the final report on surveys of protected terrestrial vertebrates on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) conducted from October 1994 through May 1996. The surveys were undertaken to gain information that could help prevent or minimize the potential impacts of projects on the ORR to species listed by the state or federal government as endangered, threatened, or in need of management; federal species of concern were also included. The results of the survey will assist in the effective management of the natural resources of the ORR. Currently, there are 69 species of federal or state listed terrestrial vertebrates (20 reptiles and amphibians, 20 mammals, and 29 birds) that may occur in Tennessee. Listed animal species that might be present on the ORR were targeted for survey using a prioritization system based on historical and recent sightings, known species distributions, presence of suitable habitat, literature reviews, and personal communications. Survey methods included trapping, seining, monitoring of artificial covers, active searching, and avian surveys. Surveys were conducted during the time of year when each targeted species was most likely to be encountered. The surveys confirmed the presence of 20 threatened and endangered species on the ORR. This report also includes some ancillary information. Records are provided for nonlisted species (44 species of reptiles and amphibians, 155 species of birds, and 28 species of mammals). Categorization of survey sites into 1 or more of 19 habitat types, which are briefly described, is presented. Notes are summarized on the occurrence of threatened and endangered species on the ORR. Finally, this report also lists threatened and endangered species not found that might be located by additional surveys, recommends three survey areas for natural-area status due to wildlife value, and suggests several avenues for future work.

  15. Water availability not fruitfall modulates the dry season distribution of frugivorous terrestrial vertebrates in a lowland Amazon forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omar Stalin Landázuri Paredes

    Full Text Available Terrestrial vertebrate frugivores constitute one of the major guilds in tropical forests. Previous studies show that the meso-scale distribution of this group is only weakly explained by variables such as altitude and tree basal area in lowland Amazon forests. For the first time we test whether seasonally limiting resources (water and fallen fruit affect the dry season distribution in 25 species of terrestrial vertebrates. To examine the effects of the spatial availability of fruit and water on terrestrial vertebrates we used a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera-traps within 25km2 of lowland Amazon forest. Generalized linear models (GLMs were then used to examine the influence of four variables (altitude, distance to large rivers, distance to nearest water, and presence vs absence of fruits on the number of photos on five functional groups (all frugivores, small, medium, large and very large frugivores and on seven of the most abundant frugivore species (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina, Mazama americana, Mazama nemorivaga, Myoprocta acouchy, Pecari tajacu and Psophia crepitans. A total of 279 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 900 camera-trap days. For most species and three functional groups, the variation in the number of photos per camera was significantly but weakly explained by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 6.2 to 48.8%. Generally, we found that the presence of water availability was more important than the presence of fallen fruit for the groups and species studied. Medium frugivores, large-bodied frugivores, and two of the more abundant species (C. paca and P. crepitans were recorded more frequently closer to water bodies; while none of the functional groups nor the most abundant species showed any significant relationship with the presence of fallen fruit. Two functional groups and two of the seven most common frugivore species assessed in the GLMs showed significant results with species

  16. Water availability not fruitfall modulates the dry season distribution of frugivorous terrestrial vertebrates in a lowland Amazon forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paredes, Omar Stalin Landázuri; Norris, Darren; Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes de; Michalski, Fernanda

    2017-01-01

    Terrestrial vertebrate frugivores constitute one of the major guilds in tropical forests. Previous studies show that the meso-scale distribution of this group is only weakly explained by variables such as altitude and tree basal area in lowland Amazon forests. For the first time we test whether seasonally limiting resources (water and fallen fruit) affect the dry season distribution in 25 species of terrestrial vertebrates. To examine the effects of the spatial availability of fruit and water on terrestrial vertebrates we used a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera-traps within 25km2 of lowland Amazon forest. Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of four variables (altitude, distance to large rivers, distance to nearest water, and presence vs absence of fruits) on the number of photos on five functional groups (all frugivores, small, medium, large and very large frugivores) and on seven of the most abundant frugivore species (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina, Mazama americana, Mazama nemorivaga, Myoprocta acouchy, Pecari tajacu and Psophia crepitans). A total of 279 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 900 camera-trap days. For most species and three functional groups, the variation in the number of photos per camera was significantly but weakly explained by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 6.2 to 48.8%). Generally, we found that the presence of water availability was more important than the presence of fallen fruit for the groups and species studied. Medium frugivores, large-bodied frugivores, and two of the more abundant species (C. paca and P. crepitans) were recorded more frequently closer to water bodies; while none of the functional groups nor the most abundant species showed any significant relationship with the presence of fallen fruit. Two functional groups and two of the seven most common frugivore species assessed in the GLMs showed significant results with species

  17. Ontogenetic niche shifts in dinosaurs influenced size, diversity and extinction in terrestrial vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codron, Daryl; Carbone, Chris; Müller, Dennis W H; Clauss, Marcus

    2012-08-23

    Given the physiological limits to egg size, large-bodied non-avian dinosaurs experienced some of the most extreme shifts in size during postnatal ontogeny found in terrestrial vertebrate systems. In contrast, mammals--the other dominant vertebrate group since the Mesozoic--have less complex ontogenies. Here, we develop a model that quantifies the impact of size-specific interspecies competition on abundances of differently sized dinosaurs and mammals, taking into account the extended niche breadth realized during ontogeny among large oviparous species. Our model predicts low diversity at intermediate size classes (between approx. 1 and 1000 kg), consistent with observed diversity distributions of dinosaurs, and of Mesozoic land vertebrates in general. It also provides a mechanism--based on an understanding of different ecological and evolutionary constraints across vertebrate groups--that explains how mammals and birds, but not dinosaurs, were able to persist beyond the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary, and how post-K-T mammals were able to diversify into larger size categories.

  18. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maud Mouchet

    Full Text Available We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe. Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity, land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i seasonality of temperature, (ii actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover and (iv and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use-land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa.

  19. Partitioning sources of variation in vertebrate species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, R.B.; Krohn, W.B.

    2000-01-01

    Aim: To explore biogeographic patterns of terrestrial vertebrates in Maine, USA using techniques that would describe local and spatial correlations with the environment. Location: Maine, USA. Methods: We delineated the ranges within Maine (86,156 km2) of 275 species using literature and expert review. Ranges were combined into species richness maps, and compared to geomorphology, climate, and woody plant distributions. Methods were adapted that compared richness of all vertebrate classes to each environmental correlate, rather than assessing a single explanatory theory. We partitioned variation in species richness into components using tree and multiple linear regression. Methods were used that allowed for useful comparisons between tree and linear regression results. For both methods we partitioned variation into broad-scale (spatially autocorrelated) and fine-scale (spatially uncorrelated) explained and unexplained components. By partitioning variance, and using both tree and linear regression in analyses, we explored the degree of variation in species richness for each vertebrate group that Could be explained by the relative contribution of each environmental variable. Results: In tree regression, climate variation explained richness better (92% of mean deviance explained for all species) than woody plant variation (87%) and geomorphology (86%). Reptiles were highly correlated with environmental variation (93%), followed by mammals, amphibians, and birds (each with 84-82% deviance explained). In multiple linear regression, climate was most closely associated with total vertebrate richness (78%), followed by woody plants (67%) and geomorphology (56%). Again, reptiles were closely correlated with the environment (95%), followed by mammals (73%), amphibians (63%) and birds (57%). Main conclusions: Comparing variation explained using tree and multiple linear regression quantified the importance of nonlinear relationships and local interactions between species

  20. Geographic range did not confer resilience to extinction in terrestrial vertebrates at the end-Triassic crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunhill, Alexander M; Wills, Matthew A

    2015-08-11

    Rates of extinction vary greatly through geological time, with losses particularly concentrated in mass extinctions. Species duration at other times varies greatly, but the reasons for this are unclear. Geographical range correlates with lineage duration amongst marine invertebrates, but it is less clear how far this generality extends to other groups in other habitats. It is also unclear whether a wide geographical distribution makes groups more likely to survive mass extinctions. Here we test for extinction selectivity amongst terrestrial vertebrates across the end-Triassic event. We demonstrate that terrestrial vertebrate clades with larger geographical ranges were more resilient to extinction than those with smaller ranges throughout the Triassic and Jurassic. However, this relationship weakened with increasing proximity to the end-Triassic mass extinction, breaking down altogether across the event itself. We demonstrate that these findings are not a function of sampling biases; a perennial issue in studies of this kind.

  1. 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

  2. Oldest pathology in a tetrapod bone illuminates the origin of terrestrial vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Bishop

    Full Text Available The origin of terrestrial tetrapods was a key event in vertebrate evolution, yet how and when it occurred remains obscure, due to scarce fossil evidence. Here, we show that the study of palaeopathologies, such as broken and healed bones, can help elucidate poorly understood behavioural transitions such as this. Using high-resolution finite element analysis, we demonstrate that the oldest known broken tetrapod bone, a radius of the primitive stem tetrapod Ossinodus pueri from the mid-Viséan (333 million years ago of Australia, fractured under a high-force, impact-type loading scenario. The nature of the fracture suggests that it most plausibly occurred during a fall on land. Augmenting this are new osteological observations, including a preferred directionality to the trabecular architecture of cancellous bone. Together, these results suggest that Ossinodus, one of the first large (>2m length tetrapods, spent a significant proportion of its life on land. Our findings have important implications for understanding the temporal, biogeographical and physiological contexts under which terrestriality in vertebrates evolved. They push the date for the origin of terrestrial tetrapods further back into the Carboniferous by at least two million years. Moreover, they raise the possibility that terrestriality in vertebrates first evolved in large tetrapods in Gondwana rather than in small European forms, warranting a re-evaluation of this important evolutionary event.

  3. Identification of contaminant trends and data gaps for terrestrial vertebrates residing in northeastern estuaries of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rattner, B.A.; Pearson, J.L.; Golden, N.H.; Erwin, R.M.; Ottinger, M.A.

    1998-01-01

    The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) program of the Department of the Interior is focused to identify and understand effects of contaminant stressors on biological resources under their stewardship. One BEST program activity involves evaluation of retrospective data to assess and predict the condition of biota in Atlantic coast estuaries. A 'Contaminant Exposure and Effects--Terrestrial Vertebrates' database (CEE-TV) has been compiled through computerized literature searches of Fish and Wildlife Reviews, BIOSIS, AGRICOLA, and TOXLINE, review of existing databases (e.g., US EPA Ecological Incident Information System, USGS Diagnostic and Epizootic Databases), and solicitation of unpublished reports from conservation agencies, private groups, and universities. Summary information has been entered into the CEE-TV database, including species, collection date (1965-present), site coordinates, sample matrix, contaminant concentrations, biomarker and bioindicator responses, and reference source, utilizing a 96-field dBase format. Currently, the CEE-TV database contains 3500 georeferenced records representing >200 vertebrate species and > 100,000 individuals residing in estuaries from Maine through Florida. This relational database can be directly queried, imported into the ARC/INFO geographic information system (GIS) to examine spatial tendencies, and used to identify 'hot-spots', generate hypotheses, and focus ecotoxicological assessments. An overview of temporal, phylogenetic, and geographic contaminant exposure and effects information, trends, and data gaps will be presented for terrestrial vertebrates residing in estuaries in the northeast United States.

  4. A global evaluation of metabolic theory as an explanation for terrestrial species richness gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hawkins, Bradford A.; Albuquerque, Fabio S.; Araújo, Miguel B.

    2007-01-01

    We compiled 46 broadscale data sets of species richness for a wide range of terrestrial plant, invertebrate, and ectothermic vertebrate groups in all parts of the world to test the ability of metabolic theory to account for observed diversity gradients. The theory makes two related predictions: (...

  5. An assessment of non-volant terrestrial vertebrates response to wind farms--a study of small mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Łopucki, Rafał; Mróz, Iwona

    2016-02-01

    The majority of studies on the effects of wind energy development on wildlife have been focused on birds and bats, whereas knowledge of the response of terrestrial, non-flying vertebrates is very scarce. In this paper, the impact of three functioning wind farms on terrestrial small mammal communities (rodents and shrews) and the population parameters of the most abundant species were studied. The study was carried out in southeastern Poland within the foothills of the Outer Western Carpathians. Small mammals were captured at 12 sites around wind turbines and at 12 control sites. In total, from 1200 trap-days, 885 individuals of 14 studied mammal species were captured. There was no difference in the characteristics of communities of small mammals near wind turbines and within control sites; i.e. these types of sites were inhabited by a similar number of species of similar abundance, similar species composition, species diversity (H' index) and species evenness (J') (Pielou's index). For the two species with the highest proportion in the communities (Apodemus agrarius and Microtus arvalis), the parameters of their populations (mean body mass, sex ratio, the proportion of adult individuals and the proportion of reproductive female) were analysed. In both species, none of the analysed parameters differed significantly between sites in the vicinity of turbines and control sites. For future studies on the impact of wind turbines on small terrestrial mammals in different geographical areas and different species communities, we recommend the method of paired 'turbine-control sites' as appropriate for animal species with pronounced fluctuations in population numbers.

  6. Global patterns of terrestrial vertebrate diversity and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Clinton N.; Pimm, Stuart L.; Joppa, Lucas N.

    2013-01-01

    Identifying priority areas for biodiversity is essential for directing conservation resources. Fundamentally, we must know where individual species live, which ones are vulnerable, where human actions threaten them, and their levels of protection. As conservation knowledge and threats change, we must reevaluate priorities. We mapped priority areas for vertebrates using newly updated data on >21,000 species of mammals, amphibians, and birds. For each taxon, we identified centers of richness for all species, small-ranged species, and threatened species listed with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Importantly, all analyses were at a spatial grain of 10 × 10 km, 100 times finer than previous assessments. This fine scale is a significant methodological improvement, because it brings mapping to scales comparable with regional decisions on where to place protected areas. We also mapped recent species discoveries, because they suggest where as-yet-unknown species might be living. To assess the protection of the priority areas, we calculated the percentage of priority areas within protected areas using the latest data from the World Database of Protected Areas, providing a snapshot of how well the planet’s protected area system encompasses vertebrate biodiversity. Although the priority areas do have more protection than the global average, the level of protection still is insufficient given the importance of these areas for preventing vertebrate extinctions. We also found substantial differences between our identified vertebrate priorities and the leading map of global conservation priorities, the biodiversity hotspots. Our findings suggest a need to reassess the global allocation of conservation resources to reflect today’s improved knowledge of biodiversity and conservation. PMID:23803854

  7. Measuring local depletion of terrestrial game vertebrates by central-place hunters in rural Amazonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark I Abrahams

    Full Text Available The degree to which terrestrial vertebrate populations are depleted in tropical forests occupied by human communities has been the subject of an intense polarising debate that has important conservation implications. Conservation ecologists and practitioners are divided over the extent to which community-based subsistence offtake is compatible with ecologically functional populations of tropical forest game species. To quantify depletion envelopes of forest vertebrates around human communities, we deployed a total of 383 camera trap stations and 78 quantitative interviews to survey the peri-community areas controlled by 60 semi-subsistence communities over a combined area of over 3.2 million hectares in the Médio Juruá and Uatumã regions of Central-Western Brazilian Amazonia. Our results largely conform with prior evidence that hunting large-bodied vertebrates reduces wildlife populations near settlements, such that they are only found at a distance to settlements where they are hunted less frequently. Camera trap data suggest that a select few harvest-sensitive species, including lowland tapir, are either repelled or depleted by human communities. Nocturnal and cathemeral species were detected relatively more frequently in disturbed areas close to communities, but individual species did not necessarily shift their activity patterns. Group biomass of all species was depressed in the wider neighbourhood of urban areas rather than communities. Interview data suggest that species traits, especially group size and body mass, mediate these relationships. Large-bodied, large-group-living species are detected farther from communities as reported by experienced informants. Long-established communities in our study regions have not "emptied" the surrounding forest. Low human population density and low hunting offtake due to abundant sources of alternative aquatic protein, suggest that these communities represent a best-case scenario for sustainable

  8. Measuring local depletion of terrestrial game vertebrates by central-place hunters in rural Amazonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peres, Carlos A.; Costa, Hugo C. M.

    2017-01-01

    The degree to which terrestrial vertebrate populations are depleted in tropical forests occupied by human communities has been the subject of an intense polarising debate that has important conservation implications. Conservation ecologists and practitioners are divided over the extent to which community-based subsistence offtake is compatible with ecologically functional populations of tropical forest game species. To quantify depletion envelopes of forest vertebrates around human communities, we deployed a total of 383 camera trap stations and 78 quantitative interviews to survey the peri-community areas controlled by 60 semi-subsistence communities over a combined area of over 3.2 million hectares in the Médio Juruá and Uatumã regions of Central-Western Brazilian Amazonia. Our results largely conform with prior evidence that hunting large-bodied vertebrates reduces wildlife populations near settlements, such that they are only found at a distance to settlements where they are hunted less frequently. Camera trap data suggest that a select few harvest-sensitive species, including lowland tapir, are either repelled or depleted by human communities. Nocturnal and cathemeral species were detected relatively more frequently in disturbed areas close to communities, but individual species did not necessarily shift their activity patterns. Group biomass of all species was depressed in the wider neighbourhood of urban areas rather than communities. Interview data suggest that species traits, especially group size and body mass, mediate these relationships. Large-bodied, large-group-living species are detected farther from communities as reported by experienced informants. Long-established communities in our study regions have not “emptied” the surrounding forest. Low human population density and low hunting offtake due to abundant sources of alternative aquatic protein, suggest that these communities represent a best-case scenario for sustainable hunting of

  9. A new lineage of trypanosomes from Australian vertebrates and terrestrial bloodsucking leeches (Haemadipsidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, P B; Stevens, J R; Gidley, J; Holz, P; Gibson, W C

    2005-04-01

    Little is known about the trypanosomes of indigenous Australian vertebrates and their vectors. We surveyed a range of vertebrates and blood-feeding invertebrates for trypanosomes by parasitological and PCR-based methods using primers specific to the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene of genus Trypanosoma. Trypanosome isolates were obtained in culture from two common wombats, one swamp wallaby and an Australian bird (Strepera sp.). By PCR, blood samples from three wombats, one brush-tailed wallaby, three platypuses and a frog were positive for trypanosome DNA. All the blood-sucking invertebrates screened were negative for trypanosomes both by microscopy and PCR, except for specimens of terrestrial leeches (Haemadipsidae). Of the latter, two Micobdella sp. specimens from Victoria and 18 Philaemon sp. specimens from Queensland were positive by PCR. Four Haemadipsa zeylanica specimens from Sri Lanka and three Leiobdella jawarerensis specimens from Papua New Guinea were also PCR positive for trypanosome DNA. We sequenced the SSU rRNA and glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) genes in order to determine the phylogenetic positions of the new vertebrate and terrestrial leech trypanosomes. In trees based on these genes, Australian vertebrate trypanosomes fell in several distinct clades, for the most part being more closely related to trypanosomes outside Australia than to each other. Two previously undescribed wallaby trypanosomes fell in a clade with Trypanosoma theileri, the cosmopolitan bovid trypanosome, and Trypanosoma cyclops from a Malaysian primate. The terrestrial leech trypanosomes were closely related to the wallaby trypanosomes, T. cyclops and a trypanosome from an Australian frog. We suggest that haemadipsid leeches may be significant and widespread vectors of trypanosomes in Australia and Asia.

  10. Drinking by amphibious fish: convergent evolution of thirst mechanisms during vertebrate terrestrialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katayama, Yukitoshi; Sakamoto, Tatsuya; Saito, Kazuhiro; Tsuchimochi, Hirotsugu; Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Watanabe, Taro; Pearson, James T; Takei, Yoshio

    2018-01-12

    Thirst aroused in the forebrain by angiotensin II (AngII) or buccal drying motivates terrestrial vertebrates to search for water, whereas aquatic fish can drink surrounding water only by reflex swallowing generated in the hindbrain. Indeed, AngII induces drinking through the hindbrain even after removal of the whole forebrain in aquatic fish. Here we show that AngII induces thirst also in the amphibious mudskipper goby without direct action on the forebrain, but through buccal drying. Intracerebroventricular injection of AngII motivated mudskippers to move into water and drink as with tetrapods. However, AngII primarily increased immunoreactive c-Fos at the hindbrain swallowing center where AngII receptors were expressed, as in other ray-finned fish, and such direct action on the forebrain was not found. Behavioural analyses showed that loss of buccal water on land by AngII-induced swallowing, by piercing holes in the opercula, or by water-absorptive gel placed in the cavity motivated mudskippers to move to water for refilling. Since sensory detection of water at the bucco-pharyngeal cavity like 'dry mouth' has recently been noted to regulate thirst in mammals, similar mechanisms seem to have evolved in distantly related species in order to solve osmoregulatory problems during terrestrialization.

  11. Ecological relationships of meso-scale distribution in 25 neotropical vertebrate species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, Lincoln José; Norris, Darren; de Oliveira, Tadeu Gomes; Michalski, Fernanda

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates are a vital ecological component of Amazon forest biodiversity. Although vertebrates are a functionally important part of various ecosystem services they continue to be threatened by anthropogenic impacts throughout the Amazon. Here we use a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera traps within 25km2 to provide a baseline assessment of vertebrate species diversity in a sustainable use protected area in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We examined seasonal differences in the per species encounter rates (number of photos per camera trap and number of cameras with photos). Generalized linear models (GLMs) were then used to examine the influence of five variables (altitude, canopy cover, basal area, distance to nearest river and distance to nearest large river) on the number of photos per species and on functional groups. GLMs were also used to examine the relationships between large predators [Jaguar (Panthera onca) and Puma (Puma concolor)] and their prey. A total of 649 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 1,800 camera trap days (900 each during wet and dry seasons). Only ungulates and rodents showed significant seasonal differences in the number of photos per camera. The number of photos differed between seasons for only three species (Mazama americana, Dasyprocta leporina and Myoprocta acouchy) all of which were photographed more (3 to 10 fold increase) during the wet season. Mazama americana was the only species where a significant difference was found in occupancy, with more photos in more cameras during the wet season. For most groups and species variation in the number of photos per camera was only explained weakly by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 10.3 to 54.4%). Terrestrial birds (Crax alector, Psophia crepitans and Tinamus major) and rodents (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina and M. acouchy) were the notable exceptions, with our GLMs significantly explaining variation in the distribution of all species

  12. Ecological relationships of meso-scale distribution in 25 neotropical vertebrate species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lincoln José Michalski

    Full Text Available Vertebrates are a vital ecological component of Amazon forest biodiversity. Although vertebrates are a functionally important part of various ecosystem services they continue to be threatened by anthropogenic impacts throughout the Amazon. Here we use a standardized, regularly spaced arrangement of camera traps within 25km2 to provide a baseline assessment of vertebrate species diversity in a sustainable use protected area in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We examined seasonal differences in the per species encounter rates (number of photos per camera trap and number of cameras with photos. Generalized linear models (GLMs were then used to examine the influence of five variables (altitude, canopy cover, basal area, distance to nearest river and distance to nearest large river on the number of photos per species and on functional groups. GLMs were also used to examine the relationships between large predators [Jaguar (Panthera onca and Puma (Puma concolor] and their prey. A total of 649 independent photos of 25 species were obtained from 1,800 camera trap days (900 each during wet and dry seasons. Only ungulates and rodents showed significant seasonal differences in the number of photos per camera. The number of photos differed between seasons for only three species (Mazama americana, Dasyprocta leporina and Myoprocta acouchy all of which were photographed more (3 to 10 fold increase during the wet season. Mazama americana was the only species where a significant difference was found in occupancy, with more photos in more cameras during the wet season. For most groups and species variation in the number of photos per camera was only explained weakly by the GLMs (deviance explained ranging from 10.3 to 54.4%. Terrestrial birds (Crax alector, Psophia crepitans and Tinamus major and rodents (Cuniculus paca, Dasyprocta leporina and M. acouchy were the notable exceptions, with our GLMs significantly explaining variation in the distribution of all

  13. Myoglobin oxygen affinity in aquatic and terrestrial birds and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Traver J; Davis, Randall W

    2015-07-01

    Myoglobin (Mb) is an oxygen binding protein found in vertebrate skeletal muscle, where it facilitates intracellular transport and storage of oxygen. This protein has evolved to suit unique physiological needs in the muscle of diving vertebrates that express Mb at much greater concentrations than their terrestrial counterparts. In this study, we characterized Mb oxygen affinity (P50) from 25 species of aquatic and terrestrial birds and mammals. Among diving species, we tested for correlations between Mb P50 and routine dive duration. Across all species examined, Mb P50 ranged from 2.40 to 4.85 mmHg. The mean P50 of Mb from terrestrial ungulates was 3.72±0.15 mmHg (range 3.70-3.74 mmHg). The P50 of cetaceans was similar to terrestrial ungulates ranging from 3.54 to 3.82 mmHg, with the exception of the melon-headed whale, which had a significantly higher P50 of 4.85 mmHg. Among pinnipeds, the P50 ranged from 3.23 to 3.81 mmHg and showed a trend for higher oxygen affinity in species with longer dive durations. Among diving birds, the P50 ranged from 2.40 to 3.36 mmHg and also showed a trend of higher affinities in species with longer dive durations. In pinnipeds and birds, low Mb P50 was associated with species whose muscles are metabolically active under hypoxic conditions associated with aerobic dives. Given the broad range of potential globin oxygen affinities, Mb P50 from diverse vertebrate species appears constrained within a relatively narrow range. High Mb oxygen affinity within this range may be adaptive for some vertebrates that make prolonged dives. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Vertebrados terrestres de la Reserva Nacional Río Clarillo, Chile central: representatividad y conservación Terrestrial vertebrates of the Río Clarillo National Reserve, central Chile: representation and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    IVÁN A. DÍAZ

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available Analizamos la representatividad, distribución y perspectivas de conservación de los vertebrados terrestres de la Reserva Nacional Río Clarillo, Chile central. Mediante recorridos periódicos realizados entre 1987 y 1996, determinamos la riqueza y distribución altitudinal de los vertebrados terrestres en esta Reserva. Registramos 127 especies (22 mamíferos, 85 aves, 15 reptiles y cinco anfibios, que representan el 69 % del total de especies que por su distribución geográfica y tipo de hábitat podrían habitar este lugar. De éstas, 32 especies (25 % están catalogadas con problemas de conservación. La riqueza de vertebrados decrece con la altitud, desde 101 especies a los 870 m hasta ocho especies a los 3.050 m. La riqueza de vertebrados se concentró bajo los 1.600 m, albergando 109 especies, 55 de las cuales no se registraron a mayor altitud. En cambio, sobre los 1.600 m se registraron 57 especies. Paradójicamente sólo el 31 % de la superficie de la Reserva está bajo los 1.600 m. Nuestros resultados sugieren que la superficie de la Reserva no es suficiente para albergar poblaciones viables de la mayoría de los vertebrados registrados. Alrededor de la Reserva existen propiedades privadas con grandes extensiones de bosques esclerófilos bajo los 1.600 m, los cuales podrían actuar como fuentes y la Reserva como sumidero de vertebrados. Por lo tanto, sugerimos desarrollar estrategias de conservación en estas áreas y realizar monitoreos para determinar si las poblaciones de vertebrados mas sensibles están aumentando o disminuyendo, tanto dentro como fuera de la ReservaWe analyzed the representation, distribution and conservation perspectives of terrestrial vertebrates in the Río Clarillo National Reserve, central Chile. During periodical surveys conducted between 1987 and 1996, we determined the composition and altitudinal distribution of the terrestrial vertebrates in this Reserve. We recorded 127 species (22 mammals, 85 birds, 15

  15. A National System to Map and Quantify Terrestrial Vertebrate ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biodiversity is crucial for the functioning of ecosystems and the products and services from which we transform natural assets of the Earth for human survival, security, and well-being. The ability to assess, report, map, and forecast the life support functions of ecosystems is absolutely critical to our capacity to make informed decisions to maintain the sustainable nature of our environment now and into the future. 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.Nevertheless, the need to measure and assess occurrence of biodiversity, changes over time and space, agents of change, and consequences for the provision of ecosystem services for human livelihood remains important. 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 the terrestrial vertebrates of the conterminous United States and cluste

  16. Gene expression in chicken reveals correlation with structural genomic features and conserved patterns of transcription in the terrestrial vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haisheng Nie

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The chicken is an important agricultural and avian-model species. A survey of gene expression in a range of different tissues will provide a benchmark for understanding expression levels under normal physiological conditions in birds. With expression data for birds being very scant, this benchmark is of particular interest for comparative expression analysis among various terrestrial vertebrates. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We carried out a gene expression survey in eight major chicken tissues using whole genome microarrays. A global picture of gene expression is presented for the eight tissues, and tissue specific as well as common gene expression were identified. A Gene Ontology (GO term enrichment analysis showed that tissue-specific genes are enriched with GO terms reflecting the physiological functions of the specific tissue, and housekeeping genes are enriched with GO terms related to essential biological functions. Comparisons of structural genomic features between tissue-specific genes and housekeeping genes show that housekeeping genes are more compact. Specifically, coding sequence and particularly introns are shorter than genes that display more variation in expression between tissues, and in addition intergenic space was also shorter. Meanwhile, housekeeping genes are more likely to co-localize with other abundantly or highly expressed genes on the same chromosomal regions. Furthermore, comparisons of gene expression in a panel of five common tissues between birds, mammals and amphibians showed that the expression patterns across tissues are highly similar for orthologous genes compared to random gene pairs within each pair-wise comparison, indicating a high degree of functional conservation in gene expression among terrestrial vertebrates. CONCLUSIONS: The housekeeping genes identified in this study have shorter gene length, shorter coding sequence length, shorter introns, and shorter intergenic regions, there seems

  17. Vertebrate land invasions-past, present, and future: an introduction to the symposium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley-Ross, Miriam A; Hsieh, S Tonia; Gibb, Alice C; Blob, Richard W

    2013-08-01

    The transition from aquatic to terrestrial habitats was a seminal event in vertebrate evolution because it precipitated a sudden radiation of species as new land animals diversified in response to novel physical and biological conditions. However, the first stages of this environmental transition presented numerous challenges to ancestrally aquatic organisms, and necessitated changes in the morphological and physiological mechanisms that underlie most life processes, among them movement, feeding, respiration, and reproduction. How did solutions to these functional challenges evolve? One approach to this question is to examine modern vertebrate species that face analogous demands; just as the first tetrapods lived at the margins of bodies of water and likely moved between water and land regularly, many extant fishes and amphibians use their body systems in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats on a daily basis. Thus, studies of amphibious vertebrates elucidate the functional demands of two very different habitats and clarify our understanding of the initial evolutionary challenges of moving onto land. A complementary approach is to use studies of the fossil record and comparative development to gain new perspectives on form and function of modern amphibious and non-amphibious vertebrate taxa. Based on the synthetic approaches presented in the symposium, it is clear that our understanding of aquatic-to-terrestrial transitions is greatly improved by the reciprocal integration of paleontological and neontological perspectives. In addition, common themes and new insights that emerged from this symposium point to the value of innovative approaches, new model species, and cutting-edge research techniques to elucidate the functional challenges and evolutionary changes associated with vertebrates' invasion of the land.

  18. Trends in Medicinal Uses of Edible Wild Vertebrates in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of food medicines is a widespread practice worldwide. In Brazil, such use is often associated with wild animals, mostly focusing on vertebrate species. Here we assessed taxonomic and ecological trends in traditional uses of wild edible vertebrates in the country, through an extensive ethnobiological database analysis. Our results showed that at least 165 health conditions are reportedly treated by edible vertebrate species (n=204, mostly fishes and mammals. However, reptiles stand out presenting a higher plasticity in the treatment of multiple health conditions. Considering the 20 disease categories recorded, treatment prescriptions were similar within continental (i.e., terrestrial and freshwater and also within coastal and marine habitats, which may reflect locally related trends in occurrence and use of the medicinal fauna. The comprehension of the multiplicity and trends in the therapeutic uses of Brazilian vertebrates is of particular interest from a conservation perspective, as several threatened species were recorded.

  19. Radiation effects in wild terrestrial vertebrates - the EPIC collection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sazykina, Tatiana; Kryshev, Ivan I

    2006-01-01

    The paper presents data on radiation effects in populations of wild vertebrate animals inhabiting contaminated terrestrial ecosystems. The data were extracted from the database "Radiation effects on biota", compiled within the framework of the EC Project EPIC (2000-2003). The data collection, based on publications in Russian, demonstrates radiation effects in the areas characterized with high levels of radionuclides (Kyshtym radioactive trace; "spots" of enhanced natural radioactivity in the Komi region of Russia; territories contaminated from the Chernobyl fallout). The data covers a wide range of exposures from acute accidental irradiation to lifetime exposures at relatively low dose rates. Radiation effects include mortality, changes in reproduction, decrease of health, ecological effects, cytogenetic effects, adaptation to radiation, and others. Peculiarities of radiation effects caused by different radionuclides are described, also the severity of effects as they appear in different organisms (e.g. mice, frogs, birds, etc.).

  20. Radiation effects in wild terrestrial vertebrates - the EPIC collection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sazykina, Tatiana; Kryshev, Ivan I.

    2006-01-01

    The paper presents data on radiation effects in populations of wild vertebrate animals inhabiting contaminated terrestrial ecosystems. The data were extracted from the database 'Radiation effects on biota', compiled within the framework of the EC Project EPIC (2000-2003). The data collection, based on publications in Russian, demonstrates radiation effects in the areas characterized with high levels of radionuclides (Kyshtym radioactive trace; 'spots' of enhanced natural radioactivity in the Komi region of Russia; territories contaminated from the Chernobyl fallout). The data covers a wide range of exposures from acute accidental irradiation to lifetime exposures at relatively low dose rates. Radiation effects include mortality, changes in reproduction, decrease of health, ecological effects, cytogenetic effects, adaptation to radiation, and others. Peculiarities of radiation effects caused by different radionuclides are described, also the severity of effects as they appear in different organisms (e.g. mice, frogs, birds, etc.)

  1. 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...

  2. Support your local species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stärk, Johanna

    Nearly a quarter of all animal species within the European Union are threatened with extinction. Protecting many of these species will require the full spectrum of conservation actions from in-situ to ex-situ management. Holding an estimated 44% of EU Red Listed terrestrial vertebrates, zoos hereby...

  3. Ageing research on vertebrates shows knowledge gaps and opportunities for species conservation and management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conde, Dalia Amor

    is constant when species reach maturity. The implications of these assumptions have strong consequences not only in the development of evolutionary theories of ageing and population ecology but also in species conservation. By modeling mortality of different species of vertebrates we show that different...... models are needed to explore the diversity of mortality trajectories in animals. However, our state of demographic knowledge even for vertebrates is by far deficient to incorporate the effects on age. Exploring 13 available datasets on vertebrate life histories traits, our results show surprising figures...

  4. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maíra Benchimol

    Full Text Available Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments.

  5. Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benchimol, Maíra; Peres, Carlos A

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments.

  6. Vascular plant and vertebrate species richness in national parks of the eastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatfield, Jeffrey S.; Myrick, Kaci E.; Huston, Michael A.; Weckerly, Floyd W.; Green, M. Clay

    2013-01-01

    Given the estimates that species diversity is diminishing at 50-100 times the normal rate, it is critical that we be able to evaluate changes in species richness in order to make informed decisions for conserving species diversity. In this study, we examined the potential of vascular plant species richness to be used as a surrogate for vertebrate species richness in the classes of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Vascular plants, as primary producers, represent the biotic starting point for ecological community structure and are the logical place to start for understanding vertebrate species associations. We used data collected by the United States (US) National Park Service (NPS) on species presence within parks in the eastern US to estimate simple linear regressions between plant species richness and vertebrate richness. Because environmental factors may also influence species diversity, we performed simple linear regressions of species richness versus natural logarithm of park area, park latitude, mean annual precipitation, mean annual temperature, and human population density surrounding the parks. We then combined plant species richness and environmental variables in multiple regressions to determine the variables that remained as significant predictors of vertebrate species richness. As expected, we detected significant relationships between plant species richness and amphibian, bird, and mammal species richness. In some cases, plant species richness was predicted by park area alone. Species richness of mammals was only related to plant species richness. Reptile species richness, on the other hand, was related to plant species richness, park latitude and annual precipitation, while amphibian species richness was related to park latitude, park area, and plant species richness. Thus, plant species richness predicted species richness of different vertebrate groups to varying degrees and should not be used exclusively as a surrogate for vertebrate

  7. Vertebrate pressure-gradient receivers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob

    2011-01-01

    The eardrums of all terrestrial vertebrates (tetrapods) are connected through Eustachian tubes or interaural canals. In some of the animals, these connections create pressure-gradient directionality, an enhanced directionality by interaction of sound arriving at both sides of the eardrum and stro......The eardrums of all terrestrial vertebrates (tetrapods) are connected through Eustachian tubes or interaural canals. In some of the animals, these connections create pressure-gradient directionality, an enhanced directionality by interaction of sound arriving at both sides of the eardrum....... Recent vertebrates form a continuum from perfect interaural transmission (0 dB in a certain frequency band) and pronounced eardrum directionality (30-40 dB) in the lizards, over somewhat attenuated transmission and limited directionality in birds and frogs, to the strongly attenuated interaural...

  8. Spatial complexity of carcass location influences vertebrate scavenger efficiency and species composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Joshua B; Laatsch, Lauren J; Beasley, James C

    2017-08-31

    Scavenging plays an important role in shaping communities through inter- and intra-specific interactions. Although vertebrate scavenger efficiency and species composition is likely influenced by the spatial complexity of environments, heterogeneity in carrion distribution has largely been disregarded in scavenging studies. We tested this hypothesis by experimentally placing juvenile bird carcasses on the ground and in nests in trees to simulate scenarios of nestling bird carrion availability. We used cameras to record scavengers removing carcasses and elapsed time to removal. Carrion placed on the ground was scavenged by a greater diversity of vertebrates and at > 2 times the rate of arboreal carcasses, suggesting arboreal carrion may represent an important resource to invertebrate scavengers, particularly in landscapes with efficient vertebrate scavenging communities. Nonetheless, six vertebrate species scavenged arboreal carcasses. Rat snakes (Elaphe obsolete), which exclusively scavenged from trees, and turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) were the primary scavengers of arboreal carrion, suggesting such resources are potentially an important pathway of nutrient acquisition for some volant and scansorial vertebrates. Our results highlight the intricacy of carrion-derived food web linkages, and how consideration of spatial complexity in carcass distribution (i.e., arboreal) may reveal important pathways of nutrient acquisition by invertebrate and vertebrate scavenging guilds.

  9. Alien species recorded in the United Arab Emirates: an initial list of terrestrial and freshwater species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pritpal Soorae

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Little is documented on the alien terrestrial and freshwater species in the United Arab Emirates. To address this, an assessment of terrestrial and freshwater alien species was conducted using various techniques such as a questionnaire, fieldwork data, networking with relevant people, and a detailed literature review. The results of the initial assessment show that there are 146 alien species recorded in the following seven major taxonomic groups: invertebrates 49 species, freshwater fish five species, amphibian one species, reptiles six species, birds 71 species, mammals six species and plants eight species. To inform decision makers a full list of the 146 species identified in this assessment is presented. 

  10. 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.

  11. FOSSIL VERTEBRATES (MAMMALIA AND REPTILIA FROM CAPO MANNU (LATE PLIOCENE, WESTERN SARDINIA, ITALY, WITH DESCRIPTION OF A NEWTESTUDO (CHELONII, TESTUDINIDAE SPECIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LAURA ABBAZZI

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available In the North-West Sinis Peninsula (Western Sardinia a stratigraphic sequence, the Capo Mannu Fm., that evolves from marine-littoral to continental-dunar, is present. A vertebrate fauna is reported within the middle part of this coastal dune complex. These new remains, here referred to as the Capo Mannu D4 Local Fauna, are slightly younger in the sedimentary succession than the Local Fauna known in the literature as Mandriola and here re-named the Capo Mannu D1 Local Fauna.Vertebrates from Capo Mannu D4 include reptiles (Chelonii and mammals (Bovidae and Suidae. The tortoise fossils show peculiarities of shape that require the naming of a new species. The suid material includes a fragmentary palate and a partial mandible, referable to the endemic species Sus sondaari. Bovids are well represented in the assemblage, although quite fragmentary. They have been identified as belonging to at least two forms. One of these is comparable in morphology to Nesogoral, one of the most characteristic taxa of the Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene Sardinian endemic fauna (the so called "Nesogoral complex". On the whole, the Capo Mannu D4 assemblages open a new window on the Plio-Pleistocene terrestrial faunas of the Sardinian Island. 

  12. Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines

    OpenAIRE

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Ehrlich, Paul R.; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2017-01-01

    The strong focus on species extinctions, a critical aspect of the contemporary pulse of biological extinction, leads to a common misimpression that Earth’s biota is not immediately threatened, just slowly entering an episode of major biodiversity loss. This view overlooks the current trends of population declines and extinctions. Using a sample of 27,600 terrestrial vertebrate species, and a more detailed analysis of 177 mammal species, we show the extremely high degree of population decay in...

  13. Prioritizing islands for the eradication of invasive vertebrates in the United Kingdom overseas territories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Jeffrey; Oppel, Steffen; Cuthbert, Richard J; Holmes, Nick; Bird, Jeremy P; Butchart, Stuart H M; Spatz, Dena R; Tershy, Bernie

    2015-02-01

    Invasive alien species are one of the primary threats to native biodiversity on islands worldwide. Consequently, eradicating invasive species from islands has become a mainstream conservation practice. Deciding which islands have the highest priority for eradication is of strategic importance to allocate limited resources to achieve maximum conservation benefit. Previous island prioritizations focused either on a narrow set of native species or on a small geographic area. We devised a prioritization approach that incorporates all threatened native terrestrial vertebrates and all invasive terrestrial vertebrates occurring on 11 U.K. overseas territories, which comprise over 2000 islands ranging from the sub-Antarctic to the tropics. Our approach includes eradication feasibility and distinguishes between the potential and realistic conservation value of an eradication, which reflects the benefit that would accrue following eradication of either all invasive species or only those species for which eradication techniques currently exist. We identified the top 25 priority islands for invasive species eradication that together would benefit extant populations of 155 native species including 45 globally threatened species. The 5 most valuable islands included the 2 World Heritage islands Gough (South Atlantic) and Henderson (South Pacific) that feature unique seabird colonies, and Anegada, Little Cayman, and Guana Island in the Caribbean that feature a unique reptile fauna. This prioritization can be rapidly repeated if new information or techniques become available, and the approach could be replicated elsewhere in the world. © 2014 Crown copyright. Conservation Biology © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. Lytic activities in coelomic fluid of Eisenia foetida and Lumbricus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucková, L; Rejnek, J; Síma, P; Ondrejová, R

    1986-01-01

    Coelomic fluids of the two earthworm species E.foetida (E.F.) and L.terrestris (L.T.) have not only the ability to lyse various vertebrate erythrocytes but also to digest vertebrate serum proteins. Both activities are carried by different molecules since hemolysis but not proteolysis was inhibited by simple sugars. In contrary, proteolysis was blocked by PMSF which did not influence hemolysis. Coelomic fluids of E.F. digest effectively vertebrate serum proteins (PIgG, HSA) but not the proteins of L.T. coelomic fluids. The proteolytic activity was detected in approximately 40 000 mol. wt. fraction. After digestion proteolytic fragments were analyzed by immunoelectrophoresis, SDS-PAGE and TCA precipitation. Two of the fragments reacting with PIgG antisera remained intact even after 120 h digestion.

  15. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands—the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon: the relationship of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities and structural conditions (Part 2).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris Maser; Jack Ward Thomas; Ralph G. Anderson

    1984-01-01

    The relationships of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities, structural conditions, and special habitats in the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon are described in a series of appendices. The importance of habitat components to wildlife and the predictability of management activities on wildlife are examined in terms of managed rangelands. ...

  16. Ensembl Genomes: an integrative resource for genome-scale data from non-vertebrate species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kersey, Paul J; Staines, Daniel M; Lawson, Daniel; Kulesha, Eugene; Derwent, Paul; Humphrey, Jay C; Hughes, Daniel S T; Keenan, Stephan; Kerhornou, Arnaud; Koscielny, Gautier; Langridge, Nicholas; McDowall, Mark D; Megy, Karine; Maheswari, Uma; Nuhn, Michael; Paulini, Michael; Pedro, Helder; Toneva, Iliana; Wilson, Derek; Yates, Andrew; Birney, Ewan

    2012-01-01

    Ensembl Genomes (http://www.ensemblgenomes.org) is an integrative resource for genome-scale data from non-vertebrate species. The project exploits and extends technology (for genome annotation, analysis and dissemination) developed in the context of the (vertebrate-focused) Ensembl project and provides a complementary set of resources for non-vertebrate species through a consistent set of programmatic and interactive interfaces. These provide access to data including reference sequence, gene models, transcriptional data, polymorphisms and comparative analysis. Since its launch in 2009, Ensembl Genomes has undergone rapid expansion, with the goal of providing coverage of all major experimental organisms, and additionally including taxonomic reference points to provide the evolutionary context in which genes can be understood. Against the backdrop of a continuing increase in genome sequencing activities in all parts of the tree of life, we seek to work, wherever possible, with the communities actively generating and using data, and are participants in a growing range of collaborations involved in the annotation and analysis of genomes.

  17. Radionuclide transfer in terrestrial animals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DiGregorio, D.; Kitchings, T.; Van Voris, P.

    1978-01-01

    The analysis of dispersion of radionuclides in terrestrial food chains, generally, is a series of equations identifying the fractional input and outflow rates from trophic level to trophic level. Data that are prerequisite inputs for these food chain transport models include: (1) identification of specific transport pathway, (2) assimilation at each pathway link, and (3) the turnover rate or retention function by successive receptor species in the appropriate food chain. In this report, assimilation coefficients, biological half-lives, and excretion rates for a wide variety of vertebrate and invertebrate species and radionuclides have been compiled from an extensive search of the available literature. Using the information accumulated from the literature, correlations of nuclide metabolism and body weight are also discussed. (author)

  18. Predicting the mosquito species and vertebrate species involved in the theoretical transmission of Rift Valley fever virus in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Golnar

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV is a mosquito-borne virus in the family Bunyaviridiae that has spread throughout continental Africa to Madagascar and the Arabian Peninsula. The establishment of RVFV in North America would have serious consequences for human and animal health in addition to a significant economic impact on the livestock industry. Published and unpublished data on RVFV vector competence, vertebrate host competence, and mosquito feeding patterns from the United States were combined to quantitatively implicate mosquito vectors and vertebrate hosts that may be important to RVFV transmission in the United States. A viremia-vector competence relationship based on published mosquito transmission studies was used to calculate a vertebrate host competence index which was then combined with mosquito blood feeding patterns to approximate the vector and vertebrate amplification fraction, defined as the relative contribution of the mosquito or vertebrate host to pathogen transmission. Results implicate several Aedes spp. mosquitoes and vertebrates in the order Artiodactyla as important hosts for RVFV transmission in the U.S. Moreover, this study identifies critical gaps in knowledge which would be necessary to complete a comprehensive analysis identifying the different contributions of mosquitoes and vertebrates to potential RVFV transmission in the U.S. Future research should focus on (1 the dose-dependent relationship between viremic exposure and the subsequent infectiousness of key mosquito species, (2 evaluation of vertebrate host competence for RVFV among North American mammal species, with particular emphasis on the order Artiodactyla, and (3 identification of areas with a high risk for RVFV introduction so data on local vector and host populations can help generate geographically appropriate amplification fraction estimates.

  19. Predicting the mosquito species and vertebrate species involved in the theoretical transmission of Rift Valley fever virus in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golnar, Andrew J; Turell, Michael J; LaBeaud, A Desiree; Kading, Rebekah C; Hamer, Gabriel L

    2014-09-01

    Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a mosquito-borne virus in the family Bunyaviridiae that has spread throughout continental Africa to Madagascar and the Arabian Peninsula. The establishment of RVFV in North America would have serious consequences for human and animal health in addition to a significant economic impact on the livestock industry. Published and unpublished data on RVFV vector competence, vertebrate host competence, and mosquito feeding patterns from the United States were combined to quantitatively implicate mosquito vectors and vertebrate hosts that may be important to RVFV transmission in the United States. A viremia-vector competence relationship based on published mosquito transmission studies was used to calculate a vertebrate host competence index which was then combined with mosquito blood feeding patterns to approximate the vector and vertebrate amplification fraction, defined as the relative contribution of the mosquito or vertebrate host to pathogen transmission. Results implicate several Aedes spp. mosquitoes and vertebrates in the order Artiodactyla as important hosts for RVFV transmission in the U.S. Moreover, this study identifies critical gaps in knowledge which would be necessary to complete a comprehensive analysis identifying the different contributions of mosquitoes and vertebrates to potential RVFV transmission in the U.S. Future research should focus on (1) the dose-dependent relationship between viremic exposure and the subsequent infectiousness of key mosquito species, (2) evaluation of vertebrate host competence for RVFV among North American mammal species, with particular emphasis on the order Artiodactyla, and (3) identification of areas with a high risk for RVFV introduction so data on local vector and host populations can help generate geographically appropriate amplification fraction estimates.

  20. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands—the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon: the relationship of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities and structural conditions (Part 1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris Maser; Jack Ward Thomas; Ralph G. Anderson

    1984-01-01

    The relationships of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities, structural conditions, and special habitats in the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon are described. The importance of habitat components to wildlife and the predictability of management activities on wildlife are examined in terms of managed rangelands. The paper does not provide guidelines but rather...

  1. iDNA screening: Disease vectors as vertebrate samplers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocher, Arthur; de Thoisy, Benoit; Catzeflis, François; Valière, Sophie; Bañuls, Anne-Laure; Murienne, Jérôme

    2017-11-01

    In the current context of global change and human-induced biodiversity decline, there is an urgent need for developing sampling approaches able to accurately describe the state of biodiversity. Traditional surveys of vertebrate fauna involve time-consuming and skill-demanding field methods. Recently, the use of DNA derived from invertebrate parasites (leeches and blowflies) was suggested as a new tool for vertebrate diversity assessment. Bloodmeal analyses of arthropod disease vectors have long been performed to describe their feeding behaviour, for epidemiological purposes. On the other hand, this existing expertise has not yet been applied to investigate vertebrate fauna per se. Here, we evaluate the usefulness of hematophagous dipterans as vertebrate samplers. Blood-fed sand flies and mosquitoes were collected in Amazonian forest sites and analysed using high-throughput sequencing of short mitochondrial markers. Bloodmeal identifications highlighted contrasting ecological features and feeding behaviour among dipteran species, which allowed unveiling arboreal and terrestrial mammals of various body size, as well as birds, lizards and amphibians. Additionally, lower vertebrate diversity was found in sites undergoing higher levels of human-induced perturbation. These results suggest that, in addition to providing precious information on disease vector host use, dipteran bloodmeal analyses may represent a useful tool in the study of vertebrate communities. Although further effort is required to validate the approach and consider its application to large-scale studies, this first work opens up promising perspectives for biodiversity monitoring and eco-epidemiology. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Vertebrate endemism in south-eastern Africa numerically redefines a biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, Sandun J; ProcheŞ, Şerban; Ratnayake-Perera, Dayani; Ramdhani, Syd

    2018-02-20

    We use numerical methods to explore patterns of vertebrate endemism in south-eastern Africa, refining the boundaries of the intuitively-defined Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biodiversity hotspot, also proposing a zoogeographic regionalisation. An incidence matrix of 300 vertebrate species endemic to south-eastern Africa sensu lato in 37 operational geographic units were used in (a) phenetic cluster analysis (PCA) using the algorithm of unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic averages (phenetic approach), and (b) parsimony analysis of endemicity (PAE; parsimony approach), in order to numerically evaluate the bioregional delimitations. The analyses provide a valid biogeographical entity 37% larger than the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany hotspot, but substantially (131%) higher in vertebrate endemicity viz. the Greater Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany (GMPA) region of vertebrate endemism. South-east Africa is recognised as a dominion in the global zoogeographical area hierarchy, with subordinate units including the GMPA province. Various spatially-based measures of endemism were mapped for vertebrate species restricted to the dominion, i.e. endemic to south-eastern Africa sensu stricto. Areas and centres of endemism detected respectively from PAE and PCA, within the south-east Africa dominion also support the refined boundary of the GMPA region of endemism, which provides a better spatial conservation priority compared to the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany hotspot. Reptiles and amphibians are found to be the main drivers of the overall pattern of endemism, while the pattern in freshwater fish is the most distinctive. Our analyses also indicate a good congruence of the centres of endemism across different terrestrial vertebrate taxa.

  3. Vertebrate predators have minimal cascading effects on plant production or seed predation in an intact grassland ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    John L. Maron; Dean E. Pearson

    2011-01-01

    The strength of trophic cascades in terrestrial habitats has been the subject of considerable interest and debate. We conducted an 8-year experiment to determine how exclusion of vertebrate predators, ungulates alone (to control for ungulate exclusion from predator exclusion plots) or none of these animals influenced how strongly a three-species assemblage of rodent...

  4. Charles Darwin's beagle voyage, fossil vertebrate succession, and "the gradual birth & death of species".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Paul D

    2010-01-01

    The prevailing view among historians of science holds that Charles Darwin became a convinced transmutationist only in the early spring of 1837, after his Beagle collections had been examined by expert British naturalists. With respect to the fossil vertebrate evidence, some historians believe that Darwin was incapable of seeing or understanding the transmutationist implications of his specimens without the help of Richard Owen. There is ample evidence, however, that he clearly recognized the similarities between several of the fossil vertebrates he collected and some of the extant fauna of South America before he returned to Britain. These comparisons, recorded in his correspondence, his diary and his notebooks during the voyage, were instances of a phenomenon that he later called the "law of the succession of types." Moreover, on the Beagle, he was following a geological research agenda outlined in the second volume of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, which implies that paleontological data alone could provide an insight into the laws which govern the appearance of new species. Since Darwin claims in On the Origin of Species that fossil vertebrate succession was one of the key lines of evidence that led him to question the fixity of species, it seems certain that he was seriously contemplating transmutation during the Beagle voyage. If so, historians of science need to reconsider both the role of Britain's expert naturalists and the importance of the fossil vertebrate evidence in the development of Darwin's ideas on transmutation.

  5. Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Ehrlich, Paul R; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2017-07-25

    The population extinction pulse we describe here shows, from a quantitative viewpoint, that Earth's sixth mass extinction is more severe than perceived when looking exclusively at species extinctions. Therefore, humanity needs to address anthropogenic population extirpation and decimation immediately. That conclusion is based on analyses of the numbers and degrees of range contraction (indicative of population shrinkage and/or population extinctions according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature) using a sample of 27,600 vertebrate species, and on a more detailed analysis documenting the population extinctions between 1900 and 2015 in 177 mammal species. We find that the rate of population loss in terrestrial vertebrates is extremely high-even in "species of low concern." In our sample, comprising nearly half of known vertebrate species, 32% (8,851/27,600) are decreasing; that is, they have decreased in population size and range. In the 177 mammals for which we have detailed data, all have lost 30% or more of their geographic ranges and more than 40% of the species have experienced severe population declines (>80% range shrinkage). Our data indicate that beyond global species extinctions Earth is experiencing a huge episode of population declines and extirpations, which will have negative cascading consequences on ecosystem functioning and services vital to sustaining civilization. We describe this as a "biological annihilation" to highlight the current magnitude of Earth's ongoing sixth major extinction event.

  6. Early vertebrate origin and diversification of small transmembrane regulators of cellular ion transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirkmajer, Sergej; Kirchner, Henriette; Lundell, Leonidas S; Zelenin, Pavel V; Zierath, Juleen R; Makarova, Kira S; Wolf, Yuri I; Chibalin, Alexander V

    2017-07-15

    Small transmembrane proteins such as FXYDs, which interact with Na + ,K + -ATPase, and the micropeptides that interact with sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca 2+ -ATPase play fundamental roles in regulation of ion transport in vertebrates. Uncertain evolutionary origins and phylogenetic relationships among these regulators of ion transport have led to inconsistencies in their classification across vertebrate species, thus hampering comparative studies of their functions. We discovered the first FXYD homologue in sea lamprey, a basal jawless vertebrate, which suggests small transmembrane regulators of ion transport emerged early in the vertebrate lineage. We also identified 13 gene subfamilies of FXYDs and propose a revised, phylogeny-based FXYD classification that is consistent across vertebrate species. These findings provide an improved framework for investigating physiological and pathophysiological functions of small transmembrane regulators of ion transport. Small transmembrane proteins are important for regulation of cellular ion transport. The most prominent among these are members of the FXYD family (FXYD1-12), which regulate Na + ,K + -ATPase, and phospholamban, sarcolipin, myoregulin and DWORF, which regulate the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca 2+ -ATPase (SERCA). FXYDs and regulators of SERCA are present in fishes, as well as terrestrial vertebrates; however, their evolutionary origins and phylogenetic relationships are obscure, thus hampering comparative physiological studies. Here we discovered that sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), a representative of extant jawless vertebrates (Cyclostomata), expresses an FXYD homologue, which strongly suggests that FXYDs predate the emergence of fishes and other jawed vertebrates (Gnathostomata). Using a combination of sequence-based phylogenetic analysis and conservation of local chromosome context, we determined that FXYDs markedly diversified in the lineages leading to cartilaginous fishes (Chondrichthyes) and bony

  7. Detection of Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria: rickettsiales in three species of terrestrial isopods (crustacea: isopoda: oniscidea in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bianca Laís Zimmermann

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial isopods are widely infected with Wolbachia. However, little is known about the presence of bacteria in the Neotropical species. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis of presence of Wolbachia infection in the native species of terrestrial isopods, Atlantoscia floridana and Circoniscus bezzii, and in the introduced species Burmoniscus meeusei.

  8. Experimental Evaluation of Host Adaptation of Lactobacillus reuteri to Different Vertebrate Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duar, Rebbeca M; Frese, Steven A; Lin, Xiaoxi B; Fernando, Samodha C; Burkey, Thomas E; Tasseva, Guergana; Peterson, Daniel A; Blom, Jochen; Wenzel, Cory Q; Szymanski, Christine M; Walter, Jens

    2017-06-15

    The species Lactobacillus reuteri has diversified into host-specific lineages, implying a long-term association with different vertebrates. Strains from rodent lineages show specific adaptations to mice, but the processes underlying the evolution of L. reuteri in other hosts remain unknown. We administered three standardized inocula composed of strains from different host-confined lineages to mice, pigs, chickens, and humans. The ecological performance of each strain in the gastrointestinal tract of each host was determined by typing random colonies recovered from fecal samples collected over five consecutive days postadministration. Results revealed that rodent strains were predominant in mice, confirming previous findings of host adaptation. In chickens, poultry strains of the lineage VI (poultry VI) and human isolates from the same lineage (human VI) were recovered at the highest and second highest rates, respectively. Interestingly, human VI strains were virtually undetected in human feces. These findings, together with ancestral state reconstructions, indicate poultry VI and human VI strains share an evolutionary history with chickens. Genomic analysis revealed that poultry VI strains possess a large and variable accessory genome, whereas human VI strains display low genetic diversity and possess genes encoding antibiotic resistance and capsular polysaccharide synthesis, which might have allowed temporal colonization of humans. Experiments in pigs and humans did not provide evidence of host adaptation of L. reuteri to these hosts. Overall, our findings demonstrate host adaptation of L. reuteri to rodents and chickens, supporting a joint evolution of this bacterial species with several vertebrate hosts, although questions remain about its natural history in humans and pigs. IMPORTANCE Gut microbes are often hypothesized to have coevolved with their vertebrate hosts. However, the evidence is sparse and the evolutionary mechanisms have not been identified. We

  9. Vertebrate species introductions in the United States and its territories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witmer, Gary W.; Fuller, Pam L.

    2011-01-01

    At least 1,065 introduced vertebrate species have been introduced in the United States and its territories, including at least 86 mammalian, 127 avian, 179 reptilian/amphibian, and 673 fish species. Examples in each major taxonomic group include domestic cat, small Indian mongoose, red fox, goat, pig, rabbit, rats, house mouse, gray squirrel, nutria, starling, Indian common myna, red-vented bulbul, brown treesnake, red-eared slider, brown trout, tilapia, and grass carp. We briefly review some of these species and the types of damage they cause. We then review the basic types of methods used for control or eradication of each taxonomic group, including physical, chemical, biological, and cultural methods. We discuss some of the challenges in managing these species, including issues with the use of toxicants, land access, public attitudes, and monitoring difficulties. Finally, we list some ongoing research and future research needs, including improved detection methods, improved attractants, improved barriers, improved capture methods, fertility control, and risk assessment methods.

  10. pHj, contractility and Ca-balance under hypercapnic acidosis in the myocardium of different vertebrate species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gesser, H; Bonefeld-Jørgensen, Eva Cecilie

    1982-01-01

    The influence of hypercapnic acidosis upon the heart was examined in four vertebrate species. The CO2 in the tissue bath was increased from 2.7 to 15% at 12 degrees C for flounder (Platichthys flesus) and cod (Gadus morhua) and from 3 to 13% at 22 degrees C for turtle (Pseudemys scripta) and rain......The influence of hypercapnic acidosis upon the heart was examined in four vertebrate species. The CO2 in the tissue bath was increased from 2.7 to 15% at 12 degrees C for flounder (Platichthys flesus) and cod (Gadus morhua) and from 3 to 13% at 22 degrees C for turtle (Pseudemys scripta...

  11. Global patterns in post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peco, Begoña; Laffan, Shawn W; Moles, Angela T

    2014-01-01

    It is commonly accepted that species interactions such as granivory are more intense in the tropics. However, this has rarely been tested. A global dataset of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates for 79 native plant species from semi-natural and natural terrestrial habitats ranging from 55° N to 45° S, was compiled from the global literature to test the hypothesis that post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates is more intense at lower latitudes. We also quantified the relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates and by invertebrates to global climatic features including temperature, actual evapotranspiration (AET) and rainfall seasonality. Linear mixed effect models were applied to describe the relationships between seed removal and latitude, hemisphere and climatic variables controlling for the effect of seed mass. Post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates was negatively related to latitude. In contrast, post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates was positively but weakly related to latitude. Mean annual temperature and actual evapotranspiration were positively related to post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates, but not to post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates, which was only marginally negatively related to rainfall seasonality. The inclusion of seed mass improved the fit of all models, but the term for seed mass was not significant in any model. Although a good climatic model for predicting post-dispersal seed predation by vertebrates at the global level was not found, our results suggest different and opposite latitudinal patterns of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates vs vertebrates. This is the first time that a negative relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and latitude, and a positive relationship with temperature and AET have been documented at a global-scale. These results have important implications for understanding global patterns in plant

  12. Potential Environmental and Ecological Effects of Global Climate Change on Venomous Terrestrial Species in the Wilderness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Needleman, Robert K; Neylan, Isabelle P; Erickson, Timothy

    2018-06-01

    Climate change has been scientifically documented, and its effects on wildlife have been prognosticated. We sought to predict the overall impact of climate change on venomous terrestrial species. We hypothesize that given the close relationship between terrestrial venomous species and climate, a changing global environment may result in increased species migration, geographical redistribution, and longer seasons for envenomation, which would have repercussions on human health. A retrospective analysis of environmental, ecological, and medical literature was performed with a focus on climate change, toxinology, and future modeling specific to venomous terrestrial creatures. Species included venomous reptiles, snakes, arthropods, spiders, and Hymenoptera (ants and bees). Animals that are vectors of hemorrhagic infectious disease (eg, mosquitos, ticks) were excluded. Our review of the literature indicates that changes to climatic norms will have a potentially dramatic effect on terrestrial venomous creatures. Empirical evidence demonstrates that geographic distributions of many species have already shifted due to changing climatic conditions. Given that most terrestrial venomous species are ectotherms closely tied to ambient temperature, and that climate change is shifting temperature zones away from the equator, further significant distribution and population changes should be anticipated. For those species able to migrate to match the changing temperatures, new geographical locations may open. For those species with limited distribution capabilities, the rate of climate change may accelerate faster than species can adapt, causing population declines. Specifically, poisonous snakes and spiders will likely maintain their population numbers but will shift their geographic distribution to traditionally temperate zones more often inhabited by humans. Fire ants and Africanized honey bees are expected to have an expanded range distribution due to predicted warming trends

  13. Differential use of salmon by vertebrate consumers: implications for conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taal Levi

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Salmon and other anadromous fish are consumed by vertebrates with distinct life history strategies to capitalize on this ephemeral pulse of resource availability. Depending on the timing of salmon arrival, this resource may be in surplus to the needs of vertebrate consumers if, for instance, their populations are limited by food availability during other times of year. However, the life history of some consumers enables more efficient exploitation of these ephemeral resources. Bears can deposit fat and then hibernate to avoid winter food scarcity, and highly mobile consumers such as eagles, gulls, and other birds can migrate to access asynchronous pulses of salmon availability. We used camera traps on pink, chum, and sockeye salmon spawning grounds with various run times and stream morphologies, and on individual salmon carcasses, to discern potentially different use patterns among consumers. Wildlife use of salmon was highly heterogeneous. Ravens were the only avian consumer that fed heavily on pink salmon in small streams. Eagles and gulls did not feed on early pink salmon runs in streams, and only moderately at early sockeye runs, but were the dominant consumers at late chum salmon runs, particularly on expansive river flats. Brown bears used all salmon resources far more than other terrestrial vertebrates. Notably, black bears were not observed on salmon spawning grounds despite being the most frequently observed vertebrate on roads and trails. From a conservation and management perspective, all salmon species and stream morphologies are used extensively by bears, but salmon spawning late in the year are disproportionately important to eagles and other highly mobile species that are seasonally limited by winter food availability.

  14. Vertebrate species introductions in the United States and its territories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary W. WITMER, Pam L. FULLER

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available At least 1,065 introduced vertebrate species have been introduced in the United States and its territories, including at least 86 mammalian, 127 avian, 179 reptilian/amphibian, and 673 fish species. Examples in each major taxonomic group include domestic cat, small Indian mongoose, red fox, goat, pig, rabbit, rats, house mouse, gray squirrel, nutria, starling, Indian common myna, red-vented bulbul, brown treesnake, red-eared slider, brown trout, tilapia, and grass carp. We briefly review some of these species and the types of damage they cause. We then review the basic types of methods used for control or eradication of each taxonomic group, including physical, chemical, biological, and cultural methods. We discuss some of the challenges in managing these species, including issues with the use of toxicants, land access, public attitudes, and monitoring difficulties. Finally, we list some ongoing research and future research needs, including improved detection methods, improved attractants, improved barriers, improved capture methods, fertility control, and risk assessment methods [Current Zoology 57 (5: 559–567, 2011].

  15. Arsenic speciation in moso bamboo shoot - A terrestrial plant that contains organoarsenic species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao Rui [Department of Chemistry, Key laboratory for Atomic and Molecular Nanosciences of Education Ministry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, P.R. China (China); Zhao Mengxia [Department of Chemistry, Key laboratory for Atomic and Molecular Nanosciences of Education Ministry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Wang Hui [Department of Chemistry, Key laboratory for Atomic and Molecular Nanosciences of Education Ministry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Taneike, Yasuhito [Shimadzu Co Ltd, Spectroscopy Business Unit Analytical Instruments Div, Nakagyo Ku, Kyoto, 6048511 (Japan); Zhang Xinrong [Department of Chemistry, Key laboratory for Atomic and Molecular Nanosciences of Education Ministry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China)]. E-mail: xrzhang@chem.tsinghua.edu.cn

    2006-12-01

    Arsenic is predominantly found as an inorganic species in most terrestrial plants. However, we found that a significant proportion of organic arsenic was present in moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens Mazel) shoot in a market survey of arsenic species in edible terrestrial plants. Moso bamboo shoots from different producing areas in China were collected for analysis to confirm the ubiquity of methylated arsenic species. The total arsenic concentrations of bamboo shoots were determined by hydride generation coupled atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HG-AFS), ranging from 27.7 to 94.0 {mu}g/kg. Information about arsenic species was acquired from cold trap-hydride generation-atomic absorption spectrometry (CT-HG-AAS). Dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) was present in the amount of 13.9% to 44.9% of sum of the arsenic species in all these samples. Monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) and trimethylarsine oxide (TMAO) were also detected in certain samples in the range of 4.2-16.5% and 11.8-18.4%, respectively. In addition, bamboo shoots collected in winter were found to have more total arsenic and organic arsenic than those collected in spring. To investigate the source of the organic arsenic in moso bamboo shoots, arsenic species in the rhizosphere soils of the plants were examined. The absence of organic arsenic in soils would suggest the possibility of formation of methylated arsenic in the plants. In addition, studies of arsenic speciation in the peel and core of winter bamboo shoots showed that all the cores contained organic arsenic while no organic arsenic was detected in the peels. The study provides useful information for better understanding of the distribution of arsenic species in terrestrial plants.

  16. Interactions between terrestrial mammals and the fruits of two neotropical rainforest tree species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camargo-Sanabria, Angela A.; Mendoza, Eduardo

    2016-05-01

    Mammalian frugivory is a distinctive biotic interaction of tropical forests; however, most efforts in the Neotropics have focused on cases of animals foraging in the forest canopy, in particular primates and bats. In contrast much less is known about this interaction when it involves fruits deposited on the forest floor and terrestrial mammals. We conducted a camera-trapping survey to analyze the characteristics of the mammalian ensembles visiting fruits of Licania platypus and Pouteria sapota deposited on the forest floor in a well preserved tropical rainforest of Mexico. Both tree species produce large fruits but contrast in their population densities and fruit chemical composition. In particular, we expected that more species of terrestrial mammals would consume P. sapota fruits due to its higher pulp:seed ratio, lower availability and greater carbohydrate content. We monitored fruits at the base of 13 trees (P. sapota, n = 4 and L. platypus, n = 9) using camera-traps. We recorded 13 mammal species from which we had evidence of 8 consuming or removing fruits. These eight species accounted for 70% of the species of mammalian frugivores active in the forest floor of our study area. The ensemble of frugivores associated with L. platypus (6 spp.) was a subset of that associated with P. sapota (8 spp). Large body-sized species such as Tapirus bairdii, Pecari tajacu and Cuniculus paca were the mammals more frequently interacting with fruits of the focal species. Our results further our understanding of the characteristics of the interaction between terrestrial mammalian frugivores and large-sized fruits, helping to gain a more balanced view of its importance across different tropical forests and providing a baseline to compare against defaunated forests.

  17. Permo-Triassic vertebrate extinctions: A program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, E. C.

    1988-01-01

    Since the time of the Authors' study on this subject, a great deal of new information has become available. Concepts of the nature of extinctions have changed materially. The Authors' conclusion that a catastrophic event was not responsible for the extinction of vertebrates has modified to the extent that hypotheses involving either the impact of a massive extra-terrestrial body or volcanism provide plausible but not currently fully testable hypotheses. Stated changes resulted in a rapid decrease in organic diversity, as the ratio of origins of taxa to extinctions shifted from strongly positive to negative, with momentary equilibrium being reached at about the Permo-Triassic boundary. The proximate causes of the changes in the terrestrial biota appear to lie in two primary factors: (1) strong climatic changes (global mean temperatures, temperature ranges, humidity) and (2) susceptibility of the dominant vertebrates (large dicynodonts) and the glossopteris flora to disruption of the equlibrium of the world ecosystem. The following proximate causes have been proposed: (1) rhythmic fluctuations in solar radiation, (2) tectonic events as Pangea assembled, altering land-ocean relationships, patterns of wind and water circulation and continental physiography, (3) volcanism, and (4) changes subsequent to impacts of one or more massive extra terrestrial objects, bodies or comets. These hypotheses are discussed.

  18. Differentiation and adaptive radiation of amphibious gobies (Gobiidae: Oxudercinae) in semi-terrestrial habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polgar, G; Sacchetti, A; Galli, P

    2010-11-01

    During several surveys made in the region of the lower Fly River and delta, Papua New Guinea, nine species of oxudercine gobies (Gobiidae: Oxudercinae) were recorded: Boleophthalmus caeruleomaculatus, Oxuderces wirzi, Periophthalmodon freycineti, Periophthalmus darwini, Periophthalmus novaeguineaensis, Periophthalmus takita, Periophthalmus weberi, Scartelaos histophorus and Zappa confluentus. An exploratory multivariate analysis of their habitat conditions discriminated five guilds, differentially distributed in habitats with different quantities of environmental water and three guilds corresponding to different levels of salinity. A partial correspondence between phylogenetic and ecological categories suggested the presence of parallel adaptive radiations within different genera. In particular, the species found in the most terrestrial habitats (P. weberi) was also found in the widest range of conditions, suggesting that colonization of extreme semi-terrestrial and freshwater habitats by this species was facilitated by eurytypy. It is proposed that these findings provide insight into convergent adaptations for the vertebrate eco-evolutionary transition from sea to land. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2010 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  19. Short-chain chlorinated paraffins in terrestrial bird species inhabiting an e-waste recycling site in South China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luo, Xiao-Jun; Sun, Yu-Xin; Wu, Jiang-Ping; Chen, She-Jun; Mai, Bi-Xian

    2015-01-01

    Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) are under review by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Currently, limited data are available about SCCPs in terrestrial organisms. In the present study, SCCP concentration in the muscles of seven terrestrial bird species (n = 38) inhabiting an e-waste recycling area in South China was determined. This concentration varied from 620 to 17,000 ng/g lipid. Resident birds accumulated significantly higher SCCP concentrations than migratory birds (p < 0.01). Trophic magnification was observed for migratory bird species but not for resident, which was attributed to high heterogeneity of SCCP in e-waste area. Two different homologue group patterns were observed in avian samples. The first pattern was found in five bird species dominated by C 10 and C 11 congeners, while the second was found in the remains, which show rather equal abundance of homologue groups. This may be caused by two sources of SCCPs (local and e-waste) in the study area. - Highlights: • SCCPs in terrestrial bird species from an e-waste area are first reported. • Elevated SCCP level was found as compared with other regions. • Resident birds accumulated significantly higher SCCP levels than migratory birds. • Trophic magnification was observed for migratory but not for resident bird species. • Two homologue patterns were found among seven bird species. - SCCP concentration in terrestrial bird species inhabiting an e-waste site was first reported in this study

  20. Invasive vertebrate species in Chile and their control and monitoring by governmental agencies Especies de vertebrados invasores en Chile y su control y monitoreo por agencias gubernamentales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. AGUSTÍN IRIARTE

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available We provide an overview of the current status of vertebrate invasive species throughout Chile, updating information on terrestrial exotics and reporting for the first time the situation of exotic freshwater fishes. In addition, we document the legislation and programs that the Chilean government has implemented to limit the entry of exotics to the country or minimize their impact on native wild flora and fauna and on natural ecosystems. We document what is known about the introduction of 26 exotic fish species to continental waters of the country, discussing the distribution and putative effects of those 11 species that may be considered invasive. From a previous list of 24 terrestrial vertebrate invaders, we withdraw the Argentine tortoise (Chelonoidis chilensis, reindeer (Rangifer tarandus and mouflon (Ovis ammon because there are no data on their subsistence in the wild. On the other hand, we add three new species: red-eared freshwater turtle (Trachemys scripta, monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus, and red-crested cardinal (Paroaria coronata, thus keeping the total number of terrestrial invaders unchanged at 24 species. The chief agency in charge of existing laws and regulations regarding the import of exotic freshwater species is the National Fisheries Service (SERNAPESCA, in Spanish, a dependency of the Ministry of Economy. The main agency in charge of enforcing existing laws and regulations regarding the import of exotic terrestrial species to Chile is the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG, in Spanish, a dependency of the Ministry of Agriculture. Currently, SAG is not only controlling major border passes, seaports and airports, but also is funding studies to monitor and control already existing invaders. In addition, the Chilean Forest Service (CONAF, in Spanish is also concerned about invasive species, but only if they enter national parks and reserves within the National System of Protected Wildlife Areas (SNASPE, in Spanish

  1. Morphological and molecular characterization and phylogenetic relationships of a new species of trypanosome in Tapirus terrestris (lowland tapir), Trypanosoma terrestris sp. nov., from Atlantic Rainforest of southeastern Brazi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, Igor da Cunha Lima; da Costa, Andrea Pereira; Nunes, Pablo Henrique; Gondim, Maria Fernanda Naegeli; Gatti, Andressa; Rossi, João Luiz; Gennari, Solange Maria; Marcili, Arlei

    2013-12-11

    The Lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) is the largest Brazilian mammal and despite being distributed in various Brazilian biomes, it is seriously endangered in the Atlantic Rainforest. These hosts were never evaluated for the presence of Trypanosoma parasites. The Lowland tapirs were captured in the Brazilian southeastern Atlantic Rainforest, Espírito Santo state. Trypanosomes were isolated by hemoculture, and the molecular phylogeny based on small subunit rDNA (SSU rDNA) and glycosomal-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) gene sequences and the ultrastructural features seen via light microscopy and scanning and transmission electron microscopy are described. Phylogenetic trees using combined SSU rDNA and gGAPDH data sets clustered the trypanosomes of Lowland tapirs, which were highly divergent from other trypanosome species. The phylogenetic position and morphological discontinuities, mainly in epimastigote culture forms, made it possible to classify the trypanosomes from Lowland tapirs as a separate species. The isolated trypanosomes from Tapirus terrestris are a new species, Trypanosoma terrestris sp. n., and were positioned in a new Trypanosoma clade, named T. terrestris clade.

  2. 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...

  3. Temperature-size responses match latitudinal-size clines in arthropods, revealing critical differences between aquatic and terrestrial species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horne, C.R.; Hirst, Andrew G.; Atkinson, D.

    2015-01-01

    of these gradients to date, and find that their direction and magnitude co-vary among 12 arthropod orders (r2 = 0.72). Body size in aquatic species generally reduces with both warming and decreasing latitude, whereas terrestrial species have much reduced and even opposite gradients. These patterns support...... the prediction that oxygen limitation is a major controlling factor in water, but not in air. Furthermore, voltinism explains much of the variation in T-S and L-S patterns in terrestrial but not aquatic species. While body size decreases with warming and with decreasing latitude in multivoltine terrestrial......Two major intraspecific patterns of adult size variation are plastic temperature-size (T-S) responses and latitude-size (L-S) clines. Yet, the degree to which these co-vary and share explanatory mechanisms has not been systematically evaluated. We present the largest quantitative comparison...

  4. Enhancement of local species richness in tundra by seed dispersal through guts of muskox and barnacle goose

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Hans Henrik; Lundgren, Rebekka; Philipp, Marianne

    2008-01-01

    The potential contribution of vertebrate-mediated seed rain to the maintenance of plant community richness in a High Arctic ecosystem was investigated. We analyzed viable seed content in dung of the four numerically most important terrestrial vertebrates in Northeast Greenland - muskox (Ovibos...... moschatus), barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis), Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) and Arctic hare (Lepus arcticus). High numbers of plant propagules were found in the dung of muskox and barnacle goose. Seeds of many plant species were found in the faeces of one vertebrate species only. Propagule composition...... in barnacle goose droppings was relatively uniform over samples, with a high abundance of the nutritious bulbils of Polygonum viviparum (Bistorta vivipara), suggesting that geese have a narrow habitat preference and feed selectively. Propagule composition in muskox dung was diverse and heterogeneous among...

  5. Acute oral toxicity of chemicals in terrestrial life stages of amphibians: Comparisons to birds and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crane, Mark; Finnegan, Meaghean; Weltje, Lennart; Kosmala-Grzechnik, Sylwia; Gross, Melanie; Wheeler, James R

    2016-10-01

    Amphibians are currently the most threatened and rapidly declining group of vertebrates and this has raised concerns about their potential sensitivity and exposure to plant protection products and other chemicals. Current environmental risk assessment procedures rely on surrogate species (e.g. fish and birds) to cover the risk to aquatic and terrestrial life stages of amphibians, respectively. Whilst a recent meta-analysis has shown that in most cases amphibian aquatic life stages are less sensitive to chemicals than fish, little research has been conducted on the comparative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages. Therefore, in this paper we address the questions "What is the relative sensitivity of terrestrial amphibian life stages to acute chemical oral exposure when compared with mammals and birds?" and "Are there correlations between oral toxicity data for amphibians and data for mammals or birds?" Identifying a relationship between these data may help to avoid additional vertebrate testing. Acute oral amphibian toxicity data collected from the scientific literature and ecotoxicological databases were compared with toxicity data for mammals and birds. Toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages are generally sparse, as noted in previous reviews. Single-dose oral toxicity data for terrestrial amphibian life stages were available for 26 chemicals and these were positively correlated with LD50 values for mammals, while no correlation was found for birds. Further, the data suggest that oral toxicity to terrestrial amphibian life stages is similar to or lower than that for mammals and birds, with a few exceptions. Thus, mammals or birds are considered adequate toxicity surrogates for use in the assessment of the oral exposure route in amphibians. However, there is a need for further data on a wider range of chemicals to explore the wider applicability of the current analyses and recommendations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Exotic and invasive terrestrial and freshwater animal species in the Dutch Caribbean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buurt, van G.; Debrot, A.O.

    2011-01-01

    An overview of 72 invasive animals of the terrestrial and freshwater environments of the Dutch Caribbean, eleven of which are no longer present. All invasive animals that are principally agricultural pests and or animal and plant diseases (46 species) are excluded as these are discussed separately

  7. Protected area coverage of threatened vertebrates and ecoregions in Peru: Comparison of communal, private and state reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanee, Sam; Shanee, Noga; Monteferri, Bruno; Allgas, Nestor; Alarcon Pardo, Alejandro; Horwich, Robert H

    2017-11-01

    Protected areas (PAs) are a conservation mainstay and arguably the most effective conservation strategy for species protection. As a 'megadiverse' country, Peru is a priority for conservation actions. Peruvian legislation allows for the creation of state PAs and private/communal PAs. Using publicly available species distribution and protected area data sets we evaluated the coverage of Threatened terrestrial vertebrate species distributions and ecoregions provided by both kinds of PA in Peru. Peru's state PA system covers 217,879 km 2 and private/communal PAs cover 16,588 km 2 . Of the 462 species of Threatened and Data Deficient species we evaluated, 75% had distributions that overlapped with at least one PA but only 53% had ≥10% of their distributions within PAs, with inclusion much reduced at higher coverage targets. Of the species we evaluated, 118 species are only found in national PAs and 29 species only found in private/communal PAs. Of the 17 terrestrial ecoregions found in Peru all are represented in PAs; the national PA system included coverage of 16 and private/communal PAs protect 13. One ecoregion is only protected in private/communal PAs, whereas four are only covered in national PAs. Our results show the important role private/communal PAs can play in the protection of ecological diversity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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 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.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.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.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 of new terrestrial rabies virus variants.

  9. Hidden dental diversity in the oldest terrestrial apex predator Dimetrodon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brink, Kirstin S; Reisz, Robert R

    2014-01-01

    Paleozoic sphenacodontid synapsids are the oldest known fully terrestrial apex predators. Dimetrodon and other sphenacodontids are the first terrestrial vertebrates to have strong heterodonty, massive skulls and well-developed labio-lingually compressed and recurved teeth with mesial and distal cutting edges (carinae). Here we reveal that the dentition of Dimetrodon and other sphenacodontids is diverse. Tooth morphology includes simple carinae with smooth cutting edges and elaborate enamel features, including the first occurrence of cusps and true denticles (ziphodonty) in the fossil record. A time-calibrated phylogenetic analysis indicates that changes in dental morphology occur in the absence of any significant changes in skull morphology, suggesting that the morphological change is associated with changes in feeding style and trophic interactions in these ecosystems. In addition, the available evidence indicates that ziphodonty evolved for the first time in the largest known species of the genus Dimetrodon and independently from the ziphodont teeth observed in some therapsids.

  10. Vertebrate richness and biogeography in the Big Thicket of Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael H MacRoberts; Barbara R. MacRoberts; D. Craig Rudolph

    2010-01-01

    The Big Thicket of Texas has been described as rich in species and a “crossroads:” a place where organisms from many different regions meet. We examine the species richness and regional affiliations of Big Thicket vertebrates. We found that the Big Thicket is neither exceptionally rich in vertebrates nor is it a crossroads for vertebrates. Its vertebrate fauna is...

  11. Line Transect Surveys Underdetect Terrestrial Mammals: Implications for the Sustainability of Subsistence Hunting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levi, Taal; Oliveira, Luiz F. B.; Luzar, Jeffrey B.; Overman, Han; Read, Jane M.

    2016-01-01

    Conservation of Neotropical game species must take into account the livelihood and food security needs of local human populations. Hunting management decisions should therefore rely on abundance and distribution data that are as representative as possible of true population sizes and dynamics. We simultaneously applied a commonly used encounter-based method and an infrequently used sign-based method to estimate hunted vertebrate abundance in a 48,000-km2 indigenous landscape in southern Guyana. Diurnal direct encounter data collected during three years along 216, four-kilometer -long transects consistently under-detected many diurnal and nocturnal mammal species readily detected through sign. Of 32 species analyzed, 31 were detected by both methods; however, encounters did not detect one and under-detected another 12 of the most heavily hunted species relative to sign, while sign under-detected 12 never or rarely collected species relative to encounters. The six most important game animals in the region, all ungulates, were not encountered at 11–40% of village and control sites or on 29–72% of transects where they were detected by sign. Using the sign methodology, we find that tapirs, one of the terrestrial vertebrates considered most sensitive to overexploitation, are present at many sites where they were never visually detected during distance sampling. We find that this is true for many other species as well. These high rates of under-detection suggest that behavioral changes in hunted populations may affect apparent occurrence and abundance of these populations. Accumulation curves (detection of species on transects) were much steeper for sign for 12 of 16 hunted species than for encounters, but that pattern was reversed for 12 of 16 species unhunted in our area. We conclude that collection of sign data is an efficient and effective method of monitoring hunted vertebrate populations that complements encounter and camera-trapping methods in areas impacted by

  12. Zoos through the Lens of the IUCN Red List: A Global Metapopulation Approach to Support Conservation Breeding Programs

    OpenAIRE

    Conde, Dalia A.; Colchero, Fernando; Gusset, Markus; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Byers, Onnie; Flesness, Nate; Browne, Robert K.; Jones, Owen R.

    2013-01-01

    Given current extinction trends, the number of species requiring conservation breeding programs (CBPs) is likely to increase dramatically. To inform CBP policies for threatened terrestrial vertebrates, we evaluated the number and representation of threatened vertebrate species on the IUCN Red List held in the ISIS zoo network and estimated the complexity of their management as metapopulations. Our results show that 695 of the 3,955 (23%) terrestrial vertebrate species in ISIS zoos are threate...

  13. Reintroduction of locally extinct vertebrates impacts arid soil fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Laurence J; Weyrich, Laura S; Cooper, Alan

    2015-06-01

    Introduced species have contributed to extinction of native vertebrates in many parts of the world. Changes to vertebrate assemblages are also likely to alter microbial communities through coextinction of some taxa and the introduction of others. Many attempts to restore degraded habitats involve removal of exotic vertebrates (livestock and feral animals) and reintroduction of locally extinct species, but the impact of such reintroductions on microbial communities is largely unknown. We used high-throughput DNA sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer I (ITS1) region to examine whether replacing exotic vertebrates with reintroduced native vertebrates led to changes in soil fungal communities at a reserve in arid central Australia. Soil fungal diversity was significantly different between dune and swale (interdune) habitats. Fungal communities also differed significantly between sites with exotic or reintroduced native vertebrates after controlling for the effect of habitat. Several fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) found exclusively inside the reserve were present in scats from reintroduced native vertebrates, providing a direct link between the vertebrate assemblage and soil microbial communities. Our results show that changes to vertebrate assemblages through local extinctions and the invasion of exotic species can alter soil fungal communities. If local extinction of one or several species results in the coextinction of microbial taxa, the full complement of ecological interactions may never be restored. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Three Nematode Species Recovered from Terrestrial Snakes in Republic of Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choe, Seongjun; Lim, Junsik; Kim, Hyun; Kim, Youngjun; Kim, Heejong; Lee, Dongmin; Park, Hansol; Jeon, Hyeong-Kyu; Eom, Keeseon S

    2016-04-01

    The majority of parasitological studies of terrestrial snakes in Korea have focused on zoonotic parasites. However, in the present study, we describe 3 unrecorded nematode species recovered from 5 species of snakes (n=6) in Korea. The examined snakes, all confiscated from illegal hunters, were donated by the Chungnam Wild Animal Rescue Center and Korean Broadcasting System in July 2014 and February 2015. Light and scanning electron microscopies on the shapes of spicules that are either bent or straight (kalicephalids) and the presence of the intestinal cecum (ophidascarids) figured out 3 nematodes; Kalicephalus brachycephalus Maplestone, 1931, Kalicephalus sinensis Hsü, 1934, and Ophidascaris excavata Hsü and Hoeppli, 1934. These 3 species of nematode faunas are recorded for the first time in Korea.

  15. Species-specific differences in the accumulation features of organohalogen contaminants and their metabolites in the blood of Japanese terrestrial mammals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mizukawa, Hazuki; Nomiyama, Kei; Nakatsu, Susumu; Yachimori, Shuuji; Hayashi, Terutake; Tashiro, Yutaka; Nagano, Yasuko; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2013-01-01

    Residue levels and patterns of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), their hydroxylated metabolites (OH-PCBs, OH-PBDEs), and methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs) in the blood of various terrestrial mammals in Japan, including cats, raccoon dogs, dogs, masked palm civets, foxes, raccoons, badgers, and mongooses were determined. Tri- through penta-chlorinated OH-PCBs were predominant in cat blood, whereas hexa- through octa-chlorinated OH-PCBs were found in other species. High proportion of BDE209 was found in all species, suggesting exposure to municipal waste and soil containing higher levels of deca-BDE products. 6OH-/MeO-BDE47 and 2′OH-/MeO-BDE68 were dominant in all terrestrial mammals. This is first report on the detection of OH-/MeO-PBDEs in the blood of terrestrial mammals. High concentrations of OH-/MeO-PBDEs were found in cats, suggesting the intake of these compounds from seafood. Cats exhibited higher accumulation and specific patterns of OH-PCBs, OH-PBDEs, and MeO-PBDEs, they may be at a high risk from these metabolites. -- Highlights: ► Analysis of organohalogen metabolites in the blood of Japanese terrestrial mammals. ► First study on analysis of OH-/MeO-PBDEs in terrestrial mammals. ► Cats showed specific residue pattern of OH-PCBs compare to other species. ► Metabolic capacities of PCBs in carnivore were higher than marine mammals. ► Marine natural occurrence OH-/MeO-PBDEs were found in terrestrial mammals. -- Cats showed specific residue pattern of OH-PCBs compare to other species and marine natural occurrence OH-/MeO-PBDEs were detected in terrestrial mammals

  16. An Overview of Seasonal Changes in Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Defence Parameters in Some Invertebrate and Vertebrate Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chainy, Gagan Bihari Nityananda; Paital, Biswaranjan; Dandapat, Jagneswar

    2016-01-01

    Antioxidant defence system, a highly conserved biochemical mechanism, protects organisms from harmful effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a by-product of metabolism. Both invertebrates and vertebrates are unable to modify environmental physical factors such as photoperiod, temperature, salinity, humidity, oxygen content, and food availability as per their requirement. Therefore, they have evolved mechanisms to modulate their metabolic pathways to cope their physiology with changing environmental challenges for survival. Antioxidant defences are one of such biochemical mechanisms. At low concentration, ROS regulates several physiological processes, whereas at higher concentration they are toxic to organisms because they impair cellular functions by oxidizing biomolecules. Seasonal changes in antioxidant defences make species able to maintain their correct ROS titre to take various physiological functions such as hibernation, aestivation, migration, and reproduction against changing environmental physical parameters. In this paper, we have compiled information available in the literature on seasonal variation in antioxidant defence system in various species of invertebrates and vertebrates. The primary objective was to understand the relationship between varied biological phenomena seen in different animal species and conserved antioxidant defence system with respect to seasons.

  17. An Overview of Seasonal Changes in Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Defence Parameters in Some Invertebrate and Vertebrate Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gagan Bihari Nityananda Chainy

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Antioxidant defence system, a highly conserved biochemical mechanism, protects organisms from harmful effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS, a by-product of metabolism. Both invertebrates and vertebrates are unable to modify environmental physical factors such as photoperiod, temperature, salinity, humidity, oxygen content, and food availability as per their requirement. Therefore, they have evolved mechanisms to modulate their metabolic pathways to cope their physiology with changing environmental challenges for survival. Antioxidant defences are one of such biochemical mechanisms. At low concentration, ROS regulates several physiological processes, whereas at higher concentration they are toxic to organisms because they impair cellular functions by oxidizing biomolecules. Seasonal changes in antioxidant defences make species able to maintain their correct ROS titre to take various physiological functions such as hibernation, aestivation, migration, and reproduction against changing environmental physical parameters. In this paper, we have compiled information available in the literature on seasonal variation in antioxidant defence system in various species of invertebrates and vertebrates. The primary objective was to understand the relationship between varied biological phenomena seen in different animal species and conserved antioxidant defence system with respect to seasons.

  18. Propulsive forces of mudskipper fins and salamander limbs during terrestrial locomotion: implications for the invasion of land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawano, Sandy M; Blob, Richard W

    2013-08-01

    The invasion of land was a pivotal event in vertebrate evolution that was associated with major appendicular modifications. Although fossils indicate that the evolution of fundamentally limb-like appendages likely occurred in aquatic environments, the functional consequences of using early digited limbs, rather than fins, for terrestrial propulsion have had little empirical investigation. Paleontological and experimental analyses both have led to the proposal of an early origin of "hind limb-driven" locomotion among tetrapods or their ancestors. However, the retention of a pectoral appendage that had already developed terrestrial adaptations has been proposed for some taxa, and few data are available from extant functional models that can provide a foundation for evaluating the relative contributions of pectoral and pelvic appendages to terrestrial support among early stem tetrapods. To examine these aspects of vertebrate locomotor evolution during the invasion of land, we measured three-dimensional ground reaction forces (GRFs) produced by isolated pectoral fins of mudskipper fishes (Periophthalmus barbarus) during terrestrial crutching, and compared these to isolated walking footfalls by the forelimbs and hind limbs of tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum), a species with subequally-sized limbs that facilitate comparisons to early tetrapods. Pectoral appendages of salamanders and mudskippers exhibited numerous differences in GRFs. Compared with salamander forelimbs, isolated fins of mudskippers bear lower vertical magnitudes of GRFs (as a proportion of body weight), and had GRFs that were oriented more medially. Comparing the salamanders' forelimbs and hind limbs, although the peak net GRF occurs later in stance for the forelimb, both limbs experience nearly identical mediolateral and vertical components of GRF, suggesting comparable contributions to support. Thus, forelimbs could also have played a significant locomotor role among basal tetrapods that had limbs

  19. Weddellian marine/coastal vertebrates diversity from a basal horizon (Ypresian, Eocene of the Cucullaea I Allomember, La Meseta formation, Seymour (Marambio Island, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo A. Reguero

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The La Meseta Formation crops out in Seymour/Marambio Island, Weddell Sea, northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula and contains one of the world's most diverse assemblages of Weddellian marine/coastal verte-brates of Early Eocene (Ypresian age. The La Meseta Formation is composed of poorly consolidated, marine sandstones and siltstones which were deposited in a coastal, deltaic and/or estuarine environment. It includes marine invertebrates and vertebrates as well as terrestrial vertebrates and plants. The highly fossiliferous basal horizon (Cucullaeashell bed, Telm 4 of Sadler 1988 of the CucullaeaI Allomember is a laterally extensive shell bed with sandy matrix. The fish remains, including 35 species from 26 families, of the Ypresian Cucullaeabed represent one of the most abundant and diverse fossil vertebrate faunas yet recorded in southern latitudes. Stratigraphic distribution and phylogenetic relationships of the Weddellian sphenisciforms are consistent with a first radiation of this group in the Early Eocene. The first inquestionable archaeocete from Antarctica is recorded in this unit and is referred to a new taxon.

  20. New early Eocene vertebrate assemblage from western India reveals a mixed fauna of European and Gondwana affinities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thierry Smith

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The Ypresian Cambay Shale Formation at Vastan and Mangrol lignite mines in Gujarat, western India, has yielded a rich vertebrate fauna with numerous taxa of European affinities. Here we report a new, approximately contemporary vertebrate assemblage from two fossiliferous layers in the nearby mine of Tadkeshwar. These layers have yielded a similar mammal fauna with the co-occurrence of the perissodactyl-like cambaytheriid Cambaytherium thewissi, the adapoid primates Marcgodinotius indicus and cf. Asiadapis cambayensis, and the hyaenodontid Indohyaenodon raoi. The presence of these species in both Vastan and Tadkeshwar mines and at different levels suggests that the deposits between the two major lignite seams represent a single land mammal age. Apart from the aforementioned species there is a new, smaller species of Cambaytherium, and a new genus and species of esthonychid tillodont. This fauna also contains the first large early Eocene vertebrates from India, including an unidentified Coryphodon-like pantodont, a dyrosaurid crocodyliform and a new giant madtsoiid snake. Among the Tadkeshwar vertebrates several taxa are of Gondwana affinities, such as Pelomedusoides turtles, dyrosaurids, and large madtsoiids, attesting that the early Eocene was a crucial period in India during which Laurasian taxa of European affinities co-existed with relict taxa from Gondwana before the India-Asia collision. Our results suggest that terrestrial faunas could have dispersed to or from Europe during episodes of contact between the Indian subcontinent and different island blocks along the northern margin of the Neotethys, such as the Kohistan–Ladakh island-arc system. Gondwana taxa might represent remnants of ghost lineages shared with Madagascar, which reached the Indian subcontinent during the late Cretaceous; alternatively they might have come from North Africa and passed along the southern margin of the Neotethys to reach the Indian subcontinent. These

  1. Potential problems of removing one invasive species at a time: a meta-analysis of the interactions between invasive vertebrates and unexpected effects of removal programs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastián A. Ballari

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Although the co-occurrence of nonnative vertebrates is a ubiquitous global phenomenon, the study of interactions between invaders is poorly represented in the literature. Limited understanding of the interactions between co-occurring vertebrates can be problematic for predicting how the removal of only one invasive—a common management scenario—will affect native communities. We suggest a trophic food web framework for predicting the effects of single-species management on native biodiversity. We used a literature search and meta-analysis to assess current understanding of how the removal of one invasive vertebrate affects native biodiversity relative to when two invasives are present. The majority of studies focused on the removal of carnivores, mainly within aquatic systems, which highlights a critical knowledge gap in our understanding of co-occurring invasive vertebrates. We found that removal of one invasive vertebrate caused a significant negative effect on native species compared to when two invasive vertebrates were present. These unexpected results could arise because of the positioning and hierarchy of the co-occurring invasives in the food web (e.g., carnivore–carnivore or carnivore–herbivore. We consider that there are important knowledge gaps to determinate the effects of multiple co-existing invaders on native ecosystems, and this information could be precious for management.

  2. Potential problems of removing one invasive species at a time: a meta-analysis of the interactions between invasive vertebrates and unexpected effects of removal programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballari, Sebastián A; Kuebbing, Sara E; Nuñez, Martin A

    2016-01-01

    Although the co-occurrence of nonnative vertebrates is a ubiquitous global phenomenon, the study of interactions between invaders is poorly represented in the literature. Limited understanding of the interactions between co-occurring vertebrates can be problematic for predicting how the removal of only one invasive-a common management scenario-will affect native communities. We suggest a trophic food web framework for predicting the effects of single-species management on native biodiversity. We used a literature search and meta-analysis to assess current understanding of how the removal of one invasive vertebrate affects native biodiversity relative to when two invasives are present. The majority of studies focused on the removal of carnivores, mainly within aquatic systems, which highlights a critical knowledge gap in our understanding of co-occurring invasive vertebrates. We found that removal of one invasive vertebrate caused a significant negative effect on native species compared to when two invasive vertebrates were present. These unexpected results could arise because of the positioning and hierarchy of the co-occurring invasives in the food web (e.g., carnivore-carnivore or carnivore-herbivore). We consider that there are important knowledge gaps to determinate the effects of multiple co-existing invaders on native ecosystems, and this information could be precious for management.

  3. Impact of prenatal stress on offspring glucocorticoid levels: A phylogenetic meta-analysis across 14 vertebrate species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thayer, Zaneta M; Wilson, Meredith A; Kim, Andrew W; Jaeggi, Adrian V

    2018-03-21

    Prenatal exposure to maternal stress is commonly associated with variation in Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA)-axis functioning in offspring. However, the strength or consistency of this response has never been empirically evaluated across vertebrate species. Here we meta-analyzed 114 results from 39 studies across 14 vertebrate species using Bayesian phylogenetic mixed-effects models. We found a positive overall effect of prenatal stress on offspring glucocorticoids (d' = 0.43) though the 95% Highest Posterior Density Interval overlapped with 0 (-0.16-0.95). Meta-regressions of potential moderators highlighted that phylogeny and life history variables predicted relatively little variation in effect size. Experimental studies (d' = 0.64) produced stronger effects than observational ones (d' = -0.01), while prenatal stress affected glucocorticoid recovery following offspring stress exposure more strongly (d' = 0.75) than baseline levels (d' = 0.48) or glucocorticoid peak response (d' = 0.36). These findings are consistent with the argument that HPA-axis sensitivity to prenatal stress is evolutionarily ancient and occurs regardless of a species' overall life history strategy. These effects may therefore be especially important for mediating intra-specific life-history variation. In addition, these findings suggest that animal models of prenatal HPA-axis programming may be appropriate for studying similar effects in humans.

  4. Experimental ecology of selected vertebrate species. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartman, R.T.; Graybill, D.L.

    1976-08-01

    This report summarizes the results of a long term (1960 to 1973) study designed to determine the suitability of various vertebrate species for experimental radioecology, to determine their individual and population characteristics under natural conditions, and to utilize these characteristics to gauge the effects of sub-lethal doses of gamma radiation. The study focused on free ranging populations of Tamias striatus in northwestern Pennsylvania and Thomomys talpoides in northwestern Wyoming. Results of the study were collated with those of a concurrent and cooperative study of populations of Tamias striatus in southern Vermont. Major achievements of the study included: the discovery that single insults of 200 R and 400 R of gamma radiation decreased the rate of disappearance of individuals from populations of Tamias striatus and Thomomys talpoides so treated, and resulted in a reduction in home range size in a population of Tamias striatus in which the average range of males was quite large; the construction and analysis of life tables which were based on more than 80,000 captures of Tamias striatus and Thomomys talpoides; and the construction and analysis of correlation coefficients relating annual mast production and Tamias striatus population parameters for 26 annual cycle/population combinations

  5. Comparative sensitivity of aquatic invertebrate and vertebrate species to wastewater from an operational coal mine in central Queensland, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanctôt, C; Wilson, S P; Fabbro, L; Leusch, F D L; Melvin, S D

    2016-07-01

    Coal excavation and refinement processes generate substantial volumes of contaminated effluent that may be detrimental to aquatic ecosystems. As such, understanding the impacts of coal mine water releases on aquatic animals and ecosystems is essential for effectively managing and protecting neighboring environments. Such information will ultimately be applied towards developing ongoing monitoring strategies that are protective of native wildlife. Despite intensive mining operations in Australia, few studies have documented toxicity associated with coal mine wastewater (CMW) on native species. To address existing knowledge gaps, we investigated acute toxicity (48-96h) using eight native invertebrate species and sub-chronic effects (2 week) using three vertebrate species following exposure to wastewater from two dams (CMW1 and CMW2) located at an open-cut coal mine licensed to discharge into the Fitzroy catchment (Queensland, Australia). Wastewater from these sites is characterized by elevated conductivity, pH, sulfates as well as relatively high total and dissolved metal(loid)s (including As, Al, B, Cu, Mn, Ni, Se and Zn). Acute exposures revealed cladocerans (Daphnia carinata) and planarians (Dugesia sp.) to be the most sensitive species, exhibiting significant mortality after 48 and 96h exposure to CMW2, respectively. Neither wastewater was found to elicit acute toxicity in vertebrates, but a range of sub-lethal morphological effects were observed following the sub-chronic exposures. The overall response pattern was characterized by decreased condition factor and hepatosomatic index in the fish Hypseleotris compressa and Pseudomugil signifier, and in Limnodynastes peronii tadpoles. Tadpoles were generally more sensitive compared to the two fish species. Differences in responses were observed amongst CMW1 and CMW2, which likely relates to differences in physico-chemical properties between sites. Our results have identified several candidate vertebrate and

  6. Evolution of lung breathing from a lungless primitive vertebrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, M; Taylor, B E; Harris, M B

    2016-04-01

    Air breathing was critical to the terrestrial radiation and evolution of tetrapods and arose in fish. The vertebrate lung originated from a progenitor structure present in primitive boney fish. The origin of the neural substrates, which are sensitive to metabolically produced CO2 and which rhythmically activate respiratory muscles to match lung ventilation to metabolic demand, is enigmatic. We have found that a distinct periodic centrally generated rhythm, described as "cough" and occurring in lamprey in vivo and in vitro, is modulated by central sensitivity to CO2. This suggests that elements critical for the evolution of breathing in tetrapods, were present in the most basal vertebrate ancestors prior to the evolution of the lung. We propose that the evolution of breathing in all vertebrates occurred through exaptations derived from these critical basal elements. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Pleistocene vertebrates of the Yukon Territory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harington, C. R.

    2011-08-01

    Unglaciated parts of the Yukon constitute one of the most important areas in North America for yielding Pleistocene vertebrate fossils. Nearly 30 vertebrate faunal localities are reviewed spanning a period of about 1.6 Ma (million years ago) to the close of the Pleistocene some 10 000 BP (radiocarbon years before present, taken as 1950). The vertebrate fossils represent at least 8 species of fishes, 1 amphibian, 41 species of birds and 83 species of mammals. Dominant among the large mammals are: steppe bison ( Bison priscus), horse ( Equus sp.), woolly mammoth ( Mammuthus primigenius), and caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) - signature species of the Mammoth Steppe fauna ( Fig. 1), which was widespread from the British Isles, through northern Europe, and Siberia to Alaska, Yukon and adjacent Northwest Territories. The Yukon faunas extend from Herschel Island in the north to Revenue Creek in the south and from the Alaskan border in the west to Ketza River in the east. The Yukon holds evidence of the earliest-known people in North America. Artifacts made from bison, mammoth and caribou bones from Bluefish Caves, Old Crow Basin and Dawson City areas show that people had a substantial knowledge of making and using bone tools at least by 25 000 BP, and possibly as early as 40 000 BP. A suggested chronological sequence of Yukon Pleistocene vertebrates ( Table 1) facilitates comparison of selected faunas and indicates the known duration of various taxa.

  8. Elucidating differences in metal absorption efficiencies between terrestrial soft-bodied and aquatic species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Owsianiak, Mikolaj; Veltman, Karin; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

    2014-01-01

    species, with the covalent index being the best predictor. It is hypothesized that metal absorption by soft-bodied species in soil systems is influenced by the rate of metal supply to the membrane, while in aquatic systems accumulation is solely determined by metal affinity to membrane bound transport...... proteins. Our results imply that developing predictive terrestrial bioaccumulation and toxicity models for metals must consider metal interactions with soil solids. This may include desorption of a cation bound to soil solids through ion exchange, or metal release from soil surfaces involving breaking...

  9. A likely microendemic new species of terrestrial iguana, genus Chalarodon, from Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miralles, Aurelien; Glaw, Frank; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M; Vences, Miguel

    2015-04-09

    A new species of the hitherto monotypic genus Chalarodon is described from southern Madagascar and a lectotype (ZMB 4360) is designated for C. madagascariensis Peters, 1854. The new species of terrestrial iguana, Chalarodon steinkampi sp. nov., is defined by several morphological characters and by concordant differentiation in mitochondrial and nuclear DNA with >5% uncorrected pairwise genetic distance in the 16S rRNA gene. It can be most clearly recognized by the presence of smooth (vs. keeled) gular and ventral scales, a spotted pattern extending from flanks onto belly, and an unpigmented throat. The new species is known from only a small area between the villages of Amboasary Sud and Esomony, located west of the Andohahela Massif, while C. madagascariensis appears to be widespread over much of southern and western Madagascar. We highlight the need for further exploration of this unprotected region which might host several other microendemic species.

  10. Few vertebrate species dominate the Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. life cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeester, T. R.; Coipan, E. C.; van Wieren, S. E.; Prins, H. H. T.; Takken, W.; Sprong, H.

    2016-04-01

    Background. In the northern hemisphere, ticks of the Ixodidae family are vectors of diseases such as Lyme borreliosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tick-borne encephalitis. Most of these ticks are generalists and have a three-host life cycle for which they are dependent on three different hosts for their blood meal. Finding out which host species contribute most in maintaining ticks and the pathogens they transmit, is imperative in understanding the drivers behind the dynamics of a disease. Methods. We performed a systematic review to identify the most important vertebrate host species for Ixodes ricinus and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. as a well-studied model system for tick-borne diseases. We analyzed data from 66 publications and quantified the relative contribution for 15 host species. Review results. We found a positive correlation between host body mass and tick burdens for the different stages of I. ricinus. We show that nymphal burdens of host species are positively correlated with infection prevalence with B. burgdorferi s.l., which is again positively correlated with the realized reservoir competence of a host species for B. burgdorferi s.l. Our quantification method suggests that only a few host species, which are amongst the most widespread species in the environment (rodents, thrushes and deer), feed the majority of I. ricinus individuals and that rodents infect the majority of I. ricinus larvae with B. burgdorferi s.l. Discussion. We argue that small mammal-transmitted Borrelia spp. are maintained due to the high density of their reservoir hosts, while bird-transmitted Borrelia spp. are maintained due to the high infection prevalence of their reservoir hosts. Our findings suggest that Ixodes ricinus and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. populations are maintained by a few widespread host species. The increase in distribution and abundance of these species, could be the cause for the increase in Lyme borreliosis incidence in Europe in recent decades.

  11. Do low-mercury terrestrial resources subsidize low-mercury growth of stream fish? Differences between species along a productivity gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren M Ward

    Full Text Available Low productivity in aquatic ecosystems is associated with reduced individual growth of fish and increased concentrations of methylmercury (MeHg in fish and their prey. However, many stream-dwelling fish species can use terrestrially-derived food resources, potentially subsidizing growth at low-productivity sites, and, because terrestrial resources have lower MeHg concentrations than aquatic resources, preventing an increase in diet-borne MeHg accumulation. We used a large-scale field study to evaluate relationships among terrestrial subsidy use, growth, and MeHg concentrations in two stream-dwelling fish species across an in-stream productivity gradient. We sampled young-of-the-year brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar, potential competitors with similar foraging habits, from 20 study sites in streams in New Hampshire and Massachusetts that encompassed a wide range of aquatic prey biomass. Stable isotope analysis showed that brook trout used more terrestrial resources than Atlantic salmon. Over their first growing season, Atlantic salmon tended to grow larger than brook trout at sites with high aquatic prey biomass, but brook grew two-fold larger than Atlantic salmon at sites with low aquatic prey biomass. The MeHg concentrations of brook trout and Atlantic salmon were similar at sites with high aquatic prey biomass and the MeHg concentrations of both species increased at sites with low prey biomass and high MeHg in aquatic prey. However, brook trout had three-fold lower MeHg concentrations than Atlantic salmon at low-productivity, high-MeHg sites. These results suggest that differential use of terrestrial resource subsidies reversed the growth asymmetry between potential competitors across a productivity gradient and, for one species, moderated the effect of low in-stream productivity on MeHg accumulation.

  12. Orientation-Selective Retinal Circuits in Vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antinucci, Paride; Hindges, Robert

    2018-01-01

    Visual information is already processed in the retina before it is transmitted to higher visual centers in the brain. This includes the extraction of salient features from visual scenes, such as motion directionality or contrast, through neurons belonging to distinct neural circuits. Some retinal neurons are tuned to the orientation of elongated visual stimuli. Such 'orientation-selective' neurons are present in the retinae of most, if not all, vertebrate species analyzed to date, with species-specific differences in frequency and degree of tuning. In some cases, orientation-selective neurons have very stereotyped functional and morphological properties suggesting that they represent distinct cell types. In this review, we describe the retinal cell types underlying orientation selectivity found in various vertebrate species, and highlight their commonalities and differences. In addition, we discuss recent studies that revealed the cellular, synaptic and circuit mechanisms at the basis of retinal orientation selectivity. Finally, we outline the significance of these findings in shaping our current understanding of how this fundamental neural computation is implemented in the visual systems of vertebrates.

  13. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Brian F.; Albrecht, Eric W.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Halvorson, William L.; Anning, Pamela; Docherty, Kathleen

    2006-01-01

    Executive Summary This report summarizes results of the first comprehensive biological inventory of Casa Grande Ruins National Monument (NM) in southern Arizona. Surveys at the monument were part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in Arizona and New Mexico. In 2001 and 2002 we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Casa Grande Ruins NM to document the presence, and in some cases relative abundance, of species. By using repeatable study designs and standardized field techniques, which included quantified survey effort, we produced inventories that can serve as the basis for a biological monitoring program. Of the National Park Service units in the region, no other has experienced as much recent ecological change as Casa Grande Ruins NM. Once situated in a large and biologically diverse mesquite bosque near the perennially flowing Gila River, the monument is now a patch of sparse desert vegetation surrounded by urban and commercial development that is rapidly replacing agriculture as the dominant land use in the area. Roads, highways, and canals surround the monument. Development, and its associated impacts, has important implications for the plants and animals that live in the monument. The plant species list is small and the distribution and number of non-native plants appears to be increasing. Terrestrial vertebrates are also being impacted by the changing landscape, which is increasing the isolation of these populations from nearby natural areas and thereby reducing the number of species at the monument. These observations are alarming and are based on our review of previous studies, our research in the monument, and our knowledge of the biogeography and ecology of the Sonoran Desert. Together, these data suggest that the monument has lost a significant portion of its historic complement of species and these changes will likely intensify as

  14. Plant and animal species composition and heavy metal content in fly ash ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brieger, G.; Wells, J.R.; Hunter, R.D.

    1992-01-01

    Plant and animal species present on a coal fly ash slurry pond site and a dry deposit site were surveyed and sampled during a two-day period in October. Elemental analyses were determined for most of the species encountered. A total of 48 plant species were observed on the two sites, with 35 species on the wet site, and 20 on the dry site. Eighteen terrestrial and 7 aquatic animal species were found on the wet site, exclusive of vertebrates which were not studied with the exception of a carp (Cyprinus carpio). Eleven terrestrial invertebrate and one aquatic species were observed on the dry site. Neutron activation analysis was carried out for: Se, Hg, Cr, Ni, Zn, Co, Sb, Cd, and As. Using literature values for phytotoxicity, it is concluded that, in general, plants did not accumulate toxic levels of metals. Only one plant (Impatiens biflora Willd.) showed a significant level of Cd. Of 20 plants analyzed on the wet site, 10 had excessive Se concentrations (>5 ppm); on the dry site 6 out of 18 had high Se values. In animals (Gryllus sp.; Melanoplus sp.; Trachelipus sp; Lumbricus terrestris; Physa integra; Cyprinus carpio) the trace metal concentration was generally in between that of control animals and that of the fly ash itself. One exception included Zn, which, although the most variable element examined, was concentrated in all the terrestrial animals to levels higher than in fly ash. Crickets are the most consistent bioconcentrators with Cr, Se, and Zn at higher levels than for control animals. All animals species studied accumulated Se compared to controls. 48 refs., 6 tabs

  15. Global patterns in threats to vertebrates by biological invasions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellard, C.; Genovesi, P.; Jeschke, J. M.

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss have recently been challenged. Fundamentally, we must know where species that are threatened by invasive alien species (IAS) live, and the degree to which they are threatened. We report the first study linking 1372 vertebrates threatened by more than 200 IAS from the completely revised Global Invasive Species Database. New maps of the vulnerability of threatened vertebrates to IAS permit assessments of whether IAS have a major influence on biodiversity, and if so, which taxonomic groups are threatened and where they are threatened. We found that centres of IAS-threatened vertebrates are concentrated in the Americas, India, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. The areas in which IAS-threatened species are located do not fully match the current hotspots of invasions, or the current hotspots of threatened species. The relative importance of biological invasions as drivers of biodiversity loss clearly varies across regions and taxa, and changes over time, with mammals from India, Indonesia, Australia and Europe are increasingly being threatened by IAS. The chytrid fungus primarily threatens amphibians, whereas invasive mammals primarily threaten other vertebrates. The differences in IAS threats between regions and taxa can help efficiently target IAS, which is essential for achieving the Strategic Plan 2020 of the Convention on Biological Diversity. PMID:26817767

  16. Estimating radionuclide transfer to wild species-data requirements and availability for terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beresford, N A; Broadley, M R; Howard, B J; Barnett, C L; White, P J

    2004-01-01

    Assessment of the transfer of radionuclides to wild species is an important component in the estimation of predicted doses to biota. Reviews of available data for the many potential radionuclide-biota combinations which may be required for environmental assessments highlight many data gaps for terrestrial species. Here, we discuss different approaches which have been suggested to compensate for these data gaps. All of the reviewed approaches have merit; however, there is a requirement for transparency in methodology and data provenance which in some instances is currently missing. Furthermore, there is a need to validate the various methodologies to enable their use with confidence. The requirements of improving our ability to predict radionuclide transfer to wild species are discussed and recommendations made

  17. Approaches for assessment of terrestrial vertebrate responses to contaminants: moving beyond individual organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, P.H.; Heinz, G.H.; Hall, R.J.; Albers, Peter H.; Heinz, Gary H.; Ohlendorf, Harry M.

    2000-01-01

    Conclusions: A need for a broader range ofinformation on effects of contaminants on individuals exists among the 4 classes of terrestrial vertebrates, especially mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Separation of contaminant effects from other effects and reduction of speculative extrapolation within and among species requires information that can be produced only by combined field and laboratory investigations that incorporate seasonal or annual cycles and important spatial and interaction conditions. Assessments of contaminant effects at the population level and higher are frequently dependent on extrapolations from a lower organizational level. Actual measurements of the effects of contaminants on populations or communities, possibly in conjunction with case studies that establish relations between effects on individuals and effects on populations, are needed to reduce the uncertainty associated with these extrapolations. Associated with these assessment levels is the need for acceptable definitions of what we mean when we refer to a 'meaningful population change' or an 'effect on communities or ecosystems.' At these higher levels of organization we are also confronted with the need for procedures useful for separating contaminant effects from effects caused by other environmental conditions. Although the bulk of literature surveyed was of the focused cause-and-effect type that is necessary for proving relations between contaminants and wildlife, community or ecosystem field assessments, as sometimes performed with reptiles and amphibians, might be a useful alternative for estimating the potential of a contaminant to cause environmental harm. Assumptions about the special usefulness of reptiles and amphibians as environmental indicators ought to be tested with comparisons to mammals and birds. Information on the effects of contaminants above the individual level is needed to generate accurate estimates of the potential consequences of anthropogenic pollution (e

  18. Light adaptation and the evolution of vertebrate photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morshedian, Ala; Fain, Gordon L

    2017-07-15

    Lamprey are cyclostomes, a group of vertebrates that diverged from lines leading to jawed vertebrates (including mammals) in the late Cambrian, 500 million years ago. It may therefore be possible to infer properties of photoreceptors in early vertebrate progenitors by comparing lamprey to other vertebrates. We show that lamprey rods and cones respond to light much like rods and cones in amphibians and mammals. They operate over a similar range of light intensities and adapt to backgrounds and bleaches nearly identically. These correspondences are pervasive and detailed; they argue for the presence of rods and cones very early in the evolution of vertebrates with properties much like those of rods and cones in existing vertebrate species. The earliest vertebrates were agnathans - fish-like organisms without jaws, which first appeared near the end of the Cambrian radiation. One group of agnathans became cyclostomes, which include lamprey and hagfish. Other agnathans gave rise to jawed vertebrates or gnathostomes, the group including all other existing vertebrate species. Because cyclostomes diverged from other vertebrates 500 million years ago, it may be possible to infer some of the properties of the retina of early vertebrate progenitors by comparing lamprey to other vertebrates. We have previously shown that rods and cones in lamprey respond to light much like photoreceptors in other vertebrates and have a similar sensitivity. We now show that these affinities are even closer. Both rods and cones adapt to background light and to bleaches in a manner almost identical to other vertebrate photoreceptors. The operating range in darkness is nearly the same in lamprey and in amphibian or mammalian rods and cones; moreover background light shifts response-intensity curves downward and to the right over a similar range of ambient intensities. Rods show increment saturation at about the same intensity as mammalian rods, and cones never saturate. Bleaches decrease

  19. The vertebrates from the Lower Ladinian (Middle Triassic) bonebed of Lamerden (Germany) as palaeoenvironment indicators in the Germanic Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2015-11-01

    A marine/limnic vertebrate fauna is described from the enodis/posseckeri Bonebed mixed in a bivalve shell-rich bioclastic carbonate rudstone at the eastern coastal margin of the Rhenish Massif mainland at Lamerden (Germany) within the western Germanic Basin (Central Europe). The condensation layer is of Fassanian (Ladinian, Middle Triassic) in age. The vertebrate biodiversity includes five different shark, and several actinopterygian fish species represented by teeth and scales. Abundant isolated bones from a small- and a large-sized pachypleurosaur Neusticosaurus species, which can be composed as incomplete skeletons, originate from dense populations of different individual age stages. Important facies indicator reptiles are from the thalattosaur Blezingeria ichthyospondyla which postcranial skeleton is reconstructed hypothetically using additional postcranial bones from similar aged various German localities. The vertebrate biodiversity of the enodis/posseckeri bonebed of Lamerden reflect a limnic/fluvial freshwater influenced fauna (amphibians/terrestrial and marine reptiles) with dominance of normal saline marine influences. Macroalgae meadow adapted placodont reptiles are absent in Lamerden, as well as open marine-adapted ichthyosaurs, supporting a lagoon with fresh water influence position at the Rhenish Massif mainland coast. In those contemporanous brackish lagoons, which seem to be isochronous to northern Tethys lagoons of the Kalschieferzone at the Monte San Giorgio (Switzerland/Italy), small pachypleurosaurs were abundant prey in both regions for reptile predators, especially large paraxial swimming alligator habitus-like Paranothosaurus, which even contain stomach contents of pachypleurosaurs.

  20. Invasive Alien Species of Terrestrial Vegetation of North-Eastern Uttar Pradesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sumit Srivastava

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The vegetational landscape of north-eastern Terai region at the foot hills of Central Himalayas is a mosaic of grassland, old-field, wasteland, and forest ecosystems. Like many other parts of the country, this region is also infested with alien intruders which not only interfere with the growth and production of food crops but also exercise adverse effects on the biodiversity of native species. The present study attempts to catalogue the invasive alien species of the terrestrial vegetation of north-eastern Uttar Pradesh especially with reference to their habit, taxonomic position, and nativity. A total of 1135 plant species within 580 genera under 119 families are so far known to occur in the region. Of these, only 149 species within 100 genera under 41 families have been found to be invasive aliens as evident from their center of origin, past history, nature of aggregation, and invasion observed under field conditions. About 80% of these invaders have been introduced from neotropics. Out of 173 invasive plants across India, this region shares 149 species, out of which 66% of species have come from Tropical America, 14% from African continent, and the rest from other countries. A better planning in the form of early identification and reporting of infestation and spread of noxious weeds is needed for their control.

  1. The biogeography of threatened insular iguanas and opportunities for invasive vertebrate management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tershy, Bernie R.; Newton, Kelly M.; Spatz, Dena R.; Swinnerton, Kirsty; Iverson, John B.; Fisher, Robert N.; Harlow, Peter S.; Holmes, Nick D.; Croll, Donald A.; Iverson, J.B.; Grant, T. D.; Knapp, C. R.; Pasachnik, S. A.

    2016-01-01

    Iguanas are a particularly threatened group of reptiles, with 61% of species at risk of extinction. Primary threats to iguanas include habitat loss, direct and indirect impacts by invasive vertebrates, overexploitation, and human disturbance. As conspicuous, charismatic vertebrates, iguanas also represent excellent flagships for biodiversity conservation. To assist planning for invasive vertebrate management and thus benefit threatened iguana recovery, we identified all islands with known extant or extirpated populations of Critically Endangered and Endangered insular iguana taxa as recognized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. For each island, we determined total area, sovereignty, the presence of invasive alien vertebrates, and human population. For the 23 taxa of threatened insular iguanas we identified 230 populations, of which iguanas were extant on 185 islands and extirpated from 45 islands. Twenty-one iguana taxa (91% of all threatened insular iguana taxa) occurred on at least one island with invasive vertebrates present; 16 taxa had 100% of their population(s) on islands with invasive vertebrates present. Rodents, cats, ungulates, and dogs were the most common invasive vertebrates. We discuss biosecurity, eradication, and control of invasive vertebrates to benefit iguana recovery: (1) on islands already free of invasive vertebrates; (2) on islands with high iguana endemicity; and (3) for species and subspecies with small total populations occurring across multiple small islands. Our analyses provide an important first step toward understanding how invasive vertebrate management can be planned effectively to benefit threatened insular iguanas.

  2. Hormonally active phytochemicals and vertebrate evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Max R; Edwards, Thea M

    2017-06-01

    Living plants produce a diversity of chemicals that share structural and functional properties with vertebrate hormones. Wildlife species interact with these chemicals either through consumption of plant materials or aquatic exposure. Accumulating evidence shows that exposure to these hormonally active phytochemicals (HAPs) often has consequences for behavior, physiology, and fecundity. These fitness effects suggest there is potential for an evolutionary response by vertebrates to HAPs. Here, we explore the toxicological HAP-vertebrate relationship in an evolutionary framework and discuss the potential for vertebrates to adapt to or even co-opt the effects of plant-derived chemicals that influence fitness. We lay out several hypotheses about HAPs and provide a path forward to test whether plant-derived chemicals influence vertebrate reproduction and evolution. Studies of phytochemicals with direct impacts on vertebrate reproduction provide an obvious and compelling system for studying evolutionary toxicology. Furthermore, an understanding of whether animal populations evolve in response to HAPs could provide insightful context for the study of rapid evolution and how animals cope with chemical agents in the environment.

  3. Global assessment of the effects of terrestrial acidification on plant species richness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azevedo, Ligia B.; Zelm, Rosalie van; Hendriks, A. Jan; Bobbink, Roland; Huijbregts, Mark A.J.

    2013-01-01

    This study estimates the potential losses of vascular plant species richness due to terrestrial acidification for different world's biomes. We used empirical occurrence data of 2409 species from 140 studies and estimated the relative species richness – pH response curves using logistic regressions. The regressions were then used to quantify the fraction of species that are potentially lost due to soil pH changes. Although we found considerable variability within biomes, out results show that the pH at which species richness was maximized was found to be the lowest in (sub)tropical forests (pH = 4.1) and the highest in deserts (pH = 7.4). We also found that (sub)tropical moist forests are highly sensitive to decreases of in soil pH below 4.1. This study can be coupled with existing atmospheric deposition models to quantify the risk of species richness loss following soil acidification. Highlights: ► We compare the sensitivity of four biomes to soil acidification. ► We develop logistic regressions using observational field data. ► Sub(tropical) moist forests are highly affected by pH decreases. ► Logistic regressions can be linked to global scale atmospheric and soil fate models. -- Relationships of potential species richness loss along a soil pH gradient are proposed

  4. A unified anatomy ontology of the vertebrate skeletal system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wasila M Dahdul

    Full Text Available The skeleton is of fundamental importance in research in comparative vertebrate morphology, paleontology, biomechanics, developmental biology, and systematics. Motivated by research questions that require computational access to and comparative reasoning across the diverse skeletal phenotypes of vertebrates, we developed a module of anatomical concepts for the skeletal system, the Vertebrate Skeletal Anatomy Ontology (VSAO, to accommodate and unify the existing skeletal terminologies for the species-specific (mouse, the frog Xenopus, zebrafish and multispecies (teleost, amphibian vertebrate anatomy ontologies. Previous differences between these terminologies prevented even simple queries across databases pertaining to vertebrate morphology. This module of upper-level and specific skeletal terms currently includes 223 defined terms and 179 synonyms that integrate skeletal cells, tissues, biological processes, organs (skeletal elements such as bones and cartilages, and subdivisions of the skeletal system. The VSAO is designed to integrate with other ontologies, including the Common Anatomy Reference Ontology (CARO, Gene Ontology (GO, Uberon, and Cell Ontology (CL, and it is freely available to the community to be updated with additional terms required for research. Its structure accommodates anatomical variation among vertebrate species in development, structure, and composition. Annotation of diverse vertebrate phenotypes with this ontology will enable novel inquiries across the full spectrum of phenotypic diversity.

  5. A unified anatomy ontology of the vertebrate skeletal system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahdul, Wasila M; Balhoff, James P; Blackburn, David C; Diehl, Alexander D; Haendel, Melissa A; Hall, Brian K; Lapp, Hilmar; Lundberg, John G; Mungall, Christopher J; Ringwald, Martin; Segerdell, Erik; Van Slyke, Ceri E; Vickaryous, Matthew K; Westerfield, Monte; Mabee, Paula M

    2012-01-01

    The skeleton is of fundamental importance in research in comparative vertebrate morphology, paleontology, biomechanics, developmental biology, and systematics. Motivated by research questions that require computational access to and comparative reasoning across the diverse skeletal phenotypes of vertebrates, we developed a module of anatomical concepts for the skeletal system, the Vertebrate Skeletal Anatomy Ontology (VSAO), to accommodate and unify the existing skeletal terminologies for the species-specific (mouse, the frog Xenopus, zebrafish) and multispecies (teleost, amphibian) vertebrate anatomy ontologies. Previous differences between these terminologies prevented even simple queries across databases pertaining to vertebrate morphology. This module of upper-level and specific skeletal terms currently includes 223 defined terms and 179 synonyms that integrate skeletal cells, tissues, biological processes, organs (skeletal elements such as bones and cartilages), and subdivisions of the skeletal system. The VSAO is designed to integrate with other ontologies, including the Common Anatomy Reference Ontology (CARO), Gene Ontology (GO), Uberon, and Cell Ontology (CL), and it is freely available to the community to be updated with additional terms required for research. Its structure accommodates anatomical variation among vertebrate species in development, structure, and composition. Annotation of diverse vertebrate phenotypes with this ontology will enable novel inquiries across the full spectrum of phenotypic diversity.

  6. A Unified Anatomy Ontology of the Vertebrate Skeletal System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahdul, Wasila M.; Balhoff, James P.; Blackburn, David C.; Diehl, Alexander D.; Haendel, Melissa A.; Hall, Brian K.; Lapp, Hilmar; Lundberg, John G.; Mungall, Christopher J.; Ringwald, Martin; Segerdell, Erik; Van Slyke, Ceri E.; Vickaryous, Matthew K.; Westerfield, Monte; Mabee, Paula M.

    2012-01-01

    The skeleton is of fundamental importance in research in comparative vertebrate morphology, paleontology, biomechanics, developmental biology, and systematics. Motivated by research questions that require computational access to and comparative reasoning across the diverse skeletal phenotypes of vertebrates, we developed a module of anatomical concepts for the skeletal system, the Vertebrate Skeletal Anatomy Ontology (VSAO), to accommodate and unify the existing skeletal terminologies for the species-specific (mouse, the frog Xenopus, zebrafish) and multispecies (teleost, amphibian) vertebrate anatomy ontologies. Previous differences between these terminologies prevented even simple queries across databases pertaining to vertebrate morphology. This module of upper-level and specific skeletal terms currently includes 223 defined terms and 179 synonyms that integrate skeletal cells, tissues, biological processes, organs (skeletal elements such as bones and cartilages), and subdivisions of the skeletal system. The VSAO is designed to integrate with other ontologies, including the Common Anatomy Reference Ontology (CARO), Gene Ontology (GO), Uberon, and Cell Ontology (CL), and it is freely available to the community to be updated with additional terms required for research. Its structure accommodates anatomical variation among vertebrate species in development, structure, and composition. Annotation of diverse vertebrate phenotypes with this ontology will enable novel inquiries across the full spectrum of phenotypic diversity. PMID:23251424

  7. High spatial variation in terrestrial arthropod species diversity and composition near the Greenland ice cap

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Rikke Reisner; Hansen, Oskar Liset Pryds; Bowden, Joseph James

    2016-01-01

    Arthropods form a major part of the terrestrial species diversity in the Arctic, and are particularly sensitive to temporal changes in the abiotic environment. It is assumed that most Arctic arthropods are habitat generalists and that their diversity patterns exhibit low spatial variation....... The empirical basis for this assumption, however, is weak. We examine the degree of spatial variation in species diversity and assemblage structure among five habitat types at two sites of similar abiotic conditions and plant species composition in southwest Greenland, using standardized field collection...... methods for spiders, beetles and butterflies. We employed non-metric multidimensional scaling, species richness estimation, community dissimilarity and indicator species analysis to test for local (within site)- and regional (between site)-scale differences in arthropod communities. To identify specific...

  8. DNA repair and longevity in three species of cold-blooded vertebrates. [uv, turtle, fish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woodhead, A.D.; Setlow, R.B.; Grist, E.

    1980-01-01

    The error catastrophe mechanism of ageing proposes that senescence results from the progressive accumulation of unrepaired damage to DNA throughout the life span. Studies of the changes in DNA repair capability in ageing cells both in vivo and in vitro have given ambiguous results, but a clear relation has been demonstrated in mammals between the DNA repair capacity and potential longevity. We have found no difference in excision repair capacity in cultured cells from three species of cold-blooded vertebrates, the long-lived turtle, with a potential life span of 118+ yr, the rainbow trout, 8 yr, and Amazon molly, with 3 yr.

  9. Vertebrate roadkills on State Highway 383, Rondônia, Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Carlos Batista Turci

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Roadkills are a serious threat to many species of wildlife worldwide. In Brazil, few studies are available about the importance of roadkills. Information about roadkills in Amazonia are even more scarce when compared to central and southern Brazil. Here we describe the vertebrate roadkills on State Highway 383 in Rondônia. From May 2004 – April 2005, thirty samples were taken the along 110km of the highway between Cacoal and Alta Floresta D’Oeste. Thirty-four vertebrate species were found in 259 specimens. In terms of absolute numbers, amphibians were the most frequent roadkills, with 68 individuals of two species. Birds followed, with 67 individuals of 12 species, then reptiles (67 indiv., 12 species and mammals (63 indiv.,13 species. Eight species (Leptodactylus gr. pentadactylus, Rhinella sp, Amphisbaena sp., Liophis reginae, Crotophaga ani, Didelphis marsupialis, Euphractus sexcinctus and Cerdocyon thous were the most frequent roadkills, accounting for 76% of the vertebrate roadkills. More than half of the roadkills occurred during the dry season.

  10. The vertebrate fauna of Ichauway, Baker County, GA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, L.L.; Steen, D.A.; Stober, J.M.; Freeman, Mary C.; Golladay, S.W.; Conner, L.M.; Cochrane, J.

    2006-01-01

    Less than 4% of the once extensive Pinus palustris (longleaf pine) ecosystem remains today. Although longleaf pine habitats are recognized for their high species diversity, few published accounts document the vertebrate faunas of remaining tracts. Here we report on the vertebrate species richness of lchauway, an 11,300-ha property in Baker County, GA. The property includes ca. 7300 ha of longleaf pine with native ground cover, along with more than 30 seasonal wetlands and ca. 45 km of riparian habitat associated with Ichawaynochaway Creek, Big Cypress Creek, and the Flint River. The fauna includes 61 species of fish, 31 amphibians, 53 reptiles, 191 birds, and 41 mammals. Despite the relative isolation of the property from other natural ecosystems, the vertebrate fauna of lchauway is remarkably diverse and may offer an example of reference conditions to guide restoration of longleaf pine forests, associated seasonal wetlands, and riparian areas elsewhere in the southeastern U S.

  11. An assessment of the genotoxic impact of the Sea Empress oil spill by the measurement of DNA adduct levels in selected invertebrate and vertebrate species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, J S; Lyons, B P; Page, T S; Stewart, C; Parry, J M

    1999-04-26

    The grounding of the Sea Empress oil tanker resulted in the release of 72,000 tonnes of crude oil into Milford Haven, Wales, UK. Our initial studies indicated that this contamination resulted in elevated levels of DNA adducts in one of the area's native marine species Lipophrys pholis [B.P. Lyons, J.S. Harvey, J.M. Parry, An initial assessment of the genotoxic impact of the Sea Empress oil spill by the measurement of DNA adduct levels in the intertidal teleost Lipophrys pholis, Mutat. Res. 390 (1997) 263-268]. These original studies were extended and the genotoxic impact of the oil contamination was investigated in the invertebrates Halichondria panicea and Mytilus edulis, along with the vertebrate fish species L. pholis, Pleuronectes platessa and Limanda limanda. DNA adduct levels were assessed in these species over a period of 2-17 months after the incident. The studies indicate differences in the impact of acute oil contamination upon vertebrate and invertebrate species. The oil contamination did not induce any detectable elevations in adduct levels in the invertebrate species H. panicea and M. edulis. In contrast, the oil contamination did appear to induce adducts in the vertebrate teleost species L. pholis, P. platessa and Lim. limanda. Despite some difficulties in sampling, the data obtained 12-17 months after the spill suggested that the affected species recovered from the oil contamination. While the studies indicate that the genetic impact of the oil contamination was less severe than might have been expected, it remains possible that the DNA adducts detected in the teleosts could lead to genetic changes in these species in the future. Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

  12. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Powell, Brian F.; Halvorson, William L.

    2007-01-01

    Executive Summary We summarized inventory and monitoring efforts for plants and vertebrates at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (NM) in Arizona. We used data from previous research to compile complete species lists for the monument and to assess inventory completeness. There have been 1,031 species of plants and vertebrates observed at the monument. Most of the species on the list are documented by voucher specimens. There are 59 non-native species established in the monument: one mammal, three birds, and 55 non-native plants. Most non-native plant species were first recorded along roads. In each taxon-specific chapter, we highlight areas that contribute disproportionately to species richness or that have unique species for the monument. Of particular importance are Quitobaquito Springs and Pond, which are responsible for the monument having one of the highest number of bird species in the Sonoran Desert Network of parks. Quitobaquito also contains the only fish in the monument, the endangered Quitobaquito pupfish (Cyprinodon eremus). Other important resources for the plants and vertebrates include the xeroriparian washes (e.g., Alamo Canyon) and the Ajo Mountains. Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventories of vascular plants and vertebrates are nearly complete and that the monument has one of the most complete inventories of any unit in the Sonoran Desert Network.

  13. A rapid, strong, and convergent genetic response to urban habitat fragmentation in four divergent and widespread vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen Semple Delaney

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization is a major cause of habitat fragmentation worldwide. Ecological and conservation theory predicts many potential impacts of habitat fragmentation on natural populations, including genetic impacts. Habitat fragmentation by urbanization causes populations of animals and plants to be isolated in patches of suitable habitat that are surrounded by non-native vegetation or severely altered vegetation, asphalt, concrete, and human structures. This can lead to genetic divergence between patches and in turn to decreased genetic diversity within patches through genetic drift and inbreeding.We examined population genetic patterns using microsatellites in four common vertebrate species, three lizards and one bird, in highly fragmented urban southern California. Despite significant phylogenetic, ecological, and mobility differences between these species, all four showed similar and significant reductions in gene flow over relatively short geographic and temporal scales. For all four species, the greatest genetic divergence was found where development was oldest and most intensive. All four animals also showed significant reduction in gene flow associated with intervening roads and freeways, the degree of patch isolation, and the time since isolation.Despite wide acceptance of the idea in principle, evidence of significant population genetic changes associated with fragmentation at small spatial and temporal scales has been rare, even in smaller terrestrial vertebrates, and especially for birds. Given the striking pattern of similar and rapid effects across four common and widespread species, including a volant bird, intense urbanization may represent the most severe form of fragmentation, with minimal effective movement through the urban matrix.

  14. Common metabolic constraints on dive duration in endothermic and ectothermic vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    April Hayward

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Dive duration in air-breathing vertebrates is thought to be constrained by the volume of oxygen stored in the body and the rate at which it is consumed (i.e., “oxygen store/usage hypothesis”. The body mass-dependence of dive duration among endothermic vertebrates is largely supportive of this model, but previous analyses of ectothermic vertebrates show no such body mass-dependence. Here we show that dive duration in both endotherms and ectotherms largely support the oxygen store/usage hypothesis after accounting for the well-established effects of temperature on oxygen consumption rates. Analyses of the body mass and temperature dependence of dive duration in 181 species of endothermic vertebrates and 29 species of ectothermic vertebrates show that dive duration increases as a power law with body mass, and decreases exponentially with increasing temperature. Thus, in the case of ectothermic vertebrates, changes in environmental temperature will likely impact the foraging ecology of divers.

  15. 'Wildlife 2001: Populations', an International Conference on Population Dynamics and Management of Vertebrates

    CERN Document Server

    Barrett, Reginald

    1992-01-01

    In 1984, a conference called Wildlife 2000: Modeling habitat relationships of terrestrial vertebrates, was held at Stanford Sierra Camp at Fallen Leaf Lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The conference was well-received, and the published volume (Verner, J. , M. L. Morrison, and C. J. Ralph, editors. 1986. Wildlife 2000: modeling habitat relationships of terrestrial vertebrates, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, USA) proved to be a landmark publication that received a book award by The Wildlife Society. Wildlife 2001: populations was a followup conference with emphasis on the other major biological field of wildlife conservation and management, populations. It was held on July 29-31, 1991, at the Oakland Airport Hilton Hotel in Oakland, California, in accordance with our intent that this conference have a much stronger international representation than did Wildlife 2000. The goal of the conference was to bring together an international group of specialists to address the state ...

  16. The vertebrate fauna from the stipite layers of the Grands Causses (Middle Jurassic, France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien eKnoll

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The stipites are Bathonian (Middle Jurassic coals that formed in an everglades-like environment and are now exposed in the Grands Causses (southern France. The vertebrate assemblage of the stipites and of the transitional layers to the carbonates in which they are interspersed are reviewed. To date, only small-sized and isolated vertebrate bones, teeth, and scales have been recovered. These record the presence of sharks (Hybodus, Asteracanthus, bony fishes (Lepidotes, Pycnodontiformes, Caturus, Aspidorhynchus, amphibians (Anura, Albanerpetontidae, and reptiles (Crocodylomorpha, Ornithischia, Theropoda. Despite its relatively limited taxonomic diversity, the vertebrate assemblage from the stipites and from their associated layers is notable for being one of the few of this age with both terrestrial and marine influences. Compared to other approximately coeval formations in Western Europe, the stipites vertebrate assemblage is surpassed in diversity only by those from the British Isles.

  17. Interactions among predators and the cascading effects of vertebrate insectivores on arthropod communities and plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Gruner, Daniel S; Barber, Nicholas A; Van Bael, Sunshine A; Philpott, Stacy M; Greenberg, Russell

    2010-04-20

    Theory on trophic interactions predicts that predators increase plant biomass by feeding on herbivores, an indirect interaction called a trophic cascade. Theory also predicts that predators feeding on predators, or intraguild predation, will weaken trophic cascades. Although past syntheses have confirmed cascading effects of terrestrial arthropod predators, we lack a comprehensive analysis for vertebrate insectivores-which by virtue of their body size and feeding habits are often top predators in these systems-and of how intraguild predation mediates trophic cascade strength. We report here on a meta-analysis of 113 experiments documenting the effects of insectivorous birds, bats, or lizards on predaceous arthropods, herbivorous arthropods, and plants. Although vertebrate insectivores fed as intraguild predators, strongly reducing predaceous arthropods (38%), they nevertheless suppressed herbivores (39%), indirectly reduced plant damage (40%), and increased plant biomass (14%). Furthermore, effects of vertebrate insectivores on predatory and herbivorous arthropods were positively correlated. Effects were strongest on arthropods and plants in communities with abundant predaceous arthropods and strong intraguild predation, but weak in communities depauperate in arthropod predators and intraguild predation. The naturally occurring ratio of arthropod predators relative to herbivores varied tremendously among the studied communities, and the skew to predators increased with site primary productivity and in trees relative to shrubs. Although intraguild predation among arthropod predators has been shown to weaken herbivore suppression, we find this paradigm does not extend to vertebrate insectivores in these communities. Instead, vertebrate intraguild preda-tion is associated with strengthened trophic cascades, and insectivores function as dominant predators in terrestrial plant-arthropod communities.

  18. Short-chain chlorinated paraffins in terrestrial bird species inhabiting an e-waste recycling site in South China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xiao-Jun; Sun, Yu-Xin; Wu, Jiang-Ping; Chen, She-Jun; Mai, Bi-Xian

    2015-03-01

    Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) are under review by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Currently, limited data are available about SCCPs in terrestrial organisms. In the present study, SCCP concentration in the muscles of seven terrestrial bird species (n = 38) inhabiting an e-waste recycling area in South China was determined. This concentration varied from 620 to 17,000 ng/g lipid. Resident birds accumulated significantly higher SCCP concentrations than migratory birds (p < 0.01). Trophic magnification was observed for migratory bird species but not for resident, which was attributed to high heterogeneity of SCCP in e-waste area. Two different homologue group patterns were observed in avian samples. The first pattern was found in five bird species dominated by C10 and C11 congeners, while the second was found in the remains, which show rather equal abundance of homologue groups. This may be caused by two sources of SCCPs (local and e-waste) in the study area. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Effects of an inhibitor of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase on photosynthesis of the terrestrial forms of amphibious Eleocharis species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueno, Osamu; Ishimaru, Ken

    2002-01-01

    The leafless amphibious sedge Eleocharis vivipara develops culms with C(4) traits and Kranz anatomy under terrestrial conditions, but develops culms with C(3) traits and non-Kranz anatomy under submerged conditions. The culms of the terrestrial form have high C(4) enzyme activities, while those of the submerged form have decreased C(4) enzyme activities. The culms accumulate ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) in the mesophyll cells (MC) and the bundle sheath cells. The Rubisco in the MC may be responsible for the operation of the C(3) pathway in the submerged form. To verify the presence of the C(3) cycle in the MC, we examined the effects of 3,3-dichloro-2-(dihydroxyphosphinoylmethyl) -propenoate (DCDP), an inhibitor of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), on photosynthesis in culms of the terrestrial forms of E. vivipara and related amphibious species, E. baldwinii and E. retroflexa ssp. chaetaria. When 1 mM DCDP was fed via the transpiration stream to excised leaves, photosynthesis was inhibited completely in Fimbristylis dichotoma (C(4) control), but by only 20% in potato (C(3) control). In the terrestrial Eleocharis plants, the degree of inhibition of photosynthesis by DCDP was intermediate between those of the C(4) and C(3) plants, at 58-81%. These results suggest that photosynthesis under DCDP treatment in the terrestrial Eleocharis plants is due mainly to fixation of atmospheric CO(2) by Rubisco and probably the C(3) cycle in the MC. These features are reminiscent of those in C(4)-like plants. Differential effects of DCDP on photosynthesis of the 3 Eleocharis species are discussed in relation to differences in the degree of Rubisco accumulation and C(3) activity in the MC.

  20. An Overview of Seasonal Changes in Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Defence Parameters in Some Invertebrate and Vertebrate Species

    OpenAIRE

    Chainy, Gagan Bihari Nityananda; Paital, Biswaranjan; Dandapat, Jagneswar

    2016-01-01

    Antioxidant defence system, a highly conserved biochemical mechanism, protects organisms from harmful effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a by-product of metabolism. Both invertebrates and vertebrates are unable to modify environmental physical factors such as photoperiod, temperature, salinity, humidity, oxygen content, and food availability as per their requirement. Therefore, they have evolved mechanisms to modulate their metabolic pathways to cope their physiology with changing envi...

  1. Vertebrate fauna of the Roman period, migrations period and Medieval period in Vojvodina (Serbia

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    Radmanović Darko P.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on current published and unpublished research results, a total of 16 vertebrate species members of mammal (Mammalia, bird (Aves and osteichthyes (Osteichthyes classes have been registered at 11 archaeological sites from the Roman Period in Vojvodina. Mammals dominate with 12 species and one genus, birds are present with 3 species, and osteichthyes with one. From the Migration Period, at 9 sites, 22 vertebrate species have been registered, of which 13 species and one genus of mammals, 4 species and one genus of birds, and 5 species from the Osteichthyes class. At 8 sites from the Medieval Period, 16 vertebrate species have been registered. Mammals are the most numerous class with 10 species and one genus, while birds are present with 4 species and one genus. Furthermore, two species of osteichthyes have also been registered.

  2. The evolution of pepsinogen C genes in vertebrates: duplication, loss and functional diversification.

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    Luís Filipe Costa Castro

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Aspartic proteases comprise a large group of enzymes involved in peptide proteolysis. This collection includes prominent enzymes globally categorized as pepsins, which are derived from pepsinogen precursors. Pepsins are involved in gastric digestion, a hallmark of vertebrate physiology. An important member among the pepsinogens is pepsinogen C (Pgc. A particular aspect of Pgc is its apparent single copy status, which contrasts with the numerous gene copies found for example in pepsinogen A (Pga. Although gene sequences with similarity to Pgc have been described in some vertebrate groups, no exhaustive evolutionary framework has been considered so far. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By combining phylogenetics and genomic analysis, we find an unexpected Pgc diversity in the vertebrate sub-phylum. We were able to reconstruct gene duplication timings relative to the divergence of major vertebrate clades. Before tetrapod divergence, a single Pgc gene tandemly expanded to produce two gene lineages (Pgbc and Pgc2. These have been differentially retained in various classes. Accordingly, we find Pgc2 in sauropsids, amphibians and marsupials, but not in eutherian mammals. Pgbc was retained in amphibians, but duplicated in the ancestor of amniotes giving rise to Pgb and Pgc1. The latter was retained in mammals and probably in reptiles and marsupials but not in birds. Pgb was kept in all of the amniote clade with independent episodes of loss in some mammalian species. Lineage specific expansions of Pgc2 and Pgbc have also occurred in marsupials and amphibians respectively. We find that teleost and tetrapod Pgc genes reside in distinct genomic regions hinting at a possible translocation. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the repertoire of Pgc genes is larger than previously reported, and that tandem duplications have modelled the history of Pgc genes. We hypothesize that gene expansion lead to functional divergence in tetrapods, coincident with the

  3. Risk assessment considerations for plant protection products and terrestrial life-stages of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weltje, Lennart; Ufer, Andreas; Hamer, Mick; Sowig, Peter; Demmig, Sandra; Dechet, Friedrich

    2018-04-28

    Some amphibians occur in agricultural landscapes during certain periods of their life cycle and consequently might be exposed to plant protection products (PPPs). While the sensitivity of aquatic life-stages is considered to be covered by the standard assessment for aquatic organisms (especially fish), the situation is less clear for terrestrial amphibian life-stages. In this paper, considerations are presented on how a risk assessment for PPPs and terrestrial life-stages of amphibians could be conducted. It discusses available information concerning the toxicity of PPPs to terrestrial amphibians, and their potential exposure to PPPs in consideration of aspects of amphibian biology. The emphasis is on avoiding additional vertebrate testing as much as possible by using exposure-driven approaches and by making use of existing vertebrate toxicity data, where appropriate. Options for toxicity testing and risk assessment are presented in a flowchart as a tiered approach, progressing from a non-testing approach, to simple worst-case laboratory testing, to extended laboratory testing, to semi-field enclosure tests and ultimately to full-scale field testing and monitoring. Suggestions are made for triggers to progress to higher tiers. Also, mitigation options to reduce the potential for exposure of terrestrial life-stages of amphibians to PPPs, if a risk were identified, are discussed. Finally, remaining uncertainties and research needs are considered by proposing a way forward (road map) for generating additional information to inform terrestrial amphibian risk assessment. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Tuzigoot National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Brian F.; Albrecht, E.W.; Halvorson, William Lee; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Anning, P.; Docherty, K.

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary From 2002 to 2004, we surveyed for plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Tuzigoot National Monument (NM) and adjacent areas in Arizona. This was the first effort of its kind in the area and was part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in Arizona and New Mexico. In addition to our own surveys, we also compiled a complete list of species that have been found by previous studies. We found 330 species, including 142 that had not previously been recorded at the monument (Table 1). We found 39 species of non-native plants, 11 non-native fishes, three non-native birds, and one non-native species each of amphibian and mammal. Based on our work and that of others, there have been 597 species of plants and vertebrates found at the monument. The bird community at the monument had the highest species richness of any national park unit in central and southern Arizona. We found all other taxa to have intermediate species richness compared to other park units in the region. This extraordinary species richness observed for birds, as well as for some other taxa, is due primarily to Tavasci Marsh and the Verde River, two critical sources of perennial water, which provide habitat for many regionally rare or uncommon species. The location of the monument at the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert and at the southern edge of the Mogollon Rim also plays an important role in determining the distribution and community composition of the plant and vertebrate communities. Based on our findings, we believe the high number of non-native species, especially fish and plants, should be of particular management concern. We detail other management challenges, most notably the rapid increase in housing and associated commercial development near the monument, which will continue to impact the plant and vertebrate communities. Based on our data and a review of past studies, we believe the

  5. Variation in vertebral number and its morphological implication in Galaxias platei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barriga, J P; Milano, D; Cussac, V E

    2013-11-01

    Variation in the vertebral number of the puyen grande Galaxias platei was examined for specimens from 22 localities that span the entire distribution range of the species (from 40° to 55° S). The mean vertebral number (NMW ) increases towards high latitudes, i.e. Jordan's rule is applicable to this species. Owing to the wide geographic variation of the species, not only in latitude but also in altitude, the most explicative variable for NMW was mean winter air temperature, showing negative dependence. Morphological data suggest that the increment in vertebral number lies in the pre-pelvic region of the trunk and in the caudal region, but not in the segment between pelvic-fin insertion and the origin of the anal fin. As these alterations in body shape have important consequences for hydrodynamics and swimming performance, vertebral number variation in G. platei also holds implications for both individual and population fitness. © 2013 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  6. The terrestrial Isopoda (Crustacea, Oniscidea) of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), with descriptions of two new species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taiti, Stefano; Wynne, J Judson

    2015-01-01

    Nine species of terrestrial isopods are reported for the Polynesian island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) based upon museum materials and recent collections from field sampling. Most of these animals are non-native species, but two are new to science: Styloniscusmanuvaka sp. n. and Hawaiiosciarapui sp. n. Of these, the former is believed to be a Polynesian endemic as it has been recorded from Rapa Iti, Austral Islands, while the latter is identified as a Rapa Nui island endemic. Both of these new species are considered 'disturbance relicts' and appear restricted to the cave environment on Rapa Nui. A short key to all the oniscidean species presently recorded from Rapa Nui is provided. We also offered conservation and management recommendations for the two new isopod species.

  7. Impact of non-native terrestrial mammals on the structure of the terrestrial mammal food web of Newfoundland, Canada.

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    Justin S Strong

    Full Text Available The island of Newfoundland is unique because it has as many non-native terrestrial mammals as native ones. The impacts of non-native species on native flora and fauna can be profound and invasive species have been identified as one of the primary drivers of species extinction. Few studies, however, have investigated the effects of a non-native species assemblage on community and ecosystem properties. We reviewed the literature to build the first terrestrial mammal food web for the island of Newfoundland and then used network analyses to investigate how the timing of introductions and trophic position of non-native species has affected the structure of the terrestrial mammal food web in Newfoundland. The first non-native mammals (house mouse and brown rat became established in Newfoundland with human settlement in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Coyotes and southern red-backed voles are the most recent mammals to establish themselves on the island in 1985 and 1998, respectively. The fraction of intermediate species increased with the addition of non-native mammals over time whereas the fraction of basal and top species declined over time. This increase in intermediate species mediated by non-native species arrivals led to an overall increase in the terrestrial mammal food web connectance and generality (i.e. mean number of prey per predator. This diverse prey base and sources of carrion may have facilitated the natural establishment of coyotes on the island. Also, there is some evidence that the introduction of non-native prey species such as the southern red-backed vole has contributed to the recovery of the threatened American marten. Long-term monitoring of the food web is required to understand and predict the impacts of the diverse novel interactions that are developing in the terrestrial mammal food web of Newfoundland.

  8. A checklist of the vertebrates of Kerala State, India

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    P. O. Nameer

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Following the first publication on vertebrates of India (Blanford 1888–1890, a huge wealth of information has been compiled on the vertebrate fauna of various biogeographic zones of the country, especially the Western Ghats.  The state of Kerala comprising of a land area of 38,863km2, 590km coastline, an intricate system of backwaters along the coast, tropical moist forests of the Western Ghats, the highly undulating terrain, and the tropical monsoon is a unique geographical and environmental entity rich in biodiversity.  A region-specific checklist that summarises and documents the current status of vertebrate diversity provides benchmark data for documentation and appreciation of biodiversity at regional level.  Further, with the current rate of global biodiversity loss and concordant conservation efforts, the taxonomic community has a greater responsibility to make scientific information available to scientists, policy makers, politicians, research students and all relevant stakeholders, an attempt that has been made in the present paper.  The State of Kerala has 1847 species of vertebrates in 330 families and 81 orders, of which 386 are endemic to the Western Ghats region (of the Western Ghats - Sri Lanka Hotspot, and 205 species as threatened. Six hundred and eighty species of vertebrates of Kerala have been listed in the various schedules of the Indian Wildlife (Protection Act, while 148 are listed in the different appendices of CITES.  

  9. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil.

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    Clinton N Jenkins

    Full Text Available Most conservation decisions take place at national or finer spatial scales. Providing useful information at such decision-making scales is essential for guiding the practice of conservation. Brazil is one of the world's megadiverse countries, and consequently decisions about conservation in the country have a disproportionate impact on the survival of global biodiversity. For three groups of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and amphibians, we examined geographic patterns of diversity and protection in Brazil, including that of endemic, small-ranged, and threatened species. To understand potential limitations of the data, we also explored how spatial bias in collection localities may influence the perceived patterns of diversity. The highest overall species richness is in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests, while the Atlantic Forest dominates in terms of country endemics and small-ranged species. Globally threatened species do not present a consistent pattern. Patterns for birds were similar to overall species richness, with higher concentrations of threatened species in the Atlantic Forest, while mammals show a more generalized pattern across the country and a high concentration in the Amazon. Few amphibians are listed as threatened, mostly in the Atlantic Forest. Data deficient mammals occur across the country, concentrating in the Amazon and southeast Atlantic Forest, and there are no data deficient birds in Brazil. In contrast, nearly a third of amphibians are data deficient, widespread across the country, but with a high concentration in the far southeast. Spatial biases in species locality data, however, possibly influence the perceived patterns of biodiversity. Regions with low sampling density need more biological studies, as do the many data deficient species. All biomes except the Amazon have less than 3% of their area under full protection. Reassuringly though, rates of protection do correlate with higher biodiversity, including

  10. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Chiricahua National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Brian F.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Halvorson, William L.; Anning, Pamela

    2009-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the first comprehensive inventory of vascular plants and vertebrates at Chiricahua National Monument (NM) in Arizona. This project was part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in the Sonoran Desert Network of parks in Arizona and New Mexico. In 2002, 2003, and 2004 we surveyed for plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Chiricahua NM to document the presence of species within the boundaries of the monument. Because we used repeatable study designs and standardized field methods, these inventories can serve as the first step in a biological monitoring program for the monument. This report is also the first summary of previous research from the monument and therefore it provides an important overview of survey efforts to date. We used data from our inventory and previous research to compile complete species lists for the monument and to assess inventory completeness. We recorded a total of 424 species, including 37 not previously found at the monument (Table 1). We found 10 species of non-native plants and one non-native mammal. Most non-native plants were found along the western boundary of the monument. Based on a review of our inventory and past research at the monument, there have been a total of 1,137 species of plants and vertebrates found at the monument. We believe the inventories of vascular plants and vertebrates are nearly complete and that the monument has one of the most complete inventories of any unit in the Sonoran Desert Network. The mammal community at the monument had the highest species richness (69 species) and the amphibian and reptile community was among the lowest species richness (33 species) of any park in the Sonoran Desert Network. Species richness of the plant and bird communities was intermediate. Among the important determinants of species richness for all groups is the geographic location of the monument

  11. Vertebrate Herbivore Browsing on Neighboring Forage Species Increases the Growth and Dominance of Siberian Alder Across a Latitudinal Transect in Northern Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeill, E. M.; Ruess, R. W.

    2017-12-01

    Vertebrate herbivores strongly influence plant growth and architecture, biogeochemical cycling, and successional dynamics in boreal and arctic ecosystems. One of the most notable impacts of vertebrate herbivory is on the growth and spread of alder, a chemically-defended, N-fixing shrub whose distribution in the Alaskan arctic has expanded dramatically over the past 60 years. Although herbivore effects on thin-leaf alder are well described for interior Alaskan floodplains, no work has been conducted on the effects of herbivores on Siberian alder (Alnus viridis spp fruticosa), despite the increasing importance of this species to high latitude ecosystems. We characterized browsing by snowshoe hares, moose, and willow ptarmigan on dominant shrub species across topo-edaphic sequences within 5 ecoregions along a 600 km latitudinal transect extending from interior Alaska to the North Slope. Ptarmigan browsed wind-blown lowland and alpine sites devoid of trees in all regions; moose browsed predominantly willow species in hardwood and mixed forests and were absent north of the Brooks Range; snowshoe hares selected habitats and forage based on their local density and vulnerability to predators. Browsing intensity on Siberian alder was either undetectable or low, limited primarily to hare browsing on young ramets in the northern boreal forest where hare density relative to forage availability is highest. Overall, alder height growth was positively correlated with levels of herbivory on competing shrub species. Our data support the hypothesis that vertebrate herbivore browsing is indirectly augmenting the growth, dominance, and possible spread of Siberian alder throughout its northern Alaskan range. Given the potential high rates of N-fixation inputs by Siberian alder, we believe herbivores are also having strong indirect effects on biogeochemical cycling and possibly C storage in these landscapes.

  12. Towards a global terrestrial species monitoring program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmeller, Dirk S.; Julliard, Romain; Bellingham, Peter J.; Böhm, Monika; Brummitt, Neil; Chiarucci, Alessandro; Couvet, Denis; Elmendorf, Sarah; Forsyth, David M.; Moreno, Jaime García; Gregory, Richard D.; Magnusson, William E.; Martin, Laura J.; McGeoch, Melodie A.; Mihoub, Jean-Baptiste; Pereira, Henrique M.; Proença, Vânia; van Swaay, Chris A.M.; Yahara, Tetsukazu; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: The Convention for Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 envisions that “By 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.” Although 193 parties have adopted these goals, there is little infrastructure in place to monitor global biodiversity trends. Recent international conservation policy requires such data to be up-to-date, reliable, comparable among sites, relevant, and understandable; as is becoming obvious from the work plan adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES: www.ipbes.net/; http://tinyurl.com/ohdnknq). In order to meet the five strategic goals of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its 20 accompanying Aichi Targets for 2020 (www.cbd.int/sp/targets/), advances need to be made in coordinating large-scale biodiversity monitoring and linking these with environmental data to develop a comprehensive Global Observation Network, as is the main idea behind GEOSS the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (Christian 2005)...Here we identify ten requirements important for the successful implementation of a global biodiversity monitoring network under the flag of GEO BON and especially a global terrestrial species monitoring program.

  13. LncRNAs in vertebrates: advances and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallory, Allison C; Shkumatava, Alena

    2015-10-01

    Beyond the handful of classic and well-characterized long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), more recently, hundreds of thousands of lncRNAs have been identified in multiple species including bacteria, plants and vertebrates, and the number of newly annotated lncRNAs continues to increase as more transcriptomes are analyzed. In vertebrates, the expression of many lncRNAs is highly regulated, displaying discrete temporal and spatial expression patterns, suggesting roles in a wide range of developmental processes and setting them apart from classic housekeeping ncRNAs. In addition, the deregulation of a subset of these lncRNAs has been linked to the development of several diseases, including cancers, as well as developmental anomalies. However, the majority of vertebrate lncRNA functions remain enigmatic. As such, a major task at hand is to decipher the biological roles of lncRNAs and uncover the regulatory networks upon which they impinge. This review focuses on our emerging understanding of lncRNAs in vertebrate animals, highlighting some recent advances in their functional analyses across several species and emphasizing the current challenges researchers face to characterize lncRNAs and identify their in vivo functions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.

  14. Constrained vertebrate evolution by pleiotropic genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Haiyang; Uesaka, Masahiro; Guo, Song; Shimai, Kotaro; Lu, Tsai-Ming; Li, Fang; Fujimoto, Satoko; Ishikawa, Masato; Liu, Shiping; Sasagawa, Yohei; Zhang, Guojie; Kuratani, Shigeru; Yu, Jr-Kai; Kusakabe, Takehiro G; Khaitovich, Philipp; Irie, Naoki

    2017-11-01

    Despite morphological diversification of chordates over 550 million years of evolution, their shared basic anatomical pattern (or 'bodyplan') remains conserved by unknown mechanisms. The developmental hourglass model attributes this to phylum-wide conserved, constrained organogenesis stages that pattern the bodyplan (the phylotype hypothesis); however, there has been no quantitative testing of this idea with a phylum-wide comparison of species. Here, based on data from early-to-late embryonic transcriptomes collected from eight chordates, we suggest that the phylotype hypothesis would be better applied to vertebrates than chordates. Furthermore, we found that vertebrates' conserved mid-embryonic developmental programmes are intensively recruited to other developmental processes, and the degree of the recruitment positively correlates with their evolutionary conservation and essentiality for normal development. Thus, we propose that the intensively recruited genetic system during vertebrates' organogenesis period imposed constraints on its diversification through pleiotropic constraints, which ultimately led to the common anatomical pattern observed in vertebrates.

  15. Geographic patterns of vertebrate diversity and identification of relevant areas for conservation in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Assunção–Albuquerque, M. J. T.

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The ‘EU Council conclusions on biodiversity post–2010′ re–enforced Europe’s commitment to halt biodiversity loss by 2020. Identifying areas of high–value for biodiversity conservation is an important issue to meet this target. We investigated the geographic pattern of terrestrial vertebrate diversity status in Europe by assessing the species richness, rarity, vulnerability (according to IUCN criteria, and a combined index of the three former for the amphibians, reptiles, bird and mammals of this region. We also correlated the value of all indices with climate and human influence variables. Overall, clear geographic gradients of species diversity were found. The combined biodiversity index indicated that high–value biodiversity areas were mostly located in the Mediterranean basin and the highest vulnerability was found in the Iberian peninsula for most taxa. Across all indexes, the proportion of variance explained by climate and human influence factors was moderate to low. The results obtained in this study have the potential to provide valuable support for nature conservation policies in Europe and, consequently, might contribute to mitigate biodiversity decline in this region.

  16. Vertebrados terrestres registrados mediante foto-trampeo en arroyos estacionales y cañadas con agua superficial en un hábitat semiárido de Baja California Sur, México Terrestrial vertebrates recorded by camera traps in areas with seasonal streams and creeks of superficial waters in a semiarid habitat of Baja California Sur, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika Mesa-Zavala

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Los cuerpos de agua superficial (CAS permanentes o efímeros (pozas, tinajas, escurrimientos, etc. que se encuentran en depresiones del terreno, como arroyos y cañadas, son soporte fundamental para el ecosistema en zonas áridas. Mediante el uso de cámaras-trampa, en este estudio se identifican especies de vertebrados terrestres silvestres presentes en 4 sitios con agua superficial, en el extremo sur de la sierra El Mechudo, Baja California Sur, y se analiza el uso de los CAS por las especies en los periodos de actividad. En cada sitio se caracterizó el hábitat (topografía, vegetación y agua. Los 4 sitios mostraron diferencias en sus características ambientales. Se identificaron 41 especies de vertebrados terrestres (3 reptiles, 31 aves y 7 mamíferos. Se encontraron también varias especies de murciélagos que no fueron identificadas. La riqueza de especies y frecuencia de visita fue diferente en cada sitio. Con excepción de 3 especies de mamíferos, el horario de actividad fue similar en los 4 sitios. La presente investigación aporta información sobre la importancia de los CAS en zonas semiáridas, describiendo el hábitat, las especies y su comportamiento, elementos básicos para la conservación y manejo de los recursos naturales.Permanent or ephemeral water ponds (puddles, catchments, drains, and so on located on ground depressions, such as streams and creeks, are a fundamental support for ecosystems in dry areas. This study identified the species of native terrestrial vertebrates in 4 sites in the southernmost part of the Sierra El Mechudo, B.C.S., including how such species use these bodies of water based on the periods of species activity. Habitats were characterized in 4 sites (topography, vegetation, and water sources; camera-traps were placed around water ponds from March to October 2007. The 4 sites differed in their environmental characteristics. Overall, there were 41 species of terrestrial vertebrates (3 reptiles, 31

  17. [Ecological risk assessment of dam construction for terrestrial plant species in middle reach of Lancangjiang River, Southwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao-Yan; Dong, Shi-Kui; Liu, Shi-Liang; Peng, Ming-Chun; Li, Jin-Peng; Zhao, Qing-He; Zhang, Zhao-Ling

    2012-08-01

    Taking the surrounding areas of Xiaowan Reservoir in the middle reach of Lancangjiang River as study area, and based on the vegetation investigation at three sites including electricity transmission area (site 1), electricity-transfer substation and roadsides to the substation (site 2), and emigration area (site 3) in 1997 (before dam construction), another investigation was conducted on the vegetation composition, plant coverage, and dominant species at the same sites in 2010 (after dam construction), aimed to evaluate the ecological risk of the dam construction for the terrestrial plant species in middle reach of Lancangjiang River. There was an obvious difference in the summed dominance ratio of dominant species at the three sites before and after the dam construction. According the types of species (dominant and non-dominant species) and the changes of plant dominance, the ecological risk (ER) for the plant species was categorized into 0 to IV, i.e., no or extremely low ecological risk (0), low ecological risk (I), medium ecological risk (II), high ecological risk (III), and extremely high ecological risk (IV). As affected by the dam construction, the majority of the species were at ER III, and a few species were at ER IV. The percentage of the plant species at ER III and ER IV at site 3 was higher than that at sites 1 and 2. The decrease or loss of native plants and the increase of alien or invasive plants were the major ecological risks caused by the dam construction. Effective protection strategies should be adopted to mitigate the ecological risk of the dam construction for the terrestrial plants at species level.

  18. Evolutionarily conserved elements in vertebrate, insect, worm, and yeast genomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Siepel, Adam; Bejerano, Gill; Pedersen, Jakob Skou

    2005-01-01

    We have conducted a comprehensive search for conserved elements in vertebrate genomes, using genome-wide multiple alignments of five vertebrate species (human, mouse, rat, chicken, and Fugu rubripes). Parallel searches have been performed with multiple alignments of four insect species (three...... species of Drosophila and Anopheles gambiae), two species of Caenorhabditis, and seven species of Saccharomyces. Conserved elements were identified with a computer program called phastCons, which is based on a two-state phylogenetic hidden Markov model (phylo-HMM). PhastCons works by fitting a phylo......-HMM to the data by maximum likelihood, subject to constraints designed to calibrate the model across species groups, and then predicting conserved elements based on this model. The predicted elements cover roughly 3%-8% of the human genome (depending on the details of the calibration procedure) and substantially...

  19. Expression of blood group antigens A and B in pancreas of vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ELENKA GEORGIEVA

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The biological role of blood group antigens (BGA A and B in tissues of different vertebrates is still controversial. There are few investigations on vertebrate pancreas and no obvious explanation of their tissue expression. The aim of the present study is to follow and compare the pancreatic expression of BGA A and B in representatives of five vertebrate classes. The biotin-streptavidin-proxidase labeling system was used for immunohistochemical detection of BGA by monoclonal antibodies to human A and B antigens. The present study reveals specific immunoreactivity in acinar and epithelial cells of pancreatic efferent ducts in species free-living vertebrates. The immunoperoxidase staining shows antigenic heterogeneity in the cellular localization. The number of positive cells and the intensity of expression vary in different species. Endothelial cells are positive only in the pancreas of Emys orbicularis. The lack of BGA A and B in some species suggests that the expression of these antigens is dependent not only on the evolutionary level of the species, but mainly on some genetic control mechanisms. The production of BGA A and B and the variability in their cellular localization probably reflect the stage of cell differentiation and the mechanisms of pancreatic secretor function. The presence of histo BGA in endodermal acinar pancreatic cells confirms the assumption for the high antigenic stability and conservatism of these molecules in vertebrate histogenesis and evolution.

  20. The incidence of Pyrenochaeta terrestris in root of different plant species in Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lević Jelena T.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Root samples of cereals (oats, wheat, barley, maize and sorghum, vegetables (garlic, onion, pepper, cucumber, pumpkin, carrot and tomato, industrial plant (soya bean and weeds (Johnson grass, barnyard grass and green bristle-grass collected in different agroecological conditions in Serbia were analysed for the presence of Pyrenochaeta terrestris. The fungus was found in 42 out of 51 samples (82.4%, while the incidence varied from 2.5 to 72.5%. The highest incidence was detected in cereals (average 30.3%, and then in weeds of the Poaceae family (average 14.2%. Considering single species, maize (up to 72.5% in root and Johnson grass (up to 37.5% were mostly attacked by this fungus. The lowest incidence of the fungus was determined in vegetable crops (average 6.7%. Red to reddish discoloration of root was correlated with the incidence of the fungus. Obtained data indicate that P. terrestris is widespread in Serbia and conditions for its development are favourable. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. TR-31023

  1. Predicting vertebral bone strength by vertebral static histomorphometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Jesper Skovhus; Ebbesen, Ebbe Nils; Mosekilde, Lis

    2002-01-01

    of the entire vertebral bodies (L-2) were used for histomorphometry. The other iliac crest biopsies and the L-3 were destructively tested by compression. High correlation was found between BV/TV or Tb.Sp and vertebral bone strength (absolute value of r = 0.86 in both cases). Addition of Tb.Th significantly....... No gender-related differences were found in any of the relationships. Neither static histomorphometry nor biomechanical testing of iliac crest bone biopsies is a good predictor of vertebral bone strength.......The study investigates the relationship between static histomorphometry and bone strength of human lumbar vertebral bone. The ability of vertebral histomorphometry to predict vertebral bone strength was compared with that of vertebral densitometry, and also with histomorphometry and bone strength...

  2. Facultative parthenogenesis in vertebrates: reproductive error or chance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampert, K P

    2008-01-01

    Parthenogenesis, the development of an embryo from a female gamete without any contribution of a male gamete, is very rare in vertebrates. Parthenogenetically reproducing species have, so far, only been found in the Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes). Facultative parthenogenesis, switching between sexual and clonal reproduction, although quite common in invertebrates, e.g. Daphnia and aphids, seems to be even rarer in vertebrates. However, isolated cases of parthenogenetic development have been reported in all vertebrate groups. Facultative parthenogenesis in vertebrates has only been found in captive animals but might simply have been overlooked in natural populations. Even though its evolutionary impact is hard to determine and very likely varies depending on the ploidy restoration mechanisms and sex-determining mechanisms involved, facultative parthenogenesis is already discussed in conservation biology and medical research. To raise interest for facultative parthenogenesis especially in evolutionary biology, I summarize the current knowledge about facultative parthenogenesis in the different vertebrate groups, introduce mechanisms of diploid oocyte formation and discuss the genetic consequences and potential evolutionary impact of facultative parthenogenesis in vertebrates.

  3. Species richness and conservation status of medium and large terrestrial mammals from four Sky Islands in Sonora, northwestern Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Coronel-Arellano, Helí; Lara-Díaz, Nalleli; Jiménez-Maldonado, Rosa; López-González, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    We present the first systematic checklist of medium and large terrestrial mammals on four mountain ranges known as Sky Islands, in northeastern Sonora, Mexico. We used camera traps for recording mammals, with which we documented 25 wild species. Two of the native species are in the IUCN Red List and four are threatened at the national level. We did not document seven wild species with potential distribution at study sites, probably due to limited availability of habitat and/or local extirpati...

  4. Limitations in global information on species occurrences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten Meyer

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Detailed information on species distributions is crucial for answering central questions in biogeography, ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation. Millions of species occurrence records have been mobilized via international data-sharing networks, but inherent biases, gaps and uncertainties hamper broader application. In my PhD thesis, I presented the first comprehensive analyses of global patterns and drivers of these limitations across different taxonomic groups and spatial scales. Integrating 300 million occurrence records for terrestrial vertebrates and plants with comprehensive taxonomic databases, expert range maps and regional checklists, I demonstrated extensive taxonomic, geographical and temporal biases, gaps and uncertainties. I identified key socio-economic drivers of data bias across different taxonomic groups and spatial scales. The results of my dissertation provide an empirical baseline for effectively accounting for data limitations in distribution models, as well as for prioritizing and monitoring efforts to collate additional occurrence information.

  5. VerSeDa: vertebrate secretome database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortazar, Ana R; Oguiza, José A; Aransay, Ana M; Lavín, José L

    2017-01-01

    Based on the current tools, de novo secretome (full set of proteins secreted by an organism) prediction is a time consuming bioinformatic task that requires a multifactorial analysis in order to obtain reliable in silico predictions. Hence, to accelerate this process and offer researchers a reliable repository where secretome information can be obtained for vertebrates and model organisms, we have developed VerSeDa (Vertebrate Secretome Database). This freely available database stores information about proteins that are predicted to be secreted through the classical and non-classical mechanisms, for the wide range of vertebrate species deposited at the NCBI, UCSC and ENSEMBL sites. To our knowledge, VerSeDa is the only state-of-the-art database designed to store secretome data from multiple vertebrate genomes, thus, saving an important amount of time spent in the prediction of protein features that can be retrieved from this repository directly. VerSeDa is freely available at http://genomics.cicbiogune.es/VerSeDa/index.php. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  6. The Romanian legislative framework for protection of terrestrial and freshwater vertebrate tetrapodes potentially affected by activities for exploitation of wind-resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TÖRÖK Zsolt

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available The Romanian legislation nominates for variosus conservative statuses the following terrestrial or freshwater tetrapode species which should be included in the analyses of teh studies on the potential negative impact of wind-turbines and related infrastructures or activities: 11 species of amphibians, 16 species of reptiles, 273 species of birds and 38 species of mammals that have “strictly protected species” status (according to ActNo. 13 / 1993, which enforces the Bern Convention on conservation of wildlife; 7 species of amphibians, 5 species ofreptiles, 94 species of birds and 31 species of mammals that have “protected species” status (according to the same ActNo. 13 / 1993; 6 species of amphibians, 5 species of reptiles, 54 species of mammals of which protection needs designaton of Special Areas of Conservation (Governmental Urgency Ordinance No. 57 / 2007; 11 species of amphibians, 18 species of reptiles, 48 species of mammals having “Species of Community Interest that need strictprotection” status (Governmental Urgency Ordinance No. 57 / 2007; 6 species of amphibians, 5 species of reptiles, 67 species of birds and 6 species of mammals that have “Species of National Interest that need strict protection” status (Governmental Urgency Ordinance No. 57 / 2007. At least 122 species of birds are nominated among the species of which protection needs designaton of Special Protection Areas (Governmental Urgency Ordinance No. 57 / 2007, 112migratory waterbird species are protected by Act No. 89 / 2000, 20 migratory birds are considered as being treathened on European level (Act no. 13 / 1998 and 267 species have “unfavourable status on European level” (Act no. 13 / 1998. All 30 bat species are protected by Act No. 90 / 2000, and 25 species are also nominated in Act No. 13 / 1993 (that enforces the Bonn Convention on migratory species.

  7. Vertebrate paleontological exploration of the Upper Cretaceous succession in the Dakhla and Kharga Oases, Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallam, Hesham M.; O'Connor, Patrick M.; Kora, Mahmoud; Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Seiffert, Erik R.; Faris, Mahmoud; Ouda, Khaled; El-Dawoudi, Iman; Saber, Sara; El-Sayed, Sanaa

    2016-05-01

    The Campanian and Maastrichtian stages are very poorly documented time intervals in Africa's record of terrestrial vertebrate evolution. Upper Cretaceous deposits exposed in southern Egypt, near the Dakhla and Kharga Oases in the Western Desert, preserve abundant vertebrate fossils in nearshore marine environments, but have not yet been the focus of intensive collection and description. Our recent paleontological work in these areas has resulted in the discovery of numerous new vertebrate fossil-bearing localities within the middle Campanian Qusier Formation and the upper Campanian-lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation. Fossil remains recovered from the Campanian-aged Quseir Formation include sharks, rays, actinopterygian and sarcopterygian fishes, turtles, and rare terrestrial archosaurians, including some of the only dinosaurs known from this interval on continental Africa. The upper Campanian/lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation preserves sharks, sawfish, actinopterygians, and marine reptiles (mosasaurs and plesiosaurs). Notably absent from these collections are representatives of Mammalia and Avialae, both of which remain effectively undocumented in the Upper Cretaceous rocks of Africa and Arabia. New age constraints on the examined rock units is provided by 23 nannofossil taxa, some of which are reported from the Duwi Formation for the first time. Fossil discoveries from rock units of this age are essential for characterizing the degree of endemism that may have developed as the continent became increasingly tectonically isolated from the rest of Gondwana, not to mention for fully evaluating origin and diversification hypotheses of major modern groups of vertebrates (e.g., crown birds, placental mammals).

  8. Assessment of the National Park network of mainland Spain by the Insecurity Index of vertebrate species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estrada, Alba; Real, Raimundo

    2018-01-01

    The evaluation of protected area networks on their capacity to preserve species distributions is a key topic in conservation biology. There are different types of protected areas, with National Parks those with highest level of protection. National Parks can be declared attending to many ecological features that include the presence of certain animal species. Here, we selected 37 vertebrate species that were highlighted as having relevant natural value for at least one of the 10 National Parks of mainland Spain. We modelled species distributions with the favourability function, and applied the Insecurity Index to detect the degree of protection of favourable areas for each species. Two metrics of Insecurity Index were defined for each species: the Insecurity Index in each of the cells, and the Overall Insecurity Index of a species. The former allows the identification of insecure areas for each species that can be used to establish spatial conservation priorities. The latter gives a value of Insecurity for each species, which we used to calculate the Representativeness of favourable areas for the species in the network. As expected, due to the limited extension of the National Park network, all species have high values of Insecurity; i.e., just a narrow proportion of their favourable areas are covered by a National Park. However, the majority of species favourable areas are well represented in the network, i.e., the percentage of favourable areas covered by the National Park network is higher than the percentage of mainland Spain covered by the network (result also supported by a randomization approach). Even if a reserve network only covers a low percentage of a country, the Overall Insecurity Index allows an objective assessment of its capacity to represent species. Beyond the results presented here, the Insecurity Index has the potential to be extrapolated to other areas and to cover a wide range of species.

  9. A new terrestrial snail species (Gastropoda: Bulimulidae from the Región de Antofagasta, northern Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Francisco Araya

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available A new species of Scutalus Albers, 1850 (Gastropoda: Bulimulidae, Scutalus chango sp. n., is described from a coastal area of northern Chile. Empty shells of this new species were found buried in sand and under boulders and rocks in the foothills of the Chilean Coastal Range at Paposo, Región de Antofagasta. This new species is distinguished from all other Chilean terrestrial snails by its slender shell with a flared and reflected aperture, and by the presence of a columellar fold. This is the first record of Scutalus in Chile, and the southernmost record for this endemic South American bulimulid genus. The presence of this species in Paposo highlights the need for further research and for conservation guidelines in coastal areas of northern Chile, which have comparatively high levels of biodiversity and endemism.

  10. Continental fossil vertebrates from the mid-Cretaceous (Albian-Cenomanian) Alcântara Formation, Brazil, and their relationship with contemporaneous faunas from North Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candeiro, Carlos Roberto A.; Fanti, Federico; Therrien, François; Lamanna, Matthew C.

    2011-05-01

    The Albian-Cenomanian Alcântara Formation of northeastern Brazil preserves the most diverse continental vertebrate fauna of this age yet known from northern South America. The Alcântara vertebrate assemblage, consisting of elasmobranchs, actinopterygians, sarcopterygians, turtles, crocodyliforms, pterosaurs, and non-avian dinosaurs, displays close similarities to contemporaneous faunas from North Africa. The co-occurrence of as many as eight freshwater or estuarine fish taxa ( Onchopristis, Bartschichthys, Lepidotes, Stephanodus, Mawsonia, Arganodus, Ceratodus africanus, and possibly Ceratodus humei) and up to seven terrestrial archosaur taxa ( Sigilmassasaurus, Rebbachisauridae, Baryonychinae, Spinosaurinae, Carcharodontosauridae, possibly Pholidosauridae, and doubtfully Bahariasaurus) suggests that a land route connecting northeastern Brazil and North Africa existed at least until the Albian. Interestingly, most components of this mid-Cretaceous northern South American/North African assemblage are not shared with coeval southern South American faunas, which are themselves characterized by a number of distinct freshwater and terrestrial vertebrate taxa (e.g., chelid turtles, megaraptoran and unenlagiine theropods). These results suggest that, although mid-Cretaceous faunal interchange was probably possible between northern South America and North Africa, paleogeographic, paleoclimatic, and/or paleoenvironmental barriers may have hindered continental vertebrate dispersal between northern and southern South America during this time.

  11. Comparison of saline tolerance among genetically similar species of Fusarium and Meloidogyne recovered from marine and terrestrial habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmer, W. H.; LaMondia, J. A.

    2014-08-01

    Successful plant pathogens co-evolve and adapt to the environmental constraints placed on host plants. We compared the salt tolerance of two salt marsh pathogens, Fusarium palustre and Meloidogyne spartinae, to genetically related terrestrial species, F. sporotrichioides and Meloidogyne hapla, to assess whether the salt marsh species had acquired selective traits for persisting in saline environments or if salt tolerance was comparable among Fusarium and Meloidogyne species. Comparisons of both species were made in vitro in vessels containing increasing concentration of NaCl. We observed that F. palustre was more tolerant to NaCl than F. sporotrichioides. The radial expansion of F. palustre on NaCl-amended agar plates was unaffected by increasing concentrations up to 0.3 M. F. sporotrichioides showed large reductions in growth at the same concentrations. Survival of M. hapla was greatest at 0 M, and reduced by half in a 0.3 M solution for 4 days. No juveniles survived exposure to 0.3 M NaCl for 12 days. M. spartinae survived at all NaCl concentrations tested, including 1.0 M for at least 12 days. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that marine organisms in the upper tidal zone must osmoregulate to withstand a wide range of salinity and provide evidence that these pathogens evolved in saline conditions and are not recent introductions from terrestrial niches.

  12. Relative growth pattern and hard tissue of vertebral centra by microradiography of bluefin tuna

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kubo, Y.; Asano, H.

    1989-01-01

    To clarify the growth feature and the structure of hard tissue, we studied the vertebral centrum of three species, bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus, bigeye tuna T. obesus and skipjack Katsuwonus pelamis (BL: 44.2, 39.5 and 40.0cm respectively). We examined the ratio of cetrum length to diameter in each vertebral centrum and obtained the value of 0.9-1.3 in most centra among three species. This indicates that the examined species belong to the equivalent type of the relative growth pattern of vertebral centra. The hard tissue was observed by microradiography, with the longitudinal and cross sections (about 100 μm) cut through the center of notochordal pore. The major centra of the vertebral column were composed of characteristic simple structure like a cross, when seen in the microradiographs of cross sections. Microradiographs indicated that the bone has complicated canals with minute spaces like the bone cavities

  13. Alien animals in South Africa – composition, introduction history, origins and distribution patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mike D. Picker

    2017-03-01

    Results: Of the 571 alien animal species analysed, insects comprised the largest component (53%, 300 species, followed by molluscs (9%, 51 species, annelids (8%, 48 species, arachnids (7%, 41 species, vertebrates (7%, 41 species and crustaceans (6%, 36 species. Vertebrate introductions (88% were largely intentional, whereas 84% of invertebrate introductions were unintentional. Conclusions: Almost all marine and most terrestrial alien species were accidentally introduced, whereas freshwater introductions were almost entirely intentional. Some 13% had not spread significantly, 16% had spread significantly and 71% had become fully invasive. Vertebrate introductions virtually ceased after the 1950s, but rate of introduction of invertebrates remained linear. The overall rate of species accumulation was fairly low until 1880, but accelerated sharply thereafter. Most terrestrial alien species originated from Europe (28.6% and Asia (25.0% and the lowest proportion (6.1% from Africa. Freshwater introductions largely originated from the Americas, with few from Africa. The most invaded areas were around Cape Town, (up to 162 introduced species/half-degree grid cell, followed by Gauteng and Durban

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. [Vertebrate mortality in the Guanare-Guanarito road, Portuguesa state, Venezuela].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seijas, Andrés Eloy; Araujo-Quintero, Alexis; Velásquez, Nadines

    2013-12-01

    Roads directly or indirectly affect the structure, dynamics and function of ecosystems that they traverse. Most studies on the effect of roads on wildlife focus on the evaluation of mortality of vertebrates by vehicle collisions. Despite the extensive road network that exists in Venezuela, studies of wildlife mortality in them are scarce. In this paper, we analyzed the temporal and spatial pattern of vertebrate's collisions along the road Guanare-Guanarito, in Portuguesa state. We travelled 26 times between these towns (74 km) to localize dead vertebrates, at a speed of 50-60km/h. of those trips were conducted from March 13 to October 26, 2010, and 10 additional trips from December 7, 2009 to December 14, 2010; these ones, with the aim to include months and seasons that were insufficiently sampled during the first period. The elapsed time between trips varied from 14 to 37 days. The total distance traveled was 1 924 km. Dead animals found amounted 464 individuals, 66 of them were birds (25 identified species), 130 mammals (15 species) and 268 reptiles (18 species). The species with the highest number of individuals were the snake Leptodeira annulata (n=119), the oppossum Didelphis marsupialis (n=39) and the spectacled caiman Caiman crocodilus (n=33). Excluding domestic animals, the rate of road-killed vertebrates was 0.2282 indiv./km, a figure 28.3% higher than previous studies in the same road. Changes in the relative number of collisions for some species, respect to the numbers reported 20 years ago, were linked to the increase in traffic flow and changes in land use. Road segments with collision rates higher than expected by chance were identified. Collition by cars may be the principal cause of mortality for species like the tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla) and the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), the last considered a vulnerable species. Some basic measures are proposed to reduce wildlife mortality on the road.

  17. Mapping Indigenous land management for threatened species conservation: An Australian case-study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renwick, Anna R; Robinson, Catherine J; Garnett, Stephen T; Leiper, Ian; Possingham, Hugh P; Carwardine, Josie

    2017-01-01

    Much biodiversity lives on lands to which Indigenous people retain strong legal and management rights. However this is rarely quantified. Here we provide the first quantitative overview of the importance of Indigenous land for a critical and vulnerable part of biodiversity, threatened species, using the continent of Australia as a case study. We find that three quarters of Australia's 272 terrestrial or freshwater vertebrate species listed as threatened under national legislation have projected ranges that overlap Indigenous lands. On average this overlap represents 45% of the range of each threatened species while Indigenous land is 52% of the country. Hotspots where multiple threatened species ranges overlap occur predominantly in coastal Northern Australia. Our analysis quantifies the vast potential of Indigenous land in Australia for contributing to national level conservation goals, and identifies the main land management arrangements available to Indigenous people which may enable them to deliver those goals should they choose to do so.

  18. Diversity and Community Composition of Vertebrates in Desert River Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free, C. L.; Baxter, G. S.; Dickman, C. R.; Lisle, A.; Leung, L. K.-P.

    2015-01-01

    Animal species are seldom distributed evenly at either local or larger spatial scales, and instead tend to aggregate in sites that meet their resource requirements and maximise fitness. This tendency is likely to be especially marked in arid regions where species could be expected to concentrate at resource-rich oases. In this study, we first test the hypothesis that productive riparian sites in arid Australia support higher vertebrate diversity than other desert habitats, and then elucidate the habitats selected by different species. We addressed the first aim by examining the diversity and composition of vertebrate assemblages inhabiting the Field River and adjacent sand dunes in the Simpson Desert, western Queensland, over a period of two and a half years. The second aim was addressed by examining species composition in riparian and sand dune habitats in dry and wet years. Vertebrate species richness was estimated to be highest (54 species) in the riverine habitats and lowest on the surrounding dune habitats (45 species). The riverine habitats had different species pools compared to the dune habitats. Several species, including the agamid Gowidon longirostris and tree frog Litoria rubella, inhabited the riverine habitats exclusively, while others such as the skinks Ctenotus ariadnae and C. dux were captured only in the dune habitats. The results suggest that, on a local scale, diversity is higher along riparian corridors and that riparian woodland is important for tree-dependent species. Further, the distribution of some species, such as Mus musculus, may be governed by environmental variables (e.g. soil moisture) associated with riparian corridors that are not available in the surrounding desert environment. We conclude that inland river systems may be often of high conservation value, and that management should be initiated where possible to alleviate threats to their continued functioning. PMID:26637127

  19. Tandemly Arrayed Genes in Vertebrate Genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deng Pan

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Tandemly arrayed genes (TAGs are duplicated genes that are linked as neighbors on a chromosome, many of which have important physiological and biochemical functions. Here we performed a survey of these genes in 11 available vertebrate genomes. TAGs account for an average of about 14% of all genes in these vertebrate genomes, and about 25% of all duplications. The majority of TAGs (72–94% have parallel transcription orientation (i.e., they are encoded on the same strand in contrast to the genome, which has about 50% of its genes in parallel transcription orientation. The majority of tandem arrays have only two members. In all species, the proportion of genes that belong to TAGs tends to be higher in large gene families than in small ones; together with our recent finding that tandem duplication played a more important role than retroposition in large families, this fact suggests that among all types of duplication mechanisms, tandem duplication is the predominant mechanism of duplication, especially in large families. Finally, several species have a higher proportion of large tandem arrays that are species-specific than random expectation.

  20. Crucial advantages of tail use in the evolution of vertebrate terrestrial locomotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astley, Henry; McInroe, Benjamin; Kawano, Sandy; Blob, Rick; Goldman, Daniel

    In the invasion of terrestrial environment, the first tetrapods faced the challenge of locomotion on flowable substrates (e.g. sand and mud), sometimes oriented at inclines. Although the morphology of many early tetrapods is known, robotic studies have revealed that effective locomotion on these substrates also depends strongly upon kinematics; slight differences in movements of the same appendage can lead to success or failure. Using a model organism (the mudskipper) and a robotic physical model, we demonstrate how muscular tails provided critical locomotor advantages on granular substrates that the first invaders of land likely encountered. Mudskippers use their tails for additional propulsion with increasing frequency as the slope of the granular material increases, and the decline in locomotor performance with slope is shallower when the tail is used. Experiments with a robotic model of the mudskipper showed that, while the tail did not always provide a benefit to locomotion, use of the tail made the robot's performance more robust, achieving effective locomotion on a wider range of slopes, limb postures and foot placements. These results suggest that, rather than simply being an inert appendage, the tails of early tetrapods were vital to their first forays into terrestrial habitats.

  1. Energy and speleogenesis: Key determinants of terrestrial species richness in caves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Valverde, Alberto; Sendra, Alberto; Garay, Policarp; Reboleira, Ana Sofia P S

    2017-12-01

    The aim of this study was to unravel the relative role played by speleogenesis (i.e., the process in which a cave is formed), landscape-scale variables, and geophysical factors in the determination of species richness in caves. Biological inventories from 21 caves located in the southeastern Iberian Peninsula along with partial least square (PLS) regression analysis were used to assess the relative importance of the different explanatory variables. The caves were grouped according to the similarity in their species composition; the effect that spatial distance could have on similarity was also studied using correlation between matrices. The energy and speleogenesis of caves accounted for 44.3% of the variation in species richness. The trophic level of each cave was the most significant factor in PLS regression analysis, and epigenic caves (i.e., those formed by the action of percolating water) had significantly more species than hypogenic ones (i.e., those formed by the action of upward flows in confined aquifers). Dissimilarity among the caves was very high (multiple-site β sim  = 0.92). Two main groups of caves were revealed through the cluster analysis, one formed by the western caves and the other by the eastern ones. The significant-but low-correlation found between faunistic dissimilarity and geographical distance ( r  =   .16) disappeared once the caves were split into the two groups. The extreme beta-diversity suggests a very low connection among the caves and/or a very low dispersal capacity of the species. In the region under study, two main factors are intimately related to the richness of terrestrial subterranean species in caves: the amount of organic material (trophic level) and the formation process (genesis). This is the first time that the history of a cave genesis has been quantitatively considered to assess its importance in explaining richness patterns in comparison with other factors more widely recognized.

  2. Vertebrate assemblages from the early Late Cretaceous of southeastern Morocco: An overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavin, L.; Tong, H.; Boudad, L.; Meister, C.; Piuz, A.; Tabouelle, J.; Aarab, M.; Amiot, R.; Buffetaut, E.; Dyke, G.; Hua, S.; Le Loeuff, J.

    2010-07-01

    Fossils of vertebrates have been found in great abundance in the continental and marine early Late Cretaceous sediments of Southeastern Morocco for more than 50 years. About 80 vertebrate taxa have so far been recorded from this region, many of which were recognised and diagnosed for the first time based on specimens recovered from these sediments. In this paper, we use published data together with new field data to present an updated overview of Moroccan early Late Cretaceous vertebrate assemblages. The Cretaceous series we have studied encompasses three Formations, the Ifezouane and Aoufous Formations, which are continental and deltaic in origin and are often grouped under the name "Kem Kem beds", and the Akrabou Formation which is marine in origin. New field observations allow us to place four recognised vertebrate clusters, corresponding to one compound assemblage and three assemblages, within a general temporal framework. In particular, two ammonite bioevents characterise the lower part of the Upper Cenomanian ( Calycoceras guerangeri Zone) at the base of the Akrabou Formation and the upper part of the Lower Turonian ( Mammites nodosoides Zone), that may extend into the Middle Turonian within the Akrabou Formation, and allow for more accurate dating of the marine sequence in the study area. We are not yet able to distinguish a specific assemblage that characterises the Ifezouane Formation when compared to the similar Aoufous Formation, and as a result we regard the oldest of the four vertebrate "assemblages" in this region to be the compound assemblage of the "Kem Kem beds". This well-known vertebrate assemblage comprises a mixture of terrestrial (and aerial), freshwater and brackish vertebrates. The archosaur component of this fauna appears to show an intriguingly high proportion of large-bodied carnivorous taxa, which may indicate a peculiar trophic chain, although collecting biases alter this palaeontological signal. A small and restricted assemblage, the

  3. Extinction risk is most acute for the world's largest and smallest vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripple, William J; Wolf, Christopher; Newsome, Thomas M; Hoffmann, Michael; Wirsing, Aaron J; McCauley, Douglas J

    2017-10-03

    Extinction risk in vertebrates has been linked to large body size, but this putative relationship has only been explored for select taxa, with variable results. Using a newly assembled and taxonomically expansive database, we analyzed the relationships between extinction risk and body mass (27,647 species) and between extinction risk and range size (21,294 species) for vertebrates across six main classes. We found that the probability of being threatened was positively and significantly related to body mass for birds, cartilaginous fishes, and mammals. Bimodal relationships were evident for amphibians, reptiles, and bony fishes. Most importantly, a bimodal relationship was found across all vertebrates such that extinction risk changes around a body mass breakpoint of 0.035 kg, indicating that the lightest and heaviest vertebrates have elevated extinction risk. We also found range size to be an important predictor of the probability of being threatened, with strong negative relationships across nearly all taxa. A review of the drivers of extinction risk revealed that the heaviest vertebrates are most threatened by direct killing by humans. By contrast, the lightest vertebrates are most threatened by habitat loss and modification stemming especially from pollution, agricultural cropping, and logging. Our results offer insight into halting the ongoing wave of vertebrate extinctions by revealing the vulnerability of large and small taxa, and identifying size-specific threats. Moreover, they indicate that, without intervention, anthropogenic activities will soon precipitate a double truncation of the size distribution of the world's vertebrates, fundamentally reordering the structure of life on our planet.

  4. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecoregions Terrestrial Biomes Protected Areas Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa | 75 7.2. Non-climatic drivers of ecosystem change 7.2.1. Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation Land-use change and landscape... concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the region include tropical and sub-tropical forests, deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves...

  5. Vertebrate Embryonic Cleavage Pattern Determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasley, Andrew; Chavez, Shawn; Danilchik, Michael; Wühr, Martin; Pelegri, Francisco

    2017-01-01

    The pattern of the earliest cell divisions in a vertebrate embryo lays the groundwork for later developmental events such as gastrulation, organogenesis, and overall body plan establishment. Understanding these early cleavage patterns and the mechanisms that create them is thus crucial for the study of vertebrate development. This chapter describes the early cleavage stages for species representing ray-finned fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles, mammals, and proto-vertebrate ascidians and summarizes current understanding of the mechanisms that govern these patterns. The nearly universal influence of cell shape on orientation and positioning of spindles and cleavage furrows and the mechanisms that mediate this influence are discussed. We discuss in particular models of aster and spindle centering and orientation in large embryonic blastomeres that rely on asymmetric internal pulling forces generated by the cleavage furrow for the previous cell cycle. Also explored are mechanisms that integrate cell division given the limited supply of cellular building blocks in the egg and several-fold changes of cell size during early development, as well as cytoskeletal specializations specific to early blastomeres including processes leading to blastomere cohesion. Finally, we discuss evolutionary conclusions beginning to emerge from the contemporary analysis of the phylogenetic distributions of cleavage patterns. In sum, this chapter seeks to summarize our current understanding of vertebrate early embryonic cleavage patterns and their control and evolution.

  6. Allergenicity of vertebrate tropomyosins: Challenging an immunological dogma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Fernández, J; Daschner, A; Cuéllar, C

    With the exception of tilapia tropomyosin, other anecdotic reports of tropomyosin recognition of vertebrate origin are generally not accompanied by clinical significance and a dogmatic idea is generally accepted about the inexistence of allergenicity of vertebrate tropomyosins, based mainly on sequence similarity evaluations with human tropomyosins. Recently, a specific work-up of a tropomyosin sensitised patient with seafood allergy, demonstrated that the IgE-recognition of tropomyosin from different fish species can be clinically relevant. We hypothesise that some vertebrate tropomyosins could be relevant allergens. The hypothesis is based on the molecular evolution of the proteins and it was tested by in silico methods. Fish, which are primitive vertebrates, could have tropomyosins similar to those of invertebrates. If the hypothesis is confirmed, tropomyosin should be included in different allergy diagnosis tools to improve the medical protocols and management of patients with digestive or cutaneous symptoms after fish intake. Copyright © 2016 SEICAP. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  7. Terrestrial pesticide exposure of amphibians: an underestimated cause of global decline?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brühl, Carsten A; Schmidt, Thomas; Pieper, Silvia; Alscher, Annika

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, a class of animals in global decline, are present in agricultural landscapes characterized by agrochemical inputs. Effects of pesticides on terrestrial life stages of amphibians such as juvenile and adult frogs, toads and newts are little understood and a specific risk assessment for pesticide exposure, mandatory for other vertebrate groups, is currently not conducted. We studied the effects of seven pesticide products on juvenile European common frogs (Rana temporaria) in an agricultural overspray scenario. Mortality ranged from 100% after one hour to 40% after seven days at the recommended label rate of currently registered products. The demonstrated toxicity is alarming and a large-scale negative effect of terrestrial pesticide exposure on amphibian populations seems likely. Terrestrial pesticide exposure might be underestimated as a driver of their decline calling for more attention in conservation efforts and the risk assessment procedures in place do not protect this vanishing animal group.

  8. Effectiveness of protected areas for representing species and populations of terrestrial mammals in Costa Rica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José F González-Maya

    Full Text Available Costa Rica has one of the greatest percentages (26% of protected land in the world. The National Protected Areas System (NPAS of Costa Rica was established in 1976 and currently includes >190 protected areas within seven different protection categories. The effectiveness of the NPAS to represent species, populations, and areas with high species richness has not been properly evaluated. Such evaluations are fundamental to understand what is necessary to strengthen the NPAS and better protect biodiversity. We present a novel assessment of NPAS effectiveness in protecting mammal species. We compiled the geographical ranges of all terrestrial Costa Rican mammals then determined species lists for all protected areas and the estimated proportion of each species' geographic range protected. We also classified mammal species according to their conservation status using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. We found almost complete representation of mammal species (98.5% in protected areas, but low relative coverage (28.3% on average of their geographic ranges in Costa Rica and 25% of the species were classified as underprotected according to a priori representation targets. Interestingly, many species-rich areas are not protected, and at least 43% of cells covering the entire country are not included in protected areas. Though protected areas in Costa Rica represent species richness well, strategic planning for future protected areas to improve species complementarity and range protection is necessary. Our results can help to define sites where new protected areas can have a greater impact on mammal conservation, both in terms of species richness and range protection.

  9. Plutonium and other transuranics in small vertebrates: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bradley, W.G.; Moor, K.S.; Naegle, S.R.

    1977-01-01

    The published data relevant to transuranics in small vertebrates inhabiting terrestrial environments is reviewed. Experimental results indicate that atomic size and valence state affect rates of absorption, transportation, and excretion of transuranics in living systems. Whereas there is a marked tendency for transuranics to hydrolyze to insoluble colloidal products at physiological pH, complexing agents and chelation enhance solubility and transportability. The natural modes of uptake of transuranics by vertebrates include absorption from the gut, the intact or damaged skin, and inhalation. Absorption from the gut into the bloodstream is very low. Potential hazards may exist if complexing or chelating agents are present, if absorption is continuous, or if exposure involves young animals. The intact skin provides an effective barrier to absorption of transuranics. Relatively high levels of absorption may occur when transuranics are administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly, particularly with increased acidity and solubility of the compounds. Inhalation is probably the most hazardous natural route of uptake. Insoluble transuranic compounds are retained in the lung and soluble compounds are transported rapidly via the blood to bone, liver, and other organs. Deposition of plutonium in mammalian gonads resulting in a decrease in spermatogenesis, ovarian damage, and reduced fecundity is documented. The current knowledge of the behavior of transuranics in terrestrial environments is limited. Plutonium and americium uptake by small mammals has been documented. Plutonium body burdens were related to depressed leukocyte count on a statistical basis. Reduced rodent populations in areas of high plutonium concentrations illustrate the problems of evaluating uptake by mobile animals

  10. Connexin43 orthologues in vertebrates: phylogeny from fish to man

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heyden, Marcel A. G.; van Eijk, Marleen; Wilders, Ronald; de Bakker, Jacques M. T.; Opthof, Tobias

    2004-01-01

    The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) is widely expressed in all vertebrate species; however, in ventricular myocardium, Cx43 expression is restricted to mammalian species only, where it provides the molecular correlate for both electrical conduction and synchronization of the repolarization

  11. Effectiveness of Protected Areas for Representing Species and Populations of Terrestrial Mammals in Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Maya, José F.; Víquez-R, Luis R.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2015-01-01

    Costa Rica has one of the greatest percentages (26%) of protected land in the world. The National Protected Areas System (NPAS) of Costa Rica was established in 1976 and currently includes >190 protected areas within seven different protection categories. The effectiveness of the NPAS to represent species, populations, and areas with high species richness has not been properly evaluated. Such evaluations are fundamental to understand what is necessary to strengthen the NPAS and better protect biodiversity. We present a novel assessment of NPAS effectiveness in protecting mammal species. We compiled the geographical ranges of all terrestrial Costa Rican mammals then determined species lists for all protected areas and the estimated proportion of each species’ geographic range protected. We also classified mammal species according to their conservation status using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. We found almost complete representation of mammal species (98.5%) in protected areas, but low relative coverage (28.3% on average) of their geographic ranges in Costa Rica and 25% of the species were classified as underprotected according to a priori representation targets. Interestingly, many species-rich areas are not protected, and at least 43% of cells covering the entire country are not included in protected areas. Though protected areas in Costa Rica represent species richness well, strategic planning for future protected areas to improve species complementarity and range protection is necessary. Our results can help to define sites where new protected areas can have a greater impact on mammal conservation, both in terms of species richness and range protection. PMID:25970293

  12. Potential effects of ongoing and proposed hydropower development on terrestrial biological diversity in the Indian Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandit, Maharaj K; Grumbine, R Edward

    2012-12-01

    Indian Himalayan basins are earmarked for widespread dam building, but aggregate effects of these dams on terrestrial ecosystems are unknown. We mapped distribution of 292 dams (under construction and proposed) and projected effects of these dams on terrestrial ecosystems under different scenarios of land-cover loss. We analyzed land-cover data of the Himalayan valleys, where dams are located. We estimated dam density on fifth- through seventh-order rivers and compared these estimates with current global figures. We used a species-area relation model (SAR) to predict short- and long-term species extinctions driven by deforestation. We used scatter plots and correlation studies to analyze distribution patterns of species and dams and to reveal potential overlap between species-rich areas and dam sites. We investigated effects of disturbance on community structure of undisturbed forests. Nearly 90% of Indian Himalayan valleys would be affected by dam building and 27% of these dams would affect dense forests. Our model projected that 54,117 ha of forests would be submerged and 114,361 ha would be damaged by dam-related activities. A dam density of 0.3247/1000 km(2) would be nearly 62 times greater than current average global figures; the average of 1 dam for every 32 km of river channel would be 1.5 times higher than figures reported for U.S. rivers. Our results show that most dams would be located in species-rich areas of the Himalaya. The SAR model projected that by 2025, deforestation due to dam building would likely result in extinction of 22 angiosperm and 7 vertebrate taxa. Disturbance due to dam building would likely reduce tree species richness by 35%, tree density by 42%, and tree basal cover by 30% in dense forests. These results, combined with relatively weak national environmental impact assessment and implementation, point toward significant loss of species if all proposed dams in the Indian Himalaya are constructed. ©2012 Society for Conservation

  13. Determining the numbers of a landscape architect species (Tapirus terrestris), using footprints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Danielle O; Alibhai, Sky K; Jewell, Zoe C; da Cunha, Cristina J; Seibert, Jardel B; Gatti, Andressa

    2018-01-01

    As a landscape architect and a major seed disperser, the lowland tapir ( Tapirus terrestris ) is an important indicator of the ecological health of certain habitats. Therefore, reliable data regarding tapir populations are fundamental in understanding ecosystem dynamics, including those associated with the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. Currently, many population monitoring studies use invasive tagging with radio or satellite/Global Positioning System (GPS) collars. These techniques can be costly and unreliable, and the immobilization required carries physiological risks that are undesirable particularly for threatened and elusive species such as the lowland tapir. We collected data from one of the last regions with a viable population of lowland tapir in the south-eastern Atlantic Forest, Brazil, using a new non-invasive method for identifying species, the footprint identification technique (FIT). We identified the minimum number of tapirs in the study area and, in addition, we observed that they have overlapping ranges. Four hundred and forty footprints from 46 trails collected from six locations in the study area in a landscape known to contain tapir were analyzed, and 29 individuals were identified from these footprints. We demonstrate a practical application of FIT for lowland tapir censusing. Our study shows that FIT is an effective method for the identification of individuals of a threatened species, even when they lack visible natural markings on their bodies. FIT offers several benefits over other methods, especially for tapir management. As a non-invasive method, it can be used to census or monitor species, giving rapid feedback to managers of protected areas.

  14. Determining the numbers of a landscape architect species (Tapirus terrestris, using footprints

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle O. Moreira

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background As a landscape architect and a major seed disperser, the lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris is an important indicator of the ecological health of certain habitats. Therefore, reliable data regarding tapir populations are fundamental in understanding ecosystem dynamics, including those associated with the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. Currently, many population monitoring studies use invasive tagging with radio or satellite/Global Positioning System (GPS collars. These techniques can be costly and unreliable, and the immobilization required carries physiological risks that are undesirable particularly for threatened and elusive species such as the lowland tapir. Methods We collected data from one of the last regions with a viable population of lowland tapir in the south-eastern Atlantic Forest, Brazil, using a new non-invasive method for identifying species, the footprint identification technique (FIT. Results We identified the minimum number of tapirs in the study area and, in addition, we observed that they have overlapping ranges. Four hundred and forty footprints from 46 trails collected from six locations in the study area in a landscape known to contain tapir were analyzed, and 29 individuals were identified from these footprints. Discussion We demonstrate a practical application of FIT for lowland tapir censusing. Our study shows that FIT is an effective method for the identification of individuals of a threatened species, even when they lack visible natural markings on their bodies. FIT offers several benefits over other methods, especially for tapir management. As a non-invasive method, it can be used to census or monitor species, giving rapid feedback to managers of protected areas.

  15. Genomic diversity guides conservation strategies among rare terrestrial orchid species when taxonomy remains uncertain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, Collin W; Supple, Megan A; Aitken, Nicola C; Cantrill, David J; Borevitz, Justin O; James, Elizabeth A

    2017-06-01

    Species are often used as the unit for conservation, but may not be suitable for species complexes where taxa are difficult to distinguish. Under such circumstances, it may be more appropriate to consider species groups or populations as evolutionarily significant units (ESUs). A population genomic approach was employed to investigate the diversity within and among closely related species to create a more robust, lineage-specific conservation strategy for a nationally endangered terrestrial orchid and its relatives from south-eastern Australia. Four putative species were sampled from a total of 16 populations in the Victorian Volcanic Plain (VVP) bioregion and one population of a sub-alpine outgroup in south-eastern Australia. Morphological measurements were taken in situ along with leaf material for genotyping by sequencing (GBS) and microsatellite analyses. Species could not be differentiated using morphological measurements. Microsatellite and GBS markers confirmed the outgroup as distinct, but only GBS markers provided resolution of population genetic structure. The nationally endangered Diuris basaltica was indistinguishable from two related species ( D. chryseopsis and D. behrii ), while the state-protected D. gregaria showed genomic differentiation. Genomic diversity identified among the four Diuris species suggests that conservation of this taxonomically complex group will be best served by considering them as one ESU rather than separately aligned with species as currently recognized. This approach will maximize evolutionary potential among all species during increased isolation and environmental change. The methods used here can be applied generally to conserve evolutionary processes for groups where taxonomic uncertainty hinders the use of species as conservation units. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

  16. Endemic and threatened tetrapods in the restingas of the biodiversity corridors of Serra do Mar and of the Central da Mata Atlântica in eastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, C F D; Van Sluys, M; Bergallo, H G; Alves, M A S

    2005-02-01

    Biodiversity corridors comprise a mosaic of land uses connecting fragments of natural forest across a landscape. Two such corridors have been established along the eastern coast of Brazil: the Serra do Mar and the Central da Mata Atlântica corridors, along which most of the coastal plains are restinga areas. In this study, we analyze the present status of the endemic and endangered terrestrial vertebrates of both corridors. We sampled 10 restingas in both corridors, recording species of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Some restingas harbor a relatively large number of endemic species,and two main regions of endemism can be identified along the restingas of both corridors: the coastal restingas from northern Espirito Santo State to southern Bahia State (between Linhares, ES, and Tarancoso, BA), and the coastal region between the restingas of Maricá and Jurubatiba, Rio de Janeiro State. Six species of terrestrial vertebrates considered threatened with extinction are found in the restingas of Serra do Mar and Central da Mata Atlântica biodiversity corridors (Liolaemus lutzae, Formicivora littoralis, Mimus gilvus, Schistochlamys melanopis, and Trinomys eliasi). The region located between the restinga of Maricá and that of Jurubatiba is of special relevance for the conservation of vertebrate species of the restingas of the corridors because a considerable number of threatened species of terrestrial vertebrates are found there. We strongly recommend efforts to develop checklists of threatened faunas for the States of Espirito Santo and Bahia.

  17. Evolution and Functional Diversification of the GLI Family of Transcription Factors in Vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir Ali Abbasi

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: In vertebrates the “SONIC HEDGEHOG” signalling pathway has been implicated in cell-fate determination, proliferation and the patterning of many different cell types and organs. As the GLI family members (GLI1, GLI2 and GLI3 are key mediators of hedgehog morphogenetic signals, over the past couple of decades they have been extensively scrutinized by genetic, molecular and biochemical means. Thus, a great deal of information is currently available about the functional aspects of GLI proteins in various vertebrate species. To address the roles of GLI genes in diversifying the repertoire of the Hh signalling and deploying them for the vertebrate specifications, in this study we have examined the evolutionary patterns of vertebrate GLI sequences within and between species. Results: Phylogenetic tree analysis suggests that the vertebrate GLI1, GLI2 and GLI3 genes diverged after the separation of urochordates from vertebrates and before the tetrapods-bony fishes split. Lineage specific duplication events were also detected. Estimation of mode and strength of selection acting on GLI orthologs demonstrated that all members of the GLI gene family experienced more relaxed selection in teleost fish than in the mammalian lineage. Furthermore, the GLI1 gene appeared to have been exposed to different functional constraints in fish and tetrapod lineages, whilst a similar level of functional constraints on GLI2 and GLI3 was suggested by comparable average non-synonymous (Ka substitutions across the lineages. A relative rate test suggested that the majority of the paralogous copies of the GLI family analyzed evolved with similar evolutionary rates except GLI1 which evolved at a significantly faster rate than its paralogous counterparts in tetrapods. Conclusions: Our analysis shows that sequence evolutionary patterns of GLI family members are largely correlated with the reported similarities and differences in the functionality of GLI proteins

  18. Biogeographical patterns in vertebrate assemblages of the Czech Republic: regional division in the context of species’ distributions in Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Divíšek, Jan; Culek, M.; Šťastný, K.; Anděra, M.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 65, č. 3 (2016), s. 169-182 ISSN 0139-7893 Institutional support: RVO:68145535 Keywords : beta diversity * biogeographical regions * terrestrial vertebrates Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography Impact factor: 0.739, year: 2016 http://www.ivb.cz/folia-zoologica-archive.html?vol=65&no=3

  19. Vertebral body osteomyelitis in the horse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markel, M.D.; Madigan, J.E.; Lichtensteiger, C.A.; Large, S.M.; Hornof, W.J.

    1986-01-01

    The clinical signs, laboratory data, results of nuclear scintigraphy and radiographic examination of five horses with vertebral body osteomyelitis are described together with response to treatment. Three horses were less than five months of age. Four horses demonstrated hindlimb paresis and in three a focus of pain in the thoracolumbar region could be identified. An umbilical abscess, a caudal lobe lung abscess and a patent urachus were considered primary niduses of infection in each of three horses. Leucocytosis, neutrophilia, anaemia and elevated fibrinogen were the most consistent laboratory abnormalities. Nuclear scintigraphy was performed in three horses and identified the site of the vertebral lesion which was subsequently evaluated radiographically. In the other two horses radiographic examination in the region of areas of focal pain identified a lesion. Radiographic abnormalities included compression fractures of vertebral bodies (two), proliferative new bone (three) and soft tissue swelling ventral to a vertebral body (one). Two horses, including one with a compression fracture of the second lumbar vertebra, received parenteral antimicrobial therapy for 40 and 74 days, respectively. When re-examined six months later they showed no neurological abnormalities. The other three horses failed to respond to antimicrobial treatment and were humanely destroyed. The horse with a lung abscess also had an abscess cranial to the right tuber coxae which extended into the vertebral bodies of the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae from which Streptococcus zooepidemicus was cultured. A horse with proliferative new bone on the ventral aspect of the fifth and sixth thoracic vertebrae had a mediastinal mass associated with these vertebrae and fungal granulomas, from which Aspergillus species was cultured, in the heart and aorta, trachea, spleen and kidney. The horse with a patent urachus and soft tissue swelling ventral to the vertebral body of the 12th thoracic vertebra

  20. Nocardia brasiliensis vertebral osteomyelitis and epidural abscess.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Philip; Ammar, Hussam

    2013-04-11

    Nocardia species exist in the environment as a saprophyte; it is found worldwide in soil and decaying plant matter. They often infect patients with underlying immune compromise, pulmonary disease or history of trauma or surgery. The diagnosis of nocardiosis can be easily missed as it mimics many other granulomatous and neoplastic disease. We report a 69-year-old man who presented with chronic back pain and paraparesis. He was found to have Nocardial brasiliensis vertebral osteomyelitis and epidural abscess. Laminectomy and epidural wash out was performed but with no neurological recovery. This is the second reported case of N brasiliensis vertebral osteomyelitis in the literature.

  1. Macroecology, paleoecology, and ecological integrity of terrestrial species and communities of the interior Columbia basin and northern portions of the Klamath and Great Basins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce G. Marcot; L.K. Croft; J.F. Lehmkuhl; R.H. Naney; C.G. Niwa; W.R. Owen; R.E. Sandquist

    1998-01-01

    This report present information on biogeography and broad-scale ecology (macroecology) of selected fungi, lichens, bryophytes, vascular plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates of the interior Columbia River basin and adjacent areas. Rareplants include many endemics associated with local conditions. Potential plant and invertebrate bioindicators are identified. Species...

  2. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Tonto National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albrecht, Eric W.; Powell, Brian F.; Halvorson, William L.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.

    2007-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the first biological inventory of plants and vertebrates at Tonto National Monument (NM). From 2001 to 2003, we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Tonto NM to record species presence. We focused most of our efforts along the Cave Springs riparian area, but surveyed other areas as well. We recorded 149 species in the riparian area, and 369 species overall in the monument, including 65 plant species and four bird species that were previously unrecorded for the monument. We recorded 78 plant species in the riparian area that previous studies had not indicated were present there. Several species of each taxonomic group were found only in the riparian area, suggesting that because of their concentration in this small area these populations are vulnerable to disturbance and may be of management concern. Four of the bird species that we recorded (Bell's vireo, yellow warbler, summer tanager, and Abert's towhee) have been identified as riparian 'obligate' species by other sources. Bird species that are obligated to riparian areas are targets of conservation concern due to widespread degradation of riparian areas in the desert southwest over the last century. The flora and fauna of the riparian area would benefit from continued limited public access. The dependence of the riparian area on the spring and surface flow suggests monitoring of this resource per se would benefit management of the riparian area's flora and fauna as well. The monument would benefit from incorporating monitoring protocols developed by the Sonoran Desert Network Inventory and Monitoring program rather than initiating a separate program for the riparian area. Park managers can encourage the Inventory and Monitoring program to address the unique monitoring challenges presented by small spatial areas such as this riparian area, and can request specific monitoring recommendations. We suggest that repeat

  3. Toward understanding the evolution of vertebrate gene regulatory networks: comparative genomics and epigenomic approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Morales, Juan R

    2016-07-01

    Vertebrates, as most animal phyla, originated >500 million years ago during the Cambrian explosion, and progressively radiated into the extant classes. Inferring the evolutionary history of the group requires understanding the architecture of the developmental programs that constrain the vertebrate anatomy. Here, I review recent comparative genomic and epigenomic studies, based on ChIP-seq and chromatin accessibility, which focus on the identification of functionally equivalent cis-regulatory modules among species. This pioneer work, primarily centered in the mammalian lineage, has set the groundwork for further studies in representative vertebrate and chordate species. Mapping of active regulatory regions across lineages will shed new light on the evolutionary forces stabilizing ancestral developmental programs, as well as allowing their variation to sustain morphological adaptations on the inherited vertebrate body plan. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Early Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia based on food-web and energy-flow models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsukawa, M.; Saiki, K.; Ito, M.; Obata, I.; Nichols, D.J.; Lockley, M.G.; Kukihara, R.; Shibata, K.

    2006-01-01

    In recent years, there has been global interest in the environments and ecosystems around the world. It is helpful to reconstruct past environments and ecosystems to help understand them in the present and the future. The present environments and ecosystems are an evolving continuum with those of the past and the future. This paper demonstrates the contribution of geology and paleontology to such continua. Using fossils, we can make an estimation of past population density as an ecosystem index based on food-web and energy-flow models. Late Mesozoic nonmarine deposits are distributed widely on the eastern Asian continent and contain various kinds of fossils such as fishes, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, mammals, bivalves, gastropods, insects, ostracodes, conchostracans, terrestrial plants, and others. These fossil organisms are useful for late Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystem reconstruction using food-web and energy-flow models. We chose Early Cretaceous fluvio-lacustrine basins in the Choyr area, southeastern Mongolia, and the Tetori area, Japan, for these analyses and as a potential model for reconstruction of other similar basins in East Asia. The food-web models are restored based on taxa that occurred in these basins. They form four or five trophic levels in an energy pyramid consisting of rich primary producers at its base and smaller biotas higher in the food web. This is the general energy pyramid of a typical ecosystem. Concerning the population densities of vertebrate taxa in 1 km2 in these basins, some differences are recognized between Early Cretaceous and the present. For example, Cretaceous estimates suggest 2.3 to 4.8 times as many herbivores and 26.0 to 105.5 times the carnivore population. These differences are useful for the evaluation of past population densities of vertebrate taxa. Such differences may also be caused by the different metabolism of different taxa. Preservation may also be a factor, and we recognize that various problems occur in

  5. Chronic exposure to soil salinity in terrestrial species: Does plasticity and underlying physiology differ among specialized ground-dwelling spiders?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renault, D; Puzin, C; Foucreau, N; Bouchereau, A; Pétillon, J

    2016-07-01

    In salt marshes, the alternation of low and high tides entails rapid shifts of submersion and aerial exposure for terrestrial communities. In these intertidal environments, terrestrial species have to deal with an osmotic loss in body water content and an increase in sodium chloride concentration when salt load increases. In salt marshes, spiders represent an abundant arthropod group, whose physiological ecology in response to variations of soil salinity must be further investigated. In this study, we compared the effect of salinity on the survival and physiology of three species of Lycosidae; two salt marsh species (Arctosa fulvolineata and Pardosa purbeckensis) and one forest species (P. saltans). Spiders were individually exposed at three salinity conditions (0‰, 35‰ and 70‰) and survival, changes in body water content, hemolymph ions (Na(+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+), K(+); ICP-MS technique) and metabolites (mainly amino acids, polyols, sugars; LC and GC techniques) were assessed. The survival of the forest species P. saltans was very quickly hampered at moderate and high salinities. In this spider, variations of hemolymph ions and metabolites revealed a quick loss of physiological homeostasis and a rapid salt-induced dehydration of the specimens. Conversely, high survival durations were measured in the two salt-marsh spiders, and more particularly in A. fulvolineata. In both P. purbeckensis and A. fulvolineata, the proportion of Na(+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+), K(+) remained constant at the three experimental conditions. Accumulation of hemolymph Na(+) and amino acids (mainly glutamine and proline) demonstrated stronger osmoregulatory capacities in these salt-marsh resident spiders. To conclude, even if phylogenetically close (belonging to the same, monophyletic, family), we found different physiological capacities to cope with salt load among the three tested spider species. Nevertheless, physiological responses to salinity were highly consistent with the realized

  6. Congenital abnormalities of the vertebral column in ferrets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proks, Pavel; Stehlik, Ladislav; Paninarova, Michaela; Irova, Katarina; Hauptman, Karel; Jekl, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

    Vertebral column pathologies requiring surgical intervention have been described in pet ferrets, however little information is available on the normal vertebral formula and congenital variants in this species. The purpose of this retrospective study was to describe vertebral formulas and prevalence of congenital vertebral anomalies in a sample of pet ferrets. Radiographs of 172 pet ferrets (96 males and 76 females) were included in this retrospective study. In 143 ferrets (83.14%), five different formulas of the vertebral column were recorded with normal morphology of vertebrae (rib attachment included) but with a variable number of thoracic (Th), lumbar (L), and sacral (S) vertebrae. The number of cervical (C) vertebrae was constant in all examined animals. Observed vertebral formulas were C7/Th14/L6/S3 (51.74%), C7/Th14/L6/S4 (22.10%), C7/Th14/L7/S3 (6.98%), C7/Th15/L6/S3 (1.74%), and C7/Th15/L6/S4 (0.58%). Formula C7/Th14/L6/S4 was significantly more common in males than in females (P < 0.05). Congenital spinal abnormalities were found in 29 ferrets (16.86%), mostly localized in the thoracolumbar and lumbosacral regions. The cervical region was affected in only one case. Transitional vertebrae represented the most common congenital abnormalities (26 ferrets) in the thoracolumbar (13 ferrets) and lumbosacral regions (10 ferrets) or simultaneously in both regions (three ferrets). Other vertebral anomalies included block (two ferrets) and wedge vertebra (one ferret). Spina bifida was not detected. Findings from the current study indicated that vertebral formulas may vary in ferrets and congenital abnormalities are common. This should be taken into consideration for surgical planning. © 2014 American College of Veterinary Radiology.

  7. Biotransformation and Incorporation into Proteins along a Simulated Terrestrial Food Chain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Unrine, J.M., B.P. Jackson and W.A. Hopkins

    2007-01-01

    Selenium is an essential trace element in vertebrates, but there is a narrow concentration range between dietary requirement and toxicity threshold. Although a great deal is known about the biochemistry of Se from a nutritional perspective, considerably less attention has been focused on the specific biochemistry of Se as an environmental toxicant. Recent advances in hyphenated analytical techniques have provided the capability of quantifying specific chemical forms of Se in biological tissues as well as the distribution of Se among macromolecules. We applied liquid chromatography coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to investigate biotransformations of selenomethionine along a simulated terrestrial food chain consisting of selenomethionine exposed crickets (Acheta domesticus) fed to western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis). Evidence was obtained for selenomethionine biotransformation as well as for sex-specific differences in the metabolism of Se compounds and their subsequent incorporation into proteins in the lizard. The results demonstrate the complexities involved in trophic transfer of Se due to the potential for extensive biotransformation and the species- and even sex-specific nature of these biotransformations.

  8. Unparalleled rates of species diversification in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente, Luis M.; Savolainen, Vincent; Vargas, Pablo

    2010-01-01

    The most rapid species radiations have been reported from ‘evolutionary laboratories’, such as the Andes and the Cape of South Africa, leading to the prevailing view that diversification elsewhere has not been as dramatic. However, few studies have explicitly assessed rates of diversification in northern regions such as Europe. Here, we show that carnations (Dianthus, Caryophyllaceae), a well-known group of plants from temperate Eurasia, have diversified at the most rapid rate ever reported in plants or terrestrial vertebrates. Using phylogenetic methods, we found that the majority of species of carnations belong to a lineage that is remarkably species-rich in Europe, and arose at the rate of 2.2–7.6 species per million years. Unlike most previous studies that have inferred rates of diversification in young diverse groups, we use a conservative approach throughout that explicitly incorporates the uncertainties associated with phylogenetic inference, molecular dating and incomplete taxon sampling. We detected a shift in diversification rates of carnations coinciding with a period of increase in climatic aridity in the Pleistocene, suggesting a link between climate and biodiversity. This explosive radiation suggests that Europe, the continent with the world's best-studied flora, has been underestimated as a cradle of recent and rapid speciation. PMID:20106850

  9. Seed dispersal in six species of terrestrial orchids in Biebrza National Park (NE Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilia Brzosko

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge about seed dispersal is required to explain problems in ecology, phylogeography, and conservation biology. Even though seed dispersal is a fundamental mechanism to understand problems at different levels of biological organization (individual, population, species, landscape, it remains one of the least recognized processes. Similar to other groups of plants, very little is known regarding patterns and distances of seed dispersal in orchids. Orchid seeds are generally assumed to be widely dispersed by wind because of their small size and low weight. Between 2006 and 2008, we conducted a field study of the distances at which orchid seeds are dispersed, and determined factors affecting dispersal. Investigations included 13 populations of six terrestrial orchid species – Cypripedium calceolus, Cephalanthera rubra, Epipactis helleborine, Goodyera repens, Neottia ovata, and Platanthera bifolia. To evaluate seed dispersal in orchid populations, 8.5-cm Petri dishes (traps with self-adhesive paper were placed along transects, starting from a group of fruiting plants, which were considered to be the dispersal source. Seeds of the investigated orchid species were dispersed over relatively short distances. There were statistically significant negative correlations between seed density and distance from the fruiting plants. Seeds of species with taller fruiting shoots were dispersed farther than those with shorter ones (R = 0.68, p < 0.05. We discuss the causes and consequences of the dispersal patterns of orchid seeds.

  10. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain District

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Brian F.; Halvorson, William L.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.

    2007-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the first comprehensive inventory of plants and vertebrates at the Tucson Mountain District (TMD) of Saguaro National Park, Arizona. From 2001 to 2003 we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at the district to document the presence of species within its boundaries. Park staff also carried out extensive infrared-triggered camera work for medium and large mammals from 2002-2005 and results from that effort are reported here. Our spatial sampling design for all taxa employed a combination of random and nonrandom survey sites. Survey effort was greatest for medium and large mammals and herpetofauna. Because we used repeatable study designs and standardized field methods, these inventories can serve as the first step in a biological monitoring program for the district. We also provide an overview of previous survey efforts in the district. We use data from our inventory and other surveys to compile species lists and to assess inventory completeness. The survey effort for herpetofauna, birds, and medium and large mammals was the most comprehensive ever undertaken in the district. We recorded a total of 320 plant and vertebrate species, including 21 species not previously found in the district (Table 1). Based on a review of our inventory and past research at the district, there have been a total of 723 species of plants and vertebrates found there. We believe inventories for most taxonomic groups are nearly complete. Based on our surveys, we believe the native plant and vertebrate community compositions of the district are relatively intact, though some species loss has occurred and threats are increasing, particularly to herpetofauna and larger mammals. Of particular note is the relatively small number of non-native species and their low abundance in the district, which is in contrast to many nearby natural areas. Rapidly expanding development on the west, north, and east sides of

  11. Heinrich event 4 characterized by terrestrial proxies in southwestern Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. López-García

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Heinrich event 4 (H4 is well documented in the North Atlantic Ocean as a cooling event that occurred between 39 and 40 Ka. Deep-sea cores around the Iberian Peninsula coastline have been analysed to characterize the H4 event, but there are no data on the terrestrial response to this event. Here we present for the first time an analysis of terrestrial proxies for characterizing the H4 event, using the small-vertebrate assemblage (comprising small mammals, squamates and amphibians from Terrassa Riera dels Canyars, an archaeo-palaeontological deposit located on the seaboard of the northeastern Iberian Peninsula. This assemblage shows that the H4 event is characterized in northeastern Iberia by harsher and drier terrestrial conditions than today. Our results were compared with other proxies such as pollen, charcoal, phytolith, avifauna and large-mammal data available for this site, as well as with the general H4 event fluctuations and with other sites where H4 and the previous and subsequent Heinrich events (H5 and H3 have been detected in the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions of the Iberian Peninsula. We conclude that the terrestrial proxies follow the same patterns as the climatic and environmental conditions detected by the deep-sea cores at the Iberian margins.

  12. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Saguaro National Park, Rincon Mountain District

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Brian F.; Halvorson, William Lee; Schmidt, Cecilia A.

    2006-01-01

    Executive Summary This report summarizes the results of the first comprehensive inventory of plants and vertebrates at the Rincon Mountain District (RMD) of Saguaro National Park, Arizona. From 2001 to 2003 we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at the district to document the presence of species within its boundaries. Park staff also surveyed for medium and large mammals using infrared-triggered cameras from 1999 to 2005. This report summarizes the methods and results of these two efforts. Our spatial sampling design was ambitious and was one of the first of its kind in the region to colocate study sites for vegetation and vertebrates using a stratified random design. We also chose the location of some study sites non-randomly in areas that we thought would have the highest species richness. Because we used repeatable study designs and standardized field methods, these inventories can serve as the first step in a biological monitoring program for the district. We also provide an important overview of most previous survey efforts in the district. We use data from our inventory and other surveys to compile species lists and to assess inventory completeness. With the exception of plants, our survey effort was the most comprehensive ever undertaken in the district. We recorded a total of 801 plant and vertebrate species, including 50 species not previously found in the district (Table 1) of which five (all plants) are non-native species. Based on a review of our inventory and past research at the district, there have been a total of 1,479 species of plants and vertebrates found there. We believe inventories for all taxonomic groups are nearly complete. In particular, the plant, amphibian and reptile, and mammal species lists are the most complete of any comparably large natural area of the 'sky island' region of southern Arizona and adjacent Mexico. For each taxon-specific chapter we discuss patterns of species

  13. Delayed vertebral diagnosed L4 pincer vertebral fracture, L2-L3 ruptured vertebral lumbar disc hernia, L5 vertebral wedge fracture - Case report

    OpenAIRE

    Balasa D; Schiopu M; Tunas A; Baz R; Hancu Anca

    2016-01-01

    An association between delayed ruptured lumbar disc hernia, L5 vertebral wedge fracture and posttraumaticL4 pincer vertebral fracture (A2.3-AO clasification) at different levels is a very rare entity. We present the case of a 55 years old male who falled down from a bicycle. 2 months later because of intense and permanent vertebral lumbar and radicular L2 and L3 pain (Visual Scal Autologus of Pain7-8/10) the patient came to the hospital. He was diagnosed with pincer vertebral L4 fracture (A2....

  14. Geographical Gradients in Argentinean Terrestrial Mammal Species Richness and Their Environmental Correlates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Márquez, Ana L.; Real, Raimundo; Kin, Marta S.; Guerrero, José Carlos; Galván, Betina; Barbosa, A. Márcia; Olivero, Jesús; Palomo, L. Javier; Vargas, J. Mario; Justo, Enrique

    2012-01-01

    We analysed the main geographical trends of terrestrial mammal species richness (SR) in Argentina, assessing how broad-scale environmental variation (defined by climatic and topographic variables) and the spatial form of the country (defined by spatial filters based on spatial eigenvector mapping (SEVM)) influence the kinds and the numbers of mammal species along these geographical trends. We also evaluated if there are pure geographical trends not accounted for by the environmental or spatial factors. The environmental variables and spatial filters that simultaneously correlated with the geographical variables and SR were considered potential causes of the geographic trends. We performed partial correlations between SR and the geographical variables, maintaining the selected explanatory variables statistically constant, to determine if SR was fully explained by them or if a significant residual geographic pattern remained. All groups and subgroups presented a latitudinal gradient not attributable to the spatial form of the country. Most of these trends were not explained by climate. We used a variation partitioning procedure to quantify the pure geographic trend (PGT) that remained unaccounted for. The PGT was larger for latitudinal than for longitudinal gradients. This suggests that historical or purely geographical causes may also be relevant drivers of these geographical gradients in mammal diversity. PMID:23028254

  15. Geographical Gradients in Argentinean Terrestrial Mammal Species Richness and Their Environmental Correlates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana L. Márquez

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We analysed the main geographical trends of terrestrial mammal species richness (SR in Argentina, assessing how broad-scale environmental variation (defined by climatic and topographic variables and the spatial form of the country (defined by spatial filters based on spatial eigenvector mapping (SEVM influence the kinds and the numbers of mammal species along these geographical trends. We also evaluated if there are pure geographical trends not accounted for by the environmental or spatial factors. The environmental variables and spatial filters that simultaneously correlated with the geographical variables and SR were considered potential causes of the geographic trends. We performed partial correlations between SR and the geographical variables, maintaining the selected explanatory variables statistically constant, to determine if SR was fully explained by them or if a significant residual geographic pattern remained. All groups and subgroups presented a latitudinal gradient not attributable to the spatial form of the country. Most of these trends were not explained by climate. We used a variation partitioning procedure to quantify the pure geographic trend (PGT that remained unaccounted for. The PGT was larger for latitudinal than for longitudinal gradients. This suggests that historical or purely geographical causes may also be relevant drivers of these geographical gradients in mammal diversity.

  16. Elemental markers in elasmobranchs: effects of environmental history and growth on vertebral chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Wade D; Miller, Jessica A; Heppell, Selina S

    2013-01-01

    Differences in the chemical composition of calcified skeletal structures (e.g. shells, otoliths) have proven useful for reconstructing the environmental history of many marine species. However, the extent to which ambient environmental conditions can be inferred from the elemental signatures within the vertebrae of elasmobranchs (sharks, skates, rays) has not been evaluated. To assess the relationship between water and vertebral elemental composition, we conducted two laboratory studies using round stingrays, Urobatis halleri, as a model species. First, we examined the effects of temperature (16°, 18°, 24°C) on vertebral elemental incorporation (Li/Ca, Mg/Ca, Mn/Ca, Zn/Ca, Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca). Second, we tested the relationship between water and subsequent vertebral elemental composition by manipulating dissolved barium concentrations (1x, 3x, 6x). We also evaluated the influence of natural variation in growth rate on elemental incorporation for both experiments. Finally, we examined the accuracy of classifying individuals to known environmental histories (temperature and barium treatments) using vertebral elemental composition. Temperature had strong, negative effects on the uptake of magnesium (DMg) and barium (DBa) and positively influenced manganese (DMn) incorporation. Temperature-dependent responses were not observed for lithium and strontium. Vertebral Ba/Ca was positively correlated with ambient Ba/Ca. Partition coefficients (DBa) revealed increased discrimination of barium in response to increased dissolved barium concentrations. There were no significant relationships between elemental incorporation and somatic growth or vertebral precipitation rates for any elements except Zn. Relationships between somatic growth rate and DZn were, however, inconsistent and inconclusive. Variation in the vertebral elemental signatures of U. halleri reliably distinguished individual rays from each treatment based on temperature (85%) and Ba exposure (96%) history. These

  17. 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...

  18. Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Robert Lynn

    1997-04-01

    This new text provides an integrated view of the forces that influence the patterns and rates of vertebrate evolution from the level of living populations and species to those that resulted in the origin of the major vertebrate groups. The evolutionary roles of behavior, development, continental drift, and mass extinctions are compared with the importance of variation and natural selection that were emphasized by Darwin. It is extensively illustrated, showing major transitions between fish and amphibians, dinosaurs and birds, and land mammals to whales. No book since Simpson's Major Features of Evolution has attempted such a broad study of the patterns and forces of evolutionary change. Undergraduate students taking a general or advanced course on evolution, and graduate students and professionals in evolutionary biology and paleontology will find the book of great interest.

  19. Timing Embryo Segmentation: Dynamics and Regulatory Mechanisms of the Vertebrate Segmentation Clock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resende, Tatiana P.; Andrade, Raquel P.; Palmeirim, Isabel

    2014-01-01

    All vertebrate species present a segmented body, easily observed in the vertebrate column and its associated components, which provides a high degree of motility to the adult body and efficient protection of the internal organs. The sequential formation of the segmented precursors of the vertebral column during embryonic development, the somites, is governed by an oscillating genetic network, the somitogenesis molecular clock. Herein, we provide an overview of the molecular clock operating during somite formation and its underlying molecular regulatory mechanisms. Human congenital vertebral malformations have been associated with perturbations in these oscillatory mechanisms. Thus, a better comprehension of the molecular mechanisms regulating somite formation is required in order to fully understand the origin of human skeletal malformations. PMID:24895605

  20. Endemic and threatened tetrapods in the restingas of the biodiversity corridors of Serra do Mar and of the central da Mata Atlântica in Eastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. F. D Rocha

    Full Text Available Biodiversity corridors comprise a mosaic of land uses connecting fragments of natural forest across a landscape. Two such corridors have been established along the eastern coast of Brazil: the Serra do Mar and the Central da Mata Atlântica corridors, along which most of the coastal plains are restinga areas. In this study, we analyze the present status of the endemic and endangered terrestrial vertebrates of both corridors. We sampled 10 restingas in both corridors, recording species of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Some restingas harbor a relatively large number of endemic species, and two main regions of endemism can be identified along the restingas of both corridors: the coastal restingas from northern Espírito Santo State to southern Bahia State (between Linhares, ES, and Trancoso, BA, and the coastal region between the restingas of Maricá and Jurubatiba, Rio de Janeiro State. Six species of terrestrial vertebrates considered threatened with extinction are found in the restingas of Serra do Mar and Central da Mata Atlântica biodiversity corridors (Liolaemus lutzae, Formicivora littoralis, Mimus gilvus, Schistochlamys melanopis, and Trinomys eliasi. The region located between the restinga of Maricá and that of Jurubatiba is of special relevance for the conservation of vertebrate species of the restingas of the corridors because a considerable number of threatened species of terrestrial vertebrates are found there. We strongly recommend efforts to develop checklists of threatened faunas for the States of Espírito Santo and Bahia.

  1. Evolution, Development and Function of Vertebrate Cone Oil Droplets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew B. Toomey

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available To distinguish colors, the nervous system must compare the activity of distinct subtypes of photoreceptors that are maximally sensitive to different portions of the light spectrum. In vertebrates, a variety of adaptations have arisen to refine the spectral sensitivity of cone photoreceptors and improve color vision. In this review article, we focus on one such adaptation, the oil droplet, a unique optical organelle found within the inner segment of cone photoreceptors of a diverse array of vertebrate species, from fish to mammals. These droplets, which consist of neutral lipids and carotenoid pigments, are interposed in the path of light through the photoreceptor and modify the intensity and spectrum of light reaching the photosensitive outer segment. In the course of evolution, the optical function of oil droplets has been fine-tuned through changes in carotenoid content. Species active in dim light reduce or eliminate carotenoids to enhance sensitivity, whereas species active in bright light precisely modulate carotenoid double bond conjugation and concentration among cone subtypes to optimize color discrimination and color constancy. Cone oil droplets have sparked the curiosity of vision scientists for more than a century. Accordingly, we begin by briefly reviewing the history of research on oil droplets. We then discuss what is known about the developmental origins of oil droplets. Next, we describe recent advances in understanding the function of oil droplets based on biochemical and optical analyses. Finally, we survey the occurrence and properties of oil droplets across the diversity of vertebrate species and discuss what these patterns indicate about the evolutionary history and function of this intriguing organelle.

  2. Vertebrate Genome Evolution in the Light of Fish Cytogenomics and rDNAomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, W. Mike

    2018-01-01

    To understand the cytogenomic evolution of vertebrates, we must first unravel the complex genomes of fishes, which were the first vertebrates to evolve and were ancestors to all other vertebrates. We must not forget the immense time span during which the fish genomes had to evolve. Fish cytogenomics is endowed with unique features which offer irreplaceable insights into the evolution of the vertebrate genome. Due to the general DNA base compositional homogeneity of fish genomes, fish cytogenomics is largely based on mapping DNA repeats that still represent serious obstacles in genome sequencing and assembling, even in model species. Localization of repeats on chromosomes of hundreds of fish species and populations originating from diversified environments have revealed the biological importance of this genomic fraction. Ribosomal genes (rDNA) belong to the most informative repeats and in fish, they are subject to a more relaxed regulation than in higher vertebrates. This can result in formation of a literal ‘rDNAome’ consisting of more than 20,000 copies with their high proportion employed in extra-coding functions. Because rDNA has high rates of transcription and recombination, it contributes to genome diversification and can form reproductive barrier. Our overall knowledge of fish cytogenomics grows rapidly by a continuously increasing number of fish genomes sequenced and by use of novel sequencing methods improving genome assembly. The recently revealed exceptional compositional heterogeneity in an ancient fish lineage (gars) sheds new light on the compositional genome evolution in vertebrates generally. We highlight the power of synergy of cytogenetics and genomics in fish cytogenomics, its potential to understand the complexity of genome evolution in vertebrates, which is also linked to clinical applications and the chromosomal backgrounds of speciation. We also summarize the current knowledge on fish cytogenomics and outline its main future avenues. PMID

  3. Transport of Iodine Species in the Terrestrial Environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Q; Moran, J E; Zhao, P

    2003-01-01

    The fate and transport of iodine in the environment is of interest because of the large production and release of 129 I from anthropogenic sources. 129 I has a long half-life (1.57 x 10 7 years) and exhibits complex geochemical behavior. The main source of 129 I in the environment is from nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities; about 2,600 kg from facilities in England and France. During 1944-1972, the Hanford Site in Washington state released about 260 kg 129 I. Iodine has a unique and complex chemistry in the environment, and its fate and transport in aqueous environments is dictated by its chemical speciation. In reducing environments, aqueous iodine usually occurs as the highly mobile iodide anion (I - ). Under more oxidizing conditions, iodine may be present as the more reactive iodate anion (IO 3 - ), which could lead to retarded transport through interaction with clays and organic matter. Co-existing iodine species (I - , IO 3 - , I 2 , and organoiodine compounds), in different proportions, has been reported in various terrestrial environments. However, there are conflicting reports regarding the environmental behavior of the different types of inorganic iodine and few publications on organic iodine compounds. This work examines the sorption and transport behavior of both inorganic and organic iodine species in geological samples from several complexes of the U.S. Department of Energy, where transport of radionuclides, including 129 I, may occur. Experiments on soils and sediments from the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, Oak Ridge Site in Tennessee, Hanford Site in Washington, Livermore Site 300 in California, and a surface soil from Santa Fe in New Mexico near Los Alamos were carried out. Samples from Savannah River Site and Livermore Site 300 are available from different depths. In addition, a surface soil of Wisconsin with a high amount of organic matter is utilized. This wide variety of sample types provides opportunities to examine the influence of

  4. No oxygen? No problem! Intrinsic brain tolerance to hypoxia in vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, John; Drew, Kelly L.; Folkow, Lars P.; Milton, Sarah L.; Park, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    Many vertebrates are challenged by either chronic or acute episodes of low oxygen availability in their natural environments. Brain function is especially vulnerable to the effects of hypoxia and can be irreversibly impaired by even brief periods of low oxygen supply. This review describes recent research on physiological mechanisms that have evolved in certain vertebrate species to cope with brain hypoxia. Four model systems are considered: freshwater turtles that can survive for months trapped in frozen-over lakes, arctic ground squirrels that respire at extremely low rates during winter hibernation, seals and whales that undertake breath-hold dives lasting minutes to hours, and naked mole-rats that live in crowded burrows completely underground for their entire lives. These species exhibit remarkable specializations of brain physiology that adapt them for acute or chronic episodes of hypoxia. These specializations may be reactive in nature, involving modifications to the catastrophic sequelae of oxygen deprivation that occur in non-tolerant species, or preparatory in nature, preventing the activation of those sequelae altogether. Better understanding of the mechanisms used by these hypoxia-tolerant vertebrates will increase appreciation of how nervous systems are adapted for life in specific ecological niches as well as inform advances in therapy for neurological conditions such as stroke and epilepsy. PMID:24671961

  5. Evolutionary growth process of highly conserved sequences in vertebrate genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishibashi, Minaka; Noda, Akiko Ogura; Sakate, Ryuichi; Imanishi, Tadashi

    2012-08-01

    Genome sequence comparison between evolutionarily distant species revealed ultraconserved elements (UCEs) among mammals under strong purifying selection. Most of them were also conserved among vertebrates. Because they tend to be located in the flanking regions of developmental genes, they would have fundamental roles in creating vertebrate body plans. However, the evolutionary origin and selection mechanism of these UCEs remain unclear. Here we report that UCEs arose in primitive vertebrates, and gradually grew in vertebrate evolution. We searched for UCEs in two teleost fishes, Tetraodon nigroviridis and Oryzias latipes, and found 554 UCEs with 100% identity over 100 bps. Comparison of teleost and mammalian UCEs revealed 43 pairs of common, jawed-vertebrate UCEs (jUCE) with high sequence identities, ranging from 83.1% to 99.2%. Ten of them retain lower similarities to the Petromyzon marinus genome, and the substitution rates of four non-exonic jUCEs were reduced after the teleost-mammal divergence, suggesting that robust conservation had been acquired in the jawed vertebrate lineage. Our results indicate that prototypical UCEs originated before the divergence of jawed and jawless vertebrates and have been frozen as perfect conserved sequences in the jawed vertebrate lineage. In addition, our comparative sequence analyses of UCEs and neighboring regions resulted in a discovery of lineage-specific conserved sequences. They were added progressively to prototypical UCEs, suggesting step-wise acquisition of novel regulatory roles. Our results indicate that conserved non-coding elements (CNEs) consist of blocks with distinct evolutionary history, each having been frozen since different evolutionary era along the vertebrate lineage. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. South African red data book - Terrestrial mammals

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Smithers, RHN

    1986-01-01

    Full Text Available Currently, 243 species of terrestrial wild mammals are known to occur in the Republic of South Africa. Using the well established IUCN definitions, 42 of these may be considered as exposed to some level of threat of extinction. Three species...

  7. Coastal vertebrate exposure to predicted habitat changes due to sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Elizabeth A.; Nibbelink, Nathan P.; Alexander, Clark R.; Barrett, Kyle; Mengak, Lara F.; Guy, Rachel; Moore, Clinton; Cooper, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) may degrade habitat for coastal vertebrates in the Southeastern United States, but it is unclear which groups or species will be most exposed to habitat changes. We assessed 28 coastal Georgia vertebrate species for their exposure to potential habitat changes due to SLR using output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and information on the species’ fundamental niches. We assessed forecasted habitat change up to the year 2100 using three structural habitat metrics: total area, patch size, and habitat permanence. Almost all of the species (n = 24) experienced negative habitat changes due to SLR as measured by at least one of the metrics. Salt marsh and ocean beach habitats experienced the most change (out of 16 categorical land cover types) across the three metrics and species that used salt marsh extensively (rails and marsh sparrows) were ranked highest for exposure to habitat changes. Species that nested on ocean beaches (Diamondback Terrapins, shorebirds, and terns) were also ranked highly, but their use of other foraging habitats reduced their overall exposure. Future studies on potential effects of SLR on vertebrates in southeastern coastal ecosystems should focus on the relative importance of different habitat types to these species’ foraging and nesting requirements. Our straightforward prioritization approach is applicable to other coastal systems and can provide insight to managers on which species to focus resources, what components of their habitats need to be protected, and which locations in the study area will provide habitat refuges in the face of SLR.

  8. Interconnections between the Ears in Nonmammalian Vertebrates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Albert S.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.

    2010-01-01

    Many of the nonmammalian vertebrates (anurans, lizards, crocodiles, and some bird species) have large, continuous air spaces connecting the middle ears and acoustically coupling the eardrums. Acoustical coupling leads to strongly enhanced directionality of the ear at frequencies where diffraction...... cues are negligible in small-sized animals. The chapter reviews the peripheral basis of directionality in these animal groups....

  9. Inference of the ancestral vertebrate phenotype through vestiges of the whole-genome duplications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onimaru, Koh; Kuraku, Shigehiro

    2018-03-16

    Inferring the phenotype of the last common ancestor of living vertebrates is a challenging problem because of several unresolvable factors. They include the lack of reliable out-groups of living vertebrates, poor information about less fossilizable organs and specialized traits of phylogenetically important species, such as lampreys and hagfishes (e.g. secondary loss of vertebrae in adult hagfishes). These factors undermine the reliability of ancestral reconstruction by traditional character mapping approaches based on maximum parsimony. In this article, we formulate an approach to hypothesizing ancestral vertebrate phenotypes using information from the phylogenetic and functional properties of genes duplicated by genome expansions in early vertebrate evolution. We named the conjecture as 'chronological reconstruction of ohnolog functions (CHROF)'. This CHROF conjecture raises the possibility that the last common ancestor of living vertebrates may have had more complex traits than currently thought.

  10. Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris L.: noxious weed or powerful medical herb

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zvonko Pacanoski

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Tribulus terrestris L., an annual dicot species of the family Zygophyllaceae, is a common herb that is often found in disturbed habitats and agricultural areas in many parts of the temperate, tropical and desert regions of the world. T. terrestris is an aggressive species that has the potential to injure livestock, reduce hay and wool values, detour recreationists and reduces plant biodivesity. The species may become troublesome because of its weedy potential. It has been declared a weed in at least 37 countries and in at least 21 crops (cotton, maize, vineyards, orchards, etc.. It is adapted to a wide range of climatic conditions and grows on a wide variety of soil types. The management of T. terrestris can be achieved by herbicide application, mechanical (hand pulling, hoeing, mulching and biological control methods. Beside its invasive potential as a noxious and troublesome weed, T. terrestris is considered highly useful herb which is used for various purposes in folk and modern medicine and sport, as well.

  11. Climate change and the ecology and evolution of Arctic vertebrates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gilg, Olivier; Kovacs, Kit M.; Aars, J.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is taking place more rapidly and severely in the Arctic than anywhere on the globe, exposing Arctic vertebrates to a host of impacts. Changes in the cryosphere dominate the physical changes that already affect these animals, but increasing air temperatures, changes in precipitation......, and ocean acidification will also affect Arctic ecosystems in the future. Adaptation via natural selection is problematic in such a rapidly changing environment. Adjustment via phenotypic plasticity is therefore likely to dominate Arctic vertebrate responses in the short term, and many such adjustments have...... already been documented. Changes in phenology and range will occur for most species but will only partly mitigate climate change impacts, which are particularly difficult to forecast due to the many interactions within and between trophic levels. Even though Arctic species richness is increasing via...

  12. Habitat or matrix: which is more relevant to predict road-kill of vertebrates?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bueno, C; Sousa, C O M; Freitas, S R

    2015-11-01

    We believe that in tropics we need a community approach to evaluate road impacts on wildlife, and thus, suggest mitigation measures for groups of species instead a focal-species approach. Understanding which landscape characteristics indicate road-kill events may also provide models that can be applied in other regions. We intend to evaluate if habitat or matrix is more relevant to predict road-kill events for a group of species. Our hypothesis is: more permeable matrix is the most relevant factor to explain road-kill events. To test this hypothesis, we chose vertebrates as the studied assemblage and a highway crossing in an Atlantic Forest region in southeastern Brazil as the study site. Logistic regression models were designed using presence/absence of road-kill events as dependent variables and landscape characteristics as independent variables, which were selected by Akaike's Information Criterion. We considered a set of candidate models containing four types of simple regression models: Habitat effect model; Matrix types effect models; Highway effect model; and, Reference models (intercept and buffer distance). Almost three hundred road-kills and 70 species were recorded. River proximity and herbaceous vegetation cover, both matrix effect models, were associated to most road-killed vertebrate groups. Matrix was more relevant than habitat to predict road-kill of vertebrates. The association between river proximity and road-kill indicates that rivers may be a preferential route for most species. We discuss multi-species mitigation measures and implications to movement ecology and conservation strategies.

  13. CRDB: database of chemosensory receptor gene families in vertebrate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Dong

    Full Text Available Chemosensory receptors (CR are crucial for animals to sense the environmental changes and survive on earth. The emergence of whole-genome sequences provides us an opportunity to identify the entire CR gene repertoires. To completely gain more insight into the evolution of CR genes in vertebrates, we identified the nearly all CR genes in 25 vertebrates using homology-based approaches. Among these CR gene repertoires, nearly half of them were identified for the first time in those previously uncharacterized species, such as the guinea pig, giant panda and elephant, etc. Consistent with previous findings, we found that the numbers of CR genes vary extensively among different species, suggesting an extreme form of 'birth-and-death' evolution. For the purpose of facilitating CR gene analysis, we constructed a database with the goals to provide a resource for CR genes annotation and a web tool for exploring their evolutionary patterns. Besides a search engine for the gene extraction from a specific chromosome region, an easy-to-use phylogenetic analysis tool was also provided to facilitate online phylogeny study of CR genes. Our work can provide a rigorous platform for further study on the evolution of CR genes in vertebrates.

  14. Meta-analyses of the proportion of Japanese encephalitis virus infection in vectors and vertebrate hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Ana R S; Cohnstaedt, Lee W; Strathe, Erin; Hernández, Luciana Etcheverry; McVey, D Scott; Piaggio, José; Cernicchiaro, Natalia

    2017-09-07

    Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a zoonosis in Southeast Asia vectored by mosquitoes infected with the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV). Japanese encephalitis is considered an emerging exotic infectious disease with potential for introduction in currently JEV-free countries. Pigs and ardeid birds are reservoir hosts and play a major role on the transmission dynamics of the disease. The objective of the study was to quantitatively summarize the proportion of JEV infection in vectors and vertebrate hosts from data pertaining to observational studies obtained in a systematic review of the literature on vector and host competence for JEV, using meta-analyses. Data gathered in this study pertained to three outcomes: proportion of JEV infection in vectors, proportion of JEV infection in vertebrate hosts, and minimum infection rate (MIR) in vectors. Random-effects subgroup meta-analysis models were fitted by species (mosquito or vertebrate host species) to estimate pooled summary measures, as well as to compute the variance between studies. Meta-regression models were fitted to assess the association between different predictors and the outcomes of interest and to identify sources of heterogeneity among studies. Predictors included in all models were mosquito/vertebrate host species, diagnostic methods, mosquito capture methods, season, country/region, age category, and number of mosquitos per pool. Mosquito species, diagnostic method, country, and capture method represented important sources of heterogeneity associated with the proportion of JEV infection; host species and region were considered sources of heterogeneity associated with the proportion of JEV infection in hosts; and diagnostic and mosquito capture methods were deemed important contributors of heterogeneity for the MIR outcome. Our findings provide reference pooled summary estimates of vector competence for JEV for some mosquito species, as well as of sources of variability for these outcomes. Moreover, this

  15. Spatial coordination of compensatory eye movements in vertebrates: form and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graf, W

    1988-01-01

    The semicircular canals of the labyrinth of vertebrates provide one way of motion detection in three-dimensional space. The fully developed form of the vertebrate labyrinth consists of six semicircular canals, three on each side of the head, whose spatial arrangement (vertical canals are placed diagonally in the head, horizontal canals are oriented earth horizontally) follows three interconnected principles: 1) bilateral symmetry, 2) push-pull operational mode, and 3) mutual orthogonality. Other sensory and motor systems related to vestibular reflexes, such as the extraocular muscles or the "optokinetic" coordinate axes encoded in the activity of the visually driven cells of the accessory optic system, share the same geometrical framework. This framework is also reflected in the anatomical networks mediating compensatory eye movements, linking each of the semicircular canals to a particular set of extraocular muscles (so-called principal vestibuloocular reflex connections to yoke muscles). These classical vestibulo-oculomotor relationships have been verified at many levels of the vertebrate hierarchy, including lateral- and frontal-eyed animals. The particular spatial orientation of the semicircular canals requires further comment and phylogenetic evaluation. The spatial arrangement of the vertical canals is already present in fossil ostracoderms, and is also exemplified in lampreys, the modern forms of once abundant agnathan species that populated the Silurian and Devonian oceans. The lampreys and ostracoderms lack horizontal canals, which appear later in all descendent vertebrates. The fully developed vertebrate labyrinth with its six semicircular canals displays distinct differences that are obvious when comparing distant taxa (e.g. elasmobranchs versus other vertebrates). Whereas the common crus of the semicircular canals in teleosts through mammals is formed between the anterior and the posterior semicircular canal, it occurs between the anterior and the

  16. Sexual segregation in marine fish, reptiles, birds and mammals behaviour patterns, mechanisms and conservation implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wearmouth, Victoria J; Sims, David W

    2008-01-01

    Sexual segregation occurs when members of a species separate such that the sexes live apart, either singly or in single-sex groups. It can be broadly categorised into two types: habitat segregation and social segregation. Sexual segregation is a behavioural phenomenon that is widespread in the animal kingdom yet the underlying causes remain poorly understood. Sexual segregation has been widely studied among terrestrial mammals such as ungulates, but it has been less well documented in the marine environment. This chapter clarifies terms and concepts which have emerged from the investigation of sexual segregation in terrestrial ecology and examines how a similar methodological approach may be complicated by differences of marine species. Here we discuss the behavioural patterns of sexual segregation among marine fish, reptile, bird and mammal species. Five hypotheses have been forwarded to account for sexual segregation, largely emerging from investigation of sexual segregation in terrestrial ungulates: the predation risk, forage selection, activity budget, thermal niche-fecundity and social factors hypotheses. These mechanisms are reviewed following careful assessment of their applicability to marine vertebrate species and case studies of marine vertebrates which support each mechanism recounted. Rigorous testing of all hypotheses is lacking from both the terrestrial and marine vertebrate literature and those analyses which have been attempted are often confounded by factors such as sexual body-size dimorphism. In this context, we indicate the value of studying model species which are monomorphic with respect to body size and discuss possible underlying causes for sexual segregation in this species. We also discuss why it is important to understand sexual segregation, for example, by illustrating how differential exploitation of the sexes by humans can lead to population decline.

  17. Effects of reconstruction of a pre-European vertebrate assemblage on ground-dwelling arachnids in arid Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvey, Colin J; Hayward, Matthew W; Gibb, Heloise

    2015-06-01

    Species loss can result in changes in assemblage structure and ecosystem function through ecological cascades. Australian vertebrate assemblages changed significantly following European colonisation, which resulted in the establishment of invasive vertebrates and the loss of native marsupials, many of which consume invertebrates. Conservation focusses on the removal of invasive carnivores and the reintroduction of regionally extinct species to fenced sites, resulting in what could be considered a reconstruction of pre-European vertebrate assemblages. In semi-arid Australian spinifex mallee ecosystems, we asked: (1) what is the effect of reconstructed pre-European vertebrate assemblages on native arachnid assemblages? and (2) what direct or indirect mechanisms (predation, disturbance and/or competition) could plausibly be responsible for these effects? We compared sites with reconstructed vertebrate assemblages with paired control sites. Arachnids were sampled using pitfall trapping and direct searching. Hypotheses regarding mechanisms were tested using scat analysis (predation) and by comparing burrow depth (disturbance) and scorpion mass (competition) between control and reconstructed sites. The dominant dune scorpion, Urodacus yaschenkoi, was less abundant and a wolf spider (Lycosa gibsoni species group) more abundant in reconstructed sites. Differences in spider assemblage composition were marginally non-significant. Scat analysis confirmed native vertebrate predation on scorpions and we found no evidence that competition or disturbance affected scorpions. We, thus, suggest that changes in spider assemblages may have resulted from ecological cascades via decreases in dune scorpions. The loss of omnivorous mammals and other changes associated with the invasion of carnivores may, therefore, have had broad-reaching consequences for native arachnid assemblages in Australian ecosystems.

  18. Vertebral column regionalisation in Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Clercq, A; Perrott, M R; Davie, P S; Preece, M A; Wybourne, B; Ruff, N; Huysseune, A; Witten, P E

    2017-10-01

    because of their distinctive morphological characters. While the number of vertebrae within each region can vary, each of the six regions is recognised in specimens of both temperature groups. This refined identification of regionalisation in the vertebral column of Chinook salmon can help to address evolutionary developmental and functional questions, and to support applied research into this farmed species. © 2017 Anatomical Society.

  19. Plutonium concentrations and Pu/Am ratios in small vertebrates from NAEG Intensive Study Areas of NTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bradley, W.G.; Moor, K.S.; Naegle, S.R.

    1977-01-01

    Radioecological studies of small vertebrates in Pu-contaminated areas of NTS began in spring 1972 and have continued to date. Species conposition, relative abundance, and other pertinent ecological data have been presented in previous reports. In addition, data analysis of Pu and Am concentrations in selected rodent and lizard species has been presented for all NAEG Intensive Study Areas. This report provides further analysis of Pu concentration in small vertebrates of Areas 5 and 11, NTS

  20. Diversity of terrestrial avifauna in response to distance from the shoreline of the Salton Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendelsohn, M.B.; Boarman, W.I.; Fisher, R.N.; Hathaway, S.A.

    2007-01-01

    Large aquatic bodies influence surrounding terrestrial ecosystems by providing water and nutrients. In arid landscapes, the increased primary productivity that results may greatly enhance vertebrate biodiversity. The Salton Sea, a large saline lake in the Colorado Desert of southern California, provides nutrients in the form of hundreds of thousands of dead fish carcasses, brine flies, and chemical compounds through windborne salt sea spray. We performed point counts for landbirds and shorebirds monthly or every other month between March 2001 and February 2002 across a sampling grid of 35 points along the west edge of Salton Sea. We found that avian diversity (numbers of species and numbers per species) was dependent on proximity to the Sea. Diversity was at a maximum nearest the shore, and was significantly lower away from the Sea's edge, at all surveyed distances up to 1 km from the shore. Cover by the dominant shrubs on the study site also corresponded to proximity to the water's edge. Whereas one may hypothesize that the avian diversity patterns are caused by these differences in vegetation structure, our data did not support this. Future studies should further investigate this potential correlation between vegetation and bird patterns. Until more is understood about the relationship between elevated avian diversity and the physical environment of the land-shore interface, our results suggest that the Sea's surface be stabilized near its present level. Future management schemes at the Salton Sea that include reductions of water sources should be carefully analyzed, so as to not jeopardize the terrestrial avifauna at this unique ecosystem. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Evidence for the persistence of the land planarian species Microplana terrestris (Müller, 1774) (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida) in microrefugia during the Last Glacial Maximum in the northern section of the Iberian Peninsula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Álvarez-Presas, M.; Mateos, E.; Vila-Farré, M.; Sluys, R.; Riutort, M.

    2012-01-01

    The land planarian species Microplana terrestris (Müller, 1774), shows a wide distribution in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, where mature humid forests can be found. Since most terrestrial planarians require the presence and good condition of wet forests to survive, a parallel evolution of the

  2. Linking vertebral number to performance of aquatic escape responses in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerly, Kerri L; Ward, Andrea B

    2015-12-01

    Environmental conditions during early development in ectothermic vertebrates can lead to variation in vertebral number among individuals of the same species. It is often seen that individuals of a species raised at cooler temperatures have more vertebrae than individuals raised at warmer temperatures, although the functional consequences of this variation in vertebral number on swimming performance are relatively unclear. To investigate this relationship, we tested how vertebral number in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) affected performance of aquatic escape responses (C-starts). Axolotls were reared at four temperatures (12-24°C) encompassing their natural thermal range and then transitioned to a mean temperature (18°C) three months before C-starts were recorded. Our results showed variation in vertebral number, but that variation was not significantly affected by developmental temperature. C-start performance among axolotls was significantly correlated with caudal vertebral number, and individuals with more caudal vertebrae were able to achieve greater curvature more quickly during their responses than individuals with fewer vertebrae. However, our results show that these individuals did not achieve greater displacements or velocities, and that developmental temperature did not have any effect on C-start performance. We highlight that the most important aspects of escape swim performance (i.e., how far individuals get from a threat and how quickly they move the most important parts of the body away from that threat) are consistent across individuals regardless of developmental temperature and morphological variation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. Vertebrate fauna of the San Joaquin Experimental Range, California: a checklist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas F. Newman; Don A. Duncan

    1973-01-01

    This report updates an earlier checklist, published in 1955, of vertebrate fauna found on the San Joaquin Experimental Range, in Madera County, California. Nineteen new species have been recorded since 1955. This report records the occurrences of seven fish, eight amphibians, 19 reptiles, 38 mammals, and 149 buds. References to research on individual species are...

  4. Ontogenetic shifts in terrestrial reliance of stream-dwelling brown trout

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Sánchez-Hernández

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This study focuses on terrestrial reliance of brown trout (Salmo trutta and compared it to the potential prey available (macrozoobenthos and drifting invertebrates in three temperate rivers (Galicia, NW Spain, with special emphasis on variations in terrestrial energy intake through the ontogeny of brown trout. Additionally, we paid particular attention to individual variation of terrestrial resource use within and between age classes. Prey items were grouped in four categories: i aquatic invertebrates; ii imagoes of aquatic invertebrates; iii terrestrial invertebrates; and iv fish prey. Next, energy composition was measured according to dry weight-energy equations for each individual in line with above-mentioned prey categories. Our findings illustrate that terrestrial invertebrates appeared to be scarce in the environment, whereas aquatic food resources were rather abundant and accessible. The use of terrestrial invertebrates tended to increase with age, but with a high degree of inter-individual variation in resource use. In fact, the individual reliance of brown trout on terrestrial invertebrates may vary considerably (between 0% and 76.9%. Besides, the frequency of terrestrial foragers, i.e., individuals with terrestrial invertebrates in their stomachs, increased with age, except in one population which had the maximum value in the age-2 class. The acquisition of terrestrial invertebrates thus appears to be a process strongly dependent upon the actual food availability in the environment, but with a high degree of individual variance in resource use within the same age class. Finally, we discuss that terrestrial invertebrates may largely contribute to cover the energy intake of the species, highlighting the interface between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and thereby the importance of riparian canopy cover as a key factor for food supply of stream-dwelling salmonids species.

  5. CT study of vertebral metastasis: re-realization of the diagnostic role of the vertebral pedicle sign

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meng Quanfei; Jiang Bo; Chen Yingming; Zhang Chaohui

    2000-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the essence of the vertebral pedicle sign of vertebral metastasis on plain film, and to explore the useful CT signs for the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of this tumor. Methods: The CT scans of the spine obtained in 48 patients with vertebral metastases, 19 patients with vertebral tuberculosis, and 11 with vertebral myeloma, were analyzed. The CT findings were correlated with the abnormalities seen on plain films in 34 of the 48 patients (66 vertebrae involved) with vertebral metastasis. Results: 66 vertebrae were involved in the group of metastasis. Of the 28 vertebrae whose vertebral body were completely destroyed, 15 were seen bilateral pedicles destruction; Of the 22 vertebrae with lateral destruction of the body, 16 were noticed unilateral pedicle destruction which located posterior to the involved side of the body. Of the 62 micro-metastatic foci, 56 were scattered in the vertebral body. In the 19 para-spinal soft-tissue masses of vertebral tuberculosis, 5 were noticed calcifications and 12 with postcontrast rings enhancement. The rates of vertebral pedicle destruction of vertebral metastasis and myeloma were not statistically different (X 2 = 0.03, P > 0.50). The locations of destruction of vertebral body in vertebral metastasis and myeloma had no statistical difference (X 2 = 3.52, P > 0.10), but they differed from that in tuberculosis (X 2 = 39.32, P < 0.001). The distribution of lesions within the vertebrae of metastasis and tuberculosis was similar, but was quite different from myeloma. Conclusion: The vertebral metastasis initially occurs in the vertebral body. The vertebral pedicle sign on plain film of vertebral metastasis is the outcome of the posterior invasion of the tumor in the vertebral body, which is of no differential significance for vertebral metastasis and myeloma. Para-spinal soft tissue mass, location of destruction of vertebral body, and the distribution of lesions within the vertebrae may help

  6. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Coronado National Memorial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Powell, Brian F.; Swann, Don E.; Halvorson, William L.

    2007-01-01

    We conducted inventories for amphibians and reptiles, birds, and mammals; and summarized past inventories for vascular plants at Coronado National Memorial (NM) in Arizona. We used our data as well as data from previous research to compile species lists for the memorial, assess inventory completeness, and make suggestions on future monitoring efforts. There have been 940 species of plants and vertebrates recorded at Coronado NM (Table 1), of which 46 (5%) are non-native. The species richness of the memorial is one of the highest in the Sonoran Desert Network of park units, third only to park units that are two and one-half (Chiricahua National Monument), 19 (Saguaro National Park) and 70 (Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument) times larger in area. The high species diversities are due to the large elevational gradient, overlap of bigeographical regions, wide range of geology and soils, and diverse vegetation communities present at the memorial. Changes in species composition have occurred at the memorial over the last 20 years in all major taxonomic groups. These changes are likely due to increases in grassy plant species (both native and non-native) at the lower elevations of the memorial. We suspect that grassy plant cover has increased because of changes in grazing intensity, introduction of some non-native species, and a recent fire. All recent vertebrate inventories have yielded grassland obligate species not previously recorded at the memorial. Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventory for most taxa, except bats, is nearly complete, though some rare or elusive species will likely be added with additional survey effort.

  7. ExoLocator--an online view into genetic makeup of vertebrate proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khoo, Aik Aun; Ogrizek-Tomas, Mario; Bulovic, Ana; Korpar, Matija; Gürler, Ece; Slijepcevic, Ivan; Šikic, Mile; Mihalek, Ivana

    2014-01-01

    ExoLocator (http://exolocator.eopsf.org) collects in a single place information needed for comparative analysis of protein-coding exons from vertebrate species. The main source of data--the genomic sequences, and the existing exon and homology annotation--is the ENSEMBL database of completed vertebrate genomes. To these, ExoLocator adds the search for ostensibly missing exons in orthologous protein pairs across species, using an extensive computational pipeline to narrow down the search region for the candidate exons and find a suitable template in the other species, as well as state-of-the-art implementations of pairwise alignment algorithms. The resulting complements of exons are organized in a way currently unique to ExoLocator: multiple sequence alignments, both on the nucleotide and on the peptide levels, clearly indicating the exon boundaries. The alignments can be inspected in the web-embedded viewer, downloaded or used on the spot to produce an estimate of conservation within orthologous sets, or functional divergence across paralogues.

  8. Vertebral osteomyelitis without disc involvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kamani, I.; Syed, I.; Saifuddin, A. E-mail: asaifuddin@aol.com; Green, R.; MacSweeney, F

    2004-10-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis is most commonly due to pyogenic or granulomatous infection and typically results in the combined involvement of the intervertebral disc and adjacent vertebral bodies. Non-infective causes include the related conditions of chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO) and SAPHO (synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis, and osteitis) syndrome. Occasionally, these conditions may present purely within the vertebral body, resulting in various combinations of vertebral marrow oedema and sclerosis, destructive lesions of the vertebral body and pathological vertebral collapse, thus mimicking neoplastic disease. This review illustrates the imaging features of vertebral osteomyelitis without disc involvement, with emphasis on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings.

  9. Habitat or matrix: which is more relevant to predict road-kill of vertebrates?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Bueno

    Full Text Available Abstract We believe that in tropics we need a community approach to evaluate road impacts on wildlife, and thus, suggest mitigation measures for groups of species instead a focal-species approach. Understanding which landscape characteristics indicate road-kill events may also provide models that can be applied in other regions. We intend to evaluate if habitat or matrix is more relevant to predict road-kill events for a group of species. Our hypothesis is: more permeable matrix is the most relevant factor to explain road-kill events. To test this hypothesis, we chose vertebrates as the studied assemblage and a highway crossing in an Atlantic Forest region in southeastern Brazil as the study site. Logistic regression models were designed using presence/absence of road-kill events as dependent variables and landscape characteristics as independent variables, which were selected by Akaike’s Information Criterion. We considered a set of candidate models containing four types of simple regression models: Habitat effect model; Matrix types effect models; Highway effect model; and, Reference models (intercept and buffer distance. Almost three hundred road-kills and 70 species were recorded. River proximity and herbaceous vegetation cover, both matrix effect models, were associated to most road-killed vertebrate groups. Matrix was more relevant than habitat to predict road-kill of vertebrates. The association between river proximity and road-kill indicates that rivers may be a preferential route for most species. We discuss multi-species mitigation measures and implications to movement ecology and conservation strategies.

  10. Vertebrate sex-determining genes play musical chairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Qiaowei; Anderson, Jennifer; Bertho, Sylvain; Herpin, Amaury; Wilson, Catherine; Postlethwait, John H; Schartl, Manfred; Guiguen, Yann

    2016-01-01

    Sexual reproduction is one of the most highly conserved processes in evolution. However, the genetic and cellular mechanisms making the decision of whether the undifferentiated gonad of animal embryos develops either towards male or female are manifold and quite diverse. In vertebrates, sex-determining mechanisms range from environmental to simple or complex genetic mechanisms and different mechanisms have evolved repeatedly and independently. In species with simple genetic sex-determination, master sex-determining genes lying on sex chromosomes drive the gonadal differentiation process by switching on a developmental program, which ultimately leads to testicular or ovarian differentiation. So far, very few sex-determining genes have been identified in vertebrates and apart from mammals and birds, these genes are apparently not conserved over a larger number of related orders, families, genera, or even species. To fill this knowledge gap and to better explore genetic sex-determination, we propose a strategy (RAD-Sex) that makes use of next-generation sequencing technology to identify genetic markers that define sex-specific segments of the male or female genome. Copyright © 2016 Académie des sciences. All rights reserved.

  11. Invertebrates outcompete vertebrate facultative scavengers in simulated lynx kills in the Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ray, R.–R.

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the role of scavengers in ecosystems is important for species conservation and wildlife management. We used road–killed animals, 15 in summer 2003 (June–August and nine in winter 2003/2004 (from November to January, to test the following hypotheses: (1 vertebrate scavengers such as raven (Corvus corax, red fox (Vulpes vulpes and wild boar (Sus scrofa consume a higher proportion of the carcasses than invertebrates; (2 the consumption rate is higher in winter than in summer due to the scarcity of other food resources; and (3 vertebrate scavengers are effective competitors of Eurasian lynx. We monitored 65 animals belonging to eight different mammal and bird species with camera traps. Surprisingly, Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx was the most important vertebrate scavenger. However, in both seasons, the consumption of vertebrate scavengers was of minor impact. In summer, the carcasses were completely consumed within 10 days, mostly by invertebrates. In winter, only 5% of the carcasses were consumed within 10 days and 16% within 15 days. We conclude that vertebrates in the Bavarian Forest National Park are not strong competitors for lynx.

  12. Sequencing of the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) genome provides insights into vertebrate evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jeramiah J; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Holt, Carson; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Jiang, Ning; Campbell, Michael S; Yandell, Mark D; Manousaki, Tereza; Meyer, Axel; Bloom, Ona E; Morgan, Jennifer R; Buxbaum, Joseph D; Sachidanandam, Ravi; Sims, Carrie; Garruss, Alexander S; Cook, Malcolm; Krumlauf, Robb; Wiedemann, Leanne M; Sower, Stacia A; Decatur, Wayne A; Hall, Jeffrey A; Amemiya, Chris T; Saha, Nil R; Buckley, Katherine M; Rast, Jonathan P; Das, Sabyasachi; Hirano, Masayuki; McCurley, Nathanael; Guo, Peng; Rohner, Nicolas; Tabin, Clifford J; Piccinelli, Paul; Elgar, Greg; Ruffier, Magali; Aken, Bronwen L; Searle, Stephen MJ; Muffato, Matthieu; Pignatelli, Miguel; Herrero, Javier; Jones, Matthew; Brown, C Titus; Chung-Davidson, Yu-Wen; Nanlohy, Kaben G; Libants, Scot V; Yeh, Chu-Yin; McCauley, David W; Langeland, James A; Pancer, Zeev; Fritzsch, Bernd; de Jong, Pieter J; Zhu, Baoli; Fulton, Lucinda L; Theising, Brenda; Flicek, Paul; Bronner, Marianne E; Warren, Wesley C; Clifton, Sandra W; Wilson, Richard K; Li, Weiming

    2013-01-01

    Lampreys are representatives of an ancient vertebrate lineage that diverged from our own ~500 million years ago. By virtue of this deeply shared ancestry, the sea lamprey (P. marinus) genome is uniquely poised to provide insight into the ancestry of vertebrate genomes and the underlying principles of vertebrate biology. Here, we present the first lamprey whole-genome sequence and assembly. We note challenges faced owing to its high content of repetitive elements and GC bases, as well as the absence of broad-scale sequence information from closely related species. Analyses of the assembly indicate that two whole-genome duplications likely occurred before the divergence of ancestral lamprey and gnathostome lineages. Moreover, the results help define key evolutionary events within vertebrate lineages, including the origin of myelin-associated proteins and the development of appendages. The lamprey genome provides an important resource for reconstructing vertebrate origins and the evolutionary events that have shaped the genomes of extant organisms. PMID:23435085

  13. Harnessing Omics Big Data in Nine Vertebrate Species by Genome-Wide Prioritization of Sequence Variants with the Highest Predicted Deleterious Effect on Protein Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozman, Vita; Kunej, Tanja

    2018-05-10

    Harnessing the genomics big data requires innovation in how we extract and interpret biologically relevant variants. Currently, there is no established catalog of prioritized missense variants associated with deleterious protein function phenotypes. We report in this study, to the best of our knowledge, the first genome-wide prioritization of sequence variants with the most deleterious effect on protein function (potentially deleterious variants [pDelVars]) in nine vertebrate species: human, cattle, horse, sheep, pig, dog, rat, mouse, and zebrafish. The analysis was conducted using the Ensembl/BioMart tool. Genes comprising pDelVars in the highest number of examined species were identified using a Python script. Multiple genomic alignments of the selected genes were built to identify interspecies orthologous potentially deleterious variants, which we defined as the "ortho-pDelVars." Genome-wide prioritization revealed that in humans, 0.12% of the known variants are predicted to be deleterious. In seven out of nine examined vertebrate species, the genes encoding the multiple PDZ domain crumbs cell polarity complex component (MPDZ) and the transforming acidic coiled-coil containing protein 2 (TACC2) comprise pDelVars. Five interspecies ortho-pDelVars were identified in three genes. These findings offer new ways to harness genomics big data by facilitating the identification of functional polymorphisms in humans and animal models and thus provide a future basis for optimization of protocols for whole genome prioritization of pDelVars and screening of orthologous sequence variants. The approach presented here can inform various postgenomic applications such as personalized medicine and multiomics study of health interventions (iatromics).

  14. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Brian F.; Albrecht, Eric W.; Halvorson, William L.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Docherty, Kathleen; Anning, Pamela

    2006-01-01

    Executive Summary This report summarizes the results of the first comprehensive biological inventory of Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument (NM) in western New Mexico. This project was part of a larger effort to inventory plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in Arizona and New Mexico. Our surveys address many of the objectives that were set forth in the monument's natural resource management plan almost 20 years ago, but until this effort, those goals were never accomplished. From 2001 to 2003 we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Gila Cliff Dwellings NM to document presence of species within the boundaries of the monument. For all taxonomic groups that we studied, we collected 'incidental' sightings on U.S. Forest Service lands adjacent to the monument, and in a few cases we did formal surveys on those lands. Because we used repeatable study designs and standardized field techniques, these inventories can serve as the first step in a biological monitoring program for Gila Cliff Dwellings NM and surrounding lands. We recorded 552 species at Gila Cliff Dwellings NM and the surrounding lands (Table 1). We found no non-native species of reptiles, birds, or mammals, one non-native amphibian (American bullfrog), and 33 non-native plants. Particularly on lands adjacent to the monument we found that the American bullfrog was very abundant, which is a cause for significant management concern. Species of non-native plants that are of management concern include red brome, bufflegrass, and cheatgrass. For a park unit of its size and geographic location, we found the plant and vertebrate communities to be fairly diverse; for each taxonomic group we found representative species from a wide range of taxonomic orders and/or families. The monument's geographic location, with influences from the Rocky Mountain, Chihuahuan Desert, and Madrean ecological provinces, plays an important role in determining

  15. Midterm Follow-Up of Vertebral Geometry and Remodeling of the Vertebral Bidisk Unit (VDU) After Percutaneous Vertebroplasty of Osteoporotic Vertebral Fractures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pitton, Michael Bernhard; Koch, Ulrike; Drees, Philip; Dueber, Christoph

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate geometrical stability and preservation of height gain of vertebral bodies after percutaneous vertebroplasty during 2 years' follow-up and to elucidate the geometric remodeling process of the vertebral bidisk unit (VDU) of the affected segment. Patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures with pain resistant to analgetic drugs were treated with polymethylmethacrylate vertebroplasty. Mean ± standard error cement volume was 5.1 ± 2.0 ml. Vertebral geometry was documented by sagittal and coronal reformations from multidetector computed tomography data sets: anterior, posterior, and lateral vertebral heights, end plate angles, and compression index (CI = anterior/posterior height). Additionally, the VDU (vertebral bodies plus both adjacent disk spaces) was calculated from the multidetector computed tomography data sets: anterior, posterior, and both lateral aspects. Patients were assigned to two groups: moderate compression with CI of >0.75 (group 1) and severe compression with CI of o vs. -1.0 ± 2.7 o , P o , P < 0.01) and compression indices (+0.11 ± 0.15, P < 0.01). Thus, posterior height loss of vertebrae and adjacent intervertebral disk spaces contributed to a remodeling of the VDU, resulting in some compensation of the kyphotic malposition of the affected vertebral segment. Vertebroplasty improved vertebral geometry during midterm follow-up. In severe vertebral compression, significant height gain and improvement of end plate angles were achieved. The remodeling of the VDUs contributes to reduction of kyphosis and an overall improvement of the statics of the spine.

  16. Comparative genetic diversity of Lyme disease bacteria in Northern Californian ticks and their vertebrate hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swei, Andrea; Bowie, Verna C; Bowie, Rauri C K

    2015-04-01

    Vector-borne pathogens are transmitted between vertebrate hosts and arthropod vectors, two immensely different environments for the pathogen. There is further differentiation among vertebrate hosts that often have complex, species-specific immunological responses to the pathogen. All this presents a heterogeneous environmental and immunological landscape with possible consequences on the population genetic structure of the pathogen. We evaluated the differential genetic diversity of the Lyme disease pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi, in its vector, the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus), and in its mammal host community using the 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region. We found differences in haplotype distribution of B. burgdorferi in tick populations from two counties in California as well as between a sympatric tick and vertebrate host community. In addition, we found that three closely related haplotypes consistently occurred in high frequency in all sample types. Lastly, our study found lower species diversity of the B. burgdorferi species complex, known as B. burgdorferi sensu lato, in small mammal hosts versus the tick populations in a sympatric study area. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  17. Vertebrate DNA in fecal samples from bonobos and gorillas: evidence for meat consumption or artefact?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Hofreiter

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Deciphering the behavioral repertoire of great apes is a challenge for several reasons. First, due to their elusive behavior in dense forest environments, great ape populations are often difficult to observe. Second, members of the genus Pan are known to display a great variety in their behavioral repertoire; thus, observations from one population are not necessarily representative for other populations. For example, bonobos (Pan paniscus are generally believed to consume almost no vertebrate prey. However, recent observations show that at least some bonobo populations may consume vertebrate prey more commonly than previously believed. We investigated the extent of their meat consumption using PCR amplification of vertebrate mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA segments from DNA extracted from bonobo feces. As a control we also attempted PCR amplifications from gorilla feces, a species assumed to be strictly herbivorous. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found evidence for consumption of a variety of mammalian species in about 16% of the samples investigated. Moreover, 40% of the positive DNA amplifications originated from arboreal monkeys. However, we also found duiker and monkey mtDNA in the gorilla feces, albeit in somewhat lower percentages. Notably, the DNA sequences isolated from the two ape species fit best to the species living in the respective regions. This result suggests that the sequences are of regional origin and do not represent laboratory contaminants. CONCLUSIONS: Our results allow at least three possible and mutually not exclusive conclusions. First, all results may represent contamination of the feces by vertebrate DNA from the local environment. Thus, studies investigating a species' diet from feces DNA may be unreliable due to the low copy number of DNA originating from diet items. Second, there is some inherent difference between the bonobo and gorilla feces, with only the later ones being contaminated. Third, similar to bonobos, for

  18. Vertebrate DNA in fecal samples from bonobos and gorillas: evidence for meat consumption or artefact?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofreiter, Michael; Kreuz, Eva; Eriksson, Jonas; Schubert, Grit; Hohmann, Gottfried

    2010-02-25

    Deciphering the behavioral repertoire of great apes is a challenge for several reasons. First, due to their elusive behavior in dense forest environments, great ape populations are often difficult to observe. Second, members of the genus Pan are known to display a great variety in their behavioral repertoire; thus, observations from one population are not necessarily representative for other populations. For example, bonobos (Pan paniscus) are generally believed to consume almost no vertebrate prey. However, recent observations show that at least some bonobo populations may consume vertebrate prey more commonly than previously believed. We investigated the extent of their meat consumption using PCR amplification of vertebrate mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) segments from DNA extracted from bonobo feces. As a control we also attempted PCR amplifications from gorilla feces, a species assumed to be strictly herbivorous. We found evidence for consumption of a variety of mammalian species in about 16% of the samples investigated. Moreover, 40% of the positive DNA amplifications originated from arboreal monkeys. However, we also found duiker and monkey mtDNA in the gorilla feces, albeit in somewhat lower percentages. Notably, the DNA sequences isolated from the two ape species fit best to the species living in the respective regions. This result suggests that the sequences are of regional origin and do not represent laboratory contaminants. Our results allow at least three possible and mutually not exclusive conclusions. First, all results may represent contamination of the feces by vertebrate DNA from the local environment. Thus, studies investigating a species' diet from feces DNA may be unreliable due to the low copy number of DNA originating from diet items. Second, there is some inherent difference between the bonobo and gorilla feces, with only the later ones being contaminated. Third, similar to bonobos, for which the consumption of monkeys has only recently been

  19. Dietary characterization of terrestrial mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda-Munoz, Silvia; Alroy, John

    2014-08-22

    Understanding the feeding behaviour of the species that make up any ecosystem is essential for designing further research. Mammals have been studied intensively, but the criteria used for classifying their diets are far from being standardized. We built a database summarizing the dietary preferences of terrestrial mammals using published data regarding their stomach contents. We performed multivariate analyses in order to set up a standardized classification scheme. Ideally, food consumption percentages should be used instead of qualitative classifications. However, when highly detailed information is not available we propose classifying animals based on their main feeding resources. They should be classified as generalists when none of the feeding resources constitute over 50% of the diet. The term 'omnivore' should be avoided because it does not communicate all the complexity inherent to food choice. Moreover, the so-called omnivore diets actually involve several distinctive adaptations. Our dataset shows that terrestrial mammals are generally highly specialized and that some degree of food mixing may even be required for most species.

  20. Delayed vertebral diagnosed L4 pincer vertebral fracture, L2-L3 ruptured vertebral lumbar disc hernia, L5 vertebral wedge fracture - Case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balasa D

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available An association between delayed ruptured lumbar disc hernia, L5 vertebral wedge fracture and posttraumaticL4 pincer vertebral fracture (A2.3-AO clasification at different levels is a very rare entity. We present the case of a 55 years old male who falled down from a bicycle. 2 months later because of intense and permanent vertebral lumbar and radicular L2 and L3 pain (Visual Scal Autologus of Pain7-8/10 the patient came to the hospital. He was diagnosed with pincer vertebral L4 fracture (A2.3-AO clasification and L2-L3 right ruptured lumbar disc hernia in lateral reces. The patient was operated (L2-L3 right fenestration, and resection of lumbar disc hernia, bilateral stabilisation, L3-L4-L5 with titan screws and postero-lateral bone graft L4 bilateral harvested from iliac crest.

  1. Unexpected inheritance: multiple integrations of ancient bornavirus and ebolavirus/marburgvirus sequences in vertebrate genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belyi, Vladimir A; Levine, Arnold J; Skalka, Anna Marie

    2010-07-29

    Vertebrate genomes contain numerous copies of retroviral sequences, acquired over the course of evolution. Until recently they were thought to be the only type of RNA viruses to be so represented, because integration of a DNA copy of their genome is required for their replication. In this study, an extensive sequence comparison was conducted in which 5,666 viral genes from all known non-retroviral families with single-stranded RNA genomes were matched against the germline genomes of 48 vertebrate species, to determine if such viruses could also contribute to the vertebrate genetic heritage. In 19 of the tested vertebrate species, we discovered as many as 80 high-confidence examples of genomic DNA sequences that appear to be derived, as long ago as 40 million years, from ancestral members of 4 currently circulating virus families with single strand RNA genomes. Surprisingly, almost all of the sequences are related to only two families in the Order Mononegavirales: the Bornaviruses and the Filoviruses, which cause lethal neurological disease and hemorrhagic fevers, respectively. Based on signature landmarks some, and perhaps all, of the endogenous virus-like DNA sequences appear to be LINE element-facilitated integrations derived from viral mRNAs. The integrations represent genes that encode viral nucleocapsid, RNA-dependent-RNA-polymerase, matrix and, possibly, glycoproteins. Integrations are generally limited to one or very few copies of a related viral gene per species, suggesting that once the initial germline integration was obtained (or selected), later integrations failed or provided little advantage to the host. The conservation of relatively long open reading frames for several of the endogenous sequences, the virus-like protein regions represented, and a potential correlation between their presence and a species' resistance to the diseases caused by these pathogens, are consistent with the notion that their products provide some important biological

  2. Unexpected inheritance: multiple integrations of ancient bornavirus and ebolavirus/marburgvirus sequences in vertebrate genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir A Belyi

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Vertebrate genomes contain numerous copies of retroviral sequences, acquired over the course of evolution. Until recently they were thought to be the only type of RNA viruses to be so represented, because integration of a DNA copy of their genome is required for their replication. In this study, an extensive sequence comparison was conducted in which 5,666 viral genes from all known non-retroviral families with single-stranded RNA genomes were matched against the germline genomes of 48 vertebrate species, to determine if such viruses could also contribute to the vertebrate genetic heritage. In 19 of the tested vertebrate species, we discovered as many as 80 high-confidence examples of genomic DNA sequences that appear to be derived, as long ago as 40 million years, from ancestral members of 4 currently circulating virus families with single strand RNA genomes. Surprisingly, almost all of the sequences are related to only two families in the Order Mononegavirales: the Bornaviruses and the Filoviruses, which cause lethal neurological disease and hemorrhagic fevers, respectively. Based on signature landmarks some, and perhaps all, of the endogenous virus-like DNA sequences appear to be LINE element-facilitated integrations derived from viral mRNAs. The integrations represent genes that encode viral nucleocapsid, RNA-dependent-RNA-polymerase, matrix and, possibly, glycoproteins. Integrations are generally limited to one or very few copies of a related viral gene per species, suggesting that once the initial germline integration was obtained (or selected, later integrations failed or provided little advantage to the host. The conservation of relatively long open reading frames for several of the endogenous sequences, the virus-like protein regions represented, and a potential correlation between their presence and a species' resistance to the diseases caused by these pathogens, are consistent with the notion that their products provide some important

  3. Habitats at Risk. Global Warming and Species Loss in Globally Significant Terrestrial Ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malcolm, J.R.; Liu, Canran; Miller, L.B.; Allnutt, T.; Hansen, L.

    2002-02-01

    In this study, a suite of models of global climate and vegetation change is used to investigate three important global warming-induced threats to the terrestrial Global 200 ecoregions: (1) Invasions by new habitat types (and corresponding loss of original habitat types); (2) Local changes of habitat types; (3) High rates of required species migration. Seven climate models (general circulation models or GCMs) and two vegetation models (BIOME3 and MAPSS) were used to produce 14 impact scenarios under the climate associated with a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which is expected to occur in less than 100 years. Previous analyses indicated that most of the variation among the impact scenarios was attributable to the particular vegetation model used, hence the authors provide results separately for the two models. The models do not provide information on biodiversity per se, but instead simulate current and future potential distributions of major vegetation types (biomes) such as tundra and broadleaf tropical rain forest

  4. First record of Wolbachia in South American terrestrial isopods: prevalence and diversity in two species of Balloniscus (Crustacea, Oniscidea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio Pereira Almerão

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Wolbachia are endosymbiotic bacteria that commonly infect arthropods, inducing certain phenotypes in their hosts. So far, no endemic South American species of terrestrial isopods have been investigated for Wolbachia infection. In this work, populations from two species of Balloniscus (B. sellowii and B. glaber were studied through a diagnostic PCR assay. Fifteen new Wolbachia 16S rDNA sequences were detected. Wolbachia found in both species were generally specific to one population, and five populations hosted two different Wolbachia 16S rDNA sequences. Prevalence was higher in B. glaber than in B. sellowii, but uninfected populations could be found in both species. Wolbachia strains from B. sellowii had a higher genetic variation than those isolated from B. glaber. AMOVA analyses showed that most of the genetic variance was distributed among populations of each species rather than between species, and the phylogenetic analysis suggested that Wolbachia strains from Balloniscus cluster within Supergroup B, but do not form a single monophyletic clade, suggesting multiple infections for this group. Our results highlight the importance of studying Wolbachia prevalence and genetic diversity in Neotropical species and suggest that South American arthropods may harbor a great number of diverse strains, providing an interesting model to investigate the evolution of Wolbachia and its hosts.

  5. Phylogenomic analysis of vertebrate thrombospondins reveals fish-specific paralogues, ancestral gene relationships and a tetrapod innovation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adams Josephine C

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Thrombospondins (TSPs are evolutionarily-conserved, extracellular, calcium-binding glycoproteins with important roles in cell-extracellular matrix interactions, angiogenesis, synaptogenesis and connective tissue organisation. Five TSPs, designated TSP-1 through TSP-5, are encoded in the human genome. All but one have known roles in acquired or inherited human diseases. To further understand the roles of TSPs in human physiology and pathology, it would be advantageous to extend the repertoire of relevant vertebrate models. In general the zebrafish is proving an excellent model organism for vertebrate biology, therefore we set out to evaluate the status of TSPs in zebrafish and two species of pufferfish. Results We identified by bioinformatics that three fish species encode larger numbers of TSPs than vertebrates, yet all these sequences group as homologues of TSP-1 to -4. By phylogenomic analysis of neighboring genes, we uncovered that, in fish, a TSP-4-like sequence is encoded from the gene corresponding to the tetrapod TSP-5 gene. Thus, all TSP genes show conservation of synteny between fish and tetrapods. In the human genome, the TSP-1, TSP-3, TSP-4 and TSP-5 genes lie within paralogous regions that provide insight into the ancestral genomic context of vertebrate TSPs. Conclusion A new model for TSP evolution in vertebrates is presented. The TSP-5 protein sequence has evolved rapidly from a TSP-4-like sequence as an innovation in the tetrapod lineage. TSP biology in fish is complicated by the presence of additional lineage- and species-specific TSP paralogues. These novel results give deeper insight into the evolution of TSPs in vertebrates and open new directions for understanding the physiological and pathological roles of TSP-4 and TSP-5 in humans.

  6. Turbines and Terrestrial Vertebrates: Variation in Tortoise Survivorship Between a Wind Energy Facility and an Adjacent Undisturbed Wildland Area in the Desert Southwest (USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E; Ennen, Joshua R; Augustine, Benjamin; Arundel, Terence R; Murphy, Mason O; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Bjurlin, Curtis; Delaney, David; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Madrak, Sheila V; Price, Steven J

    2015-08-01

    With the recent increase in utility-scale wind energy development, researchers have become increasingly concerned how this activity will affect wildlife and their habitat. To understand the potential impacts of wind energy facilities (WEF) post-construction (i.e., operation and maintenance) on wildlife, we compared differences in activity centers and survivorship of Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) inside or near a WEF to neighboring tortoises living near a wilderness area (NWA) and farther from the WEF. We found that the size of tortoise activity centers varied, but not significantly so, between the WEF (6.25 ± 2.13 ha) and adjacent NWA (4.13 ± 1.23 ha). However, apparent survival did differ significantly between the habitat types: over the 18-year study period apparent annual survival estimates were 0.96 ± 0.01 for WEF tortoises and 0.92 ± 0.02 for tortoises in the NWA. High annual survival suggests that operation and maintenance of the WEF has not caused considerable declines in the adult population over the past two decades. Low traffic volume, enhanced resource availability, and decreased predator populations may influence annual survivorship at this WEF. Further research on these proximate mechanisms and population recruitment would be useful for mitigating and managing post-development impacts of utility-scale wind energy on long-lived terrestrial vertebrates.

  7. Eco-SpaCE: An object-oriented, spatially explicit model to assess the risk of multiple environmental stressors on terrestrial vertebrate populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loos, Mark; Ragas, Ad M.J.; Plasmeijer, Rinus; Schipper, Aafke M.; Hendriks, A. Jan

    2010-01-01

    Wildlife organisms are exposed to a combination of chemical, biological and physical stressors. Information about the relative impact of each stressor can support management decisions, e.g., by the allocation of resources to counteract those stressors that cause most harm. The present paper introduces Eco-SpaCE; a novel receptor-oriented cumulative exposure model for wildlife species that includes relevant ecological processes such as spatial habitat variation, food web relations, predation, and life history. A case study is presented in which the predicted mortality due to cadmium contamination is compared with the predicted mortality due to flooding, starvation, and predation for three small mammal species (Wood mouse, Common vole, and European mole) and a predator (Little owl) living in a lowland floodplain along the river Rhine in The Netherlands. Results indicated that cadmium is the principal stressor for European mole and Little owl populations. Wood mouse and Common vole population densities were mainly influenced by flooding and food availability. Their estimated population sizes were consistent with numbers reported in literature. Predictions for cadmium accumulation and flooding stress were in agreement with field data. The large uncertainty around cadmium toxicity for wildlife leads to the conclusion that more species-specific ecotoxicological data is required for more realistic risk assessments. The predictions for starvation were subject to the limited quantitative information on biomass obtainable as food for vertebrates. It is concluded that the modelling approach employed in Eco-SpaCE, combining ecology with ecotoxicology, provides a viable option to explore the relative contribution of contamination to the overall stress in an ecosystem. This can help environmental managers to prioritize management options, and to reduce local risks.

  8. The identification and functional annotation of RNA structures conserved in vertebrates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seemann, Ernst Stefan; Mirza, Aashiq Hussain; Hansen, Claus

    2017-01-01

    Structured elements of RNA molecules are essential in, e.g., RNA stabilization, localization and protein interaction, and their conservation across species suggests a common functional role. We computationally screened vertebrate genomes for Conserved RNA Structures (CRSs), leveraging structure-b......-structured counterparts. Our findings of transcribed uncharacterized regulatory regions that contain CRSs support their RNA-mediated functionality.......Structured elements of RNA molecules are essential in, e.g., RNA stabilization, localization and protein interaction, and their conservation across species suggests a common functional role. We computationally screened vertebrate genomes for Conserved RNA Structures (CRSs), leveraging structure......-based, rather than sequence-based, alignments. After careful correction for sequence identity and GC content, we predict ~516k human genomic regions containing CRSs. We find that a substantial fraction of human-mouse CRS regions (i) co-localize consistently with binding sites of the same RNA binding proteins...

  9. Nestedness of ectoparasite-vertebrate host networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean P Graham

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Determining the structure of ectoparasite-host networks will enable disease ecologists to better understand and predict the spread of vector-borne diseases. If these networks have consistent properties, then studying the structure of well-understood networks could lead to extrapolation of these properties to others, including those that support emerging pathogens. Borrowing a quantitative measure of network structure from studies of mutualistic relationships between plants and their pollinators, we analyzed 29 ectoparasite-vertebrate host networks--including three derived from molecular bloodmeal analysis of mosquito feeding patterns--using measures of nestedness to identify non-random interactions among species. We found significant nestedness in ectoparasite-vertebrate host lists for habitats ranging from tropical rainforests to polar environments. These networks showed non-random patterns of nesting, and did not differ significantly from published estimates of nestedness from mutualistic networks. Mutualistic and antagonistic networks appear to be organized similarly, with generalized ectoparasites interacting with hosts that attract many ectoparasites and more specialized ectoparasites usually interacting with these same "generalized" hosts. This finding has implications for understanding the network dynamics of vector-born pathogens. We suggest that nestedness (rather than random ectoparasite-host associations can allow rapid transfer of pathogens throughout a network, and expand upon such concepts as the dilution effect, bridge vectors, and host switching in the context of nested ectoparasite-vertebrate host networks.

  10. STUDY OF ANTIBACTERIAL EFFECT OF TRIBULUS TERRESTRIS EXTRACT.

    OpenAIRE

    Mohanad H. Hussein.

    2018-01-01

    This study was designed to evaluated antimicrobial activity of Tribulus terrestris aqueous extract against some pathogenic microorganisms. So that, the aqueous extract of Tribulus terrestris was screened for its anti-microbial activity using the plate agar diffusion method. It was tested against four bacteria species; two Gram-positive bacteria (Bacillus subtilis, and Staphylococcus aureus) and two Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa). The susceptibility of the...

  11. Biomonitoring of marine vertebrates in Monterey Bay using eDNA metabarcoding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A Andruszkiewicz

    Full Text Available Molecular analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA can be used to assess vertebrate biodiversity in aquatic systems, but limited work has applied eDNA technologies to marine waters. Further, there is limited understanding of the spatial distribution of vertebrate eDNA in marine waters. Here, we use an eDNA metabarcoding approach to target and amplify a hypervariable region of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene to characterize vertebrate communities at 10 oceanographic stations spanning 45 km within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS. In this study, we collected three biological replicates of small volume water samples (1 L at 2 depths at each of the 10 stations. We amplified fish mitochondrial DNA using a universal primer set. We obtained 5,644,299 high quality Illumina sequence reads from the environmental samples. The sequence reads were annotated to the lowest taxonomic assignment using a bioinformatics pipeline. The eDNA survey identified, to the lowest taxonomic rank, 7 families, 3 subfamilies, 10 genera, and 72 species of vertebrates at the study sites. These 92 distinct taxa come from 33 unique marine vertebrate families. We observed significantly different vertebrate community composition between sampling depths (0 m and 20/40 m deep across all stations and significantly different communities at stations located on the continental shelf (200 m bottom depth. All but 1 family identified using eDNA metabarcoding is known to occur in MBNMS. The study informs the implementation of eDNA metabarcoding for vertebrate biomonitoring.

  12. Modern examples of extinctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lövei, Gabor L

    2013-01-01

    No species lives forever, and extinction is the ultimate fate of all living species. The fossil record indicates that a recent extinction wave affecting terrestrial vertebrates was parallel with the arrival of modern humans to areas formerly uninhabited by them. These modern instances of extinction...

  13. Imaging the vertebral artery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tay, Keng Yeow; U-King-Im, Jean Marie; Trivedi, Rikin A.; Higgins, Nicholas J.; Cross, Justin J.; Antoun, Nagui M. [Addenbrooke' s Hospital and University of Cambridge, Department of Radiology, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Davies, John R.; Weissberg, Peter L. [Addenbrooke' s Hospital and University of Cambridge, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Gillard, Jonathan H. [Addenbrooke' s Hospital and University of Cambridge, Department of Radiology, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Addenbrooke' s Hospitald, University Department of Radiology, Cambridge (United Kingdom)

    2005-07-01

    Although conventional intraarterial digital subtraction angiography remains the gold standard method for imaging the vertebral artery, noninvasive modalities such as ultrasound, multislice computed tomographic angiography and magnetic resonance angiography are constantly improving and are playing an increasingly important role in diagnosing vertebral artery pathology in clinical practice. This paper reviews the current state of vertebral artery imaging from an evidence-based perspective. Normal anatomy, normal variants and a number of pathological entities such as vertebral atherosclerosis, arterial dissection, arteriovenous fistula, subclavian steal syndrome and vertebrobasilar dolichoectasia are discussed. (orig.)

  14. Imaging the vertebral artery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tay, Keng Yeow; U-King-Im, Jean Marie; Trivedi, Rikin A.; Higgins, Nicholas J.; Cross, Justin J.; Antoun, Nagui M.; Davies, John R.; Weissberg, Peter L.; Gillard, Jonathan H.

    2005-01-01

    Although conventional intraarterial digital subtraction angiography remains the gold standard method for imaging the vertebral artery, noninvasive modalities such as ultrasound, multislice computed tomographic angiography and magnetic resonance angiography are constantly improving and are playing an increasingly important role in diagnosing vertebral artery pathology in clinical practice. This paper reviews the current state of vertebral artery imaging from an evidence-based perspective. Normal anatomy, normal variants and a number of pathological entities such as vertebral atherosclerosis, arterial dissection, arteriovenous fistula, subclavian steal syndrome and vertebrobasilar dolichoectasia are discussed. (orig.)

  15. Molecular detection of vertebrates in stream water: a demonstration using Rocky Mountain tailed frogs and Idaho giant salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Caren S; Pilliod, David S; Arkle, Robert S; Waits, Lisette P

    2011-01-01

    Stream ecosystems harbor many secretive and imperiled species, and studies of vertebrates in these systems face the challenges of relatively low detection rates and high costs. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has recently been confirmed as a sensitive and efficient tool for documenting aquatic vertebrates in wetlands and in a large river and canal system. However, it was unclear whether this tool could be used to detect low-density vertebrates in fast-moving streams where shed cells may travel rapidly away from their source. To evaluate the potential utility of eDNA techniques in stream systems, we designed targeted primers to amplify a short, species-specific DNA fragment for two secretive stream amphibian species in the northwestern region of the United States (Rocky Mountain tailed frogs, Ascaphus montanus, and Idaho giant salamanders, Dicamptodon aterrimus). We tested three DNA extraction and five PCR protocols to determine whether we could detect eDNA of these species in filtered water samples from five streams with varying densities of these species in central Idaho, USA. We successfully amplified and sequenced the targeted DNA regions for both species from stream water filter samples. We detected Idaho giant salamanders in all samples and Rocky Mountain tailed frogs in four of five streams and found some indication that these species are more difficult to detect using eDNA in early spring than in early fall. While the sensitivity of this method across taxa remains to be determined, the use of eDNA could revolutionize surveys for rare and invasive stream species. With this study, the utility of eDNA techniques for detecting aquatic vertebrates has been demonstrated across the majority of freshwater systems, setting the stage for an innovative transformation in approaches for aquatic research.

  16. Molecular detection of vertebrates in stream water: a demonstration using Rocky Mountain tailed frogs and Idaho giant salamanders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caren S Goldberg

    Full Text Available Stream ecosystems harbor many secretive and imperiled species, and studies of vertebrates in these systems face the challenges of relatively low detection rates and high costs. Environmental DNA (eDNA has recently been confirmed as a sensitive and efficient tool for documenting aquatic vertebrates in wetlands and in a large river and canal system. However, it was unclear whether this tool could be used to detect low-density vertebrates in fast-moving streams where shed cells may travel rapidly away from their source. To evaluate the potential utility of eDNA techniques in stream systems, we designed targeted primers to amplify a short, species-specific DNA fragment for two secretive stream amphibian species in the northwestern region of the United States (Rocky Mountain tailed frogs, Ascaphus montanus, and Idaho giant salamanders, Dicamptodon aterrimus. We tested three DNA extraction and five PCR protocols to determine whether we could detect eDNA of these species in filtered water samples from five streams with varying densities of these species in central Idaho, USA. We successfully amplified and sequenced the targeted DNA regions for both species from stream water filter samples. We detected Idaho giant salamanders in all samples and Rocky Mountain tailed frogs in four of five streams and found some indication that these species are more difficult to detect using eDNA in early spring than in early fall. While the sensitivity of this method across taxa remains to be determined, the use of eDNA could revolutionize surveys for rare and invasive stream species. With this study, the utility of eDNA techniques for detecting aquatic vertebrates has been demonstrated across the majority of freshwater systems, setting the stage for an innovative transformation in approaches for aquatic research.

  17. Transmission of Ranavirus between Ectothermic Vertebrate Hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenes, Roberto; Gray, Matthew J.; Waltzek, Thomas B.; Wilkes, Rebecca P.; Miller, Debra L.

    2014-01-01

    Transmission is an essential process that contributes to the survival of pathogens. Ranaviruses are known to infect different classes of lower vertebrates including amphibians, fishes and reptiles. Differences in the likelihood of infection among ectothermic vertebrate hosts could explain the successful yearlong persistence of ranaviruses in aquatic environments. The goal of this study was to determine if transmission of a Frog Virus 3 (FV3)-like ranavirus was possible among three species from different ectothermic vertebrate classes: Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) larvae, mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis), and red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). We housed individuals previously exposed to the FV3-like ranavirus with naïve (unexposed) individuals in containers divided by plastic mesh screen to permit water flow between subjects. Our results showed that infected gray treefrog larvae were capable of transmitting ranavirus to naïve larval conspecifics and turtles (60% and 30% infection, respectively), but not to fish. Also, infected turtles and fish transmitted ranavirus to 50% and 10% of the naïve gray treefrog larvae, respectively. Nearly all infected amphibians experienced mortality, whereas infected turtles and fish did not die. Our results demonstrate that ranavirus can be transmitted through water among ectothermic vertebrate classes, which has not been reported previously. Moreover, fish and reptiles might serve as reservoirs for ranavirus given their ability to live with subclinical infections. Subclinical infections of ranavirus in fish and aquatic turtles could contribute to the pathogen’s persistence, especially when highly susceptible hosts like amphibians are absent as a result of seasonal fluctuations in relative abundance. PMID:24667325

  18. Transmission of ranavirus between ectothermic vertebrate hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Brenes

    Full Text Available Transmission is an essential process that contributes to the survival of pathogens. Ranaviruses are known to infect different classes of lower vertebrates including amphibians, fishes and reptiles. Differences in the likelihood of infection among ectothermic vertebrate hosts could explain the successful yearlong persistence of ranaviruses in aquatic environments. The goal of this study was to determine if transmission of a Frog Virus 3 (FV3-like ranavirus was possible among three species from different ectothermic vertebrate classes: Cope's gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis larvae, mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis, and red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans. We housed individuals previously exposed to the FV3-like ranavirus with naïve (unexposed individuals in containers divided by plastic mesh screen to permit water flow between subjects. Our results showed that infected gray treefrog larvae were capable of transmitting ranavirus to naïve larval conspecifics and turtles (60% and 30% infection, respectively, but not to fish. Also, infected turtles and fish transmitted ranavirus to 50% and 10% of the naïve gray treefrog larvae, respectively. Nearly all infected amphibians experienced mortality, whereas infected turtles and fish did not die. Our results demonstrate that ranavirus can be transmitted through water among ectothermic vertebrate classes, which has not been reported previously. Moreover, fish and reptiles might serve as reservoirs for ranavirus given their ability to live with subclinical infections. Subclinical infections of ranavirus in fish and aquatic turtles could contribute to the pathogen's persistence, especially when highly susceptible hosts like amphibians are absent as a result of seasonal fluctuations in relative abundance.

  19. Evolutionary Transition of Promoter and Gene Body DNA Methylation across Invertebrate-Vertebrate Boundary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Thomas E; Han, Priscilla; Yi, Soojin V

    2016-04-01

    Genomes of invertebrates and vertebrates exhibit highly divergent patterns of DNA methylation. Invertebrate genomes tend to be sparsely methylated, and DNA methylation is mostly targeted to a subset of transcription units (gene bodies). In a drastic contrast, vertebrate genomes are generally globally and heavily methylated, punctuated by the limited local hypo-methylation of putative regulatory regions such as promoters. These genomic differences also translate into functional differences in DNA methylation and gene regulation. Although promoter DNA methylation is an important regulatory component of vertebrate gene expression, its role in invertebrate gene regulation has been little explored. Instead, gene body DNA methylation is associated with expression of invertebrate genes. However, the evolutionary steps leading to the differentiation of invertebrate and vertebrate genomic DNA methylation remain unresolved. Here we analyzed experimentally determined DNA methylation maps of several species across the invertebrate-vertebrate boundary, to elucidate how vertebrate gene methylation has evolved. We show that, in contrast to the prevailing idea, a substantial number of promoters in an invertebrate basal chordate Ciona intestinalis are methylated. Moreover, gene expression data indicate significant, epigenomic context-dependent associations between promoter methylation and expression in C. intestinalis. However, there is no evidence that promoter methylation in invertebrate chordate has been evolutionarily maintained across the invertebrate-vertebrate boundary. Rather, body-methylated invertebrate genes preferentially obtain hypo-methylated promoters among vertebrates. Conversely, promoter methylation is preferentially found in lineage- and tissue-specific vertebrate genes. These results provide important insights into the evolutionary origin of epigenetic regulation of vertebrate gene expression. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf

  20. Adaptive evolution of the vertebrate skeletal muscle sodium channel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Lu

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Tetrodotoxin (TTX is a highly potent neurotoxin that blocks the action potential by selectively binding to voltage-gated sodium channels (Na v. The skeletal muscle Na v (Na v1.4 channels in most pufferfish species and certain North American garter snakes are resistant to TTX, whereas in most mammals they are TTX-sensitive. It still remains unclear as to whether the difference in this sensitivity among the various vertebrate species can be associated with adaptive evolution. In this study, we investigated the adaptive evolution of the vertebrate Na v1.4 channels. By means of the CODEML program of the PAML 4.3 package, the lineages of both garter snakes and pufferfishes were denoted to be under positive selection. The positively selected sites identified in the p-loop regions indicated their involvement in Na v1.4 channel sensitivity to TTX. Most of these sites were located in the intracellular regions of the Na v1.4 channel, thereby implying the possible association of these regions with the regulation of voltage-sensor movement.

  1. Management of osteoporotic vertebral fractures

    OpenAIRE

    Dionyssiotis, Yannis

    2010-01-01

    Yannis DionyssiotisRhodes General Hospital, Rhodes, GreeceAbstract: Osteoporotic vertebral fractures are associated with considerable reduction of quality of life, morbidity, and mortality. The management of patients with vertebral fractures should include treatment for osteoporosis and measures to reduce pain and improve mobility. This article provides information for management and rehabilitation of vertebral fractures based on clinical experience and literature.Keywords: vertebral fracture...

  2. The terrestrial reptile fauna of the Abrolhos Archipelago: species list and ecological aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, C F D; Dutra, G F; Vrcibradic, D; Menezes, V A

    2002-05-01

    We have studied the terrestrial reptile fauna of the Abrolhos Archipelago (a group of five islands located ca. 70 km off the southern coast of the State of Bahia, Brazil) and analyze here some of its ecological aspects such as diet, thermal ecology, activity, and some reproductive parameters. Three lizards comprise the archipelago's terrestrial reptile fauna: Tropidurus torquatus (Tropiduridae), Mabuya agilis (Scincidae), and Hemidactylus mabouia (Gekkonidae). The first two are diurnal and the latter is crepuscular/nocturnal (initiating activity at ca. 17:30). The activity period of T. torquatus extended from 5:30 to 18:30 h. Mean field body temperatures of active T. torquatus, M. agilis, and H. mabouia were, respectively, 34.0 +/- 3.7 degrees C (range 23.8-38.0 degrees C; N = 75), 34.5 +/- 2.2 degrees C (range 30.8-37.0 degrees C; N = 6), and 26.3 +/- 1.1 degrees C (range 24.8-28.0 degrees C; N = 8). The predominant prey items in the diet of T. torquatus were ants, coleopterans, and hemipterans. In the diet of M. agilis, coleopterans were the most frequent prey items. For H. mabouia, the most important dietary items were orthopterans. Clutch size of T. torquatus averaged 4.1 +/- 1.1 (range 2-6; N = 15) and was significantly related to female size (R2 = 0.618; p = 0.001; N = 15). Clutch size for H. mabouia was fixed (two) and mean litter size of the viviparous M. agilis was 3.3 +/- 0.6 (range 3-4; N = 3). Tropidurus torquatus and H. mabouia deposit their eggs under rocks in the study area, with the former burying them but not the latter; in both species, more than one female often oviposit under the same rock.

  3. Specific gene expression responses to parasite genotypes reveal redundancy of innate immunity in vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Haase

    Full Text Available Vertebrate innate immunity is the first line of defense against an invading pathogen and has long been assumed to be largely unspecific with respect to parasite/pathogen species. However, recent phenotypic evidence suggests that immunogenetic variation, i.e. allelic variability in genes associated with the immune system, results in host-parasite genotype-by-genotype interactions and thus specific innate immune responses. Immunogenetic variation is common in all vertebrate taxa and this reflects an effective immunological function in complex environments. However, the underlying variability in host gene expression patterns as response of innate immunity to within-species genetic diversity of macroparasites in vertebrates is unknown. We hypothesized that intra-specific variation among parasite genotypes must be reflected in host gene expression patterns. Here we used high-throughput RNA-sequencing to examine the effect of parasite genotypes on gene expression patterns of a vertebrate host, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus. By infecting naïve fish with distinct trematode genotypes of the species Diplostomum pseudospathaceum we show that gene activity of innate immunity in three-spined sticklebacks depended on the identity of an infecting macroparasite genotype. In addition to a suite of genes indicative for a general response against the trematode we also find parasite-strain specific gene expression, in particular in the complement system genes, despite similar infection rates of single clone treatments. The observed discrepancy between infection rates and gene expression indicates the presence of alternative pathways which execute similar functions. This suggests that the innate immune system can induce redundant responses specific to parasite genotypes.

  4. Vertebrate hosts and phylogenetic relationships of amphibian trypanosomes from a potential invertebrate vector, Culex territans Walker (Diptera: Culicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett-Healy, Kristen; Crans, Wayne; Gaugler, Randy

    2009-04-01

    The blood meals of field-collected female Culex territans (Diptera: Culicidae) were concurrently assayed for the presence of trypanosomes and for vertebrate host identification. We amplified vertebrate DNA in 42 of 119 females and made positive identification to the host species level in 29 of those samples. Of the 119 field-collected Cx. territans females, 24 were infected with trypanosomes. Phylogenetic analysis placed the trypanosomes in the amphibian portion of the aquatic clade of the Trypanosomatidae. These trypanosomes were isolated from Cx. territans females that had fed on the frog species Rana clamitans, R. catesbeiana, R. virgatipes, and Rana spp. Results support a potential new lineage of dipteran-transmitted amphibian trypanosomes may occur within the aquatic clade. The frequency in which female Cx. territans acquire trypanosomes, through diverse feeding habits, indicates a new relationship between amphibian trypanosomes and mosquitoes that has not been examined previously. Combining Trypanosoma species, invertebrate, and vertebrate hosts to existing phylogenies can elucidate trypanosome and host relationships.

  5. Anthropometric measurements and vertebral deformities. European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS) Group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnell, O; O'Neill, T; Felsenberg, D; Kanis, J; Cooper, C; Silman, A J

    1997-08-15

    To investigate the association between anthropometric indices and morphometrically determined vertebral deformity, the authors carried out a cross-sectional study using data from the European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS), a population-based study of vertebral osteoporosis in 36 European centers from 19 countries. A total of 16,047 EVOS subjects were included in this analysis, of whom 1,973 subjects (915 males, 1,058 females) (12.3%) aged 50 years or over had one or more vertebral deformities ("cases"). The cases were compared with the 14,074 subjects (6,539 males, 7,535 females) with morphometrically normal spines ("controls"). Data were collected on self-reported height at age 25 years and minimum weight after age 25 years, as well as on current measured height and weight. Body mass index (BMI) and height and weight change were calculated from these data. The relations between these variables and vertebral deformity were examined separately by sex with logistic regression adjusting for age, smoking, and physical activity. In females, there was a significant trend of decreasing risk with increasing quintile of current weight, current BMI, and weight gain since age 25 years. In males, subjects in the lightest quintile for these measures were at increased risk but there was no evidence of a trend. An ecologic analysis by country revealed a negative correlation between mean BMI and the prevalence of deformity in females but not in males. The authors conclude that low body weight is associated with presence of vertebral deformity.

  6. Vertebral column anomalies in Indo-Pacific and Atlantic humpback dolphins Sousa spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Caroline R; Wang, John Y

    2016-08-09

    Conspicuous vertebral column abnormalities in humpback dolphins (genus Sousa) were documented for the first time during 3 photo-identification field studies of small populations in Taiwan, Senegal and Angola. Seven Taiwanese humpback dolphins S. chinensis taiwanensis with vertebral column anomalies (lordosis, kyphosis or scoliosis) were identified, along with 2 possible cases of vertebral osteomyelitis. There was evidence from several individuals photographed over consecutive years that the anomalies became more pronounced with age. Three Atlantic humpback dolphins S. teuszii were observed with axial deviations of the vertebral column (lordosis and kyphosis). Another possible case was identified in a calf, and 2 further animals were photographed with dorsal indents potentially indicative of anomalies. Vertebral column anomalies of humpback dolphins were predominantly evident in the lumbo-caudal region, but one Atlantic humpback dolphin had an anomaly in the cervico-thoracic region. Lordosis and kyphosis occurred simultaneously in several individuals. Apart from the described anomalies, all dolphins appeared in good health and were not obviously underweight or noticeably compromised in swim speed. This study presents the first descriptions of vertebral column anomalies in the genus Sousa. The causative factors for the anomalies were unknown in every case and are potentially diverse. Whether these anomalies result in reduced fitness of individuals or populations merits attention, as both the Taiwanese and Atlantic humpback dolphin are species of high conservation concern.

  7. Height gain of vertebral bodies and stabilization of vertebral geometry over one year after vertebroplasty of osteoporotic vertebral fractures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pitton, Michael B.; Morgen, Nadine; Herber, Sascha; Dueber, Christoph; Drees, Philipp; Boehm, Bertram

    2008-01-01

    The height gain of vertebral bodies after vertebroplasty and geometrical stability was evaluated over a one-year period. Osteoporotic fractures were treated with vertebroplasty. The vertebral geometry and disc spaces were analysed using reformatted computed tomography (CT) images: heights of the anterior, posterior, and lateral vertebral walls, disc spaces, endplate angles, and minimal endplate distances. Vertebrae were assigned to group I [severe compression (anterior height/posterior height) 0.75). A total of 102 vertebral bodies in 40 patients (12 men, 28 women, age 70.3 ± 9.5) were treated with vertebroplasty and prospectively followed for 12 months. Group I showed a greater benefit compared with group II with respect to anterior height gain (+2.1 ± 1.9 vs +0.7 ± 1.6 mm, P < 0.001), reduction of endplate angle (-3.6 ± 4.2 vs -0.8 ± 2.3 , P < 0.001), and compression index (+0.09 ± 0.11 vs +0.01 ± 0.06, P < 0.001). At one-year follow-up, group I demonstrated preserved anterior height gain (+1.5 ± 2.8 mm, P < 0.015) and improved endplate angle (-3.4 ± 4.9 , P < 0.001). In group II, the vertebral heights returned to and were fixed at the pre-interventional levels. Vertebroplasty provided vertebral height gain over one year, particularly in cases with severe compression. Vertebrae with moderate compression were fixed and stabilized at the pre-treatment level over one year. (orig.)

  8. Evolution of endothelin receptors in vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braasch, Ingo; Schartl, Manfred

    2014-12-01

    Endothelin receptors are G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) of the β-group of rhodopsin receptors that bind to endothelin ligands, which are 21 amino acid long peptides derived from longer prepro-endothelin precursors. The most basal Ednr-like GPCR is found outside vertebrates in the cephalochordate amphioxus, but endothelin ligands are only present among vertebrates, including the lineages of jawless vertebrates (lampreys and hagfishes), cartilaginous vertebrates (sharks, rays, and chimaeras), and bony vertebrates (ray-finned fishes and lobe-finned vertebrates including tetrapods). A bona fide endothelin system is thus a vertebrate-specific innovation with important roles for regulating the cardiovascular system, renal and pulmonary processes, as well as for the development of the vertebrate-specific neural crest cell population and its derivatives. Expectedly, dysregulation of endothelin receptors and the endothelin system leads to a multitude of human diseases. Despite the importance of different types of endothelin receptors for vertebrate development and physiology, current knowledge on endothelin ligand-receptor interactions, on the expression of endothelin receptors and their ligands, and on the functional roles of the endothelin system for embryonic development and in adult vertebrates is very much biased towards amniote vertebrates. Recent analyses from a variety of vertebrate lineages, however, have shown that the endothelin system in lineages such as teleost fish and lampreys is more diverse and is divergent from the mammalian endothelin system. This diversity is mainly based on differential evolution of numerous endothelin system components among vertebrate lineages generated by two rounds of whole genome duplication (three in teleosts) during vertebrate evolution. Here we review current understanding of the evolutionary history of the endothelin receptor family in vertebrates supplemented with surveys on the endothelin receptor gene complement of

  9. Host body size and the diversity of tick assemblages on Neotropical vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen J. Esser

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Identifying the factors that influence the species diversity and distribution of ticks (Acari: Ixodida across vertebrate host taxa is of fundamental ecological and medical importance. Host body size is considered one of the most important determinants of tick abundance, with larger hosts having higher tick burdens. The species diversity of tick assemblages should also be greater on larger-bodied host species, but empirical studies testing this hypothesis are lacking. Here, we evaluate this relationship using a comparative dataset of feeding associations from Panama between 45 tick species and 171 host species that range in body size by three orders of magnitude. We found that tick species diversity increased with host body size for adult ticks but not for immature ticks. We also found that closely related host species tended to have similar tick species diversity, but correcting for host phylogeny did not alter the relationships between host body size and tick species diversity. The distribution of tick species was highly aggregated, with approximately 20% of the host species harboring 80% of all tick species, following the Pareto principle or 20/80 Rule. Thus, the aggregated pattern commonly observed for tick burdens and disease transmission also holds for patterns of tick species richness. Our finding that the adult ticks in this system preferentially parasitize large-bodied host species suggests that the ongoing anthropogenic loss of large-bodied vertebrates is likely to result in host-tick coextinction events, even when immature stages feed opportunistically. As parasites play critical roles in ecological and evolutionary processes, such losses may profoundly affect ecosystem functioning and services.

  10. 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

  11. Shifting species interactions in terrestrial dryland ecosystems under altered water availability and climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCluney, Kevin E.; Belnap, Jayne; Collins, Scott L.; González, Angélica L.; Hagen, Elizabeth M.; Holland, J. Nathaniel; Kotler, Burt P.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Smith, Stanley D.; Wolf, Blair O.

    2012-01-01

    Species interactions play key roles in linking the responses of populations, communities, and ecosystems to environmental change. For instance, species interactions are an important determinant of the complexity of changes in trophic biomass with variation in resources. Water resources are a major driver of terrestrial ecology and climate change is expected to greatly alter the distribution of this critical resource. While previous studies have documented strong effects of global environmental change on species interactions in general, responses can vary from region to region. Dryland ecosystems occupy more than one-third of the Earth's land mass, are greatly affected by changes in water availability, and are predicted to be hotspots of climate change. Thus, it is imperative to understand the effects of environmental change on these globally significant ecosystems. Here, we review studies of the responses of population-level plant-plant, plant-herbivore, and predator-prey interactions to changes in water availability in dryland environments in order to develop new hypotheses and predictions to guide future research. To help explain patterns of interaction outcomes, we developed a conceptual model that views interaction outcomes as shifting between (1) competition and facilitation (plant-plant), (2) herbivory, neutralism, or mutualism (plant-herbivore), or (3) neutralism and predation (predator-prey), as water availability crosses physiological, behavioural, or population-density thresholds. We link our conceptual model to hypothetical scenarios of current and future water availability to make testable predictions about the influence of changes in water availability on species interactions. We also examine potential implications of our conceptual model for the relative importance of top-down effects and the linearity of patterns of change in trophic biomass with changes in water availability. Finally, we highlight key research needs and some possible broader impacts

  12. Shifting species interactions in terrestrial dryland ecosystems under altered water availability and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCluney, Kevin E; Belnap, Jayne; Collins, Scott L; González, Angélica L; Hagen, Elizabeth M; Nathaniel Holland, J; Kotler, Burt P; Maestre, Fernando T; Smith, Stanley D; Wolf, Blair O

    2012-08-01

    Species interactions play key roles in linking the responses of populations, communities, and ecosystems to environmental change. For instance, species interactions are an important determinant of the complexity of changes in trophic biomass with variation in resources. Water resources are a major driver of terrestrial ecology and climate change is expected to greatly alter the distribution of this critical resource. While previous studies have documented strong effects of global environmental change on species interactions in general, responses can vary from region to region. Dryland ecosystems occupy more than one-third of the Earth's land mass, are greatly affected by changes in water availability, and are predicted to be hotspots of climate change. Thus, it is imperative to understand the effects of environmental change on these globally significant ecosystems. Here, we review studies of the responses of population-level plant-plant, plant-herbivore, and predator-prey interactions to changes in water availability in dryland environments in order to develop new hypotheses and predictions to guide future research. To help explain patterns of interaction outcomes, we developed a conceptual model that views interaction outcomes as shifting between (1) competition and facilitation (plant-plant), (2) herbivory, neutralism, or mutualism (plant-herbivore), or (3) neutralism and predation (predator-prey), as water availability crosses physiological, behavioural, or population-density thresholds. We link our conceptual model to hypothetical scenarios of current and future water availability to make testable predictions about the influence of changes in water availability on species interactions. We also examine potential implications of our conceptual model for the relative importance of top-down effects and the linearity of patterns of change in trophic biomass with changes in water availability. Finally, we highlight key research needs and some possible broader impacts

  13. Vertebral stabilization using positively threaded profile pins and polymethylmethacrylate, with or without laminectomy, for spinal canal stenosis and vertebral instability caused by congenital thoracic vertebral anomalies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aikawa, Takeshi; Kanazono, Shinichi; Yoshigae, Yuki; Sharp, Nicholas J H; Muñana, Karen R

    2007-07-01

    To describe diagnostic findings, surgical technique, and outcome in dogs with thoracic spinal canal stenosis and vertebral instability secondary to congenital vertebral anomalies. Retrospective clinical study. Dogs (n=9) with thoracic spinal canal stenosis. Medical records (1995-1996; 2000-2006) of 9 dogs with a myelographic diagnosis of spinal canal stenosis and/or vertebral instability secondary to congenital vertebral anomaly that were surgically managed by vertebral stabilization with or without laminectomy were reviewed. Data on pre- and postoperative neurologic status, diagnostic findings, surgical techniques, and outcomes were retrieved. Follow-up evaluations were performed at 1, 2, and 6 months. Long-term outcome was assessed by means of clinical examination or owner telephone interviews. Spinal cord compression was confirmed by myelography, and in 2 dogs, dynamic compression by stress myelography. Eight dogs regained the ability to ambulate postoperatively. One dog with a partial recovery regained voluntary movement but did not become ambulatory. Spinal cord injury secondary to congenital vertebral anomaly may have a good outcome when treated by vertebral stabilization with or without laminectomy. Adequate stabilization of the vertebrae and improved neurologic outcome were achieved in most dogs. Vertebral stabilization using positively threaded profile pins and polymethylmethacrylate with or without laminectomy is an effective treatment for spinal canal stenosis and vertebral instability secondary to congenital thoracic vertebral anomalies.

  14. Establishment of the Vertebrate Germ Layers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Wei-Chia; Munisha, Mumingjiang; Gutierrez, Juan B; Dougan, Scott T

    2017-01-01

    The process of germ layer formation is a universal feature of animal development. The germ layers separate the cells that produce the internal organs and tissues from those that produce the nervous system and outer tissues. Their discovery in the early nineteenth century transformed embryology from a purely descriptive field into a rigorous scientific discipline, in which hypotheses could be tested by observation and experimentation. By systematically addressing the questions of how the germ layers are formed and how they generate overall body plan, scientists have made fundamental contributions to the fields of evolution, cell signaling, morphogenesis, and stem cell biology. At each step, this work was advanced by the development of innovative methods of observing cell behavior in vivo and in culture. Here, we take an historical approach to describe our current understanding of vertebrate germ layer formation as it relates to the long-standing questions of developmental biology. By comparing how germ layers form in distantly related vertebrate species, we find that highly conserved molecular pathways can be adapted to perform the same function in dramatically different embryonic environments.

  15. Laboratory synthesis of an independently reproducing vertebrate species

    OpenAIRE

    Lutes, Aracely A.; Baumann, Diana P.; Neaves, William B.; Baumann, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Speciation in animals commonly involves an extrinsic barrier to genetic exchange followed by the accumulation of sufficient genetic variation to impede subsequent productive interbreeding. All-female species of whiptail lizards, which originated by interspecific hybridization between sexual progenitors, are an exception to this rule. Here, the arising species instantaneously acquires a novel genotype combining distinctive alleles from two different species, and reproduction by parthenogenesis...

  16. Impact of ecological doses of the most widespread phthalate on a terrestrial species, the ant Lasius niger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuvillier-Hot, Virginie; Salin, Karine; Devers, Séverine; Tasiemski, Aurélie; Schaffner, Pauline; Boulay, Raphaël; Billiard, Sylvain; Lenoir, Alain

    2014-05-01

    Phthalates are synthetic contaminants released into the environment notably by plastic waste. Semi-volatile, they adsorb to atmospheric particles and get distributed in all ecosystems. Effects of this major anthropogenic pollution in economical species in aquatic habitats have attracted large interest. On the contrary, very few studies have focused on wild terrestrial species. Yet, these lipophilic molecules are easily trapped by insect cuticle; ants and other insects have been shown to permanently bear among their cuticular components a non-negligible proportion of phthalates, meaning that they suffer from chronic exposure to these pollutants. Oral route could also be an additional way of contamination, as phthalates tend to stick to any organic particle. We show here via a food choice experiment that Lasius niger workers can detect, and avoid feeding on, food contaminated with DEHP (DiEthyl Hexyl Phthalate), the most widespread phthalate found in nature. This suggests that the main source of contamination for ants is atmosphere and that doses measured on the cuticle correspond to the chronic exposure levels for these animals. Such an ecologically relevant dose of DEHP was used to contaminate ants in lab and to investigate their physiological impact. Over a chronic exposure (1 dose per week for 5 weeks), the egg-laying rate of queens was significantly reduced lending credence to endocrine disruptive properties of such a pollutant, as also described for aquatic invertebrates. On the contrary, short term exposure (24h) to a single dose of DEHP does not induce oxidative stress in ant workers as expected, but leads to activation of the immune system. Because of their very large distribution, their presence in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems and their representation at all trophic levels, ants could be useful indicators of contamination by phthalates, especially via monitoring the level of activation of their immune state. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All

  17. Regions identity between the genome of vertebrates and non-retroviral families of insect viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Gaowei; Li, Jinming

    2011-11-10

    The scope of our understanding of the evolutionary history between viruses and animals is limited. The fact that the recent availability of many complete insect virus genomes and vertebrate genomes as well as the ability to screen these sequences makes it possible to gain a new perspective insight into the evolutionary interaction between insect viruses and vertebrates. This study is to determine the possibility of existence of sequence identity between the genomes of insect viruses and vertebrates, attempt to explain this phenomenon in term of genetic mobile element, and try to investigate the evolutionary relationship between these short regions of identity among these species. Some of studied insect viruses contain variable numbers of short regions of sequence identity to the genomes of vertebrate with nucleotide sequence length from 28 bp to 124 bp. They are found to locate in multiple sites of the vertebrate genomes. The ontology of animal genes with identical regions involves in several processes including chromatin remodeling, regulation of apoptosis, signaling pathway, nerve system development and some enzyme-like catalysis. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that at least some short regions of sequence identity in the genomes of vertebrate are derived the ancestral of insect viruses. Short regions of sequence identity were found in the vertebrates and insect viruses. These sequences played an important role not only in the long-term evolution of vertebrates, but also in promotion of insect virus. This typical win-win strategy may come from natural selection.

  18. Taiwan's industrial heavy metal pollution threatens terrestrial biota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hsu, M.J.; Selvaraj, K.; Agoramoorthy, G.

    2006-01-01

    The bioconcentration levels of essential (Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, and Zn) and non-essential (As, Cd, Hg, Pb, and Sn) elements have been investigated in different terrestrial biota such as fungi, plant, earthworm, snail, crab, insect, amphibian, lizard, snake, and bat including the associated soil, to investigate the ecosystem health status in Kenting National Park, Taiwan. High bioconcentrations of Cd, Hg, and Sn in snail, earthworm, crab, lizard, snake, and bat indicated a contaminated terrestrial ecosystem. High concentrations of Cd, Hg, and Sn in plant species, effective bioaccumulation of Cd by earthworm, snail, crab and bat, as well as very high levels of Hg found in invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles revealed a strong influence from industrial pollution on the biotic community. This study for the first time presents data on the impact of heavy metal pollution on various terrestrial organisms in Taiwan. - Metal effects occur at any terrestrial levels in Taiwan

  19. The shape of the human lumbar vertebral canal A forma do canal vertebral lombar humano

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edmundo Zarzur

    1996-09-01

    Full Text Available Literature on the anatomy of the human vertebral column characterizes the shape of the lumbar vertebral canal as triangular. The purpose of the present study was to determine the precise shape of the lumbar vertebral canal. Ten lumbar vertebral columns of adult male cadavers were dissected. Two transverse sections were performed in the third lumbar vertebra. One section was performed at the level of the lower border of the ligamenta flava, and the other section was performed at the level of the pedicles. The shape of the lumbar vertebral canal at the level of the pedicles tends to be oval or circular, whereas the shape of the lumbar vertebral canal at the level of the lower border of the ligamenta flava is triangular. Thus, the shape of the human lumbar vertebral canal is not exclusively triangular, as reported in the literature. It is related to the level of the transversal section performed on the lumbar vertebra. This finding should be taken into consideration among factors involved in the spread of solutions introduced into the epidural space.A literatura sobre a anatomia da coluna vertebral descreve como sendo triangular o formato do canal vertebral na região lombar. O objetivo deste estudo é determinar a real forma do canal da coluna vertebral lombar.Dez colunas vertebrais de cadáveres de homens adultos foram dissecadas. Dois cortes transversais foram executados na terceira vértebra lombar. Um corte foi feito no nível das bordas inferiores de dois ligamentos amarelos vizinhos e o outro corte foi transversal, no nível dos pedículos. A forma do canal vertebral variou: no nível dos pedículos ela tende a ser oval ou circular e junto às bordas inferiores dos ligamentos amarelos passa a ser triangular. Portanto, a forma do canal vertebral lombar não é somente triangular; ela depende do nível em que se faz o corte transversal da vértebra. Estes achados devem ser levados em consideração entre os fatores envolvidos na difusão das

  20. Spatial vision in Bombus terrestris

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    Aravin eChakravarthi

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Bombus terrestris is one of the most commonly used insect models to investigate visually guided behavior and spatial vision in particular. Two fundamental measures of spatial vision are spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity. In this study, we report the threshold of spatial resolution in B. terrestris and characterize the contrast sensitivity function of the bumblebee visual system for a dual choice discrimination task. We trained bumblebees in a Y-maze experimental set-up to associate a vertical sinusoidal grating with a sucrose reward, and a horizontal grating with absence of a reward. Using a logistic psychometric function, we estimated a resolution threshold of 0.21 cycles deg-1 of visual angle. This resolution is in the same range but slightly lower than that found in honeybees (Apis mellifera and A. cerana and another bumblebee species (B. impatiens. We also found that the contrast sensitivity of B. terrestris was 1.57 for the spatial frequency 0.09 cycles deg-1 and 1.26. for 0.18 cycles deg-1.

  1. Laboratory synthesis of an independently reproducing vertebrate species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutes, Aracely A; Baumann, Diana P; Neaves, William B; Baumann, Peter

    2011-06-14

    Speciation in animals commonly involves an extrinsic barrier to genetic exchange followed by the accumulation of sufficient genetic variation to impede subsequent productive interbreeding. All-female species of whiptail lizards, which originated by interspecific hybridization between sexual progenitors, are an exception to this rule. Here, the arising species instantaneously acquires a novel genotype combining distinctive alleles from two different species, and reproduction by parthenogenesis constitutes an effective intrinsic barrier to genetic exchange. Fertilization of diploid parthenogenetic females by males of sexual species has produced several triploid species, but these instantaneous speciation events have neither been observed in nature nor have they been reconstituted in the laboratory. Here we report the generation of four self-sustaining clonal lineages of a tetraploid species resulting from fertilization of triploid oocytes from a parthenogenetic Aspidoscelis exsanguis with haploid sperm from Aspidoscelis inornata. Molecular and cytological analysis confirmed the genetic identity of the hybrids and revealed that the females retain the capability of parthenogenetic reproduction characteristic of their triploid mothers. The tetraploid females have established self-perpetuating clonal lineages which are now in the third generation. Our results confirm the hypothesis that secondary hybridization events can lead to asexual lineages of increased ploidy when favorable combinations of parental genomes are assembled. We anticipate that these animals will be a critical tool in understanding the mechanisms underlying the origin and subsequent evolution of asexual amniotes.

  2. THE MOLLUSCAN FAUNA FROM THE UPPER PLEISTOCENE VERTEBRATE-BEARING DEPOSITS OF S. TEODORO CAVE (NORTH-EASTERN SICILY

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    DANIELA ESU

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with terrestrial, freshwater and marine molluscs collected in the upper Pleistocene deposits of clay, sands and gravels of S. Teodoro Cave (North-eastern Sicily. Beginning from 1998 two trenches have been excavated (1998 and 2002-2004. A highly diversified assemblage of endemic and not endemic vertebrates (elephant, horse, wild ox, deer, wild boar, hyaena, fox, mouse, ground vole, shrew, hedgehog, bats, birds, reptiles, invertebrates (molluscs and vegetal remains have been collected from the two trenches. The molluscan fauna is represented by poor to rich-species assemblages of land and freshwater gastropods and bivalves with Mediterranean-European character. Some species have been found for the first time as fossils in Sicily. The land snails prevail in the 1998 trench showing a persistent arid environment during the time of the sediment deposition. The freshwater species, characteristic of slow-running water, point to the presence of a small water body (stream or spring inside the cave, probably more consistent in the 2002-2004 trench where this fauna prevails. The dispersal of the molluscan fauna of S. Teodoro Cave from the mainland during the low stand sea-level phases of the upper Pleistocene probably belongs to the same dispersal events following the Oxygen Isotope Stage 5e which introduced into the island not endemic faunal elements which are associated with endemic faunal elements in S. Teodoro Cave. Littoral marine reworked molluscs found in the cave deposits probably come from the sedimentary cover of a middle Pleistocene terrace which overlies the roof of the cave. SHORT NOTE

  3. Primary extracranial vertebral artery aneurysms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morasch, Mark D; Phade, Sachin V; Naughton, Peter; Garcia-Toca, Manuel; Escobar, Guillermo; Berguer, Ramon

    2013-05-01

    Extracranial vertebral artery aneurysms are uncommon and are usually associated with trauma or dissection. Primary cervical vertebral aneurysms are even rarer and are not well described. The presentation and natural history are unknown and operative management can be difficult. Accessing aneurysms at the skull base can be difficult and, because the frail arteries are often afflicted with connective tissue abnormalities, direct repair can be particularly challenging. We describe the presentation and surgical management of patients with primary extracranial vertebral artery aneurysms. In this study we performed a retrospective, multi-institutional review of patients with primary aneurysms within the extracranial vertebral artery. Between January 2000 and January 2011, 7 patients, aged 12-56 years, were noted to have 9 primary extracranial vertebral artery aneurysms. All had underlying connective tissue or another hereditary disorder, including Ehler-Danlos syndrome (n=3), Marfan's disease (n=2), neurofibromatosis (n=1), and an unspecified connective tissue abnormality (n=1). Eight of 9 aneurysms were managed operatively, including an attempted bypass that ultimately required vertebral ligation; the contralateral aneurysm on this patient has not been treated. Open interventions included vertebral bypass with vein, external carotid autograft, and vertebral transposition to the internal carotid artery. Special techniques were used for handling the anastomoses in patients with Ehler-Danlos syndrome. Although endovascular exclusion was not performed in isolation, 2 hybrid procedures were performed. There were no instances of perioperative stroke or death. Primary extracranial vertebral artery aneurysms are rare and occur in patients with hereditary disorders. Operative intervention is warranted in symptomatic patients. Exclusion and reconstruction may be performed with open and hybrid techniques with low morbidity and mortality. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  4. Palaeoenvironmental drivers of vertebrate community composition in the Belly River Group (Campanian) of Alberta, Canada, with implications for dinosaur biogeography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullen, Thomas M; Evans, David C

    2016-11-15

    The Belly River Group of southern Alberta is one of the best-sampled Late Cretaceous terrestrial faunal assemblages in the world. This system provides a high-resolution biostratigraphic record of terrestrial vertebrate diversity and faunal turnover, and it has considerable potential to be a model system for testing hypotheses of dinosaur palaeoecological dynamics, including important aspects of palaeoecommunity structure, trophic interactions, and responses to environmental change. Vertebrate fossil microsites (assemblages of small bones and teeth concentrated together over a relatively short time and thought to be representative of community composition) offer an unparalleled dataset to better test these hypotheses by ameliorating problems of sample size, geography, and chronostratigraphic control that hamper other palaeoecological analyses. Here, we assembled a comprehensive relative abundance dataset of microsites sampled from the entire Belly River Group and performed a series of analyses to test the influence of environmental factors on site and taxon clustering, and assess the stability of faunal assemblages both temporally and spatially. We also test the long-held idea that populations of large dinosaur taxa were particularly sensitive to small-scale environmental gradients, such as the paralic (coastal) to alluvial (inland) regimes present within the time-equivalent depositional basin of the upper Oldman and lower Dinosaur Park Formations. Palaeoenvironment (i.e. reconstructed environmental conditions, related to relative amount of alluvial, fluvial, and coastal influence in associated sedimentary strata) was found to be strongly associated with clustering of sites by relative-abundance faunal assemblages, particularly in relation to changes in faunal assemblage composition and marine-terrestrial environmental transitions. Palaeogeography/palaeolandscape were moderately associated to site relative abundance assemblage clustering, with depositional setting

  5. Discovering Hidden Diversity of Characins (Teleostei: Characiformes) in Ecuador's Yasuní National Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar-Camacho, Daniel; Barriga, Ramiro; Ron, Santiago R

    2015-01-01

    Management and conservation of biodiversity requires adequate species inventories. The Yasuní National Park is one of the most diverse regions on Earth and recent studies of terrestrial vertebrates, based on genetic evidence, have shown high levels of cryptic and undescribed diversity. Few genetic studies have been carried out in freshwater fishes from western Amazonia. Thus, in contrast with terrestrial vertebrates, their content of cryptic diversity remains unknown. In this study, we carried out genetic and morphological analyses on characin fishes at Yasuní National Park, in eastern Ecuador. Our goal was to identify cryptic diversity among one of the most speciose fish families in the Amazon region. This is the first time that genetic evidence has been used to assess the species content of the Napo Basin, one of the richest regions in vertebrate diversity. Phylogenetic analyses of partial mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA gene (∼600 pb) DNA sequences from 232 specimens of the family Characidae and its closest groups revealed eight candidate new species among 33 species sampled, representing a 24% increase in species number. Analyses of external morphology allowed us to confirm the species status of six of the candidate species. Our results show high levels of cryptic diversity in Amazonian characins. If this group is representative of other Amazonian fish, our results would imply that the species richness of the Amazonian ichthyofauna is highly underestimated. Molecular methods are a necessary tool to obtain more realistic inventories of Neotropical freshwater fishes.

  6. Lead concentrations: bats vs. terrestrial small mammals collected near a major highway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, D.R.

    1979-03-01

    Lead concentrations in two species of bats and three species of terrestrial small mammals (meadow voles, short-tailed shrews, and white-footed mice) collected near a heavily travelled highway are compared. Roosting bats away from the parkway contained as much or more lead as the terrestrial mammals that were collected within 18 m of the road. Estimated doses of lead ingested by little brown bats, shrews, and voles equal or exceed doses that have caused mortality or reproductive impairment in domestic mammals. (24 references, 3 tables)

  7. The origin and diversification of the developmental mechanisms that pattern the vertebrate head skeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Square, Tyler; Jandzik, David; Romášek, Marek; Cerny, Robert; Medeiros, Daniel Meulemans

    2017-07-15

    The apparent evolvability of the vertebrate head skeleton has allowed a diverse array of shapes, sizes, and compositions of the head in order to better adapt species to their environments. This encompasses feeding, breathing, sensing, and communicating: the head skeleton somehow participated in the evolution of all these critical processes for the last 500 million years. Through evolution, present head diversity was made possible via developmental modifications to the first head skeletal genetic program. Understanding the development of the vertebrate common ancestor's head skeleton is thus an important step in identifying how different lineages have respectively achieved their many innovations in the head. To this end, cyclostomes (jawless vertebrates) are extremely useful, having diverged from jawed vertebrates approximately 400 million years ago, at the deepest node within living vertebrates. From this ancestral vantage point (that is, the node connecting cyclostomes and gnathostomes) we can best identify the earliest major differences in development between vertebrate classes, and start to address how these might translate onto morphology. In this review we survey what is currently known about the cell biology and gene expression during head development in modern vertebrates, allowing us to better characterize the developmental genetics driving head skeleton formation in the most recent common ancestor of all living vertebrates. By pairing this vertebrate composite with information from fossil chordates, we can also deduce how gene regulatory modules might have been arranged in the ancestral vertebrate head. Together, we can immediately begin to understand which aspects of head skeletal development are the most conserved, and which are divergent, informing us as to when the first differences appear during development, and thus which pathways or cell types might be involved in generating lineage specific shape and structure. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All

  8. Survey of nematodes associated with terrestrial slugs in Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, J L; Ivanova, E S; Hatteland, B A; Brurberg, M B; Haukeland, S

    2016-09-01

    A survey of nematodes associated with terrestrial slugs was conducted for the first time in Norway. A total of 611 terrestrial slugs were collected from 32 sample sites. Slugs were identified by means of morphological examination, dissection of genitalia and molecular analysis using mitochondrial DNA. Twelve slug species were identified, representing four different slug families. Internal nematodes were identified by means of morphological analysis and the sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene. Of the sample sites studied, 62.5% were found to be positive for nematode parasites, with 18.7% of all slugs discovered being infected. Five nematode species were identified in this study: Alloionema appendiculatum, Agfa flexilis, Angiostoma limacis, Angiostoma sp. and Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita. Of these species, only one nematode was previously undescribed (Angiostoma sp.). This is the first record of the presence of A. appendiculatum, A. flexilis and A. limacis in Norway.

  9. Predicting sublethal effects of herbicides on terrestrial non-crop plant species in the field from greenhouse data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Riemens, Marleen M.; Dueck, Thom; Kempenaar, Corne

    2008-01-01

    Guidelines provided by OECD and EPPO allow the use of data obtained in greenhouse experiments in the risk assessment for pesticides to non-target terrestrial plants in the field. The present study was undertaken to investigate the predictability of effects on field-grown plants using greenhouse data. In addition, the influence of plant development stage on plant sensitivity and herbicide efficacy, the influence of the surrounding vegetation on individual plant sensitivity and of sublethal herbicide doses on the biomass, recovery and reproduction of non-crop plants was studied. Results show that in the future, it might well be possible to translate results from greenhouse experiments to field situations, given sufficient experimental data. The results also suggest consequences at the population level. Even when only marginal effects on the biomass of non-target plants are expected, their seed production and thereby survival at the population level may be negatively affected. - The response of greenhouse-grown wild plant species to herbicide exposure could be related to the response of the same species when grown in the field

  10. Preliminary Data on the Plant and Vertebrate Animal Diversity in the Area of Dedovo Village (West Rhodopes Mts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krasimir Todorov

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Dedovo Village (Rodopi Municipality, Plovdiv District is located at 25 km from Plovdiv City in the Western Rhodopes Mts., at an altitude of 1000 to 1060 meters. Its proximity to the city and relatively preserved natural environment make it a more attractive place during the last years for relaxation, especially in the summer. However, the increased tourist presence in the area leads to an increase of anthropogenic pressure on the natural ecosystems. Aim of this study is to assess the plant and vertebrate animal diversity in the area of Dedovo Village and to identify the potential threats and risks to its conservation. More than 70 plant species were described, including one rare species and 5 Balkan endemics and 30 species, listed in the Bulgarian Medicinal plants Act. From the vertebrate animals 39 species were described, including 15 mammals (3 species with conservation status, 15 birds (4 species with conservation status, 6 reptiles and 2 amphibians.

  11. Sublethal effects of herbicides on the biomass and seed production of terrestrial non-crop plant species, influenced by environment, development stage and assessment date

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Riemens, Marleen M.; Dueck, Thom; Kempenaar, Corne; Lotz, Lambertus A.P.; Kropff, Martin J.J.

    2009-01-01

    Guidelines provided by the OECD and EPPO allow the use of single-species tests performed in greenhouses to assess the risk of herbicides to non-target terrestrial plant communities in the field. The present study was undertaken to investigate the use of greenhouse data to determine effects of herbicides with a different mode of action on the biomass, seed production and emergence of field-grown plants. In addition, a single species approach was compared with a mixed species approach. Effects on the biomass of greenhouse and field-grown plants were found to be related at different effect levels, indicating that it might be possible to translate results from greenhouse studies to field situations. However, the use of single-species tests may not be valid. The response of a single plant species to sublethal herbicide dosages differed to the response of the same species grown in a mixture with other species. - The use of single-species greenhouse tests in the ecological risk assessment of crop protection products may only be valid for single species in the field, not for vegetations.

  12. Measurements of vertebral shape by radiographic morphometry: sex differences and relationships with vertebral level and lumbar lordosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cheng, X G; Sun, Y; Boonen, S; Nicholson, P H.F.; Dequeker, J [Arthritis and Metabolic Bone Disease Research Unit, U.Z. Pellenberg, Division of Rheumatology, Pellenberg (Belgium); Brys, P [Radiology Department, University Hospitals, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven (Belgium); Felsenberg, D [Radiology Department, Freie Univ. Berlin (Germany)

    1998-07-01

    Objective. To examine sex-related and vertebral-level-specific differences in vertebral shape and to investigate the relationships between the lumbar lordosis angle and vertebral morphology. Design and patients. Lateral thoracic and lumbar spine radiographs were obtained with a standardized protocol in 142 healthy men and 198 healthy women over 50 years old. Anterior (Ha), central (Hc) and posterior (Hp) heights of each vertebra from T4 to L4 were measured using a digitizing technique, and the Ha/Hp and Hc/Hp ratios were calculated. The lumbar lordosis angle was measured on the lateral lumbar spine radiographs. Results. Ha/Hp and Hc/Hp ratios were smaller in men than women by 1.8% and 0.7%, respectively, and these ratios varied with vertebral level. Significant correlations were found between vertebral shape and the lumbar lordosis angle. Conclusions. These results demonstrate that vertebral shape varies significantly with sex, vertebral level and lumbar lordosis angle. Awareness of these relationships may help prevent misdiagnosis in clinical vertebral morphometry. (orig.) With 4 figs., 2 tabs., 17 refs.

  13. Regions identity between the genome of vertebrates and non-retroviral families of insect viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Gaowei

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The scope of our understanding of the evolutionary history between viruses and animals is limited. The fact that the recent availability of many complete insect virus genomes and vertebrate genomes as well as the ability to screen these sequences makes it possible to gain a new perspective insight into the evolutionary interaction between insect viruses and vertebrates. This study is to determine the possibility of existence of sequence identity between the genomes of insect viruses and vertebrates, attempt to explain this phenomenon in term of genetic mobile element, and try to investigate the evolutionary relationship between these short regions of identity among these species. Results Some of studied insect viruses contain variable numbers of short regions of sequence identity to the genomes of vertebrate with nucleotide sequence length from 28 bp to 124 bp. They are found to locate in multiple sites of the vertebrate genomes. The ontology of animal genes with identical regions involves in several processes including chromatin remodeling, regulation of apoptosis, signaling pathway, nerve system development and some enzyme-like catalysis. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that at least some short regions of sequence identity in the genomes of vertebrate are derived the ancestral of insect viruses. Conclusion Short regions of sequence identity were found in the vertebrates and insect viruses. These sequences played an important role not only in the long-term evolution of vertebrates, but also in promotion of insect virus. This typical win-win strategy may come from natural selection.

  14. A Comparative Study of Vertebrate Corneal Structure: The Evolution of a Refractive Lens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, Moritz; Shoa, Golroxan; Tran, Stephanie T; Xie, Yilu; Thomasy, Sarah; Raghunathan, Vijay K; Murphy, Christopher; Brown, Donald J; Jester, James V

    2015-04-01

    Although corneal curvature plays an important role in determining the refractive power of the vertebrate eye, the mechanisms controlling corneal shape remain largely unknown. To address this question, we performed a comparative study of vertebrate corneal structure to identify potential evolutionarily based changes that correlate with the development of a corneal refractive lens. Nonlinear optical (NLO) imaging of second-harmonic-generated (SHG) signals was used to image collagen and three-dimensionally reconstruct the lamellar organization in corneas from different vertebrate clades. Second-harmonic-generated images taken normal to the corneal surface showed that corneal collagen in all nonmammalian vertebrates was organized into sheets (fish and amphibians) or ribbons (reptiles and birds) extending from limbus to limbus that were oriented nearly orthogonal (ranging from 77.7°-88.2°) to their neighbors. The slight angular offset (2°-13°) created a rotational pattern that continued throughout the full thickness in fish and amphibians and to the very posterior layers in reptiles and birds. Interactions between lamellae were limited to "sutural" fibers in cartilaginous fish, and occasional lamellar branching in fish and amphibians. There was a marked increase in lamellar branching in higher vertebrates, such that birds ≫ reptiles > amphibians > fish. By contrast, mammalian corneas showed a nearly random collagen fiber organization with no orthogonal, chiral pattern. Our data indicate that nonmammalian vertebrate corneas share a common orthogonal collagen structural organization that shows increased lamellar branching in higher vertebrate species. Importantly, mammalian corneas showed a different structural organization, suggesting a divergent evolutionary background.

  15. A nomenclature for vertebral fossae in sauropods and other saurischian dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Wilson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The axial skeleton of extinct saurischian dinosaurs (i.e., theropods, sauropodomorphs, like living birds, was pneumatized by epithelial outpocketings of the respiratory system. Pneumatic signatures in the vertebral column of fossil saurischians include complex branching chambers within the bone (internal pneumaticity and large chambers visible externally that are bounded by neural arch laminae (external pneumaticity. Although general aspects of internal pneumaticity are synapomorphic for saurischian subgroups, the individual internal pneumatic spaces cannot be homologized across species or even along the vertebral column, due to their variability and absence of topographical landmarks. External pneumatic structures, in contrast, are defined by ready topological landmarks (vertebral laminae, but no consistent nomenclatural system exists. This deficiency has fostered confusion and limited their use as character data in phylogenetic analysis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We present a simple system for naming external neural arch fossae that parallels the one developed for the vertebral laminae that bound them. The nomenclatural system identifies fossae by pointing to reference landmarks (e.g., neural spine, centrum, costal articulations, zygapophyses. We standardize the naming process by creating tripartite names from "primary landmarks," which form the zygodiapophyseal table, "secondary landmarks," which orient with respect to that table, and "tertiary landmarks," which further delineate a given fossa. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The proposed nomenclatural system for lamina-bounded fossae adds clarity to descriptions of complex vertebrae and allows these structures to be sourced as character data for phylogenetic analyses. These anatomical terms denote potentially homologous pneumatic structures within Saurischia, but they could be applied to any vertebrate with vertebral laminae that enclose spaces, regardless of their developmental

  16. Review of laboratory-based terrestrial bioaccumulation assessment approaches for organic chemicals: Current status and future possibilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoke, Robert; Huggett, Duane; Brasfield, Sandra; Brown, Becky; Embry, Michelle; Fairbrother, Anne; Kivi, Michelle; Paumen, Miriam Leon; Prosser, Ryan; Salvito, Dan; Scroggins, Rick

    2016-01-01

    In the last decade, interest has been renewed in approaches for the assessment of the bioaccumulation potential of chemicals, principally driven by the need to evaluate large numbers of chemicals as part of new chemical legislation, while reducing vertebrate test organism use called for in animal welfare legislation. This renewed interest has inspired research activities and advances in bioaccumulation science for neutral organic chemicals in aquatic environments. In January 2013, ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute convened experts to identify the state of the science and existing shortcomings in terrestrial bioaccumulation assessment of neutral organic chemicals. Potential modifications to existing laboratory methods were identified, including areas in which new laboratory approaches or test methods could be developed to address terrestrial bioaccumulation. The utility of "non-ecotoxicity" data (e.g., mammalian laboratory data) was also discussed. The highlights of the workshop discussions are presented along with potential modifications in laboratory approaches and new test guidelines that could be used for assessing the bioaccumulation of chemicals in terrestrial organisms. © 2015 SETAC.

  17. Vertebrate gravity sensors as dynamic systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, M. D.

    1985-01-01

    This paper considers verterbrate gravity receptors as dynamic sensors. That is, it is hypothesized that gravity is a constant force to which an acceleration-sensing system would readily adapt. Premises are considered in light of the presence of kinocilia on hair cells of vertebrate gravity sensors; differences in loading of the sensors among species; and of possible reduction in loading by inclusion of much organic material in otoconia. Moreover, organic-inorganic interfaces may confer a piezoelectric property upon otoconia, which increase the sensitivity of the sensory system to small accelerations. Comparisons with man-made accelerometers are briefly taken up.

  18. Evolution of melanopsin photoreceptors: discovery and characterization of a new melanopsin in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Bellingham

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available In mammals, the melanopsin gene (Opn4 encodes a sensory photopigment that underpins newly discovered inner retinal photoreceptors. Since its first discovery in Xenopus laevis and subsequent description in humans and mice, melanopsin genes have been described in all vertebrate classes. Until now, all of these sequences have been considered representatives of a single orthologous gene (albeit with duplications in the teleost fish. Here, we describe the discovery and functional characterisation of a new melanopsin gene in fish, bird, and amphibian genomes, demonstrating that, in fact, the vertebrates have evolved two quite separate melanopsins. On the basis of sequence similarity, chromosomal localisation, and phylogeny, we identify our new melanopsins as the true orthologs of the melanopsin gene previously described in mammals and term this grouping Opn4m. By contrast, the previously published melanopsin genes in nonmammalian vertebrates represent a separate branch of the melanopsin family which we term Opn4x. RT-PCR analysis in chicken, zebrafish, and Xenopus identifies expression of both Opn4m and Opn4x genes in tissues known to be photosensitive (eye, brain, and skin. In the day-14 chicken eye, Opn4m mRNA is found in a subset of cells in the outer nuclear, inner nuclear, and ganglion cell layers, the vast majority of which also express Opn4x. Importantly, we show that a representative of the new melanopsins (chicken Opn4m encodes a photosensory pigment capable of activating G protein signalling cascades in a light- and retinaldehyde-dependent manner under heterologous expression in Neuro-2a cells. A comprehensive in silico analysis of vertebrate genomes indicates that while most vertebrate species have both Opn4m and Opn4x genes, the latter is absent from eutherian and, possibly, marsupial mammals, lost in the course of their evolution as a result of chromosomal reorganisation. Thus, our findings show for the first time that nonmammalian

  19. Constrained vertebrate evolution by pleiotropic genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hu, Haiyang; Uesaka, Masahiro; Guo, Song

    2017-01-01

    applied to vertebrates than chordates. Furthermore, we found that vertebrates' conserved mid-embryonic developmental programmes are intensively recruited to other developmental processes, and the degree of the recruitment positively correlates with their evolutionary conservation and essentiality...... for normal development. Thus, we propose that the intensively recruited genetic system during vertebrates' organogenesis period imposed constraints on its diversification through pleiotropic constraints, which ultimately led to the common anatomical pattern observed in vertebrates....

  20. The impact of conservation on the status of the world's vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Michael; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Angulo, Ariadne; Bohm, Monika; Brooks, Thomas M.; Butchart, Stuart H.M.; Carpenter, Kent E.; Chanson, Janice; Collen, Ben; Cox, Neil A.; Darwall, William R.T.; Dulvy, Nicholas K.; Harrison, Lucy R.; Katariya, Vineet; Pollock, Caroline M.; Quader, Suhel; Richman, Nadia I.; Rodrigues, Ana S.L.; Tognelli, Marcelo F.; Vie, Jean-Christophe; Aguiar, John M.; Allen, David J.; Allen, Gerald R.; Amori, Giovanni; Ananjeva, Natalia B.; Androene, Franco; Andrew, Paul; Ortiz, Aida Luz Aquino; Baillie, Jonathan E.M.; Baldi, Ricardo; Bell, Ben D.; Biju, S.D.; Bird, Jeremy P.; Black-Decima, Patricia; Blanc, J. Julian; Bolaños, Federico; Bolivar-G., Wilmar; Burfield, Ian J.; Burton, James A.; Capper, David R.; Castro, Fernando; Catullo, Gianluca; Cavanagh, Rachel D.; Channing, Alan; Chao, Ning Labbish; Chenery, Anna M.; Chiozza, Federica; Clausnitzer, Viola; Collar, Nigel J.; Collett, Leah C.; Collette, Bruce B.; Cortez Fernandez, Claudia F.; Craig, Matthew T.; Crosby, Michael J.; Cumberlidge, Neil; Cuttelod, Annabelle; Derocher, Andrew E.; Diesmos, Arvin C.; Donaldson, John S.; Duckworth, J.W.; Dutson, Guy; Dutta, S.K.; Emslie, Richard H.; Farjon, Aljos; Fowler, Sarah; Freyhof, Jorg; Garshelis, David L.; Gerlach, Justin; Gower, David J.; Grant, Tandora D.; Hammerson, Geoffrey A.; Harris, Richard B.; Heaney, Lawrence R.; Hedges, S. Blair; Hero, Jean-Marc; Hughes, Baz; Hussain, Syed Ainul; Icochea, Javier M.; Inger, Robert F.; Ishii, Nobuo; Iskandar, Djoko T.; Jenkins, Richard K.B.; Kaneko, Yoshio; Kottelat, Maurice; Kovacs, Kit M.; Kuzmin, Sergius L.; La Marca, Enrique; Lamoreux, John F.; Lau, Michael W.N.; Lavilla, Esteban O.; Leus, Kristin; Lewison, Rebecca L.; Lichtenstein, Gabriela; Livingstone, Suzanne R.; Lukoschek, Vimoksolehi; Mallon, David P.; McGowan, Philip J.K.; McIvor, Anna; Moehlman, Patricia D.; Molur, Sanjay; Alonso, Antonio Muñoz; Musick, John A.; Nowell, Kristin; Nussbaum, Ronald A.; Olech, Wanda; Orlov, Nikolay L.; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Perrin, William F.; Polidoro, Beth A.; Pourkazemi, Mohammad; Racey, Paul A.; Ragle, James S.; Ram, Mala; Rathbun, Galen; Reynolds, Robert P.; Rhodin, Anders G.J.; Richards, Stephen J.; Rodriguez, Lily O.; Ron, Santiago R.; Rondinini, Carlo; Rylands, Anthony B.; de Mitcheson, Yvonne Sadovy; Sanciangco, Jonnell C.; Sanders, Kate L.; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Schipper, Jan; Self-Sullivan, Caryn; Shi, Yichuan; Shoemaker, Alan; Short, Frederick T.; Sillero-Zubiri, Claudio; Silvano, Debora L.; Smith, Kevin G.; Smith, Andrew T.; Snoeks, Jos; Stattersfield, Alison J.; Symes, Andrew J.; Taber, Andrew B.; Talukdar, Bibhab K.; Temple, Helen J.; Timmins, Rob; Tobias, Joseph A.; Tsytsulina, Katerina; Tweddle, Denis; Ubeda, Carmen; Valenti, Sarah V.; van Dijk, Peter Paul; Veiga, Liza M.; Veloso, Alberto; Wege, David C.; Wilkinson, Mark; Williamson, Elizabeth A.; Xie, Feng; Young, Bruce E.; Akcakaya, H. Resit; Bennun, Leon; Blackburn, Tim M.; Boitani, Luigi; Dublin, Holly T.; da Fonseca, Gustavo A. B.; Gascon, Claude; Lacher, Thomas E.; Mace, Georgina M.; Mainka, Susan A.; McNeely, Jeffery A.; Mittermeier, Russell A.; Reid, Gordon McGregor; Rodriguez, Jon Paul; Rosenberg, Andrew A.; Samways, Michael J.; Smart, Jane; Stein, Bruce A.; Stuart, Simon N.

    2010-01-01

    Using data for 25,780 species categorized on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, we present an assessment of the status of the world's vertebrates. One-fifth of species are classified as Threatened, and we show that this figure is increasing: On average, 52 species of mammals, birds, and amphibians move one category closer to extinction each year. However, this overall pattern conceals the impact of conservation successes, and we show that the rate of deterioration would have been at least one-fifth again as much in the absence of these. Nonetheless, current conservation efforts remain insufficient to offset the main drivers of biodiversity loss in these groups: agricultural expansion, logging, overexploitation, and invasive alien species.

  1. Rapid onset aggressive vertebral haemangioma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Nicholas K; Doorenbosch, Xenia; Christie, John G

    2011-03-01

    Vertebral haemangiomas are generally benign asymptomatic vascular tumours seen commonly in the adult population. Presentations in paediatric populations are extremely rare, which can result in rapid onset of neurological symptoms. We present a highly unusual case of an aggressive paediatric vertebral haemangioma causing significant cord compression. A 13-year-old boy presented with only 2 weeks duration of progressive gait disturbance, truncal ataxia and loss of bladder control. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the spine revealed a large vascular epidural mass extending between T6 and T8 vertebral bodies. Associated displacement and compression of the spinal cord was present. A highly vascular bony lesion was found during surgery. Histopathology identified this tumour to be a vertebral haemangioma. We present an extremely unusual acute presentation of a paediatric vertebral haemangioma. This study highlights the need for early diagnosis, MRI for investigation and urgent surgical management. © Springer-Verlag 2011

  2. Evolutionary genomics and adaptive evolution of the Hedgehog gene family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh in vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana Pereira

    Full Text Available The Hedgehog (Hh gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog--Shh; Indian hedgehog--Ihh; and Desert hedgehog--Dhh, each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots.

  3. Evolutionary genomics and adaptive evolution of the Hedgehog gene family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh) in vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Joana; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Jarvis, Erich D; Zhang, Guojie; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2014-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog--Shh; Indian hedgehog--Ihh; and Desert hedgehog--Dhh), each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD) events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots.

  4. Cement Leakage in Percutaneous Vertebral Augmentation for Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fractures: Analysis of Risk Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Weixing; Jin, Daxiang; Ma, Hui; Ding, Jinyong; Xu, Jixi; Zhang, Shuncong; Liang, De

    2016-05-01

    The risk factors for cement leakage were retrospectively reviewed in 192 patients who underwent percutaneous vertebral augmentation (PVA). To discuss the factors related to the cement leakage in PVA procedure for the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. PVA is widely applied for the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral fractures. Cement leakage is a major complication of this procedure. The risk factors for cement leakage were controversial. A retrospective review of 192 patients who underwent PVA was conducted. The following data were recorded: age, sex, bone density, number of fractured vertebrae before surgery, number of treated vertebrae, severity of the treated vertebrae, operative approach, volume of injected bone cement, preoperative vertebral compression ratio, preoperative local kyphosis angle, intraosseous clefts, preoperative vertebral cortical bone defect, and ratio and type of cement leakage. To study the correlation between each factor and cement leakage ratio, bivariate regression analysis was employed to perform univariate analysis, whereas multivariate linear regression analysis was employed to perform multivariate analysis. The study included 192 patients (282 treated vertebrae), and cement leakage occurred in 100 vertebrae (35.46%). The vertebrae with preoperative cortical bone defects generally exhibited higher cement leakage ratio, and the leakage is typically type C. Vertebrae with intact cortical bones before the procedure tend to experience type S leakage. Univariate analysis showed that patient age, bone density, number of fractured vertebrae before surgery, and vertebral cortical bone were associated with cement leakage ratio (Pcement leakage are bone density and vertebral cortical bone defect, with standardized partial regression coefficients of -0.085 and 0.144, respectively. High bone density and vertebral cortical bone defect are independent risk factors associated with bone cement leakage.

  5. Measurements of vertebral shape by r[iographic morphometry: sex differences and relationships with vertebral level and lumbar lordosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cheng, X.G.; Sun, Y.; Boonen, S.; Nicholson, P.H.F.; Dequeker, J.; Brys, P.; Felsenberg, D.

    1998-01-01

    Objective. To examine sex-related and vertebral-level-specific differences in vertebral shape and to investigate the relationships between the lumbar lordosis angle and vertebral morphology. Design and patients. Lateral thoracic and lumbar spine r[iographs were obtained with a standardized protocol in 142 healthy men and 198 healthy women over 50 years old. Anterior (Ha), central (Hc) and posterior (Hp) heights of each vertebra from T4 to L4 were measured using a digitizing technique, and the Ha/Hp and Hc/Hp ratios were calculated. The lumbar lordosis angle was measured on the lateral lumbar spine r[iographs. Results. Ha/Hp and Hc/Hp ratios were smaller in men than women by 1.8% and 0.7%, respectively, and these ratios varied with vertebral level. Significant correlations were found between vertebral shape and the lumbar lordosis angle. Conclusions. These results demonstrate that vertebral shape varies significantly with sex, vertebral level and lumbar lordosis angle. Awareness of these relationships may help prevent misdiagnosis in clinical vertebral morphometry. (orig.)

  6. Terrestrial habitat mapping of the Oak Ridge Reservation: 1996 Summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Washington-Allen, R.A.; Ashwood, T.L.

    1996-09-01

    The US DOE is in the process of remediating historical contamination on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Two key components are ecological risk assessment and monitoring. In 1994 a strategy was developed and a specific program was initiated to implement the strategy for the terrestrial biota of the entire ORR. This document details results of the first task: development of a habitat map and habitat models for key species of interest. During the last 50 years ORR has been a relatively protected island of plant and animal habitats in a region of rapidly expanding urbanization. A preliminary biodiversity assessment of the ORR by the Nature Conservancy in 1995 noted 272 occurrences of significant plant and animal species and communities. Field surveys of threatened and endangered species show that the ORR contains 20 rare plant species, 4 of which are on the state list of endangered species. The rest are either on the state list of threatened species or listed as being of special concern. The ORR provides habitat for some 60 reptilian and amphibian species; more than 120 species of terrestrial birds; 32 species of waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds; and about 40 mammalian species. The ORR is both a refuge for rare species and a reservoir of recruitment for surrounding environments and wildlife management areas. Cedar barrens, river bluffs, and wetlands have been identified as the habitat for most rare vascular plant species on the ORR

  7. ANOMALOUS PREVERTEBRAL COURSE OF THE LEFT VERTEBRAL ARTERY. Recorrido prevertebral anómalo de la arteria vertebral izquierda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prakash B Billakanti

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available La arteria vertebral es una de las arterias que irriga el cerebro. El conocimiento de la anatomía normal y las variantes de la arteria vertebral adquiere importancia en la práctica clínica y la radiología vascular. El origen anómalo de la arteria vertebral del arco de la aorta o cualquiera de las arterias del cuello ha sido reportado por muchos autores. En este informe se presenta una variación del curso prevertebral de la arteria vertebral izquierda. La arteria vertebral tenía su origen habitual en la arteria subclavia con un largo curso prevertebral y entraba en el foramen transversarium de la vértebra CII. El origen y recorrido de la arteria vertebral en el lado derecho fue normal. Clínicamente es importante conocer el origen y curso del segmento prevertebral de la arteria vertebral y las posibles variaciones. El presente informe debería ser de interés para el médico vascular con respecto a las variaciones en el cuello y región torácica, y puede dar idea para dilucidar el mecanismo de desarrollo de la angiogénesis. Vertebral artery is one of the arteries supplying the brain. Knowledge of the normal and variant anatomy of the vertebral artery assumes importance in clinical practice and vascular radiology. Anomalous origins of the vertebral artery from the arch of the aorta or any one of the arteries of the neck have been reported by several authors. In this report a variation of the prevertebral course of the left vertebral artery is being presented. The Vertebral artery had usual origin from the subclavian artery and had a longer prevertebral course to enter the foramen transversarium of the CII vertebra. The origin and course of the vertebral artery on the right side was normal. It is clinically important to know the origin and course of the prevertebral segment of the vertebral artery and possible variations. The present report should be of interest for clinicians with regard to vascular variations in the neck and thoracic

  8. Neofunctionalization in vertebrates: the example of retinoic acid receptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hector Escriva

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the role of gene duplications in establishing vertebrate innovations is one of the main challenges of Evo-Devo (evolution of development studies. Data on evolutionary changes in gene expression (i.e., evolution of transcription factor-cis-regulatory elements relationships tell only part of the story; protein function, best studied by biochemical and functional assays, can also change. In this study, we have investigated how gene duplication has affected both the expression and the ligand-binding specificity of retinoic acid receptors (RARs, which play a major role in chordate embryonic development. Mammals have three paralogous RAR genes--RAR alpha, beta, and gamma--which resulted from genome duplications at the origin of vertebrates. By using pharmacological ligands selective for specific paralogues, we have studied the ligand-binding capacities of RARs from diverse chordates species. We have found that RAR beta-like binding selectivity is a synapomorphy of all chordate RARs, including a reconstructed synthetic RAR representing the receptor present in the ancestor of chordates. Moreover, comparison of expression patterns of the cephalochordate amphioxus and the vertebrates suggests that, of all the RARs, RAR beta expression has remained most similar to that of the ancestral RAR. On the basis of these results together, we suggest that while RAR beta kept the ancestral RAR role, RAR alpha and RAR gamma diverged both in ligand-binding capacity and in expression patterns. We thus suggest that neofunctionalization occurred at both the expression and the functional levels to shape RAR roles during development in vertebrates.

  9. Terrestrial invasion of pomatiopsid gastropods in the heavy-snow region of the Japanese Archipelago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kato Makoto

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gastropod mollusks are one of the most successful animals that have diversified in the fully terrestrial habitat. They have evolved terrestrial taxa in more than nine lineages, most of which originated during the Paleozoic or Mesozoic. The rissooidean gastropod family Pomatiopsidae is one of the few groups that have evolved fully terrestrial taxa during the late Cenozoic. The pomatiopsine diversity is particularly high in the Japanese Archipelago and the terrestrial taxa occur only in this region. In this study, we conducted thorough samplings of Japanese pomatiopsid species and performed molecular phylogenetic analyses to explore the patterns of diversification and terrestrial invasion. Results Molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed that Japanese Pomatiopsinae derived from multiple colonization of the Eurasian Continent and that subsequent habitat shifts from aquatic to terrestrial life occurred at least twice within two Japanese endemic lineages. Each lineage comprises amphibious and terrestrial species, both of which are confined to the mountains in heavy-snow regions facing the Japan Sea. The estimated divergence time suggested that diversification of these terrestrial lineages started in the Late Miocene, when active orogenesis of the Japanese landmass and establishment of snowy conditions began. Conclusions The terrestrial invasion of Japanese Pomatiopsinae occurred at least twice beside the mountain streamlets of heavy-snow regions, which is considered the first case of this event in the area. Because snow coverage maintains stable temperatures and high humidity on the ground surface, heavy-snow conditions may have paved the way for these organisms from freshwater to land via mountain streamlets by preventing winter desiccation in mountain valleys. The fact that the terrestrialization of Pomatiopsidae occurred only in year-round wet environments, but not in seasonally dried regions, provides new insight into ancient

  10. Zoos through the Lens of the IUCN Red List: A Global Metapopulation Approach to Support Conservation Breeding Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conde, Dalia A.; Colchero, Fernando; Gusset, Markus; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Byers, Onnie; Flesness, Nate; Browne, Robert K.; Jones, Owen R.

    2013-01-01

    Given current extinction trends, the number of species requiring conservation breeding programs (CBPs) is likely to increase dramatically. To inform CBP policies for threatened terrestrial vertebrates, we evaluated the number and representation of threatened vertebrate species on the IUCN Red List held in the ISIS zoo network and estimated the complexity of their management as metapopulations. Our results show that 695 of the 3,955 (23%) terrestrial vertebrate species in ISIS zoos are threatened. Only two of the 59 taxonomic orders show a higher proportion of threatened species in ISIS zoos than would be expected if species were selected at random. In addition, for most taxa, the management of a zoo metapopulation of more than 250 individuals will require the coordination of a cluster of 11 to 24 ISIS zoos within a radius of 2,000 km. Thus, in the zoo network, the representation of species that may require CBPs is currently low and the spatial distribution of these zoo populations makes management difficult. Although the zoo community may have the will and the logistical potential to contribute to conservation actions, including CBPs, to do so will require greater collaboration between zoos and other institutions, alongside the development of international agreements that facilitate cross-border movement of zoo animals. To maximize the effectiveness of integrated conservation actions that include CBPs, it is fundamental that the non-zoo conservation community acknowledges and integrates the expertise and facilities of zoos where it can be helpful. PMID:24348999

  11. Zoos through the lens of the IUCN Red List: a global metapopulation approach to support conservation breeding programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conde, Dalia A; Colchero, Fernando; Gusset, Markus; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Byers, Onnie; Flesness, Nate; Browne, Robert K; Jones, Owen R

    2013-01-01

    Given current extinction trends, the number of species requiring conservation breeding programs (CBPs) is likely to increase dramatically. To inform CBP policies for threatened terrestrial vertebrates, we evaluated the number and representation of threatened vertebrate species on the IUCN Red List held in the ISIS zoo network and estimated the complexity of their management as metapopulations. Our results show that 695 of the 3,955 (23%) terrestrial vertebrate species in ISIS zoos are threatened. Only two of the 59 taxonomic orders show a higher proportion of threatened species in ISIS zoos than would be expected if species were selected at random. In addition, for most taxa, the management of a zoo metapopulation of more than 250 individuals will require the coordination of a cluster of 11 to 24 ISIS zoos within a radius of 2,000 km. Thus, in the zoo network, the representation of species that may require CBPs is currently low and the spatial distribution of these zoo populations makes management difficult. Although the zoo community may have the will and the logistical potential to contribute to conservation actions, including CBPs, to do so will require greater collaboration between zoos and other institutions, alongside the development of international agreements that facilitate cross-border movement of zoo animals. To maximize the effectiveness of integrated conservation actions that include CBPs, it is fundamental that the non-zoo conservation community acknowledges and integrates the expertise and facilities of zoos where it can be helpful.

  12. Zoos through the lens of the IUCN Red List: a global metapopulation approach to support conservation breeding programs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalia A Conde

    Full Text Available Given current extinction trends, the number of species requiring conservation breeding programs (CBPs is likely to increase dramatically. To inform CBP policies for threatened terrestrial vertebrates, we evaluated the number and representation of threatened vertebrate species on the IUCN Red List held in the ISIS zoo network and estimated the complexity of their management as metapopulations. Our results show that 695 of the 3,955 (23% terrestrial vertebrate species in ISIS zoos are threatened. Only two of the 59 taxonomic orders show a higher proportion of threatened species in ISIS zoos than would be expected if species were selected at random. In addition, for most taxa, the management of a zoo metapopulation of more than 250 individuals will require the coordination of a cluster of 11 to 24 ISIS zoos within a radius of 2,000 km. Thus, in the zoo network, the representation of species that may require CBPs is currently low and the spatial distribution of these zoo populations makes management difficult. Although the zoo community may have the will and the logistical potential to contribute to conservation actions, including CBPs, to do so will require greater collaboration between zoos and other institutions, alongside the development of international agreements that facilitate cross-border movement of zoo animals. To maximize the effectiveness of integrated conservation actions that include CBPs, it is fundamental that the non-zoo conservation community acknowledges and integrates the expertise and facilities of zoos where it can be helpful.

  13. Linking invasive exotic vertebrates and their ecosystem impacts in Tierra del Fuego to test theory and determine action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valenzuela, Alejandro E. J.; Anderson, Christopher B.; Fasola, Laura; Cabello, José L.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding processes and impacts of biological invasions is fundamental for ecology and management. Recent reviews summarized the mechanisms by which invasive species alter entire ecosystems, but quantitative assessments of these mechanisms are lacking for actual assemblages to determine their relative importance, frequency and patterns. We updated information on introduced vertebrates in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago (TDF) via an exhaustive literature review and new data to evaluate ecosystem impact mechanisms and provide management recommendations. To date, 24 exotic vertebrates have naturalized in TDF, outnumbering natives nearly 2:1, with the North American beaver (Castor canadensis) and muskrat (Ondatra zibethica) being the most widely distributed species and also impacting the ecosystem through the greatest number of mechanisms. Introduced vertebrates occupied most parts of the archipelago with human-inhabited islands having greater taxa richness. All exotics potentially altered ecosystems by one or more mechanisms: 100% food webs, 92% invasional meltdown, 42% habitat modification, 38% disease or parasite transmission, 21% soil property and disturbance regime changes. Impact to habitat structure was the main clustering criterion for this assemblage. Within the species that physically alter habitats, we found two sub-groups: 1) large herbivores and 2) "others" including beavers and muskrats. Species that did not alter habitat were divided further into those with predatory trophic effects (carnivorous mammals and trout, sub-group 4) and the rest with assorted impacts (sub-group 3). By establishing high quality information on archipelago-wide assemblage, distribution, impacts and mechanisms for exotic vertebrates, we recommend, based on ecological criteria, prioritizing the management of sub-group 2. A secondary priority might be given to the carnivores in sub-group 4, while species in sub-groups 1 and 3 are less urgent. As the first systematic survey of

  14. Diversity of introduced terrestrial flatworms in the Iberian Peninsula: a cautionary tale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Álvarez-Presas

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Many tropical terrestrial planarians (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae have been introduced around the globe. One of these species is known to cause significant decline in earthworm populations, resulting in a reduction of ecological functions that earthworms provide. Flatworms, additionally, are a potential risk to other species that have the same dietary needs. Hence, the planarian invasion might cause significant economic losses in agriculture and damage to the ecosystem. In the Iberian Peninsula only Bipalium kewense Moseley, 1878 had been cited till 2007. From that year on, four more species have been cited, and several reports of the presence of these animals in particular gardens have been received. In the present study we have: (1 analyzed the animals sent by non-specialists and also the presence of terrestrial planarians in plant nurseries and garden centers; (2 identified their species through morphological and phylogenetic molecular analyses, including representatives of their areas of origin; (3 revised their dietary sources and (4 used Species Distribution Modeling (SDM for one species to evaluate the risk of its introduction to natural areas. The results have shown the presence of at least ten species of alien terrestrial planarians, from all its phylogenetic range. International plant trade is the source of these animals, and many garden centers are acting as reservoirs. Also, landscape restoration to reintroduce autochthonous plants has facilitated their introduction close to natural forests and agricultural fields. In conclusion, there is a need to take measures on plant trade and to have special care in the treatment of restored habitats.

  15. Ontogeny of the vertebral column of Eleutherodactylus johnstonei (Anura: Eleutherodactylidae) reveals heterochronies relative to metamorphic frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meza-Joya, Fabio Leonardo; Ramos-Pallares, Eliana Patricia; Ramírez-Pinilla, Martha Patricia

    2013-07-01

    Over the last century, the morphogenesis of the vertebral column has been considered as a highly conserved process among anurans. This statement is based on the study of few metamorphic taxa, ignoring the role of developmental mechanisms underlying the evolution of specialized life-histories. Direct development in anurans has been regarded as evolutionarily derived and involves developmental recapitulation and repatterning at different levels in all amphibian taxa studied so far. Herein, we analyze the vertebral column morphogenesis of the direct-developing frog Eleutherodactylus johnstonei, describing the sequence of chondrification and ossification, based on cleared and double-stained specimens from early stage embryos to adults. In general, our results show that the morphogenesis of the vertebral column in E. johnstonei recapitulates the ancestral tadpole-like pattern of development. However, the analysis of the sequence of events using heterochrony plots shows important heterocronies relative to metamorphic species, such as a delay in the chondrification of the vertebral centra and in osteogenesis. These ontogenetic peculiarities may represent derived traits in direct-developing frogs and are possibly correlated with its unusual life history. In addition, several features of the vertebral column of E. johnstonei are highly variable from its typical morphology. We report some malformations and small deviations, which do not seem to affect the survival of individuals. These anomalies have also been found in other frogs, and include many vertebral defects, such as vertebral fusion, and vertebral preclusion and/or induction. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Vertebrate predator-prey interactions in a seasonal environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Niels Martin; Berg, Thomas B; Forchhammer, Mads

    2008-01-01

    erminea predation and stabilising predation from the generalist predators, in Zackenbergdalen mainly the arctic fox Alopex lagopus. In Zackenbergdalen, however, the coupling between the specialist stoat and the lemming population is relatively weak. During summer, the predation pressure is high......The High Arctic, with its low number of species, is characterised by a relatively simple ecosystem, and the vertebrate predator-prey interactions in the valley Zackenbergdalen in Northeast Greenland are centred around the collared lemming Dicrostonyx groenlandicus and its multiple predators...

  17. Cretaceous Vertebrate Tracksites - Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast World Heritage Nomination Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huh, M.; Woo, K. S.; Lim, J. D.; Paik, I. S.

    2009-04-01

    South Korea is one of the best known regions in the world for Cretaceous fossil footprints, which are also world-renowned. Korea has produced more scientifically named bird tracks (ichnotaxa) than any other region in the world. It has also produced the world's largest pterosaur tracks. Dinosaur tracksites also have the highest frequency of vertebrate track-bearing levels currently known in any stratigraphic sequence. Among the areas that have the best track records, and the greatest scientific significance with best documentation, Korea ranks very highly. Objective analysis of important individual tracksites and tracksite regions must be based on multiple criteria including: size of site, number of tracks, trackways and track bearing levels, number of valid named ichnotaxa including types, number of scientific publications, quality of preservation. The unique and distinctive dinosaur tracksites are known as one of the world's most important dinosaur track localities. In particular, the dinosaur track sites in southern coastal area of Korea are very unique. In the sites, we have excavated over 10,000 dinosaur tracks. The Hwasun sites show diverse gaits with unusual walking patterns and postures in some tracks. The pterosaur tracks are the most immense in the world. The longest pterosaur trackway yet known from any track sites suggests that pterosaurs were competent terrestrial locomotors. This ichnofauna contains the first pterosaur tracks reported from Asia. The Haenam Uhangri pterosaur assigns to a new genus Haenamichnus which accomodates the new ichnospecies, Haenamichnus uhangriensis. At least 12 track types have been reported from the Haman and Jindong Formations (probably late Lower Cretaceous). These include the types of bird tracks assigned to Koreanornis, Jindongornipes, Ignotornis and Goseongornipes. In addition the bird tracks Hwangsanipes, Uhangrichnus, the pterosaur track Haenamichnus and the dinosaur tracks, Brontopodus, Caririchnium, Minisauripus and

  18. Evaluation on vertebral endplate injury and adjacent intervertebral disk injury of patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures by MRI and its clinical significance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shen Yu; Shen Huiliang; Fang Xiutong; Zhang Wenbo

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the relationship between vertebral endplate injury and adjacent intervertebral disk injury of patients with acute or sub-acute osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVC-F) by MRI, and to provide basis for diagnosis of OVCF. Methods: The clinical data of a total of 66 patients with OVCF underwent vertebroplasty (76 fracture of vertebral bodies) were selected. The vertebral endplate injury and adjacent intervertebral disk injury of OVCF patients were detected by MRI. Results: There were 57 vertebral endplate injury in 76 fracture vertebral bodies (75% ). There were only 27 vertebral bodies with vertebral endplate injury in 57 fracture vertebral bodies with endplate injury (47% ), and 22 vertebral with superior and inferior vertebral endplate injury (39% ), and 8 vertebral bodies with inferior vertebral endplate injury (14% ). There were 48 vertebral bodies with intervertebral disc injury in 76 fracture vertebral bodies (63% ). There were 22 intervertebral disc injury located above the fracture of the lumbar spine in 48 vertebral bodies with intervertebral disc injury (45% ), and 19 fracture vertebral bodies with upper and lower intervertebral disc injury (40% ), and 7 intervertebral injuries located below the fracture of the lumbar spine (15% ). Conclusion: Vertebral endplate injury is frequently associated with the adjacent intervertebral disk injury. The clinical diagnosis and treatment should be emphasized in the fracture vertebral endplate damage and adjacent intervertebral disc injury. (authors)

  19. 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.

  20. The lamprey: a jawless vertebrate model system for examining origin of the neural crest and other vertebrate traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Stephen A; Bronner, Marianne E

    2014-01-01

    Lampreys are a group of jawless fishes that serve as an important point of comparison for studies of vertebrate evolution. Lampreys and hagfishes are agnathan fishes, the cyclostomes, which sit at a crucial phylogenetic position as the only living sister group of the jawed vertebrates. Comparisons between cyclostomes and jawed vertebrates can help identify shared derived (i.e. synapomorphic) traits that might have been inherited from ancestral early vertebrates, if unlikely to have arisen convergently by chance. One example of a uniquely vertebrate trait is the neural crest, an embryonic tissue that produces many cell types crucial to vertebrate features, such as the craniofacial skeleton, pigmentation of the skin, and much of the peripheral nervous system (Gans and Northcutt, 1983). Invertebrate chordates arguably lack unambiguous neural crest homologs, yet have cells with some similarities, making comparisons with lampreys and jawed vertebrates essential for inferring characteristics of development in early vertebrates, and how they may have evolved from nonvertebrate chordates. Here we review recent research on cyclostome neural crest development, including research on lamprey gene regulatory networks and differentiated neural crest fates. Copyright © 2014 International Society of Differentiation. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Development of ITS sequence based molecular marker to distinguish, Tribulus terrestris L. (Zygophyllaceae) from its adulterants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balasubramani, Subramani Paranthaman; Murugan, Ramar; Ravikumar, Kaliamoorthy; Venkatasubramanian, Padma

    2010-09-01

    Tribulus terrestris L. (Zygophyllaceae) is one of the highly traded raw drugs and also used as a stimulative food additive in Europe and USA. While, Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recognizes T. terrestris as Goksura, Tribulus lanuginosus and T. subramanyamii are also traded by the same name raising issues of quality control. The nuclear ribosomal RNA genes and ITS (internal transcribed spacer) sequence were used to develop species-specific DNA markers. The species-specific markers efficiently amplified 295bp for T. terrestris (TT1F and TT1R), 300bp for T. lanuginosus (TL1F and TL1R) and 214bp for T. subramanyamii (TS1F and TS1R). These DNA markers can be used to distinguish T. terrestris from its adulterants. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Terrestrial Ecosystem Responses to Species Gains and Losses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wardle, D.A.; Bardgett, R.D.; Callaway, R.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems worldwide are losing some species and gaining others, resulting in an interchange of species that is having profound impacts on how these ecosystems function. However, research on the effects of species gains and losses has developed largely independently of one another. Recent conceptual

  3. Terrestrial ecosystem responses to species gains and losses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wardle, D.A.; Bardgett, R.D.; Callaway, R.M.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems worldwide are losing some species and gaining others, resulting in an interchange of species that is having profound impacts on how these ecosystems function. However, research on the effects of species gains and losses has developed largely independently of one another. Recent conceptual

  4. Discovering Hidden Diversity of Characins (Teleostei: Characiformes) in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar-Camacho, Daniel; Barriga, Ramiro; Ron, Santiago R.

    2015-01-01

    Background Management and conservation of biodiversity requires adequate species inventories. The Yasuní National Park is one of the most diverse regions on Earth and recent studies of terrestrial vertebrates, based on genetic evidence, have shown high levels of cryptic and undescribed diversity. Few genetic studies have been carried out in freshwater fishes from western Amazonia. Thus, in contrast with terrestrial vertebrates, their content of cryptic diversity remains unknown. In this study, we carried out genetic and morphological analyses on characin fishes at Yasuní National Park, in eastern Ecuador. Our goal was to identify cryptic diversity among one of the most speciose fish families in the Amazon region. This is the first time that genetic evidence has been used to assess the species content of the Napo Basin, one of the richest regions in vertebrate diversity. Results Phylogenetic analyses of partial mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA gene (∼600 pb) DNA sequences from 232 specimens of the family Characidae and its closest groups revealed eight candidate new species among 33 species sampled, representing a 24% increase in species number. Analyses of external morphology allowed us to confirm the species status of six of the candidate species. Conclusions Our results show high levels of cryptic diversity in Amazonian characins. If this group is representative of other Amazonian fish, our results would imply that the species richness of the Amazonian ichthyofauna is highly underestimated. Molecular methods are a necessary tool to obtain more realistic inventories of Neotropical freshwater fishes. PMID:26275041

  5. Phylogeography and spatial structure of the lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris, Perissodactyla: Tapiridae) in South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-García, Manuel; Vásquez, Catalina; Sandoval, Sergio; Kaston, Franz; Luengas-Villamil, Kelly; Shostell, Joseph Mark

    2016-07-01

    We sequenced the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of 141 lowland tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) - representing the largest geographical distribution sample of this species studied across of South America to date. We compare our new data regard to two previous works on population structure and molecular systematics of T. terrestris. Our data agree with the Thoisy et al.'s work in (1) the Northern Western Amazon basin was the area with the highest gene diversity levels in T. terrestris, being probably the area of initial diversification; (2) there was no clear association between haplogroups and specific geographical areas; (3) there were clear population decreases during the last glacial maximum for the different haplogroups detected, followed by population expansions during the Holocene; and (4) our temporal splits among different T. terrestris haplogroups coincided with the first molecular clock approach carried out by these authors (fossil calibration). Nevertheless, our study disagreed regard to other aspects of the Thoisy et al.'s claims: (1) meanwhile, they detected four relevant clades in their data, we put forward six different relevant clades; (2) the Amazon River was not a strong barrier for haplotype dispersion in T. terrestris; and (3) we found reciprocal monophyly between T. terrestris and T. pinchaque. Additionally, we sequenced 42 individuals (T. terrestris, T. pinchaque, T. bairdii, and the alleged "new species", T. kabomani) for three concatenated mitochondrial genes (Cyt-b, COI, and COII) agreeing quite well with the view of Voss et al., and against of the claims of Cozzuol et al. Tapirus kabomani should be not considered as a full species with the results obtained throughout the mitochondrial sequences.

  6. Widespread Wolbachia infection in terrestrial isopods and other crustaceans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Cordaux

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Wolbachia bacteria are obligate intracellular alpha-Proteobacteria of arthropods and nematodes. Although widespread among isopod crustaceans, they have seldom been found in non-isopod crustacean species. Here, we report Wolbachia infection in fourteen new crustacean species. Our results extend the range of Wolbachia infections in terrestrial isopods and amphipods (class Malacostraca. We report the occurrence of two different Wolbachia strains in two host species (a terrestrial isopod and an amphipod. Moreover, the discovery of Wolbachia in the goose barnacle Lepas anatifera (subclass Thecostraca establishes Wolbachia infection in class Maxillopoda. The new bacterial strains are closely related to B-supergroup Wolbachia strains previously reported from crustacean hosts. Our results suggest that Wolbachia infection may be much more widespread in crustaceans than previously thought. The presence of related Wolbachia strains in highly divergent crustacean hosts suggests that Wolbachia endosymbionts can naturally adapt to a wide range of crustacean hosts. Given the ability of isopod Wolbachia strains to induce feminization of genetic males or cytoplasmic incompatibility, we speculate that manipulation of crustacean-borne Wolbachia bacteria might represent potential tools for controlling crustacean species of commercial interest and crustacean or insect disease vectors.

  7. Quantification of habitat fragmentation reveals extinction risk in terrestrial mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Although habitat fragmentation is often assumed to be a primary driver of extinction, global patterns of fragmentation and its relationship to extinction risk have not been consistently quantified for any major animal taxon. We developed high-resolution habitat fragmentation models and used phylogenetic comparative methods to quantify the effects of habitat fragmentation on the world’s terrestrial mammals, including 4,018 species across 26 taxonomic Orders. Results demonstrate that species with more fragmentation are at greater risk of extinction, even after accounting for the effects of key macroecological predictors, such as body size and geographic range size. Species with higher fragmentation had smaller ranges and a lower proportion of high-suitability habitat within their range, and most high-suitability habitat occurred outside of protected areas, further elevating extinction risk. Our models provide a quantitative evaluation of extinction risk assessments for species, allow for identification of emerging threats in species not classified as threatened, and provide maps of global hotspots of fragmentation for the world’s terrestrial mammals. Quantification of habitat fragmentation will help guide threat assessment and strategic priorities for global mammal conservation. PMID:28673992

  8. Repeated vertebral augmentation for new vertebral compression fractures of postvertebral augmentation patients: a nationwide cohort study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang CL

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Cheng-Loong Liang,1 Hao-Kwan Wang,1 Fei-Kai Syu,2 Kuo-Wei Wang,1 Kang Lu,1 Po-Chou Liliang1 1Department of Neurosurgery, E-Da Hospital, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan; 2Department of Pharmacy, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung City, Taiwan Purpose: Postvertebral augmentation vertebral compression fractures are common; repeated vertebral augmentation is usually performed for prompt pain relief. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence and risk factors of repeat vertebral augmentation.Methods: We performed a retrospective, nationwide, population-based longitudinal observation study, using the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD of Taiwan. All patients who received vertebral augmentation for vertebral compression fractures were evaluated. The collected data included patient characteristics (demographics, comorbidities, and medication exposure and repeat vertebral augmentation. Kaplan–Meier and stratified Cox proportional hazard regressions were performed for analyses.Results: The overall incidence of repeat vertebral augmentation was 11.3% during the follow-up until 2010. Patients with the following characteristics were at greater risk for repeat vertebral augmentation: female sex (AOR=1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–2.36, advanced age (AOR=1.60; 95% CI: 1.32–2.08, diabetes mellitus (AOR=4.31; 95% CI: 4.05–5.88, cerebrovascular disease (AOR=4.09; 95% CI: 3.44–5.76, dementia (AOR=1.97; 95% CI: 1.69–2.33, blindness or low vision (AOR=3.72; 95% CI: 2.32–3.95, hypertension (AOR=2.58; 95% CI: 2.35–3.47, and hyperlipidemia (AOR=2.09; 95% CI: 1.67–2.22. Patients taking calcium/ vitamin D (AOR=2.98; 95% CI: 1.83–3.93, bisphosphonates (AOR=2.11; 95% CI: 1.26–2.61, or calcitonin (AOR=4.59; 95% CI: 3.40–5.77 were less likely to undergo repeat vertebral augmentation; however, those taking steroids (AOR=7.28; 95% CI: 6.32–8.08, acetaminophen (AOR=3.54; 95% CI: 2.75–4.83, or nonsteroidal

  9. Inheritance of vertebral number in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jussi S Alho

    Full Text Available Intraspecific variation in the number of vertebrae is taxonomically widespread, and both genetic and environmental factors are known to contribute to this variation. However, the relative importance of genetic versus environmental influences on variation in vertebral number has seldom been investigated with study designs that minimize bias due to non-additive genetic and maternal influences. We used a paternal half-sib design and animal model analysis to estimate heritability and causal components of variance in vertebral number in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus. We found that both the number of vertebrae (h(2 = 0.36 and body size (h(2 = 0.42 were moderately heritable, whereas the influence of maternal effects was estimated to be negligible. While the number of vertebrae had a positive effect on body size, no evidence for a genetic correlation between body size and vertebral number was detected. However, there was a significant positive environmental correlation between these two traits. Our results support the generalization--in accordance with results from a review of heritability estimates for vertebral number in fish, reptiles and mammals--that the number of vertebrae appears to be moderately to highly heritable in a wide array of species. In the case of the three-spined stickleback, independent evolution of body size and number of vertebrae should be possible given the low genetic correlation between the two traits.

  10. Inheritance of Vertebral Number in the Three-Spined Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alho, Jussi S.; Leinonen, Tuomas; Merilä, Juha

    2011-01-01

    Intraspecific variation in the number of vertebrae is taxonomically widespread, and both genetic and environmental factors are known to contribute to this variation. However, the relative importance of genetic versus environmental influences on variation in vertebral number has seldom been investigated with study designs that minimize bias due to non-additive genetic and maternal influences. We used a paternal half-sib design and animal model analysis to estimate heritability and causal components of variance in vertebral number in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We found that both the number of vertebrae (h2 = 0.36) and body size (h2 = 0.42) were moderately heritable, whereas the influence of maternal effects was estimated to be negligible. While the number of vertebrae had a positive effect on body size, no evidence for a genetic correlation between body size and vertebral number was detected. However, there was a significant positive environmental correlation between these two traits. Our results support the generalization-in accordance with results from a review of heritability estimates for vertebral number in fish, reptiles and mammals-that the number of vertebrae appears to be moderately to highly heritable in a wide array of species. In the case of the three-spined stickleback, independent evolution of body size and number of vertebrae should be possible given the low genetic correlation between the two traits. PMID:21603609

  11. The vertebral morphology of the estuarine dolphin, Sotalia guianensis (Cetacea, Delphinidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo César Simões-Lopes

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available We present a description of the backbone of the marine tucuzi (Sotalia guianensis vertebrae (n= 34, including the variations in the vertebral formula (n= 32(UFSC- Universidade Federal de Santa catarina: Ce7, T12,L10-12,Ca23-25= 52-56. Species diagnostic characters and intraspecific variations are presented. Cervical ribs occur in 22.5% of the samples. The metapophyses start from the fourth thoracic vertebra, and the zigapophyses start at the cervical level, being observed up to T11. The inclination of the transverse processes and neurapophyses is most reduced around L5 or L6. Transverse processes on caudal vertebrae disappear between Ca9 and Ca13. The neurapophyses, neural arches and metapophyses are observed up to Ca13 or Ca15. Caudal foramina appear between Ca3 and Ca6. The height of the vertebral body increases up to Ca13, then starts to decrease. The maximum width is found around Ca6, where the vertebral body becomes laterally compressed. The length of the vertebral body increases from the last cervical to T7 and then remains constant up to Ca13, decreasing from then on. This is the first study to take into account intraspecific shape and count variations, representing an improvement over the traditional typologic approach.

  12. Rethinking Trade-Driven Extinction Risk in Marine and Terrestrial Megafauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClenachan, Loren; Cooper, Andrew B; Dulvy, Nicholas K

    2016-06-20

    Large animals hunted for the high value of their parts (e.g., elephant ivory and shark fins) are at risk of extinction due to both intensive international trade pressure and intrinsic biological sensitivity. However, the relative role of trade, particularly in non-perishable products, and biological factors in driving extinction risk is not well understood [1-4]. Here we identify a taxonomically diverse group of >100 marine and terrestrial megafauna targeted for international luxury markets; estimate their value across three points of sale; test relationships among extinction risk, high value, and body size; and quantify the effects of two mitigating factors: poaching fines and geographic range size. We find that body size is the principal driver of risk for lower value species, but that this biological pattern is eliminated above a value threshold, meaning that the most valuable species face a high extinction risk regardless of size. For example, once mean product values exceed US$12,557 kg(-1), body size no longer drives risk. Total value scales with size for marine animals more strongly than for terrestrial animals, incentivizing the hunting of large marine individuals and species. Poaching fines currently have little effect on extinction risk; fines would need to be increased 10- to 100-fold to be effective. Large geographic ranges reduce risk for terrestrial, but not marine, species, whose ranges are ten times greater. Our results underscore both the evolutionary and ecosystem consequences of targeting large marine animals and the need to geographically scale up and prioritize conservation of high-value marine species to avoid extinction. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Rare earth element composition of Paleogene vertebrate fossils from Toadstool Geologic Park, Nebraska, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grandstaff, D.E., E-mail: grand@temple.edu [Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122 (United States); Terry, D.O. [Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122 (United States)

    2009-04-15

    Fossil bones and teeth from terrestrial environments encode unique rare earth and trace element (REE and TE) signatures as a function of redox conditions, pH, concentrations of complexing ligands, and water-colloid interactions. This signature is set early in the fossilization process and serves as a paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic proxy. These signatures can also be used to interpret temporal and spatial averaging within vertebrate accumulations, and can help relocate displaced fossil bones back into stratigraphic context. Rare earth elements in vertebrate fossils from upper Eocene and Oligocene strata of Toadstool Geologic Park, northwestern Nebraska, record mixing and evolution of Paleogene vadose or groundwaters and variations in paleoenvironments. REE signatures indicate that HREE-enriched alkaline groundwater reacted with LREE- and MREE-enriched sediments to produce 3-component mixtures. REE signatures become increasingly LREE- and MREE-enriched toward the top of the studied section as the paleoenvironment became cooler and drier, suggesting that REE signatures may be climate proxies. Time series analysis suggests that REE ratios are influenced by cycles of ca. 1050, 800, 570, 440, and 225 ka, similar to some previously determined Milankovitch astronomical and climate periodicities.

  14. Status and Conservation Possibilities of Papua New Guinea’s Terrestrial Mammals

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    David Lopez Cornelio

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The status of Papua New Guinea’s terrestrial mammals is revised according to their geographical distribution,life history characteristics, and current conservation plans and legislation. Considering their uniqueness andthreatening factors, their appropriate management is critical to achieve sustainable development in the country.Concerning marsupial species no one has been yet domesticated, there is no organized breeding and theirnatural productivity is generally lower than ruminants. Their conservation status is related to their size assmaller species are usually more prolific, less conspicuous, and less preferred by hunters. Differences onevolutionary ecology between families are discussed, and recommendations are given for the assessment andfurther conservation of vulnerable species. Conservation programs must go alongside with rural livelihoodsimprovement through ecotourism, food security, and marketing of non timber forest products.Keywords: terrestrial mammal, marsupial spesies, conservation status, Papua New Guinea

  15. 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...

  16. Nematodes from terrestrial and freshwater habitats in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Abstract We present an updated list of terrestrial and freshwater nematodes from all regions of the Arctic, for which records of properly identified nematode species are available: Svalbard, Jan Mayen, Iceland, Greenland, Nunavut, Northwest territories, Alaska, Lena River estuary, Taymyr and Severnaya Zemlya and Novaya Zemlya. The list includes 391 species belonging to 146 genera, 54 families and 10 orders of the phylum Nematoda. PMID:25197239

  17. The role of transposable elements in the evolution of non-mammalian vertebrates and invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Transposable elements (TEs) have played an important role in the diversification and enrichment of mammalian transcriptomes through various mechanisms such as exonization and intronization (the birth of new exons/introns from previously intronic/exonic sequences, respectively), and insertion into first and last exons. However, no extensive analysis has compared the effects of TEs on the transcriptomes of mammals, non-mammalian vertebrates and invertebrates. Results We analyzed the influence of TEs on the transcriptomes of five species, three invertebrates and two non-mammalian vertebrates. Compared to previously analyzed mammals, there were lower levels of TE introduction into introns, significantly lower numbers of exonizations originating from TEs and a lower percentage of TE insertion within the first and last exons. Although the transcriptomes of vertebrates exhibit significant levels of exonization of TEs, only anecdotal cases were found in invertebrates. In vertebrates, as in mammals, the exonized TEs are mostly alternatively spliced, indicating that selective pressure maintains the original mRNA product generated from such genes. Conclusions Exonization of TEs is widespread in mammals, less so in non-mammalian vertebrates, and very low in invertebrates. We assume that the exonization process depends on the length of introns. Vertebrates, unlike invertebrates, are characterized by long introns and short internal exons. Our results suggest that there is a direct link between the length of introns and exonization of TEs and that this process became more prevalent following the appearance of mammals. PMID:20525173

  18. Global gradients in vertebrate diversity predicted by historical area-productivity dynamics and contemporary environment.

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    Walter Jetz

    Full Text Available Broad-scale geographic gradients in species richness have now been extensively documented, but their historical underpinning is still not well understood. While the importance of productivity, temperature, and a scale dependence of the determinants of diversity is broadly acknowledged, we argue here that limitation to a single analysis scale and data pseudo-replication have impeded an integrated evolutionary and ecological understanding of diversity gradients. We develop and apply a hierarchical analysis framework for global diversity gradients that incorporates an explicit accounting of past environmental variation and provides an appropriate measurement of richness. Due to environmental niche conservatism, organisms generally reside in climatically defined bioregions, or "evolutionary arenas," characterized by in situ speciation and extinction. These bioregions differ in age and their total productivity and have varied over time in area and energy available for diversification. We show that, consistently across the four major terrestrial vertebrate groups, current-day species richness of the world's main 32 bioregions is best explained by a model that integrates area and productivity over geological time together with temperature. Adding finer scale variation in energy availability as an ecological predictor of within-bioregional patterns of richness explains much of the remaining global variation in richness at the 110 km grain. These results highlight the separate evolutionary and ecological effects of energy availability and provide a first conceptual and empirical integration of the key drivers of broad-scale richness gradients. Avoiding the pseudo-replication that hampers the evolutionary interpretation of non-hierarchical macroecological analyses, our findings integrate evolutionary and ecological mechanisms at their most relevant scales and offer a new synthesis regarding global diversity gradients.

  19. Dynamic evolution of bitter taste receptor genes in vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jones Gareth

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sensing bitter tastes is crucial for many animals because it can prevent them from ingesting harmful foods. This process is mainly mediated by the bitter taste receptors (T2R, which are largely expressed in the taste buds. Previous studies have identified some T2R gene repertoires, and marked variation in repertoire size has been noted among species. However, the mechanisms underlying the evolution of vertebrate T2R genes remain poorly understood. Results To better understand the evolutionary pattern of these genes, we identified 16 T2R gene repertoires based on the high coverage genome sequences of vertebrates and studied the evolutionary changes in the number of T2R genes during birth-and-death evolution using the reconciled-tree method. We found that the number of T2R genes and the fraction of pseudogenes vary extensively among species. Based on the results of phylogenetic analysis, we showed that T2R gene families in teleost fishes are more diverse than those in tetrapods. In addition to the independent gene expansions in teleost fishes, frogs and mammals, lineage-specific gene duplications were also detected in lizards. Furthermore, extensive gains and losses of T2R genes were detected in each lineage during their evolution, resulting in widely differing T2R gene repertoires. Conclusion These results further support the hypotheses that T2R gene repertoires are closely related to the dietary habits of different species and that birth-and-death evolution is associated with adaptations to dietary changes.

  20. Diagnosis of vertebral fractures on lateral chest X-ray: Intraobserver agreement of semi-quantitative vertebral fracture assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jagt-Willems, H.C. van der; Munster, B.C. van; Leeflang, M.; Beuerle, E.; Tulner, C.R.; Lems, W.F.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • (Lateral) chest X-ray's are often performed in older individuals for various reasons. • Vertebral fractures are visualized on lateral chest X-ray, but the diagnosis of vertebral fractures is until now only validated on (lateral) spine X-ray's. • This study shows that a (lateral) chest X-ray is sufficient for the diagnosis of vertebral fractures. • Older individuals with a vertebral fracture on a (lateral) chest X-ray do not need further radiography with thoracic spine X-ray or vertebral fracture assessment with DXA. - Abstract: Background: In clinical practice lateral images of the chest are performed for various reasons. As these lateral chest X rays show the vertebrae of the thoracic and thoraco-lumbar region, we wondered if these X-rays can be used for evaluation of vertebral fractures instead of separate thoracic spine X-rays. Methods: To evaluate the agreement and intraobserver reliability of the semi-quantitative method for vertebral fractures on the lateral chest X-ray (X-chest) in comparison to the lateral thoracic spine X-ray (X-Tspine), two observers scored vertebral fractures on X-Tspine and twice on X-chest, separately, blinded and in different time periods. Agreement and Cohens’ kappa were calculated for a diagnosis of any fracture on patient level and on vertebral body level. The study was done in patients visiting an outpatient geriatric day clinic, with a high prevalence of vertebral fractures. Results: 109 patients were included. The intraobserver agreement for X-chest versus X-Tspine was 95–98% for the two levels of fracturing, with a Cohen's kappa of 0.88–0.91. The intraobserver agreement and reliability of the re-test on the X-chest showed an agreement between 91 and 98% with a Cohen's kappa of 0.81–0.93. More vertebrae were visible on the X-chest, mean 10.2, SD 0.66 versus mean 9.8, SD 0.73 on the X-Tspine (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The results show good agreement and intraobserver reliability on

  1. Diagnosis of vertebral fractures on lateral chest X-ray: Intraobserver agreement of semi-quantitative vertebral fracture assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jagt-Willems, H.C. van der, E-mail: Hvanderjagt@spaarneziekenhuis.nl [Department of Geriatrics, Slotervaart Hospital, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Department of Internal Medicine, Spaarne Hospital, Hoofddorp (Netherlands); Munster, B.C. van [Department of Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Department of Geriatrics, Gelre Hospitals, Apeldoorn (Netherlands); Leeflang, M. [Department of Geriatrics, Gelre Hospitals, Apeldoorn (Netherlands); Beuerle, E. [Department of Radiology, Slotervaart Hospital, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Tulner, C.R. [Department of Geriatrics, Slotervaart Hospital, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Lems, W.F. [Department of Rheumatology, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    2014-12-15

    Highlights: • (Lateral) chest X-ray's are often performed in older individuals for various reasons. • Vertebral fractures are visualized on lateral chest X-ray, but the diagnosis of vertebral fractures is until now only validated on (lateral) spine X-ray's. • This study shows that a (lateral) chest X-ray is sufficient for the diagnosis of vertebral fractures. • Older individuals with a vertebral fracture on a (lateral) chest X-ray do not need further radiography with thoracic spine X-ray or vertebral fracture assessment with DXA. - Abstract: Background: In clinical practice lateral images of the chest are performed for various reasons. As these lateral chest X rays show the vertebrae of the thoracic and thoraco-lumbar region, we wondered if these X-rays can be used for evaluation of vertebral fractures instead of separate thoracic spine X-rays. Methods: To evaluate the agreement and intraobserver reliability of the semi-quantitative method for vertebral fractures on the lateral chest X-ray (X-chest) in comparison to the lateral thoracic spine X-ray (X-Tspine), two observers scored vertebral fractures on X-Tspine and twice on X-chest, separately, blinded and in different time periods. Agreement and Cohens’ kappa were calculated for a diagnosis of any fracture on patient level and on vertebral body level. The study was done in patients visiting an outpatient geriatric day clinic, with a high prevalence of vertebral fractures. Results: 109 patients were included. The intraobserver agreement for X-chest versus X-Tspine was 95–98% for the two levels of fracturing, with a Cohen's kappa of 0.88–0.91. The intraobserver agreement and reliability of the re-test on the X-chest showed an agreement between 91 and 98% with a Cohen's kappa of 0.81–0.93. More vertebrae were visible on the X-chest, mean 10.2, SD 0.66 versus mean 9.8, SD 0.73 on the X-Tspine (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The results show good agreement and intraobserver reliability on

  2. Evolution of vertebrate interferon inducible transmembrane proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hickford Danielle

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Interferon inducible transmembrane proteins (IFITMs have diverse roles, including the control of cell proliferation, promotion of homotypic cell adhesion, protection against viral infection, promotion of bone matrix maturation and mineralisation, and mediating germ cell development. Most IFITMs have been well characterised in human and mouse but little published data exists for other animals. This study characterised IFITMs in two distantly related marsupial species, the Australian tammar wallaby and the South American grey short-tailed opossum, and analysed the phylogeny of the IFITM family in vertebrates. Results Five IFITM paralogues were identified in both the tammar and opossum. As in eutherians, most marsupial IFITM genes exist within a cluster, contain two exons and encode proteins with two transmembrane domains. Only two IFITM genes, IFITM5 and IFITM10, have orthologues in both marsupials and eutherians. IFITM5 arose in bony fish and IFITM10 in tetrapods. The bone-specific expression of IFITM5 appears to be restricted to therian mammals, suggesting that its specialised role in bone production is a recent adaptation specific to mammals. IFITM10 is the most highly conserved IFITM, sharing at least 85% amino acid identity between birds, reptiles and mammals and suggesting an important role for this presently uncharacterised protein. Conclusions Like eutherians, marsupials also have multiple IFITM genes that exist in a gene cluster. The differing expression patterns for many of the paralogues, together with poor sequence conservation between species, suggests that IFITM genes have acquired many different roles during vertebrate evolution.

  3. Imaging assessment of vertebral burst fracture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ding Jianlin; Liang Lihua; Wang Yujia

    2006-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the diagnostic value of radiography, CT and MRI in diagnosis of vertebral burst fracture. Methods: 51 patients with vertebral burst fracture were evaluated with X-ray, CT and MRI, including 3 cases in cervical vertebra, 18 cases in thoracic vertebra, and 30 cases in lumbar vertebra. The imaging features were comparatively studied. Results: Radiography showed decreased height of the vertebral body, increased antero-posterior diameter and the transverse diameter, and/or the widened interpedicle distance, the inter-spinous distance, as well as the bony fragment inserted into the vertebral canal in 28 cases(54.90%). X-ray findings similar to the compression fracture were revealed in 20 cases(39.21%). And missed diagnosis was made in 3 cases (5.88%). CT clearly demon-strated the vertebral body vertically or transversely burst crack in 49 cases (96.07%); bony fragment inserted into the vertebral canal and narrowed vertebral canal in 35 cases(68. 62% ); fracture of spinal appendix in 22 cases(43.14%). Meanwhile MRI showed abnormal signals within the spinal cord in 35 cases (68.62%),injured intervertebral disk in 29 cases(56.86% ), extradural hematoma in 12 cases(23.52% ) and torn posterior longitudinal ligament in 6 cases (11.76%). Conclusions: Radiography is the routine examination, while with limited diagnostic value in vertebral burst fracture. These patients who have nervous symptoms with simple compression fracture or unremarkable on X-ray should receive the CT or MRI examination. CT is better than MRI in demonstrating the fracture and the displaced bony fragment, while MRI is superior to CT in showing nervous injuries. CT and MRI will provide comprehensive information guiding clinical treatment of vertebral burst fracture. (authors)

  4. Microbial ecology of Thailand tsunami and non-tsunami affected terrestrials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somboonna, Naraporn; Wilantho, Alisa; Jankaew, Kruawun; Assawamakin, Anunchai; Sangsrakru, Duangjai; Tangphatsornruang, Sithichoke; Tongsima, Sissades

    2014-01-01

    The effects of tsunamis on microbial ecologies have been ill-defined, especially in Phang Nga province, Thailand. This ecosystem was catastrophically impacted by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as well as the 600 year-old tsunami in Phra Thong island, Phang Nga province. No study has been conducted to elucidate their effects on microbial ecology. This study represents the first to elucidate their effects on microbial ecology. We utilized metagenomics with 16S and 18S rDNA-barcoded pyrosequencing to obtain prokaryotic and eukaryotic profiles for this terrestrial site, tsunami affected (S1), as well as a parallel unaffected terrestrial site, non-tsunami affected (S2). S1 demonstrated unique microbial community patterns than S2. The dendrogram constructed using the prokaryotic profiles supported the unique S1 microbial communities. S1 contained more proportions of archaea and bacteria domains, specifically species belonging to Bacteroidetes became more frequent, in replacing of the other typical floras like Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Basidiomycota. Pathogenic microbes, including Acinetobacter haemolyticus, Flavobacterium spp. and Photobacterium spp., were also found frequently in S1. Furthermore, different metabolic potentials highlighted this microbial community change could impact the functional ecology of the site. Moreover, the habitat prediction based on percent of species indicators for marine, brackish, freshwater and terrestrial niches pointed the S1 to largely comprise marine habitat indicating-species.

  5. [Correlation analysis of cement leakage with volume ratio of intravertebral bone cement to vertebral body and vertebral body wall incompetence in percutaneous vertebroplasty for osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, De; Ye, Linqiang; Jiang, Xiaobing; Huang, Weiquan; Yao, Zhensong; Tang, Yongchao; Zhang, Shuncong; Jin, Daxiang

    2014-11-01

    To investigate the risk factors of cement leakage in percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) for osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture (OVCF). Between March 2011 and March 2012, 98 patients with single level OVCF were treated by PVP, and the clinical data were analyzed retrospectively. There were 13 males and 85 females, with a mean age of 77.2 years (range, 54-95 years). The mean disease duration was 43 days (range, 15-120 days), and the mean T score of bone mineral density (BMD) was -3.8 (range, -6.7- -2.5). Bilateral transpedicular approach was used in all the patients. The patients were divided into cement leakage group and no cement leakage group by occurrence of cement leakage based on postoperative CT. Single factor analysis was used to analyze the difference between 2 groups in T score of BMD, operative level, preoperative anterior compression degree of operative vertebrae, preoperative middle compression degree of operative vertebrae, preoperative sagittal Cobb angle of operative vertebrae, preoperative vertebral body wall incompetence, cement volume, and volume ratio of intravertebral bone cement to vertebral body. All relevant factors were introduced to logistic regression analysis to analyze the risk factors of cement leakage. All procedures were performed successfully. The mean operation time was 40 minutes (range, 30-50 minutes), and the mean volume ratio of intravertebral bone cement to vertebral body was 24.88% (range, 7.84%-38.99%). Back pain was alleviated significantly in all the patients postoperatively. All patients were followed up with a mean time of 8 months (range, 6-12 months). Cement leakage occurred in 49 patients. Single factor analysis showed that there were significant differences in the volume ratio of intravertebral bone cement to vertebral body and preoperative vertebral body wall incompetence between 2 groups (P 0.05). The logistic regression analysis showed that the volume ratio of intravertebral bone cement to vertebral body (P

  6. Taiwan's industrial heavy metal pollution threatens terrestrial biota

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hsu, M.J. [Department of Biological Sciences, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan (China); Selvaraj, K. [Institute of Marine Geology and Chemistry, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan (China); Agoramoorthy, G. [Department of Pharmacy, Tajen University, Yanpu, Pingtung 907, Taiwan (China)]. E-mail: agoram@mail.tajen.edu.tw

    2006-09-15

    The bioconcentration levels of essential (Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, and Zn) and non-essential (As, Cd, Hg, Pb, and Sn) elements have been investigated in different terrestrial biota such as fungi, plant, earthworm, snail, crab, insect, amphibian, lizard, snake, and bat including the associated soil, to investigate the ecosystem health status in Kenting National Park, Taiwan. High bioconcentrations of Cd, Hg, and Sn in snail, earthworm, crab, lizard, snake, and bat indicated a contaminated terrestrial ecosystem. High concentrations of Cd, Hg, and Sn in plant species, effective bioaccumulation of Cd by earthworm, snail, crab and bat, as well as very high levels of Hg found in invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles revealed a strong influence from industrial pollution on the biotic community. This study for the first time presents data on the impact of heavy metal pollution on various terrestrial organisms in Taiwan. - Metal effects occur at any terrestrial levels in Taiwan.

  7. The importance of ultraviolet and near-infrared sensitivity for visual discrimination in two species of lacertid lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Mélissa; Le Galliard, Jean-François; Meylan, Sandrine; Loew, Ellis R

    2015-02-01

    Male and female Lacertid lizards often display conspicuous coloration that is involved in intraspecific communication. However, visual systems of Lacertidae have rarely been studied and the spectral sensitivity of their retinal photoreceptors remains unknown. Here, we characterise the spectral sensitivity of two Lacertid species from contrasting habitats: the wall lizard Podarcis muralis and the common lizard Zootoca vivipara. Both species possess a pure-cone retina with one spectral class of double cones and four spectral classes of single cones. The two species differ in the spectral sensitivity of the LWS cones, the relative abundance of UVS single cones (potentially more abundant in Z. vivipara) and the coloration of oil droplets. Wall lizards have pure vitamin A1-based photopigments, whereas common lizards possess mixed vitamin A1 and A2 photopigments, extending spectral sensitivity into the near infrared, which is a rare feature in terrestrial vertebrates. We found that spectral sensitivity in the UV and near infrared improves discrimination of small variations in throat coloration among Z. vivipara. Thus, retinal specialisations optimise chromatic resolution in common lizards, indicating that the visual system and visual signals might co-evolve. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Evolution of the vertebrate claudin gene family: insights from a basal vertebrate, the sea lamprey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukendi, Christian; Dean, Nicholas; Lala, Rushil; Smith, Jeramiah; Bronner, Marianne E; Nikitina, Natalya V

    2016-01-01

    Claudins are major constituents of tight junctions, contributing both to their intercellular sealing and selective permeability properties. While claudins and claudin-like molecules are present in some invertebrates, the association of claudins with tight junctions has been conclusively documented only in vertebrates. Here we report the sequencing, phylogenetic analysis and comprehensive spatiotemporal expression analysis of the entire claudin gene family in the basal extant vertebrate, the sea lamprey. Our results demonstrate that clear orthologues to about half of all mammalian claudins are present in the lamprey, suggesting that at least one round of whole genome duplication contributed to the diversification of this gene family. Expression analysis revealed that claudins are expressed in discrete and specific domains, many of which represent vertebrate-specific innovations, such as in cranial ectodermal placodes and the neural crest; whereas others represent structures characteristic of chordates, e.g. pronephros, notochord, somites, endostyle and pharyngeal arches. By comparing the embryonic expression of claudins in the lamprey to that of other vertebrates, we found that ancestral expression patterns were often preserved in higher vertebrates. Morpholino mediated loss of Cldn3b demonstrated a functional role for this protein in placode and pharyngeal arch morphogenesis. Taken together, our data provide novel insights into the origins and evolution of the claudin gene family and the significance of claudin proteins in the evolution of vertebrates.

  9. Vertebral chondroblastoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ilaslan, Hakan; Sundaram, Murali; Unni, Krishnan K.

    2003-01-01

    To determine the age distribution, gender, incidence, and imaging findings of vertebral chondroblastoma, and to compare our series with findings from case reports in the world literature.Design and patients Case records and imaging findings of nine histologically documented vertebral chondroblastomas were retrospectively reviewed for patient age, gender, vertebral column location and level, morphology, matrix, edema, soft tissue mass, spinal canal invasion, and metastases. Our findings were compared with a total of nine patients identified from previous publications in the world literature. The histologic findings in our cases was re-reviewed for diagnosis and specifically for features of calcification and secondary aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC). Clinical follow-up was requested from referring institutions. Nine of 856 chondroblastomas arose in vertebrae (incidence 1.4%; thoracic 5, lumbar 1, cervical 2, sacral 1). There were six males and three females ranging in age from 5 to 41 years (mean 28 years). Satisfactory imaging from seven patients revealed the tumor to arise from the posterior elements in four and the body in three. All tumors were expansive, six of seven were aggressive, and the spinal canal was significantly narrowed by bone or soft tissue mass in six. In one patient canal invasion was minimal. Calcification was pronounced in two and subtle in four. The sole nonaggressive-appearing tumor was heavily mineralized. Bony edema and secondary ABC were not seen on MR imaging. None of the cases had microscopic features of significant secondary ABC. Calcification, and specifically ''chicken wire'' calcification, was identified in two patients. Pulmonary metastases occurred in none. Vertebral chondroblastoma is a rare neoplasm that presents later in life than its appendicular counterpart. On imaging it is aggressive in appearance with bone destruction, soft tissue mass, and spinal canal invasion. The lesions contain variable amounts of mineral. Secondary

  10. Evolutionary hierarchy of vertebrate-like heterotrimeric G protein families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, Arunkumar; Mustafa, Arshi; Almén, Markus Sällman; Fredriksson, Robert; Williams, Michael J; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2015-10-01

    Heterotrimeric G proteins perform a crucial role as molecular switches controlling various cellular responses mediated by G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling pathway. Recent data have shown that the vertebrate-like G protein families are found across metazoans and their closest unicellular relatives. However, an overall evolutionary hierarchy of vertebrate-like G proteins, including gene family annotations and in particular mapping individual gene gain/loss events across diverse holozoan lineages is still incomplete. Here, with more expanded invertebrate taxon sampling, we have reconstructed phylogenetic trees for each of the G protein classes/families and provide a robust classification and hierarchy of vertebrate-like heterotrimeric G proteins. Our results further extend the evidence that the common ancestor (CA) of holozoans had at least five ancestral Gα genes corresponding to all major vertebrate Gα classes and contain a total of eight genes including two Gβ and one Gγ. Our results also indicate that the GNAI/O-like gene likely duplicated in the last CA of metazoans to give rise to GNAI- and GNAO-like genes, which are conserved across invertebrates. Moreover, homologs of GNB1-4 paralogon- and GNB5 family-like genes are found in most metazoans and that the unicellular holozoans encode two ancestral Gβ genes. Similarly, most bilaterian invertebrates encode two Gγ genes which include a representative of the GNG gene cluster and a putative homolog of GNG13. Interestingly, our results also revealed key evolutionary events such as the Drosophila melanogaster eye specific Gβ subunit that is found conserved in most arthropods and several previously unidentified species specific expansions within Gαi/o, Gαs, Gαq, Gα12/13 classes and the GNB1-4 paralogon. Also, we provide an overall proposed evolutionary scenario on the expansions of all G protein families in vertebrate tetraploidizations. Our robust classification/hierarchy is essential to further

  11. Impacts of Environmental Nanoparticles on Chemical, Biological and Hydrological Processes in Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qafoku, Nikolla

    2012-01-01

    This chapter provides insights on nanoparticle (NP) influence or control on the extent and timescales of single or coupled physical, chemical, biological and hydrological reactions and processes that occur in terrestrial ecosystems. Examples taken from the literature that show how terrestrial NPs may determine the fate of the aqueous and sorbed (adsorbed or precipitated) chemical species of nutrients and contaminants, are also included in this chapter. Specifically, in the first section, chapter objectives, term definitions and discussions on size-dependent properties, the origin and occurrence of NP in terrestrial ecosystems and NP toxicity, are included. In the second section, the topic of the binary interactions of NPs of different sizes, shapes, concentrations and ages with the soil solution chemical species is covered, focusing on NP formation, stability, aggregation, ability to serve as sorbents, or surface-mediated precipitation catalysts, or electron donors and acceptors. In the third section, aspects of the interactions in the ternary systems composed of environmental NP, nutrient/contaminant chemical species, and the soil/sediment matrix are discussed, focusing on the inhibitory and catalytic effects of environmental NP on nutrient/contaminant advective mobility and mass transfer, adsorption and desorption, dissolution and precipitation and redox reactions that occur in terrestrial ecosystems. These three review sections are followed by a short summary of future research needs and directions, the acknowledgements, the list of the references, and the figures.

  12. Allometry and Scaling of the Intraocular Pressure and Aqueous Humour Flow Rate in Vertebrate Eyes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zouache, Moussa A.; Eames, Ian; Samsudin, Amir

    2016-01-01

    In vertebrates, intraocular pressure (IOP) is required to maintain the eye into a shape allowing it to function as an optical instrument. It is sustained by the balance between the production of aqueous humour by the ciliary body and the resistance to its outflow from the eye. Dysregulation of the IOP is often pathological to vision. High IOP may lead to glaucoma, which is in man the second most prevalent cause of blindness. Here, we examine the importance of the IOP and rate of formation of aqueous humour in the development of vertebrate eyes by performing allometric and scaling analyses of the forces acting on the eye during head movement and the energy demands of the cornea, and testing the predictions of the models against a list of measurements in vertebrates collated through a systematic review. We show that the IOP has a weak dependence on body mass, and that in order to maintain the focal length of the eye, it needs to be an order of magnitude greater than the pressure drop across the eye resulting from gravity or head movement. This constitutes an evolutionary constraint that is common to all vertebrates. In animals with cornea-based optics, this constraint also represents a condition to maintain visual acuity. Estimated IOPs were found to increase with the evolution of terrestrial animals. The rate of formation of aqueous humour was found to be adjusted to the metabolic requirements of the cornea, scaling as Vac0.67, where Vac is the volume of the anterior chamber. The present work highlights an interdependence between IOP and aqueous flow rate crucial to ocular function that must be considered to understand the evolution of the dioptric apparatus. It should also be taken into consideration in the prevention and treatment of glaucoma. PMID:26990431

  13. Spatial and temporal variability across life's hierarchies in the terrestrial Antarctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chown, Steven L; Convey, Peter

    2007-12-29

    Antarctica and its surrounding islands lie at one extreme of global variation in diversity. Typically, these regions are characterized as being species poor and having simple food webs. Here, we show that terrestrial systems in the region are nonetheless characterized by substantial spatial and temporal variations at virtually all of the levels of the genealogical and ecological hierarchies which have been thoroughly investigated. Spatial variation at the individual and population levels has been documented in a variety of genetic studies, and in mosses it appears that UV-B radiation might be responsible for within-clump mutagenesis. At the species level, modern molecular methods have revealed considerable endemism of the Antarctic biota, questioning ideas that small organisms are likely to be ubiquitous and the taxa to which they belong species poor. At the biogeographic level, much of the relatively small ice-free area of Antarctica remains unsurveyed making analyses difficult. Nonetheless, it is clear that a major biogeographic discontinuity separates the Antarctic Peninsula and continental Antarctica, here named the 'Gressitt Line'. Across the Southern Ocean islands, patterns are clearer, and energy availability is an important correlate of indigenous and exotic species richness, while human visitor numbers explain much of the variation in the latter too. Temporal variation at the individual level has much to do with phenotypic plasticity, and considerable life-history and physiological plasticity seems to be a characteristic of Antarctic terrestrial species. Environmental unpredictability is an important driver of this trait and has significantly influenced life histories across the region and probably throughout much of the temperate Southern Hemisphere. Rapid climate change-related alterations in the range and abundance of several Antarctic and sub-Antarctic populations have taken place over the past several decades. In many sub-Antarctic locations, these

  14. Vertebral Augmentation Involving Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty for Cancer-Related Vertebral Compression Fractures: An Economic Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Untreated vertebral compression fractures can have serious clinical consequences and impose a considerable impact on patients' quality of life and on caregivers. Since non-surgical management of these fractures has limited effectiveness, vertebral augmentation procedures are gaining acceptance in clinical practice for pain control and fracture stabilization. The objective of this analysis was to determine the cost-effectiveness and budgetary impact of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty compared with non-surgical management for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures in patients with cancer. We performed a systematic review of health economic studies to identify relevant studies that compare the cost-effectiveness of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty with non-surgical management for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures in adults with cancer. We also performed a primary cost-effectiveness analysis to assess the clinical benefits and costs of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty compared with non-surgical management in the same population. We developed a Markov model to forecast benefits and harms of treatments, and corresponding quality-adjusted life years and costs. Clinical data and utility data were derived from published sources, while costing data were derived using Ontario administrative sources. We performed sensitivity analyses to examine the robustness of the results. In addition, a 1-year budget impact analysis was performed using data from Ontario administrative sources. Two scenarios were explored: (a) an increase in the total number of vertebral augmentation procedures performed among patients with cancer in Ontario, maintaining the current proportion of kyphoplasty versus vertebroplasty; and (b) no increase in the total number of vertebral augmentation procedures performed among patients with cancer in Ontario but an increase in the proportion of kyphoplasties versus vertebroplasties. The base case considered each of kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty

  15. Imaging of vertebral fracture in osteoporosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Skowronska-Jozwiak, E.; Lewinski, A.; Bieganski, T.

    2008-01-01

    Vertebral collapses are the most frequent fractures in osteoporosis. They are often overlooked, although their presence is a strong risk factor for development of new fractures. Lateral radiographs of the spine are the accepted standard for assessment of fractures. Qualitative (visual), semiquantitative and quantitative (morphometric) techniques are useful in determining the compressive deformities of vertebral bodies. In the present paper, the advantages and the disadvantages of these methods are discussed. The improvement of scan quality allows to use DXA technique to diagnose the fractures, in both - the visual and the morphometric way. The vertebral morphologic assessment also seems to be an important diagnostic tool in pediatric osteoporosis. Application of multidetector CT and especially MR in vertebral imaging of osteoporosis, improves the sensitivity of fracture detection and enables the differentiation of benign from malignant vertebral body collapses. (author)

  16. Roadkill of wild vertebrates along the GO-060 road between Goiânia and Iporá, Goiás State, Brazil - doi: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v32i3.4752 Roadkill of wild vertebrates along the GO-060 road between Goiânia and Iporá, Goiás State, Brazil - doi: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v32i3.4752

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvania de Sousa Silva

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Roadkill of wild vertebrates along GO-060, Brazil. Roads represent an old and constant cause of accidental death of wildlife. From May 2004 to November 2005, we recorded the roadkills of vertebrates in the GO-060 road between Goiânia and Iporá. For each road-killed animal we wrote down the species and location along the road. We found 308 animals road-killed from at least 25 vertebrate species: 86% mammals, 11% birds and 3% reptiles. Tamandua tetradactyla, Cerdocyon thous and Myrmecophaga tridactyla were, in decreasing order, the species with the largest number of road-killed individuals. Among mammals, the number of road-killed individuals was not related to species weight. The number of species and road-killed animals was constant throughout the 17 months of the research. The average frequency of animal roadkills in the dry season (April to September is slightly higher than the frequency in the rainy season (October to March. The average frequency of species victim to accidents, however, is constant throughout the dry and rainy seasons. The incidence of species and individuals of road-killed animals per 10 km was not influenced by the number of forest fragments along the sides of the road. We suggest that speed reducers could decrease the number of animals killed on the road.Roadkill of wild vertebrates along GO-060, Brazil. Roads represent an old and constant cause of accidental death of wildlife. From May 2004 to November 2005, we recorded the roadkills of vertebrates in the GO-060 road between Goiânia and Iporá. For each road-killed animal we wrote down the species and location along the road. We found 308 animals road-killed from at least 25 vertebrate species: 86% mammals, 11% birds and 3% reptiles. Tamandua tetradactyla, Cerdocyon thous and Myrmecophaga tridactyla were, in decreasing order, the species with the largest number of road-killed individuals. Among mammals, the number of road-killed individuals was not related to species

  17. Development and evolution of the vertebrate primary mouth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soukup, Vladimír; Horácek, Ivan; Cerny, Robert

    2013-01-01

    The vertebrate oral region represents a key interface between outer and inner environments, and its structural and functional design is among the limiting factors for survival of its owners. Both formation of the respective oral opening (primary mouth) and establishment of the food-processing apparatus (secondary mouth) require interplay between several embryonic tissues and complex embryonic rearrangements. Although many aspects of the secondary mouth formation, including development of the jaws, teeth or taste buds, are known in considerable detail, general knowledge about primary mouth formation is regrettably low. In this paper, primary mouth formation is reviewed from a comparative point of view in order to reveal its underestimated morphogenetic diversity among, and also within, particular vertebrate clades. In general, three main developmental modes were identified. The most common is characterized by primary mouth formation via a deeply invaginated ectodermal stomodeum and subsequent rupture of the bilaminar oral membrane. However, in salamander, lungfish and also in some frog species, the mouth develops alternatively via stomodeal collar formation contributed both by the ecto- and endoderm. In ray-finned fishes, on the other hand, the mouth forms via an ectoderm wedge and later horizontal detachment of the initially compressed oral epithelia with probably a mixed germ-layer derivation. A very intriguing situation can be seen in agnathan fishes: whereas lampreys develop their primary mouth in a manner similar to the most common gnathostome pattern, hagfishes seem to undergo a unique oropharyngeal morphogenesis when compared with other vertebrates. In discussing the early formative embryonic correlates of primary mouth formation likely to be responsible for evolutionary–developmental modifications of this area, we stress an essential role of four factors: first, positioning and amount of yolk tissue; closely related to, second, endoderm formation during

  18. Forelimb bone curvature in terrestrial and arboreal mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith Henderson

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available It has recently been proposed that the caudal curvature (concave caudal side observed in the radioulna of terrestrial quadrupeds is an adaptation to the habitual action of the triceps muscle which causes cranial bending strains (compression on cranial side. The caudal curvature is proposed to be adaptive because longitudinal loading induces caudal bending strains (increased compression on the caudal side, and these opposing bending strains counteract each other leaving the radioulna less strained. If this is true for terrestrial quadrupeds, where triceps is required for habitual elbow extension, then we might expect that in arboreal species, where brachialis is habitually required to maintain elbow flexion, the radioulna should instead be cranially curved. This study measures sagittal curvature of the ulna in a range of terrestrial and arboreal primates and marsupials, and finds that their ulnae are curved in opposite directions in these two locomotor categories. This study also examines sagittal curvature in the humerus in the same species, and finds differences that can be attributed to similar adaptations: the bone is curved to counter the habitual muscle action required by the animal’s lifestyle, the difference being mainly in the distal part of the humerus, where arboreal animals tend have a cranial concavity, thought to be in response the carpal and digital muscles that pull cranially on the distal humerus.

  19. Amphibian populations in the terrestrial environment: Is there evidence of declines of terrestrial forest amphibians in northwestern California?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartwell H. Welsh Jr.; Gary M. Fellers; Amy J. Lind

    2007-01-01

    Amphibian declines have been documented worldwide; however the vast majority are species associated with aquatic habitats. Information on the status and trends of terrestrial amphibians is almost entirely lacking. Here we use data collected across a 12-yr period (sampling from 1984–86 and from 1993–95) to address the question of whether evidence exists for declines...

  20. Potential effects of arboreal and terrestrial avian dispersers on seed dormancy, seed germination and seedling establishment in Ormosia (Papilionoideae) species in Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Mercedes S.

    2008-01-01

    The relative effectiveness of arboreal or terrestrial birds at dispersing seeds of Ormosia macrocalyx and O. bopiensis (Fabaceae: Papilionoideae) were studied in south-eastern Peru. Seeds of both species were either scarified, to represent seed condition after dispersal by terrestrial birds, or left intact, to represent seed condition after dispersal by arboreal birds. Seeds were distributed along forest transects, and germination, seedling development and mortality were monitored to determine the successes of the two groups at producing seedlings. Scarified seeds germinated with the early rains of the dry-to-wet-season transition, when erratic rainfall was interspersed with long dry spells. Intact seeds germinated 30 d later when the rain was more plentiful and regular. Intact seeds of O. macrocalyx gave rise to significantly more seedlings (41.1% vs. 25.5%) than did scarified seeds, in part, because significantly more seedlings from scarified seeds (n = 20) than from intact seeds (n = 3) died from desiccation when their radicles failed to enter the dry ground present during the dry-to-wet-season transition. Also, seedlings from scarified seeds were neither larger nor more robust than those from intact seeds despite their longer growing period. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that dispersal effectiveness of arboreal birds, at least for O. macrocalyx, is greater than that of terrestrial birds. Screen-house experiments in which seedlings developed under different watering regimes supported this result. Numbers of seedlings developing from intact and scarified seeds of O. bopiensis did not differ significantly.

  1. Evolution of vertebrate transient receptor potential vanilloid 3 channels: opposite temperature sensitivity between mammals and western clawed frogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeru Saito

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Transient Receptor Potential (TRP channels serve as temperature receptors in a wide variety of animals and must have played crucial roles in thermal adaptation. The TRP vanilloid (TRPV subfamily contains several temperature receptors with different temperature sensitivities. The TRPV3 channel is known to be highly expressed in skin, where it is activated by warm temperatures and serves as a sensor to detect ambient temperatures near the body temperature of homeothermic animals such as mammals. Here we performed comprehensive comparative analyses of the TRPV subfamily in order to understand the evolutionary process; we identified novel TRPV genes and also characterized the evolutionary flexibility of TRPV3 during vertebrate evolution. We cloned the TRPV3 channel from the western clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis to understand the functional evolution of the TRPV3 channel. The amino acid sequences of the N- and C-terminal regions of the TRPV3 channel were highly diversified from those of other terrestrial vertebrate TRPV3 channels, although central portions were well conserved. In a heterologous expression system, several mammalian TRPV3 agonists did not activate the TRPV3 channel of the western clawed frog. Moreover, the frog TRPV3 channel did not respond to heat stimuli, instead it was activated by cold temperatures. Temperature thresholds for activation were about 16 °C, slightly below the lower temperature limit for the western clawed frog. Given that the TRPV3 channel is expressed in skin, its likely role is to detect noxious cold temperatures. Thus, the western clawed frog and mammals acquired opposite temperature sensitivity of the TRPV3 channel in order to detect environmental temperatures suitable for their respective species, indicating that temperature receptors can dynamically change properties to adapt to different thermal environments during evolution.

  2. Prevalence of Cryptosporidium species and Giardia intestinalis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cryptosporidium species and Giardia intestinalis cause diarrheal infections in humans and other vertebrate animals globally and are considered to be of great public health importance. The study was conducted to determine the prevalence Cryptosporidium species and G. intestinalis infections among patients attending ...

  3. CIRSE Guidelines on Percutaneous Vertebral Augmentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tsoumakidou, Georgia, E-mail: gtsoumakidou@yahoo.com; Too, Chow Wei, E-mail: spyder55@gmail.com; Koch, Guillaume, E-mail: guillaume.koch@gmail.com; Caudrelier, Jean, E-mail: jean.caudrelier@chru-strasbourg.fr; Cazzato, Roberto Luigi, E-mail: gigicazzato@hotmail.it; Garnon, Julien, E-mail: juliengarnon@gmail.com; Gangi, Afshin, E-mail: gangi@unistra.fr [Strasbourg University Hospital, Interventional Radiology Department (France)

    2017-03-15

    Vertebral compression fracture (VCF) is an important cause of severe debilitating back pain, adversely affecting quality of life, physical function, psychosocial performance, mental health and survival. Different vertebral augmentation procedures (VAPs) are used in order to consolidate the VCFs, relief pain,and whenever posible achieve vertebral body height restoration. In the present review we give the indications, contraindications, safety profile and outcomes of the existing percutaneous VAPs.

  4. Press/Pulse: Explaining selective terrestrial extinctions at the Cretaceous/Palaeogene boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arens, Nan Crystal

    2010-05-01

    Single-cause mass extinction scenarios require extreme conditions to generate sufficiently strong kill mechanisms. Such dire effects are commonly at odds with the taxonomic selectivity that characterizes most extinction events. In response, some researchers have proposed that the interaction of a variety of factors typify episodes of elevated extinction. Previous work (Arens & West 2008 Paleobiology 34:456-471) has shown that a combination of press and pulse disturbances increases the probability of elevated extinction. The press/pulse contrast is borrowed from community ecology, where researchers have long recognized that the ecological response to long-term stress differs from that of an instantaneous catastrophe. Scaled to the macroevolutionary level, press disturbances alter community composition by placing multigenerational stress on populations. Press disturbances do not necessarily cause mortality, but reduce population size by a variety of mechanisms such as curtailed reproduction. Pulse disturbances are sudden catastrophic events that cause extensive mortality. Either press or pulse disturbances of sufficient magnitude can cause extinction, however elevated extinction occurs more commonly during the coincidence of lower-magnitude press and pulse events. The Cretaceous/Palaeogene (K/P) extinction is one of the best examples of a press/pulse extinction. Deccan Trap volcanism, which straddled the K/P boundary, altered atmospheric composition and climate. This episodic volcanism likely contributed to the climate instability observed in terrestrial ecosystems and exerted press stress. Pulse disturbance was produced by bolide impact, which punctuated the end of the Cretaceous. The press/pulse mechanism also more effectively explains selectivity in terrestrial vertebrate and plant extinctions at the K/P boundary than do single-mechanisms scenarios. For example, why do environmentally sensitive vertebrates such as amphibians experience no extinction? And why do

  5. Mast cells are present in the choroid of the normal eye in most vertebrate classes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMenamin, Paul Gerard; Polla, Emily

    2013-07-01

    Mast cells are bone marrow-derived tissue-homing leukocytes, which have traditionally been regarded as effector cells in allergic disorders, responses against parasites, and regulation of blood flow, but a broader perspective of their functional heterogeneity, such as immunomodulation, angiogenesis, tissue repair, and remodeling after injury, is now emerging. The persistence of mast cells in connective tissues throughout the evolution of vertebrates is evidence of strong selective pressure suggesting that these cells must have multiple beneficial and important roles in normal homeostasis. While mast cells are present within the uveal tract of eutherian mammals, there is little known about their presence in the choroid of other vertebrate classes. Eye tissues from a range of vertebrate species (fish, amphibian, reptiles, birds, marsupials, monotreme, and eutherian mammals) were investigated. Tissues were fixed in either 2% glutaraldehyde, 2% paraformaldehyde or a mixture of both and processed for resin embedding. Semi-thin sections of the retina and choroid were cut and stained with toluidine blue. Mast cells were identified in the choroid of all classes of vertebrates investigated except sharks. Their morphology, location, and staining characteristics were remarkably similar from teleost fish through to eutherian mammals and bore close morphological resemblance to mammalian connective tissue mast cells. The similar morphology and distribution of mast cells in the choroid of all vertebrate classes studied suggest a basic physiological function that has been retained since the evolution of the vertebrate eye. © 2013 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  6. Usefulness of the wildlife species as a focal species in the forest ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    yasinucarlı

    2011-03-14

    Mar 14, 2011 ... keystone species are the most important species in that ecosystems to sustainability. ... bear, Wolf and Eurasian Lynx can be also used as a flagship, indicator and ... Washington's Pacific coast. ... sidered keystones because their effect is not dispro- ..... conservation of South American terrestrial mammals.

  7. Identifying ambassador species for conservation marketing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.A. Macdonald

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Conservation relies heavily on external funding, much of it from a supportive public. Therefore it is important to know which species are most likely to catalyse such funding. Whilst previous work has looked at the physical attributes that contribute to a species' appeal, no previous studies have tried to examine the extent to which a species' sympatriots might contribute to it's potential as flagship for wider conservation. Therefore, here we estimate ‘flexibility’ and ‘appeal’ scores for all terrestrial mammals (n = 4320 and identify which of these might serve as ambassadors (defined as both highly appealing and flexible. Relatively few mammals (between 240 and 331 emerged as ambassadors, with carnivores featuring heavily in this group (representing 5% of terrestrial mammals but 39% of ambassadors. ‘Top ambassadors’ were defined as those with both flexibility and appeal scores greater than 1 standard deviation above the mean. Less than a quarter of the 20 most endangered and evolutionary distinct species in this study were classed as ambassadors, highlighting the need for surrogate species to catalyse conservation effort in areas with such priority species. This is the first global analysis bringing together flexibility and appeal for all terrestrial mammals, and demonstrates an approach for determining how best to market species in order to achieve maximal conservation gain in a world with urgent conservation need but limited resources.

  8. One foot out the door: limb function during swimming in terrestrial versus aquatic turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Vanessa K Hilliard; Vest, Kaitlyn G; Rivera, Angela R V; Espinoza, Nora R; Blob, Richard W

    2017-01-01

    Specialization for a new habitat often entails a cost to performance in the ancestral habitat. Although aquatic lifestyles are ancestral among extant cryptodiran turtles, multiple lineages, including tortoises (Testudinidae) and emydid box turtles (genus Terrapene), independently specialized for terrestrial habitats. To what extent is swimming function retained in such lineages despite terrestrial specialization? Because tortoises diverged from other turtles over 50 Ma, but box turtles did so only 5 Ma, we hypothesized that swimming kinematics for box turtles would more closely resemble those of aquatic relatives than those of tortoises. To test this prediction, we compared high-speed video of swimming Russian tortoises (Testudo horsfieldii), box turtles (Terrapene carolina) and two semi-aquatic emydid species: sliders (Trachemys scripta) and painted turtles (Chrysemys picta). We identified different kinematic patterns between limbs. In the forelimb, box turtle strokes most resemble those of tortoises; for the hindlimb, box turtles are more similar to semi-aquatic species. Such patterns indicate functional convergence of the forelimb of terrestrial species, whereas the box turtle hindlimb exhibits greater retention of ancestral swimming motions. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. Conservation of Three-Dimensional Helix-Loop-Helix Structure through the Vertebrate Lineage Reopens the Cold Case of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone-Associated Peptide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez Sirkin, Daniela I; Lafont, Anne-Gaëlle; Kamech, Nédia; Somoza, Gustavo M; Vissio, Paula G; Dufour, Sylvie

    2017-01-01

    GnRH-associated peptide (GAP) is the C-terminal portion of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) preprohormone. Although it was reported in mammals that GAP may act as a prolactin-inhibiting factor and can be co-secreted with GnRH into the hypophyseal portal blood, GAP has been practically out of the research circuit for about 20 years. Comparative studies highlighted the low conservation of GAP primary amino acid sequences among vertebrates, contributing to consider that this peptide only participates in the folding or carrying process of GnRH. Considering that the three-dimensional (3D) structure of a protein may define its function, the aim of this study was to evaluate if GAP sequences and 3D structures are conserved in the vertebrate lineage. GAP sequences from various vertebrates were retrieved from databases. Analysis of primary amino acid sequence identity and similarity, molecular phylogeny, and prediction of 3D structures were performed. Amino acid sequence comparison and phylogeny analyses confirmed the large variation of GAP sequences throughout vertebrate radiation. In contrast, prediction of the 3D structure revealed a striking conservation of the 3D structure of GAP1 (GAP associated with the hypophysiotropic type 1 GnRH), despite low amino acid sequence conservation. This GAP1 peptide presented a typical helix-loop-helix (HLH) structure in all the vertebrate species analyzed. This HLH structure could also be predicted for GAP2 in some but not all vertebrate species and in none of the GAP3 analyzed. These results allowed us to infer that selective pressures have maintained GAP1 HLH structure throughout the vertebrate lineage. The conservation of the HLH motif, known to confer biological activity to various proteins, suggests that GAP1 peptides may exert some hypophysiotropic biological functions across vertebrate radiation.

  10. Conservation of Three-Dimensional Helix-Loop-Helix Structure through the Vertebrate Lineage Reopens the Cold Case of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone-Associated Peptide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela I. Pérez Sirkin

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available GnRH-associated peptide (GAP is the C-terminal portion of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH preprohormone. Although it was reported in mammals that GAP may act as a prolactin-inhibiting factor and can be co-secreted with GnRH into the hypophyseal portal blood, GAP has been practically out of the research circuit for about 20 years. Comparative studies highlighted the low conservation of GAP primary amino acid sequences among vertebrates, contributing to consider that this peptide only participates in the folding or carrying process of GnRH. Considering that the three-dimensional (3D structure of a protein may define its function, the aim of this study was to evaluate if GAP sequences and 3D structures are conserved in the vertebrate lineage. GAP sequences from various vertebrates were retrieved from databases. Analysis of primary amino acid sequence identity and similarity, molecular phylogeny, and prediction of 3D structures were performed. Amino acid sequence comparison and phylogeny analyses confirmed the large variation of GAP sequences throughout vertebrate radiation. In contrast, prediction of the 3D structure revealed a striking conservation of the 3D structure of GAP1 (GAP associated with the hypophysiotropic type 1 GnRH, despite low amino acid sequence conservation. This GAP1 peptide presented a typical helix-loop-helix (HLH structure in all the vertebrate species analyzed. This HLH structure could also be predicted for GAP2 in some but not all vertebrate species and in none of the GAP3 analyzed. These results allowed us to infer that selective pressures have maintained GAP1 HLH structure throughout the vertebrate lineage. The conservation of the HLH motif, known to confer biological activity to various proteins, suggests that GAP1 peptides may exert some hypophysiotropic biological functions across vertebrate radiation.

  11. An invertebrate stomach's view on vertebrate ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Leendertz, Fabian H.; Gilbert, Tom

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that vertebrate genetic material ingested by invertebrates (iDNA) can be used to investigate vertebrate ecology. Given the ubiquity of invertebrates that feed on vertebrates across the globe, iDNA might qualify as a very powerful tool for 21st century population...

  12. Vertebral architecture in the earliest stem tetrapods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Stephanie E; Ahlberg, Per E; Hutchinson, John R; Molnar, Julia L; Sanchez, Sophie; Tafforeau, Paul; Clack, Jennifer A

    2013-02-14

    The construction of the vertebral column has been used as a key anatomical character in defining and diagnosing early tetrapod groups. Rhachitomous vertebrae--in which there is a dorsally placed neural arch and spine, an anteroventrally placed intercentrum and paired, posterodorsally placed pleurocentra--have long been considered the ancestral morphology for tetrapods. Nonetheless, very little is known about vertebral anatomy in the earliest stem tetrapods, because most specimens remain trapped in surrounding matrix, obscuring important anatomical features. Here we describe the three-dimensional vertebral architecture of the Late Devonian stem tetrapod Ichthyostega using propagation phase-contrast X-ray synchrotron microtomography. Our scans reveal a diverse array of new morphological, and associated developmental and functional, characteristics, including a possible posterior-to-anterior vertebral ossification sequence and the first evolutionary appearance of ossified sternal elements. One of the most intriguing features relates to the positional relationships between the vertebral elements, with the pleurocentra being unexpectedly sutured or fused to the intercentra that directly succeed them, indicating a 'reverse' rhachitomous design. Comparison of Ichthyostega with two other stem tetrapods, Acanthostega and Pederpes, shows that reverse rhachitomous vertebrae may be the ancestral condition for limbed vertebrates. This study fundamentally revises our current understanding of vertebral column evolution in the earliest tetrapods and raises questions about the presumed vertebral architecture of tetrapodomorph fish and later, more crownward, tetrapods.

  13. Quantifying the sensitivity of camera traps:an adapted distance sampling approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rowcliffe, M.; Carbone, C.; Jansen, P.A.; Kays, R.W.; Kranstauber, B.

    2011-01-01

    1. Abundance estimation is a pervasive goal in ecology. The rate of detection by motion-sensitive camera traps can, in principle, provide information on the abundance of many species of terrestrial vertebrates that are otherwise difficult to survey. The random encounter model (REM, Rowcliffe et al.

  14. Limitations on K-T mass extinction theories based upon the vertebrate record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archibald, J. David; Bryant, Laurie J.

    1988-01-01

    Theories of extinction are only as good as the patterns of extinction that they purport to explain. Often such patterns are ignored. For the terminal Cretaceous events, different groups of organisms in different environments show different patterns of extinction that to date cannot be explained by a single causal mechanism. Several patterns of extinction (and/or preservational bias) can be observed for the various groups of vertebrates from the uppermost Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation and lower Paleocene Tullock Formation in eastern Montana. The taxonomic level at which the percentage of survivals (or extinctions) is calculated will have an effect upon the perception of faunal turnover. In addition to the better known mammals and better publicized dinosaurs, there are almost 60 additional species of reptiles, birds, amphibians, and fish in the HELL Creek Formation. Simple arithmetic suggests only 33 percent survival of these vertebrates from the Hell Creek Fm. into the Tullock Fm. A more critical examination of the data shows that almost all Hell Creek species not found in the Tullock are represented in one of the following categories; extremely rare forms, elasmobranch fish that underwent rapid speciation taxa that although not known or rare in the Tullock, are found elsewhere. Each of the categories is largely the result of the following biases: taphonomy, ecological differences, taxonomic artifact paleogeography. The two most important factors appear to be the possible taphonomic biases and the taxonomic artifacts. The extinction patterns among the vertebrates do not appear to be attributable to any single cause, catastrophic or otherwise.

  15. Head segmentation in vertebrates

    OpenAIRE

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Schilling, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Classic theories of vertebrate head segmentation clearly exemplify the idealistic nature of comparative embryology prior to the 20th century. Comparative embryology aimed at recognizing the basic, primary structure that is shared by all vertebrates, either as an archetype or an ancestral developmental pattern. Modern evolutionary developmental (Evo-Devo) studies are also based on comparison, and therefore have a tendency to reduce complex embryonic anatomy into overly simplified patterns. Her...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  17. Matrix metalloproteinases outside vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marino-Puertas, Laura; Goulas, Theodoros; Gomis-Rüth, F Xavier

    2017-11-01

    The matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family belongs to the metzincin clan of zinc-dependent metallopeptidases. Due to their enormous implications in physiology and disease, MMPs have mainly been studied in vertebrates. They are engaged in extracellular protein processing and degradation, and present extensive paralogy, with 23 forms in humans. One characteristic of MMPs is a ~165-residue catalytic domain (CD), which has been structurally studied for 14 MMPs from human, mouse, rat, pig and the oral-microbiome bacterium Tannerella forsythia. These studies revealed close overall coincidence and characteristic structural features, which distinguish MMPs from other metzincins and give rise to a sequence pattern for their identification. Here, we reviewed the literature available on MMPs outside vertebrates and performed database searches for potential MMP CDs in invertebrates, plants, fungi, viruses, protists, archaea and bacteria. These and previous results revealed that MMPs are widely present in several copies in Eumetazoa and higher plants (Tracheophyta), but have just token presence in eukaryotic algae. A few dozen sequences were found in Ascomycota (within fungi) and in double-stranded DNA viruses infecting invertebrates (within viruses). In contrast, a few hundred sequences were found in archaea and >1000 in bacteria, with several copies for some species. Most of the archaeal and bacterial phyla containing potential MMPs are present in human oral and gut microbiomes. Overall, MMP-like sequences are present across all kingdoms of life, but their asymmetric distribution contradicts the vertical descent model from a eubacterial or archaeal ancestor. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Matrix Metalloproteinases edited by Rafael Fridman. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. A generic organ based ontology system, applied to vertebrate heart anatomy, development and physiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bertens Laura M.F.

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available We present a novel approach to modelling biological information using ontologies. The system interlinks three ontologies, comprising anatomical, developmental and taxonomical information, and includes instances of structures for different species. The framework is constructed for comparative analyses in the field of evolutionary development. We have applied the approach to the vertebrate heart and present four case studies of the functionality of the system, focusing on cross-species comparisons, developmental studies, physiological studies and 3D visualisation.

  19. Mercury Exposure Affects the Reproductive Success of a Free-living Terrestrial Songbird, the Carolina Wren, (Thryothrus ludovicianus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The impacts of mercury contamination on aquatic-feeding wildlife are well-established, but recent attention has focused on the effects of mercury on species in terrestrial ecosystems. Despite mounting evidence of mercury accumulation in terrestrial ecosystems, there is little dat...

  20. Prevalent Vertebral Fractures in Black Women and White Women

    OpenAIRE

    Cauley, Jane A; Palermo, Lisa; Vogt, Molly; Ensrud, Kristine E; Ewing, Susan; Hochberg, Marc; Nevitt, Michael C; Black, Dennis M

    2008-01-01

    Vertebral fractures are the most common osteoporotic fracture. Hip and clinical fractures are less common in black women, but there is little information on vertebral fractures. We studied 7860 white and 472 black women ≥65 yr of age enrolled in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. Prevalent vertebral fractures were identified from lateral spine radiographs using vertebral morphometry and defined if any vertebral height ratio was >3 SD below race-specific means for each vertebral level. Infor...

  1. Using traps of terrestrial insects in culture of rheophilic fish fingerling

    OpenAIRE

    HERCIG, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    Food is one of the most important items in fish culture economy. Juvenile fish prove the fastest growth rates and that is the reason why their appropriate nourishment is so important. Surface drift of terrestrial insects provides an excellent food for rheophilic fish species . Reophilic fishes are able to utilise also plants and particularly algae too. Terrestrial insects can be attracted to water surface by various ways. Is it a light trap during the night. The installation of colour traps i...

  2. Nomenclature of Vertebral Laminae in Lizards, with Comments on Ontogenetic and Serial Variation in Lacertini (Squamata, Lacertidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschopp, Emanuel

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral laminae are bony ridges or sheets that connect important morphological landmarks on the vertebrae, like diapophyses or zygapophyses. They usually exhibit some serial variation throughout the column. A consistent terminology facilitates the morphological description of this variation, and the recognition of patterns that could be taxonomically significant and could serve as phylogenetic characters. Such a terminology was designed for saurischian dinosaurs, and has also been applied to other members of Archosauriformes. Herein, this terminology is applied for the first time to lizards (Squamata). Probably due to their generally smaller size compared to saurischian dinosaurs, lizards have less developed vertebral laminae. Some laminae could not be recognized in this group and others require new names to account for differences in basic vertebral morphology. For instance, the fusion of diapophysis and parapophysis in lacertids into a structure called synapophysis necessitates the creation of the new term synapophyseal laminae for both diapophyseal and parapophyseal laminae. An assessment of occurrence and serial variation in a number of lacertid species shows that some laminae develop throughout ontogeny or only occur in large-sized species, whereas the distribution of other laminae might prove to be taxonomically significant in future.

  3. Nomenclature of Vertebral Laminae in Lizards, with Comments on Ontogenetic and Serial Variation in Lacertini (Squamata, Lacertidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuel Tschopp

    Full Text Available Vertebral laminae are bony ridges or sheets that connect important morphological landmarks on the vertebrae, like diapophyses or zygapophyses. They usually exhibit some serial variation throughout the column. A consistent terminology facilitates the morphological description of this variation, and the recognition of patterns that could be taxonomically significant and could serve as phylogenetic characters. Such a terminology was designed for saurischian dinosaurs, and has also been applied to other members of Archosauriformes. Herein, this terminology is applied for the first time to lizards (Squamata. Probably due to their generally smaller size compared to saurischian dinosaurs, lizards have less developed vertebral laminae. Some laminae could not be recognized in this group and others require new names to account for differences in basic vertebral morphology. For instance, the fusion of diapophysis and parapophysis in lacertids into a structure called synapophysis necessitates the creation of the new term synapophyseal laminae for both diapophyseal and parapophyseal laminae. An assessment of occurrence and serial variation in a number of lacertid species shows that some laminae develop throughout ontogeny or only occur in large-sized species, whereas the distribution of other laminae might prove to be taxonomically significant in future.

  4. Molecular cloning, functional characterization, and evolutionary analysis of vitamin D receptors isolated from basal vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin M Kollitz

    Full Text Available The vertebrate genome is a result of two rapid and successive rounds of whole genome duplication, referred to as 1R and 2R. Furthermore, teleost fish have undergone a third whole genome duplication (3R specific to their lineage, resulting in the retention of multiple gene paralogs. The more recent 3R event in teleosts provides a unique opportunity to gain insight into how genes evolve through specific evolutionary processes. In this study we compare molecular activities of vitamin D receptors (VDR from basal species that diverged at key points in vertebrate evolution in order to infer derived and ancestral VDR functions of teleost paralogs. Species include the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus, a 1R jawless fish; the little skate (Leucoraja erinacea, a cartilaginous fish that diverged after the 2R event; and the Senegal bichir (Polypterus senegalus, a primitive 2R ray-finned fish. Saturation binding assays and gel mobility shift assays demonstrate high affinity ligand binding and classic DNA binding characteristics of VDR has been conserved across vertebrate evolution. Concentration response curves in transient transfection assays reveal EC50 values in the low nanomolar range, however maximum transactivational efficacy varies significantly between receptor orthologs. Protein-protein interactions were investigated using co-transfection, mammalian 2-hybrid assays, and mutations of coregulator activation domains. We then combined these results with our previous study of VDR paralogs from 3R teleosts into a bioinformatics analysis. Our results suggest that 1, 25D3 acts as a partial agonist in basal species. Furthermore, our bioinformatics analysis suggests that functional differences between VDR orthologs and paralogs are influenced by differential protein interactions with essential coregulator proteins. We speculate that we may be observing a change in the pharmacodynamics relationship between VDR and 1, 25D3 throughout vertebrate evolution that may

  5. Evolution of circadian organization in vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Menaker

    1997-03-01

    Full Text Available Circadian organization means the way in which the entire circadian system above the cellular level is put together physically and the principles and rules that determine the interactions among its component parts which produce overt rhythms of physiology and behavior. Understanding this organization and its evolution is of practical importance as well as of basic interest. The first major problem that we face is the difficulty of making sense of the apparently great diversity that we observe in circadian organization of diverse vertebrates. Some of this diversity falls neatly into place along phylogenetic lines leading to firm generalizations: i in all vertebrates there is a "circadian axis" consisting of the retinas, the pineal gland and the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN, ii in many non-mammalian vertebrates of all classes (but not in any mammals the pineal gland is both a photoreceptor and a circadian oscillator, and iii in all non-mammalian vertebrates (but not in any mammals there are extraretinal (and extrapineal circadian photoreceptors. An interesting explanation of some of these facts, especially the differences between mammals and other vertebrates, can be constructed on the assumption that early in their evolution mammals passed through a "nocturnal bottleneck". On the other hand, a good deal of the diversity among the circadian systems of vertebrates does not fall neatly into place along phylogenetic lines. In the present review we will consider how we might better understand such "phylogenetically incoherent" diversity and what sorts of new information may help to further our understanding of the evolution of circadian organization in vertebrates

  6. Bioassays with terrestrial and aquatic species as monitoring tools of hydrocarbon degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bori, Jaume; Vallès, Bettina; Ortega, Lina; Riva, Maria Carme

    2016-09-01

    In this study chemical analyses and ecotoxicity tests were applied for the assessment of a heavily hydrocarbon-contaminated soil prior and after the application of a remediation procedure that consisted in the stimulation of soil autochthonous populations of hydrocarbon degraders in static-ventilated biopiles. Terrestrial bioassays were applied in mixtures of test soils and artificial control soil and studied the survival and reproduction of Eisenia fetida and the avoidance response of E. fetida and Folsomia candida. Effects on aquatic organisms were studied by means of acute tests with Vibrio fischeri, Raphidocelis subcapitata, and Daphnia magna performed on aqueous elutriates from test soils. The bioremediation procedure led to a significant reduction in the concentration of hydrocarbons (from 34264 to 3074 mg kg(-1), i.e., 91 % decrease) and toxicity although bioassays were not able to report a percentage decrease of toxicity as high as the percentage reduction. Sublethal tests proved the most sensitive terrestrial bioassays and avoidance tests with earthworms and springtails showed potential as monitoring tools of hydrocarbon remediation due to their high sensitivity and short duration. The concentrations of hydrocarbons in water extracts from test soils were 130 and 100 μg L(-1) before and after remediation, respectively. Similarly to terrestrial tests, most aquatic bioassays detected a significant reduction in toxicity, which was almost negligible at the end of the treatment. D. magna survival was the most affected by soil elutriates although toxicity to the crustacean was associated to the salinity of the samples rather than to the concentration of hydrocarbons. Ecotoxicity tests with aqueous soil elutriates proved less relevant in the assessment of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils due to the low hydrosolubility of hydrocarbons and the influence of the physicochemical parameters of the aquatic medium.

  7. Vertebral chondroblastoma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ilaslan, Hakan; Sundaram, Murali [Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street, SW, Rochester, MN 55905 (United States); Unni, Krishnan K. [Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street, SW, Rochester, MN 55905 (United States)

    2003-02-01

    To determine the age distribution, gender, incidence, and imaging findings of vertebral chondroblastoma, and to compare our series with findings from case reports in the world literature.Design and patients Case records and imaging findings of nine histologically documented vertebral chondroblastomas were retrospectively reviewed for patient age, gender, vertebral column location and level, morphology, matrix, edema, soft tissue mass, spinal canal invasion, and metastases. Our findings were compared with a total of nine patients identified from previous publications in the world literature. The histologic findings in our cases was re-reviewed for diagnosis and specifically for features of calcification and secondary aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC). Clinical follow-up was requested from referring institutions. Nine of 856 chondroblastomas arose in vertebrae (incidence 1.4%; thoracic 5, lumbar 1, cervical 2, sacral 1). There were six males and three females ranging in age from 5 to 41 years (mean 28 years). Satisfactory imaging from seven patients revealed the tumor to arise from the posterior elements in four and the body in three. All tumors were expansive, six of seven were aggressive, and the spinal canal was significantly narrowed by bone or soft tissue mass in six. In one patient canal invasion was minimal. Calcification was pronounced in two and subtle in four. The sole nonaggressive-appearing tumor was heavily mineralized. Bony edema and secondary ABC were not seen on MR imaging. None of the cases had microscopic features of significant secondary ABC. Calcification, and specifically ''chicken wire'' calcification, was identified in two patients. Pulmonary metastases occurred in none. Vertebral chondroblastoma is a rare neoplasm that presents later in life than its appendicular counterpart. On imaging it is aggressive in appearance with bone destruction, soft tissue mass, and spinal canal invasion. The lesions contain variable amounts of mineral

  8. A refined model of the genomic basis for phenotypic variation in vertebrate hemostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Ângela M; Zepeda-Mendoza, M Lisandra; Bertelsen, Mads F; Kristensen, Annemarie T; Jarvis, Erich D; Gilbert, M Thomas P; da Fonseca, Rute R

    2015-06-30

    Hemostasis is a defense mechanism that enhances an organism's survival by minimizing blood loss upon vascular injury. In vertebrates, hemostasis has been evolving with the cardio-vascular and hemodynamic systems over the last 450 million years. Birds and mammals have very similar vascular and hemodynamic systems, thus the mechanism that blocks ruptures in the vasculature is expected to be the same. However, the speed of the process varies across vertebrates, and is particularly slow for birds. Understanding the differences in the hemostasis pathway between birds and mammals, and placing them in perspective to other vertebrates may provide clues to the genetic contribution to variation in blood clotting phenotype in vertebrates. We compiled genomic data corresponding to key elements involved in hemostasis across vertebrates to investigate its genetic basis and understand how it affects fitness. We found that: i) fewer genes are involved in hemostasis in birds compared to mammals; and ii) the largest differences concern platelet membrane receptors and components from the kallikrein-kinin system. We propose that lack of the cytoplasmic domain of the GPIb receptor subunit alpha could be a strong contributor to the prolonged bleeding phenotype in birds. Combined analysis of laboratory assessments of avian hemostasis with the first avian phylogeny based on genomic-scale data revealed that differences in hemostasis within birds are not explained by phylogenetic relationships, but more so by genetic variation underlying components of the hemostatic process, suggestive of natural selection. This work adds to our understanding of the evolution of hemostasis in vertebrates. The overlap with the inflammation, complement and renin-angiotensin (blood pressure regulation) pathways is a potential driver of rapid molecular evolution in the hemostasis network. Comparisons between avian species and mammals allowed us to hypothesize that the observed mammalian innovations might have

  9. Brominated flame retardants and organochlorine pollutants in aquatic and terrestrial predatory birds of Belgium: levels, patterns, tissue distribution and condition factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaspers, V.L.B.; Covaci, A.; Voorspoels, S.; Dauwe, T.; Eens, M.; Schepens, P.

    2006-01-01

    Liver and muscle samples from 7 species of aquatic and terrestrial predatory birds from Flanders (Belgium) were analysed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). PCBs were the predominant compounds in our samples, which showed highest concentrations in the liver of barn owl (Tyto alba) and sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) (up to 1000 μg/g lipid weight). PBDEs could be determined in most samples at lower concentrations than PCBs (up to 64 μg/g lipid in sparrowhawk liver). Sparrowhawks had the highest levels of hexachlorobenzene, DDTs and PBDEs. In contrast, kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) had relatively low levels of most measured organochlorines. BDE 47 was the most abundant congener in heron (Ardea cinerea) and grebe (Podiceps cristatus), while BDE 47, 99 and 153 were equally important in the terrestrial species. BDE 183 and BDE 209 were only measured in the terrestrial birds. These results indicate that terrestrial birds may be more exposed to higher brominated BDE congeners than aquatic species. - Aquatic and terrestrial predatory birds show different accumulation profiles of PBDEs

  10. Riqueza específica de vertebrados en un bosque reforestado del Parque Nacional Nevado de Toluca, México Species richness of vertebrates in a reforested woodland of the Nevado de Toluca National Park, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Mariana Sánchez-Jasso

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Este trabajo documenta la riqueza específica de vertebrados de un bosque reforestado del Parque Nacional Nevado de Toluca (PNNT Estado de México, México. Se identificaron 85 especies totales, de las cuales 24 especies son endémicas de México, 14 especies se encuentran en alguna categoría de riesgo de acuerdo con la NOM-059 (SEMARNAT, 2010 y 3 especies en la lista roja de la UICN. Aun cuando la zona de estudio representa apenas el 0.42% de la superficie total del PNNT, la riqueza de vertebrados encontrada constituye el 11.37% de la riqueza total en el Estado de México, lo cual destaca la importancia de este espacio y una urgente necesidad de establecer estrategias de manejo que garanticen la conservación de las especies y su hábitat.This paper documents the richness of vertebrates in reforested woodlands inside the Nevado de Toluca National Park, State of Mexico, Mexico. A total of 85 species were identified, of which 24 species are endemic to Mexico, 14 species are in some risk category according to NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 and 3 species in the IUCN Red List. Even though the study area accounts for 0.42% of the total area of the Nevado de Toluca National Park, the richness of vertebrates in this area includes 11.37% of the total richness in the State of Mexico, highlighting the importance of the area and an urgent need to establish management strategies for its conservation.

  11. Global biogeography since Pangaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, Sarah R N; Lineweaver, Charles H; Groves, Colin P; Chopra, Aditya

    2017-06-14

    The break-up of the supercontinent Pangaea around 180 Ma has left its imprint on the global distribution of species and resulted in vicariance-driven speciation. Here, we test the idea that the molecular clock dates, for the divergences of species whose geographical ranges were divided, should agree with the palaeomagnetic dates for the continental separations. Our analysis of recently available phylogenetic divergence dates of 42 pairs of vertebrate taxa, selected for their reduced ability to disperse, demonstrates that the divergence dates in phylogenetic trees of continent-bound terrestrial and freshwater vertebrates are consistent with the palaeomagnetic dates of continental separation. © 2017 The Author(s).

  12. Factors for vertebral artery injury accompanied by cervical trauma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murata, Masaaki; Shingu, Hikosuke; Kimura, Isao; Nasu, Yoshiro; Shiotani, Akihide [San-in Rosai Hospital, Yonago, Tottori (Japan). Spine and Low Back Pain Center

    2001-09-01

    Injury of the vertebral artery with cerebellar and brain stem infarction is a complication of cervical vertebral trauma. However, the pathogenesis and etiological factors remain to be clarified. In this study, we investigated patients with cervical vertebral and cord injury. This study included 51 patients with cervical vertebral and cord injury who were treated in our department. In these patients, plain X-ray, CT, MRI, and MRA findings were examined. The incidence of vertebral arterial injury was 33.3% (17 of 51 patients with cervical vertebral trauma). In 11 of the 17 patients, dislocation fracture was noted, comprising a markedly high percentage (64.7%). Particularly, vertebral arterial injury was commonly observed in patients with a large dislocation distance and severe paralysis. Cerebellar and brain stem infarction related to vertebral arterial injury was observed in 5 of the 17 patients (29.4%). No infarction developed in patients 50 years old or younger. Infarction was detected in relatively elderly patients. Vertebral arterial injury and cerebellar/brain stem infarction related to cervical vertebral trauma were frequently observed in patients with high energy injury. However, these disorders commonly occurred in elderly patients. Therefore, age-related factors such as arteriosclerosis may also be closely involved. In the acute stage, the state of the vertebral artery should be evaluated by MRA and MRI. Among patients with vertebral arterial injury, caution is needed during follow-up those with risk factors such as high energy injury and advanced age. (author)

  13. Factors for vertebral artery injury accompanied by cervical trauma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murata, Masaaki; Shingu, Hikosuke; Kimura, Isao; Nasu, Yoshiro; Shiotani, Akihide

    2001-01-01

    Injury of the vertebral artery with cerebellar and brain stem infarction is a complication of cervical vertebral trauma. However, the pathogenesis and etiological factors remain to be clarified. In this study, we investigated patients with cervical vertebral and cord injury. This study included 51 patients with cervical vertebral and cord injury who were treated in our department. In these patients, plain X-ray, CT, MRI, and MRA findings were examined. The incidence of vertebral arterial injury was 33.3% (17 of 51 patients with cervical vertebral trauma). In 11 of the 17 patients, dislocation fracture was noted, comprising a markedly high percentage (64.7%). Particularly, vertebral arterial injury was commonly observed in patients with a large dislocation distance and severe paralysis. Cerebellar and brain stem infarction related to vertebral arterial injury was observed in 5 of the 17 patients (29.4%). No infarction developed in patients 50 years old or younger. Infarction was detected in relatively elderly patients. Vertebral arterial injury and cerebellar/brain stem infarction related to cervical vertebral trauma were frequently observed in patients with high energy injury. However, these disorders commonly occurred in elderly patients. Therefore, age-related factors such as arteriosclerosis may also be closely involved. In the acute stage, the state of the vertebral artery should be evaluated by MRA and MRI. Among patients with vertebral arterial injury, caution is needed during follow-up those with risk factors such as high energy injury and advanced age. (author)

  14. Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conde, Dalia A; Colchero, Fernando; Güneralp, Burak; Gusset, Markus; Skolnik, Ben; Parr, Michael; Byers, Onnie; Johnson, Kevin; Young, Glyn; Flesness, Nate; Possingham, Hugh; Fa, John E

    2015-03-16

    Despite an increase in policy and management responses to the global biodiversity crisis, implementation of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets still shows insufficient progress [1]. These targets, strategic goals defined by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), address major causes of biodiversity loss in part by establishing protected areas (Target 11) and preventing species extinctions (Target 12). To achieve this, increased interventions will be required for a large number of sites and species. The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) [2], a consortium of conservation-oriented organisations that aims to protect Critically Endangered and Endangered species restricted to single sites, has identified 920 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, conifers and reef-building corals in 588 'trigger' sites [3]. These are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites. Protected area coverage of AZE sites is a key indicator of progress towards Target 11 [1]. Moreover, effective conservation of AZE sites is essential to achieve Target 12, as the loss of any of these sites would certainly result in the global extinction of at least one species [2]. However, averting human-induced species extinctions within AZE sites requires enhanced planning tools to increase the chances of success [3]. Here, we assess the potential for ensuring the long-term conservation of AZE vertebrate species (157 mammals, 165 birds, 17 reptiles and 502 amphibians) by calculating a conservation opportunity index (COI) for each species. The COI encompasses a set of measurable indicators that quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation of a species in its natural habitat (COIh) and by establishing insurance populations in zoos (COIc). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Initial non-weight-bearing therapy is important for preventing vertebral body collapse in elderly patients with clinical vertebral fractures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kishikawa Y

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Yoichi KishikawaKishikawa Orthopaedic Clinic, Saga City, Saga, JapanPurpose: The aim of the present conventional observational study was to compare the clinical outcomes of initial non-weight-bearing therapy and conventional relative rest therapy among elderly patients with clinical vertebral fractures.Methods: In total, 196 consecutive patients with clinical vertebral fractures (mean age: 78 years who were hospitalized for treatment between January 1999 and March 2007 were analyzed. Initial non-weight-bearing therapy consisted of complete bed rest allowing rolling on the bed without any weight-bearing to the spine for 2 weeks, followed by rehabilitation wearing a soft brace. The indications for initial non-weight-bearing therapy were vertebral fracture involving the posterior portion of the vertebral body at the thoraco-lumbar spine, mild neurological deficit, instability of the fracture site, severe pain, multiple vertebral fractures arising from trauma, malalignment at the fracture site, and mild spinal canal stenosis caused by the fracture. Patients who met the indication criteria were treated with initial non-weight-bearing therapy (n = 103, while the other patients were treated with conventional relative rest (n = 93. All the patients were uniformly treated with intramuscular elcatonin to relieve pain. The primary endpoint was progression of the vertebral fracture. The secondary endpoints included bony union and subjective back pain. The follow-up period was 12 weeks.Results: Compared with the conventional relative rest group, the collapse rate of the anterior and posterior portions of the vertebral body was significantly smaller in the initial non-weight-bearing group. The bony union rate was 100% in the initial non-weight-bearing group and 97% in the conventional relative rest group. The number of patients who experienced back pain was significantly lower in the initial non-weight-bearing group than in the conventional relative rest

  16. Vertebral morphometry by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyanov, M.

    2002-01-01

    Vertebral fractures are a key feature of overt osteoporosis. Different X-ray morphometric techniques have been developed for quantification of changes in vertebral body shape. In recent years, a new method was implemented based on dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Morphometric X-ray absorptiometry, MXA, is a source of lower radiation and there is no image distortion. Several aspects of its application are under heavy discussion: image quality, accuracy and precision, reference databases, age changes in vertebral shape. The differential diagnosis of vertebral fracture/deformity is difficult. MXA has prove its value in large epidemiological studies on prevalence of vertebral deformities, as well in assessing the effects of different diseases and medications on vertebral body architecture. MXA is a promising method for future research and clinical work. (author)

  17. Fast running restricts evolutionary change of the vertebral column in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galis, Frietson; Carrier, David R; van Alphen, Joris; van der Mije, Steven D; Van Dooren, Tom J M; Metz, Johan A J; ten Broek, Clara M A

    2014-08-05

    The mammalian vertebral column is highly variable, reflecting adaptations to a wide range of lifestyles, from burrowing in moles to flying in bats. However, in many taxa, the number of trunk vertebrae is surprisingly constant. We argue that this constancy results from strong selection against initial changes of these numbers in fast running and agile mammals, whereas such selection is weak in slower-running, sturdier mammals. The rationale is that changes of the number of trunk vertebrae require homeotic transformations from trunk into sacral vertebrae, or vice versa, and mutations toward such transformations generally produce transitional lumbosacral vertebrae that are incompletely fused to the sacrum. We hypothesize that such incomplete homeotic transformations impair flexibility of the lumbosacral joint and thereby threaten survival in species that depend on axial mobility for speed and agility. Such transformations will only marginally affect performance in slow, sturdy species, so that sufficient individuals with transitional vertebrae survive to allow eventual evolutionary changes of trunk vertebral numbers. We present data on fast and slow carnivores and artiodactyls and on slow afrotherians and monotremes that strongly support this hypothesis. The conclusion is that the selective constraints on the count of trunk vertebrae stem from a combination of developmental and biomechanical constraints.

  18. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Montezuma Castle National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Drost, Charles A.; Halvorson, William Lee

    2006-01-01

    Executive Summary We summarize past inventory efforts for vascular plants and vertebrates at Montezuma Castle National Monument (NM) in Arizona. We used data from previous research to compile complete species lists for the monument and to assess inventory completeness. There have been 784 species recorded at Montezuma Castle NM, of which 85 (11%) are non-native. In each taxon-specific chapter we highlight areas of resources that contributed to species richness or unique species for the monument. Of particular importance are Montezuma Well and Beaver and Wet Beaver creeks and the surrounding riparian vegetation, which are responsible for the monument having one of the highest numbers of bird species in the Sonoran Desert Network of park units. Beaver Creek is also home to populations of federally-listed fish species of concern. Other important resources include the cliffs along the creeks and around Montezuma Well (for cliff and cave roosting bats). Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventory for most taxa is nearly complete, though some rare or elusive species will be added with additional survey effort. We recommend additional inventory, monitoring and research studies.

  19. The terrestrial isopod microbiome: An all-in-one toolbox for animal-microbe interactions of ecological relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Didier Bouchon

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial symbionts represent essential drivers of arthropod ecology and evolution, influencing host traits such as nutrition, reproduction, immunity and speciation. However, the majority of work on arthropod microbiota has been conducted in insects and more studies in non-model species across different ecological niches will be needed to complete our understanding of host-microbiota interactions. In this review, we present terrestrial isopod crustaceans as an emerging model organism to investigate symbiotic associations with potential relevance to ecosystem functioning. Terrestrial isopods comprise a group of crustaceans that have evolved a terrestrial lifestyle and represent keystone species in terrestrial ecosystems, contributing to the decomposition of organic matter and regulating the microbial food web. Since their nutrition is based on plant detritus, it has long been suspected that bacterial symbionts located in the digestive tissues might play an important role in host nutrition via the provisioning of digestive enzymes, thereby enabling the utilization of recalcitrant food compounds (e.g. cellulose or lignins. If this were the case, then (i the acquisition of these bacteria might have been an important evolutionary prerequisite for the colonization of land by isopods, and (ii these bacterial symbionts would directly mediate the role of their hosts in ecosystem functioning. Several bacterial symbionts have indeed been discovered in the midgut caeca of terrestrial isopods and some of them might be specific to this group of animals (i.e. Candidatus Hepatoplasma crinochetorum, Candidatus Hepatincola porcellionum and Rhabdochlamydia porcellionis, while others are well-known intracellular pathogens (Rickettsiella spp. or reproductive parasites (Wolbachia sp.. Moreover, a recent investigation of the microbiota in Armadillidium vulgare has revealed that this species harbors a highly diverse bacterial community which varies between host

  20. The Terrestrial Isopod Microbiome: An All-in-One Toolbox for Animal-Microbe Interactions of Ecological Relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchon, Didier; Zimmer, Martin; Dittmer, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial symbionts represent essential drivers of arthropod ecology and evolution, influencing host traits such as nutrition, reproduction, immunity, and speciation. However, the majority of work on arthropod microbiota has been conducted in insects and more studies in non-model species across different ecological niches will be needed to complete our understanding of host-microbiota interactions. In this review, we present terrestrial isopod crustaceans as an emerging model organism to investigate symbiotic associations with potential relevance to ecosystem functioning. Terrestrial isopods comprise a group of crustaceans that have evolved a terrestrial lifestyle and represent keystone species in terrestrial ecosystems, contributing to the decomposition of organic matter and regulating the microbial food web. Since their nutrition is based on plant detritus, it has long been suspected that bacterial symbionts located in the digestive tissues might play an important role in host nutrition via the provisioning of digestive enzymes, thereby enabling the utilization of recalcitrant food compounds (e.g., cellulose or lignins). If this were the case, then (i) the acquisition of these bacteria might have been an important evolutionary prerequisite for the colonization of land by isopods, and (ii) these bacterial symbionts would directly mediate the role of their hosts in ecosystem functioning. Several bacterial symbionts have indeed been discovered in the midgut caeca of terrestrial isopods and some of them might be specific to this group of animals (i.e., Candidatus Hepatoplasma crinochetorum, Candidatus Hepatincola porcellionum, and Rhabdochlamydia porcellionis ), while others are well-known intracellular pathogens ( Rickettsiella spp.) or reproductive parasites ( Wolbachia sp.). Moreover, a recent investigation of the microbiota in Armadillidium vulgare has revealed that this species harbors a highly diverse bacterial community which varies between host populations

  1. Influenza virus and endothelial cells: a species specific relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsty Renfree Short

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Influenza A virus infection is an important cause of respiratory disease in humans. The original reservoirs of influenza A virus are wild waterfowl and shorebirds, where virus infection causes limited, if any, disease. Both in humans and in wild waterbirds, epithelial cells are the main target of infection. However, influenza virus can spread from wild bird species to terrestrial poultry. Here, the virus can evolve into highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI. Part of this evolution involves increased viral tropism for endothelial cells. HPAI virus infections not only cause severe disease in chickens and other terrestrial poultry species but can also spread to humans and back to wild bird populations. Here, we review the role of the endothelium in the pathogenesis of influenza virus infection in wild birds, terrestrial poultry and humans with a particular focus on HPAI viruses. We demonstrate that whilst the endothelium is an important target of virus infection in terrestrial poultry and some wild bird species, in humans the endothelium is more important in controlling the local inflammatory milieu. Thus, the endothelium plays an important, but species-specific, role in the pathogenesis of influenza virus infection.

  2. Trunk muscle activity is modified in osteoporotic vertebral fracture and thoracic kyphosis with potential consequences for vertebral health.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison M Greig

    Full Text Available This study explored inter-relationships between vertebral fracture, thoracic kyphosis and trunk muscle control in elderly people with osteoporosis. Osteoporotic vertebral fractures are associated with increased risk of further vertebral fractures; but underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Several factors may explain this association, including changes in postural alignment (thoracic kyphosis and altered trunk muscle contraction patterns. Both factors may increase risk of further fracture because of increased vertebral loading and impaired balance, which may increase falls risk. This study compared postural adjustments in 24 individuals with osteoporosis with and without vertebral fracture and with varying degrees of thoracic kyphosis. Trunk muscle electromyographic activity (EMG associated with voluntary arm movements was recorded and compared between individuals with and without vertebral fracture, and between those with low and high thoracic kyphosis. Overall, elderly participants in the study demonstrated co-contraction of the trunk flexor and extensor muscles during forwards arm movements, but those with vertebral fractures demonstrated a more pronounced co-contraction than those without fracture. Individuals with high thoracic kyphosis demonstrated more pronounced alternating flexor and extensor EMG bursts than those with less kyphosis. Co-contraction of trunk flexor and extensor muscles in older individuals contrasts the alternating bursts of antagonist muscle activity in previous studies of young individuals. This may have several consequences, including altered balance efficacy and the potential for increased compressive loads through the spine. Both of these outcomes may have consequences in a population with fragile vertebrae who are susceptible to fracture.

  3. Assessing ecotoxicity and uptake of metals and metalloids in relation to two different earthworm species (Eiseina hortensis and Lumbricus terrestris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leveque, Thibaut; Capowiez, Yvan; Schreck, Eva; Mazzia, Christophe; Auffan, Mélanie; Foucault, Yann; Austruy, Annabelle; Dumat, Camille

    2013-08-01

    Due to diffuse atmospheric fallouts of process particles enriched by metals and metalloids, polluted soils concern large areas at the global scale. Useful tools to assess ecotoxicity induced by these polluted soils are therefore needed. Earthworms are currently used as biotest, however the influence of specie and earthworm behaviour, soil characteristics are poorly highlighted. Our aim was therefore to assess the toxicity of various polluted soils with process particles enriches by metals and metalloids (Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, As and Sb) collected from a lead recycling facility on two earthworm species belonging to different ecological types and thus likely to have contrasted behavioural responses (Eiseina hortensis and Lumbricus terrestris). The combination of behavioural factors measurements (cast production and biomass) and physico-chemical parameters such as metal absorption, bioaccumulation by earthworms and their localization in invertebrate tissues provided a valuable indication of pollutant bioavailability and ecotoxicity. Soil characteristics influenced ecotoxicity and metal uptake by earthworms, as well as their soil bioturbation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Mudskipper genomes provide insights into the terrestrial adaptation of amphibious fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Xinxin; Bian, Chao; Zan, Qijie; Xu, Xun; Liu, Xin; Chen, Jieming; Wang, Jintu; Qiu, Ying; Li, Wujiao; Zhang, Xinhui; Sun, Ying; Chen, Shixi; Hong, Wanshu; Li, Yuxiang; Cheng, Shifeng; Fan, Guangyi; Shi, Chengcheng; Liang, Jie; Tom Tang, Y; Yang, Chengye; Ruan, Zhiqiang; Bai, Jie; Peng, Chao; Mu, Qian; Lu, Jun; Fan, Mingjun; Yang, Shuang; Huang, Zhiyong; Jiang, Xuanting; Fang, Xiaodong; Zhang, Guojie; Zhang, Yong; Polgar, Gianluca; Yu, Hui; Li, Jia; Liu, Zhongjian; Zhang, Guoqiang; Ravi, Vydianathan; Coon, Steven L; Wang, Jian; Yang, Huanming; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Wang, Jun; Shi, Qiong

    2014-12-02

    Mudskippers are amphibious fishes that have developed morphological and physiological adaptations to match their unique lifestyles. Here we perform whole-genome sequencing of four representative mudskippers to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying these adaptations. We discover an expansion of innate immune system genes in the mudskippers that may provide defence against terrestrial pathogens. Several genes of the ammonia excretion pathway in the gills have experienced positive selection, suggesting their important roles in mudskippers' tolerance to environmental ammonia. Some vision-related genes are differentially lost or mutated, illustrating genomic changes associated with aerial vision. Transcriptomic analyses of mudskippers exposed to air highlight regulatory pathways that are up- or down-regulated in response to hypoxia. The present study provides a valuable resource for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying water-to-land transition of vertebrates.

  5. Hemifacial spasm; The value of vertebral angiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Hak Seok; Kim, Myung Soon; Han, Yong Pyo

    1992-01-01

    In order to evaluate the value of vertebral angiography in assesment of hemifacial spasm, We reviewed retrospectively the vertebral angiography of 28 patients (30 cases) with surgically proved hemifacial spasm but normal CT scans of posterior fossa. There were 9 males and 19 females. Angiography revealed vascular focus of hemifacial spasm located at anterior inferior cerebellar artery , posterior inferior cerebellar artery, and vertebral artery in 19, 9, and 2 cases respectively. Right side was involved in 20 cases. All involved vessels were elongated, tortuous, and dilated. In conclusion, vertebral angiography was valuable in evaluating hemifacial spasm of vascular origin in the posterior fossa

  6. MR imaging of tuberculous vertebral osteomyelitis: pictorial review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gouliamos, A.D.; Kehagias, D.T.; Lahanis, S.; Moulopoulou, E.S.; Kalovidouris, A.A.; Trakadas, S.J.; Vlahos, L.j. [Dept. of Radiology, University of Athens (Greece); Athanassopoulou, A.A. [Dept. of Radiology, Asklipiion Hospital, Athens (Greece)

    2001-04-01

    Vertebral osteomyelitis is one of the most common manifestations of tuberculosis. Magnetic resonance imaging is considered the main imaging modality for the diagnosis, the demonstration of the extent of the disease, and follow-up studies. Vertebral destruction involving two consecutive levels with sparing of the intervertebral disc, disc herniation into the vertebral body, epidural involvement, and paraspinal abscess are the most common MRI findings suggestive of tuberculous vertebral osteomyelitis. (orig.)

  7. Metamerism in cephalochordates and the problem of the vertebrate head.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onai, Takayuki; Adachi, Noritaka; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2017-01-01

    The vertebrate head characteristically exhibits a complex pattern with sense organs, brain, paired eyes and jaw muscles, and the brain case is not found in other chordates. How the extant vertebrate head has evolved remains enigmatic. Historically, there have been two conflicting views on the origin of the vertebrate head, segmental and non-segmental views. According to the segmentalists, the vertebrate head is organized as a metameric structure composed of segments equivalent to those in the trunk; a metamere in the vertebrate head was assumed to consist of a somite, a branchial arch and a set of cranial nerves, considering that the head evolved from rostral segments of amphioxus-like ancestral vertebrates. Non-segmentalists, however, considered that the vertebrate head was not segmental. In that case, the ancestral state of the vertebrate head may be non-segmented, and rostral segments in amphioxus might have been secondarily gained, or extant vertebrates might have evolved through radical modifications of amphioxus-like ancestral vertebrate head. Comparative studies of mesodermal development in amphioxus and vertebrate gastrula embryos have revealed that mesodermal gene expressions become segregated into two domains anteroposteriorly to specify the head mesoderm and trunk mesoderm only in vertebrates; in this segregation, key genes such as delta and hairy, involved in segment formation, are expressed in the trunk mesoderm, but not in the head mesoderm, strongly suggesting that the head mesoderm of extant vertebrates is not segmented. Taken together, the above finding possibly adds a new insight into the origin of the vertebrate head; the vertebrate head mesoderm would have evolved through an anteroposterior polarization of the paraxial mesoderm if the ancestral vertebrate had been amphioxus-like.

  8. An extinct vertebrate preserved by its living hybridogenetic descendant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, Sylvain; Dufresnes, Christophe

    2017-10-06

    Hybridogenesis is a special mode of hybrid reproduction where one parental genome is eliminated and the other is transmitted clonally. We propose that this mechanism can perpetuate the genome of extinct species, based on new genetic data from Pelophylax water frogs. We characterized the genetic makeup of Italian hybridogenetic hybrids (P. kl. hispanicus and esculentus) and identified a new endemic lineage of Eastern-Mediterranean origin as one parental ancestor of P. kl. hispanicus. This taxon is nowadays extinct in the wild but its germline subsists through its hybridogenetic descendant, which can thus be considered as a "semi living fossil". Such rare situation calls for realistic efforts of de-extinction through selective breeding without genetic engineering, and fuels the topical controversy of reviving long extinct species. "Ghost" species hidden by taxa of hybrid origin may be more frequent than suspected in vertebrate groups that experienced a strong history of hybridization and semi-sexual reproduction.

  9. Thermal legacies: transgenerational effects of temperature on growth in a vertebrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salinas, Santiago; Munch, Stephan B

    2012-02-01

    Transgenerational plasticity (TGP), a generalisation of more widely studied maternal effects, occurs whenever environmental cues experienced by either parent prior to fertilisation results in a modification of offspring reaction norms. Such effects have been observed in many traits across many species. Despite enormous potential importance-particularly in an era of rapid climate change-TGP in thermal growth physiology has never been demonstrated for vertebrates. We provide the first evidence for thermal TGP in a vertebrate: given sufficient time, sheepshead minnows adaptively program their offspring for maximal growth at the present temperature. The change in growth over a single generation (c. 30%) exceeds the single-generation rate of adaptive evolution by an order of magnitude. If widespread, transgenerational effects on thermal performance may have important implications on physiology, ecology and contemporary evolution, and may significantly alter the extinction risk posed by changing climate. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  10. Importance of terrestrial arthropods as subsidies in lowland Neotropical rain forest stream ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Small, Gaston E.; Torres, Pedro J.; Schwizer, Lauren M.; Duff, John H.; Pringle, Catherine M.

    2013-01-01

    The importance of terrestrial arthropods has been documented in temperate stream ecosystems, but little is known about the magnitude of these inputs in tropical streams. Terrestrial arthropods falling from the canopy of tropical forests may be an important subsidy to tropical stream food webs and could also represent an important flux of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in nutrient-poor headwater streams. We quantified input rates of terrestrial insects in eight streams draining lowland tropical wet forest in Costa Rica. In two focal headwater streams, we also measured capture efficiency by the fish assemblage and quantified terrestrially derived N- and P-excretion relative to stream nutrient uptake rates. Average input rates of terrestrial insects ranged from 5 to 41 mg dry mass/m2/d, exceeding previous measurements of aquatic invertebrate secondary production in these study streams, and were relatively consistent year-round, in contrast to values reported in temperate streams. Terrestrial insects accounted for half of the diet of the dominant fish species, Priapicthys annectens. Although terrestrially derived fish excretion was found to be a small flux relative to measured nutrient uptake rates in the focal streams, the efficient capture and processing of terrestrial arthropods by fish made these nutrients available to the local stream ecosystem. This aquatic-terrestrial linkage is likely being decoupled by deforestation in many tropical regions, with largely unknown but potentially important ecological consequences.

  11. Effects of climate change on terrestrial animals [Chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Megan M. Friggens; Mary I. Williams; Karen E. Bagne; Tosha T. Wixom; Samuel A. Cushman

    2018-01-01

    The Intermountain Adaptation Partnership (IAP) region encompasses a high diversity of grassland, shrubland, and forest habitats across a broad range of elevational gradients, supporting high biodiversity in the interior western United States. Terrestrial species comprise a wide range of life forms, each expressing varying levels of habitat specialization and life...

  12. Lessons from a Community-Based Program to Monitor Forest Vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benchimol, Maíra; von Mühlen, Eduardo M.; Venticinque, Eduardo M.

    2017-09-01

    A large number of sustainable use reserves recently have been titled in the Brazilian Amazonia. These reserves require public participation in the design and implementation of management and monitoring programs. Species-monitoring programs that engage local stakeholders may be useful for assessing wildlife status over the long term. We collaborated on the development of a participatory program to monitor forest vertebrates in the Piagaçu-Purus Sustainable Development Reserve and to build capacity among the local people. We examined relations between the distance to the nearest human community and sighting rates of each species, and evaluated the program overall. Eighteen wildlife monitors received training in line transect and sign surveys and then conducted surveys along a total of ten tr