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  • 1
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-28
    Description: s Cannibalism is induced in larval-stage populations of the Hokkaido salamander, Hynobius retardatus , under the control of a cannibalism reaction norm. Here, I examined phenotypic expression under the cannibalism reaction norm, and how the induction of a cannibalistic morph under the norm leads to populational morphological diversification. I conducted a set of experiments in which density was manipulated to be either low or high. In the high-density treatment, the populations become dimorphic with some individuals developing into the cannibal morph type. I performed an exploratory analysis based on geometric morphometrics and showed that shape characteristics differed between not only cannibal and noncannibal morph types in the high-density treatment but also between those morph types and the solitary morph type in the low-density treatment. Size and shape of cannibal and noncannibal individuals were found to be located at either end of a continuum of expression following a unique size–shape integration rule that was different from the rule governing the size and shape variations of the solitary morph type. This result implies that the high-density-driven inducible morphology of an individual is governed by a common integration rule during the development of dimorphism under the control of the cannibalism reaction norm. Phenotypic expression under the cannibalism reaction norm is driven not only by population density but also by social interactions among the members of a population: variation in the populational expression of dimorphism is associated with contingent social interaction events among population members. The induced cannibalistic morph thus reflects not only by contest-type exploitative competition but also interference competition. I clarified how the cannibalism induction reaction norm of the Hokkaido salamander Hynobius retardatus makes populational morphological diversification. The reaction norm is driven not only by the density of conspecifics but also by the contingent social interactions with the population.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 2
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: The horse ( Equus caballus ) is a feral ungulate that currently exceeds target population sizes in many areas of western North America. Horses are behaviorally dominant over native ungulates and outcompete the latter for access to water sources. However, a better understanding of the broader spatial and temporal implications of horse-induced competition on access to water by native ungulates will enable better conservation and management of native species. Our objective was to determine whether pronghorn ( Antilocapra americana ) and mule deer ( Odocoileus hemionus ) spatially or temporally altered their use of water to minimize interactions with horses. From 2010 to 2014, we used remote cameras to monitor ungulates at 32 water sources in the Great Basin Desert. We evaluated spatial and temporal partitioning by these species at water sources using generalized linear models, mixed-effects models, and Mann–Whitney U tests. We found that both native ungulates used water sources less often where horse activity at water sources was high, indicating that spatial avoidance occurred. Further, we observed significant differences in peak arrival time for pronghorn, but not mule deer at horse-occupied sites versus sites where horses were absent or uncommon, indicating that temporal avoidance may be more important for pronghorn than mule deer. Because mule deer are primarily crepuscular and nocturnal whereas horses are largely diurnal, we did not expect to observe a temporal shift for mule deer. We also found strong support for the interactive negative effect of elevated temperature and subsequent increased activity of horses at water sources on drinking patterns of pronghorn and mule deer. Our findings indicate that feral horses further constrain access to an already limited resource for native species in a semi-arid environment.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 3
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Collecting information on bat prey availability usually involves the use of light traps to capture moths and flies that constitute the main prey items of most insectivorous bats. However, despite the recent awareness on the adverse effects of light on bats, little is known regarding the potential impacts of light trapping on the bat sampling outcomes when passive acoustic sampling and light trapping are implemented simultaneously. Using a before–after experimental design that involved the installation of a 6 W actinic light trap 1 m away from the bat detector, we tested the predictions that (1) slow-flying bat species will be less active when the light trap is present, while the opposite will be true for fast-flying species; and (2) bat species richness will be lower at lit conditions compared to dark ones. Our results suggest that the use of light traps in combination with bat detectors may considerably influence the outcomes of acoustic sampling. Although the activity of fast-flying bat species did not differ between the two treatments, we found that the activity of slow-flying ones such as Rhinolophus ferrumequinum and Rhinolophus hipposideros decreased significantly at lit conditions. Furthermore, we recorded fewer bat species when the light trap was deployed. To overcome this issue, we strongly recommend either (1) placing light traps at a considerable distance from bat detectors; or (2) using light traps during the night that follows the bat sampling if sampling needs to be at the same position; or (3) deploying non-attractant insect traps such as Malaise traps if Lepidoptera is not the main order targeted. Passive acoustic sampling has become an increasingly popular method to study the ecology of echolocating bats. However, the outcomes may be considerably biased if the acoustic sampling is not implemented correctly. We demonstrate that when collecting information on bat activity and prey availability, the use of light traps in concomitance with bat detectors significantly affects the acoustic outcomes. We provide alternative sampling strategies to overcome this issue.
    Electronic ISSN: 2056-3485
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Biology
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  • 4
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-17
    Description: Species–habitat relationships are of core interest in ecological studies. In this research, we explored the potential of small, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to derive a comprehensive set of habitat predictors to explain distribution variance of an alpine bird community in Jikdril county, on the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). In 2014 and 2015, we carried out two breeding season bird surveys on 140 plots, from eight sample blocks in the Nyanpo Yutse region. In summer 2014, we conducted 39 flights over the eight sample blocks, and obtained 5500 images which covered 45 km 2 of alpine grassland habitat. We used photogrammetry software to generate high-resolution orthophotos and digital surface models with an average pixel size of 13 cm. We derived both 3D- and 2D-UAV-based models as habitat predictors used to analyze explained variance in the local bird community at four different sample scales (plot radii of 50 m, 100 m, 150 m and 200 m). We performed canonical correspondence analyses (CCA), with a model-building approach based on permutation. Furthermore, the proportion of total variance explained by each predictor group was calculated, and analysis of results showed that UAV data derived predictors played a significant role in explaining the variance of the sampled bird community on the QTP. In particular, 3D-based predictors contributed strongly to the explanation of variance (50 m: 45.44%, 100 m: 44.60%, 150 m: 49.21%, 200 m: 36.22% of the total explained variance per sample size), followed by 2D-based predictors over the same four sample scales (50 m: 35.45%, 100 m: 34.57%, 150 m: 31.19%, 200 m: 39.48%). Our results indicate that a sample plot scale of 150–200 m radius leads to the most comprehensive explanation of variance (all predictors: 39.59%, P  〈   0.0001 and 39.13% P  〈   0.0001). UAV data provide us with fine-scale (10 cm resolution) continuous raster data on land cover, topographic and landscape features, which are hard to acquire with conventional habitat measurements. We therefore successfully demonstrate the performance of UAV-derived data in facilitating ecological research at different spatial scales. Species–habitat relationship is of primary interest in ecological studies. In this article, we developed an innovative application of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to derive wall-to-wall habitat predictors in the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). We used canonical correspondence analyses (CCA) with a model-building approach based on permutation to compare the explanatory power by UAV-based 3D- and 2D-habitat predictors, to explain distribution variances in the local alpine bird community. Results show that UAV-derived predictors play a significant role in species–habitat relationships in this study. Particularly, 3D-based predictors contribute strongly to the variance explained. Our research demonstrates that UAV data can provide continuous data in terms of various habitat features. In particular, fine-scale topography and landscape heterogeneity predictors are hard to acquire with conventional habitat measurements.
    Electronic ISSN: 2056-3485
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Biology
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  • 5
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-19
    Description: Maintaining genetic diversity is a crucial component in conserving threatened species. For the iconic Australian koala, there is little genetic information on wild populations that is not either skewed by biased sampling methods (e.g., sampling effort skewed toward urban areas) or of limited usefulness due to low numbers of microsatellites used. The ability to genotype DNA extracted from koala scats using next-generation sequencing technology will not only help resolve location sample bias but also improve the accuracy and scope of genetic analyses (e.g., neutral vs. adaptive genetic diversity, inbreeding, and effective population size). Here, we present the successful SNP genotyping (1272 SNP loci) of koala DNA extracted from scat, using a proprietary DArTseq ™ protocol. We compare genotype results from two-day-old scat DNA and 14-day-old scat DNA to a blood DNA template, to test accuracy of scat genotyping. We find that DNA from fresher scat results in fewer loci with missing information than DNA from older scat; however, 14-day-old scat can still provide useful genetic information, depending on the research question. We also find that a subset of 209 conserved loci can accurately identify individual koalas, even from older scat samples. In addition, we find that DNA sequences identified from scat samples through the DArTseq ™ process can provide genetic identification of koala diet species, bacterial and viral pathogens, and parasitic organisms. Accurate SNP genotyping of koalas from scats allows for improved accuracy and scope of genetic analyses for wild populations (e.g., neutral vs. adaptive genetic diversity and inbreeding and effective population size). Additional genetic identification of diet species and pathogens from scat provides crucial information with which to make conservation management decisions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 6
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-19
    Description: Mobile acoustic surveys are a common method of surveying bat communities. However, there is a paucity of empirical studies exploring different methods for conducting mobile road surveys of bats. During 2013, we conducted acoustic mobile surveys on three routes in north-central Indiana, U.S.A., using (1) a standard road survey, (2) a road survey where the vehicle stopped for 1 min at every half mile of the survey route (called a “start-stop method”), and (3) a road survey with an individual using a bicycle. Linear mixed models with multiple comparison procedures revealed that when all bat passes were analyzed, using a bike to conduct mobile surveys detected significantly more bat passes per unit time compared to other methods. However, incorporating genus-level comparisons revealed no advantage to using a bike over vehicle-based methods. We also found that survey method had a significant effect when analyses were limited to those bat passes that could be identified to genus, with the start–stop method generally detecting more identifiable passes than the standard protocol or bike survey. Additionally, we found that significantly more identifiable bat passes (particularly those of the Eptesicus and Lasiurus genera) were detected in surveys conducted immediately following sunset. As governing agencies, particularly in North America, implement vehicle-based bat monitoring programs, it is important for researchers to understand how variations on protocols influence the inference that can be gained from different monitoring schemes. Vehicle-based mobile acoustic surveys of bats have become a common tool for assessing bat communities and population change across the globe. We assessed the impact that both the timing of these surveys as well as modifications to the standard protocol had on the ability of such surveys to effectively sample a bat community. We found that surveys started shortly after sunset recorded more high-quality bat calls than those begun later in the night and that a mobile protocol that implemented periodic stops was more effective per unit time at recording identifiable bat echolocation calls than the standard method or a bike-based protocol.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 7
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-22
    Description: In many species, males increase their reproductive success by choosing high-quality females. In natural populations, they interact with both virgin and mated females, which can store sperm in their spermatheca. Therefore, males elaborate strategies to avoid sperm competition. In the terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare , females can store sperm and produce several clutches. Moreover, this species can be parasitized by Wolbachia , which feminizes genetic males, transforming them into functional females. Our study compared attractiveness and mate choice when a male is exposed to both virgin and experienced females (i.e., females who have produced offspring and rested for 6 months), with or without Wolbachia . Our results revealed that males are more attracted to virgin females than experienced females, even if these virgin females are parasitized. Moreover, the chemical analysis highlighted different odors in females according to their reproductive and infection ( Wolbachia- free or vertically Wolbachia -infected) status. Males attempted copulation more frequently and for longer with virgin females, even if Wolbachia -infected, while experienced females refused further copulation. The evolutionary consequences of both male choice and female resistance on their fitness are discussed in this study. In the terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare , infected with the feminizing bacteria Wolbachia, females can store sperm from previous matings. We investigated male mate choice when a male can choose between virgin and experienced (i.e., used 6 months after releasing their offspring) females. Our results suggest that males are able to recognize and prefer virgin females, even if females are infected with Wolbachia, whereas experienced females refused new mating.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 8
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-22
    Electronic ISSN: 2050-0505
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 9
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-22
    Electronic ISSN: 2050-0505
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 10
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-22
    Description: The world conference (Conference of the Parties (COP23)) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change took place in Bonn (Germany) from 6 to 17 November. Speakers at the meeting stressed the severity of the threat from global warming and the urgent need to act but what commitments came out of the COP23 meeting? Alexandra Carrick gives a short summary of the meeting and some of the energy outcomes of the conference.
    Electronic ISSN: 2050-0505
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 11
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-22
    Description: Biological nitrogen (N 2 ) fixation is one of the main sources of available N for pristine ecosystems such as subarctic and arctic tundra. Although this has been acknowledged more than a decade ago, few attempts have been undertaken to identify the foremost driver of N 2 fixation in the high Arctic. Here, we report results from in situ measurements of N 2 fixation throughout the main growing period (June–August) in high arctic tundra, Greenland, in climate change treatments, shading and warming, and control. Nitrogen fixation was also measured in cores that received additional water prior to the measurements. The climate change field treatments did not lead to significant changes in any measured parameters; however, N 2 fixation was promoted by adding water, and moisture was the most important factor influencing N 2 fixation in all climate change field treatments. Maximum N 2 fixation rates were measured below 14°C soil temperature, which is much lower than the theoretical and previously reported temperature optimum for the nitrogenase enzyme. Diazotroph (N 2 fixing bacteria) communities are adapted to low temperatures in high arctic settings, and increased temperature in a future climate may lead to decreased N 2 fixation rates, or to a shift in diazotroph communities.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 12
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-22
    Description: This paper presents the main experiences gained and conclusions drawn from the demonstration of a first-of-its-kind wood-based biomethane production plant (20-MW capacity, 150 dry tonnes of biomass/day) and 10 years of operation of the 2–4-MW (10–20 dry tonnes of biomass/day) research gasifier at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Based on the experience gained, an elaborated outline for commercialization of the technology for a wide spectrum of applications and end products is defined. The main findings are related to the use of biomass ash constituents as a catalyst for the process and the application of coated heat exchangers, such that regular fluidized bed boilers can be retrofitted to become biomass gasifiers. Among the recirculation of the ash streams within the process, presence of the alkali salt in the system is identified as highly important for control of the tar species. Combined with new insights on fuel feeding and reactor design, these two major findings form the basis for a comprehensive process layout that can support a gradual transformation of existing boilers in district heating networks and in pulp, paper and saw mills, and it facilitates the exploitation of existing oil refineries and petrochemical plants for large-scale production of renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials from biomass and wastes. The potential for electrification of those process layouts are also discussed. The commercialization route represents an example of how biomass conversion develops and integrates with existing industrial and energy infrastructures to form highly effective systems that deliver a wide range of end products. Illustrating the potential, the existing fluidized bed boilers in Sweden alone represent a jet fuel production capacity that corresponds to 10% of current global consumption. The article presents a summary of experiences and conclusions drawn from comprehensive work on a first-of-its-kind wood-based biomethane production plant and 10 years of operation of the 2–4-MW research gasifier at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. We highlight key issues and breakthroughs that led to the successful operation of the gasification-based plant of GoBiGas. Based on this valuable and unique experience, we give an outline for the commercialization of the technology for a wide range of applications and end-products.
    Electronic ISSN: 2050-0505
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 13
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-22
    Description: The synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) within the interlayer space of transparent layered titania nanosheet (TNS) films is investigated. A considerable number of silver ions (≈70% against the cation exchange capacity of the TNS) are intercalated in the TNS films using methyl-viologen-containing TNSs as a precursor. The silver ion (Ag + )-containing TNS films are treated with aqueous sodium tetrahydroborate (NaBH 4 ), resulting in a gradual color change to bright blue. Various structural analyses clearly show that crystalline AgNPs are generated within the interlayer space of the TNSs. The NaBH 4 -treated films show intense and characteristic near-infrared (NIR) extinction spectra up to 1800 nm. The stability of the AgNPs within the TNS against oxygen and moisture is also investigated, and 96% and 82% of the AgNPs remain after standing in air for 1 month and 1 year, respectively. The NIR extinctions of the AgNP-containing TNS films are further extended by employing different preparation procedures, for example, using sintered TNS films as starting materials and irradiating the Ag + -containing TNSs with ultraviolet (UV) light. The obtained AgNP-containing TNS films exhibit photochemical activities in the production of hydrogen from ammonia borane under visible-light irradiation and the decomposition of nitrogen monoxide under UV-light irradiation. The synthesis of silver nanoparticles within the interlayer spaces of layered titanate films and their optical and photochemical characteristics are investigated. The films show intense extinction from the visible to the near-infrared region and exhibit good stability in air. The films exhibit photochemical activities for hydrogen production from amminetrihydridoboron and nitric oxide decomposition.
    Electronic ISSN: 2056-6646
    Topics: General, Interdisciplinary , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 14
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-22
    Description: An approach for underground, deep, and turbid water remediation is presented based on optical fibers with a photocatalytic coating. Thus, photocatalytic TiO 2 P25 nanoparticles immobilized in a poly(vinylidene difluoride) (PVDF) matrix are coated on polymeric optical fibers (POFs) and the photocatalytic performance of the system is assessed under artificial sunlight. To the best of our knowledge, poly(methyl methacrylate)-POF coated with TiO 2 /PVDF and the reusability of any type of POF for photocatalytic applications are not previously reported. The photocatalytic efficiency of the hybrid material in the degradation of ciprofloxacin (CIP) and its reusability are evaluated here. It is shown that 50 w/w% of TiO 2 P25 achieves a degradation of 95% after 72 h under artificial sunlight and a reusability of three times leads to a loss of activity inferior to 11%. The efficient removal of ciprofloxacin and the stability of the POF coated with TiO 2 P25 successfully demonstrate its suitability in the degradation of pollutants with potential application in regions with low light illumination, as in underground and deep water. For the first time, the immobilization of photocatalytic titanium dioxide (TiO 2 ) nanoparticles in a polymer (PVDF) onto the surface of polymeric optical fibers is shown. This material combines the practicability of the optical fibers to transport radiation, the chemical resilience of the PVDF coating, and the catalytic properties of TiO 2 nanoparticles into a single reusable material.
    Electronic ISSN: 2056-6646
    Topics: General, Interdisciplinary , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 15
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-23
    Print ISSN: 0007-9235
    Electronic ISSN: 1542-4863
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of American Cancer Society.
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  • 16
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-24
    Description: Animal signals are inherently complex phenotypes with many interacting parts combining to elicit responses from receivers. The pattern of interrelationships between signal components reflects the extent to which each component is expressed, and responds to selection, either in concert with or independently of others. Furthermore, many species have complex repertoires consisting of multiple signal types used in different contexts, and common morphological and physiological constraints may result in interrelationships extending across the multiple signals in species’ repertoires. The evolutionary significance of interrelationships between signal traits can be explored within the framework of phenotypic integration, which offers a suite of quantitative techniques to characterize complex phenotypes. In particular, these techniques allow for the assessment of modularity and integration, which describe, respectively, the extent to which sets of traits covary either independently or jointly. Although signal and repertoire complexity are thought to be major drivers of diversification and social evolution, few studies have explicitly measured the phenotypic integration of signals to investigate the evolution of diverse communication systems. We applied methods from phenotypic integration studies to quantify integration in the two primary vocalization types (advertisement and aggressive calls) in the treefrogs Hyla versicolor , Hyla cinerea, and Dendropsophus ebraccatus . We recorded male calls and calculated standardized phenotypic variance–covariance ( P ) matrices for characteristics within and across call types. We found significant integration across call types, but the strength of integration varied by species and corresponded with the acoustic similarity of the call types within each species. H. versicolor had the most modular advertisement and aggressive calls and the least acoustically similar call types. Additionally, P was robust to changing social competition levels in H. versicolor . Our findings suggest new directions in animal communication research in which the complex relationships among the traits of multiple signals are a key consideration for understanding signal evolution. Signals, such as body parts, are complex structures that must be integrated to function properly, yet this integration also may limit the independent evolution of signal traits. We investigated how different signal traits were integrated across the repertoires of three treefrog species and found evidence for variation between species in the strength of integration that seemed to correspond with the similarity of different signal types.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 17
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-24
    Description: Ecological theory suggests that prey size should increase with predator size, but this trend may be masked by other factors affecting prey selection, such as environmental constraints or specific prey preferences of predator species. Owls are an ideal case study for exploring how predator body size affects prey selection in the presence of other factors due to the ease of analyzing their diets from owl pellets and their widespread distributions, allowing interspecific comparisons between variable habitats. Here, we analyze various dimensions of prey resource selection among owls, including prey size, taxonomy (i.e., whether or not particular taxa are favored regardless of their size), and prey traits (movement type, social structure, activity pattern, and diet). We collected pellets of five sympatric owl species ( Athene noctua , Tyto alba , Asio otus , Strix aluco, and Bubo bubo ) from 78 sites across the Mediterranean Levant. Prey intake was compared between sites, with various environmental variables and owl species as predictors of abundance. Despite significant environmental impacts on prey intake, some key patterns emerge among owl species studied. Owls select prey by predator body size: Larger owls tend to feed on wider ranges of prey sizes, leading to higher means. In addition, guild members show both specialization and generalism in terms of prey taxa, sometimes in contrast with the expectations of the predator–prey body size hypothesis. Our results suggest that while predator body size is an important factor in prey selection, taxon specialization by predator species also has considerable impact. We studied the roles of environmental gradients as well as various prey life history strategies on the diet of five sympatric owl species. When significant environmental factors were accounted for, we found a strong effect of prey selection by mass, although some owl species specialize on or avoid specific prey taxa.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 18
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-24
    Description: Community assembly may not follow predictable successional stages, with a large fraction of the species pool constituted by potential pioneering species and successful founders defined through lottery. In such systems, priority effects may be relevant in the determination of trajectories of developing communities and hence diversity and assemblage structure at later advanced states. In order to assess how different founder species may trigger variable community trajectories and structures, we conducted an experimental study using subtidal sessile assemblages as model. We manipulated the identity of functionally different founders and initial colony size (a proxy of the time lag before the arrival of later species), and followed trajectories. We did not observe any effects of colony size on response variables, suggesting that priority effects take place even when the time lag between the establishment of pioneering species and late colonizers is very short. Late community structure at experimental panels that started either with the colonial ascidian Botrylloides nigrum , or the arborescent bryozoan Bugula neritina , was similar to control panels allowed natural assembling. In spite of high potential for fast space domination, and hence negative priority effects, B. nigrum suffered high mortality and did not persist throughout succession. Bugula neritina provided complex physical microhabitats through conspecific clustering that have enhanced larval settlement of late species arrivals, but no apparent facilitation was observed. Differently, panels founded by the encrusting bryozoan Schizoporella errata led to different and less diverse communities compared to naturally assembled panels, evidencing strong negative priority effects through higher persistence and space preemption. Schizoporella errata founder colonies inhibited further conspecific settlement, which may greatly relax intraspecific competition, allowing resource allocation to colony growth and space domination, thus reducing the chances for the establishment of other species. Community assembly may not always follow predictable trajectories and instead may be affected by priority effects. In order to investigate how founder species with different traits affect community trajectory and structure, we conducted a manipulative approach using sessile communities from shallow subtidal. We observed that communities founded by a colonial ascidian and an arborescent bryozoan that do not persist longer became similar to nonmanipulated natural communities. However, when founded by a encrusting bryozoan that is a good space monopolizing and resistant to predation, communities were different from nonmanipulated ones, holding a lower number of species and being dominated by such founder species.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 19
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-24
    Description: There is little direct evidence for effects of soil heterogeneity and root plasticity on the competitive interactions among plants. In this study, we experimentally examined the impacts of temporal nutrient heterogeneity on root growth and interactions between two plant species with very different rooting strategies: Liquidambar styraciflua (sweet gum), which shows high root plasticity in response to soil nutrient heterogeneity, and Pinus taeda (loblolly pine), a species with less plastic roots. Seedlings of the two species were grown in sandboxes in inter- and intraspecific combinations. Nutrients were applied in a patch either in a stable (slow-release) or in a variable (pulse) manner. Plant aboveground biomass, fine root mass, root allocation between nutrient patch and outside the patch, and root vertical distribution were measured. L. styraciflua grew more aboveground (40% and 27% in stable and variable nutrient treatment, respectively) and fine roots (41% and 8% in stable and variable nutrient treatment, respectively) when competing with P. taeda than when competing with a conspecific individual, but the growth of P. taeda was not changed by competition from L. styraciflua . Temporal variation in patch nutrient level had little effect on the species’ competitive interactions. The more flexible L. styraciflua changed its vertical distribution of fine roots in response to competition from P. taeda , growing more roots in deeper soil layers compared to its roots in conspecific competition, leading to niche differentiation between the species, while the fine root distribution of P. taeda remained unchanged across all treatments. Synthesis . L. styraciflua showed greater flexibility in root growth by changing its root vertical distribution and occupying space of not occupied by P. taeda . This flexibility gave L. styraciflua an advantage in interspecific competition. Liquidambar styraciflua showed greater flexibility in root growth by changing its root vertical distribution and occupying space not occupied by Pinus taeda . This flexibility gave L. styraciflua an advantage in interspecific competition.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 20
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-24
    Description: Sibling cannibalism—the killing and consumption of conspecifics within broods—carries a high risk of direct and inclusive fitness loss for parents and offspring. We reported previously that a unique vibrational behavior shown by the mother of the subsocial burrower bug, Adomerus rotundus (Heteroptera: Cydnidae), induced synchronous hatching. Maternal regulation may be one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing or limiting sibling cannibalism. Here, we tested the hypothesis that synchronous hatching induced by maternal vibration in A. rotundus prevents sibling cannibalism. Mothers and their mature egg masses were allocated to three groups: synchronous hatching by maternal vibration (SHmv), synchronous hatching by artificial vibration (SHav), and asynchronous hatching (AH). We then investigated the influence of each hatching strategy on the occurrence of sibling cannibalism of eggs and early-instar nymphs in the laboratory. No difference in the proportion of eggs cannibalized was observed among the three groups. However, the proportion of nymphs cannibalized was higher in the AH group than in the SHmv group. The difference in the number of days to first molting within clutch was significantly higher in the AH group than in the SHmv group. Junior nymphs were sometimes eaten by senior nymphs. However, immediately after molting, senior nymphs were at a high risk of being eaten by junior nymphs. Our results indicate that synchronous hatching of A .  rotundus is necessary to mitigate the risk of sibling cannibalism. Mother subsocial burrower bugs ( Adomerus rotundus ) use a unique vibrational behavior to induce synchronous hatching. We found that conditions lacking maternal hatching regulation facilitated asynchronous hatching and asynchronous molting and increased sibling cannibalism within a brood. Our results provide experimental evidence that synchronous hatching regulated by mother mitigates the risk of sibling cannibalism.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 21
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-24
    Description: Hydrophobically modified acrylamide copolymers dewater oil sands tailings more effectively than anionic polyacrylamide, but the root causes for this enhanced performance have not been investigated systematically. Polyacrylamide-poly(ethylene oxide methyl ether methacrylate) copolymers with different comonomer compositions, hydrophobic chain lengths, and molecular weights to map out these effects systematically are synthetized. Through a statistical design of experiments, it is found out that all three variables above significantly affected flocculation performance and that certain combinations achieve optimal results. The effect of centrifugation on the flocculation and dewatering performance of these polymers is also investigated. This study proposes to dewater oil sands mature fine tailings (MFT) using hydrophobically modified copolymers of acrylamide, poly(acrylamide- co -ethylene oxide methyl ether methacrylate). Dewatering of MFT is systematically studied as a function of comonomer content, hydrophobic chain lengths, and copolymer molecular weight.
    Electronic ISSN: 2056-6646
    Topics: General, Interdisciplinary , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 22
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-24
    Description: The Shank proteins are crucial scaffolding elements of the post-synaptic density (PSD). One of the best-characterized domains in Shank is the PDZ domain, which binds to C-terminal segments of several other PSD proteins. We carried out a detailed structural analysis of Shank3 PDZ domain-peptide complexes, in order to understand determinants of binding affinity towards different ligand proteins. Ligand peptides from four different proteins were cocrystallized with the Shank3 PDZ domain, and binding affinities were determined calorimetrically. In addition, to conserve class I interactions between the first and third C-terminal peptide residue and Shank3, side chain interactions of other residues in the peptide with the PDZ domain are important factors in defining affinity. Structural conservation suggests that the binding specificities of the PDZ domains from different Shanks are similar. Two conserved buried water molecules in PDZ domains may affect correct local folding of ligand recognition determinants. The solution structure of a tandem Shank3 construct containing the SH3 and PDZ domains showed that the two domains are close to each other, which could be of relevance, when recognizing and binding full target proteins. The SH3 domain did not affect the affinity of the PDZ domain towards short target peptides, and the schizophrenia-linked Shank3 mutation R536W in the linker between the domains had no effect on the structure or peptide interactions of the Shank3 SH3-PDZ unit. Our data show the spatial arrangement of two adjacent Shank domains and pinpoint affinity determinants for short PDZ domain ligands with limited sequence homology. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Print ISSN: 0022-3042
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-4159
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 23
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-25
    Description: The effectiveness of conservation plans depends on environmental, ecological, and socioeconomic factors. Global change makes conservation decisions even more challenging. Among others, the components of most concern in modern-day conservation assessments are as follows: the magnitude of climate and land-use changes; species dispersal abilities; competition with harmful socioeconomic activities for land use; the number of threatened species to consider; and, relatedly, the available budget to act. Here, we provide a unified framework that quantifies the relative effects of those factors on conservation. We conducted an area-scheduling work plan in order to identify sets of areas along time in which the persistence expectancies of species are optimized. The approach was illustrated using data of potential distribution of ten nonvolant mammal species in Iberia Peninsula from current time up to 2080. Analyses were conducted considering possible setups among the factors that are likely to critically impact conservation success: three climate/land-use scenarios; four species’ dispersal kernel curves; six land-use layer types; and two planning designs, in which assessments were made independently for each species, or joining all species in a single plan. We identified areas for an array of investments levels capable to circumvent the spatial conflicts with socioeconomic activities. The effect of each factor on the estimated species persistence scores was assessed using linear mixed models. Our results evidence that conservation success is highly reliant on the resources available to abate land-use conflicts. Nonetheless, under the same investment levels, planning design and climate change were the factors that most shaped species persistence scores. The persistence of five species was especially affected by the sole effect of planning design and consequently, larger conservation investments may retard climatic debts. For three species, the negative effects of a changing climate and of multiple-species planning designs added up, making these species especially at risk. Integrated assessments of the factors most likely to limit species persistence are pivotal to achieve effectiveness. There are several factors impinging the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation. In this analysis, we made a contrasting whole-integrated evaluation on the individual effects of planning design, climate, species dispersal ability, land use, and budget available for area acquisition over the persistence of ten conservation-concerning mammal species in Iberia Peninsula up to 2080 within optimal sets of areas enabling species to rearrange their distributions when following their changing suitable climate locations in future times. The effect of budget and planning designs presented the largest effects. The synergestic effects of climate with these ones are detrimental to maintain the persistence of some of the species at a secure level against extinction debts.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 24
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-26
    Description: Land use change modifies the environment at multiple spatial scales, and is a main driver of species declines and deterioration of ecosystem services. However, most of the research on the effects of land use change has focused on taxonomic diversity, while functional diversity, an important predictor of ecosystem services, is often neglected. We explored how local and landscape scale characteristics influence functional and taxonomic diversity of hummingbirds in the Andes Mountains in southern Ecuador. Data was collected in six landscapes along a land use gradient, from an almost intact landscape to one dominated by cattle pastures. We used point counts to sample hummingbirds from 2011 to 2012 to assessed how local factors (i.e., vegetation structure, flowering plants richness, nectar availability) and landscape factors (i.e., landscape heterogeneity, native vegetation cover) influenced taxonomic and functional diversity. Then, we analyzed environment – trait relationships (RLQ test) to explore how different hummingbird functional traits influenced species responses to these factors. Taxonomic and functional diversity of hummingbirds were positively associated with landscape heterogeneity but only functional diversity was positively related to native vegetation coverage. We found a weak response of taxonomic and functional diversity to land use change at the local scale. Environment-trait associations showed that body mass of hummingbirds likely influenced species sensitivity to land use change. In conclusion, landscape heterogeneity created by land use change can positively influence hummingbird taxonomic and functional diversity; however, a reduction of native vegetation cover could decrease functional diversity. Given that functional diversity can mediate ecosystem services, the conservation of native vegetation cover could play a key role in the maintenance of hummingbird pollination services in the tropical Andes. Moreover, there are particular functional traits, such as body mass, that increase a species sensitivity to land use change. Landscape heterogeneity created by land use change can reduce the functional diversity of hummingbirds. Given that functional diversity can mediate ecosystem services, the conservation of native vegetation cover could play a key role in the maintenance of hummingbird pollination services in the tropical Andes.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
    Published by Wiley-Blackwell
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  • 25
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-26
    Description: Populations often differ in phenotype and these differences can be caused by adaptation by natural selection, random neutral processes, and environmental responses. The most straightforward way to divide mechanisms that influence phenotypic variation is heritable variation and environmental-induced variation (e.g., plasticity). While genetic variation is responsible for most heritable phenotypic variation, part of this is also caused by nongenetic inheritance. Epigenetic processes may be one of the underlying mechanisms of plasticity and nongenetic inheritance and can therefore possibly contribute to heritable differences through drift and selection. Epigenetic variation may be influenced directly by the environment, and part of this variation can be transmitted to next generations. Field screenings combined with common garden experiments will add valuable insights into epigenetic differentiation, epigenetic memory and can help to reveal part of the relative importance of epigenetics in explaining trait variation. We explored both genetic and epigenetic diversity, structure and differentiation in the field and a common garden for five British and five French Scabiosa columbaria populations. Genetic and epigenetic variation was subsequently correlated with trait variation. Populations showed significant epigenetic differentiation between populations and countries in the field, but also when grown in a common garden. By comparing the epigenetic variation between field and common garden-grown plants, we showed that a considerable part of the epigenetic memory differed from the field-grown plants and was presumably environmentally induced. The memory component can consist of heritable variation in methylation that is not sensitive to environments and possibly genetically based, or environmentally induced variation that is heritable, or a combination of both. Additionally, random epimutations might be responsible for some differences as well. By comparing epigenetic variation in both the field and common environment, our study provides useful insight into the environmental and genetic components of epigenetic variation. The genetic and epigenetic diversity, structure, and differentiation of 10 Scabiosa columbaria populations were explored in both the field and a common garden. Genetic and epigenetic variation was subsequently correlated with trait variation that was measured in both field and common garden plants. By comparing epigenetic variation in both the field and common environment, our study provides important insights into the environmental and genetic components of epigenetic variation.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
    Published by Wiley-Blackwell
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  • 26
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-27
    Description: Biophysical and economic values are often used to aid understanding of the complex interplay between ecosystems, their services, and human well-being, but community values are rarely considered. In a case study of Barshong gewog in Bhutan, we used mapping methods that involved (1) local knowledge and perceptions collected using participatory rural appraisal tools, (2) a household survey, and (3) geospatial inputs, to understand the linkages between human well-being and ecosystem services at the local level, as perceived by the community. The study identified three major ecosystems—forest, agriculture, and freshwater—that contribute highly to local livelihoods. Collectively, these ecosystems provide a wide range of goods and services, including 22 provisioning, 13 regulating, 4 supporting, and 6 cultural services. About 85% of the households depend directly upon provisioning ecosystem services for their livelihoods and income. The study also identified the importance of the ecosystems in terms of three value domains—ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 27
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-27
    Description: Historically, people who study interactions between plants and herbivores focused on the ecological costs and benefits of synthesizing secondary metabolites. These compounds have diverse functions including defenses against herbivores. Some plants produce alkaloids that act as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, increasing both the level and duration of action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine with potential toxic effects in insects and mammals. Yet, among a number of neuroactive plant chemicals, alkaloids that inhibit acetylcholinesterase (AIA) display nootropic activities, that is, positively affect cognition, learning, and memory in mammals. This creates a paradox: Neuroactive AIA, expected to punish herbivores, enhance cognition, learning, and memory. A prevailing view is AIA are pesticides that adversely affecting the nervous systems of herbivorous insects, and the positive influences in mammals are merely a by-product of other functions. We review literature on the behavioral ecology of diet choice, food-aversion learning, and neurophysiological actions of AIA in mammals to provide a more comprehensive view of the adaptive significance of AIA. These compounds act as anti-herbivory defenses that influence flavor (taste plus odor) preference/aversion, the formation of memories, and the feeding behavior of mammalian herbivores. Thus, what appears from an insect standpoint to be an enigma makes sense for mammals: AIA enable mammalian herbivores to quickly learn and remember specific plant(s) and the locations where they ate those plant(s). We provide examples of AIA, synthesized by over 200 plant species in 16 families, which affect learning and memory in mammals. Using 36 examples of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors synthesized by plants in 58 families, we also show that acetylcholinesterase blockers contribute to anti-herbivore chemical defense by affecting food-aversion learning and memory in mammalian herbivores. We provide an evolutionary rationale for why natural selection may favor synthesis of chemicals that positively affect mental functions of herbivores. Our hypothesis, which challenges the current view that plant chemical defenses are aimed solely at destabilizing herbivore physiology, facilitates a broader understanding of diet preferences and feeding behavior in mammalian herbivores.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 28
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-28
    Electronic ISSN: 1530-261X
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 29
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-28
    Description: The genesis of tropical disturbances in strong and weak monsoon trough (MT) patterns is examined in an idealized model. The initial MT patterns in the model simulations are obtained from a global reanalysis dataset that encompasses a 29-year period. The simulations show that a tropical disturbance tends to develop over the eastern part of western North Pacific (WNP) near 150°–160°E when the MT extends eastward, whereas a tropical disturbance tends to occur over the western part of the WNP near 120°–130°E when the MT retreats westward. In addition, there is a faster development of tropical disturbance with a greater intensity in the strong MT pattern than that in the weak MT pattern. The tropical disturbances are triggered in the most convectively unstable region through the local dynamic and thermodynamic processes in the strong and weak MT patterns. Idealized simulations of the genesis of tropical disturbances in the strong and weak monsoon trough (MT) patterns are conducted using the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-ARW) model. The simulations show that the tropical disturbance tends to develop over the eastern part of the western North Pacific (WNP) near 150°–160°E when the MT extends eastward, whereas the tropical disturbance tends to occur over the western part of the WNP near 120°–130°E when the MT retreats westward. During the strong MT pattern, there is a faster development of tropical disturbance with a greater intensity than that in the weak MT pattern.
    Electronic ISSN: 1530-261X
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 30
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-28
    Description: In this study, the projections of daily rainfall from an ensemble mean of 20 global climate models (GCMs) are used to examine projected trends in heavy rainfall distribution over Central Africa (CA), under the representative concentration pathway 8.5. For this purpose, two analyses periods of 40-years have been selected (2006–2045 and 2056–2095) to compute trends in the 90th and 99th percentiles of the daily rainfall distributions. We found that large increase trend is mostly found in the 99th percentile of rainfall events, over southern Chad, northern Cameroon, northern Zambia, and in the Great Lakes Area. This can be attributed to the increase of moisture convergence intensified by the presence of the Congo Basin rainforest. It is also shown that the largest number of GCMs with a trend of the same sign as the average trend is observed over the above regions. It is thus clear that the projected increase trends in heavy rainfall events may further worse floods which are real problems in the CA countries. Therefore, strong subregional policies are needed to help design effective adaptation and mitigation measures for the region's countries. We found that large increase trend is mostly found in the 99th percentile of extreme rainfall events, over southern Chad, northern Cameroon, northern Zambia, and in the Great Lakes Area. This can be attributed to the increase of moisture convergence intensified by the presence of the Congo Basin rainforest. It is also shown that the largest number of GCMs with a trend of the same sign as the average trend is observed over the above regions. Average trend (in mm day −1 decade −1 ) in the 90th (a, c) and 99th (b, d) percentiles. Results are for the trend estimates over the period 2006–2045 (a and c) and 2056–2095 (b and d). Stippling indicates statistically significant regions at 95% confidence level of the Mann-Kendall test.
    Electronic ISSN: 1530-261X
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 31
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-28
    Description: The atmospheric abundance of the non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) ethane, propane, and butane increased during the industrial era. In addition to weak absorption and emission of longwave radiation, these gases influence the atmospheric radiative balance indirectly, mainly as precursors for ozone (O 3 ), and through reaction with the hydroxyl radical (OH), which leads to less OH and thereby longer atmospheric lifetime of methane (CH 4 ). In this study, we have calculated lifetimes, direct and indirect radiative forcing (RF), and global warming potentials (GWPs) for the three compounds, using a self-consistent methodology. Results show net RF per unit emission of 1.0, 0.9, and 0.6 mW m −2 (Tg year −1 ) −1 for ethane, propane, and butane, respectively. For all compounds, the direct effect is considerably smaller than the indirect effects (6% or less of the total). The indirect O 3 and CH 4 effects are approximately of the same magnitude. Net GWPs for a 100-year time horizon are 10 for ethane and propane, and 7 for butane, whereof the direct GWPs are 〈1 for all compounds. The net GWPs are generally higher than previous estimates, mainly because our calculations include emissions for a full year rather than one season. For the compounds studied here, 100-year GWP values do not differ substantially between each compound, considering the large uncertainties involved, and this may indicate that using values representative for a lump of NMVOCs may be sufficient. However, the climate effects may differ more between NMVOC compounds other than alkanes, such as alkenes and aromatics. Ethane is the non-methane hydrocarbon with the longest lifetime and highest abundance in the atmosphere. We have calculated lifetimes, direct and indirect radiative forcing (RF), and global warming potentials (GWPs), using a consistent methodology. Results show that the direct RF efficiency of ethane, propane, and butane is lower than previous estimates, while the net GWP is higher than before, due to stronger indirect effects on ozone and methane.
    Electronic ISSN: 1530-261X
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 32
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-28
    Description: A mesoscale convective system (MCS) over East China on June 5, 2009 was thoroughly analyzed using an Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) ensemble square root filter (EnSRF) system. The analyzed reflectivity structure, location and intensity compared well with observation, and were substantially better than an experiment without radar data assimilation. The cold pool and wind speed in the convective regions were strengthened. With improved initial conditions, the impact of single-moment (SM), double-moment (DM) and triple-moment (TM) microphysics parameterization (MP) schemes on ensemble forecasts of MCSs was evaluated. The use of multi-moment (MM) MP schemes showed some improvements in neighborhood ensemble probability for reflectivity and precipitation. Quantitative reflectivity and precipitation forecast skills were also improved in MM forecasts, with those of the TM forecast the best. A mesoscale convective system (MCS) on June 5, 2009 over east China was well analyzed with Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) ensemble square root filter (EnSRF) system. The use of multi-moment (MM) microphysics parameterization (MP) schemes showed some improvements in neighborhood ensemble probability for reflectivity and precipitation. Quantitative reflectivity and precipitation forecast skills were also improved in MM forecasts, with those of the triple-moment (TM) forecast the best. Fraction skill score (FSS; a, e, i, m), equitable threat score (ETS; b, f, j, n), probability of detection (POD; c, g, k, o) and false alarm ration (FAR; d, h, l, p) of reflectivity of EXP_DSM, EXP_DDM and EXP_DTM for threshold 5 dB Z (a–d), 15 dB Z (e–h), 25 dB Z (i–l) and 45 dB Z (m–p). x -axis is time in minutes, starting at 1000 UTC June 5, 2009. The shaded area is 95% confidence interval.
    Electronic ISSN: 1530-261X
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 33
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-28
    Description: The current understanding of familial colorectal cancer was limited to descriptions of affected pedigrees until the early 1990s. A series of landscape-altering discoveries revealed that there were distinct forms of familial cancer, and most were related to genes previously not known to be involved in human disease. This review largely focuses on advances in our understanding of Lynch syndrome because of the unique relationship of this disease to defective DNA mismatch repair and the clinical implications this has for diagnostics, prevention, and therapy. Recent advances have occurred in our understanding of the epidemiology of this disease, and the advent of broad genetic panels has altered the approach to germline and somatic diagnoses for all of the familial colorectal cancer syndromes. Important advances have been made toward a more complete mechanistic understanding of the pathogenesis of neoplasia in the setting of Lynch syndrome, and these advances have important implications for prevention. Finally, paradigm-shifting approaches to treatment of Lynch-syndrome and related tumors have occurred through the development of immune checkpoint therapies for hypermutated cancers. CA Cancer J Clin 2018 . © 2018 American Cancer Society .
    Print ISSN: 0007-9235
    Electronic ISSN: 1542-4863
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of American Cancer Society.
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  • 34
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-28
    Description: Neurodegeneration, a term that refers to the progressive loss of structure and function of neurons, is a feature of many neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). There is no cure or treatment available that can prevent or reverse neurodegenerative conditions. The causes of neurodegeneration in these diseases remain largely unknown, yet an extremely small proportion of these devastating diseases are associated with genetic mutations in proteins involved in a wide range of cellular pathways and processes. Over the past decade, it has become increasingly clear that the most notable neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS, FTLD and AD, share a common prominent pathological feature known as TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) proteinopathy, which is usually characterized by the presence of aberrant phosphorylation, ubiquitination, cleavage and/or nuclear depletion of TDP-43 in neurons and glial cells. The role of TDP-43 as a neurotoxicity trigger has been well documented in different in vitro and in vivo experimental models. As such, the investigation of TDP-43 pathomechanisms in various major neurodegenerative diseases is on the rise. Here, after a discussion of stages of TDP-43 proteinopathy during disease progression in various major neurodegenerative diseases, we review previous and most recent studies about the potential pathomechanisms with a particular emphasis on ALS, FTLD and AD, and discuss the possibility of targeting TDP-43 as a common therapeutic approach to treat neurodegenerative diseases. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Print ISSN: 0022-3042
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-4159
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 35
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-02-28
    Description: Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. GABA type A receptors (GABA A Rs) are severely affected in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the distribution and subunit composition of GABA A Rs in the AD brain are not well understood. This is the first comprehensive study to show brain region- and cell layer-specific alterations in the expression of the GABA A R subunits α1-3, α5, β1-3 and γ2 in the human AD hippocampus, entorhinal cortex and superior temporal gyrus (STG). In late-stage AD tissue samples using immunohistochemistry we found significant alteration of all investigated GABA A Rs subunits except for α3 and β1 that were well preserved. The most prominent changes include an increase in GABA A R α1 expression associated with AD in all layers of the CA3 region, in the stratum (str.) granulare and hilus of the dentate gyrus (DG). We found a significant increase in GABA A R α2 expression in the str. oriens of the CA1-3, str. radiatum of the CA2,3 and decrease in the str. pyramidale of the CA1 region in AD cases. In AD there was a significant increase in GABA A R α5 subunit expression in str. pyramidale, str. oriens of the CA1 region and decrease in the STG. We also found a significant decrease in the GABA A R β3 subunit immunoreactivity in the str. oriens of the CA2, str. granulare and str. moleculare of the DG. In conclusion, these findings indicate that the expression of the GABA A R subunits shows brain region- and layer-specific alterations in AD, and these changes could significantly influence and alter GABA A R function in the disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Print ISSN: 0022-3042
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-4159
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Despite the existence of well-established international environmental and nature conservation policies (e.g., the Ramsar Convention and Convention on Biological Diversity) ponds are largely missing from national and international legislation and policy frameworks. Ponds are among the most biodiverse and ecologically important freshwater habitats, and their value lies not only in individual ponds, but more importantly, in networks of ponds (pondscapes). Ponds make an important contribution to society through the ecosystem services they provide, with effective conservation of pondscapes essential to ensuring that these services are maintained. Implementation of current pond conservation through individual site designations does not function at the landscape scale, where ponds contribute most to biodiversity. Conservation and management of pondscapes should complement current national and international nature conservation and water policy/legislation, as pondscapes can provide species protection in landscapes where large-scale traditional conservation areas cannot be established (e.g., urban or agricultural landscapes). We propose practical steps for the effective incorporation or enhancement of ponds within five policy areas: through open water sustainable urban drainage systems in urban planning, increased incentives in agri-environment schemes, curriculum inclusion in education, emphasis on ecological scale in mitigation measures following anthropogenic developments, and the inclusion of pondscapes in conservation policy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
    Print ISSN: 1755-263X
    Electronic ISSN: 1755-263X
    Topics: Biology
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  • 37
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 38
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Fire regimes have long-term effects on ecosystems which can be subtle, requiring study at a large spatial scale and temporal scale to fully appreciate. The way in which multiple fires interact to create a fire regime is poorly understood, and the relationship between the severities of consecutive fires has not been studied in Australia. By overlaying remotely sensed severity maps, our study investigated how the severity of a fire is influenced by previous fire severity. This was done by sampling points at 500-m spacing across 53 fires in dry eucalypt forests of southeast Australia, over a range of time since fire spanning every major fire season for 30 yr. Generalized additive models were used to determine the influence of previous severity on the probability of crown fire and understory fire, controlling for differences in time since fire, topography, and weather. We found that a crown fire is more than twice as likely after a previous crown fire than previous understory fire, and understory fire is more likely after previous understory fire. Our findings are in line with the results of studies from North America and suggest that severe fire promotes further fire. This may be evidence of a runaway positive feedback, which can drive ecological change, and lead to a mosaic of divergent vegetation, but research into more than two consecutive fires is needed to explore this. Our results also suggest that a low-severity prescribed fire may be a useful management option for breaking a cycle of crown fires.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 39
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Electronic ISSN: 2054-4049
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geography
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  • 40
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-09
    Description: Genomic studies have been used to identify genes underlying many important plant secondary metabolic pathways. However, genes for salicinoid phenolic glycosides (SPGs)—ecologically important compounds with significant commercial, cultural, and medicinal applications—remain largely undescribed. We used a linkage map derived from a full-sib population of hybrid cottonwoods ( Populus spp.) to search for quantitative trait loci (QTL) for the SPGs salicortin and HCH-salicortin. SSR markers and primer sequences were used to anchor the map to the V3.0 P. trichocarpa genome. We discovered 21 QTL for the two traits, including a major QTL for HCH-salicortin ( R 2  = .52) that colocated with a QTL for salicortin on chr12. Using the V3.0 Populus genome sequence, we identified 2,983 annotated genes and 1,480 genes of unknown function within our QTL intervals. We note ten candidate genes of interest, including a BAHD-type acyltransferase that has been potentially linked to Populus SPGs. Our results complement other recent studies in Populus with implications for gene discovery and the evolution of defensive chemistry in a model genus. To our knowledge, this is the first study to use a full-sib mapping population to identify QTL intervals and gene lists associated with SPGs. Salicinoid phenolic glycosides (SPGs) are important secondary metabolites with numerous ecological, commercial, and ethnobotanical applications. However, the pathways controlling the expression of SPGs remain conspicuously underscribed. Here, discuss 25 quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with the salicinoid phenolic gylcosides, salicortin and HCH-salicortin, and a number of potential candidate genes that occur within our QTL intervals.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 41
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-09
    Description: Alarm signals released after predator attack function as reliable public information revealing areas of high risk. The utility of this information can extend beyond species boundaries, benefiting heterospecifics capable of recognizing and responding appropriately to the signal. Nonmutually exclusive hypotheses explaining the acquisition of heterospecific reactivity to cues suggest it could be conserved phylogenetically following its evolution in a common ancestor (a species-level effect) and/or learned during periods of shared risk (a population-level effect; e.g., shared predators). Using a laboratory-based space-use behavioral assay, we tested the response of sea lamprey ( Petromyzon marinus ) to the damage-released alarm cues of five confamilial (sympatric and allopatric) species and two distantly related out-groups: a sympatric teleost (white sucker Catostomus commersonii ) and an allopatric agnathan (Atlantic hagfish Myxine glutinosa ). We found that sea lamprey differed in their response to conspecific and heterospecific odors; exhibiting progressively weaker avoidance of cues derived from more phylogenetically distant confamilials regardless of current overlap in distribution. Odors from out-groups elicited no response. These findings suggest that a damage-released alarm cue is at least partially conserved within the Petromyzontidae and that sea lamprey perceives predator attacks directed to closely related taxa. These findings are consistent with similar observations from gastropod, amphibian and bony fish taxa, and we discuss this in an eco-evo context to provide a plausible explanation for the acquisition and maintenance of the response in sea lamprey. Alarm signals released after predator attack function as reliable public information revealing areas of high risk. Using a laboratory-based space-use behavioral assay, we tested the response of sea lamprey ( Petromyzon marinus ) to the damage-released alarm cues of five confamilial (sympatric and allopatric) species and two distantly related out-groups: a sympatric teleost and a marine agnathan. We found that sea lamprey exhibited progressively weaker avoidance of cues derived from more phylogenetically distant confamilials regardless of current overlap in distribution, whereas odors from out-groups elicited no response.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 42
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-09
    Description: Knowledge of aquatic food resources entering terrestrial systems is important for food web studies and conservation planning. Bats, among other terrestrial consumers, often profit from aquatic insect emergence and their activity might be closely related to such events. However, there is a lack of studies which monitor bat activity simultaneously with aquatic insect emergence, especially from lakes. Thus, our aim was to understand the relationship between insect emergence and bat activity, and investigate whether there is a general spatial or seasonal pattern at lakeshores. We assessed whole-night bat activity using acoustic monitoring and caught emerging and aerial flying insects at three different lakes through three seasons. We predicted that insect availability and seasonality explain the variation in bat activity, independent of the lake size and characteristics. Spatial (between lakes) differences of bat activity were stronger than temporal (seasonal) differences. Bat activity did not always correlate to insect emergence, probably because other factors, such as habitat characteristics, or bats’ energy requirements, play an important role as well. Aerial flying insects explained bat activity better than the emerged aquatic insects in the lake with lowest insect emergence. Bats were active throughout the night with some activity peaks, and the pattern of their activity also differed among lakes and seasons. Lakes are important habitats for bats, as they support diverse bat communities and activity throughout the night and the year when bats are active. Our study highlights that there are spatial and temporal differences in bat activity and its hourly nocturnal pattern, that should be considered when investigating aquatic–terrestrial interactions or designing conservation and monitoring plans. We assessed bat activity (using acoustic monitoring) at the shores of three lakes and collected emerged aquatic insects and aerial flying insects. Bat activity showed seasonal fluctuations, but it did not necessarily follow insect emergence. Lakes, regardless of their size or their characteristics, are important habitats for bats, as they support diverse bat communities and activity throughout the night and the year when bats are active.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 43
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-09
    Description: Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly being recognized as potentially useful for detection of marine mammals in their natural habitats, but an important consideration is the associated uncertainties in animal detection. We present a study based on field trials using UAVs to carry out image-based monitoring of cetaceans in two fjords in northern Norway. We conducted 12 missions to assess the effects of both environmental- and aircraft-related variables on detection certainty. Images were inspected for animal presence and its associated detection certainty. Images were also assessed for potentially important covariates such as wave turbulence (sea state), luminance, and glare. Aircraft variables such as altitude, pitch, and roll were combined into a single variable—pixel size. We recorded a total of 50 humpback whales, 63 killer whales (KW), and 118 unidentified sightings. We also recorded 57 harbor porpoise sightings. None of the environmental conditions (sea state, glare, and luminance) affected the detection certainty of harbor porpoises. In contrast, increasing sea state and luminance had negative and positive effects, respectively, on the detection certainty of humpback and KW. The detection certainty was not significantly affected by pixel size for both harbor porpoises, and humpback and KW. Our results indicate that at lower altitudes, variations in aircraft position (pitch and roll) do not have a variable effect on detection certainty. Overall, this study shows the importance of measuring variability in both environmental and flight-related variables, in order to attain unbiased estimates of detectability for UAV-based marine mammal surveys, particularly in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 44
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: Ongoing controversy over logging the ancient Białowieża Forest in Poland symbolizes a global problem for policies and management of the increasing proportion of the earth's intact forest that is subject to post-disturbance logging. We review the extent of, and motivations for, post-disturbance logging in protected and unprotected forests globally. An unprecedented level of logging in protected areas and other places where green-tree harvest would not normally occur is driven by economic interests and a desire for pest control. To avoid failure of global initiatives dedicated to reducing the loss of species, five key policy reforms are necessary: (1) salvage logging must be banned from protected areas; (2) forest planning should address altered disturbance regimes for all intact forests to ensure that significant areas remain undisturbed by logging; (3) new kinds of integrated analyses are needed to assess the potential economic benefits of salvage logging against its ecological, economic, and social costs; (4) global and regional maps of natural disturbance regimes should be created to guide better spatio-temporal planning of protected areas and undisturbed forests outside reserves; and (5) improved education and communication programs are needed to correct widely-held misconceptions about natural disturbances. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
    Print ISSN: 1755-263X
    Electronic ISSN: 1755-263X
    Topics: Biology
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  • 45
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: No abstract is available for this article.
    Electronic ISSN: 2333-5084
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 46
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-13
    Description: Behavioral responses of prey to predation risk can affect lower trophic levels. White-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus ; hereafter deer) increase vigilance in response to coyote ( Canis latrans ) presence, but vigilance responses to spatiotemporal variation in coyote abundance are unknown. Therefore, we examined the relationship between deer foraging behavior and coyote abundance on two 2000-ha study areas in Georgia, USA, during 2010–2013. We used baited camera traps during fall and winter to quantify deer behavior (i.e., feeding or vigilant) and estimated coyote abundance using fecal genotyping to noninvasively mark and recapture individuals. During 2011 and 2012, coyote removals were implemented on each study area. Coyote abundance (i.e., predation risk) varied spatiotemporally and was a predictor of foraging behavior during at least one season for all sex-age classes of deer except juveniles. Adult males were more sensitive to predation risk in winter, after the breeding season, whereas adult females were sensitive to predation risk during both seasons, but more so during fall when offspring are at greater risk. Yearling males were more sensitive to predation risk than adult males, and juveniles were least sensitive to predation risk, likely because of inexperience and high energetic demands. Reproductive chronology explained sex-specific and seasonal antipredator responses to predation risk, but there was a non-linear relationship between indirect predator effects and direct predation risk for some sex-age classes. Our results suggest deer detect and respond behaviorally to variation in coyote abundance. Due to the widespread distribution of deer and their interactions at multiple trophic levels, the ecological implications of this finding may be wide-reaching.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 47
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-13
    Description: Ecologists have been interested in understanding communities through the lens of specialists and generalists to predict species diversity and distribution patterns and to ameliorate worldwide declines in specialist species. Dispersal traits are assumed to be associated with specialization (specialists are weaker dispersers than generalists), but dispersal modes can be variable within groups. Niche-based predictions of occupancy and environmental responses were assessed using invertebrates from California vernal pools that were categorized by specialization (endemic or widespread taxa) and dispersal mode (passive or active dispersal). Data from a latitudinal gradient resulted in widespread taxa with greater percent occupancy than endemic taxa as predicted, but passive dispersers had greater occupancy than active dispersers in contrast to predictions. Endemic species and widespread-active dispersers exhibited similar levels of specialization measured as coefficient of variation among treatments in a mesocosm experiment. This suggested that habitat choice was important, and these differences in specialization were scale dependent (generalists across habitat types and specialists within a habitat type). A negative correlation between latitudinal occupancy and level of specialization demonstrated how local-scale responses and landscape patterns were related and depend on both specialization and dispersal traits. This study underscores how habitat heterogeneity and species traits, including specialization and dispersal, can interact to affect community patterns at different spatial scales.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 48
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-13
    Description: Several improvements are implemented in the Zhang-McFarlane (ZM) convection scheme to investigate the roles of convection parameterization in the formation of double intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) bias in the NCAR CESM1.2.1. It is shown that the prominent double ITCZ biases of precipitation, sea surface temperature (SST) and wind stress in the standard CESM1.2.1 are largely eliminated in all seasons with the use of these improvements in convection scheme. This study for the first time demonstrates that the modifications of convection scheme can eliminate the double ITCZ biases in all seasons, including boreal winter and spring. Further analysis shows that the elimination of the double ITCZ bias is achieved not by improving other possible contributors, such as stratus cloud bias off the west coast of South America and cloud/radiation biases over the Southern Ocean, but by modifying the convection scheme itself. This study demonstrates that convection scheme is the primary contributor to the double ITCZ bias in the CESM1.2.1, and provides a possible solution to the long-standing double ITCZ problem. The atmospheric model simulations forced by observed SST show that the original ZM convection scheme tends to produce double ITCZ bias in high SST scenario, while the modified convection scheme does not. The impact of changes in each core component of convection scheme on the double ITCZ bias in atmospheric model is identified and further investigated.
    Electronic ISSN: 1942-2466
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
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  • 49
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-13
    Description: We present non-rotating simulations with the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) in a square limited area domain over uniform sea surface temperature. As in previous studies, convection spontaneously aggregates into humid clusters, driven by a combination of radiative and moisture-convective feedbacks. The aggregation is qualitatively independent of resolution, with horizontal grid spacing from 3 km to 110 km, with both explicit and parameterized deep convection. A budget for the spatial variance of column moist static energy suggests that longwave radiative and surface flux feedbacks help establish aggregation, while the shortwave feedback contributes to its maintenance. Mechanism denial experiments confirm that aggregation does not occur without interactive longwave radiation. Ice cloud radiative effects help support the humid convecting regions, but are not essential for aggregation, while liquid clouds have a negligible effect. Removing the dependence of parameterized convection on tropospheric humidity reduces the intensity of aggregation, but does not prevent the formation of dry regions. In domain sizes less than (5000 km)2, the aggregation forms a single cluster, while larger domains develop multiple clusters. Larger domains initialized with a single large cluster are unable to maintain them, suggesting an upper size limit. Surface windspeed increases with domain size, implying that maintenance of the boundary layer winds may limit cluster size. As cluster size increases, large boundary layer temperature anomalies develop to maintain the surface pressure gradient, leading to an increase in the depth of parameterized convective heating and an increase in gross moist stability.
    Electronic ISSN: 1942-2466
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
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  • 50
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-13
    Description: The level-set method is typically used to track and propagate the fire perimeter in wildland fire models. Herein, a high-order level-set method using fifth-order WENO scheme for the discretization of spatial derivatives and third-order explicit Runge-Kutta temporal integration is implemented within the Weather Research and Forecasting model wildland fire physics package, WRF-Fire. The algorithm includes solution of an additional partial differential equation for level-set reinitialization. The accuracy of the fire front shape and rate of spread in uncoupled simulations is systematically analyzed. It is demonstrated that the common implementation used by level-set-based wildfire models yields to rate-of-spread errors in the range 10 – 35% for typical grid sizes (Δ = 12.5 – 100 m) and considerably underestimates fire area. Moreover, the amplitude of fire-front gradients in the presence of explicitly resolved turbulence features is systematically underestimated. In contrast, the new WRF-Fire algorithm results in rate-of-spread errors that are lower than 1% and that become nearly grid independent. Also, the underestimation of fire area at the sharp transition between the fire front and the lateral flanks is found to be reduced by a factor of 7. A hybrid-order level-set method with locally reduced artificial viscosity is proposed, which substantially alleviates the computational cost associated with high-order discretizations while preserving accuracy. Simulations of the Last Chance wildfire demonstrate additional benefits of high-order accurate level-set algorithms when dealing with complex fuel heterogeneities, enabling propagation across narrow fuel gaps and more accurate fire backing over the lee side of no fuel clusters.
    Electronic ISSN: 1942-2466
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
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  • 51
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-13
    Description: Precipitation is an important climate quantity that is critically relevant to society. In spite of intense efforts, significant precipitation biases remain in most climate models. One pervasive and persistent bias found in many general circulation models occurs in the Tropical West Pacific where northern hemisphere summer-time precipitation is often underestimated compared to observations. Using the DOE-E3SM model, the inclusion of a missing process, convective gustiness, is shown to reduce those biases through a net increase in surface evaporation. Gustiness in surface wind fields is assumed to arise empirically in proportion to the intensity of convective precipitation. The increased evaporation can be treated as an increase in the moist static energy forcing into the atmosphere. A Normalized Gross Moist Stability (NGMS) framework (which characterizes the relationship between convective forcing and convective response) is used to explore the processes responsible for the precipitation bias, and the impact of the gustiness parameterization in reducing that bias. Because the NGMS of the Tropical West Pacific is less than unity in the E3SMv1 model, the increase in energy forcing amplifies the increase in precipitation to exceed that of the evaporative flux. Convective gustiness favors increased precipitation in regions where the resolved surface winds are weak and convection is present.
    Electronic ISSN: 1942-2466
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
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  • 52
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Electronic ISSN: 1942-2466
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
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  • 53
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Termite mounds perform important roles in savanna ecosystems, generating heterogeneity and influencing ecosystem processes across multiple trophic levels. However, the influence the environment and neighboring termite colonies have on mound spatial patterning and structure is poorly understood, despite the profound implications such dynamics can have on ecosystems. To better understand these drivers, we mapped the spatial distribution and size of active and inactive Macrotermes mounds in eight 1-km 2 plots on contrasting geologies, nutrient-rich granite and nutrient-poor basalt, in a semi-arid Zimbabwean savanna. Although mound density was not significantly different between basalt (5.5 mounds/ha) and granite (6.1 mounds/ha), termite mound structural attributes and spatial distribution patterns varied greatly between geologies. Mound size distributions differed between the geologies and mounds were 2.6 times taller and 3.9 times wider and had 15 times greater lateral surface area on granite. Subsequently, 6% of the total landscape was covered by mounds on granite compared with only 0.4% on basalt. On granite, large mounds exhibited significant over-dispersion at scales below 30 m, signifying density-dependent thinning. Furthermore, small mounds were clustered around large mounds, likely a result of the budding of new colonies comprising fully fledged castes less vulnerable to competition. In contrast, random patterning was evident on comparably homogenous basalt. Our results demonstrate the powerful influence geological substrate has on mound spatial patterning and structure, suggesting that the importance of termite mounds for ecosystem functioning is more pronounced on nutrient-poor granitic substrates than basalts because of the pronounced over-dispersion, which maximizes mound production per unit area, and much larger mound sizes here.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 54
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: For organisms with complex life cycles, climate change can have both direct effects and indirect effects that are mediated through plastic responses to temperature and that carry over beyond the developmental environment. We examined multiple responses to environmental warming in a dragonfly, a species whose life history bridges aquatic and terrestrial environments. We tested larval survival under warming and whether warmer conditions can create carry-over effects between life history stages. Rearing dragonfly larvae in an experimental warming array to simulate increases in temperature, we contrasted the effects of the current thermal environment with temperatures +2.5° and +5°C above ambient, temperatures predicted for 50 and 100 yr in the future for the study region. Aquatic mesocosms were stocked with dragonfly larvae ( Erythemis collocata ), and we followed survival of larvae to adult emergence. We also measured the effects of warming on the timing of the life history transition to the adult stage, body size of adults, and the relative size of their wings, an aspect of morphology key to flight performance. There was a trend toward reduced larval survival with increasing temperature. Warming strongly affected the phenology of adult emergence, advancing emergence by up to a month compared with ambient conditions. Additionally, our warmest conditions increased variation in the timing of adult emergence compared with cooler conditions. The increased variation with warming arose from an extended emergence season with fewer individuals emerging at any one time. Altered emergence patterns such as we observed are likely to place individuals emerging outside the typical season at greater risk from early and late season storms and will reduce effective population sizes during the breeding season. Contrary to expectations for ectotherms, body size was unaffected by warming. However, morphology was affected: at +5°C, dragonflies emerging from mesocosms had relatively smaller wings. This provides some of the first evidence that the effects of climate change on animals during their growth can have carry-over effects in morphology that will affect performance of later life history stages. In dragonflies, relatively smaller wings are associated with reduced flight performance, creating a link between larval thermal conditions and adult dispersal capacity.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 55
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Interacting effects of climate change and livestock grazing on semi-arid grassland ecosystems have not been well studied, especially on a long-term basis. This paper analyzes changes in plant community composition in relation to grazing intensity and climate change based on repeated monitoring along long-term grazing intensity gradients in three Mongolian ecological zones over 20 yr. We synthesized our findings into state-and-transition models of vegetation change, contributing to our understanding of ecological dynamics in relation to management and environmental change, and to the development of tools for resilience-based rangeland management. In the mountain steppe (MS), community composition was driven largely by climate, and transitions from one community to another were associated with climate change or combined climate and grazing effects. The MS experienced the largest number of long-term transitions (14 of 15 plots) over 20 yr. In the steppe (ST), grazing intensity was the strongest influence on community composition, but transitions between communities from the early 1990s to 2013 were most strongly correlated with climate change. Ten of the 15 ST plots transitioned to other communities over 20 yr. Community composition in the desert steppe (DS) was unrelated to either grazing intensity or climate change and only six of 15 plots transitioned permanently over 20 yr. The MS appears most vulnerable to climate-induced community change, as others have suggested. Some degraded ST communities are resilient to climate change, while ST communities on drier sites are vulnerable to grazing-induced community changes. Our findings illustrate the utility of state-and-transition models as a means to synthesize and depict plant community dynamics in relation to climate and management factors. These models identify communities that may be growing rarer or more common under the combined effects of climate change and grazing, and highlight species and communities that may be useful conservation targets or indicators of climate- or grazing-induced change.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 56
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Organisms commonly experience significant spatiotemporal variation in their environments. In response to such heterogeneity, different mechanisms may act that enhance ecological performance locally. However, depending on the nature of the mechanism involved, the consequences for populations may differ greatly. Building on a previous model that investigated the conditions under which different adaptive mechanisms (co)evolve, this study compares the ecological and evolutionary population consequences of three very different responses to environmental heterogeneity: matching habitat choice (directed gene flow), adaptive plasticity (associated with random gene flow), and divergent natural selection. Using individual-based simulations, we show that matching habitat choice can have a greater adaptive potential than plasticity or natural selection: it allows for local adaptation while protecting genetic polymorphism despite global mating or strong environmental changes. Our simulations further reveal that increasing environmental fluctuations and unpredictability generally favor the emergence of specialist genotypes but that matching habitat choice is better at preventing local maladaptation by individuals. This confirms that matching habitat choice can speed up the genetic divergence among populations, cause indirect assortative mating via spatial clustering, and hence even facilitate sympatric speciation. This study highlights the potential importance of directed dispersal in local adaptation and speciation, stresses the difficulty of deriving its operation from nonexperimental observational data alone, and helps define a set of ecological conditions which should favor its emergence and subsequent detection in nature. Organisms commonly experience significant spatiotemporal variation in their environment, and populations can respond to this via different mechanisms that enhance individual local performance. Using individual-based simulation modeling, we compared the ecological and evolutionary population consequences of matching habitat choice (directed gene flow) with those of more familiar mechanisms: adaptive plasticity (associated with random gene flow) and divergent natural selection. We confirm that matching habitat choice can speed up local adaptation and genetic divergence among populations and can cause indirect assortative mating via spatial clustering and hence facilitate sympatric speciation.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 57
    Publication Date: 2018-03-15
    Description: Currently, human society is predominantly powered by fossil fuels—coal, oil and natural gas—yet also ultimately depends on goods and services provided by biodiversity. Fossil fuel extraction impacts biodiversity indirectly through climate change and by increasing accessibility, and directly through habitat loss and pollution. In contrast to the indirect effects, quantification of the direct impacts has been relatively neglected. To address this, we analyse the potential threat to 〉 37,000 species and 〉 200,000 protected areas globally from the locations of present and future fossil fuel extraction in marine and terrestrial environments. Sites that are currently exploited have higher species richness and endemism than unexploited sites, whereas known future hydrocarbon activities will predominantly move into less biodiverse locations. We identify 181 ‘high-risk’ locations where oil or gas extraction suitability coincides with biodiversity importance, making conflicts between extraction and conservation probable. In total, protected areas are located on US$3-15 trillion of unexploited hydrocarbon reserves, posing challenges and potentially opportunities for protected area management and sustainable financing. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
    Print ISSN: 1755-263X
    Electronic ISSN: 1755-263X
    Topics: Biology
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  • 58
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-03-15
    Description: Tolerance may lessen when wildlife adversely impacts people. Models from psychology can help elucidate how people make judgements, why they act accordingly, and whether beliefs and norms influence support for policy and intervention. Working in a globally important region for tigers, we estimated hunting prevalence for this endangered species and three sympatric taxa using methods for asking sensitive questions. We also investigated the relative strength of ethnicity and social-psychological predictors in influencing intention to hunt. Men's behavioural intention and perceptions differed by species: pro-conservation values were most prevalent for tiger, weakest for wild boar. Perceived behavioural control was the strongest predictor of hunting-intention; affect and injunctive norms were also important. The prominence of affect in determining intention suggests increasing environmental knowledge is unlikely to curb hunting. However, existing norms could be leveraged to incentivise behaviour-change. Integrating behaviour-change models into conservation science is crucial where strategies require changes in people's actions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
    Print ISSN: 1755-263X
    Electronic ISSN: 1755-263X
    Topics: Biology
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  • 59
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Severe heart pathology upon virus infection is closely associated with the immunological equipment of the host. Since there is no specific treatment available, current research focuses on identifying new drug targets to positively modulate predisposing immune factors. Utilizing a murine model with high susceptibility to coxsackievirus B3-induced myocarditis, this study describes ONX 0914—an immunoproteasome-specific inhibitor—as highly protective during severe heart disease. Represented by reduced heart infiltration of monocytes/macrophages and diminished organ damage, ONX 0914 treatment reversed fulminant pathology. Virus-induced immune response features like overwhelming pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine production as well as a progressive loss of lymphocytes all being reminiscent of a sepsis-like disease course were prevented by ONX 0914. Although the viral burden was only minimally affected in highly susceptible mice, resulting maintenance of immune homeostasis improved the cardiac output, and saved animals from severe illness as well as high mortality. Altogether, this could make ONX 0914 a potent drug for the treatment of severe virus-mediated inflammation of the heart and might rank immunoproteasome inhibitors among drugs for preventing pathogen-induced immunopathology. Resembling disease course in patients pre-disposed for severe pathogen-induced cardiac pathology, A/J mice exhibit high susceptibility for virus-induced adverse immune response activation. Systemic application of the LMP7-specific immunoproteasome inhibitor ONX 0914 inversed this hereditary predisposition.
    Print ISSN: 1757-4676
    Electronic ISSN: 1757-4684
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 60
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Transparent, durable coating materials that show excellent liquid repellency, both water and oil, have multiple applications in science and technology. In this perspective, herein, a simple aqueous chemical formulation is developed that provides a transparent slippery coating without any lubricating fluids, on various substrates extended over large areas. The coatings repel liquids having a range of polarity (solvents) as well as viscosity (oils and emulsions) and withstand mechanical strains. Exceptional optical transparency of 99% in the range of 350–900 nm along with high stability even after cyclic temperature, frost, exposure to sunlight, and corrosive liquids like aqua regia treatments, makes this material unique and widens its applicability in different fields. Besides, being a liquid, it can be coated on an array of substrates independent of their underlying topography, by various easily available techniques. Aside from these interesting properties, the coating is demonstrated as a potential solution contributing to the remediation of one of the biggest global issues of tomorrow: affordable drinking water. The coated surface can capture 5 L of water per day per m 2 at 27 °C when exposed to an atmosphere of 63% relative humidity. An inexpensive aqueous coating material , providing robust, transparent, and liquid repellent properties without any lubricating fluid once cured, is demonstrated. It is stable over extreme mechano-thermochemical perturbations and can be coated on a variety of substrates. Being a liquid, it enables the creation of large surfaces, which makes this material unique for different applications, including atmospheric water harvesting.
    Electronic ISSN: 2056-6646
    Topics: General, Interdisciplinary , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 61
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: The early stages of intraspecific diversity are important for the evolution of diversification and speciation. Early stages of diversification can be seen in individual specialization, where individuals consume only a portion of the diet of the population as a whole, and how such specialization is related to phenotypic diversity within populations. Here, we study the strength of the relationship between morphological and dietary distances among individuals in eighteen populations of Icelandic small benthic charr. We furthermore studied if the strength of the relationship could be related to variation in local ecological factors these populations inhabit. In all the populations studied, there was a clear relationship between morphological and dietary distances, indicating that fish that had similar morphology were at the same time-consuming similar food items. Our findings show a systematic variation in the relationship between morphology and diet at early stages of diversification in a highly specialized small benthic charr morph. The results show the importance of fine scale comparisons within populations and furthermore the value that systematic comparisons among populations under parallel evolution can contribute toward our increased understanding of evolutionary and ecological processes. We compared the morphology and diet relationships within a number of populations of small benthic charr and related those with ecological variables. In all populations, there were clear relationships between morphology and diet, but not clear relationships with ecological factors. The results show importance of fine scale comparisons within populations and furthermore the value that systematic comparisons among populations under parallel evolution can contribute toward our increased understanding of evolutionary ecology processes.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 62
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: Double infections of Wolbachia and Spiroplasma are frequent in natural populations of Tetranychus truncatus , a polyphagous mite species that has been a dominant species in China since 2009. However, little is known about the causes and ecological importance of such coexistences. In this study, we established T. truncatus strains with different infection types and then inferred the impact of the two endosymbionts on host reproduction and fitness. Double infection induced cytoplasmic incompatibility, which was demonstrated by reduction in egg hatchability of incompatible crosses. However, doubly infected females produced more eggs relative to other strains. Wolbachia and Spiroplasma did not affect host survival, whereas doubly infected females and males developed faster than other strains. Such reproduction and fitness benefits provided by double infections may be associated with the lower densities of each symbiont, and the quantitative results also confirmed competition between Wolbachia and Spiroplasma in doubly infected females. These symbiont-conferred beneficial effects maintain stable prevalence of the symbionts and also help drive T. truncatus outbreaks in combination with other environmental factors. The symbiont-conferred beneficial effects on spider mite Tetranychus truncatus maintain stable prevalence of the symbionts and also help drive spider mite outbreaks in combination with other environmental factors.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 63
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: Shell damage and parasitic infections are frequent in gastropods, influencing key snail host life-history traits such as survival, growth, and reproduction. However, their interactions and potential effects on hosts and parasites have never been tested. Host–parasite interactions are particularly interesting in the context of the recently discovered division of labor in trematodes infecting marine snails. Some species have colonies consisting of two different castes present at varying ratios; reproductive members and nonreproductive soldiers specialized in defending the colony. We assessed snail host survival, growth, and shell regeneration in interaction with infections by two trematode species, Philophthalmu s sp. and Maritrema novaezealandense , following damage to the shell in the New Zealand mud snail Zeacumantus subcarinatus . We concomitantly assessed caste-ratio adjustment between nonreproductive soldiers and reproductive members in colonies of the trematode Philophthalmu s sp. in response to interspecific competition and shell damage to its snail host. Shell damage, but not parasitic infection, significantly increased snail mortality, likely due to secondary infections by pathogens. However, trematode infection and shell damage did not negatively affect shell regeneration or growth in Z. subcarinatus ; infected snails actually produced more new shell than their uninfected counterparts. Both interspecific competition and shell damage to the snail host induced caste-ratio adjustment in Philophthalmu s sp. colonies. The proportion of nonreproductive soldiers increased in response to interspecific competition and host shell damage, likely to defend the parasite colony and potentially the snail host against increasing threats. These results indicate that secondary infections by pathogens following shell damage to snails both significantly increased snail mortality and induced caste-ratio adjustments in parasites. This is the first evidence that parasites with a division of labor may be able to produce nonreproductive soldiers according to environmental factors other than interspecific competition with other parasites. We assessed snail host survival, growth, and shell regeneration in interaction with infections by two trematode species following damage to the shell. We concomitantly assessed caste-ratio adjustment between nonreproductive soldiers and reproductive members in colonies of the trematode Philophthalmus sp. in response to interspecific competition and shell damage to its snail host. Shell damage, but not parasitic infection, significantly increased snail mortality, likely due to secondary infections by pathogens. The proportion of nonreproductive soldiers increased in response to interspecific competition and host shell damage. This is the first evidence that parasites with a division of labor may be able to produce nonreproductive soldiers according to environmental factors other than interspecific competition with other parasites.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 64
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: The Horn of Africa forms one of the two main historical entry points of domestics into the continent and Ethiopia is particularly important in this regard. Through the analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) d -loop region in 309 individuals from 13 populations, we reveal the maternal genetic variation and demographic dynamics of Ethiopian indigenous goats. A total of 174 variable sites that generated 231 haplotypes were observed. They defined two haplogroups that were present in all the 13 study populations. Reference haplotypes from the six globally defined goat mtDNA haplogroups show the two haplogroups present in Ethiopia to be A and G, the former being the most predominant. Although both haplogroups are characterized by an increase in effective population sizes ( N e ) predating domestication, they also have experienced a decline in N e at different time periods, suggesting different demographic histories. We observed seven haplotypes, six were directly linked to the central haplotypes of the two haplogroups and one was central to haplogroup G. The seven haplotypes were common between Ethiopia, Kenya, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia populations, suggesting common maternal history and the introduction of goats into East Africa via Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, respectively. While providing new mtDNA data from a historically important region, our results suggest extensive intermixing of goats mediated by human socio-cultural and economic interactions. These have led to the coexistence of the two haplogroups in different geographic regions in Ethiopia resulting in a large caprine genetic diversity that can be exploited for genetic improvement. The complete control region analysis of mtDNA of Ethiopian goats uncovers the maternal genetic variation and historical demographic profiles. In the result, we observed high genetic diversity but no clear phylogeographic structure. This suggests extensive past and present gene flow amongst indigenous goats mediated by human socio-cultural and economic interactions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 65
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: A novel method is developed to realize a III-V/Si dual-junction photovoltaic cell by combining epitaxial lift-off (ELO) and print-transfer-assisted bonding methods. The adoption of ELO enables III-V wafers to be recycled and reused, which can further lower the cost of III-V/Si photovoltaic panels. For demonstration, high crystal quality, micrometer-thick, GaAs/AlGaAs/GaAs films are lifted off, transferred, and directly bonded onto Si wafer without the use of any adhesive or bonding agents. The bonding interface is optically transparent and conductive both thermally and electrically. Prototype AlGaAs/Si dual-junction tandem solar cells have been fabricated and exhibit decent performance. A novel method is developed to realize an III-V/Si multijunction photovoltaic device by combining the epitaxial lift-off (ELO) and print-transfer-assisted bonding methods. The adoption of ELO enables III-V wafers to be recycled and reused, which is promising to further lower the cost of III-V/Si photovoltaic panels.
    Electronic ISSN: 2050-0505
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 66
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 67
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: There are a number of ecogeographical “rules” that describe patterns of geographical variation among organisms. The island rule predicts that populations of larger mammals on islands evolve smaller mean body size than their mainland counterparts, whereas smaller-bodied mammals evolve larger size. Bergmann's rule predicts that populations of a species in colder climates (generally at higher latitudes) have larger mean body sizes than conspecifics in warmer climates (at lower latitudes). These two rules are rarely tested together and neither has been rigorously tested in treeshrews, a clade of small-bodied mammals in their own order (Scandentia) broadly distributed in mainland Southeast Asia and on islands throughout much of the Sunda Shelf. The common treeshrew, Tupaia glis , is an excellent candidate for study and was used to test these two rules simultaneously for the first time in treeshrews. This species is distributed on the Malay Peninsula and several offshore islands east, west, and south of the mainland. Using craniodental dimensions as a proxy for body size, we investigated how island size, distance from the mainland, and maximum sea depth between the mainland and the islands relate to body size of 13 insular T. glis populations while also controlling for latitude and correlation among variables. We found a strong negative effect of latitude on body size in the common treeshrew, indicating the inverse of Bergmann's rule. We did not detect any overall difference in body size between the island and mainland populations. However, there was an effect of island area and maximum sea depth on body size among island populations. Although there is a strong latitudinal effect on body size, neither Bergmann's rule nor the island rule applies to the common treeshrew. The results of our analyses demonstrate the necessity of assessing multiple variables simultaneously in studies of ecogeographical rules. Although there are latitudinal and island effects on body size, neither Bergmann's rule nor the island rule applies to the common treeshrew. The results of our analyses demonstrate the necessity of assessing multiple variables simultaneously in studies of ecogeographical rules.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 68
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Many different factors influence animal activity. Often, the value of an environmental variable may influence significantly the upper or lower tails of the activity distribution. For describing relationships with heterogeneous boundaries, quantile regressions predict a quantile of the conditional distribution of the dependent variable. A quantile count model extends linear quantile regression methods to discrete response variables, and is useful if activity is quantified by trapping, where there may be many tied (equal) values in the activity distribution, over a small range of discrete values. Additionally, different environmental variables in combination may have synergistic or antagonistic effects on activity, so examining their effects together, in a modeling framework, is a useful approach. Thus, model selection on quantile counts can be used to determine the relative importance of different variables in determining activity, across the entire distribution of capture results. We conducted model selection on quantile count models to describe the factors affecting activity (numbers of captures) of cane toads ( Rhinella marina ) in response to several environmental variables (humidity, temperature, rainfall, wind speed, and moon luminosity) over eleven months of trapping. Environmental effects on activity are understudied in this pest animal. In the dry season, model selection on quantile count models suggested that rainfall positively affected activity, especially near the lower tails of the activity distribution. In the wet season, wind speed limited activity near the maximum of the distribution, while minimum activity increased with minimum temperature. This statistical methodology allowed us to explore, in depth, how environmental factors influenced activity across the entire distribution, and is applicable to any survey or trapping regime, in which environmental variables affect activity.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 69
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Print ISSN: 1757-1693
    Electronic ISSN: 1757-1707
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 70
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-07
    Description: N-myc downstream-regulated gene 2 (NDRG2) is a differentiation- and stress-associated molecule that is predominantly expressed in astrocytes in the central nervous system. In this study, we examined the expression and role of NDRG2 in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), which is an animal model of multiple sclerosis. Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the expression of NDRG2 was observed in astrocytes of spinal cord, and was enhanced after EAE induction. A comparative analysis of wild-type (WT) and Ndrg2 -/- mice revealed that deletion of Ndrg2 ameliorated the clinical symptoms of EAE. Although Ndrg2 deficiency only slightly affected the inflammatory response, based on the results of flow cytometry, qRT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry, it significantly reduced demyelination in the chronic phase, and, more importantly, neurodegeneration both in the acute and chronic phases. Further studies revealed that the expression of astrocytic glutamate transporters, including glutamate aspartate transporter (GLAST) and glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1), was more maintained in the Ndrg2 -/- mice compared with WT mice after EAE induction. Consistent with these results, studies using cultured astrocytes revealed that Ndrg2 gene silencing increased the expression of GLAST, while NDRG2 overexpression decreased it without altering the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein. The effect of NDRG2 on GLAST expression was associated with the activation of Akt, but not with the activation of nuclear factor-kappa B. These findings suggest that NDRG2 plays a key role in the pathology of EAE by modulating glutamate metabolism. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Print ISSN: 0022-3042
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-4159
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 71
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-07
    Description: Molecular imaging of vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) in the brain provides an important cholinergic biomarker for the pathophysiology and treatment of dementias including Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, kinetics modeling methods were applied and compared for quantifying regional brain uptake of the VAChT-specific PET radiotracer, ((-)-(1-(-8-(2-fluoroethoxy)-3-hydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalen-2-yl)piperidin-4-yl)(4-fluorophenyl)-methanone) ([ 18 F]VAT) in macaques. Total volume distribution ( V T ) estimates were compared for one-tissue compartment model (1TCM), two-tissue compartment model (2TCM), Logan graphic analysis (LoganAIF) and multiple linear analysis (MA1) with arterial blood input function using data from three macaques. Using the cerebellum-hemispheres as the reference region with data from seven macaques, three additional models were compared: reference tissue model (RTM), simplified reference tissue model (SRTM), and Logan graphic analysis (LoganREF). Model selection criterion (MSC) indicated that a) 2TCM and SRTM were the most appropriate kinetics models for [ 18 F]VAT; and b) SRTM was strongly correlated with 2TCM (Pearson's coefficients r 〉 0.93, p 〈 0.05). Test-retest studies demonstrated that [ 18 F]VAT has good reproducibility and reliability (TRV 〈 10%, ICC 〉 0.72). These studies demonstrate [ 18 F]VAT is a promising VAChT PET tracer for quantitative assessment of VAChT levels in the brain of living subjects. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Print ISSN: 0022-3042
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-4159
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 72
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-09
    Description: Despite the advantage of plant clonality in patchy environments, studies focusing on genet demography in relation to spatially heterogeneous environments remain scarce. Regeneration of bamboos in forest understoreys after synchronous die-off provides an opportunity for assessing how they come to proliferate across heterogeneous light environments. In a Japanese forest, we examined genet demography of a population of Sasa kurilensis over a 7-year period starting 10 years after die-off, shortly after which some genets began spreading horizontally by rhizomes. The aboveground biomass was estimated, and genets were discriminated in 9-m 2 plots placed under both canopy gaps and closed canopies. Overall, the results suggest that the survival and spread of more productive genets and the spatial expansion of genets into closed canopies underlie the proliferation of S. kurilensis . Compared to canopy gaps, the recovery rate of biomass was much slower under closed canopies for the first 10 years after the die-off, but became accelerated during the next 7 years. Genet survival was greater for more productive genets (with greater initial number of culms), and the spaces occupied by genets that died were often colonized afterward by clonal growth of surviving genets. The number of genets decreased under canopy gaps due to greater mortality, but increased under closed canopies where greater number of genets colonized clonally from outside the plots than genets died. The colonizing genets were more productive (having larger culms) than those originally germinated within the plots, and the contribution of colonizing genets to the biomass was greater under closed canopies. Our study emphasizes the importance of investigating genet dynamics over relevant spatiotemporal scales to reveal processes underlying the success of clonal plants in heterogeneous habitats. Despite the advantage of plant clonality in patchy environments, studies focusing on genet demography in relation to spatially heterogeneous environments remain scarce. Regeneration of bamboos in forest understoreys after synchronous die-off provides an opportunity for assessing how they come to proliferate across heterogeneous light environments. We studied the long-term genet demography of a dwarf bamboo, Sasa kurilensis , after synchronous flowering and die-off, and found that the survival and spread of more productive genets and the clonal expansion of genets into closed canopies likely underlie the proliferation of S. kurilensis .
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 73
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-09
    Description: Rare species can play important functional roles, but human-induced changes to disturbance regimes, such as fire, can inadvertently affect these species. We examined the influence of prescribed burns on the recruitment and diversity of plant species within a temperate forest in southeastern Australia, with a focus on species that were rare prior to burning. Floristic composition was compared among plots in landscapes before and after treatment with prescribed burns differing in the extent of area burnt and season of burn (before–after, control-impact design). Floristic surveys were conducted before burns, at the end of a decade of drought, and 3 years postburn. We quantified the effect of prescribed burns on species grouped by their frequency within the landscape before burning (common, less common, and rare) and their life-form attributes (woody perennials, perennial herbs or geophytes, and annual herbs). Burn treatment influenced the response of rare species. In spring-burn plots, the recruitment of rare annual herbs was promoted, differentiating this treatment from both autumn-burn and unburnt plots. In autumn-burn plots, richness of rare species increased across all life-form groups, although composition remained statistically similar to control plots. Richness of rare woody perennials increased in control plots. For all other life-form and frequency groups, the floristic composition of landscapes changed between survey years, but there was no effect of burn treatment, suggesting a likely effect of rainfall on species recruitment. A prescribed burn can increase the occurrence of rare species in a landscape, but burn characteristics can affect the promotion of different life-form groups and thus affect functional diversity. Drought-breaking rain likely had an overarching effect on floristic composition during our study, highlighting that weather can play a greater role in influencing recruitment and diversity in plant communities than a prescribed burn. Prescribed burning can inadvertently affect plant rarity. We examined the influence of prescribed fire on plants in a temperate forest and found that prescribed burns can positively influence the presence of rare species. Burn characteristics, such as season and extent, can influence the type of life-form promoted, for example, extensive spring burns favoring rare annual herbs. Managing disturbance to promote heterogeneous landscapes may help maintain rare species diversity on a landscape scale.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 74
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-09
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 75
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-09
    Description: Fire exclusion in eastern North American Quercus–Carya woodlands has resulted in overstory compositional changes, linked to altered fuel composition, structure, and ultimately, altered fire regimes. These compositional changes have been implicated in a dampening effect on fire behavior in formerly fire-prone ecosystems, the positive feedback termed “mesophication.” Several proposed mechanisms are likely involved in this process; however, few have been examined. We evaluated the potential mechanism of dampened forest floor flammability through changes in litter composition in a southeastern U.S. oak–hickory forest undergoing mesophication. Laboratory drying and burning experiments revealed that increasing the relative contribution of litter from fire-sensitive mesophytic tree species ( Liquidambar styraciflua , Ulmus alata , and Cornus florida ) increased moisture retention and diminished litter flammability. Litterbeds composed of ≥66% mesophyte litter gained the most moisture following fuelbed saturation and were consistently wetter than pyrophyte litter following 12 and 24 h of drying. Flammability metrics decreased with increasing contribution of mesophyte litter with reductions most pronounced under more moist conditions. Under dry conditions, where litter moisture did not differ across compositional treatments, mesophyte litter was less flammable than fuelbeds that contained any pyrophyte litter. The combined effects of moisture retention and less flammable litter reveal an important synergistic impact that may result with increased dominance of fire-sensitive mesophytic species. Restoration efforts in long-unburned eastern hardwood forests may require altering stand composition to limit mesophytic litter input or developing burn prescriptions that intensify surface fire behavior in less flammable fuels.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 76
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-09
    Description: With increasing attention being paid to the consequences of global biodiversity losses, several recent studies have demonstrated that realistic species losses can have larger impacts than random species losses on community productivity and resilience. However, little is known about the effects of the order in which species are lost on biodiversity–disease relationships. Using a multiyear nitrogen addition and artificial warming experiment in natural assemblages of alpine meadow vegetation on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, we inferred the sequence of plant species losses under fertilization/warming. Then the sequence of species losses under fertilization/warming was used to simulate the species loss orders (both realistic and random) in an adjacently novel removal experiment manipulating plot-level plant diversity. We explicitly compared the effect sizes of random versus realistic species losses simulated from fertilization/warming on plant foliar fungal diseases. We found that realistic species losses simulated from fertilization had greater effects than random losses on fungal diseases, and that species identity drove the diversity–disease relationship. Moreover, the plant species most prone to foliar fungal diseases were also the least vulnerable to extinction under fertilization, demonstrating the importance of protecting low competence species (the ability to maintain and transmit fungal infections was low) to impede the spread of infectious disease. In contrast, there was no difference between random and realistic species loss scenarios simulated from experimental warming (or the combination of warming and fertilization) on the diversity–disease relationship, indicating that the functional consequences of species losses may vary under different drivers. Most manipulative biodiversity–ecosystem function (BEF) experiments use randomly constructed species assemblages. We took a novel approach to explicitly compare dilution effects on foliar fungal infections for random versus realistic species losses simulated from nitrogen addition and warming treatments. We found that realistic species losses under fertilization had greater effects than random losses on fungal diseases.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 77
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-09
    Description: Understanding local adaptation of tree populations to climate allows the development of assisted migration guidelines as a tool for forest managers to address climate change. Here, we study the relationship among climate, a wide range of physiological traits, and field performance of selected white spruce provenances originating from throughout the species range. Tree height, survival, cold hardiness, hydraulic, and wood anatomical traits were measured in a 32-year-old common garden trial, located in the center of the species range. Provenance performance included all combinations of high versus low survival and growth, with the most prevalent population differentiation for adaptive traits observed in cold hardiness. Cold hardiness showed a strong association with survival and was associated with cold winter temperatures at the site of seed origin. Tree height was mostly explained by the length of the growing season at the origin of the seed source. Although population differentiation was generally weak in wood anatomical and hydraulic traits, within-population variation was substantial in some traits, and a boundary analysis revealed that efficient water transport was associated with vulnerable xylem and low wood density, indicating that an optimal combination of high water transport efficiency and high cavitation resistance is not possible. Our results suggest that assisted migration prescriptions may be advantageous under warming climate, but pronounced trade-offs between survival and cold hardiness require a careful consideration of the distances of these transfers. In this study, we study relationships between climate, a wide range of physiological traits, and field performance of selected white spruce provenances in a common garden. We observed a strong influence of fall hardiness in tree mortality while tree growth was mostly explained by growing season length. These results will help develop assisted migration prescriptions to mitigate the climate change impact in our forests.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 78
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-09
    Description: Plant species affect soil bacterial diversity and compositions. However, little is known about the role of dominant plant species in shaping the soil bacterial community during the restoration of sandy grasslands in Horqin Sandy Land, northern China. We established a mesocosm pots experiment to investigate short-term responses of soil bacterial diversity and composition, and the related soil properties in degraded soils without vegetation (bare sand as the control, CK) to restoration with five plant species that dominate across restoration stages: Agriophyllum squarrosum (AS), Artemisia halodendron (AH), Setaria viridis (SV), Chenopodium acuminatum (CA), and Corispermum macrocarpum (CM). We used redundancy analysis (RDA) to analyze the association between soil bacterial composition and soil properties in different plant species. Our results indicated that soil bacterial diversity was significantly lower in vegetated soils independent of plant species than in the CK. Specifically, soil bacterial species richness and diversity were lower under the shrub AH and the herbaceous plants AS, SV, and CA, and soil bacterial abundance was lower under AH compared with the CK. A field investigation confirmed the same trends where soil bacteria diversity was lower under AS and AH than in bare sand. The high-sequence annotation analysis showed that Proteobacteria , Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes were the most common phyla in sandy land irrespective of soil plant cover. The OTUs (operational taxonomic units) indicated that some bacterial species were specific to the host plants. Relative to bare sand (CK), soils with vegetative cover exhibited lower soil water content and temperature, and higher soil carbon and nitrogen contents. The RDA result indicated that, in addition to plant species, soil water and nitrogen contents were the most important factors shaping soil bacterial composition in semiarid sandy land. Our study from the pot and field investigations clearly demonstrated that planting dominant species in bare sand impacts bacterial diversity. In semiarid ecosystems, changes in the dominant plant species during vegetation restoration efforts can affect the soil bacterial diversity and composition through the direct effects of plants and the indirect effects of soil properties that are driven by plant species. In addition to plant species, soil water and nitrogen contents were the most important factors shaping soil bacterial composition in semiarid sandy land. Our study from the pot and field investigations clearly demonstrated that planting dominant species in bare sand impacts bacterial diversity. In semiarid ecosystems, changes in the dominant plant species during vegetation restoration efforts can affect the soil bacterial diversity and composition through the direct effects of plants and the indirect effects of soil properties that are driven by plant species.
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-7758
    Topics: Biology
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  • 79
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-09
    Description: Peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) is a component of compact myelin in the peripheral nervous system. The amount of PMP22 in myelin is tightly regulated, and PMP22 over or under-expression cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth 1A (CMT1A) and Hereditary Neuropathy with Pressure Palsies (HNPP). Despite the importance of PMP22 , its function remains largely unknown. It was reported that PMP22 interacts with the β4 subunit of the laminin receptor α6β4 integrin, suggesting that α6β4 integrin and laminins may contribute to the pathogenesis of CMT1A or HNPP. Here we asked if the lack of α6β4 integrin in Schwann cells influences myelin stability in the HNPP mouse model. Our data indicate that PMP22 and β4 integrin may not interact directly in myelinating Schwann cells, however, ablating β4 integrin delays the formation of tomacula, a characteristic feature of HNPP. In contrast, ablation of integrin β4 worsens nerve conduction velocities and non-compact myelin organization in HNPP animals. This study demonstrates that indirect interactions between an extracellular matrix receptor and a myelin protein influence the stability and function of myelinated fibers. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Print ISSN: 0022-3042
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-4159
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  • 80
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-09
    Description: Loss of function mutations of DJ-1 ( PARK7 ) have been linked to the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD). Antioxidative stress is one of the multi-protective functions of DJ-1, and oxidation of cysteine 106 (Cys106) has been proposed to regulate the protective activity of DJ-1. Uncoupling protein 4 (UCP4) is located in the inner membrane of mitochondria and functions to protect against oxidative stress. In this study, we used neuronal (SH-SY5Y) cells and DJ-1 knockout (KO) mice to elucidate whether DJ-1 regulated oxidative stress via modulating the expression of UCP4, and the underlying mechanism. The downstream products of oxidative stress, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and cell viability were also investigated. We found that UCP4 was up regulated upon 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP + ) stimulation in SH-SY5Y cells, which was enhanced by wild type DJ-1 and alleviated by DJ-1 knockdown. Expression of UCP4 in DJ-1 KO mice was lower compared with wild type mice. In addition, up-regulation of UCP4 was alleviated by inhibition of oxidized DJ-1, and enhanced by increase of oxidized DJ-1 under conditions of oxidative stress using western blot analysis. Moreover, overexpression of UCP4 in DJ-1 knockdown cells partially reversed the decrease of cell viability, ΔΨm, as well as the increase of products of oxidative stress upon MPP + stimulation. Further analysis showed that DJ-1 regulated transcriptional activity of UCP4 partially via Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathway in the presence of MPP + . Together, our results suggested DJ-1 might regulate the expression of UCP4 by oxidation of DJ-1 and partially via NF-κB pathway in its protective response to oxidative stress. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Print ISSN: 0022-3042
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-4159
    Topics: Medicine
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    Wiley-Blackwell
    Publication Date: 2018-01-10
    Description: Residues of pharmaceuticals are increasingly detected in surface waters throughout the world. In four streams in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, we detected analgesics, stimulants, antihistamines, and antibiotics using passive organic samplers. We exposed biofilm communities in these streams to the common drugs caffeine, cimetidine, ciprofloxacin, and diphenhydramine. Respiration rates in the least urban stream were suppressed when exposed to these drugs, but biofilm functioning in the most urban stream was resistant to drug exposure. Exposure to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin altered bacterial community composition at all sites, with the greatest change occurring in the most urban stream. These results indicated that continuous exposure to drugs in urban streams may select for sub-populations of highly resistant bacteria that maintain community function in response to urban contaminants.
    Electronic ISSN: 2150-8925
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering