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Sample records for level ecological study

  1. Historical Ecology--An Alternative Approach to Ecological Studies at A-Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Stephen

    1985-01-01

    Compares and contrasts a historical approach to woodland studies with a conventional ecological approach. Suggests potential sources of information and areas for investigation for the historical ecologist. Also reviews a case study example that employed this strategy. (ML)

  2. Maternal Mortality in Colombia in 2011: A Two Level Ecological Study

    PubMed Central

    Cárdenas-Cárdenas, Luz Mery; Cotes-Cantillo, Karol; Chaparro-Narváez, Pablo Enrique; Fernández-Niño, Julián Alfredo; Paternina-Caicedo, Angel; Castañeda-Orjuela, Carlos; De la Hoz-Restrepo, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Objective Maternal mortality reduction is a Millennium Development Goal. In Colombia, there is a large disparity in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) between and into departments (states) and also between municipalities. We examined socioeconomics variables at the municipal and departmental levels which could be associated to the municipal maternal mortality in Colombia. Methods A multilevel ecology study was carried out using different national data sources in Colombia. The outcome variable was the MMR at municipal level in 2011 with multidimensional poverty at municipal and department level as the principal independent variables and other measures of the social and economic characteristics at municipal and departmental level were also considered explicative variables (overall fertility municipal rate, percentage of local rural population, health insurance coverage, per capita territorial participation allocated to the health sector, transparency index and Gini coefficient). The association between MMR and socioeconomic contextual conditions at municipal and departmental level was assessed using a multilevel Poisson regression model. Results The MMR in the Colombian municipalities was associated significantly with the multidimensional poverty (relative ratio of MMR: 3.52; CI 95%: 1.09-11.38). This association was stronger in municipalities from departments with the highest poverty (relative ratio of MMR: 7.14; CI 95%: 2.01-25.35). Additionally, the MMR at municipal level was marginally associated with municipally health insurance coverage (relative ratio of MMR: 0.99; CI 95%: 0.98-1.00), and significantly with transparency index at departmental level (relative ratio of MMR: 0.98; CI 95%: 0.97-0.99). Conclusion Poverty and transparency in a contextual level were associated with the increase of the municipal MMR in Colombia. The results of this study are useful evidence for informing the public policies discussion and formulation processes with a differential

  3. Ecological baseline studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vickers, D.

    1980-01-01

    Environmental studies of Merritt Island are discussed. Five areas of the island's ecology are examined. They include: a terrestrial community analyses, a plant community study, a small mammal population study, a rainfall study, and an ichthyological analyses.

  4. Feasibility and utility of mapping disease risk at the neighbourhood level within a Canadian public health unit: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background We conducted spatial analyses to determine the geographic variation of cancer at the neighbourhood level (dissemination areas or DAs) within the area of a single Ontario public health unit, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, covering a population of 238,326 inhabitants. Cancer incidence data between 1999 and 2003 were obtained from the Ontario Cancer Registry and were geocoded down to the level of DA using the enhanced Postal Code Conversion File. The 2001 Census of Canada provided information on the size and age-sex structure of the population at the DA level, in addition to information about selected census covariates, such as average neighbourhood income. Results Age standardized incidence ratios for cancer and the prevalence of census covariates were calculated for each of 331 dissemination areas in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph. The standardized incidence ratios (SIR) for cancer varied dramatically across the dissemination areas. However, application of the Moran's I statistic, a popular index of spatial autocorrelation, suggested significant spatial patterns for only two cancers, lung and prostate, both in males (p < 0.001 and p = 0.002, respectively). Employing Bayesian hierarchical models, areas in the urban core of the City of Guelph had significantly higher SIRs for male lung cancer than the remainder of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph; and, neighbourhoods in the urban and surrounding rural areas of Orangeville exhibited significantly higher SIRs for prostate cancer. After adjustment for age and spatial dependence, average household income attenuated much of the spatial pattern of lung cancer, but not of prostate cancer. Conclusion This paper demonstrates the feasibility and utility of a systematic approach to identifying neighbourhoods, within the area served by a public health unit, that have significantly higher risks of cancer. This exploratory, ecologic study suggests several hypotheses for these spatial patterns that warrant further investigations. To

  5. Outdoor air pollution, subtypes and severity of ischemic stroke – a small-area level ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Evidence linking outdoor air pollution and incidence of ischemic stroke subtypes and severity is limited. We examined associations between outdoor PM10 and NO2 concentrations modeled at a fine spatial resolution and etiological and clinical ischemic stroke subtypes and severity of ischemic stroke. Methods We used a small-area level ecological study design and a stroke register set up to capture all incident cases of first ever stroke (1995–2007) occurring in a defined geographical area in South London (948 census output areas; population of 267839). Modeled PM10 and NO2 concentrations were available at a very fine spatial scale (20 meter by 20 meter grid point resolution) and were aggregated to output area level using postcode population weighted averages. Ischemic stroke was classified using the Oxford clinical classification, the Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) etiological classification, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score and a pragmatic clinical severity classification based on Glasgow coma score, ability to swallow, urinary continence and death <2 days of stroke onset. Results Mean (SD) concentrations were 25.1 (1.2) ug/m3 (range 23.3-36.4) for PM10 and 41.4 (3.0) ug/m3 (range 35.4-68.0) for NO2. There were 2492 incident cases of ischemic stroke. We found no evidence of association between these pollutants and the incidence of ischemic stroke subtypes classified using the Oxford and TOAST classifications. We found no significant association with stroke severity using NIHSS severity categories. However, we found that outdoor concentrations of both PM10 and NO2 appeared to be associated with increased incidence of mild but not severe ischemic stroke, classified using the pragmatic clinical severity classification. For mild ischemic stroke, the rate ratio in the highest PM10 category by tertile was 1.20 (1.05-1.38) relative to the lowest category. The rate ratio in the highest NO2 category was 1.22 (1

  6. Audubon Ecology Study Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    The materials in the set include a student reader "The Story of Ecology," a leaders' guide, and a large, pictorial wall chart. The student reader is divided into 10 units relating to a definition of ecology, the sun and life, air and the water cycle, major divisions of the earth, plants and food chains, distribution of plants and animals,…

  7. Ecological concerns following Superstorm Sandy: stressor level and recreational activity levels affect perceptions of ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Coastal habitats are vulnerable to storms, and with increasing urbanization, sea level rise, and storm frequency, some urban populations are at risk. This study examined perceptions of respondents in coastal and central New Jersey to Superstorm Sandy, including: 1) concerns about ecological resources and effects (open-ended question), 2) information sources for ecology of the coast (open-ended), and 3) ratings of a list of ecological services as a function of demographics, location (coastal, central Jersey), stressor level (power outages, high winds, flooding) and recreational rates. “Wildlife” and “fish” were the ecological concerns mentioned most often, while beaches and dunes were most often mentioned for environmental concerns. Television, radio, and web/internet were sources trusted for ecological information. The data indicate 1) stressor level was a better predictor of ratings of ecological services than geographical location, but days engaged in recreation contributed the most to variations in ratings, 2) ecological services were rated the highest by respondents with the highest stressor levels, and by those from the coast, compared to others, 3) Caucasians rated ecological services higher than all others, and 4) recreational rates were highest for coastal respondents, and ratings for ecological services increased with recreational rates. Only 20 % of respondents listed specific ecological services as one of their three most important environmental concerns. These data will be useful for increasing preparedness, enhancing educational strategies for shore protection, and providing managers and public policy makers with data essential to developing resiliency strategies. PMID:27011729

  8. A Simulated Stream Ecology Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zampella, Robert A.

    1979-01-01

    Describes a simulated field experience to study stream ecology in the classroom. Secondary students determine the composition of the stream community, describe the distribution of the benthic invertebrates, and design a food web. (Author/MA)

  9. The ecological module of BOATS-1.0: a bioenergetically constrained model of marine upper trophic levels suitable for studies of fisheries and ocean biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carozza, David Anthony; Bianchi, Daniele; Galbraith, Eric Douglas

    2016-04-01

    Environmental change and the exploitation of marine resources have had profound impacts on marine communities, with potential implications for ocean biogeochemistry and food security. In order to study such global-scale problems, it is helpful to have computationally efficient numerical models that predict the first-order features of fish biomass production as a function of the environment, based on empirical and mechanistic understandings of marine ecosystems. Here we describe the ecological module of the BiOeconomic mArine Trophic Size-spectrum (BOATS) model, which takes an Earth-system approach to modelling fish biomass at the global scale. The ecological model is designed to be used on an Earth-system model grid, and determines size spectra of fish biomass by explicitly resolving life history as a function of local temperature and net primary production. Biomass production is limited by the availability of photosynthetic energy to upper trophic levels, following empirical trophic efficiency scalings, and by well-established empirical temperature-dependent growth rates. Natural mortality is calculated using an empirical size-based relationship, while reproduction and recruitment depend on both the food availability to larvae from net primary production and the production of eggs by mature adult fish. We describe predicted biomass spectra and compare them to observations, and conduct a sensitivity study to determine how they change as a function of net primary production and temperature. The model relies on a limited number of parameters compared to similar modelling efforts, while retaining reasonably realistic representations of biological and ecological processes, and is computationally efficient, allowing extensive parameter-space analyses even when implemented globally. As such, it enables the exploration of the linkages between ocean biogeochemistry, climate, and upper trophic levels at the global scale, as well as a representation of fish biomass for

  10. The ecological module of BOATS-1.0: a bioenergetically-constrained model of marine upper trophic levels suitable for studies of fisheries and ocean biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carozza, D. A.; Bianchi, D.; Galbraith, E. D.

    2015-12-01

    Environmental change and the exploitation of marine resources have had profound impacts on marine communities, with potential implications for ocean biogeochemistry and food security. In order to study such global-scale problems, it is helpful to have computationally efficient numerical models that predict the first-order features of fish biomass production as a function of the environment, based on empirical and mechanistic understandings of marine ecosystems. Here we describe the ecological module of the BiOeconomic mArine Trophic Size-spectrum (BOATS) model, which takes an Earth-system approach to modeling fish biomass at the global scale. The ecological model is designed to be used on an Earth System model grid, and determines size spectra of fish biomass by explicitly resolving life history as a function of local temperature and net primary production. Biomass production is limited by the availability of photosynthetic energy to upper trophic levels, following empirical trophic efficiency scalings, and by well-established empirical temperature-dependent growth rates. Natural mortality is calculated using an empirical size-based relationship, while reproduction and recruitment depend on both the food availability to larvae from net primary production and the production of eggs by mature adult fish. We describe predicted biomass spectra and compare them to observations, and conduct a sensitivity study to determine how the change as a function of net primary production and temperature. The model relies on a limited number of parameters compared to similar modeling efforts, while retaining realistic representations of biological and ecological processes, and is computationally efficient, allowing extensive parameter-space analyses even when implemented globally. As such, it enables the exploration of the linkages between ocean biogeochemistry, climate, and upper trophic levels at the global scale, as well as a representation of fish biomass for idealized studies

  11. Ecological Approaches to Studying Zoonoses.

    PubMed

    Loh, Elizabeth H; Murray, Kris A; Zambrana-Torrelio, Carlos; Hosseini, Parviez R; Rostal, Melinda K; Karesh, William B; Daszak, Peter

    2013-12-01

    Concern over emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) and a better understanding of their causes has resulted in increasing recognition of the linkages among human, animal, and ecosystem health. It is now well recognized that human activities can promote the emergence of infectious diseases through the large-scale modification of natural environments and inadvertent vectoring (e.g., international trade and travel). These perturbations can alter the ecological and evolutionary relationships among humans, wildlife, and the pathogens that move between them, resulting in disease emergence. In recent years, the rise in zoonotic EIDs has not only increased our awareness of the need for cross-sectoral collaborations, but has also highlighted the disconnect between current ecological theory and biological reality. As the One Health movement continues to gain steam, further integration of ecological approaches into the One Health framework will be required. We discuss the importance of ecological methods and theory to the study of zoonotic diseases by (i) discussing key ecological concepts and approaches, (ii) reviewing methods of studying wildlife diseases and their potential applications for zoonoses, and (iii) identifying future directions in the One Health movement. PMID:26184965

  12. Social Studies: Ecology and Survival.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liftin, Elaine

    Designed as an elective course of study for grades seven through nine, this curriculum guide provides a study of the political, economic, and social aspects of ecological problems in the community, state, or nation. The focus is on the causes and effects of pollution and alternative courses of governmental and student (citizen) action. A suggested…

  13. An Ecological Study of Community-Level Correlates of Suicide Mortality Rates in the Flemish Region of Belgium, 1996-2005

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hooghe, Marc; Vanhoutte, Bram

    2011-01-01

    An ecological study of age-standardized suicide rates in Belgian communities (1996-2005) was conducted using spatial regression techniques. Community characteristics were significantly related to suicide rates. There was mixed support for the social integration perspective: single person households were associated with higher suicide rates, while…

  14. Current directions in screening-level ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Carlsen, T M; Efroymson, R A

    2000-12-11

    Ecological risk assessment (ERA) is a tool used by many regulatory agencies to evaluate the impact to ecological receptors from changes in environmental conditions. Widespread use of ERAs began with the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund program to assess the ecological impact from hazardous chemicals released to the environment. Many state hazardous chemical regulatory agencies have adopted the use of ERAs, and several state regulatory agencies are evaluating the use of ERAs to assess ecological impacts from releases of petroleum and gas-related products. Typical ERAs are toxicologically-based, use conservative assumptions with respect to ecological receptor exposure duration and frequency, often require complex modeling of transport and exposure and are very labor intensive. In an effort to streamline the ERA process, efforts are currently underway to develop default soil screening levels, to identify ecological screening criteria for excluding sites from formal risk assessment, and to create risk-based corrective action worksheets. This should help reduce the time spent on ERAs, at least for some sites. Work is also underway to incorporate bioavailability and spatial considerations into ERAs. By evaluating the spatial nature of contaminant releases with respect to the spatial context of the ecosystem under consideration, more realistic ERAs with respect to the actual impact to ecological receptors at the population, community or ecosystem scale should be possible. In addition, by considering the spatial context, it should be possible to develop mitigation and monitoring efforts to more appropriately address such sites within the context of an ecological framework.

  15. DESIGN AND EVALUATION OF LABORATORY ECOLOGICAL SYSTEM STUDIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Design and evaluation of laboratory ecological system studies are considered in relation to problems and objectives in environmental toxicology. Ecological systems are defined to be organismic systems together with their level-specific, co-extensive environmental systems and to o...

  16. [Ecological studies in environmental health: Beyond epidemiology].

    PubMed

    Blanco-Becerra, Luis C; Pinzón-Flórez, Carlos E; Idrovo, Álvaro J

    2015-08-01

    Ecological studies provide important and frequent sources of evidence of environmental health, since their unit of analysis is populations. This review summarizes the foundations of ecological studies with the premise that they can be performed using quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods. It presents the logic behind their design, their role in exploring causality, the variables and categories of analysis and the design principles and techniques used to collect data. Examples of ecological studies performed in Latin America are then presented, as well as some common methodological problems and options to address them. Lastly, the relevance of quantitative and qualitative ecological studies to environmental health as a way to overcome the dominance of conceptual and methodological individualism is highlighted, though ecological studies alone do not suffice for studying population health. PMID:26535754

  17. ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS FOR SOIL INVERTEBRATES AND PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological Soil Screening Levels (Eco-SSLs) are being developed for 24 inorganic and inorganic chemicals for soil invertebrates and plants using procedures developed by a Task Group of the USEPA Eco-SSL Work Group. The Eco-SSL Work Group is a collaboration among USEPA, DoD, DOE, ...

  18. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China.

    PubMed

    Gong, Jian; Yang, Jianxin; Tang, Wenwu

    2015-11-01

    Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution-severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems. PMID:26569270

  19. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Jian; Yang, Jianxin; Tang, Wenwu

    2015-01-01

    Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution—severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems. PMID:26569270

  20. Multi-level human evolution: ecological patterns in hominin phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Parravicini, Andrea; Pievani, Telmo

    2016-06-20

    Evolution is a process that occurs at many different levels, from genes to ecosystems. Genetic variations and ecological pressures are hence two sides of the same coin; but due both to fragmentary evidence and to the influence of a gene-centered and gradualistic approach to evolutionary phenomena, the field of paleoanthropology has been slow to take the role of macro-evolutionary patterns (i.e. ecological and biogeographical at large scale) seriously. However, several very recent findings in paleoanthropology stress both climate instability and ecological disturbance as key factors affecting the highly branching hominin phylogeny, from the earliest hominins to the appearance of cognitively modern humans. Allopatric speciation due to geographic displacement, turnover-pulses of species, adaptive radiation, mosaic evolution of traits in several coeval species, bursts of behavioral innovation, serial dispersals out of Africa, are just some of the macro-evolutionary patterns emerging from the field. The multilevel approach to evolution proposed by paleontologist Niles Eldredge is adopted here as interpretative tool, and has yielded a larger picture of human evolution that integrates different levels of evolutionary change, from local adaptations in limited ecological niches to dispersal phenotypes able to colonize an unprecedented range of ecosystems. Changes in global climate and Earth's surface most greatly affected human evolution. Precisely because it is cognitively hard for us to appreciate the long-term common destiny we share with the whole biosphere, it is particularly valuable to highlight the accumulating evidence that human evolution has been deeply affected by global ecological changes that transformed our African continent of origin. PMID:26829575

  1. Ecological relevance of Sentinels' biomarker responses: a multi-level approach.

    PubMed

    Seabra Pereira, Camilo D; Abessa, Denis M S; Choueri, Rodrigo B; Almagro-Pastor, Victor; Cesar, Augusto; Maranho, Luciane A; Martín-Díaz, María Laura; Torres, Ronaldo J; Gusso-Choueri, Paloma K; Almeida, João E; Cortez, Fernando S; Mozeto, Antonio A; Silbiger, Helcy L N; Sousa, Eduinetty C P M; Del Valls, Tommas Angel; Bainy, Afonso C D

    2014-05-01

    In response to the need for more sensitive and rapid indicators of environmental quality, sublethal effects on the lowest levels of biological organization have been investigated. The ecological relevance of these responses assumes a prevailing role to assure effectiveness as indicator of ecological status. This study aimed to investigate the linkages between biomarker responses of caged bivalves and descriptive parameters of macrobenthic community structure. For this purpose a multi-level environmental assessment of marine and estuarine zones was performed in São Paulo coast, Brazil. Multivariate analysis was applied to identify linkages between biological responses and ecological indices, as well as to characterizing the studied stations. Individuals of the marine mussel Perna perna caged along Santos Bay showed signs of oxidative stress, lysosomal membrane destabilization, histological alterations and reduced embryonic development. The estuarine oyster Crassostrea rhizophorae caged along Santos Port Channel showed alterations on biotransformation enzymes and antioxidant system, DNA damage and lysosomal membrane destabilization. The benthic community analysis showed reduced richness and diversity in the same areas of the Santos bay and estuary where biomarker responses were altered. Our results revealed that xenobiotics are inducing physiological stress, which may lead to changes of the benthic community structure and deterioration of the ecological status over time. Integrating biomarker responses and ecological indexes improved certainty that alterations found at community level could be related to xenobiotic as stressors, which was very useful to improve the discriminatory power of the environmental assessment. PMID:24314371

  2. MARKING INSECTS FOR STUDYING ECOLOGY AND ETHOLOGY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Different kinds of markers can be used for studying insect ecology and behavior, and each have special strengths, weaknesses, and applications. Various kinds of markers are described, including visual tags (e.g., paint, wires, dyes, pollen, and spores), rubidium, radiotracers, rare earth elements, ...

  3. The ecological study of memory.

    PubMed Central

    Neisser, U

    1997-01-01

    The study of memory has long been dominated by the structural tradition, and especially by the experimental analysis of mechanisms of information processing. That dominance may soon be brought to an end by the progress of neuroscience, which offers more direct ways of studying the mechanisms in question. At that point functional issues may move to centre stage. Those issues include the act of remembering and its social functions, the skills and presuppositions of the remembered, the interaction of those skills and presuppositions with the particular material being remembered, and the determinants of accuracy and confabulation in recall. PMID:9415921

  4. Forest Community: An Ecological Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zipko, Stephen J.

    1974-01-01

    Discusses science activities designed to examine a balanced community in an unspoiled wooded section, including the study of physical and floral characteristics, shrubs, small and large trees, and animals. Indicates that the students' awareness of man's place in nature and nature's place in man is enhanced through such activities. (CC)

  5. Interior Least Tern (Sternula antillarum) breeding distribution and ecology: implications for population-level studies and the evaluation of alternative management strategies on large, regulated rivers.

    PubMed

    Lott, Casey A; Wiley, Robert L; Fischer, Richard A; Hartfield, Paul D; Scott, J Michael

    2013-09-01

    Interior Least Terns (Sternula antillarum) (ILT) are colonial, fish-eating birds that breed within active channels of large sand bed rivers of the Great Plains and in the Lower Mississippi Valley. Multipurpose dams, irrigation structures, and engineered navigation systems have been present on these rivers for many decades. Despite severe alteration of channels and flow regimes, regulation era floods have remained effective at maintaining bare sandbar nesting habitat on many river segments and ILT populations have been stable or expanding since they were listed as endangered in 1985. We used ILT breeding colony locations from 2002 to 2012 and dispersal information to identify 16 populations and 48 subpopulations. More than 90% of ILT and >83% of river km with suitable nesting habitat occur within the two largest populations. However, replicate populations remain throughout the entire historical, geophysical, and ecological range of ILT. Rapid colonization of anthropogenic habitats in areas that were not historically occupied suggests metapopulation dynamics. The highest likelihood of demographic connectivity among ILT populations occurs across the Southern Plains and the Lower Mississippi River, which may be demographically connected with Least Tern populations on the Gulf Coast. Paired ecological and bird population models are needed to test whether previously articulated threats limit ILT population growth and to determine if management intervention is necessary and where. Given current knowledge, the largest sources of model uncertainty will be: (1) uncertainty in relationships between high flow events and subsequent sandbar characteristics and (2) uncertainty regarding the frequency of dispersal among population subunits. We recommend research strategies to reduce these uncertainties. PMID:24223295

  6. Interior Least Tern (Sternula antillarum) breeding distribution and ecology: implications for population-level studies and the evaluation of alternative management strategies on large, regulated rivers

    PubMed Central

    Lott, Casey A; Wiley, Robert L; Fischer, Richard A; Hartfield, Paul D; Scott, J Michael

    2013-01-01

    Interior Least Terns (Sternula antillarum) (ILT) are colonial, fish-eating birds that breed within active channels of large sand bed rivers of the Great Plains and in the Lower Mississippi Valley. Multipurpose dams, irrigation structures, and engineered navigation systems have been present on these rivers for many decades. Despite severe alteration of channels and flow regimes, regulation era floods have remained effective at maintaining bare sandbar nesting habitat on many river segments and ILT populations have been stable or expanding since they were listed as endangered in 1985. We used ILT breeding colony locations from 2002 to 2012 and dispersal information to identify 16 populations and 48 subpopulations. More than 90% of ILT and >83% of river km with suitable nesting habitat occur within the two largest populations. However, replicate populations remain throughout the entire historical, geophysical, and ecological range of ILT. Rapid colonization of anthropogenic habitats in areas that were not historically occupied suggests metapopulation dynamics. The highest likelihood of demographic connectivity among ILT populations occurs across the Southern Plains and the Lower Mississippi River, which may be demographically connected with Least Tern populations on the Gulf Coast. Paired ecological and bird population models are needed to test whether previously articulated threats limit ILT population growth and to determine if management intervention is necessary and where. Given current knowledge, the largest sources of model uncertainty will be: (1) uncertainty in relationships between high flow events and subsequent sandbar characteristics and (2) uncertainty regarding the frequency of dispersal among population subunits. We recommend research strategies to reduce these uncertainties. PMID:24223295

  7. The role of mesocosm studies in ecological risk analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyle, T.P.; Fairchild, J.F.

    1997-01-01

    Mesocosms have been primarily used as research tools for the evaluation of the fate and effects of xenobiotic chemicals at the population, community, and ecosystem levels of biological organization. This paper provides suggestions for future applications of mesocosm research. Attention should be given to the configuration of mesocosm parameters to explicitly study regional questions of ecological interest. The initial physical, chemical, and biological conditions within mesocosms should be considered as factors shaping the final results of experiments. Certain fundamental questions such as the ecological inertia and resilience of systems with different initial ecological properties should be addressed. Researchers should develop closer working relationships with mathematical modelers in linking computer models to the outcomes of mesocosm studies. Mesocosm tests, linked with models, could enable managers and regulators to forecast the regional consequences of chemicals released into the environment.

  8. HIV-, HCV-, and Co-Infections and Associated Risk Factors among Drug Users in Southwestern China: A Township-Level Ecological Study Incorporating Spatial Regression

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yi-Biao; Wang, Qi-Xing; Liang, Song; Gong, Yu-Han; Yang, Mei-xia; Nie, Shi-Jiao; Nan, Lei; Yang, Ai-Hui; Liao, Qiang; Yang, Yang; Song, Xiu-Xia; Jiang, Qing-Wu

    2014-01-01

    Background The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are major public health problems. Many studies have been performed to investigate the association between demographic and behavioral factors and HIV or HCV infection. However, some of the results of these studies have been in conflict. Methodology/Principal Findings The data of all entrants in the 11 national methadone clinics in the Yi Autonomous Prefecture from March 2004 to December 2012 were collected from the national database. Several spatial regression models were used to analyze specific community characteristics associated with the prevalence of HIV and HCV infection at the township level. The study enrolled 6,417 adult patients. The prevalence of HIV infection, HCV infection and co-infection was 25.4%, 30.9%, and 11.0%, respectively. Prevalence exhibited stark geographical variations in the area studied. The four regression models showed Yi ethnicity to be associated with both the prevalence of HIV and of HIV/HCV co-infection. The male drug users in some northwestern counties had greater odds of being infected with HIV than female drug users, but the opposite was observed in some eastern counties. The ‘being in drug rehabilitation variable was found to be positively associated with prevalence of HCV infection in some southern townships, however, it was found to be negatively associated with it in some northern townships. Conclusions/Significance The spatial modeling creates better representations of data such that public health interventions must focus on areas with high frequency of HIV/HCV to prevent further transmission of both HIV and HCV. PMID:24687006

  9. Trends and missing parts in the study of movement ecology.

    PubMed

    Holyoak, Marcel; Casagrandi, Renato; Nathan, Ran; Revilla, Eloy; Spiegel, Orr

    2008-12-01

    Movement is important to all organisms, and accordingly it is addressed in a huge number of papers in the literature. Of nearly 26,000 papers referring to movement, an estimated 34% focused on movement by measuring it or testing hypotheses about it. This enormous amount of information is difficult to review and highlights the need to assess the collective completeness of movement studies and identify gaps. We surveyed 1,000 randomly selected papers from 496 journals and compared the facets of movement studied with a suggested framework for movement ecology, consisting of internal state (motivation, physiology), motion and navigation capacities, and external factors (both the physical environment and living organisms), and links among these components. Most studies simply measured and described the movement of organisms without reference to ecological or internal factors, and the most frequently studied part of the framework was the link between external factors and motion capacity. Few studies looked at the effects on movement of navigation capacity, or internal state, and those were mainly from vertebrates. For invertebrates and plants most studies were at the population level, whereas more vertebrate studies were conducted at the individual level. Consideration of only population-level averages promulgates neglect of between-individual variation in movement, potentially hindering the study of factors controlling movement. Terminology was found to be inconsistent among taxa and subdisciplines. The gaps identified in coverage of movement studies highlight research areas that should be addressed to fully understand the ecology of movement. PMID:19060194

  10. Advancing Ecological Models to Compare Scale in Multi-Level Educational Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woo, David James

    2016-01-01

    Education systems as units of analysis have been metaphorically likened to ecologies to model change. However, ecological models to date have been ineffective in modelling educational change that is multi-scale and occurs across multiple levels of an education system. Thus, this paper advances two innovative, ecological frameworks that improve on…

  11. Ecological performance of red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) larvae exposed to environmental levels of the insecticide malathion.

    PubMed

    Del Carmen Alvarez, Maria; Fuiman, Lee A

    2006-05-01

    Malathion is a highly soluble organophosphate insecticide that is widely used in agriculture and mosquito eradication campaigns. Fish species, such as red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), that use seagrass beds as nursery areas could be affected by runoff waters contaminated with malathion. We exposed red drum larvae at the size they reach in estuarine nursery areas to environmentally realistic and sublethal levels of malathion (0, 1, and 10 microg/L). We evaluated the effects of such exposure on ecologically significant behaviors (routine swimming and predator evasion), growth, and resting metabolism. Malathion exposure to relatively low but ecologically realistic concentrations did not affect routine behavior, escape behavior, resting metabolic rate, or growth, indicating that reported environmental levels may be safe for young fishes. However, a recent substantial increase in the use of malathion may elevate surface-water concentrations to levels above those tested in the present study. PMID:16704078

  12. Ecological risk assessments for watersheds: Lessons learned from case studies

    SciTech Connect

    Marcy, S.K.M.

    1994-12-31

    The USEPA Office of Water and Risk Assessment Forum are co-sponsoring the development of watershed level ecological risk assessments in Big Darby Creek, OH, Clinch River, VA, Middle Platte River Wetlands, NE, Snake River, ID, and Waquoit Bay Estuary, MA. The case studies are testing the Agency`s Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment at a watershed scale for multiple stressors. During case study development much has been learned about how to apply and modify the principles in the Framework to landscape scale risk assessments. Insights include how to select appropriate assessment endpoints to drive the risk assessment, how to effectively increase involvement by risk management teams, and provide decision opportunities for managers throughout development. The case studies demonstrate diverse ways to conduct watershed risk assessments, and illustrate the importance of multiple risk hypotheses in conceptual models addressing the combined and relative risk of chemical, physical and biological stressors. Issues the case studies highlight include the need for a process to determine when watershed risk assessments are appropriate and at what level of complexity they should be performed, how to increase the use of the ecological risk assessments in management decision-making and how to determine the best risk reduction strategy. An update on the watershed case studies will be provided and the insights and issues stated above, discussed.

  13. An ecological model of intimate partner violence perpetration at different levels of severity.

    PubMed

    Smith Slep, Amy M; Foran, Heather M; Heyman, Richard E

    2014-08-01

    Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health concern. This study proposed and tested an ecological model of both general and clinically significant (i.e., injurious or fear-evoking) IPV perpetration (IPVPerp). Risk and promotive factors from multiple ecological levels of influence (i.e., individual, family, workplace, community) were hypothesized to be important in the prediction of IPVPerp. Although clinically significant IPVPerp and general IPVPerp were hypothesized to relate, specific risks for clinically significant IPVPerp were hypothesized. U.S. Air Force active duty members and civilian spouses (N = 34,861 men; 24,331 women) from 82 sites worldwide completed the 2006 Community Assessment, an anonymous online survey assessing IPVPerp along with a variety of potential risk and promotive factors. Final structural equation models for men and women, cross-validated in holdout samples, clearly supported the relevance of an ecological approach to IPVPerp. Factors from all 4 levels were associated with both general IPVPerp and clinically significant IPVPerp, with relatively distal community and workplace factors operating via more proximal individual and family level variables (e.g., relationship satisfaction). The results suggest a variety of both established and novel potential targets for indirectly targeting general and clinically significant IPVPerp by improving risk profiles at the individual, family, workplace, and community levels. PMID:25000132

  14. Evaluating area-level spatial clustering of Salmonella Enteritidis infections and their socioeconomic determinants in the greater Toronto area, Ontario, Canada (2007 – 2009): a retrospective population-based ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background There have been only a few region-level ecological studies conducted in Canada investigating enteric infections in humans. Our study objectives were to 1) assess the spatial clustering of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) human infections in the Greater Toronto Area, and 2) identify underlying area-level associations between S. Enteritidis infection rates and socioeconomic status (SES) indicators that might explain the clustering of infections. Methods Retrospective data on S. Enteritidis infections from 2007 to 2009 were obtained from Ontario’s reportable disease surveillance database and were grouped at the forward sortation area (FSA) - level. A spatial scan statistic was employed to identify FSA-level spatial clusters of high infection rates. Negative binomial regression was used to identify FSA-level associations between S. Enteritidis infection rates and SES indicators obtained from the 2006 Census of Canada. Global Moran’s I statistic was used to evaluate the final model for residual spatial clustering. Results A spatial cluster that included nine neighbouring FSAs was identified in downtown Toronto. A significant positive curvilinear relationship was observed between S. Enteritidis infection rates and FSA-level average number of children at home per census family. Areas with high and areas with low average median family income had higher infection rates than FSAs with medium average median family income. Areas with a high proportion of visible minority population had lower infection rates than FSAs with a medium proportion of visible minority population. The Moran’s I statistic was not significant, indicating that no residual spatial autocorrelation was present after accounting for the SES variables in the final model. Conclusions Our study demonstrated that FSAs with high and low average median family income, medium proportion of visible minority population, and high average number of children at home per census

  15. Ecological feasibility studies in restoration decision making.

    PubMed

    Hopfensperger, Kristine N; Engelhardt, Katharina A M; Seagle, Steven W

    2007-06-01

    The restoration of degraded systems is essential for maintaining the provision of valuable ecosystem services, including the maintenance of aesthetic values. However, restoration projects often fail to reach desired goals for a variety of ecologic, financial, and social reasons. Feasibility studies that evaluate whether a restoration effort should even be attempted can enhance restoration success by highlighting potential pitfalls and gaps in knowledge before the design phase of a restoration. Feasibility studies also can bring stakeholders together before a restoration project is designed to discuss potential disagreements. For these reasons, a feasibility study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of restoring a tidal freshwater marsh in the Potomac River near Alexandria, Virginia. The study focused on science rather than engineering questions, and thus differed in approach from other feasibility studies that are mostly engineering driven. The authors report the framework they used to conduct a feasibility study to inform other potential restoration projects with similar goals. The seven steps of the framework encompass (1) initiation of a feasibility study, (2) compilation of existing data, (3) collection of current site information, (4) examination of case studies, (5) synthesis of information in a handbook, (6) meeting with selected stakeholders, and (7) evaluation of meeting outcomes. By conducting a feasibility study using the seven-step framework, the authors set the stage for conducting future compliance studies and enhancing the chance of a successful restoration. PMID:17453281

  16. Ecological Feasibility Studies in Restoration Decision Making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hopfensperger, Kristine N.; Engelhardt, Katharina A. M.; Seagle, Steven W.

    2007-06-01

    The restoration of degraded systems is essential for maintaining the provision of valuable ecosystem services, including the maintenance of aesthetic values. However, restoration projects often fail to reach desired goals for a variety of ecologic, financial, and social reasons. Feasibility studies that evaluate whether a restoration effort should even be attempted can enhance restoration success by highlighting potential pitfalls and gaps in knowledge before the design phase of a restoration. Feasibility studies also can bring stakeholders together before a restoration project is designed to discuss potential disagreements. For these reasons, a feasibility study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of restoring a tidal freshwater marsh in the Potomac River near Alexandria, Virginia. The study focused on science rather than engineering questions, and thus differed in approach from other feasibility studies that are mostly engineering driven. The authors report the framework they used to conduct a feasibility study to inform other potential restoration projects with similar goals. The seven steps of the framework encompass (1) initiation of a feasibility study, (2) compilation of existing data, (3) collection of current site information, (4) examination of case studies, (5) synthesis of information in a handbook, (6) meeting with selected stakeholders, and (7) evaluation of meeting outcomes. By conducting a feasibility study using the seven-step framework, the authors set the stage for conducting future compliance studies and enhancing the chance of a successful restoration.

  17. Guidance Manual for Conducting Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessments at the INEL

    SciTech Connect

    R. L. VanHorn; N. L. Hampton; R. C. Morris

    1995-06-01

    This document presents reference material for conducting screening level ecological risk assessments (SLERAs)for the waste area groups (WAGs) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Included in this document are discussions of the objectives of and processes for conducting SLERAs. The Environmental Protection Agency ecological risk assessment framework is closely followed. Guidance for site characterization, stressor characterization, ecological effects, pathways of contaminant migration, the conceptual site model, assessment endpoints, measurement endpoints, analysis guidance, and risk characterization are included.

  18. ECOLOGY (Earth's Cycle of Life: Operational Geosphere Study).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferreira, Rosemary C.

    Presented is an environmental science interdisciplinary learning program designed for use on the junior high or senior high school level. It includes learning activities coordinated with behavioral objectives as well as an Ecology Game. The program is composed of seven modules, each of which deals with an element of the science of ecology. The…

  19. Personality, foraging behavior and specialization: integrating behavioral and food web ecology at the individual level.

    PubMed

    Toscano, Benjamin J; Gownaris, Natasha J; Heerhartz, Sarah M; Monaco, Cristián J

    2016-09-01

    Behavioral traits and diet were traditionally thought to be highly plastic within individuals. This view was espoused in the widespread use of optimality models, which broadly predict that individuals can modify behavioral traits and diet across ecological contexts to maximize fitness. Yet, research conducted over the past 15 years supports an alternative view; fundamental behavioral traits (e.g., activity level, exploration, sociability, boldness and aggressiveness) and diet often vary among individuals and this variation persists over time and across contexts. This phenomenon has been termed animal personality with regard to behavioral traits and individual specialization with regard to diet. While these aspects of individual-level phenotypic variation have been thus far studied in isolation, emerging evidence suggests that personality and individual specialization may covary, or even be causally related. Building on this work, we present the overarching hypothesis that animal personality can drive specialization through individual differences in various aspects of consumer foraging behavior. Specifically, we suggest pathways by which consumer personality traits influence foraging activity, risk-dependent foraging, roles in social foraging groups, spatial aspects of foraging and physiological drivers of foraging, which in turn can lead to consistent individual differences in food resource use. These pathways provide a basis for generating testable hypotheses directly linking animal personality to ecological dynamics, a major goal in contemporary behavioral ecology. PMID:27170290

  20. Cascading ecological effects of low-level phosphorus enrichment in the Florida Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gaiser, E.E.; Trexler, J.C.; Richards, J.H.; Childers, D.L.; Lee, D.; Edwards, A.L.; Scinto, L.J.; Jayachandran, K.; Noe, G.B.; Jones, R.D.

    2005-01-01

    Few studies have examined long-term ecological effects of sustained low-level nutrient enhancement on wetland biota. To determine sustained effects of phosphorus (P) addition on Everglades marshes we added P at low levels (5, 15, and 30 ??g L-1 above ambient) for 5 yr to triplicate 100-m flow-through channels in pristine marsh. A cascade of ecological responses occurred in similar sequence among treatments. Although the rate of change increased with dosing level, treatments converged to similar enriched endpoints, characterized most notably by a doubling of plant biomass and elimination of native, calcareous periphyton mats. The full sequence of biological changes occurred without an increase in water total P concentration, which remained near ambient levels until Year 5. This study indicates that Everglades marshes have a near-zero assimilative capacity for P without a state change, that ecosystem responses to enrichment accumulate over time, and that downstream P transport mainly occurs through biota rather than the water column.

  1. Field Ecology Studies in the Rocky Mountains.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Philip A.

    1978-01-01

    Describes a six-week field plant ecology course in Montana which is offered by the Botany Department at Southern Illinois University. The goals of the course, how it is taught, and student evaluation are also presented. (HM)

  2. Calculating background levels for ecological risk parameters in toxic harbor sediment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leadon, C.J.; McDonnell, T.R.; Lear, J.; Barclift, D.

    2007-01-01

    Establishing background levels for biological parameters is necessary in assessing the ecological risks from harbor sediment contaminated with toxic chemicals. For chemicals in sediment, the term contaminated is defined as having concentrations above background and significant human health or ecological risk levels. For biological parameters, a site could be considered contaminated if levels of the parameter are either more or less than the background level, depending on the specific parameter. Biological parameters can include tissue chemical concentrations in ecological receptors, bioassay responses, bioaccumulation levels, and benthic community metrics. Chemical parameters can include sediment concentrations of a variety of potentially toxic chemicals. Indirectly, contaminated harbor sediment can impact shellfish, fish, birds, and marine mammals, and human populations. This paper summarizes the methods used to define background levels for chemical and biological parameters from a survey of ecological risk investigations of marine harbor sediment at California Navy bases. Background levels for regional biological indices used to quantify ecological risks for benthic communities are also described. Generally, background stations are positioned in relatively clean areas exhibiting the same physical and general chemical characteristics as nearby areas with contaminated harbor sediment. The number of background stations and the number of sample replicates per background station depend on the statistical design of the sediment ecological risk investigation, developed through the data quality objective (DQO) process. Biological data from the background stations can be compared to data from a contaminated site by using minimum or maximum background levels or comparative statistics. In Navy ecological risk assessments (ERA's), calculated background levels and appropriate ecological risk screening criteria are used to identify sampling stations and sites with contaminated

  3. Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on various ecological topics. The bulletins have these titles: Schoolyard Laboratories, Owls and Predators, The Forest Community, Life in Freshwater Marshes, Camouflage in the Animal World, Life in the Desert, The…

  4. Defining Acceptable Levels for Ecological Indicators: An Approach for Considering Social Values

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smyth, Robyn L.; Watzin, Mary C.; Manning, Robert E.

    2007-03-01

    Ecological indicators can facilitate an adaptive management approach, but only if acceptable levels for those indicators have been defined so that the data collected can be interpreted. Because acceptable levels are an expression of the desired state of the ecosystem, the process of establishing acceptable levels should incorporate not just ecological understanding but also societal values. The goal of this research was to explore an approach for defining acceptable levels of ecological indicators that explicitly considers social perspectives and values. We used a set of eight indicators that were related to issues of concern in the Lake Champlain Basin. Our approach was based on normative theory. Using a stakeholder survey, we measured respondent normative evaluations of varying levels of our indicators. Aggregated social norm curves were used to determine the level at which indicator values shifted from acceptable to unacceptable conditions. For seven of the eight indicators, clear preferences were interpretable from these norm curves. For example, closures of public beaches because of bacterial contamination and days of intense algae bloom went from acceptable to unacceptable at 7-10 days in a summer season. Survey respondents also indicated that the number of fish caught from Lake Champlain that could be safely consumed each month was unacceptably low and the number of streams draining into the lake that were impaired by storm water was unacceptably high. If indicators that translate ecological conditions into social consequences are carefully selected, we believe the normative approach has considerable merit for defining acceptable levels of valued ecological system components.

  5. Integrating ecological risk assessments across levels of organization using the Franklin-Noss model of biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Brugger, K.E.; Tiebout, H.M. III |

    1994-12-31

    Wildlife toxicologists pioneered methodologies for assessing ecological risk to nontarget species. Historically, ecological risk assessments (ERAS) focused on a limited array of species and were based on a relatively few population-level endpoints (mortality, reproduction). Currently, risk assessment models are becoming increasingly complex that factor in multi-species interactions (across trophic levels) and utilize an increasingly diverse number of ecologically significant endpoints. This trend suggests the increasing importance of safeguarding not only populations of individual species, but also the overall integrity of the larger biotic systems that support them. In this sense, ERAs are in alignment with Conservation Biology, an applied science of ecological knowledge used to conserve biodiversity. A theoretical conservation biology model could be incorporated in ERAs to quantify impacts to biodiversity (structure, function or composition across levels of biological organization). The authors suggest that the Franklin-Noss model for evaluating biodiversity, with its nested, hierarchical approach, may provide a suitable paradigm for assessing and integrating the ecological risk that chemical contaminants pose to biological systems from the simplest levels (genotypes, individual organisms) to the most complex levels of organization (communities and ecosystems). The Franklin-Noss model can accommodate the existing ecotoxicological database and, perhaps more importantly, indicate new areas in which critical endpoints should be identified and investigated.

  6. STABLE ISOTOPES IN ECOLOGICAL STUDIES: NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN MIXING MODELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stable isotopes are increasingly being used as tracers in ecological studies. One application uses isotopic ratios to quantify the proportional contributions of multiple sources to a mixture. Examples include food sources for animals, water sources for plants, pollution sources...

  7. The semi-individual study in air pollution epidemiology: a valid design as compared to ecologic studies.

    PubMed Central

    Künzli, N; Tager, I B

    1997-01-01

    The assessment of long-term effects of air pollution in humans relies on epidemiologic studies. A widely used design consists of cross-sectional or cohort studies in which ecologic assignment of exposure, based on a fixed-site ambient monitor, is employed. Although health outcome and usually a large number of covariates are measured in individuals, these studies are often called ecological. We will introduce the term semi-individual design for these studies. We review the major properties and limitations with regard to causal inference of truly ecologic studies, in which outcome, exposure, and covariates are available on an aggregate level only. Misclassification problems and issues related to confounding and model specification in truly ecologic studies limit etiologic inference to individuals. In contrast, the semi-individual study shares its methodological and inferential properties with typical individual-level study designs. The major caveat relates to the case where too few study areas, e.g., two or three, are used, which render control of aggregate level confounding impossible. The issue of exposure misclassification is of general concern in epidemiology and not an exclusive problem of the semi-individual design. In a multicenter setting, the semi-individual study is a valuable tool to approach long-term effects of air pollution. Knowledge about the error structure of the ecologically assigned exposure allows consideration of the impact of ecologically assigned exposure on effect estimation. Semi-individual studies, i.e., individual level air pollution studies with ecologic exposure assignment, more readily permit valid inference to individuals and should not be labeled as ecologic studies. PMID:9349825

  8. Ecological Literacy through Critical/Place-Based Pedagogy in the Environmental Studies Program at a Small Liberal Arts College

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beeman-Cadwallader, Nicole

    2014-01-01

    Few studies have critically examined pedagogical practices for ecological literacy at the tertiary level (Adomssent, Godemann, Michelsen, 2007). The purpose of this study is to critically examine how students and faculty in the Environmental Studies/Science programs at Trueblood College pursue ecological literacy through place-based pedagogy. Two…

  9. Ecology Sports Studies Carried Out in School Sports

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuyu, Xia

    In the 1970 s, people began to care for the environment and concern about the ecology thinking in sports, to study the modern sports facing the ecology problems, to explore "people, sports, environment" the harmonious development of the way. In the paper from the actual conditions of the school briefly discuss the advantages of carrying out 3.3 no complete teaching schemas and the main difficulties it faces, and then propose appropriate measures to provide a theoretical basis for the ecology sports better carried out in school sports.

  10. Drawing ecological inferences from coincident patterns of population- and community-level biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Vellend, Mark; Lajoie, Geneviève; Bourret, Audrey; Múrria, Cesc; Kembel, Steven W; Garant, Dany

    2014-06-01

    Biodiversity is comprised of genetic and phenotypic variation among individual organisms, which might belong to the same species or to different species. Spatial patterns of biodiversity are of central interest in ecology and evolution for several reasons: to identify general patterns in nature (e.g. species-area relationships, latitudinal gradients), to inform conservation priorities (e.g. identifying hotspots, prioritizing management efforts) and to draw inferences about processes, historical or otherwise (e.g. adaptation, the centre of origin of particular clades). There are long traditions in ecology and evolutionary biology of examining spatial patterns of biodiversity among species (i.e. in multispecies communities) and within species, respectively, and there has been a recent surge of interest in studying these two types of pattern simultaneously. The idea is that examining both levels of diversity can materially advance the above-stated goals and perhaps lead to entirely novel lines of inquiry. Here, we review two broad categories of approach to merging studies of inter- and intraspecific variation: (i) the study of phenotypic trait variation along environmental gradients and (ii) the study of relationships between patterns of molecular genetic variation within species and patterns of distribution and diversity across species. For the latter, we report a new meta-analysis in which we find that correlations between species diversity and genetic diversity are generally positive and significantly stronger in studies with discrete sampling units (e.g. islands, lakes, forest fragments) than in studies with nondiscrete sampling units (e.g. equal-area study plots). For each topic, we summarize the current state of knowledge and key future directions. PMID:24750409

  11. Chemical ecology: studies from East Africa.

    PubMed

    Meinwald, J; Prestwich, G D; Nakanishi, K; Kubo, I

    1978-03-17

    The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), in Nairobi, provides a laboratory at which a multinational group of scientists pursues interdisciplinary research. In collaboration with their colleagues in biology, ICIPE chemists have characterized the sex pheromones of the tick which serves as a vector of East Coast fever and have identified a termite queen-cell-building pheromone. The structure of many anthropod defensive chemicals have been determined; most interesting of these are the trinervitenes, structurally novel diterpenoids from nasute termites. Several highly active insect antifeedants were discovered using a simple bioassay to screen selected East African plants. These antifeedants may provide leads for the development of new insect-control techniques. PMID:17745589

  12. Study of tourist motivation to Guangzhou urban ecological parks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Min; Wang, Fengtang

    2012-01-01

    Based on the push - pull theory, this article show the empirical studies of tourists' travel motivation to Guangzhou Ecological Park. We identified four push factors and three pull factors which are of the potential features of travel motivation, and on this basis, using analysis of variance to further test the significant differences of push and pull factors in the demographic characteristics of different groups. The conclusion has a certain reference value to the Ecological Park in Guangzhou to attract tourists.

  13. Study of tourist motivation to Guangzhou urban ecological parks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Min; Wang, Fengtang

    2011-12-01

    Based on the push - pull theory, this article show the empirical studies of tourists' travel motivation to Guangzhou Ecological Park. We identified four push factors and three pull factors which are of the potential features of travel motivation, and on this basis, using analysis of variance to further test the significant differences of push and pull factors in the demographic characteristics of different groups. The conclusion has a certain reference value to the Ecological Park in Guangzhou to attract tourists.

  14. Ecological correlates of cortisol levels in two bat species with contrasting feeding habits.

    PubMed

    Lewanzik, Daniel; Kelm, Detlev H; Greiner, Sabine; Dehnhard, Martin; Voigt, Christian C

    2012-05-15

    The immediate release of adrenal glucocorticoids can be crucial for an animal's survival when facing a stressor, but constantly elevated or exceptionally high glucocorticoid levels are usually detrimental for health. Although baseline and maximal secretion of glucocorticoids are regulated within narrow ranges within species, plasma glucocorticoid levels vary largely across vertebrates. We asked what ecological factors affect baseline plasma cortisol levels (CortI) and maximum levels (CortMax) following a physiological challenge through administration of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Specifically, we studied whether seasonal fluctuations in food abundance correlate with the capacity of cortisol increases in two phyllostomid bat species with contrasting feeding habits: the sanguinivorous vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) and the frugivorous short-tailed fruit bat (Carollia perspicillata). Both species coexist in habitats with various levels of seasonality (dry and rainforest). On a seasonal basis, resource abundance is more stable for vampire than for fruit bats, but previous studies suggested that daily foraging success may vary more for vampire than for fruit bats. CortI and CortMax varied seasonally in C. perspicillata from dry and rainforests, with the exception of CortMax in rainforest bats. Although we expected food availability to be stable year-round for vampire bats, we found CortI and CortMax of vampires to be higher during the rainy season than during the dry season. Also, we found CortMax to be higher in vampires from the rainforest than in those from the dry forest. CortMax of vampires were among the highest measured for a free-ranging mammal; a pattern that could be related to the species' vulnerability to starvation. We conclude that food availability modulates cortisol levels in free-ranging species that face seasonally fluctuating resources; in species, however, that benefit from food which is constantly abundant, other factors than food may

  15. Levels and ecological risk assessment of metals in soils from a typical e-waste recycling region in southeast China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Weituo; Ding, Lei; Gu, Xiaowen; Luo, Jie; Liu, Yunlang; Guo, Li; Shi, Yi; Huang, Ting; Cheng, Shenggao

    2015-11-01

    Due to the high threat to human health and the ecosystem from metals, the levels and distribution of As, Hg, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Mn, V, Sn, Sb, Li and Be in various layers of soil from an e-waste recycling area in Guiyu, China were investigated. The extent of pollution from the metals in soil was assessed using enrichment factors (EFs) and the Nemerow pollution index (P N ). To determine the metals' integrated potential ecological risks, the potential ecological risk index (RI) was chosen. The concentrations of Hg, Ni, Cu, Cd, Pb, Sn and Sb were mainly enriched in the topsoil. EF values (2-5) of the elements Hg, Co, Ni, Zn, Sn, Li and Be revealed their moderate enrichment status in the topsoil, derived from e-waste recycling activities. P N presented a decreasing trend in different layers in the order topsoil (0-20 cm) > deep soil (100-150 cm) > middle soil (50-100 cm) > shallow soil (20-50 cm). With higher potential ecological risk factor (E(i)), Hg and Cd are the main contributors to the potential ecological risk. With respect to the RI, all the values in soil from the study area exceeded 300, especially for the soil at sites S2, S4, S5, S7 and S8, where RI was greater than 600. Therefore, immediate remediation of the contaminated soil is necessary to prevent the release of metals and potential ecological harm. PMID:26318052

  16. DEVELOPMENT OF TOXICITY REFERENCE VALUES FOR ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS (ECO-SSLS) FOR TERRESTRIAL WILDLIFE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological Soil Screening Levels (Eco-SSLs) protective of terrestrial wildlife were developed by the USEPA Superfund. The wildlife Eco-SSL is the soil contaminant concentration where the Effect Dose (TRV) and Exposure Dose are equal (amount of contaminant in the diet that is take...

  17. Umweltverschmutzung. German Ecology Packet: Resource Units and Materials for German Classes at All Levels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Archer, Julie; And Others

    Supplementary resource materials for use in upper level secondary school German classes are presented in this text. Teachers who are seeking new content and are willing to adapt these instructional materials on ecology in Germany will find three self-contained units on: The Plight of the Polar Bear, Polluted Swimming Pools in Germany, and Dead…

  18. 40 CFR 159.165 - Toxicological and ecological studies.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... under the criteria of 40 CFR 156.62. (b) Ecological studies. The results of a study of the toxicity of a pesticide to terrestrial or aquatic wildlife or plants if, relative to all previously submitted studies... terrestrial plants show adverse effects on plant life cycle functions and growth such as...

  19. Reproductive ecology of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination

    SciTech Connect

    McCarty, J.P.; Secord, A.L.

    1999-07-01

    Tree swallows(Tachycineta bicolor) breeding along the Hudson River forage extensively on PCB-contaminated insects that emerge from the river. The authors studied the reproductive ecology and behavior of tree swallows breeding at several sites along the Hudson River. Related work has shown that PCB levels in both eggs and chicks were among the highest ever reported in this species, with concentrations comparable to those found in aquatic organisms in the Hudson River. In 1994, reproductive success at PCB-contaminated sites was significantly impaired relative to other sites in New York. Reduced reproductive success was largely due to high levels of nest abandonment during incubation and reduced hatchability of eggs. In 1995, reproductive output was normal, but higher than expected rates of abandonment and supernormal clutches persisted. Growth and development of nestlings was not significantly impaired. Given the levels of contamination in this population, the success of most Hudson River tree swallows reinforces the importance of understanding interspecific differences in the effects of contaminants.

  20. Comparison of deterministic and probabilistic calculation of ecological soil screening levels.

    PubMed

    Regan, Helen M; Sample, Brad E; Ferson, Scott

    2002-04-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is sponsoring development of ecological soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) for terrestrial wildlife. These are intended to be used to identify chemicals of potential ecological concern at Superfund sites. Ecological soil screening levels represent concentrations of contaminants in soils that are believed to be protective of ecological receptors. An exposure model, based on soil- and food-ingestion rates and the relationship between the concentrations of contaminants in soil and food, has been developed for estimation of wildlife Eco-SSLs. It is important to understand how conservative and protective these values are, how parameterization of the model influences the resulting Eco-SSL, and how the treatment of uncertainty impacts results. The Eco-SSLs were calculated for meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) and northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) for lead and DDT using deterministic and probabilistic methods. Conclusions obtained include that use of central-tendency point estimates may result in hazard quotients much larger than one; that a Monte Carlo approach also leads to hazard quotients that can be substantially larger than one; that, if no hazard quotients larger than one are allowed, any probabilistic approach is identical to a worst-case approach; and that an improvement in the quality and amount of data is necessary to increase confidence that Eco-SSLs are protective at their intended levels of conservatism. PMID:11951965

  1. Occam's shadow: levels of analysis in evolutionary ecology - where to next?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooch, E.G.; Cam, E.; Link, W.A.

    2002-01-01

    Evolutionary ecology is the study of evolutionary processes, and the ecological conditions that influence them. A fundamental paradigm underlying the study of evolution is natural selection. Although there are a variety of operational definitions for natural selection in the literature, perhaps the most general one is that which characterizes selection as the process whereby heritable variation in fitness associated with variation in one or more phenotypic traits leads to intergenerational change in the frequency distribution of those traits. The past 20 years have witnessed a marked increase in the precision and reliability of our ability to estimate one or more components of fitness and characterize natural selection in wild populations, owing particularly to significant advances in methods for analysis of data from marked individuals. In this paper, we focus on several issues that we believe are important considerations for the application and development of these methods in the context of addressing questions in evolutionary ecology. First, our traditional approach to estimation often rests upon analysis of aggregates of individuals, which in the wild may reflect increasingly non-random (selected) samples with respect to the trait(s) of interest. In some cases, analysis at the aggregate level, rather than the individual level, may obscure important patterns. While there are a growing number of analytical tools available to estimate parameters at the individual level, and which can cope (to varying degrees) with progressive selection of the sample, the advent of new methods does not reduce the need to consider carefully the appropriate level of analysis in the first place. Estimation should be motivated a priori by strong theoretical analysis. Doing so provides clear guidance, in terms of both (i) assisting in the identification of realistic and meaningful models to include in the candidate model set, and (ii) providing the appropriate context under which the

  2. Ecological feedbacks can reduce population-level efficacy of wildlife fertility control

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ransom, Jason I.; Powers, Jenny G.; Hobbs, N. Thompson; Baker, Dan L.

    2014-01-01

    1. Anthropogenic stress on natural systems, particularly the fragmentation of landscapes and the extirpation of predators from food webs, has intensified the need to regulate abundance of wildlife populations with management. Controlling population growth using fertility control has been considered for almost four decades, but nearly all research has focused on understanding effects of fertility control agents on individual animals. Questions about the efficacy of fertility control as a way to control populations remain largely unanswered. 2. Collateral consequences of contraception can produce unexpected changes in birth rates, survival, immigration and emigration that may reduce the effectiveness of regulating animal abundance. The magnitude and frequency of such effects vary with species-specific social and reproductive systems, as well as connectivity of populations. Developing models that incorporate static demographic parameters from populations not controlled by contraception may bias predictions of fertility control efficacy. 3. Many population-level studies demonstrate that changes in survival and immigration induced by fertility control can compensate for the reduction in births caused by contraception. The most successful cases of regulating populations using fertility control come from applications of contraceptives to small, closed populations of gregarious and easily accessed species. 4. Fertility control can result in artificial selection pressures on the population and may lead to long-term unintentional genetic consequences. The magnitude of such selection is dependent on individual heritability and behavioural traits, as well as environmental variation. 5. Synthesis and applications. Understanding species' life-history strategies, biology, behavioural ecology and ecological context is critical to developing realistic expectations of regulating populations using fertility control. Before time, effort and funding are invested in wildlife

  3. Ecological feedbacks can reduce population-level efficacy of wildlife fertility control

    PubMed Central

    Ransom, Jason I; Powers, Jenny G; Thompson Hobbs, N; Baker, Dan L

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic stress on natural systems, particularly the fragmentation of landscapes and the extirpation of predators from food webs, has intensified the need to regulate abundance of wildlife populations with management. Controlling population growth using fertility control has been considered for almost four decades, but nearly all research has focused on understanding effects of fertility control agents on individual animals. Questions about the efficacy of fertility control as a way to control populations remain largely unanswered. Collateral consequences of contraception can produce unexpected changes in birth rates, survival, immigration and emigration that may reduce the effectiveness of regulating animal abundance. The magnitude and frequency of such effects vary with species-specific social and reproductive systems, as well as connectivity of populations. Developing models that incorporate static demographic parameters from populations not controlled by contraception may bias predictions of fertility control efficacy. Many population-level studies demonstrate that changes in survival and immigration induced by fertility control can compensate for the reduction in births caused by contraception. The most successful cases of regulating populations using fertility control come from applications of contraceptives to small, closed populations of gregarious and easily accessed species. Fertility control can result in artificial selection pressures on the population and may lead to long-term unintentional genetic consequences. The magnitude of such selection is dependent on individual heritability and behavioural traits, as well as environmental variation. Synthesis and applications. Understanding species' life-history strategies, biology, behavioural ecology and ecological context is critical to developing realistic expectations of regulating populations using fertility control. Before time, effort and funding are invested in wildlife contraception, managers

  4. 40 CFR 159.165 - Toxicological and ecological studies.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... under the criteria of 40 CFR 156.62. (b) Ecological studies. The results of a study of the toxicity of a... terrestrial plants show adverse effects on plant life cycle functions and growth such as germination... effects on plant life cycle functions and growth such as germination, emergence, plant vigor,...

  5. 40 CFR 159.165 - Toxicological and ecological studies.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... under the criteria of 40 CFR 156.62. (b) Ecological studies. The results of a study of the toxicity of a... terrestrial plants show adverse effects on plant life cycle functions and growth such as germination... effects on plant life cycle functions and growth such as germination, emergence, plant vigor,...

  6. 40 CFR 159.165 - Toxicological and ecological studies.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... under the criteria of 40 CFR 156.62. (b) Ecological studies. The results of a study of the toxicity of a... terrestrial plants show adverse effects on plant life cycle functions and growth such as germination... effects on plant life cycle functions and growth such as germination, emergence, plant vigor,...

  7. A Novel Integrated Ecological Model for the study of Sustainability

    EPA Science Inventory

    In recent years, there has been a growing interest among various sections of the society in the study of sustainability. Recently, a generalized mathematical model depicting a combined economic-ecological-social system has been proposed to help in the formal study of sustainabili...

  8. 40 CFR 159.165 - Toxicological and ecological studies.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... under the criteria of 40 CFR 156.62. (b) Ecological studies. The results of a study of the toxicity of a... terrestrial plants show adverse effects on plant life cycle functions and growth such as germination... effects on plant life cycle functions and growth such as germination, emergence, plant vigor,...

  9. Redesigning a Curriculum for Inquiry: An Ecology Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spronken-Smith, R. A.; Walker, R.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Closs, G. P.; Lord, J. M.; Harland, T.

    2011-01-01

    This article reports on an interdisciplinary ecology degree that was redesigned to provide more research activity for undergraduates. A case study approach explored how the teaching team constructed a curriculum that used inquiry activities. The development of an inquiry curriculum was enabled by a University audit focusing on the links between…

  10. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) in Studies of Substance Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shiffman, Saul

    2009-01-01

    Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is particularly suitable for studying substance use, because use is episodic and thought to be related to mood and context. This article reviews EMA methods in substance use research, focusing on tobacco and alcohol use and relapse, where EMA has been most applied. Common EMA designs combine event-based…

  11. Ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes of streams are impaired by even low levels of watershed effective imperviousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vietz, Geoff J.; Sammonds, Michael J.; Walsh, Christopher J.; Fletcher, Tim D.; Rutherfurd, Ian D.; Stewardson, Michael J.

    2014-02-01

    Urbanization almost inevitably results in changes to stream morphology. Understanding the mechanisms for such impacts is a prerequisite to minimizing stream degradation and achieving restoration goals. However, investigations of urban-induced changes to stream morphology typically use indicators of watershed urbanization that may not adequately represent degrading mechanisms and commonly focus on geomorphic attributes such as channel dimensions that may be of little significance to the ecological goals for restoration. We address these shortcomings by testing if a measure characterizing urban stormwater drainage system connections to streams (effective imperviousness, EI) is a better predictor of change to ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes than a more general measure of urban density (total imperviousness, TI). We test this for 17 sites in independent watersheds across a gradient of urbanization. We found that EI was a better predictor of all geomorphic variables tested than was TI. Bank instability was positively correlated with EI, while width/depth (a measure of channel incision), bedload sediment depth, and frequency of bars, benches, and large wood were negatively correlated. Large changes in all geomorphic variables were detected at very low levels of EI (< 2-3%). Excess urban stormwater runoff, as represented by EI, drives geomorphic change in urban streams, highlighting the dominant role of the stormwater drainage system in efficiently transferring stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces to the stream, as found for ecological indicators. It is likely that geomorphic condition of streams in urbanizing watersheds, particularly those attributes of ecological relevance, can only be maintained if excess urban stormwater flows are kept out of streams through retention and harvesting. The extent to which EI can be reduced within urban and urbanizing watersheds, through techniques such as distributed stormwater harvesting and infiltration, and the

  12. The Urban Ecology Institute's field studies program: utilizing urban areas for experiential learning and ecological research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starry, O.

    2005-05-01

    The Urban Ecology Institute (UEI) promotes the stewardship of healthy urban ecosystems by improving science and civic education for middle and high school youth and by working with urban communities to protect and transform natural resources. Established in 1999, UEI's field studies program engages over 1000 youth in the greater Boston area. A substantial component of this program involves water quality monitoring. We have recently adapted protocols from published leaf breakdown studies for incorporation into the UEI water quality curriculum. A 2004 pilot study of these leaf breakdown activities, conducted at four sites, compared rates of red maple breakdown to those of Norway maple, a potentially invasive urban street tree. Preliminary data from this successful pilot study suggest that leaf litter inputs from the two different tree species have varying effects on stream ecosystem function. We present this study as an example of how urban areas can be utilized for both ecological research and inclusive experiential learning through which science and mathematic knowledge can be effectively communicated.

  13. School Sound Level Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento.

    California has conducted on-site sound surveys of 36 different schools to determine the degree of noise, and thus disturbance, within the learning environment. This report provides the methodology and results of the survey, including descriptive charts and graphs illustrating typical desirable and undesirable sound levels. Results are presented…

  14. Science and ecological literacy in undergraduate field studies education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mapp, Kim J.

    There is an ever-increasing number of issues that face our world today; from climate change, water and food scarcity, to pollution and resource extraction. Science and ecology play fundamental roles in these problems, and yet the understanding of these fields is limited in our society (Miller, 2002; McBride, Brewer, Berkowitz, and Borrie, 2013). Across the nation students are finishing their undergraduate degrees and are expected to enter the workforce and society with the skills needed to succeed. The deficit of science and ecological literacy in these students has been recognized and a call for reform begun (D'Avanzo, 2003 and NRC, 2009). This mixed-methods study looked at how a field studies course could fill the gap of science and ecological literacy in undergraduates. Using grounded theory, five key themes were data-derived; definitions, systems thinking, human's role in the environment, impetus for change and transference. These themes where then triangulated for validity and reliability through qualitative and quantitative assessments. A sixth theme was also identified, the learning environment. Due to limited data to support this themes' development and reliability it is discussed in Chapter 5 to provide recommendations for further research. Key findings show that this field studies program influenced students' science and ecological literacy through educational theory and practice.

  15. Temporal and Spatial Melanoma Trends in Austria: An Ecological Study

    PubMed Central

    Haluza, Daniela; Simic, Stana; Moshammer, Hanns

    2014-01-01

    Annual solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is mostly determined by latitude and altitude. Over the last decades, increasing UVR ground levels have been observed. Exposure to UVR is associated with a life-time risk to develop melanoma, a malign skin cancer. Thus, we hypothesized that melanoma incidence in Austria is associated with altitude of place of living and time of diagnosis. We investigated this hypothesis in an ecological study by district and year for Austrian melanoma incidence (1990–2010) and mortality (1970–2011) data. As expected, incidence rates increased with altitude (about 2% per 10 m) and year (about 2%). Additionally, melanoma incidence rates were about 50% higher in urban than in rural districts. In contrast, mortality rates decreased with altitude (for males: 0.4% per 10 m, for women: 0.7% per 10 m, respectively). The observed discrepancy between incidence and mortality data could partly be explained by melanoma diagnosis at earlier tumor stage in districts with higher altitude. Possible reasons for this finding include higher awareness of patients, better diagnostic performance of medical professionals working at higher altitudes, or slower tumor growth due to protective effects of sun light-associated vitamin D synthesis. PMID:24398911

  16. Lessons from ecological and spatial studies in relation to occupational lung disease

    PubMed Central

    Hansell, Anna L; Best, Nicky G; Rushton, Lesley

    2016-01-01

    Purpose of review The majority of epidemiological research into occupational lung disease has been advanced by study of individuals, typically in a work place setting. This review examines how recent advances in ecological and spatial study methodology and in the information held in routine databases could be used to enhance occupational health studies. Recent findings Ecological studies often use routinely collected data and this is becoming much more extensive and better validated with potential for increasing use in occupational health research. Improvements in computing power and statistical and geographical information systems (GIS) methodology have led to more sophisticated mapping techniques and greater use of spatial information when investigating lung diseases usually related to occupational exposures. Ecological study methodology is experiencing a radical overhaul with supplementation of group-level data with information from small-scale individual-level studies. This hybrid design can be used to reduce bias and increase power and is directly applicable to enhancement of aggregate information from job exposure matrices (JEMs). Summary Studies of occupational lung disease can be enhanced by incorporating methodological innovations from ecological and spatial studies. PMID:19307881

  17. Complex distribution patterns, ecology and coexistence of ploidy levels of Allium oleraceum (Alliaceae) in the Czech Republic

    PubMed Central

    Duchoslav, Martin; Šafářová, Lenka; Krahulec, František

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Despite extensive study of polyploidy, its origin, and ecogeographical differences between polyploids and their diploid progenitors, few studies have addressed ploidy-level structure and patterns of ecogeographical differentiation at various spatial scales using detailed sampling procedures. The pattern of coexistence of polyploids in the geophyte Allium oleraceum at the landscape and locality scale and their ecology were studied. Methods Flow cytometry and root-tip squashes were used to identify the ploidy level of 4347 plants from 325 populations sampled from the Czech Republic using a stratified random sampling procedure. Ecological differentiation among ploidy levels was tested by comparing sets of environmental variables recorded at each locality. Key Results Across the entire sampling area, pentaploids (2n = 5x = 40) predominated, while hexaploids (2n = 6x = 48) and tetraploids (2n = 4x = 32) were less frequent. The distribution of tetra- and hexaploids was partially sympatric (in the eastern part) to parapatric (in the western part of the Czech Republic) whereas pentaploids were sympatric with other cytotypes. Plants of different ploidy levels were found to be ecologically differentiated and the ruderal character of cytotypes increased in the direction 4x → 5x → 6x with the largest realized niche differences between tetra- and hexaploids. Most populations contained only one ploidy level (77 %), 22 % had two (all possible combinations) and 1 % were composed of three ploidy levels. The majority of 4x + 5x and 5x + 6x mixed populations occurred in sympatry with uniform populations of the participating cytotypes in sites with ecologically heterogeneous or marginal environment, suggesting secondary contact between cytotypes. Some mixed 4x + 6x populations dominated by tetraploids being sympatric and intermixed with uniform 4x populations might represent primary zones of cytotype contact. Almost no mixed accessions were observed on the fine

  18. Landscape ecological risk assessment study in arid land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Lu; Amut, Aniwaer; Shi, Qingdong; Wang, Gary Z.

    2007-09-01

    The ecosystem risk assessment is an essential decision making system for predicting the reconstruction and recovery of a damaged ecosystem after intensive mankind activities. The sustainability of environment and resources of the lake ecosystem in arid districts have been paid close attention to by international communities as well as numerous experts and scholars. The ecological risk assessment offered a scientific foundation for making the decision and execution of ecological risk management. Bosten Lake, the largest inland freshwater lake in China, is the main water source of the industrial and agricultural production as well as the local residence in Yanqi basin, Kuara city and Yuri County in the southern Xinjiang. Bosten Lake also provides a direct water source for emergency transportation in the Lower Reaches of Tarim River. However, with the intensive utilizations of water and soil resources, the environmental condition in the Bosten Lake has become more and more serious. In this study, the theory and method of landscape ecological risk assessment has been practiced using 3S technologies combined with the frontier theory of landscape ecology. Defining the mainly risk resource including flood, drought, water pollution and rich nutrition of water has been evaluated based on the ecosystem risk assessment system. The main process includes five stages: regional natural resources analysis, risk receptor selection, risk sources evaluation, exposure and hazard analysis, and integrated risk assessment. Based on the risk assessment results, the environmental risk management countermeasure has been determined.

  19. Threatened and Endangered Subspecies with Vulnerable Ecological Traits Also Have High Susceptibility to Sea Level Rise and Habitat Fragmentation

    PubMed Central

    Benscoter, Allison M.; Reece, Joshua S.; Noss, Reed F.; Brandt, Laura A.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Romañach, Stephanie S.; Watling, James I.

    2013-01-01

    The presence of multiple interacting threats to biodiversity and the increasing rate of species extinction make it critical to prioritize management efforts on species and communities that maximize conservation success. We implemented a multi-step approach that coupled vulnerability assessments evaluating threats to Florida taxa such as climate change, sea-level rise, and habitat fragmentation with in-depth literature surveys of taxon-specific ecological traits. The vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and ecological traits of 12 threatened and endangered subspecies were compared to non-listed subspecies of the same parent species. Overall, the threatened and endangered subspecies showed high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, in particular to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. They also exhibited larger home ranges and greater dispersal limitation compared to non-endangered subspecies, which may inhibit their ability to track changing climate in fragmented landscapes. There was evidence for lower reproductive capacity in some of the threatened or endangered taxa, but not for most. Taxa located in the Florida Keys or in other low coastal areas were most vulnerable to sea level rise, and also showed low levels of adaptive capacity, indicating they may have a lower probability of conservation success. Our analysis of at-risk subspecies and closely related non-endangered subspecies demonstrates that ecological traits help to explain observed differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study points to the importance of assessing the relative contributions of multiple threats and evaluating conservation value at the species (or subspecies) level when resources are limited and several factors affect conservation success. PMID:23940614

  20. Threatened and endangered subspecies with vulnerable ecological traits also have high susceptibility to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation.

    PubMed

    Benscoter, Allison M; Reece, Joshua S; Noss, Reed F; Brandt, Laura A; Mazzotti, Frank J; Romañach, Stephanie S; Watling, James I

    2013-01-01

    The presence of multiple interacting threats to biodiversity and the increasing rate of species extinction make it critical to prioritize management efforts on species and communities that maximize conservation success. We implemented a multi-step approach that coupled vulnerability assessments evaluating threats to Florida taxa such as climate change, sea-level rise, and habitat fragmentation with in-depth literature surveys of taxon-specific ecological traits. The vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and ecological traits of 12 threatened and endangered subspecies were compared to non-listed subspecies of the same parent species. Overall, the threatened and endangered subspecies showed high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, in particular to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. They also exhibited larger home ranges and greater dispersal limitation compared to non-endangered subspecies, which may inhibit their ability to track changing climate in fragmented landscapes. There was evidence for lower reproductive capacity in some of the threatened or endangered taxa, but not for most. Taxa located in the Florida Keys or in other low coastal areas were most vulnerable to sea level rise, and also showed low levels of adaptive capacity, indicating they may have a lower probability of conservation success. Our analysis of at-risk subspecies and closely related non-endangered subspecies demonstrates that ecological traits help to explain observed differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study points to the importance of assessing the relative contributions of multiple threats and evaluating conservation value at the species (or subspecies) level when resources are limited and several factors affect conservation success. PMID:23940614

  1. The human dimensions of climate change: A micro-level assessment of views from the ecological modernization, political economy and human ecology perspectives.

    PubMed

    Adua, Lazarus; York, Richard; Schuelke-Leech, Beth-Anne

    2016-03-01

    Understanding the manifold human and physical dimensions of climate change has become an area of great interest to researchers in recent decades. Using a U.S. nationally-representative data set and drawing on the ecological modernization, political economy, and human ecology perspectives, this study examines the impacts of energy efficiency technologies, affluence, household demographics, and biophysical characteristics on residential CO2 emissions. Overall, the study provides mixed support for the ecological modernization perspective. While several findings are consistent with the theory's expectation that modern societies can harness technology to mitigate human impacts on the environment, others directly contradict it. Also, the theory's prediction of an inverted U-shaped relationship between affluence and environmental impacts is contradicted. The evidence is somewhat more supportive of the political economy and human ecology perspectives, with affluence, some indicators of technology, household demographics, and biophysical characteristics emerging as important drivers of residential CO2 emissions. PMID:26857170

  2. ELF communications system ecological monitoring program. Small vertebrate studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beaver, Donald L.; Hill, Richard W.; Hill, Susan D.

    1994-10-01

    The U.S. Navy has completed a program monitoring flora, fauna, and ecological relationships tor possible effects from electromagnetic fields produced by its Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Communications System. This report documents studies of small mammals and nesting birds conducted near its transmitting antenna in Michigan. From 1982 through 1993 researchers from the Michigan State University (MSU) monitored organismal and population aspects of vertebrates in areas near (treatment) and far (control) from the Michigan antenna. They examined the reproductive, developmental, behavioral, and physiological characteristics of representative vertebrate species. Studied species were the deer mouse, chipmunk, tree swallow, and blackcapped - chickadee. Investigators had also monitored ecological aspects of the mammalian community until 1988 when this study element was discontinued due to highly variable results. In a different project, ornithologists from the University of Minnesota-Duluth monitored the ecological characteristics of the bird community near the ELF System. The MSU research team used several statistical tests to examine data; however, nested analysis of variance was the most often used test. Based on the results of their study, they conclude that the EM fields produced by the Naval Radio Transmitting Facility-Republic, Michigan did not affect small vertebrates.

  3. Significance of ecological studies of wild animal reservoirs of zoonoses

    PubMed Central

    Abdussalam, M.

    1959-01-01

    The paucity of information on the ecology of wild animal reservoirs over most of the world is one of the factors that has led to hesitation and failure in controlling these diseases in many areas. Extensive application of ecological studies and methods would not only assist in zoonosis control but might well also lead to the discovery of new diseases, to the acquisition of fundamental knowledge capable of application in other fields of biology, and to the finding of new experimental animals for laboratory work. Although such studies properly require the co-operation of a wide variety of specialists—epidemiologists, ecologists, parasitologists, botanists, geologists and climatologists are among those who may to advantage be called upon—in practice much can be accomplished by a few interested and well-equipped field workers backed by a good museum and laboratory services. PMID:13791420

  4. Students' exposure and career aspirations in ecology: A study using semi-structured interviews to gain knowledge of public school students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Heather C.

    Ecology as a field is dominated by white males, McCarter (2003) has noted that women and minorities are underrepresented in the discipline of ecology across the United States. The contribution of this research is to assess and quantify, in a scientific manner, students' exposure, and career aspirations towards ecology; 226 student responses were coded from semi-structured interviews. The main objectives of this study, using student interviews, were the following: (1) assess the importance of exposure to ecology and ecological related topics to: gender, ethnicity, region, grades in science, grades in non-science, grade level, and interest in ecology career. (2) determine if early exposure to ecology (i.e. gained in high school) and ecological related topics is related to an increased interest of students continuing in an ecologically related field and (3) assess if high school students who have been involved in more outdoor related activities such as camping, hiking, hunting, and/or fishing, will be more likely to be interested in an ecological career. Overall, the results indicated that students interviewed for this study generally responded in a positive manner, and were generally interested in ecology. Some students were even interested in pursuing a career in ecology. The study revealed significant differences in the exposure of ecology between school locations, girls and boys, and whites and non-whites. The results of this research and avenues for future research are discussed.

  5. Remote Sensing and Wetland Ecology: a South African Case Study

    PubMed Central

    De Roeck, Els R.; Verhoest, Niko E.C.; Miya, Mtemi H.; Lievens, Hans; Batelaan, Okke; Thomas, Abraham; Brendonck, Luc

    2008-01-01

    Remote sensing offers a cost efficient means for identifying and monitoring wetlands over a large area and at different moments in time. In this study, we aim at providing ecologically relevant information on characteristics of temporary and permanent isolated open water wetlands, obtained by standard techniques and relatively cheap imagery. The number, surface area, nearest distance, and dynamics of isolated temporary and permanent wetlands were determined for the Western Cape, South Africa. Open water bodies (wetlands) were mapped from seven Landsat images (acquired during 1987 – 2002) using supervised maximum likelihood classification. The number of wetlands fluctuated over time. Most wetlands were detected in the winter of 2000 and 2002, probably related to road constructions. Imagery acquired in summer contained fewer wetlands than in winter. Most wetlands identified from Landsat images were smaller than one hectare. The average distance to the nearest wetland was larger in summer. In comparison to temporary wetlands, fewer, but larger permanent wetlands were detected. In addition, classification of non-vegetated wetlands on an Envisat ASAR radar image (acquired in June 2005) was evaluated. The number of detected small wetlands was lower for radar imagery than optical imagery (acquired in June 2002), probably because of deterioration of the spatial information content due the extensive pre-processing requirements of the radar image. Both optical and radar classifications allow to assess wetland characteristics that potentially influence plant and animal metacommunity structure. Envisat imagery, however, was less suitable than Landsat imagery for the extraction of detailed ecological information, as only large wetlands can be detected. This study has indicated that ecologically relevant data can be generated for the larger wetlands through relatively cheap imagery and standard techniques, despite the relatively low resolution of Landsat and Envisat imagery

  6. Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise: Advancing coastal management through integrated research and engagement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kidwell, D. M.

    2012-12-01

    Rising sea level represents a significant threat to coastal communities and ecosystems through land loss, altered habitats, and increased vulnerability to coastal storms and inundation. This threat is exemplified in the northern Gulf of Mexico where low topography, expansive marshes, and a prevalence of tropical storms have already resulted in extensive coastal impacts. The development of robust predictive capabilities that incorporate complex biological processes with physical dynamics are critical for informed planning and restoration efforts for coastal ecosystems. Looking to build upon existing predictive modeling capabilities and allow for use of multiple model (i.e., ensemble) approaches, NOAA initiated the Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise program in 2010 to advance physical/biological integrative modeling capabilities in the region with a goal to provide user friendly predictive tools for coastal ecosystem management. Focused on the northern Gulf of Mexico, this multi-disciplinary project led by the University of Central Florida will use in situ field studies to parameterize physical and biological models. These field studies will also result in a predictive capability for overland sediment delivery and transport that will further enhance marsh, oyster, and submerged aquatic vegetation models. Results from this integrated modeling effort are envisioned to inform management strategies for reducing risk, restoration and breakwater guidelines, and resource sustainability for project planning, among other uses. In addition to the science components, this project incorporates significant engagement of the management community through a management applications principle investigator and an advisory management committee. Routine engagement between the science team and the management committee, including annual workshops, are focused on ensuring the development of applicable, relevant, and useable products and tools at the conclusion of this project. Particular

  7. Polychlorinated biphenyls and Hudson River white perch: implications for population-level ecological risk assessment and risk management.

    PubMed

    Barnthouse, Lawrence W; Glaser, David; DeSantis, Liane

    2009-07-01

    Risk assessments and risk management decisions concerning risks to wild fish populations resulting from exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and related chemicals have been based primarily on observations of effects of chemicals on individual organisms. Although the development and application of population-level ecological risk-assessment methods is proceeding at a rapid pace, the organism-level approach is still being justified by arguments that population-level ecological risk assessment is in an early stage of development and has not been shown to be reliable. This article highlights the importance of including population-level effects in risk-management decision-making, by examining the effects of exposures to PCBs on fish populations inhabiting the Hudson River, New York, USA, a system in which data have been collected for approximately 30 y concerning both concentrations of PCBs in sediment and fish tissue and the abundance and reproduction of exposed fish populations. We previously tested hypotheses concerning the effects of PCBs on the striped bass population of the Hudson River, and found that the available data conflicted with all of these hypotheses. Here, we report results of similar analyses of effects of historic PCB exposures on the Hudson River white perch population, using an extended data set that recently became available. As with striped bass, we found no correlation between maternal PCB tissue concentrations and any measure of reproductive success in Hudson River white perch during the 30-y period covered by the data set. Together with results of studies performed on fish populations exposed to PCBs at other sites, our results clearly demonstrate that physiological and genetic adaptation, biological compensation, and other ecological processes influence responses of fish populations to PCB exposures and should be considered in risk management decision-making. PMID:20050031

  8. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) concentration in soil from San Luis Potosi, Mexico: levels and ecological and human health risk characterization.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Vázquez, Francisco J; Orta-García, Sandra T; Ochoa-Martínez, Ángeles C; Pruneda-Álvarez, Lucia G; Ruiz-Vera, Tania; Jiménez-Avalos, Jorge Armando; González-Palomo, Ana K; Pérez-Maldonado, Iván N

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in soils from the city of San Luis Potosi in Mexico and perform an ecological and human health risk characterization. In order to confirm the presence of PBDEs, outdoor surface soil samples were collected and the concentrations of PBDEs in urban, industrial, agricultural, and brick kiln industry areas were determined. The mean total PBDEs levels obtained in the study sites were 25.0 ± 39.5 μg/kg (geometric mean ± standard deviation) in the brick kiln industry zone; 34.5 ± 36.0 μg/kg in the urban zone; 8.00 ± 7.10 μg/kg in the industrial zone and 16.6 ± 15.3 μg/kg in the agricultural zone. The ecological and human health risk characterization showed relatively low-hazard quotient values. However, the moderately high PBDEs levels found in soils highlight the necessity to establish a systematic monitoring process for PBDEs in environmental and biological samples. PMID:26566197

  9. Ecological interaction and phylogeny, studying functionality on composed networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz, Claudia P. T.; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Corso, Gilberto

    2012-02-01

    We study a class of composed networks that are formed by two tree networks, TP and TA, whose end points touch each other through a bipartite network BPA. We explore this network using a functional approach. We are interested in how much the topology, or the structure, of TX (X=A or P) determines the links of BPA. This composed structure is a useful model in evolutionary biology, where TP and TA are the phylogenetic trees of plants and animals that interact in an ecological community. We make use of ecological networks of dispersion of fruits, which are formed by frugivorous animals and plants with fruits; the animals, usually birds, eat fruits and disperse their seeds. We analyse how the phylogeny of TX determines or is correlated with BPA using a Monte Carlo approach. We use the phylogenetic distance among elements that interact with a given species to construct an index κ that quantifies the influence of TX over BPA. The algorithm is based on the assumption that interaction matrices that follows a phylogeny of TX have a total phylogenetic distance smaller than the average distance of an ensemble of Monte Carlo realisations. We find that the effect of phylogeny of animal species is more pronounced in the ecological matrix than plant phylogeny.

  10. Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera) have low infestation levels of the mite Varroa destructor in different ecological regions in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Medina-Flores, C A; Guzmán-Novoa, E; Hamiduzzaman, M M; Aréchiga-Flores, C F; López-Carlos, M A

    2014-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies of African and European descent were compared for levels of Varroa destructor infestation in 3 different ecological regions in Mexico. The 300 colonies that were studied were located in subtropical, temperate sub-humid, and temperate dry climates. The morphotype and mitotype of adult bees as well as their rates of infestation by varroa mites were determined. Additionally, the number of combs with brood and covered with bees was recorded for each colony. The highest frequency of colonies that were classified as African-derived was found in the subtropical environment, whereas the lowest occurred in the temperate dry region. Overall, the colonies of African genotype had significantly lower mite infestation rates (3.5±0.34%) than the colonies of European genotype (4.7±0.49%) regardless of the region sampled. Significant effects of genotype and region on Varroa infestation rates were evident, and there were no differences in bee population or capped brood between genotypes. Mite infestation levels were significantly lower in the colonies of the temperate dry region than in the colonies of the other 2 regions. These results are discussed within the context of results from studies that were previously conducted in Brazil. This is the first study that demonstrates the effects of Africanization and ecological environment on V. destructor infestation rates in honey bee colonies in North America. PMID:24634296

  11. Will the Effects of Sea-Level Rise Create Ecological Traps for Pacific Island Seabirds?

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen N.; Berkowitz, Paul; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Moore, Janet; Flint, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    More than 18 million seabirds nest on 58 Pacific islands protected within vast U.S. Marine National Monuments (1.9 million km2). However, most of these seabird colonies are on low-elevation islands and sea-level rise (SLR) and accompanying high-water perturbations are predicted to escalate with climate change. To understand how SLR may impact protected islands and insular biodiversity, we modeled inundation and wave-driven flooding of a globally important seabird rookery in the subtropical Pacific. We acquired new high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and used the Delft3D wave model and ArcGIS to model wave heights and inundation for a range of SLR scenarios (+0.5, +1.0, +1.5, and +2.0 m) at Midway Atoll. Next, we classified vegetation to delineate habitat exposure to inundation and identified how breeding phenology, colony synchrony, and life history traits affect species-specific sensitivity. We identified 3 of 13 species as highly vulnerable to SLR in the Hawaiian Islands and quantified their atoll-wide distribution (Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis; black-footed albatross, P. nigripes; and Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca). Our models of wave-driven flooding forecast nest losses up to 10% greater than passive inundation models at +1.0 m SLR. At projections of + 2.0 m SLR, approximately 60% of albatross and 44% of Bonin petrel nests were overwashed displacing more than 616,400 breeding albatrosses and petrels. Habitat loss due to passive SLR may decrease the carrying capacity of some islands to support seabird colonies, while sudden high-water events directly reduce survival and reproduction. This is the first study to simulate wave-driven flooding and the combined impacts of SLR, groundwater rise, and storm waves on seabird colonies. Our results highlight the need for early climate change planning and restoration of higher elevation seabird refugia to prevent low-lying protected islands from becoming ecological traps in the face of rising

  12. Geographic searching for ecological studies: A new frontier

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Important ecological knowledge contained in published literature is often overlooked by researchers, resource managers, and policymakers in part because most literature search tools are thematically focused and do not explicitly consider the geographic location of the research. Searching for ecologi...

  13. Ecological and physiological factors affecting brood patch area and prolactin levels in arctic-nesting geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jonsson, J.E.; Afton, A.D.; Alisauskas, R.T.; Bluhm, C.K.; El Halawani, M.E.

    2006-01-01

    We investigated effects of ecological and physiological factors on brood patch area and prolactin levels in free-ranging Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens; hereafter "Snow Geese") and Ross's Geese (C. rossii). On the basis of the body-size hypothesis, we predicted that the relationships between prolactin levels, brood patch area, and body condition would be stronger in Ross's Geese than in the larger Snow Geese. We found that brood patch area was positively related to clutch volume and inversely related to prolactin levels in Ross's Geese, but not in Snow Geese. Nest size, nest habitat, and first egg date did not affect brood patch area in either species. Prolactin levels increased as incubation progressed in female Snow Geese, but this relationship was not significant in Ross's Geese. Prolactin levels and body condition (as indexed by size-adjusted body mass) were inversely related in Ross's Geese, but not in Snow Geese. Our findings are consistent with the prediction that relationships between prolactin levels, brood patch area, and body condition are relatively stronger in Ross's Geese, because they mobilize endogenous reserves at faster rates than Snow Geese. ?? The American Ornithologists' Union, 2006. Printed in USA.

  14. Molecular studies of the structural ecology of natural occlusal caries.

    PubMed

    Dige, Irene; Grønkjær, Lene; Nyvad, Bente

    2014-01-01

    Microbiological studies of occlusal dental biofilms have hitherto been hampered by inaccessibility to the sampling site and demolition of the original biofilm architecture. This study shows for the first time the spatial distribution of bacterial taxa in vivo at various stages of occlusal caries, applying a molecular methodology involving preparation of embedded hard dental tissue slices for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and confocal microscopy. Eleven freshly extracted teeth were classified according to their occlusal caries status. The teeth were fixed, embedded, sectioned and decalcified before FISH was performed using oligonucleotide probes for selected abundant species/genera associated with occlusal caries including Streptococcus, Actinomyces, Veillonella, Fusobacterium, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. The sites showed distinct differences in the bacterial composition between different ecological niches in occlusal caries. Biofilm observed along the entrance of fissures showed an inner layer of microorganisms organized in palisades often identified as Actinomyces, covered by a more loosely structured bacterial layer consisting of diverse genera, similar to supragingival biofilm. Biofilm within the fissure proper seemed less metabolically active, as judged by low fluorescence signal intensity and presence of material of non-bacterial origin. Bacterial invasion (often Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium spp.) into the dentinal tubules was seen only at advanced stages of caries with manifest cavity formation. It is concluded that the molecular methodology represents a valuable supplement to previous methods for the study of microbial ecology in caries by allowing analysis of the structural composition of the undisturbed biofilm in caries lesions in vivo. PMID:24852305

  15. Study on the Change of Landscape and Ecology of Sitou Forestland by Using Remotely Sensed and Ecological Investigation Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Chiang; Lee, Chin-Ling; Liao, Huan-Chang; Tien, Pei-Ling; Huang, Yi-Ru; Tseng, Yu-San; Lai, Jing Rong; Shen, Chieh-Wen

    Due to natural disasters and anthropogenic disturbances in recent years, the landscape in Central Taiwan suffered certain kind of changes. In particular, landslides caused by earthquake and heavy rainfall, improper use and development in slope land enlarge and speed up the change of forest landscape. Few studies were focused on the interactions and relationships between change of ecosystem and landscape in Taiwan after natural disturbances in recent years. In this study, a pioneering research is accomplished by using Landscape Indices (LI) derived from FORMOSAT II Satellite imagery and GIS spatial coverage to describe the possible pattern of change between landscape and ecology. Located at the mountainous area in central Taiwan, ranging from 800 to 1,800 meter and comprising 2,349 hectares in size, Sitou Tract of the National Taiwan University Experimental Forest is selected as the study site. Four satellite images through 2004 to 2007 are used to compute LI, and analyzed with ecological investigation collected from five ground sites. The preliminary result shows that by using remotely sensed data and ground investigation, it is feasible to monitor and assess the relationship between change of landscape and ecology in forests. It indicates that the recovery and restoration of vegetation after the human and natural disturbances highly correlates with the value of NDVI (Normalized Differential Vegetation Index), the composition and diversity of birds and insects are highly correlated with the diversity of patches. The values of SHDI (Shannon Diversity Index), SIDI (Simpson Diversity Index), SHEI (Shannon Evenness Index) and SIEI (Simpson Evenness Index) show that the diversity of landscape is growing while the evenness of landscape remains stable between 2004 and 2007. The ecological investigation in 2006 and 2007 indicated that the species and relative abundance is decreasing. The proof for the obvious relationship between the change of ecology and landscape metrics

  16. The translational study of apathy—an ecological approach

    PubMed Central

    Cathomas, Flurin; Hartmann, Matthias N.; Seifritz, Erich; Pryce, Christopher R.; Kaiser, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Apathy, a quantitative reduction in goal-directed behavior, is a prevalent symptom dimension with a negative impact on functional outcome in various neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and depression. The aim of this review is to show that interview-based assessment of apathy in humans and observation of spontaneous rodent behavior in an ecological setting can serve as an important complementary approach to already existing task-based assessment, to study and understand the neurobiological bases of apathy. We first discuss the paucity of current translational approaches regarding animal equivalents of psychopathological assessment of apathy. We then present the existing evaluation scales for the assessment of apathy in humans and propose five sub-domains of apathy, namely self-care, social interaction, exploration, work/education and recreation. Each of the items in apathy evaluation scales can be assigned to one of these sub-domains. We then show that corresponding, well-validated behavioral readouts exist for rodents and that, indeed, three of the five human apathy sub-domains have a rodent equivalent. In conclusion, the translational ecological study of apathy in humans and rodents is possible and will constitute an important approach to increase the understanding of the neurobiological bases of apathy and the development of novel treatments. PMID:26441571

  17. Unmanned Aircraft Systems complement biologging in spatial ecology studies.

    PubMed

    Mulero-Pázmány, Margarita; Barasona, Jose Ángel; Acevedo, Pelayo; Vicente, Joaquín; Negro, Juan José

    2015-11-01

    The knowledge about the spatial ecology and distribution of organisms is important for both basic and applied science. Biologging is one of the most popular methods for obtaining information about spatial distribution of animals, but requires capturing the animals and is often limited by costs and data retrieval. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have proven their efficacy for wildlife surveillance and habitat monitoring, but their potential contribution to the prediction of animal distribution patterns and abundance has not been thoroughly evaluated. In this study, we assess the usefulness of UAS overflights to (1) get data to model the distribution of free-ranging cattle for a comparison with results obtained from biologged (GPS-GSM collared) cattle and (2) predict species densities for a comparison with actual density in a protected area. UAS and biologging derived data models provided similar distribution patterns. Predictions from the UAS model overestimated cattle densities, which may be associated with higher aggregated distributions of this species. Overall, while the particular researcher interests and species characteristics will influence the method of choice for each study, we demonstrate here that UAS constitute a noninvasive methodology able to provide accurate spatial data useful for ecological research, wildlife management and rangeland planning. PMID:26640661

  18. Nested Levels of Adaptive Divergence: The Genetic Basis of Craniofacial Divergence and Ecological Sexual Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Kevin J.; Wang, Jason; Anderson, Graeme; Albertson, R. Craig

    2015-01-01

    Exemplary systems for adaptive divergence are often characterized by their large degrees of phenotypic variation. This variation represents the outcome of generations of diversifying selection. However, adaptive radiations can also contain a hierarchy of differentiation nested within them where species display only subtle phenotypic differences that still have substantial effects on ecology, function, and ultimately fitness. Sexual dimorphisms are also common in species displaying adaptive divergence and can be the result of differential selection between sexes that produce ecological differences between sexes. Understanding the genetic basis of subtle variation (between certain species or sexes) is therefore important for understanding the process of adaptive divergence. Using cichlids from the dramatic adaptive radiation of Lake Malawi, we focus on understanding the genetic basis of two aspects of relatively subtle phenotypic variation. This included a morphometric comparison of the patterns of craniofacial divergence between two ecologically similar species in relation to the larger adaptive radiation of Malawi, and male–female morphological divergence between their F2 hybrids. We then genetically map craniofacial traits within the context of sex and locate several regions of the genome that contribute to variation in craniofacial shape that is relevant to sexual dimorphism within species and subtle divergence between closely related species, and possibly to craniofacial divergence in the Malawi radiation as a whole. To enhance our search for candidate genes we take advantage of population genomic data and a genetic map that is anchored to the cichlid genome to determine which genes within our QTL regions are associated with SNPs that are alternatively fixed between species. This study provides a holistic understanding of the genetic underpinnings of adaptive divergence in craniofacial shape. PMID:26038365

  19. Remote sensing of landscape-level ecological attributes at Ray Roberts Lake in north Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, David P.

    measures or between MSS data and any vegetation measures. Remote sensing provided information suitable for large scale projects concerning landscape-level ecological issues. Rectification and classification accuracies were the primary factors influencing meaningful interpretation. Project goals should determine the scale of remotely sensed data and acceptable level of accuracy.

  20. ELF communications system ecological monitoring program: Aquatic ecosystem studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burton, Thomas M.; Stout, R. J.; Winterstein, Scott; Coon, Thomas; Novinger, Doug

    1994-11-01

    The U.S. Navy has completed a program that monitored biota and ecological miationships for possible effects from electromagnetic (EM) fields produced by its Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Communications System. This report documents the results and conclusions of aquatic studies conducted near its transmitting antenna in Michigan. From 1982 through 1993 researchers from the Michigan State University (MSU) monitored aquatic flora and fauna on matched reaches of the Ford River. A treatment site was located immediately adjacent to the antenna, whereas a control site was situated at a distance downstream. Functional and structural components of the periphyton, insect, and fish communities were monitored. The research team also measured ambient factors such as temperature, discharge, and water quality indicators. Data were analyzed using a variety of statistical tests; however, BACI techniques were emphasized. Results indicated a relative increase in algal biomass at the treatment site after the antenna became fully operational, but no changes in any other parameter or organism. MSU concludes that algal biomass was affected by ELF EM exposure. Since neither the other ecological characteristics of the periphyton nor the insect and fish communities showed any effects, MSU infers little EM impact to riverine habitats.

  1. Toward Guidelines for Population-level Ecological Risk Assessment: Results of a U.S. EPA Risk Assessment Forum Workshop

    EPA Science Inventory

    The choice of levels of biological organization reflected in ecological risk assessment (ERA) is receiving increasing attention. Most ERAs conducted for chemicals by the U.S. EPA, and indeed by most organizations worldwide, focus on organism-level attributes (e.g., survival, gro...

  2. Using ecology to inform physiology studies: implications of high population density in the laboratory.

    PubMed

    Newman, Amy E M; Edmunds, Nicholas B; Ferraro, Shannon; Heffell, Quentin; Merritt, Gillian M; Pakkala, Jesse J; Schilling, Cory R; Schorno, Sarah

    2015-03-15

    Conspecific density is widely recognized as an important ecological factor across the animal kingdom; however, the physiological impacts are less thoroughly described. In fact, population density is rarely mentioned as a factor in physiological studies on captive animals and, when it is infrequently addressed, the animals used are reared and housed at densities far above those in nature, making the translation of results from the laboratory to natural systems difficult. We survey the literature to highlight this important ecophysiological gap and bring attention to the possibility that conspecific density prior to experimentation may be a critical factor influencing results. Across three taxa: mammals, birds, and fish, we present evidence from ecology that density influences glucocorticoid levels, immune function, and body condition with the intention of stimulating discussion and increasing consideration of population density in physiology studies. We conclude with several directives to improve the applicability of insights gained in the laboratory to organisms in the natural environment. PMID:25589015

  3. Packaging and distributing ecological data from multisite studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, R. J.; Voorhees, L. D.; Field, J. M.; Gentry, M. J.

    1996-01-01

    Studies of global change and other regional issues depend on ecological data collected at multiple study areas or sites. An information system model is proposed for compiling diverse data from dispersed sources so that the data are consistent, complete, and readily available. The model includes investigators who collect and analyze field measurements, science teams that synthesize data, a project information system that collates data, a data archive center that distributes data to secondary users, and a master data directory that provides broader searching opportunities. Special attention to format consistency is required, such as units of measure, spatial coordinates, dates, and notation for missing values. Often data may need to be enhanced by estimating missing values, aggregating to common temporal units, or adding other related data such as climatic and soils data. Full documentation, an efficient data distribution mechanism, and an equitable way to acknowledge the original source of data are also required.

  4. Ecological and sociological considerations of wind energy: A multidisciplinary study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bicknell, Lucas John

    Wind energy is quickly becoming a critical technology for providing Americans with renewable energy, and rapid construction of wind facilities may have impacts on both wildlife and human communities. Understanding both the social and ecological issues related to wind energy development could provide a framework for effectively meeting human energy needs while conserving species biodiversity. In this research I looked at two aspects of wind energy development: public attitudes toward wind energy development and wind facility impacts on local bat populations. These papers present aspects of wind energy development that have been the subject of increasing study. This preliminary research is intended to demonstrate the responsibility we have to making well-informed decisions as we continue to expand wind energy development. Additionally, I hope to generate interest in interdisciplinary study as a means to broaden the scope of research by making use of the diverse tools available within different disciplines.

  5. Dog Ecology and Population Studies in Lagos State, Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Hambolu, Sunday E.; Dzikwi, Asabe A.; Kwaga, Jacob K.P.; Kazeem, Haruna M.; Umoh, Jarlath U.; Hambolu, Dupe A.

    2014-01-01

    Dog population dynamics have a major impact upon the effectiveness of rabies control strategies. As such, understanding domestic dog ecology has been recognized as central to the design of effective rabies control programmes. This study was conducted to determine the dog ecology in Lagos State using compound dog count and street dog count in the three senatorial districts (Lagos West, East and Central) of Lagos State from February, 2011 to January, 2012. A total of 546 questionnaires were distributed for the compound dog count and all were completed and returned. Various aspects of dog ecology were determined, including size, sex, breed of the dog population, management of dogs and rabies awareness among the respondents. Out of the 546 compounds surveyed, 518 (94.87%) owned at least one dog. A total of 1,427 dogs were counted from the street counts while a total of 1,447 dogs (2.8 dogs/compound) were counted from the compound count. The dogs comprised of 583 males and 864 females, out of which 64.10% are confined. The dog vaccination coverage in the dog population surveyed was 64.10% and administered majorly (91.30%) by veterinarians. Security (60%) and pets (26%) were the major reasons for keeping dogs. Majority (88.80%) of the respondents were aware of rabies and its mode of transmission, but still believed in the use of concoctions (40.40%), herbs (19.90%) and consumption of the organ of the offending dog (11.50%) for the treatment of rabies. The findings of this study showed a male: female ratio of dog to be 1:1.5 and a dog: human ratio of 1:5.6. There was also a responsible dog ownership as majority of the respondents do confine, vaccinate and provide food for their dogs. Vaccination coverage of the total dog population was however below the 70-80% target recommended by the World Health Organization to achieve herd immunity. PMID:24576383

  6. Dog ecology and population studies in Lagos State, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Hambolu, Sunday Emmanuel; Dzikwi, Asabe A; Kwaga, Jacob K P; Kazeem, Haruna M; Umoh, Jarlath U; Hambolu, Dupe A

    2014-03-01

    Dog population dynamics have a major impact upon the effectiveness of rabies control strategies. As such, understanding domestic dog ecology has been recognized as central to the design of effective rabies control programmes. This study was conducted to determine the dog ecology in Lagos State using compound dog count and street dog count in the three senatorial districts (Lagos West, East and Central) of Lagos State from February, 2011 to January, 2012. A total of 546 questionnaires were distributed for the compound dog count and all were completed and returned. Various aspects of dog ecology were determined, including size, sex, breed of the dog population, management of dogs and rabies awareness among the respondents. Out of the 546 compounds surveyed, 518 (94.87%) owned at least one dog. A total of 1,427 dogs were counted from the street counts while a total of 1,447 dogs (2.8 dogs/compound) were counted from the compound count. The dogs comprised of 583 males and 864 females, out of which 64.10% are confined. The dog vaccination coverage in the dog population surveyed was 64.10% and administered majorly (91.30%) by veterinarians. Security (60%) and pets (26%) were the major reasons for keeping dogs. Majority (88.80%) of the respondents were aware of rabies and its mode of transmission, but still believed in the use of concoctions (40.40%), herbs (19.90%) and consumption of the organ of the offending dog (11.50%) for the treatment of rabies. The findings of this study showed a male: female ratio of dog to be 1:1.5 and a dog: human ratio of 1:5.6. There was also a responsible dog ownership as majority of the respondents do confine, vaccinate and provide food for their dogs. Vaccination coverage of the total dog population was however below the 70-80% target recommended by the World Health Organization to achieve herd immunity. PMID:24576383

  7. The legacy of Biosphere 2 for the study of biospherics and closed ecological systems.

    PubMed

    Allen, J P; Nelson, M; Alling, A

    2003-01-01

    The unprecedented challenges of creating Biosphere 2, the world's first laboratory for biospherics, the study of global ecology and long-term closed ecological system dynamics, led to breakthrough developments in many fields, and a deeper understanding of the opportunities and difficulties of material closure. This paper will review accomplishments and challenges, citing some of the key research findings and publications that have resulted from the experiments in Biosphere 2. Engineering accomplishments included development of a technique for variable volume to deal with pressure differences between the facility and outside environment, developing methods of atmospheric leak detection and sealing, while achieving new standards of closure, with an annual atmospheric leakrate of less than 10%, or less than 300 ppm per day. This degree of closure permitted detailed tracking of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and trace gases such as nitrous oxide and ethylene over the seasonal variability of two years. Full closure also necessitated developing new approaches and technologies for complete air, water, and wastewater recycle and reuse within the facility. The development of a soil-based highly productive agricultural system was a first in closed ecological systems, and much was learned about managing a wide variety of crops using non-chemical means of pest and disease control. Closed ecological systems have different temporal biogeochemical cycling and ranges of atmospheric components because of their smaller reservoirs of air, water and soil, and higher concentration of biomass, and Biosphere 2 provided detailed examination and modeling of these accelerated cycles over a period of closure which measured in years. Medical research inside Biosphere 2 included the effects on humans of lowered oxygen: the discovery that human productivity can be maintained with good health with lowered atmospheric oxygen levels could lead to major economies on the design of space stations and

  8. The legacy of biosphere 2 for the study of biospherics and closed ecological systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, J. P.; Nelson, M.; Alling, A.

    The unprecedented challenges of creating Biosphere 2, the world's first laboratory for biospherics, the study of global ecology and long-term closed ecological system dynamics, led to breakthrough developments in many fields, and a deeper understanding of the opportunities and difficulties of material closure. This paper will review accomplishments and challenges, citing some of the key research findings and publications that have resulted from the experiments in Biosphere 2. Engineering accomplishments included development of a technique for variable volume to deal with pressure differences between the facility and outside environment, developing methods of atmospheric leak detection and sealing, while achieving new standards of closure, with an annual atmospheric leakrate of less than 10%, or less than 300 ppm per day. This degree of closure permitted detailed tracking of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and trice gases such as nitrous oxide and ethylene over the seasonal variability of two years. Full closure also necessitated developing new approaches and technologies for complete air, water, and wastewater recycle and reuse within the facility. The development of a soil-based highly productive agricultural system was a first in closed ecological systems, and much was learned about managing a wide variety of crops using non-chemical means of pest and disease control. Closed ecological systems have different temporal biogeochemical cycling and ranges of atmospheric components because of their smaller reservoirs of air, water and soil, and higher concentration of biomass, and Biosphere 2 provided detailed examination and modeling of these accelerated cycles over a period of closure which measured in years. Medical research inside Biosphere 2 included the effects on humans of lowered oxygen: the discovery that human productivity can be maintained with good health with lowered atmospheric oxygen levels could lead to major economies on the design of space stations and

  9. [Ecological compensation based on farmers' willingness: A case study of Jingsan County in Hubei Province, China].

    PubMed

    Yu, Liang-liang; Cai, Yin-ying

    2015-01-01

    Farmland protection is a pressing issue in China' s major agricultural regions because of the strategic importance of these regions for national food security. This study quantified the appropriate ecological compensation criteria for farmland protection by way of estimating farmers' opportunity cost and willingness to adopt environment-friendly farming practices. Based on survey data collected from Jingsan County, Hubei Province, a Tobit model was constructed to identify factors affecting farmers' willingness to accept (WTA). The result showed that with appropriate economic compensation for farmland protection, 77.1% and 64.7% of the surveyed households were willing to reduce usage of fertilizers and pesticides. When the reduced rates of fertilizer and pesticide increased from <10% to >50%, farmers' opportunity costs of production respectively increased from 1198 and 5850 yuan to 9698 and 9750 yuan per hectare per year, and their WTA increased from 4750 and 7313 yuan to 9781 and 12393 yuan per hectare per year. Farmers' opportunity cost and WTA in reducing pesticide inputs were larger than those in reducing the same rate of fertilizer inputs, and in each case farmers' WTA was greater than their opportunity cost. A farm' s distance from township, farmers' knowledge about the ecology of farmland, and their expectation to improve the ecological environment of farmland had positive, significant effect on the farmers' WTA to reducing fertilization, while farmers' education level and the overall economic condition of the village had significantly negative effect. The proportion of agriculture income, farmers' knowledge about the ecology of farmland, and their expectation to improve the ecological environment of farmland had positive, significant effect on the farmers' WTA to reducing pesticide, while household' cash income and the overall economic condition of the village had significantly negative effect. PMID:25985673

  10. Discovering ecologically relevant knowledge from published studies through geosemantic searching

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It is easier to search the globe for research on genes of a local plant or animal than to find local field research on that plant’s ecology. While internet applications can find the closest coffee shop, it is difficult to find where the nearest relevant research was conducted. As a result, ecologi...

  11. Development of stressor-response models for an ecological risk assessment case study

    SciTech Connect

    Nacci, D.E.; Munns, W.R.; Cayula, S.; Serbst, J.; Johnston, R.K.; Walker, H.A.

    1994-12-31

    An estuarine ecological risk assessment for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (Kittery, ME) is being conducted following the US EPA`s Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). As part of the Analysis phase of the ERA, laboratory studies were conducted to develop stressor-response models for lead, the primary contaminant of concern. Thirty-day exposures to adult sea urchins, Arbacia punctulata, occurred via food or suspended sediment. Exposure media were amended with lead sulfate to 10--100 or 100--300 times uncontaminated levels for the Feeding or Sediment Experiments, respectively. The sea urchin experimental model was selected because it permitted the measurement of biological endpoints with significance at the population level (e.g., adult survival and reproduction success), including those used in standard marine bioassays (i.e., fertilization and larval development). Feeding Experiment treatments produced few effects. Sediment Experiment treatments resulted in reductions in survival, growth and reproductive output of exposed adults and were directly toxic to early lifestages. However, in uncontaminated sea water, gametes from Sediment Experiment adults fertilized and completed larval development normally. Data from these experimental systems will be used to produce models relating lead exposure to specific biological responses and, ultimately, ecological risk.

  12. Hydrodynamic and Ecological Assessment of Nearshore Restoration: A Modeling Study

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Zhaoqing; Sobocinski, Kathryn L.; Heatwole, Danelle W.; Khangaonkar, Tarang; Thom, Ronald M.; Fuller, Roger

    2010-04-10

    Along the Pacific Northwest coast, much of the estuarine habitat has been diked over the last century for agricultural land use, residential and commercial development, and transportation corridors. As a result, many of the ecological processes and functions have been disrupted. To protect coastal habitats that are vital to aquatic species, many restoration projects are currently underway to restore the estuarine and coastal ecosystems through dike breaches, setbacks, and removals. Information on physical processes and hydrodynamic conditions are critical for the assessment of the success of restoration actions. Restoration of a 160- acre property at the mouth of the Stillaguamish River in Puget Sound has been proposed. The goal is to restore native tidal habitats and estuary-scale ecological processes by removing the dike. In this study, a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model was developed for the Stillaguamish River estuary to simulate estuarine processes. The model was calibrated to observed tide, current, and salinity data for existing conditions and applied to simulate the hydrodynamic responses to two restoration alternatives. Responses were evaluated at the scale of the restoration footprint. Model data was combined with biophysical data to predict habitat responses at the site. Results showed that the proposed dike removal would result in desired tidal flushing and conditions that would support four habitat types on the restoration footprint. At the estuary scale, restoration would substantially increase the proportion of area flushed with freshwater (< 5 ppt) at flood tide. Potential implications of predicted changes in salinity and flow dynamics are discussed relative to the distribution of tidal marsh habitat.

  13. Effect of hypoxia and anoxia on invertebrate behaviour: ecological perspectives from species to community level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, B.; Pados, T.; Pretterebner, K.; Schiemer, L.; Steckbauer, A.; Haselmair, A.; Zuschin, M.; Stachowitsch, M.

    2014-03-01

    Coastal hypoxia and anoxia have become a global key stressor to marine ecosystems, with almost 500 dead zones recorded worldwide. By triggering cascading effects from the individual organism to the community- and ecosystem level, oxygen depletions threaten marine biodiversity and can alter ecosystem structure and function. By integrating both physiological function and ecological processes, animal behaviour is ideal for assessing the stress state of benthic macrofauna to low dissolved oxygen. The initial response of organisms can serve as an early warning signal, while the successive behavioural reactions of key species indicate hypoxia levels and help assess community degradation. Here we document the behavioural responses of a representative spectrum of benthic macrofauna in the natural setting in the Northern Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean). We experimentally induced small-scale anoxia with a benthic chamber in 24 m depth to overcome the difficulties in predicting the onset of hypoxia, which often hinders full documentation in the field. The behavioural reactions were documented with a time-lapse camera. Oxygen depletion elicited significant and repeatable changes in general (visibility, locomotion, body movement and posture, location) and species-specific reactions in virtually all organisms (302 individuals from 32 species and 2 species groups). Most atypical (stress) behaviours were associated with specific oxygen thresholds: arm-tipping in the ophiuroid Ophiothrix quinquemaculata, for example, with the onset of mild hypoxia (< 2 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of polychaetes on the sediment surface with moderate hypoxia (< 1 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of the infaunal sea urchin Schizaster canaliferus on the sediment with severe hypoxia (< 0.5 mL O2 L-1) and heavy body rotations in sea anemones with anoxia. Other species changed their activity patterns, for example the circadian rhythm in the hermit crab Paguristes eremita or the bioherm-associated crab Pisidia

  14. Effect of hypoxia and anoxia on invertebrate behaviour: ecological perspectives from species to community level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, B.; Pados, T.; Pretterebner, K.; Schiemer, L.; Steckbauer, A.; Haselmair, A.; Zuschin, M.; Stachowitsch, M.

    2013-08-01

    Coastal hypoxia and anoxia have become a global key stressor to marine ecosystems, with almost 500 dead zones recorded wordwide. By triggering cascading effects from the individual organism to the community and ecosystem-level, oxygen depletions threat marine biodiversity and can alter ecosystem structure and function. By integrating both physiological function and ecological processes, animal behaviour is ideal for assessing the stress state of benthic macrofauna to low dissolved oxygen. The initial response of organisms can serve as an early-warning signal, while the successive behavioural reactions of key species indicate hypoxia levels and help assess community degradation. Here we document the behavioural responses of a representative spectrum of benthic macrofauna in the natural setting in the Northern Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean. We experimentally induced small-scale anoxia with a benthic chamber in 24 m depth to overcome the difficulties in predicting the onset of hypoxia, which often hinders full documentation in the field. The behavioural reactions were documented with a time-lapse camera. Oxygen depletion elicited significant and repeatable changes in general (visibility, locomotion, body movement and posture, location) and species-specific reactions in virtually all organisms (302 individuals from 32 species and 2 species groups). Most atypical (stress) behaviours were associated with specific oxygen thresholds: arm-tipping in the ophiuroid Ophiothrix quinquemaculata, for example, with the onset of mild hypoxia (< 2 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of polychates on the sediment surface with moderate hypoxia (< 1 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of the infaunal sea urchin Schizaster canaliferus on the sediment with severe hypoxia (< 0.5 mL O2 L-1) and heavy body rotations in sea anemones with anoxia. Other species changed their activity patterns, i.e. circadian rhythm in the hermit crab Paguristes eremita or the bioherm-associated crab Pisidia longimana. Intra- and

  15. Investigating Cooperative Behavior in Ecological Settings: An EEG Hyperscanning Study.

    PubMed

    Toppi, Jlenia; Borghini, Gianluca; Petti, Manuela; He, Eric J; De Giusti, Vittorio; He, Bin; Astolfi, Laura; Babiloni, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The coordinated interactions between individuals are fundamental for the success of the activities in some professional categories. We reported on brain-to-brain cooperative interactions between civil pilots during a simulated flight. We demonstrated for the first time how the combination of neuroelectrical hyperscanning and intersubject connectivity could provide indicators sensitive to the humans' degree of synchronization under a highly demanding task performed in an ecological environment. Our results showed how intersubject connectivity was able to i) characterize the degree of cooperation between pilots in different phases of the flight, and ii) to highlight the role of specific brain macro areas in cooperative behavior. During the most cooperative flight phases pilots showed, in fact, dense patterns of interbrain connectivity, mainly linking frontal and parietal brain areas. On the contrary, the amount of interbrain connections went close to zero in the non-cooperative phase. The reliability of the interbrain connectivity patterns was verified by means of a baseline condition represented by formal couples, i.e. pilots paired offline for the connectivity analysis but not simultaneously recorded during the flight. Interbrain density was, in fact, significantly higher in real couples with respect to formal couples in the cooperative flight phases. All the achieved results demonstrated how the description of brain networks at the basis of cooperation could effectively benefit from a hyperscanning approach. Interbrain connectivity was, in fact, more informative in the investigation of cooperative behavior with respect to established EEG signal processing methodologies applied at a single subject level. PMID:27124558

  16. Investigating Cooperative Behavior in Ecological Settings: An EEG Hyperscanning Study

    PubMed Central

    Petti, Manuela; He, Eric J.; De Giusti, Vittorio; He, Bin; Astolfi, Laura; Babiloni, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The coordinated interactions between individuals are fundamental for the success of the activities in some professional categories. We reported on brain-to-brain cooperative interactions between civil pilots during a simulated flight. We demonstrated for the first time how the combination of neuroelectrical hyperscanning and intersubject connectivity could provide indicators sensitive to the humans’ degree of synchronization under a highly demanding task performed in an ecological environment. Our results showed how intersubject connectivity was able to i) characterize the degree of cooperation between pilots in different phases of the flight, and ii) to highlight the role of specific brain macro areas in cooperative behavior. During the most cooperative flight phases pilots showed, in fact, dense patterns of interbrain connectivity, mainly linking frontal and parietal brain areas. On the contrary, the amount of interbrain connections went close to zero in the non-cooperative phase. The reliability of the interbrain connectivity patterns was verified by means of a baseline condition represented by formal couples, i.e. pilots paired offline for the connectivity analysis but not simultaneously recorded during the flight. Interbrain density was, in fact, significantly higher in real couples with respect to formal couples in the cooperative flight phases. All the achieved results demonstrated how the description of brain networks at the basis of cooperation could effectively benefit from a hyperscanning approach. Interbrain connectivity was, in fact, more informative in the investigation of cooperative behavior with respect to established EEG signal processing methodologies applied at a single subject level. PMID:27124558

  17. Inferential consequences of modeling rather than measuring snow accumulation in studies of animal ecology.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Angela; Cross, Paul C; Higgs, Megan; Beckmann, Jon P; Klaver, Robert W; Scurlock, Brandon M; Creel, Scott

    2013-04-01

    It is increasingly common for studies of animal ecology to use model-based predictions of environmental variables as explanatory or predictor variables, even though model prediction uncertainty is typically unknown. To demonstrate the potential for misleading inferences when model predictions with error are used in place of direct measurements, we compared snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow depth as predicted by the Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) to field measurements of SWE and snow depth. We examined locations on elk (Cervus canadensis) winter ranges in western Wyoming, because modeled data such as SNODAS output are often used for inferences on elk ecology. Overall, SNODAS predictions tended to overestimate field measurements, prediction uncertainty was high, and the difference between SNODAS predictions and field measurements was greater in snow shadows for both snow variables compared to non-snow shadow areas. We used a simple simulation of snow effects on the probability of an elk being killed by a predator to show that, if SNODAS prediction uncertainty was ignored, we might have mistakenly concluded that SWE was not an important factor in where elk were killed in predatory attacks during the winter. In this simulation, we were interested in the effects of snow at finer scales (< 1 km2) than the resolution of SNODAS. If bias were to decrease when SNODAS predictions are averaged over coarser scales, SNODAS would be applicable to population-level ecology studies. In our study, however, averaging predictions over moderate to broad spatial scales (9-2200 km2) did not reduce the differences between SNODAS predictions and field measurements. This study highlights the need to carefully evaluate two issues when using model output as an explanatory variable in subsequent analysis: (1) the model's resolution relative to the scale of the ecological question of interest and (2) the implications of prediction uncertainty on inferences when using model predictions

  18. Inferential consequences of modeling rather than measuring snow accumulation in studies of animal ecology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cross, Faul C.; Klaver, Robert W.; Brennan, Angela; Creel, Scott; Beckmann, Jon P.; Higgs, Megan D.; Scurlock, Brandon M.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract. It is increasingly common for studies of animal ecology to use model-based predictions of environmental variables as explanatory or predictor variables, even though model prediction uncertainty is typically unknown. To demonstrate the potential for misleading inferences when model predictions with error are used in place of direct measurements, we compared snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow depth as predicted by the Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) to field measurements of SWE and snow depth. We examined locations on elk (Cervus canadensis) winter ranges in western Wyoming, because modeled data such as SNODAS output are often used for inferences on elk ecology. Overall, SNODAS predictions tended to overestimate field measurements, prediction uncertainty was high, and the difference between SNODAS predictions and field measurements was greater in snow shadows for both snow variables compared to non-snow shadow areas. We used a simple simulation of snow effects on the probability of an elk being killed by a predator to show that, if SNODAS prediction uncertainty was ignored, we might have mistakenly concluded that SWE was not an important factor in where elk were killed in predatory attacks during the winter. In this simulation, we were interested in the effects of snow at finer scales (2) than the resolution of SNODAS. If bias were to decrease when SNODAS predictions are averaged over coarser scales, SNODAS would be applicable to population-level ecology studies. In our study, however, averaging predictions over moderate to broad spatial scales (9–2200 km2) did not reduce the differences between SNODAS predictions and field measurements. This study highlights the need to carefully evaluate two issues when using model output as an explanatory variable in subsequent analysis: (1) the model’s resolution relative to the scale of the ecological question of interest and (2) the implications of prediction uncertainty on inferences when using model

  19. Relationships between black tea consumption and key health indicators in the world: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Beresniak, Ariel; Duru, Gerard; Berger, Genevieve; Bremond-Gignac, Dominique

    2012-01-01

    Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate potential statistical relationships between black tea consumption and key health indicators in the world. The research question is: Does tea consumption is correlated with one or more epidemiological indicators? Design Ecological study using a systematic data-mining approach in which the unit of the analysis is a population of one country. Setting Six variables, black tea consumption data and prevalence data of respiratory diseases, infectious diseases, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, have been studied at a global level. Participants Data from 50 participating countries in the World Health Survey were investigated. Primary and secondary outcomes measures Level of statistical relationships between variables. Results Principal component analysis established a very high contribution of the black tea consumption parameter on the third axis (81%). The correlation circle confirmed that the ‘black tea’ vector was negatively correlated with the diabetes vector and was not correlated with any of the other four health indicators. A linear correlation model then confirmed a significant statistical correlation between high black tea consumption and low diabetes prevalence. Conclusions This innovative study establishes a linear statistical correlation between high black tea consumption and low diabetes prevalence in the world. These results are consistent with biological and physiological studies conducted on the effect of black tea on diabetes and confirm the results of a previous ecological study in Europe. Further epidemiological research and randomised studies are necessary to investigate the causality. PMID:23138107

  20. Assessing the regional ecological security: methodology and a case study for the western Jilin Province, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiaoyan; Xue, Linfu; Wang, Xikui

    2008-10-01

    Ecological security can be investigated in both broad sense and narrow sense. Because of the wide area and regional discrepancy in influencing factors and ecological background, the investigation on regional environment hasn't been done systematically. Assessment on regional security in fragile region is important content of sustainable development. The western Jilin Province lines in the semi-arid agro-pastoral interweaving belt (APIB),within which agriculture and animal husbandry interplay or frequently alternate with each other. Study on the regional ecological security of this region offer the scientific support for protecting the regional environment and sustainability. This article set up the Pressure-State-Response model according to the interaction between human and environmental system, and assessed the ecological safety degree in the western part of Jilin Province in year 2000, using compound model and Grid method based on GIS and RS. The Ecological Security Index (ESI) was calculated by multilayer synthesis with liner weighting function method, which divided the area into the following five different conditions: highly damaged, moderately damaged, early stages of damage, relative safely, and safety, regarding change of environmental key point as the threshold value that varied under the stress of human activity. The results show that eco-environment in study area is at medial level. The early stage of damage and relative safely level occupies the largest area proportion accounting for 68.61%. Furthermore, the condition in the eastern part is better than that of the western part and the most serious degradation is found in the middle part of the study area. When talking about the ten counties in the region, highly damaged area accounts for a very small percentage. The county that has the widest area of relatively secured area is Qian'an, and that of the smallest is Da'an. The areas of highly damaged area in Tongyu, Zhenlai and Da'an have exceeded 10% and

  1. Evaluation of community-level end points used in ecological risk assessments for Rocky Mountain streams impacted by mining

    SciTech Connect

    Clements, W.H.; Kiffney, P.M.; Medley, N.

    1994-12-31

    The objective of this research was to measure sensitivity and variability of community-level end points (e.g., species diversity, richness, abundance of dominant taxa) used in ecological risk assessments for Rocky Mountain streams impacted by mining. The authors used results from stream microcosm experiments and field biomonitoring studies to examine community responses of periphyton and benthic macroinvertebrates to heavy metals. In addition, they measured effects of potential confounding variables (e.g., stream size, elevation, discharge) on these responses. Field studies were conducted at six metal-impacted streams in central Colorado. Although all community end points were significantly affected at stations with the highest metal levels, results of multiple regression analysis showed that most variables were also affected by elevation. To validate benthic community end points and to measure sensitivity of these end points to metals, exposed periphyton and benthic macroinvertebrate communities to Cd, Cu, and Zn in stream microcosms. Results support findings of field studies and show that abundance of sensitive macroinvertebrates and tolerant diatoms were most useful for distinguishing among reference, impacted, and recovery sites. Because stream elevation confounds benthic community responses to metals, the authors suggest that experimental studies are necessary to validate the usefulness of community end points.

  2. Understanding Children and Adolescents’ Victimizations at Multiple Levels: An Ecological Review of the Literature

    PubMed Central

    Sabri, Bushra; Hong, Jun Sung; Campbell, Jacquelyn C.; Cho, Hyunkag

    2013-01-01

    This article examines children and adolescent exposure to violence in various contexts. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify the definitions and types of violence reported in studies on victimization using the ecological systems framework. Sources included research studies and/or reports from scholarly journals (n = 140), books (n = 9), conference/workshops (n = 5), and web sources, such as Uniform Crime Reports (n = 23). The findings indicated that research differed in terminologies, conceptual and operational definitions, sample sizes and age group classification for children and adolescents. Further, studies lacked focus on the co-occurrence and inter-relatedness of victimization, and how these factors might affect the outcomes. Many studies employed a cross-sectional design, which limits strong conclusions about the temporal order of victimization experiences and outcomes. Future research efforts need more consistency among researchers in conceptual and operational definitions and the use of more rigorous designs. Increased holistic assessments are critical for effective prevention and intervention strategies for at-risk children and adolescents PMID:24065867

  3. Understanding Children and Adolescents' Victimizations at Multiple Levels: An Ecological Review of the Literature.

    PubMed

    Sabri, Bushra; Hong, Jun Sung; Campbell, Jacquelyn C; Cho, Hyunkag

    2013-05-01

    This article examines children and adolescent exposure to violence in various contexts. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify the definitions and types of violence reported in studies on victimization using the ecological systems framework. Sources included research studies and/or reports from scholarly journals (n = 140), books (n = 9), conference/workshops (n = 5), and web sources, such as Uniform Crime Reports (n = 23). The findings indicated that research differed in terminologies, conceptual and operational definitions, sample sizes and age group classification for children and adolescents. Further, studies lacked focus on the co-occurrence and inter-relatedness of victimization, and how these factors might affect the outcomes. Many studies employed a cross-sectional design, which limits strong conclusions about the temporal order of victimization experiences and outcomes. Future research efforts need more consistency among researchers in conceptual and operational definitions and the use of more rigorous designs. Increased holistic assessments are critical for effective prevention and intervention strategies for at-risk children and adolescents. PMID:24065867

  4. ECOLOGIC STUDY OF MESOSCALE ENVIRONMENTS WITH EXCESS DISEASE PREVALENCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    This work employs an ecologic epidemiological approach to assess the relationship between environmental stressors and excess disease prevalence in small communities. Specifically, the childhood leukemia cluster in Fallon Nevada is used as an example; heavy metals (tungsten and c...

  5. Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) conceptual design option study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Melvin; Olson, Richard L.

    1986-01-01

    Results are given of a study to explore options for the development of a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) for a future Space Station. In addition, study results will benefit the design of other facilities such as the Life Sciences Research Facility, a ground-based CELSS demonstrator, and will be useful in planning longer range missions such as a lunar base or manned Mars mission. The objectives were to develop weight and cost estimates for one CELSS module selected from a set of preliminary plant growth unit (PGU) design options. Eleven Space Station CELSS module conceptual PGU designs were reviewed, components and subsystems identified and a sensitivity analysis performed. Areas where insufficient data is available were identified and divided into the categories of biological research, engineering research, and technology development. Topics which receive significant attention are lighting systems for the PGU, the use of automation within the CELSS system, and electric power requirements. Other areas examined include plant harvesting and processing, crop mix analysis, air circulation and atmosphere contaminant flow subsystems, thermal control considerations, utility routing including accessibility and maintenance, and nutrient subsystem design.

  6. Distance makes the difference in thermography for ecological studies.

    PubMed

    Faye, E; Dangles, O; Pincebourde, S

    2016-02-01

    Surface temperature drives many ecological processes and infrared thermography is widely used by ecologists to measure the thermal heterogeneity of different species' habitats. However, the potential bias in temperature readings caused by distance between the surface to be measured and the camera is still poorly acknowledged. We examined the effect of distance from 0.3 to 80m on a variety of thermal metrics (mean temperature, standard deviation, patch richness and aggregation) under various weather conditions and for different structural complexity of the studied surface types (various surfaces with vegetation). We found that distance is a key modifier of the temperature measured by a thermal infrared camera. A non-linear relationship between distance and mean temperature, standard deviation and patch richness led to a rapid under-estimation of the thermal metrics within the first 20m and then only a slight decrease between 20 and 80m from the object. Solar radiation also enhanced the bias with increasing distance. Therefore, surface temperatures were under-estimated as distance increased and thermal mosaics were homogenized at long distances with a much stronger bias in the warmer than the colder parts of the distributions. The under-estimation of thermal metrics due to distance was explained by atmospheric composition and the pixel size effect. The structural complexity of the surface had little effect on the surface temperature bias. Finally, we provide general guidelines for ecologists to minimize inaccuracies caused by distance from the studied surface in thermography. PMID:26857971

  7. Ecological study of dietary and smoking links to lymphoma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, W. B.

    2000-01-01

    The ecological approach is used to investigate dietary and smoking links to lymphoma. International mortality rate data for 1986 and 1994 by gender and age group are compared with national dietary supply values of various food components for up to 10 years prior to the mortality data as well as per capita cigarette consumption rates 5 and 15 years earlier. The non-fat portion of milk, 3-9 years prior to the 1986 mortality data and 4 years prior to the 1994 data, was found to have the highest association with lymphoma, with r as high as 0.89. The results imply that 70 percent of lymphoma mortality may be related to this dietary component. Cigarette smoking in 1980 was found to have a weaker association with 1994 lymphoma mortality rates, being most important for younger men and statistically insignificant for younger women. The non-fat milk result is consistent with both case-control studies and a Norwegian prospective study, and with the often-observed finding that abnormal calcium metabolism, hypercalciuria, and dysregulated calcitriol production are common in normocalcemic patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). It is hypothesized that excess dietary calcium from milk is a significant risk factor for lymphoma.

  8. Ecological genomics meets community-level modelling of biodiversity: mapping the genomic landscape of current and future environmental adaptation.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Matthew C; Keller, Stephen R

    2015-01-01

    Local adaptation is a central feature of most species occupying spatially heterogeneous environments, and may factor critically in responses to environmental change. However, most efforts to model the response of species to climate change ignore intraspecific variation due to local adaptation. Here, we present a new perspective on spatial modelling of organism-environment relationships that combines genomic data and community-level modelling to develop scenarios regarding the geographic distribution of genomic variation in response to environmental change. Rather than modelling species within communities, we use these techniques to model large numbers of loci across genomes. Using balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) as a case study, we demonstrate how our framework can accommodate nonlinear responses of loci to environmental gradients. We identify a threshold response to temperature in the circadian clock gene GIGANTEA-5 (GI5), suggesting that this gene has experienced strong local adaptation to temperature. We also demonstrate how these methods can map ecological adaptation from genomic data, including the identification of predicted differences in the genetic composition of populations under current and future climates. Community-level modelling of genomic variation represents an important advance in landscape genomics and spatial modelling of biodiversity that moves beyond species-level assessments of climate change vulnerability. PMID:25270536

  9. Migration intensity has no effect on peak HIV prevalence: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Correctly identifying the determinants of generalized HIV epidemics is crucial to bringing down ongoing high HIV incidence in these countries. High rates of migration are believed to be an important determinant of HIV prevalence. This study has two aims. Firstly, it evaluates the ecological association between levels of internal and international migration and national peak HIV prevalence using thirteen variables from a variety of sources to capture various aspects of internal and international migration intensity. Secondly, it examines the relationship between circular migration and HIV at an individual and population-level in South Africa. Methods Linear regression was used to analyze the association between the various measures of migration intensity and peak national HIV prevalence for 141 countries and HIV prevalence by province and ethnic group in South Africa. Results No evidence of a positive ecological association between national migration intensity and HIV prevalence was found. This remained the case when the analyses were limited to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. On the whole, countries with generalized HIV epidemics had lower rates of internal and external migration. Likewise, no association was found between migration and HIV positivity at an individual or group-level in South Africa. Conclusion These results do not support the thesis that migration measured at the country level plays a significant role in determining peak HIV prevalence. PMID:24961725

  10. LINKAGES BETWEEN AQUATIC ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS CONDUCTED AT DIFFERENT LEVELS OF BIOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION: INDIVIDUAL, POPULATION, AND COMMUNITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Three methods are currently used for ecological assessment of contaminant exposure and effects in surface waters or sediments: (1) chemical criteria for the protection of aquatic life, (2) direct toxicity assessments of specific environmental media, and (3) bioassessments of sele...

  11. 'Ecological embeddedness' and Its Public Health Implications: Findings From an Exploratory Study.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Marina; Townsend, Mardie

    2015-06-01

    Western culture over the last two centuries has become significantly ecologically 'dis-embedded', with nature increasingly reduced to resources for human use. The consequence is global environmental degradation, including accelerating climate change. Much recent research supports associations between nature contact and human health and well-being, and between feelings of nature-connectedness and pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours. The oft-cited Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (WHO, Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, 1986) emphasises human-environment inextricability; however public health discourse and response has not fully engaged with this recognition. This qualitative study explored the attitudes, motivations, and experiences-including formative influences-of six individuals whose behaviour was congruent with recognition of human-nature interconnectedness; such individuals may be understood as ecologically embedded. Key aspects of participants' experience, identified through grounded theory thematic analysis, were (i) connecting with nature (especially in childhood); (ii) seeing the threat and taking it personally; (iii) the nature of reality; (iv) dedicated beyond the ego-oriented self; and (v) sustaining the eco-centric self. The findings highlight the necessity for cross-sectoral advocacy at all levels of government policy development focused on recognition of human-environment connectedness, especially bridging health, planning and education policies affecting children. Only thus will both population health and ecological health on which population health depends be possible. PMID:25352183

  12. Ecological study of isolation and suicide in Tuscany (Italy).

    PubMed

    Martiello, Michele Arcangelo; Giacchi, Mariano Vincenzo

    2012-06-30

    The purpose of the study was to investigate the association between suicide and demographic and socio-economic measures in Tuscany. Data on standardized rates of suicide from 1997 to 2005 in addition to census-derived variables, income and abstention were derived from the Mortality register, the 2001 Census, the Tax Agency and the Regional Electoral Office databases. Pearson's correlation and stepwise multiple regression analyses (unweighted and weighted by population) were used to analyze the association between suicide rates and demographic and socio-economic measures for the 34 health districts for both males and females. The correlation analyses showed that suicide was significantly associated with many variables in men, but only with old age in women. The multiple regression analyses showed that the best predictors in men were education, single person households and isolated houses (only education and single person households in the weighted model). For women, the best predictors were the proportion of elderly people and income (this was also true for the weighted model, but in the opposite order). An ecological correlation between suicide and measures of economic deprivation and social fragmentation was found in both men and women. Among the best predictors, isolated houses may act as a marker for remoteness and isolation on a small scale. PMID:22386571

  13. ELF communications system ecological monitoring program: Upland flora studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mroz, Glenn D.; Cattelino, Peter J.; Gale, Margaret R.; Jones, Elizabeth A.; Jurgensen, Martin F.

    1994-10-01

    The U.S. Navy has completed a program monitoring flora, fauna, and ecological relationships for possible effects from electromagnetic (EM) fields produced by its Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Communications System. This report documents studies of upland flora conducted near the Navy's transmitting antenna in Michigan. From 1982 through 1993 researchers from the Michigan Technological University (MTU) monitored tree, herb, and fungal species dominant in areas near (treatment) and far (control) from the ELF antenna. Above-ground parameters included the productivity, physiology, and phenology of trees, as well as the morphology and phenology of an herb. Below-ground, the important association between tree roots and fungi were monitored. Investigators also measured ambient weather conditions, soil nutrients, and EM field intensities. The MTU research team used analysis of variance and covariance to examine the data. When site-by-year interactions were significant, correlations and regressions were used to determine whether residuals were related to EM exposure. Results suggest a possible subtle EM effect to the cambial and stemwood growth of some tree species but not to any other parameter. MTU investigators conclude no short-term, adverse effects on forest health from exposure to EM fields produced by the Naval Radio Transmitting Facility-Republic, Michigan.

  14. Diary of a Dabbler: Ecological Influences on an EFL Teacher's Efforts to Study Japanese Informally

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casanave, Christine Pearson

    2012-01-01

    In this diary study, the author draws from journals written over the course of 8 years working as an English instructor at a Japanese university, with the aim of documenting the influences on her desire to invest effort in the self-study of Japanese (what she refers to as the "ecology of effort"). An ecological perspective reveals the…

  15. Backyard Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elser, Monica; Musheno, Birgit; Saltz, Charlene

    2003-01-01

    Describes the Ecology Explorers, the community education component of Arizona State University's Central Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research project, which offers teacher internship programs that link university researchers, K-12 teachers, and students in studying urban ecology. Explains that student neighborhoods are dynamic ecosystems…

  16. Correlates between Feeding Ecology and Mercury Levels in Historical and Modern Arctic Foxes (Vulpes lagopus)

    PubMed Central

    Krone, Oliver; Stefanski, Volker; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Unnsteinsdóttir, Ester Rut; Hersteinsson, Páll; Schares, Gereon; Doronina, Lilia; Goltsman, Mikhail; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2013-01-01

    Changes in concentration of pollutants and pathogen distribution can vary among ecotypes (e.g. marine versus terrestrial food resources). This may have important implications for the animals that reside within them. We examined 1) canid pathogen presence in an endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population and 2) relative total mercury (THg) level as a function of ecotype (‘coastal’ or ‘inland’) for arctic foxes to test whether the presence of pathogens or heavy metal concentration correlate with population health. The Bering Sea populations on Bering and Mednyi Islands were compared to Icelandic arctic fox populations with respect to inland and coastal ecotypes. Serological and DNA based pathogen screening techniques were used to examine arctic foxes for pathogens. THg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry from hair samples of historical and modern collected arctic foxes and samples from their prey species (hair and internal organs). Presence of pathogens did not correlate with population decline from Mednyi Island. However, THg concentration correlated strongly with ecotype and was reflected in the THg concentrations detected in available food sources in each ecotype. The highest concentration of THg was found in ecotypes where foxes depended on marine vertebrates for food. Exclusively inland ecotypes had low THg concentrations. The results suggest that absolute exposure to heavy metals may be less important than the feeding ecology and feeding opportunities of top predators such as arctic foxes which may in turn influence population health and stability. A higher risk to wildlife of heavy metal exposure correlates with feeding strategies that rely primarily on a marine based diet. PMID:23671561

  17. Morphologically Cryptic Amphipod Species Are “Ecological Clones” at Regional but Not at Local Scale: A Case Study of Four Niphargus Species

    PubMed Central

    Fišer, Žiga; Altermatt, Florian; Zakšek, Valerija; Knapič, Tea; Fišer, Cene

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that morphologically cryptic species may be ecologically more different than would be predicted from their morphological similarity and phylogenetic relatedness. However, in biodiversity research it often remains unclear whether cryptic species should be treated as ecologically equivalent, or whether detected differences have ecological significance. In this study, we assessed the ecological equivalence of four morphologically cryptic species of the amphipod genus Niphargus. All species live in a small, isolated area on the Istrian Peninsula in the NW Balkans. The distributional ranges of the species are partially overlapping and all species are living in springs. We reconstructed their ecological niches using morphological traits related to feeding, bioclimatic niche envelope and species’ preference for epi-hypogean habitats. The ecological meaning of differences in niches was evaluated using distributional data and co-occurrence frequencies. We show that the species comprise two pairs of sister species. All species differ from each other and the degree of differentiation is not related to phylogenetic relatedness. Moreover, low co-occurrence frequencies in sympatric zones imply present or past interspecific competition. This pattern suggests that species are not differentiated enough to reduce interspecific competition, nor ecologically equivalent to co-exist via neutral dynamics. We tentatively conclude that the question of ecological equivalence relates to the scale of the study: at a fine scale, species’ differences may influence dynamics in a local community, whereas at the regional level these species likely play roughly similar ecological roles. PMID:26226375

  18. Targeted Acoustic Data Processing for Ocean Ecological Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidorovskaia, N.; Li, K.; Tiemann, C.; Ackleh, A. S.; Tang, T.; Ioup, G. E.; Ioup, J. W.

    2015-12-01

    The Gulf of Mexico is home to many species of deep diving marine mammals. In recent years several ecological studies have collected large volumes of Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) data to investigate the effects of anthropogenic activities on protected and endangered marine mammal species. To utilize these data to their fullest potential for abundance estimates and habitat preference studies, automated detection and classification algorithms are needed to extract species acoustic encounters from a continuous stream of data. The species which phonate in overlapping frequency bands represent a particular challenge. This paper analyzes the performance of a newly developed automated detector for the classification of beaked whale clicks in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Current used beaked whale classification algorithms rely heavily on experienced human operator involvement in manually associating potential events with a particular species of beaked whales. Our detection algorithm is two-stage: the detector is triggered when the species-representative phonation band energy exceeds the baseline detection threshold. Then multiple event attributes (temporal click duration, central frequency, frequency band, frequency sweep rate, Choi-Williams distribution shape indices) are measured. An attribute vector is then used to discriminate among different species of beaked whales present in the Gulf of Mexico and Risso's dolphins which were recognized to mask the detections of beaked whales in the case of widely used energy-band detectors. The detector is applied to the PAM data collected by the Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center to estimate abundance trends of beaked whales in the vicinity of the 2010 oil spill before and after the disaster. This algorithm will allow automated processing with minimal operator involvement for new and archival PAM data. [The research is supported by a BP/GOMRI 2015-2017 consortium grant.

  19. An ecologic study of dietary links to prostate cancer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, W. B.

    1999-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The etiology of prostate cancer has not been fully resolved in the scientific and medical literature, although the non-fat portion of milk and calcium are emerging as leading dietary risk factors, with lycopene (found in tomatoes) and vitamin D apparently being risk reduction factors. METHODS: The ecologic (multi-country statistical) approach is used to study dietary links to prostate cancer. Mortality data from 1986 for various age groups in 41 countries are compared with national consumer macronutrient supply values for 1983 and tomato supply values for 1985. RESULTS: For 28 countries with more than five Kcal/day of tomatoes in the consumer supply, a linear combination of non-fat milk (risk factor) and tomatoes (risk reduction factor) was found to have the highest statistical association with prostate cancer mortality rates for men over the age of 35, with the Pearson regression coefficient (R2) for those aged 65-74 years = 0.67 and p < 0.001. For the 13 countries with fewer than six Kcal/day of tomatoes, non-fat milk had the highest association (R2 = 0.92, p < 0.001 for men aged 65-74 years). For 41 countries combined, the non-fat portion of milk had the highest association with prostate cancer mortality rates (R2 = 0.73, p < 0.001 for men aged 65-74 years). CONCLUSIONS: These results support the results of several cohort studies which found the non-fat portion of milk to have the highest association with prostate cancer, likely due to the calcium, and tomatoes to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, most likely due to lycopene.

  20. Integrated Modeling for the Assessment of Ecological Impacts of Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagen, S. C.; Lewis, G.; Bartel, R.; Batten, B.; Huang, W.; Morris, J.; Slinn, D. N.; Sparks, J.; Walters, L.; Wang, D.; Weishampel, J.; Yeh, G.

    2010-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) has the potential to affect a variety of coastal habitats with a myriad of deleterious ecological effects and to overwhelm human settlements along the coast. SLR should be given serious consideration when more than half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of the coast. SLR effects will be felt along coastal beaches and in estuarine waters, with consequences to barrier islands, submerged aquatic vegetation beds, sand and mud flats, oyster reefs, and tidal and freshwater wetlands. Managers of these coastal resources must be aware of potential consequences of SLR and adjust their plans accordingly to protect and preserve the resources under their care. The Gulf Coast provides critical habitats for a majority of the commercially important species in the Gulf of Mexico, which depend on inshore waters for either permanent residence or nursery area. The ecosystem services provided by these coastal habitats are at risk from rising sea level. Our team will assess the risk to coasts and coastal habitats from SLR in a 5-year project. We will apply existing models of circulation and transport from the watershed to the sea. The ultimate prediction will be of sediment loadings to the estuary as a result of overland flow, shoreline and barrier island erosion, and salinity transport, all of which will be used to model the evolution of intertidal marshes (MEM II). Over the five-year course of our research we will be simulating hydrodynamics and transport for all three NERRS reserves, including: Apalachicola, Weeks Bay and Grand Bay. The project will result in products whereby managers will be able to assess marshes, oyster reefs, submerged aquatic vegetation, predict wetland stability and indentify restoration locations for marsh and oyster habitats. In addition, we will produce Decision Support tools that will enable managers to predict future coastal erosion rates for management-specified shorelines. Project outcomes will enable the management

  1. Importance of long-term studies for environmental and ecological studies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The value of long-term ecological and agricultural experiments is often not recognized until their pioneering initiators are long dead. In times of decreasing resources for agricultural research, it has become increasingly difficult to sustain existing long-term studies, much less initiate new ones....

  2. Satellite Ecology (SATECO)-linking ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology, from plot to regional scale, for the study of ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2009-01-01

    There is a growing requirement for ecosystem science to help inform a deeper understanding of the effects of global climate change and land use change on terrestrial ecosystem structure and function, from small area (plot) to landscape, regional and global scales. To meet these requirements, ecologists have investigated plant growth and carbon cycling processes at plot scale, using biometric methods to measure plant carbon accumulation, and gas exchange (chamber) methods to measure soil respiration. Also at the plot scale, micrometeorologists have attempted to measure canopy- or ecosystem-scale CO(2) flux by the eddy covariance technique, which reveals diurnal, seasonal and annual cycles. Mathematical models play an important role in integrating ecological and micrometeorological processes into ecosystem scales, which are further useful in interpreting time-accumulated information derived from biometric methods by comparing with CO(2) flux measurements. For a spatial scaling of such plot-level understanding, remote sensing via satellite is used to measure land use/vegetation type distribution and temporal changes in ecosystem structures such as leaf area index. However, to better utilise such data, there is still a need for investigations that consider the structure and function of ecosystems and their processes, especially in mountainous areas characterized by complex terrain and a mosaic distribution of vegetation. For this purpose, we have established a new interdisciplinary approach named 'Satellite Ecology', which aims to link ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology to facilitate the study of ecosystem function, at the plot, landscape, and regional scale. PMID:18958540

  3. An Ecologic Analysis of County-Level PM2.5 Concentrations and Lung Cancer Incidence and Mortality

    PubMed Central

    Vinikoor-Imler, Lisa C.; Davis, J. Allen; Luben, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    Few studies have explored the relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence. Although results are mixed, some studies have demonstrated a positive relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer mortality. Using an ecologic study design, we examined the county-level associations between PM2.5 concentrations (2002–2005) and lung cancer incidence and mortality in North Carolina (2002–2006). Positive trends were observed between PM2.5 concentrations and lung cancer incidence and mortality; however, the R2 for both were <0.10. The slopes for the relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence and mortality were 1.26 (95% CI 0.31, 2.21, p-value 0.01) and 0.73 (95% CI 0.09, 1.36, p-value 0.03) per 1 μg/m3 PM2.5, respectively. These associations were slightly strengthened with the inclusion of variables representing socioeconomic status and smoking. Although variability is high, thus reflecting the importance of tobacco smoking and other etiologic agents that influence lung cancer incidence and mortality besides PM2.5, a positive trend is observed between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence and mortality. This suggests the possibility of an association between PM2.5 concentrations and lung cancer incidence and mortality. PMID:21776206

  4. Estimating bacterial diversity for ecological studies: methods, metrics, and assumptions.

    PubMed

    Birtel, Julia; Walser, Jean-Claude; Pichon, Samuel; Bürgmann, Helmut; Matthews, Blake

    2015-01-01

    Methods to estimate microbial diversity have developed rapidly in an effort to understand the distribution and diversity of microorganisms in natural environments. For bacterial communities, the 16S rRNA gene is the phylogenetic marker gene of choice, but most studies select only a specific region of the 16S rRNA to estimate bacterial diversity. Whereas biases derived from from DNA extraction, primer choice and PCR amplification are well documented, we here address how the choice of variable region can influence a wide range of standard ecological metrics, such as species richness, phylogenetic diversity, β-diversity and rank-abundance distributions. We have used Illumina paired-end sequencing to estimate the bacterial diversity of 20 natural lakes across Switzerland derived from three trimmed variable 16S rRNA regions (V3, V4, V5). Species richness, phylogenetic diversity, community composition, β-diversity, and rank-abundance distributions differed significantly between 16S rRNA regions. Overall, patterns of diversity quantified by the V3 and V5 regions were more similar to one another than those assessed by the V4 region. Similar results were obtained when analyzing the datasets with different sequence similarity thresholds used during sequences clustering and when the same analysis was used on a reference dataset of sequences from the Greengenes database. In addition we also measured species richness from the same lake samples using ARISA Fingerprinting, but did not find a strong relationship between species richness estimated by Illumina and ARISA. We conclude that the selection of 16S rRNA region significantly influences the estimation of bacterial diversity and species distributions and that caution is warranted when comparing data from different variable regions as well as when using different sequencing techniques. PMID:25915756

  5. Low levels of hybridization between sympatric Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden char (Salvelinus malma) highlights their genetic distinctiveness and ecological segregation

    PubMed Central

    May-McNally, Shannan L; Quinn, Thomas P; Taylor, Eric B

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the extent of interspecific hybridization and how ecological segregation may influence hybridization requires comprehensively sampling different habitats over a range of life history stages. Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden (S. malma) are recently diverged salmonid fishes that come into contact in several areas of the North Pacific where they occasionally hybridize. To better quantify the degree of hybridization and ecological segregation between these taxa, we sampled over 700 fish from multiple lake (littoral and profundal) and stream sites in two large, interconnected southwestern Alaskan lakes. Individuals were genotyped at 12 microsatellite markers, and genetic admixture (Q) values generated through Bayesian-based clustering revealed hybridization levels generally lower than reported in a previous study (<0.6% to 5% of samples classified as late-generation hybrids). Dolly Varden and Arctic char tended to make different use of stream habitats with the latter apparently abandoning streams for lake habitats after 2–3 years of age. Our results support the distinct biological species status of Dolly Varden and Arctic char and suggest that ecological segregation may be an important factor limiting opportunities for hybridization and/or the ecological performance of hybrid char. PMID:26356310

  6. Ecological Methods in the Study of Administrative Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Myrtle; Eklund, Susan J.

    Qualitative/naturalistic inquiry intends to discover whatever naturally occurring order exists rather than to test various theories or conceptual frameworks held by the investigator. Naturalistic, ecological data are urgently needed concerning the behavior of educational administrators. Such data can considerably change the knowledge base of the…

  7. Introducing Future Engineers to Sustainable Ecology Problems: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Filipkowski, A.

    2011-01-01

    The problem of Earth environmental destruction by human activities is becoming dangerous. Engineers responsible for the production of any goods should be well aware of the negative influence of their activities on the state of the planet. This is why the understanding of ecological problems is essential for people responsible for production and…

  8. Supercharged Snails for Stream Ecology & Water-Quality Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Arthur J.; Ryon, Michael G.

    2003-01-01

    Gill-breathing freshwater snails (Family "Pleuroceridae") are ecologically important, abundant in many streams in the United States, and easy to collect and maintain under classroom conditions. These snails can be used in classroom tests to demonstrate effects of pollutants on aquatic organisms. In more advanced classes, students can cage the…

  9. Ecological Validity in Eye-Tracking: An Empirical Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spinner, Patti; Gass, Susan M.; Behney, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Eye-trackers are becoming increasingly widespread as a tool to investigate second language (L2) acquisition. Unfortunately, clear standards for methodology--including font size, font type, and placement of interest areas--are not yet available. Although many researchers stress the need for ecological validity--that is, the simulation of natural…

  10. A Study of the St. Lawrence River Ecological Habitat

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mesires, Maria

    2010-01-01

    Save the River, a grassroots advocacy group established in 1978, lobbies for policies to preserve the upper St. Lawrence River and uses the community's help to keep an eye on the existing habitats. Recently, they procured the Fresh Sound Foundation grant to support the development of new K-12 ecology curricula by local area teachers to educate…

  11. A Longitudinal Study of Students' Conceptualization of Ecological Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hellden, Gustav F.

    During the last decades, an increasing awareness has developed that humankind will have to make important decisions about the environment which will demand substantive knowledge of critical ecological phenomena such as the production and decomposition of biomass (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987). As a biology teacher the…

  12. An Exploratory Study of Elementary Preservice Teachers' Understanding of Ecology Using Concept Maps

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zak, Kevin M.; Munson, Bruce H.

    2008-01-01

    Classroom teachers serve a critical role in developing environmentally literate citizens. In this study, the authors assessed K-8 preservice teachers' understanding of basic ecological concepts. Participants (N = 56) constructed concept maps describing the inter-relationships among 16 ecological concepts. The authors analyzed the concept maps to…

  13. Concentration Levels and Ecological Risks of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Surface Sediments of Tianjin Coastal Area, China

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Xiaoxia; Chen, Chaoqi; Zhang, Shu; Hou, Zhen; Yang, Junjun

    2013-01-01

    Sediments were sampled from different surface water bodies in Tianjin coastal area, China, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured using GC/MS or GC/ECD. The purposes were to investigate the concentration levels of the POPs and to assess their ecological risks. The results showed that all the 16 priority PAHs were detected from the 10 sediments sampled with the total concentrations of the 16 PAHs ranging from 274.06 μg/kg to 2656.65 μg/kg, while the concentrations of the halogenated POPs were generally low except in the Dagu waste discharging river where the total concentrations of 24 OCPs, 35 PCBs, and 14 PBDEs were 3103.36 μg/kg, 87.31 μg/kg, and 13.88 μg/kg, respectively. In the studied sediments, PAHs exhibited risks to benthonic organisms; particularly the concentrations of naphthalene and/or acenaphthene exceeded their probable effect concentrations in several locations. In comparison, only in the Dagu waste discharging river, OCPs exhibited risks with the concentrations of heptachlor epoxide and lindane exceeding their probable effect concentrations. PCBs and PBDEs posed rare risks in the studied area. PMID:23401668

  14. Bioremediation in marine ecosystems: a computational study combining ecological modeling and flux balance analysis

    PubMed Central

    Taffi, Marianna; Paoletti, Nicola; Angione, Claudio; Pucciarelli, Sandra; Marini, Mauro; Liò, Pietro

    2014-01-01

    The pressure to search effective bioremediation methodologies for contaminated ecosystems has led to the large-scale identification of microbial species and metabolic degradation pathways. However, minor attention has been paid to the study of bioremediation in marine food webs and to the definition of integrated strategies for reducing bioaccumulation in species. We propose a novel computational framework for analysing the multiscale effects of bioremediation at the ecosystem level, based on coupling food web bioaccumulation models and metabolic models of degrading bacteria. The combination of techniques from synthetic biology and ecological network analysis allows the specification of arbitrary scenarios of contaminant removal and the evaluation of strategies based on natural or synthetic microbial strains. In this study, we derive a bioaccumulation model of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the Adriatic food web, and we extend a metabolic reconstruction of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 (iJN746) with the aerobic pathway of PCBs degradation. We assess the effectiveness of different bioremediation scenarios in reducing PCBs concentration in species and we study indices of species centrality to measure their importance in the contaminant diffusion via feeding links. The analysis of the Adriatic sea case study suggests that our framework could represent a practical tool in the design of effective remediation strategies, providing at the same time insights into the ecological role of microbial communities within food webs. PMID:25309577

  15. USDOE study: Human health and ecological risk assessment for produced water discharges

    SciTech Connect

    Meinhold, A.F.; Holtzman, S.; DePhillips, M.; Hamilton, L.D.

    1994-12-31

    Produced water generated during the production of oil and gas can contain high concentrations of radionuclides, organics and heavy metals. There are concerns about potential human health and ecological impacts from the discharge of these contaminants to the Gulf of Mexico. Data collected in the United States Department of Energy (USDOE) field study are being used in a series of human health and ecological risk assessments. These assessments will support scientifically-based regulation and risk management. This presentation: summarizes risk assessments performed for produced water discharges; describes how uncertainties in these assessments are guiding data collection efforts in the USDOE field study; and outlines ongoing risk assessment studies. In these studies, risk assessment is treated as an iterative process. An initial screening-level assessment is performed to identify important contaminants, transport and exposure pathways, and parameters. These intermediate results are used to guide data collection efforts and refinements to the analysis. At this stage in the analysis, risk is described in terms of probabilities; the uncertainties in each measured or modeled parameter are considered explicitly.

  16. Animal behaviour shapes the ecological effects of ocean acidification and warming: moving from individual to community-level responses.

    PubMed

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Munday, Philip L

    2016-03-01

    Biological communities are shaped by complex interactions between organisms and their environment as well as interactions with other species. Humans are rapidly changing the marine environment through increasing greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in ocean warming and acidification. The first response by animals to environmental change is predominantly through modification of their behaviour, which in turn affects species interactions and ecological processes. Yet, many climate change studies ignore animal behaviour. Furthermore, our current knowledge of how global change alters animal behaviour is mostly restricted to single species, life phases and stressors, leading to an incomplete view of how coinciding climate stressors can affect the ecological interactions that structure biological communities. Here, we first review studies on the effects of warming and acidification on the behaviour of marine animals. We demonstrate how pervasive the effects of global change are on a wide range of critical behaviours that determine the persistence of species and their success in ecological communities. We then evaluate several approaches to studying the ecological effects of warming and acidification, and identify knowledge gaps that need to be filled, to better understand how global change will affect marine populations and communities through altered animal behaviours. Our review provides a synthesis of the far-reaching consequences that behavioural changes could have for marine ecosystems in a rapidly changing environment. Without considering the pervasive effects of climate change on animal behaviour we will limit our ability to forecast the impacts of ocean change and provide insights that can aid management strategies. PMID:26700211

  17. Ecological Factors and Adolescent Marijuana Use: Results of a Prospective Study in Santiago, Chile

    PubMed Central

    Delva, Jorge; Lee, Wonhyung; Sanchez, Ninive; Andrade, Fernando H.; Grogan-Kaylor, Andrew; Sanhueza, Guillermo; Ho, Michelle

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Despite the growing evidence that ecological factors contribute to substance use, the relationship of ecological factors and illicit drugs such as marijuana use is not well understood, particularly among adolescents in Latin America. Guided by social disorganization and social stress theories, we prospectively examined the association of disaggregated neighborhood characteristics with marijuana use among adolescents in Santiago, Chile, and tested if these relationships varied by sex. Methods: Data for this study are from 725 community-dwelling adolescents participating in the Santiago Longitudinal Study, a study of substance using behaviors among urban adolescents in Santiago, Chile. Adolescents completed a two-hour interviewer administered questionnaire with questions about drug use and factors related to drug using behaviors. Results: As the neighborhood levels of drug availability at baseline increased, but not crime or noxious environment, adolescents had higher odds of occasions of marijuana use at follow up, approximately 2 years later (odds ratio [OR] = 1.39; 95% CI = 1.16–1.66), even after controlling for the study’s covariates. No interactions by sex were significant. Discussion: The findings suggest that “poverty”, “crime”, and “drug problems” may not be synonyms and thus can be understood discretely. As Latin American countries re-examine their drug policies, especially those concerning decriminalizing marijuana use, the findings suggest that attempts to reduce adolescent marijuana use in disadvantaged neighborhoods may do best if efforts are concentrated on specific features of the “substance abuse environment”. PMID:24662965

  18. Introducing future engineers to sustainable ecology problems: a case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filipkowski, A.

    2011-12-01

    The problem of Earth environmental destruction by human activities is becoming dangerous. Engineers responsible for the production of any goods should be well aware of the negative influence of their activities on the state of the planet. This is why the understanding of ecological problems is essential for people responsible for production and industrial design. The energy, which they consume, is increasing the greenhouse effect and the waste poisons the environment. So far, most courses on ecology are offered to specialists in environmental engineering. These courses are filled with many details. The Warsaw Academy of Computer Science, Management and Administration teaches students in the direction of management and production engineering. Upon completion, the students receive the degree of 'engineer'. Their future work will mainly concern management of different types of industrial enterprises and they will be responsible for organising it in such a way as to avoid a dangerous contribution to environmental pollution and climate change. This is why it was decided to introduce a new course entitled 'Principles of Ecology and Environmental Management'. This course is quite broad, concerning almost all technical, law and organisational aspects of the problem. The presentation is made in a spectacular way, aiming to convince students that their future activity must be environmentally friendly. It contains information about international activities in ecology, legal aspects concerning pollution, technical and information methods of monitoring and, finally, the description of 'green' solutions. Altogether, 27 hours of lectures and 15 hours of discussions and students' presentations complete the course. Details of this course are described in this paper.

  19. Ecological periodic tables for benthic macrofaunal usage of estuarine habitats : Insights from a case study in Tillamook bay, Oregon, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study validates the ecological relevance of estuarine habitat types to the benthic macrofaunal community and, together with previous similar studies, suggests they can serve as elements in ecological periodic tables of benthic macrofaunal usage in the bioregion. We compared...

  20. Assessing Conifer Ray Parenchyma for Ecological Studies: Pitfalls and Guidelines

    PubMed Central

    von Arx, Georg; Arzac, Alberto; Olano, José M.; Fonti, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Ray parenchyma is an essential tissue for tree functioning and survival. This living tissue plays a major role for storage and transport of water, nutrients, and non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), thus regulating xylem hydraulics and growth. However, despite the importance of rays for tree carbon and water relations, methodological challenges hamper knowledge about ray intra- and inter-tree variability and its ecological meaning. In this study we provide a methodological toolbox for soundly quantifying spatial and temporal variability of different ray features. Anatomical ray features were surveyed in different cutting planes (cross-sectional, tangential, and radial) using quantitative image analysis on stem-wood micro-sections sampled from 41 mature Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris). The percentage of ray surface (PERPAR), a proxy for ray volume, was compared among cutting planes and between early- and latewood to assess measurement-induced variability. Different tangential ray metrics were correlated to assess their similarities. The accuracy of cross-sectional and tangential measurements for PERPAR estimates as a function of number of samples and the measured wood surface was assessed using bootstrapping statistical technique. Tangential sections offered the best 3D insight of ray integration into the xylem and provided the most accurate estimates of PERPAR, with 10 samples of 4 mm2 showing an estimate within ±6.0% of the true mean PERPAR (relative 95% confidence interval, CI95), and 20 samples of 4 mm2 showing a CI95 of ±4.3%. Cross-sections were most efficient for establishment of time series, and facilitated comparisons with other widely used xylem anatomical features. Earlywood had significantly lower PERPAR (5.77 vs. 6.18%) and marginally fewer initiating rays than latewood. In comparison to tangential sections, PERPAR was systematically overestimated (6.50 vs. 4.92%) and required approximately twice the sample area for similar accuracy. Radial cuttings

  1. Ecological niche transferability using invasive species as a case study.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Miguel; Hamilton, Healy

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution modeling is widely applied to predict invasive species distributions and species range shifts under climate change. Accurate predictions depend upon meeting the assumption that ecological niches are conserved, i.e., spatially or temporally transferable. Here we present a multi-taxon comparative analysis of niche conservatism using biological invasion events well documented in natural history museum collections. Our goal is to assess spatial transferability of the climatic niche of a range of noxious terrestrial invasive species using two complementary approaches. First we compare species' native versus invasive ranges in environmental space using two distinct methods, Principal Components Analysis and Mahalanobis distance. Second we compare species' native versus invaded ranges in geographic space as estimated using the species distribution modeling technique Maxent and the comparative index Hellinger's I. We find that species exhibit a range of responses, from almost complete transferability, in which the invaded niches completely overlap with the native niches, to a complete dissociation between native and invaded ranges. Intermediate responses included expansion of dimension attributable to either temperature or precipitation derived variables, as well as niche expansion in multiple dimensions. We conclude that the ecological niche in the native range is generally a poor predictor of invaded range and, by analogy, the ecological niche may be a poor predictor of range shifts under climate change. We suggest that assessing dimensions of niche transferability prior to standard species distribution modeling may improve the understanding of species' dynamics in the invaded range. PMID:25785858

  2. Ecological Niche Transferability Using Invasive Species as a Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Fernández, Miguel; Hamilton, Healy

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution modeling is widely applied to predict invasive species distributions and species range shifts under climate change. Accurate predictions depend upon meeting the assumption that ecological niches are conserved, i.e., spatially or temporally transferable. Here we present a multi-taxon comparative analysis of niche conservatism using biological invasion events well documented in natural history museum collections. Our goal is to assess spatial transferability of the climatic niche of a range of noxious terrestrial invasive species using two complementary approaches. First we compare species’ native versus invasive ranges in environmental space using two distinct methods, Principal Components Analysis and Mahalanobis distance. Second we compare species’ native versus invaded ranges in geographic space as estimated using the species distribution modeling technique Maxent and the comparative index Hellinger’s I. We find that species exhibit a range of responses, from almost complete transferability, in which the invaded niches completely overlap with the native niches, to a complete dissociation between native and invaded ranges. Intermediate responses included expansion of dimension attributable to either temperature or precipitation derived variables, as well as niche expansion in multiple dimensions. We conclude that the ecological niche in the native range is generally a poor predictor of invaded range and, by analogy, the ecological niche may be a poor predictor of range shifts under climate change. We suggest that assessing dimensions of niche transferability prior to standard species distribution modeling may improve the understanding of species’ dynamics in the invaded range. PMID:25785858

  3. Studies on marine oil spills and their ecological damage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Hong; Yin, Yanjie

    2009-09-01

    The sources of marine oil spills are mainly from accidents of marine oil tankers or freighters, marine oil-drilling platforms, marine oil pipelines, marine oilfields, terrestrial pollution, oil-bearing atmosphere, and offshore oil production equipment. It is concluded upon analysis that there are two main reasons for marine oil spills: (I) The motive for huge economic benefits of oil industry owners and oil shipping agents far surpasses their sense of ecological risks. (II) Marine ecological safety has not become the main concern of national security. Oil spills are disasters because humans spare no efforts to get economic benefits from oil. The present paper draws another conclusion that marine ecological damage caused by oil spills can be roughly divided into two categories: damage to marine resource value (direct value) and damage to marine ecosystem service value (indirect value). Marine oil spills cause damage to marine biological, fishery, seawater, tourism and mineral resources to various extents, which contributes to the lower quality and value of marine resources.

  4. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level

    PubMed Central

    Bourne, Amanda; Holness, Stephen; Holden, Petra; Scorgie, Sarshen; Donatti, Camila I.; Midgley, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from rural South Africa

  5. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level.

    PubMed

    Bourne, Amanda; Holness, Stephen; Holden, Petra; Scorgie, Sarshen; Donatti, Camila I; Midgley, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from rural South Africa

  6. Chemosensory reception, behavioral expression, and ecological interactions at multiple trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Ferrer, Ryan P; Zimmer, Richard K

    2007-05-01

    Chemoreception may function throughout an entire animal lifetime, with independent, stage-specific selection pressures leading to changes in physiological properties, behavioral expression, and hence, trophic interactions. When the California newt (Taricha torosa) metamorphoses from an entirely aquatic larva to a semi-terrestrial juvenile/adult form, its chemosensory organs undergo dramatic reorganization. The relationship between newt life-history stage and chemosensory-mediated behavior was established by comparing responses of adults (as determined here) to those of conspecific larvae (as studied previously). Bioassays were performed in mountain streams, testing responses of free-ranging adults to 13 individual l-amino acids. Relative to stream water (controls), adults turned immediately upcurrent and moved to the source of arginine, glycine or alanine release. These responses were indicative of predatory search. Arginine was the strongest attractant tested, with a response threshold (median effective dose) of 8.3x10(-7) mol l(-1) (uncorrected for dilution associated with chemical release and delivery). In contrast to adult behavior, arginine suppressed cannibal-avoidance and failed to evoke search reactions in larvae. For a common set of arginine analogs, the magnitudes of adult attraction and larval suppression were not positively correlated. Suppression of cannibal-avoidance behavior in larvae was unaffected by most structural modifications of the arginine molecule. Adult behavior, on the other hand, was strongly influenced by even subtle alterations in the parent compound. Reactions to arginine in both adults and larvae were eliminated by blocking the external openings of the nasal cavity. Stimulating adult predatory search in one case and inhibiting larval cannibal avoidance in the other, arginine is a chemical signal with opposing behavioral effects and varying ecological consequences. Significant differences between responses of adults and larvae to

  7. Pilot study to evaluate ecological momentary assessment of tinnitus

    PubMed Central

    Henry, James A.; Galvez, Gino; Turbin, Mitchel B.; Thielman, Emily J.; McMillan, Garnett P.; Istvan, Joseph A.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives Because audiometric evaluation, symptom histories, questionnaires, and similar standard assessment tools may not adequately sample the effects of chronic tinnitus on day-to-day activities, there is a need for alternative methodological approaches to study the impact of tinnitus on day-to-day life. An innovative methodological approach that has shown great promise in the study of chronic health problems characterized by reported temporal and/or situational variability in symptoms and distress is known as ecological momentary assessment (EMA). EMA involves the real time measurement of states, situational factors, and symptoms by individuals as they go about their day-to-day activities. The objective of this pilot investigation was to explore the feasibility of using EMA methods to examine within- and between-day effects of tinnitus. Design This study was conducted in three phases: (1) design and development of an EMA methodology that could be used to assess effects of tinnitus; (2) refinement of the methodology through the use of two focus groups; and (3) field-test the methodology with individuals who experienced bothersome tinnitus. For Phase 3, each of the 24 participants wore, throughout their waking hours for two weeks, a personal digital assistant that produced alerts four times a day. The alerts prompted participants to respond to 19 questions, including nine relating to situational and mood factors, and 10 comprising the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory - Screening version (THI-S). To evaluate for potential reactive effects of performing the EMA protocol, each participant completed the paper-and-pencil version of the full 25-item THI before and after the 2-week EMA period. Results Participants responded to the alerts with a 90% compliance rate, providing a total of 1210 completed surveys. At the time of their response, participants indicated they were in their house or apartment (67.7%), alone (50.2%), happy (50%), and calm (54.5%). Across most

  8. Effect of Dietary Protein Levels on Composition of Odorous Compounds and Bacterial Ecology in Pig Manure.

    PubMed

    Cho, Sungback; Hwang, Okhwa; Park, Sungkwon

    2015-09-01

    This study was performed to investigate the effect of different levels of dietary crude protein (CP) on composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities in pig manure. A total of 48 male pigs (average initial body weight 45 kg) fed diets containing three levels of dietary CP (20%, 17.5%, and 15%) and their slurry samples were collected from the pits under the floor every week for one month. Changes in composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities were analyzed by gas chromatography and 454 FLX titanium pyrosequencing systems, respectively. Levels of phenols, indoles, short chain fatty acid and branched chain fatty acid were lowest (p<0.05) in CP 15% group among three CP levels. Relative abundance of Bacteroidetes phylum and bacterial genera including Leuconostoc, Bacillus, Atopostipes, Peptonphilus, Ruminococcaceae_uc, Bacteroides, and Pseudomonas was lower (p<0.05) in CP 15% than in CP 20% group. There was a positive correlation (p<0.05) between odorous compounds and bacterial genera: phenol, indole, iso-butyric acid, and iso-valeric acid with Atopostipes, p-cresol and skatole with Bacteroides, acetic acid and butyric acid with AM982595_g of Porphyromonadaceae family, and propionic acid with Tissierella. Taken together, administration of 15% CP showed less production of odorous compounds than 20% CP group and this result might be associated with the changes in bacterial communities especially whose roles in protein metabolism. PMID:26194219

  9. Effect of Dietary Protein Levels on Composition of Odorous Compounds and Bacterial Ecology in Pig Manure

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Sungback; Hwang, Okhwa; Park, Sungkwon

    2015-01-01

    This study was performed to investigate the effect of different levels of dietary crude protein (CP) on composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities in pig manure. A total of 48 male pigs (average initial body weight 45 kg) fed diets containing three levels of dietary CP (20%, 17.5%, and 15%) and their slurry samples were collected from the pits under the floor every week for one month. Changes in composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities were analyzed by gas chromatography and 454 FLX titanium pyrosequencing systems, respectively. Levels of phenols, indoles, short chain fatty acid and branched chain fatty acid were lowest (p<0.05) in CP 15% group among three CP levels. Relative abundance of Bacteroidetes phylum and bacterial genera including Leuconostoc, Bacillus, Atopostipes, Peptonphilus, Ruminococcaceae_uc, Bacteroides, and Pseudomonas was lower (p<0.05) in CP 15% than in CP 20% group. There was a positive correlation (p<0.05) between odorous compounds and bacterial genera: phenol, indole, iso-butyric acid, and iso-valeric acid with Atopostipes, p-cresol and skatole with Bacteroides, acetic acid and butyric acid with AM982595_g of Porphyromonadaceae family, and propionic acid with Tissierella. Taken together, administration of 15% CP showed less production of odorous compounds than 20% CP group and this result might be associated with the changes in bacterial communities especially whose roles in protein metabolism. PMID:26194219

  10. White Paper: Summary of the NOAA Workshop - Ecological Effect of Sea Level Rise in the Florida Panhandle and Coastal Alabama: Research and Modeling Needs

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR) is addressing current and future impacts to ecological systems due to the long term effect of sea level rise due to climate change and subsidence on coastal ecosystems through the peer-reviewed research program, the Ecologic...

  11. Implementation of basic studies in the ecological restoration of surface-mined land

    SciTech Connect

    Tischew, S.; Kirmer, A.

    2007-06-15

    This paper focuses on attempts to encourage a new state of the art in the ecological restoration of surface-mined land in Germany. On most of these sites, the application of traditional recultivation methods often destroys valuable ecological potential by leveling of the surface, ameliorating of nutrient-poor substrates, and seeding or planting of species not suited to the present habitat conditions. Many studies have shown that even highly disturbed ecosystems, such as large mining areas, can regenerate spontaneously over long-term periods. Colonization processes were influenced by the availability of diaspore sources as well as the suitability of sites for establishment. The predictability of succession could be improved by the identification of switch points in successional pathways depending on age and conditions of the sites. Based on the developmental potential, orientation by nature and biodiversity are selected as main targets for priority areas for nature conservation in mining sites. On priority areas restoration measures must be restricted to the use of near-natural methods (e.g., application of fresh, diaspore-rich plant clipping material, dumping of overburden with seed bank and vegetative propagules, seeding of site-specific, local seed mixtures) that are very successful in preventing erosion and accelerating vegetation development. Despite the success of these methods, the transfer of knowledge between scientists, practitioners, and administrative organizations has proved to be insufficient. Therefore, one of the main tasks in ecological restoration must be the inclusion of all stakeholders involved in decision-making processes and the establishment of a network of excellence to enhance the exchange of knowledge.

  12. “Real time” genetic manipulation: a new tool for ecological field studies

    PubMed Central

    Schäfer, Martin; Brütting, Christoph; Gase, Klaus; Reichelt, Michael; Baldwin, Ian; Meldau, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Summary Field experiments with transgenic plants often reveal the functional significance of genetic traits important for plant performance in their natural environments. Until now, only constitutive overexpression, ectopic expression and gene silencing methods have been used to analyze gene-related phenotypes in natural habitats. These methods do not allow sufficient control over gene expression to study ecological interactions in real-time, genetic traits playing essential roles in development, or dose-dependent effects. We applied the sensitive dexamethasone (DEX)-inducible pOp6/LhGR expression system to the ecological model plant Nicotiana attenuata and established a lanolin-based DEX application method to facilitate ectopic gene expression and RNAi mediated gene silencing in the field and under challenging conditions (e.g. high temperature, wind and UV radiation). Fully established field-grown plants were used to silence phytoene desaturase and thereby cause photobleaching only in specific plant sectors, and to activate expression of the cytokinin (CK) biosynthesis gene isopentenyl transferase (ipt). We used ipt expression to analyze the role of CK’s in both the glasshouse and field to understand resistance to the native herbivore Tupiocoris notatus, which attack plants at small spatial scales. By spatially restricting ipt expression and elevating CK levels in single leaves, T. notatus damage increased, demonstrating CK’s role in this plant-herbivore interaction at a small scale. As the arena of most ecological interactions is highly constrained in time and space, these tools will advance the genetic analysis of dynamic traits that matter for plant performance in nature. PMID:23906159

  13. 'Real time' genetic manipulation: a new tool for ecological field studies.

    PubMed

    Schäfer, Martin; Brütting, Christoph; Gase, Klaus; Reichelt, Michael; Baldwin, Ian; Meldau, Stefan

    2013-11-01

    Field experiments with transgenic plants often reveal the functional significance of genetic traits that are important for the performance of the plants in their natural environments. Until now, only constitutive overexpression, ectopic expression and gene silencing methods have been used to analyze gene-related phenotypes in natural habitats. These methods do not allow sufficient control over gene expression for the study of ecological interactions in real time, of genetic traits that play essential roles in development, or of dose-dependent effects. We applied the sensitive dexamethasone (DEX)-inducible pOp6/LhGR expression system to the ecological model plant Nicotiana attenuata and established a lanolin-based DEX application method to facilitate ectopic gene expression and RNA interference-mediated gene silencing in the field and under challenging conditions (e.g. high temperature, wind and UV radiation). Fully established field-grown plants were used to silence phytoene desaturase and thereby cause photobleaching only in specific plant sectors, and to activate expression of the cytokinin (CK) biosynthesis gene isopentenyl transferase (ipt). We used ipt expression to analyze the role of CKs in both the glasshouse and the field to understand resistance to the native herbivore Tupiocoris notatus, which attacks plants at small spatial scales. By spatially restricting ipt expression and elevating CK levels in single leaves, damage by T. notatus increased, demonstrating the role of CKs in this plant-herbivore interaction at a small scale. As the arena of most ecological interactions is highly constrained in time and space, these tools will advance the genetic analysis of dynamic traits that matter for plant performance in nature. PMID:23906159

  14. Associations between Green Space and Health in English Cities: An Ecological, Cross-Sectional Study

    PubMed Central

    Bixby, Honor; Hodgson, Susan; Fortunato, Léa; Hansell, Anna; Fecht, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    Green space has been identified as a modifiable feature of the urban environment and associations with physiological and psychological health have been reported at the local level. This study aims to assess whether these associations between health and green space are transferable to a larger scale, with English cities as the unit of analysis. We used an ecological, cross-sectional study design. We classified satellite-based land cover data to quantify green space coverage for the 50 largest cities in England. We assessed associations between city green space coverage with risk of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and suicide between 2002 and 2009 using Poisson regression with random effect. After adjustment for age, income deprivation and air pollution, we found that at the city level the risk of death from all causes and a priori selected causes, for men and women, did not significantly differ between the greenest and least green cities. These findings suggest that the local health effects of urban green space observed at the neighbourhood level in some studies do not transfer to the city level. Further work is needed to establish how urban residents interact with local green space, in order to ascertain the most relevant measures of green space. PMID:25775020

  15. Ecological Drivers of Virus Evolution: Astrovirus as a Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Gavin J. D.

    2015-01-01

    Although RNA viruses exhibit a high frequency of host jumps, major differences exist among the different virus families. Astroviruses infect a wide range of hosts, affecting both public health systems and economic production chains. Here we delineate the ecological and adaptive processes that drive the cross-species transmission of astroviruses. We observe that distinct transmission zones determine the prevailing astrovirus host and virus diversity, which in turn suggests that no single host group (e.g., bats) can be the natural reservoir, as illustrated through our phylogenetic analysis. PMID:25948751

  16. Ecological effects of cell-level processes: genome size, functional traits and regional abundance of herbaceous plant species

    PubMed Central

    Herben, Tomáš; Suda, Jan; Klimešová, Jitka; Mihulka, Stanislav; Říha, Pavel; Šímová, Irena

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Genome size is known to be correlated with a number of phenotypic traits associated with cell sizes and cell-division rates. Genome size was therefore used as a proxy for them in order to assess how common plant traits such as height, specific leaf area and seed size/number predict species regional abundance. In this study it is hypothesized that if there is residual correlation between genome size and abundance after these traits are partialled out, there must be additional ecological effects of cell size and/or cell-division rate. Methods Variation in genome size, plant traits and regional abundance were examined in 436 herbaceous species of central European flora, and relationships were sought for among these variables by correlation and path analysis. Key Results Species regional abundance was weakly but significantly correlated with genome size; the relationship was stronger for annuals (R2 = 0·145) than for perennials (R2 = 0·027). In annuals, genome size was linked to abundance via its effect on seed size, which constrains seed number and hence population growth rate. In perennials, it weakly affected (via height and specific leaf area) competitive ability. These relationships did not change qualitatively after phylogenetic correction. In both annuals and perennials there was an unresolved effect of genome size on abundance. Conclusions The findings indicate that additional predictors of regional abundance should be sought among variables that are linked to cell size and cell-division rate. Signals of these cell-level processes remain identifiable even at the landscape scale, and show deep differences between perennials and annuals. Plant population biology could thus possibly benefit from more systematic use of indicators of cell-level processes. PMID:22628380

  17. Biochemical Study of Mixed Culture Prototype in a Closed Ecological System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tischer, R. G.

    1960-01-01

    Since June 1, 1960, the date of initiation of this research project, efforts have been directed toward studying cultural and fermentation patterns and the methodology of pure culture isolation of prototype microorganisms to be employed in closed ecological systems.

  18. STABLE ISOTOPES IN ECOLOGICAL STUDIES: NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN MIXING MODELS (BRAZIL)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stable isotopes are increasingly being used as tracers in ecological studies. One application uses isotopic ratios to quantify the proportional contributions of multiple sources to a mixture. Examples include pollution sources for air or water bodies, food sources for animals, ...

  19. Linking stroke mortality with air pollution, income, and greenness in northwest Florida: an ecological geographical study

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Zhiyong; Liebens, Johan; Rao, K Ranga

    2008-01-01

    Background Relatively few studies have examined the association between air pollution and stroke mortality. Inconsistent and inclusive results from existing studies on air pollution and stroke justify the need to continue to investigate the linkage between stroke and air pollution. No studies have been done to investigate the association between stroke and greenness. The objective of this study was to examine if there is association of stroke with air pollution, income and greenness in northwest Florida. Results Our study used an ecological geographical approach and dasymetric mapping technique. We adopted a Bayesian hierarchical model with a convolution prior considering five census tract specific covariates. A 95% credible set which defines an interval having a 0.95 posterior probability of containing the parameter for each covariate was calculated from Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations. The 95% credible sets are (-0.286, -0.097) for household income, (0.034, 0.144) for traffic air pollution effect, (0.419, 1.495) for emission density of monitored point source polluters, (0.413, 1.522) for simple point density of point source polluters without emission data, and (-0.289,-0.031) for greenness. Household income and greenness show negative effects (the posterior densities primarily cover negative values). Air pollution covariates have positive effects (the 95% credible sets cover positive values). Conclusion High risk of stroke mortality was found in areas with low income level, high air pollution level, and low level of exposure to green space. PMID:18452609

  20. Ecological studies related to construction of the Defense Waste Processing Facility on the Savannah River Site

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, D.E.; Pechmann, J.H.K.; Knox, J.N.; Estes, R.A.; McGregor, J.H.; Bailey, K.

    1988-12-01

    The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory has completed 10 years of ecological studies related to the construction of the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) on the Savannah River Site. This progress report examines water quality studies on streams peripheral to the DWPF construction site and examines the effectiveness of refuge ponds'' in ameliorating the effects of construction on local amphibians. Individual papers on these topics are indexed separately. 93 refs., 15 figs., 15 tabs. (MHB)

  1. Sensitivity of ecological soil-screening levels for metals to exposure model parameterization and toxicity reference values

    PubMed Central

    Sample, Bradley E; Fairbrother, Anne; Kaiser, Ashley; Law, Sheryl; Adams, Bill

    2014-01-01

    Ecological soil-screening levels (Eco-SSLs) were developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for the purposes of setting conservative soil screening values that can be used to eliminate the need for further ecological assessment for specific analytes at a given site. Ecological soil-screening levels for wildlife represent a simplified dietary exposure model solved in terms of soil concentrations to produce exposure equal to a no-observed-adverse-effect toxicity reference value (TRV). Sensitivity analyses were performed for 6 avian and mammalian model species, and 16 metals/metalloids for which Eco-SSLs have been developed. The relative influence of model parameters was expressed as the absolute value of the range of variation observed in the resulting soil concentration when exposure is equal to the TRV. Rank analysis of variance was used to identify parameters with greatest influence on model output. For both birds and mammals, soil ingestion displayed the broadest overall range (variability), although TRVs consistently had the greatest influence on calculated soil concentrations; bioavailability in food was consistently the least influential parameter, although an important site-specific variable. Relative importance of parameters differed by trophic group. Soil ingestion ranked 2nd for carnivores and herbivores, but was 4th for invertivores. Different patterns were exhibited, depending on which parameter, trophic group, and analyte combination was considered. The approach for TRV selection was also examined in detail, with Cu as the representative analyte. The underlying assumption that generic body-weight–normalized TRVs can be used to derive protective levels for any species is not supported by the data. Whereas the use of site-, species-, and analyte-specific exposure parameters is recommended to reduce variation in exposure estimates (soil protection level), improvement of TRVs is more problematic. Environ Toxicol Chem 2014

  2. Wetlands in the ecological risk assessment process: A case study

    SciTech Connect

    Saban, L.B.

    1995-12-31

    In the past few years, the ecological risk assessment (ERA) process as outlined in the EPA document Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment has been successfully used to assess risk to birds, mammals, aquatic organisms, plants, and to a limited extent, reptiles and amphibians, but has only recently been applied to wetlands. Due to the unique role that wetlands play in the environment as sources and sinks for nutrients, sediment retention, high productivity, habitat transition zones, aquifer recharge, high diversity and richness of biota, and aesthetic value, it is important to consider the entire wetland system in the ERA process. Because nearly sixty percent of Superfund sites are located in or near wetlands, a comprehensive approach is proposed to evaluate potential risks to flora and fauna in these wetland environments. Using the delineation and functional assessment techniques developed by wetland scientists, an estuarine wetland in western Washington was evaluated within the scope of ERA`S. The ERA was applied to the wetland using functional assessments as an integral part of the problem formulation phase of the risk assessment process. Applying the ERA process to wetlands enhances the functional assessment process and helps to define critical elements to evaluate within wetland systems. The results of this risk assessment help to define patches within a landscape that are potentially at risk and how to prioritize remedial actions.

  3. Exploring the Mechanisms of Ecological Land Change Based on the Spatial Autoregressive Model: A Case Study of the Poyang Lake Eco-Economic Zone, China

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Hualin; Liu, Zhifei; Wang, Peng; Liu, Guiying; Lu, Fucai

    2013-01-01

    Ecological land is one of the key resources and conditions for the survival of humans because it can provide ecosystem services and is particularly important to public health and safety. It is extremely valuable for effective ecological management to explore the evolution mechanisms of ecological land. Based on spatial statistical analyses, we explored the spatial disparities and primary potential drivers of ecological land change in the Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone of China. The results demonstrated that the global Moran’s I value is 0.1646 during the 1990 to 2005 time period and indicated significant positive spatial correlation (p < 0.05). The results also imply that the clustering trend of ecological land changes weakened in the study area. Some potential driving forces were identified by applying the spatial autoregressive model in this study. The results demonstrated that the higher economic development level and industrialization rate were the main drivers for the faster change of ecological land in the study area. This study also tested the superiority of the spatial autoregressive model to study the mechanisms of ecological land change by comparing it with the traditional linear regressive model. PMID:24384778

  4. System-level responses of lake ecosystems to chemical stresses using exergy and structural exergy as ecological indicators.

    PubMed

    Xu, Fu-Liu; Dawson, R W; Tao, Shu; Li, Ben-Gang; Cao, Jun

    2002-01-01

    This paper presents the system-level responses of experimental lake ecosystems to three chemical stresses (acidification, copper and pesticide contamination) using exergy and structural exergy as ecological indicators. The results indicate that the doses or toxicity of the three chemical stressors contributed to changes in both exergy and structural exergy. Remarkable changes in exergy and structural exergy occurred under acidic conditions and in the presence of Dursban, 24D-DMA, permethrin, bifenthrin, Carbaryl, TCP, PCP, trichlorethylene, benzene, and high doses of Cu, oil, and hexazinone. This seemed to indicate that the subject ecosystems were seriously contaminated by these chemical stressors. For low doses of Cu, oil, atrazine, HCBP, and hexazinone, exergy and structural exergy were either unchanged or only slightly changed, suggesting that the lake ecosystems were not significantly impacted by these chemical stressors. Discussion of the relationships between ecosystem-level changes and structural and functional changes in stressed lake ecosystems indicates that the above-mentioned ecosystem-level changes were in accordance with the changes in structure and function. The observed changes in exergy and structural exergy were also consistent with Odum's predictions of shortened food chains, reduced resource use efficiency, poor stability, low information, and high entropy in stressed aquatic ecosystems. The findings lead the authors to conclude that it is feasible for exergy and structural exergy to serve as ecological indicators when characterizing the system-level responses of experimental lake ecosystems to chemical stress. These results for experimental lake ecosystems would be extrapolated to actual lakes. PMID:11827273

  5. Population-level ecological risk assessment of planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons in great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) around Tokyo Bay, Japan.

    PubMed

    Murata, Mariko; Masunaga, Shigeki; Nakanishi, Junko

    2003-10-01

    Assessment of population-level ecological risk posed by planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons (p-PCAHs; including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and dioxintike polychlorinated biphenyls) in sediment of Tokyo Bay (Japan) and rivers via fish ingestion to the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) population was conducted by means of a probabilistic approach. Population decline risk was used as an indicator of population-level effects and compared with other indicators of effects. The increment of egg mortality risk posed by current p-PCAH levels was estimated to be 11.7%. This risk was interpreted in terms of both the increase of the risk of population decline in a 10-year period on a recently abundant cormorant population, and the reduction in population growth rate (r). Population decline risks of 20% and below were estimated to be 16% for the reference population and 32% for the exposed population, whereas the reduction in r was estimated to be 10%. The risk expressed in terms of population viability is a more susceptible measure and a more easily understandable indicator than both egg mortality risk as an individual-level risk and the reduction in r. Translating the effects due to pollutants into the risk on population viability will make ecological risk assessment more conductive to risk management. PMID:14552017

  6. [Assessment and early warning of land ecological security in rapidly urbanizing coastal area: A case study of Caofeidian new district, Hebei, China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li; Chen, Ying; Wang, Shu-tao; Men, Ming-xin; Xu, Hao

    2015-08-01

    Assessment and early warning of land ecological security (LES) in rapidly urbanizing coastal area is an important issue to ensure sustainable land use and effective maintenance of land ecological security. In this study, an index system for the land ecological security of Caofeidian new district was established based on the Pressure-State-Response (P-S-R) model. Initial assessment units of 1 km x 1 km created with the remote sensing data and GIS methods were spatially interpolated to a fine pixel size of 30 m x 30 m, which were combined with the early warning method (using classification tree method) to evaluate the land ecological security of Caofeidian in 2005 and 2013. The early warning level was classed into four categories: security with degradation potential, sub-security with slow degradation, sub-security with rapid degradation, and insecurity. Result indicated that, from 2005 to 2013, the average LES of Caofeidian dropped from 0.55 to 0.52, indicating a degradation of land ecological security from medium security level to medium-low security level. The areas at the levels of insecurity with rapid degradation were mainly located in the rapid urbanization areas, illustrating that rapid expansion of urban construction land was the key factor to the deterioration of the regional land ecological security. Industrial District, Shilihai town and Nanpu saltern, in which the lands at the levels of insecurity and sub-security with rapid degradation or slow degradation accounted for 58.3%, 98.9% and 81.2% of their respective districts, were at the stage of high early warning. Thus, land ecological security regulation for these districts should be strengthened in near future. The study could provide a reference for land use planning and ecological protection of Caofeidian new district. PMID:26685609

  7. On the application of multilevel modeling in environmental and ecological studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Qian, S.S.; Cuffney, T.F.; Alameddine, I.; McMahon, G.; Reckhow, K.H.

    2010-01-01

    This paper illustrates the advantages of a multilevel/hierarchical approach for predictive modeling, including flexibility of model formulation, explicitly accounting for hierarchical structure in the data, and the ability to predict the outcome of new cases. As a generalization of the classical approach, the multilevel modeling approach explicitly models the hierarchical structure in the data by considering both the within- and between-group variances leading to a partial pooling of data across all levels in the hierarchy. The modeling framework provides means for incorporating variables at different spatiotemporal scales. The examples used in this paper illustrate the iterative process of model fitting and evaluation, a process that can lead to improved understanding of the system being studied. ?? 2010 by the Ecological Society of America.

  8. Worldwide socioeconomic status and stroke mortality: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction The effect of socioeconomic status (SES) on stroke mortality at population level has been controversial. This study explores the association of SES in childhood and adulthood with stroke mortality, as well as variations in this association among countries/regions. Methods Sex-specific stroke mortality at country level with death registry covering ≥ 70% population was obtained from the World Health Organization. Human Development Index (HDI) developed by the United Nations was chosen as the SES indicator. The associations between the latest available stroke mortality with HDI in 1999 (adulthood SES) and with HDI in 1960 (childhood SES) for the group aged 45–54 years among countries were examined with regression analysis. Age-standardized stroke mortality and HDI during 1974–2001 were used to estimate the association by time point. Results The population data were available mostly for low-middle to high income countries. HDI in 1960 and 1999 were both inversely associated with stroke mortality in the group aged 45–54 years in 39 countries/regions. HDI in 1960 accounted for 37% of variance of stroke mortality among countries/regions; HDI in 1999 for 35% in men and 53% in women (P < 0.001). There was a quadratic relationship between age-standardized stroke mortality and HDI for the countries from 1974 to 2001: the association was positive when HDI < 0.77 but it became negative when HDI > 0.80. Conclusions SES is a strong predictor of stroke mortality at country level. Stroke mortality increased with improvement of SES in less developed countries/region, while it decreased with advancing SES in more developed areas. PMID:23767844

  9. Ecological speciation in the tropics: insights from comparative genetic studies in Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Beheregaray, Luciano B; Cooke, Georgina M; Chao, Ning L; Landguth, Erin L

    2014-01-01

    Evolution creates and sustains biodiversity via adaptive changes in ecologically relevant traits. Ecologically mediated selection contributes to genetic divergence both in the presence or absence of geographic isolation between populations, and is considered an important driver of speciation. Indeed, the genetics of ecological speciation is becoming increasingly studied across a variety of taxa and environments. In this paper we review the literature of ecological speciation in the tropics. We report on low research productivity in tropical ecosystems and discuss reasons accounting for the rarity of studies. We argue for research programs that simultaneously address biogeographical and taxonomic questions in the tropics, while effectively assessing relationships between reproductive isolation and ecological divergence. To contribute toward this goal, we propose a new framework for ecological speciation that integrates information from phylogenetics, phylogeography, population genomics, and simulations in evolutionary landscape genetics (ELG). We introduce components of the framework, describe ELG simulations (a largely unexplored approach in ecological speciation), and discuss design and experimental feasibility within the context of tropical research. We then use published genetic datasets from populations of five codistributed Amazonian fish species to assess the performance of the framework in studies of tropical speciation. We suggest that these approaches can assist in distinguishing the relative contribution of natural selection from biogeographic history in the origin of biodiversity, even in complex ecosystems such as Amazonia. We also discuss on how to assess ecological speciation using ELG simulations that include selection. These integrative frameworks have considerable potential to enhance conservation management in biodiversity rich ecosystems and to complement historical biogeographic and evolutionary studies of tropical biotas. PMID:25653668

  10. Ecological speciation in the tropics: insights from comparative genetic studies in Amazonia

    PubMed Central

    Beheregaray, Luciano B.; Cooke, Georgina M.; Chao, Ning L.; Landguth, Erin L.

    2015-01-01

    Evolution creates and sustains biodiversity via adaptive changes in ecologically relevant traits. Ecologically mediated selection contributes to genetic divergence both in the presence or absence of geographic isolation between populations, and is considered an important driver of speciation. Indeed, the genetics of ecological speciation is becoming increasingly studied across a variety of taxa and environments. In this paper we review the literature of ecological speciation in the tropics. We report on low research productivity in tropical ecosystems and discuss reasons accounting for the rarity of studies. We argue for research programs that simultaneously address biogeographical and taxonomic questions in the tropics, while effectively assessing relationships between reproductive isolation and ecological divergence. To contribute toward this goal, we propose a new framework for ecological speciation that integrates information from phylogenetics, phylogeography, population genomics, and simulations in evolutionary landscape genetics (ELG). We introduce components of the framework, describe ELG simulations (a largely unexplored approach in ecological speciation), and discuss design and experimental feasibility within the context of tropical research. We then use published genetic datasets from populations of five codistributed Amazonian fish species to assess the performance of the framework in studies of tropical speciation. We suggest that these approaches can assist in distinguishing the relative contribution of natural selection from biogeographic history in the origin of biodiversity, even in complex ecosystems such as Amazonia. We also discuss on how to assess ecological speciation using ELG simulations that include selection. These integrative frameworks have considerable potential to enhance conservation management in biodiversity rich ecosystems and to complement historical biogeographic and evolutionary studies of tropical biotas. PMID:25653668

  11. AIR AND ENERGY ENGINEERING RESEARCH LABORATORY (AEERL) PROCEDURES MANUAL: LEVEL 1 ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT TERRESTRIAL ECOLOGICAL TESTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The manual provides detailed procedures for EPA/AEERL's Level 1 terrestrial bioassays. (Some test methods designated for AEERL's Level 1 environmental assessment biological testing program are sufficiently new that little or no published literature is available describing specifi...

  12. Automated experimentation in ecological networks

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In ecological networks, natural communities are studied from a complex systems perspective by representing interactions among species within them in the form of a graph, which is in turn analysed using mathematical tools. Topological features encountered in complex networks have been proved to provide the systems they represent with interesting attributes such as robustness and stability, which in ecological systems translates into the ability of communities to resist perturbations of different kinds. A focus of research in community ecology is on understanding the mechanisms by which these complex networks of interactions among species in a community arise. We employ an agent-based approach to model ecological processes operating at the species' interaction level for the study of the emergence of organisation in ecological networks. Results We have designed protocols of interaction among agents in a multi-agent system based on ecological processes occurring at the interaction level between species in plant-animal mutualistic communities. Interaction models for agents coordination thus engineered facilitate the emergence of network features such as those found in ecological networks of interacting species, in our artificial societies of agents. Conclusions Agent based models developed in this way facilitate the automation of the design an execution of simulation experiments that allow for the exploration of diverse behavioural mechanisms believed to be responsible for community organisation in ecological communities. This automated way of conducting experiments empowers the study of ecological networks by exploiting the expressive power of interaction models specification in agent systems. PMID:21554669

  13. Ecological risk assessment guidance for preparation of remedial investigation/feasibility study work plans

    SciTech Connect

    Pentecost, E.D.; Vinikour, W.S.

    1993-08-01

    This guidance document (1) provides instructions on preparing the components of an ecological work plan to complement the overall site remedial assessment investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) work plan and (2) directs the user on how to implement ecological tasks identified in the plan. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended by the Superfired Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), an RI/FS work plan win have to be developed as part of the site-remediation scoping the process. Specific guidance on the RI/FS process and the preparation of work plans has been developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 1988a). This document provides guidance to US Department of Energy (DOE) staff and contractor personnel for incorporation of ecological information into environmental remediation planning and decision making at CERCLA sites. An overview analysis of early ecological risk assessment methods (i.e., in the 1980s) at Superfund sites was conducted by the EPA (1989a). That review provided a perspective of attention given to ecological issues in some of the first RI/FS studies. By itself, that reference is of somewhat limited value; it does, however, establish a basis for comparison of past practices in ecological risk with current, more refined methods.

  14. The Journey towards a Teacher's Ecological Self: A Case Study of a Student Teacher

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raus, Rea; Falkenberg, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Transforming our educational systems to support sustainable development is a challenge that involves all levels of education--policy, curriculum and pedagogical practice. One critical dimension to look at is a teacher's identity as it influences a teacher's decision-making, behaviour, and action. The ecological self is the concept that is used in…

  15. Case study of ecological risk assessment at an Alaska airport

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, J.A.; Foster, T.L.; Zieber, P.A.

    1995-12-31

    An ecological risk assessment was conducted for 10 sites at a remote location that has unique biological resources. Chemicals of concern included petroleum, metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxins and furans. Risks to 23 species of mammals and birds were evaluated by using toxicity reference values and a hazard quotient approach analogous to the US Environmental Protection Agency`s (USEPA`s) approach for evaluating noncarcinogenic human health effects. Risks to fish and aquatic invertebrates were evaluated using risk-based concentrations for water analogous to the USEPA`s water quality criteria. Risks to plants were evaluated using risk-based concentrations for soil. Toxicity reference values and risk-based concentrations were developed by applying uncertainty factors to the highest quality toxicity data available in the literature. Intake rates for wildlife were obtained from the USEPA`s wildlife exposure factors handbook, or were estimated using allometric equations. The sizes of wildlife home ranges were compared with the size of each site to determine species- and site-specific exposure frequencies. Indicator chemicals were selected to represent the chemical and toxicological characteristics of petroleum fractions. The species most often at risk were found to be fish and aquatic invertebrates, as well as small-bodied, ground-dwelling or ground-feeding wildlife.

  16. Climate Change, Sea-Level Rise and Implications for Coastal and Estuarine Shoreline Management with Particular Reference to the Ecology of Intertidal Benthic Macrofauna in NW Europe

    PubMed Central

    Fujii, Toyonobu

    2012-01-01

    In many European estuaries, extensive areas of intertidal habitats consist of bare mudflats and sandflats that harbour a very high abundance and biomass of macrobenthic invertebrates. The high stocks of macrobenthos in turn provide important food sources for the higher trophic levels such as fish and shorebirds. Climate change and associated sea-level rise will have potential to cause changes in coastal and estuarine physical properties in a number of ways and thereby influence the ecology of estuarine dependent organisms. Although the mechanisms involved in biological responses resulting from such environmental changes are complex, the ecological effects are likely to be significant for the estuarine benthic macrofauna and hence the consumers they support. This paper reviews the utilisation patterns of estuarine intertidal habitats by shorebirds, fish and crustaceans, as well as factors affecting the distribution, abundance and biomass of estuarine macrobenthos that is known to be important food source for these estuarine predators. This study also provides simple conceptual models of the likely impacts of sea-level rise on the physical and biological elements of estuarine intertidal habitats, and implications of these results are discussed in the context of sustainable long term flood and coastal management in estuarine environments. PMID:24832510

  17. The genus Crataegus L.: an ecological and molecular study.

    PubMed

    MirAli, N; Al-Odat, M; Haider, N; Nabulsi, I

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed at the indentification of the species and genotypes of the genus Crataegus in Syria and determination of the genetic relationships among them based on the analysis of genomic and chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) using ISSRs and CAPS techniques. Morphological characterization carried out on 49 Crataegus samples collected from different geographical regions of Syria revealed four Crataegus species: C. monogyna, C. sinaica, C. aronia and C. azarolus. In the dendrogram constructed for those samples based on ISSRs (20 primers), all samples that belong to C. monogyna were clustered in one cluster. Samples of the other three species were overlaped in another cluster. Two samples of these were the most distant from all other samples in the dendrogram and were suggested to represent hybrid species or subspecies. When CAPS technique was applied on four Crataegus samples that represent the four suggested species using 22 cpDNA regions and 90 endonucleases, no polymorphism was detected neither in amplification products sizes nor in restriction profiles. The inability of detection of variation in cpDNA among species suggested can be attributed to the low level of evolution of the cpDNA in the genus, and to the possibility that some of these species are either subspecies or hybrids since the cpDNA is inherited through one parent only. PMID:21443158

  18. A field study of the socio-ecology of the Goeldi's monkey (Callimico goeldii) in northern Bolivia.

    PubMed

    Pook, A G; Pook, G

    1981-01-01

    A 5-month field study on both the distribution and ecology of Callimico goeldii was carried out in the seasonally dry rain forest of north-western Bolivia. The species was found to be very sparsely distributed (approximately one group per 4 km2) in isolated groups of about 6 animals throughout the study area. Callimico was found to associate a great deal with two species of Saguinus that inhabit the same region in greater densities. It appears to be a habitat specialist, preferring low-lying and damp, but well-drained, bamboo forest and spending nearly all its time within 3 m of ground level, travelling mainly by vertical clinging and leaping. We believe that this ecological specialisation accounts for the species' discontinuous micro-distribution, and that this in turn is related to Callimico's distinctive pattern of social organisation. PMID:6792016

  19. Ecological studies of polyploidy in the 100 years following its discovery

    PubMed Central

    Ramsey, Justin; Ramsey, Tara S.

    2014-01-01

    Polyploidy is a mutation with profound phenotypic consequences and thus hypothesized to have transformative effects in plant ecology. This is most often considered in the context of geographical and environmental distributions—as achieved from divergence of physiological and life-history traits—but may also include species interactions and biological invasion. This paper presents a historical overview of hypotheses and empirical data regarding the ecology of polyploids. Early researchers of polyploidy (1910s–1930s) were geneticists by training but nonetheless savvy to its phenotypic effects, and speculated on the importance of genome duplication to adaptation and crop improvement. Cytogenetic studies in the 1930s–1950s indicated that polyploids are larger (sturdier foliage, thicker stems and taller stature) than diploids while cytogeographic surveys suggested that polyploids and diploids have allopatric or parapatric distributions. Although autopolyploidy was initially regarded as common, influential writings by North American botanists in the 1940s and 1950s argued for the principle role of allopolyploidy; according to this view, genome duplication was significant for providing a broader canvas for hybridization rather than for its phenotypic effects per se. The emphasis on allopolyploidy had a chilling effect on nascent ecological work, in part due to taxonomic challenges posed by interspecific hybridization. Nonetheless, biosystematic efforts over the next few decades (1950s–1970s) laid the foundation for ecological research by documenting cytotype distributions and identifying phenotypic correlates of polyploidy. Rigorous investigation of polyploid ecology was achieved in the 1980s and 1990s by population biologists who leveraged flow cytometry for comparative work in autopolyploid complexes. These efforts revealed multi-faceted ecological and phenotypic differences, some of which may be direct consequences of genome duplication. Several classical

  20. Ecological studies on the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) on the Savannah River Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Seigel, R.A.; Brandt, L.A.; Knight, J.L.; Novak, S.S.

    1986-06-01

    The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest vertebrate of the Savannah River Plant (SRP), reaching a maximum length of 3.7 meters (12 feet) and weighing up to 175 kg (385 pounds). Currently, populations in coastal South Carolina are considered Threatened, whereas populations in inland areas (such as the SRP) are still Endangered. Because of their legal status and economic and ecological importance, it is important to determine the environmental impacts of SRP operations on the local alligator population. The major objectives under the Endangered Species Program of the Comprehensive Cooling Water Study (CCWS) were as follows: (1) document and compare the present status and distribution of alligators on the SRP to previous surveys, in order to determine long-term changes in population abundance; (2) establish baseline population and ecological parameters of the Steel Creek population so that the ecological effects of L-Reactor operations can be determined, and (3) conduct ecological research on the immediate impacts of thermal effluents on American alligators. Gladden et al., (1985) summarized data on previous population surveys, temporal changes in the Par Pond population, preliminary results of the Steel Creek surveys and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) research on the effects of thermal effluents. This report summarizes the current status of the SRP population, presents data on the abundance, movement patterns and activity cycles of the Steel Creek population, and presents additional data on the effect of cooling water releases on alligator ecology and behavior.

  1. Ecological optimization and performance study of irreversible Stirling and Ericsson heat engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tyagi, S. K.; Kaushik, S. C.; Salhotra, R.

    2002-10-01

    The concept of finite time thermodynamics is used to determine the ecological function of irreversible Stirling and Ericsson heat engine cycles. The ecological function is defined as the power output minus power loss (irreversibility), which is the ambient temperature times, the entropy generation rate. The ecological function is maximized with respect to cycle temperature ratio and the expressions for the corresponding power output and thermal efficiency are derived at the optimal operating conditions. The effect of different operating parameters, the effectiveness on the hot, cold and the regenerative side heat exchangers, the cycle temperature ratio, heat capacitance ratio and the internal irreversibility parameter on the maximum ecological function are studied. It is found that the effect of regenerator effectiveness is more than the hot and cold side heat exchangers and the effect of the effectiveness on cold side heat exchanger is more than the effectiveness on the hot side heat exchanger on the maximum ecological function. It is also found that the effect of internal irreversibility parameter is more than the other parameters not only on the maximum ecological function but also on the corresponding power output and the thermal efficiency.

  2. The value of ecologic studies: mercury concentration in ambient air and the risk of autism.

    PubMed

    Blanchard, K Stephen; Palmer, Raymond F; Stein, Zachary

    2011-01-01

    Ecologic studies of the spatial relationship between disease and sources of environmental contamination can help to ascertain the degree of risk to populations from contamination and to inform legislation to ameliorate the risk. Population risks associated with persistent low-level mercury exposure have recently begun to be of concern and current reports implicate environmental mercury as a potential contributor in the etiology of various developmental and neurodegenerative diseases including autism and Alzheimer's disease. In this demonstration of preliminary findings, we demonstrate for Bexar County Texas and Santa Clara County California, the hypothesis that the spatial structure of the occurrence of autism has a positive co-variation with the spatial structure of the distribution of mercury in ambient air. The relative risk of autism is greater in the geographic areas of higher levels of ambient mercury. We find that the higher levels of ambient mercury are geographically associated with point sources of mercury emission, such as coal-fired power plants and cement plants with coal-fired kilns. Although this does not indicate a cause, these results should not be dismissed, but rather seen as a preliminary step for generating a hypothesis for further investigation. PMID:21905454

  3. The New Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bioscience, 1970

    1970-01-01

    Describes new techniques and approaches to ecology, including the systems approach, behavioral studies, the use of of radioistopes to investigate ecological cycles and energetics, and evolutionary ecology, all leading to a more sophisticated understanding of complex natural systems. (EB)

  4. Collective trauma in northern Sri Lanka: a qualitative psychosocial-ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Somasundaram, Daya

    2007-01-01

    Background Complex situations that follow war and natural disasters have a psychosocial impact on not only the individual but also on the family, community and society. Just as the mental health effects on the individual psyche can result in non pathological distress as well as a variety of psychiatric disorders; massive and widespread trauma and loss can impact on family and social processes causing changes at the family, community and societal levels. Method This qualitative, ecological study is a naturalistic, psychosocial ethnography in Northern Sri Lanka, while actively involved in psychosocial and community mental health programmes among the Tamil community. Participatory observation, key informant interviews and focus group discussion with community level relief and rehabilitation workers and government and non-governmental officials were used to gather data. The effects on the community of the chronic, man-made disaster, war, in Northern Sri Lanka were compared with the contexts found before the war and after the tsunami. Results Fundamental changes in the functioning of the family and the community were observed. While the changes after the tsunami were not so prominent, the chronic war situation caused more fundamental social transformations. At the family level, the dynamics of single parent families, lack of trust among members, and changes in significant relationships, and child rearing practices were seen. Communities tended to be more dependent, passive, silent, without leadership, mistrustful, and suspicious. Additional adverse effects included the breakdown in traditional structures, institutions and familiar ways of life, and deterioration in social norms and ethics. A variety of community level interventions were tried. Conclusion Exposure to conflict, war and disaster situations impact on fundamental family and community dynamics resulting in changes at a collective level. Relief, rehabilitation and development programmes to be effective will

  5. Ecology, ethics, and professional environmental practice: The Yucca Mountain, Nevada, project as a case study

    SciTech Connect

    Malone, C.R.

    1995-09-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to develop a geologic repository for disposing of high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In this commentary, the ecology program for the DOE`s Yucca Mountain Project is discussed from the perspective of state-of-the-art ecosystem analysis, environmental ethics, and standards of professional practice. Specifically at issue is the need by the Yucca Mountain ecology program to adopt an ecosystem approach that encompasses the current strategy based on population biology and community ecology alone. The premise here is that an ecosystem approach is essential for assessing the long-term potential environmental impacts at Yucca Mountain in light of the thermal effects expected to be associated with heat from radioactive decay.

  6. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population-Level Effects

    SciTech Connect

    Kramer, Vincent J.; Etterson, Matthew A.; Hecker, Markus; Murphy, Cheryl A.; Roesijadi, Guritno; Spade, Daniel J.; Spromberg, Julann A.; Wang, Magnus; Ankley, Gerald T.

    2010-11-24

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitors, predators, prey, habitat and other biotic and abiotic factors. Models of population-level effects of contaminants can integrate information from lower levels of biological organization and feed that information into higher-level community and ecosystem models. As individual-level endpoints are utilized to predict population responses, this requires that biological responses at lower levels of organization be translated into a form that is useable by the population modeler. In this paper we describe how mechanistic data, as captured in adverse outcome pathways, can be translated into modeling focused on population-level risk assessments. First, we present a succinct overview of different approaches to population modeling, and discuss the types of data needed for these models. Then we discuss how toxicity data are used currently for population modeling, and provide recommendations as to how testing might be modified to better generate information to support modeling. From this we describe how different key processes measured at the level of the individual serve as the bridge between mechanistic toxicology data and predictions of population status, and provide case examples of how this linkage has been/can be achieved.

  7. The Evolving Ecological Universe: a Study in the Science and Human Implications of a New World Hypothesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goerner, Sally Jo.

    1992-01-01

    This study describes a broad cultural shift and a parallel scientific shift. Scientifically and culturally, Western civilization is moving toward a vision of a living, evolving, ecological universe and away from the Newtonian clockwork-machine universe. In Stephen Pepper's (1946) terms, the shift represents a change in dominant world hypothesis--that is, the dominant metaphor of how the world works. The bulk of the dissertation is a detailed exploration of the scientific shift because science's understanding of how the world works profoundly shapes beliefs in general. The exploration shows how a number of minirevolutions in physics and biology are related and how each supports an evolving ecological vision. The work in these different fields combines to produce a particularly important change in understanding--a vision of evolution as a single overall physical process from molecules to humankind. Ecological science (physics to biology) and the new view of evolution become possible because of a major conceptual shift in physics, the nonlinear revolution. The nonlinear revolution includes three major elements: chaos (modern nonlinear dynamics); self-organization theory (far -from-equilibrium thermodynamics); and the thermodynamics of evolution. Together these elements produce a physical understanding of an evolving, order-producing, universe --that is, a universe that evolves toward higher and higher levels of ordered complexity through interactive ecological dynamics. This very different physical picture of how the world works has important implications for human beliefs in general. A final section of the study explores the ecological shift's implications for humankind. It looks at ecological changes occurring outside the physical sciences (for example, in economics) and at how the radically changed physical sense of how the world works might affect other beliefs. For instance, the new physical view shows a remarkable ability to support and connect many

  8. Affect Regulation and Purging: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study in Purging Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Haedt-Matt, Alissa A.; Keel, Pamela K.

    2015-01-01

    Research suggests that affect may play an important role in the propensity to purge among women with Purging Disorder (PD). However, prior work has been constrained to cross-sectional or laboratory designs which impact temporal interpretations and ecological validity. This study examined the role of negative affect (NA) and positive affect (PA) in triggering and maintaining purging in PD using ecological momentary assessment. Women with PD (N=24) made multiple daily ratings of affect and behavior for two weeks. Multilevel models examined associations between affect and purging at different levels of analysis, including a novel analytic approach to address the specificity of changes in affect relative to purging behavior by comparing trajectories of change on purge versus non-purge days. For trajectories of affect over time, NA increased before purging and decreased following purging on purge days; however, only the decrease in NA following purging was significantly different from the trajectory of NA on non-purge days. Conversely, PA failed to increase before purging on purge days compared to a matched time-point on non-purge days. These findings suggest unique roles of PA in triggering and NA in maintaining purging in PD and support models in which purging functions to regulate affect. For comparisons of ratings before and after purging, NA increased and PA decreased after purging, highlighting how different analytic strategies produce different findings requiring integration into affect regulation models. These data provide insight into why women with PD purge after consuming normal amounts of food, a crucial first step for developing effective interventions. PMID:25688426

  9. Species sensitivity weighted distribution for ecological risk assessment of engineered nanomaterials: the n-TiO2 case study.

    PubMed

    Semenzin, Elena; Lanzellotto, Elisa; Hristozov, Danail; Critto, Andrea; Zabeo, Alex; Giubilato, Elisa; Marcomini, Antonio

    2015-11-01

    Societal concerns about the environmental risks of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) have recently increased, but nano-ecological risk assessments are constrained by significant gaps in basic information on long-term effects and exposures, for example. An approach to the ecological risk assessment of ENMs is proposed that can operate in the context of high uncertainty. This approach further develops species sensitivity weighted distribution (SSWD) by including 3 weighting criteria (species relevance, trophic level abundance, and nanotoxicity data quality) to address nano-specific needs (n-SSWD). The application of n-SSWD is illustrated for nanoscale titanium dioxide (n-TiO2 ), which is available in different crystal forms; it was selected because of its widespread use in consumer products (e.g., cosmetics) and the ample availability of data from ecotoxicological studies in the literature (including endpoints for algae, invertebrates, bacteria, and vertebrates in freshwater, saltwater, and terrestrial compartments). The n-SSWD application resulted in estimation of environmental quality criteria (hazard concentration affecting 5% and 50% of the species) and ecological risk (potentially affected fraction of species), which were then compared with similar results obtained by applying the traditional species sensitivity distribution (SSD) approach to the same dataset. The n-SSWDs were also built for specific trophic levels (e.g., primary producers) and taxonomic groups (e.g., algae), which helped to identify the most sensitive organisms. These results showd that n-SSWD is a valuable risk tool, although further testing is suggested. PMID:26058704

  10. The Social Maps of Children Approaching Adolescence: Studying the Ecology of Youth Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garbarino, James; And Others

    This paper reports the first results of a three-year longitudinal study of the social maps of children beginning the transition to adolescence. This exploratory study is guided by Bronfenbrenner's conception of the ecology of human development stressing the importance of a phenomenological orientation to development in the context of ecological…

  11. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects, Journal Article

    EPA Science Inventory

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitor...

  12. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects

    EPA Science Inventory

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitor...

  13. Transition to Postgraduate Study: Postgraduate Ecological Systems and Identity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tobbell, Jane; O'Donnell, Victoria L.

    2013-01-01

    This paper explores and examines the distal and proximal systems which construct social science postgraduate study in the UK and analyses the emergent identities of postgraduate students as they negotiate the multiple and interacting practices in their transition to study. The data represent part of a one-year research project, funded by the…

  14. An Ecological Study of Crime in Rural Ohio.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Shu-O W.; Phillips, G. Howard

    In order to contribute to the sparse literature on factors associated with crime in rural communities, an exploratory study analyzed the relation between demographic, social, and economic factors of selected rural townships in Ohio and their rates of crime. Data for the study were collected from three sources: daily offense reports from nine Ohio…

  15. Incorporating ecological risk assessment into remedial investigation/feasibility study work plans

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-06-01

    This guidance document (1) provides instructions on preparing the components of an ecological work plan to complement the overall site remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) work plan and (2) directs the user on how to implement ecological tasks identified in the plan. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), and RI/FS work plan will have to be developed as part of the site-remediation scoping process. Specific guidance on the RI/FS process and the preparation of work plans has been developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 1988a). This document provides guidance to US Department of Energy (DOE) staff and contractor personnel for incorporation of ecological information into environmental remediation planning and decision making at CERCLA sites.

  16. [A study on feeding ecology and migration patterns of Dosidicus gigas off Peru using stable isotope analysis].

    PubMed

    Gong, Yi; Chen, Xin-jun; Li, Yun-kai; Han, Meng-jie

    2015-09-01

    As a pelagic cephalopod and one of the main target species of Chinese distant water fishery, jumbo squids (Dosidicus gigas) play a major role in the marine ecosystems of the eastern Pacific. Understanding the feeding ecology and migration patterns of jumbo squids is of importance for better utilizing the resources. The isotopic signatures of gladius, have been proved to be a powerful tool to reveal high resolution and ontogenic variations in individual foraging strategies of squids; which is an archival tissue with no elemental turnover after formation. In this study, the growth equation of gladius proostracum was established based on the age information determined by statolith. Gladius was cut successionally by the growth curve of gladius proostracum, the stable isotopic values of the gladius profiles were determined, and the feeding ecology and migration patterns of jumbo squids during its growth process were investigated. Results showed that the jumbo squids began to migrate after 180 days of postnatal, and their trophic levels tended to decrease throughout the life span. These results demonstrated the feasibility of using continuous sampling hard tissue to study the feeding ecology and habitat transfer of jumbo squids. PMID:26785574

  17. CULTURING AND ECOLOGY STUDIES OF THE ROTIFER, 'POLYARTHRA VULGARIS'

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report presents research conducted to identify variables which affect the survival and reproduction of the rotifer, Polyarthra vulgaris. The following variables were studied: handling stress, container size, frequency of changing the culture medium, light quantity and quality...

  18. Application of the LUminometric Methylation Assay to ecological species: tissue quality requirements and a survey of DNA methylation levels in animals.

    PubMed

    Head, Jessica A; Mittal, Krittika; Basu, Niladri

    2014-09-01

    The LUminometric Methylation Assay (LUMA) measures global DNA methylation. LUMA depends on digestion of DNA with methyl-sensitive and methyl-insensitive restriction enzymes, followed by pyrosequencing. Until recently, LUMA has been principally used for biomedical research. Here, we use chickens as a model to investigate sample quality issues relating to LUMA and then apply the method to ecological species. First, we assessed the effect of tissue storage conditions on DNA methylation values. This is an important consideration for ecological species because samples are not always ideally preserved and LUMA is sensitive to poor DNA quality. We found that good quality LUMA data could be obtained from chicken liver and brain tissues stored at 21 °C for at least 2 and 12 h, respectively. Longer storage times introduced nonspecific peaks to pyrograms which were associated with reduced DNA methylation. Repeatedly, freezing and thawing the tissues did not affect LUMA data. Second, we measured DNA methylation in 12 species representing five animal classes: amphibians (African and Western clawed frog), reptiles (green anole lizard), fish (yellow perch, goldfish, lake trout), mammals (American mink, polar bear, short-beaked common dolphin, Atlantic white-sided dolphin) and birds (chicken, Japanese quail). We saw a pattern of high DNA methylation in fish (84-87%), and intermediate levels in mammals (68-72%) and birds (52-71%). This pattern corresponds well with previous measures of DNA methylation generated by HPLC. Our data represent the first CpG methylation values to be reported in several species and provide a basis for studying patterns of epigenetic inheritance in an ecological context. PMID:24576185

  19. PhD-level education in Wageningen: the approach at graduate school Production Ecology and Resource Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temme, Arnaud; van de Vijver, Claudius; Jetten, Theo; Suselbeek, Lennart

    2016-04-01

    Wageningen University's PhD programme is organized by Graduate Schools that are defined based on topics. The C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology and Resource Conservation (PE&RC) focussed on topics ranging from ecology and soil science to crop modelling. The Graduate School's offering of PhD courses comprises methodological courses, topical courses, skills courses and international on-site courses. All courses are characterized by a high degree of ownership by PhD candidates themselves. In many cases, candidates apply the skills that they learn on datasets from their own studies, during the course. This allows them to get hands-on experience while working towards their own results. The international on-site courses uniquely bring together Wageningen PhD candidates from a wide range of disciplines to jointly discuss and learn with local PhD candidates. Candidates also highly value the extensive attention for candidates' wellbeing during their time in Wageningen, for instance through PhD weekends.

  20. Development and application of the SSD approach in scientific case studies for ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Del Signore, Anastasia; Hendriks, A Jan; Lenders, H J Rob; Leuven, Rob S E W; Breure, A M

    2016-09-01

    Species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) are used in ecological risk assessment for extrapolation of the results of toxicity tests with single species to a toxicity threshold considered protective of ecosystem structure and functioning. The attention to and importance of the SSD approach has increased in scientific and regulatory communities since the 1990s. Discussion and criticism have been triggered on the concept of the approach as well as its technical aspects (e.g., distribution type, number of toxicity endpoints). Various questions remain unanswered, especially with regard to different endpoints, statistical methods, and protectiveness of threshold levels, for example. In the present literature review (covering the period 2002-2013), case studies are explored in which the SSD approach was applied, as well as how endpoint types, species choice, and data availability affect SSDs. How statistical methods may be used to construct reliable SSDs and whether the lower 5th percentile hazard concentrations (HC5s) from a generic SSD can be protective for a specific local community are also investigated. It is shown that estimated protective concentrations were determined by taxonomic groups rather than the statistical method used to construct the distribution. Based on comparisons between semifield and laboratory-based SSDs, the output from a laboratory SSD was protective of semifield communities in the majority of studies. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2149-2161. © 2016 SETAC. PMID:27144499

  1. Heterozygote Advantage Probably Maintains Rhesus Factor Blood Group Polymorphism: Ecological Regression Study.

    PubMed

    Flegr, Jaroslav

    2016-01-01

    Rhesus factor polymorphism has been an evolutionary enigma since its discovery in 1939. Carriers of the rarer allele should be eliminated by selection against Rhesus positive children born to Rhesus negative mothers. Here I used an ecologic regression study to test the hypothesis that Rhesus factor polymorphism is stabilized by heterozygote advantage. The study was performed in 65 countries for which the frequencies of RhD phenotypes and specific disease burden data were available. I performed multiple multivariate covariance analysis with five potential confounding variables: GDP, latitude (distance from the equator), humidity, medical care expenditure per capita and frequencies of smokers. The results showed that the burden associated with many diseases correlated with the frequencies of particular Rhesus genotypes in a country and that the direction of the relation was nearly always the opposite for the frequency of Rhesus negative homozygotes and that of Rhesus positive heterozygotes. On the population level, a Rhesus-negativity-associated burden could be compensated for by the heterozygote advantage, but for Rhesus negative subjects this burden represents a serious problem. PMID:26811928

  2. Heterozygote Advantage Probably Maintains Rhesus Factor Blood Group Polymorphism: Ecological Regression Study

    PubMed Central

    Flegr, Jaroslav

    2016-01-01

    Rhesus factor polymorphism has been an evolutionary enigma since its discovery in 1939. Carriers of the rarer allele should be eliminated by selection against Rhesus positive children born to Rhesus negative mothers. Here I used an ecologic regression study to test the hypothesis that Rhesus factor polymorphism is stabilized by heterozygote advantage. The study was performed in 65 countries for which the frequencies of RhD phenotypes and specific disease burden data were available. I performed multiple multivariate covariance analysis with five potential confounding variables: GDP, latitude (distance from the equator), humidity, medical care expenditure per capita and frequencies of smokers. The results showed that the burden associated with many diseases correlated with the frequencies of particular Rhesus genotypes in a country and that the direction of the relation was nearly always the opposite for the frequency of Rhesus negative homozygotes and that of Rhesus positive heterozygotes. On the population level, a Rhesus-negativity-associated burden could be compensated for by the heterozygote advantage, but for Rhesus negative subjects this burden represents a serious problem. PMID:26811928

  3. The ecological model and the study of child abuse in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Wilson-Oyelaran, E B

    1989-01-01

    Physical abuse and exploitative child labor are two common forms of child abuse in Nigeria. Exploitative child labor exists in both the formal and informal sectors where children work as hairdressers, beggars' assistants, hawkers, and as factory and agricultural workers under conditions characterized by long hours, hazardous environment, and meager remuneration. Research on the incidence of physical abuse in Nigeria is less systematic, and few empirical studies are available. Physical abuse is primarily the result of corporal punishment which has become excessive. Poverty and the existence of a dependent capitalist economy are often proffered as the primary causes of child abuse. While both explanations have some validity, their unidimensional nature limits their explanatory capacity. These explanations also lead to the belief that very little can be done to improve the quality of children's lives until the social order is restructured. The ecological model proposes that child abuse can best be understood if it is analyzed multidimensionally with emphasis on the individual, family, social environment, and cultural milieau, as well as the dynamic interaction between these levels. This model appears appropriate for the study of child abuse in Nigeria, and its application is advocated as a vehicle for improving the quality of child abuse research. PMID:2776046

  4. Correlation between Trichomonas vaginalis and Concurrency: An Ecological Study

    PubMed Central

    Kenyon, Chris R.; Hamilton, Deven T.

    2016-01-01

    Objective. There is a large variation in the prevalence of Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) between different countries and between racial groups within countries. Sexual partner concurrency may play a role. We investigate the correlation between the prevalence of sexual partner concurrency and TV prevalence. Methods. Spearman's correlation to assess relationship between TV prevalence in women and point prevalence of concurrency in men in (1) 11 countries with comparable data (concurrency data from WHO Survey and TV prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease estimates) and (2) three racial groups in the United States (Add Health Study). Results. The prevalence of TV and concurrency was positively correlated in the international (rho = 0.84, P = 0.001) and USA study (rho = 1.0, P < 0.001). Conclusion. Prospective longitudinal studies that include measures of partner behavior are required to definitively establish the role of concurrency in the spread of TV. PMID:26949392

  5. Algal culture studies related to a Closed Ecological Life Support System (CELSS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radmer, R. O.; Ollinger, O.; Venables, A.; Fernandez, E.

    1982-01-01

    Studies with algal cultures which relate to closed ecological life support systems (CELSS) are discussed. A description of a constant cell density apparatus for continuous culture of algae is included. Excretion of algal by-products, and nitrogen utilization and excretion are discussed.

  6. Daily Emotional Dynamics in Depressed Youth: A Cell Phone Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silk, Jennifer S.; Forbes, Erika E.; Whalen, Diana J.; Jakubcak, Jennifer L.; Thompson, Wesley K.; Ryan, Neal D.; Axelson, David A.; Birmaher, Boris; Dahl, Ronald E.

    2011-01-01

    This study used a new cell phone ecological momentary assessment approach to investigate daily emotional dynamics in 47 youths with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 32 no-psychopathology controls (CON) (ages 7-17 years). Information about emotional experience in the natural environment was obtained using answer-only cell phones, while MDD…

  7. Research Plan for Study of Biological and Ecological Effects of the Solar Power Satellite Transmission System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newsom, B. D.

    1978-01-01

    A programmatic research plan for a three year study is presented to generate knowledge on effects of the continuous wave 2.45 GHz microwave power transmission that the Solar Power Satellite might have on biological and ecological elements, within and around the rectenna receiving site.

  8. Energize It! An Ecologically Integrated Approach to the Study of the Digestive System and Energy Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Derting, Terry L.

    1992-01-01

    Develops a research-oriented method of studying the digestive system that integrates species' ecology with the form and function of this system. Uses problem-posing, problem-probing, and peer persuasion. Presents information for mammalian systems. (27 references) (MKR)

  9. Revitalizing traditional ecological knowledge: a study in an Alpine rural community.

    PubMed

    Ianni, Elena; Geneletti, Davide; Ciolli, Marco

    2015-07-01

    This study aims to contribute to the debate on the value and the role of ecological knowledge in modern conservation strategies, with reference to the results of a case study conducted in the community of Montagne, located within a World Heritage site in the Italian Alps. This community is a paradigmatic example of the multiple transformations experienced by cultural landscapes in Alpine areas under the influence of global change. This study seeks to understand whether ecological knowledge is still in place in the community, and what the relationship is between the knowledge transmission and land use and social changes that have occurred in recent decades. To that end, the community is described by identifying the key variables (social, institutional, and ecological) that have historically shaped the landscape and the future priorities of the residents. Forest expansion, the most significant change in land use in the last 60 years, is analyzed using aerial photos; changes in biodiversity-related knowledge in the community are quantified by analyzing the inter-generational differences in plant species recognition. Results are discussed in the context of the current situation of the Montagne community, and the recommendation is made that policies and actions to promote traditional ecological knowledge protection or recovery in Europe be viewed as an important part of the recovery of community sovereignty and vitality. Lastly, concrete actions that can be implemented in our case study are proposed. PMID:25847107

  10. Undertaking an Ecological Approach to Advance Game-Based Learning: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shah, Mamta; Foster, Aroutis

    2014-01-01

    Systematic incorporation of digital games in schools is largely unexplored. This case study explored the ecological conditions necessary for implementing a game-based learning course by examining the interaction between three domains (the innovator, the innovation, and the context). From January-April 2012, one in-service teacher learned and…

  11. Revitalizing Traditional Ecological Knowledge: A Study in an Alpine Rural Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ianni, Elena; Geneletti, Davide; Ciolli, Marco

    2015-07-01

    This study aims to contribute to the debate on the value and the role of ecological knowledge in modern conservation strategies, with reference to the results of a case study conducted in the community of Montagne, located within a World Heritage site in the Italian Alps. This community is a paradigmatic example of the multiple transformations experienced by cultural landscapes in Alpine areas under the influence of global change. This study seeks to understand whether ecological knowledge is still in place in the community, and what the relationship is between the knowledge transmission and land use and social changes that have occurred in recent decades. To that end, the community is described by identifying the key variables (social, institutional, and ecological) that have historically shaped the landscape and the future priorities of the residents. Forest expansion, the most significant change in land use in the last 60 years, is analyzed using aerial photos; changes in biodiversity-related knowledge in the community are quantified by analyzing the inter-generational differences in plant species recognition. Results are discussed in the context of the current situation of the Montagne community, and the recommendation is made that policies and actions to promote traditional ecological knowledge protection or recovery in Europe be viewed as an important part of the recovery of community sovereignty and vitality. Lastly, concrete actions that can be implemented in our case study are proposed.

  12. The Cultural Ecology of Scholar-Practitioner Leaders: An Ethnographic Study of Leadership

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenlink, Patrick M.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this critical ethnographic study was to examine the nature and meaning of cultural ecology in relation to preparing scholar-practitioner leaders. The ethnography focused on how the discourses and practices within the disciplinary setting of leadership preparation shape the identity of social scholar-practitioner leaders. The…

  13. Organisms for Teaching: "Artemia salina": An Easily Cultured Invertebrate Ideally Suited for Ecological Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ward-Booth, Kirsty; Reiss, Michael

    1988-01-01

    This paper includes a general account of the biology of the brine shrimp, instructions on how the organism may be cultured, the results of some experiments on the ecology and population biology of the species, and some suggestions for further studies. (Author/CW)

  14. Science and Ecological Economics: Integrating of the Study of Humans and the Rest of Nature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Costanza, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Ecological economics is a transdisciplinary field that seeks to integrate the study of humans and the rest of nature as the basis for the creation of a sustainable and desirable future. It seeks to dissolve the barriers between the traditional disciplines and achieve a true "consilience" of all the sciences and humanities. This consilient,…

  15. Joint Action in Didactics and Classroom Ecology: Comparing Theories Using a Case Study in Physical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amade-Escot, Chantal; Venturini, Patrice

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines the respective contribution of two theoretical approaches to teaching and learning: the classroom ecology (CE) framework from Anglo-American research and the joint action in didactics (JAD) framework, which is part of French "didactique" research. This theoretical comparison is grounded in data from a case study in a…

  16. Ignorance of Hedonic Adaptation to Hemodialysis: A Study Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riis, Jason; Loewenstein, George; Baron, Jonathan; Jepson, Christopher; Fagerlin, Angela; Ubel, Peter A.

    2005-01-01

    Healthy people generally underestimate the self-reported well-being of people with disabilities and serious illnesses. The cause of this discrepancy is in dispute, and the present study provides evidence for 2 causes. First, healthy people fail to anticipate hedonic adaptation to poor health. Using an ecological momentary assessment measure of…

  17. An Experimental Ecological Study of a Garden Compost Heap.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curds, Tracy

    1985-01-01

    A quantitative study of the fauna of a garden compost heap shows it to be similar to that of organisms found in soil and leaf litter. Materials, methods, and results are discussed and extensive tables of fauna lists, wet/dry masses, and statistical analyses are presented. (Author/DH)

  18. Ecological studies on the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) on the Savannah River Plant. Comprehensive Cooling Water Study: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Seigel, R.A.; Brandt, L.A.; Knight, J.L.; Novak, S.S.

    1986-06-01

    The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest vertebrate of the Savannah River Plant (SRP), reaching a maximum length of 3.7 meters (12 feet) and weighing up to 175 kg (385 pounds). Currently, populations in coastal South Carolina are considered Threatened, whereas populations in inland areas (such as the SRP) are still Endangered. Because of their legal status and economic and ecological importance, it is important to determine the environmental impacts of SRP operations on the local alligator population. The major objectives under the Endangered Species Program of the Comprehensive Cooling Water Study (CCWS) were as follows: (1) document and compare the present status and distribution of alligators on the SRP to previous surveys, in order to determine long-term changes in population abundance; (2) establish baseline population and ecological parameters of the Steel Creek population so that the ecological effects of L-Reactor operations can be determined, and (3) conduct ecological research on the immediate impacts of thermal effluents on American alligators. Gladden et al., (1985) summarized data on previous population surveys, temporal changes in the Par Pond population, preliminary results of the Steel Creek surveys and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) research on the effects of thermal effluents. This report summarizes the current status of the SRP population, presents data on the abundance, movement patterns and activity cycles of the Steel Creek population, and presents additional data on the effect of cooling water releases on alligator ecology and behavior.

  19. Project CHOICE: #100. A Career Unit for Grades 3 and 4. Ecology Workers. (Agriculture and Ecological Studies Occupations Career Cluster).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Bakersfield, CA.

    This teaching unit, Ecology Workers, is one in a series of career guides developed by Project CHOICE (Children Have Options in Career Education) to provide the classroom teacher with a source of career-related activities linking third and fourth grade elementary classroom experiences with the world of work. Part of the Agriculture and Ecological…

  20. Ecological study of peat landforms in Canada and Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glaser, Paul H.

    1989-01-01

    Over 20 percent of the land surface of Canada and Alaska is covered by peatlands, which may be defined as any waterlogged ecosystem with a minimum thickness of 20 cm of organic matter in the soil. Past investigations have demonstrated the value of aerial photographs in identifying the major vegetation types and analyzing the biotic and hydrogeologic processes that control the development of these peatlands. In the present study, LANDSAT TM imagery was used in conjunction with field studies to determine the utility of this satellite sensor for detecting these important processes. Although the vegetation landforms within these major peat basins are visible on aerial photographs, LANDSAT TM imagery provides essential new evidence for their analysis. Spectral data from the LANDSAT TM system provides: (1) synoptic views of the patterns across large portions of these peat basins, indicating important physiographic controls on peatland development, (2) more sensitive detection of the major vegetation types, allowing rapid quantitative estimates to be made of their distribution and aerial extent, (3) discrimination of bog areas with potentially rapid or slow rates of peat accumulation, (4) identification of discharge zones for groundwater, which apparently represents the most important source of alkalinity in these peat basins, and (5) detection of flow patterns in water tracks that appear nearly uniform on standard aerial photographs.

  1. Ecotoxicogenomics to support ecological risk assessment: a case study with bisphenol A in fish.

    PubMed

    Villeneuve, Daniel L; Garcia-Reyero, Natàlia; Escalon, B Lynn; Jensen, Kathleen M; Cavallin, Jenna E; Makynen, Elizabeth A; Durhan, Elizabeth J; Kahl, Michael D; Thomas, Linnea M; Perkins, Edward J; Ankley, Gerald T

    2012-01-01

    Effects of bisphenol A (BPA) on ovarian transcript profiles as well as targeted end points with endocrine/reproductive relevance were examined in two fish species, fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) and zebrafish (Danio rerio), exposed in parallel using matched experimental designs. Four days of waterborne exposure to 10 μg BPA/L caused significant vitellogenin induction in both species. However, zebrafish were less sensitive to effects on hepatic gene expression and steroid production than fathead minnow and the magnitude of vitellogenin induction was more modest (i.e., 3-fold compared to 13,000-fold in fathead minnow). The concentration-response at the ovarian transcriptome level was nonmonotonic and violated assumptions that underlie proposed methods for estimating hazard thresholds from transcriptomic results. However, the nonmonotonic profile was consistent among species and there were nominal similarities in the functions associated with the differentially expressed genes, suggesting potential activation of common pathway perturbation motifs in both species. Overall, the results provide an effective case study for considering the potential application of ecotoxicogenomics to ecological risk assessments and provide novel comparative data regarding effects of BPA in fish. PMID:21786754

  2. Studying the Complex Communities of Ants and Their Symbionts Using Ecological Network Analysis.

    PubMed

    Ivens, Aniek B F; von Beeren, Christoph; Blüthgen, Nico; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2016-01-01

    Ant colonies provide well-protected and resource-rich environments for a plethora of symbionts. Historically, most studies of ants and their symbionts have had a narrow taxonomic scope, often focusing on a single ant or symbiont species. Here we discuss the prospects of studying these assemblies in a community ecology context using the framework of ecological network analysis. We introduce three basic network metrics that we consider particularly relevant for improving our knowledge of ant-symbiont communities: interaction specificity, network modularity, and phylogenetic signal. We then discuss army ant symbionts as examples of large and primarily parasitic communities, and symbiotic sternorrhynchans as examples of generally smaller and primarily mutualistic communities in the context of these network analyses. We argue that this approach will provide new and complementary insights into the evolutionary and ecological dynamics between ants and their many associates, and will facilitate comparisons across different ant-symbiont assemblages as well as across different types of ecological networks. PMID:26982442

  3. Compliance to a Cell Phone-Based Ecological Momentary Assessment Study: The Effect of Time and Personality Characteristics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Courvoisier, Delphine S.; Eid, Michael; Lischetzke, Tanja

    2012-01-01

    Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is a method that is now widely used to study behavior and mood in the settings in which they naturally occur. It maximizes ecological validity and avoids the limitations of retrospective self-reports. Compliance patterns across time have not been studied. Consistent compliance patterns could lead to data not…

  4. Comprehensive Evaluation of Urban Sprawl on Ecological Environment Using Multi-Source Data: a Case Study of Beijing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hao; Ning, Xiaogang; Zhu, Weiwei; Li, Fei

    2016-06-01

    With urban population growing and urban sprawling, urban ecological environment problems appear. Study on spatiotemporal characteristics of urban sprawl and its impact on ecological environment is useful for ecological civilization construction. Although a lot of work has been conducted on urban sprawl and its impact on ecological environment, resolution of images to extract urban boundary was relatively coarse and most studies only focused on certain indicators of ecological environment, rather than comprehensive evaluation of urban ecological environmental impact. In this study, high-resolution remote sensing images of Beijing from aerial photography in 2002 and 2013 respectively are employed to extract urban boundary with manual interpretation. Fractional Vegetation Coverage (FVC), Water Density (WD), Impervious Surfaces Coverage (ISC), Net Primary Production (NPP), and Land Surface Temperature (LST) are adopted to represent ecological environment. The ecological environment indicators are measured with some general algorithms by combining Landsat images, GIS data and metrological data of 243 day, 2001 and 244 day, 2013. In order to evaluate the impact of urban sprawl on ecological environment, pseudo changes due to metrological variation and other noise in this time period are removed after images calibration. The impact of urban sprawl on ecological environment is evaluated at different scales of urban extent, Beijing ring road and watershed. Results show that Beijing had been undergoing a rapid urbanization from 2002 to 2013, with urban area increase from 600 square kilometres to 987 square kilometres. All ecological environment indicators except LST became terrible in urban sprawl region, with carbon reduction of approximate 40508 tons. The Beiyun River watershed of Beijing degraded seriously since ISC increased to 0.59. Gratifyingly, ecological environment indicators including NDVI, NPP, and LST inside of 4th Ring Road became well.

  5. Decision-making in child protective services: Influences at multiple levels of the social ecology.

    PubMed

    Font, Sarah A; Maguire-Jack, Kathryn

    2015-09-01

    Decision-making in the child protection system is influenced by multiple factors; agency and geographic contexts, caseworker attributes, and families' unique circumstances all likely play a role. In this study, we use the second cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being to explore how these factors are associated with two key case decisions-substantiation and removal to out-of-home care. Analyses are conducted using weighted hierarchical linear models. We find that substantiation is strongly influenced by agency factors, particularly constraints on service accessibility. Substantiation is less likely when agencies can provide services to unsubstantiated cases and when collaboration with other social institutions is high. This supports the concept that substantiation may be a gateway to services in some communities. Agency factors contributed less to the probability of removal among substantiated cases, though time resources and constraints on decision-making had some influence. For both substantiation and removal risks, county, caseworker, and child characteristics were less influential than agency characteristics and family risk factors. PMID:25726323

  6. Decision-making in Child Protective Services: Influences at multiple levels of the social ecology

    PubMed Central

    Font, Sarah A.; Maguire-Jack, Kathryn

    2015-01-01

    Decision-making in the child protection system is influenced by multiple factors; agency and geographic contexts, caseworker attributes, and families' unique circumstances all likely play a role. In this study, we use the second cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being to explore how these factors are associated with two key case decisions—substantiation and removal to out-of-home care. Analyses are conducted using weighted hierarchical linear models. We find that substantiation is strongly influenced by agency factors, particularly constraints on service accessibility. Substantiation is less likely when agencies can provide services to unsubstantiated cases and when collaboration with other social institutions is high. This supports the concept that substantiation may be a gateway to services in some communities. Agency factors contributed less to the probability of removal among substantiated cases, though time resources and constraints on decision-making had some influence. For both substantiation and removal risks, county, caseworker, and child characteristics were less influential than agency characteristics and family risk factors. PMID:25726323

  7. A screening level probabilistic ecological risk assessment of PAHs in sediments of San Francisco Bay

    SciTech Connect

    Febbo, E.J.; Arnold, W.R.; Biddinger, G.R.

    1995-12-31

    As part of the Regional Monitoring Program administered by the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI), sediment samples were collected at 20 stations in San Francisco Bay and analyzed to determine concentrations of 43 PAHs. These data were obtained from SFEI and used to calculate the potential risk to aquatic organisms using probabilistic modeling and Monte Carlo statistical procedures. Sediment chemistry data were used in conjunction with a sediment equilibrium model, a bioconcentration model, biota-sediment accumulation factors, and critical body burden effects concentrations to assess potential risk to bivalves. Bivalves were the chosen receptors because they lack a well-developed enzymatic system for metabolizing PAHs. Thus, they more readily accumulate PAHs and represent a species at greater risk than other taxa, such as fish and crustaceans. PAHs considered in this study span a broad range of octanol-water partition coefficients. Results indicate that risk of non-polar narcotic effects from PAHs was low in the Northern Bay Area, but higher in the South Bay near the more urbanized sections of the drainage basin.

  8. Applying the Ecological Model of Behavior Change to a Physical Activity Trial in Retirement Communities: Description of the study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Kerr, Jacqueline; Rosenberg, Dori; Nathan, Andrea; Millstein, Rachel; Carlson, Jordan; Crist, Katie; Wasilenko, Kari; Bolling, Khalisa; Castro, Cynthia M; Buchner, David M.; Marshall, Simon

    2012-01-01

    OBJECTIVES To describe the intervention protocol for the first multilevel ecological intervention for physical activity in retirement communities that addresses individual, interpersonal and community influences on behavior change. DESIGN A cluster randomized controlled trial design was employed with two study arms: a physical activity intervention and an attention control successful aging condition. SETTING Sixteen continuing care retirement communities in San Diego County. PARTICIPANTS Three hundred twenty older adults, aged 65 years and older, are being recruited to participate in the trial. In addition, peer leaders are being recruited to lead some study activities, especially to sustain the intervention after study activities ceased. INTERVENTION Participants in the physical activity trial receive individual, interpersonal and community intervention components. The individual level components include pedometers, goal setting and individual phone counseling. The interpersonal level components include group education sessions and peer-led activities. The community level components include resource audits and enumeration, tailored walking maps, and community improvement projects. The successful aging group receives individual and group attention about successful aging topics. MEASUREMENTS The main outcome is light to moderate physical activity, measured objectively by accelerometry. Other objective outcomes included physical functioning, blood pressure, physical fitness, and cognitive functioning. Self report measures include depressive symptoms and health related quality of life. RESULTS The intervention is being delivered successfully in the communities and compliance rates are high. CONCLUSION Ecological Models call for interventions that address multiple levels of the model. Previous studies have not included components at each level and retirement communities provide a model environment to demonstrate how to implement such an intervention. PMID:22921641

  9. Applications of C and N stable isotopes to ecological and environmental studies in seagrass ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lepoint, Gilles; Dauby, Patrick; Gobert, Sylvie

    2004-12-01

    Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen are increasingly used in marine ecosystems, for ecological and environmental studies. Here, we examine some applications of stable isotopes as ecological integrators or tracers in seagrass ecosystem studies. We focus on both the use of natural isotope abundance as food web integrators or environmental tracers and on the use of stable isotopes as experimental tools. As ecosystem integrators, stable isotopes have helped to elucidate the general structure of trophic webs in temperate, Mediterranean and tropical seagrass ecosystems. As environmental tracers, stable isotopes have proven their utility in sewage impact measuring and mapping. However, to make such environmental studies more comprehensible, future works on understanding of basic reasons for variations of N and C stable isotopes in seagrasses should be encouraged. At least, as experimental tracers, stable isotopes allow the study of many aspects of N and C cycles at the scale of a plant or at the scale of the seagrass ecosystem. PMID:15556172

  10. Muscular cholinesterase activities and lipid peroxidation levels as biomarkers in several Mediterranean marine fish species and their relationship with ecological variables.

    PubMed

    Solé, Montserrat; Baena, Miguel; Arnau, Susana; Carrasson, Maite; Maynou, Francesc; Cartes, Joan E

    2010-02-01

    Muscular cholinesterase activities, as potential markers of neurotoxic exposure, and lipid peroxidation levels, indicative of oxidative stress damage, both currently used in early-warning pollution monitoring, were characterised in eighteen fish species of ecologic and/or economic importance. These species comprise five orders and eleven families of teleosts and two species of elasmobranchs, feed using different strategies (benthic, epibenthic, endobenthic and pelagic), belong to different trophic levels and express different swimming behaviour. Their habitat ranges from 50 to 60 m (shallow or continental shelf) and 600 to 850 m (middle continental slope). Sampling took place in front of the Barcelona coast (NW Mediterranean) during four seasonal cruises in 2007. In the summer sampling, another site potentially exposed to a different pollution load (Vilanova) was included for comparison. Species, seasonal and site differences were tested and discussed in relation to chemical analysis of the local sediment, systematic position, habitat depth, feeding strategy, trophic level and swimming activity. Greater inter species differences rather than seasonal or site trends were seen in accordance to little pollution fluctuations. Higher cholinesterase activities were recorded in suprabenthos feeders, regardless of depth habitat, whereas LP levels were similar in all species except for the shark Scyliorhinus canicula in which they were consistently elevated. This study confirms and broadens former observations carried out with a more reduced number of fish species (Solé et al., 2008a). PMID:20022635

  11. Noise levels in PICU: an evaluative study.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Elizabeth; Timmons, Stephen

    2005-12-01

    High levels of noise in the hospital environment can have an impact on patients and staff increasing both recovery time and stress respectively. When our seven-bedded paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) is full, noise levels seem to increase significantly. This study measured noise levels at various times and places within a PICU using Tenma sound level meter which simulates the subjective response of a human ear. Noise levels were often excessive, exceeding international guidelines. Staff conversation was responsible for most of the noise produced; medical equipment, patient interventions, telephones, doorbell and the air shoot system were also responsible for causing high levels of noise. More can be done to reduce noise and its effects on patients and staff. PMID:16372705

  12. A comparative analysis reveals weak relationships between ecological factors and beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities at two spatial levels.

    PubMed

    Heino, Jani; Melo, Adriano S; Bini, Luis Mauricio; Altermatt, Florian; Al-Shami, Salman A; Angeler, David G; Bonada, Núria; Brand, Cecilia; Callisto, Marcos; Cottenie, Karl; Dangles, Olivier; Dudgeon, David; Encalada, Andrea; Göthe, Emma; Grönroos, Mira; Hamada, Neusa; Jacobsen, Dean; Landeiro, Victor L; Ligeiro, Raphael; Martins, Renato T; Miserendino, María Laura; Md Rawi, Che Salmah; Rodrigues, Marciel E; Roque, Fabio de Oliveira; Sandin, Leonard; Schmera, Denes; Sgarbi, Luciano F; Simaika, John P; Siqueira, Tadeu; Thompson, Ross M; Townsend, Colin R

    2015-03-01

    The hypotheses that beta diversity should increase with decreasing latitude and increase with spatial extent of a region have rarely been tested based on a comparative analysis of multiple datasets, and no such study has focused on stream insects. We first assessed how well variability in beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities is predicted by insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties across multiple drainage basins throughout the world. Second, we assessed the relative roles of environmental and spatial factors in driving variation in assemblage composition within each drainage basin. Our analyses were based on a dataset of 95 stream insect metacommunities from 31 drainage basins distributed around the world. We used dissimilarity-based indices to quantify beta diversity for each metacommunity and, subsequently, regressed beta diversity on insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties (e.g., number of sites and percentage of presences). Within each metacommunity, we used a combination of spatial eigenfunction analyses and partial redundancy analysis to partition variation in assemblage structure into environmental, shared, spatial, and unexplained fractions. We found that dataset properties were more important predictors of beta diversity than ecological and geographical factors across multiple drainage basins. In the within-basin analyses, environmental and spatial variables were generally poor predictors of variation in assemblage composition. Our results revealed deviation from general biodiversity patterns because beta diversity did not show the expected decreasing trend with latitude. Our results also call for reconsideration of just how predictable stream assemblages are along ecological gradients, with implications for environmental assessment and conservation decisions. Our findings may also be applicable to other dynamic systems where predictability is low. PMID:25859329

  13. A comparative analysis reveals weak relationships between ecological factors and beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities at two spatial levels

    PubMed Central

    Heino, Jani; Melo, Adriano S; Bini, Luis Mauricio; Altermatt, Florian; Al-Shami, Salman A; Angeler, David G; Bonada, Núria; Brand, Cecilia; Callisto, Marcos; Cottenie, Karl; Dangles, Olivier; Dudgeon, David; Encalada, Andrea; Göthe, Emma; Grönroos, Mira; Hamada, Neusa; Jacobsen, Dean; Landeiro, Victor L; Ligeiro, Raphael; Martins, Renato T; Miserendino, María Laura; Md Rawi, Che Salmah; Rodrigues, Marciel E; Roque, Fabio de Oliveira; Sandin, Leonard; Schmera, Denes; Sgarbi, Luciano F; Simaika, John P; Siqueira, Tadeu; Thompson, Ross M; Townsend, Colin R

    2015-01-01

    The hypotheses that beta diversity should increase with decreasing latitude and increase with spatial extent of a region have rarely been tested based on a comparative analysis of multiple datasets, and no such study has focused on stream insects. We first assessed how well variability in beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities is predicted by insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties across multiple drainage basins throughout the world. Second, we assessed the relative roles of environmental and spatial factors in driving variation in assemblage composition within each drainage basin. Our analyses were based on a dataset of 95 stream insect metacommunities from 31 drainage basins distributed around the world. We used dissimilarity-based indices to quantify beta diversity for each metacommunity and, subsequently, regressed beta diversity on insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties (e.g., number of sites and percentage of presences). Within each metacommunity, we used a combination of spatial eigenfunction analyses and partial redundancy analysis to partition variation in assemblage structure into environmental, shared, spatial, and unexplained fractions. We found that dataset properties were more important predictors of beta diversity than ecological and geographical factors across multiple drainage basins. In the within-basin analyses, environmental and spatial variables were generally poor predictors of variation in assemblage composition. Our results revealed deviation from general biodiversity patterns because beta diversity did not show the expected decreasing trend with latitude. Our results also call for reconsideration of just how predictable stream assemblages are along ecological gradients, with implications for environmental assessment and conservation decisions. Our findings may also be applicable to other dynamic systems where predictability is low. PMID:25859329

  14. The inter-relationship among economic activities, environmental degradation, material consumption and population health in low-income countries: a longitudinal ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Chuang, Ying-Chih; Huang, Ya-Li; Hu, Ching-Yao; Chen, Ssm-Ching; Tseng, Kuo-Chien

    2015-01-01

    Objectives The theory of ecological unequal exchange explains how trade and various forms of economic activity create the problem of environmental degradation, and lead to the deterioration of population health. Based on this theory, our study examined the inter-relationship among economic characteristics, ecological footprints, CO2 emissions, infant mortality rates and under-5 mortality rates in low-income countries. Design A longitudinal ecological study design. Setting Sixty-six low-income countries from 1980 to 2010 were included in the analyses. Data for each country represented an average of 23 years (N=1497). Data sources Data were from the World Development Indicators, UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database, Global Footprint Network and Polity IV Project. Analyses Linear mixed models with a spatial power covariance structure and a correlation that decreased over time were constructed to accommodate the repeated measures. Statistical analyses were conducted separately by sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and other regions. Results After controlling for country-level sociodemographic characteristics, debt and manufacturing, economic activities were positively associated with infant mortality rates and under-5 mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa. By contrast, export intensity and foreign investment were beneficial for reducing infant and under-5 mortality rates in Latin America and other regions. Although the ecological footprints and CO2 emissions did not mediate the relationship between economic characteristics and health outcomes, export intensity increased CO2 emissions, but reduced the ecological footprints in sub-Saharan Africa. By contrast, in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, although export intensity was positively associated with the ecological footprints and also CO2 emissions, the percentage of exports to high-income countries was negatively associated with the ecological footprints. Conclusions This study suggested that environmental

  15. Level and Contamination Assessment of Soil along an Expressway in an Ecologically Valuable Area in Central Poland

    PubMed Central

    Radziemska, Maja; Fronczyk, Joanna

    2015-01-01

    Express roads are a potential source of heavy metal contamination in the surrounding environment. The Warsaw Expressway (E30) is one of the busiest roads in the capital of Poland and cuts through the ecologically valuable area (Mazowiecki Natural Landscape Park). Soil samples were collected at distances of 0.5, 4.5 and 25 m from the expressway. The concentrations of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) were determined in the soils by the flame atomic absorption spectrometry method (FAAS). Soils located in the direct proximity of the analyzed stretch of road were found to have the highest values of pH and electrical conductivity (EC), which decreased along with an increase in the distance from the expressway. The contents of Cd, Cu and Zn were found to be higher than Polish national averages, whereas the average values of Ni and Pb were not exceeded. The pollution level was estimated based on the geo-accumulation index (Igeo), and the pollution index (PI). The results of Igeo and PI indexes revealed the following orders: Cu < Zn < Ni < Cd < Pb and Cu < Ni < Cd < Zn < Pb, and comparison with geochemical background values showed higher concentration of zinc, lead and cadmium. PMID:26512684

  16. Site study plan for ecology, Deaf Smith County Site, Texas: Environmental Field Program: Preliminary Draft

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-06-01

    The Ecology Site Study Plan describes a field program consisting of studies which include surveys for endangered, threatened, and candidate species; vegetation characterization, including mapping and cover typing, plant succession, wetlands description, and preexisting stresses; and wildlife community characterization, including availability and quality of habitats and descriptions of mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, and invertebrate populations. The plan for each study describes the need for the study, study design, data management and use, schedule and personnel requirements, and quality assurance. These studies will provide data needed to satisfy requirements contained in, or derived from, the Salt Repository Project Requirements Document (SRP-RD). 83 refs., 3 tabs.

  17. Increasing Public Access to Scientific Research through Stakeholder Involvement: Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagen, S. C.; Stephens, S. H.; DeLorme, D. E.; Ruple, D.; Graham, L.

    2013-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) has the potential to have a myriad of deleterious effects on coastal ecology and human infrastructure. Stakeholders, including managers of coastal resources, must be aware of potential consequences of SLR and adjust their plans accordingly to protect and preserve the resources under their care. Members of the public, particularly those who live or work in coastal areas, should also be informed about the results of scientific research on the effects of SLR. However, research results are frequently published in venues or formats to which resource managers and the broader public have limited access. It is imperative for scientists to move beyond traditional publication venues in order to more effectively disseminate the results of their research (Dennison, W. 2007, Estu. Coast. Shelf Sci. 77, 185). One potentially effective way to advance public access to research is to incorporate stakeholder involvement into the research project process in order to target study objectives and tailor communication products toward stakeholder needs (Lemos, M. & Morehouse, B. 2005, Glob. Env. Chg. 15, 57). However, it is important to manage communication and clarify participant expectations during this type of research (Gawith, M. et al. 2009, Glob. Env. Chg. 19, 113). This presentation describes the process being undertaken by an ongoing 5-year multi-disciplinary NOAA-funded project, Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (EESLR-NGOM), to improve accessibility and utility of scientific research results through stakeholder engagement. The EESLR-NGOM project is assessing the ecological risks from SLR along the Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Panhandle coasts, coastal habitats, and floodplains. It has incorporated stakeholder involvement throughout the research process so as to better target and tailor the emerging research products to meet resource managers' needs, as well as to facilitate eventual public dissemination of results. An

  18. Rapid Industrial Development, Competition, and Relative Economic Status: A Study in Human Ecology. Working Paper RID 73.10.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Summers, Gene F.; Clemente, Frank

    The document has 3 goals (1) to examine the distribution of economic benefits of industrial development as reflected by the concept of competition in human ecology; (2) to provide an empirical test of the ecological model, and (3) to relate the findings to public policy. Two Illinois study areas were identified. First, as an experimental region,…

  19. Managers' summary - ecological studies of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, 1992-1997

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Singer, F.J.; Schoenecker, K.A.

    2000-01-01

    Ecological Studies of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, 1992-1997 provides a synthesis of key findings of landscape-scale, interdisciplinary studies of the effects of wild horses and native ungulates on a rugged, mountain ecosystem. This is perhaps the most comprehensive study of a wild horse herd conducted. This was a complex study and one involving a truly interagency approach. Six agencies either provided input to research priority setting, funding, or both. The agencies included the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and U.S. Forest Service. The major research direction and effort came from the U.S. Geological Survey and Natural Resources Ecology Lab, Colorado State University with Montana State University and the University of Kentucky also participating. Ungulate monitoring was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Bureau of Land Management, Billings Field Office and the Montana Fish and Wildlife Parks, with funding by Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Many other individuals and groups were involved and deserve credit. The report printing was made possible with funds from the Bureau of Land Management, Wild Horse and Burro Program, Washington Office. This report was prepared by the Information Management Project, Midcontinent Ecological Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey.

  20. Metabolomics and Natural-Products Strategies to Study Chemical Ecology in Nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Edison, Arthur S.; Clendinen, Chaevien S.; Ajredini, Ramadan; Beecher, Chris; Ponce, Francesca V.; Stupp, Gregory S.

    2015-01-01

    This review provides an overview of two complementary approaches to identify biologically active compounds for studies in chemical ecology. The first is activity-guided fractionation and the second is metabolomics, particularly focusing on a new liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry-based method called isotopic ratio outlier analysis. To illustrate examples using these approaches, we review recent experiments using Caenorhabditis elegans and related free-living nematodes. PMID:26141866

  1. Case study of building of conservation coalitions to conserve ecological interactions.

    PubMed

    Chen, Gao; Luo, Shihong; Mei, Nianshu; Shen, Dingfang; Sun, Weibang

    2015-12-01

    We engaged experts in various fields of study (pollination ecology, chemical ecology, and ethnobotany), invited community participation, and provided environmental education in an effort to conserve an endangered birthwort (Aristolochia delavayi) and a vulnerable pipevine swallowtail (Byasa daemonius). Scientists studied the uptake and sequestration of the secondary metabolites aristolochic acids from A. delavayi leaves by different stages of pipevine swallowtail as a defense mechanism; low fruit set of the myophilous A. delavayi due to pollinator limitation; and the emission of chemical signals that attract parasitic wasps by the prepupae of B. daemonius. The results of these studies were part of an education program delivered by personnel of non-governmental organizations. The program was devised to deliver information to the public about the health risks of consuming A. delavayi individuals (aristolochic-acid-associated cancers) and to establish a bridge between the public and scientific research. Following delivery of the program, the behavior of residents changed considerably. Community residents were involved in management activities, including participation in a program to promote understanding of ecological interactions between A. delavayi and B. daemonius; designing an in situ conservation site; monitoring A. delavayi and B. daemonius individuals; and promoting the natural fruit set of A. delavayi by scattering animal excrement to attract fly pollinators. The integration of scientific information and community participation appears to have resulted in an increase in abundance of threatened A. delavayi and B. daemonius populations. We believe the involvement of local people in conservation is necessary for successful species conservation. PMID:26372410

  2. A Multicountry Ecological Study of Cancer Incidence Rates in 2008 with Respect to Various Risk-Modifying Factors

    PubMed Central

    Grant, William B.

    2013-01-01

    Observational and ecological studies are generally used to determine the presence of effect of cancer risk-modifying factors. Researchers generally agree that environmental factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and low serum 25-hdyroxyvitamin D levels are important cancer risk factors. This ecological study used age-adjusted incidence rates for 21 cancers for 157 countries (87 with high-quality data) in 2008 with respect to dietary supply and other factors, including per capita gross domestic product, life expectancy, lung cancer incidence rate (an index for smoking), and latitude (an index for solar ultraviolet-B doses). The factors found to correlate strongly with multiple types of cancer were lung cancer (direct correlation with 12 types of cancer), energy derived from animal products (direct correlation with 12 types of cancer, inverse with two), latitude (direct correlation with six types, inverse correlation with three), and per capita gross national product (five types). Life expectancy and sweeteners directly correlated with three cancers, animal fat with two, and alcohol with one. Consumption of animal products correlated with cancer incidence with a lag time of 15–25 years. Types of cancer which correlated strongly with animal product consumption, tended to correlate weakly with latitude; this occurred for 11 cancers for the entire set of countries. Regression results were somewhat different for the 87 high-quality country data set and the 157-country set. Single-country ecological studies have inversely correlated nearly all of these cancers with solar ultraviolet-B doses. These results can provide guidance for prevention of cancer. PMID:24379012

  3. An ecological study of Bithynia snails, the first intermediate host of Opisthorchis viverrini in northeast Thailand.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi-Chen; Ho, Richard Cheng Yong; Feng, Chen-Chieh; Namsanor, Jutamas; Sithithaworn, Paiboon

    2015-01-01

    Infection with the food-borne trematodiasis, liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini, is a major public health concern in Southeast Asia. While epidemiology and parasitic incidence in humans are well studied, ecological information on the O. viverrini intermediate hosts remains limited. This study aimed to investigate the factors affecting the distribution and abundance of the first intermediate host, Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos snails. Water quality and snails were sampled in 31 sites in Muang District, Khon Kaen Province, Thailand from June 2012 to January 2013 to characterize the B.s. goniomphalos snail habitats. Species relative abundance and Shannon's diversity and evenness indices were employed to describe snail compositions and diversities across different habitat types. Statistical analyses were conducted to examine the extent to which the water quality variables and species interactions account for the relative abundance of B.s. goniomphalos snails. The results showed that the freshwater habitats of ponds, streams and rice paddies possessed significantly different abiotic water qualities, with water temperature and pH showing distinct statistical differences (P<0.05). Different habitats had different snail diversity and species evenness, with high B.s. goniomphalos snail abundance at rice paddy habitats. The differences in snail abundance might be due to the distinct sets of abiotic water qualities associated with each habitat types. The relative abundance of B.s. goniomphalos snails was found to be negatively correlated with that of Filopaludina martensi martensi snails (r=-0.46, P<0.05), underscoring the possible influence of species interaction on B.s. goniomphalos snail population. Field work observations revealed that rice planting seasons and irrigation could regulate snail population dynamics at rice paddy habitats. This study provides new ecological insights into the factors affecting Bithynia snail distribution and abundance. It bridges the

  4. The importance of ecological studies in the control of tsetse flies*

    PubMed Central

    Glover, P. E.

    1967-01-01

    The author reviews recent ecological research on tsetse flies in East Africa and Northern Nigeria, particularly in connexion with the flies' sensory reactions, and stresses the importance of an accurate knowledge of their daytime and night-time resting-sites and of identifying the sources of their blood meals in order to elucidate the reservoirs of trypanosomiasis. The epidemiology of the disease is considered in the light of studies of trypanosome infections in host and fly. The control of tsetse flies must be based on the practical application of ecological knowledge by methods involving either a direct attack upon the fly (such as trapping or the use of insecticides) or an indirect attack (such as bush clearing or game destruction to eliminate the fly's habitat or food supply); these methods are dealt with in some detail. The author concludes with a discussion of modern trends in research, and a number of lines of research are suggested. PMID:4874781

  5. An ecology of text: using text retrieval to study alife on the net.

    PubMed

    Best, M L

    1997-01-01

    I introduce a new alife model, an ecology based on a corpus of text, and apply it to the analysis of posts to USENET News. In this corporal ecology posts are organisms, the newsgroups of NetNews define an environment, and human posters situated in their wider context make up a scarce resource. I apply latent semantic indexing (LSI), a text retrieval method based on principal component analysis, to distill from the corpus those replicating units of text. LSI arrives at suitable replicators because it discovers word co-occurrences that segregate and recombine with appreciable frequency. I argue that natural selection is necessarily in operation because sufficient conditions for its occurrence are met: replication, mutagenicity, and trait/fitness covariance. I describe a set of experiments performed on a static corpus of over 10,000 posts. In these experiments I study average population fitness, a fundamental element of population ecology. My study of fitness arrives at the unhappy discovery that a flame-war, centered around an overly prolific poster, is the king of the jungle. PMID:9654782

  6. Factors associated with maternal mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Maternal health is one of the major worldwide health challenges. Currently, the unacceptably high levels of maternal mortality are a common subject in global health and development discussions. Although some countries have made remarkable progress, half of the maternal deaths in the world still take place in Sub-Saharan Africa where little or no progress has been made. There is no single simple, straightforward intervention that will significantly decrease maternal mortality alone; however, there is a consensus on the importance of a strong health system, skilled delivery attendants, and women's rights for maternal health. Our objective was to describe and determine different factors associated with the maternal mortality ratio in Sub-Saharan countries. Methods An ecological multi-group study compared variables between many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa using data collected between 1997 and 2006. The dependent variable was the maternal mortality ratio, and Health care system-related, educational and economic indicators were the independent variables. Information sources included the WHO, World Bank, UNICEF and UNDP. Results Maternal mortality ratio values in Sub-Saharan Africa were demonstrated to be high and vary enormously among countries. A relationship between the maternal mortality ratio and some educational, sanitary and economic factors was observed. There was an inverse and significant correlation of the maternal mortality ratio with prenatal care coverage, births assisted by skilled health personnel, access to an improved water source, adult literacy rate, primary female enrolment rate, education index, the Gross National Income per capita and the per-capita government expenditure on health. Conclusions Education and an effective and efficient health system, especially during pregnancy and delivery, are strongly related to maternal death. Also, macro-economic factors are related and could be influencing the others. PMID:20003411

  7. Industrial Studies at A-Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vickers, S.; Clare, P. H.

    1982-01-01

    A syllabus for A-level examination in Industrial Studies has been developed to foster "industrial literacy" by giving students an understanding of industry's economic/social significance and developing in them an ability to understand concepts underlying policy and decision-making in companies. Discusses assessment instruments (examinations and…

  8. [Spatial-temporal pattern and obstacle factors of cultivated land ecological security in major grain producing areas of northeast China: a case study in Jilin Province].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Hong-Bo; Ma, Yan-Ji

    2014-02-01

    According to the cultivated land ecological security in major grain production areas of Northeast China, this paper selected 48 counties of Jilin Province as the research object. Based on the PSR-EES conceptual framework model, an evaluation index system of cultivated land ecological security was built. By using the improved TOPSIS, Markov chains, GIS spatial analysis and obstacle degree models, the spatial-temporal pattern of cultivated land ecological security and the obstacle factors were analyzed from 1995 to 2011 in Jilin Province. The results indicated that, the composite index of cultivated land ecological security appeared in a rising trend in Jilin Province from 1995 to 2011, and the cultivated land ecological security level changed from being sensitive to being general. There was a pattern of 'Club Convergence' in cultivated land ecological security level in each county and the spatial discrepancy tended to become larger. The 'Polarization' trend of cultivated land ecological security level was obvious. The distributions of sensitive level and critical security level with ribbon patterns tended to be dispersed, the general security level and relative security levels concentrated, and the distributions of security level scattered. The unstable trend of cultivated land ecological security level was more and more obvious. The main obstacle factors that affected the cultivated land ecological security level in Jilin Province were rural net income per capita, economic density, the proportion of environmental protection investment in GDP, degree of machinery cultivation and the comprehensive utilization rate of industrial solid wastes. PMID:24830253

  9. Ecological Optimization and Parametric Study of an Irreversible Regenerative Modified Brayton Cycle with Isothermal Heat Addition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tyagi, Sudhir K.; Kaushik, Subhash C.; Tiwari, Vivek

    2003-12-01

    An ecological optimization along with a detailed parametric study of an irreversible regenerative Brayton heat engine with isothermal heat addition have been carried out with external as well as internal irreversibilities. The ecological function is defined as the power output minus the power loss (irreversibility) which is ambient temperature times the entropy generation rate. The external irreversibility is due to finite temperature difference between the heat engine and the external reservoirs while the internal irreversibilities are due to nonisentropic compression and expansion processes in the compressor and the turbine respectively and the regenerative heat loss. The ecological function is found to be an increasing function of the isothermal-, sink- and regenerative-side effectiveness, isothermal-side inlet temperature, component efficiencies and sink-side temperature while it is found to be a decreasing function of the isobaric-side temperature and effectiveness and the working fluid heat capacitance rate. The effects of the isobaric-side effectiveness are found to be more than those of the other parameters and the effects of turbine efficiency are found to be more than those of the compressor efficiency on all the performance parameters of the cycle.

  10. Thermal ecology of montane Atelopus (Anura: Bufonidae): A study of intrageneric diversity.

    PubMed

    Rueda Solano, Luis Alberto; Navas, Carlos A; Carvajalino-Fernández, Juan Manuel; Amézquita, Adolfo

    2016-05-01

    Harlequin frogs (Bufonidae: Atelopus) are among the most threatened frog genus in the world and reach very high elevations in the tropical Andes and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (SNSM). Learning about their thermal ecology is essential to infer sensitivity to environmental changes, particularly climate warming. We report on the activity temperature and thermoregulatory behavior of three high-elevation species of harlequin frogs, Atelopus nahumae, Atelopus laetissimus and Atelopus carrikeri. The first two mentioned live in streams in Andean rain forests, whereas A. carrikeri inhabits paramo streams in the SNSM. We studied the thermal ecology of these species in tree localities differing in altitude, and focused on activity body, operative, substrate and air temperature. A main trend was lower body temperature as elevation increased, so that differences among species were largely explained by differences in substrate temperature. However, this temperature variation was much lower in forest species than paramo species. The Atelopus species included in this work proved to be thermoconformers, a trend that not extended to all congenerics at high elevation. This diversity in thermal ecology poses important questions when discussing the impact of climate warming for high-elevation harlequin frogs. For example, forest species show narrow thermal ranges and, if highly specialized, may be more susceptible to temperature change. Paramo species such as A. carrikeri, in contrast, may be more resilient to temperature change. PMID:27157338

  11. Bridging the theoretical divide in Holocene landscape studies: social and ecological approaches to ancient Oaxacan landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joyce, Arthur A.; Goman, Michelle

    2012-11-01

    In this article we discuss two theoretical approaches to landscape studies in archaeology: the ecological and social/symbolic. We suggest that an integrated approach can provide a more effective means through which archaeologists and earth scientists can model the complex interplay between people and the environment. Our perspective views peoples' engagements with the landscape as simultaneously ecological and social, material and symbolic. To illustrate this synthetic approach we discuss our research from the highland and lowland regions of the Mexican state of Oaxaca using archaeological, ethnographic, ethnohistorical, paleoecological, and geomorphological data. In highland Oaxaca we examine the ways in which political and religious principles were embedded in the landscape as well as the social, symbolic, and material dimensions of anthropogenic landscape change during the Formative period. For the coastal lowlands, we discuss the social and ecological implications of the transition to sedentism and the effects of anthropogenic landscape change during the Formative period. We also examine the interplay between politics and land use during the Classic and Postclassic periods.

  12. Ancient DNA from marine mammals: studying long-lived species over ecological and evolutionary timescales.

    PubMed

    Foote, Andrew D; Hofreiter, Michael; Morin, Phillip A

    2012-01-20

    Marine mammals have long generation times and broad, difficult to sample distributions, which makes inferring evolutionary and demographic changes using field studies of extant populations challenging. However, molecular analyses from sub-fossil or historical materials of marine mammals such as bone, tooth, baleen, skin, fur, whiskers and scrimshaw using ancient DNA (aDNA) approaches provide an opportunity for investigating such changes over evolutionary and ecological timescales. Here, we review the application of aDNA techniques to the study of marine mammals. Most of the studies have focused on detecting changes in genetic diversity following periods of exploitation and environmental change. To date, these studies have shown that even small sample sizes can provide useful information on historical genetic diversity. Ancient DNA has also been used in investigations of changes in distribution and range of marine mammal species; we review these studies and discuss the limitations of such 'presence only' studies. Combining aDNA data with stable isotopes can provide further insights into changes in ecology and we review past studies and suggest future potential applications. We also discuss studies reconstructing inter- and intra-specific phylogenies from aDNA sequences and discuss how aDNA sequences could be used to estimate mutation rates. Finally, we highlight some of the problems of aDNA studies on marine mammals, such as obtaining sufficient sample sizes and calibrating for the marine reservoir effect when radiocarbon-dating such wide-ranging species. PMID:21652193

  13. Ecological effects on streams from forest fertilization; literature review and conceptual framework for future study in the western Cascades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, C.W.

    2002-01-01

    Studies of the responses of stream biota to fertilization have been rare and have targeted either immediate, toxicity-based responses or used methods insensitive to ongoing ecological processes. This report reviews water-quality studies following forest fertilizations, emphasizing Cascade streams in the Pacific Northwest and documented biological responses in those streams. A conceptual model predicting potential ecological response to fertilization, which includes effects on algal growth and primary production, is presented. In this model, applied fertilizer nitrogen reaching streams is mostly exported during winter. However, some nitrogen retained in soils or stream and riparian areas may become available to aquatic biota during spring and summer. Biological responses may be minimal in small streams nearest to application because of light limitation, but may be elevated downstream where light is sufficient to allow algal growth. Ultimately, algal response could be greatest in downstream reaches, although ambient nutrient concentrations remain low due to uptake and benthic nutrient recycling. Ground-water flow paths and hyporheic processing could be critical in determining the fate of applied nitrogen. A framework is provided for testing this response in the Little River watershed, a tributary to the North Umpqua River, Oregon, at basic and intensive levels of investigation.

  14. Ecological niches of Arctic deep-sea copepods: Vertical partitioning, dietary preferences and different trophic levels minimize inter-specific competition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laakmann, Silke; Kochzius, Marc; Auel, Holger

    2009-05-01

    The biodiversity of pelagic deep-sea ecosystems has received growing scientific interest in the last decade, especially in the framework of international marine biodiversity initiatives, such as Census of Marine Life (CoML). While a growing number of deep-sea zooplankton species has been identified and genetically characterized, little information is available on the mechanisms minimizing inter-specific competition and thus allowing closely related species to co-occur in the deep-sea pelagic realm. Focussing on the two dominant calanoid copepod families Euchaetidae and Aetideidae in Fram Strait, Arctic Ocean, the present study strives to characterize ecological niches of co-occurring species, with regard to vertical distribution, dietary composition as derived from lipid biomarkers, and trophic level on the basis of stable isotope signatures. Closely related species were usually restricted to different depth layers, resulting in a multi-layered vertical distribution pattern. Thus, vertical partitioning was an important mechanism to avoid inter-specific competition. Species occurring in the same depth strata usually belonged to different genera. They differed in fatty acid composition and trophic level, indicating different food preferences. Herbivorous Calanus represent major prey items for many omnivorous and carnivorous species throughout the water column. The seasonal and ontogenetic vertical migration of Calanus acts as a short-cut in food supply for pelagic deep-sea ecosystems in the Arctic.

  15. Comparison of the ecological energetics of the polychaetes capitella capitata and nereis succinea in experimental systems receiving similar levels of detritus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tenore, K. R.

    The ecological energetics, including specific growth rate, population production and trophic transfer, was measured for the polychaetes Capitella capitata and Nereis succinea in laboratory systems receiving similar detritus food rations (1500 mg C · m -2 · d -1). The opportunistic Capitella species more effectively exploited the available food because of a higher specific growth rate and a higher population density. The metabolic cost was high (production : respiration 0.66, versus 2.50 for Nereis), but a greater proportion of the available detritus went into production in Capitella (trophic transfer efficiency is the ratio between worm production and food supplied; 27% for Capitella and 3% for Nereis). Opportunistic species such as Capitella capitata can exploit high organic conditions as in these laboratory growth studies. They effectively exploit not only by fast population increase when food levels increase, but also by achieving high population densities. The more typical, larger, benthic deposit feeders, such as Nereis succinea, not only have a shower population response to increasing food, but behavioural interactions due to crowding ( i.e., increased mortality) may limit population density to levels that do not maximally exploit available food.

  16. Immunology in wild nonmodel rodents: an ecological context for studies of health and disease.

    PubMed

    Jackson, J A

    2015-05-01

    Transcriptomic methods are set to revolutionize the study of the immune system in naturally occurring nonmodel organisms. With this in mind, the present article focuses on ways in which the use of 'nonmodel' rodents (not the familiar laboratory species) can advance studies into the classical, but ever relevant, epidemiologic triad of immune defence, infectious disease and environment. For example, naturally occurring rodents are an interesting system in which to study the environmental stimuli that drive the development and homeostasis of the immune system and, by extension, to identify where these stimuli are altered in anthropogenic environments leading to the formation of immunopathological phenotypes. Measurement of immune expression may help define individual heterogeneity in infectious disease susceptibility and transmission and facilitate our understanding of infection dynamics and risk in the natural environment; furthermore, it may provide a means of surveillance that can filter individuals carrying previously unknown acute infections of potential ecological or zoonotic importance. Finally, the study of immunology in wild animals may reveal interactions within the immune system and between immunity and other organismal traits that are not observable under restricted laboratory conditions. Potentiating much of this is the possibility of combining gene expression profiles with analytical tools derived from ecology and systems biology to reverse engineer interaction networks between immune responses, other organismal traits and the environment (including symbiont exposures), revealing regulatory architecture. Such holistic studies promise to link ecology, epidemiology and immunology in natural systems in a unified approach that can illuminate important problems relevant to human health and animal welfare and production. PMID:25689683

  17. Trajectories of legitimate peripheral participation: Ethnographic case studies of learning ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowen, Gervase Michael Reynolds

    1999-09-01

    Current reform documents in education call for elementary and high school students to engage in "authentic" scientific practices. In the past several years a number of authors have suggested that science education research and curriculum development could benefit from insights gained by research in the social studies of science that documents and theorizes science as it is actually done. Yet, although practices of laboratory science are well understood and provide a foundation from which educational practices could be drawn, little is known about the practices of the science disciplines which deal with field research and how people are enculturated into those practices. This dissertation is constituted by a series of research papers on different (although inter-related) topics, in which I examine the enculturation into the practices of field ecology and the world-view that is associated with that enculturation. To better understand the practices of field ecology and how they develop, I conducted several projects: (i) a video ethnography of a second-year university ecology class and observations on research experiences undergraduates experience; (ii) ethnographic research with ecologists conducting field research; (iii) observations of graduate student and professional ecologists as they participated in conferences, engaged in interaction in their laboratory and social settings, and presented/discussed their findings in various settings; (iv) interviews with graduate student and professional ecologists discussing their field research experiences; (v) videotaped interviews with practicing researchers and under/graduate science and non-science students as they interpreted various ecology-related inscriptions; (vi) an analysis of the inscriptions and textual information present in the various texts (textbooks and journals) used to teach students about ecology; and, (vii) observations of elementary school students engaged in practices congruent with those of field

  18. Possibilities of the Integration of the Method of the Ecologically Oriented Independent Scientific Research in the Study Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grizans, Jurijs; Vanags, Janis

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to analyse possibilities of the integration of the method of the ecologically oriented independent scientific research in the study process. In order to achieve the set aim, the following scientific research methods were used: analysis of the conceptual guidelines for the development of environmentally oriented entrepreneurship, interpretation of the experts' evaluation of the ecologically oriented management, analysis of the results of the students' ecologically oriented independent scientific research, as well as monographic and logically constructive methods. The results of the study give an opportunity to make conclusions and to develop conceptual recommendations on how to introduce future economics and business professionals with the theoretical and practical aspects of ecologically oriented management during the study process.

  19. ATRAZINE ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS ASSESSMENT FOR OPP LEVEL OF CONCERN AND OW WATER QUALITY CRITERION FOR AQUATIC LIFE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Atrazine is a relatively water-soluble and persistent herbicide that can reach concentrations of possible ecological concern for aquatic plants in vulnerable watersheds in regions with high agricultural usage of atrazine. As a consequence, the U.S. EPA Office of Water is current...

  20. [Dynamic monitoring of ecological environment in loess hilly and gully region of Loess Plateau based on remote sensing: A case study on Fuxian County in Shaanxi Province. Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Li, Fen-ling; Chang, Qin-rui; Shen, Jian; Liu, Jing

    2015-12-01

    Based on the principal component analysis (PCA), four ecological evaluation indicators including vegetation index, wet index, land surface temperature and soil index were combined to evaluate the ecological environment quality of Fuxian County in hilly and gully area of Loess Plateau from year 1995 to 2014. The results showed that the RSEI integrated RS and PCA method could reveal regional ecological changes objectively and quantitatively. The level of overall regional ecological status in Fuxian County was good with a high vegetation fraction and rich biodiversity. The synthetical ecological environment quality index increased from 3.17 to 3.53 indicating the ecological environment had been improved greatly in recent 20 years. The area with best ecological environment quality was located in Niuwu town. The magnitude of change increased progressively from northwest to southeast, and the biggest change occurred in Jiaodao and Nandaode towns. From 1995 to 2014, the areas with decreased and increased ecological environment quality were 16.7% and 42.7% of the study area, respectively, and the improved regions were mainly distributed in plateau and hilly area in the center, rocky low mountainous area in northeast and the Ziwuling Nature Reserve area in southwest of the county. PMID:27112023

  1. Geographical variation in glaucoma prescribing trends in England 2008–2012: an observational ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Wormald, Richard; Khaw, Peng Tee

    2016-01-01

    Objectives To explore (1) the national trend in population-adjusted prescription rates for glaucoma and ocular hypertension (OHT) in England and (2) any geographical variation in glaucoma/OHT prescribing trends and its association with established risk factors for primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) at the population level. Design Observational ecological study. Setting Primary care in England 2008–2012. Participants All patients who received 1 or more of the 37 778 660 glaucoma/OHT prescription items between 2008 and 2012. Primary and secondary outcome measure methods Glaucoma/OHT prescription statistics for England and its constituent primary care trusts (PCTs) between 2008 and 2012 were divided by annual population estimates to give prescription rates per 100 000 population aged ≥40 years. To examine regional differences, prescription rates and the change in prescription rates between 2008 and 2012 for PCTs were separately entered into multivariable linear regression models with the population proportion aged ≥60 years; the proportion of males; the proportion of West African Diaspora (WAD) ethnicity; PCT funding per capita; Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010 score and its domains. Results Between 2008 and 2012, glaucoma/OHT prescriptions increased from 28 029 to 31 309 items per 100 000 population aged ≥40 years. Between PCTs, nearly a quarter of the variation in prescription rates in 2008 and 2012 could be attributed to age, WAD ethnicity and male gender. The change in prescription rates between 2008 and 2012 was only modestly correlated with age (p=0.003, β=0.234), and income deprivation (p=0.035, β=−0.168). Conclusions Increased population-adjusted glaucoma/OHT prescription rates in the study period were likely due to increased detection of POAG and OHT cases at risk of POAG. Between PCTs, regional variation in overall prescription rates was partly attributable to demographic risk factors for POAG, although the change in

  2. Ecological studies of bison in the Greater Yellowstone Area: Development and implementation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gogan, Peter J.; Mack, John A.; Brewster, Wayne G.; Olexa, Edward M.; Clark, Wendy E.

    2001-01-01

    Bison (Bison bison) of the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) are perhaps best known to the scientific community from the classic study of Meagher (1973) that reviewed their ecological status and management from the time of establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872 through the last National Park Service (NPS) removals of bison within the park in 1966. Since cessation of herd reductions in the park, bison numbers within Yellowstone increased (Dobson and Meagher 1996), as did range use (Meagher 1989b), including increased frequency and magnitude of movements beyond the park boundaries in winter (Meagher 1989a; Pac and Frey 1991; Cheville et al. 1998).

  3. [Urban ecological risk assessment: a review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Mei-E; Chen, Wei-Ping; Peng, Chi

    2014-03-01

    With the development of urbanization and the degradation of urban living environment, urban ecological risks caused by urbanization have attracted more and more attentions. Based on urban ecology principles and ecological risk assessment frameworks, contents of urban ecological risk assessment were reviewed in terms of driven forces, risk resources, risk receptors, endpoints and integrated approaches for risk assessment. It was suggested that types and degrees of urban economical and social activities were the driven forces for urban ecological risks. Ecological functional components at different levels in urban ecosystems as well as the urban system as a whole were the risk receptors. Assessment endpoints involved in changes of urban ecological structures, processes, functional components and the integrity of characteristic and function. Social-ecological models should be the major approaches for urban ecological risk assessment. Trends for urban ecological risk assessment study should focus on setting a definite protection target and criteria corresponding to assessment endpoints, establishing a multiple-parameter assessment system and integrative assessment approaches. PMID:24984514

  4. Simulation of regionally ecological land based on a cellular automation model: a case study of Beijing, China.

    PubMed

    Xie, Hualin; Kung, Chih-Chun; Zhang, Yanting; Li, Xiubin

    2012-08-01

    Ecological land is like the "liver" of a city and is very useful to public health. Ecological land change is a spatially dynamic non-linear process under the interaction between natural and anthropogenic factors at different scales. In this study, by setting up natural development scenario, object orientation scenario and ecosystem priority scenario, a Cellular Automation (CA) model has been established to simulate the evolution pattern of ecological land in Beijing in the year 2020. Under the natural development scenario, most of ecological land will be replaced by construction land and crop land. But under the scenarios of object orientation and ecosystem priority, the ecological land area will increase, especially under the scenario of ecosystem priority. When considering the factors such as total area of ecological land, loss of key ecological land and spatial patterns of land use, the scenarios from priority to inferiority are ecosystem priority, object orientation and natural development, so future land management policies in Beijing should be focused on conversion of cropland to forest, wetland protection and prohibition of exploitation of natural protection zones, water source areas and forest parks to maintain the safety of the regional ecosystem. PMID:23066410

  5. Simulation of Regionally Ecological Land Based on a Cellular Automation Model: A Case Study of Beijing, China

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Hualin; Kung, Chih-Chun; Zhang, Yanting; Li, Xiubin

    2012-01-01

    Ecological land is like the “liver” of a city and is very useful to public health. Ecological land change is a spatially dynamic non-linear process under the interaction between natural and anthropogenic factors at different scales. In this study, by setting up natural development scenario, object orientation scenario and ecosystem priority scenario, a Cellular Automation (CA) model has been established to simulate the evolution pattern of ecological land in Beijing in the year 2020. Under the natural development scenario, most of ecological land will be replaced by construction land and crop land. But under the scenarios of object orientation and ecosystem priority, the ecological land area will increase, especially under the scenario of ecosystem priority. When considering the factors such as total area of ecological land, loss of key ecological land and spatial patterns of land use, the scenarios from priority to inferiority are ecosystem priority, object orientation and natural development, so future land management policies in Beijing should be focused on conversion of cropland to forest, wetland protection and prohibition of exploitation of natural protection zones, water source areas and forest parks to maintain the safety of the regional ecosystem. PMID:23066410

  6. Administrative Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGarity, Augustus C., III; Maulding, Wanda

    2007-01-01

    This article discusses how all four facets of administrative ecology help dispel the claims about the "impossibility" of the superintendency. These are personal ecology, professional ecology, organizational ecology, and community ecology. Using today's superintendency as an administrative platform, current literature describes a preponderance of…

  7. High-Level Waste Melter Study Report

    SciTech Connect

    Perez Jr, Joseph M; Bickford, Dennis F; Day, Delbert E; Kim, Dong-Sang; Lambert, Steven L; Marra, Sharon L; Peeler, David K; Strachan, Denis M; Triplett, Mark B; Vienna, John D; Wittman, Richard S

    2001-07-13

    At the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington, the path to site cleanup involves vitrification of the majority of the wastes that currently reside in large underground tanks. A Joule-heated glass melter is the equipment of choice for vitrifying the high-level fraction of these wastes. Even though this technology has general national and international acceptance, opportunities may exist to improve or change the technology to reduce the enormous cost of accomplishing the mission of site cleanup. Consequently, the U.S. Department of Energy requested the staff of the Tanks Focus Area to review immobilization technologies, waste forms, and modifications to requirements for solidification of the high-level waste fraction at Hanford to determine what aspects could affect cost reductions with reasonable long-term risk. The results of this study are summarized in this report.

  8. Detecting the ecological effects of environmental impacts: A case study of kelp forest invertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Schroeter, S.C.; Dixon, J.D. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA ); Kastendiek, J. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA ); Smith, R.O. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA ); Bence, J.R. )

    1993-05-01

    Detecting the environmental impacts of human activities on natural communities is a central problem in applied ecology. One must separate human perturbations, usually unique events, from considerable natural temporal variability in most populations. These problems can be successfully addressed with the Before-After/Control-Impact (BACI) sampling design, in which Impact and Control sites are sampled contemporaneously and repeatedly in periods Before and After the human perturbation. In this case, the ecological effects of the cooling water discharge from a coastal nuclear power plant in southern California was examined. The results suggest some general lessons applicable in many ecological contexts. In systems where plants and animals are long-lived and recruit sporadically, the rates of change in density are often so low that sampling more than a few times per year will introduce serial correlations in the data. As a result, for studies of few years duration, few samples will be taken. A small sample size means that the tests of the underlying assumptions underlying, e.g., independence and additivity, will have low power. This injects uncertainty into the conclusions. Small sample size also means detecting any but very large effects will be low. In our study, sampling periods of 2-3 yr both Before and After the impact were not long enough to detect a halving or doubling of populations. We concluded that there were significant environmental impacts because: (1) the effect size was generally very large ([approx] -75%); (2) there was a consistent pattern among species; (3) there were two Impact sites, and effects were larger at the site nearest the discharge; (4) the observed effects accorded with physical changes that could be linked with the source of impact; and (5) a number of alternative mechanisms, unrelated to the source of impact, were examined and rejected. 37 figs., 6 figs., 10 tabs.

  9. . Ecological conceptual models: a framework and case study on ecosystem management for South Florida sustainability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gentile, J.H.; Harwell, M.A.; Cropper, W., Jr.; Harwell, C. C.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Davis, S.; Ogden, J.C.; Lirman, D.

    2001-01-01

    The Everglades and South Florida ecosystems are the focus of national and international attention because of their current degraded and threatened state. Ecological risk assessment, sustainability and ecosystem and adaptive management principles and processes are being used nationally as a decision and policy framework for a variety of types of ecological assessments. The intent of this study is to demonstrate the application of these paradigms and principles at a regional scale. The effects-directed assessment approach used in this study consists of a retrospective, eco-epidemiological phase to determine the causes for the current conditions and a prospective predictive risk-based assessment using scenario analysis to evaluate future options. Embedded in these assessment phases is a process that begins with the identification of goals and societal preferences which are used to develop an integrated suite of risk-based and policy relevant conceptual models. Conceptual models are used to illustrate the linkages among management (societal) actions, environmental stressors, and societal/ecological effects, and provide the basis for developing and testing causal hypotheses. These models, developed for a variety of landscape units and their drivers, stressors, and endpoints, are used to formulate hypotheses to explain the current conditions. They are also used as the basis for structuring management scenarios and analyses to project the temporal and spatial magnitude of risk reduction and system recovery. Within the context of recovery, the conceptual models are used in the initial development of performance criteria for those stressors that are determined to be most important in shaping the landscape, and to guide the use of numerical models used to develop quantitative performance criteria in the scenario analysis. The results will be discussed within an ecosystem and adaptive management framework that provides the foundation for decision making.

  10. An Ecological View of Internet Health Information Seeking Behavior Predictors: Findings from the CHAIN Study

    PubMed Central

    Calvert, Joshua K; Aidala, Angela A; West, Josh H

    2013-01-01

    Objective: The purpose of the study was to further elucidate proximal and distal demographic and social predictors of Internet Health Information Seeking Behavior (IHISB) among a cohort of HIV+ individuals through an ecological framework. Methods: The Community Health Advisory & Information Network (CHAIN) project is an ongoing prospective study of a representative sample of persons living with HIV/AIDS in New York City and the Tri-County region. The study sample was drawn from a two-stage randomized technique with the clients of 43 medical and social service organizations with 693 HIV+ participants. Bivariate correlations were computed between IHISB and independent demographic variables in ecological blocks. Multivariate hierarchical logistic regression was used to test association between blocks of variables and IHISB. Results: Among the surveyed respondents (n=645) 50.3% indicated that they used the Internet. Being above the poverty line, having less than a high school education, and having fewer neighbors were statistically significant predictors of IHISB related to HIV. Conclusions: The benefits of accessing the Internet may influence health behavior and may be considered a target for interventions that aim to increase access to health related information online. Coupled with increased access, is the need for increased patient education interventions, and creative managed care approaches to ensure that information gleaned from online sources is interpretable and accurate in order to benefit the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS. PMID:24222812

  11. An Ecological Study of Food Desert Prevalence and 4th Grade Academic Achievement in New York State School Districts

    PubMed Central

    Frndak, Seth E.

    2014-01-01

    Background This ecological study examines the relationship between food desert prevalence and academic achievement at the school district level. Design and methods Sample included 232 suburban and urban school districts in New York State. Multiple open-source databases were merged to obtain: 4th grade science, English and math scores, school district demographic composition (NYS Report Card), regional socioeconomic indicators (American Community Survey), school district quality (US Common Core of Data), and food desert data (USDA Food Desert Atlas). Multiple regression models assessed the percentage of variation in achievement scores explained by food desert variables, after controlling for additional predictors. Results The proportion of individuals living in food deserts significantly explained 4th grade achievement scores, after accounting for additional predictors. School districts with higher proportions of individuals living in food desert regions demonstrated lower 4th grade achievement across science, English and math. Conclusions Food deserts appear to be related to academic achievement at the school district level among urban and suburban regions. Further research is needed to better understand how food access is associated with academic achievement at the individual level. Significance for public health The prevalence of food deserts in the United States is of national concern. As poor nutrition in United States children continues to spark debate, food deserts are being evaluated as potential sources of low fruit and vegetable intake and high obesity rates. Cognitive development and IQ have been linked to nutrition patterns, suggesting that children in food desert regions may have a disadvantage academically. This research evaluates if an ecological relationship between food desert prevalence and academic achievement at the school district level can be demonstrated. Results suggest that food desert prevalence may relate to poor academic performance at

  12. The role of geographical ecological studies in identifying diseases linked to UVB exposure and/or vitamin D

    PubMed Central

    Grant, William B.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Using a variety of approaches, researchers have studied the health effects of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure and vitamin D. This review compares the contributions from geographical ecological studies with those of observational studies and clinical trials. Health outcomes discussed were based on the author's knowledge and include anaphylaxis/food allergy, atopic dermatitis and eczema, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, back pain, cancer, dental caries, diabetes mellitus type 1, hypertension, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, mononucleosis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, and sepsis. Important interactions have taken place between study types; sometimes ecological studies were the first to report an inverse correlation between solar UVB doses and health outcomes such as for cancer, leading to both observational studies and clinical trials. In other cases, ecological studies added to the knowledge base. Many ecological studies include other important risk-modifying factors, thereby minimizing the chance of reporting the wrong link. Laboratory studies of mechanisms generally support the role of vitamin D in the outcomes discussed. Indications exist that for some outcomes, UVB effects may be independent of vitamin D. This paper discusses the concept of the ecological fallacy, noting that it applies to all epidemiological studies. PMID:27195055

  13. The role of geographical ecological studies in identifying diseases linked to UVB exposure and/or vitamin D.

    PubMed

    Grant, William B

    2016-01-01

    Using a variety of approaches, researchers have studied the health effects of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure and vitamin D. This review compares the contributions from geographical ecological studies with those of observational studies and clinical trials. Health outcomes discussed were based on the author's knowledge and include anaphylaxis/food allergy, atopic dermatitis and eczema, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, back pain, cancer, dental caries, diabetes mellitus type 1, hypertension, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, mononucleosis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, and sepsis. Important interactions have taken place between study types; sometimes ecological studies were the first to report an inverse correlation between solar UVB doses and health outcomes such as for cancer, leading to both observational studies and clinical trials. In other cases, ecological studies added to the knowledge base. Many ecological studies include other important risk-modifying factors, thereby minimizing the chance of reporting the wrong link. Laboratory studies of mechanisms generally support the role of vitamin D in the outcomes discussed. Indications exist that for some outcomes, UVB effects may be independent of vitamin D. This paper discusses the concept of the ecological fallacy, noting that it applies to all epidemiological studies. PMID:27195055

  14. Use of RAMAS to estimate ecological risk: Two fish species case studies

    SciTech Connect

    Ferson, S.; Akcakaya, R.; Ginzburg, L.; Krause, M. )

    1991-02-01

    RAMAS, (Risk Analysis Management Alternative System), a microcomputer simulation package for stochastic age-structured population models, was used to assess the population-level ecological risks associated with anthropogenic mortality in two species of fish. RAMAS facilitated comparison of the effects of fishing and entrainment/impingement mortality on Hudson River striped bass populations. The highest likely mortality levels associated with power generation did not yield increases in risk of overall population decline as large as did the pressure from sport fishing alone (33 in. limit, 5/day). Qualitative differences associated with the life stages affected by these industries account for most of the variation observed. Simulations performed under a range of assumptions about density-dependent parameters for the striped bass population gave similar conclusions. However, strengthening density dependence decreased the probability of quasi-extinction slightly. Density-dependent stochastic demographic modeling of a bluegill population in selenium (Se) affected power plant cooling lake in North Carolina revealed intrinsic cycling of population abundance. This cycling increases the risk that population abundances will fall to low levels in natural as well as anthropogenically impacted populations. The dynamics of bluegills affected by Se contrasts sharply with that of the undisturbed fish. Continuation of the Se discharge will most likely result in the suppression of the affected bluegill population. The bluegill population, however, could recover to natural levels of abundance within two or three generations if Se discharge were significantly curtailed. 9 refs., 29 figs., 7 tabs.

  15. Clade-level Spatial Modelling of HPAI H5N1 Dynamics in the Mekong Region Reveals New Patterns and Associations with Agro-Ecological Factors

    PubMed Central

    Artois, Jean; Newman, Scott H.; Dhingra, Madhur S.; Chaiban, Celia; Linard, Catherine; Cattoli, Giovanni; Monne, Isabella; Fusaro, Alice; Xenarios, Ioannis; Engler, Robin; Liechti, Robin; Kuznetsov, Dmitri; Pham, Thanh Long; Nguyen, Tung; Pham, Van Dong; Castellan, David; Von Dobschuetz, Sophie; Claes, Filip; Dauphin, Gwenaëlle; Inui, Ken; Gilbert, Marius

    2016-01-01

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has been circulating in Asia since 2003 and diversified into several genetic lineages, or clades. Although the spatial distribution of its outbreaks was extensively studied, differences in clades were never previously taken into account. We developed models to quantify associations over time and space between different HPAI H5N1 viruses from clade 1, 2.3.4 and 2.3.2 and agro-ecological factors. We found that the distribution of clades in the Mekong region from 2004 to 2013 was strongly regionalised, defining specific epidemiological zones, or epizones. Clade 1 became entrenched in the Mekong Delta and was not supplanted by newer clades, in association with a relatively higher presence of domestic ducks. In contrast, two new clades were introduced (2.3.4 and 2.3.2) in northern Viet Nam and were associated with higher chicken density and more intensive chicken production systems. We suggest that differences in poultry production systems in these different epizones may explain these associations, along with differences in introduction pressure from neighbouring countries. The different distribution patterns found at the clade level would not be otherwise apparent through analysis treating all outbreaks equally, which requires improved linking of disease outbreak records and genetic sequence data. PMID:27453195

  16. Clade-level Spatial Modelling of HPAI H5N1 Dynamics in the Mekong Region Reveals New Patterns and Associations with Agro-Ecological Factors.

    PubMed

    Artois, Jean; Newman, Scott H; Dhingra, Madhur S; Chaiban, Celia; Linard, Catherine; Cattoli, Giovanni; Monne, Isabella; Fusaro, Alice; Xenarios, Ioannis; Engler, Robin; Liechti, Robin; Kuznetsov, Dmitri; Pham, Thanh Long; Nguyen, Tung; Pham, Van Dong; Castellan, David; Von Dobschuetz, Sophie; Claes, Filip; Dauphin, Gwenaëlle; Inui, Ken; Gilbert, Marius

    2016-01-01

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has been circulating in Asia since 2003 and diversified into several genetic lineages, or clades. Although the spatial distribution of its outbreaks was extensively studied, differences in clades were never previously taken into account. We developed models to quantify associations over time and space between different HPAI H5N1 viruses from clade 1, 2.3.4 and 2.3.2 and agro-ecological factors. We found that the distribution of clades in the Mekong region from 2004 to 2013 was strongly regionalised, defining specific epidemiological zones, or epizones. Clade 1 became entrenched in the Mekong Delta and was not supplanted by newer clades, in association with a relatively higher presence of domestic ducks. In contrast, two new clades were introduced (2.3.4 and 2.3.2) in northern Viet Nam and were associated with higher chicken density and more intensive chicken production systems. We suggest that differences in poultry production systems in these different epizones may explain these associations, along with differences in introduction pressure from neighbouring countries. The different distribution patterns found at the clade level would not be otherwise apparent through analysis treating all outbreaks equally, which requires improved linking of disease outbreak records and genetic sequence data. PMID:27453195

  17. Ecological relevance of biomarkers in monitoring studies of macro-invertebrates and fish in Mediterranean rivers.

    PubMed

    Colin, Nicole; Porte, Cinta; Fernandes, Denise; Barata, Carlos; Padrós, Francesc; Carrassón, Maite; Monroy, Mario; Cano-Rocabayera, Oriol; de Sostoa, Adolfo; Piña, Benjamín; Maceda-Veiga, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Mediterranean rivers are probably one of the most singular and endangered ecosystems worldwide due to the presence of many endemic species and a long history of anthropogenic impacts. Besides a conservation value per se, biodiversity is related to the services that ecosystems provide to society and the ability of these to cope with stressors, including climate change. Using macro-invertebrates and fish as sentinel organisms, this overview presents a synthesis of the state of the art in the application of biomarkers (stress and enzymatic responses, endocrine disruptors, trophic tracers, energy and bile metabolites, genotoxic indicators, histopathological and behavioural alterations, and genetic and cutting edge omic markers) to determine the causes and effects of anthropogenic stressors on the biodiversity of European Mediterranean rivers. We also discuss how a careful selection of sentinel species according to their ecological traits and the food-web structure of Mediterranean rivers could increase the ecological relevance of biomarker responses. Further, we provide suggestions to better harmonise ecological realism with experimental design in biomarker studies, including statistical analyses, which may also deliver a more comprehensible message to managers and policy makers. By keeping on the safe side the health status of populations of multiple-species in a community, we advocate to increase the resilience of fluvial ecosystems to face present and forecasted stressors. In conclusion, this review provides evidence that multi-biomarker approaches detect early signs of impairment in populations, and supports their incorporation in the standardised procedures of the Water Frame Work Directive to better appraise the status of European water bodies. PMID:26148426

  18. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-03-19

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  19. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-05-15

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  20. Assessment of Regional Sustainability Based on Modified Ecological Footprint: A Case Study of Suzhou, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Haizhen; Li, Aimei; Ye, Tian

    2010-11-01

    Ecological Footprint (EF) is an effective method to measure quantitatively sustainable development. However original EF analysis of sustainability at the regional scale provides easily misinterpreted information, which could not reflect truly the pressure of the regional population on the local ecosystem due to the regional import and export. A regional ecosystem could support the local population consumption entirely depending on import, while shift the ecological pressure to other regions and the local ecosystems is thus well preserved. To assess sustainability of a region exactly, two concepts of the consumptive EF and productive EF were put forward. As we acknowledged that original EF only measures human demand for biological goods and services, and does not capture other aspects of social or economic sustainability. Therefore, to assess comprehensively regional sustainability, we attempted to combine several social indicators including unit GDP (Gross Domestic Product) EF, integrated development satisfaction, comprehensive pressure index with the indicator of EF. Also the application to a municipal was discussed. The time series of EF of study area were accounted and the sustainable development status were assessed from 1993 to 2002. Based on the result of EF analysis and the realities of study area, the feasibility of amendments proposed were assessed. Results showed that the amendments proposed were reasonable and feasible, and the resized model could better evaluate the sustainability of a region.

  1. Job level risk assessment using task level ACGIH hand activity level TLV scores: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Drinkaus, Phillip; Sesek, Richard; Bloswick, Donald S; Mann, Clay; Bernard, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    Existing upper extremity musculoskeletal disorder analytical tools are primarily intended for single or mono-task jobs. However, many jobs contain more than 1 task and some include job rotation. This case/control study investigates methods of modifying an existing tool, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Hand Activity Level (HAL) Threshold Limit Value (TLV), to assess the upper extremity risk of multi-task jobs. Various methods of combining the task differences and ratios into a job level assessment were explored. Two methods returned significant odds ratios, (p < .05) of 18.0 (95% CI 1.8-172) and 12.0 (95% CI 1.2-120). These results indicate that a modified ACGIH HAL TLV may provide insight into the work-related risk of multi-task jobs. Further research is needed to optimize this process. PMID:16219155

  2. Adrenocorticotrophic Hormone Levels in Ground Based Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, B. O.

    1972-01-01

    Baseline values of immunoreactive ACTH were established in the normal healthy adult. Normal levels of ACTH secretion were determined for both the male and the female in circulating plasma and serum. The data obtained in these studies are particularly significant in that the sampling was carefully controlled; only healthy employed individuals of both sexes were tested in a routine work situation that would not be considered conducive to stress. It has been found that alterations in the classically described circadian rhythm of ACTH secretion can occur when activities (such as work/rest cycles) are imposed on the individual studied. These changes can be demonstrated even when there is no appreciable change noted in the rhythm of hydrocortisone secretion.

  3. Low level tank waste disposal study

    SciTech Connect

    Mullally, J.A.

    1994-09-29

    Westinghouse Hanford Company (WHC) contracted a team consisting of Los Alamos Technical Associates (LATA), British Nuclear Fuel Laboratories (BNFL), Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), and TRW through the Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS) Technical Support Contract to conduct a study on several areas concerning vitrification and disposal of low-level-waste (LLW). The purpose of the study was to investigate how several parameters could be specified to achieve full compliance with regulations. The most restrictive regulation governing this disposal activity is the National Primary Drinking Water Act which sets the limits of exposure to 4 mrem per year for a person drinking two liters of ground water daily. To fully comply, this constraint would be met independently of the passage of time. In addition, another key factor in the investigation was the capability to retrieve the disposed waste during the first 50 years as specified in Department of Energy (DOE) Order 5820.2A. The objective of the project was to develop a strategy for effective long-term disposal of the low-level waste at the Hanford site.

  4. Ecological Schoolyards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danks, Sharon Gamson

    2000-01-01

    Presents design guidelines and organizational and site principles for creating schoolyards where students can learn about ecology. Principles for building schoolyard ecological systems are described. (GR)

  5. Asymmetric ecological and economic responses for rangeland restoration: A case study of tree thickening in Queensland, Australia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecological and economic thresholds are important considerations when making decisions about safeguarding or restoring degraded rangelands. When degradation levels have passed a threshold, most managers figure it is either time to take action or too late to take action depending on the particular c...

  6. Simulation and experimental studies of operators` decision styles and crew composition while using an ecological and traditional user interface for the control room of a nuclear power plant

    SciTech Connect

    Meshkati, N.; Buller, B.J.; Azadeh, M.A.

    1995-04-01

    The goal of this research is threefold: (1) use of the Skill-, Rule-, and Knowledge-based levels of cognitive control -- the SRK framework -- to develop an integrated information processing conceptual framework (for integration of workstation, job, and team design); (2) to evaluate the user interface component of this framework -- the Ecological display; and (3) to analyze the effect of operators` individual information processing behavior and decision styles on handling plant disturbances plus their performance on, and preference for, Traditional and Ecological user interfaces. A series of studies were conducted. In Part I, a computer simulation model and a mathematical model were developed. In Part II, an experiment was designed and conducted at the EBR-II plant of the Argonne National Laboratory-West in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It is concluded that: the integrated SRK-based information processing model for control room operations is superior to the conventional rule-based model; operators` individual decision styles and the combination of their styles play a significant role in effective handling of nuclear power plant disturbances; use of the Ecological interface results in significantly more accurate event diagnosis and recall of various plant parameters, faster response to plant transients, and higher ratings of subject preference; and operators` decision styles affect on both their performance and preference for the Ecological interface.

  7. Gambling, games of skill and human ecology: a pilot study by a multidimensional analysis approach.

    PubMed

    Valera, Luca; Giuliani, Alessandro; Gizzi, Alessio; Tartaglia, Francesco; Tambone, Vittoradolfo

    2015-01-01

    The present pilot study aims at analyzing the human activity of playing in the light of an indicator of human ecology (HE). We highlighted the four essential anthropological dimensions (FEAD), starting from the analysis of questionnaires administered to actual gamers. The coherence between theoretical construct and observational data is a remarkable proof-of-concept of the possibility of establishing an experimentally motivated link between a philosophical construct (coming from Huizinga's Homo ludens definition) and actual gamers' motivation pattern. The starting hypothesis is that the activity of playing becomes ecological (and thus not harmful) when it achieves the harmony between the FEAD, thus realizing HE; conversely, it becomes at risk of creating some form of addiction, when destroying FEAD balance. We analyzed the data by means of variable clustering (oblique principal components) so to experimentally verify the existence of the hypothesized dimensions. The subsequent projection of statistical units (gamers) on the orthogonal space spanned by principal components allowed us to generate a meaningful, albeit preliminary, clusterization of gamer profiles. PMID:26783225

  8. Case studies and mathematical models of ecological speciation. 4. Hybrid speciation in butterflies in a jungle.

    PubMed

    Duenez-Guzman, Edgar A; Mavárez, Jesus; Vose, Michael D; Gavrilets, Sergey

    2009-10-01

    We build a spatial individual-based multilocus model of homoploid hybrid speciation tailored for a tentative case of hybrid origin of Heliconius heurippa from H. melpomene and H. cydno in South America. Our model attempts to account for empirical patterns and data on genetic incompatibility, mating preferences and selection by predation (both based on coloration patterns), habitat preference, and local adaptation for all three Heliconius species. Using this model, we study the likelihood of recombinational speciation and identify the effects of various ecological and genetic parameters on the dynamics, patterns, and consequences of hybrid ecological speciation. Overall, our model supports the possibility of hybrid origin of H. heurippa under certain conditions. The most plausible scenario would include hybridization between H. melpomene and H. cydno in an area geographically isolated from the rest of both parental species with subsequent long-lasting geographic isolation of the new hybrid species, followed by changes in the species ranges, the secondary contact, and disappearance of H. melpomene-type ecomorph in the hybrid species. However, much more work (both empirical and theoretical) is necessary to be able to make more definite conclusions on the importance of homoploid hybrid speciation in animals. PMID:19545268

  9. Daily Emotional Dynamics in Depressed Youth: A Cell-Phone Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

    PubMed Central

    Silk, Jennifer S.; Forbes, Erika E.; Whalen, Diana J.; Jakubcak, Jennifer L.; Thompson, Wesley K.; Ryan, Neal D.; Axelson, David A.; Birmaher, Boris; Dahl, Ronald E.

    2010-01-01

    This study utilized a new cellular phone ecological momentary assessment approach to investigate daily emotional dynamics in 47 youth with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and 32 no psychopathology controls (CON), ages 7 – 17. Information about emotional experience in the natural environment was obtained using answer-only cellular phones while MDD youth received an 8 week course of cognitive behavioral therapy and/or psychopharmacological treatment. Compared to CON youth, MDD youth reported more intense and labile global negative affect, greater sadness, anger, and nervousness, and a lower ratio of positive to negative affect. These differences increased with pubertal maturation. MDD youth spent more time alone and less time with their families than CON youth. Although differences in emotional experiences were found across social contexts, MDD youth were more negative than CON youth in all contexts examined. As the MDD participants progressed through treatment, diagnostic group differences in the intensity and lability of negative affect decreased, but there were no changes in the ratio of positive to negative affect or measures of social context. We discuss methodological innovations and advantages of this approach, including improved ecological validity and access to information about variability in emotions, change in emotions over time, the balance of positive and negative emotions, and the social context of emotional experience. PMID:21112595

  10. Ecological validity and the study of publics: The case for organic public engagement methods.

    PubMed

    Gehrke, Pat J

    2014-01-01

    This essay argues for a method of public engagement grounded in the criteria of ecological validity. Motivated by what Hammersly called the responsibility that comes with intellectual authority: "to seek, as far as possible, to ensure the validity of their conclusions and to participate in rational debate about those conclusions" (1993: 29), organic public engagement follows the empirical turn in citizenship theory and in rhetorical studies of actually existing publics. Rather than shaping citizens into either the compliant subjects of the cynical view or the deliberatively disciplined subjects of the idealist view, organic public engagement instead takes Asen's advice that "we should ask: how do people enact citizenship?" (2004: 191). In short, organic engagement methods engage publics in the places where they already exist and through those discourses and social practices by which they enact their status as publics. Such engagements can generate practical middle-range theories that facilitate future actions and decisions that are attentive to the local ecologies of diverse publics. PMID:23887250

  11. Sub-federal ecological modernization: A case study of Colorado's new energy economy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giannakouros, Stratis

    European nations have often employed policies of explicit government intervention as a preferred means of addressing environmental and economic challenges. These policies have ranged from grey industrial policies focused solely on industrial growth, competitiveness and innovation to policies of stronger ecological modernization, which seek to align industrial interests with environmental protection. In recent years these policies have been mobilized to address the threat of climate change and promote environmental innovation. While some US Administrations have similarly recognized the need to address these challenges, the particular historical and political institutional dynamics of the US have meant that explicit government intervention has been eschewed in favor of more indirect strategies when dealing with economic and environmental challenges. This is evident in the rise of sub-federal policies at the level of US states. Supported by federal laboratories and public research, US states have adopted policies that look very much like sub-federal versions of industrial or ecological modernization policy. This thesis uses the Colorado case to highlight the importance of sub-federal institutions in addressing environmental and economic challenges in the US and explore its similarities to, and differences from, European approaches. To achieve this goal it first develops an analytical scheme within which to place policy initiatives on a continuum from grey industrial policy to strong ecological modernization policy by identifying key institutions that are influential in each policy type. This analytical scheme is then applied to the transitional renewable energy policy period from 2004-2012 in the state of Colorado. This period starts with the adoption of a renewable energy portfolio in 2004 and includes the `new energy economy' period from 2007-2010 as well as the years since. Looking at three key turning points this paper interprets the `new energy economy' strategy

  12. Association between payments from manufacturers of pharmaceuticals to physicians and regional prescribing: cross sectional ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Agrawal, Shantanu; King, Marissa; Venkatesh, Arjun K; Krumholz, Harlan M; McKee, Douglas; Brown, Douglas; Ross, Joseph S

    2016-01-01

    greater prescribing of marketed drugs than payments for food and beverages or educational materials (484 v 110, P<0.001). Conclusions and study limitations Payments by the manufacturers of pharmaceuticals to physicians were associated with greater regional prescribing of marketed drugs among Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Payments to specialists and payments for speaker and consulting fees were predominantly associated with greater regional prescribing of marketed drugs than payments to non-specialists or payments for food and beverages, gifts, or educational materials. As a cross sectional, ecological study, we cannot prove causation between payments to physicians and increased prescribing. Furthermore, our findings should be interpreted only at the regional level. Our study is limited to prescribing by physicians and the two drug classes studied. PMID:27540015

  13. An Integrated Study of Ecological and Hydrological Processes in the Heihe River Basin, Northwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, C.; Cheng, G.; Fu, B.; Song, C.; Xiao, H.

    2012-12-01

    This presentation provides an overview of a major new research initiative supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China for an integrative study of ecological principles, hydrological processes and socioeconomic considerations in the Heihe River Basin (HRB) in northwest China. The HRB is an inland watershed located at the center of the arid zone in East Asia, stretching from the Qilianshan Mountains in the south to the Gobi desert in the north bordering China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Mongolia (Figure 1). The total area of the Heihe River Basin is approximately 130,000 km2, covering a wide range of climatic, geographical, ecological and hydrogeological conditions, from the high-altitude alpine ecosystem with glaciers and permafrost in the upper HRB, to the intensively irrigated agricultural ecosystem in the middle HRB, to the fragile, thinly vegetated desert ecosystem in the lower HRB. The new research initiative builds on the existing observatory infrastructure and long-term ecohydrological datasets since the 1950s. It seeks to reveal the complex interactions across multiple spatiotemporal scales between the basin hydrologic cycle and diverse ecosystem functioning in a water-limited environment with about 60 new, well-coordinated research projects supported for the next five years. These projects may be categorized into five groups: 1) Basin-wide transect sampling, airborne and remote sensing experimentation to collect vegetation, soil, DEM, ET, and other relevant data and build comprehensive databases and data services; 2) Observation, measurement and modeling of regional climate variability, precipitation and water resources distribution, ecosystem productivity, and development of framework for integrated models and decision support systems; 3) Study of the upper HRB, with emphasis on glaciers, snow, and permafrost; 4) Study of the middle HRB, with emphasis on surface-groundwater interactions and agriculture water use efficiency; and

  14. Giving Back: Collaborations with Others in Ecological Studies on the Nevada National Security Site

    SciTech Connect

    Scott A. Wade; Kathryn S. Knapp; Cathy A. Wills

    2013-02-24

    Formerly named the Nevada Test Site, the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) was the historical site for nuclear weapons testing from the 1950s to the early 1990s. The site was renamed in 2010 to reflect the diversity of nuclear, energy, and homeland security activities now conducted at the site. Biological and ecological programs and research have been conducted on the site for decades to address the impacts of radiation and to take advantage of the relatively undisturbed and isolated lands for gathering basic information on the occurrence and distribution of native plants and animals. Currently, the Office of the Assistant Manager for Environmental Management of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) oversees the radiological biota monitoring and ecological compliance programs on the NNSS. The top priority of these programs are compliance with federal and state regulations. They focus on performing radiological dose assessments for the public who reside near the NNSS and for populations of plants and animals on the NNSS and in protecting important species and habitat from direct impacts of mission activities. The NNSS serves as an invaluable outdoor laboratory. The geographic and ecological diversity of the site offers researchers many opportunities to study human influences on ecosystems. NNSA/NSO has pursued collaborations with outside agencies and organizations to be able to conduct programs and studies that enhance radiological biota monitoring and ecosystem preservation when budgets are restrictive, as well as to provide valuable scientific information to the human health and natural resource communities at large. NNSA/NSO is using one current collaborative study to better assess the potential dose to the off-site public from the ingestion of game animals, the most realistic pathway for off-site public exposure at this time from radionuclide contamination on the NNSS. A second

  15. Giving Back: Collaborations with Others in Ecological Studies on the Nevada National Security Site - 13058

    SciTech Connect

    Wade, Scott A.; Knapp, Kathryn S.; Wills, Cathy A.

    2013-07-01

    Formerly named the Nevada Test Site, the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) was the historical site for nuclear weapons testing from the 1950's to the early 1990's. The site was renamed in 2010 to reflect the diversity of nuclear, energy, and homeland security activities now conducted at the site. Biological and ecological programs and research have been conducted on the site for decades to address the impacts of radiation and to take advantage of the relatively undisturbed and isolated lands for gathering basic information on the occurrence and distribution of native plants and animals. Currently, the Office of the Assistant Manager for Environmental Management of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) oversees the radiological biota monitoring and ecological compliance programs on the NNSS. The top priority of these programs are compliance with federal and state regulations. They focus on performing radiological dose assessments for the public who reside near the NNSS and for populations of plants and animals on the NNSS and in protecting important species and habitat from direct impacts of mission activities. The NNSS serves as an invaluable outdoor laboratory. The geographic and ecological diversity of the site offers researchers many opportunities to study human influences on ecosystems. NNSA/NSO has pursued collaborations with outside agencies and organizations to be able to conduct programs and studies that enhance radiological biota monitoring and ecosystem preservation when budgets are restrictive, as well as to provide valuable scientific information to the human health and natural resource communities at large. NNSA/NSO is using one current collaborative study to better assess the potential dose to the off-site public from the ingestion of game animals, the most realistic pathway for off-site public exposure at this time from radionuclide contamination on the NNSS. A second

  16. No simple answers for ecological immunology: relationships among immune indices at the individual level break down at the species level in waterfowl

    PubMed Central

    Matson, Kevin D; Cohen, Alan A; Klasing, Kirk C; Ricklefs, Robert E; Scheuerlein, Alexander

    2005-01-01

    Understanding immune function in the context of other life-history traits is crucial to understand the evolution of life histories, at both the individual and species levels. As the interest in assessing immune function for these comparative purposes grows, an important question remains unanswered: can immune function be broadly characterized using one or two simple measures? Often, interpretation of individual assays is ambiguous and relationships among different measures of immune function remain poorly understood. Thus, we employed five protocols to measure 13 variables of immune function in ten species of waterfowl (Anseriformes). All assays were based on a single blood sample subdivided into leukocyte (blood smear) and plasma (frozen until analysis) components. All assays were run using samples from every individual, and a nested analysis was used to partition variation/covariation at the levels of species and individuals within species. We detected positive correlations between functionally related measures of immunity within species, but these were absent from comparisons between species. A canonical correlation analysis revealed no significant relationships between the plasma and leukocyte assays at the levels of both individual and species, suggesting that these measures of immunity are neither competitive nor synergistic. We conclude that one measure of each assay type may be required to maximally characterize immune function in studies of a single species, while the same is not true in studies among species. PMID:16618674

  17. Ecology and Energy Action Pack.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDonald's Corp., Oak Brook, IL.

    One of five McDonald's Action Packs, these elementary school-level instructional materials are for use as an introduction to existing units of study, supplements to a textbook, or a source of special projects for environmental education. Contents include these six units: Make Your Own Ecology Mini-spinner, Let's Look at a Food Chain, Drip the…

  18. Methodological approaches for studying the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems.

    PubMed

    Douterelo, Isabel; Boxall, Joby B; Deines, Peter; Sekar, Raju; Fish, Katherine E; Biggs, Catherine A

    2014-11-15

    The study of the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) has traditionally been based on culturing organisms from bulk water samples. The development and application of molecular methods has supplied new tools for examining the microbial diversity and activity of environmental samples, yielding new insights into the microbial community and its diversity within these engineered ecosystems. In this review, the currently available methods and emerging approaches for characterising microbial communities, including both planktonic and biofilm ways of life, are critically evaluated. The study of biofilms is considered particularly important as it plays a critical role in the processes and interactions occurring at the pipe wall and bulk water interface. The advantages, limitations and usefulness of methods that can be used to detect and assess microbial abundance, community composition and function are discussed in a DWDS context. This review will assist hydraulic engineers and microbial ecologists in choosing the most appropriate tools to assess drinking water microbiology and related aspects. PMID:25105587

  19. Heavy metal levels in dune sands from Matanzas urban resorts and Varadero beach (Cuba): Assessment of contamination and ecological risks.

    PubMed

    Díaz Rizo, Oscar; Buzón González, Fran; Arado López, Juana O; Denis Alpízar, Otoniel

    2015-12-30

    Concentrations of chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and lead (Pb) in dune sands from six urban and suburban Matanzas (Cuba) resorts and Varadero beach were estimated by X-ray fluorescence analysis. Ranges of metal contents in dune sands show a strong variation across the studied locations (in mg/kg(-1)): 20-2964 for Cr, 17-183 for Ni, 17-51 for Cu, 18-88 for Zn and 5-29 for Pb. The values of contamination factors and contamination degrees how that two of the studied Matanzas's resorts (Judio and Chirry) are strongly polluted. The comparison with Sediment Quality Guidelines shows that dune sands from Judio resort represent a serious risk for humans, due to polluted Cr and Ni levels, while sands from the rest of the studied resorts, including Varadero beach, do not represent any risk for public use. PMID:26481414

  20. A novel method for identifying settings for well-motivated ecologic studies of cancer.

    PubMed

    Stang, Andreas; Kowall, Bernd; Rusner, Carsten; Trabert, Britton; Bray, Freddie; Schüz, Joachim; McGlynn, Katherine A; Kuss, Oliver

    2016-04-15

    A low within-country variability and a large between-country variability in cancer incidence may indicate that ecologic factors are involved in the etiology of the disease. The aim of this study is to explore the within- and between-country variability of cancer incidence to motivate high-quality ecologic studies. We extracted age-standardized incidence rate estimates (world standard population) from 135 regions for the ten most frequent invasive cancers in Europe for non-Hispanic white populations from Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, Volume X. We fitted weighted multilevel Poisson regression models with random country effects for each cancer and sex. We estimated intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). A high ICC indicates a low within- and a high between-country variability of rates. The two cancer sites with the highest ICC among men were prostate cancer (0.96, 95% CI: 0.92-0.99) and skin melanoma (0.78, 0.64-0.93). Among women, high ICCs were observed for lung cancer (0.84, 0.73-0.95) and breast cancer (0.80, 0.69-0.91). The two most prominent sex differences for ICC occurred for cancers of the head and neck (men: 0.70, 0.55-0.85, women: 0.19, 0.08-0.30) and breast cancer (men: 0.04, 0.01-0.07, women: 0.80, 0.69-0.91). ICCs were relatively low for pancreatic cancer (men: 0.23, 0.10-0.35; women: 0.13, 0.04-0.21) and leukemia (men: 0.12, 0.04-0.21; women: 0.08, 0.02-0.14). For cancers with high ICC for which systematic factors of the health care system, screening and diagnostic activities are not plausible explanations for between-country variations in incidence, cross-country sex-specific ecologic studies may be especially promising. PMID:26595447

  1. [Ecological risk assessment of land use based on exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA): a case study of Haitan Island, Fujian Province].

    PubMed

    Wu, Jian; Chen, Peng; Wen, Chao-Xiang; Fu, Shi-Feng; Chen, Qing-Hui

    2014-07-01

    As a novel environment management tool, ecological risk assessment has provided a new perspective for the quantitative evaluation of ecological effects of land-use change. In this study, Haitan Island in Fujian Province was taken as a case. Based on the Landsat TM obtained in 1990, SPOT5 RS images obtained in 2010, general layout planning map of Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone in 2030, as well as the field investigation data, we established an ecological risk index to measure ecological endpoints. By using spatial autocorrelation and semivariance analysis of Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), the ecological risk of Haitan Island under different land-use situations was assessed, including the past (1990), present (2010) and future (2030), and the potential risk and its changing trend were analyzed. The results revealed that the ecological risk index showed obvious scale effect, with strong positive correlation within 3000 meters. High-high (HH) and low-low (LL) aggregations were predominant types in spatial distribution of ecological risk index. The ecological risk index showed significant isotropic characteristics, and its spatial distribution was consistent with Anselin Local Moran I (LISA) distribution during the same period. Dramatic spatial distribution change of each ecological risk area was found among 1990, 2010 and 2030, and the fluctuation trend and amplitude of different ecological risk areas were diverse. The low ecological risk area showed a rise-to-fall trend while the medium and high ecological risk areas showed a fall-to-rise trend. In the planning period, due to intensive anthropogenic disturbance, the high ecological risk area spread throughout the whole region. To reduce the ecological risk in land-use and maintain the regional ecological security, the following ecological risk control strategies could be adopted, i.e., optimizing the spatial pattern of land resources, protecting the key ecoregions and controlling the scale of

  2. Studying the evolutionary ecology of cognition in the wild: a review of practical and conceptual challenges.

    PubMed

    Morand-Ferron, Julie; Cole, Ella F; Quinn, John L

    2016-05-01

    Cognition is defined as the processes by which animals collect, retain and use information from their environment to guide their behaviour. Thus cognition is essential in a wide range of behaviours, including foraging, avoiding predators and mating. Despite this pivotal role, the evolutionary processes shaping variation in cognitive performance among individuals in wild populations remain very poorly understood. Selection experiments in captivity suggest that cognitive traits can have substantial heritability and can undergo rapid evolution. However only a handful of studies have attempted to explore how cognition influences life-history variation and fitness in the wild, and direct evidence for the action of natural or sexual selection on cognition is still lacking, reasons for which are diverse. Here we review the current literature with a view to: (i) highlighting the key practical and conceptual challenges faced by the field; (ii) describing how to define and measure cognitive traits in natural populations, and suggesting which species, populations and cognitive traits might be examined to greatest effect; emphasis is placed on selecting traits that are linked to functional behaviour; (iii) discussing how to deal with confounding factors such as personality and motivation in field as well as captive studies; (iv) describing how to measure and interpret relationships between cognitive performance, functional behaviour and fitness, offering some suggestions as to when and what kind of selection might be predicted; and (v) showing how an evolutionary ecological framework, more generally, along with innovative technologies has the potential to revolutionise the study of cognition in the wild. We conclude that the evolutionary ecology of cognition in wild populations is a rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field providing many opportunities for advancing the understanding of how cognitive abilities have evolved. PMID:25631282

  3. An epidemiological and ecological study of human alveolar echinococcosis transmission in south Gansu, China.

    PubMed

    Craig, P S; Giraudoux, P; Shi, D; Bartholomot, B; Barnish, G; Delattre, P; Quere, J P; Harraga, S; Bao, G; Wang, Y; Lu, F; Ito, A; Vuitton, D A

    2000-11-01

    Human alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is usually a rare, highly pathogenic zoonotic disease, transmitted across the northern hemisphere between fox and rodent hosts. In China the first cases were described in 1965; however very few epidemiological studies have been undertaken since. Following identification in 1991 of a serious focus of human AE in south Gansu province, detailed village-based community and ecological studies were carried out between 1994 and 1997. Hepatic ultrasound mass screening with serological testing (five tests) identified 84/2482 new AE cases (3%). An overall prevalence of 4.1% (135/3331) was recorded for the area when previous cases were also included. Based on a seropositive result only, without an ultrasound scan indication, no additional AE cases were identified. Of the evolutive AE cases, 96% were seropositive in at least one test, while up 15-20% of individuals who exhibited hepatic calcified lesions and 12-15% exhibiting hepatic nodular lesions were seropositive for specific Em2 or Em18 antibodies. Village (n=31) human AE prevalence rates varied from 0 to 15.8%. Questionnaire analysis indicated that total number of dogs owned over a period was a risk factor (P<0.006), but not a history of red fox hunting (P>0.6). Rodent ecology studies revealed an association between density indices of voles (Microtus limnophilus) and village AE prevalence rates, on the one hand, and village landscape characterised by a ratio of scrub/grassland to total area above 50% (P<0.005). Long-term transmission of Echinococcus multilocularis and risk of zoonotic infection of south Gansu farmers may be related ultimately to a process of deforestation driven by agriculture. This in turn probably results in creation of optimal peri-domestic habitats for rodents that serve as intermediate host species (such as M. limnophilus) and subsequent development of a peri-domestic cycle involving dogs. PMID:11080507

  4. Testing low cost OEM CO2 sensors for outdoor ecological studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintyre, C. M.; Risk, D. A.

    2011-12-01

    IR (Infrared) gas sensors are used extensively in CO2 research but price and power requirement often limits low-cost distributed sensing. In the past three years, sensors have been introduced to the industrial market at prices as low as $100 US for air-handling and automotive application. These inexpensive sensors are small in size, and have low power demand making them potentially ideal for low-cost distributed deployments. However, the sensors are only tested and calibrated for indoor use and for industrial standards and may not show their true potential for outdoor ecological studies. This poster summarizes the results of a sensor inter-comparison test, to document functionality, response time, electrical noise, precision, and accuracy, under varying moistures and temperatures broadly representative of a wide range of outdoor settings. The three selected sensors were placed in a closed loop system with a valving system using a LiCor Li-7000 as reference, controlled by a CR1000 datalogger that controlled CO2 and moisture concentrations content within the cell on the basis of LiCor readings. To achieve different temperatures, the tests were repeated at room temperature, inside a freezer (-18°C) and incubator (40°C). The tests involved repeatedly stepping the sensors from 2000 ppm CO2 to 400 ppm CO2 in 200 ppm or 400 ppm increments, at various moisture contents, and under the various temperature regimes. Vaisala 222 and 343 sensors were also part of the test group as comparators, as both are used widely in ecological research. The OEM sensors displayed good linearity, fast response time, and results comparable to Vaisala probes. In most cases the sensors performed beyond our expectations with notably less electrical noise than the Vaisala sensors and excellent power thriftiness. Some sensors showed better response to extreme moisture and temperature conditions. Provided that suitable protective embodiments were built around them, and that they are deployed in an

  5. [Ecologic study of the risk of tick-borne encephalitis in Poland--presentation of the method].

    PubMed

    Stefanoff, Paweł; Staszewska, Ewa; Ustrnul, Zbigniew; Rogalska, Justyna; Łankiewicz, Aleksandra; Rosińska, Magdalena

    2008-01-01

    Currently an ecologic study assessing the relationship between tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) with diverse environmental and social factors at the lowest administrative level is developed for Poland. Because the disease is affecting only part of the country, the authors will try to identify factors which could explain this uneven geographic distribution of the disease. To increase precision of the analysis we will utilize the highest possible resolution of the analysis, for which routinely collected data are available. Part of the data at the commune level will be obtained from the Polish communicable disease surveillance system and the Central Statistical Office, and part will be obtained using GIS tools from maps prepared by diverse institutions. The outcome studied will be TBE cases assigned to commune of residence or to place of exposure. The explanatory variables will be: land use categories (percent of commune area and their border length), meteorological variables (temperatures, rainfall), socio-economic status of communes (income per capita, unemployment rate), and Lyme borreliosis incidence (as a complex indicator of tick activity and human to tick exposure). PMID:22320045

  6. Fostering Ecological Literacy: A Case Study of the Saint John Harbour in Two High School English Language Arts Classrooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, Velta

    Integrating environmental education into curriculum in a way that tackles the holistic and complicated nature of multi-dimensional issues continues to be a challenge for educators and administrators. There is potential in using ecological literacy to introduce local environmental case studies into English Language Arts high school classrooms. This research examines the experiences of two ELA classrooms in one Saint John, NB, high school with a two-week unit based on stakeholder relationships within the Saint John Harbour. Through presentations by guest speakers and research sourced from local community groups, students learned about the highly complex environmental issues that inform management decisions for the Harbour. Using these materials as background, students participated in a mock stakeholders meeting. Case study methodology was used to explore student learning in both a higher-level and a lower-level grade 10 ELA class. Data for the analysis included: cognitive mapping exercises; oral and written classroom assignments and activities; a videotape of the mock stakeholder meetings; a focus group interview with selected students; and researcher field notes. Data demonstrated significant student learning about environmental issues including increased sophistication in describing links between and among environmental issues affecting the harbour, and much more complex understandings of the positions and roles of the various stakeholder groups. Some important areas of resistance to new learning were also evident. Implications for practice and policy and recommendations for future research are discussed.

  7. [THE STUDY OF MANIFESTATIONS OF ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS AT THE REGIONAL LEVEL].

    PubMed

    Shmandiy, V M; Kharlamova, E V; Rugas, T E

    2015-01-01

    Elaborated methodological approaches to the monitoring of the state of ecological safety are based on the use of systems analysis of conditions and consistent patterns of the formation of the ecological danger search for effective means and methods of safety management. Ecological hazard is considered as a hierarchical structure, consisting of types, classes, species and subsubspecies. In industrially developed regions the most significant are technogenic and sociogenic classes. The sociogenic class of danger was proved to be primary in its formation, as the level of environmental awareness is largely determined by the degree of impact on human health and environment, manifestations of the danger of other classes are depend on it. When analyzing the state of danger there was applied the anthropocentric approach. There was used an assembly of characteristics considering the health status of the population of the certain territory under the influence of factors of environmental hazard. On the base of the colligation of literature data and the results of own observations there was suggested a generalized index of the state of the population'S health in socio-economic areas, there were selected zones with differing level of the technogenic loads and also rural areas beyond objects of technogenic impact. On results of studies there was proved the relationship between the level of the environmental hazard and state of the population's in various socio-economic zones. PMID:26856150

  8. Molecular methods for arthropod bloodmeal identification and applications to ecological and vector-borne disease studies.

    PubMed

    Kent, Rebekah J

    2009-01-01

    DNA-based methods have greatly enhanced the sensitivity and specificity of hematophagous arthropod bloodmeal identification. A variety of methods have been applied to study the blood-feeding behaviour of mosquitoes, ticks, black flies and other blood-feeding arthropods as it relates to host-parasite interactions and pathogen transmission. Overviews of the molecular techniques used for bloodmeal identification, their advantages, disadvantages and applications are presented for DNA sequencing, group-specific polymerase chain reaction primers, restriction fragment length polymorphism, real-time polymerase chain reaction, heteroduplex analysis, reverse line-blot hybridization and DNA profiling. Technical challenges to bloodmeal identification including digestion and analysis of mixed bloodmeals are discussed. Analysis of bloodmeal identification results remains a challenge to the field, particularly with regard to incorporation of vertebrate census and ecology data. Future research directions for molecular analysis of arthropod bloodmeals are proposed. PMID:21564560

  9. Environmental mercury release, special education rates, and autism disorder: an ecological study of Texas.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Raymond F; Blanchard, Steven; Stein, Zachary; Mandell, David; Miller, Claudia

    2006-06-01

    The association between environmentally released mercury, special education and autism rates in Texas was investigated using data from the Texas Education Department and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. A Poisson regression analysis adjusted for school district population size, economic and demographic factors was used. There was a significant increase in the rates of special education students and autism rates associated with increases in environmentally released mercury. On average, for each 1,000 lb of environmentally released mercury, there was a 43% increase in the rate of special education services and a 61% increase in the rate of autism. The association between environmentally released mercury and special education rates were fully mediated by increased autism rates. This ecological study suggests the need for further research regarding the association between environmentally released mercury and developmental disorders such as autism. These results have implications for policy planning and cost analysis. PMID:16338635

  10. Quantifying Competitive Exclusion and Competitive Release in Ecological Communities: A Conceptual Framework and a Case Study.

    PubMed

    Segre, Hila; DeMalach, Niv; Henkin, Zalmen; Kadmon, Ronen

    2016-01-01

    A fundamental notion in community ecology is that local species diversity reflects some balance between the contrasting forces of competitive exclusion and competitive release. Quantifying this balance is not trivial, and requires data on the magnitude of both processes in the same system, as well as appropriate methodology to integrate and interpret such data. Here we present a novel framework for empirical studies of the balance between competitive exclusion and competitive release and demonstrate its applicability using data from a Mediterranean annual grassland where grazing is a major mechanism of competitive release. Empirical data on the balance between competitive exclusion and competitive release are crucial for understanding observed patterns of variation in local species diversity and the proposed approach provides a simple framework for the collection, interpretation, and synthesis of such data. PMID:27536943

  11. Quantifying Competitive Exclusion and Competitive Release in Ecological Communities: A Conceptual Framework and a Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Henkin, Zalmen; Kadmon, Ronen

    2016-01-01

    A fundamental notion in community ecology is that local species diversity reflects some balance between the contrasting forces of competitive exclusion and competitive release. Quantifying this balance is not trivial, and requires data on the magnitude of both processes in the same system, as well as appropriate methodology to integrate and interpret such data. Here we present a novel framework for empirical studies of the balance between competitive exclusion and competitive release and demonstrate its applicability using data from a Mediterranean annual grassland where grazing is a major mechanism of competitive release. Empirical data on the balance between competitive exclusion and competitive release are crucial for understanding observed patterns of variation in local species diversity and the proposed approach provides a simple framework for the collection, interpretation, and synthesis of such data. PMID:27536943

  12. Hotspots of human-induced biomass productivity decline and their social-ecological types toward supporting national policy and local studies on combating land degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vu, Quyet Manh; Le, Quang Bao; Vlek, Paul L. G.

    2014-10-01

    Identification and social-ecological characterization of areas that experience high levels of persistent productivity decline are essential for planning appropriate management measures. Although land degradation is mainly induced by human actions, the phenomenon is concurrently influenced by global climate changes that need to be taken into account in land degradation assessments. This study aims to delineate the geographic hotspots of human-induced land degradation in the country and classify the social-ecological characterizations of each specific degradation hotspot type. The research entailed a long-term time-series (1982-2006) of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index to specify the extents of areas with significant biomass decline or increase in Vietnam. Annual rainfall and temperature time-series were then used to separate areas of human-induced biomass productivity decline from those driven by climate dynamics. Next, spatial cluster analyses identified social-ecological types of degradation for guiding further investigations at regional and local scales. The results show that about 19% of the national land mass experienced persistent declines in biomass productivity over the last 25 years. Most of the degraded areas are found in the Southeast and Mekong River Delta (17,984 km2), Northwest Mountains (14,336 km2), and Central Highlands (13,504 km2). We identified six and five social-ecological types of degradation hotspots in agricultural and forested zones, respectively. Constraints in soil nutrient availability and nutrient retention capability are widely spreading in all degradation hotspot types. These hotspot types are different from each other in social and ecological conditions, suggesting that region-specific strategies are needed for the formulation of land degradation combating policy.

  13. Human and ecological risk assessment of a crop protection chemical: a case study with the azole fungicide epoxiconazole.

    PubMed

    Chambers, Janice E; Greim, Helmut; Kendall, Ronald J; Segner, Helmut; Sharpe, Richard M; Van Der Kraak, Glen

    2014-02-01

    Conventional risk assessments for crop protection chemicals compare the potential for causing toxicity (hazard identification) to anticipated exposure. New regulatory approaches have been proposed that would exclude exposure assessment and just focus on hazard identification based on endocrine disruption. This review comprises a critical analysis of hazard, focusing on the relative sensitivity of endocrine and non-endocrine endpoints, using a class of crop protection chemicals, the azole fungicides. These were selected because they are widely used on important crops (e.g. grains) and thereby can contact target and non-target plants and enter the food chain of humans and wildlife. Inhibition of lanosterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51) mediates the antifungal effect. Inhibition of other CYPs, such as aromatase (CYP19), can lead to numerous toxicological effects, which are also evident from high dose human exposures to therapeutic azoles. Because of its widespread use and substantial database, epoxiconazole was selected as a representative azole fungicide. Our critical analysis concluded that anticipated human exposure to epoxiconazole would yield a margin of safety of at least three orders of magnitude for reproductive effects observed in laboratory rodent studies that are postulated to be endocrine-driven (i.e. fetal resorptions). The most sensitive ecological species is the aquatic plant Lemna (duckweed), for which the margin of safety is less protective than for human health. For humans and wildlife, endocrine disruption is not the most sensitive endpoint. It is concluded that conventional risk assessment, considering anticipated exposure levels, will be protective of both human and ecological health. Although the toxic mechanisms of other azole compounds may be similar, large differences in potency will require a case-by-case risk assessment. PMID:24274332

  14. Writing to Learn Ecology: A Study of Three Populations of College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balgopal, Meena M.; Wallace, Alison M.; Dahlberg, Steven

    2012-01-01

    Being an ecologically literate citizen involves making decisions that are based on ecological knowledge and accepting responsibility for personal actions. Using writing-to-learn activities in college science courses, we asked students to consider personal dilemmas that they or others might have in response to how human choices can impact coastal…

  15. Data Explorations in Ecology: Salt Pollution as a Case Study for Teaching Data Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Cornelia; Berkowitz, Alan R.; Alvarado, Angelita

    2012-01-01

    Does working with first- and second-hand ecological data improve students' knowledge of ecological ideas, motivation and engagement in science, data exploration, and citizenship skills (students' ability to make informed decisions)? We have been exploring this question with high school science teachers in New York State for the past year using a…

  16. A Case Study: Using Authentic Scientific Data for Teaching and Learning of Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wyner, Yael

    2013-01-01

    This article describes a culminating assignment for students enrolled in a human ecology course in a Masters in Science Education program. The goal of this assignment was for students to use published scientific data to link daily life, human impact, and sustainability to ecological function. This activity required students to consider the…

  17. Applications of contaminant fate and bioaccumulation models in assessing ecological risks of chemicals: A case study for gasoline hydrocarbons

    SciTech Connect

    MacLeod, Matthew; McKone, Thomas E.; Foster, Karen L.; Maddalena, Randy L.; Parkerton, Thomas F.; Mackay, Don

    2004-02-01

    Mass balance models of chemical fate and transport can be applied in ecological risk assessments for quantitative estimation of concentrations in air, water, soil and sediment. These concentrations can, in turn, be used to estimate organism exposures and ultimately internal tissue concentrations that can be compared to mode-of-action-based critical body residues that correspond to toxic effects. From this comparison, risks to the exposed organism can be evaluated. To illustrate the practical utility of fate models in ecological risk assessments of commercial products, the EQC model and a simple screening level biouptake model including three organisms, (a bird, a mammal and a fish) is applied to gasoline. In this analysis, gasoline is divided into 24 components or ''blocks'' with similar environmental fate properties that are assumed to elicit ecotoxicity via a narcotic mode of action. Results demonstrate that differences in chemical properties and mode of entry into the environment lead to profound differences in the efficiency of transport from emission to target biota. We discuss the implications of these results and insights gained into the regional fate and ecological risks associated with gasoline. This approach is particularly suitable for assessing mixtures of components that have similar modes of action. We conclude that the model-based methodologies presented are widely applicable for screening level ecological risk assessments that support effective chemicals management.

  18. Ecological survey for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility and the Idaho Waste Processing Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Hoskinson, R.L.

    1994-05-01

    This report summarizes the results of field ecological surveys conducted by the Center for Integrated Environmental Technologies (CIET) on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) at four candidate locations for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility (MLLWTF) and the Idaho Waste Processing Facility (IWPF). The purpose of these surveys was to comply with all Federal laws and Executive Orders to identify and evaluate any potential environmental impacts because of the project. The boundaries of the candidate location were marked with blaze-orange lath survey marker stakes by the project management. Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements of the marker stakes were made, and input to the Arc/Info{reg_sign} geographic information system (GIS). Field surveys were conducted to assess any potential impact to any important species, important habitats, and to any environmental study areas. The GIS location data was overlayed onto the INEL vegetation map and an analysis of vegetation classes on the locations was done. Results of the field surveys indicate use of Candidate Location {number_sign}1 by pygmy rabbits (Sylvilagus idahoensis) and expected use by them of Candidate Locations {number_sign}3 and {number_sign}9. Pygmy rabbits are categorized as a C2 species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Two other C2 species, the ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) and the loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) would also be expected to frequent the candidate locations. Candidate Location {number_sign}5 at the north end of the INEL is in the winter range of a large number of pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana).

  19. The fourth level of social structure in a multi-level society: ecological and social functions of clans in hamadryas baboons.

    PubMed

    Schreier, Amy L; Swedell, Larissa

    2009-11-01

    Hamadryas baboons are known for their complex, multi-level social structure consisting of troops, bands, and one-male units (OMUs) [Kummer, 1968. Social organization of hamadryas baboons. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 189p]. Abegglen [1984. On socialization in hamadryas baboons: a field study. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press. 207p.] observed a fourth level of social structure comprising several OMUs that rested near one another on sleeping cliffs, traveled most closely together during daily foraging, and sometimes traveled as subgroups independently from the rest of the band. Abegglen called these associations "clans" and suggested that they consisted of related males. Here we confirm the existence of clans in a second wild hamadryas population, a band of about 200 baboons at the Filoha site in lowland Ethiopia. During all-day follows from December 1997 through September 1998 and March 2005 through February 2006, data were collected on activity patterns, social interactions, nearest neighbors, band fissions, and takeovers. Association indices were computed for each dyad of leader males, and results of cluster analyses indicated that in each of the two observation periods this band comprised two large clans ranging in size from 7 to 13 OMUs. All band fissions occurred along clan lines, and most takeovers involved the transfer of females within the same clan. Our results support the notion that clans provide an additional level of flexibility to deal with the sparse distribution of resources in hamadryas habitats. The large clan sizes at Filoha may simply be the largest size that the band can split into and still obtain enough food during periods of food scarcity. Our results also suggest that both male and female relationships play a role in the social cohesion of clans and that males exchange females within clans but not between them. PMID:19670312

  20. Association of rule of law and health outcomes: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Pinzon-Rondon, Angela Maria; Attaran, Amir; Botero, Juan Carlos; Ruiz-Sternberg, Angela Maria

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To explore whether the rule of law is a foundational determinant of health that underlies other socioeconomic, political and cultural factors that have been associated with health outcomes. Setting Global project. Participants Data set of 96 countries, comprising 91% of the global population. Primary and secondary outcome measures The following health indicators, infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, life expectancy, and cardiovascular disease and diabetes mortality rate, were included to explore their association with the rule of law. We used a novel Rule of Law Index, gathered from survey sources, in a cross-sectional and ecological design. The Index is based on eight subindices: (1) Constraints on Government Powers; (2) Absence of Corruption; (3) Order and Security; (4) Fundamental Rights; (5) Open Government; (6) Regulatory Enforcement, (7) Civil Justice; and (8) Criminal Justice. Results The rule of law showed an independent association with infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, life expectancy, and cardiovascular disease and diabetes mortality rate, after adjusting for the countries’ level of per capita income, their expenditures in health, their level of political and civil freedom, their Gini measure of inequality and women's status (p<0.05). Rule of law remained significant in all the multivariate models, and the following adjustment for potential confounders remained robust for at least one or more of the health outcomes across all eight subindices of the rule of law. Findings show that the higher the country's level of adherence to the rule of law, the better the health of the population. Conclusions It is necessary to start considering the country's adherence to the rule of law as a foundational determinant of health. Health advocates should consider the improvement of rule of law as a tool to improve population health. Conversely, lack of progress in rule of law may constitute a structural barrier to health improvement

  1. Morphological, hydrological, biogeochemical and ecological changes and challenges in river restoration - the Thur River case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schirmer, M.; Luster, J.; Linde, N.; Perona, P.; Mitchell, E. A. D.; Barry, D. A.; Hollender, J.; Cirpka, O. A.; Schneider, P.; Vogt, T.; Radny, D.; Durisch-Kaiser, E.

    2014-06-01

    River restoration can enhance river dynamics, environmental heterogeneity and biodiversity, but the underlying processes governing the dynamic changes need to be understood to ensure that restoration projects meet their goals, and adverse effects are prevented. In particular, we need to comprehend how hydromorphological variability quantitatively relates to ecosystem functioning and services, biodiversity as well as ground- and surface water quality in restored river corridors. This involves (i) physical processes and structural properties, determining erosion and sedimentation, as well as solute and heat transport behavior in surface water and within the subsurface; (ii) biogeochemical processes and characteristics, including the turnover of nutrients and natural water constituents; and (iii) ecological processes and indicators related to biodiversity and ecological functioning. All these aspects are interlinked, requiring an interdisciplinary investigation approach. Here, we present an overview of the recently completed RECORD (REstored CORridor Dynamics) project in which we combined physical, chemical, and biological observations with modeling at a restored river corridor of the perialpine Thur River in Switzerland. Our results show that river restoration, beyond inducing morphologic changes that reshape the river bed and banks, triggered complex spatial patterns of bank infiltration, and affected habitat type, biotic communities and biogeochemical processes. We adopted an interdisciplinary approach of monitoring the continuing changes due to restoration measures to address the following questions: How stable is the morphological variability established by restoration? Does morphological variability guarantee an improvement in biodiversity? How does morphological variability affect biogeochemical transformations in the river corridor? What are some potential adverse effects of river restoration? How is river restoration influenced by catchment-scale hydraulics

  2. Study on O2-supplying characteristics of Azolla in Controlled Ecological Life Support System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Min; Deng, Sufang; Yang, Youquang; Huang, Yibing; Liu, Zhongzhu

    Azolla has high growth and propagation rate, strong photosynthetic O2-releasing ability and rich nutrient value. It is able to be used as salad-type vegetable, and can also be cultured on wet bed in multi-layer condition. Hence, it possesses a potential functioning as providing O2, fresh vegetable and absorbing CO2 for Controlled Ecological Life Support System in space. In this study, we try to make clear the O2-providing characteristics of Azolla in controlled close chamber under manned condition in order to lay a foundation for Azolla as a biological component in the next ground simulated experiment and space application. A closed test cham-ber of Controlled Ecological Life Support System and Azolla wet-culturing devices were built to measure the changes of atmospheric O2-CO2 concentration inside chamber under "Azolla-fish -men" coexisting condition. The results showed that, the amount of O2 consumption is 80.49 83.07 ml/h per kilogram fish, the amount of CO2 emissions is 70.49 73.56 ml/(kg • h); O2 consumption of trial volunteers is 19.71 L/h, the volume of respiration release CO2 18.90 L/h .Artificial light intensity of Azolla wet culture under 70009000 Lx, people respiration and Azolla photosynthesis complemented each other, the atmospheric O2-CO2 concentration inside chamber maintained equilibration. Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations in close chamber have obvious effects on enhancing Azolla net photosynthesis efficiency. This shows that Azolla has strong photosynthetic O2-releasing ability, which equilibrates the O2-CO2 concentration inside chamber in favor of human survival, and then verifies the prospect of Azolla in space application.

  3. Ecological studies related to construction of the Defense Waste Processing Facility on the Savannah River Site

    SciTech Connect

    Pechmann, J.H.K.; Scott, D.E.; McGregor, J.H.; Estes, R.A.; Chazal, A.C.

    1993-02-01

    The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) was built on the Savannah River Site (SRS) during the mid-1980's. The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) has completed 12 years of ecological studies related to the construction of the DWPF complex. Prior to construction, the 600-acre site (S-Area) contained a Carolina bay and the headwaters of a stream. Research conducted by the SREL has focused primarily on four questions related to these wetlands: (1) Prior to construction, what fauna and flora were present at the DWPF site and at similar, yet undisturbed, alternative sites (2) By comparing the Carolina bay at the DWPF site (Sun Bay) with an undisturbed control Carolina bay (Rainbow Bay), what effect is construction having on the organisms that inhabited the DWPF site (3) By comparing control streams with streams on the periphery of the DWPF site, what effect is construction having on the peripheral streams (4) How effective have efforts been to lessen the impacts of construction, both with respect to erosion control measures and the construction of refuge ponds'' as alternative breeding sites for amphibians that formerly bred at Sun Bay Through the long-term census-taking of biota at the DWPF site and Rainbow Bay, SREL has begun to evaluate the impact of construction on the biota and the effectiveness of mitigation efforts. Similarly, the effects of erosion from the DWPF site on the water quality of S-Area peripheral streams are being assessed. This research provides supporting data relevant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, Executive Orders 11988 (Floodplain Management) and 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), and United States Department of Energy (DOE) Guidelines for Compliance with Floodplain/Wetland Environmental Review Requirements (10CFR1022).

  4. Conceptualizing and Estimating Process Speed in Studies Employing Ecological Momentary Assessment Designs: A Multilevel Variance Decomposition Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shiyko, Mariya P.; Ram, Nilam

    2011-01-01

    Researchers have been making use of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and other study designs that sample feelings and behaviors in real time and in naturalistic settings to study temporal dynamics and contextual factors of a wide variety of psychological, physiological, and behavioral processes. As EMA designs become more widespread,…

  5. Emotional Reactivity and Regulation in Anxious and Nonanxious Youth: A Cell-Phone Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tan, Patricia Z.; Forbes, Erika E.; Dahl, Ronald E.; Ryan, Neal D.; Siegle, Greg J.; Ladouceur, Cecile D.; Silk, Jennifer S.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Reviews have highlighted anxious youths' affective disturbances, specifically, elevated negative emotions and reliance on ineffective emotion regulation strategies. However, no study has examined anxious youth's emotional reactivity and regulation in real-world contexts. Methods: This study utilized an ecological momentary assessment…

  6. The Development of the Functional Literacy Experience Scale Based upon Ecological Theory (FLESBUET) and Validity-Reliability Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Özenç, Emine Gül; Dogan, M. Cihangir

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to perform a validity-reliability test by developing the Functional Literacy Experience Scale based upon Ecological Theory (FLESBUET) for primary education students. The study group includes 209 fifth grade students at Sabri Taskin Primary School in the Kartal District of Istanbul, Turkey during the 2010-2011 academic year.…

  7. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Soil Screening Level (Eco-SSL) Work Group, composed of scientists and risk assessors from EPA, Environment Canada, DOE, Army, Navy, Air Force, states, industry, academia, and consulting companies, has been working on the development of scientifically sound, ecologi...

  8. A Two-Year Ecological Study of Norway Rats (Rattus norvegicus) in a Brazilian Urban Slum.

    PubMed

    Panti-May, Jesús A; Carvalho-Pereira, Ticiana S A; Serrano, Soledad; Pedra, Gabriel G; Taylor, Josh; Pertile, Arsinoê C; Minter, Amanda; Airam, Vladimir; Carvalho, Mayara; Júnior, Nivison N; Rodrigues, Gorete; Reis, Mitermayer G; Ko, Albert I; Childs, James E; Begon, Mike; Costa, Federico

    2016-01-01

    The Norway or brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) is among the most ubiquitous of rodents. However, the lack of studies describing Norway rat populations from tropical areas have limited our understanding regarding their demography and seasonal dynamics. In this study, we describe seasonal pattern in the abundance, reproductive parameters, and morphometrics of Norway rat populations in Salvador, Brazil. Rodents were trapped over four seasonal trapping periods (2013-2014) from three valleys. A total of 802 Norway rats were trapped over the course of the study over 7653 trap-nights. Norway rat abundance was high, but there was no significant differences between seasons. The reproductive parameters (e.g. frequency of pregnant and lactating females) did not show statistical differences between seasons. Female rats collected in the rainy season were heavier and older than females from the dry season. Salvador rats had a high incidence of pregnancy and birth rate (estimated birth rate of 79 young per year) compared to previous studies. The information generated is critical for the understanding of the ecology of Norway rat, the main reservoir of Leptospira in Salvador. However, future studies examining the effect of rodent control programs aimed at reducing populations, and determining rates of recovery, will further clarify our understanding of population dynamics. PMID:27015422

  9. A Two-Year Ecological Study of Norway Rats (Rattus norvegicus) in a Brazilian Urban Slum

    PubMed Central

    Panti-May, Jesús A.; Carvalho-Pereira, Ticiana S. A.; Serrano, Soledad; Pedra, Gabriel G.; Taylor, Josh; Pertile, Arsinoê C.; Minter, Amanda; Airam, Vladimir; Carvalho, Mayara; Júnior, Nivison N.; Rodrigues, Gorete; Reis, Mitermayer G.; Ko, Albert I.; Childs, James E.; Begon, Mike; Costa, Federico

    2016-01-01

    The Norway or brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) is among the most ubiquitous of rodents. However, the lack of studies describing Norway rat populations from tropical areas have limited our understanding regarding their demography and seasonal dynamics. In this study, we describe seasonal pattern in the abundance, reproductive parameters, and morphometrics of Norway rat populations in Salvador, Brazil. Rodents were trapped over four seasonal trapping periods (2013–2014) from three valleys. A total of 802 Norway rats were trapped over the course of the study over 7653 trap-nights. Norway rat abundance was high, but there was no significant differences between seasons. The reproductive parameters (e.g. frequency of pregnant and lactating females) did not show statistical differences between seasons. Female rats collected in the rainy season were heavier and older than females from the dry season. Salvador rats had a high incidence of pregnancy and birth rate (estimated birth rate of 79 young per year) compared to previous studies. The information generated is critical for the understanding of the ecology of Norway rat, the main reservoir of Leptospira in Salvador. However, future studies examining the effect of rodent control programs aimed at reducing populations, and determining rates of recovery, will further clarify our understanding of population dynamics. PMID:27015422

  10. Ascendency as an ecological indicator: a case study of estuarine pulse eutrophication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patrício, J.; Ulanowicz, R.; Pardal, M. A.; Marques, J. C.

    2004-05-01

    Increasingly, management agencies require that the remediation of eutrophic waters be addressed at the level of the whole ecosystem. One whole-system approach to quantify ecosystems is called ecological network analysis. Ascendency theory, the branch of the field that deals with the quantification of whole-system status, specifically addresses the definition of eutrophication. This definition has been applied to data taken over a gradient of eutrophication. Three separate areas were observed: a non-eutrophic area (with Zostera noltii meadows), an intermediate eutrophic area ( Z. noltii absent and macroalgae abundant at times) and a strongly eutrophic area (where Enteromorpha spp. blooms occur with regularity). Pulse eutrophication was considered as the major driving force behind a gradual shift in primary producers from a community dominated by rooted macrophytes ( Z. noltii) to a community dominated by green macroalgae. The measures associated with the intermediate eutrophic region turned out not to be intermediate to those at the gradient extremes. The most likely explanation appears to be the highly unstable nature of this area. Conditions along the spatial gradient are discussed as representing various stages in the temporal evolution of the system, and analysed in the framework of the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis, Bifurcation, Chaos, and Catastrophe theories.

  11. Marine ecological-risk assessment pilot study for Allen Harbor, Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Professional paper

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, R.K.; Munns, W.R.; Mueller, C.; Nelson, W.G.; Pesch, G.G.

    1992-01-01

    An ecological risk assessment framework was applied to characterize aquatic risks associated with hazardous waste disposal at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Davisville, Rhode Island. An initial screening phase (I) assessed exposure and related that exposure to toxicological endpoints for bivalves, amphipods, sea urchins, and biomarker assays. Results showed little evidence of major contamination in sediments or tissues except for relatively high levels of polychlorinated biphenols (PBC), butyltins compounds (TBT), and fecal coliforms observed in Allen Harbor. Effects were detected in mussel physiology, sea urchin fertilization and development, biomarker responses, and soft shell clam histology. Possible sources of contamination and toxicity from the landfill leachate, surface runoff, and recreational boating were examined using a temporaland spatial sampling scheme. Chemical and toxicological information obtained implicated all three sources as affecting Allen Harbor water quality. Laboratory bioassays of landfill exposure media, employing a variety of marine species using acute and chronic endpoints, are being used to provide data for the development of an exposure-response model for risk to the marine environment. The model will define current risk and provide an interpretive framework for long-term monitoring.

  12. Geographic patterns of hepatocellular carcinoma mortality with exposure to iron in groundwater in Taiwanese population: An ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Many studies have examined the risk factors for HCC (including hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, aflatoxin, retinol, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption). However, data from previous studies on the association between iron exposure, land subsidence, and HCC mortality/incidence were limited, especially in Taiwanese population. We aimed to explore the geographical distribution of HCC mortality rates by township-specific data and to evaluate the association between HCC mortality, land subsidence, and iron levels in groundwater in Taiwan. Methods We conducted an ecological study and calculated the HCC age-standardized mortality/incidence rates according to death certificates issued in Taiwan from 1992 to 2001 and incidence data from 1995–1998. The land subsidence dataset before 2005 and iron concentrations in groundwater in 1989 are also involved in this study. Both geographical information systems and Pearson correlation coefficients were used to analyze the relationship between HCC mortality rates, land subsidence, and iron concentrations in groundwater. Results Township-specific HCC mortality rates are higher in southwestern coastal townships where serious land subsidence and higher township-specific concentrations of iron in groundwater are present. The Pearson correlation coefficients of iron concentrations in groundwater and ASRs of HCC were 0.286 (P = 0.004) in males and 0.192 (P = 0.058) in females for mortality data; the coefficients were 0.375 (P < 0.001) in males and 0.210 (P = 0.038) in females for incidence data. Conclusions This study showed that HCC mortality is clustered in southwestern Taiwan and the association with the iron levels in groundwater in Taiwanese population warrant further investigation. PMID:23590585

  13. Prevalence of asthma symptoms in schoolchildren, and climate in west European countries: an ecologic study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnedo-Pena, Alberto; García-Marcos, Luis; Bercedo-Sanz, Alberto; Aguinaga-Ontoso, Inés; González-Díaz, Carlos; García-Merino, Águeda; Busquets-Monge, Rosa; Suárez-Varela, Maria Morales; Batlles-Garrido, Juan; Blanco-Quirós, Alfredo A.; López-Silvarrey, Angel; García-Hernández, Gloria; Fuertes, Jorge

    2013-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to estimate the associations between the prevalence of asthma symptoms in schoolchildren and meteorological variables in west European countries that participated in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children (ISAAC), Phase III 1997-2003. An ecologic study was carried out. The prevalence of asthma was obtained from this study from 48 centers in 14 countries, and meteorological variables from those stations closest to ISAAC centers, together with other socioeconomic and health care variables. Multilevel mixed-effects linear regression models were used. For schoolchildren aged 6-7 years, the prevalence rate of asthma decreased with an increase in mean annual sunshine hours, showed a positive association with rainy weather, and warm temperature, and a negative one with relative humidity and physician density (PD). Current wheeze prevalence was stronger in autumn/winter seasons and decreased with increasing PD. Severe current wheeze decreased with PD. For schoolchildren aged 13-14 years, the prevalence rates of asthma and current wheeze increased with rainy weather, and these rates decreased with increased PD. Current wheeze, as measured by a video questionnaire, was inversely associated with sunny weather, and nurse density. Severe current wheeze prevalence was stronger during autumn/winter seasons, decreased with PD, and indoor chlorinated public swimming pool density, and increased with rainy weather. Meteorological factors, including sunny and rainy weather, and PD may have some effect on the prevalence rates of asthma symptoms in children from west European countries.

  14. Prevalence of asthma symptoms in schoolchildren, and climate in west European countries: an ecologic study.

    PubMed

    Arnedo-Pena, Alberto; García-Marcos, Luis; Bercedo-Sanz, Alberto; Aguinaga-Ontoso, Inés; González-Díaz, Carlos; García-Merino, Agueda; Busquets-Monge, Rosa; Suárez-Varela, Maria Morales; Batlles-Garrido, Juan; Blanco-Quirós, Alfredo A; López-Silvarrey, Angel; García-Hernández, Gloria; Fuertes, Jorge

    2013-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to estimate the associations between the prevalence of asthma symptoms in schoolchildren and meteorological variables in west European countries that participated in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children (ISAAC), Phase III 1997-2003. An ecologic study was carried out. The prevalence of asthma was obtained from this study from 48 centers in 14 countries, and meteorological variables from those stations closest to ISAAC centers, together with other socioeconomic and health care variables. Multilevel mixed-effects linear regression models were used. For schoolchildren aged 6-7 years, the prevalence rate of asthma decreased with an increase in mean annual sunshine hours, showed a positive association with rainy weather, and warm temperature, and a negative one with relative humidity and physician density (PD). Current wheeze prevalence was stronger in autumn/winter seasons and decreased with increasing PD. Severe current wheeze decreased with PD. For schoolchildren aged 13-14 years, the prevalence rates of asthma and current wheeze increased with rainy weather, and these rates decreased with increased PD. Current wheeze, as measured by a video questionnaire, was inversely associated with sunny weather, and nurse density. Severe current wheeze prevalence was stronger during autumn/winter seasons, decreased with PD, and indoor chlorinated public swimming pool density, and increased with rainy weather. Meteorological factors, including sunny and rainy weather, and PD may have some effect on the prevalence rates of asthma symptoms in children from west European countries. PMID:23152194

  15. ELF communications system ecological monitoring program: Litter decomposition and microflora studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruhn, Johann N.; Bagley, Susan T.; Pickens, James B.

    1994-10-01

    The U.S. Navy has completed a program monitoring flora, fauna, and ecological relationships for possible effects from electromagnetic fields produced by its Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Communications System. This report documents studies of litter decomposition and soil microflora conducted near its transmitting antenna in Michigan. From 1982 through 1993 researchers from the Michigan Technological University (MTU) monitored overall litter decomposition, as well as microflora (bacteria and fungi) important both as processors of organic material and causative agents of tree disease. Studies were performed in areas near (treatment) and far (control) from the ELF antenna Study parameters included total number of streptomycete individuals and species; mass loss of maple, oak, and pine leaf litter; and frequency of red pine mortality from Armillaria root disease. The MTU research team used several statistical models; however, nested analysis of covariance was the most frequently used test. Based on the results of their study, MTU investigators conclude that the EM fields produced by the Naval Radio Transmitting Facility-Republic, Michigan did not affect soil bacteria populations or the spread of the root disease. Loss of foliar mass suggests a statistically significant, but modest, increase in the rate of litter decomposition, possibly associated with electromagnetic exposure.

  16. Associations between national tuberculosis program budgets and tuberculosis outcomes: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Chapple, Will; Katz, Alan Roy; Li, Dongmei

    2012-01-01

    Introduction The objective of this study is to explore the associations between national tuberculosis program (NTP) budget allocation and tuberculosis related outcomes in the World Health Organization's 22 high burden countries from 2007–2009. Methods This ecological study used mixed effects and generalized estimating equation models to identify independent associations between NTP budget allocations and various tuberculosis related outcomes. Models were adjusted for a number of independent variables previously noted to be associated with tuberculosis incidence. Results Increasing the percent of the NTP budget for advocacy, communication and social mobilization was associated with an increase in the case detection rate. Increasing TB-HIV funding was associated with an increase in HIV testing among TB patients. Increasing the percent of the population covered by the Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) program was associated with an increase in drug susceptibility testing. Laboratory funding was positively associated with tuberculosis notification. Increasing the budgets for first line drugs, management and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) was associated with a decrease in smear positive deaths. Conclusion Effective TB control is a complex and multifaceted challenge. This study revealed a number of budget allocation related factors associated with improved TB outcome parameters. If confirmed with future longitudinal studies, these findings could help guide NTP managers with allocation decisions. PMID:23024825

  17. Ground level environmental protein concentrations in various ecuadorian environments: potential uses of aerosolized protein for ecological research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staton, Sarah J.R.; Woodward, Andrea; Castillo, Josemar A.; Swing, Kelly; Hayes, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    Large quantities of free protein in the environment and other bioaerosols are ubiquitous throughout terrestrial ground level environments and may be integrative indicators of ecosystem status. Samples of ground level bioaerosols were collected from various ecosystems throughout Ecuador, including pristine humid tropical forest (pristine), highly altered secondary humid tropical forest (highly altered), secondary transitional very humid forest (regrowth transitional), and suburban dry montane deforested (suburban deforested). The results explored the sensitivity of localized aerosol protein concentrations to spatial and temporal variations within ecosystems, and their value for assessing environmental change. Ecosystem specific variations in environmental protein concentrations were observed: pristine 0.32 ± 0.09 μg/m3, highly altered 0.07 ± 0.05 μg/m3, regrowth transitional 0.17 ± 0.06 μg/m3, and suburban deforested 0.09 ± 0.04 μg/m3. Additionally, comparisons of intra-environmental differences in seasonal/daily weather (dry season 0.08 ± 0.03 μg/m3 and wet season 0.10 ± 0.04 μg/m3), environmental fragmentation (buffered 0.19 ± 0.06 μg/m3 and edge 0.15 ± 0.06 μg/m3), and sampling height (ground level 0.32 ± 0.09 μg/m3 and 10 m 0.24 ± 0.04 μg/m3) demonstrated the sensitivity of protein concentrations to environmental conditions. Local protein concentrations in altered environments correlated well with satellite-based spectral indices describing vegetation productivity: normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (r2 = 0.801), net primary production (NPP) (r2 = 0.827), leaf area index (LAI) (r2 = 0.410). Moreover, protein concentrations distinguished the pristine site, which was not differentiated in spectral indices, potentially due to spectral saturation typical of highly vegetated environments. Bioaerosol concentrations represent an inexpensive method to increase understanding of environmental changes, especially in densely vegetated

  18. Soil Microarthropods and Their Relationship to Higher Trophic Levels in the Pedregal de San Angel Ecological Reserve, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Callejas-Chavero, Alicia; Castaño-Meneses, Gabriela; Razo-González, María; Pérez-Velázquez, Daniela; Palacios-Vargas, José G.; Flores-Martínez, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    Soil fauna is essential for ecosystem dynamics as it is involved in biogeochemical processes, promotes nutrient availability, and affects the animal communities associated with plants. In this study, we examine the possible relationship between the soil microarthropod community on foliage production and quality of the shrub Pittocaulon praecox. We also examine the arthropods associated to its foliage, particularly the size of the main herbivores and of their natural enemies, at two sites with contrasting vegetation cover and productivity. The diversity of soil microarthropods was assessed from soil samples collected monthly under P. praecox individuals over 13 mo. Specimens collected were identified to species or morphospecies. Shrub foliage productivity was evaluated through the amount of litter produced. Resource quality was assessed by the mean content (percentage by weight) of N, C, S, and P of 30 leaves from each shrub. The mean size of herbivores and their natural enemies were determined by measuring 20 adult specimens of each of the most abundant species. We found a higher species richness of soil microarthropods and foliar arthropods in the open site, although the diversity of foliage arthropods was lower in the closed site. Shrubs growing in the closed site tend to produce more, larger, and nutritionally poorer (lower nitrogen content) leaves than open site. Herbivores and their natural enemies were also larger in the closed site. We found a significant positive relationship between the diversity and species richness of foliar arthropods and the nitrogen content of leaves. In general, species richness and diversity of both the foliar and soil fauna, as well as the size of organisms belonging to higher trophic levels, were affected by vegetation cover and primary productivity at each site. These findings highlight the need to simultaneously consider at least four trophic levels (soil organisms, plants, herbivores, and natural enemies) to better understand

  19. The Study on Ecological Treatment of Saline Lands to Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Jiancang; Zhu, Jiwei; Wang, Tao

    2010-05-01

    The soil water and salt movement is influenced strongly by the frequent droughts, floods and climate change. Additionally, as continued population growth, large-scale reclaiming of arable land and long-term unreasonable irrigation, saline land is increasing at the rate of 1,000,000~15,000,000 mu each year all over the world. In the tradition management, " drainage as the main " measure has series of problem, which appears greater project, more occupation of land, harmful for water saving and downstream pollution. To response the global climate change, it has become the common understanding, which promote energy-saving and environment protection, reflect the current model, explore the ecological management model. In this paper, we take severe saline land—Lubotan in Shaanxi Province as an example. Through nearly 10 years harnessing practice and observing to meteorology, hydrology, soil indicators of climate, we analyze the influence of climate change to soil salinity movement at different seasons and years, then put forward and apply a new model of saline land harnessing to mitigate the Effects of Climate Change and self-rehabilitate entironment. This model will be changed "drainage" to "storage", through the establishment engineering of " storage as the main ", taken comprehensive measures of " project - biology - agriculture ", we are changing saline land into arable land. Adapted to natural changes of climate, rainfall, irrigation backwater, groundwater level, reduced human intervention to achieve system dynamic equilibrium. During the ten years, the salt of plough horizon has reduced from 0.74% to 0.20%, organic matter has increased from 0.7% to 0.92%, various indicators of soil is begining to go better. At the same time, reduced the water for irrigation, drainage pollution and investment costs. Through the model, reformed severe saline land 18,900 mu, increased new cultivated land 16,500 mu, comprehensive efficient significant, ensured the coordinated

  20. Comparison of pollution levels on the Mississippi Gulf Coast during the 2010 Gulf BP oil spill to ecological and health-based standards.

    PubMed

    Beasley, Jerry; Reddy, Ramata S; Tchounwou, Paul; Kafoury, Ramzi

    2012-01-01

    To evaluate the possible impact that the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill might have had on pollution levels in the State of Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analyzed surface water and ambient air quality pollutant data taken from MDEQ and EPA monitoring sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The data were compared with acute, chronic, and human health air and water quality standards to determine whether the pollutant levels occurring during the oil spill could cause ecological and/or human health effects. The water quality data indicated levels of nickel, vanadium, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and semivolatile organic compounds analyzed remained below acute and chronic levels for both aquatic life and human health. The air quality sampling data showed that the levels of VOCs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons associated with the oil spill were well below EPA chronic and human health screening levels. A comparison of the air quality monitoring data taken before and after the oil spill showed that the concentrations of ozone and fine particulate matter were elevated for brief periods but remained below actionable levels. PMID:23109537

  1. On application of non—extensive statistical mechanics to studying ecological diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Xuan, Le; Lan, Nguyen Tri; Viet, Nguyen Ai

    2016-06-01

    The concept of Tsallis entropy provides an extension of thermodynamics and statistical physics. In the ecology, Tsallis entropy is proposed to be a new class of diversity indices Sq which covers many common diversity indices found in ecological literature. As a new statistical model for the Whittaker plots describing species abundance distribution, the truncated exponential distribution is used to calculate the diversity and evenness indices. The obtained results in new model are graphically compared with those in previous publication in the same field of interests, and shows a good agreement. A further development of a thermodynamic theory of ecological systems that is consistent with entropic approach of statistical physics is motivated.

  2. Ecological baseline studies in Los Alamos and Guaje Canyons County of Los Alamos, New Mexico. A two-year study

    SciTech Connect

    Foxx, T.S.

    1995-11-01

    During the summers of 1993 and 1994, the Biological Resource Evaluations Team (BRET) of the Environmental Protection Group (ESH-8) conducted baseline studies within two canyon systems, Los Alamos and Guaje Canyons. Biological data was collected within each canyon to provide background and baseline information for Ecological Risk models. Baseline studies included establishment of permanent vegetation plots within each canyon along the elevational gradient. Then, in association with the various vegetation types, surveys were conducted for ground dwelling insects, birds, and small mammals. The stream channels associated with the permanent vegetation plots were characterized and aquatic macroinvertebrates collected within the stream monthly throughout a six-month period. The Geographic Position System (GPS) in combination with ARC INFO was used to map the study areas. Considerable data was collected during these surveys and are summarized in individual chapters.

  3. Preventing and reducing violence against women: innovation in community-level studies.

    PubMed

    Taft, Angela; Small, Rhonda

    2014-01-01

    Intimate partner violence is a serious global problem that damages the health and prosperity of individuals, their families, community, and society. WHO endorses an 'ecological model,' which states that there are multi-level intersecting factors enabling perpetration and victimization of violence. Intervention science to prevent or reduce the problem is in its infancy, and the few existing intervention studies have been targeted at the individual level. In a recent study published in BMC Medicine, Abramsky et al. bring innovation to the field, targeting their intervention trial "SASA!" in Kampala Uganda at all ecological levels, but particularly at the community level. Recruiting and training both male and female community leaders and activists who enabled group and media discussions, the authors focused on the beneficial and abusive detrimental uses of power rather than commencing with the central issue of gender inequality. SASA! successfully reduced community attitudes to tolerance of violence and inequality, men's sexual risk behaviors, and women's experience of physical violence. The study also improved the communities' response to victimized women. SASA! has promise for adaptation and replication in low, middle and high income countries. Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/12/122. PMID:25286152

  4. Developing an Internet- and Mobile-Based System to Measure Cigarette Use Among Pacific Islanders: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Nasya; Sabado-Liwag, Melanie Dee; Orne, Annette; Toilolo, Tupou; Cen, Steven; May, Vanessa; Lee, Cevadne; Pang, Victor Kaiwi; Rainer, Michelle A; Vaivao, Dorothy Etimani S; Lepule, Jonathan Tana; Tanjasiri, Sora Park; Palmer, Paula Healani

    2016-01-01

    Background Recent prevalence data indicates that Pacific Islanders living in the United States have disproportionately high smoking rates when compared to the general populace. However, little is known about the factors contributing to tobacco use in this at-risk population. Moreover, few studies have attempted to determine these factors utilizing technology-based assessment techniques. Objective The objective was to develop a customized Internet-based Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) system capable of measuring cigarette use among Pacific Islanders in Southern California. This system integrated the ubiquity of text messaging, the ease of use associated with mobile phone apps, the enhanced functionality offered by Internet-based Cell phone-optimized Assessment Techniques (ICAT), and the high survey completion rates exhibited by EMA studies that used electronic diaries. These features were tested in a feasibility study designed to assess whether Pacific Islanders would respond to this method of measurement and whether the data gathered would lead to novel insights regarding the intrapersonal, social, and ecological factors associated with cigarette use. Methods 20 young adult smokers in Southern California who self-identified as Pacific Islanders were recruited by 5 community-based organizations to take part in a 7-day EMA study. Participants selected six consecutive two-hour time blocks per day during which they would be willing to receive a text message linking them to an online survey formatted for Web-enabled mobile phones. Both automated reminders and community coaches were used to facilitate survey completion. Results 720 surveys were completed from 840 survey time blocks, representing a completion rate of 86%. After adjusting for gender, age, and nicotine dependence, feeling happy (P=<.001) or wanting a cigarette while drinking alcohol (P=<.001) were positively associated with cigarette use. Being at home (P=.02) or being around people who are not

  5. A Video Ethnography Approach to Assessing The Ecological Validity of Neurocognitive and Functional Measures in Severe Mental Illness: Results From A Feasibility Study

    PubMed Central

    Bromley, Elizabeth; Mikesell, Lisa; Mates, Andrea; Smith, Michael; Brekke, John S.

    2012-01-01

    Background. The ecological validity of neurocognitive and functional measures in severe mental illness is poorly understood because of a lack of validated research methods to study community life-as-lived. We describe the development of a video ethnography method that measures naturalistic behaviors with codes called community performance indicators (CPIs). The method could provide a strategy to test the ecological validity of neurocognitive and functional assessments. Methods. We gathered up to 18.5 hours of video ethnography data on each of 9 subjects with schizophrenia selected for high or low composite scores on the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). We used video ethnography to capture subjects’ everyday behaviors in their usual environments. We established 4 CPIs that showed excellent inter-rater and promising test-retest reliability: (1) behavioral activity level, (2) goal pursuit, (3) social interaction, and (4) problem solving. Results. (1) High and low MCCB subjects showed statistically significantly differences on all 4 CPIs. (2) MCCB composite scores were correlated with all 4 CPIs (r = .54 to −.77, P < .01 to .07). (3) The MCCB domain scores demonstrated some specificity in their correlations with the CPIs; eg, verbal learning, reasoning/problem solving, and social cognition were correlated with CPI domains of social interaction and problem solving. Conclusions. We present a method for reliably measuring everyday functional performance in schizophrenia. Results from a small select sample suggest that CPIs capture skills associated with neurocognition, supporting their use in a larger study of ecological validity. PMID:21402723

  6. Associations Between the Macroeconomic Indicators and Suicide Rates in India: Two Ecological Studies

    PubMed Central

    Rajkumar, Anto P.; Senthilkumar, P.; Gayathri, K.; Shyamsundar, G.; Jacob, K. S.

    2015-01-01

    Background: While western studies have focused on the importance of psychiatric illnesses in the complex pathways leading to suicides, several Indian studies have highlighted the important contributions by economic, social, and cultural factors. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that annual national suicide rates and suicide rates of the different states in India were associated with macroeconomic indices. Materials and Methods: Data from the National crime records bureau, Ministry of finance, labour bureau, Government of India, population commission, and planning commission official portals, World Bank and the United Nations were accessed. We assessed the correlations of annual national and state-wise suicide rates with macroeconomic, health, and other indices using ecological study design for India, and for its different states and union territories. Results: We documented statistically significant associations between the suicide rates and per capita gross domestic product, consumer price index, foreign exchange, trade balance, total health expenditure as well as literacy rates. Conclusions: As recent economic growth in India is associated with increasing suicide rates, macroeconomic policies emphasizing equitable distribution of resources may help curtailing the population suicide rates in India. PMID:26664075

  7. Bladder cancer mortality and private well use in New England: An ecological study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ayotte, J.D.; Baris, D.; Cantor, K.P.; Colt, J.; Robinson, G.R., Jr.; Lubin, J.H.; Karagas, M.; Hoover, R.N.; Fraumeni, J.F., Jr.; Silverman, D.T.

    2006-01-01

    Study objective: To investigate the possible relation between bladder cancer mortality among white men and women and private water use in New England, USA, where rates have been persistently raised and use of private water supplies (wells) common. Design: Ecological study relating age adjusted cancer mortality rates for white men and women during 1985-1999 and proportion of persons using private water supplies in 1970. After regressing mortality rates on population density, Pearson correlation coefficients were computed between residual rates and the proportion of the population using private water supplies, using the state economic area as the unit of calculation. Calculations were conducted within each of 10 US regions. Setting: The 504 state economic areas of the contiguous United States. Participants: Mortality analysis of 11 cancer sites, with the focus on bladder cancer. Main results: After adjusting for the effect of population density, there was a statistically significant positive correlation between residual bladder cancer mortality rates and private water supply use among both men and women in New England (men, r=0.42; women, r=0.48) and New York/New Jersey (men, r=0.49; women, r=0.62). Conclusions: Use of well water from private sources, or a close correlate, may be an explanatory variable for the excess bladder cancer mortality in New England. Analytical studies are underway to clarify the relation between suspected water contaminants, particularly arsenic, and raised bladder cancer rates in northern New England.

  8. Frontiers of torenia research: innovative ornamental traits and study of ecological interaction networks through genetic engineering

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Advances in research in the past few years on the ornamental plant torenia (Torenia spps.) have made it notable as a model plant on the frontier of genetic engineering aimed at studying ornamental characteristics and pest control in horticultural ecosystems. The remarkable advantage of torenia over other ornamental plant species is the availability of an easy and high-efficiency transformation system for it. Unfortunately, most of the current torenia research is still not very widespread, because this species has not become prominent as an alternative to other successful model plants such as Arabidopsis, snapdragon and petunia. However, nowadays, a more global view using not only a few selected models but also several additional species are required for creating innovative ornamental traits and studying horticultural ecosystems. We therefore introduce and discuss recent research on torenia, the family Scrophulariaceae, for secondary metabolite bioengineering, in which global insights into horticulture, agriculture and ecology have been advanced. Floral traits, in torenia particularly floral color, have been extensively studied by manipulating the flavonoid biosynthetic pathways in flower organs. Plant aroma, including volatile terpenoids, has also been genetically modulated in order to understand the complicated nature of multi-trophic interactions that affect the behavior of predators and pollinators in the ecosystem. Torenia would accordingly be of great use for investigating both the variation in ornamental plants and the infochemical-mediated interactions with arthropods. PMID:23803155

  9. Levels of Thinking and Open University Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brew, Angela; Batten, Mary Anne

    1981-01-01

    The success of distance teaching depends largely on students' comprehension and appreciation of print communication. A communication gap exists, and many students are unable to recognize levels of complexity presented to them. Changes in course structure can help alleviate this learning problem. (MSE)

  10. Ecological Misconceptions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munson, Bruce H.

    1994-01-01

    Presents a summary of the research literature on students' ecological conceptions and the implications of misconceptions. Topics include food webs, ecological adaptation, carrying capacity, ecosystem, and niche. (Contains 35 references.) (MKR)

  11. Terrestrial Ecology Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  12. Ecotoxicogenomics to Support Ecological Risk Assessment: A Case Study with Bisphenol A in Fish

    EPA Science Inventory

    Toxicogenomic approaches are being increasingly applied in the field of ecotoxicology. Given the growing availability of ecotoxicogenomic data, the Agency and the broader scientific community are actively engaged in considering how best to use those data to support ecological ris...

  13. Development of Knowledge Frameworks and Higher Order Cognitive Operations among Secondary School Students Who Studied a Unit on Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bischoff, Paul J.; Anderson, O. Roger

    2001-01-01

    Interviews 9th and 10th grade students (n=13) who studied an ecology unit and analyzed tape-recorded data for changes in organization of knowledge, represented by ideational networks and the development of higher cognitive operations. Provides insights into how students developed knowledge schemata, ideational networks, and the capacity to express…

  14. Hurricane Impacts on Ecological Services and Economic Values of Coastal Urban Forest: A Case Study of Pensacola, Florida

    EPA Science Inventory

    As urbanized areas continue to grow and green spaces dwindle, the importance of urban forests increases for both ecologically derived health benefits and for their potential to mitigate climate change. This study examined pre- and post- hurricane conditions of Pensacola's urban f...

  15. Support for NATO Advanced Study Institute on molecular ecology of aquatic microbes, August 28--September 9, 1994. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Joint, I.

    1995-06-16

    This is a summary paper for a NATO Advanced Study Institute sponsored meeting entitled `The Molecular Ecology of Aquatic Microbes` held in Luccia, Italy from August 28 to September 9, 1994. A full reference book for the proceedings is to be published later.

  16. Quality assurance plan for 1991 pilot study of the ecological condition of municipal wastewater constructed wetland treatment systems

    SciTech Connect

    Sherman, A.D.; McAllister, L.S.

    1992-12-01

    The purpose of the quality assurance plan is to detail the methods and procedures to be used in the pilot study of the ecological condition in municipal wastewater constructed wetland treatment systems. It includes specific procedures for assuring that data are of known, high quality. Background material and description of the general approach are outlined in a separate project work plan.

  17. Characterization of Retention and Transfer of Protein Labels in the Saltcedar Leaf Beetle for use in Ecological Studies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding dispersal and predator-prey associations of biological control agents can lead to a better understanding of the ecological services that they provide. Marking arthropods with labels facilitates studies of their activity in nature, and thus provides new insight into biological traits r...

  18. Using Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory to Understand Community Partnerships: A Historical Case Study of One Urban High School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leonard, Jack

    2011-01-01

    Although the value of school-community partnerships is unquestioned, the reasons for success and failure are not sufficiently understood. This mixed-methods case study examines 60 years of partnering at one urban high school, using Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory to better understand the effect on student development as measured by…

  19. Studying Behavioral Ecology on High School & College Campuses: A Practical Guide to Measuring Foraging Behavior Using Urban Wildlife

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Mohammad A. Abu; Emerson, Sara E.; Brown, Joel S.

    2015-01-01

    We present a practical field exercise for ecology and animal behavior classes that can be carried out on campus, using urban wildlife. Students document an animal's feeding behavior to study its interactions with the surrounding environment. In this approach, an animal's feeding behavior is quantified at experimental food patches placed within its…

  20. Revisiting the Affect Regulation Model of Binge Eating: A Meta-Analysis of Studies Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haedt-Matt, Alissa A.; Keel, Pamela K.

    2011-01-01

    The affect regulation model of binge eating, which posits that patients binge eat to reduce negative affect (NA), has received support from cross-sectional and laboratory-based studies. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) involves momentary ratings and repeated assessments over time and is ideally suited to identify temporal antecedents and…

  1. The Association between Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement in Texas State House Legislative Districts: An Ecologic Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Janak, Jud C.; Gabriel, Kelley P.; Oluyomi, Abiodun O.; Peréz, Adriana; Kohl, Harold W.; Kelder, Steven H.

    2014-01-01

    Background: The association of physical fitness with cognitive function in children and adolescents is unclear. The purpose of this ecological study was to describe the association between academic achievement, body mass index (BMI), and cardiovascular fitness (CVF) in a large sample of elementary, middle, and high school students in Texas.…

  2. Switching on and Switching off in Mathematics: An Ecological Study of Future Intent and Disengagement among Middle School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Andrew J.; Anderson, Judy; Bobis, Janette; Way, Jennifer; Vellar, Rosemary

    2012-01-01

    Prompted by international concerns about school and postschool participation in mathematics, the authors of the present study sought to investigate factors predicting "switching on" and "switching off" in mathematics, operationalized through measures of future intent and disengagement, respectively. They drew from Bronfenbrenner's ecological model…

  3. The Effect of Recycling Education on High School Students' Conceptual Understanding about Ecology: A Study on Matter Cycle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ugulu, Ilker; Yorek, Nurettin; Baslar, Suleyman

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study is to analyze and determine whether a developed recycling education program would lead to a positive change in the conceptual understanding of ecological concepts associated with matter cycles by high school students. The research was conducted on 68 high school 10th grade students (47 female and 21 male students). The…

  4. A Case Study of Blended Teaching and Learning in a New Zealand Secondary School, Using an Ecological Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zaka, Pinelopi

    2013-01-01

    This paper reports on the findings of a case study that investigated how blended teaching and learning was implemented in a New Zealand secondary school. An ecological perspective was taken to clarify the complexity of blended teaching and learning implementation by researching the roles of students, teachers, school leaders and other educational…

  5. The Ecological Footprint as an Educational Tool for Sustainability: A Case Study Analysis in an Israeli Public High School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gottlieb, Dan; Vigoda-Gadot, Eran; Haim, Abraham; Kissinger, Meidad

    2012-01-01

    Education is widely acknowledged to be a means for advancing environmental sustainability. Many schools have recently introduced the idea of sustainability into their educational agenda and curriculum. This study uses an innovative method of communicating the principle of sustainability, the "Ecological Footprint" Analysis, which illustrates the…

  6. The Verbal World of the Lower-Class Three-Year-Old: A Pilot Study in Linguistic Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horner, Vivian Maryann

    Concerned with educational problems associated with low socioeconomic status, this pilot study in linguistic ecology was designed to substitute hard data for speculation about the nature and frequency of verbal behavior in the world of the poor child. To avoid self-consciousness and any restrictions on movement of the subjects, a small…

  7. Long-term trends in ecological systems: an introduction to cross-site comparisons and relevance to global change studies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter explains the importance of long-term data to ecological studies and the needs of creating a way to provide accessible and comparable multi-site long-term data. The Earth’s environment is changing in many ways at local, regional, and global scales. Dramatic changes have occurred in clima...

  8. QUALITY ASSURANCE PLAN FOR 1991 PILOT STUDY OF ECOLOGICAL CONDITION OF MUNICIPAL WASTEWATER CONSTRUCTED WETLAND TREATMENT SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The purpose of this quality assurance plan is to detail the methods and procedures to be used in the pilot study of the ecological condition in municipal wastewater constructed wetland treatment systems. t includes specific procedures for assuring that data are of known, high qua...

  9. Social vulnerability from a social ecology perspective: a cohort study of older adults from the National Population Health Survey of Canada

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Numerous social factors, generally studied in isolation, have been associated with older adults’ health. Even so, older people’s social circumstances are complex and an approach which embraces this complexity is desirable. Here we investigate many social factors in relation to one another and to survival among older adults using a social ecology perspective to measure social vulnerability among older adults. Methods 2740 adults aged 65 and older were followed for ten years in the Canadian National Population Health Survey (NPHS). Twenty-three individual-level social variables were drawn from the 1994 NPHS and five Enumeration Area (EA)-level variables were abstracted from the 1996 Canadian Census using postal code linkage. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to identify dimensions of social vulnerability. All social variables were summed to create a social vulnerability index which was studied in relation to ten-year mortality. Results The PCA was limited by low variance (47%) explained by emergent factors. Seven dimensions of social vulnerability emerged in the most robust, yet limited, model: social support, engagement, living situation, self-esteem, sense of control, relations with others and contextual socio-economic status. These dimensions showed complex inter-relationships and were situated within a social ecology framework, considering spheres of influence from the individual through to group, neighbourhood and broader societal levels. Adjusting for age, sex, and frailty, increasing social vulnerability measured using the cumulative social vulnerability index was associated with increased risk of mortality over ten years in a Cox regression model (HR 1.04, 95% CI:1.01-1.07, p = 0.01). Conclusions Social vulnerability has important independent influence on older adults’ health though relationships between contributing variables are complex and do not lend themselves well to fragmentation into a small number of discrete factors. A

  10. Assessing the ecological security of the Tibetan plateau: methodology and a case study for Lhaze County.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yan-Zhi; Zou, Xue-Yong; Cheng, Hong; Jia, Hai-Kun; Wu, Yong-Qiu; Wang, Gui-Yong; Zhang, Chun-Lai; Gao, Shang-Yu

    2006-07-01

    A system for assessing the ecological security of Lhaze County in China's Tibetan Autonomous Region was developed using a pressure-state-response model and the analytic hierarchy process. We then used this model to comprehensively evaluate the status of ecological security in Lhaze County. Our results showed that the ecological environment in Lhaze County has deteriorated from an 'early stages of damage status' in the 1980s to 'moderately damaged status' today. This deterioration has become a major barrier to local economic development and social advancement. Natural and social aspects related to the population explosion, resource exploitation, and climate change that led to this ecological deterioration are discussed. Furthermore, we have suggested proposals for improving the ecological environment that include controlling population growth and enhancing the system of laws that protect the environment, upgrading 3 882.6 ha of low-yield farmland, planting 2 425.8, 548.8, and 1 207.4 ha of shelter belts for farmland protection, soil and water conservation, and fuelwood, respectively, and seeding 2 358.1 ha of artificial grassland. In the meantime, we propose strengthening the controls that limit soil and water loss, and optimizing industrial sectors that aspire to achieve high-efficiency, ecologically responsible agriculture. PMID:16338056

  11. Chemical mixtures and environmental effects: a pilot study to assess ecological exposure and effects in streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buxton, Herbert T.; Reilly, Timothy J.; Kuivila, Kathryn M.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Bradley, Paul M.; Villeneuve, Daniel L.; Mills, Marc A.

    2015-01-01

    Assessment and management of the risks of exposure to complex chemical mixtures in streams are priorities for human and environmental health organizations around the world. The current lack of information on the composition and variability of environmental mixtures and a limited understanding of their combined effects are fundamental obstacles to timely identification and prevention of adverse human and ecological effects of exposure. This report describes the design of a field-based study of the composition and biological activity of chemical mixtures in U.S. stream waters affected by a wide range of human activities and contaminant sources. The study is a collaborative effort by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Scientists sampled 38 streams spanning 24 States and Puerto Rico. Thirty-four of the sites were located in watersheds impacted by multiple contaminant sources, including industrial and municipal wastewater discharges, crop and animal agricultural runoff, urban runoff, and other point and nonpoint contaminant sources. The remaining four sites were minimally development reference watersheds. All samples underwent comprehensive chemical and biological characterization, including sensitive and specific direct analysis for over 700 dissolved organic and inorganic chemicals and field parameters, identification of unknown contaminants (environmental diagnostics), and a variety of bioassays to evaluate biological activity and toxicity.

  12. Radon in Drinking Water and Cancer Mortality: An Ecological Study in Japan

    SciTech Connect

    Yoshinaga, Shinji; Ishikawa, Tetsuo; Tokonami, Shinji; Mizoue, Tetsuya; Narazaki, Yukinori; Mizuno, Shoichi; Akiba, Suminori

    2008-08-07

    There is limited information on the health effects of radon in drinking water in spite of their potential exposures. We conducted an ecological study in a small town in Japan where the groundwater with high concentrations of radon is supplied as utilities. A total of 607 cancer deaths were ascertained by vital statistics in that town from 1972 to 1997. Standardized mortality ratios on the basis of national rates were 1.01 (95% confidence interval; 0.93-1.09) for all cancers, 1.10 (0.95-1.28) for stomach cancer, 0.88 (0.70-1.10) for lung cancer, and 1.14 (0.87-1.48) for liver cancer. Mortality from liver cancer was significantly higher than that of two surrounding control cities combined, with a relative risk of 1.40 (1.04-1.89) based on Poisson regression analysis. Lack of information on possible confounders including diet, alcohol drinking, smoking and hepatitis virus infection, is the main limitation of the study, which precludes the evaluation of causal associations.

  13. A clinical case study of the use of ecological momentary assessment in obsessive compulsive disorder

    PubMed Central

    Tilley, P. J. Matt; Rees, Clare S.

    2014-01-01

    Accurate assessment of obsessions and compulsions is a crucial step in treatment planning for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In this clinical case study, we sought to determine if the use of Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) could provide additional symptom information beyond that captured during standard assessment of OCD. We studied three adults diagnosed with OCD and compared the number and types of obsessions and compulsions captured using the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) compared to EMA. Following completion of the Y-BOCS interview, participants then recorded their OCD symptoms into a digital voice recorder across a 12-h period in reply to randomly sent mobile phone SMS prompts. The EMA approach yielded a lower number of symptoms of obsessions and compulsions than the Y-BOCS but produced additional types of obsessions and compulsions not previously identified by the Y-BOCS. We conclude that the EMA-OCD procedure may represent a worthy addition to the suite of assessment tools used when working with clients who have OCD. Further research with larger samples is required to strengthen this conclusion. PMID:24860521

  14. Spatial distribution of psychotic disorders in an urban area of France: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Pignon, Baptiste; Schürhoff, Franck; Baudin, Grégoire; Ferchiou, Aziz; Richard, Jean-Romain; Saba, Ghassen; Leboyer, Marion; Kirkbride, James B.; Szöke, Andrei

    2016-01-01

    Previous analyses of neighbourhood variations of non-affective psychotic disorders (NAPD) have focused mainly on incidence. However, prevalence studies provide important insights on factors associated with disease evolution as well as for healthcare resource allocation. This study aimed to investigate the distribution of prevalent NAPD cases in an urban area in France. The number of cases in each neighbourhood was modelled as a function of potential confounders and ecological variables, namely: migrant density, economic deprivation and social fragmentation. This was modelled using statistical models of increasing complexity: frequentist models (using Poisson and negative binomial regressions), and several Bayesian models. For each model, assumptions validity were checked and compared as to how this fitted to the data, in order to test for possible spatial variation in prevalence. Data showed significant overdispersion (invalidating the Poisson regression model) and residual autocorrelation (suggesting the need to use Bayesian models). The best Bayesian model was Leroux’s model (i.e. a model with both strong correlation between neighbouring areas and weaker correlation between areas further apart), with economic deprivation as an explanatory variable (OR = 1.13, 95% CI [1.02–1.25]). In comparison with frequentist methods, the Bayesian model showed a better fit. The number of cases showed non-random spatial distribution and was linked to economic deprivation. PMID:27189529

  15. Radon in Drinking Water and Cancer Mortality: An Ecological Study in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshinaga, Shinji; Ishikawa, Tetsuo; Tokonami, Shinji; Mizoue, Tetsuya; Narazaki, Yukinori; Mizuno, Shoichi; Akiba, Suminori

    2008-08-01

    There is limited information on the health effects of radon in drinking water in spite of their potential exposures. We conducted an ecological study in a small town in Japan where the groundwater with high concentrations of radon is supplied as utilities. A total of 607 cancer deaths were ascertained by vital statistics in that town from 1972 to 1997. Standardized mortality ratios on the basis of national rates were 1.01 (95% confidence interval; 0.93-1.09) for all cancers, 1.10 (0.95-1.28) for stomach cancer, 0.88 (0.70-1.10) for lung cancer, and 1.14 (0.87-1.48) for liver cancer. Mortality from liver cancer was significantly higher than that of two surrounding control cities combined, with a relative risk of 1.40 (1.04-1.89) based on Poisson regression analysis. Lack of information on possible confounders including diet, alcohol drinking, smoking and hepatitis virus infection, is the main limitation of the study, which precludes the evaluation of causal associations.

  16. Spatial distribution of psychotic disorders in an urban area of France: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Pignon, Baptiste; Schürhoff, Franck; Baudin, Grégoire; Ferchiou, Aziz; Richard, Jean-Romain; Saba, Ghassen; Leboyer, Marion; Kirkbride, James B; Szöke, Andrei

    2016-01-01

    Previous analyses of neighbourhood variations of non-affective psychotic disorders (NAPD) have focused mainly on incidence. However, prevalence studies provide important insights on factors associated with disease evolution as well as for healthcare resource allocation. This study aimed to investigate the distribution of prevalent NAPD cases in an urban area in France. The number of cases in each neighbourhood was modelled as a function of potential confounders and ecological variables, namely: migrant density, economic deprivation and social fragmentation. This was modelled using statistical models of increasing complexity: frequentist models (using Poisson and negative binomial regressions), and several Bayesian models. For each model, assumptions validity were checked and compared as to how this fitted to the data, in order to test for possible spatial variation in prevalence. Data showed significant overdispersion (invalidating the Poisson regression model) and residual autocorrelation (suggesting the need to use Bayesian models). The best Bayesian model was Leroux's model (i.e. a model with both strong correlation between neighbouring areas and weaker correlation between areas further apart), with economic deprivation as an explanatory variable (OR = 1.13, 95% CI [1.02-1.25]). In comparison with frequentist methods, the Bayesian model showed a better fit. The number of cases showed non-random spatial distribution and was linked to economic deprivation. PMID:27189529

  17. Hydrology and ecology of pinyon-juniper woodlands: Conceptual framework and field studies

    SciTech Connect

    Wilcox, B.P.; Breshears, D.D.

    1994-09-01

    Pinyon-juniper woodlands represent an important ecosystem in the semiarid western United States. Concern over the sustainability of, and management approaches for, these woodlands is increasing. As in other semiarid environments, water dynamics and vegetation patterns in pinyon-juniper woodlands are highly interrelated. An understanding of these relationships can aid in evaluating various management strategies. In this paper we describe a conceptual framework designed to increase our understanding of water and vegetation in pinyon-juniper woodlands. The framework comprises five different scales, at each of which the landscape is divided into {open_quotes}functional units{close_quotes} on the basis of hydrologic characteristics. The hydrologic behavior of each unit and the connections between units are being evaluated using an extensive network of hydrological and ecological field studies on the Pajarito Plateau in northern New Mexico. Data from these studies, coupled with application of the conceptual model, have led to the development of a number of hypotheses concerning the interrelationships of water and vegetation in pinyon-juniper woodlands.

  18. Water quality assessment of aquatic ecosystems using ecological criteria – case study in Bulgaria

    PubMed Central

    Damyanova, Sonya; Ivanova, Iliana; Ignatova, Nadka

    2014-01-01

    Four aquatic ecosystems (two rivers and two dams) situated in the western part of Bulgaria were investigated over a three years’ period. The River Egulya and Petrohan dam are situated in mountainous regions at about 1000 m altitude, and are not influenced by any anthropogenic sources. Petrohan dam is a site for long-term ecosystem research as a part of Bulgarian long-term ecological research network. The other two systems belong to populated industrial areas. The River Martinovska flows through a region with former long-term mining activity, while Ogosta dam is near a battery production factory. Both the geochemical and geographical ecosystems’ conditions are different, and their social usage as well. Ogosta dam water is used for irrigation and Petrohan dam for electric supply. The ecosystem sensitivity to heavy metals was evaluated by a critical load approach. Two criteria were used for risk assessment: critical load exceedance and microbial toxicity test. All studied ecosystems were more sensitive to cadmium than to lead deposition. The potential risk of Cd damage is higher for Petrohan dam and the River Egulya, where critical load exceedance was calculated for two years. Pseudomonas putida growth inhibition test detected a lack of toxicity for all studied ecosystems at the time of investigation with the exception of the low water September sample of the River Martinovska. The fast bacterial test is very suitable for a regular measurement of water toxicity because of its simplicity, lack of sophisticated equipment and clear results. PMID:26019591

  19. The artificial catchment `Chicken Creek' (`Huehnerwasser') as a new research tool for hydrological and ecological studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerwin, W.; Schaaf, W.; Hüttl, R. F.

    2009-04-01

    The most important framework of many ecological studies are watersheds as landscape units for water and element budgets. However, internal structures of natural catchments are often not well known due to natural heterogeneity and difficult boundary conditions. Important information has to be extrapolated from point measurements or indirect exploration methods. In contrast, artificial watersheds have the advantage of better defined boundaries and internal structures. Both local boundary conditions, e.g. the accordance of the surface and the groundwater catchment or hydrologic parameters like drainage patterns, discharge points and stratification can be designed and precisely documented during site construction. A recently launched German-Swiss Collaborative Research Centre is investigating the 'Chicken Creek' watershed which can be seen as one of the largest artificially created catchments for scientific purposes worldwide. The main hypothesis of the Collaborative Research Centre is that initial structures define and shape the development of an ecosystem as well as its later stages. Against this background the artificial catchment was designed to offer manifold opportunities for hydrological oriented as well as ecological studies of an initial ecosystem. As internal structures are well known and the surface and subsurface boundaries are well defined compared to natural catchments the site offers high potentials for improving hydrological and ecological models. The catchment ‘Chicken Creek' in Lusatia (Germany; 150 km SE from Berlin) has an area of 6 ha. It was constructed as a 2-4 m layer of post-glacial sandy to loamy sediments overlying a 1-2 m layer of Tertiary clay that forms a shallow pan and seals the whole catchment at the base. No further measures of restoration like planting, amelioration or fertilization were carried out to allow natural succession and undisturbed development. At the bottom of the catchment a small lake with a diameter of 70 m and a

  20. Which Species Are We Researching and Why? A Case Study of the Ecology of British Breeding Birds

    PubMed Central

    McKenzie, Ailsa J.; Robertson, Peter A.

    2015-01-01

    Our ecological knowledge base is extensive, but the motivations for research are many and varied, leading to unequal species representation and coverage. As this evidence is used to support a wide range of conservation, management and policy actions, it is important that gaps and biases are identified and understood. In this paper we detail a method for quantifying research effort and impact at the individual species level, and go on to investigate the factors that best explain between-species differences in outputs. We do this using British breeding birds as a case study, producing a ranked list of species based on two scientific publication metrics: total number of papers (a measure of research quantity) and h-index (a measure of the number of highly cited papers on a topic – an indication of research quality). Widespread, populous species which are native, resident and in receipt of biodiversity action plans produced significantly higher publication metrics. Guild was also significant, birds of prey the most studied group, with pigeons and doves the least studied. The model outputs for both metrics were very similar, suggesting that, at least in this example, research quantity and quality were highly correlated. The results highlight three key gaps in the evidence base, with fewer citations and publications relating to migrant breeders, introduced species and species which have experienced contractions in distribution. We suggest that the use of publication metrics in this way provides a novel approach to understanding the scale and drivers of both research quantity and impact at a species level and could be widely applied, both taxonomically and geographically. PMID:26154759

  1. Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Change in Prevalence of Obesity and Diabetes in the United States: An Ecological Study

    PubMed Central

    Zheutlin, Alexander R.; Adar, Sara D.; Park, Sung Kyun

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that increasing levels of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), may influence weight gain and thus may play a role in rising trends in obesity and diabetes. We conducted an ecological study to examine the associations between CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and changes in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes in the United States. County-level data on CO2 emissions, prevalence of obesity and diagnosed diabetes, other sociodemographic factors and neighborhood characteristics related to urbanicity, and fine particles (PM2.5) between 2004 and 2008 were obtained from the Vulcan Project, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and American Community Survey. Linear mixed effect modeling of 3019 counties for the associations between average CO2 emissions and changes in diabetes and obesity prevalence between 2004 and 2008 was performed. The average obesity and diabetes prevalence increased between 2004 and 2008 by 3.65% (SD: 1.88%) and 1.65% (SD: 1.70%), respectively. A marginally significant positive association between CO2 emission and changes in obesity prevalence was found with adjustment for sociodemographic factors, indicators of urbanicity and spatial autocorrelation (p-trend=0.06). The association became weaker and nonsignificant with further adjustment for PM2.5 (p-trend=0.17). There was a significant positive association between CO2 emission and changes in diabetes prevalence before controlling for PM2.5 (p-trend=0.05) but the association became null after controlling for PM2.5 (p-trend=0.49), suggesting PM2.5 is a critical confounder in the association between CO2 emission and changes in diabetes prevalence. This study does not support the hypothesis that CO2 emissions, a leading driver of climate change, may be linked to increasing trends in obesity and diabetes, though there was an indication of possible link between CO2 and obesity. PMID:25108606

  2. ECOLOGICAL FORECASTING FOR WATERSHEDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    To effectively manage watersheds, the assessment of watershed ecological response to physicochemical stressors such as nutrients, sediments, pathogens, and toxics over broad spatial and temporal scales is needed. Assessments at this level of complexity requires the development of...

  3. The construction of students' knowledge of ecological concepts through the use of structured controversy compared to individual study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beilby, Jerry Paul

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of structured controversy on learning and using ten targeted ecological concepts. Structured controversy, from the cooperative learning model, is a debate-styled instructional strategy used to enhance cognitive processing of concepts by challenging opposite ecological viewpoints. Forty-eight students in a college environmental science course were placed in heterogeneous groups of four by ACT score, gender, and the first exam score. The groups of four were randomly assigned to the treatment group or the individual study (control) group. In a pre- and post-treatment written assessment, the students individually generated a series of propositional statements that they used to support a decision about the use of pesticides. Change in the quality (correct, incorrect, and vague) of propositions was compared between the structured controversy and individual study groups. No significant differences were observed for targeted ecological concepts. However, the control group showed a significant decrease in the number of correct non-target (social, economics, etc.) propositions and an increase in number of incorrect non-target propositions based on pre- to post-treatment data and between control and experimental groups. Although not significant, the structured controversy group maintained the quality of both the ecological and social related concepts. This change in the social-related topics in a science course was an unexpected, but positive, outcome.

  4. Factors influencing the prevalence and infestation levels of Varroa destructor in honeybee colonies in two highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda.

    PubMed

    Chemurot, Moses; Akol, Anne M; Masembe, Charles; de Smet, Lina; Descamps, Tine; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2016-04-01

    Varroa mites are ecto-parasites of honeybees and are a threat to the beekeeping industry. We identified the haplotype of Varroa mites and evaluated potential factors that influence their prevalence and infestation levels in the eastern and western highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda. This was done by collecting samples of adult worker bees between December 2014 and September 2015 in two sampling moments. Samples of bees were screened for Varroa using the ethanol wash method and the mites were identified by molecular techniques. All DNA sequences obtained from sampled mite populations in the two zones were 100 % identical to the Korean Haplotype (AF106899). Mean mite prevalence in the apiaries was 40 and 53 % for the western and eastern zones, respectively, during the first sampling. Over the second sampling, mean mite prevalence increased considerably in the western (59 %) but not in the eastern (51 %) zone. Factors that were associated with Varroa mite infestation levels include altitude, nature of apiary slope and apiary management practices during the first sampling. Our results further showed that Varroa mites were spreading from lower to higher elevations. Feral colonies were also infested with Varroa mites at infestation levels not significantly different from those in managed colonies. Colony productivity and strength were not correlated to mite infestation levels. We recommend a long-term Varroa mite monitoring strategy in areas of varying landscape and land use factors for a clear understanding of possible changes in mite infestation levels among African honeybees for informed decision making. PMID:26801158

  5. Analysis of ecological transitions in the Black Sea during the last four decades: A modelling study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akoglu, Ekin; Salihoglu, Baris; Oguz, Temel

    2010-05-01

    This work investigates the Black Sea ecosystem and the changes it had undergone in the second half of the 20th century from a fisheries perspective using Ecopath, a widely adopted fisheries model. Different states of the Black Sea ecosystem were modeled using 5 simulation scenarios: Simulation 1, represents the quasi-pristine conditions of the Black Sea ecosystem during early 1960's; Simulation 2, represents the over-enrichment period of the ecosystem during early 1980's before the fisheries collapse and the outburst of alien ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi; Simulation 3, represents the changes in the ecosystem along with the outburst of Mnemiopsis in 1989; Simulation 4, represents the aftermath effects in the components of the Black Sea ecosystem just after the collapse of the fisheries; and Simulation 5, represents the recovery period of the fish stocks in the very beginning of the 1990's. According to the results of the model runs, it was found that the Black Sea ecosystem in its quasi-pristine conditions during early 1960's was top-down controlled. The piscivorous pelagic fish and dolphins exerted predation pressure on small pelagic fish species and suppressed their over-development. Our findings suggest that after the removal of these top predators from the ecosystem due to fishing and whaling, the small pelagic fish species had the opportunity to thrive themselves along with the over-enrichment of the Black Sea and reached high biomass levels in 1980's. Small pelagic fishes prevailed in the Black Sea ecosystem until the highly debated outburst of alien ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi. In 1989, the biomass of small pelagic fish species declined drastically and their population did not recover until the very beginning of 1990's due to various ecological and anthropogenic effects put forward by the outcomes of the simulations.

  6. Child wellbeing and income inequality in rich societies: ecological cross sectional study

    PubMed Central

    Pickett, Kate E

    2007-01-01

    Objectives To examine associations between child wellbeing and material living standards (average income), the scale of differentiation in social status (income inequality), and social exclusion (children in relative poverty) in rich developed societies. Design Ecological, cross sectional studies. Setting Cross national comparisons of 23 rich countries; cross state comparisons within the United States. Population Children and young people. Main outcome measures The Unicef index of child wellbeing and its components for rich countries; eight comparable measures for the US states and District of Columbia (teenage births, juvenile homicides, infant mortality, low birth weight, educational performance, dropping out of high school, overweight, mental health problems). Results The overall index of child wellbeing was negatively correlated with income inequality (r=−0.64, P=0.001) and percentage of children in relative poverty (r=−0.67, P=0.001) but not with average income (r=0.15, P=0.50). Many more indicators of child wellbeing were associated with income inequality or children in relative poverty, or both, than with average incomes. Among the US states and District of Columbia all indicators were significantly worse in more unequal states. Only teenage birth rates and the proportion of children dropping out of high school were lower in richer states. Conclusions Improvements in child wellbeing in rich societies may depend more on reductions in inequality than on further economic growth. PMID:18024483

  7. Utilizing Underwater Three-Dimensional Modeling to Enhance Ecological and Biological Studies of Coral Reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, J. H. R.; Delparte, D.; Gates, R. D.; Takabayashi, M.

    2015-04-01

    The structural complexity of coral reefs profoundly affects the biodiversity, productivity, and overall functionality of reef ecosystems. Conventional survey techniques utilize 2-dimensional metrics that are inadequate for accurately capturing and quantifying the intricate structural complexity of scleractinian corals. A 3-dimensional (3D) approach improves the capacity to accurately measure architectural complexity, topography, rugosity, volume, and other structural characteristics that play a significant role in habitat facilitation and ecosystem processes. This study utilized Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photogrammetry techniques to create 3D mesh models for several Hawaiian corals that represent distinct morphological phenotypes. The orthophotos and digital elevation models generated from the SfM process were imported into geospatial analysis software in order to quantify several metrics pertaining to 3D complexity that are known to affect ecosystem biodiversity and productivity. The 3D structural properties of the reconstructed coral colonies were statistically analyzed to determine if the each species represents a unique morpho-functional group. The SfM reconstruction techniques described in this paper can be utilized for an array of research purposes to improve our understanding of how changes in coral composition affect habitat structure and ecological processes in coral reef ecosystems.

  8. Applying ecological criteria to marine reserve design: A case study from the California Channel Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Airame, S.; Dugan, J.E.; Lafferty, K.D.; Leslie, H.; McArdle, D.A.; Warner, R.R.

    2003-01-01

    Using ecological criteria as a theoretical framework, we describe the steps involved in designing a network of marine reserves for conservation and fisheries management. Although we describe the case study of the Channel Islands, the approach to marine reserve design may be effective in other regions where traditional management alone does not sustain marine resources. A group of agencies, organizations, and individuals established clear goals for marine reserves in the Channel Islands, including conservation of ecosystem biodiversity, sustainable fisheries, economic viability, natural and cultural heritage, and education. Given the constraints of risk management, experimental design, monitoring, and enforcement, scientists recommended at least one, but no more than four, reserves in each biogeographic region. In general, the percentage of an area to be included in a reserve network depends on the goals. In the Channel Islands, after consideration of both conservation goals and the risk from human threats and natural catastrophes, scientists recommended reserving an area of 30-50% of all representative habitats in each biogeographic region. For most species of concern, except pinnipeds and seabirds, information about distributions, dispersal, and population growth was limited. As an alternative to species distribution information, suitable habitats for species of concern were used to locate potential reserve sites. We used a simulated annealing algorithm to identify potential reserve network scenarios that would represent all habitats within the smallest area possible. The analysis produced an array of potential reserve network scenarios that all met the established goals.

  9. Bidirectional associations between binge eating and restriction in anorexia nervosa. An ecological momentary assessment study.

    PubMed

    De Young, Kyle P; Lavender, Jason M; Crosby, Ross D; Wonderlich, Stephen A; Engel, Scott G; Mitchell, James E; Crow, Scott J; Peterson, Carol B; Le Grange, Daniel

    2014-12-01

    This study examined the association between restrictive eating behaviors and binge eating in anorexia nervosa (AN) using data collected in the natural environment. Women (N = 118) with DSM-IV full or subthreshold AN reported eating disorder behaviors, including binge eating episodes, going ≥ 8 waking hours without eating, and skipping meals, during 2 weeks of ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Time-lagged generalized estimating equations tested the following hypotheses: 1) dietary restriction would predict binge eating while controlling for binge eating the previous day; 2) binge eating would predict restriction the subsequent day while controlling for restriction the previous day. After controlling for relevant covariates, the hypotheses were not supported; however, there appeared to be a cumulative effect of repeatedly going 8 consecutive hours without eating (i.e. fasting) on the risk of binge eating among individuals who recently engaged in binge eating. In addition, skipping meals was associated with a lower risk of same day binge eating. The relationship between binge eating and dietary restriction appears to be complex and may vary by type of restrictive eating behavior. Future research should aim to further clarify the nature of the interaction of binge eating and restrictive eating among individuals with AN in order to effectively eliminate these behaviors in treatment. PMID:25134738

  10. Molecular sexing of threatened Gyps vultures: an important strategy for conservation breeding and ecological studies.

    PubMed

    Ghorpade, Prabhakar B; Gupta, Praveen K; Prakash, Vibhu; Cuthbert, Richard J; Kulkarni, Mandar; Prakash, Nikita; Das, Asit; Sharma, Anil K; Saini, Mohini

    2012-12-01

    During the last two decades populations of three resident species of Gyps vulture have declined dramatically and are now threatened with extinction in South Asia. Sex identification of vultures is of key importance for the purpose of conservation breeding as it is desirable to have an equal sex ratio in these monogamous species which are housed together in large colony aviaries. Because vultures are monomorphic, with no differences in external morphology or plumage colour between the sexes, other methods are required for sex identification. Molecular methods for sex identification in birds rely on allelic length or nucleotide sequence discrimination of the chromohelicase-DNA binding (CHD) gene located on male and female chromosomes ZZ and ZW, respectively. We characterized the partial sequences of CHD alleles from Gyps indicus, Gyps bengalensis, Gyps himalayensis and Aegypius monachus and analysed the applicability of five molecular methods of sex identification of 46 individual vultures including 26 known-sex G. bengalensis and G. indicus. The results revealed that W-specific PCR in combination with ZW-common PCR is a quick, accurate and simple method, and is ideal for sex identification of vultures. The method is also suitable to augment ecological studies for identifying sex of these endangered birds during necropsy examinations especially when gonads are not apparent, possibly due to regression during non-breeding seasons. PMID:23316450

  11. Ecological study of the larger black flour beetle in cotton gin trash.

    PubMed

    Nansen, Christian; James, Jacob; Bowling, David; Parajulee, Megha N; Porter, Patrick

    2008-12-01

    The larger black flour beetle Cynaeus angustus (Leconte) thrives in cotton gin trash piles on the Southern High Plains of Texas and sometimes becomes a nuisance after invading public and private structures. For better understanding of the basic larger black flour beetle ecology in gin trash piles, we conducted a series of laboratory and semirealistic field trials. We showed (1) in naturally infested gin trash piles, that similar trap captures were obtained in three cardinal directions; (2) in a laboratory study, late-instar larvae stayed longer in larval stage in moist soil compared with drier soil; (3) in both horizontal and vertical choice experiments, late instars preferred soil with low moisture content; and (4) specifically larger black flour beetle adults, but most larvae as well, responded negatively to high moisture content in gin trash. The results presented are consistent with reports of larger black flour beetle living in decaying yucca palms in deserts and suggest that maintaining gin trash piles with high moisture content may be an important component in an integrated control strategy. PMID:19161678

  12. Ecological studies of Bulinus rohlfsi, the intermediate host of Schistosoma haematobium in the Volta Lake

    PubMed Central

    Klumpp, R. K.; Chu, K. Y.

    1977-01-01

    In the present ecological study of cercarial transmission of Schistosoma haematobium in the Volta Lake, Ghana, habitat observations and sampling of Bulinus truncatus rohlfsi were conducted within a 60-km stretch of shoreline. Observations revealed that human water contact sites in each village undergo constant changes in shape and vegetation. Snail sampling surveys in water contact sites were carried out monthly (for 27 months) in 8 villages using newly designed palm-leaf traps, and in 8 additional villages (for 16 months) using a modification of Olivier & Sneidermann's man—time method. Results to date confirm the finding by Chu & Vanderburg that cercarial transmission in the lake takes place almost exclusively within water contact sites. Additional results indicate that even within individual water contact sites this transmission is focal, most infected snails being found very close to the shoreline. Transmission also varies significantly according to shape, vegetation, and geographical location of the water contact sites, and is distinctly seasonal in most villages. These findings lead us to conclude that control of cercarial transmission in the Volta Lake is both attainable and feasible with existing methods. PMID:304396

  13. The BAARA (Biological AutomAted RAdiotracking) System: A New Approach in Ecological Field Studies

    PubMed Central

    Řeřucha, Šimon; Bartonička, Tomáš; Jedlička, Petr; Čížek, Martin; Hlouša, Ondřej; Lučan, Radek; Horáček, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Radiotracking is an important and often the only possible method to explore specific habits and the behaviour of animals, but it has proven to be very demanding and time-consuming, especially when frequent positioning of a large group is required. Our aim was to address this issue by making the process partially automated, to mitigate the demands and related costs. This paper presents a novel automated tracking system that consists of a network of automated tracking stations deployed within the target area. Each station reads the signals from telemetry transmitters, estimates the bearing and distance of the tagged animals and records their position. The station is capable of tracking a theoretically unlimited number of transmitters on different frequency channels with the period of 5–15 seconds per single channel. An ordinary transmitter that fits within the supported frequency band might be used with BAARA (Biological AutomAted RAdiotracking); an extra option is the use of a custom-programmable transmitter with configurable operational parameters, such as the precise frequency channel or the transmission parameters. This new approach to a tracking system was tested for its applicability in a series of field and laboratory tests. BAARA has been tested within fieldwork explorations of Rousettus aegyptiacus during field trips to Dakhla oasis in Egypt. The results illustrate the novel perspective which automated radiotracking opens for the study of spatial behaviour, particularly in addressing topics in the domain of population ecology. PMID:25714910

  14. [Behavior ecological study on copulation and oviposition of Apis cerana cerana Fab].

    PubMed

    Yu, Linsheng; Meng, Xiangjin; Wu, Chengwu

    2003-11-01

    The behavior ecology of copulation and oviposition of Apis cerana cerana Fab. was studied. The results showed that temperature influence on the cell-covered time of Apis cerana cerana queen and drone induced the remarkable difference in their newborn weight and mature time (P < 0.05). Queen and drone fly frequency for discerning cell was 1.23-1.31 and 1.08-1.13, and duration was 0.12-0.13 h and 0.16-0.20 h. Their copulation fly frequency was 1.10-1.12 and 1.10-1.05, and duration was 0.22-0.23 h and 0.18-0.23 h. The most suitable temperature for copulation was 20-28 degrees C. The number of semen in side--oviduct of the queen in each copulation fly was 3.37 x 10(6)-4.15 x 10(6), and in natural copulation, semen number in spermathecal sac was 3.55 x 10(6)-3.62 x 10(6). There was a direct relationship between queen newborn weight and ovulation number. The annual effect of climate and flower fertility on the queen's ovulation number was obvious. PMID:14997654

  15. Ecological study of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis in soil: growth ability, conidia production and molecular detection

    PubMed Central

    Terçarioli, Gisela Ramos; Bagagli, Eduardo; Reis, Gabriela Martins; Theodoro, Raquel Cordeiro; Bosco, Sandra De Moraes Gimenes; Macoris, Severino Assis da Graça; Richini-Pereira, Virgínia Bodelão

    2007-01-01

    Background Paracoccidioides brasiliensis ecology is not completely understood, although several pieces of evidence point to the soil as its most probable habitat. The present study aimed to investigate the fungal growth, conidia production and molecular pathogen detection in different soil conditions. Methods Soils samples of clayey, sandy and medium textures were collected from ground surface and the interior of armadillo burrows in a hyperendemic area of Paracoccidioidomycosis. P. brasiliensis was inoculated in soil with controlled humidity and in culture medium containing soil extracts. The molecular detection was carried out by Nested PCR, using panfungal and species specific primers from the ITS-5.8S rDNA region. Results The soil texture does not affect fungus development and the growth is more abundant on/in soil saturated with water. Some soil samples inhibited the development of P. brasiliensis, especially those that contain high values of Exchangeable Aluminum (H+Al) in their composition. Some isolates produced a large number of conidia, mainly in soil-extract agar medium. The molecular detection was positive only in samples collected from armadillo burrows, both in sandy and clayey soil. Conclusion P. brasiliensis may grow and produce the infectious conidia in sandy and clayey soil, containing high water content, mainly in wild animal burrows, but without high values of H+Al. PMID:17953742

  16. Island Ecology in Bermuda.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wulff, Barry L.; And Others

    1981-01-01

    Reports on an island ecology course offered by Eastern Connecticut State College providing opportunities for students to study the ecology and natural history of organisms found in a variety of subtropical habitats in Bermuda. Explains student selection criteria, trip preparation, evaluation criteria, daily programs, and habitats studied on the…

  17. The Unit of Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Darling, F. Fraser

    After summarizing the development of ecology from botanical and zoological studies to a study of entire biological communities, the history of wool growing in England and the development of nomadism on the Asian steppes and the North American prairies is described. These examples are interpreted ecologically and used to illustrate the theses that…

  18. Geographic variability of fatal road traffic injuries in Spain during the period 2002–2004: an ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Rivas-Ruiz, Francisco; Perea-Milla, Emilio; Jimenez-Puente, Alberto

    2007-01-01

    Background The aim of the present study is to describe the inter-province variability of Road Traffic Injury (RTI) mortality on Spanish roads, adjusted for vehicle-kilometres travelled, and to assess the possible role played by the following explicative variables: sociodemographic, structural, climatic and risk conducts. Methods An ecological study design was employed. The mean annual rate of RTI deaths was calculated for the period 2002–2004, adjusted for vehicle-kilometres travelled, in the 50 provinces of Spain. The RTI death rate was related with the independent variables described above, using simple and multiple linear regression analysis with backward step-wise elimination. The level of statistical significance was taken as p < 0.05. Results In the period 2002–2004 there were 12,756 RTI deaths in Spain (an average of 4,242 per year, SD = 356.6). The mean number of deaths due to RTI per 100 million vehicle-kilometres (mvk) travelled was 1.76 (SD = 0.51), with a minimum value of 0.66 (in Santa Cruz de Tenerife) and a maximum of 3.31 (in the province of Lugo). All other variables being equal, a higher proportion of kilometres available on high capacity roads, and a higher cultural and education level were associated with lower death rates due to RTI, while the opposite was true for the rate of alcohol consumers and the road traffic volume of heavy vehicles. The variables included in the model accounted for 55.4% of the variability in RTI mortality. Conclusion Adjusting RTI mortality rates for the number of vehicle-kilometres travelled enables us to identify the high variability of this cause of death, and its relation with risk factors other than those inherent to human behaviour, such as the type of roads and the type of vehicles using them. PMID:17897449

  19. Predicting who will major in a science discipline: Expectancy-value theory as part of an ecological model for studying academic communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullins, Ellen S.; Hernandez, Delia; Fuller, Carol; Shiro Tashiro, Jay

    Research on factors that shape recruitment and retention in undergraduate science majors currently is highly fragmented and in need of an integrative research framework. Such a framework should incorporate analyses of the various levels of organization that characterize academic communities (i.e., the broad institutional level, the departmental level, and the student level), and should also provide ways to study the interactions occurring within and between these structural levels. We propose that academic communities are analogous to ecosystems, and that the research paradigms of modern community ecology can provide the necessary framework, as well as new and innovative approaches to a very complex area. This article also presents the results of a pilot study that demonstrates the promise of this approach at the student level. We administered a questionnaire based on expectancy-value theory to undergraduates enrolled in introductory biology courses. Itself an integrative approach, expectancy-value theory views achievement-related behavior as a joint function of the person's expectancy of success in the behavior and the subjective value placed on such success. Our results indicated: (a) significant gender differences in the underlying factor structures of expectations and values related to the discipline of biology, (b) expectancy-value factors significantly distinguished biology majors from nonmajors, and (c) expectancy-value factors significantly predicted students' intent to enroll in future biology courses. We explore the expectancy-value framework as an operationally integrative framework in our ecological model for studying academic communities, especially in the context of assessing the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the sciences. Future research directions as well as practical implications are also discussed.

  20. Towards the use of Structural Loop Analysis to Study System Behaviour of Socio-Ecological Systems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abram, Joseph; Dyke, James

    2016-04-01

    Maintaining socio-ecological systems in desirable states is key to developing a growing economy, alleviating poverty and achieving a sustainable future. While the driving forces of an environmental system are often well known, the dynamics impacting these drivers can be hidden within a tangled structure of causal chains and feedback loops. A lack of understanding of a system's dynamic structure and its influence on a system's behaviour can cause unforeseen side-effects during model scenario testing and policy implementation. Structural Loop analysis of socio-ecological system models identifies dominant feedback structures during times of behavioural shift, allowing the user to monitor key influential drivers during model simulation. This work carries out Loop Eigenvalue Elasticity Analysis (LEEA) on three system dynamic models, exploring tipping points in lake systems undergoing eutrophication. The purpose is to explore the potential benefits and limitations of the technique in the field of socio-ecology. The LEEA technique shows promise for socio-ecological systems which undergo regime shifts or express oscillatory trends, but shows limited usefulness with large models. The results of this work highlight changes in feedback loop dominance, years prior to eutrophic tipping events in lake systems. LEEA could be used as an early warning signal to impending system changes, complementary to other known early warning signals. This approach could improve our understanding during critical times of a system's behaviour, changing how we approach model analysis and the way scenario testing and policy implementation are addressed in socio-ecological system models.

  1. Correlations Between Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma and Other Cancers: An Ecological Study in Forty European Countries

    PubMed Central

    Serrano, Pablo Fernandez-Crehuet; Serrano, Jose Luis Fernandez-Crehuet; Allam, Mohamed Farouk; Navajas, Rafael Fernandez-Crehuet

    2016-01-01

    Background: The presence of noncutaneous neoplasms does not seem to increase the risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma; however, it seems to be associated with the development of other hematological, brain, breast, uterine, and prostatic neoplasms. An ecological transversal study was conducted to study the geographic association between cutaneous malignant melanoma and 24 localizations of cancer in forty European countries. Methods: Cancer incidence rates were extracted from GLOBOCAN database of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. We analyzed the age-adjusted and gender-stratified incidence rates for different localizations of cancer in forty European countries and calculated their correlation using Pearson's correlation test. Results: In males, significant correlations were found between cutaneous malignant melanoma with testicular cancer (r = 0.83 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.68–0.89]), myeloma (r = 0.68 [95% CI: 0.46–0.81]), prostatic carcinoma (r = 0.66 [95% CI: 0.43–0.80]), and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) (r = 0.63 [95% CI: 0.39–0.78]). In females, significant correlations were found between cutaneous malignant melanoma with breast cancer (r = 0.80 [95% CI: 0.64–0.88]), colorectal cancer (r = 0.72 [95% CI: 0.52–0.83]), and NHL (r = 0.71 [95% CI: 0.50–0.83]). Conclusions: These correlations call to conduct new studies about the epidemiology of cancer in general and cutaneous malignant melanoma risk factors in particular. PMID:27217938

  2. Engineering within ecological constraints

    SciTech Connect

    Shulze, P.C.

    1996-08-01

    The volume looks at the concepts of scale, resilience, and chaos as they apply to the points where the ecological life support system of nature interacts with the technological life support system created by humankind. Among the questions addressed are: What are the implications of differences between ecological and engineering concepts of efficiency and stability; how can engineering solutions to immediate problems be made compatible with long-term ecological concerns; and how can we transfer ecological principles to economic systems. The book also includes important case studies on such topics as water management in southern Florida and California and oil exploration in rain forests.

  3. Linkage study of fibrinogen levels: the Strong Heart Family Study

    PubMed Central

    Best, Lyle G; North, Kari E; Li, Xia; Palmieri, Vittorio; Umans, Jason G; MacCluer, Jean; Laston, Sandy; Haack, Karin; Goring, Harald; Diego, Vincent P; Almasy, Laura; Lee, Elisa T; Tracy, Russell P; Cole, Shelley

    2008-01-01

    Background The pathogenesis of atherosclerosis involves both hemostatic and inflammatory mechanisms. Fibrinogen is associated with both risk of thrombosis and inflammation. A recent meta-analysis showed that risk of coronary heart disease may increase 1.8 fold for 1 g/L of increased fibrinogen, independent of traditional risk factors. It is known that fibrinogen levels may be influenced by demographic, environmental and genetic factors. Epidemiologic and candidate gene studies are available; but few genome-wide linkage studies have been conducted, particularly in minority populations. The Strong Heart Study has demonstrated an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease in the American Indian population, and therefore represents an important source for genetic-epidemiological investigations. Methods The Strong Heart Family Study enrolled over 3,600 American Indian participants in large, multi-generational families, ascertained from an ongoing population-based study in the same communities. Fibrinogen was determined using standard technique in a central laboratory and extensive additional phenotypic measures were obtained. Participants were genotyped for 382 short tandem repeat markers distributed throughout the genome; and results were analyzed using a variance decomposition method, as implemented in the SOLAR 2.0 program. Results Data from 3535 participants were included and after step-wise, linear regression analysis, two models were selected for investigation. Basic demographic adjustments constituted model 1, while model 2 considered waist circumference, diabetes mellitus and postmenopausal status as additional covariates. Five LOD scores between 1.82 and 3.02 were identified, with the maximally adjusted model showing the highest score on chromosome 7 at 28 cM. Genes for two key components of the inflammatory response, i.e. interleukin-6 and "signal transducer and activator of transcription 3" (STAT3), were identified within 2 and 8 Mb of this 1 LOD drop

  4. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects: Report of Pellston Workgroup 3

    EPA Science Inventory

    The continuing persistence and genetic diversity of populations is a key concern for environmental regulations. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-speci...

  5. Societal and ecological determinants of urban health: a case study of pre-reproductive mortality in 19th century Gibraltar.

    PubMed

    Sawchuk, L A

    1993-04-01

    A historical based enquiry of colonial Gibraltar at the turn of the 19th century was conducted in order to assess what factors gave rise to residential variation of pre-reproductive mortality. Gibraltar's unusual configuration of a port city, garrison town, and commercial centre at the tip of the Iberian peninsula offers a unique opportunity to examine the interplay of ecology, demographic and socio-economic factors on childhood mortality. Communal living under the patio system and the sharing of essential resources were characteristic features of life on the Rock. Using the residential district as the focus of enquiry, stepwise regression results for the period 1879-81, designated as a period of 'low ecological stress', indicated that the number of gallons of potable water per person captured a significant amount of variability in mortality. During the year 1878, a serious shortfall in rainfall was associated with lower life expectancy, a change in the seasonal pattern of mortality, and elevated rates of death attributable to the diarrhea complex. Under this period of 'high ecological stress', the percentage of servants in the household, a proxy for wealth/status, proved to be the single most important factor accounting for 46.6% of the variation in the death rate under 15. Analysis of mortality at the patio level revealed that residents of buildings of two household units had lower mortality than residents living in smaller or larger dwellings, particularly in the period of high ecological stress. The complex pattern of mortality at the district and patio level is explained in terms of the development of residential preferences and decentralized nature of vital resources, such as the water support system and food supply. PMID:8480234

  6. Studies on the relationship between fluorescent antibody response and the ecology of malaria in Malaysia*

    PubMed Central

    Collins, William E.; Warren, McWilson; Skinner, Jimmie C.; Fredericks, Harry J.

    1968-01-01

    The fluorescent antibody (FA) technique was used to detect the presence of malarial antibody in populations living in 3 different ecological areas of Malaysia. Serum samples were tested using Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae and P. fieldi antigens. An area of hyperendemic malaria had a good correlation between the antibody responses and active parasitaemias. The percentage and intensity of responses increased with the age of the individuals. In an area of hypoendemic malaria, each of 17 sites had ecological conditions which would favour or discourage the transmission of malaria. The reasons for high FA responses in some villages and low responses in others were readily apparent. The effect of even limited control programmes on the malarial ecology could be measured by an examination of the antibody responses. An aboriginal population receiving suppressive drugs had FA responses indicating both past experience and the effect of the drug programme. PMID:4882987

  7. Fecal nitrogen concentration as a nutritional quality indicator for European rabbit ecological studies.

    PubMed

    Gil-Jiménez, Esperanza; Villamuelas, Miriam; Serrano, Emmanuel; Delibes, Miguel; Fernández, Néstor

    2015-01-01

    Measuring the quality of the nutritional resources available to wild herbivores is critical to understanding trophic regulation processes. However, the direct assessment of dietary nutritional characteristics is usually difficult, which hampers monitoring nutritional constraints in natural populations. The feeding ecology of ruminant herbivores has been often assessed by analyzing fecal nitrogen (FN) concentrations, although this method has been less evaluated in other taxa. This study analyzed the suitability of FN as an indicator of ingesta quality in the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), which is a keystone lagomorph species in Mediterranean ecosystems and of great conservation interest. Firstly, domestic O. cuniculus were used to evaluate under experimental conditions the accuracy of total FN and the metabolic FN as diet quality indicators of forages with characteristics similar to those available under natural conditions. Secondly, the accuracy of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) to calculate FN was tested using partial least squares regression. Thirdly, a pilot field study was conducted to monitor FN dynamics from wild O. cuniculus in three different habitats during wet and drought periods. A strong association was found between diet type and total FN and metabolic FN (Pseudo-R(2) ≥ 0.89). It was also found that NIRS calibrations were accurate for depicting nitrogen concentrations (R(2) > 0.98 between NIRS and chemical results). Finally, the seasonal FN dynamics measured in the field were consistent with current knowledge on vegetation dynamics and forage limitations in the three habitats. The results support the use of NIRS methods and FN indices as a reliable and affordable approach to monitoring the nutritional quality of rabbit habitats. Potential applications include the assessment of the mechanistic relationships between resource limitations and population abundance, e.g., in relation to natural drought cycles and to habitat interventions

  8. Anatomical, chemical, and ecological factors affecting tree species choice in dendrochemistry studies

    SciTech Connect

    Cutter, B.E.; Guyette, R.P.

    1993-07-01

    Recently, element concentrations in tree rings have been used to monitor metal contamination, fertilization, and the effects of acid precipitation on soils. This has stimulated interest in which tree species may be suitable for use in studies of long-term trends in environmental chemistry. Potential radial translocation of elements across living boundaries can be a confounding factor in assessing environmental change. The selection of species which minimizes radial translocation of elements can be critical to the success of dendrochemical research. Criteria for selection of species with characteristics favorable for dendrochemical analysis are categorized into (1) habitat-based factors, (2) xylem-based factors, and (3) element-based factors. A wide geographic range and ecological amplitude provide an advantage in calibration and better controls on the effects of soil chemistry. The most important xylem-based criteria are heartwood moisture content, permeability, and the nature of the sapwood-heartwood transition. The element of interest is important in determining suitable tree species because all elements are not equally mobile or detectable in the xylem. Ideally, the tree species selected for dendrochemical study will be long-lived, grow on a wide range of sites over a large geographic distribution, have a distinct heartwood with a low number of rings in the sapwood, a low heartwood moisture content, and have low radial permeability. Recommended temperate zone North American species include white oak (Quercus alba L.), post oak (Q. stellate Wangenh.), eastern redcedar (funiperus virginiana L.), old-growth Douglas-fir [Pseudoaugu menziesii (Mirb.) Franco] and big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.). In addition, species such as bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata Engelm. syn. longaeva), old-growth redwood [Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.], and giant sequoia [S. gigantea (Lindl.) Deene] may be suitable for local purposes. 118 refs., 2 tabs.

  9. Fecal Nitrogen Concentration as a Nutritional Quality Indicator for European Rabbit Ecological Studies

    PubMed Central

    Gil-Jiménez, Esperanza; Villamuelas, Miriam; Serrano, Emmanuel; Delibes, Miguel; Fernández, Néstor

    2015-01-01

    Measuring the quality of the nutritional resources available to wild herbivores is critical to understanding trophic regulation processes. However, the direct assessment of dietary nutritional characteristics is usually difficult, which hampers monitoring nutritional constraints in natural populations. The feeding ecology of ruminant herbivores has been often assessed by analyzing fecal nitrogen (FN) concentrations, although this method has been less evaluated in other taxa. This study analyzed the suitability of FN as an indicator of ingesta quality in the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), which is a keystone lagomorph species in Mediterranean ecosystems and of great conservation interest. Firstly, domestic O. cuniculus were used to evaluate under experimental conditions the accuracy of total FN and the metabolic FN as diet quality indicators of forages with characteristics similar to those available under natural conditions. Secondly, the accuracy of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) to calculate FN was tested using partial least squares regression. Thirdly, a pilot field study was conducted to monitor FN dynamics from wild O. cuniculus in three different habitats during wet and drought periods. A strong association was found between diet type and total FN and metabolic FN (Pseudo-R2 ≥ 0.89). It was also found that NIRS calibrations were accurate for depicting nitrogen concentrations (R2 > 0.98 between NIRS and chemical results). Finally, the seasonal FN dynamics measured in the field were consistent with current knowledge on vegetation dynamics and forage limitations in the three habitats. The results support the use of NIRS methods and FN indices as a reliable and affordable approach to monitoring the nutritional quality of rabbit habitats. Potential applications include the assessment of the mechanistic relationships between resource limitations and population abundance, e.g., in relation to natural drought cycles and to habitat interventions aimed at

  10. Metabolic ecology.

    PubMed

    Humphries, Murray M; McCann, Kevin S

    2014-01-01

    Ecological theory that is grounded in metabolic currencies and constraints offers the potential to link ecological outcomes to biophysical processes across multiple scales of organization. The metabolic theory of ecology (MTE) has emphasized the potential for metabolism to serve as a unified theory of ecology, while focusing primarily on the size and temperature dependence of whole-organism metabolic rates. Generalizing metabolic ecology requires extending beyond prediction and application of standardized metabolic rates to theory focused on how energy moves through ecological systems. A bibliometric and network analysis of recent metabolic ecology literature reveals a research network characterized by major clusters focused on MTE, foraging theory, bioenergetics, trophic status, and generalized patterns and predictions. This generalized research network, which we refer to as metabolic ecology, can be considered to include the scaling, temperature and stoichiometric models forming the core of MTE, as well as bioenergetic equations, foraging theory, life-history allocation models, consumer-resource equations, food web theory and energy-based macroecology models that are frequently employed in ecological literature. We conclude with six points we believe to be important to the advancement and integration of metabolic ecology, including nomination of a second fundamental equation, complementary to the first fundamental equation offered by the MTE. PMID:24028511

  11. Ecological Validity and the Study of Procedural and Episodic Memory Function in Songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, David J.; Saldanha, Colin J.

    2010-01-01

    Memory in songbirds, from song learning, production, and recognition to that for locations in complex environments, has led to the attractiveness of these animals as model systems for the changes occurring within and between neurons that lead to relevant modifications in behavior. Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in particular are excellent models attributable to their ability to readily perform the above-mentioned, ecologically relevant memories in the laboratories, and the ease with which these stereotyped behaviors can be manipulated and measured. This review centers on the independent functioning of and possible interactions between two primary memory systems in songbirds: those important for song or “procedural” memories, as well as those for place, such as food location, a “spatial” or “episodic-like” memory. Work over several decades has formed a relatively comprehensive understanding of the behavioral changes, neural substrates, and plasticity central to procedural memory (song learning and production) function in birds. However, few studies have examined spatial memory ability in those that do not store and retrieve caches, orient some distance away from and back to a home loft, or are not brood parasites. Zebra finches offer a rather unique advantage in this study of memory function and the interaction of memory systems: they do not store food, and are closed-ended song learners, biparental, not territorial, and non-migratory. Thus, their memory for song is not necessarily intertwined with that for time (of year) or location, as in a bird that learns a new song each breeding season, migrates to a particular breeding ground, or forgoes song and reproductive behavior in periods of food scarcity. Episodic-like memory in zebra finches is controlled by the hippocampus, and damage to this region, as in rodents and humans, compromises the ability to learn and/or remember particular spatial locations. In male zebra finches, hippocampal damage

  12. Screening level model for ecological risk assessment at EF-Site Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Alldredge, A.W.; Kirchner, T.B.; McLendon, T.

    1995-12-01

    In response to a paucity of data on the chemical toxicity of uranium to plants, a factorial experiment employing five uranium concentrations (0, 50, 500, 5000, 25000 ppm) and three moisture regimes (low, medium, high) was performed using three native grasses. Buchloe dactyloides (buffalograss-mid/late seral), Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem-late seral), and Aristida longiseta (purple threeawn-early/mid seral) were grown in monocultures and every mixture of two species under all combinations of uranium and moisture levels. This design allows for the analysis of uranium effects, as well as possible compound effects due to moisture stress. Several measures of plant health and viability were made, including: percent emergence, survivability of seedlings and mature plants, root and shoot biomass, and the number and mass of inflorescences. No significant differences between uranium levels were observed in terms of emergence and seedling survival. Effects are evident for plant biomass, fecundity, and long-term survivability.

  13. Ecological gradients within a Pennsylvanian mire forest

    SciTech Connect

    DiMichele, W.A.; Falcon-Lang, H.J.; Nelson, W.J.; Brick, S.D.; Ames, P.R.

    2007-05-15

    Pennsylvanian coals represent remains of the earliest peat-forming rain forests, but there is no current consensus on forest ecology. Localized studies of fossil forests suggest intermixture of taxa (heterogeneity), while, in contrast, coal ball and palynological analyses imply the existence of pronounced ecological gradients. Here, we report the discovery of a spectacular fossil forest preserved over 1000 ha on top of the Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) Herrin (No. 6) Coal of Illinois, United States. The forest was abruptly drowned when fault movement dropped a segment of coastal mire below sea level. In the largest study of its kind to date, forest composition is statistically analyzed within a well-constrained paleogeographic context. Findings resolve apparent conflicts in models of Pennsylvanian mire ecology by confirming the existence of forest heterogeneity at the local scale, while additionally demonstrating the emergence of ecological gradients at landscape scale.

  14. Ecological gradients within a Pennsylvanian mire forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DiMichele, W.A.; Falcon-Lang, H. J.; Nelson, W.J.; Elrick, S.D.; Ames, P.R.

    2007-01-01

    Pennsylvanian coals represent remains of the earliest peat-forming rain forests, but there is no current consensus on forest ecology. Localized studies of fossil forests suggest intermixture of taxa (heterogeneity), while, in contrast, coal ball and palynological analyses imply the existence of pronounced ecological gradients. Here, we report the discovery of a spectacular fossil forest preserved over ???1000 ha on top of the Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) Herrin (No. 6) Coal of Illinois, United States. The forest was abruptly drowned when fault movement dropped a segment of coastal mire below sea level. In the largest study of its kind to date, forest composition is statistically analyzed within a well-constrained paleogeographic context. Findings resolve apparent conflicts in models of Pennsylvanian mire ecology by confirming the existence of forest heterogeneity at the local scale, while additionally demonstrating the emergence of ecological gradients at landscape scale. ?? 2007 The Geological Society of America.

  15. Indoor radon exposure and lung cancer: a review of ecological studies.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Ji Young; Lee, Jung-Dong; Joo, So Won; Kang, Dae Ryong

    2016-01-01

    Lung cancer has high mortality and incidence rates. The leading causes of lung cancer are smoking and radon exposure. Indeed, the World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized radon as a carcinogenic substance causing lung cancer. Radon is a natural, radioactive substance; it is an inert gas that mainly exists in soil or rock. The gas decays into radioactive particles called radon progeny that can enter the human body through breathing. Upon entering the body, these radioactive elements release α-rays that affect lung tissue, causing lung cancer upon long-term exposure thereto. Epidemiological studies first outlined a high correlation between the incidence rate of lung cancer and exposure to radon progeny among miners in Europe. Thereafter, data and research on radon exposure and lung cancer incidence in homes have continued to accumulate. Many international studies have reported increases in the risk ratio of lung cancer when indoor radon concentrations inside the home are high. Although research into indoor radon concentrations and lung cancer incidence is actively conducted throughout North America and Europe, similar research is lacking in Korea. Recently, however, studies have begun to accumulate and report important data on indoor radon concentrations across the nation. In this study, we aimed to review domestic and foreign research into indoor radon concentrations and to outline correlations between indoor radon concentrations in homes and lung cancer incidence, as reported in ecological studies thereof. Herein, we noted large differences in radon concentrations between and within individual countries. For Korea, we observed tremendous differences in indoor radon concentrations according to region and year of study, even within the same region. In correlation analysis, lung cancer incidence was not found to be higher in areas with high indoor radon concentrations in Korea. Through our review, we identified a need to implement a greater variety of

  16. Associations between daily chronic pain intensity, daily anger expression, and trait anger expressiveness: An ecological momentary assessment study

    PubMed Central

    Bruehl, Stephen; Liu, Xiaoxia; Burns, John W.; Chont, Melissa; Jamison, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Links between elevated trait anger expressiveness (anger-out) and greater chronic pain intensity are well documented, but pain-related effects of expressive behaviors actually used to regulate anger when it is experienced have been little explored. This study used ecological momentary assessment methods to explore prospective associations between daily behavioral anger expression and daily chronic pain intensity. Forty-eight chronic low back pain (LBP) patients and 36 healthy controls completed electronic diary ratings of momentary pain and behavioral anger expression in response to random prompts 4 times daily for 7 days. Across groups, greater trait anger-out was associated with greater daily behavioral anger expression (P < 0.001). LBP participants showed higher levels of daily anger expression than controls (P < 0.001). Generalized estimating equation analyses in the LBP group revealed a lagged main effect of greater behavioral anger expression on increased chronic pain intensity in the subsequent assessment period (P < 0.05). Examination of a trait × situation model for anger-out revealed prospective associations between elevated chronic pain intensity and later increases in behavioral anger expression that were restricted largely to individuals low in trait anger-out (P < 0.001). Trait × situation interactions for trait anger suppression (anger-in) indicated similar influences of pain intensity on subsequent behavioral anger expression occurring among low anger-in persons (P < 0.001). Overlap with trait and state negative affect did not account for study findings. This study for the first time documents lagged within-day influences of behavioral anger expression on subsequent chronic pain intensity. Trait anger regulation style may moderate associations between behavioral anger expression and chronic pain intensity. PMID:22940462

  17. HELLE: Health Effects of Low Level Exposures/ Gezondheidseffecten van lage blootstellingniveaus [International workshop: Influence of low level exposures to chemicals and radiation on human and ecological health

    SciTech Connect

    Schoten, Eert

    1998-11-26

    The Health Council is closely involved in establishing the scientific foundation of exposure limits for substances and radiation in order to protect public health. Through the years, the Council has contributed to the formulation of principles and procedures, both for carcinogenic and for noncarcinogenic agents. As a rule, the discussion with regard to the derivation of health-based recommended exposure limits centers around the appropriateness of extrapolation methods (What can be inferred from data on high exposure levels and on experimental animals?). Generally speaking, there is a lack of direct information on the health effects of low levels of exposure. Effects at these levels cannot usually be detected by means of traditional animal experiments or epidemiological research. The capacity of these analytical instruments to distinguish between ''signal'' and ''noise'' is inadequate in most cases. Annex B of this report contains a brief outline of the difficulties and the established methods for tackling this problem. In spite of this, the hope exists that the posited weak signals, if they are indeed present, can be detected by other means. The search will have to take place on a deeper level. In other words, effort must be made to discover what occurs at underlying levels of biological organization when organisms are exposed to low doses of radiation or substances. Molecular and cell biology provide various methods and techniques which give an insight into the processes within the cell. This results in an increase in the knowledge about the molecular and cellular effects of exposure to agents, or stated differently, the working mechanisms which form the basis of the health effects. Last year, the Health Council considered that the time was ripe to take stock of the state of knowledge in this field. To this end, an international working conference was held from 19 to 21 October 1997, entitled ''Health Effects of Low Level Exposures: Scientific Developments and

  18. Practical Exercises for the Study of Community Ecology at Advanced Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Putman, R. J.

    1984-01-01

    Describes a series of short-term modular experiments which focus on community structure (standing crop biomass) and function (system energy flow). One exercise examines decomposers while another shows energy use by individuals. Equipment needed, procedures used, and results obtained are included. (Author/DH)

  19. An Ecological Triangle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Styron, C. E.

    1977-01-01

    Describes a simplified model for summarizing ecological relationships. The components of the ecological triangle are biotic, abiotic materials, and abiotic conditions. Discusses three-way component interactions, population studies, limiting factors of pollution on humans, and difficulties in establishing casual relationships in field research. (CS)

  20. Prodromal Functioning of Migraine Patients Relative to Their Interictal State - An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

    PubMed Central

    Houtveen, Jan H.; Sorbi, Marjolijn J.

    2013-01-01

    Smartphones were used in an online Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) design to test prodromal functioning relative to the interictal state in migraine patients. Eighty-seven participants completed an electronic diary 4 times daily during 3-6 weeks to monitor their migraine attacks. Twice daily the diary additionally included 16 multi-answer questions covering physical symptoms (30 items), cognitive-affective functioning (25 items) and external factors (25 items). Eight clustered prodromal features were identified in the current study: sensory sensitivity, pain/stiffness, fatigue, cognitive functioning, positive affect, negative affect, effort spent and stressors encountered. Per feature, individual change scores with interictal control days - excluding 24-hour post-attack recovery - were computed for six 12-hour pre-attack time windows covering three prodromal days. Linear mixed model (fixed-effect) analysis established significant increases in sensory sensitivity, pain/stiffness and fatigue, and a tendency for increased negative affect, in the 12 hours prior to the attack. Positive affect and cognitive functioning were impaired both in the 25-36 hour and - more strongly - in the 12-hour time window before the attack. No effects were found for effort spent and stressors encountered. Exploratory (random effect) analysis revealed significant individual differences in the change scores in sensory sensitivity, pain/stiffness, fatigue and negative affect. It is concluded that the prodromal change in migraine - relative to interictal functioning - predominantly exists within the last 12 hours before attack onset. Individual diversity is large, however. Future research should zoom in to identify prodrome development within the 12 pre-attack hours as well as to isolate individual patterns. PMID:23977358

  1. Field Studies Reveal Strong Postmating Isolation between Ecologically Divergent Butterfly Populations

    PubMed Central

    McBride, Carolyn S.; Singer, Michael C.

    2010-01-01

    Gene flow between populations that are adapting to distinct environments may be restricted if hybrids inherit maladaptive, intermediate phenotypes. This phenomenon, called extrinsic postzygotic isolation (EPI), is thought to play a critical role in the early stages of speciation. However, despite its intuitive appeal, we know surprisingly little about the strength and prevalence of EPI in nature, and even less about the specific phenotypes that tend to cause problems for hybrids. In this study, we searched for EPI among allopatric populations of the butterfly Euphydryas editha that have specialized on alternative host plants. These populations recall a situation thought typical of the very early stages of speciation. They lack consistent host-associated genetic differentiation at random nuclear loci and show no signs of reproductive incompatibility in the laboratory. However, they do differ consistently in diverse host-related traits. For each of these traits, we first asked whether hybrids between populations that use different hosts (different-host hybrids) were intermediate to parental populations and to hybrids between populations that use the same host (same-host hybrids). We then conducted field experiments to estimate the effects of intermediacy on fitness in nature. Our results revealed strong EPI under field conditions. Different-host hybrids exhibited an array of intermediate traits that were significantly maladaptive, including four behaviors. Intermediate foraging height slowed the growth of larvae, while intermediate oviposition preference, oviposition site height, and clutch size severely reduced the growth and survival of the offspring of adult females. We used our empirical data to construct a fitness surface on which different-host hybrids can be seen to fall in an adaptive valley between two peaks occupied by same-host hybrids. These findings demonstrate how ecological selection against hybrids can create a strong barrier to gene flow at the early

  2. Interference in the tundra predator guild studied using local ecological knowledge.

    PubMed

    Ehrich, Dorothee; Strømeng, Marita A; Killengreen, Siw T

    2016-04-01

    The decline or recolonization of apex predators such as wolves and lynx, often driven by management decisions, and the expansion of smaller generalist predators such as red foxes, can have important ecosystem impacts. The mesopredator release hypothesis proposes that apex predators control medium-sized predator populations through competition and/or intraguild predation. The decline of apex predators thus leads to an increase in mesopredators, possibly with a negative impact on prey populations. Information about the abundance of mammalian tundra predators, wolf (Canis lupus), wolverine (Gulo gulo), lynx (Lynx lynx), red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) was collected from local active outdoors people during semi-structured interviews in 14 low arctic or sub-arctic settlements in western Eurasia. The perceived abundance of red fox decreased with higher wolf abundance and in more arctic areas, but the negative effect of wolves decreased in more arctic and therefore less productive ecosystems. The perceived abundance of arctic fox increased towards the arctic and in areas with colder winters. Although there was a negative correlation between the two fox species, red fox was not included in the model for perceived arctic fox abundance, which received most support. Our results support the mesopredator release hypothesis regarding the expansion of red foxes in subarctic areas and indicate that top-down control by apex predators is weaker in less productive and more arctic ecosystems. We showed that local ecological knowledge is a valuable source of information about large-scale processes, which are difficult to study through direct biological investigations. PMID:26686344

  3. A GIS APPLICATION AND RESOURCE TOOL FOR USE ON STUDIES OF THE LAKE TEXOMA ECOLOGICAL SYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Investigations are underway at Lake Texoma to develop tools and information needed to evaluate the transport and attenuation of contaminants and stressors in a lake ecosystem, and link them to observable ecological effects. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA),
    ...

  4. Urban Environmental Education: Leveraging Technology and Ecology to Engage Students in Studying the Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnett, Michael; Vaughn, Meredith Houle; Strauss, Eric; Cotter, Lindsey

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, we describe the outcomes of the first year of an intensive, urban ecology focused, summer program for urban high school youth. Students in our program conduct scientific investigations of their urban ecosystems while exploring potential career options in science and technology fields. In conducting their investigations, the students…

  5. Using the Urban Environment to Engage Youths in Urban Ecology Field Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnett, Michael; Lord, Charles; Strauss, Eric; Rosca, Camelia; Langford, Heather; Chavez, Dawn; Deni, Leah

    2006-01-01

    Recent science education reform proponents explicitly put forward the idea that all students, regardless of culture, gender, race, or socioeconomic status, are capable of understanding and doing science. To address this need, the authors have developed and implemented a field-based urban ecology science program to engage traditionally…

  6. INTEGRATING ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT AND ECONOMIC ANALYSIS IN WATERSHEDS: A CONCEPTUAL APPROACH AND THREE CASE STUDIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document reports on a program of research to investigate the integration of ecological risk assessment (ERA) and economics, with an emphasis on the watershed as the scale for analysis. In 1993, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiated watershed ERA (W-ERA) in five...

  7. Study on Ecological Balance of Chinese Higher Education in Popularization Stage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Min; Gao, Hong-liang

    2009-01-01

    Since the beginning of Chinese higher education expansion in 1999, higher education in terms of scale, speed and structure has been rapid development and beyond the bearing capacity of its ecological balance, input and output of the unbalanced phenomenon between higher education and social environment, the unbalanced phenomenon also appear in…

  8. Ecological and Dynamical Study of the Creative Process and Affects of Scientific Students Working in Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peilloux, Aurélien; Botella, Marion

    2016-01-01

    Although creativity has drawn the attention of researchers during the past century, collaborative processes have barely been investigated. In this article, the collective dimension of a creative process is investigated, based on a dynamic and ecological approach that includes an affective component. "Dynamic" means that the creative…

  9. Ecological Momentary Assessment: A Research Method for Studying the Daily Lives of Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carson, Russell L.; Weiss, Howard M.; Templin, Thomas J.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to introduce ecological momentary assessment (EMA) as an effective approach for capturing teachers' emotional states and behaviours over time. Although the implementation of EMA has a rich and successful history among social science researchers in general, traditional retrospective, self-report methods for collecting…

  10. Enhancing Motivational Opportunity in Elementary Schooling: A Case Study of the Ecology of Principal Leadership.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butterworth, Barbara; Weinstein, Rhona S.

    1996-01-01

    Examines the efforts of an elementary private school principal to create a motivating school climate. Discusses four ecological principles: (1) the development of activities that recognize individuality and demand involvement and adaptation; (2) the expansion of resources to the whole school community; (3) the interdependence of activities at each…

  11. The Social Ecological Challenges of Rural Victim Advocacy: An Exploratory Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGrath, Shelly A.; Johnson, Melencia; Miller, Michelle Hughes

    2012-01-01

    This article re-centers an ecological model traditionally used to understand the experiences of interpersonal violence victims around the perceptions and experiences of victim advocates. We suggest that the development of such a model might shed light on rural-urban differences in the accessibility and availability of support services in rural…

  12. COMPARING AND CONTRASTING SCALING APPROACHES ACROSS ECOLOGICAL DISCIPLINES: CASE STUDIES OF VEGETATION, BIOGEOCHEMICAL AND ANIMAL DYNAMICS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Numerous approaches have been taken to evaluate spatial scaling relationships in ecology. These approaches can be generalized into three categories¿those that are nonspatial, those that are spatially explicit but not spatially interactive, and those that are both spatially explicit and spatially in...

  13. Ecological studies of the psocids Liposcelis brunnea, L. rufa, L. pearmani, and Lepinotus reticulatus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Psocids (Psocoptera) are an emerging problem in grain storages, grain processing facilities, and product warehouses in the United States and many other countries. Development of effective pest management programs for psocids is dependent on having sound knowledge of their ecology. Given the limited ...

  14. A Comparative Analysis of Feeding and Trophic Level Ecology in Stingrays (Rajiformes; Myliobatoidei) and Electric Rays (Rajiformes: Torpedinoidei)

    PubMed Central

    Jacobsen, Ian P.; Bennett, Mike B.

    2013-01-01

    Standardised diets and trophic level (TL) estimates were calculated for 75 ray species from the suborders Myliobatoidei (67 spp.) and Torpedinoidei (8 spp.). Decapod crustaceans (31.71±3.92%) and teleost fishes (16.45±3.43%) made the largest contribution to the standardised diet of the Myliobatoidei. Teleost fishes (37.40±16.09%) and polychaete worms (31.96±14.22%) were the most prominent prey categories in the standardised diet of the suborder Torpedinoidei. Cluster analysis identified nine major trophic guilds the largest of which were decapod crustaceans (24 species), teleost fishes (11 species) and molluscs (11 species). Trophic level estimates for rays ranged from 3.10 for Potamotrygon falkneri to 4.24 for Gymnura australis, Torpedo marmorata and T. nobiliana. Secondary consumers with a TL <4.00 represented 84% of the species examined, with the remaining 12 species (16%) classified as tertiary consumers (TL ≥4.00). Tertiary consumers included electric rays (Torpedo, 3 spp. and Hypnos, 1 sp.), butterfly rays (Gymnura, 4 spp.), stingrays (2 spp.) and Potamotrygonid stingrays (2 spp.). Feeding strategies were identified as the primary factor of influence with respect to Myliobatoidei and Torpedinoidei TL estimates with inter-family comparisons providing the greatest insight into Myliobatoidei and Torpedinoidei relationships. PMID:23936503

  15. Changes in composition, ecology and structure of high-mountain vegetation: a re-visitation study over 42 years

    PubMed Central

    Evangelista, Alberto; Frate, Ludovico; Carranza, Maria Laura; Attorre, Fabio; Pelino, Giovanni; Stanisci, Angela

    2016-01-01

    High-mountain ecosystems are increasingly threatened by climate change, causing biodiversity loss, habitat degradation and landscape modifications. However, very few detailed studies have focussed on plant biodiversity in the high mountains of the Mediterranean. In this study, we investigated the long-term changes that have occurred in the composition, structure and ecology of high-mountain vegetation in the central Apennines (Majella) over the last 42 years. We performed a re-visitation study, using historical and newly collected vegetation data to explore which ecological and structural features have been the most successful in coping with climatic changes. Vegetation changes were analysed by comparing geo-referenced phytosociological relevés collected in high-mountain habitats (dolines, gentle slopes and ridges) on the Majella massif in 1972 and in 2014. Composition analysis was performed by detrended correspondence analysis, followed by an analysis of similarities for statistical significance assessment and by similarity percentage procedure (SIMPER) for identifying which species indicate temporal changes. Changes in ecological and structural indicators were analysed by a permutational multivariate analysis of variance, followed by a post hoc comparison. Over the last 42 years, clear floristic changes and significant ecological and structural variations occurred. We observed a significant increase in the thermophilic and mesonitrophilic plant species and an increment in the frequencies of hemicryptophytes. This re-visitation study in the Apennines agrees with observations in other alpine ecosystems, providing new insights for a better understanding of the effects of global change on Mediterranean high-mountain biodiversity. The observed changes in floristic composition, the thermophilization process and the shift towards a more nutrient-demanding vegetation are likely attributable to the combined effect of higher temperatures and the increase in soil nutrients

  16. Changes in composition, ecology and structure of high-mountain vegetation: a re-visitation study over 42 years.

    PubMed

    Evangelista, Alberto; Frate, Ludovico; Carranza, Maria Laura; Attorre, Fabio; Pelino, Giovanni; Stanisci, Angela

    2016-01-01

    High-mountain ecosystems are increasingly threatened by climate change, causing biodiversity loss, habitat degradation and landscape modifications. However, very few detailed studies have focussed on plant biodiversity in the high mountains of the Mediterranean. In this study, we investigated the long-term changes that have occurred in the composition, structure and ecology of high-mountain vegetation in the central Apennines (Majella) over the last 42 years. We performed a re-visitation study, using historical and newly collected vegetation data to explore which ecological and structural features have been the most successful in coping with climatic changes. Vegetation changes were analysed by comparing geo-referenced phytosociological relevés collected in high-mountain habitats (dolines, gentle slopes and ridges) on the Majella massif in 1972 and in 2014. Composition analysis was performed by detrended correspondence analysis, followed by an analysis of similarities for statistical significance assessment and by similarity percentage procedure (SIMPER) for identifying which species indicate temporal changes. Changes in ecological and structural indicators were analysed by a permutational multivariate analysis of variance, followed by a post hoc comparison. Over the last 42 years, clear floristic changes and significant ecological and structural variations occurred. We observed a significant increase in the thermophilic and mesonitrophilic plant species and an increment in the frequencies of hemicryptophytes. This re-visitation study in the Apennines agrees with observations in other alpine ecosystems, providing new insights for a better understanding of the effects of global change on Mediterranean high-mountain biodiversity. The observed changes in floristic composition, the thermophilization process and the shift towards a more nutrient-demanding vegetation are likely attributable to the combined effect of higher temperatures and the increase in soil nutrients

  17. The Study of Pre-Service Teachers' Alternative Conceptions Regarding Three Ecological Issues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khalid, Tahsin

    The focus of the study was to identify and describe environmental preconceptions held by preservice elementary teachers about three issues: greenhouse effect, ozone layer depletion, and acid rain. One hundred and thirteen junior or senior level elementary education majors enrolled in science methods courses at a large Midwestern university…

  18. Ecological and Motivational Determinants of Activation: Studying Compared to Sports and Watching TV

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delespaul, Philippe A. E. G.; Reis, Harry T.; DeVries, Marten W.

    2004-01-01

    How can we enhance activation? Studying should be a challenging, yet rewarding activity for students who intend to graduate. The Flow theory (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, 1997) predicts that differential levels of perceived challenge and skill (flow) are related to optimized mental states and increased activation. However, the influence of concurrent…

  19. Operationalizing ecological resilience at a landscape scale: A framework and case study from Silicon Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beller, E.; Robinson, A.; Grossinger, R.; Grenier, L.; Davenport, A.

    2015-12-01

    Adaptation to climate change requires redesigning our landscapes and watersheds to maximize ecological resilience at large scales and integrated across urban areas, wildlands, and a diversity of ecosystem types. However, it can be difficult for environmental managers and designers to access, interpret, and apply resilience concepts at meaningful scales and across a range of settings. To address this gap, we produced a Landscape Resilience Framework that synthesizes the latest science on the qualitative mechanisms that drive resilience of ecological functions to climate change and other large-scale stressors. The framework is designed to help translate resilience science into actionable ecosystem conservation and restoration recommendations and adaptation strategies by providing a concise but comprehensive list of considerations that will help integrate resilience concepts into urban design, conservation planning, and natural resource management. The framework is composed of seven principles that represent core attributes which determine the resilience of ecological functions within a landscape. These principles are: setting, process, connectivity, redundancy, diversity/complexity, scale, and people. For each principle we identify several key operationalizable components that help illuminate specific recommendations and actions that are likely to contribute to landscape resilience for locally appropriate species, habitats, and biological processes. We are currently using the framework to develop landscape-scale recommendations for ecological resilience in the heavily urbanized Silicon Valley, California, in collaboration with local agencies, companies, and regional experts. The resilience framework is being applied across the valley, including urban, suburban, and wildland areas and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Ultimately, the framework will underpin the development of strategies that can be implemented to bolster ecological resilience from a site to

  20. On ecological fallacy, assessment errors stemming from misguided variable selection, and the effect of aggregation on the outcome of epidemiological study.

    PubMed

    Portnov, Boris A; Dubnov, Jonathan; Barchana, Micha

    2007-01-01

    In social and environmental sciences, ecological fallacy is an incorrect assumption about an individual based on aggregate data for a group. In the present study, the validity of this assumption was tested using both individual estimates of exposure to air pollution and aggregate data for 1,492 schoolchildren living in the in vicinity of a major coal-fired power station in the Hadera region of Israel. In 1996 and 1999, the children underwent subsequent pulmonary function tests (PFT), and their parents completed a detailed questionnaire on their health status and housing conditions. The association between children's PFT results and their exposure to air pollution was investigated in two phases. During the first phase, PFT averages were compared with average levels of air pollution detected in townships, and small census areas in which the children reside. During the second phase, individual pollution estimates were compared with individual PFT results, and pattern detection techniques (Getis-Ord statistic) were used to investigate the spatial data structure. While different levels of areal data aggregation changed the results only marginally, the choice of indices measuring the children's PFT performance had a significant influence on the outcome of the analysis. As argued, differences between individual-level and group-level effects of exposure (i.e., ecological or cross-level bias) are not necessary outcomes of data aggregation, and that seemingly unexpected results may often stem from a misguided selection of variables chosen to measure health effects. The implications of the results of the analysis for epidemiological studies are discussed, and recommendations for public health policy are formulated. PMID:17033679

  1. ACE Inhibitor and Angiotensin Receptor-II Antagonist Prescribing and Hospital Admissions with Acute Kidney Injury: A Longitudinal Ecological Study

    PubMed Central

    Tomlinson, Laurie A.; Abel, Gary A.; Chaudhry, Afzal N.; Tomson, Charles R.; Wilkinson, Ian B.; Roland, Martin O.; Payne, Rupert A.

    2013-01-01

    Background ACE Inhibitors (ACE-I) and Angiotensin-Receptor Antagonists (ARAs) are commonly prescribed but can cause acute kidney injury (AKI) during intercurrent illness. Rates of hospitalization with AKI are increasing. We aimed to determine whether hospital AKI admission rates are associated with increased ACE-I/ARA prescribing. Methods and Findings English NHS prescribing data for ACE-I/ARA prescriptions were matched at the level of the general practice to numbers of hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of AKI. Numbers of prescriptions were weighted for the demographic characteristics of general practices by expressing prescribing as rates where the denominator is Age, Sex, and Temporary Resident Originated Prescribing Units (ASTRO-PUs). We performed a mixed-effect Poisson regression to model the number of admissions for AKI occurring in each practice for each of 4 years from 1/4/2007. From 2007/8-2010/11, crude AKI admission rates increased from 0.38 to 0.57 per 1000 patients (51.6% increase), and national annual ACE-I/ARA prescribing rates increased by 0.032 from 0.202 to 0.234 (15.8% increase). There was strong evidence (p<0.001) that increases in practice-level prescribing of ACE-I/ARA over the study period were associated with an increase in AKI admission rates. The increase in prescribing seen in a typical practice corresponded to an increase in admissions of approximately 5.1% (rate ratio = 1.051 for a 0.03 per ASTRO-PU increase in annual prescribing rate, 95%CI 1.047-1.055). Using the regression model we predict that 1,636 (95%CI 1,540-1,780) AKI admissions would have been avoided if prescribing rates were at the 2007/8 level, equivalent to 14.8% of the total increase in AKI admissions. Conclusion In this ecological analysis, up to 15% of the increase in AKI admissions in England over a 4-year time period is potentially attributable to increased prescribing of ACE-I and ARAs. However, these findings are limited by the lack of patient level

  2. An Applied Ecological Framework for Evaluating Infrastructure to Promote Walking and Cycling: The iConnect Study

    PubMed Central

    Bull, Fiona; Powell, Jane; Cooper, Ashley R.; Brand, Christian; Mutrie, Nanette; Preston, John; Rutter, Harry

    2011-01-01

    Improving infrastructure for walking and cycling is increasingly recommended as a means to promote physical activity, prevent obesity, and reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions. However, limited evidence from intervention studies exists to support this approach. Drawing on classic epidemiological methods, psychological and ecological models of behavior change, and the principles of realistic evaluation, we have developed an applied ecological framework by which current theories about the behavioral effects of environmental change may be tested in heterogeneous and complex intervention settings. Our framework guides study design and analysis by specifying the most important data to be collected and relations to be tested to confirm or refute specific hypotheses and thereby refine the underlying theories. PMID:21233429

  3. An Ecological Systems Approach to Bullying Behaviors among Middle School Students in the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Chang-Hun

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study is to identify an ecological prediction model of bullying behaviors. Based on an ecological systems theory, this study identifies significant factors influencing bullying behaviors at different levels of middle and high school. These levels include the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem. More specifically,…

  4. Evaluating different methods used in ethnobotanical and ecological studies to record plant biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background This study compares the efficiency of identifying the plants in an area of semi-arid Northeast Brazil by methods that a) access the local knowledge used in ethnobotanical studies using semi-structured interviews conducted within the entire community, an inventory interview conducted with two participants using the previously collected vegetation inventory, and a participatory workshop presenting exsiccates and photographs to 32 people and b) inventory the vegetation (phytosociology) in locations with different histories of disturbance using rectangular plots and quadrant points. Methods The proportion of species identified using each method was then compared with Cochran’s Q test. We calculated the use value (UV) of each species using semi-structured interviews; this quantitative index was correlated against values of the vegetation’s structural importance obtained from the sample plot method and point-centered quarter method applied in two areas with different historical usage. The analysis sought to correlate the relative importance of plants to the local community (use value - UV) with the ecological importance of the plants in the vegetation structure (importance value - IV; relative density - RD) by using different sampling methods to analyze the two areas. Results With regard to the methods used for accessing the local knowledge, a difference was observed among the ethnobotanical methods of surveying species (Q = 13.37, df = 2, p = 0.0013): 44 species were identified in the inventory interview, 38 in the participatory workshop and 33 in the semi-structured interviews with the community. There was either no correlation between the UV, relative density (RD) and importance value (IV) of some species, or this correlation was negative. Conclusion It was concluded that the inventory interview was the most efficient method for recording species and their uses, as it allowed more plants to be identified in their original environment. To

  5. Ecological engineering to control bioclogging: an original field study coupling infiltration and biological measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gette-bouvarot, Morgane; Mermillod-Blondin, Florian; Lassabatere, Laurent; Lemoine, Damien; Delolme, Cécile; Volatier, Laurence

    2014-05-01

    biomass, bacterial abundances, microbial enzymatic activities, EPS composition, and photosynthetic efficiency) with in situ hydraulic conductivity measurements (falling head method, five measures per enclosure at t0 and tf). Our results showed that some treatments could regulate benthic biofilm growth and improve infiltration rate. For instance, V. viviparus treatment resulted in a decrease in chlorophyll-a, EPS sugar and protein contents and an associated increase of infiltration rate, while it decreased in the control treatment. These results are very promising for the future development of ecological engineering solutions to prevent biological clogging in systems dedicated to infiltration. To our knowledge, this study is the first to highlight such potential role of macro-organisms under field conditions.

  6. Usage of virtual research laboratory "Climate" prototype for Northern Eurasia climatic and ecological studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordov, Evgeny; Okladnikov, Igor; Titov, Alexander; Shulgina, Tamara

    2015-04-01

    Reported are some results of Northern Eurasia regional climatic and ecological monitoring and modeling obtained using recently developed prototype of thematic virtual research laboratory (VRL) Climate (http://climate.scert.ru/). The prototype integrates distributed thematic data storage, processing and analysis systems and set of models of complex climatic and environmental processes run on supercomputers. Its specific tools are aimed at high resolution rendering on-going climatic processes occurring in Northern Eurasia and reliable and found prognoses of their dynamics for selected sets of future mankind activity scenario. Currently VRL integrates on the base of geoportal the WRF and «Planet Simulator» models, basic reanalysis, meteorological stations data and support profound statistical analysis of storage and modeled on demand data. In particular, one can run the integrated models, preprocess modeling results data, using dedicated modules for numerical processing perform analysys and visualize obtained results. The prototype can provide specialists involved into multidisciplinary research projects with reliable and practical instruments for integrated research of climate and ecosystems changes on global and regional scales. With its help even a user without programming skills would be able to process and visualize multidimensional observational and model data through unified web-interface using a web-browser. Location, frequency and magnitude of observed in Siberia extremes has been studied using recently added prototype functionality allowing detailed statistical analysis studies of regional climatic extremes. Firstly it was shown that ECMWF ERA Interim Reanalysis data are closest to near surface temperature time series measured at regional meteorological stations. Statistical analysis of ERA Interim daily temperature time series (1979-2012) indicates the asymmetric changes in distribution tails of such extreme indices as warm/cold days/nights. Namely, the

  7. Navigating challenges and opportunities of land degradation and sustainable livelihood development in dryland social-ecological systems: a case study from Mexico.

    PubMed

    Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Palacios, Mónica Ribeiro; Moreno, José Tulio Arredondo; Braasch, Marco; Peña, Ruth Magnolia Martínez; Verduzco, Javier García de Alba; Santos, Karina Monzalvo

    2012-11-19

    Drylands are one of the most diverse yet highly vulnerable social-ecological systems on Earth. Water scarcity has contributed to high levels of heterogeneity, variability and unpredictability, which together have shaped the long coadaptative process of coupling humans and nature. Land degradation and desertification in drylands are some of the largest and most far-reaching global environmental and social change problems, and thus are a daunting challenge for science and society. In this study, we merged the Drylands Development Paradigm, Holling's adaptive cycle metaphor and resilience theory to assess the challenges and opportunities for livelihood development in the Amapola dryland social-ecological system (DSES), a small isolated village in the semi-arid region of Mexico. After 450 years of local social-ecological evolution, external drivers (neoliberal policies, change in land reform legislation) have become the most dominant force in livelihood development, at the cost of loss of natural and cultural capital and an increasingly dysfunctional landscape. Local DSESs have become increasingly coupled to dynamic larger-scale drivers. Hence, cross-scale connectedness feeds back on and transforms local self-sustaining subsistence farming conditions, causing loss of livelihood resilience and diversification in a globally changing world. Effective efforts to combat desertification and improve livelihood security in DSESs need to consider their cyclical rhythms. Hence, we advocate novel dryland stewardship strategies, which foster adaptive capacity, and continuous evaluation and social learning at all levels. Finally, we call for an effective, flexible and viable policy framework that enhances local biotic and cultural diversity of drylands to transform global drylands into a resilient biome in the context of global environmental and social change. PMID:23045713

  8. Navigating challenges and opportunities of land degradation and sustainable livelihood development in dryland social–ecological systems: a case study from Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Ribeiro Palacios, Mónica; Arredondo Moreno, José Tulio; Braasch, Marco; Martínez Peña, Ruth Magnolia; de Alba Verduzco, Javier García; Monzalvo Santos, Karina

    2012-01-01

    Drylands are one of the most diverse yet highly vulnerable social–ecological systems on Earth. Water scarcity has contributed to high levels of heterogeneity, variability and unpredictability, which together have shaped the long coadaptative process of coupling humans and nature. Land degradation and desertification in drylands are some of the largest and most far-reaching global environmental and social change problems, and thus are a daunting challenge for science and society. In this study, we merged the Drylands Development Paradigm, Holling's adaptive cycle metaphor and resilience theory to assess the challenges and opportunities for livelihood development in the Amapola dryland social–ecological system (DSES), a small isolated village in the semi-arid region of Mexico. After 450 years of local social–ecological evolution, external drivers (neoliberal policies, change in land reform legislation) have become the most dominant force in livelihood development, at the cost of loss of natural and cultural capital and an increasingly dysfunctional landscape. Local DSESs have become increasingly coupled to dynamic larger-scale drivers. Hence, cross-scale connectedness feeds back on and transforms local self-sustaining subsistence farming conditions, causing loss of livelihood resilience and diversification in a globally changing world. Effective efforts to combat desertification and improve livelihood security in DSESs need to consider their cyclical rhythms. Hence, we advocate novel dryland stewardship strategies, which foster adaptive capacity, and continuous evaluation and social learning at all levels. Finally, we call for an effective, flexible and viable policy framework that enhances local biotic and cultural diversity of drylands to transform global drylands into a resilient biome in the context of global environmental and social change. PMID:23045713

  9. Evaluation of population-level ecological risks of dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl exposure to fish-eating birds in Tokyo Bay and its vicinity.

    PubMed

    Naito, Wataru; Murata, Mariko

    2007-01-01

    Population-level assessments of the ecological risks of dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure to fish-eating birds in Tokyo Bay and its vicinity were performed to judge the need for risk management measures to protect aquatic wildlife from dioxin-like PCB contamination. Egg mortality risk and changes in the population growth rate (lambda) in relation to the contamination levels of dioxin-like PCBs in eggs of gray heron (Ardea cinerea), great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), osprey (Pandion halieaetus), and kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) were determined by integrating the results of exposure analysis, effect analysis, and a life-history model for each species. The egg mortality risks for the gray heron, great cormorant, osprey, and kingfisher populations were calculated to be 5.8, 6.8, 12, and less than 1%, respectively. The estimated lambda for those populations were calculated to be 1.061, 1.405, 1.024, and 1.131, respectively. The percentage changes in lambda for those populations were estimated to be 1.2, 2.0, 1.6, and less than 1%, respectively. Our results implied that the levels of dioxin-like PCBs observed in the Tokyo Bay area alone would not have significant population-level effects on the fish-eating bird populations. It is concluded that along with the trend toward decreasing dioxin and dioxin-like PCB levels in Tokyo Bay, no urgent need exists for risk-reduction measures to protect fish-eating bird populations against dioxin-like PCBs. PMID:17283596

  10. [Landscape and ecological genomics].

    PubMed

    2013-10-01

    Landscape genomics is the modern version of landscape genetics, a discipline that arose approximately 10 years ago as a combination of population genetics, landscape ecology, and spatial statistics. It studies the effects of environmental variables on gene flow and other microevolutionary processes that determine genetic connectivity and variations in populations. In contrast to population genetics, it operates at the level of individual specimens rather than at the level of population samples. Another important difference between landscape genetics and genomics and population genetics is that, in the former, the analysis of gene flow and local adaptations takes quantitative account of landforms and features of the matrix, i.e., hostile spaces that separate species habitats. Landscape genomics is a part of population ecogenomics, which, along with community genomics, is a major part of ecological genomics. One of the principal purposes of landscape genomics is the identification and differentiation of various genome-wide and locus-specific effects. The approaches and computation tools developed for combined analysis of genomic and landscape variables make it possible to detect adaptation-related genome fragments, which facilitates the planning of conservation efforts and the prediction of species' fate in response to expected changes in the environment. PMID:25508669

  11. [Landscape and ecological genomics].

    PubMed

    Tetushkin, E Ia

    2013-10-01

    Landscape genomics is the modern version of landscape genetics, a discipline that arose approximately 10 years ago as a combination of population genetics, landscape ecology, and spatial statistics. It studies the effects of environmental variables on gene flow and other microevolutionary processes that determine genetic connectivity and variations in populations. In contrast to population genetics, it operates at the level of individual specimens rather than at the level of population samples. Another important difference between landscape genetics and genomics and population genetics is that, in the former, the analysis of gene flow and local adaptations takes quantitative account of landforms and features of the matrix, i.e., hostile spaces that separate species habitats. Landscape genomics is a part of population ecogenomics, which, along with community genomics, is a major part of ecological genomics. One of the principal purposes of landscape genomics is the identification and differentiation of various genome-wide and locus-specific effects. The approaches and computation tools developed for combined analysis of genomic and landscape variables make it possible to detect adaptation-related genome fragments, which facilitates the planning of conservation efforts and the prediction of species' fate in response to expected changes in the environment. PMID:25474890

  12. SOIL BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The term "Soil Biology", the study of organism groups living in soil, (plants, lichens, algae, moss, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, and arthropods), predates "Soil Ecology", the study of interactions between soil organisms as mediated by the soil physical environment. oil ...

  13. A Holistic Approach to Water Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koyama, Keith

    1980-01-01

    Outlined is a water ecology unit included within a one-semester field biology course for upper level high school students. Activities described include a visit to a water treatment plant, an abiotic stream study, a biotic stream study, interactions and questioning topics, and individual projects. (CS)

  14. The Growing Trend of Moderate Preterm Births: An Ecological Study in One Region of Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Melo, Emiliana Cristina; Falavina, Larissa Pereira

    2015-01-01

    Background Preterm birth is a serious public health problem, as it is linked to high rates of neonatal and child morbidity and mortality, with Brazil listed among the countries with the ten highest numbers of premature births. Nonetheless, knowledge is scarce regarding prematurity and associated factors in mid-sized cities. The objective of this study was to analyze the trend of preterm births and associated factors in a municipality located in the state of Paraná, Brazil. Methods This was an ecological time series study of births recorded into the Live Birth Information System for residents of Maringá, Paraná, Brazil, between 2000 and 2013. The polynomial regression model was used for trend analysis of preterm birth, characteristics of the mother, gestation and delivery, and newborn. The association with preterm birth was analyzed using odds ratio (OR). Results A total of 61,634 live births were analyzed, of which 5,632 were preterm births. Prematurity increased from 7.9% in 2000 to 11.2% in 2013 –an average increase of 0.54% per year (r2 = 0.93)–with a growing share of moderate preterm births (32 to <37 weeks), which rose from 7.0% in 2000 to 9.7% in 2013. Between 2011 and 2013, multiple pregnancy (OR = 16.64; CI = 13.24–20.92), inadequate number of prenatal visits (OR = 2.81; CI = 2.51–3.15), Apgar score below 7 at 1 (OR = 4.07; CI = 3.55–4.67) and 5 minutes (OR = 10.88; CI = 7.71–15.36), low birth weight (OR = 38.75; CI = 33.72–44.55) and congenital malformations (OR = 3.18; CI = 2.14–4.74) were associated with preterm birth. A growing trend was observed for multiple pregnancies, with an average annual increase of 0.32% (r2 = 0.90), as well as for C-section birth (2.38% yearly increase). Of all newborn characteristics, Apgar score below 7 at 5 minutes (-0.19% per year) and low birth weight (-1.43%) decreased, whereas congenital malformations rose (0.20% per year). Conclusions Efforts are required to prevent premature delivery, particularly

  15. The ecology of the planktonic diatom Cyclotella and its implications for global environmental change studies.

    PubMed

    Saros, J E; Anderson, N J

    2015-05-01

    The fossil record of diatoms in lake sediments can be used to assess the effects of climate variability on lake ecosystems if ecological relationships between diatom community structure and environmental parameters are well understood. Cyclotella sensu lato taxa are a key group of diatoms that are frequently dominant members of phytoplankton communities in low- to moderate-productivity lakes. Their relative abundances have fluctuated significantly in palaeolimnological records spanning over a century in arctic, alpine, boreal and temperate lakes. This suggests that these species are sensitive to environmental change and may serve as early indicators of ecosystem effects of global change. Yet patterns of change in Cyclotella species are not synchronous or unidirectional across, or even within, regions, raising the question of how to interpret these widespread changes in diatom community structure. We suggest that the path forward in resolving seemingly disparate records is to identify clearly the autecology of Cyclotella species, notably the role of nutrients, dissolved organic carbon and light, coupled with better consideration of both the mechanisms controlling lake thermal stratification processes and the resulting effects of changing lake thermal regimes on light and nutrients. Here we begin by reviewing the literature on the resource requirements of common Cyclotella taxa, illustrating that many studies reveal the importance of light, nitrogen, phosphorus, and interactions among these resources in controlling relative abundances. We then discuss how these resource requirements can be linked to shifts in limnological processes driven by environmental change, including climate-driven change in lakewater temperature, thermal stratification and nutrient loading, as well as acidification-driven shifts in nutrients and water clarity. We examine three case studies, each involving two lakes from the same region that have disparate trends in the relative abundances of

  16. Effects of Urbanization Expansion on Landscape Pattern and Region Ecological Risk in Chinese Coastal City: A Case Study of Yantai City

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Di; Shi, Ping; Wu, Xiaoqing; Ma, Jinwei

    2014-01-01

    Applied with remote sensing, GIS, and mathematical statistics, the spatial-temporal evolution characteristics of urbanization expansion of Yantai city from 1974 to 2009 was studied. Based on landscape pattern metrics and ecological risk index, the landscape ecological risk from the landscape pattern dynamics was evaluated. The results showed that the area of urban land increased by 189.77 km2 with average expansion area of 5.42 km2 y−1 from 1974 to 2009. The urbanization intensity index during 2004–2009 was 3.92 times of that during 1974–1990. The land use types of urban land and farmland changed greatly. The changes of landscape pattern metrics for land use patterns indicated that the intensity of human activities had strengthened gradually in study period. The landscape ecological risk pattern of Yantai city shaped half-round rings along the coastline. The ecological risk index decreased with increase of the distance to the coastline. The ratio of high ecological risk to subhigh ecological risk zones in 2009 was 2.23 times of that in 1990. The significant linear relationship of urbanization intensity index and regional ecological risk indicated that the anthropological economic activities were decisive factors for sustainable development of costal ecological environment. PMID:24983003

  17. Ecological Consultancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Scott McG.; Tattersfield, Peter

    2004-01-01

    This is the first of a new regular feature on careers, designed to provide those who teach biology with some inspiration when advising their students. In this issue, two consultant ecologists explain how their career paths developed. It is a misconception that there are few jobs in ecology. Over the past 20 or 30 years ecological consultancy has…

  18. The fallacy of the ecological fallacy: the potential misuse of a concept and the consequences.

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, S

    1994-01-01

    Ecological studies have been evaluated in epidemiological contexts in terms of the "ecological fallacy." Although the empirical evidence for a lack of comparability between correlations derived from ecological- and individual-level analyses is compelling, the conceptual meaning of the ecological fallacy remains problematic. This paper argues that issues in cross-level inference can be usefully conceptualized as validity problems, problems not peculiar to ecological-level analyses. Such an approach increases the recognition of both potential inference problems in individual-level studies and the unique contributions of ecological variables. This, in turn, expands the terrain for the location of causes for disease and interventions to improve the public's health. PMID:8179055

  19. Case Studies of Ecological Integrative Information Systems: The Luquillo and Sevilleta Information Management Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    San Gil, Inigo; White, Marshall; Melendez, Eda; Vanderbilt, Kristin

    The thirty-year-old United States Long Term Ecological Research Network has developed extensive metadata to document their scientific data. Standard and interoperable metadata is a core component of the data-driven analytical solutions developed by this research network Content management systems offer an affordable solution for rapid deployment of metadata centered information management systems. We developed a customized integrative metadata management system based on the Drupal content management system technology. Building on knowledge and experience with the Sevilleta and Luquillo Long Term Ecological Research sites, we successfully deployed the first two medium-scale customized prototypes. In this paper, we describe the vision behind our Drupal based information management instances, and list the features offered through these Drupal based systems. We also outline the plans to expand the information services offered through these metadata centered management systems. We will conclude with the growing list of participants deploying similar instances.

  20. An ecological study of the KSC Turning Basin and adjacent waters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nevin, T. A.; Lasater, J. A.; Clark, K. B.; Kalajian, E. H.

    1974-01-01

    The conditions existing in the waters and bottoms of the Turning Basin, the borrow pit near Pad 39A, and the Barge Canal connecting them were investigated to determine the ecological significance of the chemical, biological, and microbiological parameters. The water quality, biological, microbiological findings are discussed. It is recommended that future dredging activities be limited in depth, and that fill materials should not be removed down to the clay strata.

  1. Effects of season and agro-ecological zone on the microbial quality of raw milk along the various levels of the value chain in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Grimaud, Patrice; Sserunjogi, Mohamed; Wesuta, Milton; Grillet, Nelly; Kato, Moses; Faye, Bernard

    2009-08-01

    Dairy production in Uganda is pasture-based and traditional Ankole cattle make up 80% of the cattle herd, reared in both pastoral and agro-pastoral ecological zones. Regardless of the zone, milk quality is lowest in production basin during the dry season when ambient temperatures are highest and water is scarce. Poor hygiene and quality management contributed to the deterioration of raw milk quality during its storage and delivery to the final consumer, and concealed the seasonal effect when milk reached urban consumption areas. Poor milk quality is a challenge for the Ugandan Dairy Development Authorities who wish to make the milk value chain safe. This study provides baseline information for the implementation of an HACCP-based system to ensure the hygienic quality of milk from the farm to the market place. PMID:19016339

  2. Taking peer victimization research to the next level: complex interactions among genes, teacher attitudes/behaviors, peer ecologies, & classroom characteristics.

    PubMed

    Espelage, Dorothy L

    2015-01-01

    This commentary reviews research findings of the five papers in the special entitled "School-related Factors in the Development of Bullying Perpetration and Victimization", which represent critical areas that are often overlooked in the literature. First, one paper points to the complex interaction between a genetic disposition for aggression and classroom norms toward aggression. Second, an intervention paper unpacks the underlying mechanisms of an efficacious school-wide bully prevention program by opening the "black box" and testing for mediators. Third, the remaining studies employ a wide range of rigorous designs to identify how teachers' attitudes, behaviors, and classroom practices play a critical role in the prevalence of victimization and bullying in the classroom. Further, teachers' attitudes and behaviors are shown to be predictive of youth's willingness to intervene to assist a peer who is being victimized. Results are situated in what is known about bullying prevention, and how the findings from these studies could maximize the sensitivity of future prevention efforts. PMID:25345834

  3. An ecological study of stillbirths in Mexico from 2000 to 2013

    PubMed Central

    Illescas-Zárate, Daniel; Chico-Barba, Gabriela; Bhutta, Zulfiqar A

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Objective To examine trends in the rate of stillbirths at or after 21 weeks’ gestation in Mexico from 2000 to 2013, identify factors associated with stillbirths and estimate subnational variability in stillbirth rates and the proportion of deaths occurring intrapartum. Methods This population-based, ecological study involved data from a national database on 263 475 stillbirths in 29 Mexican states and maternal sociodemographic factors. Subnational variability in the stillbirth rate in 2012 was investigated and stillbirths in 2013 were categorized as intrapartum or antepartum according to the fetus’ skin condition. Findings The national stillbirth rate declined from 9.2 to 7.2 per 1000 births between 2000 and 2013 (i.e. −1.9% per year). The prevalence of stillbirths varied 3.9-fold between states. Stillbirths were associated, in particular, with: residence in Mexico City (odds ratio, OR: 1.71; 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.68–1.73) or central Mexico (OR: 1.36; 95% CI: 1.34–1.38); maternal education of 9 years or less (OR:1.10; 95% CI: 1.08–1.11) or 10 to 12 years (OR: 1.16; 95% CI: 1.14–1.18); mothers younger than 15 years (OR: 1.64; 95% CI: 1.55–1.72) or older than 34 years (OR: 1.68; 95% CI: 1.66–1.70); and male fetal sex (OR: 1.20; 95% CI: 1.19–1.21). Overall, 51% (7348/14 344) of fetal deaths occurred intrapartum. Conclusion In Mexico, the total stillbirth rate declined between 2000 and 2013, however geographical variations were observed. Stillbirths were associated with sociodemographic factors. The proportion of intrapartum stillbirths was relatively high, suggesting that health system performance could be improved, especially at places of delivery. PMID:27147762

  4. Does exposure to aircraft noise increase the mortality from cardiovascular disease in the population living in the vicinity of airports? Results of an ecological study in France.

    PubMed

    Evrard, Anne-Sophie; Bouaoun, Liacine; Champelovier, Patricia; Lambert, Jacques; Laumon, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    The impact of aircraft noise on health is of growing concern. We investigated the relationship between this exposure and mortality from cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke. We performed an ecological study on 161 communes (commune being the smallest administrative unit in France) close to the following three major French airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Lyon Saint-Exupéry, and Toulouse-Blagnac. The mortality data were provided by the French Center on Medical Causes of Death for the period 2007-2010. Based on the data provided by the French Civil Aviation Authority, a weighted average exposure to aircraft noise (L den AEI) was computed at the commune level. A Poisson regression model with commune-specific random intercepts, adjusted for potential confounding factors including air pollution, was used to investigate the association between mortality rates and L den AEI. Positive associations were observed between L den AEI and mortality from cardiovascular disease [adjusted mortality rate ratio (MRR) per 10 dB(A) increase in L den AEI = 1.18; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11-1.25], coronary heart disease [MRR = 1.24 (1.12-1.36)], and myocardial infarction [MRR = 1.28 (1.11-1.46]. Stroke mortality was more weakly associated with L den AEI [MRR = 1.08 (0.97-1.21]. These significant associations were not attenuated after the adjustment for air pollution. The present ecological study supports the hypothesis of an association between aircraft noise exposure and mortality from cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and myocardial infarction. However, the potential for ecological bias and the possibility that this association could be due to residual confounding cannot be excluded. PMID:26356375

  5. Does exposure to aircraft noise increase the mortality from cardiovascular disease in the population living in the vicinity of airports? Results of an ecological study in France

    PubMed Central

    Evrard, Anne-Sophie; Bouaoun, Liacine; Champelovier, Patricia; Lambert, Jacques; Laumon, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    The impact of aircraft noise on health is of growing concern. We investigated the relationship between this exposure and mortality from cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke. We performed an ecological study on 161 communes (commune being the smallest administrative unit in France) close to the following three major French airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Lyon Saint-Exupéry, and Toulouse-Blagnac. The mortality data were provided by the French Center on Medical Causes of Death for the period 2007-2010. Based on the data provided by the French Civil Aviation Authority, a weighted average exposure to aircraft noise (Lden AEI) was computed at the commune level. A Poisson regression model with commune-specific random intercepts, adjusted for potential confounding factors including air pollution, was used to investigate the association between mortality rates and Lden AEI. Positive associations were observed between Lden AEI and mortality from cardiovascular disease [adjusted mortality rate ratio (MRR) per 10 dB(A) increase in Lden AEI = 1.18; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11-1.25], coronary heart disease [MRR = 1.24 (1.12-1.36)], and myocardial infarction [MRR = 1.28 (1.11-1.46]. Stroke mortality was more weakly associated with Lden AEI [MRR = 1.08 (0.97-1.21]. These significant associations were not attenuated after the adjustment for air pollution. The present ecological study supports the hypothesis of an association between aircraft noise exposure and mortality from cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and myocardial infarction. However, the potential for ecological bias and the possibility that this association could be due to residual confounding cannot be excluded. PMID:26356375

  6. A Tale of Four Stories: Soil Ecology, Theory, Evolution and the Publication System

    PubMed Central

    Barot, Sébastien; Blouin, Manuel; Fontaine, Sébastien; Jouquet, Pascal; Lata, Jean-Christophe; Mathieu, Jérôme

    2007-01-01

    Background Soil ecology has produced a huge corpus of results on relations between soil organisms, ecosystem processes controlled by these organisms and links between belowground and aboveground processes. However, some soil scientists think that soil ecology is short of modelling and evolutionary approaches and has developed too independently from general ecology. We have tested quantitatively these hypotheses through a bibliographic study (about 23000 articles) comparing soil ecology journals, generalist ecology journals, evolutionary ecology journals and theoretical ecology journals. Findings We have shown that soil ecology is not well represented in generalist ecology journals and that soil ecologists poorly use modelling and evolutionary approaches. Moreover, the articles published by a typical soil ecology journal (Soil Biology and Biochemistry) are cited by and cite low percentages of articles published in generalist ecology journals, evolutionary ecology journals and theoretical ecology journals. Conclusion This confirms our hypotheses and suggests that soil ecology would benefit from an effort towards modelling and evolutionary approaches. This effort should promote the building of a general conceptual framework for soil ecology and bridges between soil ecology and general ecology. We give some historical reasons for the parsimonious use of modelling and evolutionary approaches by soil ecologists. We finally suggest that a publication system that classifies journals according to their Impact Factors and their level of generality is probably inadequate to integrate “particularity” (empirical observations) and “generality” (general theories), which is the goal of all natural sciences. Such a system might also be particularly detrimental to the development of a science such as ecology that is intrinsically multidisciplinary. PMID:18043755

  7. Reprint of "Decision-making in child protective services: Influences at multiple levels of the social ecology".

    PubMed

    Font, Sarah A; Maguire-Jack, Kathryn

    2015-11-01

    Decision-making in the child protection system is influenced by multiple factors; agency and geographic contexts, caseworker attributes, and families' unique circumstances all likely play a role. In this study, we use the second cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being to explore how these factors are associated with two key case decisions-substantiation and removal to out-of-home care. Analyses are conducted using weighted hierarchical linear models. We find that substantiation is strongly influenced by agency factors, particularly constraints on service accessibility. Substantiation is less likely when agencies can provide services to unsubstantiated cases and when collaboration with other social institutions is high. This supports the concept that substantiation may be a gateway to services in some communities. Agency factors contributed less to the probability of removal among substantiated cases, though time resources and constraints on decision-making had some influence. For both substantiation and removal risks, county, caseworker, and child characteristics were less influential than agency characteristics and family risk factors. PMID:26499371

  8. An Ecological Perspective on Deafness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harvey, Michael A.; Dym, Barry

    1988-01-01

    The article offers an ecological view of deafness through identification of the hierarchically arranged, bio-psych-social levels which influence development and the sequences of interaction within and between levels. The organization of ecological fields is described by a cybernetic model from family therapy. A detailed case example is presented.…

  9. An Integrated Approach for Assessing Aquatic Ecological Carrying Capacity: A Case Study of Wujin District in the Tai Lake Basin, China

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Chen; Liu, Yaolin; Liu, Yanfang; Hu, Jiameng; Bai, Xiaogang; Yang, Xiaoyu

    2011-01-01

    Aquatic ecological carrying capacity is an effective method for analyzing sustainable development in regional water management. In this paper, an integrated approach is employed for assessing the aquatic ecological carrying capacity of Wujin District in the Tai Lake Basin, China. An indicator system is established considering social and economic development as well as ecological resilience perspectives. While calculating the ecological index, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is extracted from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) time-series images, followed by spatial and temporal analysis of vegetation cover. Finally, multi-index assessment of aquatic ecological carrying capacity is carried out for the period 2000 to 2008, including both static and dynamic variables. The results reveal that aquatic ecological carrying capacity presents a slight upward trend in the past decade and the intensity of human activities still exceeded the aquatic ecological carrying capacity in 2008. In terms of human activities, population has decreased, GDP has quadrupled, and fertilizer application and industrial wastewater discharge have declined greatly in the past decade. The indicators representing aquatic ecosystem conditions have the lowest scores, which are primarily attributed to the water eutrophication problem. Yet the terrestrial ecosystem is assessed to be in better condition since topographic backgrounds and landscape diversity are at higher levels. Based on the work carried out, it is suggested that pollutant emission be controlled to improve water quality and agricultural development around Ge Lake (the largest lake in Wujin District) be reduced. PMID:21318028

  10. Environmental exposure to mineral fibers in New Caledonia: an ecological study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumann, F.; Ambrosi, J.

    2013-05-01

    Inhalation of asbestos and other fibrous minerals causes lung cancer and other malignancies, specifically malignant mesothelioma (MM). MM is an aggressive pleural tumor that presents with a median latency period of 30-40 years from initial fiber exposure. Due to occupational exposure, MM incidence is 4-8 times higher in men as compared to women. In New Caledonia (NC), very high incidences of MM and lung cancer were observed in both men and women, suggesting an environmental origin of exposure. Although nickel mining and the traditional use of tremolite-containing whitewash were suspected causes of MM, numerous MM cases have been observed in areas lacking these risk factors. We carried out an ecological study of MM incidence in NC and identified a study area that included those counties having the highest MM incidences as well as counties lacking MM. We conducted epidemiological and environmental investigations for each of the 100 tribes living within this area. Residential history was assessed for each MM case, and samples of each quarry, road, and whitewash were analyzed to determine the nature of any mineral fibers. We analyzed the environmental determinants of MM, including geology, mineralogy, plant cover, land shape and human activities as well as use of whitewash, by using two univariate and multivariate statistical methods: 1) a logistic regression to compare tribes with and without MM cases and calculate the odds ratios, (OR) 2) the Poisson regression to calculate incidence rate ratios (IRR) for each factor. While most MM cases among Caucasians were observed in men with a mean age of 72, indicating occupational exposure, Melanesians exhibited elevated MM incidence in both men and women at a mean age of 60. A sex ratio close to 1 compounded with the relatively young ages of MM cases confirmed environmental causation within the Melanesian population. We found one significant and two secondary spatial clusters of MM in tribal areas. No temporal cluster was

  11. The importance of neighborhood ecological assets in community dwelling old people aging outcomes: A study in Northern Portugal

    PubMed Central

    Bastos, Alice M.; Faria, Carla G.; Moreira, Emília; Morais, Diana; Melo-de-Carvalho, José M.; Paul, M. Constança

    2015-01-01

    Human development is a bidirectional, person-context relational process, but scarce evidence is available about the relation between the individual variability across the life-span and the neighborhood ecological assets. Therefore, it is important that research focus not only on personal characteristics but on ecological assets as well. This way this study aims to analyze the association between neighborhood ecological assets categorized into four dimensions: human, physical or institutional, social or collective activity, accessibility, and the individual functioning. A 3% sample of residents aged 65 years and older in two downtown and three uptown parishes stratified by age and sex was interviewed at home using a protocol that included the Portuguese version of the Barthel Index in basic activities of daily living (BADL), the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale (IADL), the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), and the Geriatric Depression Scale-15 items (GDS) for evaluating functionality, cognitive performance, and depression. The 162 participants were aged on average 75 years (sd = 7.0), 54% were women and 90% had less than 7 years of education. The majority of participants were independent in BADL (M = 90; sd = 17.7) and moderately dependent in IADL (M = 13, sd = 6.0), 20% showed cognitive impairment and a mean score of 8 (sd = 2.1) in GDS-15. After controlling for the effect of socio-demographic characteristics, functionality, and cognitive performance decreases in persons with worst outdoor mobility. On the other hand depressive symptoms are less common as the number of recreation opportunities, namely associative groups (cultural, educative, professional), increases. These results suggest that aging policies and practices must be ecologically embedded. PMID:26388765

  12. The importance of neighborhood ecological assets in community dwelling old people aging outcomes: A study in Northern Portugal.

    PubMed

    Bastos, Alice M; Faria, Carla G; Moreira, Emília; Morais, Diana; Melo-de-Carvalho, José M; Paul, M Constança

    2015-01-01

    Human development is a bidirectional, person-context relational process, but scarce evidence is available about the relation between the individual variability across the life-span and the neighborhood ecological assets. Therefore, it is important that research focus not only on personal characteristics but on ecological assets as well. This way this study aims to analyze the association between neighborhood ecological assets categorized into four dimensions: human, physical or institutional, social or collective activity, accessibility, and the individual functioning. A 3% sample of residents aged 65 years and older in two downtown and three uptown parishes stratified by age and sex was interviewed at home using a protocol that included the Portuguese version of the Barthel Index in basic activities of daily living (BADL), the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale (IADL), the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), and the Geriatric Depression Scale-15 items (GDS) for evaluating functi