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Sample records for metacommunity dynamics decline

  1. Temporal dynamics of a local fish community are strongly affected by immigration from the surrounding metacommunity

    PubMed Central

    Stoffels, Rick J; Clarke, Kenneth Robert; Linklater, Danielle S

    2015-01-01

    A 5-year time series of annual censuses was collected from a large floodplain lake to determine how dynamics of the local fish community were affected by changes in hydrological connectivity with the surrounding metacommunity. The lake was disconnected from the metacommunity for 1 year prior to our study and remained disconnected until 3 months before our third annual census, when a flood reconnected the lake to the metacommunity. We determined how changes in connectivity affected temporal dynamics of (1) local community composition and (2) the population composition, condition, and growth of catfish, to shed light on how immigration of other species might affect local population dynamics. Before reconnection, the community was likely shaped by interactions between the local environment and species traits. The reconnection caused significant immigration and change in community composition and correlated with a significant and abrupt decline in catfish condition, growth, and abundance; effects likely due to the immigration of a competitor with a similar trophic niche: carp. The community was slow to return to its preconnection state, which may be due to dispersal traits of the fishes, and a time-lag in the recovery of the local catfish population following transient intensification of species interactions. The dynamics observed were concordant with the species sorting and mass-effects perspectives of metacommunity theory. Floods cause episodic dispersal in floodplain fish metacommunities, and so, flood frequency determines the relative importance of regional and local processes. Local processes may be particularly important to certain species, but these species may need sufficient time between floods for population increase, before the next flood-induced dispersal episode brings competitors and predators that might cause population decline. Accordingly, species coexistence in these metacommunities may be facilitated by spatiotemporal storage effects, which may in

  2. Species Turnover through Time: Colonization and Extinction Dynamics across Metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Nuvoloni, Felipe Micali; Feres, Reinaldo José Fazzio; Gilbert, Benjamin

    2016-06-01

    Island biogeography and metacommunity theory often use equilibrium assumptions to predict local diversity, yet nonequilibrium dynamics are common in nature. In nonequilibrium communities, local diversity fluctuates through time as the relative importance of colonization and extinction change. Here, we test the prevalence and causes of nonequilibrium dynamics in metacommunities of mites associated with rubber trees distributed over large spatial (>1,000 km) and temporal (>30-60 generations) scales in Brazil. We measured colonization and extinction rates to test species turnover and nonequilibrium dynamics over a growing season. Mite metacommunities exhibited nonequilibrium dynamics for most months of the year, and these dynamics tracked climatic conditions. Monthly shifts in temperature of more than 1°C resulted in nonequilibrium dynamics, as did mean temperatures outside of two critical ranges. Nonequilibrium dynamics were caused by a change in colonization with temperature change and changes in both colonization and extinction with absolute temperature. Species turnover showed different trends; high relative humidity increased both colonization and extinction rates, increasing turnover but not nonequilibrium dynamics. Our study illustrates that testing nonequilibrium dynamics can provide new insights into the drivers of colonization, extinction, and diversity fluctuations in metacommunities. PMID:27172597

  3. Species sorting and patch dynamics in harlequin metacommunities affect the relative importance of environment and space.

    PubMed

    Leibold, Mathew A; Loeuille, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Metacommunity theory indicates that variation in local community structure can be partitioned into components including those related to local environmental conditions vs. spatial effects and that these can be quantified using statistical methods based on variation partitioning. It has been hypothesized that joint associations of community composition with environment and space could be due to patch dynamics involving colonization-extinction processes in environmentally heterogeneous landscapes but this has yet to be theoretically shown. We develop a two-patch, type-two, species competition model in such a "harlequin" landscape (where different patches have different environments) to evaluate how composition is related to environmental and spatial effects as a function of background extinction rate. Using spatially implicit analytical models, we find that the environmental association of community composition declines with extinction rate as expected. Using spatially explicit simulation models, we further find that there is an increase in the spatial structure with extinction due to spatial patterning into clusters that are not related to environmental conditions but that this increase is limited. Natural metacommunities often show both environment and spatial determination even under conditions of relatively high isolation and these could be more easily explained by our model than alternative metacommunity models. PMID:26909428

  4. Organic fields sustain weed metacommunity dynamics in farmland landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Henckel, Laura; Börger, Luca; Meiss, Helmut; Gaba, Sabrina; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    Agro-ecosystems constitute essential habitat for many organisms. Agricultural intensification, however, has caused a strong decline of farmland biodiversity. Organic farming (OF) is often presented as a more biodiversity-friendly practice, but the generality of the beneficial effects of OF is debated as the effects appear often species- and context-dependent, and current research has highlighted the need to quantify the relative effects of local- and landscape-scale management on farmland biodiversity. Yet very few studies have investigated the landscape-level effects of OF; that is to say, how the biodiversity of a field is affected by the presence or density of organically farmed fields in the surrounding landscape. We addressed this issue using the metacommunity framework, with weed species richness in winter wheat within an intensively farmed landscape in France as model system. Controlling for the effects of local and landscape structure, we showed that OF leads to higher local weed diversity and that the presence of OF in the landscape is associated with higher local weed biodiversity also for conventionally farmed fields, and may reach a similar biodiversity level to organic fields in field margins. Based on these results, we derive indications for improving the sustainable management of farming systems. PMID:25994672

  5. Disturbance-mediated colonization-extinction dynamics in experimental protist metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Fukumori, Kayoko; Livingston, George; Leibold, Mathew A

    2015-12-01

    Colonization-extinction dynamics and species sorting among habitats deter- mine the distribution of species within metacommunities. Theory suggests that disturbances reduce the importance of species sorting and enhance spatial patterning and stochastic effects, however this has not yet been experimentally shown. We examined how extinctions in a heterogeneous landscape of patches affects the influence of environmental, spatial, and stochastic factors on community composition in a simple two-species, two-habitat, protist metacommunity where each species dominates in a different habitat type. We imposed four different levels of random extinctions on local patches and monitored changes in the metacommunity through time. We found that near-steady state patterns of community variability developed relatively rapidly (within nine colonization-extinction cycles) and that increased extinction rate produced altered patterns of community regulation by reducing environmental control and increasing spatial and stochastic effects. Our results indicate a possible explanation for the combination of environmental, spatial and stochastic effects observed in natural metacommunities. PMID:26909429

  6. Predator identity influences metacommunity assembly.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Nicole K; Pu, Zhichao; Jiang, Lin

    2016-09-01

    Predation is among the most important biotic factors influencing natural communities, yet we have a rather rudimentary understanding of its role in modulating metacommunity assembly. We experimentally examined the effects of two different predators (a generalist and a specialist) on metacommunity assembly, using protist microcosm metacommunities that varied in predator identity, dispersal among local communities and the history of species colonization into local communities. Generalist predation resulted in reduced α diversity and increased β diversity irrespective of dispersal, likely due to predation-induced stochastic extinction of different prey species in different local communities. Dispersal, however, induced source-sink dynamics in the presence of specialist predators, resulting in higher α diversity and marginally lower β diversity. These results demonstrate the distinct effects of different predators on prey metacommunity assembly, emphasizing the need to explore the role of predator diet breadth in structuring metacommunities. PMID:27349796

  7. Invertebrate Metacommunity Structure and Dynamics in an Andean Glacial Stream Network Facing Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Cauvy-Fraunié, Sophie; Espinosa, Rodrigo; Andino, Patricio; Jacobsen, Dean; Dangles, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Under the ongoing climate change, understanding the mechanisms structuring the spatial distribution of aquatic species in glacial stream networks is of critical importance to predict the response of aquatic biodiversity in the face of glacier melting. In this study, we propose to use metacommunity theory as a conceptual framework to better understand how river network structure influences the spatial organization of aquatic communities in glacierized catchments. At 51 stream sites in an Andean glacierized catchment (Ecuador), we sampled benthic macroinvertebrates, measured physico-chemical and food resource conditions, and calculated geographical, altitudinal and glaciality distances among all sites. Using partial redundancy analysis, we partitioned community variation to evaluate the relative strength of environmental conditions (e.g., glaciality, food resource) vs. spatial processes (e.g., overland, watercourse, and downstream directional dispersal) in organizing the aquatic metacommunity. Results revealed that both environmental and spatial variables significantly explained community variation among sites. Among all environmental variables, the glacial influence component best explained community variation. Overland spatial variables based on geographical and altitudinal distances significantly affected community variation. Watercourse spatial variables based on glaciality distances had a unique significant effect on community variation. Within alpine catchment, glacial meltwater affects macroinvertebrate metacommunity structure in many ways. Indeed, the harsh environmental conditions characterizing glacial influence not only constitute the primary environmental filter but also, limit water-borne macroinvertebrate dispersal. Therefore, glacier runoff acts as an aquatic dispersal barrier, isolating species in headwater streams, and preventing non-adapted species to colonize throughout the entire stream network. Under a scenario of glacier runoff decrease, we

  8. Invertebrate Metacommunity Structure and Dynamics in an Andean Glacial Stream Network Facing Climate Change.

    PubMed

    Cauvy-Fraunié, Sophie; Espinosa, Rodrigo; Andino, Patricio; Jacobsen, Dean; Dangles, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Under the ongoing climate change, understanding the mechanisms structuring the spatial distribution of aquatic species in glacial stream networks is of critical importance to predict the response of aquatic biodiversity in the face of glacier melting. In this study, we propose to use metacommunity theory as a conceptual framework to better understand how river network structure influences the spatial organization of aquatic communities in glacierized catchments. At 51 stream sites in an Andean glacierized catchment (Ecuador), we sampled benthic macroinvertebrates, measured physico-chemical and food resource conditions, and calculated geographical, altitudinal and glaciality distances among all sites. Using partial redundancy analysis, we partitioned community variation to evaluate the relative strength of environmental conditions (e.g., glaciality, food resource) vs. spatial processes (e.g., overland, watercourse, and downstream directional dispersal) in organizing the aquatic metacommunity. Results revealed that both environmental and spatial variables significantly explained community variation among sites. Among all environmental variables, the glacial influence component best explained community variation. Overland spatial variables based on geographical and altitudinal distances significantly affected community variation. Watercourse spatial variables based on glaciality distances had a unique significant effect on community variation. Within alpine catchment, glacial meltwater affects macroinvertebrate metacommunity structure in many ways. Indeed, the harsh environmental conditions characterizing glacial influence not only constitute the primary environmental filter but also, limit water-borne macroinvertebrate dispersal. Therefore, glacier runoff acts as an aquatic dispersal barrier, isolating species in headwater streams, and preventing non-adapted species to colonize throughout the entire stream network. Under a scenario of glacier runoff decrease, we

  9. Condition-dependent movement and dispersal in experimental metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Fronhofer, Emanuel A; Klecka, Jan; Melián, Carlos J; Altermatt, Florian

    2015-09-01

    Dispersal and the underlying movement behaviour are processes of pivotal importance for understanding and predicting metapopulation and metacommunity dynamics. Generally, dispersal decisions are condition-dependent and rely on information in the broad sense, like the presence of conspecifics. However, studies on metacommunities that include interspecific interactions generally disregard condition-dependence. Therefore, it remains unclear whether and how dispersal in metacommunities is condition-dependent and whether rules derived from single-species contexts can be scaled up to (meta)communities. Using experimental protist metacommunities, we show how dispersal and movement depend on and are adjusted by the strength of interspecific interactions. We found that the predicting movement and dispersal in metacommunities requires knowledge on behavioural responses to intra- and interspecific interaction strengths. Consequently, metacommunity dynamics inferred directly from single-species metapopulations without taking interspecific interactions into account are likely flawed. Our work identifies the significance of condition-dependence for understanding metacommunity dynamics, stability and the coexistence and distribution of species. PMID:26206470

  10. Connectivity and propagule sources composition drive ditch plant metacommunity structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favre-Bac, Lisa; Ernoult, Aude; Mony, Cendrine; Rantier, Yann; Nabucet, Jean; Burel, Françoise

    2014-11-01

    The fragmentation of agricultural landscapes has a major impact on biodiversity. In addition to habitat loss, dispersal limitation increasingly appears as a significant driver of biodiversity decline. Landscape linear elements, like ditches, may reduce the negative impacts of fragmentation by enhancing connectivity for many organisms, in addition to providing refuge habitats. To characterize these effects, we investigated the respective roles of propagule source composition and connectivity at the landscape scale on hydrochorous and non-hydrochorous ditch bank plant metacommunities. Twenty-seven square sites (0.5 km2 each) were selected in an agricultural lowland of northern France. At each site, plant communities were sampled on nine ditch banks (totaling 243 ditches). Variables characterizing propagule sources composition and connectivity were calculated for landscape mosaic and ditch network models. The landscape mosaic influenced only non-hydrochorous species, while the ditch network impacted both hydrochorous and non-hydrochorous species. Non-hydrochorous metacommunities were dependent on a large set of land-use elements, either within the landscape mosaic or adjacent to the ditch network, whereas hydrochorous plant metacommunities were only impacted by the presence of ditches adjacent to crops and roads. Ditch network connectivity also influenced both hydrochorous and non-hydrochorous ditch bank plant metacommunity structure, suggesting that beyond favoring hydrochory, ditches may also enhance plant dispersal by acting on other dispersal vectors. Increasing propagule sources heterogeneity and connectivity appeared to decrease within-metacommunity similarity within landscapes. Altogether, our results suggest that the ditch network's composition and configuration impacts plant metacommunity structure by affecting propagule dispersal possibilities, with contrasted consequences depending on species' dispersal vectors.

  11. A comparative analysis of metacommunity types in the freshwater realm

    PubMed Central

    Heino, Jani; Soininen, Janne; Alahuhta, Janne; Lappalainen, Jyrki; Virtanen, Risto

    2015-01-01

    Most metacommunity studies have taken a direct mechanistic approach, aiming to model the effects of local and regional processes on local communities within a metacommunity. An alternative approach is to focus on emergent patterns at the metacommunity level through applying the elements of metacommunity structure (EMS; Oikos, 97, 2002, 237) analysis. The EMS approach has very rarely been applied in the context of a comparative analysis of metacommunity types of main microbial, plant, and animal groups. Furthermore, to our knowledge, no study has associated metacommunity types with their potential ecological correlates in the freshwater realm. We assembled data for 45 freshwater metacommunities, incorporating biologically highly disparate organismal groups (i.e., bacteria, algae, macrophytes, invertebrates, and fish). We first examined ecological correlates (e.g., matrix properties, beta diversity, and average characteristics of a metacommunity, including body size, trophic group, ecosystem type, life form, and dispersal mode) of the three elements of metacommunity structure (i.e., coherence, turnover, and boundary clumping). Second, based on those three elements, we determined which metacommunity types prevailed in freshwater systems and which ecological correlates best discriminated among the observed metacommunity types. We found that the three elements of metacommunity structure were not strongly related to the ecological correlates, except that turnover was positively related to beta diversity. We observed six metacommunity types. The most common were Clementsian and quasi-nested metacommunity types, whereas Random, quasi-Clementsian, Gleasonian, and quasi-Gleasonian types were less common. These six metacommunity types were best discriminated by beta diversity and the first axis of metacommunity ecological traits, ranging from metacommunities of producer organisms occurring in streams to those of large predatory organisms occurring in lakes. Our results showed

  12. Community rescue in experimental metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Low-Décarie, Etienne; Kolber, Marcus; Homme, Paige; Lofano, Andrea; Dumbrell, Alex; Gonzalez, Andrew; Bell, Graham

    2015-11-17

    The conditions that allow biodiversity to recover following severe environmental degradation are poorly understood. We studied community rescue, the recovery of a viable community through the evolutionary rescue of many populations within an evolving community, in metacommunities of soil microbes adapting to a herbicide. The metacommunities occupied a landscape of crossed spatial gradients of the herbicide (Dalapon) and a resource (glucose), whereas their constituent communities were either isolated or connected by dispersal. The spread of adapted communities across the landscape and the persistence of communities when that landscape was degraded were strongly promoted by dispersal, and the capacity to adapt to lethal stress was also related to community size and initial diversity. After abrupt and lethal stress, community rescue was most frequent in communities that had previously experienced sublethal levels of stress and had been connected by dispersal. Community rescue occurred through the evolutionary rescue of both initially common taxa, which remained common, and of initially rare taxa, which grew to dominate the evolved community. Community rescue may allow productivity and biodiversity to recover from severe environmental degradation. PMID:26578777

  13. Community rescue in experimental metacommunities

    PubMed Central

    Low-Décarie, Etienne; Kolber, Marcus; Homme, Paige; Lofano, Andrea; Dumbrell, Alex; Gonzalez, Andrew; Bell, Graham

    2015-01-01

    The conditions that allow biodiversity to recover following severe environmental degradation are poorly understood. We studied community rescue, the recovery of a viable community through the evolutionary rescue of many populations within an evolving community, in metacommunities of soil microbes adapting to a herbicide. The metacommunities occupied a landscape of crossed spatial gradients of the herbicide (Dalapon) and a resource (glucose), whereas their constituent communities were either isolated or connected by dispersal. The spread of adapted communities across the landscape and the persistence of communities when that landscape was degraded were strongly promoted by dispersal, and the capacity to adapt to lethal stress was also related to community size and initial diversity. After abrupt and lethal stress, community rescue was most frequent in communities that had previously experienced sublethal levels of stress and had been connected by dispersal. Community rescue occurred through the evolutionary rescue of both initially common taxa, which remained common, and of initially rare taxa, which grew to dominate the evolved community. Community rescue may allow productivity and biodiversity to recover from severe environmental degradation. PMID:26578777

  14. Nonhierarchical Dispersal Promotes Stability and Resilience in a Tritrophic Metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Eric J; Marleau, Justin N; Granados, Monica; Moeller, Holly V; Guichard, Frédéric

    2016-05-01

    Community interactions (e.g., predation, competition) can be characterized by two factors: their strengths and how they are structured between and within species. Both factors play a role in determining community dynamics. In addition to trophic interactions, dispersal acts as an interaction between separate populations. As with other interactions, the structure of dispersal can affect the stability of a system. However, the primary structure that has been studied in consumer-resource models has been hierarchical dispersal, where between-patch dispersal rates increase with trophic level. Here we use analytical, numerical, and simulation approaches on a two-patch, three-species metacommunity model to investigate the relationship between structure and community stability and resilience. We show that metacommunity stability is greater in systems with both weak and strong dispersal rates. Our system is stabilized by the formation of patterns when predators disperse frequently and herbivores disperse rarely, and via asynchrony when both predators and herbivores disperse infrequently. Our results show how interaction strengths within both trophic and spatial networks shape metacommunity stability. PMID:27105000

  15. Food-web complexity, meta-community complexity and community stability.

    PubMed

    Mougi, A; Kondoh, M

    2016-01-01

    What allows interacting, diverse species to coexist in nature has been a central question in ecology, ever since the theoretical prediction that a complex community should be inherently unstable. Although the role of spatiality in species coexistence has been recognized, its application to more complex systems has been less explored. Here, using a meta-community model of food web, we show that meta-community complexity, measured by the number of local food webs and their connectedness, elicits a self-regulating, negative-feedback mechanism and thus stabilizes food-web dynamics. Moreover, the presence of meta-community complexity can give rise to a positive food-web complexity-stability effect. Spatiality may play a more important role in stabilizing dynamics of complex, real food webs than expected from ecological theory based on the models of simpler food webs. PMID:27071716

  16. Food-web complexity, meta-community complexity and community stability

    PubMed Central

    Mougi, A.; Kondoh, M.

    2016-01-01

    What allows interacting, diverse species to coexist in nature has been a central question in ecology, ever since the theoretical prediction that a complex community should be inherently unstable. Although the role of spatiality in species coexistence has been recognized, its application to more complex systems has been less explored. Here, using a meta-community model of food web, we show that meta-community complexity, measured by the number of local food webs and their connectedness, elicits a self-regulating, negative-feedback mechanism and thus stabilizes food-web dynamics. Moreover, the presence of meta-community complexity can give rise to a positive food-web complexity-stability effect. Spatiality may play a more important role in stabilizing dynamics of complex, real food webs than expected from ecological theory based on the models of simpler food webs. PMID:27071716

  17. Effects of Connectivity and Recurrent Local Disturbances on Community Structure and Population Density in Experimental Metacommunities

    PubMed Central

    Carrara, Francesco; Rinaldo, Andrea; Holyoak, Marcel

    2011-01-01

    Metacommunity theory poses that the occurrence and abundance of species is a product of local factors, including disturbance, and regional factors, like dispersal among patches. While metacommunity ideas have been broadly tested there is relatively little work on metacommunities subject to disturbance. We focused on how localized disturbance and dispersal interact to determine species composition in metacommunities. Experiments conducted in simple two-patch habitats containing eight protozoa and rotifer species tested how dispersal altered community composition in both communities that were disturbed and communities that connected to refuge communities not subject to disturbance. While disturbance lowered population densities, in disturbed patches connected to undisturbed patches this was ameliorated by immigration. Furthermore, species with high dispersal abilities or growth rates showed the fastest post-disturbance recovery in presence of immigration. Connectivity helped to counteract the negative effect of disturbances on local populations, allowing mass-effect-driven dispersal of individuals from undisturbed to disturbed patches. In undisturbed patches, however, local population sizes were not significantly reduced by emigration. The absence of a cost of dispersal for undisturbed source populations is consistent with a lack of complex demography in our system, such as age- or sex-specific emigration. Our approach provides an improved way to separate components of population growth from organisms' movement in post-disturbance recovery of (meta)communities. Further studies are required in a variety of ecosystems to investigate the transient dynamics resulting from disturbance and dispersal. PMID:21559336

  18. Beyond metacommunity paradigms: habitat configuration, life history, and movement shape an herbivore community on oak.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Chaozhi; Ovaskainen, Otso; Roslin, Tomas; Tack, Ayco J M

    2015-12-01

    Many empirical studies of metacommunities have focused on the classification of observational patterns into four contrasting paradigms characterized by different levels of movement and habitat heterogeneity. However, deeper insight into the underlying local and regional processes may be derived from a combination of long-term observational data and experimental studies. With the aim of exploring forces structuring the insect metacommunity on oak, we fit a hierarchical Bayesian state-space model to data from observations and experiments. The fitted model reveals large variation in species-specific dispersal abilities and basic reproduction numbers, R0. The residuals from the model show only weak correlations among species, suggesting a lack of strong interspecific interactions. Simulations with model-derived parameter estimates indicate that habitat configuration and species attributes both contribute substantially to structuring insect communities. Overall, our findings demonstrate that community-level variation in movement and life history are key drivers of metacommunity dynamics. PMID:26909424

  19. Confronting the Paradox of Enrichment to the Metacommunity Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Hauzy, Céline; Nadin, Grégoire; Canard, Elsa; Gounand, Isabelle; Mouquet, Nicolas; Ebenman, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Resource enrichment can potentially destabilize predator-prey dynamics. This phenomenon historically referred as the "paradox of enrichment" has mostly been explored in spatially homogenous environments. However, many predator-prey communities exchange organisms within spatially heterogeneous networks called metacommunities. This heterogeneity can result from uneven distribution of resources among communities and thus can lead to the spreading of local enrichment within metacommunities. Here, we adapted the original Rosenzweig-MacArthur predator-prey model, built to study the paradox of enrichment, to investigate the effect of regional enrichment and of its spatial distribution on predator-prey dynamics in metacommunities. We found that the potential for destabilization was depending on the connectivity among communities and the spatial distribution of enrichment. In one hand, we found that at low dispersal regional enrichment led to the destabilization of predator-prey dynamics. This destabilizing effect was more pronounced when the enrichment was uneven among communities. In the other hand, we found that high dispersal could stabilize the predator-prey dynamics when the enrichment was spatially heterogeneous. Our results illustrate that the destabilizing effect of enrichment can be dampened when the spatial scale of resource enrichment is lower than that of organismss movements (heterogeneous enrichment). From a conservation perspective, our results illustrate that spatial heterogeneity could decrease the regional extinction risk of species involved in specialized trophic interactions. From the perspective of biological control, our results show that the heterogeneous distribution of pest resource could favor or dampen outbreaks of pests and of their natural enemies, depending on the spatial scale of heterogeneity. PMID:24358242

  20. Confronting the paradox of enrichment to the metacommunity perspective.

    PubMed

    Hauzy, Céline; Nadin, Grégoire; Canard, Elsa; Gounand, Isabelle; Mouquet, Nicolas; Ebenman, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Resource enrichment can potentially destabilize predator-prey dynamics. This phenomenon historically referred as the "paradox of enrichment" has mostly been explored in spatially homogenous environments. However, many predator-prey communities exchange organisms within spatially heterogeneous networks called metacommunities. This heterogeneity can result from uneven distribution of resources among communities and thus can lead to the spreading of local enrichment within metacommunities. Here, we adapted the original Rosenzweig-MacArthur predator-prey model, built to study the paradox of enrichment, to investigate the effect of regional enrichment and of its spatial distribution on predator-prey dynamics in metacommunities. We found that the potential for destabilization was depending on the connectivity among communities and the spatial distribution of enrichment. In one hand, we found that at low dispersal regional enrichment led to the destabilization of predator-prey dynamics. This destabilizing effect was more pronounced when the enrichment was uneven among communities. In the other hand, we found that high dispersal could stabilize the predator-prey dynamics when the enrichment was spatially heterogeneous. Our results illustrate that the destabilizing effect of enrichment can be dampened when the spatial scale of resource enrichment is lower than that of organismss movements (heterogeneous enrichment). From a conservation perspective, our results illustrate that spatial heterogeneity could decrease the regional extinction risk of species involved in specialized trophic interactions. From the perspective of biological control, our results show that the heterogeneous distribution of pest resource could favor or dampen outbreaks of pests and of their natural enemies, depending on the spatial scale of heterogeneity. PMID:24358242

  1. Onshore–offshore gradient in metacommunity turnover emerges only over macroevolutionary time-scales

    PubMed Central

    Tomašových, Adam; Dominici, Stefano; Zuschin, Martin; Merle, Didier

    2014-01-01

    Invertebrate lineages tend to originate and become extinct at a higher rate in onshore than in offshore habitats over long temporal durations (more than 10 Myr), but it remains unclear whether this pattern scales down to durations of stages (less than 5 Myr) or even sequences (less than 0.5 Myr). We assess whether onshore–offshore gradients in long-term turnover between the tropical Eocene and the warm-temperate Plio-Pleistocene can be extrapolated from gradients in short-term turnover, using abundances of molluscan species from bulk samples in the northeast Atlantic Province. We find that temporal turnover of metacommunities does not significantly decline with depth over short durations (less than 5 Myr), but significantly declines with depth between the Eocene and Plio-Pleistocene (approx. 50 Myr). This decline is determined by a higher onshore extinction of Eocene genera and families, by a higher onshore variability in abundances of genera and families, and by an onshore expansion of genera and families that were frequent offshore in the Eocene. Onshore–offshore decline in turnover thus emerges only over long temporal durations. We suggest that this emergence is triggered by abrupt and spatially extensive climatic or oceanographic perturbations that occurred between the Eocene and Plio-Pleistocene. Plio-Pleistocene metacommunities show a high proportion of bathymetric generalists, in contrast to Eocene metacommunities. Accordingly, the net cooling and weaker thermal gradients may have allowed offshore specialists to expand into onshore habitats and maintain their presence in offshore habitats. PMID:25297863

  2. Complex interactions in metacommunities, with implications for biodiversity and higher levels of selection

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, D.S. )

    1992-12-01

    Two common features of biological communities are (a) complex interactions among species, which make community dynamics sensitive to initial conditions, and (b) spatial heterogeneity, which fragments large-scale ecological systems into a mosaic of patches, hereafter termed a metacommunity. This computer simulation study examines the effect of complex interactions on the global and local dynamics od metacommunities. Patches are physically identical and differ only in the initial proportion of species that colonize the patches. The random variation is then magnified by deterministic interactions that cause patches to follow different trajectories based on initial conditions. After a period of interaction, individuals from all patches join a global pool of dispersers that colonize a new generation of patches. Complex interactions can have at least two important effects on metacommunity dynamics. First, the number of species coexisting in the metacommunity can greatly exceed the number of species coexisting in any single patch, despite the fact that the patches are physically identical, the species do not differ in colonization ability, and stochastic effects are absent after the colonization stage. Second, complex interactions provide a new source of variation upon which natural selection can operate at the patch level, providing a mechanism for the evolution of functionally organized communities. 59 refs., 11 figs., 2 tabs.

  3. Transitory versus Persistent Effects of Connectivity in Environmentally Homogeneous Metacommunities

    PubMed Central

    Limberger, Romana; Wickham, Stephen A.

    2012-01-01

    While the effect of habitat connectivity on local and regional diversity has been analysed in a number of studies, time-dependent dynamics in metacommunities have received comparatively little consideration. When local patches of a metacommunity are identical in environmental conditions but differ in initial community composition, dispersal among patches may result in homogenization of local communities. In a microcosm experiment with benthic ciliates, we tested the hypothesis that the effect of connectivity on diversity is time-dependent and only transitory, with the degree of connectivity affecting the time to homogenization but not the final outcome. Six microcosms were connected to a metacommunity with one of three levels of connectivity. The six patches differed in initial community composition but were identical in environmental conditions. We found a time-dependent and transitory effect of connectivity on local and regional richness and on local Shannon diversity, while Bray-Curtis dissimilarity and regional Shannon diversity were persistently affected by connectivity. Local richness increased and regional richness decreased with connectivity during the initial phase of the experiment but soon converged to similar values in all three connectivity treatments. Local Shannon diversity was unimodally related to time, with maximum diversity reached sooner with high than with medium or low connectivity. Eventually, however, local diversity converged to similar values irrespective of connectivity. At the regional scale, Shannon diversity was persistently lower with high than with low connectivity. While initial differences in community composition vanished with medium and high connectivity, they were maintained with low connectivity resulting in persistently high beta and regional diversity. The effect of connectivity on ciliate community composition translated down to the algal resource, as stronger dominance of the superior competitor with high and medium

  4. Climate change in metacommunities: dispersal gives double-sided effects on persistence

    PubMed Central

    Eklöf, Anna; Kaneryd, Linda; Münger, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is increasingly affecting the structure and dynamics of ecological communities both at local and at regional scales, and this can be expected to have important consequences for their robustness and long-term persistence. The aim of the present work is to analyse how the spatial structure of the landscape and dispersal patterns of species (dispersal rate and average dispersal distance) affects metacommunity response to two disturbances: (i) increased mortality during dispersal and (ii) local species extinction. We analyse the disturbances both in isolation and in combination. Using a spatially and dynamically explicit metacommunity model, we find that the effect of dispersal on metacommunity persistence is two-sided: on the one hand, high dispersal significantly reduces the risk of bottom-up extinction cascades following the local removal of a species; on the other hand, when dispersal imposes a risk to the dispersing individuals, high dispersal increases extinction risks, especially when dispersal is global. Large-bodied species with long generation times at the highest trophic level are particularly vulnerable to extinction when dispersal involves a risk. This suggests that decreasing the mortality risk of dispersing individuals by improving the quality of the habitat matrix may greatly increase the robustness of metacommunities. PMID:23007082

  5. Dispersal Ability Determines the Role of Environmental, Spatial and Temporal Drivers of Metacommunity Structure

    PubMed Central

    Padial, André A.; Ceschin, Fernanda; Declerck, Steven A. J.; De Meester, Luc; Bonecker, Cláudia C.; Lansac-Tôha, Fabio A.; Rodrigues, Liliana; Rodrigues, Luzia C.; Train, Sueli; Velho, Luiz F. M.; Bini, Luis M.

    2014-01-01

    Recently, community ecologists are focusing on the relative importance of local environmental factors and proxies to dispersal limitation to explain spatial variation in community structure. Albeit less explored, temporal processes may also be important in explaining species composition variation in metacommunities occupying dynamic systems. We aimed to evaluate the relative role of environmental, spatial and temporal variables on the metacommunity structure of different organism groups in the Upper Paraná River floodplain (Brazil). We used data on macrophytes, fish, benthic macroinvertebrates, zooplankton, periphyton, and phytoplankton collected in up to 36 habitats during a total of eight sampling campaigns over two years. According to variation partitioning results, the importance of predictors varied among biological groups. Spatial predictors were particularly important for organisms with comparatively lower dispersal ability, such as aquatic macrophytes and fish. On the other hand, environmental predictors were particularly important for organisms with high dispersal ability, such as microalgae, indicating the importance of species sorting processes in shaping the community structure of these organisms. The importance of watercourse distances increased when spatial variables were the main predictors of metacommunity structure. The contribution of temporal predictors was low. Our results emphasize the strength of a trait-based analysis and of better defining spatial variables. More importantly, they supported the view that “all-or- nothing” interpretations on the mechanisms structuring metacommunities are rather the exception than the rule. PMID:25340577

  6. Host-parasitoid evolution in a metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Start, Denon; Gilbert, Benjamin

    2016-05-25

    Patch size and isolation are predicted to alter both species diversity and evolution; yet, there are few empirical examples of eco-evolutionary feedback in metacommunities. We tested three hypotheses about eco-evolutionary feedback in a gall-forming fly, Eurosta solidaginis and two of its natural enemies that select for opposite traits: (i) specialization and poor dispersal ability constrain a subset of natural enemies from occupying small and isolated patches, (ii) this constraint alters selection on the gall fly, causing phenotypic shifts towards traits resistant to generalist and dispersive enemies in small and isolated patches, and (iii) reduced dispersal evolves in small, isolated populations. We sampled patches in a natural metacommunity and found support for all hypotheses; Eurosta's specialist wasp parasitoid attacked fewer galls in small and isolated patches, generating a selection gradient that favoured small galls resistant to predation by a dispersive and generalist bird predator. Phenotype distributions matched this selection gradient, and these phenotypic differences were maintained in a common garden experiment. Finally, we found lower dispersal abilities in small and isolated patches, a phenotypic shift that aids in the maintenance of local adaptation. We suggest that the trophic rank and the species traits of consumers are central to evolution in metacommunities. PMID:27194705

  7. Looking for hotspots of marine metacommunity connectivity: a methodological framework.

    PubMed

    Melià, Paco; Schiavina, Marcello; Rossetto, Marisa; Gatto, Marino; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Casagrandi, Renato

    2016-01-01

    Seascape connectivity critically affects the spatiotemporal dynamics of marine metacommunities. Understanding how connectivity patterns emerge from physically and biologically-mediated interactions is therefore crucial to conserve marine ecosystem functions and biodiversity. Here, we develop a set of biophysical models to explore connectivity in assemblages of species belonging to a typical Mediterranean community (Posidonia oceanica meadows) and characterized by different dispersing traits. We propose a novel methodological framework to synthesize species-specific results into a set of community connectivity metrics and show that spatiotemporal variation in magnitude and direction of the connections, as well as interspecific differences in dispersing traits, are key factors structuring community connectivity. We eventually demonstrate how these metrics can be used to characterize the functional role of each marine area in determining patterns of community connectivity at the basin level and to support marine conservation planning. PMID:27029563

  8. Looking for hotspots of marine metacommunity connectivity: a methodological framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melià, Paco; Schiavina, Marcello; Rossetto, Marisa; Gatto, Marino; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Casagrandi, Renato

    2016-03-01

    Seascape connectivity critically affects the spatiotemporal dynamics of marine metacommunities. Understanding how connectivity patterns emerge from physically and biologically-mediated interactions is therefore crucial to conserve marine ecosystem functions and biodiversity. Here, we develop a set of biophysical models to explore connectivity in assemblages of species belonging to a typical Mediterranean community (Posidonia oceanica meadows) and characterized by different dispersing traits. We propose a novel methodological framework to synthesize species-specific results into a set of community connectivity metrics and show that spatiotemporal variation in magnitude and direction of the connections, as well as interspecific differences in dispersing traits, are key factors structuring community connectivity. We eventually demonstrate how these metrics can be used to characterize the functional role of each marine area in determining patterns of community connectivity at the basin level and to support marine conservation planning.

  9. Biodiversity and ecosystem stability across scales in metacommunities

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shaopeng; Loreau, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Although diversity-stability relationships have been extensively studied in local ecosystems, the global biodiversity crisis calls for an improved understanding of these relationships in a spatial context. Here we use a dynamical model of competitive metacommunities to study the relationships between species diversity and ecosystem variability across scales. We derive analytic relationships under a limiting case; these results are extended to more general cases with numerical simulations. Our model shows that, while alpha diversity decreases local ecosystem variability, beta diversity generally contributes to increasing spatial asynchrony among local ecosystems. Consequently, both alpha and beta diversity provide stabilizing effects for regional ecosystems, through local and spatial insurance effects, respectively. We further show that at the regional scale, the stabilizing effect of biodiversity increases as spatial environmental correlation increases. Our findings have important implications for understanding the interactive effects of global environmental changes (e.g. environmental homogenization) and biodiversity loss on ecosystem sustainability at large scales. PMID:26918536

  10. Biodiversity and ecosystem stability across scales in metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shaopeng; Loreau, Michel

    2016-05-01

    Although diversity-stability relationships have been extensively studied in local ecosystems, the global biodiversity crisis calls for an improved understanding of these relationships in a spatial context. Here, we use a dynamical model of competitive metacommunities to study the relationships between species diversity and ecosystem variability across scales. We derive analytic relationships under a limiting case; these results are extended to more general cases with numerical simulations. Our model shows that, while alpha diversity decreases local ecosystem variability, beta diversity generally contributes to increasing spatial asynchrony among local ecosystems. Consequently, both alpha and beta diversity provide stabilising effects for regional ecosystems, through local and spatial insurance effects respectively. We further show that at the regional scale, the stabilising effect of biodiversity increases as spatial environmental correlation increases. Our findings have important implications for understanding the interactive effects of global environmental changes (e.g. environmental homogenisation) and biodiversity loss on ecosystem sustainability at large scales. PMID:26918536

  11. Looking for hotspots of marine metacommunity connectivity: a methodological framework

    PubMed Central

    Melià, Paco; Schiavina, Marcello; Rossetto, Marisa; Gatto, Marino; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Casagrandi, Renato

    2016-01-01

    Seascape connectivity critically affects the spatiotemporal dynamics of marine metacommunities. Understanding how connectivity patterns emerge from physically and biologically-mediated interactions is therefore crucial to conserve marine ecosystem functions and biodiversity. Here, we develop a set of biophysical models to explore connectivity in assemblages of species belonging to a typical Mediterranean community (Posidonia oceanica meadows) and characterized by different dispersing traits. We propose a novel methodological framework to synthesize species-specific results into a set of community connectivity metrics and show that spatiotemporal variation in magnitude and direction of the connections, as well as interspecific differences in dispersing traits, are key factors structuring community connectivity. We eventually demonstrate how these metrics can be used to characterize the functional role of each marine area in determining patterns of community connectivity at the basin level and to support marine conservation planning. PMID:27029563

  12. Predation inhibits the positive effect of dispersal on intraspecific and interspecific synchrony in pond metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Howeth, Jennifer G; Leibold, Mathew A

    2013-10-01

    Recent interest in the ecological drivers of compensatory and synchronous population dynamics has provided an improved yet incomplete understanding of local and regional population oscillations in response to variable environments. Here, we evaluate the effect of dispersal rate and spatiotemporal heterogeneity in predation by the selective planktivore, bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), on local and regional dynamics of zooplankton in pond metacommunities. A metacommunity consisted of three pond mesocosm communities, one with constant presence of predators, one without predators, and one with alternating presence-absence of predators. The three communities were connected at either no, low (0.7% per day), or high (20% per day) planktonic dispersal. Results demonstrate that heterogeneous predation (1) prevents spatial synchrony among prey populations across local communities, (2) disrupts the synchronous population dynamics within communities produced by dispersal, and (3) induces local compensatory dynamics between species within communities regardless of dispersal rate. Taken together, the results emphasize that spatiotemporal heterogeneity in selective predation can inhibit both intraspecific and interspecific synchrony in metacommunities. PMID:24358708

  13. Environmental filtering determines metacommunity structure in wetland microcrustaceans.

    PubMed

    Gascón, Stéphanie; Arranz, Ignasi; Cañedo-Argüelles, Miguel; Nebra, Alfonso; Ruhí, Albert; Rieradevall, Maria; Caiola, Nuno; Sala, Jordi; Ibàñez, Carles; Quintana, Xavier D; Boix, Dani

    2016-05-01

    Metacommunity approaches are becoming popular when analyzing factors driving species distribution at the regional scale. However, until the popularization of the variation partitioning technique it was difficult to assess the main drivers of the observed patterns (spatial or environmental). Here we propose a new framework linking the emergence of different metacommunity structures (e.g., nested, Gleasonian, Clementsian) to spatial and environmental filters. This is a novel approach that provides a more profound analysis of how both drivers could lead to similar metacommunity structures. We tested this framework on 110 sites covering a strong environmental gradient (i.e., microcrustacean assemblages organized along a salinity gradient, from freshwater to brackish water wetlands). First we identified the metacommunity structure that better fitted these microcrustacean assemblages. Then, we used hierarchical variation partitioning to quantify the relative influences of environmental filters and the distance among wetlands on the identified structure. Our results showed that under strong environmental filtering metacommunity structures were non-random. We also noted that even passive dispersers, that are supposed to be poorly spatially filtered, showed spatial signals at a large geographical scale. However, some difficulties arose when inferring biotic interactions at finer-scale spatial signals. Overall, our study shows the potential of elements of metacommunity structure combined with variation partition techniques to detect environmental drivers and broadscale patterns of metacommunity structure, and that some caution is needed when interpreting finer-scale spatial signals. PMID:26781303

  14. Do Small Mammals and Vegetation Metacommunity Dynamics Determine the Extent and Pattern of Treeline in the High Elevation Zone of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klinger, R. C.; Chase, J. T.

    2014-12-01

    There has been a general expectation that warming temperatures will facilitate transformation of high elevation meadows to woody dominated communities. We have been using observational and experimental approaches to analyze potential state changes of meadows and the role seed and seedling predation play in conifer expansion in the high elevation zone of the Sierra Nevada mountain range of the western United States. The observational component consists of 256 plots spanning 3 degrees of latitude and an elevation range from 3000 m to 4000 m. The experimental component consists of mammal seed predator exclosures (N = 252) allocated among three arrays at each of two sites separated by > 100 km. Three cohorts of seeds at five seed densities (1, 2, 3, 5 and 10 seeds per 0.25 m2) and one seedling cohort were placed within and immediately outside the exclosures at each site. Trend surface and distance decay analyses of community composition indicate vegetation communities in the high elevation zone have not assembled predictably along environmental or spatial gradients. Rather, we have found strong support for neutral dynamics, implying that communities assemble more stochastically as a result of dispersal limitation or priority effects. Density of mature and sapling conifers decrease as a function of distance from conifer patches, but seedling density has no relationship with distance from conifer patches. Germination of seeds outside of the exclosures was 19% compared to 65% within, and these were mainly at densities of 1 seed per 0.25 m2. None of the seeds that germinated outside the exclosures survived more than 1.5 years compared to 23% within the exclosures. Virtually all of the seedlings planted outside the exclosures were removed within a year. Collectively, these findings indicate a highly patchy rather than uniform pattern of treeline extension in the high elevation zone of the Sierra Nevada. Moreover, smaller mammals appear to be playing a critical role in

  15. From species distributions to meta-communities

    PubMed Central

    Thuiller, Wilfried; Pollock, Laura J.; Gueguen, Maya; Münkemüller, Tamara

    2015-01-01

    The extent that biotic interactions and dispersal influence species ranges and diversity patterns across scales remains an open question. Answering this question requires framing an analysis on the frontier between species distribution modeling (SDM), which ignores biotic interactions and dispersal limitation, and community ecology, which provides specific predictions on community and meta-community structure and resulting diversity patterns such as species richness and functional diversity. Using both empirical and simulated datasets, we tested whether predicted occurrences from fine-resolution SDMs provide good estimates of community structure and diversity patterns at resolutions ranging from a resolution typical of studies within reserves (250m) to that typical of a regional biodiversity study (5km). For both datasets, we show that the imprint of biotic interactions and dispersal limitation quickly vanishes when spatial resolution is reduced, which demonstrates the value of SDMs for tracking the imprint of community assembly processes across scales. PMID:26439311

  16. Particle size distribution dynamics during precipitative softening: declining solution composition.

    PubMed

    Nason, Jeffrey A; Lawler, Desmond F

    2009-02-01

    Particle removal is a critical step in the treatment of surface water for potable use, and the majority of drinking water treatment plants employ precipitative coagulation processes such as alum and iron "sweep-floc" coagulation or lime softening for particle pre-treatment. Unfortunately, little is quantitatively known about how particle size distributions are shaped by simultaneous precipitation and flocculation. In an earlier paper, we demonstrated the effects of the saturation ratio, the mixing intensity and the seed concentration on the rates of homogeneous nucleation, precipitative growth and flocculation during precipitation of calcium carbonate at constant solution composition using electronic particle counting techniques. In this work, we extend those findings to systems more closely emulating the conditions in actual softening processes (i.e., declining solution composition). Key findings include the strong dependence of the rate of flocculation on the initial saturation ratio and demonstration of the benefits of seeding precipitative softening from the perspective of optimizing the effluent particle size distribution. The mixing intensity during precipitation was also shown to strongly influence the final particle size distribution. Implications of the findings with respect to softening practice are discussed. PMID:18976791

  17. A Multiscale Approach to Plant Disease Using the Metacommunity Concept.

    PubMed

    Borer, Elizabeth T; Laine, Anna-Liisa; Seabloom, Eric W

    2016-08-01

    Plant disease arises from the interaction of processes occurring at multiple spatial and temporal scales. With new tools such as next-generation sequencing, we are learning about the diversity of microbes circulating within and among plant populations and often coinhabiting host individuals. The proliferation of pathogenic microbes depends on single-species dynamics and multispecies interactions occurring within and among host cells, the spatial organization and genetic landscape of hosts, the frequency and mode of transmission among hosts and host populations, and the abiotic environmental context. Here, we examine empirical evidence from these multiple scales to assess the utility of metacommunity theory, a theoretical framework developed for free-living organisms to further our understanding of and assist in predicting plant-pathogen infection and spread. We suggest that deeper understanding of disease dynamics can arise through the application of this conceptual framework at scales ranging from individual cells to landscapes. In addition, we use this multiscale theoretical perspective to synthesize existing knowledge, generate novel hypotheses, and point toward promising future opportunities for the study of plant pathogens in natural populations. PMID:27296140

  18. Redox-Specialized Bacterioplankton Metacommunity in a Temperate Estuary

    PubMed Central

    Laas, Peeter; Simm, Jaak; Lips, Inga; Lips, Urmas; Kisand, Veljo; Metsis, Madis

    2015-01-01

    This study explored the spatiotemporal dynamics of the bacterioplankton community composition in the Gulf of Finland (easternmost sub-basin of the Baltic Sea) based on phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences acquired from community samples via pyrosequencing. Investigations of bacterioplankton in hydrographically complex systems provide good insight into the strategies by which microbes deal with spatiotemporal hydrographic gradients, as demonstrated by our research. Many ribotypes were closely affiliated with sequences isolated from environments with similar steep physiochemical gradients and/or seasonal changes, including seasonally anoxic estuaries. Hence, one of the main conclusions of this study is that marine ecosystems where oxygen and salinity gradients co-occur can be considered a habitat for a cosmopolitan metacommunity consisting of specialized groups occupying niches universal to such environments throughout the world. These niches revolve around functional capabilities to utilize different electron receptors and donors (including trace metal and single carbon compounds). On the other hand, temporal shifts in the bacterioplankton community composition at the surface layer were mainly connected to the seasonal succession of phytoplankton and the inflow of freshwater species. We also conclude that many relatively abundant populations are indigenous and well-established in the area. PMID:25860812

  19. Gastropod diversification and community structuring processes in ancient Lake Ohrid: a metacommunity speciation perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauffe, T.; Albrecht, C.; Wilke, T.

    2015-09-01

    The Balkan Lake Ohrid is the oldest and most speciose freshwater lacustrine system in Europe. However, it remains unclear whether the diversification of its endemic taxa is mainly driven by neutral processes, environmental factors, or species interactions. This calls for a holistic perspective involving both evolutionary processes and ecological dynamics. Such a unifying framework - the metacommunity speciation model - considers how community assembly affects diversification and vice versa by assessing the relative contribution of the three main community assembly processes, dispersal limitation, environmental filtering, and species interaction. The current study therefore used the species-rich model taxon Gastropoda to assess how extant communities in Lake Ohrid are structured by performing process based metacommunity analyses. Specifically, the study aimed at (i) identifying the relative importance of the three community assembly processes and (ii) to test whether the importance of these individual processes changes gradually with lake depth or whether they are distinctively related to eco-zones. Based on specific simulation steps for each of the three processes, it could be demonstrated that dispersal limitation had the strongest influence on gastropod community structures in Lake Ohrid. However, it was not the exclusive assembly process but acted together with the other two processes - environmental filtering, and species interaction. In fact, the relative importance of the three community assembly processes varied both with lake depth and eco-zones, though the processes were better predicted by the latter. The study thus corroborated the high importance of dispersal limitation for both maintaining species richness in Lake Ohrid (through its impact on community structure) and generating endemic biodiversity (via its influence on diversification processes). However, according to the metacommunity speciation model, the inferred importance of environmental

  20. Metacommunication, Social Pretend Play and Children with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Douglas, Susan; Stirling, Lesley

    2012-01-01

    This article investigates processes of engagement in social pretend play between children with autism (age range 3.6 to 7.2 years) and adult play partners, using a large corpus of conversational data. We take a qualitative discourse analytic approach to investigate the metacommunicative strategies used by the children. Our initial framework for…

  1. Phatic, Metalingual and Metacommunicative Functions in Discourse: Gambits and Repairs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Faerch, Claus; Kasper, Gabriele

    The need for an analytical approach to the study of phatic, metalingual, and metacommunicative functions in asymmetrical communicative situations (between native speakers and language learners) is discussed. The study presents theoretical frameworks for gambits and repairs, the linguistic phenomena that primarily serve those functions, and…

  2. The Importance of Metacommunication in Supervision Processes in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baltzersen, Rolf K.

    2013-01-01

    In daily language use, we sometimes comment on the conversation with phrases such as "What do you mean by saying that?" or "That was nice of you to say." This communication about the communication is sometimes labeled as metacommunication. It can be used for many different purposes; for instance, to try and clarify or appraise…

  3. Reading between the Lines: Metacommunicative Aspects of Online Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatcher, Sherry L.

    Whereas in a traditional university classroom, important features of interpersonal relationships are most readily communicated by body language or tone of voice, in electronically-mediated teaching environments, absent such real time cues, even subtle metacommunications may take on added importance and power. Although a growing number of studies…

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Disentangling the drivers of metacommunity structure across spatial scales

    PubMed Central

    Meynard, Christine N.; Lavergne, Sébastien; Boulangeat, Isabelle; Garraud, Luc; Van Es, Jérémie; Mouquet, Nicolas; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2014-01-01

    Aim Metacommunity theories attribute different relative degrees of importance to dispersal, environmental filtering, biotic interactions and stochastic processes in community assembly, but the role of spatial scale remains uncertain. Here we used two complementary statistical tools to test: (1) whether or not the patterns of community structure and environmental influences are consistent across resolutions; and (2) whether and how the joint use of two fundamentally different statistical approaches provides a complementary interpretation of results. Location Grassland plants in the French Alps. Methods We used two approaches across five spatial resolutions (ranging from 1 km × 1 km to 30 km × 30 km): variance partitioning, and analysis of metacommunity structure on the site-by-species incidence matrices. Both methods allow the testing of expected patterns resulting from environmental filtering, but variance partitioning allows the role of dispersal and environmental gradients to be studied, while analysis of the site-by-species metacommunity structure informs an understanding of how environmental filtering occurs and whether or not patterns differ from chance expectation. We also used spatial regressions on species richness to identify relevant environmental factors at each scale and to link results from the two approaches. Results Major environmental drivers of richness included growing degree-days, temperature, moisture and spatial or temporal heterogeneity. Variance partitioning pointed to an increase in the role of dispersal at coarser resolutions, while metacommunity structure analysis pointed to environmental filtering having an important role at all resolutions through a Clementsian assembly process (i.e. groups of species having similar range boundaries and co-occurring in similar environments). Main conclusions The combination of methods used here allows a better understanding of the forces structuring ecological communities than either one of them used

  7. Dendritic connectivity controls biodiversity patterns in experimental metacommunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrara, F.; Altermatt, F.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.; Rinaldo, A.

    2012-04-01

    Biological communities often occur in spatially structured habitats where connectivity directly affects dispersal and metacommunity processes. Many highly diverse landscapes exhibit hierarchical spatial structures that are shaped by geomorphological processes and riverine ecosystems, among the most diverse habitats on earth, represent an outstanding example of such mechanisms. Recent theoretical work suggests that dispersal constrained by the connectivity of specific habitat structures, such as dendrites like river networks, can explain observed features of biodiversity, but direct evidence is still lacking. Furthermore, in many environments intrinsic disturbance events contribute to spatio-temporal heterogeneity. Previous microbial experiments found that spatio-temporal heterogeneity among local communities induced by disturbance and dispersal events have a strong influence on species coexistence and biodiversity. These factors, directly affecting the history of community assembly, introduce variability in community composition in term of abundances and local species richness. We investigate the effects of directional dispersal imposed by the habitat-network structure on the biodiversity of metacommunities by conducting a laboratory experiment using aquatic microcosms. Experiments were conducted in 36-well culture plates, thus imposing by construction a metacommunity structure: each well hosted a local community within the whole landscape and dispersal occurred by periodic transfer of culture medium among connected local communities, following two different geometries. Disturbance consisted of medium replacement and reflects the spatial environmental heterogeneity inherent to many natural systems. We compared spatially heterogeneous metacommunities following a river network geometry, with spatially homogeneous metacommunities, in which every local community has 2D lattice four nearest neighbors. Local dispersal in isotropic lattice landscapes homogenizes local

  8. Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline.

    PubMed

    Bromaghin, Jeffrey F; Mcdonald, Trent L; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E; Richardson, Evan S; Regehr, Eric V; Douglas, David C; Durner, George M; Atwood, Todd; Amstrup, Steven C

    2015-04-01

    In the southern Beaufort Sea of the United States and Canada, prior investigations have linked declines in summer sea ice to reduced physical condition, growth, and survival of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Combined with projections of population decline due to continued climate warming and the ensuing loss of sea ice habitat, those findings contributed to the 2008 decision to list the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, we used mark-recapture models to investigate the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010, years during which the spatial and temporal extent of summer sea ice generally declined. Low survival from 2004 through 2006 led to a 25-50% decline in abundance. We hypothesize that low survival during this period resulted from (1) unfavorable ice conditions that limited access to prey during multiple seasons; and possibly, (2) low prey abundance. For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010, with ~900 bears in 2010 (90% CI 606-1212). However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period. Reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice is expected to increasingly force population dynamics of polar bears as the climate continues to warm. However, in the short term, our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival. A refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary to improve projections of their future status and facilitate development of management strategies. PMID:26214910

  9. Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; McDonald, Trent L.; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E.; Richardson, Evan S.; Regehr, Eric V.; Douglas, David C.; Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    In the southern Beaufort Sea of the United States and Canada, prior investigations have linked declines in summer sea ice to reduced physical condition, growth, and survival of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Combined with projections of population decline due to continued climate warming and the ensuing loss of sea ice habitat, those findings contributed to the 2008 decision to list the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, we used mark–recapture models to investigate the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010, years during which the spatial and temporal extent of summer sea ice generally declined. Low survival from 2004 through 2006 led to a 25–50% decline in abundance. We hypothesize that low survival during this period resulted from (1) unfavorable ice conditions that limited access to prey during multiple seasons; and possibly, (2) low prey abundance. For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010, with ~900 bears in 2010 (90% CI 606–1212). However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period. Reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice is expected to increasingly force population dynamics of polar bears as the climate continues to warm. However, in the short term, our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival. A refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary to improve projections of their future status and facilitate development of management strategies.

  10. Dendritic connectivity controls biodiversity patterns in experimental metacommunities

    PubMed Central

    Carrara, Francesco; Altermatt, Florian; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio; Rinaldo, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    Biological communities often occur in spatially structured habitats where connectivity directly affects dispersal and metacommunity processes. Recent theoretical work suggests that dispersal constrained by the connectivity of specific habitat structures, such as dendrites like river networks, can explain observed features of biodiversity, but direct evidence is still lacking. We experimentally show that connectivity per se shapes diversity patterns in microcosm metacommunities at different levels. Local dispersal in isotropic lattice landscapes homogenizes local species richness and leads to pronounced spatial persistence. On the contrary, dispersal along dendritic landscapes leads to higher variability in local diversity and among-community composition. Although headwaters exhibit relatively lower species richness, they are crucial for the maintenance of regional biodiversity. Our results establish that spatially constrained dendritic connectivity is a key factor for community composition and population persistence. PMID:22460788

  11. Shared parasitoids in a metacommunity: indirect interactions inhibit herbivore membership in local communities.

    PubMed

    Cronin, James T

    2007-12-01

    The interaction between species, mediated by a shared natural enemy (i.e., apparent competition), has been the subject of much theoretical and empirical investigation. However, we lack field experiments that assess the importance of apparent competition to metacommunity structure. Here, I conducted a series of field experiments to test whether apparent competition, mediated by shared egg parasitoids (Anagrus nigriventris and A. columbi), occurs between two abundant planthopper species (Delphacodes scolochloa and Prokelisia crocea) of the North American Great Plains. The two planthoppers feed on different plant species within prairie potholes (wet depressions) and, thus, do not interact directly. At the scale of individual potholes, a five-fold pulse increase in D. scolochloa density (relative to control potholes) resulted in a steady decline in P. crocea density over two generations. As expected in cases of apparent competition, P. crocea eggs in these potholes suffered twice the level of parasitism as P. crocea eggs in control potholes. In contrast, a sixfold increase in P. crocea density had no effect on D. scolochloa density or parasitism in those potholes. The superiority of D. scolochloa over P. crocea likely can be attributed to a larger source population size, greater amount of host habitat, and/or the presence of a phenological refuge from parasitism for D. scolochloa. In another experiment, in which small populations of P. crocea were established either in close proximity to D. scolochloa or in isolation, I found that the likelihood of P. crocea persistence was 36% lower in the former than the latter populations. This difference was attributable to very high rates of parasitism of P. crocea when adjacent to D. scolochloa. These two experiments provide clear evidence that the two planthopper species engage in apparent competition and that the shared parasitoids may play a significant role in limiting membership in a local community. Based on these findings

  12. Habitat dynamics, marine reserve status, and the decline and recovery of coral reef fish communities

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, David H; Ceccarelli, Daniela M; Evans, Richard D; Jones, Geoffrey P; Russ, Garry R

    2014-01-01

    Severe climatic disturbance events often have major impacts on coral reef communities, generating cycles of decline and recovery, and in some extreme cases, community-level phase shifts from coral-to algal-dominated states. Benthic habitat changes directly affect reef fish communities, with low coral cover usually associated with low fish diversity and abundance. No-take marine reserves (NTRs) are widely advocated for conserving biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of exploited fish populations. Numerous studies have documented positive ecological and socio-economic benefits of NTRs; however, the ability of NTRs to ameliorate the effects of acute disturbances on coral reefs has seldom been investigated. Here, we test these factors by tracking the dynamics of benthic and fish communities, including the important fishery species, coral trout (Plectropomus spp.), over 8 years in both NTRs and fished areas in the Keppel Island group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Two major disturbances impacted the reefs during the monitoring period, a coral bleaching event in 2006 and a freshwater flood plume in 2011. Both disturbances generated significant declines in coral cover and habitat complexity, with subsequent declines in fish abundance and diversity, and pronounced shifts in fish assemblage structure. Coral trout density also declined in response to the loss of live coral, however, the approximately 2:1 density ratio between NTRs and fished zones was maintained over time. The only post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks were within the NTRs that escaped the worst effects of the disturbances. Although NTRs had little discernible effect on the temporal dynamics of benthic or fish communities, it was evident that the post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks within some NTRs may be critically important to regional-scale population persistence and recovery. PMID:24634720

  13. Habitat dynamics, marine reserve status, and the decline and recovery of coral reef fish communities.

    PubMed

    Williamson, David H; Ceccarelli, Daniela M; Evans, Richard D; Jones, Geoffrey P; Russ, Garry R

    2014-02-01

    Severe climatic disturbance events often have major impacts on coral reef communities, generating cycles of decline and recovery, and in some extreme cases, community-level phase shifts from coral-to algal-dominated states. Benthic habitat changes directly affect reef fish communities, with low coral cover usually associated with low fish diversity and abundance. No-take marine reserves (NTRs) are widely advocated for conserving biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of exploited fish populations. Numerous studies have documented positive ecological and socio-economic benefits of NTRs; however, the ability of NTRs to ameliorate the effects of acute disturbances on coral reefs has seldom been investigated. Here, we test these factors by tracking the dynamics of benthic and fish communities, including the important fishery species, coral trout (Plectropomus spp.), over 8 years in both NTRs and fished areas in the Keppel Island group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Two major disturbances impacted the reefs during the monitoring period, a coral bleaching event in 2006 and a freshwater flood plume in 2011. Both disturbances generated significant declines in coral cover and habitat complexity, with subsequent declines in fish abundance and diversity, and pronounced shifts in fish assemblage structure. Coral trout density also declined in response to the loss of live coral, however, the approximately 2:1 density ratio between NTRs and fished zones was maintained over time. The only post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks were within the NTRs that escaped the worst effects of the disturbances. Although NTRs had little discernible effect on the temporal dynamics of benthic or fish communities, it was evident that the post-disturbance refuges for coral trout spawning stocks within some NTRs may be critically important to regional-scale population persistence and recovery. PMID:24634720

  14. Hierarchical drivers of reef-fish metacommunity structure.

    PubMed

    MacNeil, M Aaron; Graham, Nicholas A J; Polunin, Nicholas V C; Kulbicki, Michel; Galzin, René; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Rushton, Steven P

    2009-01-01

    Coral reefs are highly complex ecological systems, where multiple processes interact across scales in space and time to create assemblages of exceptionally high biodiversity. Despite the increasing frequency of hierarchically structured sampling programs used in coral-reef science, little progress has been made in quantifying the relative importance of processes operating across multiple scales. The vast majority of reef studies are conducted, or at least analyzed, at a single spatial scale, ignoring the implicitly hierarchical structure of the overall system in favor of small-scale experiments or large-scale observations. Here we demonstrate how alpha (mean local number of species), beta diversity (degree of species dissimilarity among local sites), and gamma diversity (overall species richness) vary with spatial scale, and using a hierarchical, information-theoretic approach, we evaluate the relative importance of site-, reef-, and atoll-level processes driving the fish metacommunity structure among 10 atolls in French Polynesia. Process-based models, representing well-established hypotheses about drivers of reef-fish community structure, were assembled into a candidate set of 12 hierarchical linear models. Variation in fish abundance, biomass, and species richness were unevenly distributed among transect, reef, and atoll levels, establishing the relative contribution of variation at these spatial scales to the structure of the metacommunity. Reef-fish biomass, species richness, and the abundance of most functional-groups corresponded primarily with transect-level habitat diversity and atoll-lagoon size, whereas detritivore and grazer abundances were largely correlated with potential covariates of larval dispersal. Our findings show that (1) within-transect and among-atoll factors primarily drive the relationship between alpha and gamma diversity in this reef-fish metacommunity; (2) habitat is the primary correlate with reef-fish metacommunity structure at

  15. Metacommunity versus Biogeography: A Case Study of Two Groups of Neotropical Vegetation-Dwelling Arthropods

    PubMed Central

    Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago; Romero, Gustavo Q.; Cottenie, Karl

    2014-01-01

    Biogeography and metacommunity ecology provide two different perspectives on species diversity. Both are spatial in nature but their spatial scales do not necessarily match. With recent boom of metacommunity studies, we see an increasing need for clear discrimination of spatial scales relevant for both perspectives. This discrimination is a necessary prerequisite for improved understanding of ecological phenomena across scales. Here we provide a case study to illustrate some spatial scale-dependent concepts in recent metacommunity studies and identify potential pitfalls. We presented here the diversity patterns of Neotropical lepidopterans and spiders viewed both from metacommunity and biogeographical perspectives. Specifically, we investigated how the relative importance of niche- and dispersal-based processes for community assembly change at two spatial scales: metacommunity scale, i.e. within a locality, and biogeographical scale, i.e. among localities widely scattered along a macroclimatic gradient. As expected, niche-based processes dominated the community assembly at metacommunity scale, while dispersal-based processes played a major role at biogeographical scale for both taxonomical groups. However, we also observed small but significant spatial effects at metacommunity scale and environmental effects at biogeographical scale. We also observed differences in diversity patterns between the two taxonomical groups corresponding to differences in their dispersal modes. Our results thus support the idea of continuity of processes interactively shaping diversity patterns across scales and emphasize the necessity of integration of metacommunity and biogeographical perspectives. PMID:25549332

  16. Strong Spatial Influence on Colonization Rates in a Pioneer Zooplankton Metacommunity

    PubMed Central

    Frisch, Dagmar; Cottenie, Karl; Badosa, Anna; Green, Andy J.

    2012-01-01

    The magnitude of community-wide dispersal is central to metacommunity models, yet dispersal is notoriously difficult to quantify in passive and cryptic dispersers such as many freshwater invertebrates. By overcoming the problem of quantifying dispersal rates, colonization rates into new habitats can provide a useful estimate of the magnitude of effective dispersal. Here we study the influence of spatial and local processes on colonization rates into new ponds that indicate differential dispersal limitation of major zooplankton taxa, with important implications for metacommunity dynamics. We identify regional and local factors that affect zooplankton colonization rates and spatial patterns in a large-scale experimental system. Our study differs from others in the unique setup of the experimental pond area by which we were able to test spatial and environmental variables at a large spatial scale. We quantified colonization rates separately for the Copepoda, Cladocera and Rotifera from samples collected over a period of 21 months in 48 newly constructed temporary ponds of 0.18–2.95 ha distributed in a restored wetland area of 2,700 ha in Doñana National Park, Southern Spain. Species richness upon initial sampling of new ponds was about one third of that in reference ponds, although the rate of detection of new species from thereon were not significantly different, probably owing to high turnover in the dynamic, temporary reference ponds. Environmental heterogeneity had no detectable effect on colonization rates in new ponds. In contrast, connectivity, space (based on latitude and longitude) and surface area were key determinants of colonization rates for copepods and cladocerans. This suggests dispersal limitation in cladocerans and copepods, but not in rotifers, possibly due to differences in propagule size and abundance. PMID:22792241

  17. A Neighborhood Analysis of the Consequences of Quercus suber Decline for Regeneration Dynamics in Mediterranean Forests

    PubMed Central

    Ibáñez, Beatriz; Gómez-Aparicio, Lorena; Stoll, Peter; Ávila, José M.; Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio M.; Marañón, Teodoro

    2015-01-01

    In forests, the vulnerable seedling stage is largely influenced by the canopy, which modifies the surrounding environment. Consequently, any alteration in the characteristics of the canopy, such as those promoted by forest dieback, might impact regeneration dynamics. Our work analyzes the interaction between canopy neighbors and seedlings in Mediterranean forests affected by the decline of their dominant species (Quercus suber). Our objective was to understand how the impacts of neighbor trees and shrubs on recruitment could affect future dynamics of these declining forests. Seeds of the three dominant tree species (Quercus suber, Olea europaea and Quercus canariensis) were sown in six sites during two consecutive years. Using a spatially-explicit, neighborhood approach we developed models that explained the observed spatial variation in seedling emergence, survival, growth and photochemical efficiency as a function of the size, identity, health, abundance and distribution of adult trees and shrubs in the neighborhood. We found strong neighborhood effects for all the performance estimators, particularly seedling emergence and survival. Tree neighbors positively affected emergence, independently of species identity or health. Alternatively, seedling survival was much lower in neighborhoods dominated by defoliated and dead Q. suber trees than in neighborhoods dominated by healthy trees. For the two oak species, these negative effects were consistent over the three years of the experimental seedlings. These results indicate that ongoing changes in species’ relative abundance and canopy trees’ health might alter the successional trajectories of Mediterranean oak-forests through neighbor-specific impacts on seedlings. The recruitment failure of dominant late-successional oaks in the gaps opened after Q. suber death would indirectly favor the establishment of other coexisting woody species, such as drought-tolerant shrubs. This could lead current forests to shift

  18. Assembly processes of gastropod community change with horizontal and vertical zonation in ancient Lake Ohrid: a metacommunity speciation perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauffe, Torsten; Albrecht, Christian; Wilke, Thomas

    2016-05-01

    The Balkan Lake Ohrid is the oldest and most diverse freshwater lacustrine system in Europe. However, it remains unclear whether species community composition, as well as the diversification of its endemic taxa, is mainly driven by dispersal limitation, environmental filtering, or species interaction. This calls for a holistic perspective involving both evolutionary processes and ecological dynamics, as provided by the unifying framework of the "metacommunity speciation model".The current study used the species-rich model taxon Gastropoda to assess how extant communities in Lake Ohrid are structured by performing process-based metacommunity analyses. Specifically, the study aimed (1) to identifying the relative importance of the three community assembly processes and (2) to test whether the importance of these individual processes changes gradually with lake depth or discontinuously with eco-zone shifts.Based on automated eco-zone detection and process-specific simulation steps, we demonstrated that dispersal limitation had the strongest influence on gastropod community composition. However, it was not the exclusive assembly process, but acted together with the other two processes - environmental filtering and species interaction. The relative importance of the community assembly processes varied both with lake depth and eco-zones, though the processes were better predicted by the latter.This suggests that environmental characteristics have a pronounced effect on shaping gastropod communities via assembly processes. Moreover, the study corroborated the high importance of dispersal limitation for both maintaining species richness in Lake Ohrid (through its impact on community composition) and generating endemic biodiversity (via its influence on diversification processes). However, according to the metacommunity speciation model, the inferred importance of environmental filtering and biotic interaction also suggests a small but significant influence of ecological

  19. Habitat destruction and metacommunity size in pen shell communities.

    PubMed

    Munguia, Pablo; Miller, Thomas E

    2008-11-01

    1. In spatially structured communities, habitat destruction can have two effects: first, a main effect that occurs because of the loss of habitat area within a larger region, and a secondary effect due to changes in the spatial arrangement of local communities. Changes to the spatial arrangement can, in turn, affect the migration and extinction rates within local communities. 2. Our study involved the experimental destruction of entire local communities within larger regions in natural marine microcosms. Large and small arrays of dead pen shells were created in a shallow bay in north Florida, and the colonization by both encrusting and motile species on this empty substrate were followed through time. After most species had become established, half of the large arrays were perturbed to create small arrays by removal of half the shells, simulating habitat destruction. 3. After 48 days of further community development, comparisons of the large arrays, reduced arrays and original small arrays suggested that the mechanisms by which habitat destruction affects diversity could depend upon the size of the region affected and the natural history of the species being studied. 4. Habitat destruction reduced the diversity of motile species to a level lower than that found in the undisturbed small arrays, suggesting that the species that assembled in the original large metacommunities negatively influenced the species that occurred ultimately in the converted small arrays. 5. With sessile species, habitat destruction created richness levels that were intermediate to those of small and large arrays. The initial predestruction richness appears to have had a positive effect; because sessile species cannot disperse as adults, they may not respond to significant shifts in metacommunity size later in succession. Initial metacommunity size may be important for allowing individuals to select appropriate habitats before they settle. PMID:18637972

  20. A Plausible Explanation for the Steep Redshift Decline in Barred Spirals: Dynamically Hot Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheth, Kartik; Melbourne, J.; Kassin, S.; Elmegreen, D. M.; Elmegreen, B. G.; Athanassoula, E.; Abraham, R. G.; Ellis, R. S.; Weiner, B.

    2012-05-01

    We present the first observational evidence for the inhibition of bar formation in dispersion dominated (dynamically hot) galaxies. We compare the presence of galactic structures (bars) and the host galaxy kinematics in a sample of 200 disk galaxies from the All-Wavelength Extended Groth Strip International Survey (AEGIS) and the Deep Extragalactic Evolutionary Probe 2 (DEEP2) survey. We find that bars are preferentially found in galaxies that lie on the Tully-Fisher relationship and are rotation-dominated, whereas few bars are found in galaxies that are dispersion dominated. The data provide at least one explanation for the steep (x3) decline in the bar fraction from z=0 to z=0.84 previously observed in L* disk galaxies in the COSMOS field. In the COSMOS data, the decline in bars is primarily found in the low mass, late-type systems. A proposed explanation for the trend was that at higher redshifts, lower mass systems were more dispersion dominated because they were more easily harassed by the increased interaction and merger rate. The data presented here provides observational support for this hypothesis.

  1. Infection dynamics in frog populations with different histories of decline caused by a deadly disease.

    PubMed

    Sapsford, Sarah J; Voordouw, Maarten J; Alford, Ross A; Schwarzkopf, Lin

    2015-12-01

    Pathogens can drive host population dynamics. Chytridiomycosis is a fungal disease of amphibians that is caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). This pathogen has caused declines and extinctions in some host species whereas other host species coexist with Bd without suffering declines. In the early 1990s, Bd extirpated populations of the endangered common mistfrog, Litoria rheocola, at high-elevation sites, while populations of the species persisted at low-elevation sites. Today, populations have reappeared at many high-elevation sites where they presently co-exist with the fungus. We conducted a capture-mark-recapture (CMR) study of six populations of L. rheocola over 1 year, at high and low elevations. We used multistate CMR models to determine which factors (Bd infection status, site type, and season) influenced rates of frog survival, recapture, infection, and recovery from infection. We observed Bd-induced mortality of individual frogs, but did not find any significant effect of Bd infection on the survival rate of L. rheocola at the population level. Survival and recapture rates depended on site type and season. Infection rate was highest in winter when temperatures were favourable for pathogen growth, and differed among site types. The recovery rate was high (75.7-85.8%) across seasons, and did not differ among site types. The coexistence of L. rheocola with Bd suggests that (1) frog populations are becoming resistant to the fungus, (2) Bd may have evolved lower virulence, or (3) current environmental conditions may be inhibiting outbreaks of the fatal disease. PMID:26293680

  2. Effects of forest canopy on habitat selection in treefrogs and aquatic insects: implications for communities and metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Binckley, Christopher A; Resetarits, William J

    2007-10-01

    The specific dispersal/colonization strategies used by species to locate and colonize habitat patches can strongly influence both community and metacommunity structure. Habitat selection theory predicts nonrandom dispersal to and colonization of habitat patches based on their quality. We tested whether habitat selection was capable of generating patterns of diversity and abundance across a transition of canopy coverage (open and closed canopy) and nutrient addition by investigating oviposition site choice in two treefrog species (Hyla) and an aquatic beetle (Tropisternus lateralis), and the colonization dynamics of a diverse assemblage of aquatic insects (primarily beetles). Canopy cover produced dramatic patterns of presence/absence, abundance, and species richness, as open canopy ponds received 99.5% of propagules and 94.6% of adult insect colonists. Nutrient addition affected only Tropisternus oviposition, as females oviposited more egg cases at higher nutrient levels, but only in open canopy ponds. The behavioral partitioning of aquatic landscapes into suitable and unsuitable habitats via habitat selection behavior fundamentally alters how communities within larger ecological landscapes (metacommunities) are linked by dispersal and colonization. PMID:17622564

  3. Using multispecies occupancy models to improve the characterization and understanding of metacommunity structure.

    PubMed

    Mihaljevic, Joseph R; Joseph, Maxwell B; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2015-07-01

    Two of the most prominent frameworks to develop in ecology over the past decade are metacommunity ecology, which seeks to characterize multispecies distributions across space, and occupancy modeling, which corrects for imperfect detection in an effort to better understand species occurrence patterns. Although their goals are complementary, metacommunity theory and statistical occupancy modeling methods have developed independently. For instance, the elements of metacommunity structure (EMS) framework uses species occurrence data to classify metacommunity structure and link it to underlying environmental gradients. While the efficacy of this approach relies on the quality of the data, few studies have considered how imperfect detection, which is widespread in ecological surveys and the major focus of occupancy modeling, affects the outcome. We introduce a framework that integrates multispecies occupancy models with the current EMS framework, detection error-corrected EMS (DECEMS). This method offers two distinct advantages. First, DECEMS reduces bias in characterizing metacommunity structure by using repeated surveys and occupancy models to disentangle species-specific occupancy and detection probabilities, ultimately bringing metacommunity structure classification into a more probabilistic framework. Second, occupancy modeling allows estimation of species-specific responses to environmental covariates, which will increase our ability to link species-level effects to metacommunity-wide patterns. After reviewing the EMS framework, we introduce a simple multispecies occupancy model and show how DECEMS can work in practice, highlighting that detection error often causes EMS to assign incorrect structures. To emphasize the broader applicability of this approach, we further illustrate that DECEMS can reduce the rate of structure misclassification by more than 20% in some cases, even proving useful when detection error rates are quite low (-10%). Integrating occupancy

  4. [Residue decline dynamics and safety utilization of carbendazim in cultivation of Anoectochilus roxburghii].

    PubMed

    Shao, Qing-Song; Liu, Hong-Bo; Zhang, Yu-Yun; Zhang, Ai-Lian; Li, Ming-Yan

    2014-05-01

    The paper aimed to study the residue decline dynamic and standards for safety utilization of carbendazim in roots, stems, leaves of Anoectochilus roxburghii and in growth media. Samples extracted with methanol were purified by liquid-liquid extraction and analysed by HPLC. The results showed that average rate of recovery was 82.9% - 95.7% and RSD were 2.0% - 6.3% with add of carbendazim in respectively diverse concentration, which meets inspection requirement of pesticide residue. Two kinds of dosages of carbendazim were treated, varying from recommended dosage (1.0 kg x hm(-2)) to 1.5 times recommended dosage (1.5 kg x hm(-2)). Results of two years test showed that the half-life period of carbendazim were 7.01 - 8.51 d in the growth media of A. roxburghii, 3.58 - 4.27 d in stems and 3.50 - 3.91 d in leaves, 4.93 - 5.71 d in roots. Providing max recommended residue of carbendazim in the cultivation of A. roxburghii is 0.5 mg x kg(-1), sprayed 4 times a year with the dosage of 1.0 kg x hm(-2), 28 days is proposed for the safety interval of the last pesticide application's and harvest's date. PMID:25095360

  5. Flow directionality, mountain barriers and functional traits determine diatom metacommunity structuring of high mountain streams

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Xiaoyu; Li, Bin; He, Fengzhi; Gu, Yuan; Sun, Meiqin; Zhang, Haomiao; Tan, Lu; Xiao, Wen; Liu, Shuoran; Cai, Qinghua

    2016-01-01

    Stream metacommunities are structured by a combination of local (environmental filtering) and regional (dispersal) processes. The unique characters of high mountain streams could potentially determine metacommunity structuring, which is currently poorly understood. Aiming at understanding how these characters influenced metacommunity structuring, we explored the relative importance of local environmental conditions and various dispersal processes, including through geographical (overland), topographical (across mountain barriers) and network (along flow direction) pathways in shaping benthic diatom communities. From a trait perspective, diatoms were categorized into high-profile, low-profile and motile guild to examine the roles of functional traits. Our results indicated that both environmental filtering and dispersal processes influenced metacommunity structuring, with dispersal contributing more than environmental processes. Among the three pathways, stream corridors were primary pathway. Deconstructive analysis suggested different responses to environmental and spatial factors for each of three ecological guilds. However, regardless of traits, dispersal among streams was limited by mountain barriers, while dispersal along stream was promoted by rushing flow in high mountain stream. Our results highlighted that directional processes had prevailing effects on metacommunity structuring in high mountain streams. Flow directionality, mountain barriers and ecological guilds contributed to a better understanding of the roles that mountains played in structuring metacommunity. PMID:27090223

  6. (Meta)communication strategies in inclusive classes for deaf students.

    PubMed

    Kelman, Celeste Azulay; Branco, Angela Uchôa

    2009-01-01

    How can an inclusive classroom for deaf students be successful? The use of metacommunication strategies by teachers and hearing peers seems promising. Schools that promote this approach tend to improve deaf students' psychosocial development and academic achievement. However, this is not a general rule. The present study identifies the elements of success, with the investigators basing their analysis on extensive observation of 4 bilingual classes conducted by regular education and specialized teachers. The study was conducted in 3 public elementary schools in Brasilia, Brazil. Data were collected through direct observation (156 hours) and video recording (34 hours). Results were qualitatively analyzed from a microgenetic perspective. The investigators devised 14 categories of social interaction, e.g., visual contact and responsivity, multimodal communication, co-construction of meanings, flexible use of space, and sign language instruction for hearing students. PMID:20066919

  7. Hydrology Affects Environmental and Spatial Structuring of Microalgal Metacommunities in Tropical Pacific Coast Wetlands

    PubMed Central

    Rojo, Carmen; Mesquita-Joanes, Francesc; Monrós, Juan S.; Armengol, Javier; Sasa, Mahmood; Bonilla, Fabián; Rueda, Ricardo; Benavent-Corai, José; Piculo, Rubén; Segura, M. Matilde

    2016-01-01

    The alternating climate between wet and dry periods has important effects on the hydrology and therefore on niche-based processes of water bodies in tropical areas. Additionally, assemblages of microorganism can show spatial patterns, in the form of a distance decay relationship due to their size or life form. We aimed to test spatial and environmental effects, modulated by a seasonal flooding climatic pattern, on the distribution of microalgae in 30 wetlands of a tropical dry forest region: the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Three surveys were conducted corresponding to the beginning, the highest peak, and the end of the hydrological year during the wet season, and species abundance and composition of planktonic and benthic microalgae was determined. Variation partitioning analysis (as explained by spatial distance or environmental factors) was applied to each seasonal dataset by means of partial redundancy analysis. Our results show that microalgal assemblages were structured by spatial and environmental factors depending on the hydrological period of the year. At the onset of hydroperiod and during flooding, neutral effects dominated community dynamics, but niche-based local effects resulted in more structured algal communities at the final periods of desiccating water bodies. Results suggest that climate-mediated effects on hydrology can influence the relative role of spatial and environmental factors on metacommunities of microalgae. Such variability needs to be accounted in order to describe accurately community dynamics in tropical coastal wetlands. PMID:26900916

  8. Hydrology Affects Environmental and Spatial Structuring of Microalgal Metacommunities in Tropical Pacific Coast Wetlands.

    PubMed

    Rojo, Carmen; Mesquita-Joanes, Francesc; Monrós, Juan S; Armengol, Javier; Sasa, Mahmood; Bonilla, Fabián; Rueda, Ricardo; Benavent-Corai, José; Piculo, Rubén; Segura, M Matilde

    2016-01-01

    The alternating climate between wet and dry periods has important effects on the hydrology and therefore on niche-based processes of water bodies in tropical areas. Additionally, assemblages of microorganism can show spatial patterns, in the form of a distance decay relationship due to their size or life form. We aimed to test spatial and environmental effects, modulated by a seasonal flooding climatic pattern, on the distribution of microalgae in 30 wetlands of a tropical dry forest region: the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Three surveys were conducted corresponding to the beginning, the highest peak, and the end of the hydrological year during the wet season, and species abundance and composition of planktonic and benthic microalgae was determined. Variation partitioning analysis (as explained by spatial distance or environmental factors) was applied to each seasonal dataset by means of partial redundancy analysis. Our results show that microalgal assemblages were structured by spatial and environmental factors depending on the hydrological period of the year. At the onset of hydroperiod and during flooding, neutral effects dominated community dynamics, but niche-based local effects resulted in more structured algal communities at the final periods of desiccating water bodies. Results suggest that climate-mediated effects on hydrology can influence the relative role of spatial and environmental factors on metacommunities of microalgae. Such variability needs to be accounted in order to describe accurately community dynamics in tropical coastal wetlands. PMID:26900916

  9. Dynamics and genetics of a disease-driven species decline to near extinction: lessons for conservation.

    PubMed

    Hudson, M A; Young, R P; D'Urban Jackson, J; Orozco-terWengel, P; Martin, L; James, A; Sulton, M; Garcia, G; Griffiths, R A; Thomas, R; Magin, C; Bruford, M W; Cunningham, A A

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis has caused precipitous declines in hundreds of species worldwide. By tracking mountain chicken (Leptodactylus fallax) populations before, during and after the emergence of chytridiomycosis, we quantified the real-time species level impacts of this disease. We report a range-wide species decline amongst the fastest ever recorded, with a loss of over 85% of the population in fewer than 18 months on Dominica and near extinction on Montserrat. Genetic diversity declined in the wild, but emergency measures to establish a captive assurance population captured a representative sample of genetic diversity from Montserrat. If the Convention on Biological Diversity's targets are to be met, it is important to evaluate the reasons why they appear consistently unattainable. The emergence of chytridiomycosis in the mountain chicken was predictable, but the decline could not be prevented. There is an urgent need to build mitigation capacity where amphibians are at risk from chytridiomycosis. PMID:27485994

  10. Dynamics and genetics of a disease-driven species decline to near extinction: lessons for conservation

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, M. A.; Young, R. P.; D’Urban Jackson, J.; Orozco-terWengel, P.; Martin, L.; James, A.; Sulton, M.; Garcia, G.; Griffiths, R. A.; Thomas, R.; Magin, C.; Bruford, M. W.; Cunningham, A. A.

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis has caused precipitous declines in hundreds of species worldwide. By tracking mountain chicken (Leptodactylus fallax) populations before, during and after the emergence of chytridiomycosis, we quantified the real-time species level impacts of this disease. We report a range-wide species decline amongst the fastest ever recorded, with a loss of over 85% of the population in fewer than 18 months on Dominica and near extinction on Montserrat. Genetic diversity declined in the wild, but emergency measures to establish a captive assurance population captured a representative sample of genetic diversity from Montserrat. If the Convention on Biological Diversity’s targets are to be met, it is important to evaluate the reasons why they appear consistently unattainable. The emergence of chytridiomycosis in the mountain chicken was predictable, but the decline could not be prevented. There is an urgent need to build mitigation capacity where amphibians are at risk from chytridiomycosis. PMID:27485994

  11. Multiple Cues for Winged Morph Production in an Aphid Metacommunity

    PubMed Central

    Mehrparvar, Mohsen; Zytynska, Sharon E.; Weisser, Wolfgang W.

    2013-01-01

    Environmental factors can lead individuals down different developmental pathways giving rise to distinct phenotypes (phenotypic plasticity). The production of winged or unwinged morphs in aphids is an example of two alternative developmental pathways. Dispersal is paramount in aphids that often have a metapopulation structure, where local subpopulations frequently go extinct, such as the specialized aphids on tansy (Tanacetum vulgare). We conducted various experiments to further understand the cues involved in the production of winged dispersal morphs by the two dominant species of the tansy aphid metacommunity, Metopeurum fuscoviride and Macrosiphoniella tanacetaria. We found that the ant-tended M. fuscoviride produced winged individuals predominantly at the beginning of the season while the untended M. tanacetaria produced winged individuals throughout the season. Winged mothers of both species produced winged offspring, although in both species winged offspring were mainly produced by unwinged females. Crowding and the presence of predators, effects already known to influence wing production in other aphid species, increased the percentage of winged offspring in M. tanacetaria, but not in M. fuscoviride. We find there are also other factors (i.e. temporal effects) inducing the production of winged offspring for natural aphid populations. Our results show that the responses of each aphid species are due to multiple wing induction cues. PMID:23472179

  12. Mutualistic Interactions and Community Structure in Biological Metacommunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rikvold, Per Arne; Filotas, Elise; Grant, Martin; Parrott, Lael

    2011-03-01

    The role of space in determining species coexistence and community structure is well established. However, previous studies mainly focus on simple competition and predation systems, and the role of mutualistic interspecies interactions is not well understood. Here we use a spatially explicit metacommunity model, in which new species enter by a mutation process, to study the effect of fitness-dependent dispersal on the structure of communities with interactions comprising mutualism, competition, and exploitation. We find that the diversity and interaction network undergo a nonequilibrium phase transition with increasing dispersal rate. Low dispersion rate favors spontaneous emergence of many dissimilar, strongly mutualistic and species-poor local communities. Due to the local dissimilarities, the global diversity is high. High dispersion rate promotes local biodiversity and supports similar, species-rich local communities with a wide range of interactions. The strong similarity between neighboring local communities leads to reduced global diversity. Supported by NSERC (Canada), FQRNT (Québec), NSF (U.S.A.)

  13. Metacommunity structuring in stream networks: roles of dispersal mode, distance type, and regional environmental context

    PubMed Central

    Grönroos, Mira; Heino, Jani; Siqueira, Tadeu; Landeiro, Victor L; Kotanen, Juho; Bini, Luis M

    2013-01-01

    Within a metacommunity, both environmental and spatial processes regulate variation in local community structure. The strength of these processes may vary depending on species traits (e.g., dispersal mode) or the characteristics of the regions studied (e.g., spatial extent, environmental heterogeneity). We studied the metacommunity structuring of three groups of stream macroinvertebrates differing in their overland dispersal mode (passive dispersers with aquatic adults; passive dispersers with terrestrial adults; active dispersers with terrestrial adults). We predicted that environmental structuring should be more important for active dispersers, because of their better ability to track environmental variability, and that spatial structuring should be more important for species with aquatic adults, because of stronger dispersal limitation. We sampled a total of 70 stream riffle sites in three drainage basins. Environmental heterogeneity was unrelated to spatial extent among our study regions, allowing us to examine the effects of these two factors on metacommunity structuring. We used partial redundancy analysis and Moran's eigenvector maps based on overland and watercourse distances to study the relative importance of environmental control and spatial structuring. We found that, compared with environmental control, spatial structuring was generally negligible, and it did not vary according to our predictions. In general, active dispersers with terrestrial adults showed stronger environmental control than the two passively dispersing groups, suggesting that the species dispersing actively are better able to track environmental variability. There were no clear differences in the results based on watercourse and overland distances. The variability in metacommunity structuring among basins was not related to the differences in the environmental heterogeneity and spatial extent. Our study emphasized that (1) environmental control is prevailing in stream metacommunities

  14. Natural selection for costly nutrient recycling in simulated microbial metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Richard A; Williams, Hywel T P; Lenton, Timothy M

    2012-11-01

    Recycling of essential nutrients occurs at scales from microbial communities to global biogeochemical cycles, often in association with ecological interactions in which two or more species utilise each others' metabolic by-products. However, recycling loops may be unstable; sequences of reactions leading to net recycling may be parasitised by side-reactions causing nutrient loss, while some reactions in any closed recycling loop are likely to be costly to participants. Here we examine the stability of nutrient recycling loops in an individual-based ecosystem model based on microbial functional types that differ in their metabolism. A supplied nutrient is utilised by a "source" functional type, generating a secondary nutrient that is subsequently used by two other types-a "mutualist" that regenerates the initial nutrient at a growth rate cost, and a "parasite" that produces a refractory waste product but does not incur any additional cost. The three functional types are distributed across a metacommunity in which separate patches are linked by a stochastic diffusive migration process. Regions of high mutualist abundance feature high levels of nutrient recycling and increased local population density leading to greater export of individuals, allowing the source-mutualist recycling loop to spread across the system. Individual-level selection favouring parasites is balanced by patch-level selection for high productivity, indirectly favouring mutualists due to the synergistic productivity benefits of the recycling loop they support. This suggests that multi-level selection may promote nutrient cycling and thereby help to explain the apparent ubiquity and stability of nutrient recycling in nature. PMID:22842011

  15. Under siege: Isolated tributaries are threatened by regionally impaired metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Merriam, Eric R; Petty, J Todd

    2016-08-01

    Pristine streams are often targeted as conservation priorities because of their ability to preserve regional biodiversity. However, isolation within heavily degraded regions likely alters important metapopulation and metacommunity processes (e.g., rescue and mass effects), affecting the ability of in-tact communities to boost regional conditions. To test this hypothesis, we sampled invertebrate communities and physicochemical conditions from 168 streams within the mountaintop removal-valley fill mining region of West Virginia. We used redundancy analysis to first test for significant effects of local (observed physicochemical conditions) and neighborhood (streams within a 5km buffer) degradation on assemblage structure across all taxa and stress tolerance (low, moderate, high) and dispersal (low, high) categories. We then used generalized linear and hurdle models to characterize changes in community metrics and individual taxa, respectively. Local condition consistently explained the majority of variation (partial R(2) up to 5× those of neighborhood condition) in community structure and was the only factor affecting sensitive taxa. Neighborhood condition explained significant variation in moderately tolerant taxa with low dispersal capacity and highly tolerant taxa, regardless of dispersal. Decreased occurrence (Baetis) and abundance (Maccaffertium) of key taxa and corresponding metrics (%E, %EPT) suggest decreased dispersal and associated mass and rescue effects within degraded neighborhoods. Decreased neighborhood conditions also resulted in the proliferation of tolerant taxa (Chironomidae, Chimarra, Hemerodromia). Our results suggest communities within even the most pristine streams are at risk when isolated within heavily impacted regions. Consequently, protection of regional species' pools in heavily impacted regions will require more than simply conserving un-impacted streams. PMID:27101452

  16. Microcosms metacommunities in river network: niche effects and biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giometto, A.; Carrara, F.; Altermatt, F.; Rinaldo, A.

    2012-04-01

    Many highly diverse landscapes exhibit hierarchical spatial structures that are shaped by geomorphological processes. Riverine ecosystems, among the most diverse habitats on Earth, represent an outstanding example of such mechanisms. In these landscapes, in which connectivity directly influences metacommunity processes, habitat capacity contributes to control biodiversity at several levels. A previous study has already highlighted the effect of connectivity on species distribution at local and regional scales, but habitat capacity was kept uniform. We studied the interaction of connectivity and habitat capacity in an aquatic microcosm experiment, in which microbial communities were grown in 36-well culture plates connected by dispersal. Dispersal occurred by periodic transfer of culture medium among connected local communities, following river network topology. The effect of habitat capacity in these landscapes was investigated by comparing three different spatial configurations of local community volumes: 1. Power law distributed volumes, according to drainage area. 2. Spatial random permutation of the volumes in the above configuration. 3. Equal distribution of volumes (preserving the total volume with respect to the above configurations). The net effect of habitat capacity on community composition was isolated in a control treatment in which communities were kept isolated for the whole duration of the experiment. In all treatments we observed that varying volumes induced niche effects: some protozoan species preferentially occupied larger nodes (systematically in isolation). Nevertheless, there is evidence that position along the network played a significant role in shaping biodiversity patterns. Size distribution measurements for each community were taken with a CASY cell counter, and species abundances data on log scale precision were collected by direct microscope observation.

  17. Factors affecting population dynamics of leaf beetles in a subarctic region: The interplay between climate warming and pollution decline.

    PubMed

    Zvereva, Elena L; Hunter, Mark D; Zverev, Vitali; Kozlov, Mikhail V

    2016-10-01

    Understanding the mechanisms by which abiotic drivers, such as climate and pollution, influence population dynamics of animals is important for our ability to predict the population trajectories of individual species under different global change scenarios. We monitored four leaf beetle species (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) feeding on willows (Salix spp.) in 13 sites along a pollution gradient in subarctic forests of north-western Russia from 1993 to 2014. During a subset of years, we also measured the impacts of natural enemies and host plant quality on the performance of one of these species, Chrysomela lapponica. Spring and fall temperatures increased by 2.5-3°C during the 21-year observation period, while emissions of sulfur dioxide and heavy metals from the nickel-copper smelter at Monchegorsk decreased fivefold. However, contrary to predictions of increasing herbivory with climate warming, and in spite of discovered increase in host plant quality with increase in temperatures, none of the beetle species became more abundant during the past 20years. No directional trends were observed in densities of either Phratora vitellinae or Plagiodera versicolora, whereas densities of both C. lapponica and Gonioctena pallida showed a simultaneous rapid 20-fold decline in the early 2000s, remaining at very low levels thereafter. Time series analysis and model selection indicated that these abrupt population declines were associated with decreases in aerial emissions from the smelter. Observed declines in the population densities of C. lapponica can be explained by increases in mortality from natural enemies due to the combined action of climate warming and declining pollution. This pattern suggests that at least in some tri-trophic systems, top-down factors override bottom-up effects and govern the impacts of environmental changes on insect herbivores. PMID:27266523

  18. Emergence and decline of scientific paradigms in a dynamic complex network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Chao; Zhang, Mei

    2013-01-01

    We study the idea spreading process by extending a recent model proposed by Bornholdt [Phys. Rev. Lett.PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.106.058701 106, 058701 (2011)] to the population on a two-dimensional square area either in the presence of static topological randomness or in which agents are allowed to freely move. We find that the static topological randomness induced by the random distribution of agents in the square area disfavors the common pattern of scientific paradigms, which is characterized by quick rise and slow decline of an arbitrary dominant idea. However, the common pattern of scientific paradigms is recovered when the movement of agents is enabled. In addition, we find that, when the moving speed of agents is low, the average lifetime of a dominant idea displays an optimal behavior. In contrast, the evolution of the model is no more sensitive to the movement speed once it is high enough.

  19. Risk Communication, Metacommunication, and Rhetorical Stases in the Aspen-EPA Superfund Controversy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stratman, James F.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Explores the relationship between current theoretical definitions of risk communication, the unique national role that EPA plays in defining health and environmental risks, and possible explanations for EPA's inability to persuade Aspen, Colorado, to accept a cleanup plan. Explores ownership messages conveyed through metacommunication conflict…

  20. Varying Patterns on Varying Scales: A Metacommunity Analysis of Nematodes in European Lakes

    PubMed Central

    Dümmer, Birgit; Ristau, Kai; Traunspurger, Walter

    2016-01-01

    Ecological community patterns are often extremely complex and the factors with the greatest influence on community structure have yet to be identified. In this study we used the elements of metacommunity structure (EMS) framework to characterize the metacommunities of freshwater nematodes in 16 European lakes at four geographical scales (radius ranging from 80 m to 360 km). The site characteristics associated with site scores indicative of the structuring gradient were identified using Spearman rank correlations. The metacommunities of the 174 nematode species included in this analysis mostly had a coherent pattern. The degree of turnover increased with increasing scale. Ordination scores correlated with geographical variables on the larger scales and with the trophic state index on a regional scale. The association of the structuring gradient with spatial variables and the scale-dependent increase in turnover showed that nematode dispersal was limited. The different metacommunity patterns identified at the increasing geographical scales suggested different, scale-related mechanisms of species distribution, with species sorting dominating on smaller and mass effects on larger geographical scales. PMID:27008422

  1. Greenhouse gas impacts of declining hydrocarbon resource quality: Depletion, dynamics, and process emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Adam Robert

    This dissertation explores the environmental and economic impacts of the transition to hydrocarbon substitutes for conventional petroleum (SCPs). First, mathematical models of oil depletion are reviewed, including the Hubbert model, curve-fitting methods, simulation models, and economic models. The benefits and drawbacks of each method are outlined. I discuss the predictive value of the models and our ability to determine if one model type works best. I argue that forecasting oil depletion without also including substitution with SCPs results in unrealistic projections of future energy supply. I next use information theoretic techniques to test the Hubbert model of oil depletion against five other asymmetric and symmetric curve-fitting models using data from 139 oil producing regions. I also test the assumptions that production curves are symmetric and that production is more bell-shaped in larger regions. Results show that if symmetry is enforced, Gaussian production curves perform best, while if asymmetry is allowed, asymmetric exponential models prove most useful. I also find strong evidence for asymmetry: production declines are consistently less steep than inclines. In order to understand the impacts of oil depletion on GHG emissions, I developed the Regional Optimization Model for Emissions from Oil Substitutes (ROMEO). ROMEO is an economic optimization model of investment and production of fuels. Results indicate that incremental emissions (with demand held constant) from SCPs could be 5-20 GtC over the next 50 years. These results are sensitive to the endowment of conventional oil and not sensitive to a carbon tax. If demand can vary, total emissions could decline under a transition because the higher cost of SCPs lessens overall fuel consumption. Lastly, I study the energetic and environmental characteristics of the in situ conversion process, which utilizes electricity to generate liquid hydrocarbons from oil shale. I model the energy inputs and outputs

  2. Population Dynamics of the Critically Endangered Golden Lancehead Pitviper, Bothrops insularis: Stability or Decline?

    PubMed Central

    Guimarães, Murilo; Munguía-Steyer, Roberto; Doherty, Paul F.; Martins, Marcio; Sawaya, Ricardo J.

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about vital rates of snakes generally because of the difficulty in collecting data. Here we used a robust design mark-recapture model to estimate survival, behavioral effects on capture probability, temporary emigration, abundance and test the hypothesis of population decline in the golden lancehead pitviper, Bothrops insularis, an endemic and critically endangered species from southeastern Brazil. We collected data at irregular intervals over ten occasions from 2002 to 2010. Survival was slightly higher in the wet season than in the dry season. Temporal emigration was high, indicating the importance of accounting for this parameter both in the sampling design and modeling. No behavioral effects were detected on capture probability. We detected an average annual population decrease ( = 0.93, CI = 0.47–1.38) during the study period, but estimates included high uncertainty, and caution in interpretation is needed. We discuss the potential effects of the illegal removal of individuals and the implications of the vital rates obtained for the future persistence and conservation of this endemic, endangered species. PMID:24755842

  3. Fertility decline and the changing dynamics of wealth, status and inequality

    PubMed Central

    Colleran, Heidi; Jasienska, Grazyna; Nenko, Ilona; Galbarczyk, Andrzej; Mace, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    In the course of demographic transitions (DTs), two large-scale trends become apparent: (i) the broadly positive association between wealth, status and fertility tends to reverse, and (ii) wealth inequalities increase and then temporarily decrease. We argue that these two broad patterns are linked, through a diversification of reproductive strategies that subsequently converge as populations consume more, become less self-sufficient and increasingly depend on education as a route to socio-economic status. We examine these links using data from 22 mid-transition communities in rural Poland. We identify changing relationships between fertility and multiple measures of wealth, status and inequality. Wealth and status generally have opposing effects on fertility, but these associations vary by community. Where farming remains a viable livelihood, reproductive strategies typical of both pre- and post-DT populations coexist. Fertility is lower and less variable in communities with lower wealth inequality, and macro-level patterns in inequality are generally reproduced at the community level. Our results provide a detailed insight into the changing dynamics of wealth, status and inequality that accompany DTs at the community level where peoples' social and economic interactions typically take place. We find no evidence to suggest that women with the most educational capital gain wealth advantages from reducing fertility, nor that higher educational capital delays the onset of childbearing in this population. Rather, these patterns reflect changing reproductive preferences during a period of profound economic and social change, with implications for our understanding of reproductive and socio-economic inequalities in transitioning populations. PMID:25833859

  4. Fertility decline and the changing dynamics of wealth, status and inequality.

    PubMed

    Colleran, Heidi; Jasienska, Grazyna; Nenko, Ilona; Galbarczyk, Andrzej; Mace, Ruth

    2015-05-01

    In the course of demographic transitions (DTs), two large-scale trends become apparent: (i) the broadly positive association between wealth, status and fertility tends to reverse, and (ii) wealth inequalities increase and then temporarily decrease. We argue that these two broad patterns are linked, through a diversification of reproductive strategies that subsequently converge as populations consume more, become less self-sufficient and increasingly depend on education as a route to socio-economic status. We examine these links using data from 22 mid-transition communities in rural Poland. We identify changing relationships between fertility and multiple measures of wealth, status and inequality. Wealth and status generally have opposing effects on fertility, but these associations vary by community. Where farming remains a viable livelihood, reproductive strategies typical of both pre- and post-DT populations coexist. Fertility is lower and less variable in communities with lower wealth inequality, and macro-level patterns in inequality are generally reproduced at the community level. Our results provide a detailed insight into the changing dynamics of wealth, status and inequality that accompany DTs at the community level where peoples' social and economic interactions typically take place. We find no evidence to suggest that women with the most educational capital gain wealth advantages from reducing fertility, nor that higher educational capital delays the onset of childbearing in this population. Rather, these patterns reflect changing reproductive preferences during a period of profound economic and social change, with implications for our understanding of reproductive and socio-economic inequalities in transitioning populations. PMID:25833859

  5. Season-specific and guild-specific effects of anthropogenic landscape modification on metacommunity structure of tropical bats.

    PubMed

    Cisneros, Laura M; Fagan, Matthew E; Willig, Michael R

    2015-03-01

    Fragmentation per se due to human land conversion is a landscape-scale phenomenon. Accordingly, assessment of distributional patterns across a suite of potentially connected communities (i.e. metacommunity structure) is an appropriate approach for understanding the effects of landscape modification and complements the plethora of fragmentation studies that have focused on local community structure. To date, metacommunity structure within human-modified landscapes has been assessed with regard to nestedness along species richness gradients. This is problematic because there is little support that species richness gradients are associated with the factors moulding species distributions. More importantly, many alternative patterns are possible, and different patterns may manifest during different seasons and for different guilds because of variation in resource availability and resource requirements of taxa. We determined the best-fit metacommunity structure of a phyllostomid bat assemblage, frugivore ensemble, and gleaning animalivore ensemble within a human-modified landscape in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica during the dry and wet seasons to elucidate important structuring mechanisms. Furthermore, we identified the landscape characteristics associated with the latent gradient underlying metacommunity structure. We discriminated among multiple metacommunity structures by assessing coherence, range turnover, and boundary clumping of an ordinated site-by-species matrix. We identified the landscape characteristics associated with the latent gradient underlying metacommunity structure via hierarchical partitioning. Metacommunity structure was never nested nor structured along a richness gradient. The phyllostomid assemblage and frugivore ensemble exhibited Gleasonian structure (range turnover along a common gradient) during the dry season and Clementsian structure (range turnover and shared boundaries along a common gradient) during the wet season. Distance

  6. A Metacommunity Framework for Enhancing the Effectiveness of Biological Monitoring Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Roque, Fabio O.; Cottenie, Karl

    2012-01-01

    Because of inadequate knowledge and funding, the use of biodiversity indicators is often suggested as a way to support management decisions. Consequently, many studies have analyzed the performance of certain groups as indicator taxa. However, in addition to knowing whether certain groups can adequately represent the biodiversity as a whole, we must also know whether they show similar responses to the main structuring processes affecting biodiversity. Here we present an application of the metacommunity framework for evaluating the effectiveness of biodiversity indicators. Although the metacommunity framework has contributed to a better understanding of biodiversity patterns, there is still limited discussion about its implications for conservation and biomonitoring. We evaluated the effectiveness of indicator taxa in representing spatial variation in macroinvertebrate community composition in Atlantic Forest streams, and the processes that drive this variation. We focused on analyzing whether some groups conform to environmental processes and other groups are more influenced by spatial processes, and on how this can help in deciding which indicator group or groups should be used. We showed that a relatively small subset of taxa from the metacommunity would represent 80% of the variation in community composition shown by the entire metacommunity. Moreover, this subset does not have to be composed of predetermined taxonomic groups, but rather can be defined based on random subsets. We also found that some random subsets composed of a small number of genera performed better in responding to major environmental gradients. There were also random subsets that seemed to be affected by spatial processes, which could indicate important historical processes. We were able to integrate in the same theoretical and practical framework, the selection of biodiversity surrogates, indicators of environmental conditions, and more importantly, an explicit integration of environmental

  7. Metacommunity and phylogenetic structure determine wildlife and zoonotic infectious disease patterns in time and space.

    PubMed

    Suzán, Gerardo; García-Peña, Gabriel E; Castro-Arellano, Ivan; Rico, Oscar; Rubio, André V; Tolsá, María J; Roche, Benjamin; Hosseini, Parviez R; Rizzoli, Annapaola; Murray, Kris A; Zambrana-Torrelio, Carlos; Vittecoq, Marion; Bailly, Xavier; Aguirre, A Alonso; Daszak, Peter; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Helene; Mills, James N; Guégan, Jean-Francois

    2015-02-01

    The potential for disease transmission at the interface of wildlife, domestic animals and humans has become a major concern for public health and conservation biology. Research in this subject is commonly conducted at local scales while the regional context is neglected. We argue that prevalence of infection at local and regional levels is influenced by three mechanisms occurring at the landscape level in a metacommunity context. First, (1) dispersal, colonization, and extinction of pathogens, reservoir or vector hosts, and nonreservoir hosts, may be due to stochastic and niche-based processes, thus determining distribution of all species, and then their potential interactions, across local communities (metacommunity structure). Second, (2) anthropogenic processes may drive environmental filtering of hosts, nonhosts, and pathogens. Finally, (3) phylogenetic diversity relative to reservoir or vector host(s), within and between local communities may facilitate pathogen persistence and circulation. Using a metacommunity approach, public heath scientists may better evaluate the factors that predispose certain times and places for the origin and emergence of infectious diseases. The multidisciplinary approach we describe fits within a comprehensive One Health and Ecohealth framework addressing zoonotic infectious disease outbreaks and their relationship to their hosts, other animals, humans, and the environment. PMID:25750713

  8. Metacommunity and phylogenetic structure determine wildlife and zoonotic infectious disease patterns in time and space

    PubMed Central

    Suzán, Gerardo; García-Peña, Gabriel E; Castro-Arellano, Ivan; Rico, Oscar; Rubio, André V; Tolsá, María J; Roche, Benjamin; Hosseini, Parviez R; Rizzoli, Annapaola; Murray, Kris A; Zambrana-Torrelio, Carlos; Vittecoq, Marion; Bailly, Xavier; Aguirre, A Alonso; Daszak, Peter; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Helene; Mills, James N; Guégan, Jean-Francois

    2015-01-01

    The potential for disease transmission at the interface of wildlife, domestic animals and humans has become a major concern for public health and conservation biology. Research in this subject is commonly conducted at local scales while the regional context is neglected. We argue that prevalence of infection at local and regional levels is influenced by three mechanisms occurring at the landscape level in a metacommunity context. First, (1) dispersal, colonization, and extinction of pathogens, reservoir or vector hosts, and nonreservoir hosts, may be due to stochastic and niche-based processes, thus determining distribution of all species, and then their potential interactions, across local communities (metacommunity structure). Second, (2) anthropogenic processes may drive environmental filtering of hosts, nonhosts, and pathogens. Finally, (3) phylogenetic diversity relative to reservoir or vector host(s), within and between local communities may facilitate pathogen persistence and circulation. Using a metacommunity approach, public heath scientists may better evaluate the factors that predispose certain times and places for the origin and emergence of infectious diseases. The multidisciplinary approach we describe fits within a comprehensive One Health and Ecohealth framework addressing zoonotic infectious disease outbreaks and their relationship to their hosts, other animals, humans, and the environment. PMID:25750713

  9. Endosymbiont metacommunities, mtDNA diversity and the evolution of the Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) species complex.

    PubMed

    Gueguen, Gwénaelle; Vavre, Fabrice; Gnankine, Olivier; Peterschmitt, Michel; Charif, Delphine; Chiel, Elad; Gottlieb, Yuval; Ghanim, Murad; Zchori-Fein, Einat; Fleury, Frédéric

    2010-10-01

    Bemisia tabaci, an invasive pest that causes crop damage worldwide, is a highly differentiated species complex, divided into biotypes that have mainly been defined based on mitochondrial DNA sequences. Although endosymbionts can potentially induce population differentiation, specialization and indirect selection on mtDNA, studies have largely ignored these influential passengers in B. tabaci, despite as many as seven bacterial endosymbionts have been identified. Here, we investigate the composition of the whole bacterial community in worldwide populations of B. tabaci, together with host genetic differentiation, focusing on the invasive B and Q biotypes. Among 653 individuals studied, more than 95% of them harbour at least one secondary endosymbiont, and multiple infections are very common. In addition, sequence analyses reveal a very high diversity of facultative endosymbionts in B. tabaci, with some bacterial genus being represented by more than one strain. In the B and Q biotypes, nine different strains of bacteria have been identified. The mtDNA-based phylogeny of B. tabaci also reveals a very high nucleotide diversity that partitions the two ITS clades (B and Q) into six CO1 genetic groups. Each genetic group is in linkage disequilibrium with a specific combination of endosymbionts. All together, our results demonstrate the rapid dynamics of the bacterial endosymbiont-host associations at a small evolutionary scale, questioning the role of endosymbiotic communities in the evolution of the Bemisia tabaci species complex and strengthening the need to develop a metacommunity theory of inherited endosymbionts. PMID:20723069

  10. A Long-Term Macroecological Analysis of the Recovery of a Waterbird Metacommunity after Site Protection

    PubMed Central

    Pagel, Janina; Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Gómez, Juan Antonio; Jiménez, Juan; Oro, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    We used the so called “land-bridge island” or “nested-subsets” theory to test the resilience of a highly fragmented and perturbated waterbird metacommunity, after legal protection of 18 wetlands in the western Mediterranean. Sites were monitored during 28 years and two seasons per year. The metacommunity was composed by 44 species during breeding and 67 species during wintering, including shorebirds, ducks, herons, gulls and divers (Podicipedidae). We identified a strong nested pattern. Consistent with the fact that the study system was to a large extent a spatial biogeographical continuous for thousands of years, fragmented only during the last centuries due to human activities. Non-random selective extinction was the most likely historical process creating the nested pattern, operated by the differential carrying capacity (surface-area) of the remaining sites. We also found a positive temporal trend in nestedness and a decreasing trend in species turnover among sites (β-diversity), indicating that sites are increasingly more alike to each other (i.e. increased biotic homogenization). This decreasing trend in β-diversity was explained by an increasing trend in local (α) diversity by range expansion of half the study species. Regional (γ) diversity also increased over time, indicating that colonization from outside the study system also occurred. Overall our results suggest that the study metacommunity is recovering from historical anthropogenic perturbations, showing a high long-term resilience, as expected for highly vagile waterbirds. However, not all waterbird groups contributed equally to the recovery, with most breeding shorebird species and most wintering duck species showing no geographical expansion. PMID:25133798

  11. A long-term macroecological analysis of the recovery of a waterbird metacommunity after site protection.

    PubMed

    Pagel, Janina; Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Gómez, Juan Antonio; Jiménez, Juan; Oro, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    We used the so called "land-bridge island" or "nested-subsets" theory to test the resilience of a highly fragmented and perturbated waterbird metacommunity, after legal protection of 18 wetlands in the western Mediterranean. Sites were monitored during 28 years and two seasons per year. The metacommunity was composed by 44 species during breeding and 67 species during wintering, including shorebirds, ducks, herons, gulls and divers (Podicipedidae). We identified a strong nested pattern. Consistent with the fact that the study system was to a large extent a spatial biogeographical continuous for thousands of years, fragmented only during the last centuries due to human activities. Non-random selective extinction was the most likely historical process creating the nested pattern, operated by the differential carrying capacity (surface-area) of the remaining sites. We also found a positive temporal trend in nestedness and a decreasing trend in species turnover among sites (β-diversity), indicating that sites are increasingly more alike to each other (i.e. increased biotic homogenization). This decreasing trend in β-diversity was explained by an increasing trend in local (α) diversity by range expansion of half the study species. Regional (γ) diversity also increased over time, indicating that colonization from outside the study system also occurred. Overall our results suggest that the study metacommunity is recovering from historical anthropogenic perturbations, showing a high long-term resilience, as expected for highly vagile waterbirds. However, not all waterbird groups contributed equally to the recovery, with most breeding shorebird species and most wintering duck species showing no geographical expansion. PMID:25133798

  12. Fuzziness and Heterogeneity of Benthic Metacommunities in a Complex Transitional System

    PubMed Central

    Curiel, Daniele; Cossarini, Gianpiero; Melaku Canu, Donata; Rismondo, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    We propose an extension to the metacommunity (MC) concept and a novel operational methodology that has the potential to refine the analysis of MC structure at different hierarchical levels. We show that assemblages of species can also be seen as assemblages of abstract subregional habitat-related metacommunities (habMCs). This intrinsically fuzzy concept recognizes the existence of habMCs that are typically associated with given habitats, while allowing for the mixing and superposition of different habMCs in all sites and for boundaries among subregions that are neither spatially sharp nor temporally constant. The combination of fuzzy clustering and direct gradient analysis permits us to 1) objectively identify the number of habMCs that are present in a region as well as their spatial distributions and relative weights at different sites; 2) associate different subregions with different biological communities; and 3) quantitatively assess the affinities between habMCs and physical, morphological, biogeochemical, and environmental properties, thereby enabling an analysis of the roles and relative importance of various environmental parameters in shaping the spatial structure of a metacommunity. This concept and methodology offer the possibility of integrating the continuum and community unit concepts and of developing the concept of a habMC ecological niche. This approach also facilitates the practical application of the MC concept, which are not currently in common use. Applying these methods to macrophytobenthic and macrozoobenthic hard-substrate assemblages in the Venetian Lagoon, we identified a hierarchical organization of macrobenthic communities that associated different habMCs with different habitats. Our results demonstrate that different reference terms should be applied to different subregions to assess the ecological status of a waterbody and show that a combination of several environmental parameters describes the spatial heterogeneity of benthic

  13. The evolution of the competition-dispersal trade-off affects α- and β-diversity in a heterogeneous metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Laroche, Fabien; Jarne, Philippe; Perrot, Thomas; Massol, Francois

    2016-04-27

    Difference in dispersal ability is a key driver of species coexistence in metacommunities. However, the available frameworks for interpreting species diversity patterns in natura often overlook trade-offs and evolutionary constraints associated with dispersal. Here, we build a metacommunity model accounting for dispersal evolution and a competition-dispersal trade-off. Depending on the distribution of carrying capacities among communities, species dispersal values are distributed either around a single strategy (evolutionarily stable strategy, ESS), or around distinct strategies (evolutionary branching, EB). We show that limited dispersal generates spatial aggregation of dispersal traits in ESS and EB scenarios, and that the competition-dispersal trade-off strengthens the pattern in the EB scenario. Importantly, individuals in larger (respectively (resp.) smaller) communities tend to harbour lower (resp. higher) dispersal, especially under the EB scenario. We explore how dispersal evolution affects species diversity patterns by comparing those from our model to the predictions of a neutral metacommunity model. The most marked difference is detected under EB, with distinctive values of both α- and β-diversity (e.g. the dissimilarity in species composition between small and large communities was significantly larger than neutral predictions). We conclude that, from an empirical perspective, jointly assessing community carrying capacity with species dispersal strategies should improve our understanding of diversity patterns in metacommunities. PMID:27122564

  14. Combined effects of zooplankton grazing and dispersal on the diversity and assembly mechanisms of bacterial metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Berga, Mercè; Östman, Örjan; Lindström, Eva S; Langenheder, Silke

    2015-07-01

    Effects of dispersal and the presence of predators on diversity, assembly and functioning of bacterial communities are well studied in isolation. In reality, however, dispersal and trophic interactions act simultaneously and can therefore have combined effects, which are poorly investigated. We performed an experiment with aquatic metacommunities consisting of three environmentally different patches and manipulated dispersal rates among them as well as the presence or absence of the keystone species Daphnia magna. Daphnia magna reduced both local and regional diversity, whereas dispersal increased local diversity but decreased beta-diversity having no net effect on regional diversity. Dispersal modified the assembly mechanisms of bacterial communities by increasing the degree of determinism. Additionally, the combination of the D. magna and dispersal increased the importance of deterministic processes, presumably because predator-tolerant taxa were spread in the metacommunity via dispersal. Moreover, the presence of D. magna affected community composition, increased community respiration rates but did not affect bacterial production or abundance, whereas dispersal slightly increased bacterial production. In conclusion, our study suggests that predation by a keystone species such as D. magna and dispersal additively influence bacterial diversity, assembly processes and ecosystem functioning. PMID:25367396

  15. Ecological convergence in a rocky intertidal shore metacommunity despite high spatial variability in recruitment regimes

    PubMed Central

    Caro, Andrés U.; Navarrete, Sergio A.; Castilla, Juan Carlos

    2010-01-01

    In open ecological systems, community structure can be determined by physically modulated processes such as the arrival of individuals from a regional pool and by local biological interactions. There is debate centering on whether niche differentiation and local interactions among species are necessary to explain macroscopic community patterns or whether the patterns can be generated by the neutral interplay of dispersal and stochastic demography among ecologically identical species. Here we evaluate how much of the observed spatial variation within a rocky intertidal metacommunity along 800 km of coastline can be explained by drift in the structure of recruits across 15 local sites. Our results show that large spatial changes in recruitment do not explain the observed spatial variation in adult local structure and that, in comparison with the large drift in structure of recruits, local adult communities converged to a common, although not unique, structure across the region. Although there is no unique adult community structure in the entire region, the observed variation represents only a small subset of the possible structures that would be expected from passive recruitment drift. Thus, in this diverse system our results do not support the idea that rocky intertidal metacommunities are structured by neutral mechanisms. PMID:20937867

  16. Crying wolf? Biosecurity and metacommunication in the context of the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

    PubMed

    Nerlich, Brigitte; Koteyko, Nelya

    2012-07-01

    This article explores how the 2009 pandemic of swine flu (H1N1) intersected with issues of biosecurity in the context of an increasing entanglement between the spread of disease and the spread of information. Drawing on research into metacommunication, the article studies the rise of communication about ways in which swine flu was communicated, both globally and locally, during the pandemic. It examines and compares two corpora of texts, namely UK newspaper articles and blogs, written between 28 March and 11 June 2009, that is, the period from the start of the outbreak till the WHO announcement of the pandemic. Findings show that the interaction between traditional and digital media as well as the interaction between warnings about swine flu and previous warnings about other epidemics contributed to a heightened discourse of blame and counter-blame but also, more surprisingly, self-blame and reflections about the role the media in pandemic communication. The consequences of this increase in metacommunication for research into crisis communication are explored. PMID:21470893

  17. Scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities using functional diversity and community deconstruction approaches.

    PubMed

    Silva, Pedro Giovâni da; Hernández, Malva Isabel Medina

    2015-01-01

    Community structure is driven by mechanisms linked to environmental, spatial and temporal processes, which have been successfully addressed using metacommunity framework. The relative importance of processes shaping community structure can be identified using several different approaches. Two approaches that are increasingly being used are functional diversity and community deconstruction. Functional diversity is measured using various indices that incorporate distinct community attributes. Community deconstruction is a way to disentangle species responses to ecological processes by grouping species with similar traits. We used these two approaches to determine whether they are improvements over traditional measures (e.g., species composition, abundance, biomass) for identification of the main processes driving dung beetle (Scarabaeinae) community structure in a fragmented mainland-island landscape in southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We sampled five sites in each of four large forest areas, two on the mainland and two on the island. Sampling was performed in 2012 and 2013. We collected abundance and biomass data from 100 sampling points distributed over 20 sampling sites. We studied environmental, spatial and temporal effects on dung beetle community across three spatial scales, i.e., between sites, between areas and mainland-island. The γ-diversity based on species abundance was mainly attributed to β-diversity as a consequence of the increase in mean α- and β-diversity between areas. Variation partitioning on abundance, biomass and functional diversity showed scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities. We identified two major groups of responses among 17 functional groups. In general, environmental filters were important at both local and regional scales. Spatial factors were important at the intermediate scale. Our study supports the notion of scale-dependence of environmental, spatial and temporal processes in the distribution

  18. Scale-Dependence of Processes Structuring Dung Beetle Metacommunities Using Functional Diversity and Community Deconstruction Approaches

    PubMed Central

    da Silva, Pedro Giovâni; Hernández, Malva Isabel Medina

    2015-01-01

    Community structure is driven by mechanisms linked to environmental, spatial and temporal processes, which have been successfully addressed using metacommunity framework. The relative importance of processes shaping community structure can be identified using several different approaches. Two approaches that are increasingly being used are functional diversity and community deconstruction. Functional diversity is measured using various indices that incorporate distinct community attributes. Community deconstruction is a way to disentangle species responses to ecological processes by grouping species with similar traits. We used these two approaches to determine whether they are improvements over traditional measures (e.g., species composition, abundance, biomass) for identification of the main processes driving dung beetle (Scarabaeinae) community structure in a fragmented mainland-island landscape in southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We sampled five sites in each of four large forest areas, two on the mainland and two on the island. Sampling was performed in 2012 and 2013. We collected abundance and biomass data from 100 sampling points distributed over 20 sampling sites. We studied environmental, spatial and temporal effects on dung beetle community across three spatial scales, i.e., between sites, between areas and mainland-island. The γ-diversity based on species abundance was mainly attributed to β-diversity as a consequence of the increase in mean α- and β-diversity between areas. Variation partitioning on abundance, biomass and functional diversity showed scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities. We identified two major groups of responses among 17 functional groups. In general, environmental filters were important at both local and regional scales. Spatial factors were important at the intermediate scale. Our study supports the notion of scale-dependence of environmental, spatial and temporal processes in the distribution

  19. Comparative Solar Wind Properties at 9AU between the maximum and late declining phases of the Solar Cycle and possible implications for the magnetospheric dynamics of Saturn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Went, D. R.; Jackman, C. M.; Forsyth, R. J.; Dougherty, M. K.; Crary, F. J.

    2009-04-01

    We compare and contrast the general plasma and magnetic field properties of the solar wind upstream of Saturn (8.5-9.5 AU) at solar maximum (Pioneer-11 encounter) and the late-declining (Cassini approach) phase of the solar cycle. In both cases we find a highly structured solar wind dominated by co-rotating interaction regions (CIRs), merged interaction regions (MIRs) and Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections (ICMEs) that temporarily disrupt an otherwise clear two sector interplanetary magnetic field structure. Solar rotations generally contain two CIR compressions with embedded crossings of the heliospheric current sheet. There is no conclusive evidence for (persistent) departures from the Parker Spiral IMF model in this region of the heliosphere at either phase of the solar cycle, consistent with previous analyses (Thomas and Smith 1980, Jackman et al. 2008). However it is clear that average plasma properties vary significantly between the maximum and late declining phases of the cycle and there are a number of small but notable deviations. In particular, the average dynamic pressure of the solar wind varies by a factor of roughly two between solar maximum and solar minimum with potentially important consequences for the dynamics of Saturn's magnetosphere. These consequences should become apparent as Cassini enters its extended Equinox Mission which should encompass the rising phase and eventually maximum of Solar Cycle 24. They will be discussed and predictions will be made for future Cassini observations.

  20. Seasonal and ontogenetic variation of skin microbial communities and relationships to natural disease dynamics in declining amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Longo, Ana V.; Savage, Anna E.; Hewson, Ian; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2015-01-01

    Recently, microbiologists have focused on characterizing the probiotic role of skin bacteria for amphibians threatened by the fungal disease chytridiomycosis. However, the specific characteristics of microbial diversity required to maintain health or trigger disease are still not well understood in natural populations. We hypothesized that seasonal and developmental transitions affecting susceptibility to chytridiomycosis could also alter the stability of microbial assemblages. To test our hypothesis, we examined patterns of skin bacterial diversity in two species of declining amphibians (Lithobates yavapaiensis and Eleutherodactylus coqui) affected by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). We focused on two important transitions that affect Bd susceptibility: ontogenetic (from juvenile to adult) shifts in E. coqui and seasonal (from summer to winter) shifts in L. yavapaiensis. We used a combination of community-fingerprinting analyses and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to quantify changes in bacterial diversity and assemblage composition between seasons and developmental stages, and to investigate the relationship between bacterial diversity and pathogen load. We found that winter-sampled frogs and juveniles, two states associated with increased Bd susceptibility, exhibited higher diversity compared with summer-sampled frogs and adult individuals. Our findings also revealed that hosts harbouring higher bacterial diversity carried lower Bd infections, providing support for the protective role of bacterial communities. Ongoing work to understand skin microbiome resilience after pathogen disturbance has the potential to identify key taxa involved in disease resistance. PMID:26587253

  1. Seasonal and ontogenetic variation of skin microbial communities and relationships to natural disease dynamics in declining amphibians.

    PubMed

    Longo, Ana V; Savage, Anna E; Hewson, Ian; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2015-07-01

    Recently, microbiologists have focused on characterizing the probiotic role of skin bacteria for amphibians threatened by the fungal disease chytridiomycosis. However, the specific characteristics of microbial diversity required to maintain health or trigger disease are still not well understood in natural populations. We hypothesized that seasonal and developmental transitions affecting susceptibility to chytridiomycosis could also alter the stability of microbial assemblages. To test our hypothesis, we examined patterns of skin bacterial diversity in two species of declining amphibians (Lithobates yavapaiensis and Eleutherodactylus coqui) affected by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). We focused on two important transitions that affect Bd susceptibility: ontogenetic (from juvenile to adult) shifts in E. coqui and seasonal (from summer to winter) shifts in L. yavapaiensis. We used a combination of community-fingerprinting analyses and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to quantify changes in bacterial diversity and assemblage composition between seasons and developmental stages, and to investigate the relationship between bacterial diversity and pathogen load. We found that winter-sampled frogs and juveniles, two states associated with increased Bd susceptibility, exhibited higher diversity compared with summer-sampled frogs and adult individuals. Our findings also revealed that hosts harbouring higher bacterial diversity carried lower Bd infections, providing support for the protective role of bacterial communities. Ongoing work to understand skin microbiome resilience after pathogen disturbance has the potential to identify key taxa involved in disease resistance. PMID:26587253

  2. Environmental Controls on River Assemblages at the Regional Scale: An Application of the Elements of Metacommunity Structure Framework.

    PubMed

    Tonkin, Jonathan D; Sundermann, Andrea; Jähnig, Sonja C; Haase, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Understanding factors that structure regional biodiversity is important for linking ecological and biogeographic processes. Our objective was to explore regional patterns in riverine benthic invertebrate assemblages in relation to their broad positioning along the river network and examine differences in composition, biodiversity (alpha and beta diversity), and environmental drivers. We up-scaled methods used to examine patterns in metacommunity structure (Elements of Metacommunity Structure framework) to examine faunal distribution patterns at the regional extent for 168 low-mountain stream invertebrate assemblages in central Germany. We then identified the most influential environmental factors using boosted regression trees. Faunal composition patterns were compartmentalised (Clementsian or quasi-Clementsian), with little difference from headwaters to large rivers, potentially reflecting the regional scale of the study, by crossing major catchment boundaries and incorporating different species pools. While idealised structures did not vary, environmental drivers of composition varied considerably between river sections and with alpha diversity. Prediction was substantially weaker, and the importance of space was greater, in large rivers compared to other sections suggesting a weakening in species sorting downstream. Further, there was a stronger transition in composition than for alpha diversity downstream. The stronger links with regional faunal composition than with richness further emphasises the importance of considering the alternative ways in which anthropogenic stressors are operating to affect biodiversity patterns. Our approach allowed bridging the gap between local (or metacommunity) and regional scales, providing key insights into drivers of regional biodiversity patterns. PMID:26270550

  3. Environmental Controls on River Assemblages at the Regional Scale: An Application of the Elements of Metacommunity Structure Framework

    PubMed Central

    Tonkin, Jonathan D.; Sundermann, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Understanding factors that structure regional biodiversity is important for linking ecological and biogeographic processes. Our objective was to explore regional patterns in riverine benthic invertebrate assemblages in relation to their broad positioning along the river network and examine differences in composition, biodiversity (alpha and beta diversity), and environmental drivers. We up-scaled methods used to examine patterns in metacommunity structure (Elements of Metacommunity Structure framework) to examine faunal distribution patterns at the regional extent for 168 low-mountain stream invertebrate assemblages in central Germany. We then identified the most influential environmental factors using boosted regression trees. Faunal composition patterns were compartmentalised (Clementsian or quasi-Clementsian), with little difference from headwaters to large rivers, potentially reflecting the regional scale of the study, by crossing major catchment boundaries and incorporating different species pools. While idealised structures did not vary, environmental drivers of composition varied considerably between river sections and with alpha diversity. Prediction was substantially weaker, and the importance of space was greater, in large rivers compared to other sections suggesting a weakening in species sorting downstream. Further, there was a stronger transition in composition than for alpha diversity downstream. The stronger links with regional faunal composition than with richness further emphasises the importance of considering the alternative ways in which anthropogenic stressors are operating to affect biodiversity patterns. Our approach allowed bridging the gap between local (or metacommunity) and regional scales, providing key insights into drivers of regional biodiversity patterns. PMID:26270550

  4. Temporal and spatial dynamics of trypanosomes infecting the brush-tailed bettong (Bettongia penicillata): a cautionary note of disease-induced population decline

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The brush-tailed bettong or woylie (Bettongia penicillata) is on the brink of extinction. Its numbers have declined by 90% since 1999, with their current distribution occupying less than 1% of their former Australian range. Woylies are known to be infected with three different trypanosomes (Trypanosoma vegrandis, Trypanosoma copemani and Trypanosoma sp. H25) and two different strains of T. copemani that vary in virulence. However, the role that these haemoparasites have played during the recent decline of their host is unclear and is part of ongoing investigation. Methods Woylies were sampled from five locations in southern Western Australia, including two neighbouring indigenous populations, two enclosed (fenced) populations and a captive colony. PCR was used to individually identify the three different trypanosomes from blood and tissues of the host, and to investigate the temporal and spatial dynamics of trypanosome infections. Results The spatial pattern of trypanosome infection varied among the five study sites, with a greater proportion of woylies from the Perup indigenous population being infected with T. copemani than from the neighbouring Kingston indigenous population. For an established infection, T. copemani detection was temporally inconsistent. The more virulent strain of T. copemani appeared to regress at a faster rate than the less virulent strain, with the infection possibly transitioning from the acute to chronic phase. Interspecific competition may also exist between T. copemani and T. vegrandis, where an existing T. vegrandis infection may moderate the sequential establishment of the more virulent T. copemani. Conclusion In this study, we provide a possible temporal connection implicating T. copemani as the disease agent linked with the recent decline of the Kingston indigenous woylie population within the Upper Warren region of Western Australia. The chronic association of trypanosomes with the internal organs of its host may be

  5. Coral reef ecosystem decline: changing dynamics of coral reef carbonate production and implications for reef growth potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perry, Chris

    2016-04-01

    Global-scale deteriorations in coral reef health have caused major shifts in species composition and are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. It has been suggested that one effect of these ecological changes will be to lower reef carbonate production rates, which will impair reef growth potential and, ultimately, may lead to states of net reef erosion. However, quantitative data to support such assertions are limited, and linkages between the ecological state of coral reefs and their past and present geomorphic performance (in other words their growth potential) are poorly resolved. Using recently collected data from sites in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean, and which have undergone very different post-disturbance ecological trajectories over the last ~20-30 years, the differential impacts of disturbance on contemporary carbonate production regimes and on reef growth potential can be explored. In the Caribbean, a region which has been severely impacted ecological over the last 30+ years, our datasets show that average carbonate production rates on reefs are now less than 50% of pre-disturbance rates, and that calculated accretion rates (mm yr-1) are an about order of magnitude lower within shallow water habitats compared to Holocene averages. Collectively, these data suggest that recent ecological declines are now propagating through the system to impact on the geomorphic performance of Caribbean reefs and will impair their future growth potential. In contrast, the carbonate budgets of most reefs across the Chagos archipelago (central Indian Ocean), which is geographically remote and largely isolated from direct human disturbances, have recovered rapidly from major past disturbances (specifically the 1998 coral bleaching event). The carbonate budgets on these remote reefs now average +3.7 G (G = kg CaCO3 m-2 yr-1). Most significantly the production rates on Acropora-dominated reefs, which were most severely impacted by the 1998 bleaching event, average +8.4 G

  6. Nested patterns in hyporheic meta-communities: the role of body morphology and penetrability of sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omesová, Marie; Horsák, Michal; Helešic, Jan

    2008-10-01

    Nestedness has been regarded as a common pattern of species distribution especially in terrestrial systems and vertebrate faunas. However, a significantly lower degree of nestedness has been reported for aquatic invertebrates. We analyzed the vertical distribution patterns of taxa in the upper 70 cm of the hyporheic zone. This biotope is abundantly inhabited by epigean fauna, which is morphologically pre-adapted to life within the limited space of sediment interstices. We tested the hypotheses that in the vertical profile of the hyporheic zone sediment acts as a physical barrier (filter), allowing only the morphologically pre-adapted and adapted (i.e., smaller, narrower, more flexible) taxa to penetrate to deeper layers. We demonstrated that this mechanism can promote a strongly nested and colonization-driven pattern at higher taxa levels. The sediment filter (1) constricted the body width: 0.50 mm appeared to be the upper limit for successful sediment colonization at the study site, and (2) favored elongated taxa against small sized taxa. We tested also the assumption that distribution of fine sediment affects the accessibility of hyporheic zone for fauna (“filter density”) and thereby influences nestedness. However, we found that nestedness could be sufficiently explained by the depth itself. Our study offers a possible explanation of depth patterns in hyporeic meta-communities as a result of morphological characteristics promoting nestedness at higher taxa level.

  7. Detecting warning signs of trouble within population fluctuations: using capture-recapture modeling to uncover changes in population dynamics leading to declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spendelow, J.A.; Nichols, J.D.; Kendall, W.L.; Hines, J.E.; Hatfield, J.S.; Nisbet, I.C.T.

    2004-01-01

    An intensive mark-recapture/resighting program has been carried out on the Roseate Terns nesting at Falkner Island, Connecticut, since the late 1980s as part of a regional study of the metapopulation dynamics and ecology of the endangered Northwest Atlantic breeding population of this species. Substantial losses of tern eggs and chicks to predation at this colony site began in 1996 when at least five Black-crowned Night-Herons started nocturnal raids. This depredation has been a major factor in the reduction of productivity from an average of about 1.0 chicks/pair for the 10 years before night-heron predation began to as low as about 0.2 chicks/pair in 2002. Recent capture-recapture modelling analyses have detected other important impacts on the population dynamics of the Roseate Terns at this site including a reduction by about half in the 'development-of-residency' rates of first-time breeders, and a substantial decline in the local 'survival-and-fidelity' rates of experienced breeders believed due mostly to increased immigration rates to other colony sites.

  8. Metacommunity theory as a multispecies, multiscale framework for studying the influence of river network structure on riverine communities and ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, B.L.; Swan, C.M.; Auerbach, D.A.; Campbell, Grant E.H.; Hitt, N.P.; Maloney, K.O.; Patrick, C.

    2011-01-01

    Explaining the mechanisms underlying patterns of species diversity and composition in riverine networks is challenging. Historically, community ecologists have conceived of communities as largely isolated entities and have focused on local environmental factors and interspecific interactions as the major forces determining species composition. However, stream ecologists have long embraced a multiscale approach to studying riverine ecosystems and have studied both local factors and larger-scale regional factors, such as dispersal and disturbance. River networks exhibit a dendritic spatial structure that can constrain aquatic organisms when their dispersal is influenced by or confined to the river network. We contend that the principles of metacommunity theory would help stream ecologists to understand how the complex spatial structure of river networks mediates the relative influences of local and regional control on species composition. From a basic ecological perspective, the concept is attractive because new evidence suggests that the importance of regional processes (dispersal) depends on spatial structure of habitat and on connection to the regional species pool. The role of local factors relative to regional factors will vary with spatial position in a river network. From an applied perspective, the long-standing view in ecology that local community composition is an indicator of habitat quality may not be uniformly applicable across a river network, but the strength of such bioassessment approaches probably will depend on spatial position in the network. The principles of metacommunity theory are broadly applicable across taxa and systems but seem of particular consequence to stream ecology given the unique spatial structure of riverine systems. By explicitly embracing processes at multiple spatial scales, metacommunity theory provides a foundation on which to build a richer understanding of stream communities.

  9. The Aftermath of Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Kim S.; Chaffee, Ellen Earle

    Differences between declining colleges and colleges not experiencing decline were investigated, along with dysfunctional organizational consequences that may be associated with decline. Attention is directed to 12 negative attributes resulting from conditions of decline, seven of which were found to be significant: no innovation, scapegoating,…

  10. The core microbiome bonds the Alpine bog vegetation to a transkingdom metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Christian; Berg, Gabriele

    2015-09-01

    Bog ecosystems fulfil important functions in Earth's carbon and water turnover. While plant communities and their keystone species Sphagnum have been well studied, less is known about the microbial communities associated with them. To study our hypothesis that bog plants share an essential core of their microbiome despite their different phylogenetic origins, we analysed four plant community plots with 24 bryophytes, vascular plants and lichen species in two Alpine bogs in Austria by 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing followed by bioinformatic analyses. The overall bog microbiome was classified into 32 microbial phyla, while Proteobacteria (30.8%), Verrucomicrobia (20.3%) and Planctomycetes (15.1%) belonged to the most abundant groups. Interestingly, the archaeal phylum Euryarcheota represented 7.2% of total microbial abundance. However, a high portion of micro-organisms remained unassigned at phylum and class level, respectively. The core microbiome of the bog vegetation contained 177 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) (150 526 seq.) and contributed to 49.5% of the total microbial abundance. Only a minor portion of associated core micro-organisms was host specific for examined plant groups (5.9-11.6%). Using our new approach to analyse plant-microbial communities in an integral framework of ecosystem, vegetation and microbiome, we demonstrated that bog vegetation harboured a core microbiome that is shared between plants and lichens over the whole ecosystem and formed a transkingdom metacommunity. All micro- and macro-organisms are connected to keystone Sphagnum mosses via set of microbial species, for example Burkholderia bryophila which was found associated with a wide spectrum of host plants and is known for a beneficial plant-microbe interaction. PMID:26335913

  11. Growth declines in red spruce

    SciTech Connect

    Zedaker, S.M.; Hyink, D.M.; Smith, D.W.

    1987-01-01

    Over the past two decades second-growth red spruce stands in the Northeast have demonstrated declines in radial increment. Some observers are implicating air pollution as a primary cause of the declines, based on recently acquired increment cores from dominant trees. Various forms of air pollution (O/sub 3/, NO/sub x/, SO/sub 2/, and trace metals) are known to reduce growth and development of tree species, but few studies have provided concrete evidence of regional pollution-caused declines in forest ecosystems. Recently published evidence of a synchronous, consistent, and unprecedented regional decline in red spruce should be weighed against the realization that radial increment in red spruce declines naturally as stands age. Separating anthropogenic stress-caused growth patterns from natural stand dynamics requires an in-depth knowledge of forest growth and yield, tree silvics, and forest ecosystem processes. Detailed analyses of growth by stand characteristics - site index, density, elevation, stand history - will be necessary to implicate air pollution as a primary cause of red spruce decline.

  12. The Aftermath of Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Kim S.; And Others

    1987-01-01

    A study investigated the presence or absence of 12 attributes of declining business organizations in colleges and universities experiencing decline and found that significant differences occurred not between declining and stable organizations or those with stable or unstable budgets, but between growing and static organizations. (Author/MSE)

  13. Growth declines in red spruce

    SciTech Connect

    McLaughlin, S.B. ); Adams, H.S. )

    1987-10-01

    In this letter, the authors take issue with Zedaker, Hyink, and Smith who have indicated that observed red spruce growth declines can be expected based on growth trends for even-aged stands of red spruce as documented in Meyer (1929). Recently, an examination was made of stand stocking levels at 750 sites where red spruce were cored and neither the rate of growth decline nor the extent of mortality were found to be related to stand stocking levels or previous disturbance history. The authors conclude that the Meyer data do not represent an appropriate model for stand dynamics of old-growth, high-elevation stands and no not adequately explain the growth declines observed at many of those sites.

  14. Effects of species’ similarity and dominance on the functional and phylogenetic structure of a plant meta-community

    PubMed Central

    Chalmandrier, L.; Münkemüller, T.; Lavergne, S.; Thuiller, W.

    2015-01-01

    Different assembly processes drive the spatial structure of meta-communities (β-diversity). Recently, functional and phylogenetic diversities have been suggested as indicators of these assembly processes. Assuming that diversity is a good proxy for niche overlap, high β-diversity along environmental gradients should be the result of environmental filtering while low β-diversity should stem from competitive interactions. So far studies trying to disentangle the relative importance of these assembly processes provided mixed results. One reason for this may be that these studies often rely on a single measure of diversity and thus implicitly make a choice on how they account for species relative abundances and how species similarities are captured by functional traits or phylogeny. Here, we tested the effect of gradually scaling the importance of dominance (the weight given to dominant vs. rare species) and species similarity (the weight given to small vs. large similarities) on resulting β-diversity patterns of an alpine plant meta-community. To this end, we combined recent extensions of the Hill numbers framework with Pagel’s phylogenetic tree transformation approach. We included functional (based on the Leaf-Height-Seed spectrum) and phylogenetic facets of β-diversity in our analysis and explicitly accounted for effects of environmental and spatial covariates. We found that functional β-diversity was high when the same weight was given to dominant vs. rare species and to large vs. small species’ similarities. In contrast, phylogenetic β-diversity was low when greater weight was given to dominant species and small species’ similarities. Those results suggested that different environments along the gradients filtered different species according to their functional traits, while, the same competitive lineages dominated communities across the gradients. Our results highlight that functional vs. phylogenetic facets, presence-absence vs. abundance structure

  15. Metacommunity Composition of Web-Spiders in a Fragmented Neotropical Forest: Relative Importance of Environmental and Spatial Effects

    PubMed Central

    Baldissera, Ronei; Rodrigues, Everton N. L.; Hartz, Sandra M.

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of beta diversity is shaped by factors linked to environmental and spatial control. The relative importance of both processes in structuring spider metacommunities has not yet been investigated in the Atlantic Forest. The variance explained by purely environmental, spatially structured environmental, and purely spatial components was compared for a metacommunity of web spiders. The study was carried out in 16 patches of Atlantic Forest in southern Brazil. Field work was done in one landscape mosaic representing a slight gradient of urbanization. Environmental variables encompassed plot- and patch-level measurements and a climatic matrix, while principal coordinates of neighbor matrices (PCNMs) acted as spatial variables. A forward selection procedure was carried out to select environmental and spatial variables influencing web-spider beta diversity. Variation partitioning was used to estimate the contribution of pure environmental and pure spatial effects and their shared influence on beta-diversity patterns, and to estimate the relative importance of selected environmental variables. Three environmental variables (bush density, land use in the surroundings of patches, and shape of patches) and two spatial variables were selected by forward selection procedures. Variation partitioning revealed that 15% of the variation of beta diversity was explained by a combination of environmental and PCNM variables. Most of this variation (12%) corresponded to pure environmental and spatially environmental structure. The data indicated that (1) spatial legacy was not important in explaining the web-spider beta diversity; (2) environmental predictors explained a significant portion of the variation in web-spider composition; (3) one-third of environmental variation was due to a spatial structure that jointly explains variation in species distributions. We were able to detect important factors related to matrix management influencing the web-spider beta

  16. Final Report for Dynamic Models for Causal Analysis of Panel Data. Internal Politics of Growth and Decline. Part II, Chapter 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hannan, Michael T.; Freeman, John

    The document, part of a series of chapters described in SO 011 759, describes a model that incorporates organizational politics and environmental dependence into a study of the effects of growth and decline on the number of school personnel. The first section describes the original model which assumes that as the number of students in a district…

  17. Declining Enrollment Conference Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arizona State Dept. of Education, Phoenix.

    This report summarizes the results of a conference on declining enrollment sponsored by the Arizona State Department of Education. Topics covered include school closing, budget implications of declining enrollment, staffing problems and reduction in force, board of education and community support, problems of small school districts, and…

  18. Facilities and Declining Enrollment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois State Office of Education, Springfield. Dept. of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

    The results of a survey of 55 Illinois school districts which had experienced declining enrollment and surplus school space are reported in this paper. All 55 districts had closed at least one school as a result of enrollment decline, resulting in a total of 89 school closures. The two most important criteria for selecting the schools to be closed…

  19. Watermelon Vine Declines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A number of diseases have been identified that cause the wilt, collapse and general decline of watermelon plants. These diseases occur in watermelon growing areas around the world and are generically referred to as vine declines. In the 1990’s, Monosporascus root rot was identified as a disease of...

  20. Rational forest productivity decline.

    PubMed

    MacLellan, James I; Carleton, T J

    2003-01-01

    A whole forest optimisation model was employed to examine economic behaviour as it relates to long term, forest productivity decline in the boreal forests of Ontario, Canada. Our productivity investment model (PIM) incorporated a choice between productivity decline as represented by a drop in forest Site Class, and a fee to 'maintain' site productivity. Sensitivity analysis was used to determine the point at which these fees exceeded the value of the differential in timber volume between upper and lower site classes. By varying discount rate, 'productivity investment frontiers' were constructed, which highlight the effects of the magnitude in productivity decline, maintenance fees, and harvest flow constraints upon the occurrence and schedule of productivity declines. In presenting this simple approach to exploring the effects of economic choice upon forest productivity decline, the phenomena of 'natural capital divestment' within forestry is described. PMID:12859006

  1. Coping with Decline

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boulding, Kenneth

    1977-01-01

    A quantitative decline is predicted because of the leveling off of industrial production and exhaustion of resources. Coping with these conditions requires flexibility and adaptability. Delusions of certainty zero in on catastrophe. (Author/MLF)

  2. Urban Decline and Durable Housing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glaeser, Edward L.; Gyourko, Joseph

    2005-01-01

    Urban decline is not the mirror image of growth, and durable housing is the primary reason the nature of decline is so different. This paper presents a model of urban decline with durable housing and verifies these implications of the model: (1) city growth rates are skewed so that cities grow more quickly than they decline; (2) urban decline is…

  3. A spatial analysis of population dynamics and climate change in Africa: potential vulnerability hot spots emerge where precipitation declines and demographic pressures coincide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    López-Carr, David; Pricope, Narcisa G.; Aukema, Juliann E.; Jankowska, Marta M.; Funk, Christopher C.; Husak, Gregory J.; Michaelsen, Joel C.

    2014-01-01

    We present an integrative measure of exposure and sensitivity components of vulnerability to climatic and demographic change for the African continent in order to identify “hot spots” of high potential population vulnerability. Getis-Ord Gi* spatial clustering analyses reveal statistically significant locations of spatio-temporal precipitation decline coinciding with high population density and increase. Statistically significant areas are evident, particularly across central, southern, and eastern Africa. The highly populated Lake Victoria basin emerges as a particularly salient hot spot. People located in the regions highlighted in this analysis suffer exceptionally high exposure to negative climate change impacts (as populations increase on lands with decreasing rainfall). Results may help inform further hot spot mapping and related research on demographic vulnerabilities to climate change. Results may also inform more suitable geographical targeting of policy interventions across the continent.

  4. Is America in Decline?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prowse, Michael

    1992-01-01

    Rather than decline, the issues are increased equality among industrialized nations, increased U.S. social inequality, and social implications of the new economy. The best way to tackle growing social inequality is by reshaping education to give workers the skills needed for this new economy. (JOW)

  5. Fraternities in Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reisberg, Leo

    2000-01-01

    Reports on a decline in fraternity membership, which is ascribed to changing demographics, bad publicity about alcohol abuse and hazing incidents, and changing student values. Graphs illustrate fraternity membership trends at six universities, including 10-year comparisons in membership, academic performance, and pledges; and average number of men…

  6. Declining Resources, Targeted Strategies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levenson, Nathan

    2011-01-01

    As resources shrink, the need to do more with less becomes critical. As a business CEO turned superintendent, this author has seen firsthand that many options exist, but none are fun, easy, or politically rewarding. He contends that the challenge of managing declining resources is not the choice between doing less for children or discovering new…

  7. Rising Above Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wachtel, Betsy; Powers, Brian

    This volume attempts to document ways in which several communities have dealt with the problems of declining school enrollments. Each case study outlines some type of public participation in the task of adjusting to population changes and fiscal pressures. The first chapter supplies an introductory overview of issues related to declining…

  8. Inferring the effects of potential dispersal routes on the metacommunity structure of stream insects: as the crow flies, as the fish swims or as the fox runs?

    PubMed

    Kärnä, Olli-Matti; Grönroos, Mira; Antikainen, Harri; Hjort, Jan; Ilmonen, Jari; Paasivirta, Lauri; Heino, Jani

    2015-09-01

    1. Metacommunity research relies largely on proxies for inferring the effect of dispersal on local community structure. Overland and watercourse distances have been typically used as such proxies. A good proxy for dispersal should, however, take into account more complex landscape features that can affect an organism's movement and dispersal. The cost distance approach does just that, allowing determining the path of least resistance across a landscape. 2. Here, we examined the distance decay of assemblage similarity within a subarctic stream insect metacommunity. We tested whether overland, watercourse and cumulative cost distances performed differently as correlates of dissimilarity in assemblage composition between sites. We also investigated the effect of body size and dispersal mode on metacommunity organization. 3. We found that dissimilarities in assemblage composition correlated more strongly with environmental than physical distances between sites. Overland and watercourse distances showed similar correlations to assemblage dissimilarity between sites, being sometimes significantly correlated with biological variation of entire insect communities. In metacommunities deconstructed by body size or dispersal mode, contrary to our expectation, passive dispersers showed a slightly stronger correlation than active dispersers to environmental differences between sites, although passive dispersers also showed a stronger correlation than active dispersers to physical distances between sites. The strength of correlation between environmental distance and biological dissimilarity also varied slightly among the body size classes. 4. After controlling for environmental differences between sites, cumulative cost distances were slightly better correlates of biological dissimilarities than overland or watercourse distances between sites. However, quantitative differences in correlation coefficients were small between different physical distances. 5. Although environmental

  9. 85 million years of pelagic ecosystem evolution: Pacific Ocean deep-sea ichthyolith records reveal fish community dynamics and a long-term decline in sharks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibert, E. C.; Norris, R. D.; Cuevas, J. M.; Graves, L. G.

    2015-12-01

    The structure and productivity of open ocean consumers has undergone major changes over the past 85 million years. Here, we present the first long-term detailed records of pelagic fish and sharks utilizing the record of ichthyoliths (teeth and dermal scales) from the deep Pacific Ocean. While the North and South Pacific Oceans show similar patterns throughout the 85 million year history, the North Pacific ichthyolith accumulation is significantly higher than the South Pacific, suggesting that the basin has been a more productive region for tens of millions of years. Fish and sharks were not abundant in the Pacific gyres until ~75 million years ago (Ma) suggesting that neither group was quantitatively important in oligotrophic pelagic food webs prior to the latest Cretaceous. Relative to ray-finned fish, sharks were common in the ancient ocean. Most ichthyolith assemblages have >50% shark dermal scales (denticles), but denticle abundance has been declining in both absolute and relative abundance since the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) mass extinction. The accumulation rate of ichthyoliths of both sharks and ray-finned fish was highest in the Early Eocene, during the peak of the Cenozoic 'greenhouse' climate where production of shark dermal denticles and fish teeth increased almost five times over Paleocene production rates. Ichthyolith fluxes fell with cooler climates in the later Eocene and Oligocene, but fish production is almost always higher than in the Cretaceous and Paleocene reflecting the expanded ecological roles and importance of pelagic fish in marine ecosystems. Shark denticle production fell to less than half that of the Cretaceous by 20 Ma when it dropped abruptly to near-zero levels. Currently denticles make up <2% of the ichthyolith assemblages when present at all. Ecologically, pelagic sharks appear to be falling as major pelagic consumers over the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic, and particularly over the past 20 Ma, perhaps reflecting demographic

  10. Cardiac mitochondrial proteome dynamics with heavy water reveals stable rate of mitochondrial protein synthesis in heart failure despite decline in mitochondrial oxidative capacity.

    PubMed

    Shekar, Kadambari Chandra; Li, Ling; Dabkowski, Erinne R; Xu, Wenhong; Ribeiro, Rogerio Faustino; Hecker, Peter A; Recchia, Fabio A; Sadygov, Rovshan G; Willard, Belinda; Kasumov, Takhar; Stanley, William C

    2014-10-01

    We recently developed a method to measure mitochondrial proteome dynamics with heavy water ((2)H2O)-based metabolic labeling and high resolution mass spectrometry. We reported the half-lives and synthesis rates of several proteins in the two cardiac mitochondrial subpopulations, subsarcolemmal and interfibrillar (SSM and IFM), in Sprague Dawley rats. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that the mitochondrial protein synthesis rate is reduced in heart failure, with possible differential changes in SSM versus IFM. Six to seven week old male Sprague Dawley rats underwent transverse aortic constriction (TAC) and developed moderate heart failure after 22weeks. Heart failure and sham rats of the same age received heavy water (5% in drinking water) for up to 80days. Cardiac SSM and IFM were isolated from both groups and the proteins were separated by 1D gel electrophoresis. Heart failure reduced protein content and increased the turnover rate of several proteins involved in fatty acid oxidation, electron transport chain and ATP synthesis, while it decreased the turnover of other proteins, including pyruvate dehydrogenase subunit in IFM, but not in SSM. Because of these bidirectional changes, the average overall half-life of proteins was not altered by heart failure in both SSM and IFM. The kinetic measurements of individual mitochondrial proteins presented in this study may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for mitochondrial alterations in the failing heart. PMID:24995939

  11. A Novel, Unbiased Analysis Approach for Investigating Population Dynamics: A Case Study on Calanus finmarchicus and Its Decline in the North Sea

    PubMed Central

    Papworth, Danny J.; Marini, Simone; Conversi, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    Marine populations are controlled by a series of drivers, pertaining to both the physical environment and the biological environment (trophic predator-prey interactions). There is heated debate over drivers, especially when trying to understand the causes of major ecosystem events termed regime shifts. In this work, we have researched and developed a novel methodology based on Genetic Programming (GP) for distinguishing which drivers can influence species abundance. This methodology benefits of having no a priori assumptions either on the ecological parameters used or on the underlying mathematical relationships among them. We have validated this methodology applying it to the North Sea pelagic ecosystem. We use the target species Calanus finmarchicus, a key copepod in temperate and subarctic ecosystems, along with 86 biological, hydrographical and climatic time series, ranging from local water nutrients and fish predation, to large scale climate pressure patterns. The chosen study area is the central North Sea, from 1972 to 2011, during which period there was an ecological regime shift. The GP based analysis identified 3 likely drivers of C. finmarchicus abundance, which highlights the importance of considering both physical and trophic drivers: temperature, North Sea circulation (net flow into the North Atlantic), and predation (herring). No large scale climate patterns were selected, suggesting that when there is availability of both data types, local drivers are more important. The results produced by the GP based procedure are consistent with the literature published to date, and validate the use of GP for interpreting species dynamics. We propose that this methodology holds promises for the highly non-linear field of ecology. PMID:27366910

  12. A Novel, Unbiased Analysis Approach for Investigating Population Dynamics: A Case Study on Calanus finmarchicus and Its Decline in the North Sea.

    PubMed

    Papworth, Danny J; Marini, Simone; Conversi, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    Marine populations are controlled by a series of drivers, pertaining to both the physical environment and the biological environment (trophic predator-prey interactions). There is heated debate over drivers, especially when trying to understand the causes of major ecosystem events termed regime shifts. In this work, we have researched and developed a novel methodology based on Genetic Programming (GP) for distinguishing which drivers can influence species abundance. This methodology benefits of having no a priori assumptions either on the ecological parameters used or on the underlying mathematical relationships among them. We have validated this methodology applying it to the North Sea pelagic ecosystem. We use the target species Calanus finmarchicus, a key copepod in temperate and subarctic ecosystems, along with 86 biological, hydrographical and climatic time series, ranging from local water nutrients and fish predation, to large scale climate pressure patterns. The chosen study area is the central North Sea, from 1972 to 2011, during which period there was an ecological regime shift. The GP based analysis identified 3 likely drivers of C. finmarchicus abundance, which highlights the importance of considering both physical and trophic drivers: temperature, North Sea circulation (net flow into the North Atlantic), and predation (herring). No large scale climate patterns were selected, suggesting that when there is availability of both data types, local drivers are more important. The results produced by the GP based procedure are consistent with the literature published to date, and validate the use of GP for interpreting species dynamics. We propose that this methodology holds promises for the highly non-linear field of ecology. PMID:27366910

  13. Spatial Structures of the Environment and of Dispersal Impact Species Distribution in Competitive Metacommunities

    PubMed Central

    Ai, Dexiecuo; Gravel, Dominique; Chu, Chengjin; Wang, Gang

    2013-01-01

    The correspondence between species distribution and the environment depends on species’ ability to track favorable environmental conditions (via dispersal) and to maintain competitive hierarchy against the constant influx of migrants (mass effect) and demographic stochasticity (ecological drift). Here we report a simulation study of the influence of landscape structure on species distribution. We consider lottery competition for space in a spatially heterogeneous environment, where the landscape is represented as a network of localities connected by dispersal. We quantified the contribution of neutrality and species sorting to their spatial distribution. We found that neutrality increases and the strength of species-sorting decreases with the centrality of a community in the landscape when the average dispersal among communities is low, whereas the opposite was found at elevated dispersal. We also found that the strength of species-sorting increases with environmental heterogeneity. Our results illustrate that spatial structure of the environment and of dispersal must be taken into account for understanding species distribution. We stress the importance of spatial geographic structure on the relative importance of niche vs. neutral processes in controlling community dynamics. PMID:23874815

  14. Terminal decline in motor function.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Robert S; Segawa, Eisuke; Buchman, Aron S; Boyle, Patricia A; Hizel, Loren P; Bennett, David A

    2012-12-01

    The study aim was to test the hypothesis that motor function undergoes accelerated decline proximate to death. As part of a longitudinal clinical-pathologic study, 124 older Roman Catholic nuns, priests, and monks completed at least 7 annual clinical evaluations, died, and underwent brain autopsy and uniform neuropathologic examination. Each evaluation included administration of 11 motor tests and 19 cognitive tests from which global measures of motor and cognitive function were derived. The global motor measure (baseline M = 0.82, SD = 0.21) declined a mean 0.024 unit per year (95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.032, -0.016) until a mean of 2.46 years (95% CI: -2.870, -2.108) before death when rate of decline increased nearly fivefold to -0.117 unit per year (95% CI: -0.140, -0.097). The global cognitive measure (baseline M = 0.07, SD = 0.45) declined a mean of 0.027-unit per year (95% CI: -0.041, -0.014) until a mean of 2.76 years (95% CI: -3.157, -2.372) before death when rate of decline increased more than 13-fold to -0.371 unit per year (95% CI: -0.443, -0.306). Onset of terminal motor decline was highly correlated with onset of terminal cognitive decline (r = .94, 95% CI: 0.81, 0.99), but rates of motor and cognitive change were not strongly correlated (preterminal r = .20, 95% CI: -0.05, 0.38; terminal r = .34, 95% CI: 0.03, 0.62). Higher level of plaques and tangles was associated with earlier onset of terminal decline in motor function, but no pathologic measures were associated with rate of preterminal or terminal motor decline. The results demonstrate that motor and cognitive functions both undergo a period of accelerated decline in the last few years of life. PMID:22612603

  15. [Forest degradation/decline: research and practice].

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jiao-Jun; Li, Feng-Qin

    2007-07-01

    As one of the most critical environmental problems in the 21st century, forest degradation has been facing worldwide. There are many definitions about forest degradation, but its common features are the permanent loss of forests, stand structure destructed, forest quality decreased, and forest functions lowered. Forest decline or tree decline in fact is one of the causes of forest degradation, which includes the general reduction of trees in vigor, low level growth of trees in productivity, death of trees, and even, decline of soil fertility. Many researches indicated that deforestation is the permanent loss of forests in area, which is shifted to other land uses. Deforestation is the product of the interactions between environmental, social, economic, cultural, and political forces at work in any given country/region, and thus, more and more attention is focused on the negative socioeconomic and environmental effects after forest degradation, especially on the reduction of forest area induced by deforestation. The effects of any decisions or policies in national and international levels on forest degradation induced by deforestation have been paid attention as well. How to make efforts and strengthen the worldwide cooperation to combat the forest degradation induced by deforestation must be challenged to find appropriate solutions. There are many researches on forest decline, because of its complexity and uncertainties. The major causes of forest decline include: 1) pollution from both industry and agriculture, 2) stress factors, e.g., desiccation, 3) changes in stand dynamics, 4) decline disease of forest or diseases of complex etiology, 5) degradation of productivity and/or soil fertility in pure plantation forests. Forest degradation in China is similar to that all over the world, but with the characteristics in forest components, i.e., 1) secondary forests are the major forest resources, 2) China has the most plantation forests in the world, some of which have

  16. Predicting Succession under Conditions of Enrollment Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berger, Michael A.

    1984-01-01

    Using 56 school districts that experienced enrollment declines, this study describes the variables in superintendent succession amidst declining enrollments and locates the strongest predictors of succession. (JW)

  17. American Higher Education in Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashworth, Kenneth H.

    The decline in the quality of American higher education over the past several decades and the ramifications of this phenomena are discussed in this book. It is suggested that in responding to modern egalitarianism and the need to attract students, colleges and universities have initiated innovative programs, noncampuses, and nontraditional degrees…

  18. Environmental Decline and Organizational Response.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zammuto, Raymond F.; Cameron, Kim S.

    1985-01-01

    A management model uses a population perspective that examines types of change occurring in the environment of populations of organizations and results in four kinds of decline (erosion, contraction, dissolution, and collapse). It is used to explain several population-related organizational phenomena. (MSE)

  19. Decline of the oil cartel

    SciTech Connect

    Fieleke, N.S.

    1986-07-01

    A review of the development that led to the current decline in oil prices concludes that sharp relative price changes have been a major source of world economic instability for the past 13 years. The results for oil-importing countries have been cycles of inflation and contraction followed by inflation and rapid growth. Some see the recent price decline as an effort by OPEC to regain enough power to bring about an eventual price rise. Although past price and production relationships indicate that OPEC has operated as a cartel, the author sees current efforts to persuade non-OPEC producers to lower their production as an indication of weakness. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve could help the US cope with any future supply disruption. 7 figures, 3 tables.

  20. Women who decline breast screening.

    PubMed

    Maclean, U; Sinfield, D; Klein, S; Harnden, B

    1984-12-01

    The health related behaviour and attitudes of a random sample of 125 women aged 45-64 who declined to accept an invitation to attend a breast screening clinic are described. The women differed from attenders in their socioeconomic class and in their customary use of measures to promote health. They were basically unsympathetic towards the idea of screening and the invitation had caused them considerable anxiety. Policy implications are raised. PMID:6512479

  1. Women who decline breast screening.

    PubMed Central

    Maclean, U; Sinfield, D; Klein, S; Harnden, B

    1984-01-01

    The health related behaviour and attitudes of a random sample of 125 women aged 45-64 who declined to accept an invitation to attend a breast screening clinic are described. The women differed from attenders in their socioeconomic class and in their customary use of measures to promote health. They were basically unsympathetic towards the idea of screening and the invitation had caused them considerable anxiety. Policy implications are raised. PMID:6512479

  2. Emergence and decline of scientific paradigms.

    PubMed

    Bornholdt, S; Jensen, M H; Sneppen, K

    2011-02-01

    Scientific paradigms have a tendency to rise fast and decline slowly. This asymmetry reflects the difficulty in developing a truly original idea, compared to the ease at which a concept can be eroded by numerous modifications. Here we formulate a model for the emergence and spread of ideas which deals with this asymmetry by constraining the ability of agents to return to already abandoned concepts. The model exhibits a fairly regular pattern of global paradigm shifts, where older paradigms are eroded and subsequently replaced by new ones. The model sets the theme for a new class of pattern formation models, where local dynamics breaks the detailed balance in a way that prevents old states from defending themselves against new nucleating or invading states. The model allows for frozen events in terms of the coexistence of multiple metastable states. PMID:21405444

  3. Emergence and Decline of Scientific Paradigms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bornholdt, S.; Jensen, M. H.; Sneppen, K.

    2011-02-01

    Scientific paradigms have a tendency to rise fast and decline slowly. This asymmetry reflects the difficulty in developing a truly original idea, compared to the ease at which a concept can be eroded by numerous modifications. Here we formulate a model for the emergence and spread of ideas which deals with this asymmetry by constraining the ability of agents to return to already abandoned concepts. The model exhibits a fairly regular pattern of global paradigm shifts, where older paradigms are eroded and subsequently replaced by new ones. The model sets the theme for a new class of pattern formation models, where local dynamics breaks the detailed balance in a way that prevents old states from defending themselves against new nucleating or invading states. The model allows for frozen events in terms of the coexistence of multiple metastable states.

  4. Dietary Factors and Cognitive Decline

    PubMed Central

    Smith, P.J.; Blumenthal, J.A.

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive decline is an increasingly important public health problem, with more than 100 million adults worldwide projected to develop dementia by 2050. Accordingly, there has been an increased interest in preventive strategies that diminish this risk. It has been recognized that lifestyle factors including dietary patterns, may be important in the prevention of cognitive decline and dementia in later life. Several dietary components have been examined, including antioxidants, fatty acids, and B vitamins. In addition, whole dietary eating plans, including the Mediterranean diet (MeDi), and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, with and without weight loss, have become areas of increasing interest. Although prospective epidemiological studies have observed that antioxidants, fatty acids, and B vitamins are associated with better cognitive functioning, randomized clinical trials have generally failed to confirm the value of any specific dietary component in improving neurocognition. Several randomized trials have examined the impact of changing ‘whole’ diets on cognitive outcomes. The MeDi and DASH diets offer promising preliminary results, but data are limited and more research in this area is needed. PMID:26900574

  5. [Strategic factors in fertility decline].

    PubMed

    Genne, M

    1984-01-01

    This study examines income as an important but not exclusive determinant of demographic evolution, using the theoretical model of the demographic transition. Researches at the Population Center at Princeton and the authors of the Bachue dimulation models among others believe that acceleration of fertility decline can be achieved by a more equitable distribution of income, goods, and knowledge. Among the works of this school of thought, the studies of r. Repetto which give quantitative expression to the correlation are particularly interesting when they are placed in the framework of the demographic transition. Even if the significance of all factors involved in the fertility decline has not been specified, income distribution plays a certain role regardless of the definition given to transition: the classic model, the revised definition of the Princeton group, or the equitable development model. A study of the Hungarian case between 1870-1910 bears out the relationship. It is equally interesting to note that developing countries currently have a demographic configuration similar to that of European countries in general, and of Hungary in particular, as of the beginning of the last century, and that a more equalitarian distribution of land or of income could bring about the same effects over time. PMID:12313296

  6. Arctic sea ice decline: Introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeWeaver, Eric T.

    By any measure, the loss of Arctic sea ice cover in September 2007 was spectacular. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) called it a loss "the size of Alaska and Texas combined," in comparison to the 1979-2000 September mean. Record-breaking minima in sea ice extent are not unexpected, given the declining trend of the past 30 years and its recent acceleration [e.g., Meier et al., 2007; Deser and Teng, this volume]. But the 2007 minimum was remarkable even compared to the decline, a full four standard deviations below the trend line (H. Stern, quoted by Schweiger et al. [2008]). Kerr [2007] reported an Alaska-sized loss compared to the previous record low in 2005, which was itself an Alaska-sized retreat from the value at the beginning of the satellite era in 1979. Deser and Teng point out that the loss between September 2006 and September 2007 is as large as the entire September extent loss from 1979 to 2006.

  7. Functional decline in older adults.

    PubMed

    Colón-Emeric, Cathleen S; Whitson, Heather E; Pavon, Juliessa; Hoenig, Helen

    2013-09-15

    Functional disability is common in older adults. It is often episodic and is associated with a high risk of subsequent health decline. The severity of disability is determined by physical impairments caused by underlying medical conditions, and by external factors such as social support, financial support, and the environment. When multiple health conditions are present, they often result in greater disability than expected because the patient's ability to compensate for one problem may be affected by comorbid conditions. Evaluation of functional disability is most effective when the physician determines the course of the disability, associated symptoms, effects on specific activities, and coping mechanisms the patient uses to compensate for the functional problem. Underlying health conditions, impairments, and contextual factors (e.g., finances, social support) should be identified using validated screening tools. Interventions should focus on increasing the patient's capacity to cope with task demands and reducing the demands of the task itself. Interventions for functional decline in older adults are almost always multifactorial because they must address multiple conditions, impairments, and contextual factors. PMID:24134046

  8. Declining Sunshine for Phoenix Lander

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The yellow line on this graphic indicates the number of hours of sunlight each sol, or Martian day, at the Phoenix landing site's far-northern latitude, beginning with the entire Martian day (about 24 hours and 40 minutes) for the first 90 sols, then declining to no sunlight by about sol 300. The blue tick mark indicates that on Sol 124 (Sept. 29, 2008), the sun is above the horizon for about 20 hours.

    The brown vertical bar represents the period from Nov. 18 to Dec. 24, 2008, around the 'solar conjunction,' when the sun is close to the line between Mars and Earth, affecting communications.

    The green vertical rectangle represents the period from February to November 2009 when the Phoenix lander is expected to be encased in carbon-dioxide ice.

  9. Adult attachment and declining birthrates.

    PubMed

    Draper, Thomas W; Holman, Thomas B; White, Whitney; Grandy, Shannon

    2007-02-01

    Attachment scores for 658 young adults living in the U.S.A. were obtained using the Experiences in Close Relationships scale. The participants came from a subsample of the RELATE data set, who had also filled out the adult attachment measure. Those young adults living in Utah County, Utah, an area of the country with a higher than normal birthrate (88% members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), also had higher than average adult attachment scores. While the methodology was not sufficient to assess causal direction nor eliminate the possibility of unidentified influences, an undiscussed psychological factor, adult attachment, may play a role in the numerical declines observed among nonimmigrant communities in the USA and Europe. PMID:17450996

  10. Organizational Effects of Decline and Turbulence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Kim S.; And Others

    1987-01-01

    Clarifies the meaning of organizational decline by delimiting it from related constructs (turbulence, stagnation, and environmental decline). Investigates certain organizational attributes associated with turbulence and decline in 334 higher education institutions over a six-year period. Results suggest that organizational attributes associated…

  11. Matching Managerial Strategies to Conditions of Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Kim; Zammuto, Raymond

    1984-01-01

    A typology of decline based on institutional characteristics is suggested as a basis for matching managerial response to specific decline situations. The four decline types identified are erosion, contraction, dissolution, and collapse. The model is also suggested as a means for diagnosing organizational environments. (MSE)

  12. [Ozone decline and UV increase].

    PubMed

    Winkler, P; Trepte, S

    2004-02-01

    The following results have been obtained from long-term observations on the ozone layer and UV at the Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeigenberg:The seasonally varying decline of the ozone layer determines the maximum exposure to UV. Since ozone decline shows the highest rates in the spring months the UV exposure has most strongly increased in this time of the year. This is especially important because in spring the human skin is not adapted to UV exposure. Weather changes from day to day can induce rapid ozone reductions in spring about -30% which in turn is followed by an increase in UV of about 40%. Clouds, especially the transparent cirrus clouds (high clouds consisting of ice particles) have increased in frequency during spring and fall while a decrease is observed in summer. This change in cloudiness reduces the daily UV dose in spring and fall while it is enhanced in summer. With increasing height above sea level UV rises by roughly 10% per 1000 m (rule of thumb). Snow reflects the UV-radiation by up to 80% enhancing the UV-doses at relevant conditions. Strong volcano eruptions destroy ozone in the stratosphere additionally during 1-2 years after the eruption. Therafter the ozone layer recovers. In April 1993, after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo (1991), the UV burden was still 40% higher than average. Miniholes and streamers can appear unexpected on a short-time scale and cross over Central Europe within 1-2 days, thus enhancing UV irradiation. The human skin reacts to UV exposure depending on the type of skin. The campaign "Sonne(n) mit Verstand" of the Bavarian Ministries for Environment, for Health and for Education informs about the danger of UV radiation (see www.sonne-mit-ver-stand.de). The German Weather Service informs the public on present developments of the ozone layer and relevant topics byits ozone bulletin, which is also available via internet under (www.dwd.de/deFundE/Observator/MOHp/hp2/ozon/bulletin.htm). PMID:14770335

  13. Responses of Riparian Cottonwoods to Alluvial Water Table Declines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Michael L.; Shafroth, Patrick B.; Auble, Gregor T.

    1999-04-01

    Human demands for surface and shallow alluvial groundwater have contributed to the loss, fragmentation, and simplification of riparian ecosystems. Populus species typically dominate riparian ecosystems throughout arid and semiarid regions of North American and efforts to minimize loss of riparian Populus requires an integrated understanding of the role of surface and groundwater dynamics in the establishment of new, and maintenance of existing, stands. In a controlled, whole-stand field experiment, we quantified responses of Populus morphology, growth, and mortality to water stress resulting from sustained water table decline following in-channel sand mining along an ephemeral sandbed stream in eastern Colorado, USA. We measured live crown volume, radial stem growth, annual branch increment, and mortality of 689 live Populus deltoides subsp. monilifera stems over four years in conjunction with localized water table declines. Measurements began one year prior to mining and included trees in both affected and unaffected areas. Populus demonstrated a threshold response to water table declines in medium alluvial sands; sustained declines ≥1 m produced leaf desiccation and branch dieback within three weeks and significant declines in live crown volume, stem growth, and 88% mortality over a three-year period. Declines in live crown volume proved to be a significant leading indicator of mortality in the following year. A logistic regression of tree survival probability against the prior year's live crown volume was significant (-2 log likelihood = 270, χ2 with 1 df = 232, P < 0.0001) and trees with absolute declines in live crown volume of ≥30 during one year had survival probabilities <0.5 in the following year. In contrast, more gradual water table declines of ~0.5 m had no measurable effect on mortality, stem growth, or live crown volume and produced significant declines only in annual branch growth increments. Developing quantitative information on the timing and

  14. Neurocognitive decline in Alexander disease.

    PubMed

    Restrepo, June; Bernardin, Linda; Hammeke, Thomas

    2011-10-01

    Alexander disease is a neurological condition associated with prominent white matter deterioration. Its rarity and relatively rapid disease course have provided limited understanding into the cognitive effects of the illness. We report the serial neuropsychological findings of a 21-year-old with normal development and no medical history until age 9, when he experienced refractory sinusitis, stabbing headaches with vertigo, disorientation, and decline in academic and social settings. An MRI scan of the brain found acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis, with a preponderance of white matter degeneration in the bilateral frontal lobes. Interval MRIs showed continued degeneration. Confirmation of Alexander disease was made at age 20 through genetic testing. Four evaluations completed from ages 15 to 21 showed impairment across all cognitive domains. Cognitive deficits were most prominent in new learning and recent memory, executive functions, and fine motor dexterity, and less apparent in information processing and visual scanning speed. These results present evidence for a particular cognitive pattern in individuals with juvenile-onset Alexander disease. Despite extensive white matter degeneration in the frontal lobes, certain tasks associated with frontal lobe integrity were relatively preserved. Further research into the neuropsychological presentation of the subtypes of Alexander disease can enhance diagnostic clarity and treatment planning. PMID:21902566

  15. Mortality rates decline in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    1991-11-01

    Experiencing remarkable decreases in mortality rates over the past 3 decades, Malaysia currently has one of the lowest mortality rates among developing countries, a rate that compares favorably with those of developed countries. Between 1957 and 1989, the crude death rate dropped from 12.4/1000 population to 4.6. Over the same period, Malaysia recorded even greater decreases in the infant mortality rate, from 75.5/1000 births to 15.2. The Maternal mortality rate also declined from 1.48 in 1970 to 0.24 in 1988. The data indicates that mortality rates vary from state to state, and that rural areas have a higher mortality than urban areas. According to a study by the National Population and Family Development Board, the use of maternal and child health services has played an important role in reducing neonatal, perinatal, infant, child, and maternal mortality rates. Nearly all women in Malaysia receive antenatal services. While the country has achieved great gains on mortality rates, programs focusing on specific age and socioeconomic groups could lead to even greater reductions. The Minister for National Unity and Social Development, Dato Napsiah Omar, has called for the development of programs designed to improve the population's quality of life. PMID:12284509

  16. An extended patch-dynamic framework for food chains in fragmented landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Jinbao; Chen, Jiehong; Ying, Zhixia; Hiebeler, David E.; Nijs, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Habitat destruction, a key determinant of species loss, can be characterized by two components, patch loss and patch fragmentation, where the former refers to the reduction in patch availability, and the latter to the division of the remaining patches. Classical metacommunity models have recently explored how food web dynamics respond to patch loss, but the effects of patch fragmentation have largely been overlooked. Here we develop an extended patch-dynamic model that tracks the patch occupancy of the various trophic links subject to colonization-extinction-predation dynamics by incorporating species dispersal with patch connectivity. We found that, in a simple food chain, species at higher trophic level become extinct sooner with increasing patch loss and fragmentation due to the constraint in resource availability, confirming the trophic rank hypothesis. Yet, effects of fragmentation on species occupancy are largely determined by patch loss, with maximal fragmentation effects occurring at intermediate patch loss. Compared to the spatially explicit simulations that we also performed, the current model with pair approximation generates similar community patterns especially in spatially clustered landscapes. Overall, our extended framework can be applied to model more complex food webs in fragmented landscapes, broadening the scope of existing metacommunity theory. PMID:27608823

  17. An extended patch-dynamic framework for food chains in fragmented landscapes.

    PubMed

    Liao, Jinbao; Chen, Jiehong; Ying, Zhixia; Hiebeler, David E; Nijs, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Habitat destruction, a key determinant of species loss, can be characterized by two components, patch loss and patch fragmentation, where the former refers to the reduction in patch availability, and the latter to the division of the remaining patches. Classical metacommunity models have recently explored how food web dynamics respond to patch loss, but the effects of patch fragmentation have largely been overlooked. Here we develop an extended patch-dynamic model that tracks the patch occupancy of the various trophic links subject to colonization-extinction-predation dynamics by incorporating species dispersal with patch connectivity. We found that, in a simple food chain, species at higher trophic level become extinct sooner with increasing patch loss and fragmentation due to the constraint in resource availability, confirming the trophic rank hypothesis. Yet, effects of fragmentation on species occupancy are largely determined by patch loss, with maximal fragmentation effects occurring at intermediate patch loss. Compared to the spatially explicit simulations that we also performed, the current model with pair approximation generates similar community patterns especially in spatially clustered landscapes. Overall, our extended framework can be applied to model more complex food webs in fragmented landscapes, broadening the scope of existing metacommunity theory. PMID:27608823

  18. [Concentration or decline in Puebla?].

    PubMed

    Cabrera Becerra, V

    1993-04-01

    Some doubts have been expressed over whether the slowing pace of urbanization suggested by the 1990 census of Mexico was an accurate reflection of changing conditions, or whether it resulted from some intentional or unintended bias. Comparison of data from succeeding censuses indicates that the growth rate of the city of Puebla declined from 6.32% in 1980 to 2.63% in 1990. This work argues that, in Puebla, a trend to deconcentration of the population within the city of Puebla during the 1980s was accompanied by rapid growth in smaller and medium sized nearby cities, resulting in increased overall concentration in Puebla's metropolitan area. The absolute population of the city of Puebla increased from 772,908 in 1980 to 1,007,170 in 1990. The central area of the state of Puebla, which surrounds the city, increased its share of the state population from 51.67% in 1980 to 52.21% in 1990. The number of places with over 5000 inhabitants in the area surrounding the city of Puebla increased from 27 in 1980 to 39 in 1990. Construction of the Puebla-Atlixco highway will undoubtedly attract growth to the area southwest of Puebla. Small cities to the east of Puebla have shown significant growth although their region remains strongly rural. The same process of deconcentration of population in Puebla and concentration in its surrounding metropolitan regions can probably also be detected in patterns of investment of public funds. The trend is likely to continue through the 1990s. PMID:12346304

  19. Development and Decline of Upright Gait Stability

    PubMed Central

    Iosa, Marco; Fusco, Augusto; Morone, Giovanni; Paolucci, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    Upright gait is a peculiar characteristic of humans that requires the ability to manage upper body dynamic balance while walking, despite the perturbations that are generated by movements of the lower limbs. Most of the studies on upright gait stability have compared young adults and the elderly to determine the effects of aging. In other studies, the comparison was between healthy subjects and patients to examine specific pathologies. Fewer researches have also investigated the development of upright gait stability in children. This review discusses these studies in order to provide an overview of this relevant aspect of human locomotion. A clear trend from development to decline of upright gait stability has been depicted across the entire lifespan, from toddlers at first steps to elderly. In old individuals, even if healthy, the deterioration of skeletal muscle, combined with sensorial and cognitive performance, reduces the ability to maintain an upright trunk during walking, increasing the instability and the risk of falls. Further, the pathological causes of altered development or of a sudden loss of gait stability, as well as the environmental influence are investigated. The last part of this review is focused on the control of upper body accelerations during walking, a particularly interesting topic for the recent development of low-cost wearable accelerometers. PMID:24550829

  20. Reversing Africa's Decline. Worldwatch Paper 65.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Lester R.; Wolf, Edward C.

    This paper highlights some of the themes that any successful strategy to reverse the decline of Africa must embrace. Africa is a continent experiencing a breakdown in the relationship between people and their natural support systems. Famine and the threat of famine are among the manifestations of this breakdown. This decline can be reversed. To do…

  1. Novelty Seeking in Adulthood: Increases Accompany Decline

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reio, Thomas G., Jr.; Choi, Namok

    2004-01-01

    Using stereotypes, researchers have predicted that novelty seeking declines in adulthood. Through this cross-sectional study, the authors revealed that only the external sensational type of novelty seeking declined, whereas the internal sensational and internal and external cognitive types remained stable or increased. A population of 233 adults…

  2. Retirement Age Declines Again in 1990s.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gendell, Murray

    2001-01-01

    The average retirement age continued to decline in the 1990s after having leveled off during the preceding 10-15 years. The resumption of the decline is attributed largely to a rise in the labor force participation rate of older men and women between the mid-1980s and 2000. (Author/JOW)

  3. Aging, Terminal Decline, and Terminal Drop

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palmore, Erdman; Cleveland, William

    1976-01-01

    Data from a 20-year longitudinal study of persons over 60 were analyzed by step-wise multiple regression to test for declines in function with age, for terminal decline (linear relationship to time before death), and for terminal drop (curvilinear relationship to time before death). There were no substantial terminal drop effects. (Author)

  4. 31 CFR 240.7 - Declination protest.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ..., which can be found at http://www.fms.treas.gov. Treasury will not consider any protest unless it is received within 90 days from the declination date. (d) Review of a declination protest. The responsible FMS... where it is not possible to render a decision within 60 days, the responsible FMS Director, or...

  5. 31 CFR 240.7 - Declination protest.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ..., which can be found at http://www.fms.treas.gov. Treasury will not consider any protest unless it is received within 90 days from the declination date. (d) Review of a declination protest. The responsible FMS... where it is not possible to render a decision within 60 days, the responsible FMS Director, or...

  6. Evidence of disease-related amphibian decline in Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Pessier, Allan P.; Green, D. Earl

    2003-01-01

    The recent discovery of a pathogenic fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) associated with declines of frogs in the American and Australian tropics, suggests that at least the proximate cause, may be known for many previously unexplained amphibian declines. We have monitored boreal toads in Colorado since 1991 at four sites using capturea??recapture of adults and counts of egg masses to examine the dynamics of this metapopulation. Numbers of male toads declined in 1996 and 1999 with annual survival rate averaging 78% from 1991 to 1994, 45% in 1995 and 3% between 1998 and 1999. Numbers of egg masses also declined. An etiological diagnosis of chytridiomycosis consistent with infections by the genus Batrachochytrium was made in six wild adult toads. Characteristic histomorphological features (i.e. intracellular location, shape of thalli, presence of discharge tubes and rhizoids) of chytrid organisms, and host tissue response (acanthosis and hyperkeratosis) were observed in individual toads. These characteristics were indistinguishable from previously reported mortality events associated with chytrid fungus. We also observed epizootiological features consistent with mortality events associated with chytrid fungus: an increase in the ratio of female:male toads captured, an apparent spread of mortalities within the metapopulation and mortalities restricted to post metamorphic animals. Eleven years of population data suggest that this metapopulation of toads is in danger of extinction, pathological and epizootiological evidence indicates that B. dendrobatidis has played a proximate role in this process

  7. Climate Variations and Alaska Tundra Vegetation Productivity Declines in Spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhatt, U. S.; Walker, D. A.; Bieniek, P.; Raynolds, M. K.; Epstein, H. E.; Comiso, J. C.; Pinzon, J. E.; Tucker, C. J.

    2015-12-01

    While sea ice has continued to decline, vegetation productivity increases have declined particularly during spring in Alaska as well as many parts of the Arctic tundra. To understand the processes behind these features we investigate spring climate variations that includes temperature, circulation patterns, and snow cover to determine how these may be contributing to spring browning. This study employs remotely sensed weekly 25-km sea ice concentration, weekly surface temperature, and bi-weekly NDVI from 1982 to 2014. Maximum NDVI (MaxNDVI, Maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), Time Integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI), Summer Warmth Index (SWI, sum of degree months above freezing during May-August), atmospheric reanalysis data, dynamically downscaled climate data, meteorological station data, and snow water equivalent (GlobSnow, assimilated snow data set). We analyzed the data for the full period (1982-2014) and for two sub-periods (1982-1998 and 1999-2014), which were chosen based on the declining Alaska SWI since 1998. MaxNDVI has increased from 1982-2014 over most of the Arctic but has declined from 1999 to 2014 southwest Alaska. TI-NDVI has trends that are similar to those for MaxNDVI for the full period but display widespread declines over the 1999-2014 period. Therefore, as the MaxNDVI has continued to increase overall for the Arctic, TI-NDVI has been declining since 1999 and these declines are particularly noteworthy during spring in Alaska. Spring declines in Alaska have been linked to increased spring snow cover that can delay greenup (Bieniek et al. 2015) but recent ground observations suggest that after an initial warming and greening, late season freezing temperature are damaging the plants. The late season freezing temperature hypothesis will be explored with meteorological climate/weather data sets for Alaska tundra regions. References P.A. Bieniek, US Bhatt, DA Walker, MK Raynolds, JC Comiso, HE Epstein, JE Pinzon, CJ Tucker, RL Thoman, H Tran, N M

  8. Theoretical Analysis of Maximum Flow Declination Rate versus Maximum Area Declination Rate in Phonation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Titze, Ingo R.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: Maximum flow declination rate (MFDR) in the glottis is known to correlate strongly with vocal intensity in voicing. This declination, or negative slope on the glottal airflow waveform, is in part attributable to the maximum area declination rate (MADR) and in part to the overall inertia of the air column of the vocal tract (lungs to…

  9. Patch quality and context, but not patch number, drive multi-scale colonization dynamics in experimental aquatic landscapes.

    PubMed

    Resetarits, William J; Binckley, Christopher A

    2013-11-01

    Colonization and extinction are primary drivers of local population dynamics, community structure, and spatial patterns of biological diversity. Existing paradigms of island biogeography, metapopulation biology, and metacommunity ecology, as well as habitat management and conservation biology based on those paradigms, emphasize patch size, number, and isolation as primary characteristics influencing colonization and extinction. Habitat selection theory suggests that patch quality could rival size, number, and isolation in determining rates of colonization and resulting community structure. We used naturally colonized experimental landscapes to address four issues: (a) how do colonizing aquatic beetles respond to variation in patch number, (b) how do they respond to variation in patch quality, (c) does patch context affect colonization dynamics, and (d) at what spatial scales do beetles respond to habitat variation? Increasing patch number had no effect on per patch colonization rates, while patch quality and context were critical in determining colonization rates and resulting patterns of abundance and species richness at multiple spatial scales. We graphically illustrate how variation in immigration rates driven by perceived predation risk (habitat quality) can further modify dynamics of the equilibrium theory of island biogeography beyond predator-driven effects on extinction rates. Our data support the importance of patch quality and context as primary determinants of colonization rate, occupancy, abundance, and resulting patterns of species richness, and reinforce the idea that management of metapopulations for species preservation, and metacommunities for local and regional diversity, should incorporate habitat quality into the predictive equation. PMID:23609801

  10. Coin hoards speak of population declines in Ancient Rome.

    PubMed

    Turchin, Peter; Scheidel, Walter

    2009-10-13

    In times of violence, people tend to hide their valuables, which are later recovered unless the owners had been killed or driven away. Thus, the temporal distribution of unrecovered coin hoards is an excellent proxy for the intensity of internal warfare. We use this relationship to resolve a long-standing controversy in Roman history. Depending on who was counted in the early Imperial censuses (adult males or the entire citizenry including women and minors), the Roman citizen population of Italy either declined, or more than doubled, during the first century BCE. This period was characterized by a series of civil wars, and historical evidence indicates that high levels of sociopolitical instability are associated with demographic contractions. We fitted a simple model quantifying the effect of instability (proxied by hoard frequency) on population dynamics to the data before 100 BCE. The model predicts declining population after 100 BCE. This suggests that the vigorous growth scenario is highly implausible. PMID:19805043

  11. Atrial Fibrillation, Cognitive Decline And Dementia

    PubMed Central

    Alonso, Alvaro; Arenas de Larriva, Antonio P.

    2016-01-01

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia. Growing evidence supports a role for AF as a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. In this review, we summarize epidemiologic observations linking AF with cognitive outcomes, describe potential mechanisms, and explore the impact of AF treatments on cognitive decline and dementia. Community-based, observational studies show a consistent higher rate of cognitive decline and risk of dementia in persons with AF. These associations are partly due to the increased risk of clinical stroke in AF, but other mechanisms, including incidence of silent cerebral infarcts, microbleeds, and cerebral hypoperfusion, are likely additional contributors. Adequate oral anticoagulation and improved management of the overall cardiovascular risk profile in persons with AF offer the promise of reducing the impact of AF on cognitive decline and dementia. PMID:27547248

  12. Problems Associated with Declining National Oil Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, J. S.

    2009-12-01

    Forecasts of peak oil production have focussed on the global impacts of declining production. Meanwhile, national oil production has declined in 20 countries, leading to local problems that receive little comment outside of the effected regions. Two problems deserve wider recognition: declining state revenues and fuel substitution. Most oil producing countries with large reserves adopted licensing practices that provide significant revenues to the host governments such that oil revenues generate from 40 to 80 percent of total government funds. Typically these governments allocate a fraction of this revenue to their state oil companies, utilizing the remainder for other activities. As oil revenues decline with falling production, host governments face a dilemma: either to increase state oil company budgets in order to stem the decline, or to starve the state oil company while maintaining other government programs. The declining oil revenues in these states can significantly reduce the government's ability to address important national issues. Mexico, Indonesia, and Yemen illustrate this situation in its early phases. Fuel substitution occurs whenever one fuel proves less expensive than another. The substitution of coal for wood in the eighteenth century and oil for coal in the twentieth century are classic examples. China and India appear to be at peak oil production, while their economies generate increasing demand for energy. Both countries are substituting coal and natural gas for oil with attendant environmental impacts. Coal-to-liquids projects are proposed in in both China, which will require significant water resources if they are executed. These examples suggest that forecasting the impact of peak oil at a regional level requires more than an assessment of proven-probable-possible reserves and a forecast of supply-demand scenarios. A range of government responses to declining oil income scenarios must also be considered, together with scenarios describing

  13. A Decline in Solar Cycle Strength

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, G. A.; de Toma, G.; Cookson, A.

    2013-12-01

    The strength of solar activity appears to be in decline over the past three solar cycles. The decline is seen in sunspot area, facular/network area and the sunspot number. In addition, cycle 24 has been unusual in that many, if not most, of the bipolar sunspot groups have had only a leader spot with no follower spot. This research was partially supported by grants from NSF and NASA. Corrected spot area from CFDT1 at the San Fernando Observatory

  14. Local bumble bee decline linked to recovery of honey bees, drought effects on floral resources.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Diane M

    2016-10-01

    Time series of abundances are critical for understanding how abiotic factors and species interactions affect population dynamics, but are rarely linked with experiments and also scarce for bee pollinators. This gap is important given concerns about declines in some bee species. I monitored honey bee (Apis mellifera) and bumble bee (Bombus spp.) foragers in coastal California from 1999, when feral A. mellifera populations were low due to Varroa destructor, until 2014. Apis mellifera increased substantially, except between 2006 and 2011, coinciding with declines in managed populations. Increases in A. mellifera strongly correlated with declines in Bombus and reduced diet overlap between them, suggesting resource competition consistent with past experimental results. Lower Bombus numbers also correlated with diminished floral resources. Declines in floral abundances were associated with drought and reduced spring rainfall. These results illustrate how competition with an introduced species may interact with climate to drive local decline of native pollinators. PMID:27539950

  15. Global phytoplankton decline over the past century.

    PubMed

    Boyce, Daniel G; Lewis, Marlon R; Worm, Boris

    2010-07-29

    In the oceans, ubiquitous microscopic phototrophs (phytoplankton) account for approximately half the production of organic matter on Earth. Analyses of satellite-derived phytoplankton concentration (available since 1979) have suggested decadal-scale fluctuations linked to climate forcing, but the length of this record is insufficient to resolve longer-term trends. Here we combine available ocean transparency measurements and in situ chlorophyll observations to estimate the time dependence of phytoplankton biomass at local, regional and global scales since 1899. We observe declines in eight out of ten ocean regions, and estimate a global rate of decline of approximately 1% of the global median per year. Our analyses further reveal interannual to decadal phytoplankton fluctuations superimposed on long-term trends. These fluctuations are strongly correlated with basin-scale climate indices, whereas long-term declining trends are related to increasing sea surface temperatures. We conclude that global phytoplankton concentration has declined over the past century; this decline will need to be considered in future studies of marine ecosystems, geochemical cycling, ocean circulation and fisheries. PMID:20671703

  16. Subjective Cognitive Decline: Self and Informant Comparisons

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Kewei; Locke, Dona E.C.; Lee, Wendy; Roontiva, Auttawut; Bandy, Dan; Fleisher, Adam S.; Reiman, Eric M.

    2013-01-01

    Background It is unclear whether self or informant-based subjective cognition better distinguishes emotional factors from early stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Methods 447 healthy members of the Arizona Apolipoprotein E (APOE) Cohort and their informants completed both the self and informant paired Multidimensional Assessment of Neurodegenerative Symptoms questionnaire (MANS). Results 30.6% of members and 26.2% of informants endorsed decline on the MANS. Both self and informant-based decliners had higher scores of psychological distress and slightly lower cognitive scores than nondecliners. Over the next 6.7 years, 20 developed mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Converters were older at entry than nonconverters (63.8[7.0] vs 58.8[7.3] years, p=.003), 85% were APOE e4 carriers (p<.0001), and they self-endorsed decline earlier than informants (58.9[39.2] vs 28.0[40.4] months before MCI; p=.002). Conclusions Both self and informant based subjective decline correlated with greater psychological distress, and slightly lower cognitive performance. Those with incident MCI generally self-endorsed decline earlier than informants. PMID:23562429

  17. Periodontitis and Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Ide, Mark; Harris, Marina; Stevens, Annette; Sussams, Rebecca; Hopkins, Viv; Culliford, David; Fuller, James; Ibbett, Paul; Raybould, Rachel; Thomas, Rhodri; Puenter, Ursula; Teeling, Jessica; Perry, V Hugh; Holmes, Clive

    2016-01-01

    Periodontitis is common in the elderly and may become more common in Alzheimer's disease because of a reduced ability to take care of oral hygiene as the disease progresses. Elevated antibodies to periodontal bacteria are associated with an increased systemic pro-inflammatory state. Elsewhere raised serum pro-inflammatory cytokines have been associated with an increased rate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. We hypothesized that periodontitis would be associated with increased dementia severity and a more rapid cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. We aimed to determine if periodontitis in Alzheimer's disease is associated with both increased dementia severity and cognitive decline, and an increased systemic pro inflammatory state. In a six month observational cohort study 60 community dwelling participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease were cognitively assessed and a blood sample taken for systemic inflammatory markers. Dental health was assessed by a dental hygienist, blind to cognitive outcomes. All assessments were repeated at six months. The presence of periodontitis at baseline was not related to baseline cognitive state but was associated with a six fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline as assessed by the ADAS-cog over a six month follow up period. Periodontitis at baseline was associated with a relative increase in the pro-inflammatory state over the six month follow up period. Our data showed that periodontitis is associated with an increase in cognitive decline in Alzheimer's Disease, independent to baseline cognitive state, which may be mediated through effects on systemic inflammation. PMID:26963387

  18. THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF ECONOMIC DECLINE

    PubMed Central

    Catalano, Ralph; Goldman-Mellor, Sidra; Saxton, Katherine; Margerison-Zilko, Claire; Subbaraman, Meenakshi; LeWinn, Kaja; Anderson, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    The recent recession and lingering high unemployment will likely lead to a burst of research studying the health effects of economic decline. We aim to inform that work by summarizing empirical research concerned with those effects. We separate the studies into groups defined by questions asked, mechanisms invoked, and outcomes studied. We conclude that although much research shows that undesirable job and financial experiences increase the risk of psychological and behavioral disorder, many other suspected associations remain poorly studied or unsupported. The intuition that mortality increases when the economy declines, for example, appears wrong. We note that the research informs public health programming by identifying risk factors, such as job loss, made more frequent by economic decline. The promise that the research would identify health costs and benefits of economic policy choices, however, remains unfulfilled and will likely remain so without stronger theory and greater methodological agreement. PMID:21054175

  19. The Continuing Slow Decline of AG Pegasi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenyon, Scott J.; Proga, Daniel; Keyes, Charles D.

    2001-07-01

    We analyze optical and ultraviolet observations of the symbiotic binary AG Pegasi acquired during 1992-1997. The bolometric luminosity of the hot component declined by a factor of 2-3 from 1980-1985 to 1997. Since 1992, the effective temperature of the hot component may have declined by 10%-20%, but this decline is comparable to the measurement errors. Optical observations of Hβ and He I emission show a clear illumination effect, where high-energy photons from the hot component ionize the outer atmosphere of the red giant. Simple illumination models generally account for the magnitude of the optical and ultraviolet emission-line fluxes. High-ionization emission lines-[Ne V], [Mg V], and [Fe VII]-suggest mechanical heating in the outer portions of the photoionized red giant wind. This emission probably originates in a low-density region ~30-300 AU from the central binary.

  20. Managing declining yields from ageing tea plantations.

    PubMed

    Kibblewhite, Mark G; Prakash, Sudhir; Hazarika, Mridul; Burgess, Paul J; Sakrabani, Ruben

    2014-06-01

    Strong growth in the demand for tea requires further increases in the productivity of plantations. Declining or stagnant yields are commonly observed in older plantations. Possible controlling factors for yield decline are reviewed including ageing of plants, chronic disease and sub-optimal soil conditions such as excess soil acidity and low soil organic matter. Management options for addressing these factors are evaluated, including replanting. A systematic approach to decision-making about replanting is presented. Practice for replanting is reviewed and it is concluded that evidence to support a general case for replanting is limited, unless based on the introduction of more productive clones and/or better plant spacing. PMID:24464583

  1. Neural mechanisms of ageing and cognitive decline

    PubMed Central

    Bishop, Nicholas A.; Lu, Tao; Yankner, Bruce A.

    2010-01-01

    During the past century, treatments for the diseases of youth and middle age have helped raise life expectancy significantly. However, cognitive decline has emerged as one of the greatest health threats of old age, with nearly 50% of adults over the age of 85 afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Developing therapeutic interventions for such conditions demands a greater understanding of the processes underlying normal and pathological brain ageing. Recent advances in the biology of ageing in model organisms, together with molecular and systems-level studies of the brain, are beginning to shed light on these mechanisms and their potential roles in cognitive decline. PMID:20336135

  2. Recent Declines in Induction of Labor by Gestational Age

    MedlinePlus

    ... rates at 38 weeks of gestation declined for all maternal age groups under 40. Trends in induction ... 38 weeks declined in nearly three-quarters of all states. The largest declines in labor induction for ...

  3. Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ransom, Barbara

    1984-04-01

    Dynamics!” she said, as she buried her head deep in a book on tectonics. “Must be the key to explain what we see the ignorance of which seems to be chronic.”Convection below, then density flow and phase changes are not withstanding; Thermal gradient change and compositional range are things our minds should be commanding.

  4. Reactions of salaried physicians to hospital decline.

    PubMed Central

    Lachman, R; Noy, S

    1996-01-01

    OBJECTIVE. To examine the Exit, Loyalty, Voice, and Neglect (ELVN) reactions of full-time salaried physicians to the decline of their employing hospital, and to explore factors possibly associated with the choice of reactions. DATA SOURCE. The study analyzes data collected in a larger survey of work attitudes of 703 hospital physicians, constituting a representative national sample of (every tenth) salaried hospital physicians in Israel. DATA COLLECTION. Data were collected through a self-administered mail questionnaire with return envelopes attached. STUDY DESIGN. A survey design was used. Survey questionnaires included composite measures of the ELVN reaction as well as of the main predictors of reaction choice: job satisfaction, hospital commitment, job investment, alternatives, tenure, and managerial and senior positions. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS. The reactions of salaried physicians to hospital decline include the whole range of ELVN reactions. The choice of each reaction was found associated with a different set of disposition, situation, and position predictors. CONCLUSIONS. The ELVN typology is relevant for examining physicians' reactions to hospital decline, which appear to extend beyond the simple stay/leave dichotomy commonly used. The reactions of Exit, Loyalty, Voice, and Neglect are different in nature, and appear to reflect the different sets of circumstances that salaried physicians may face. Implications of these results for coping with hospital decline, hospital-physician relationships, and integration strategies are discussed. PMID:8675438

  5. Student Writing: Strategies to Reverse Ongoing Decline

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carter, Michael J.; Harper, Heather

    2013-01-01

    This article reports on the decline in writing ability skills in secondary and higher education students. The author discusses changes that have affected student writing skills over the recent decades and offers recommendations for improving these skills, such as: implementing intensive freshman writing courses; adjusting existing course…

  6. Black Rural Land Decline in the South

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGee, Leo; Boone, Robert

    1977-01-01

    Notes that it is widely accepted that millions of blacks who migrated from the South contributed significantly to the decline of black rural land ownership. However, the less than altruistic behavior patterns of land officials has also contributed to the loss of rural land by blacks. (Author/AM)

  7. Complexity versus certainty in understanding species’ declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sundstrom, Shana M.; Allen, Craig R.

    2014-01-01

    Traditional approaches to predict species declines (e.g. government processes or IUCN Red Lists), may be too simplistic and may therefore misguide management and conservation. Using complex systems approaches that account for scale-specific patterns and processes have the potential to overcome these limitations.

  8. Predicting Succession under Conditions of Enrollment Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berger, Michael A.

    Three possible explanations for superintendent succession focus on poor administrative performance, district response strategies, and the politics of the chief executive's relationship with the school board. To analyze succession in the context of declining enrollment, a case study survey was conducted of 56 school districts whose peak enrollment…

  9. Decline and conservation of bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Goulson, D; Lye, G C; Darvill, B

    2008-01-01

    Declines in bumble bee species in the past 60 years are well documented in Europe, where they are driven primarily by habitat loss and declines in floral abundance and diversity resulting from agricultural intensification. Impacts of habitat degradation and fragmentation are likely to be compounded by the social nature of bumble bees and their largely monogamous breeding system, which renders their effective population size low. Hence, populations are susceptible to stochastic extinction events and inbreeding. In North America, catastrophic declines of some bumble bee species since the 1990s are probably attributable to the accidental introduction of a nonnative parasite from Europe, a result of global trade in domesticated bumble bee colonies used for pollination of greenhouse crops. Given the importance of bumble bees as pollinators of crops and wildflowers, steps must be taken to prevent further declines. Suggested measures include tight regulation of commercial bumble bee use and targeted use of environmentally comparable schemes to enhance floristic diversity in agricultural landscapes. PMID:17803456

  10. Exploring the Global Decline of Music Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aróstegui, José Luis

    2016-01-01

    This article seeks to explain the disjuncture between the decline of music education in schools and the importance music has in popular youth culture and in creativity within the new knowledge economy. The data discussed in this article have been derived from analyses of major documents on curriculum reform as well as e-mail responses from music…

  11. The Decline of Direct Newspaper Competition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosse, James N.

    1980-01-01

    Describes the decline of direct newspaper competition in terms of the loss of effective newspaper market segmentation. Examines the following influences on market segmentation: shift in advertising demand, advertiser preferences for differentiated audiences, shift in subscriber demand, growth of alternative media, increasing production costs, and…

  12. Migratory diversity predicts population declines in birds.

    PubMed

    Gilroy, James J; Gill, Jennifer A; Butchart, Stuart H M; Jones, Victoria R; Franco, Aldina M A

    2016-03-01

    Declines in migratory species are a pressing concern worldwide, but the mechanisms underpinning these declines are not fully understood. We hypothesised that species with greater within-population variability in migratory movements and destinations, here termed 'migratory diversity', might be more resilient to environmental change. To test this, we related map-based metrics of migratory diversity to recent population trends for 340 European breeding birds. Species that occupy larger non-breeding ranges relative to breeding, a characteristic we term 'migratory dispersion', were less likely to be declining than those with more restricted non-breeding ranges. Species with partial migration strategies (i.e. overlapping breeding and non-breeding ranges) were also less likely to be declining than full migrants or full residents, an effect that was independent of migration distance. Recent rates of advancement in Europe-wide spring arrival date were greater for partial migrants than full migrants, suggesting that migratory diversity may also help facilitate species responses to climate change. PMID:26807694

  13. Translational gene mapping of cognitive decline

    PubMed Central

    Wilmot, Beth; McWeeney, Shannon K.; Nixon, Randal R.; Montine, Thomas J.; Laut, Jamie; Harrington, Christina A.; Kaye, Jeffrey A.; Kramer, Patricia L.

    2009-01-01

    The ability to maintain cognitive function during aging is a complex process subject to genetic and environmental influences. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common disorder causing cognitive decline among the elderly. Among those with AD, there is broad variation in the relationship between AD neuropathology and clinical manifestations of dementia. Differences in expression of genes involved in neural processing pathways may contribute to individual differences in maintenance of cognitive function. We performed whole genome expression profiling of RNA obtained from frontal cortex of clinically non-demented and AD subjects to identify genes associated with brain aging and cognitive decline. Genetic mapping information and biological function annotation were incorporated to highlight genes of particular interest. The candidate genes identified in this study were compared with those from two other studies in different tissues to identify common underlying transcriptional profiles. In addition to confirming sweeping transcriptomal differences documented in previous studies of cognitive decline, we present new evidence for up-regulation of actin-related processes and down-regulation of translation, RNA processing and localization, and vesicle-mediated transport in individuals with cognitive decline. PMID:17174450

  14. Why Employee Motivation Has Declined in America.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grant, Philip C.

    1982-01-01

    Examines possible reasons for declining employee motivation: greater instability and diversity of values; more guaranteed rewards; inability of rewards to satisfy emerging needs; disappearing work ethic; reduced costs of failure; rising income and progressive taxation; more group production and problem solving; decreased employee loyalty; less…

  15. Disease management strategy for macadamia quick decline

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Trees infected with Macadamia Quick Decline (MQD) exhibit excessive sap bleeding from the trunk, frass from ambrosia beetle feeding, orange fruiting bodies of the fungus Nectria rugulosa and yellowing and browning of the leaves within the tree canopy. MQD threatens commercial and residential product...

  16. Management of watermelon vine decline in Florida

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Squash vein yellowing virus (SqVYV), the causal agent of watermelon vine decline (WVD) in Florida, is vectored by the silverleaf whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Biotype “B”). Watermelon plants mechanically inoculated at different growth stages from transplant to fruit formation with SqVYV developed WVD sy...

  17. Declining world fertility: trends, causes, implications.

    PubMed

    Tsui, A O; Bogue, D J

    1978-10-01

    This Bulletin examines the evidence that the world's fertility has declined in recent years, the factors that appear to have accounted for the decline, and the implications for fertility and population growth rates to the end of the century. On the basis of a compilation of estimates available for all nations of the world, the authors derive estimates which indicate that the world's total fertility rate dropped from 4.6 to 4.1 births per woman between 1968 and 1975, thanks largely to an earlier and more rapid and universal decline in the fertility of less developed countries (LDCs) than had been anticipated. Statistical analysis of available data suggests that the socioeconomic progress made by LDCs in this period was not great enough to account for more than a proportion of the fertility decline and that organized family planning programs were a major contributing factor. The authors' projections, which are compared to similar projections from the World Bank, the United Nations, and the U.S. Bureau of the Census, indicate that, by the year 2000, less than 1/5 of the world's population will be in the "red danger" circle of explosive population growth (2.1% or more annually); most LDCs will be in a phase of fertility decline; and many of them -- along with most now developed countries -- will be at or near replacement level of fertility. The authors warn that "our optimistic prediction is premised upon a big IF -- if (organized) family planning (in LDCs) continues. It remains imperative that all of the developed nations of the world continue their contribution to this program undiminished." PMID:12278135

  18. Declining scaup populations: issues, hypotheses, and research needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, J.E.; Afton, A.D.; Anderson, M.G.; Clark, R.G.; Custer, Christine M.; Lawrence, J.S.; Pollard, J.B.; Ringelman, J.K.

    2000-01-01

    The population estimate for greater (Aythya marila) and lesser (Aythya affinis) scaup (combined) has declined dramatically since the early 1980s to record lows in 1998. The 1998 estimate of 3.47 million scaup is far below the goal of 6.3 million set in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), causing concern among biologists and hunters. We summarize issuesof concern, hypotheses for factors contributing to the population decline, and research and management needs recommended by participants of the Scaup Workshop, held in September 1999. We believe that contaminants, lower female survival, and reduced recruitment due to changes in food resources or breedingground habitats are primary factors contributing to the decline. These factors are not mutually exclusive but likely interact across seasons. Workshop participants identified seven action items. We need to further delineate where declines in breeding populations have occurred, with a primary focus on the western Canadian boreal forest, where declines appear to be most pronounced. Productivity in various areas and habitats throughout the breeding range needs to be assessed by conducting retrospective analyses of existing data and by intensive field studies at broad and local scales. Annual and seasonal survival rates need to be determined in order to assess the role of harvest or natural mortality. Effects of contaminants on reproduction, female body condition, and behavior must be investigated. Use, distribution, and role of food resources relative to body condition and reproduction need to be examined to better understand seasonal dynamics of nutrient reserves and the role in reproductive success. Affiliations among breeding, migration, and wintering areas must be assessed in order to understand differential exposure to harvest or contaminants, and differential reproductive success and recruitment. Biologists and agencies need to gather and improve information needed to manage greater and lesser

  19. Walking ability to predict future cognitive decline in old adults: A scoping review.

    PubMed

    Kikkert, Lisette H J; Vuillerme, Nicolas; van Campen, Jos P; Hortobágyi, Tibor; Lamoth, Claudine J

    2016-05-01

    Early identification of individuals at risk for cognitive decline may facilitate the selection of those who benefit most from interventions. Current models predicting cognitive decline include neuropsychological and/or biological markers. Additional markers based on walking ability might improve accuracy and specificity of these models because motor and cognitive functions share neuroanatomical structures and psychological processes. We reviewed the relationship between walking ability at one point of (mid) life and cognitive decline at follow-up. A systematic literature search identified 20 longitudinal studies. The average follow-up time was 4.5 years. Gait speed quantified walking ability in most studies (n=18). Additional gait measures (n=4) were step frequency, variability and step-length. Despite methodological weaknesses, results revealed that gait slowing (0.68-1.1 m/sec) preceded cognitive decline and the presence of dementia syndromes (maximal odds and hazard ratios of 10.4 and 11.1, respectively). The results indicate that measures of walking ability could serve as additional markers to predict cognitive decline. However, gait speed alone might lack specificity. We recommend gait analysis, including dynamic gait parameters, in clinical evaluations of patients with suspected cognitive decline. Future studies should focus on examining the specificity and accuracy of various gait characteristics to predict future cognitive decline. PMID:26861693

  20. Dexterous Manipulation Is Poorer at Older Ages and Is Dissociated From Decline of Hand Strength

    PubMed Central

    Dayanidhi, Sudarshan

    2014-01-01

    Background. The ability to dynamically control fingertip force vector magnitude and direction is critical for dexterous manipulation. We quantified the dynamic control of fingertip forces to examine how dexterous manipulation declines with age. Methods. The strength–dexterity (SD) test measures fingertip forces during compression of a slender spring prone to instability and buckling. The greatest sustained compression (designed to be under 3 N), and force dynamics therein, have been shown to be simple and quick measures of dynamic dexterous manipulation ability. We measured pinch strength and strength–dexterity test in a cross-sectional population of 98 people from 18 to 89 years of age. Results. Dexterous manipulation ability is poorer at older ages, beginning in middle age (p < .001), with greater decline past 65 years of age. Fingertip force dynamics during spring compression and stabilization show a deterioration of neuromuscular control with age. Importantly, this novel detection of decline in dynamic manipulation ability is not correlated with, and thus cannot be entirely explained by, the known decline in pinch strength. We also measured standardized tests of dexterity in participants older than 45, and discuss how the strength–dexterity test uniquely captures features of sensorimotor capabilities for dexterous manipulation in this adult population. Conclusions. Starting in middle age, changes in the functional interactions among sensory, motor, and neural capabilities result in measurably poorer dynamic dexterous manipulation. This deterioration of neuromuscular control motivates and enables future studies to understand the physiological bases for this functional decline so critical to activities of daily living and quality of life. PMID:24610868

  1. Declining fertility and economic well-being: do education and health ride to the rescue?

    PubMed Central

    Prettner, Klaus; Bloom, David E.; Strulik, Holger

    2015-01-01

    It is widely argued that declining fertility slows the pace of economic growth in industrialized countries through its negative effect on labor supply. There are, however, theoretical arguments suggesting that the effect of falling fertility on effective labor supply can be offset by associated behavioral changes. We formalize these arguments by setting forth a dynamic consumer optimization model that incorporates endogenous fertility as well as endogenous education and health investments. The model shows that a fertility decline induces higher education and health investments that are able to compensate for declining fertility under certain circumstances. We assess the theoretical implications by investigating panel data for 118 countries over the period 1980 to 2005 and show that behavioral changes partly mitigate the negative impact of declining fertility on effective labor supply. PMID:26388677

  2. The decline of Arab oil revenues

    SciTech Connect

    Farid, A.M.

    1986-01-01

    Since 1981, Arab oil revenues have declined by about 40-50%. This has had an enormous impact on the Arab economies as well as on economic and political relations between the Arab world, the industrialised world and the Third world. This book reviews how lower oil revenues have affected Arab countries and the international economy. It also considers the future prospects for Arab oil and the world oil industry. It analyses the various assessment of the life span of oil, the forecasts concerning the development of alternative sources of energy and the factors governing the demand for oil. Although the outlook for the Arab economies appears gloomy in many respects, the book argues that there is potential within the Arab world to overcome the decline in oil revenues. However it will require great efforts in political and economic co-operation amongst Arab states.

  3. Almagest Declinations: Timocharis, Aristyllus, and Hipparcus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmer, Peter C.; Brandt, J. C.; Jones, P. B.

    2013-01-01

    Declinations in the Almagest provide an opportunity to determine the observational precision of the ancient observers and their epochs. The basic data are the original observations (O) and the declinations calculated (C) by precessing modern positions and including refraction. The plots of (O) - (C) can be analyzed using several different approaches. All of the original positions appear to be valid except Timocharis’s value for Arcturus. Consistent results for the precisions and epochs, respectively, are: Timocharis--8.1 arc min, near 296BC; Aristyllus--5.3 arc min, near 258BC; and Hipparcus--6.8 arc min, near 130BC. See the papers by Pannekoek (1955), Maeyama (1984), Rawlins (manuscript, c. 1983), and our earlier (Brandt, Zimmer, and Jones, 2011) report for the development of this subject. The precisions in the range 5-8 arc min are remarkable and the dates are compatible with historical evidence.

  4. The decline of North American freshwater fishes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walsh, Stephen J.; Jelks, Howard L.; Burkhead, Noel M.

    2009-01-01

    North America has a broad array of freshwater ecosystems because of the continent's complex geography and geological history. Within a multitude of habitats—that include streams, large rivers, natural lakes, springs, and wetlands—rich assemblages of fishes reside, representing diverse taxonomic groups with unique ecological requirements. They face an unprecedented conservation crisis.1 In the last few decades, the proportion of inland fishes of North America, which are considered imperiled or extinct, increased from 20 to 40%.2 Although extinctions have occurred, many species and populations are declining in range size and abundance. The fish biota of the continent as a whole remains diverse; however, we can take action to stem any further declines.

  5. Analysis of production decline in geothermal reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Zais, Elliot J.; Bodvarsson, Gunnar

    1980-09-01

    The major objectives of the Decline Curve project were to: (1) test the decline analysis methods used in the petroleum industry on geothermal production data; (2) examine and/or develop new analysis methods; and (3) develop a standard operating procedure for analyzing geothermal production data. Various analysis methods have long been available but they have not been tested on geothermal data because of the lack of publicly available data. The recent release to publication of substantial data sets from Wairakei, New Zealand, Cerro Prieto, Mexico and The Geysers, USA has made this study possible. Geothermal reservoirs are quite different from petroleum reservoirs in many ways so the analysis methods must be tested using geothermal data.

  6. Regenerative decline of stem cells in sarcopenia.

    PubMed

    Sousa-Victor, Pedro; Muñoz-Cánoves, Pura

    2016-08-01

    Skeletal muscle mass and function decline with aging, a process known as sarcopenia, which restrains posture maintenance, mobility and quality of life in the elderly. Sarcopenia is also linked to a progressive reduction in the regenerative capacity of the skeletal muscle stem cells (satellite cells), which are critical for myofiber formation in early life stages and for sustaining repair in response to muscle damage or trauma. Here we will review the most recent findings on the causes underlying satellite cell functional decline with aging, and will discuss the prevalent view whereby age-associated extrinsic factor alterations impact negatively on satellite cell-intrinsic mechanisms, resulting in deficient muscle regeneration with aging. Further understanding of the interplay between satellite cell extrinsic and intrinsic factors in sarcopenia will facilitate therapies aimed at improving muscle repair in the increasing aging population. PMID:26921790

  7. The rise (and decline?) of biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Kinch, Michael S

    2014-11-01

    Since the 1970s, biotechnology has been a key innovator in drug development. An analysis of FDA-approved therapeutics demonstrates pharmaceutical companies outpace biotechs in terms of new approvals but biotechnology companies are now responsible for earlier-stage activities (patents, INDs or clinical development). The number of biotechnology organizations that contributed to an FDA approval began declining in the 2000s and is at a level not seen since the 1980s. Whereas early biotechnology companies had a decade from first approval until acquisition, the average acquisition of a biotechnology company now occurs months before their first FDA approval. The number of hybrid organizations that arise when pharmaceutical companies acquire biotechnology is likewise declining, raising questions about the sustainability of biotechnology. PMID:24747562

  8. 26 CFR 1.167(b)-2 - Declining balance method.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Declining balance method. 1.167(b)-2 Section 1... Declining balance method. (a) Application of method. Under the declining balance method a uniform rate is... declining balance rate may be determined without resort to formula. Such rate determined under section...

  9. 26 CFR 1.167(b)-2 - Declining balance method.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Declining balance method. 1.167(b)-2 Section 1... Declining balance method. (a) Application of method. Under the declining balance method a uniform rate is... declining balance rate may be determined without resort to formula. Such rate determined under section...

  10. 26 CFR 1.167(b)-2 - Declining balance method.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Declining balance method. 1.167(b)-2 Section 1... Declining balance method. (a) Application of method. Under the declining balance method a uniform rate is... declining balance rate may be determined without resort to formula. Such rate determined under section...

  11. 26 CFR 1.167(b)-2 - Declining balance method.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Declining balance method. 1.167(b)-2 Section 1... Declining balance method. (a) Application of method. Under the declining balance method a uniform rate is... declining balance rate may be determined without resort to formula. Such rate determined under section...

  12. 26 CFR 1.167(b)-2 - Declining balance method.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Declining balance method. 1.167(b)-2 Section 1... Declining balance method. (a) Application of method. Under the declining balance method a uniform rate is... declining balance rate may be determined without resort to formula. Such rate determined under section...

  13. Reliability of indicators of decline in abundance.

    PubMed

    Porszt, Erin J; Peterman, Randall M; Dulvy, Nicholas K; Cooper, Andrew B; Irvine, James R

    2012-10-01

    Although there are many indicators of endangerment (i.e., whether populations or species meet criteria that justify conservation action), their reliability has rarely been tested. Such indicators may fail to identify that a population or species meets criteria for conservation action (false negative) or may incorrectly show that such criteria have been met (false positive). To quantify the rate of both types of error for 20 commonly used indicators of declining abundance (threat indicators), we used receiver operating characteristic curves derived from historical (1938-2007) data for 18 sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) populations in the Fraser River, British Columbia, Canada. We retrospectively determined each population's yearly status (reflected by change in abundance over time) on the basis of each indicator. We then compared that population's status in a given year with the status in subsequent years (determined by the magnitude of decline in abundance across those years). For each sockeye population, we calculated how often each indicator of past status matched subsequent status. No single threat indicator provided error-free estimates of status, but indicators that reflected the extent (i.e., magnitude) of past decline in abundance (through comparison of current abundance with some historical baseline abundance) tended to better reflect status in subsequent years than the rate of decline over the previous 3 generations (a widely used indicator). We recommend that when possible, the reliability of various threat indicators be evaluated with empirical analyses before such indicators are used to determine the need for conservation action. These indicators should include estimates from the entire data set to take into account a historical baseline. PMID:22741815

  14. Southern California ozone pollution declining and changing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2013-07-01

    Many studies have documented the decline in ozone pollution and its precursors in the Los Angeles air basin over the past several decades. Now Pollack et al. have analyzed new data from research aircraft, along with archived data from roadside monitors and ground-based instruments, to provide a synthesis of concentrations and emissions ratios of ozone, other secondary pollutants, and their precursors from 1960 to 2010.

  15. Emerging infectious diseases and amphibian population declines.

    PubMed Central

    Daszak, P.; Berger, L.; Cunningham, A. A.; Hyatt, A. D.; Green, D. E.; Speare, R.

    1999-01-01

    We review recent research on the pathology, ecology, and biogeography of two emerging infectious wildlife diseases, chytridiomycosis and ranaviral disease, in the context of host-parasite population biology. We examine the role of these diseases in the global decline of amphibian populations and propose hypotheses for the origins and impact of these panzootics. Finally, we discuss emerging infectious diseases as a global threat to wildlife populations. PMID:10603206

  16. Is human fecundity declining in Western countries?

    PubMed

    te Velde, Egbert; Burdorf, Alex; Nieschlag, Eberhard; Eijkemans, René; Kremer, Jan A M; Roeleveld, Nel; Habbema, Dik

    2010-06-01

    Since Carlsen and co-workers reported in 1992 that sperm counts have decreased during the second half of the last century in Western societies, there has been widespread anxiety about the adverse effects of environmental pollutants on human fecundity. The Carlsen report was followed by several re-analyses of their data set and by many studies on time trends in sperm quality and on secular trends in fecundity. However, the results of these studies were diverse, complex, difficult to interpret and, therefore, less straightforward than the Carlsen report suggested. The claims that population fecundity is declining and that environmental pollutants are involved, can neither be confirmed nor rejected, in our opinion. However, it is of great importance to find out because the possible influence of widespread environmental pollution, which would adversely affect human reproduction, should be a matter of great concern triggering large-scale studies into its causes and possibilities for prevention. The fundamental reason we still do not know whether population fecundity is declining is the lack of an appropriate surveillance system. Is such a system possible? In our opinion, determining total sperm counts (as a measure of male reproductive health) in combination with time to pregnancy (as a measure of couple fecundity) in carefully selected populations is a feasible option for such a monitoring system. If we want to find out whether or not population fecundity will be declining within the following 20-30 years, we must start monitoring now. PMID:20395222

  17. The cultural evolution of fertility decline.

    PubMed

    Colleran, Heidi

    2016-04-19

    Cultural evolutionists have long been interested in the problem of why fertility declines as populations develop. By outlining plausible mechanistic links between individual decision-making, information flow in populations and competition between groups, models of cultural evolution offer a novel and powerful approach for integrating multiple levels of explanation of fertility transitions. However, only a modest number of models have been published. Their assumptions often differ from those in other evolutionary approaches to social behaviour, but their empirical predictions are often similar. Here I offer the first overview of cultural evolutionary research on demographic transition, critically compare it with approaches taken by other evolutionary researchers, identify gaps and overlaps, and highlight parallel debates in demography. I suggest that researchers divide their labour between three distinct phases of fertility decline-the origin, spread and maintenance of low fertility-each of which may be driven by different causal processes, at different scales, requiring different theoretical and empirical tools. A comparative, multi-level and mechanistic framework is essential for elucidating both the evolved aspects of our psychology that govern reproductive decision-making, and the social, ecological and cultural contingencies that precipitate and sustain fertility decline. PMID:27022079

  18. Fertility rates: the decline is stalling.

    PubMed

    Starke, L

    1994-01-01

    During the 1970s, the rate of total fertility in China fell from 6.4 children per woman in 1968 to 2.2 in 1980. The decline in India was more modest, but still significant at 5.8 over the period 1966-71 to 4.8 during 1976-1981. These trends helped slow the rate of world population growth from 2.1% during 1965-70 to 1.7% during 1975-80. Fertility rates are currently declining in similar fashion in Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, and Thailand. While impressive and much needed to ultimately stabilize world population growth, fertility declines in China and India stalled throughout the 1980s. The fertility rate in China remained around 2.5 throughout much of the decade, while progress toward lower birth rates stalled in India after the defeat of the ruling Congress Party in the late 1970s. Moreover, 67 developing countries, home to 17% of global population, have yet to enter the phase of demographic transition. It is clear that governments must supply contraceptives and reproductive health care services to couples in need of regulating their fertility, but they must also lower the demand for children by working to improve women's lives and increase their access to and control over money, credit, and other resources. PMID:12287752

  19. Ulysses orbit determination at high declinations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcelrath, Timothy P.; Lewis, George D.

    1995-01-01

    The trajectory of the Ulysses spacecraft caused its geocentric declination to exceed 60 deg South for over two months during the Fall of 1994, permitting continuous tracking from a single site. During this time, spacecraft operations constraints allowed only Doppler tracking data to be collected, and imposed a high radial acceleration uncertainty on the orbit determination process. The unusual aspects of this situation have motivated a re-examination of the Hamilton-Melbourne results, which have been used before to estimate the information content of Doppler tracking for trajectories closer to the ecliptic. The addition of an acceleration term to this equation is found to significantly increase the declination uncertainty for symmetric passes. In addition, a simple means is described to transform the symmetric results when the tracking pass is non-symmetric. The analytical results are then compared against numerical studies of this tracking geometry and found to be in good agreement for the angular uncertainties. The results of this analysis are applicable to the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission and to any other missions with high declination trajectories, as well as to missions using short tracking passes and/or one-way Doppler data.

  20. Reversal of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Bredesen, Dale E.; Amos, Edwin C.; Canick, Jonathan; Ackerley, Mary; Raji, Cyrus; Fiala, Milan; Ahdidan, Jamila

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease is one of the most significant healthcare problems nationally and globally. Recently, the first description of the reversal of cognitive decline in patients with early Alzheimer's disease or its precursors, MCI (mild cognitive impairment) and SCI (subjective cognitive impairment), was published [1]. The therapeutic approach used was programmatic and personalized rather than monotherapeutic and invariant, and was dubbed metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration (MEND). Patients who had had to discontinue work were able to return to work, and those struggling at work were able to improve their performance. The patients, their spouses, and their co-workers all reported clear improvements. Here we report the results from quantitative MRI and neuropsychological testing in ten patients with cognitive decline, nine ApoE4+ (five homozygous and four heterozygous) and one ApoE4−, who were treated with the MEND protocol for 5-24 months. The magnitude of the improvement is unprecedented, providing additional objective evidence that this programmatic approach to cognitive decline is highly effective. These results have far-reaching implications for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, MCI, and SCI; for personalized programs that may enhance pharmaceutical efficacy; and for personal identification of ApoE genotype. PMID:27294343

  1. Large Decadal Decline of the Arctic Multiyear Ice Cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2011-01-01

    The perennial ice area was drastically reduced to 38% of its climatological average in 2007 but recovered somewhat in 2008, 2009 and 2010 with the areas being 10%, 24%, and 11% higher than in 2007, respectively. However, the trends in the extent and area remain strongly negative at -12.2% and -13.5 %/decade, respectively. The thick component of the perennial ice, called multiyear ice, as detected by satellite data in the winters of 1979 to 2011 was studied and results reveal that the multiyear ice extent and area are declining at an even more rapid rate of -15.1% and -17.2 % per decade, respectively, with record low value in 2008 followed by higher values in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Such high rate in the decline of the thick component of the Arctic ice cover means a reduction in average ice thickness and an even more vulnerable perennial ice cover. The decline of the multiyear ice area from 2007 to 2008 was not as strong as that of the perennial ice area from 2006 to 2007 suggesting a strong role of second year ice melt in the latter. The sea ice cover is shown to be strongly correlated with surface temperature which is increasing at about three times global average in the Arctic but appears weakly correlated with the AO which controls the dynamics of the region. An 8 to 9-year cycle is apparent in the multiyear ice record which could explain in part the slight recovery in the last three years.

  2. Widespread decline of Congo rainforest greenness in the past decade.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Liming; Tian, Yuhong; Myneni, Ranga B; Ciais, Philippe; Saatchi, Sassan; Liu, Yi Y; Piao, Shilong; Chen, Haishan; Vermote, Eric F; Song, Conghe; Hwang, Taehee

    2014-05-01

    Tropical forests are global epicentres of biodiversity and important modulators of climate change, and are mainly constrained by rainfall patterns. The severe short-term droughts that occurred recently in Amazonia have drawn attention to the vulnerability of tropical forests to climatic disturbances. The central African rainforests, the second-largest on Earth, have experienced a long-term drying trend whose impacts on vegetation dynamics remain mostly unknown because in situ observations are very limited. The Congolese forest, with its drier conditions and higher percentage of semi-evergreen trees, may be more tolerant to short-term rainfall reduction than are wetter tropical forests, but for a long-term drought there may be critical thresholds of water availability below which higher-biomass, closed-canopy forests transition to more open, lower-biomass forests. Here we present observational evidence for a widespread decline in forest greenness over the past decade based on analyses of satellite data (optical, thermal, microwave and gravity) from several independent sensors over the Congo basin. This decline in vegetation greenness, particularly in the northern Congolese forest, is generally consistent with decreases in rainfall, terrestrial water storage, water content in aboveground woody and leaf biomass, and the canopy backscatter anomaly caused by changes in structure and moisture in upper forest layers. It is also consistent with increases in photosynthetically active radiation and land surface temperature. These multiple lines of evidence indicate that this large-scale vegetation browning, or loss of photosynthetic capacity, may be partially attributable to the long-term drying trend. Our results suggest that a continued gradual decline of photosynthetic capacity and moisture content driven by the persistent drying trend could alter the composition and structure of the Congolese forest to favour the spread of drought-tolerant species. PMID:24759324

  3. Long-term decline of the Amazon carbon sink.

    PubMed

    Brienen, R J W; Phillips, O L; Feldpausch, T R; Gloor, E; Baker, T R; Lloyd, J; Lopez-Gonzalez, G; Monteagudo-Mendoza, A; Malhi, Y; Lewis, S L; Vásquez Martinez, R; Alexiades, M; Álvarez Dávila, E; Alvarez-Loayza, P; Andrade, A; Aragão, L E O C; Araujo-Murakami, A; Arets, E J M M; Arroyo, L; Aymard C, G A; Bánki, O S; Baraloto, C; Barroso, J; Bonal, D; Boot, R G A; Camargo, J L C; Castilho, C V; Chama, V; Chao, K J; Chave, J; Comiskey, J A; Cornejo Valverde, F; da Costa, L; de Oliveira, E A; Di Fiore, A; Erwin, T L; Fauset, S; Forsthofer, M; Galbraith, D R; Grahame, E S; Groot, N; Hérault, B; Higuchi, N; Honorio Coronado, E N; Keeling, H; Killeen, T J; Laurance, W F; Laurance, S; Licona, J; Magnussen, W E; Marimon, B S; Marimon-Junior, B H; Mendoza, C; Neill, D A; Nogueira, E M; Núñez, P; Pallqui Camacho, N C; Parada, A; Pardo-Molina, G; Peacock, J; Peña-Claros, M; Pickavance, G C; Pitman, N C A; Poorter, L; Prieto, A; Quesada, C A; Ramírez, F; Ramírez-Angulo, H; Restrepo, Z; Roopsind, A; Rudas, A; Salomão, R P; Schwarz, M; Silva, N; Silva-Espejo, J E; Silveira, M; Stropp, J; Talbot, J; ter Steege, H; Teran-Aguilar, J; Terborgh, J; Thomas-Caesar, R; Toledo, M; Torello-Raventos, M; Umetsu, R K; van der Heijden, G M F; van der Hout, P; Guimarães Vieira, I C; Vieira, S A; Vilanova, E; Vos, V A; Zagt, R J

    2015-03-19

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide records indicate that the land surface has acted as a strong global carbon sink over recent decades, with a substantial fraction of this sink probably located in the tropics, particularly in the Amazon. Nevertheless, it is unclear how the terrestrial carbon sink will evolve as climate and atmospheric composition continue to change. Here we analyse the historical evolution of the biomass dynamics of the Amazon rainforest over three decades using a distributed network of 321 plots. While this analysis confirms that Amazon forests have acted as a long-term net biomass sink, we find a long-term decreasing trend of carbon accumulation. Rates of net increase in above-ground biomass declined by one-third during the past decade compared to the 1990s. This is a consequence of growth rate increases levelling off recently, while biomass mortality persistently increased throughout, leading to a shortening of carbon residence times. Potential drivers for the mortality increase include greater climate variability, and feedbacks of faster growth on mortality, resulting in shortened tree longevity. The observed decline of the Amazon sink diverges markedly from the recent increase in terrestrial carbon uptake at the global scale, and is contrary to expectations based on models. PMID:25788097

  4. Long-term decline of the Amazon carbon sink

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brienen, R. J. W.; Phillips, O. L.; Feldpausch, T. R.; Gloor, E.; Baker, T. R.; Lloyd, J.; Lopez-Gonzalez, G.; Monteagudo-Mendoza, A.; Malhi, Y.; Lewis, S. L.; Vásquez Martinez, R.; Alexiades, M.; Álvarez Dávila, E.; Alvarez-Loayza, P.; Andrade, A.; Aragão, L. E. O. C.; Araujo-Murakami, A.; Arets, E. J. M. M.; Arroyo, L.; Aymard C., G. A.; Bánki, O. S.; Baraloto, C.; Barroso, J.; Bonal, D.; Boot, R. G. A.; Camargo, J. L. C.; Castilho, C. V.; Chama, V.; Chao, K. J.; Chave, J.; Comiskey, J. A.; Cornejo Valverde, F.; da Costa, L.; de Oliveira, E. A.; di Fiore, A.; Erwin, T. L.; Fauset, S.; Forsthofer, M.; Galbraith, D. R.; Grahame, E. S.; Groot, N.; Hérault, B.; Higuchi, N.; Honorio Coronado, E. N.; Keeling, H.; Killeen, T. J.; Laurance, W. F.; Laurance, S.; Licona, J.; Magnussen, W. E.; Marimon, B. S.; Marimon-Junior, B. H.; Mendoza, C.; Neill, D. A.; Nogueira, E. M.; Núñez, P.; Pallqui Camacho, N. C.; Parada, A.; Pardo-Molina, G.; Peacock, J.; Peña-Claros, M.; Pickavance, G. C.; Pitman, N. C. A.; Poorter, L.; Prieto, A.; Quesada, C. A.; Ramírez, F.; Ramírez-Angulo, H.; Restrepo, Z.; Roopsind, A.; Rudas, A.; Salomão, R. P.; Schwarz, M.; Silva, N.; Silva-Espejo, J. E.; Silveira, M.; Stropp, J.; Talbot, J.; Ter Steege, H.; Teran-Aguilar, J.; Terborgh, J.; Thomas-Caesar, R.; Toledo, M.; Torello-Raventos, M.; Umetsu, R. K.; van der Heijden, G. M. F.; van der Hout, P.; Guimarães Vieira, I. C.; Vieira, S. A.; Vilanova, E.; Vos, V. A.; Zagt, R. J.

    2015-03-01

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide records indicate that the land surface has acted as a strong global carbon sink over recent decades, with a substantial fraction of this sink probably located in the tropics, particularly in the Amazon. Nevertheless, it is unclear how the terrestrial carbon sink will evolve as climate and atmospheric composition continue to change. Here we analyse the historical evolution of the biomass dynamics of the Amazon rainforest over three decades using a distributed network of 321 plots. While this analysis confirms that Amazon forests have acted as a long-term net biomass sink, we find a long-term decreasing trend of carbon accumulation. Rates of net increase in above-ground biomass declined by one-third during the past decade compared to the 1990s. This is a consequence of growth rate increases levelling off recently, while biomass mortality persistently increased throughout, leading to a shortening of carbon residence times. Potential drivers for the mortality increase include greater climate variability, and feedbacks of faster growth on mortality, resulting in shortened tree longevity. The observed decline of the Amazon sink diverges markedly from the recent increase in terrestrial carbon uptake at the global scale, and is contrary to expectations based on models.

  5. Decline of subpolar North Atlantic circulation during the 1990s.

    PubMed

    Häkkinen, Sirpa; Rhines, Peter B

    2004-04-23

    Observations of sea surface height reveal that substantial changes have occurred over the past decade in the mid- to high-latitude North Atlantic Ocean. TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter data show that subpolar sea surface height increased during the 1990s, and the geostrophic velocity derived from altimeter data exhibits declining subpolar gyre circulation. Combining the data from earlier satellites, we find that subpolar circulation may have been weaker in the late 1990s than in the late 1970s and 1980s. Direct current-meter observations in the boundary current of the Labrador Sea support the weakening circulation trend of the 1990s and, together with hydrographic data, show that the mid- to late 1990s decline extends deep in the water column. Analysis of the local surface forcing suggests that the 1990s buoyancy forcing has a dynamic effect consistent with altimetric and hydrographic observations: A weak thermohaline forcing allows the decay of the domed structure of subpolar isopycnals and weakening of circulation. PMID:15087505

  6. Intraguild predation and native lady beetle decline.

    PubMed

    Gardiner, Mary M; O'Neal, Matthew E; Landis, Douglas A

    2011-01-01

    Coccinellid communities across North America have experienced significant changes in recent decades, with declines in several native species reported. One potential mechanism for these declines is interference competition via intraguild predation; specifically, increased predation of native coccinellid eggs and larvae following the introduction of exotic coccinellids. Our previous studies have shown that agricultural fields in Michigan support a higher diversity and abundance of exotic coccinellids than similar fields in Iowa, and that the landscape surrounding agricultural fields across the north central U.S. influences the abundance and activity of coccinellid species. The goal of this study was to quantify the amount of egg predation experienced by a native coccinellid within Michigan and Iowa soybean fields and explore the influence of local and large-scale landscape structure. Using the native lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata as a model, we found that sentinel egg masses were subject to intense predation within both Michigan and Iowa soybean fields, with 60.7% of egg masses attacked and 43.0% of available eggs consumed within 48 h. In Michigan, the exotic coccinellids Coccinella septempunctata and Harmonia axyridis were the most abundant predators found in soybean fields whereas in Iowa, native species including C. maculata, Hippodamia parenthesis and the soft-winged flower beetle Collops nigriceps dominated the predator community. Predator abundance was greater in soybean fields within diverse landscapes, yet variation in predator numbers did not influence the intensity of egg predation observed. In contrast, the strongest predictor of native coccinellid egg predation was the composition of edge habitats bordering specific fields. Field sites surrounded by semi-natural habitats including forests, restored prairies, old fields, and pasturelands experienced greater egg predation than fields surrounded by other croplands. This study shows that intraguild

  7. Intraguild Predation and Native Lady Beetle Decline

    PubMed Central

    Gardiner, Mary M.; O'Neal, Matthew E.; Landis, Douglas A.

    2011-01-01

    Coccinellid communities across North America have experienced significant changes in recent decades, with declines in several native species reported. One potential mechanism for these declines is interference competition via intraguild predation; specifically, increased predation of native coccinellid eggs and larvae following the introduction of exotic coccinellids. Our previous studies have shown that agricultural fields in Michigan support a higher diversity and abundance of exotic coccinellids than similar fields in Iowa, and that the landscape surrounding agricultural fields across the north central U.S. influences the abundance and activity of coccinellid species. The goal of this study was to quantify the amount of egg predation experienced by a native coccinellid within Michigan and Iowa soybean fields and explore the influence of local and large-scale landscape structure. Using the native lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata as a model, we found that sentinel egg masses were subject to intense predation within both Michigan and Iowa soybean fields, with 60.7% of egg masses attacked and 43.0% of available eggs consumed within 48 h. In Michigan, the exotic coccinellids Coccinella septempunctata and Harmonia axyridis were the most abundant predators found in soybean fields whereas in Iowa, native species including C. maculata, Hippodamia parenthesis and the soft-winged flower beetle Collops nigriceps dominated the predator community. Predator abundance was greater in soybean fields within diverse landscapes, yet variation in predator numbers did not influence the intensity of egg predation observed. In contrast, the strongest predictor of native coccinellid egg predation was the composition of edge habitats bordering specific fields. Field sites surrounded by semi-natural habitats including forests, restored prairies, old fields, and pasturelands experienced greater egg predation than fields surrounded by other croplands. This study shows that intraguild

  8. Multispectral sensing of citrus young tree decline

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, G. J.; Ducharme, E. P.; Schehl, T.

    1975-01-01

    Computer processing of MSS data to identify and map citrus trees affected by young tree decline is analyzed. The data were obtained at 1500-feet altitude in six discrete spectral bands covering regions from 0.53 to 1.3 millimicrons as well as from instrumental ground truths of tree crowns. Measurable spectral reflectance intensity differences are observed in the leaves of healthy and diseased trees, especially at wavelengths of 500 to 600 nm and 700 to 800 nm. The overall accuracy of the method is found to be 89%.

  9. [Major features of decline of Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica plantation on sandy land].

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiangyun; Jiang, Fengqi; Li, Xiaodan; Xue, Yang; Qiu, Sufen

    2004-12-01

    In view of the decline of man-made sand-fixation forest of Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica in Zhanggutai sand land of Liaoning Province, this paper studied the major characteristics of the decline. The appearance of the declining man-made sand-fixation forest of Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica was grey green, its needle leaf was very thin, the blooming and fruiting rate was low, the average quantity of cones per tree was only 10.4-16.5, with only 6.96 g to 7.39 g per thousand seeds, and there were many empty and astringent seeds. The seasonal dynamics of nutrients in 2-year-old pine needle leaf was similar, i.e., the N and P contents decreased, while K content increased, showing that the nutrient cycle was imbalance. The chlorophyll content in 2-year-old needle leaf of declined forest was high, while that in 1-year-old healthy forest was also high but with a wide increasing range. The infected harm of shoot blight was the clearest mark to the decline of man-made sand-fixation forest of Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica. After the forest declined, the height and the DBH of the pine trees decreased evidently, and the structure of DBH distribution moved "left". The quantity of weak pine trees increased by 15.9%-27.2%, the roots decreased by 22.9%-28.9%, and the absorbing roots (diameter < 0.5 cm) decreased most seriously. PMID:15825430

  10. Declining incidence of acromioplasty in Finland

    PubMed Central

    Paloneva, Juha; Lepola, Vesa; Karppinen, Jaro; Ylinen, Jari; Äärimaa, Ville; Mattila, Ville M

    2015-01-01

    Background and purpose An increased incidence rate of acromioplasty has been reported; we analyzed data from the Finnish National Hospital Discharge Register. Patients and methods During the 14-year study period (1998–2011), 68,877 acromioplasties without rotator cuff repair were performed on subjects aged 18 years or older. Results The incidence of acromioplasty increased by 117% from 75 to 163 per 105 person years between 1998 and 2007. The highest incidence was observed in 2007, after which the incidence rate decreased by 20% to 131 per 105 person years in 2011. The incidence declined even more at non-profit public hospitals from 2007 to 2011. In contrast, it continued to rise at profit-based private orthopedic clinics. Interpretation We propose that this change in clinical practice is due to accumulating high-quality scientific evidence that shows no difference in outcome between acromioplasty and non-surgical interventions for rotator cuff disease with subacromial impingement syndrome. However, the exact cause of the declining incidence cannot be defined based solely on a registry study. Interestingly, this change was not observed at private clinics, where the number of operations increased steadily from 2007 to 2011. PMID:25340548

  11. The impact of freedom on fertility decline.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Martha M; Prata, Ndola; Potts, Malcolm

    2013-01-01

    Although fertility decline often correlates with improvements in socioeconomic conditions, many demographers have found flaws in demographic transition theories that depend on changes in distal factors such as increased wealth or education. Human beings worldwide engage in sexual intercourse much more frequently than is needed to conceive the number of children they want, and for women who do not have access to the information and means they need to separate sex from childbearing, the default position is a large family. In many societies, male patriarchal drives to control female reproduction give rise to unnecessary medical rules constraining family planning (including safe abortion) or justifying child marriage. Widespread misinformation about contraception makes women afraid to adopt modern family planning. The barriers to family planning can be so deeply infused that for many women the idea of managing their fertility is not considered an option. Conversely, there is evidence that once family planning is introduced into a society, then it is normal consumer behaviour for individuals to welcome a new technology they had not wanted until it became realistically available. We contend that in societies free from child marriage, wherever women have access to a range of contraceptive methods, along with correct information and backed up by safe abortion, family size will always fall. Education and wealth can make the adoption of family planning easier, but they are not prerequisites for fertility decline. By contrast, access to family planning itself can accelerate economic development and the spread of education. PMID:23296851

  12. Declining suburbs in Europe and Latin America.

    PubMed

    Audirac, Ivonne; Cunningham-Sabot, Emmanuèle; Fol, Sylvie; Moraes, Sergio Torres

    2012-01-01

    Suburban shrinkage, understood as a degenerative urban process stemming from the demise of the Fordist mode of urbanism, is generally manifested in a decline in population, industry and employment. It is also intimately linked to the global restructuring of industrial organization associated with the rise of the post-Fordist mode of urbanism and, more recently, the thrust of Asian industrialization. Framed in the discourse of industrial urbanism, this article examines the first ring of industrial suburbs that developed around large cities in their most rapid Fordist urbanization phase. These industrial suburbs, although they were formed at different times, are today experiencing specific mutations and undergoing profound restructuring on account of their particular spatial position between the central area and the expanding peripheries of the post-Fordist metropolis. This article describes and compares suburban decline in two European cities (Glasgow and Paris) and two Latin American Cities (São Paulo, Brazil and Guadalajara, Mexico), as different instances of places asymmetrically and fragmentarily integrated into the geography of globalization. PMID:22518882

  13. [A cure for declining fertility. Pt. 2].

    PubMed

    Ransford, E

    1981-04-15

    Fertility decline, the natural consequence of an overemphasis on material comfort, has 5 main causes: parenthood has become a voluntary act; the emphasis on the quality of children has resulted in ever heavier parental responsibilities; the traditional sense of the family is gone; the social role of women has changed; and a generalized and diffuse moroseness has invaded the social tissue. Reversing the fertility decline requires a new social justice, which will merely return true freedom of choice. Because mothers of large families, honored in traditional societies, are today scorned and despised, there is no real freedom of procreative choice. A family policy worthy of the name would insure more just distribution of wealth in favor of those who contribute to the collective survival by bringing up future generations. Tax laws, urbanization patterns, female and parental work, and the numerous social goods and services should be adapted to the needs of family life and children. Also needed to encourage couples to have numerous families is a sense of cultural rootedness, of ethnic identity, that has largely been lost to technoindustrial society. Although the vision of history from which these reflections spring is materialist and determinist, it differs from a Marxist viewpoint in that it views history in terms of emphases rather than of relations of domination or force. PMID:12265401

  14. The cultural evolution of fertility decline

    PubMed Central

    Colleran, Heidi

    2016-01-01

    Cultural evolutionists have long been interested in the problem of why fertility declines as populations develop. By outlining plausible mechanistic links between individual decision-making, information flow in populations and competition between groups, models of cultural evolution offer a novel and powerful approach for integrating multiple levels of explanation of fertility transitions. However, only a modest number of models have been published. Their assumptions often differ from those in other evolutionary approaches to social behaviour, but their empirical predictions are often similar. Here I offer the first overview of cultural evolutionary research on demographic transition, critically compare it with approaches taken by other evolutionary researchers, identify gaps and overlaps, and highlight parallel debates in demography. I suggest that researchers divide their labour between three distinct phases of fertility decline—the origin, spread and maintenance of low fertility—each of which may be driven by different causal processes, at different scales, requiring different theoretical and empirical tools. A comparative, multi-level and mechanistic framework is essential for elucidating both the evolved aspects of our psychology that govern reproductive decision-making, and the social, ecological and cultural contingencies that precipitate and sustain fertility decline. PMID:27022079

  15. Musculoskeletal health, frailty and functional decline.

    PubMed

    Milte, R; Crotty, M

    2014-06-01

    Frailty in older people is associated with a vulnerability to adverse events. While ageing is associated with a loss of physiological reserves, identifying those with the syndrome of frailty has the potential to assist clinicians to tailor treatments to those at the risk of future decline into disability with an increased risk of complications, morbidity and mortality. Sarcopenia is a key component of the frailty syndrome and on its own puts older people at risk of fragility fractures; however, the clinical syndrome of frailty affects the musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal systems. Hip fractures are becoming a prototype condition in the study of frailty. Following a hip fracture, many of the interventions are focused on limiting mobility disability and restoring independence with activities of daily living, but there are multiple factors to be addressed including osteoporosis, sarcopenia, delirium and weight loss. Established techniques of geriatric evaluation and management allow systematic assessment and intervention on multiple components by multidisciplinary teams and deliver the best outcomes. Using the concept of frailty to identify older people with musculoskeletal problems as being at the risk of a poor outcome assists in treatment planning and is likely to become more important as effective pharmacological treatments for sarcopenia emerge. This review will focus on the concept of frailty and its relationship with functional decline, as well as describing its causes, prevalence, risk factors, potential clinical applications and treatment strategies. PMID:25481423

  16. Catastrophic ape decline in western equatorial Africa.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Peter D; Abernethy, Kate A; Bermejo, Magdalena; Beyers, Rene; De Wachter, Pauwel; Akou, Marc Ella; Huijbregts, Bas; Mambounga, Daniel Idiata; Toham, Andre Kamdem; Kilbourn, Annelisa M; Lahm, Sally A; Latour, Stefanie; Maisels, Fiona; Mbina, Christian; Mihindou, Yves; Obiang, Sosthène Ndong; Effa, Ernestine Ntsame; Starkey, Malcolm P; Telfer, Paul; Thibault, Marc; Tutin, Caroline E G; White, Lee J T; Wilkie, David S

    2003-04-10

    Because rapidly expanding human populations have devastated gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) and common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) habitats in East and West Africa, the relatively intact forests of western equatorial Africa have been viewed as the last stronghold of African apes. Gabon and the Republic of Congo alone are thought to hold roughly 80% of the world's gorillas and most of the common chimpanzees. Here we present survey results conservatively indicating that ape populations in Gabon declined by more than half between 1983 and 2000. The primary cause of the decline in ape numbers during this period was commercial hunting, facilitated by the rapid expansion of mechanized logging. Furthermore, Ebola haemorrhagic fever is currently spreading through ape populations in Gabon and Congo and now rivals hunting as a threat to apes. Gorillas and common chimpanzees should be elevated immediately to 'critically endangered' status. Without aggressive investments in law enforcement, protected area management and Ebola prevention, the next decade will see our closest relatives pushed to the brink of extinction. PMID:12679788

  17. Event- and time-dependent decline of outcome information in the primate prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Marcos, Encarni; Tsujimoto, Satoshi; Genovesio, Aldo

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PF) is involved in outcome-based flexible adaptation in a dynamically changing environment. The outcome signal dissipates gradually over time, but the temporal dynamics of this dissipation remains unknown. To examine this issue, we analyzed the outcome-related activity of PF neurons in 2 monkeys in a distance discrimination task. The initial prestimulus period of this task varied in duration, allowing us to dissociate the effects of time and event on the decline in previous outcome-related activity —previous correct versus previous error. We observed 2 types of decline in previous outcome representation: PF neurons that ceased to encode the previous outcome as time passed (time-dependent) and neurons that maintained their signal but it decreased rapidly after the occurrence of a new external event (event-dependent). Although the time-dependent dynamics explained the decline in a greater proportion of neurons, the event-dependent decline was also observed in a significant population of neurons. PMID:27162060

  18. Decline in Senses Affects Nearly All Seniors, Study Finds

    MedlinePlus

    ... fullstory_157426.html Decline in Senses Affects Nearly All Seniors, Study Finds Researchers say losses in taste, ... 2016 TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all older U.S. adults have an age-related decline ...

  19. Migraine and cognitive decline: A topical review

    PubMed Central

    Rist, Pamela M.; Kurth, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    Migraine has been linked with an increased risk of stroke and an increased prevalence of clinically silent brain lesions and white matter hyperintensities. As it is known that stroke and structural brain lesions are associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline, it has been hypothesized that migraine may be a progressive brain disorder and associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. Given the prevalence of migraine in the population, especially among women, and the aging of the population, an association between migraine and cognitive impairment would have substantial public health implications. In this review, we will summarize the existing evidence evaluating the association between migraine and cognitive function. Additionally, we will discuss methodological issues in migraine and cognitive function assessment and elaborate on study design strategies to address this important question. PMID:23405909

  20. Consequences of Age-Related Cognitive Declines

    PubMed Central

    Salthouse, Timothy

    2013-01-01

    Adult age differences in a variety of cognitive abilities are well documented, and many of those abilities have been found to be related to success in the workplace and in everyday life. However, increased age is seldom associated with lower levels of real-world functioning, and the reasons for this lab-life discrepancy are not well understood. This article briefly reviews research concerned with relations of age to cognition, relations of cognition to successful functioning outside the laboratory, and relations of age to measures of work performance and achievement. The final section discusses several possible explanations for why there are often little or no consequences of age-related cognitive declines in everyday functioning. PMID:21740223

  1. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines.

    PubMed

    Butchart, Stuart H M; Walpole, Matt; Collen, Ben; van Strien, Arco; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Almond, Rosamunde E A; Baillie, Jonathan E M; Bomhard, Bastian; Brown, Claire; Bruno, John; Carpenter, Kent E; Carr, Geneviève M; Chanson, Janice; Chenery, Anna M; Csirke, Jorge; Davidson, Nick C; Dentener, Frank; Foster, Matt; Galli, Alessandro; Galloway, James N; Genovesi, Piero; Gregory, Richard D; Hockings, Marc; Kapos, Valerie; Lamarque, Jean-Francois; Leverington, Fiona; Loh, Jonathan; McGeoch, Melodie A; McRae, Louise; Minasyan, Anahit; Hernández Morcillo, Monica; Oldfield, Thomasina E E; Pauly, Daniel; Quader, Suhel; Revenga, Carmen; Sauer, John R; Skolnik, Benjamin; Spear, Dian; Stanwell-Smith, Damon; Stuart, Simon N; Symes, Andy; Tierney, Megan; Tyrrell, Tristan D; Vié, Jean-Christophe; Watson, Reg

    2010-05-28

    In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species' population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and condition, and community composition) showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures on biodiversity (including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution, overexploitation, and climate change impacts) showed increases. Despite some local successes and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected areas, sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related aid), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing. PMID:20430971

  2. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Butchart, Stuart H.M.; Walpole, Matt; Collen, Ben; Van Strien, Arco; Scharlemann, Jorn P.W.; Almond, Rosamunde E.A.; Baillie, Jonathan E.M.; Bomhard, Bastian; Brown, Claire; Bruno, John; Carpenter, Kent E.; Carr, Genevieve M.; Chanson, Janice; Chenery, Anna M.; Csirke, Jorge; Davidson, Nick C.; Dentener, Frank; Foster, Matt; Galli, Alessandro; Galloway, James N.; Genovesi, Piero; Gregory, Richard D.; Hockings, Marc; Kapos, Valerie; Lamarque, Jean-Francois; Leverington, Fiona; Loh, Jonathan; McGeoch, Melodie A.; McRae, Louise; Minasyan, Anahit; Morcillo, Monica Hernandez; Oldfield, Thomasina E.E.; Pauly, Daniel; Quader, Suhel; Revenga, Carmen; Sauer, John R.; Skolnik, Benjamin; Spear, Dian; Stanwell-Smith, Damon; Stuart, Simon N.; Symes, Andy; Tierney, Megan; Tyrrell, Tristan D.; Vie, Jean-Christophe; Watson, Reg

    2011-01-01

    In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species' population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and condition, and community composition) showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures on biodiversity (including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution, overexploitation, and climate change impacts) showed increases. Despite some local successes and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected areas, sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related aid), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing.

  3. The Declining Infrastructure of the Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Great effort has been dedicated to mapping the functional architecture of the brain in health and disease. The neural centers that support cognition and behavior are the “hubs” defining the salient geographic landmarks of the cerebral topography. Similar to urban cartography, however, the functionality of these hubs is critically dependent on the infrastructure permitting the transfer of relevant information from site to site, and this infrastructure is susceptible to deterioration. The groundwork of the brain lies in the form of the complexly organized myelinated nerve fibers responsible for the inter-regional transmission of electrical impulses among distinct neural areas. Damage to the myelin sheath and reduction in the total number of nerve fibers with aging are thought to result in a degradation in the efficiency of communication among neural regions and to contribute to the decline of function in older adults. This article describes selected studies that are relevant to understanding the deterioration in structural connectivity of the aging brain with a focus on potential consequences to functional network activity. First, the neural substrates of connectivity and techniques used in the study of connectivity are described with a focus on neuroimaging methodologies. This is followed with discussion of the negative effects of age on connective integrity, and the possible mechanisms and neural and cognitive consequences of this progressive disconnection. Given the potential for natural repair of certain elements of the connective network, understanding the basis of age-associated decline in connectivity could have important implications with regard to the amelioration of neural dysfunction and the restoration of the infrastructure necessary for optimal function in older adults. PMID:22432418

  4. Surprising decline in Iran's growth rates.

    PubMed

    Roudi, F

    1997-11-01

    According to Iran's 1996 census, the country's population was 60 million, about 6-7 million people fewer than estimates used by the UN and other international organizations. These findings surprised Iranian demographers and have been examined with skepticism outside of the country. However, if Iran's 1986 and 1996 censuses are comparable and children were not undercounted, these results indicate a remarkable decline in fertility. The proportion of Iran's population under age 5 years fell from 18% in 1986 to 10% in 1996. An Institut National d'Etudes Demographiques, Paris, study published in 1996 estimated that Iran's total fertility rate (TFR) fell from an average of 6.2 children/woman in 1986 to 3.5 in 1993. However, based upon analyses of sample surveys, the Iranian government's health ministry reported that the TFR dropped from 5.0 in 1991 to 3.3 in 1995. Irrespective of questions over the magnitude of Iran's fertility decline, it is clear that the Iranian government is committed to limiting population growth. The UN Population Fund considers Iran's family planning program to be one of the world's best-functioning, with the Ministry of Health Care and Medical Education providing free contraceptives. A bill was passed in 1993 which penalizes couples who have more than 3 children and posters around the country encourage the one- or two-child family. Iran's family planning program is integrated into the national primary health care system and provides a broad range of reproductive health services to women. The program is also the only one in the region which promotes both male and female sterilization. PMID:12321257

  5. The decline in child mortality: a reappraisal.

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, O. B.; Lopez, A. D.; Inoue, M.

    2000-01-01

    The present paper examines, describes and documents country-specific trends in under-five mortality rates (i.e., mortality among children under five years of age) in the 1990s. Our analysis updates previous studies by UNICEF, the World Bank and the United Nations. It identifies countries and WHO regions where sustained improvement has occurred and those where setbacks are evident. A consistent series of estimates of under-five mortality rate is provided and an indication is given of historical trends during the period 1950-2000 for both developed and developing countries. It is estimated that 10.5 million children aged 0-4 years died in 1999, about 2.2 million or 17.5% fewer than a decade earlier. On average about 15% of newborn children in Africa are expected to die before reaching their fifth birthday. The corresponding figures for many other parts of the developing world are in the range 3-8% and that for Europe is under 2%. During the 1990s the decline in child mortality decelerated in all the WHO regions except the Western Pacific but there is no widespread evidence of rising child mortality rates. At the country level there are exceptions in southern Africa where the prevalence of HIV is extremely high and in Asia where a few countries are beset by economic difficulties. The slowdown in the rate of decline is of particular concern in Africa and South-East Asia because it is occurring at relatively high levels of mortality, and in countries experiencing severe economic dislocation. As the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues in Africa, particularly southern Africa, and in parts of Asia, further reductions in child mortality become increasingly unlikely until substantial progress in controlling the spread of HIV is achieved. PMID:11100613

  6. Depressed Mood Mediates Decline in Cognitive Processing Speed in Caregivers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vitaliano, Peter P.; Zhang, Jianping; Young, Heather M.; Caswell, Lisa W.; Scanlan, James M.; Echeverria, Diana

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: Very few studies have examined cognitive decline in caregivers versus noncaregivers, and only 1 study has examined mediators of such decline. We evaluated the relationship between caregiver status and decline on the digit symbol test (DST; a measure of processing speed, attention, cognitive-motor translation, and visual scanning) and…

  7. Declining Enrollment: Current Trends in School Policies & Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National School Public Relations Association, Arlington, VA.

    Declines in student population are a fact of life in most of the nation's school districts. With the declines come unprecedented challenges and opportunities; sensitive community relations problems involved with school closings; costs that continue to rise despite the decline in student numbers; the need for staff reductions; the need for…

  8. Effects of Declining Enrollments: A New Mexico Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Beatrice L.

    Because 66 of New Mexico's 89 public school districts experienced declines in 1981-82 enrollments and most were unable to decrease educational costs at the same rate as their decline in enrollment, the legislature requested a study on effects of declining enrollment and possible adjustments to the school distribution funding formula to cushion…

  9. Dissociation of force decline from calcium decline by preload in isolated rabbit myocardium.

    PubMed

    Monasky, Michelle M; Varian, Kenneth D; Davis, Jonathan P; Janssen, Paul M L

    2008-05-01

    It is well known that the rate of intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) decline is an important factor governing relaxation in unloaded myocardium. However, it remains unclear to what extent, under near physiological conditions, the intracellular calcium transient amplitude and kinetics contribute to the length-dependent increase in force and increase in duration of relaxation. We hypothesize that myofilament properties rather than calcium transient decline primarily determines the duration of relaxation in adult mammalian myocardium. To test this hypothesis, we simultaneously measured force of contraction and calibrated [Ca2+]i transients in isolated, thin rabbit trabeculae at various lengths at 37 degrees C. Time from peak tension to 50% relaxation (RT50(tension)) increases significantly with length (from 49.8+/-3.4 to 83.8+/-7.4 ms at an [Ca2+]o of 2.5 mM), whereas time from peak calcium to 50% decline (RT50(calcium)) was not prolonged (from 124.8+/-5.3 to 107.7+/-11.4 ms at an [Ca2+]o of 2.5 mM). Analysis of variance revealed that RT50(tension) is significantly correlated with length (P<0.0001). At optimal length, varying the extracellular calcium concentration increased both developed force and calcium transient amplitude, but RT50(tension) remained unchanged (P=0.90), whereas intracellular calcium decline actually accelerated (P<0.05). Thus, an increase in muscle length will result in an increase in both force and duration of relaxation, whereas the latter is not primarily governed by the rate of [Ca2+]i decline. PMID:18057959

  10. Red spruce decline in the northeastern US: hypotheses regarding the role of acid rain

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, A.H.

    1983-11-01

    Red spruce have died in abnormal numbers in the high elevation forests of New York and New England during the past two decades while spruce in the southern Appalachians remain healthy. Investigations of insect damage, fungai pathogens, successional dynamics, competitive status, climate and weather patterns, and possible pollutant effects indicate that the decline was triggered by abiotic stress during the dry years of the 1960s. Tree response, as recorded in the pattern of annual rings, and the wide range of soil conditions in which spruce are declining, suggest drought or dry summers as key factors. Hypotheses regarding the role of acid deposition induced stress have been offered, but at present there is not evidence which clearly links acid deposition to spruce decline. Indirect effects of acid deposition on soils, direct effects of acid deposition on foliage, and interactions of acid deposition and drought stress are possible but unproven pathways by which acid deposition could be involved. 23 references, 6 figures, 1 table.

  11. A review of the role of contaminants in amphibian declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.

    2003-01-01

    CONCLUSIONS--Although there are no published studies that demonstrate beyond all doubt that contaminants are involved in long term population declines of amphibians, there is ample evidence and reason to encourage active research and concern about effects. Many contaminants are lethal to amphibians at environmentally realistic concentrations. Acute mortality from these compounds may be difficult to detect because investigators would have to be present shortly after exposures. Chronic mortality may be masked by metapopulation phenomena so that areas that serve as population sinks may be repeatedly recolonized and difficult to identify. Metapopulation dynamics also make it more difficult to define discrete populations. Contaminants also have many sublethal effects on behavior, energetics, malformations, and diverse effects on physiological pathways which, by themselves might not lead to overt death but could alter reproduction or interact with other factors to result in gradual declines in populations. Scientific understanding of these interactions, and of the ecotoxicology of amphibians in general is far behind what is known about birds, fish, and mammals, and research is desperately needed in this area. Some specific suggestions for critically needed research include: (1) Determination of lethal concentrations of common contaminants - pesticides, PAHs, metals--under environmentally realistic conditions of light, temperature, and water chemistry. (2) Better understanding of the effects of long term (weeks, months), low- concentration exposure of persistent pesticides and stable contaminants on amphibians. (3) Development and refinement of bioindicators in amphibians to use in monitoring and screening for potential effects of contaminants in declining amphibian populations. (4) Further studies on the interaction between contaminants and disease agents including immunosuppression in amphibians. (5) Additional research on the interaction between ultraviolet radiation

  12. The birth rate decline in developing countries.

    PubMed

    Robey, B

    1993-01-01

    Family planning programs historically have played an important role in providing information and counseling and supplying modern methods. Most programs are effective due to socioeconomic development and strong political support. Potential demand for services will be growing. This means that donor agencies must commit additional funding, and users must begin paying or paying more for contraceptives. Services and method choices need to be expanded, and quality of care needs to be improved. Three primary factors will impact on fertility decline: 1) the rate of social development, 2) the speed with which small family norms spread and contraception is adopted, and 3) the facility of private and public suppliers to meet contraceptive demand. Other factors influence reproductive decisions (women's roles and status, economic hardships or opportunities, religion, ethnicity, culture, and tradition). Contraceptive prevalence has increased from under 10% in the 1960s to 38% of all married, reproductive age women in the developing world, excluding China, which has contraceptive prevalence of 72%. Regional differences are wide. In Latin America, contraceptive use averages nearly 60% and ranges from over 50% in 10 countries and below 38% in Bolivia, Guatemala, and Haiti. Contraceptive prevalence is above average in Indonesia (50%), Sri Lanka (62%), and Thailand (68%) and just below average in Bangladesh (40%), India (45%), Philippines (34%), and Vietnam (53%). Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest prevalence, except for Zimbabwe (45%), Botswana (35%), and Kenya (27%). 80% of current users rely on modern methods. In most surveyed countries, 20-30% of married women have unmet demand. Fertility decline, unmet demand, and contraceptive use have all been affected by the diffusion of ideas about the use of family planning and the small family norm. Innovators are usually high status, educated women, who spread their views to other social groups or geographic areas. The spread can be rapid

  13. Regional-Scale Declines in Productivity of Pink and Chum Salmon Stocks in Western North America

    PubMed Central

    Malick, Michael J.; Cox, Sean P.

    2016-01-01

    Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) stocks throughout the southern part of their North American range have experienced declines in productivity over the past two decades. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that pink (O. gorbuscha) and chum (O. keta) salmon stocks have also experienced recent declines in productivity by investigating temporal and spatial trends in productivity of 99 wild North American pink and chum salmon stocks. We used a combination of population dynamics and time series models to quantify individual stock trends as well as common temporal trends in pink and chum salmon productivity across local, regional, and continental spatial scales. Our results indicated widespread declines in productivity of wild chum salmon stocks throughout Washington (WA) and British Columbia (BC) with 81% of stocks showing recent declines in productivity, although the exact form of the trends varied among regions. For pink salmon, the majority of stocks in WA and BC (65%) did not have strong temporal trends in productivity; however, all stocks that did have trends in productivity showed declining productivity since at least brood year 1996. We found weaker evidence of widespread declines in productivity for Alaska pink and chum salmon, with some regions and stocks showing declines in productivity (e.g., Kodiak chum salmon stocks) and others showing increases (e.g., Alaska Peninsula pink salmon stocks). We also found strong positive covariation between stock productivity series at the regional spatial scale for both pink and chum salmon, along with evidence that this regional-scale positive covariation has become stronger since the early 1990s in WA and BC. In general, our results suggest that common processes operating at the regional or multi-regional spatial scales drive productivity of pink and chum salmon stocks in western North America and that the effects of these process on productivity may change over time. PMID:26760510

  14. Regional-Scale Declines in Productivity of Pink and Chum Salmon Stocks in Western North America.

    PubMed

    Malick, Michael J; Cox, Sean P

    2016-01-01

    Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) stocks throughout the southern part of their North American range have experienced declines in productivity over the past two decades. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that pink (O. gorbuscha) and chum (O. keta) salmon stocks have also experienced recent declines in productivity by investigating temporal and spatial trends in productivity of 99 wild North American pink and chum salmon stocks. We used a combination of population dynamics and time series models to quantify individual stock trends as well as common temporal trends in pink and chum salmon productivity across local, regional, and continental spatial scales. Our results indicated widespread declines in productivity of wild chum salmon stocks throughout Washington (WA) and British Columbia (BC) with 81% of stocks showing recent declines in productivity, although the exact form of the trends varied among regions. For pink salmon, the majority of stocks in WA and BC (65%) did not have strong temporal trends in productivity; however, all stocks that did have trends in productivity showed declining productivity since at least brood year 1996. We found weaker evidence of widespread declines in productivity for Alaska pink and chum salmon, with some regions and stocks showing declines in productivity (e.g., Kodiak chum salmon stocks) and others showing increases (e.g., Alaska Peninsula pink salmon stocks). We also found strong positive covariation between stock productivity series at the regional spatial scale for both pink and chum salmon, along with evidence that this regional-scale positive covariation has become stronger since the early 1990s in WA and BC. In general, our results suggest that common processes operating at the regional or multi-regional spatial scales drive productivity of pink and chum salmon stocks in western North America and that the effects of these process on productivity may change over time. PMID:26760510

  15. Increased HIV testing among hospitalized patients who declined testing in the emergency department.

    PubMed

    Felsen, Uriel R; Cunningham, Chinazo O; Zingman, Barry S

    2016-05-01

    Health-care systems have serial encounters with many of the same patients across care settings; however, few studies have examined the role of reoffering HIV testing after a patient declines. We assessed whether an intervention to increase HIV testing among hospitalized patients was associated with increased testing among those who declined a test while in the Emergency Department (ED). We studied 8-week periods pre- and post-implementation of an electronic medical record (EMR)-based intervention to increase HIV testing among hospitalized patients. We included all patients 21-64 years old who had no prior HIV test, declined HIV testing in the ED, and were subsequently hospitalized. We used logistic regression to test for an association between time of hospital admission (pre- vs. post-intervention) and whether an HIV test was performed prior to discharge. Pre- and post-implementation, 220 and 218 patients who declined HIV testing in the ED were hospitalized, respectively. There were no significant demographic or clinical differences among patients pre- and post-implementation. Pre- and post-implementation, the median proportion of patients tested weekly was 6.7% (IQR 6.5%, 10.0%) and 41.4% (IQR 33.3%, 41.9%), respectively (aOR 6.2: 95%CI: 3.6, 10.6). HIV testing increased among hospitalized patients who declined a test in the ED after implementation of an EMR-based intervention. Almost half of the patients who declined testing in the ED ultimately underwent testing after it was reoffered during hospitalization, suggesting that the decision to undergo HIV testing is a dynamic process. Leveraging EMR resources may be an effective tool for expanding HIV testing, and testing should be reoffered to patients who previously declined. PMID:26654431

  16. Electrical Stimulation Counteracts Muscle Decline in Seniors

    PubMed Central

    Kern, Helmut; Barberi, Laura; Löfler, Stefan; Sbardella, Simona; Burggraf, Samantha; Fruhmann, Hannah; Carraro, Ugo; Mosole, Simone; Sarabon, Nejc; Vogelauer, Michael; Mayr, Winfried; Krenn, Matthias; Cvecka, Jan; Romanello, Vanina; Pietrangelo, Laura; Protasi, Feliciano; Sandri, Marco; Zampieri, Sandra; Musaro, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    The loss in muscle mass coupled with a decrease in specific force and shift in fiber composition are hallmarks of aging. Training and regular exercise attenuate the signs of sarcopenia. However, pathologic conditions limit the ability to perform physical exercise. We addressed whether electrical stimulation (ES) is an alternative intervention to improve muscle recovery and defined the molecular mechanism associated with improvement in muscle structure and function. We analyzed, at functional, structural, and molecular level, the effects of ES training on healthy seniors with normal life style, without routine sport activity. ES was able to improve muscle torque and functional performances of seniors and increased the size of fast muscle fibers. At molecular level, ES induced up-regulation of IGF-1 and modulation of MuRF-1, a muscle-specific atrophy-related gene. ES also induced up-regulation of relevant markers of differentiating satellite cells and of extracellular matrix remodeling, which might guarantee shape and mechanical forces of trained skeletal muscle as well as maintenance of satellite cell function, reducing fibrosis. Our data provide evidence that ES is a safe method to counteract muscle decline associated with aging. PMID:25104935

  17. Declining ecosystem health and the dilution effect.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Hussein; Ecke, Frauke; Evander, Magnus; Magnusson, Magnus; Hörnfeldt, Birger

    2016-01-01

    The "dilution effect" implies that where species vary in susceptibility to infection by a pathogen, higher diversity often leads to lower infection prevalence in hosts. For directly transmitted pathogens, non-host species may "dilute" infection directly (1) and indirectly (2). Competitors and predators may (1) alter host behavior to reduce pathogen transmission or (2) reduce host density. In a well-studied system, we tested the dilution of the zoonotic Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) by two competitors and a predator. Our study was based on long-term PUUV infection data (2003-2013) in northern Sweden. The field vole (Microtus agrestis) and the common shrew (Sorex araneus) are bank vole competitors and Tengmalm's owl (Aegolius funereus) is a main predator of bank voles. Infection probability in bank voles decreased when common shrew density increased, suggesting that common shrews reduced PUUV transmission. Field voles suppressed bank vole density in meadows and clear-cuts and indirectly diluted PUUV infection. Further, Tengmalm's owl decline in 1980-2013 may have contributed to higher PUUV infection rates in bank voles in 2003-2013 compared to 1979-1986. Our study provides further evidence for dilution effect and suggests that owls may have an important role in reducing disease risk. PMID:27499001

  18. Declining ecosystem health and the dilution effect

    PubMed Central

    Khalil, Hussein; Ecke, Frauke; Evander, Magnus; Magnusson, Magnus; Hörnfeldt, Birger

    2016-01-01

    The “dilution effect” implies that where species vary in susceptibility to infection by a pathogen, higher diversity often leads to lower infection prevalence in hosts. For directly transmitted pathogens, non-host species may “dilute” infection directly (1) and indirectly (2). Competitors and predators may (1) alter host behavior to reduce pathogen transmission or (2) reduce host density. In a well-studied system, we tested the dilution of the zoonotic Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) by two competitors and a predator. Our study was based on long-term PUUV infection data (2003–2013) in northern Sweden. The field vole (Microtus agrestis) and the common shrew (Sorex araneus) are bank vole competitors and Tengmalm’s owl (Aegolius funereus) is a main predator of bank voles. Infection probability in bank voles decreased when common shrew density increased, suggesting that common shrews reduced PUUV transmission. Field voles suppressed bank vole density in meadows and clear-cuts and indirectly diluted PUUV infection. Further, Tengmalm’s owl decline in 1980–2013 may have contributed to higher PUUV infection rates in bank voles in 2003–2013 compared to 1979–1986. Our study provides further evidence for dilution effect and suggests that owls may have an important role in reducing disease risk. PMID:27499001

  19. [The decline in population growth, income distribution, and economic recession].

    PubMed

    Banguero, H

    1983-05-01

    This work uses Keynesian principles and an analysis of the Colombian population in the 1970s to argue that the Colombian policy of slowing population growth, which was adopted with the aim of improving the general welfare of the population, has had shortterm negative effects on effective demand and thus on the level of employment and welfare. These negative effects were caused by the inflexibility of income distribution, which prevented expansion of the internal market, complicated by the stagnant condition of the external sector and the budget deficit. The results of the Colombian case study demonstrate how the deceleration of population growth beginning in the 1960s had a significant impact on the levels of consumption and savings and on the patterns of consumption, leading to low levels of investment and little dynamism. Although the current Colombian economic recession is aggravated by contextual factors such as the world economic recession, the high cost of capital, the industrial recession, and declining food production among others, at the core of the crisis are longer term structural determinants such as the decline in the rate of population growth and the highly unequal distribution of income and wealth, which have contributed to a shrinking of the internal market for some types of goods. Given the unlikelihood of renewed rapid population growth, the Keynesian model suggests that the only alternative for increasing aggregate demand is state intervention through public spending and investment and reorientation of the financial system to achieve a dynamic redistribution of income. Based on these findings and on proposals of other analysts, a stragegy for revitalization is proposed which would imply a gradual income redistribution to allow increased consumption of mass produced goods by the low income groups. Direct consumption subsidies would be avoided because of their inflationary and import-expanding tendencies; rather, incentives and support would be

  20. Declines in the Lethality of Suicide Attempts Explain the Decline in Suicide Deaths in Australia

    PubMed Central

    Spittal, Matthew J.; Pirkis, Jane; Miller, Matthew; Studdert, David M.

    2012-01-01

    Background To investigate the epidemiology of a steep decrease in the incidence of suicide deaths in Australia. Methods National data on suicide deaths and deliberate self-harm for the period 1994–2007 were obtained from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. We calculated attempt and death rates for five major methods and the lethality of these methods. Negative binomial regression was used to estimate the size and significance of method-specific time-trends in attempts and lethality. Results Hanging, motor vehicle exhaust and firearms were the most lethal methods, and together accounted for 72% of all deaths. The lethality of motor vehicle exhaust attempts decreased sharply (RR = 0.94 per year, 95% CI 0.93–0.95) while the motor vehicle exhaust attempt rate changed little; this combination of motor vehicle exhaust trends explained nearly half of the overall decline in suicide deaths. Hanging lethality also decreased sharply (RR = 0.96 per year, 95% CI 0.956–0.965) but large increases in hanging attempts negated the effect on death rates. Firearm lethality changed little while attempts decreased. Conclusion Declines in the lethality of suicide attempts–especially attempts by motor vehicle exhaust and hanging–explain the remarkable decline in deaths by suicide in Australia since 1997. PMID:22957084

  1. The lognormal handwriter: learning, performing, and declining

    PubMed Central

    Plamondon, Réjean; O'Reilly, Christian; Rémi, Céline; Duval, Thérésa

    2013-01-01

    The generation of handwriting is a complex neuromotor skill requiring the interaction of many cognitive processes. It aims at producing a message to be imprinted as an ink trace left on a writing medium. The generated trajectory of the pen tip is made up of strokes superimposed over time. The Kinematic Theory of rapid human movements and its family of lognormal models provide analytical representations of these strokes, often considered as the basic unit of handwriting. This paradigm has not only been experimentally confirmed in numerous predictive and physiologically significant tests but it has also been shown to be the ideal mathematical description for the impulse response of a neuromuscular system. This latter demonstration suggests that the lognormality of the velocity patterns can be interpreted as reflecting the behavior of subjects who are in perfect control of their movements. To illustrate this interpretation, we present a short overview of the main concepts behind the Kinematic Theory and briefly describe how its models can be exploited, using various software tools, to investigate these ideal lognormal behaviors. We emphasize that the parameters extracted during various tasks can be used to analyze some underlying processes associated with their realization. To investigate the operational convergence hypothesis, we report on two original studies. First, we focus on the early steps of the motor learning process as seen as a converging behavior toward the production of more precise lognormal patterns as young children practicing handwriting start to become more fluent writers. Second, we illustrate how aging affects handwriting by pointing out the increasing departure from the ideal lognormal behavior as the control of the fine motricity begins to decline. Overall, the paper highlights this developmental process of merging toward a lognormal behavior with learning, mastering this behavior to succeed in performing a given task, and then gradually

  2. Conifer Decline and Mortality in Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kharuk, V.; Im, S.; Ranson, K.

    2015-12-01

    "Dark needle conifer" (DNC: Abies sibirica, Pinus sibirica and Picea obovata) decline and mortality increase were documented in Russia during recent decades. Here we analyzed causes and scale of Siberian pine and fir mortality in Altai-Sayan and Baikal Lake Regions and West Siberian Plane based on in situdata and remote sensing (QuickBird, Landsat, GRACE). Geographically, mortality began on the margins of the DNC range (i.e., within the forest-steppe and conifer-broadleaf ecotones) and on terrain features with maximal water stress risk (narrow-shaped hilltops, convex steep south facing slopes, shallow well-drained soils). Within ridges, mortality occurred mainly along mountain passes, where stands faced drying winds. Regularly mortality was observed to decrease with elevation increase with the exception of Baikal Lake Mountains, where it was minimal near the lake shore and increased with elevation (up to about 1000 m a.s.l.). Siberian pine and fir mortality followed a drying trend with consecutive droughts since the 1980s. Dendrochronology analysis showed that mortality was correlated with vapor pressure deficit increase, drought index, soil moisture decrease and occurrence of late frosts. In Baikal region Siberian pine mortality correlated with Baikal watershed meteorological variables. An impact of previous year climate conditions on the current growth was found (r2 = 0.6). Thus, water-stressed trees became sensitive to bark beetles and fungi impact (including Polygraphus proximus and Heterobasidion annosum). At present, an increase in mortality is observed within the majority of DNC range. Results obtained also showed a primary role of water stress in that phenomenon with a secondary role of bark beetles and fungi attacks. In future climate with increased drought severity and frequency Siberian pine and fir will partly disappear from its current range, and will be substituted by drought-tolerant species (e.g., Pinus silvestris, Larix sibirica).

  3. Do plasma melatonin concentrations decline with age?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeitzer, J. M.; Daniels, J. E.; Duffy, J. F.; Klerman, E. B.; Shanahan, T. L.; Dijk, D. J.; Czeisler, C. A.

    1999-01-01

    PURPOSE: Numerous reports that secretion of the putative sleep-promoting hormone melatonin declines with age have led to suggestions that melatonin replacement therapy be used to treat sleep problems in older patients. We sought to reassess whether the endogenous circadian rhythm of plasma melatonin concentration changes with age in healthy drug-free adults. METHODS: We analyzed the amplitude of plasma melatonin profiles during a constant routine in 34 healthy drug-free older subjects (20 women and 14 men, aged 65 to 81 years) and compared them with 98 healthy drug-free young men (aged 18 to 30 years). RESULTS: We could detect no significant difference between a healthy and drug-free group of older men and women as compared to one of young men in the endogenous circadian amplitude of the plasma melatonin rhythm, as described by mean 24-hour average melatonin concentration (70 pmol/liter vs 73 pmol/liter, P = 0.97), or the duration (9.3 hours vs 9.1 hours, P = 0.43), mean (162 pmol/liter vs 161 pmol/liter, P = 0.63), or integrated area (85,800 pmol x min/liter vs 86,700 pmol x min/liter, P = 0.66) of the nocturnal peak of plasma melatonin. CONCLUSION: These results do not support the hypothesis that reduction of plasma melatonin concentration is a general characteristic of healthy aging. Should melatonin replacement therapy or melatonin supplementation prove to be clinically useful, we recommend that an assessment of endogenous melatonin be carried out before such treatment is used in older patients.

  4. Electrophysiological markers of rapid cognitive decline in mild cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon; Missonnier, Pascal; Kövari, Enikö; Gold, Gabriel; Michon, Agnès

    2009-01-01

    Electroencephalography (EEG) is an easily accessible and low-cost modality that might prove to be a particularly powerful tool for the identification of subtle functional changes preceding structural or metabolic deficits in progressive mild cognitive impairment (PMCI). Most previous contributions in this field assessed quantitative EEG differences between healthy controls, MCI and Alzheimer's disease(AD) cases leading to contradictory data. In terms of MCI conversion to AD, certain longitudinal studies proposed various quantitative EEG parameters for an a priori distinction between PMCI and stable MCI. However, cross-sectional comparisons revealed a substantial overlap in these parameters between MCI patients and elderly controls. Methodological differences including variable clinical definition of MCI cases and substantial interindividual differences within the MCI group could partly explain these discrepancies. Most importantly, EEG measurements without cognitive demand in both cross-sectional and longitudinal designs have demonstrated limited sensitivity and generally do not produce significant group differences in spectral EEG parameters. Since the evolution of AD is characterized by the progressive loss of functional connectivity within neocortical association areas, event-modulated EEG dynamic analysis which makes it possible to investigate the functional activation of neocortical circuits may represent a more sensitive method to identify early alterations of neuronal networks predictive of AD development among MCI cases. The present review summarizes clinically significant results of EEG activation studies in this field and discusses future perspectives of research aiming to reach an early and individual prediction of cognitive decline in healthy elderly controls. PMID:19182461

  5. Low and declining mercury in arctic Russian rivers.

    PubMed

    Castello, Leandro; Zhulidov, Alexander V; Gurtovaya, Tatiana Yu; Robarts, Richard D; Holmes, Robert M; Zhulidov, Daniel A; Lysenko, Vladimir S; Spencer, Robert G M

    2014-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) dynamics in the Arctic is receiving increasing attention, but further understanding is limited by a lack of studies in Russia, which encompasses the majority of the pan-Arctic watershed. This study reports Hg concentrations and trends in burbot (Lota lota) from the Lena and Mezen Rivers in the Russian Arctic, and assesses the extent to which they differ from those found in burbot in arctic rivers elsewhere. Mercury concentrations in burbot in the Lena and Mezen Rivers were found to be generally lower than in 23 other locations, most of which are in the Mackenzie River Basin (Canada). Mercury concentrations in burbot in the Lena and Mezen Rivers also were found to have been declining at an annual rate of 2.3% while they have been increasing in the Mackenzie River Basin at annual rates between 2.2 and 5.1% during roughly the same time period. These contrasting patterns in Hg in burbot across the pan-Arctic may be explained by geographic heterogeneity in controlling processes, including riverine particulate material loads, historically changing atmospheric inputs, postdepositional processes, and climate change impacts. PMID:24358967

  6. Projected continent-wide declines of the emperor penguin under climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Holland, Marika; Stroeve, Julienne; Serreze, Mark; Barbraud, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri; Caswell, Hal

    2014-08-01

    Climate change has been projected to affect species distribution and future trends of local populations, but projections of global population trends are rare. We analyse global population trends of the emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), an iconic Antarctic top predator, under the influence of sea ice conditions projected by coupled climate models assessed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) effort. We project the dynamics of all 45 known emperor penguin colonies by forcing a sea-ice-dependent demographic model with local, colony-specific, sea ice conditions projected through to the end of the twenty-first century. Dynamics differ among colonies, but by 2100 all populations are projected to be declining. At least two-thirds are projected to have declined by >50% from their current size. The global population is projected to have declined by at least 19%. Because criteria to classify species by their extinction risk are based on the global population dynamics, global analyses are critical for conservation. We discuss uncertainties arising in such global projections and the problems of defining conservation criteria for species endangered by future climate change.

  7. Physiological condition of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) during the increase and decline phases of the population cycle.

    PubMed

    Nieminen, Petteri; Huitu, Otso; Henttonen, Heikki; Finnilä, Mikko A J; Voutilainen, Liina; Itämies, Juhani; Kärjä, Vesa; Saarela, Seppo; Halonen, Toivo; Aho, Jari; Mustonen, Anne-Mari

    2015-09-01

    The dynamics of animal populations are greatly influenced by interactions with their natural enemies and food resources. However, quantifying the relative effects of these factors on demographic rates remains a perpetual challenge for animal population ecology. Food scarcity is assumed to limit the growth and to initiate the decline of cyclic herbivore populations, but this has not been verified with physiological health indices. We hypothesized that individuals in declining populations would exhibit signs of malnutrition-induced deterioration of physiological condition. We evaluated the association of body condition with population cycle phase in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) during the increase and decline phases of a population cycle. The bank voles had lower body masses, condition indices and absolute masses of particular organs during the decline. Simultaneously, they had lower femoral masses, mineral contents and densities. Hemoglobin and hematocrit values and several parameters known to respond to food deprivation were unaffected by the population phase. There were no signs of lymphopenia, eosinophilia, granulocytosis or monocytosis. Erythrocyte counts were higher and plasma total protein levels and tissue proportions of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids lower in the population decline. Ectoparasite load was lower and adrenal gland masses or catecholamine concentrations did not suggest higher stress levels. Food availability seems to limit the size of voles during the decline but they can adapt to the prevailing conditions without clear deleterious health effects. This highlights the importance of quantifying individual health state when evaluating the effects of complex trophic interactions on the dynamics of wild animal populations. PMID:26006298

  8. Evaluating the Association between Diabetes, Cognitive Decline and Dementia

    PubMed Central

    Ojo, Omorogieva; Brooke, Joanne

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this article is to review the association between diabetes mellitus, cognitive decline and dementia, including the effects of cognitive decline and dementia on self management of diabetes. This is a literature review of primary research articles. A number of contemporary research articles that met the inclusion criteria were selected for this review paper. These articles were selected using a number of search strategies and electronic databases, such as EBSCOhost Research and SwetsWise databases. The duration of diabetes, glycated haemoglobin levels and glycaemic fluctuations were associated with cognitive decline and dementia. Similarly, hypoglycaemia was significantly related to increased risk of developing cognitive decline and dementia. Furthermore, cognitive decline and dementia were associated with poorer diabetes management. There is evidence of the association between diabetes, cognitive decline and dementia including the shared pathogenesis between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the self management of diabetes is affected by dementia and cognitive decline. It could be suggested that the association between diabetes and dementia is bidirectional with the potential to proceed to a vicious cycle. Further studies are needed in order to fully establish the relationship between diabetes, cognitive decline and dementia. Patients who have diabetes and dementia could benefit from structured education strategies, which should involve empowerment programmes and lifestyle changes. The detection of cognitive decline should highlight the need for education strategies. PMID:26193295

  9. Declinations in the Almagest: accuracy, epoch, and observers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, John C.; Zimmer, Peter; Jones, Patricia B.

    2014-11-01

    Almagest declinations attributed to Timocharis, Aristyllos, Hipparchus, and Ptolemy are investigated through comparisons of the reported declinations with the declinations computed from modern positions translated to the earlier epochs. Consistent results indicate an observational accuracy of ≈ 0.1° and epochs of: Timocharis, c. 298 BC; Aristyllos, c. 256 BC, and Hipparchus, c. 128 BC.The ≈ 42-year difference between Aristyllos and Timocharis is confirmed to be statistically significant. The declinations attributed to Ptolemy were likely two distinct groups—observations taken c. AD 57 and observations taken c. AD 128. The later observations could have been taken by Ptolemy himself.

  10. Managing School Districts in a Decade of Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hathaway, Walter E.

    Due to enrollment decline, reductions in federal support, and declining state support because of a constricted economy, growing inflation, expanding government and legal requirements, and the loss of public confidence in education, the Portland School District (Oregon) developed a short-term contingency budget planning process in fiscal 1980-81 to…

  11. AMPHIBIAN DECLINE, ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION AND LOCAL POPULATION ADAPTATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibian population declines have been noted on both local and global scales. Causes for these declines are unknown although many hypotheses have been offered. In areas adjacent to human development, loss of habitat is a fairly well accepted cause. However in isolated, seemingl...

  12. Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edmonds, Eric V.

    2005-01-01

    The rapid economic growth of Vietnam provides an interesting insight into the sharp decline in child labor. A study of the rising economic status of the population across Vietnam shows that children returned to school or stopped working as their family incomes grew. The decline in child labor is steep in poor households as they emerged from…

  13. 34 CFR 303.405 - Parent right to decline service.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... TODDLERS WITH DISABILITIES Procedural Safeguards General § 303.405 Parent right to decline service. The... 34 Education 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Parent right to decline service. 303.405 Section 303.405 Education Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education (Continued) OFFICE OF...

  14. Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Declining abundance and range shifts of bumble bee (Bombus) species have been observed in Europe and Asia. However, the status of North America’s bumble bee species has been largely unstudied. Recent reports based on local or regional observations suggest that parallel declines are taking place in N...

  15. Did the Decline in Social Connections Depress Americans' Happiness?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartolini, Stefano; Bilancini, Ennio; Pugno, Maurizio

    2013-01-01

    During the last 30 years US citizens experienced, on average, a decline in reported happiness, social connections, and confidence in institutions. We show that a remarkable portion of the decrease in happiness is predicted by the decline in social connections and confidence in institutions. We carry out our investigation in three steps. First, we…

  16. Conservation biology: strict marine protected areas prevent reef shark declines.

    PubMed

    Dulvy, Nicholas K

    2006-12-01

    Populations of two coral reef shark species are declining rapidly: the pattern of decline highlights both the substantial impact of poaching on closed areas and the success of strict no-entry marine protected areas in maintaining healthy shark populations. PMID:17141604

  17. Organizational Decline and Effectiveness in Private Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smart, John C.

    1989-01-01

    A study to determine the relationship between organizational decline and three domains of effectiveness (academic, morale, and external adaptation) in private colleges and universities is discussed. The results demonstrate that the relationship between decline and effectiveness is not uniform across three types of institutions. (Author/MLW)

  18. Why have ovarian cancer mortality rates declined? Part I. Incidence.

    PubMed

    Sopik, Victoria; Iqbal, Javaid; Rosen, Barry; Narod, Steven A

    2015-09-01

    The age-adjusted mortality rate from ovarian cancer in the United States has declined over the past several decades. The decline in mortality might be the consequence of a reduced number of cases (incidence) or a reduction in the proportion of patients who die from their cancer (case-fatality). In part I of this three-part series, we examine rates of ovarian cancer incidence and mortality from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry database and we explore to what extent the observed decline in mortality can be explained by a downward shift in the stage distribution of ovarian cancer (i.e. due to early detection) or by fewer cases of ovarian cancer (i.e. due to a change in risk factors). The proportion of localized ovarian cancers did not increase, suggesting that a stage-shift did not contribute to the decline in mortality. The observed decline in mortality paralleled a decline in incidence. The trends in ovarian cancer incidence coincided with temporal changes in the exposure of women from different birth cohorts to various reproductive risk factors, in particular, to changes in the use of the oral contraceptive pill and to declining parity. Based on recent changes in risk factor propensity, we predict that the trend of the declining age-adjusted incidence rate of ovarian cancer in the United States will reverse and rates will increase in coming years. PMID:26080287

  19. Patterns of widespread decline in North America bumble bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Declining abundance and range shifts of bumble bee (Bombus) species have been observed in Europe and Asia. However, the status of North America’s bumble bee species has been largely unstudied. Recent reports based on local or regional observations suggest that parallel declines are taking place in N...

  20. Management of anthurium decline caused by Radopholus similis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anthurium decline is a chronic problem in anthurium production in Hawaii. Anthurium decline has worsened with the removal of fenamiphos from the market. Growers need environmentally sound post-plant treatments to augment preplant management tactics. Avermectin (Avid, monthly), thiophanate-methyl (Cl...

  1. Mechanisms of transcription-repair coupling and mutation frequency decline.

    PubMed Central

    Selby, C P; Sancar, A

    1994-01-01

    Mutation frequency decline is the rapid and irreversible decline in the suppressor mutation frequency of Escherichia coli cells if the cells are kept in nongrowth media immediately following the mutagenic treatment. The gene mfd, which is necessary for mutation frequency decline, encodes a protein of 130 kDa which couples transcription to excision repair by binding to RNA polymerase and to UvrA, which is the damage recognition subunit of the excision repair enzyme. Although current evidence suggests that transcription-repair coupling is the cause of the preferential repair of the transcribed strand of mRNA encoding genes as well as of suppressor tRNA genes, the decline occurs under stringent response conditions in which the tRNA genes are not efficiently transcribed. Thus, the mechanism of strand-specific repair is well understood, but some questions remain regarding the precise mechanism of mutation frequency decline. PMID:7968917

  2. Characterizing declines in pediatric antidepressant use after new risk disclosures

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Richard G.; Martin, Andres; Barry, Colleen L.

    2010-01-01

    Steep declines in pediatric antidepressant use were documented following the 2004 release of new safety information associating antidepressants with a risk of suicidality. We examine whether declines in pediatric antidepressant use were steeper among individuals with certain clinical or family characteristics. We find that declines in antidepressant use were associated with new (as compared to ongoing) treatment episodes. Also, although rates of antidepressant use were higher among children of college educated parents prior to risk disclosures, these children were more likely to forgo antidepressant medication than children of less educated parents after risk disclosures. We find that both children with and without psychiatric impairment experienced declines in antidepressant medication use following the risk warnings, although the decline occurred more quickly in the latter group. Our findings highlight the need for additional data to assess the effects of risk disclosures on treatment patterns and health outcomes. PMID:20675349

  3. Analysis of pelagic species decline in the upper San Francisco Estuary using multivariate autoregressive modeling (MAR)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mac Nally, Ralph; Thomson, James R.; Kimmerer, Wim J.; Feyrer, Frederick; Newman, Ken B.; Sih, Andy; Bennett, William A.; Brown, Larry; Fleishman, Erica; Culberson, Steven D.; Castillo, Gonzalo

    2010-01-01

    Four species of pelagic fish of particular management concern in the upper San Francisco Estuary, California, USA, have declined precipitously since ca. 2002: delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus), longfin smelt (Spirinchus thaleichthys), striped bass (Morone saxatilis), and threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense). The estuary has been monitored since the late 1960s with extensive collection of data on the fishes, their pelagic prey, phytoplankton biomass, invasive species, and physical factors. We used multivariate autoregressive (MAR) modeling to discern the main factors responsible for the declines. An expert-elicited model was built to describe the system. Fifty-four relationships were built into the model, only one of which was of uncertain direction a priori. Twenty-eight of the proposed relationships were strongly supported by or consistent with the data, while 26 were close to zero (not supported by the data but not contrary to expectations). The position of the 2‰ isohaline (a measure of the physical response of the estuary to freshwater flow) and increased water clarity over the period of analyses were two factors affecting multiple declining taxa (including fishes and the fishes' main zooplankton prey). Our results were relatively robust with respect to the form of stock–recruitment model used and to inclusion of subsidiary covariates but may be enhanced by using detailed state–space models that describe more fully the life-history dynamics of the declining species.

  4. Is Induced Abortion Really Declining in Armenia?

    PubMed

    Jilozian, Ann; Agadjanian, Victor

    2016-06-01

    As in other post-Soviet settings, induced abortion has been widely used in Armenia. However, recent national survey data point to a substantial drop in abortion rates with no commensurate increase in modern contraceptive prevalence and no change in fertility levels. We use data from in-depth interviews with women of reproductive age and health providers in rural Armenia to explore possible underreporting of both contraceptive use and abortion. While we find no evidence that women understate their use of modern contraception, the analysis suggests that induced abortion might indeed be underreported. The potential for underreporting is particularly high for sex-selective abortions, for which there is growing public backlash, and medical abortion, a practice that is typically self-administered outside any professional supervision. Possible underreporting of induced abortion calls for refinement of both abortion registration and relevant survey instruments. Better measurement of abortion dynamics is necessary for successful promotion of effective modern contraceptive methods and reduction of unsafe abortion practices. PMID:27285426

  5. Decline of the Black Sea oxygen inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capet, Arthur; Stanev, Emil V.; Beckers, Jean-Marie; Murray, James W.; Grégoire, Marilaure

    2016-03-01

    We show that from 1955 to 2015, the inventory of oxygen in the Black Sea has decreased by 44 % and the basin-averaged oxygen penetration depth has decreased from 140 m in 1955 to 90 m in 2015, which is the shallowest annual value recorded during that period. The oxygenated Black Sea surface layer separates the world's largest reservoir of toxic hydrogen sulfide from the atmosphere. The threat of chemocline excursion events led to hot debates in the past decades arguing on the vertical stability of the Black Sea oxic/suboxic interface. In the 1970s and 1980s, when the Black Sea faced severe eutrophication, enhanced respiration rates reduced the thickness of the oxygenated layer. Re-increasing oxygen inventory in 1985-1995 supported arguments in favor of the stability of the oxic layer. Concomitant with a reduction of nutrient loads, it also supported the perception of a Black Sea recovering from eutrophication. More recently, atmospheric warming was shown to reduce the ventilation of the lower oxic layer by lowering cold intermediate layer (CIL) formation rates. The debate on the vertical migration of the oxic interface also addressed the natural spatial variability affecting Black Sea properties when expressed in terms of depth. Here we show that using isopycnal coordinates does not overcome the significant spatial variability of oxygen penetration depth. By considering this spatial variability, the analysis of a composite historical set of oxygen profiles evidenced a significant shoaling of the oxic layer, and showed that the transient "recovery" of the 1990s was mainly a result of increased CIL formation rates during that period. As both atmospheric warming and eutrophication are expected to increase in the near future, monitoring the dynamics of the Black Sea oxic layer is urgently required to assess the threat of further shoaling.

  6. Rapid declines in metabolism explain extended coral larval longevity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, E. M.; Baird, A. H.; Connolly, S. R.; Sewell, M. A.; Willis, B. L.

    2013-06-01

    Lecithotrophic, or non-feeding, marine invertebrate larvae generally have shorter pelagic larval durations (PLDs) than planktotrophic larvae. However, non-feeding larvae of scleractinian corals have PLDs far exceeding those of feeding larvae of other organisms and predictions of PLD based on energy reserves and metabolic rates, raising questions about how such longevity is achieved. Here, we measured temporal changes in metabolic rates and total lipid content of non-feeding larvae of four species of reef corals to determine whether changes in energy utilization through time contribute to extended larval durations. The temporal dynamics of both metabolic rates and lipid content were highly consistent among species. Prior to fertilization, metabolic rates were low (2.73-8.63 nmol O2 larva-1 h-1) before rapidly increasing to a peak during embryogenesis and early development 1-2 days after spawning. Metabolic rates remained high until shortly after larvae first became competent to metamorphose and then declined by up to two orders of magnitude to levels at or below rates seen in unfertilized eggs over the following week. Larvae remained in this state of low metabolic activity for up to 2 months. Consistent with temporal patterns in metabolic rates, depletion of lipids was extremely rapid during early development and then slowed dramatically from 1 week onward. Despite the very low metabolic rates in these species, larvae continued to swim and retained competence for at least 2 months. The capacity of non-feeding coral larvae to enter a state of low metabolism soon after becoming competent to metamorphose significantly extends dispersal potential, thereby accruing advantages typically associated with planktotrophy, notably enhanced population connectivity.

  7. Tree decline and the future of Australian farmland biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Joern; Zerger, Andre; Gibbons, Phil; Stott, Jenny; Law, Bradley S

    2010-11-01

    Farmland biodiversity is greatly enhanced by the presence of trees. However, farmland trees are declining worldwide, including in North America, Central America, and parts of southern Europe. We show that tree decline and its likely consequences are particularly severe in Australia's temperate agricultural zone, which is a threatened ecoregion. Using field data on trees, remotely sensed imagery, and a demographic model for trees, we predict that by 2100, the number of trees on an average farm will contract to two-thirds of its present level. Statistical habitat models suggest that this tree decline will negatively affect many currently common animal species, with predicted declines in birds and bats of up to 50% by 2100. Declines were predicted for 24 of 32 bird species modeled and for all of six bat species modeled. Widespread declines in trees, birds, and bats may lead to a reduction in economically important ecosystem services such as shade provision for livestock and pest control. Moreover, many other species for which we have no empirical data also depend on trees, suggesting that fundamental changes in ecosystem functioning are likely. We conclude that Australia's temperate agricultural zone has crossed a threshold and no longer functions as a self-sustaining woodland ecosystem. A regime shift is occurring, with a woodland system deteriorating into a treeless pasture system. Management options exist to reverse tree decline, but new policy settings are required to encourage their widespread adoption. PMID:20974946

  8. Decline and Local Extinction of Caribbean Eusocial Shrimp

    PubMed Central

    Duffy, J. Emmett; Macdonald III, Kenneth S.; Hultgren, Kristin M.; Chak, Tin Chi Solomon; Rubenstein, Dustin R.

    2013-01-01

    The tropical shrimp genus Synalpheus includes the only eusocial marine animals. In much of the Caribbean, eusocial species have dominated the diverse fauna of sponge-dwelling shrimp in coral rubble for at least the past two decades. Here we document a recent, dramatic decline and apparent local extinction of eusocial shrimp species on the Belize Barrier Reef. Our collections from shallow reefs in central Belize in 2012 failed to locate three of the four eusocial species formerly abundant in the area, and showed steep declines in colony size and increases in frequency of queenless colonies prior to their disappearance. Concordant with these declines, several nonsocial, pair-forming Synalpheus species increased in frequency. The decline in eusocial shrimp is explained in part by disappearance of two sponge species on which they specialize. Eusocial shrimp collections from Jamaica in 2012 showed similar patterns of decline in colony size and increased queenlessness compared with prior Jamaican collections. The decline and local extinction of eusocial shrimp happened against a backdrop of changes in coral assemblages during recent decades, and may reflect changes in abundance and quality of dead coral substratum and succession of the diverse cryptic organisms living within it. These changes document potentially worrisome declines in a unique taxon of eusocial marine animals. PMID:23418429

  9. Decline and local extinction of Caribbean eusocial shrimp.

    PubMed

    Duffy, J Emmett; Macdonald, Kenneth S; Hultgren, Kristin M; Chak, Tin Chi Solomon; Rubenstein, Dustin R

    2013-01-01

    The tropical shrimp genus Synalpheus includes the only eusocial marine animals. In much of the Caribbean, eusocial species have dominated the diverse fauna of sponge-dwelling shrimp in coral rubble for at least the past two decades. Here we document a recent, dramatic decline and apparent local extinction of eusocial shrimp species on the Belize Barrier Reef. Our collections from shallow reefs in central Belize in 2012 failed to locate three of the four eusocial species formerly abundant in the area, and showed steep declines in colony size and increases in frequency of queenless colonies prior to their disappearance. Concordant with these declines, several nonsocial, pair-forming Synalpheus species increased in frequency. The decline in eusocial shrimp is explained in part by disappearance of two sponge species on which they specialize. Eusocial shrimp collections from Jamaica in 2012 showed similar patterns of decline in colony size and increased queenlessness compared with prior Jamaican collections. The decline and local extinction of eusocial shrimp happened against a backdrop of changes in coral assemblages during recent decades, and may reflect changes in abundance and quality of dead coral substratum and succession of the diverse cryptic organisms living within it. These changes document potentially worrisome declines in a unique taxon of eusocial marine animals. PMID:23418429

  10. Metacommunication Behaviors Used by Adult Best Friends.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shafer, Karen

    A study examined what type of communication behaviors best friends use when they talk about their relationship (meta-relate), or discuss the nature of talk within the friendship (meta-talk). Questionnaire data collected from middle-aged adults and young college students indicated that the respondents discussed their friendships more than their…

  11. Methylprednisolone in patients with membranous nephropathy and declining renal function.

    PubMed

    Short, C D; Solomon, L R; Gokal, R; Mallick, N P

    1987-11-01

    Fifteen consecutive patients aged 24 to 70 years, with membranous nephropathy and a progressive decline in renal function, were treated with methylprednisolone, 1 g intravenously daily for five days, followed immediately by a tapering dose of oral prednisolone. Plasma creatinine levels fell by a mean of 46 per cent (range 21-65). In 10 patients the beneficial effect was sustained, but in three it had reversed by six months. In the other two patients the progressive decline of renal function was not influenced. These observations suggest that many patients with membranous nephropathy and declining renal function could benefit from intervention with high dose steroids. PMID:3455548

  12. Paid Family Leave Tied to Decline in Child Abuse

    MedlinePlus

    ... nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_157492.html Paid Family Leave Tied to Decline in Child Abuse California ... 2016 FRIDAY, Feb. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Paid family leave might lead to reduced risk of abuse- ...

  13. Neuropsychological tests for predicting cognitive decline in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Baerresen, Kimberly M; Miller, Karen J; Hanson, Eric R; Miller, Justin S; Dye, Richelin V; Hartman, Richard E; Vermeersch, David; Small, Gary W

    2015-01-01

    Summary Aim To determine neuropsychological tests likely to predict cognitive decline. Methods A sample of nonconverters (n = 106) was compared with those who declined in cognitive status (n = 24). Significant univariate logistic regression prediction models were used to create multivariate logistic regression models to predict decline based on initial neuropsychological testing. Results Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (RCFT) Retention predicted conversion to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) while baseline Buschke Delay predicted conversion to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Due to group sample size differences, additional analyses were conducted using a subsample of demographically matched nonconverters. Analyses indicated RCFT Retention predicted conversion to MCI and AD, and Buschke Delay predicted conversion to AD. Conclusion Results suggest RCFT Retention and Buschke Delay may be useful in predicting cognitive decline. PMID:26107318

  14. A Decline in Numeracy Skills among Bioscience Undergraduates.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tariq, Vicki N.

    2002-01-01

    Provides evidence of a decline in basic numeracy skills among first-year bioscience undergraduate students. Tests conceptualized numeracy skills which form a component of an introductory microbiology module. (Contains 23 references.) (Author/YDS)

  15. The Box Turtle: Room with a View on Species Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belzer, Bill; Steisslinger, Mary Beth

    1999-01-01

    Surveys salient aspects of eastern box-turtle natural history. Explores the societal and ecological factors that have contributed to the decline of the box-turtle population. Contains 18 references. (WRM)

  16. Tuberculosis Decline in U.S. Has Stalled, CDC Reports

    MedlinePlus

    ... html Tuberculosis Decline in U.S. Has Stalled, CDC Reports Agency reaffirms its commitment to eliminating the lung ... steady from 2013 to 2015, a federal government report shows. "Resuming progress toward TB elimination in the ...

  17. Falls May Be Sign of Future Alzheimer's Disease, Cognitive Decline

    MedlinePlus

    ... About ADEAR Falls may be sign of future Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline June 28, 2013 Cognitively normal older ... with evidence of early brain changes typical of Alzheimer’s disease fell more often than did their peers without ...

  18. ALIEN SPECIES: THEIR ROLE IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES AND RESTORATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Alien species (also referred to as exotic, invasive, introduced, or normative species) have been implicated as causal agents in population declines of many amphibian species. Herein, we evaluate the relative contributions of alien species and other factors in adversely affecting ...

  19. Chesapeake Bay: an unprecedented decline in submerged aquatic vegetation

    SciTech Connect

    Orth, R.J.; Moore, K.A.

    1983-10-07

    Data on the distribution and abundance of submerged aquatic vegetation in Chesapeake Bay indicate a significant reduction in all species in all sections of the bay during the last 15 to 20 years. This decline is unprecedented in the bay's recent history. The reduction in one major species, Zostera marina, may be greater than the decline that occurred during the pandemic demise of the 1930's. 19 references, 2 figures.

  20. The historical decline of fertility in Eastern Europe.

    PubMed

    Leasure, J W

    1992-01-01

    Quantitative data from the Princeton European Fertility Project were used to explain the determinants of change in attitudes which lead to use of birth control within marriage and fertility decline in terms of the growth of autonomy over one's political, personal, religious, economic, and reproductive life. The following countries, which are arranged by their chronological order of marital fertility decline, were used in the primarily quantitative analysis: Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Yugoslavia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania. Prior research had identified an association between a decline in the birth rate and the presence of revolutions nationalist independence movements, or democratic reform movements. The connection is that once control over one's political and economic destiny is made, there is an extension into one's reproductive behavior. Further refinement has occurred. Autonomy is grounded in reason, the natural rights of individuals, and independence of thought. Reflective of this autonomous spirit were affiliations with Congregational, Presbyterian, Quaker, Unitarian, and Universalist religions. The present analysis is historical and describes the events surrounding the decline in marital fertility. These events might have preceded, been concurrent with, or followed the decline, but the thesis remains that the growth in autonomy contributes to political changes and fertility decline. The primary measure of fertility is Ig developed by Coale, and sustained decline maps of Coale and Watkins. Crude birth rate and total fertility rate were also used. the provincial analysis was impeded by lack of long time series for some countries and boundary changes. The hypothesis is generally supported, except in the case of Yugoslavia which varies too much. Support for the thesis was stronger in some countries than in others. Sustained decline occurred by each country in different periods, e.g., in Hungary it began between 1850-60 while in Albania it began

  1. Decline in bloater fecundity in Southern Lake Michigan after decline of Diporeia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bunnell, D.B.; David, S.R.; Madenjian, C.P.

    2009-01-01

    Population fecundity can vary through time, sometimes owing to changes in adult condition. Consideration of these fecundity changes can improve understanding of recruitment variation. Herein, we estimated fecundity of Lake Michigan bloater Coregonus hoyi during December 2005 and February 2006. Bloater recruitment has been highly variable from 1962 to present, and consistently poor since 1992. We compared our fecundity vs. weight regression to a previously published regression that used fish sampled in October 1969. We wanted to develop a new regression for two reasons. First, it should be more accurate because it uses fish collected closer to spawning, thus minimizing the potential for atresia (egg reabsorption) which could bias fecundity high. Second, we hypothesized that fecundity would be lower in 2006 because adult condition was 41% lower in 2006 compared to 1969, likely owing to the decline of Diporeia spp, a primary prey for bloater. Although the slope of the fecundity versus weight regression was similar between the years, fecundity was 24% lower in 2006 than in 1969 for bloater weighing between 70 and 240??g. Whether this was the result of the difference in sampling time prior to spawning or of differences in condition is unknown. We also found no relationship between maternal size and mature oocyte size. Incorporating our updated fecundity regression into a stock/recruit model failed to improve the model fit, indicating that the low bloater recruitment that has been observed since the early 1990s is not solely the result of reduced fecundity. ?? 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The cause of global amphibian declines: a developmental endocrinologist's perspective

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, T. B.; Falso, P.; Gallipeau, S.; Stice, M.

    2010-01-01

    Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies have addressed factors that contribute to declines as a result of failed recruitment. Further, a great deal of attention has focused on the role of pathogens in inducing diseases that cause death, but we suggest that pathogen success is profoundly affected by four other ultimate factors: atmospheric change, environmental pollutants, habitat modification and invasive species. Environmental pollutants arise as likely important factors in amphibian declines because they have realized potential to affect recruitment. Further, many studies have documented immunosuppressive effects of pesticides, suggesting a role for environmental contaminants in increased pathogen virulence and disease rates. Increased attention to recruitment and ultimate factors that interact with pathogens is important in addressing this global crisis. PMID:20190117

  3. The cause of global amphibian declines: a developmental endocrinologist's perspective.

    PubMed

    Hayes, T B; Falso, P; Gallipeau, S; Stice, M

    2010-03-15

    Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies have addressed factors that contribute to declines as a result of failed recruitment. Further, a great deal of attention has focused on the role of pathogens in inducing diseases that cause death, but we suggest that pathogen success is profoundly affected by four other ultimate factors: atmospheric change, environmental pollutants, habitat modification and invasive species. Environmental pollutants arise as likely important factors in amphibian declines because they have realized potential to affect recruitment. Further, many studies have documented immunosuppressive effects of pesticides, suggesting a role for environmental contaminants in increased pathogen virulence and disease rates. Increased attention to recruitment and ultimate factors that interact with pathogens is important in addressing this global crisis. PMID:20190117

  4. The possible role of air quality in sugar maple decline

    SciTech Connect

    Linzon, S.N. )

    1987-01-01

    The decline of sugar maple (Acer saccharum L.) was first reported to occur in North America in 1913. A review of the literature on the occurrence of sugar maple decline and the associated causal agents was made in 1986 based on 189 reports. No single cause for the decline was identified with a number of diverse factors being reported to be involved. These factors included defoliating insects, drought, nutritional deficiencies, improper woodlot management, secondary root rot organisms, road salt and acidic precipitation. In the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario, Canada, intensive studies into the occurrence and etiology of sugar maple decline commenced in the early 1980s. Maple syrup producers in both provinces complained that sugar maple trees were declining and dying in greater numbers than usual and suspected that air pollution, including acidic precipitation, was involved. This paper describes the symptoms associated with sugar maple decline, the surveys underway in both provinces, and the field and experimental studies being carried out to determine the role of air quality.

  5. PCC characteristics at rest in 10-year memory decliners.

    PubMed

    Bernard, Charlotte; Dilharreguy, Bixente; Helmer, Catherine; Chanraud, Sandra; Amieva, Hélène; Dartigues, Jean-François; Allard, Michèle; Catheline, Gwénaëlle

    2015-10-01

    The present research sought to characterize the intrinsic functional networks associated with a 10-year episodic memory decline in elderly using data from a longitudinal population-based cohort (Bordeaux-3City). Complementary measures of whole-brain resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging investigations were combined to compare functional architecture of brain networks both at connectional and topological levels in 22 decliners to 22 nondecliners; episodic memory decline being assessed through a multiple time point Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test. The decliners presented differences in functional architecture centered on the posterior cingulate cortex, characterized by a significant decrease of connectivity intensity, a significant increased centrality. In accordance, a decrease of the functional connectivity inside the default mode network was observed in the decliners. Our results highlight the central role of the posterior cingulate cortex in a slow but reliable memory decline in elderly. Because functional alterations of this region are currently described in Alzheimer's disease, this functional signature could constitute a risk for Alzheimer's disease. PMID:26234756

  6. Local and global influences on population declines of coastal waders: Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima numbers in the Moray Firth, Scotland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Summers, Ron W.; Foster, Simon; Swann, Bob; Etheridge, Brian

    2012-05-01

    Declines in numbers by several wader species in Britain have been linked to climate change, but the mechanism for the declines has rarely been explored. Britain lies at the northern end of the East Atlantic Flyway, and supports 1.3 million out of the Flyway's 8.5 million coastal waders (Charadrii) in winter and the Purple Sandpiper is one of the species whose numbers have declined. Here, we examine the dynamics of the decline as observed in the Moray Firth, northeast Scotland, investigating whether the decline was due to poorer apparent survival (return rate) or poorer recruitment of young birds. The maximum number in the Moray Firth declined from 860 in 1987/88 to 236 in 2006/07, with some increase during winters 2007/08 and 2008/09. At the three main high-tide roosts (Balintore, Lossiemouth and Buckie) the maximum combined number declined from 574 to 90. Changes in survival and recruitment (percentage of first-year birds) were examined at these roosts from captured samples, which were ringed and recaptured. There were no significant changes between winters in survival rates, nor were there differences between the survival rates of age groups (first-year and adult) or bill size groups, which represented birds of different sex and breeding origin. Annual survival estimates for the three roosts ranged from 72 to 77%. The percentage of first-year birds varied among roosts and years; the lowest values were during the late 1980s/early 1990s and early 2000s. A free-running population model incorporating varying percentages of first-year birds and constant mortality for each roost provided a plausible explanation for the decline. Although modelled numbers followed the observed pattern, a discrepancy in one year was carried forward in subsequent years, so that the fit with the observed numbers was parallel rather than similar. However, it seems that the decline in numbers was largely due to poorer recruitment. We discuss whether breeding success had declined, whether the

  7. Thoracic dust exposure is associated with lung function decline in cement production workers.

    PubMed

    Nordby, Karl-Christian; Notø, Hilde; Eduard, Wijnand; Skogstad, Marit; Fell, Anne Kristin; Thomassen, Yngvar; Skare, Øivind; Bergamaschi, Antonio; Pietroiusti, Antonio; Abderhalden, Rolf; Kongerud, Johny; Kjuus, Helge

    2016-08-01

    We hypothesised that exposure to workplace aerosols may lead to lung function impairment among cement production workers.Our study included 4966 workers in 24 cement production plants. Based on 6111 thoracic aerosol samples and information from questionnaires we estimated arithmetic mean exposure levels by plant and job type. Dynamic lung volumes were assessed by repeated spirometry testing during a mean follow-up time of 3.5 years (range 0.7-4.6 years). The outcomes considered were yearly change of dynamic lung volumes divided by the standing height squared or percentage of predicted values. Statistical modelling was performed using mixed model regression. Individual exposure was classified into quintile levels limited at 0.09, 0.89, 1.56, 2.25, 3.36, and 14.6 mg·m(-3), using the lowest quintile as the reference. Employees that worked in administration were included as a second comparison group.Exposure was associated with a reduction in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced expiratory volume in 6 s and forced vital capacity. For FEV1 % predicted a yearly excess decline of 0.84 percentage points was found in the highest exposure quintile compared with the lowest.Exposure at the higher levels found in this study may lead to a decline in dynamic lung volumes. Exposure reduction is therefore warranted. PMID:27103386

  8. Thoracic dust exposure is associated with lung function decline in cement production workers

    PubMed Central

    Notø, Hilde; Eduard, Wijnand; Skogstad, Marit; Fell, Anne Kristin; Thomassen, Yngvar; Skare, Øivind; Bergamaschi, Antonio; Pietroiusti, Antonio; Abderhalden, Rolf; Kongerud, Johny; Kjuus, Helge

    2016-01-01

    We hypothesised that exposure to workplace aerosols may lead to lung function impairment among cement production workers. Our study included 4966 workers in 24 cement production plants. Based on 6111 thoracic aerosol samples and information from questionnaires we estimated arithmetic mean exposure levels by plant and job type. Dynamic lung volumes were assessed by repeated spirometry testing during a mean follow-up time of 3.5 years (range 0.7–4.6 years). The outcomes considered were yearly change of dynamic lung volumes divided by the standing height squared or percentage of predicted values. Statistical modelling was performed using mixed model regression. Individual exposure was classified into quintile levels limited at 0.09, 0.89, 1.56, 2.25, 3.36, and 14.6 mg·m−3, using the lowest quintile as the reference. Employees that worked in administration were included as a second comparison group. Exposure was associated with a reduction in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced expiratory volume in 6 s and forced vital capacity. For FEV1 % predicted a yearly excess decline of 0.84 percentage points was found in the highest exposure quintile compared with the lowest. Exposure at the higher levels found in this study may lead to a decline in dynamic lung volumes. Exposure reduction is therefore warranted. PMID:27103386

  9. Dropping dead: causes and consequences of vulture population declines worldwide.

    PubMed

    Ogada, Darcy L; Keesing, Felicia; Virani, Munir Z

    2012-02-01

    Vultures are nature's most successful scavengers, and they provide an array of ecological, economic, and cultural services. As the only known obligate scavengers, vultures are uniquely adapted to a scavenging lifestyle. Vultures' unique adaptations include soaring flight, keen eyesight, and extremely low pH levels in their stomachs. Presently, 14 of 23 (61%) vulture species worldwide are threatened with extinction, and the most rapid declines have occurred in the vulture-rich regions of Asia and Africa. The reasons for the population declines are varied, but poisoning or human persecution, or both, feature in the list of nearly every declining species. Deliberate poisoning of carnivores is likely the most widespread cause of vulture poisoning. In Asia, Gyps vultures have declined by >95% due to poisoning by the veterinary drug diclofenac, which was banned by regional governments in 2006. Human persecution of vultures has occurred for centuries, and shooting and deliberate poisoning are the most widely practiced activities. Ecological consequences of vulture declines include changes in community composition of scavengers at carcasses and an increased potential for disease transmission between mammalian scavengers at carcasses. There have been cultural and economic costs of vulture declines as well, particularly in Asia. In the wake of catastrophic vulture declines in Asia, regional governments, the international scientific and donor communities, and the media have given the crisis substantial attention. Even though the Asian vulture crisis focused attention on the plight of vultures worldwide, the situation for African vultures has received relatively little attention especially given the similar levels of population decline. While the Asian crisis has been largely linked to poisoning by diclofenac, vulture population declines in Africa have numerous causes, which have made conserving existing populations more difficult. And in Africa there has been little

  10. Declining mortality from smoking in the United States.

    PubMed

    Rodu, Brad; Cole, Philip

    2007-07-01

    The proportion of Americans who smoke cigarettes has declined 50% since 1965. The effect on mortality of this considerable reduction has received little attention and is described in this study. U.S. national data were used to enumerate current, former, and never-smokers aged 35 years or older in 1987 and 2002. Mortality rate ratios were used to estimate smoking-attributable deaths among these groups, and corresponding age-adjusted smoking-attributable mortality rates (SAMRs) were calculated. There were 402,000 deaths attributable to smoking in 1987 and 322,000 in 2002. The SAMR for men aged 35 years or more was 556 deaths per 100,000 person-years in 1987, accounting for 24% of all male deaths. By 2002 the SAMR declined 41% to 329 and accounted for only 17% of deaths. The SAMR for women in 1987 was 175, accounting for 12% of deaths. By 2002 the SAMR among women had declined 30% to 122, representing 9% of deaths. The U.S. mortality rate attributable to smoking declined about 35% between 1987 and 2002. The impact of smoking on American society will diminish even further in the foreseeable future as smoking prevalence continues its decline among men and women. PMID:17577808

  11. Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Observations, Projections, Mechanisms, and Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeWeaver, Eric T.; Bitz, Cecilia M.; Tremblay, L.-Bruno

    This volume addresses the rapid decline of Arctic sea ice, placing recent sea ice decline in the context of past observations, climate model simulations and projections, and simple models of the climate sensitivity of sea ice. Highlights of the work presented here include • An appraisal of the role played by wind forcing in driving the decline; • A reconstruction of Arctic sea ice conditions prior to human observations, based on proxy data from sediments; • A modeling approach for assessing the impact of sea ice decline on polar bears, used as input to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act; • Contrasting studies on the existence of a "tipping point," beyond which Arctic sea ice decline will become (or has already become) irreversible, including an examination of the role of the small ice cap instability in global warming simulations; • A significant summertime atmospheric response to sea ice reduction in an atmospheric general circulation model, suggesting a positive feedback and the potential for short-term climate prediction. The book will be of interest to researchers attempting to understand the recent behavior of Arctic sea ice, model projections of future sea ice loss, and the consequences of sea ice loss for the natural and human systems of the Arctic.

  12. An Investigation of the Afternoon Decline in Tropical Forest Photosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doughty, C.; Goulden, M. L.; Miller, S. D.; Menton, M. C.; da Rocha, H.; Freitas, H.; Figueira, M. A.; da Sousa, C. A.; Maia, A.

    2002-12-01

    The recent use of eddy covariance to measure the net exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and a tropical forest in Santarem Para, Brazil, has indicated a substantial decline in forest photosynthesis in the afternoon, even after taking light differences into account. Afternoon declines in leaf-level gas exchange have been reported for many ecosystems, including tropical forests. Potential causes for this decline include stomatal responses to VPD, low leaf water potential, changes in biochemistry due to elevated temperature, photoinhibition, photorespiration, or intrinsic circadian rhythm. This study attempts to understand this decline by using leaf gas exchange to measure photosynthesis while canopy leaves are kept under constant light, humidity, and temperature conditions for 24 to 36 hours hours.At constant light levels of 100 PAR æmol~m-2s-1, 7 of 12 species tested showed a substantial decline photosynthesis at night, and a subsequent recovery in photosynthesis during the next day. In most cases, the internal CO2 of these plants increased at night, indicating that this diel cycle was not simply an effect of a circadian rhythm in stomatal conductance. Rather, the photosynthesis of a significant fraction of the plants surveyed appears to be under the direct control of a circadian oscillator.

  13. Inquiry Into Terminal Decline: Five Objectives for Future Study

    PubMed Central

    Gerstorf, Denis

    2013-01-01

    Notions of terminal decline propose that late-life change is primarily driven by processes closely tied to pathology and mortality rather than chronological age. We use the rationales of longitudinal research as outlined by Baltes and Nesselroade (Baltes, P., & Nesselroade, J. [1979]. History and rationale of longitudinal research. In J. R. Nesselroade & P. Baltes (Eds.), Longitudinal research in the study of behavior and development [pp. 1–39]. San Diego, CA: Academic Press) as a framework for organizing research on terminal decline. In doing so, we note that there are relatively robust descriptions of terminal decline across a variety of different domains, as well as the extent of interindividual differences in the levels of function, rates of change, and timing of terminal decline (research rationales 1 and 2). However, there is much more to learn about the interrelations among change in different domains, the underlying mechanisms of change, and the factors that contribute to interindividual differences in change (research rationales 3–5). Needed are new study designs and analytical models that better address the structural, temporal, and causal interrelations that contribute to and protect against terminal decline. PMID:23704220

  14. Global amphibian declines: perspectives from the United States and beyond

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Densmore, Christine L.

    2011-01-01

    Over recent decades, amphibians have experienced population declines, extirpations and species-level extinctions at an alarming rate. Numerous potential etiologies for amphibian declines have been postulated including climate and habitat degradation. Other potential anthropogenic causes including overexploitation and the frequent introductions of invasive predatory species have also been blamed for amphibian declines. Still other underlying factors may include infectious diseases caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, pathogenic viruses (Ranavirus), and other agents. It is nearly certain that more than one etiology is to blame for the majority of the global amphibian declines, and that these causal factors include some combination of climatological or physical habitat destabilization and infectious disease, most notably chytridiomycosis. Scientific research efforts are aimed at elucidating these etiologies on local, regional, and global scales that we might better understand and counteract the driving forces behind amphibian declines. Conservation efforts as outlined in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan of 2005 are also being made to curtail losses and prevent further extinctions wherever possible.

  15. Intersexuality and the Cricket Frog Decline: Historic and Geographic Trends

    PubMed Central

    Reeder, Amy L.; Ruiz, Marilyn O.; Pessier, Allan; Brown, Lauren E.; Levengood, Jeffrey M.; Phillips, Christopher A.; Wheeler, Matthew B.; Warner, Richard E.; Beasley, Val R.

    2005-01-01

    Exposure to anthropogenic endocrine disruptors has been listed as one of several potential causes of amphibian declines in recent years. We examined gonads of 814 cricket frogs (Acris crepitans) collected in Illinois and deposited in museum collections to elucidate relationships between the decline of this species in Illinois and the spatial and temporal distribution of individuals with intersex gonads. Compared with the preorganochlorine era studied (1852–1929), the percentage of intersex cricket frogs increased during the period of industrial growth and initial uses of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (1930–1945), was highest during the greatest manufacture and use of p,p-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and PCBs (1946–1959), began declining with the increase in public concern and environmental regulations that reduced and then prevented sales of DDT in the United States (1960–1979), and continued to decline through the period of gradual reductions in environmental residues of organochlorine pesticides and PCBs in the midwestern United States (1980–2001). The proportion of intersex individuals among those frogs was highest in the heavily industrialized and urbanized northeastern portion of Illinois, intermediate in the intensively farmed central and northwestern areas, and lowest in the less intensively managed and ecologically more diverse southern part of the state. Records of deposits of cricket frog specimens into museum collections indicate a marked reduction in numbers from northeastern Illinois in recent decades. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that endocrine disruption contributed to the decline of cricket frogs in Illinois. PMID:15743712

  16. The decline of teacher autonomy: Tears or cheers?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Lorin W.

    1987-09-01

    In the United States teacher autonomy has been declining for at least a decade. This decline can be attributed in large part to three factors. First, uniform staff development programmes based on research on effective teaching have become widespread. Second, classroom observations have become an integral part of imposed teacher evaluations. Third, school principals have been called on to assume the role of `instructional leader'. While some may perceive the decline of teacher autonomy negatively, at least two benefits of this decline have been identified. First, a `common language' by which teachers can discuss the problems and potential of instruction and teaching among themselves and with school administrators is developing. Second, the likelihood that teachers will achieve a truly professional status is enhanced. Many educators write as if the natural result of a decline in teacher autonomy is standardization; that is, the cloning of teachers. This article negates such pessimism. Teacher autonomy, like many educational variables, exists along a continuum. As a consequence, a midpoint on the autonomy continuum — a balance between uniqueness and standardization, between license and responsibility — is the desirable state of affairs. Finally, autonomy should be earned by teachers, not simply given to them. In this regard, greater concern should be given to teachers' preparation for, and induction into, their roles as school teachers. Similarly, increases in autonomy should mirror increases in teacher status; status defined in terms of teacher experience, expertise, and excellence.

  17. Detecting insect pollinator declines on regional and global scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lubuhn, Gretchen; Droege, Sam; Connor, Edward F.; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Potts, Simon G.; Minckley, Robert L.; Griswold, Terry; Jean, Robert; Kula, Emanuel; Roubik, David W.; Cane, Jim; Wright, Karen W.; Frankie, Gordon; Parker, Frank

    2013-01-01

    Recently there has been considerable concern about declines in bee communities in agricultural and natural habitats. The value of pollination to agriculture, provided primarily by bees, is >$200 billion/year worldwide, and in natural ecosystems it is thought to be even greater. However, no monitoring program exists to accurately detect declines in abundance of insect pollinators; thus, it is difficult to quantify the status of bee communities or estimate the extent of declines. We used data from 11 multiyear studies of bee communities to devise a program to monitor pollinators at regional, national, or international scales. In these studies, 7 different methods for sampling bees were used and bees were sampled on 3 different continents. We estimated that a monitoring program with 200-250 sampling locations each sampled twice over 5 years would provide sufficient power to detect small (2-5%) annual declines in the number of species and in total abundance and would cost U.S.$2,000,000. To detect declines as small as 1% annually over the same period would require >300 sampling locations. Given the role of pollinators in food security and ecosystem function, we recommend establishment of integrated regional and international monitoring programs to detect changes in pollinator communities.

  18. Perceived personal control buffers terminal decline in well-being.

    PubMed

    Gerstorf, Denis; Heckhausen, Jutta; Ram, Nilam; Infurna, Frank J; Schupp, Jürgen; Wagner, Gert G

    2014-09-01

    Recent research has repeatedly demonstrated that well-being typically evinces precipitous deterioration close to the end of life. However, the determinants of individual differences in these terminal declines are not well understood. In this study, we examine the role of perceived personal control as a potential buffer against steep terminal declines in well-being. We applied single- and multiphase growth models to up to 25-year longitudinal data from 1,641 now-deceased participants of the national German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP; age at death: M = 74 years; SD = 14; 49% women). Results revealed that perceiving more personal control over one's life was related to subsequently higher late-life well-being, less severe rates of late-life declines, and a later onset of terminal decline. Associations were independent of key predictors of mortality, including age, gender, SES, and disability. These findings suggest that feeling in control may ameliorate steep end-of-life decline in well-being. We also discuss scenarios for when and how processes of goal disengagement and giving up control may become beneficial. PMID:25244480

  19. Decline in long-term growth trends of white oak

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Phipps, R.L.; Whiton, J.C.

    1988-01-01

    Quercus alba tree-ring collections from 89 locations throughout much of its range, from Connecticut to North Carolina to Iowa, were examined for evidence of growth decline initiated in the 1950s. The expected trend of annual basal area increments, based on pre-1950 growth, appears to be linear, with the slope varying among collections relative to site quality. Growth decline, defined as departure of actual growth below that expected, was identified in 40 to 60 collections judged to have not been affected by local site histories. The percentage of collections showing decline was essentially the same in the Northeast, the Midwest and the Southeast. Onset of decline began during a relatively narrow time window from the mid-1950's to the early 1960's. Since then the growth trend has been linear and appears unrelated to changes in regional sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions. Events or conditions, unique to the 1950's, initiated a growth rate change in c 2/3 of the stands examined. Initiation of the decline appears to be unrelated to tree age, geographic location, site quality, climatic trends, or regional emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides. -from Authors

  20. Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Sydney A; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Strange, James P; Koch, Jonathan B; Cordes, Nils; Solter, Leellen F; Griswold, Terry L

    2011-01-11

    Bumble bees (Bombus) are vitally important pollinators of wild plants and agricultural crops worldwide. Fragmentary observations, however, have suggested population declines in several North American species. Despite rising concern over these observations in the United States, highlighted in a recent National Academy of Sciences report, a national assessment of the geographic scope and possible causal factors of bumble bee decline is lacking. Here, we report results of a 3-y interdisciplinary study of changing distributions, population genetic structure, and levels of pathogen infection in bumble bee populations across the United States. We compare current and historical distributions of eight species, compiling a database of >73,000 museum records for comparison with data from intensive nationwide surveys of >16,000 specimens. We show that the relative abundances of four species have declined by up to 96% and that their surveyed geographic ranges have contracted by 23-87%, some within the last 20 y. We also show that declining populations have significantly higher infection levels of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema bombi and lower genetic diversity compared with co-occurring populations of the stable (nondeclining) species. Higher pathogen prevalence and reduced genetic diversity are, thus, realistic predictors of these alarming patterns of decline in North America, although cause and effect remain uncertain. PMID:21199943

  1. Caries decline before fluoride toothpaste was available: earlier and greater decline in the rural north than in southwestern Norway.

    PubMed

    Birkeland, J M; Haugejorden, O

    2001-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate factors related to caries in 6-17-year-olds in 2 groups of Norwegian counties between 1966 and 1983. The average number of surfaces filled and permanent teeth extracted due to caries declined in the 4 northern counties from 1967. An increase was recorded in the 7 southwestern counties until 1971, then a decline. In the 1960s significantly more surfaces were filled and teeth extracted in the north compared to the southwest. Based on intra-county comparisons, the decline in surfaces treated was greater in the north between 1967 and 1983; 5.4 +/- 0.4 vs 3.7 +/- 0.7, P < 0.01. The averages were 1.9 surfaces treated in the north and the southwest in 1983. Higher infant mortality, lower percentage of people with completed senior secondary education, and more inhabitants per doctor and per dentist in the north indicate a less favorable situation than in the southwest. School-based fluoride programs had been implemented in both groups from the mid-1960s and around 60% participated when fluoride toothpaste became freely marketed in 1971. More fluoride programs and more fluoride tablets were available to children in the north; this may indicate a preventive attitude among dentists. The decline of caries started at different times in different parts of Norway. In the rural north with the most unfavorable situation, the decline was greater and started years before fluoride toothpaste came on to the market. The early decline may partly be ascribed to the school-based fluoride programs, the continued decline to several factors. PMID:11318045

  2. On the decline of biodiversity due to area loss.

    PubMed

    Keil, Petr; Storch, David; Jetz, Walter

    2015-01-01

    Predictions of how different facets of biodiversity decline with habitat loss are broadly needed, yet challenging. Here we provide theory and a global empirical evaluation to address this challenge. We show that extinction estimates based on endemics-area and backward species-area relationships are complementary, and the crucial difference comprises the geometry of area loss. Across three taxa on four continents, the relative loss of species, and of phylogenetic and functional diversity, is highest when habitable area disappears inward from the edge of a region, lower when it disappears from the centre outwards, and lowest when area is lost at random. In inward destruction, species loss is almost proportional to area loss, although the decline in phylogenetic and functional diversity is less severe. These trends are explained by the geometry of species ranges and the shape of phylogenetic and functional trees, which may allow baseline predictions of biodiversity decline for underexplored taxa. PMID:26575347

  3. The widespread threat of calcium decline in fresh waters.

    PubMed

    Jeziorski, Adam; Yan, Norman D; Paterson, Andrew M; Desellas, Anna M; Turner, Michael A; Jeffries, Dean S; Keller, Bill; Weeber, Russ C; McNicol, Don K; Palmer, Michelle E; McIver, Kyle; Arseneau, Kristina; Ginn, Brian K; Cumming, Brian F; Smol, John P

    2008-11-28

    Calcium concentrations are now commonly declining in softwater boreal lakes. Although the mechanisms leading to these declines are generally well known, the consequences for the aquatic biota have not yet been reported. By examining crustacean zooplankton remains preserved in lake sediment cores, we document near extirpations of calcium-rich Daphnia species, which are keystone herbivores in pelagic food webs, concurrent with declining lake-water calcium. A large proportion (62%, 47 to 81% by region) of the Canadian Shield lakes we examined has a calcium concentration approaching or below the threshold at which laboratory Daphnia populations suffer reduced survival and fecundity. The ecological impacts of environmental calcium loss are likely to be both widespread and pronounced. PMID:19039134

  4. On the decline of biodiversity due to area loss

    PubMed Central

    Keil, Petr; Storch, David; Jetz, Walter

    2015-01-01

    Predictions of how different facets of biodiversity decline with habitat loss are broadly needed, yet challenging. Here we provide theory and a global empirical evaluation to address this challenge. We show that extinction estimates based on endemics–area and backward species–area relationships are complementary, and the crucial difference comprises the geometry of area loss. Across three taxa on four continents, the relative loss of species, and of phylogenetic and functional diversity, is highest when habitable area disappears inward from the edge of a region, lower when it disappears from the centre outwards, and lowest when area is lost at random. In inward destruction, species loss is almost proportional to area loss, although the decline in phylogenetic and functional diversity is less severe. These trends are explained by the geometry of species ranges and the shape of phylogenetic and functional trees, which may allow baseline predictions of biodiversity decline for underexplored taxa. PMID:26575347

  5. Faulting caused by groundwater level declines, San Joaquin Valley, California.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holzer, T.L.

    1980-01-01

    Approximately 230mm of aseismic vertical offset of the land surface across the Pond-Poso Creek fault in the San Joaquin Valley, California, probably is related to groundwater withdrawal for crop irrigation. The scarp is approximately 3.4km long and occurs in an area where the land subsided more than 1.5m from 1926 to 1970. Modern faulting postdates the beginning of water level declines and associated subsidence. Movement detected by precise leveling surveys from February 1977 to March 1979 was seasonal, occurring during periods of water level decline. The modern movement probably is caused by localized differential compaction induced by differential water level declines across the preexisting fault. -Author

  6. Decline and present status of breeding peregrine falcons in Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henny, C.J.; Nelson, M.W.

    1981-01-01

    In 1979, only one Peregrine Falcon pair (they fledged two young) and a single adult male were located. A population decline east of the Cascades began in rhe 1930's, probably resulting from a climatic change (drought); however, a statewide decline began in the late 1940's, accelerated in the 1950's, and by the 1960's few pairs remained. The statewide decline closely paralleled the pattern of DDT use. Furthermore, DDE was found in membranes of peregrine eggs from nearby California as early as 1948. Moreover, an unhatched Peregrine Falcon egg found at the Oregon eyrie in 1979 contained 19 ppm DDE and lesser amounts of other contaminants. The eggshell was 19% thinner than normaL The future of the nearly extirpated Peregrine Falcon in Oregon remains uncertain in spite of improved water and habitat conditions in eastern Oregon. Reintroduction of captive-bred birds seems to be the last hope.

  7. Disentangling the cause of a catastrophic population decline in a large marine mammal.

    PubMed

    Baylis, Alastair M M; Orben, Rachael A; Arnould, John P Y; Christiansen, Fredrik; Hays, Graeme C; Staniland, Iain J

    2015-10-01

    Considerable uncertainties often surround the causes of long-term changes in population abundance. One striking example is the precipitous decline of southern sea lions (SSL; Otariaflavescens) at the Falkland Islands, from 80 555 pups in the mid 1930s to just 5506 pups in 1965. Despite an increase in SSL abundance over the past two decades, the population has not recovered, with the number of pups born in 2014 (minimum 4443 pups) less than 6% of the 1930s estimate. The order-of-magnitude decline is primarily attributed to commercial sealing in Argentina. Here, we test this established paradigm and alternative hypotheses by assessing (1) commercial sealing at the Falkland Islands, (2) winter migration of SSL from the Falkland Islands to Argentina, (3) whether the number of SSL in Argentina could have sustained the reported level of exploitation, and (4) environmental change. The most parsimonious hypothesis explaining the SSL population decline was environmental change. Specifically, analysis of 160 years of winter sea surface temperatures revealed marked changes, including a period of warming between 1930 and 1950 that was consistent with the period of SSL decline. Sea surface temperature changes likely influenced the distribution or availability of SSL prey and impacted its population dynamics. We suggest that historical harvesting may not always be the "smoking gun" as is often purported. Rather, our conclusions support the growing evidence for bottom-up forcing on the abundance of species at lower trophic levels (e.g., plankton and fish) and resulting impacts on higher trophic levels across a broad range of ecosystems. PMID:26649403

  8. Demography and decline of the Mentasta Caribou Herd, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jenkins, Kurt J.; Barten, Neil L.

    2005-01-01

    We evaluated population trends in the Mentasta caribou (Rangifer tarandus (L., 1758)) herd in Wrangell a?? St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska, from 1990 to 1997 and determined factors contributing to its decline. We postulated that predation-related mortality of adult females and juveniles was the proximate cause of the decline, and that survival of juvenile caribou reflected interactions with winter severity, calving distribution, timing of births, density of caribou, and physical condition of neonates at birth. The population declined at its greatest rate from 1990 to 1993 (r = a??0.32) and at a lower rate from 1994 to 1997 (r = a??0.09). Recruitment (number of calves/100 females during September) averaged 4/100 during the rapid population decline from 1990 to 1993 and 13/100 from 1994 to 1997. Parturition rate of adult females ranged from 65% to 97%. Survival of adult females and juveniles ranged from 0.77 to 0.86 and from 0.00 to 0.22, respectively. Approximately 43%, 59%, and 79% of all juvenile mortality occurred by 1, 2, and 4 weeks of age, respectively. We confirmed predation-related mortality as the primary proximate cause of population decline, with gray wolves (Canis lupus L., 1758), bears (species of the genus Ursus L., 1758), and other predators accounting for 57%, 38%, and 5%, respectively, of all juvenile mortality, and bears causing disproportionate mortality among 0- to 1-week-old neonates. We supported the hypotheses that timing of birth and habitat conditions at the birth site, particularly mottled snow patterns, affected vulnerability and survival of neonates, and birth mass affected survival of juveniles through summer. We speculate that the population will continue to decline before reaching a low-density equilibrium that is sustained by density-dependent changes in the functional responses of predators.

  9. Atrial Fibrillation, Neurocognitive Decline and Gene Expression After Cardiopulmonary Bypass

    PubMed Central

    Dalal, Rahul S.; Sabe, Ashraf A.; Elmadhun, Nassrene Y.; Ramlawi, Basel; Sellke, Frank W.

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Atrial fibrillation and neurocognitive decline are common complications after cardiopulmonary bypass. By utilizing genomic microarrays we investigate whether gene expression is associated with postoperative atrial fibrillation and neurocognitive decline. METHODS Twenty one cardiac surgery patients were prospectively matched and underwent neurocognitive assessments pre-operatively and four days postoperatively. The whole blood collected in the pre-cardiopulmonary bypass, 6 hours after-cardiopulmonary bypass, and on the 4th postoperative day was hybridized to Affymetrix Gene Chip U133 Plus 2.0 Microarrays. Gene expression in patients who developed postoperative atrial fibrillation and neurocognitive decline (n=6; POAF+NCD) was compared with gene expression in patients with postoperative atrial fibrillation and normal cognitive function (n=5; POAF+NORM) and patients with sinus rhythm and normal cognitive function (n=10; SR+NORM). Regulated genes were identified using JMP Genomics 4.0 with a false discovery rate of 0.05 and fold change of >1.5 or <-1.5. RESULTS Eleven patients developed postoperative atrial fibrillation. Six of these also developed neurocognitive decline. Of the 12 patients with sinus rhythm, only 2 developed neurocognitive decline. POAF+NCD patients had unique regulation of 17 named genes preoperatively, 60 named genes six hours after cardiopulmonary bypass, and 34 named genes four days postoperatively (P<0.05) compared with normal patients. Pathway analysis demonstrated that these genes are involved in cell death, inflammation, cardiac remodeling and nervous system function. CONCLUSION Patients who developed postoperative atrial fibrillation and neurocognitive decline after cardiopulmonary bypass may have differential genomic responses compared to normal patients and patients with only postoperative atrial fibrillation, suggesting common pathophysiology for these conditions. Further exploration of these genes may provide insight into the

  10. Functional Performance in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Declines with Time

    PubMed Central

    Kapella, Mary C.; Larson, Janet L.; Covey, Margaret K.; Alex, Charles G.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose It is well known that people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience declines in functional performance, but little is known about the rate of decline. The purpose of this research was to describe the rate of decline in functional performance and to examine the contribution of disease severity, body composition, symptoms and functional capacity. Functional performance was defined as the activities that people choose to engage in on a day-to-day basis. Methods People (N=108) with COPD were enrolled and followed yearly for three years with: self-reported functional performance (Functional Performance Inventory), spirometry, lung volumes, diffusion capacity, body composition (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry), dyspnea and fatigue (Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire) and functional capacity (six-minute walk distance (6MWD), isokinetic strength of knee flexors and extensors, handgrip strength and maximal inspiratory pressure). A total of 88 subjects completed a (mean ± SD) of 2.7 ± 0.9 years of follow-up. Results Significant negative slopes were observed for functional performance (P=0.001), spirometry (the ratio of forced expiratory volume in one second to forced vital capacity ((FEV1/FVC), P<0.0001), diffusion capacity (P<0.0001) and muscle strength (P<0.0001). The slopes for dyspnea, fatigue and functional capacity were not significantly different from zero, but there was wide individual variation. Hierarchical regression demonstrated that 31% of the variance in the slope of functional performance was accounted for by the hierarchical model and the primary predictors were the slopes of the FEV1/FVC, 6MWD and muscle strength (knee flexors/extensor and handgrip). Conclusions Subjects experienced a slow decline in functional performance, associated with declines in functional capacity and increases in body fat. Symptoms were relatively stable and not associated with declines in functional performance. PMID:20543752

  11. Decline in maternal mortality in Matlab, Bangladesh: a cautionary tale.

    PubMed

    Ronsmans, C; Vanneste, A M; Chakraborty, J; van Ginneken, J

    This study examines the impact of the Maternal-Child Health and Family Planning (MCH-FP) program in the Matlab, Bangladesh. Data were obtained from the Matlab surveillance system for treatment and comparison areas. This study reports the trends in maternal mortality since 1976. The MCH-FP area received extensive services in health and family planning since 1977. Services included trained traditional birth attendants and essential obstetric care from government district hospitals and a large number of private clinics. Geographic ease of access to essential obstetric care varied across the study area. Access was most difficult in the northern sector of the MCH-FP area. Contraception was made available through family welfare centers. Tetanus immunization was introduced in 1979. Door-to-door contraceptive services were provided by 80 female community health workers on a twice-monthly basis. In 1987, a community-based maternity care program was added to existing MCH-FP services in the northern treatment area. The demographic surveillance system began collecting data in 1966. During 1976-93 there were 624 maternal deaths among women aged 15-44 years in Matlab (510/100,000 live births). 72.8% of deaths were due to direct obstetric causes: postpartum hemorrhage, induced abortion, eclampsia, dystocia, and postpartum sepsis. Maternal mortality declined in a fluctuating fashion in both treatment and comparison areas. Direct obstetric mortality declined at about 3% per year. After 1987, direct obstetric mortality declined in the north by almost 50%. After the 1990 program expansion in the south, maternal mortality declined, though not significantly, in the south. Maternal mortality declined in the south comparison area during 1987-89 and stabilized. The comparison area of the north showed no decline. PMID:9428252

  12. Examining differences between recovered and declining endangered species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Abbitt, R.J.F.; Michael, Scott J.

    2001-01-01

    Between 1973 and 1999, 43 species in the United States were reclassified from endangered to threatened or removed entirely from the Endangered Species List. Of these, 23 were identified as recovered. In 1999 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a list of 33 additional species for possible reclassification and/or delisting. We initiated this study to examine why some endangered species recover but others continue to decline and to identify differences in management activities between these two groups. We defined recovered/recovering species as previously recovered species and the additional recovered/recovering species listed by the USFWS. We defined declining species as those identified as declining in the most recent USFWS Report to Congress. Information on recovered/recovering and declining species was gathered from relevant literature, recovery plans, U.S. Federal Register documents, and individuals responsible for the recovery management of each species. We used this information to examine (1) the percentage of current and historic range covered by management activities; (2) threats affecting the species; (3) population sizes at the time of listing; (4) current versus historic range size; and (5) percentage of recovery management objectives completed. Although few statistical analyses provided significant results, those that did suggest the following differences between recovered/recovering and declining species: (1) recovered/recovering species face threats that are easier to address; (2) recovered/recovering species occupy a greater percentage of their historic range; and (3) recovered/recovering species have a greater percentage of their recovery management objectives completed. Those species with threats easier to address and that occupy a greater percentage of their historic range are recovered/recovering. In contrast, declining species face threats more difficult to address and occupy significantly less of their historic range. If this

  13. [Fertility decline in Colombia: expression of a profound social change].

    PubMed

    De Llinas, H M

    1983-01-01

    Demographers have identified 3 phases in the evolution of human population growth: 1) high mortality and high fertility resulting in very slow growth, 2) declining mortality and high fertility, resulting in rapid growth, and 3) declining mortality and fertility, resulting in slower growth. From the beginning of the century until the 1930s, Colombia was in the 1st phase, while the greatest mortality declines were registered from 1930-60. Fertility did not decline commensurately, and from 1951-64 the rate of population increase was 3.14%. The National Fertility Survey in 1969 and the 1973 census indicated that the country had at last begun its fertility decline. The 1969 survey showed that the total fertility rate (TFR) had dropped from 7.0 in the early 1960s to 6.0 in 1967-68, with fertility declining in both rural and urban areas. The 1973 census showed a rate of growth of 2.8% and an average number of children/woman of 4.7, showing that the fertility decline was structural and reflected profound changes in the values, norms, and attitudes regarding children of the Colombian population. Urbanization, the increased educational level and labor force participation of women, and the influence of the mass media in propagating the values of a consumer society are factors in the reduction of family size. Fertility differentials by region and social group have been declining progressively. The TFR in 1960-64 was 7.0 overall, 6.1 in urban areas, and 7.9 in rural areas, while in 1980 it was 3.6 overall, 3.0 in urban areas, and 5.1 in rural areas. In 1968-69, the TFR was 7.8 in the Atlantic region, 7.9 in the Oriental, 6.8 in the Central, 5.9 in the Pacific, and 4.5 in Bogota, while in 1980 it was 4.1 in the Atlantic, 4.0 in the Oriental, 3.5 in the Central, 3.3 in the Pacific, and 2.8 in Bogota. The number of women using family planning programs increased from 83 in 1965 to 1,790,484 in 1980. The proportion using contraception increased from 53% in 1976 to 55% in 1980. The

  14. Genetic uniformity and the decline of red spruce

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-05-01

    This brief note examines current research that suggests genetic uniformity as a cause of red spruce decline. Although acid rain and ozone have been implicated in the decline of the species, dieback has been observed evening areas where pollution is low. In addition, the dieback is not observed in other species. Researchers have analyzed the seeds of approximately 500 red spruce trees representing 13 boreal and Montane populations from southern Appalachia to Canada. Of 42 gene loci examined, on the average only 8% of the genes were heterozygousand only 31% were polymorphic.

  15. How Personal Is the Political? Democratic Revolution and Fertility Decline

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Amy Kate

    2010-01-01

    Existing theory has identified the capacity of political revolutions to effect change in a variety of social institutions, although relationships between revolution and many institutions remain unexplored. Using historical data from 22 European and four diaspora countries, I examine the temporal relationship between timing of revolution and onset of fertility decline. I hypothesize that specific kinds of revolutionary events affect fertility by engendering ideological changes in popular understandings of the individual’s relationship to society, and ultimately the legitimacy of couples’ authority over their reproductive capacities. Results demonstrate that popular democratic revolution – but not institutionalized democratic structures – predict the timing of the onset of fertility decline. PMID:19999826

  16. Human Population Decline in North America during the Younger Dryas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, D. G.; Goodyear, A. C.; Stafford, T. W., Jr.; Kennett, J.; West, A.

    2009-12-01

    There is ongoing debate about a possible human population decline or contraction at the onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) at 12.9 ka. We used two methods to test whether the YD affected human population levels: (1) frequency analyses of Paleoindian projectile points, and (2) summed probability analyses of radiocarbon (14C) dates. The results suggest that a significant decline or reorganization of human populations occurred at 12.9 ka, continued through the initial centuries of the YD chronozone, then rebounded by the end of the YD. FREQUENCY ANALYSES: This method employed projectile point data from the Paleoindian Database of the Americas (PIDBA, http://pidba.utk.edu). We tallied diagnostic projectile points and obtained larger totals for Clovis points than for immediately post-Clovis points, which share an instrument-assisted fluting technique, typically using pressure or indirect percussion. Gainey, Vail, Debert, Redstone, and Cumberland point-styles utilized this method and are comparable to the Folsom style. For the SE U.S., the ratio of Clovis points (n=1993) to post-Clovis points (n=947) reveals a point decline of 52%. For the Great Plains, a comparison of Clovis and fluted points (n=4020) to Folsom points (n=2527) shows a point decline of 37%, which may translate into a population contraction of similar magnitude. In addition, eight major Clovis lithic quarry sites in the SE U.S. exhibit little to no evidence for immediate post-Clovis occupations, implying a major population decline. SUMMED PROBABILITIES: This method involved calibrating relevant 14C dates and combining the probabilities, after which major peaks and troughs in the trends are assumed to reflect changes in human demographics. Using 14C dates from Buchanan et al. (2008), we analyzed multiple regions, including the Southeast and Great Plains. Contrary to Buchanan et al., we found an abrupt, statistically significant decline at 12.9 ka, followed 200 to 900 years later by a rebound in the number of

  17. Consequences of declining snow accumulation for water balance of mid-latitude dry regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Lauenroth, William K.; Bradford, John B.

    2012-01-01

    Widespread documentation of positive winter temperature anomalies, declining snowpack and earlier snow melt in the Northern Hemisphere have raised concerns about the consequences for regional water resources as well as wildfire. A topic that has not been addressed with respect to declining snowpack is effects on ecosystem water balance. Changes in water balance dynamics will be particularly pronounced at low elevations of mid-latitude dry regions because these areas will be the first to be affected by declining snow as a result of rising temperatures. As a model system, we used simulation experiments to investigate big sagebrush ecosystems that dominate a large fraction of the semiarid western United States. Our results suggest that effects on future ecosystem water balance will increase along a climatic gradient from dry, warm and snow-poor to wet, cold and snow-rich. Beyond a threshold within this climatic gradient, predicted consequences for vegetation switched from no change to increasing transpiration. Responses were sensitive to uncertainties in climatic prediction; particularly, a shift of precipitation to the colder season could reduce impacts of a warmer and snow-poorer future, depending on the degree to which ecosystem phenology tracks precipitation changes. Our results suggest that big sagebrush and other similar semiarid ecosystems could decrease in viability or disappear in dry to medium areas and likely increase only in the snow-richest areas, i.e. higher elevations and higher latitudes. Unlike cold locations at high elevations or in the arctic, ecosystems at low elevations respond in a different and complex way to future conditions because of opposing effects of increasing water-limitation and a longer snow-free season. Outcomes of such nonlinear interactions for future ecosystems will likely include changes in plant composition and productivity, dynamics of water balance, and availability of water resources.

  18. Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Manabu; Benton, Michael J; Venditti, Chris

    2016-05-01

    Whether dinosaurs were in a long-term decline or whether they were reigning strong right up to their final disappearance at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution. The dispute has continued unresolved because of a lack of statistical rigor and appropriate evolutionary framework. Here, for the first time to our knowledge, we apply a Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time in Mesozoic dinosaurs, properly taking account of previously ignored statistical violations. We find overwhelming support for a long-term decline across all dinosaurs and within all three dinosaurian subclades (Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda), where speciation rate slowed down through time and was ultimately exceeded by extinction rate tens of millions of years before the K-Pg boundary. The only exceptions to this general pattern are the morphologically specialized herbivores, the Hadrosauriformes and Ceratopsidae, which show rapid species proliferations throughout the Late Cretaceous instead. Our results highlight that, despite some heterogeneity in speciation dynamics, dinosaurs showed a marked reduction in their ability to replace extinct species with new ones, making them vulnerable to extinction and unable to respond quickly to and recover from the final catastrophic event. PMID:27092007

  19. Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakamoto, Manabu; Benton, Michael J.

    2016-05-01

    Whether dinosaurs were in a long-term decline or whether they were reigning strong right up to their final disappearance at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution. The dispute has continued unresolved because of a lack of statistical rigor and appropriate evolutionary framework. Here, for the first time to our knowledge, we apply a Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time in Mesozoic dinosaurs, properly taking account of previously ignored statistical violations. We find overwhelming support for a long-term decline across all dinosaurs and within all three dinosaurian subclades (Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda), where speciation rate slowed down through time and was ultimately exceeded by extinction rate tens of millions of years before the K-Pg boundary. The only exceptions to this general pattern are the morphologically specialized herbivores, the Hadrosauriformes and Ceratopsidae, which show rapid species proliferations throughout the Late Cretaceous instead. Our results highlight that, despite some heterogeneity in speciation dynamics, dinosaurs showed a marked reduction in their ability to replace extinct species with new ones, making them vulnerable to extinction and unable to respond quickly to and recover from the final catastrophic event.

  20. Ecophysiology meets conservation: understanding the role of disease in amphibian population declines

    PubMed Central

    Blaustein, Andrew R.; Gervasi, Stephanie S.; Johnson, Pieter T. J.; Hoverman, Jason T.; Belden, Lisa K.; Bradley, Paul W.; Xie, Gisselle Y.

    2012-01-01

    Infectious diseases are intimately associated with the dynamics of biodiversity. However, the role that infectious disease plays within ecological communities is complex. The complex effects of infectious disease at the scale of communities and ecosystems are driven by the interaction between host and pathogen. Whether or not a given host–pathogen interaction results in progression from infection to disease is largely dependent on the physiological characteristics of the host within the context of the external environment. Here, we highlight the importance of understanding the outcome of infection and disease in the context of host ecophysiology using amphibians as a model system. Amphibians are ideal for such a discussion because many of their populations are experiencing declines and extinctions, with disease as an important factor implicated in many declines and extinctions. Exposure to pathogens and the host's responses to infection can be influenced by many factors related to physiology such as host life history, immunology, endocrinology, resource acquisition, behaviour and changing climates. In our review, we discuss the relationship between disease and biodiversity. We highlight the dynamics of three amphibian host–pathogen systems that induce different effects on hosts and life stages and illustrate the complexity of amphibian–host–parasite systems. We then review links between environmental stress, endocrine–immune interactions, disease and climate change. PMID:22566676

  1. Coordinated responses to honey bee decline in the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In response to successive years of high honey bee mortality, the United States Congress mandated the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase funding for research and education directed at reducing honey bee decline. The funding followed two administrative streams within USDA – one through the USD...

  2. Decline of red spruce in the Adirondacks, New York

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, J.T.; Siccama, T.G.; Johnson, A.H.; Breisch, A.R.

    1984-01-01

    Thirty-two stands in the spruce-fir forests of Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks, originally sampled from 1964-66, were resurveyed in 1982. From 10-25 Bitterlich points were used in each stand in 1982 to obtain an estimate of basal area per hectare. Data were summarized for low elevation (<900m) and high elevation (> or = 900m) forests. Red spruce declined by 40-60% in basal area for the low elevation forests and by 60-70% above 900m. Balsam fir decreased by 35% at high elevations, due to natural disturbance in several of the stands, but was unchanged when only undisturbed stands were considered. The decline of red spruce accounted for about three quarters of the total decrease in basal area for both the high- and low-elevation forests. Spruce seedling frequency for the high-elevation sample decreased by 80%, but was unchanged below 900m. The pattern of spruce decline in the Adirondacks is similar to findings for New England. The cause of the decline is speculative at the time.

  3. Evaluating Functional Decline in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenblum, Sara; Weiss, Patrice L.

    2010-01-01

    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease with a wide-ranging impact on functional status. The aim of the study was to examine the added value of simultaneously evaluating fatigue, personal ADL and handwriting performance as indicators for functional decline among patients with MS. Participants were 50 outpatients with MS and 26 matched healthy…

  4. Long-Range Planning and the Enrollment Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fredrickson, John H.

    The current period of enrollment decline offers school districts an ideal opportunity for program and facility reevaluation and long-range planning. Any long-range plan should evaluate current programs in light of statutory and educational trends, estimate existing facilities' ability to accommodate change, determine the community's potential…

  5. Quantitative EEG and Cognitive Decline in Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Cozac, Vitalii V.; Gschwandtner, Ute; Hatz, Florian; Hardmeier, Martin; Rüegg, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive decline is common with the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). Different candidate biomarkers are currently studied for the risk of dementia in PD. Several studies have shown that quantitative EEG (QEEG) is a promising predictor of PD-related cognitive decline. In this paper we briefly outline the basics of QEEG analysis and analyze the recent publications addressing the predictive value of QEEG in the context of cognitive decline in PD. The MEDLINE database was searched for relevant publications from January 01, 2005, to March 02, 2015. Twenty-four studies reported QEEG findings in various cognitive states in PD. Spectral and connectivity markers of QEEG could help to discriminate between PD patients with different level of cognitive decline. QEEG variables correlate with tools for cognitive assessment over time and are associated with significant hazard ratios to predict PD-related dementia. QEEG analysis shows high test-retest reliability and avoids learning effects associated with some neuropsychological testing; it is noninvasive and relatively easy to repeat. PMID:27148466

  6. Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers mirror rate of cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    Rolstad, Sindre; Berg, Anne Ingeborg; Bjerke, Maria; Johansson, Boo; Zetterberg, Henrik; Wallin, Anders

    2013-01-01

    The ability to predict future decline in cognitive systems using the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers 42 amino acid form of amyloid-β (Aβ42) and total tau (T-tau) is not fully understood. In a clinical sample ranging from cognitively healthy to dementia (n = 326), linear regression models were performed in order to investigate the ability of CSF biomarkers to predict cognitive decline in all cognitive domains from baseline to 2-year follow-up. Gender, age, and years of education were included as covariates. In patients with subjective cognitive impairment, T-tau had a small impact on executive functions (r2 = 0.07). T-tau had a small to moderate influence (r2 = 0.06-0.11) on all cognitive functions with the exception of visuospatial functions in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In patients with dementia, the impact of T-tau was large (r2 = 0.29) on semantic memory. Aβ42 had a small effect (r2 = 0.07) on speed and executive functions in MCI. In patients with dementia, Aβ42 had a moderate influence (r2 = 0.13-0.24) on semantic and verbal working memory/fluency. Our results speak in favor of the notion that CSF biomarkers reflect the rate of cognitive decline across the continuum of cognitive impairment from healthy to dementia. CSF predicted subsequent decline in more cognitive domains among MCI cases, but the impact was most pronounced in patients with dementia. PMID:23313924

  7. Decadence, Scorn, and the Decline of Christian Practice on Campus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    French, David

    2010-01-01

    Religious practice dramatically decreases in college and students' positions on hot-button religious/cultural questions move appreciably to the left. There's no doubt that college students are on a quest for meaning. In this article, the author reports on new data that reveals unequivocally the decline of religious practice among college students.…

  8. The Assessment of Behavioural Decline in Adults with Down's Syndrome.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKenzie, Karen; Harte, Cyan; Patrick, Shona; Matheson, Edith; Murray, George C.

    2002-01-01

    A study examined two methods of using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales with people with Down syndrome at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Scoring the scales using the basal rule outlined in the manual resulted in highlighting significant declines in scores for those meeting the criteria for "probable Alzheimer's disease." (Contains…

  9. History Jobs Decline 15% after Years of Growth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Robin

    2009-01-01

    This article reports that a five-year stretch of steady growth in the job market for academic historians is over. The number of job advertisements colleges have posted with the American Historical Association so far this academic year is down 15 percent from last year--the first decline since a slump that occurred in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. The…

  10. What Should We Do about the Decline in Vocational Enrollment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lonza, Martin

    Vocational enrollment is declining because of an increase in academic requirements. Because job skills are changing so rapidly, employers are increasingly choosing to provide their own vocational training to students who have mastered standard academic requirements. However, the lack of hands-on methodology in academic curricula and the lack of…

  11. High Blood Pressure and Cognitive Decline in Mild Cognitive Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, Felicia C.; Levey, Allan I.; Steenland, N. Kyle

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To determine whether high blood pressure (BP) levels are associated with faster decline in specific cognitive domains. Design Prospective longitudinal cohort. Setting Uniform Data Set of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging Alzheimer's Disease Centers. Participants One thousand three hundred eighty-five participants with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and measured BP values at baseline and two annual follow-up visits. Measurements Neuropsychological test scores and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR Sum) score. Results Participants with MCI with two or three annual occasions of high BP values (systolic BP ≥ 140 mmHg or diastolic BP ≥ 90 mmHg) had significantly faster decline on neuropsychological measures of visuomotor sequencing, set shifting, and naming than those who were normotensive on all three occasions. High systolic BP values were associated as well with faster decline on the CDR Sum score. Conclusion Hypertension is associated with faster cognitive decline in persons at risk for dementia. PMID:23301925

  12. Managing Decline in School Systems: A Handbook. Final Draft.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zerchykov, Ross; Weaver, W. Timothy

    This is a resource book on cutback management in public schools. It catalogs over 30 practices, provides policy models from 27 school districts in 17 states, and summarizes a decade of advice about decline management in light of recent research evidence on what works and what doesn't work in managing the politics of retrenchment. Its highlights…

  13. Fitness Declines in Tobacco Etch Virus upon Serial Bottleneck Transfers▿

    PubMed Central

    de la Iglesia, Francisca; Elena, Santiago F.

    2007-01-01

    It has been well established that populations of RNA viruses transmitted throughout serial bottlenecks suffer from significant fitness declines as a consequence of the accumulation of deleterious mutations by the onset of Muller's ratchet. Bottlenecks are unavoidably linked to different steps of the infectious cycle of most plant RNA viruses, such as vector-mediated transmissions and systemic colonization of new leaves. Here we report evidence for fitness declines by the accumulation of deleterious mutations in the potyvirus Tobacco etch virus (TEV). TEV was inoculated into the nonsystemic host Chenopodium quinoa, and local lesions were isolated and used to initiate 20 independent mutation accumulation lineages. Weekly, a random lesion from each lineage was isolated and used to inoculate the next set of plants. At each transfer, the Malthusian growth rate was estimated. After 11 consecutive transfers, all lineages suffered significant fitness losses, and one even became extinct. The average rate of fitness decline was 5% per day. The average pattern of fitness decline was consistent with antagonistic epistasis between deleterious mutations, as postulated for antiredundant genomes. Temporal fitness fluctuations were not explained by random noise but reflected more complex underlying processes related to emergence and self-organization phenomena. PMID:17344305

  14. Homocysteine and inflammation: predictors of cognitive decline in older persons?

    PubMed

    van den Kommer, T N; Dik, M G; Comijs, H C; Jonker, C; Deeg, D J H

    2010-10-01

    The aim of the current study was to examine the association between homocysteine and 6-year cognitive decline, and the modifying role of the inflammatory markers Interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP) and alpha-1-antichymotrypsin (ACT). Data were collected within the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (ages >or=65 years) and analyzed using multiple longitudinal regression models (N=1257 of whom N=1076 had longitudinal data). Cognition was measured with the Mini-Mental State Examination (general cognition), Auditory Verbal Learning Test (memory), Coding Task (information processing speed) and Raven Coloured Progressive Matrices (fluid intelligence). Higher homocysteine at baseline was negatively associated with prolonged lower cognitive functioning and a faster rate of decline in information processing speed and fluid intelligence. The negative association between higher homocysteine and immediate recall was strongest in persons with a high level of IL-6. Only in the highest tertile of CRP, higher homocysteine was negatively associated with retention. In the middle tertile of ACT, higher homocysteine was associated with lower information processing speed and faster decline. Both in the lower and middle tertile of CRP, higher homocysteine was associated with a faster rate of decline in information processing speed. The results implicate that a combination of both risk factors may be used as a marker for cognitive impairment. PMID:19004529

  15. Yes, we can! Detect pollinator declines on a global scale

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recently there has been considerable concern about declines in bee communities, both in agricultural and natural habitats. The value of pollination to agriculture, provided primarily by bees, is > $200 billion US annually, and in natural ecosystems is thought to be even greater. However, because n...

  16. Decline in Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Odds of Incident Sleep Complaints

    PubMed Central

    Dishman, Rodney K.; Sui, Xuemei; Church, Timothy S.; Kline, Christopher E.; Youngstedt, Shawn D.; Blair, Steven N.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To examine longitudinal change in cardiorespiratory fitness and odds of incident sleep problems. Methods A cohort of 7368 men and 1155 women, aged 20–85 years, from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. The cohort did not complain of sleep problems, depression, or anxiety at their first clinic visit. Cardiorespiratory fitness assessed at 4 clinic visits between 1971–2006, each separated by an average of 2–3 years, was used as a proxy measure of cumulative physical activity exposure. Sleep complaints were made to a physician during follow-up. Results Across visits, there were 784 incident cases of sleep complaints in men and 207 cases in women. After adjustment for age, time between visits, body mass index, smoking, alcohol use, chronic medical conditions, complaints of depression or anxiety at each visit, and fitness at Visit 1, each minute decline in treadmill endurance (i.e., a decline in cardiorespiratory fitness of approximately one-half MET) between ages 51 to 56 increased the odds of incident sleep complaints by 1.7% (1.0–2.4%) in men and 1.3% (0.0–2.8%) in women. Odds were ~8% higher per minute decline in people with sleep complaints at 2 or 3 visits. Conclusion The results indicate that maintenance of cardiorespiratory fitness during middle-age, when decline in fitness typically accelerates and risk of sleep problems is elevated, helps protect against the onset of sleep complaints made to a physician. PMID:25207930

  17. The Use of Community Impact Studies in a Declining Economy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Owings, Thomas G.

    Colleges and their surrounding communities have a supplier/consumer relationship--in exchange for the use of tax-exempt land and tax-supported services, the college acts as a cultural and educational center that provides the community with social and economic benefits. However, in times of a declining economy, this symbiotic relationship is not…

  18. Five Ways to Save Money with Declining Enrollments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Donald

    Strategies are offered to assist school districts with declining enrollments in dealing with surplus space and restricted funds. Teachers can be hired on the basis of midyear projections; also some teachers can be employed on a one-semester basis. Considerable savings can be obtained by renting out surplus classrooms and office space to other…

  19. Fertility Decline in Rural China: A Comparative Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Harrell, Stevan; Yuesheng, Wang; Hua, Han; Santos, Gonçalo D.; Yingying, Zhou

    2014-01-01

    Many models have been proposed to explain both the rapidity of China’s fertility decline after the 1960s and the differential timing of the decline in different places. In particular, scholars argue over whether deliberate policies of fertility control, institutional changes, or general modernization factors contribute most to changes in fertility behavior. Here the authors adopt an ethnographically grounded behavioral–institutional approach to analyze qualitative and quantitative data from three different rural settings: Xiaoshan County in Zhejiang (East China), Ci County in Hebei (North China), and Yingde County in Guangdong (South China). The authors show that no one set of factors explains the differential timing and rapidity of the fertility decline in the three areas; rather they must explain differential timing by a combination of differences in social–cultural environments (e.g., spread of education, reproductive ideologies, and gender relations) and politico-economic conditions (e.g., economic development, birth planning campaigns, and collective systems of labor organization) during the early phases of the fertility decline. PMID:21319442

  20. Are neonicotinoid insecticides driving declines of widespread butterflies?

    PubMed Central

    Bunnefeld, Nils; Wilson, John McVean; Botham, Marc S.; Brereton, Tom M.; Fox, Richard; Goulson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    There has been widespread concern that neonicotinoid pesticides may be adversely impacting wild and managed bees for some years, but recently attention has shifted to examining broader effects they may be having on biodiversity. For example in the Netherlands, declines in insectivorous birds are positively associated with levels of neonicotinoid pollution in surface water. In England, the total abundance of widespread butterfly species declined by 58% on farmed land between 2000 and 2009 despite both a doubling in conservation spending in the UK, and predictions that climate change should benefit most species. Here we build models of the UK population indices from 1985 to 2012 for 17 widespread butterfly species that commonly occur at farmland sites. Of the factors we tested, three correlated significantly with butterfly populations. Summer temperature and the index for a species the previous year are both positively associated with butterfly indices. By contrast, the number of hectares of farmland where neonicotinoid pesticides are used is negatively associated with butterfly indices. Indices for 15 of the 17 species show negative associations with neonicotinoid usage. The declines in butterflies have largely occurred in England, where neonicotinoid usage is at its highest. In Scotland, where neonicotinoid usage is comparatively low, butterfly numbers are stable. Further research is needed urgently to show whether there is a causal link between neonicotinoid usage and the decline of widespread butterflies or whether it simply represents a proxy for other environmental factors associated with intensive agriculture. PMID:26623186

  1. A Decline in Creativity? It Depends on the Domain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinstein, Emily C.; Clark, Zachary; DiBartolomeo, Donna J.; Davis, Katie

    2014-01-01

    Earlier studies using psychometric tests have documented declines in creativity over the past several decades. Our study investigated whether and how this apparent trend would replicate through a qualitative investigation using an authentic nontest measure of creativity. Three-hundred and fifty-four visual artworks and 50 creative writing works…

  2. Why Is the Divorce Rate Declining in Indonesia?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heaton, Tim B.; Cammack, Mark; Young, Larry

    2001-01-01

    This study examines trends in marital dissolution in Indonesia considering the impact of educational expansion; delayed marriage; urbanization; increasing employment before marriage; legislative change; and increased free choice in marriage on the decline in marital disruption. It suggests that traditional patterns sustaining high levels of…

  3. American Family Decline, 1960-1990: A Review and Appraisal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Popenoe, David

    1993-01-01

    Draws from U.S. Census data to review family trends of past 30 years. Appraises evidence for family decline in three areas: demographic, institutional, and cultural. Argues that families have lost functions, power, and authority; that familism as cultural value has diminished; and that people have become less willing to invest time, money, and…

  4. Declining versus Participating in Employer-Supported Training in Canada

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooke, Gordon B.; Chowhan, James; Brown, Travor

    2011-01-01

    Although employer-supported training may be beneficial to all stakeholders, some workers have difficulty accessing it, and a surprising number of workers decline some or all of it when it is offered. We present a conceptual model that uses four categories to define workers according to whether or not they are excluded from, participate in and/or…

  5. Detecting insect pollinator declines on regional and global scales.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recently, there has been considerable concern about declines in pollinator populations in both agricultural and natural habitats. The value of pollination services to agriculture, primarily by bees, is conservatively estimated to exceed $200 billion U.S. annually and the value of pollination servic...

  6. Research Update on Mature Watermelon Vine Decline in South Florida

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mature watermelon vine decline and fruit rot (MWVD) is a new, emerging disease that has caused devastating losses in the watermelon production region of southwest Florida since 2003 (Roberts et al., 2005). During the past few years, watermelon plants have been affected in each fall (September-Decem...

  7. Cognitive Decline in Older Persons Initiating Anticholinergic Medications

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Raj C.; Janos, Alicia L.; Kline, Julia E.; Yu, Lei; Leurgans, Sue E.; Wilson, Robert S.; Wei, Peter; Bennett, David A.; Heilman, Kenneth M.; Tsao, Jack W.

    2013-01-01

    Background This study examines the effect of initiating medications with anticholinergic activity on the cognitive functions of older persons. Methods Participants were 896 older community-dwelling, Catholic clergy without baseline dementia. Medication data was collected annually. The Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden Scale was utilized to identify use of a medication with probable or definite anticholinergic activity. Participants had at least two annual cognitive evaluations. Results Over a mean follow-up of 10 years, the annual rate of global cognitive function decline for never users, prevalent users, and incident users was −0.062 (SE = 0.005), −0.081(SE = 0.011), and −0.096 (SE = 0.007) z-score units/year, respectively. Compared to never users, incident users had a more rapid decline (difference = −0.034 z-score units/year, SE = 0.008, p<0.001) while prevalent users did not have a significantly more rapid decline (p = 0.1). Conclusions Older persons initiating a medication with anticholinergic activity have a steeper annual decline in cognitive functioning than those who are not taking these medications. PMID:23741303

  8. IQ Decline Following Early Unilateral Brain Injury: A Longitudinal Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levine, Susan C.; Kraus, Ruth; Alexander, Erin; Suriyakham, Linda Whealton; Huttenlocher, Peter R.

    2005-01-01

    We examine whether children with early unilateral brain injury show an IQ decline over the course of development. Fifteen brain injured children were administered an IQ test once before age 7 and again several years later. Post-7 IQ scores were significantly lower than pre-7 IQ scores. In addition, pre-7 IQ scores were lower for children with…

  9. Effects of invasive parasites on bumble bee declines.

    PubMed

    Meeus, Ivan; Brown, Mark J F; De Graaf, Dirk C; Smagghe, Guy

    2011-08-01

    Bumble bees are a group of pollinators that are both ecologically and economically important and declining worldwide. Numerous mechanisms could be behind this decline, and the spread of parasites from commercial colonies into wild populations has been implicated recently in North America. Commercial breeding may lead to declines because commercial colonies may have high parasite loads, which can lead to colonization of native bumble bee populations; commercial rearing may allow higher parasite virulence to evolve; and global movement of commercial colonies may disrupt spatial patterns in local adaptation between hosts and parasites. We assessed parasite virulence, transmission mode, and infectivity. Microparasites and so-called honey bee viruses may pose the greatest threat to native bumble bee populations because certain risk factors are present; for example, the probability of horizontal transmission of the trypanosome parasite Crithidia bombi is high. The microsporidian parasite Nosema bombi may play a role in declines of bumble bees in the United States. Preliminary indications that C. bombi and the neogregarine Apicystis bombi may not be native in parts of South America. We suggest that the development of molecular screening protocols, thorough sanitation efforts, and cooperation among nongovernmental organizations, governments, and commercial breeders might immediately mitigate these threats. PMID:21771075

  10. Declining Health Behavior of Adolescents: A Measure of Alienation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crase, Darrell

    1981-01-01

    Cites statistics on such adolescent problems as pregnancy, drugs, and obesity as evidence of the serious neglect and alienation of this age group in an era of family instability and declining social roles for youth. Urges educators to give concerted attention to the physical, mental, and health needs of adolescents. (SJL)

  11. Stagnation in Mortality Decline among Elders in the Netherlands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Janssen, Fanny; Nusselder, Wilma J.; Looman, Caspar W. N.; Mackenbach, Johan P.; Kunst, Anton E.

    2003-01-01

    Purpose: This study assesses whether the stagnation of old-age (80+) mortality decline observed in The Netherlands in the 1980s continued in the 1990s and determines which factors contributed to this stagnation. Emphasis is on the role of smoking. Design and Methods: Poisson regression analysis with linear splines was applied to total and…

  12. A Longitudinal Examination of Performance Decline in Champion Golfers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, J.; Horton, S.; Pearce, W.; Deakin, J. M.

    2005-01-01

    The maintenance of skilled performance is of increasing interest and importance in our aging society. Bortz and Bortz (1996) suggested that cognitive and physical abilities decline at a rate of 0.5% per year from peak performance. However, examinations of expert performance in cognitive-motor activities suggest that performance in these areas can…

  13. When Patients Decline Medical Student Participation: The Preceptors' Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tang, Tricia S.; Skye, Eric P.

    2009-01-01

    Patients' receptivity towards medical student participation has been examined predominantly from the patient and/or the medical student perspective. Few studies have investigated the preceptor's perspective. The study examined preceptors' experience with patients declining medical student participation in clinical care and identified…

  14. 24 CFR 200.23 - Projects in declining neighborhoods.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO FHA PROGRAMS Requirements for Application... 24 Housing and Urban Development 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Projects in declining neighborhoods. 200.23 Section 200.23 Housing and Urban Development Regulations Relating to Housing and...

  15. Amphibian Decline: An Integrated Analysis of Multiple Stressor Effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2003-01-01

    Although the effects of contaminants on amphibians have been studied for decades, relatively little is known about these effects compared to the more intensively studied mammals. and birds. Science has advanced its understanding of the complexities linked to declining amphibian populations; however, there are many remaining questions whose answers would directly benefit amphibians and adaptive management plans ministering to them. In an effort to answer those questions and focus on ecological risk assessment of amphibians, scientists, researchers, and resource management professionals from diverse fields participated in a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)-Johnson Foundation Wingspread conference with three goals: characterize a process that would bring a range of interdisciplinary technical and management tools to the tasks of causal analysis; demonstrate the current state of available technical tools to assess amphibian populations exposed to various environmental stressors; and focus on identifying research that would likely benefit sustainable populations through adaptive management programs. A result of the Wingspread conference, Amphibian Decline examines the ecotoxicology and stressors of amphibians in an attempt to address issues related to declining amphibian populations and the role that various stressors might have in those losses. It identifies gaps in current data, interprets information into an existing framework, and points toward critical areas for future research. Through the combined efforts of research and resource management communities, recommendations can be developed to change current policies and management actions to address the problem of amphibian decline.

  16. Declining MIS Enrollment: The Death of the MIS Degree?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saunders, Gary; Lockridge, T. Maurice

    2011-01-01

    There is little doubt that enrollments in MIS degree programs have been declining since the recession in the technical industry in 2001. Reagan's research (2008) indicates that enrollments in MIS degree programs is only about 25% of the 2001 level. Many MIS (IS) programs have been abandoned or combined with other related programs. While many…

  17. President Hails Continued Decline in Default Rate on Student Loans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burd, Stephen

    1997-01-01

    President Bill Clinton used the declining default rate on college student loans as a basis for proposing tax breaks for college costs. Reduced defaults have saved taxpayer money and helped reduce the federal deficit. Over 150 colleges and universities, including 25 private institutions, risk losing eligibility for federal grant and loan programs…

  18. Rock mass response to the decline in underground coal mining

    SciTech Connect

    Holub, K.

    2006-01-15

    Geomechanical problems of mining in the Ostrava-Karvina Coal Basin were studied on the basis of longterm experience gained from seismological observations. They could serve as reasonable models of rock-mass response to temporary reduction and gradual decline in mining activities and mine closure.

  19. Measuring the Meltdown: Drivers of Global Amphibian Extinction and Decline

    PubMed Central

    Sodhi, Navjot S.; Bickford, David; Diesmos, Arvin C.; Lee, Tien Ming; Koh, Lian Pin; Brook, Barry W.; Sekercioglu, Cagan H.; Bradshaw, Corey J. A.

    2008-01-01

    Habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, disease and other factors have been hypothesised in the global decline of amphibian biodiversity. However, the relative importance of and synergies among different drivers are still poorly understood. We present the largest global analysis of roughly 45% of known amphibians (2,583 species) to quantify the influences of life history, climate, human density and habitat loss on declines and extinction risk. Multi-model Bayesian inference reveals that large amphibian species with small geographic range and pronounced seasonality in temperature and precipitation are most likely to be Red-Listed by IUCN. Elevated habitat loss and human densities are also correlated with high threat risk. Range size, habitat loss and more extreme seasonality in precipitation contributed to decline risk in the 2,454 species that declined between 1980 and 2004, compared to species that were stable (n = 1,545) or had increased (n = 28). These empirical results show that amphibian species with restricted ranges should be urgently targeted for conservation. PMID:18286193

  20. The Decline of English in India: Some Historical Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nagarajan, S.

    1981-01-01

    Notes that the decline of English in India began soon after its introduction into Indian universities near the middle of the nineteenth century and was precipitated in part by too lofty aims and too little attention to Indian languages at the university level. (RL)

  1. Pesticides and Population Declines of California Alpine Frogs

    EPA Science Inventory

    Airborne pesticides from the Central Valley of California have been implicated as a cause for population declines of several amphibian species, with the strongest evidence for the mountain yellow-legged frog complex (Rana muscosa and R. sierrae) in the Sierra Nevada. We measured ...

  2. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines

    PubMed Central

    Rohr, Jason R.; Raffel, Thomas R.; Romansic, John M.; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J.

    2008-01-01

    Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines

  3. Periodontitis and Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Ide, Mark; Harris, Marina; Stevens, Annette; Sussams, Rebecca; Hopkins, Viv; Culliford, David; Fuller, James; Ibbett, Paul; Raybould, Rachel; Thomas, Rhodri; Puenter, Ursula; Teeling, Jessica; Perry, V. Hugh; Holmes, Clive

    2016-01-01

    Periodontitis is common in the elderly and may become more common in Alzheimer’s disease because of a reduced ability to take care of oral hygiene as the disease progresses. Elevated antibodies to periodontal bacteria are associated with an increased systemic pro-inflammatory state. Elsewhere raised serum pro-inflammatory cytokines have been associated with an increased rate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. We hypothesized that periodontitis would be associated with increased dementia severity and a more rapid cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. We aimed to determine if periodontitis in Alzheimer’s disease is associated with both increased dementia severity and cognitive decline, and an increased systemic pro inflammatory state. In a six month observational cohort study 60 community dwelling participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease were cognitively assessed and a blood sample taken for systemic inflammatory markers. Dental health was assessed by a dental hygienist, blind to cognitive outcomes. All assessments were repeated at six months. The presence of periodontitis at baseline was not related to baseline cognitive state but was associated with a six fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline as assessed by the ADAS-cog over a six month follow up period. Periodontitis at baseline was associated with a relative increase in the pro-inflammatory state over the six month follow up period. Our data showed that periodontitis is associated with an increase in cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s Disease, independent to baseline cognitive state, which may be mediated through effects on systemic inflammation. PMID:26963387

  4. Almagest Declinations: Ptolemy or “As found by us”

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, John C.; Zimmer, P. C.; Jones, P. B.

    2013-01-01

    Consistent results and compatibility with historical evidence were reported by Zimmer, Brandt, and Jones for Almagest declinations determined by Timocharis, Aristyllus, and Hipparcus. Unfortunately, this situation does not apply to the Almagest declinations (Book VII, Chapter 3; Toomer 1998) for Ptolemy or “As found by us.” Our formal solution gives a precision of 11.9 arc min and an epoch near 115AD. The precision is significantly worse than for the earlier observers and the date conflicts with historical data. Inspection of the (O) - (C) plots vs. year reveals that the natural clustering of trajectories seen for the other observers is not seen for the Ptolemy declinations. In addition, the spread in dates of observations estimated from the times of (O) - (C) = 0 shows a much larger value for Ptolemy than for the others. Historically, the Almagest was published around 150AD or perhaps a little later. Ptolemy’s life span was likely from c.100AD to c.175AD. Thus, the 115AD date for his observations is much too early. Maeyama (1984) moved the epoch from 115AD to 137/138AD by dropping stars from the analysis. Rawlins (manuscript, c. 1983) has an extensive discussion, drops several stars, and finds a preferred epoch of 137AD. He regards the observer as unknown. We prefer not to drop stars from the analysis unless the evidence is overwhelming. Our solution is to take Ptolemy literally. In Toomer (1998; tables on pages 331 & 332), these declinations are “As found by us” and in Taliaferro (1952; in the text) are as “we find it.” The idea of multiple observers has been suggested before and our analysis certainly supports the declinations coming from multiple observers through the years.

  5. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J

    2008-11-11

    Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines

  6. Dietary Patterns, Cognitive Decline, and Dementia: A Systematic Review12

    PubMed Central

    van de Rest, Ondine; Berendsen, Agnes AM; Haveman-Nies, Annemien; de Groot, Lisette CPGM

    2015-01-01

    Nutrition is an important modifiable risk factor that plays a role in the strategy to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. Research on nutritional effects has until now mainly focused on the role of individual nutrients and bioactive components. However, the evidence for combined effects, such as multinutrient approaches, or a healthy dietary pattern, such as the Mediterranean diet, is growing. These approaches incorporate the complexity of the diet and possible interaction and synergy between nutrients. Over the past few years, dietary patterns have increasingly been investigated to better understand the link between diet, cognitive decline, and dementia. In this systematic review we provide an overview of the literature on human studies up to May 2014 that examined the role of dietary patterns (derived both a priori as well as a posteriori) in relation to cognitive decline or dementia. The results suggest that better adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with less cognitive decline, dementia, or Alzheimer disease, as shown by 4 of 6 cross-sectional studies, 6 of 12 longitudinal studies, 1 trial, and 3 meta-analyses. Other healthy dietary patterns, derived both a priori (e.g., Healthy Diet Indicator, Healthy Eating Index, and Program National Nutrition Santé guideline score) and a posteriori (e.g., factor analysis, cluster analysis, and reduced rank regression), were shown to be associated with reduced cognitive decline and/or a reduced risk of dementia as shown by all 6 cross-sectional studies and 6 of 8 longitudinal studies. More conclusive evidence is needed to reach more targeted and detailed guidelines to prevent or postpone cognitive decline. PMID:25770254

  7. Dietary patterns, cognitive decline, and dementia: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    van de Rest, Ondine; Berendsen, Agnes Am; Haveman-Nies, Annemien; de Groot, Lisette Cpgm

    2015-03-01

    Nutrition is an important modifiable risk factor that plays a role in the strategy to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. Research on nutritional effects has until now mainly focused on the role of individual nutrients and bioactive components. However, the evidence for combined effects, such as multinutrient approaches, or a healthy dietary pattern, such as the Mediterranean diet, is growing. These approaches incorporate the complexity of the diet and possible interaction and synergy between nutrients. Over the past few years, dietary patterns have increasingly been investigated to better understand the link between diet, cognitive decline, and dementia. In this systematic review we provide an overview of the literature on human studies up to May 2014 that examined the role of dietary patterns (derived both a priori as well as a posteriori) in relation to cognitive decline or dementia. The results suggest that better adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with less cognitive decline, dementia, or Alzheimer disease, as shown by 4 of 6 cross-sectional studies, 6 of 12 longitudinal studies, 1 trial, and 3 meta-analyses. Other healthy dietary patterns, derived both a priori (e.g., Healthy Diet Indicator, Healthy Eating Index, and Program National Nutrition Santé guideline score) and a posteriori (e.g., factor analysis, cluster analysis, and reduced rank regression), were shown to be associated with reduced cognitive decline and/or a reduced risk of dementia as shown by all 6 cross-sectional studies and 6 of 8 longitudinal studies. More conclusive evidence is needed to reach more targeted and detailed guidelines to prevent or postpone cognitive decline. PMID:25770254

  8. The correlation between blood pressure and kidney function decline in older people: a registry-based cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Vaes, Bert; Beke, Emilie; Truyers, Carla; Elli, Steven; Buntinx, Frank; Verbakel, Jan Y; Goderis, Geert; Van Pottelbergh, Gijs

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To examine the relation between static and dynamic blood pressure (BP) measurements and the evolution of kidney function in older people, adjusted for the presence of multimorbidity. Design Retrospective cohort study during a 10-year time interval (2002–2012) in three age strata of patients aged 60 and older. Setting Primary care registration network with 97 general practitioners working in 55 practices regularly submitting collected patient data. Participants All patients with at least one BP measurement in 2002 and at least four serum creatine measurements after 2002 (n=8636). A modified Charlson Comorbidity Index (mCCI) at baseline was registered. Change in systolic and diastolic BP (DBP) and pulse pressure (PP) from 2002 onwards was calculated. The relation between kidney function evolution and baseline BP and change in BP was examined using linear and logistic regression analysis. Main outcome measures The slope of the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR, MDRD, Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation) was calculated by the ordinal least square method. A rapid annual decline of kidney function was defined as ≥3 mL/min/1.73 m2/year. Results Rapid annual decline of kidney function occurred in 1130 patients (13.1%). High baseline systolic BP (SBP) and PP predicted kidney function decline in participants aged 60–79 years. No correlation between baseline BP and kidney function decline was found in participants aged 80 years and older. An annual decline of ≥1 mm Hg in SBP and PP was a strong risk factor for a rapid annual kidney function decline in all age strata, independent of baseline BP and mCCI. A decline in DBP as also a strong independent predictor in participants aged 60–79 years. Conclusions The present study identified a decline in BP over time as a strong risk factor for kidney function decline in all age strata, adjusted for mCCI and baseline kidney function and BP. PMID:26129635

  9. Declines of greater and lesser scaup populations: issues, hypotheses, and research needs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, J.E.; Afton, A.D.; Anderson, M.G.; Clark, R.G.; Custer, Christine M.; Lawrence, J.; Pollard, J.B.; Ringelman, J.K.

    2000-01-01

    The population estimate for greater (Aythya marila) and lesser (Aythya affinis) scaup (combined) has declined dramatically since the early 1980s to record lows in 1998. The 1998 estimate of 3.47 million scaup is far below the goal of 6.3 million set in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), causing concern among biologists and hunters. We summarize issues of concern, hypotheses for factors contributing to the population decline, and research and management needs recommended by participants of the Scaup Workshop, held in September 1999. We believe that contaminants, lower female survival, and reduced recruitment due to changes in food resources or breeding-ground habitats are primary factors contributing to the decline. These factors are not mutually exclusive but likely interact across seasons. Workshop participants identified seven action items. We need to further delineate where declines in breeding populations have occurred, with a primary focus on the western Canadian boreal forest, where declines appear to be most pronounced. Productivity in various areas and habitats throughout the breeding range needs to be assessed by conducting retrospective analyses of existing data and by intensive field studies at broad and local scales. Annual and seasonal survival rates need to be determined in order to assess the role of harvest or natural mortality. Effects of contaminants on reproduction, female body condition, and behavior must be investigated. Use, distribution, and role of food resources relative to body condition and reproduction need to be examined to better understand seasonal dynamics of nutrient reserves and the role in reproductive success. Affiliations among breeding, migration, and wintering areas must be assessed in order to understand differential exposure to harvest or contaminants, and differential reproductive success and recruitment. Biologists and agencies need to gather and improve information needed to manage greater and lesser

  10. Assessing hemlock woolly adelgid induced decline and susceptibility using hyperspectral technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pontius, Jennifer

    The ultimate goal of this study was to provide the scientific framework for using narrow band hyperspectral instruments to assess early hemlock decline and susceptibility to the introduced hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). To this end, spectral data from an ASD FieldSpec Pro was used to develop a 6-term linear regression equation, which predicted a detailed decline rating (0--10) with an R2 of 0.71 and RMSE of 0.591. To scale up this method to a remote sensing platform, NASA's Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) was used to create a hemlock abundance map, correctly identifying hemlock dominated pixels (>40% basal area) with 88% accuracy. Reflectance at a chlorophyll sensitive wavelength (683nm), coupled with a water band index (R970/900), was able to predict decline with 85% accuracy. The extreme accuracy at the low (0--4) end of the range indicated that these wavelengths might be used to assess early decline, before visual symptoms are apparent. Because instruments like AVIRIS have the capability to map foliar chemistry, the identification of links between HWA dynamics and foliar chemistry may be used to map relative susceptibility. To this end, we employed a three-tiered approach examining resistant vs. susceptible hemlock species, foliar chemistry vs. colonization success and regional foliar chemistry vs. HWA population levels. We found that HWA resistant hemlock species demonstrated higher concentrations of Ca and P, and lower concentrations of N and K. Regardless of host species, successful colonization of uninfested hemlocks was associated with higher N, and lower Ca and P concentrations. Regionally, higher concentrations of Ca, Mn, N and P were correlated with higher HWA densities. We hypothesize that higher N and K concentrations may have a palatability effect, driving HWA population levels, while higher concentrations of Ca and P may act as deterrents to more severe infestations. These results indicate that by using hyperspectral remote

  11. Is the Test Score Decline Responsible for the Productivity Growth Decline? Working Paper No. 87-05.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop, John

    This paper presents evidence that recent aptitude test score decline is signaling a significant deterioration in the quality of entering cohorts of workers. The impact of general intellectual achievement (GIA) on productivity; trends in the GIA of the adult populations, students, and working adults; accounting for the labor quality growth when…

  12. Monounsaturated, trans & saturated fatty acids and cognitive decline in women

    PubMed Central

    Naqvi, Asghar Z.; Harty, Brian; Mukamal, Kenneth J.; Stoddard, Anne M.; Vitolins, Mara; Dunn, Julie E.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives Prospectively assess effects of select dietary fats on cognitive decline Design Prospective observational; 3-year follow-up Setting Subjects recruited at Northwestern University who participated in Women's Health Initiative Observational Study or control group of Diet Modification arm. Participants 482 women ≥ 60 years Measurements We averaged dietary intake from a validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) administered twice (mean=2.7 years apart) before baseline cognitive assessment (mean=2.9 years after 2nd FFQ). Testing of memory, vision, executive function, language, and attention was performed at 2 time points, 3 years apart. We created a global Z-score for both time points by averaging all Z-scores for each participant and defined global cognitive change as the difference between follow-up and baseline Z-scores. Results Median intakes of saturated fats (SFA), trans-fats, (TFA), dietary cholesterol (DC) and monounsaturated fats (MUFA) were 18.53 g/d, 3.45 g/d, 0.201 g/d and 19.39 g/d, respectively. There were no associations between degree of cognitive decline and intakes of SFA (p=0.69), TFA (p=0.54) or DC (p=0.64) after adjusting for baseline cognition, total energy, age, education, reading ability, Apolipoprotein E (ε4) allele, BMI, estrogen and beta-blocker use, and intake of caffeine and other fatty acids. In contrast, compared with participants in the lowest quartile, MUFA intake was associated with lower cognitive decline in fully adjusted linear regression models, with decline of 0.21 + 0.05 SE in the lowest versus 0.05 + 0.05 SE in the highest quartiles (p=0.02). This effect of MUFA intake was primarily in the visual and memory domains (p=0.03 for both). Conclusion Higher intakes of SFA, TFA and DC in these women were not associated with cognitive decline, while MUFA intake was associated with less cognitive decline. PMID:21568955

  13. Temporal dynamics of seed excretion by wild ungulates: implications for plant dispersal.

    PubMed

    Picard, Mélanie; Papaïx, Julien; Gosselin, Frédéric; Picot, Denis; Bideau, Eric; Baltzinger, Christophe

    2015-07-01

    Dispersal is a key process in metapopulation dynamics as it conditions species' spatial responses to gradients of abiotic and biotic conditions and triggers individual and gene flows. In the numerous plants that are dispersed through seed consumption by herbivores (endozoochory), the distance and effectiveness of dispersal is determined by the combined effects of seed retention time in the vector's digestive system, the spatial extent of its movements, and the ability of the seeds to germinate once released. Estimating these three parameters from experimental data is therefore crucial to calibrate mechanistic metacommunity models of plant-herbivore interactions. In this study, we jointly estimated the retention time and germination probability of six herbaceous plants transported by roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), and wild boar (Sus scrofa) through feeding experiments and a Bayesian dynamic model. Retention time was longer in the nonruminant wild boar (>36 h) than in the two ruminant species (roe deer: 18-36 h, red deer: 3-36 h). In the two ruminants, but not in wild boar, small and round seeds were excreted faster than large ones. Low germination probabilities of the excreted seeds reflected the high cost imposed by endozoochory on plant survival. Trait-mediated variations in retention time and germination probability among animal and plant species may impact plant dispersal distances and interact with biotic and abiotic conditions at the release site to shape the spatial patterns of dispersed plant species. PMID:26257875

  14. Temporal dynamics of seed excretion by wild ungulates: implications for plant dispersal

    PubMed Central

    Picard, Mélanie; Papaïx, Julien; Gosselin, Frédéric; Picot, Denis; Bideau, Eric; Baltzinger, Christophe

    2015-01-01

    Dispersal is a key process in metapopulation dynamics as it conditions species’ spatial responses to gradients of abiotic and biotic conditions and triggers individual and gene flows. In the numerous plants that are dispersed through seed consumption by herbivores (endozoochory), the distance and effectiveness of dispersal is determined by the combined effects of seed retention time in the vector’s digestive system, the spatial extent of its movements, and the ability of the seeds to germinate once released. Estimating these three parameters from experimental data is therefore crucial to calibrate mechanistic metacommunity models of plant–herbivore interactions. In this study, we jointly estimated the retention time and germination probability of six herbaceous plants transported by roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), and wild boar (Sus scrofa) through feeding experiments and a Bayesian dynamic model. Retention time was longer in the nonruminant wild boar (>36 h) than in the two ruminant species (roe deer: 18–36 h, red deer: 3–36 h). In the two ruminants, but not in wild boar, small and round seeds were excreted faster than large ones. Low germination probabilities of the excreted seeds reflected the high cost imposed by endozoochory on plant survival. Trait-mediated variations in retention time and germination probability among animal and plant species may impact plant dispersal distances and interact with biotic and abiotic conditions at the release site to shape the spatial patterns of dispersed plant species. PMID:26257875

  15. The Fiscal Impacts of Declining Enrollments: A Study of Declining Enrollments in Four States--Michigan, Missouri, South Dakota and Washington.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Odden, Allan; And Others

    This booklet investigates the fiscal impacts of declining enrollments from the point of view of state-level policy makers. Five aspects of declining enrollments are examined: (1) the magnitude of the problem both statewide and on a school district basis; (2) the type of school district affected by declining enrollments--central city, suburban,…

  16. A rapidly declining perennial sea ice cover in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2002-10-01

    The perennial sea ice cover in the Arctic is shown to be declining at -9% per decade using satellite data from 1978 to 2000. A sustained decline at this rate would mean the disappearance of the multiyear ice cover during this century and drastic changes in the Arctic climate system. An apparent increase in the fraction of second year ice in the 1990s is also inferred suggesting an overall thinning of the ice cover. Surface ice temperatures derived from satellite data are negatively correlated with perennial ice area and are shown to be increasing at the rate of 1.2 K per decade. The latter implies longer melt periods and therefore decreasing ice volume in the more recent years.

  17. A Rapidly Declining Arctic Perennial Sea Ice Cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Comiso, Josefino C.; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The perennial sea ice cover in the Arctic is shown to be declining at -8.9 plus or minus 2.0% per decade, using 22 years of satellite data. A sustained decline at this rate would mean the disappearance of the multiyear ice cover during this century and drastic changes in the seasonal characteristics of the Arctic ice cover. An apparent increase in the fraction of second year ice in the 1990s is also inferred suggesting an overall thinning of the ice cover while co-registered satellite surface temperatures show a warming trend of 0.8 plus or minus 0.6 K per decade in summer and a good correlation with the perennial ice data.

  18. Declining resilience of ecosystem functions under biodiversity loss

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Tom H.; Isaac, Nick J. B.; August, Tom A.; Woodcock, Ben A.; Roy, David B.; Bullock, James M.

    2015-01-01

    The composition of species communities is changing rapidly through drivers such as habitat loss and climate change, with potentially serious consequences for the resilience of ecosystem functions on which humans depend. To assess such changes in resilience, we analyse trends in the frequency of species in Great Britain that provide key ecosystem functions—specifically decomposition, carbon sequestration, pollination, pest control and cultural values. For 4,424 species over four decades, there have been significant net declines among animal species that provide pollination, pest control and cultural values. Groups providing decomposition and carbon sequestration remain relatively stable, as fewer species are in decline and these are offset by large numbers of new arrivals into Great Britain. While there is general concern about degradation of a wide range of ecosystem functions, our results suggest actions should focus on particular functions for which there is evidence of substantial erosion of their resilience. PMID:26646209

  19. Devastating Decline of Forest Elephants in Central Africa

    PubMed Central

    Blake, Stephen; Wittemyer, George; Hart, John; Williamson, Elizabeth A.; Aba’a, Rostand; Abitsi, Gaspard; Ambahe, Ruffin D.; Amsini, Fidèl; Bakabana, Parfait C.; Hicks, Thurston Cleveland; Bayogo, Rosine E.; Bechem, Martha; Beyers, Rene L.; Bezangoye, Anicet N.; Boundja, Patrick; Bout, Nicolas; Akou, Marc Ella; Bene, Lambert Bene; Fosso, Bernard; Greengrass, Elizabeth; Grossmann, Falk; Ikamba-Nkulu, Clement; Ilambu, Omari; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Iyenguet, Fortune; Kiminou, Franck; Kokangoye, Max; Kujirakwinja, Deo; Latour, Stephanie; Liengola, Innocent; Mackaya, Quevain; Madidi, Jacob; Madzoke, Bola; Makoumbou, Calixte; Malanda, Guy-Aimé; Malonga, Richard; Mbani, Olivier; Mbendzo, Valentin A.; Ambassa, Edgar; Ekinde, Albert; Mihindou, Yves; Morgan, Bethan J.; Motsaba, Prosper; Moukala, Gabin; Mounguengui, Anselme; Mowawa, Brice S.; Ndzai, Christian; Nixon, Stuart; Nkumu, Pele; Nzolani, Fabian; Pintea, Lilian; Plumptre, Andrew; Rainey, Hugo; de Semboli, Bruno Bokoto; Serckx, Adeline; Stokes, Emma; Turkalo, Andrea; Vanleeuwe, Hilde; Vosper, Ashley; Warren, Ymke

    2013-01-01

    African forest elephants– taxonomically and functionally unique–are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of fieldwork) revealed that population size declined by ca. 62% between 2002–2011, and the taxon lost 30% of its geographical range. The population is now less than 10% of its potential size, occupying less than 25% of its potential range. High human population density, hunting intensity, absence of law enforcement, poor governance, and proximity to expanding infrastructure are the strongest predictors of decline. To save the remaining African forest elephants, illegal poaching for ivory and encroachment into core elephant habitat must be stopped. In addition, the international demand for ivory, which fuels illegal trade, must be dramatically reduced. PMID:23469289

  20. Devastating decline of forest elephants in central Africa.

    PubMed

    Maisels, Fiona; Strindberg, Samantha; Blake, Stephen; Wittemyer, George; Hart, John; Williamson, Elizabeth A; Aba'a, Rostand; Abitsi, Gaspard; Ambahe, Ruffin D; Amsini, Fidèl; Bakabana, Parfait C; Hicks, Thurston Cleveland; Bayogo, Rosine E; Bechem, Martha; Beyers, Rene L; Bezangoye, Anicet N; Boundja, Patrick; Bout, Nicolas; Akou, Marc Ella; Bene, Lambert Bene; Fosso, Bernard; Greengrass, Elizabeth; Grossmann, Falk; Ikamba-Nkulu, Clement; Ilambu, Omari; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Iyenguet, Fortune; Kiminou, Franck; Kokangoye, Max; Kujirakwinja, Deo; Latour, Stephanie; Liengola, Innocent; Mackaya, Quevain; Madidi, Jacob; Madzoke, Bola; Makoumbou, Calixte; Malanda, Guy-Aimé; Malonga, Richard; Mbani, Olivier; Mbendzo, Valentin A; Ambassa, Edgar; Ekinde, Albert; Mihindou, Yves; Morgan, Bethan J; Motsaba, Prosper; Moukala, Gabin; Mounguengui, Anselme; Mowawa, Brice S; Ndzai, Christian; Nixon, Stuart; Nkumu, Pele; Nzolani, Fabian; Pintea, Lilian; Plumptre, Andrew; Rainey, Hugo; de Semboli, Bruno Bokoto; Serckx, Adeline; Stokes, Emma; Turkalo, Andrea; Vanleeuwe, Hilde; Vosper, Ashley; Warren, Ymke

    2013-01-01

    African forest elephants- taxonomically and functionally unique-are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of fieldwork) revealed that population size declined by ca. 62% between 2002-2011, and the taxon lost 30% of its geographical range. The population is now less than 10% of its potential size, occupying less than 25% of its potential range. High human population density, hunting intensity, absence of law enforcement, poor governance, and proximity to expanding infrastructure are the strongest predictors of decline. To save the remaining African forest elephants, illegal poaching for ivory and encroachment into core elephant habitat must be stopped. In addition, the international demand for ivory, which fuels illegal trade, must be dramatically reduced. PMID:23469289

  1. Air pollution and forest decline near Mexico City.

    PubMed

    Tovar, D C

    1989-04-01

    The forests of Abies religiosa Schl. et Cham. in the north and the northeast slopes of the mountains of the southwestern region of the Valley of Mexico are in an acute process of decline, particularly the fir forest of the Cultural and Recreational Park Desierto de los Leones. The mortality of the trees began in 1981, and by 1987 30% of the trees of the Park had died; the mortality continues. The surviving trees are in a very poor crown condition, having thin crowns with many dead branches. in the light of current knowledge air pollution, in particular the oxidant gases (ozone), are the primary cause of decline, but other conditions or agents (age of the trees and diseases) could be contributing factors in the dying of the trees. PMID:24249058

  2. Declining resilience of ecosystem functions under biodiversity loss.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Tom H; Isaac, Nick J B; August, Tom A; Woodcock, Ben A; Roy, David B; Bullock, James M

    2015-01-01

    The composition of species communities is changing rapidly through drivers such as habitat loss and climate change, with potentially serious consequences for the resilience of ecosystem functions on which humans depend. To assess such changes in resilience, we analyse trends in the frequency of species in Great Britain that provide key ecosystem functions--specifically decomposition, carbon sequestration, pollination, pest control and cultural values. For 4,424 species over four decades, there have been significant net declines among animal species that provide pollination, pest control and cultural values. Groups providing decomposition and carbon sequestration remain relatively stable, as fewer species are in decline and these are offset by large numbers of new arrivals into Great Britain. While there is general concern about degradation of a wide range of ecosystem functions, our results suggest actions should focus on particular functions for which there is evidence of substantial erosion of their resilience. PMID:26646209

  3. Veterans have less age-related cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    McLay, R N; Lyketsos, C G

    2000-08-01

    Military service involves exposure to a number of stresses, both psychological and physical. On the other hand, military personnel generally maintain excellent fitness, and veterans have increased access to education and health care. The overall effect on age-related cognitive decline, whether for good or ill, of having served in the armed forces has not been investigated previously. In this study, we examined a diverse population of 208 veterans and 1,216 civilians followed as part of the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study in 1981, 1982, and 1993 to 1996. We examined change in Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score after a median of 11.5 years. Veterans were found to have significantly less decrease in MMSE scores at follow-up even after sex, race, and education were taken into account. These results suggest an overall positive effect of military service on the rate of age-related cognitive decline. PMID:10957857

  4. Crossing the Line: Examination of Student Demographic Changes Concomitant with Declining Academic Performance in Elementary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hochbein, Craig; Duke, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between school decline and changes in school demographics. Using a population of 981 (N = 981) elementary schools, the authors identified samples of declining schools: Relational Decline (n = 510), Absolute Decline (n = 217), and Crossing the Line (n = 165). Latent growth models assessed…

  5. Reed (Phragmites australis) decline in a brackish wetland in Italy.

    PubMed

    Fogli, S; Marchesini, R; Gerdol, R

    2002-06-01

    A comparative field study was carried out at two sites (a healthy site and a declining site) in a brackish wetland in northern Italy, with the objective to investigate the symptoms and the possible causes leading to reed (Phragmites australis) decline in this area. The declining reed plants presented many of the symptoms (clumping habit, smaller size, weaker culms, abnormal rhizome and root anatomy, low starch levels in rhizomes) comprised within the so-called reed die-back syndrome, frequently observed in central European wetlands but never recorded previously in (Sub)Mediterranean regions. Soil nutrient levels did not differ much between the two sites, with nitrate concentrations in the soil being even higher at the healthy site (1.54 microg g(-1); die-back site 0.76 microg g(-1)). Hence, eutrophication did not seem to represent a major cause in determining reed decline in this area. High sulphate concentrations in saltwater associated with low soil redox potentials (-215 mV) due to waterlogging resulted in high soil sulphide concentrations. Concentrations of organic acids, especially acetic acid, did not differ remarkably between sites. High sulphide levels presumably accounted for abnormal anatomical formations (callus blocking aerenchyma channels), lower rates of net CO2 exchange and reduced reserve storage, observed at the die-back site. This was associated with a lower mechanical resistance of reed culms which accelerated reed mortality in the die-back areas. We concluded that high sulpihde levels in permanently waterlogged soils may result in die-back of reed stands in Mediterranean wetlands. PMID:12054106

  6. Victorian values and the fertility decline: the case of Scotland.

    PubMed

    Kemmer, D

    1986-01-01

    The author examines the final phase of the demographic transition in Scotland during the late nineteenth century. Particular attention is given to explanations developed by Joseph Banks concerning the fertility decline in England and Wales. Banks's analysis is reevaluated by applying it to data for Scotland. No clear pattern of fertility by occupation is found. It is suggested instead that both family size limitation and emphasis on higher education were results of value reorientations. PMID:12341337

  7. Climate change, multiple stressors, and the decline of ectotherms.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Jason R; Palmer, Brent D

    2013-08-01

    Climate change is believed to be causing declines of ectothermic vertebrates, but there is little evidence that climatic conditions associated with declines have exceeded critical (i.e., acutely lethal) maxima or minima, and most relevant studies are correlative, anecdotal, or short-term (hours). We conducted an 11-week factorial experiment to examine the effects of temperature (22 °C or 27 °C), moisture (wet or dry), and atrazine (an herbicide; 0, 4, 40, 400 μg/L exposure as embryos and larvae) on the survival, growth, behavior, and foraging rates of postmetamorphic streamside salamanders (Ambystoma barbouri), a species of conservation concern. The tested climatic conditions were between the critical maxima and minima of streamside salamanders; thus, this experiment quantified the long-term effects of climate change within the noncritical range of this species. Despite a suite of behavioral adaptations to warm and dry conditions (e.g., burrowing, refuge use, huddling with conspecifics, and a reduction in activity), streamside salamanders exhibited significant loss of mass and significant mortality in all but the cool and moist conditions, which were closest to the climatic conditions in which they are most active in nature. A temperature of 27 °C represented a greater mortality risk than dry conditions; death occurred rapidly at this temperature and more gradually under cool and dry conditions. Foraging decreased under dry conditions, which suggests there were opportunity costs to water conservation. Exposure to the herbicide atrazine additively decreased water-conserving behaviors, foraging efficiency, mass, and time to death. Hence, the hypothesis that moderate climate change can cause population declines is even more plausible under scenarios with multiple stressors. These results suggest that climate change within the noncritical range of species and pollution may reduce individual performance by altering metabolic demands, hydration, and foraging effort

  8. Species decline: A perspective on extinction, recovery, and propagation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, J.W.

    1983-01-01

    This keynote address was presented at the Conference on the Conservation of Endangered Species in Zoological Parks and Aquariums on April 18, 1982 at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. It outlines 1) future trends in the world's environment, resources, and population; 2) factors affecting species decline; 3) reasons for preserving life forms; and 4) techniques, with emphasis on captive propagation, used to assist in species recovery.

  9. Obesity and cognitive decline: role of inflammation and vascular changes

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Jason C. D.; Killcross, A. Simon; Jenkins, Trisha A.

    2014-01-01

    The incidence of obesity in middle age is increasing markedly, and in parallel the prevalence of metabolic disorders including cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes is also rising. Numerous studies have demonstrated that both obesity and metabolic disorders are associated with poorer cognitive performance, cognitive decline, and dementia. In this review we discuss the effects of obesity on cognitive performance, including both clinical and preclinical observations, and discuss some of the potential mechanisms involved, namely inflammation and vascular and metabolic alterations. PMID:25477778

  10. Scientific meeting raises awareness of amphibian decline in Asia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vredenburg, Vance; Wang, Yuezhao; Fellers, Gary M.

    2000-01-01

    Blood samples from 433 Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) during fall and spring migrations, 1976-80, indicated that most of their pesticide burden, primarily DDE, was accumulated on wintering grounds in Latin America. DDE in spring migrants returning from Latin America for the first time declined significantly from 1979 to 1980. Only about 10% of breeding-age females contained organochlorine residues likely to adversely affect reproduction. The organochlorine pesticide threat in Latin America may be diminishing.

  11. Dispositional optimism and terminal decline in global quality of life.

    PubMed

    Zaslavsky, Oleg; Palgi, Yuval; Rillamas-Sun, Eileen; LaCroix, Andrea Z; Schnall, Eliezer; Woods, Nancy F; Cochrane, Barbara B; Garcia, Lorena; Hingle, Melanie; Post, Stephen; Seguin, Rebecca; Tindle, Hilary; Shrira, Amit

    2015-06-01

    We examined whether dispositional optimism relates to change in global quality of life (QOL) as a function of either chronological age or years to impending death. We used a sample of 2,096 deceased postmenopausal women from the Women's Health Initiative clinical trials who were enrolled in the 2005-2010 Extension Study and for whom at least 1 global QOL and optimism measure were analyzed. Growth curve models were examined. Competing models were contrasted using model fit criteria. On average, levels of global QOL decreased with both higher age and closer proximity to death (e.g., M(score) = 7.7 eight years prior to death vs. M(score) = 6.1 one year prior to death). A decline in global QOL was better modeled as a function of distance to death (DtD) than as a function of chronological age (Bayesian information criterion [BIC](DtD) = 22,964.8 vs. BIC(age) = 23,322.6). Optimism was a significant correlate of both linear (estimate(DtD) = -0.01, SE(DtD) = 0.005; ρ = 0.004) and quadratic (estimate(DtD) = -0.006, SE(DtD) = 0.002; ρ = 0.004) terminal decline in global QOL so that death-related decline in global QOL was steeper among those with a high level of optimism than those with a low level of optimism. We found that dispositional optimism helps to maintain positive psychological perspective in the face of age-related decline. Optimists maintain higher QOL compared with pessimists when death-related trajectories were considered; however, the gap between those with high optimism and those with low optimism progressively attenuated with closer proximity to death, to the point that is became nonsignificant at the time of death. PMID:25938553

  12. Entorhinal cortex thickness predicts cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Velayudhan, Latha; Proitsi, Petroula; Westman, Eric; Muehlboeck, J-Sebastian; Mecocci, Patrizia; Vellas, Bruno; Tsolaki, Magda; Kłoszewska, Iwona; Soininen, Hilkka; Spenger, Christian; Hodges, Angela; Powell, John; Lovestone, Simon; Simmons, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease (AD) based on non-invasive methods are highly desirable for diagnosis, disease progression, and monitoring therapeutics. We aimed to study the use of hippocampal volume, entorhinal cortex (ERC) thickness, and whole brain volume (WBV) as predictors of cognitive change in patients with AD. 120 AD subjects, 106 mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 99 non demented controls (NDC) from the multi-center pan-European AddNeuroMed study underwent MRI scanning at baseline and clinical evaluations at quarterly follow-up up to 1 year. The rate of cognitive decline was estimated using cognitive outcomes, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Alzheimer disease assessment scale-cognitive (ADAS-cog) by fitting a random intercept and slope model. AD subjects had smaller ERC thickness and hippocampal and WBV volumes compared to MCI and NDC subjects. Within the AD group, ERC > WBV was significantly associated with baseline cognition (MMSE, ADAS-cog) and disease severity (Clinical Dementia Rating). Baseline ERC thickness was associated with both longitudinal MMSE and ADAS-cog score changes and WBV with ADAS-cog decline. These data indicate that AD subjects with thinner ERC had lower baseline cognitive scores, higher disease severity, and predicted greater subsequent cognitive decline at one year follow up. ERC is a region known to be affected early in the disease. Therefore, the rate of atrophy in this structure is expected to be higher since neurodegeneration begins earlier. Focusing on structural analyses that predict decline can identify those individuals at greatest risk for future cognitive loss. This may have potential for increasing the efficacy of early intervention. PMID:23047370

  13. Report to nation finds continued declines in many cancer rates

    Cancer.gov

    Rates of death in the United States from all cancers for men and women continued to decline between 2003 and 2007, the most recent reporting period available, according to the latest Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer. The report also finds that the overall rate of new cancer diagnoses for men and women combined decreased an average of slightly less than 1 percent per year for the same period.

  14. Imaging Biomarkers Associated with Cognitive Decline: A Review

    PubMed Central

    McConathy, Jonathan; Sheline, Yvette I.

    2014-01-01

    In evaluating disease changes it is critical to have measurements that are sensitive, specific and reliable. Cognitive decline, particularly in the context of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), is an area that has attracted a large number of recent studies, and as such the proposed biomarkers used in these investigations need to be validated. In this review we highlight studies with important implications about the role of imaging biomarkers in cognitive decline and dementia as well as in distinguishing preclinical dementia, prior to evidence of cognitive decline. Structural changes determined on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), both cross-sectional and longitudinal provide early prediction of dementia, particularly when combined with other measures. Molecular imaging using PET and SPECT tracers quantify the presence or activity of receptors, transporters, enzymes, metabolic pathways and proteins. The newest developments in molecular imaging will be described and methods compared. Distinguishing features of imaging biomarkers among dementias and the spectrum of preclinical AD, MCI and AD will be described. Appropriate use criteria for amyloid PET will be delineated. While these efforts are still in the early phase of development, there is great promise for further development in structural MRI and PET technologies. PMID:25442005

  15. Consistent declining trends in stroke mortality in Brazil: mission accomplished?

    PubMed

    Passos, Valéria M A; Ishitani, Lenice H; Franco, Glaura C; Lana, Gustavo C; Abreu, Daisy M X; Marinho, Maria de Fatima; França, Elisabeth B

    2016-05-01

    Stroke mortality rates are declining in Brazil, but diferences among regions need to be better investigated. The age-adjusted stroke mortality trends among adults (30-69 years-old) from Brazilian regions were studied between 1996 and 2011. Method Data were analyzed after: 1) reallocation of deaths with non-registered sex or age; 2) redistribution of garbage codes and 3) underreporting correction. A linear regression model with autoregressive errors and a state space model were fitted to the data, aiming the estimation of annual trends at every point in time. Results Although there were high values, a steady decrease of rates was observed. The decreasing trends among all regions were statistically significant, with higher values of decline among the Northeast and Northern regions, where rates were the highest. Conclusion Standardized methodology use is mandatory for correct interpretation of mortality estimates. Although declining, rates are still extremely high and efforts must be made towards prevention of stroke incidence, reduction of case-fatality rates and prevention of sequelae. PMID:27191233

  16. Assessing the Factors of Regional Growth Decline of Sugar Maple

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, D. A.; Beier, C. M.; Pederson, N.; Lawrence, G. B.; Stella, J. C.; Sullivan, T. J.

    2014-12-01

    Sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh) is among the most ecologically, economically and culturally important trees in North America, but has experienced a decline disease across much of its range. We investigated the climatic and edaphic factors associated with A. saccharum growth in the Adirondack Mountains (USA) using a well-replicated tree-ring network incorporating a range of soil fertility (base cation availability). We found that nearly 3 in 4 A. saccharum trees exhibited declining growth rates during the last several decades, regardless of tree age or size. Although diameter growth was consistently higher on base-rich soils, the negative trends in growth were largely consistent across the soil chemistry gradient. Sensitivity of sugar maple growth to climatic variability was overall weaker than expected, but were also non-stationary during the 20th century. We observed increasingly positive responses to late-winter precipitation, increasingly negative responses to growing season temperatures, and strong positive responses to moisture availability during the 1960s drought that became much weaker during the recent pluvial. Further study is needed of these factors and their interactions as potential mechanisms for sugar maple growth decline.

  17. Fertility decline in Punjab, India: parallels with historical Europe.

    PubMed

    Gupta, M D

    1995-11-01

    Two interesting features emerge from this study of fertility behaviour in Punjab. First, it brings out the common features of peasant life and demographic behaviour found in this developing-country setting and in historical Europe. As in much of Europe, marriage was regulated to adjust to the availability of land and other resources. It is interesting to note that the operation of this 'nuptiality valve' was quite consistent with a system of joint families and partible inheritance. Secondly, the findings suggest that we need to re-define what we understand to be the features of socio-economic development which are crucial for fertility decline. Fertility began to decline steadily in this part of Punjab as early as 1940, at a time when the society was overwhelmingly agrarian, illiterate, and infant mortality was high with no access to modern contraceptive technology, as in historical Europe. The onset of the decline was brought about by development interventions which stabilized fluctuations in crop yields and mortality, thus radically improving stability of people's expectations. This study also points out the inapplicability of Mamdani's theories of fertility behaviour to the people he studies. PMID:11608960

  18. Factors Associated with Cognitive Decline in Elderly Diabetics

    PubMed Central

    Umegaki, Hiroyuki; Kawamura, Takahiko; Kawano, Naoko; Umemura, Toshitaka; Kanai, Akio; Sano, Takahisa

    2011-01-01

    Background/Aims Although recent evidence has indicated that type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in the elderly is a risk factor for cognitive dysfunction or dementia, few studies have prospectively observed this potential cognitive decline. In the current study, we performed cognitive assessments at baseline and after 3 years in the same patient group in an attempt to reveal the contributions of diabetes-related factors to the increased decline in cognitive function in elderly patients with T2DM. Methods We recruited 55 consecutive T2DM patients with a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score ≥24 from the Diabetic Center at the Chubu Rosai Hospital. These patients ranged in age from 65 to 85 years. Cognitive and clinical assessments, including brain MRI, were performed at baseline and at the 3-year follow-up. Results The higher plasma insulin and HbA1c levels observed at baseline were significantly associated with a worse cognitive performance at baseline and a more neurocognitive decline at the follow-up visit. Conclusion The current prospective study suggests that higher insulin and glycohemoglobin levels may be associated with diabetes-related cognitive dysfunction. PMID:22163228

  19. Flow rate decline of steam wells in fractured geothermal reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Bodvarsson, G.S.; Witherspoon, P.A.

    1985-01-01

    Decline curves are commonly used at The Geysers geothermal field to assess the generating capacity of a producing lease. It is generally assumed that wells will initially be drilled using 40-acre (400 m) spacing, with infill drilling used later to provide additional producing wells as needed. It is commonly believed that the final well spacing should not be less than 10 acres (200 m). Decline curves are used with this approach to estimate the number of make-up wells during a project lifetime (up to 30 years), as well as the appropriate plant size (MWe). A rather simple two-dimensional model was used to investigate the factors that control flow rate decline in steam wells. The effects of parameters such as fracture spacing and permeability are considered, as well as the effects of permeability, porosity and initial liquid saturation in the rock matrix. Also, the conventional P/z method that is commonly used in analyzing gas well production is investigated in terms of its applicability to fractured vapor dominated systems.

  20. Ectomycorrhizal fungal richness declines towards the host species' range edge.

    PubMed

    Lankau, Richard A; Keymer, Daniel P

    2016-07-01

    Plant range boundaries are generally considered to reflect abiotic conditions; however, a rise in negative or decline in positive species interactions at range margins may contribute to these stable boundaries. While evidence suggests that pollinator mutualisms may decline near range boundaries, little is known about other important plant mutualisms, including microbial root symbionts. Here, we used molecular methods to characterize root-associated fungal communities in populations of two related temperate tree species from across the species' range in the eastern United States. We found that ectomycorrhizal fungal richness on plant roots declined with distance from the centre of the host species range. These patterns were not evident in nonmycorrhizal fungal communities on roots nor in fungal communities in bulk soil. Climatic and soil chemical variables could not explain these biogeographic patterns, although these abiotic gradients affected other components of the bulk soil and rhizosphere fungal community. Depauperate ectomycorrhizal fungal communities may represent an underappreciated challenge to marginal tree populations, especially as rapid climate change pushes these populations outside their current climate niche. PMID:27029467

  1. Ascorbic acid and rates of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Bowman, Gene L; Dodge, Hiroko; Frei, Balz; Calabrese, Carlo; Oken, Barry S; Kaye, Jeffrey A; Quinn, Joseph F

    2009-01-01

    The brain maintains high levels of ascorbic acid (AA) despite a concentration gradient favoring diffusion from brain to peripheral tissues. Dietary antioxidants, including AA, appear to modify the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that neurodegeneration in AD is modified by brain levels of AA. Thirty-two patients with mild to moderate AD participated in a biomarker study involving standardized clinical assessments over one year. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum were collected at baseline for AA and albumin content. Cognitive measures were collected at baseline and one year. CSF and plasma AA failed to predict cognitive decline independently, however, CSF: plasma AA ratio did. After adding CSF Albumin Index (an established marker of blood-brain barrier integrity) to the regression models the effect of CSF: plasma AA ratio as a predictor of cognitive decline was weakened. CSF: plasma AA ratio predicts rate of decline in AD. This relationship may indicate that the CSF: plasma AA ratio is an index of AA availability to the brain or may be an artifact of a relationship between blood-brain barrier impairment and neurodegeneration. PMID:19158425

  2. Cognitive decline, dietary factors and gut-brain interactions.

    PubMed

    Caracciolo, Barbara; Xu, Weili; Collins, Stephen; Fratiglioni, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive decline in elderly people often derives from the interaction between aging-related changes and age-related diseases and covers a large spectrum of clinical manifestations, from intact cognition through mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Epidemiological evidence supports the hypothesis that modifiable lifestyle-related factors are associated with cognitive decline, opening new avenues for prevention. Diet in particular has become the object of intense research in relation to cognitive aging and neurodegenerative disease. We reviewed the most recent findings in this rapidly expanding field. Some nutrients, such as vitamins and fatty acids, have been studied longer than others, but strong scientific evidence of an association is lacking even for these compounds. Specific dietary patterns, like the Mediterranean diet, may be more beneficial than a high consumption of single nutrients or specific food items. A strong link between vascular risk factors and dementia has been shown, and the association of diet with several vascular and metabolic diseases is well known. Other plausible mechanisms underlying the relationship between diet and cognitive decline, such as inflammation and oxidative stress, have been established. In addition to the traditional etiological pathways, new hypotheses, such as the role of the intestinal microbiome in cognitive function, have been suggested and warrant further investigation. PMID:24333791

  3. The 27-year decline of coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef and its causes.

    PubMed

    De'ath, Glenn; Fabricius, Katharina E; Sweatman, Hugh; Puotinen, Marji

    2012-10-30

    The world's coral reefs are being degraded, and the need to reduce local pressures to offset the effects of increasing global pressures is now widely recognized. This study investigates the spatial and temporal dynamics of coral cover, identifies the main drivers of coral mortality, and quantifies the rates of potential recovery of the Great Barrier Reef. Based on the world's most extensive time series data on reef condition (2,258 surveys of 214 reefs over 1985-2012), we show a major decline in coral cover from 28.0% to 13.8% (0.53% y(-1)), a loss of 50.7% of initial coral cover. Tropical cyclones, coral predation by crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS), and coral bleaching accounted for 48%, 42%, and 10% of the respective estimated losses, amounting to 3.38% y(-1) mortality rate. Importantly, the relatively pristine northern region showed no overall decline. The estimated rate of increase in coral cover in the absence of cyclones, COTS, and bleaching was 2.85% y(-1), demonstrating substantial capacity for recovery of reefs. In the absence of COTS, coral cover would increase at 0.89% y(-1), despite ongoing losses due to cyclones and bleaching. Thus, reducing COTS populations, by improving water quality and developing alternative control measures, could prevent further coral decline and improve the outlook for the Great Barrier Reef. Such strategies can, however, only be successful if climatic conditions are stabilized, as losses due to bleaching and cyclones will otherwise increase. PMID:23027961

  4. Atmospheric impacts of sea ice decline in CO2 induced global warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cvijanovic, Ivana; Caldeira, Ken

    2015-03-01

    Changes in sea ice cover have important consequences for both Earth's energy budget and atmospheric dynamics. Sea ice acts as a positive feedback in the climate system, amplifying effects of radiative forcing while also affecting the meridional and interhemispheric temperature gradients that can impact mid- and low latitude atmospheric circulation. In this study, we partition and evaluate the effects of changing sea ice cover on global warming using a set of simulations with active and suppressed sea ice response. Two aspects of CO2-induced sea ice changes are investigated: (1) the effect of changing sea ice cover on global and local temperature changes; and (2) the impact of sea ice loss on atmospheric circulation and extreme weather events. We find that in the absence of sea ice decline, global temperature response decreases by 21-37 %, depending on the sea ice treatment and the CO2 forcing applied. Weakened global warming in the absence of changes in sea ice cover is not only due to a decreased high latitude warming but is also a consequence of a weaker tropical warming. In the northern midlatitudes, sea ice decline affects the magnitude and sign of zonal wind response to global warming in the winter and autumn seasons. Presence or absence of sea ice cover impacts the intensity and frequency of winter extreme precipitation and temperature events (temperature minima, number of heavy precipitation days and number of ice days). For some of the analyzed extreme weather indices, the difference between the responses with and without sea ice decline is eliminated when taking into account the amplifying effect of sea ice loss on hemispheric warming. However, in other cases, we find the influence of higher order factors, exerting weaker but opposing effects than those expected from the global temperature increase.

  5. Can Individual and Social Patterns of Resource Use Buffer Animal Populations against Resource Decline?

    PubMed Central

    Banks, Sam C.; Lindenmayer, David B.; Wood, Jeff T.; McBurney, Lachlan; Blair, David; Blyton, Michaela D. J.

    2013-01-01

    Species in many ecosystems are facing declines of key resources. If we are to understand and predict the effects of resource loss on natural populations, we need to understand whether and how the way animals use resources changes under resource decline. We investigated how the abundance of arboreal marsupials varies in response to a critical resource, hollow-bearing trees. Principally, we asked what mechanisms mediate the relationship between resources and abundance? Do animals use a greater or smaller proportion of the remaining resource, and is there a change in cooperative resource use (den sharing), as the availability of hollow trees declines? Analyses of data from 160 sites surveyed from 1997 to 2007 showed that hollow tree availability was positively associated with abundance of the mountain brushtail possum, the agile antechinus and the greater glider. The abundance of Leadbeater’s possum was primarily influenced by forest age. Notably, the relationship between abundance and hollow tree availability was significantly less than 1∶1 for all species. This was due primarily to a significant increase by all species in the proportional use of hollow-bearing trees where the abundance of this resource was low. The resource-sharing response was weaker and inconsistent among species. Two species, the mountain brushtail possum and the agile antechinus, showed significant but contrasting relationships between the number of animals per occupied tree and hollow tree abundance. The discrepancies between the species can be explained partly by differences in several aspects of the species’ biology, including body size, types of hollows used and social behaviour as it relates to hollow use. Our results show that individual and social aspects of resource use are not always static in response to resource availability and support the need to account for dynamic resource use patterns in predictive models of animal distribution and abundance. PMID:23320100

  6. Can individual and social patterns of resource use buffer animal populations against resource decline?

    PubMed

    Banks, Sam C; Lindenmayer, David B; Wood, Jeff T; McBurney, Lachlan; Blair, David; Blyton, Michaela D J

    2013-01-01

    Species in many ecosystems are facing declines of key resources. If we are to understand and predict the effects of resource loss on natural populations, we need to understand whether and how the way animals use resources changes under resource decline. We investigated how the abundance of arboreal marsupials varies in response to a critical resource, hollow-bearing trees. Principally, we asked what mechanisms mediate the relationship between resources and abundance? Do animals use a greater or smaller proportion of the remaining resource, and is there a change in cooperative resource use (den sharing), as the availability of hollow trees declines? Analyses of data from 160 sites surveyed from 1997 to 2007 showed that hollow tree availability was positively associated with abundance of the mountain brushtail possum, the agile antechinus and the greater glider. The abundance of Leadbeater's possum was primarily influenced by forest age. Notably, the relationship between abundance and hollow tree availability was significantly less than 1:1 for all species. This was due primarily to a significant increase by all species in the proportional use of hollow-bearing trees where the abundance of this resource was low. The resource-sharing response was weaker and inconsistent among species. Two species, the mountain brushtail possum and the agile antechinus, showed significant but contrasting relationships between the number of animals per occupied tree and hollow tree abundance. The discrepancies between the species can be explained partly by differences in several aspects of the species' biology, including body size, types of hollows used and social behaviour as it relates to hollow use. Our results show that individual and social aspects of resource use are not always static in response to resource availability and support the need to account for dynamic resource use patterns in predictive models of animal distribution and abundance. PMID:23320100

  7. The Decline of Intelligence in America: A Strategy for National Renewal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Itzkoff, Seymour W.

    It is argued that the United States is declining as a nation, a decline that can be confirmed by any of the criteria that historians have ever used to measure the state and condition of a nation and its people, and it is asserted that this decline is rooted in the overall decline of the intelligence capital of the nation, a decline in the levels…

  8. Near-Bottom Hypoxia Impacts Dynamics of Bacterioplankton Assemblage throughout Water Column of the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea)

    PubMed Central

    Laas, Peeter; Šatova, Elina; Lips, Inga; Lips, Urmas; Simm, Jaak; Kisand, Veljo; Metsis, Madis

    2016-01-01

    Over the past century the spread of hypoxia in the Baltic Sea has been drastic, reaching its ‘arm’ into the easternmost sub-basin, the Gulf of Finland. The hydrographic and climatological properties of the gulf offer a broad suite of discrete niches for microbial communities. The current study explores spatiotemporal dynamics of bacterioplankton community in the Gulf of Finland using massively parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA fragments obtained by amplifying community DNA from spring to autumn period. The presence of redoxcline and drastic seasonal changes make spatiotemporal dynamics of bacterioplankton community composition (BCC) and abundances in such estuary remarkably complex. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that analyses spatiotemporal dynamics of BCC in relation to phytoplankton bloom throughout the water column (and redoxcline), not only at the surface layer. We conclude that capability to survive (or benefit from) shifts between oxic and hypoxic conditions is vital adaptation for bacteria to thrive in such environments. Our results contribute to the understanding of emerging patterns in BCCs that occupy hydrographically similar estuaries dispersed all over the world, and we suggest the presence of a global redox- and salinity-driven metacommunity. These results have important implications for understanding long-term ecological and biogeochemical impacts of hypoxia expansion in the Baltic Sea (and similar ecosystems), as well as global biogeography of bacteria specialized inhabiting similar ecosystems. PMID:27213812

  9. Near-Bottom Hypoxia Impacts Dynamics of Bacterioplankton Assemblage throughout Water Column of the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea).

    PubMed

    Laas, Peeter; Šatova, Elina; Lips, Inga; Lips, Urmas; Simm, Jaak; Kisand, Veljo; Metsis, Madis

    2016-01-01

    Over the past century the spread of hypoxia in the Baltic Sea has been drastic, reaching its 'arm' into the easternmost sub-basin, the Gulf of Finland. The hydrographic and climatological properties of the gulf offer a broad suite of discrete niches for microbial communities. The current study explores spatiotemporal dynamics of bacterioplankton community in the Gulf of Finland using massively parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA fragments obtained by amplifying community DNA from spring to autumn period. The presence of redoxcline and drastic seasonal changes make spatiotemporal dynamics of bacterioplankton community composition (BCC) and abundances in such estuary remarkably complex. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that analyses spatiotemporal dynamics of BCC in relation to phytoplankton bloom throughout the water column (and redoxcline), not only at the surface layer. We conclude that capability to survive (or benefit from) shifts between oxic and hypoxic conditions is vital adaptation for bacteria to thrive in such environments. Our results contribute to the understanding of emerging patterns in BCCs that occupy hydrographically similar estuaries dispersed all over the world, and we suggest the presence of a global redox- and salinity-driven metacommunity. These results have important implications for understanding long-term ecological and biogeochemical impacts of hypoxia expansion in the Baltic Sea (and similar ecosystems), as well as global biogeography of bacteria specialized inhabiting similar ecosystems. PMID:27213812

  10. Are infant mortality rate declines exponential? The general pattern of 20th century infant mortality rate decline

    PubMed Central

    Bishai, David; Opuni, Marjorie

    2009-01-01

    Background Time trends in infant mortality for the 20th century show a curvilinear pattern that most demographers have assumed to be approximately exponential. Virtually all cross-country comparisons and time series analyses of infant mortality have studied the logarithm of infant mortality to account for the curvilinear time trend. However, there is no evidence that the log transform is the best fit for infant mortality time trends. Methods We use maximum likelihood methods to determine the best transformation to fit time trends in infant mortality reduction in the 20th century and to assess the importance of the proper transformation in identifying the relationship between infant mortality and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. We apply the Box Cox transform to infant mortality rate (IMR) time series from 18 countries to identify the best fitting value of lambda for each country and for the pooled sample. For each country, we test the value of λ against the null that λ = 0 (logarithmic model) and against the null that λ = 1 (linear model). We then demonstrate the importance of selecting the proper transformation by comparing regressions of ln(IMR) on same year GDP per capita against Box Cox transformed models. Results Based on chi-squared test statistics, infant mortality decline is best described as an exponential decline only for the United States. For the remaining 17 countries we study, IMR decline is neither best modelled as logarithmic nor as a linear process. Imposing a logarithmic transform on IMR can lead to bias in fitting the relationship between IMR and GDP per capita. Conclusion The assumption that IMR declines are exponential is enshrined in the Preston curve and in nearly all cross-country as well as time series analyses of IMR data since Preston's 1975 paper, but this assumption is seldom correct. Statistical analyses of IMR trends should assess the robustness of findings to transformations other than the log transform. PMID:19698144

  11. Growth Decline Linked to Warming-Induced Water Limitation in Hemi-Boreal Forests

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiuchen; Liu, Hongyan; Guo, Dali; Anenkhonov, Oleg A.; Badmaeva, Natalya K.; Sandanov, Denis V.

    2012-01-01

    Hemi-boreal forests, which make up the transition from temperate deciduous forests to boreal forests in southern Siberia, have experienced significant warming without any accompanying increase in precipitation during the last 80 years. This climatic change could have a profound impact on tree growth and on the stability of forest ecosystems in this region, but at present evidence for these impacts is lacking. In this study, we report a recent dramatic decline in the growth of hemi-boreal forests, based on ring width measurements from three dominant tree-species (Pinus sylvestris, Larix sibirica and Larix gmelinii), sampled from eight sites in the region. We found that regional tree growth has become increasingly limited by low soil water content in the pre- and early-growing season (from October of the previous year to July of the current year) over the past 80 years. A warming-induced reduction in soil water content has also increased the climate sensitivity of these three tree species. Beginning in the mid-1980s, a clear decline in growth is evident for both the pine forests and the larch forests, although there are increasing trends in the proxy of soil water use efficiencies. Our findings are consistent with those from other parts of the world and provide valuable insights into the regional carbon cycle and vegetation dynamics, and should be useful for devising adaptive forest management strategies. PMID:22916142

  12. Replication stress is a potent driver of functional decline in ageing haematopoietic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Flach, Johanna; Bakker, Sietske T.; Mohrin, Mary; Conroy, Pauline C.; Pietras, Eric M.; Reynaud, Damien; Alvarez, Silvia; Diolaiti, Morgan E.; Ugarte, Fernando; Forsberg, E. Camilla; Le Beau, Michelle M.; Stohr, Bradley A.; Méndez, Juan; Morrison, Ciaran G.; Passegué, Emmanuelle

    2015-01-01

    Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) self-renew for life, thereby making them one of the few blood cells that truly age1,2. Paradoxically, although HSCs numerically expand with age, their functional activity declines over time, resulting in degraded blood production and impaired engraftment following transplantation2. While many drivers of HSC ageing have been proposed2–5, the reason why HSC function degrades with age remains unknown. Here we show that cycling old HSCs in mice have heightened levels of replication stress associated with cell cycle defects and chromosome gaps or breaks, which are due to decreased expression of mini-chromosome maintenance (MCM) helicase components and altered dynamics of DNA replication forks. Nonetheless, old HSCs survive replication unless confronted with a strong replication challenge, such as transplantation. Moreover, once old HSCs re-establish quiescence, residual replication stress on ribosomal DNA (rDNA) genes leads to the formation of nucleolar-associated γH2AX signals, which persist owing to ineffective H2AX dephosphorylation by mislocalized PP4c phosphatase rather than ongoing DNA damage. Persistent nucleolar γH2AX also acts as a histone modification marking the transcriptional silencing of rDNA genes and decreased ribosome biogenesis in quiescent old HSCs. Our results identify replication stress as a potent driver of functional decline in old HSCs, and highlight the MCM DNA helicase as a potential molecular target for rejuvenation therapies. PMID:25079315

  13. PTF 12gzk—A rapidly declining, high-velocity type Ic radio supernova

    SciTech Connect

    Horesh, Assaf; Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.; Corsi, Alessandra; Frail, Dale A.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Ben-Ami, Sagi; Gal-Yam, Avishay; Yaron, Ofer; Arcavi, Iair; Ofek, Eran O.; Kasliwal, Mansi M.

    2013-11-20

    Only a few cases of Type Ic supernovae (SNe) with high-velocity ejecta (≥0.2 c) have been discovered and studied. Here, we present our analysis of radio and X-ray observations of the Type Ic SN PTF 12gzk. The radio emission declined less than 10 days after explosion, suggesting SN ejecta expanding at high velocity (∼0.3 c). The radio data also indicate that the density of the circumstellar material (CSM) around the supernova is lower by a factor of ∼10 than the CSM around normal Type Ic SNe. PTF 12gzk may therefore be an intermediate event between a 'normal' SN Ic and a gamma-ray-burst-SN-like event. Our observations of this rapidly declining radio SN at a distance of 58 Mpc demonstrates the potential to detect many additional radio SNe, given the new capabilities of the Very Large Array (improved sensitivity and dynamic scheduling), which are currently missed, leading to a biased view of radio SNe Ic. Early optical discovery followed by rapid radio observations would provide a full description of the ejecta velocity distribution and CSM densities around stripped massive star explosions as well as strong clues about the nature of their progenitor stars.

  14. Biochemical and neuroimaging studies in subjective cognitive decline: progress and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yu; Yang, Fu-Chi; Lin, Ching-Po; Han, Ying

    2015-10-01

    Neurodegeneration due to Alzheimer's disease (AD) can progress over decades before dementia becomes apparent. Indeed, patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) already demonstrate significant lesion loads. In most cases, MCI is preceded by subjective cognitive decline (SCD), which is applied to individuals who have self-reported memory-related complaints and has been associated with a higher risk of future cognitive decline and conversion to dementia. Based on the schema of a well-received model of biomarker dynamics in AD pathogenesis, it has been postulated that SCD symptoms may result from compensatory changes in response to β-amyloid accumulation and neurodegeneration. Although SCD is considered a prodromal stage of MCI, it is also a common manifestation in old age, independent of AD, and the predictive value of SCD for AD pathology remains controversial. Here, we provide a review focused on the contributions of cross-sectional and longitudinal analogical studies of biomarkers and neuroimaging evidence in disentangling under what conditions SCD may be attributable to AD pathology. In conclusion, there is promising evidence indicating that clinicians should be able to differentiate pre-AD SCD based on the presence of pathophysiological biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and neuroimaging. However, this neuroimaging approach is still at an immature stage without an established rubric of standards. A substantial amount of work remains in terms of replicating recent findings and validating the clinical utility of identifying SCD. PMID:25864576

  15. Growth decline linked to warming-induced water limitation in hemi-boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiuchen; Liu, Hongyan; Guo, Dali; Anenkhonov, Oleg A; Badmaeva, Natalya K; Sandanov, Denis V

    2012-01-01

    Hemi-boreal forests, which make up the transition from temperate deciduous forests to boreal forests in southern Siberia, have experienced significant warming without any accompanying increase in precipitation during the last 80 years. This climatic change could have a profound impact on tree growth and on the stability of forest ecosystems in this region, but at present evidence for these impacts is lacking. In this study, we report a recent dramatic decline in the growth of hemi-boreal forests, based on ring width measurements from three dominant tree-species (Pinus sylvestris, Larix sibirica and Larix gmelinii), sampled from eight sites in the region. We found that regional tree growth has become increasingly limited by low soil water content in the pre- and early-growing season (from October of the previous year to July of the current year) over the past 80 years. A warming-induced reduction in soil water content has also increased the climate sensitivity of these three tree species. Beginning in the mid-1980s, a clear decline in growth is evident for both the pine forests and the larch forests, although there are increasing trends in the proxy of soil water use efficiencies. Our findings are consistent with those from other parts of the world and provide valuable insights into the regional carbon cycle and vegetation dynamics, and should be useful for devising adaptive forest management strategies. PMID:22916142

  16. Three decades of recurrent declines and recoveries in corals belie ongoing change in fish assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamy, T.; Galzin, R.; Kulbicki, M.; Lison de Loma, T.; Claudet, J.

    2016-03-01

    Coral reefs are increasingly being altered by a myriad of anthropogenic activities and natural disturbances. Long-term studies offer unique opportunities to understand how multiple and recurrent disturbances can influence coral reef resilience and long-term dynamics. While the long-term dynamics of coral assemblages have been extensively documented, the long-term dynamics of coral reef fish assemblages have received less attention. Here, we describe the changes in fish assemblages on Tiahura reef, Moorea, from 1979 to 2011. During this 33-yr period, Tiahura was exposed to multiple disturbances (crown-of-thorns seastar outbreaks and cyclones) that caused recurrent declines and recoveries of coral cover and changes in the dominant coral genera. These shifts in coral composition were associated with long-term cascading effects on fish assemblages. The composition and trophic structure of fish assemblages continuously shifted without returning to their initial composition, whereas fish species richness remained stable, albeit with a small increase over time. We detected nonlinear responses of fish density when corals were most degraded. When coral cover dropped below 10 % following a severe crown-of-thorns sea star outbreak, the density of most fish trophic groups sharply decreased. Our study shows that historical contingency may potentially be an important but largely underestimated factor explaining the contemporary structure of reef fish assemblages and suggests that temporal stability in their structure and function should not necessarily be the target of management strategies that aim at increasing or maintaining coral reef resilience.

  17. Large Decadal Decline of the Arctic Multiyear Ice Cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2012-01-01

    The perennial ice area was drastically reduced to 38% of its climatological average in 2007 but recovered slightly in 2008, 2009, and 2010 with the areas being 10%, 24%, and 11% higher than in 2007, respectively. However, trends in extent and area remained strongly negative at -12.2% and -13.5% decade (sup -1), respectively. The thick component of the perennial ice, called multiyear ice, as detected by satellite data during the winters of 1979-2011 was studied, and results reveal that the multiyear ice extent and area are declining at an even more rapid rate of -15.1% and -17.2% decade(sup -1), respectively, with a record low value in 2008 followed by higher values in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Such a high rate in the decline of the thick component of the Arctic ice cover means a reduction in the average ice thickness and an even more vulnerable perennial ice cover. The decline of the multiyear ice area from 2007 to 2008 was not as strong as that of the perennial ice area from 2006 to 2007, suggesting a strong role of second-year ice melt in the latter. The sea ice cover is shown to be strongly correlated with surface temperature, which is increasing at about 3 times the global average in the Arctic but appears weakly correlated with the Arctic Oscillation (AO), which controls the atmospheric circulation in the region. An 8-9-yr cycle is apparent in the multiyear ice record, which could explain, in part, the slight recovery in the last 3 yr.

  18. Siberian Pine Decline and Mortality in Southern Siberian Mountains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kharuk, V. I.; Im, S. T.; Oskorbin, P. A.; Petrov, I. A.; Ranson, K. J.

    2013-01-01

    The causes and resulting spatial patterns of Siberian pine mortality in eastern Kuznetzky Alatau Mountains, Siberia were analyzed based on satellite (Landsat, MODIS) and dendrochronology data. Climate variables studied included temperature, precipitation and Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) drought index. Landsat data analysis showed that stand mortality was first detected in the year 2006 at an elevation of 650 m, and extended up to 900 m by the year 2012. Mortality was accompanied by a decrease in MODIS derived vegetation index (EVI).. The area of dead stands and the upper mortality line were correlated with increased drought. The uphill margin of mortality was limited by elevational precipitation gradients. Dead stands (i.e., >75% tree mortality) were located mainly on southern slopes. With respect to slope, mortality was observed within a 7 deg - 20 deg range with greatest mortality occurring on convex terrain. Tree radial incrementmeasurements correlate and were synchronous with SPEI (r sq = 0.37, r(sub s) = 80). Increasing synchrony between tree ring growth and SPEI indicates that drought has reduced the ecological niche of Siberian pine. The results also showed the primary role of drought stress on Siberian pine mortality. A secondary role may be played by bark beetles and root fungi attacks. The observed Siberian pine mortality is part of a broader phenomenon of "dark needle conifers" (DNC, i.e., Siberian pine, fir and spruce) decline and mortality in European Russia, Siberia, and the Russian Far East. All locations of DNC decline coincided with areas of observed drought increase. The results obtained are one of the first observations of drought-induced decline and mortality of DNC at the southern border of boreal forests. Meanwhile if model projections of increased aridity are correct DNC, within the southern part of its range may be replaced by drought-resistant Pinus silvestris and Larix sibirica.

  19. THE MOST SLOWLY DECLINING TYPE Ia SUPERNOVA 2001ay

    SciTech Connect

    Krisciunas, Kevin; Gooding, Samuel D.; Li Weidong E-mail: sam.gooding86@gmail.com

    2011-09-15

    We present optical and near-infrared photometry, as well as ground-based optical spectra and Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet spectra, of the Type Ia supernova (SN) 2001ay. At maximum light the Si II and Mg II lines indicated expansion velocities of 14,000 km s{sup -1}, while Si III and S II showed velocities of 9000 km s{sup -1}. There is also evidence for some unburned carbon at 12,000 km s{sup -1}. SN 2001ay exhibited a decline-rate parameter of {Delta}m{sub 15}(B) = 0.68 {+-} 0.05 mag; this and the B-band photometry at t {approx}> +25 day past maximum make it the most slowly declining Type Ia SN yet discovered. Three of the four super-Chandrasekhar-mass candidates have decline rates almost as slow as this. After correction for Galactic and host-galaxy extinction, SN 2001ay had M{sub B} = -19.19 and M{sub V} = -19.17 mag at maximum light; thus, it was not overluminous in optical bands. In near-infrared bands it was overluminous only at the 2{sigma} level at most. For a rise time of 18 days (explosion to bolometric maximum) the implied {sup 56}Ni yield was (0.58 {+-} 0.15)/{alpha} M{sub sun}, with {alpha} = L{sub max}/E{sub Ni} probably in the range 1.0-1.2. The {sup 56}Ni yield is comparable to that of many Type Ia SNe. The 'normal' {sup 56}Ni yield and the typical peak optical brightness suggest that the very broad optical light curve is explained by the trapping of {gamma} rays in the inner regions.

  20. Modeling routes of chronic wasting disease transmission: Environmental prion persistence promotes deer population decline and extinction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Almberg, Emily S.; Cross, Paul C.; Johnson, Christopher J.; Heisey, Dennis M.; Richards, Bryan J.

    2011-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal disease of deer, elk, and moose transmitted through direct, animal-to-animal contact, and indirectly, via environmental contamination. Considerable attention has been paid to modeling direct transmission, but despite the fact that CWD prions can remain infectious in the environment for years, relatively little information exists about the potential effects of indirect transmission on CWD dynamics. In the present study, we use simulation models to demonstrate how indirect transmission and the duration of environmental prion persistence may affect epidemics of CWD and populations of North American deer. Existing data from Colorado, Wyoming, and Wisconsin's CWD epidemics were used to define plausible short-term outcomes and associated parameter spaces. Resulting long-term outcomes range from relatively low disease prevalence and limited host-population decline to host-population collapse and extinction. Our models suggest that disease prevalence and the severity of population decline is driven by the duration that prions remain infectious in the environment. Despite relatively low epidemic growth rates, the basic reproductive number, R0, may be much larger than expected under the direct-transmission paradigm because the infectious period can vastly exceed the host's life span. High prion persistence is expected to lead to an increasing environmental pool of prions during the early phases (i.e. approximately during the first 50 years) of the epidemic. As a consequence, over this period of time, disease dynamics will become more heavily influenced by indirect transmission, which may explain some of the observed regional differences in age and sex-specific disease patterns. This suggests management interventions, such as culling or vaccination, will become increasingly less effective as CWD epidemics progress.

  1. Arctic Perennial and Winter Multiyear Ice on a Precipitous Decline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Comiso, J. C.

    2008-12-01

    Knowledge about the state of the Arctic perennial and multiyear ice cover is important because they are the mainstay of the Arctic sea ice cover. Perennial ice is ice that survives the summer and consists mainly of second year and the older multiyear ice types. The rapid rate of decline in the perennial ice cover has been reported and examined previously and with the precipitous decline in 2007 and again in 2008, the Arctic Ocean has become an intense area of climate change result. The perennial ice area in 2007 was observed to be 27% less than the previous record low established in 2005 and was 38% less than climatological average. The sea surface temperature (SST) in the Arctic has also been on the rise at about 0.7 per decade with the SST at the Chukchi Sea region being observed by satellite data to be anomalously higher than average by about 5 oC. This is an indication that ice-albedo feedback effects in the region are already being observed and that a recovery of the perennial ice cover in the foreseeable future may not be possible. To gain insight into the state of the multiyear ice cover, we take advantage of the large contrast in the emissivity of first year and multiyear ice in winter and assess the variability and trend of the older multiyear ice type. The contrast is largest in February when the ice is cold and dry and the technique and is most pronounced between first year and the older multiyear (3 years or older) ice types. The retrieved area of winter multiyear ice is about 2 million km2 less than that of the perennial ice area observed during the previous summer indicating that only the older and thicker types of multiyear ice are included. The trend of the retrieved multiyear ice cover for the period 1979 to 2007 is observed to be about -14%/decade which indicates a significantly faster decline than the perennial ice cover. This suggests that the thicker component of the perennial ice cover is declining even more rapidly that the perennial ice. The

  2. Parallels in amphibian and bat declines from pathogenic fungi.

    PubMed

    Eskew, Evan A; Todd, Brian D

    2013-03-01

    Pathogenic fungi have substantial effects on global biodiversity, and 2 emerging pathogenic species-the chytridiomycete Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes chytridiomycosis in amphibians, and the ascomycete Geomyces destructans, which causes white-nose syndrome in hibernating bats-are implicated in the widespread decline of their vertebrate hosts. We synthesized current knowledge for chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome regarding disease emergence, environmental reservoirs, life history characteristics of the host, and host-pathogen interactions. We found striking similarities between these aspects of chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome, and the research that we review and propose should help guide management of future emerging fungal diseases. PMID:23622255

  3. Decline in lead transport by the Mississippi River

    SciTech Connect

    Trefry, J.H.; Metz, S.; Trocine, R.P.; Nelsen, T.A.

    1985-10-25

    Inputs of pollutant lead to the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River have declined by about 40% within the past decade. This decrease has been determined from annual lead loads of the Mississippi River and from the lead record in Mississippi Delta sediments. The observed trend is consistent with reduced consumption of lead in gasoline in the US. More than 90% of the riverborne lead is associated with suspended sediments. Most of this particle-bound lead is deposited within 50 kilometers of the river mouth and is not easily leached at pH values above 3. 15 references, 4 figures.

  4. Solar Ultraviolet Irradiance Variability During the Decline of Cycle 23

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snow, M. A.; McClintock, W. E.; Woods, T. N.; Harder, J. W.; Richard, E. C.

    2010-12-01

    Observations from the SOLar-STellar Irradiance Comparision Experiment (SOLSTICE) on the SOlar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) began in 2003 and continue through the present. This time period includes the decline of solar cycle 23 through solar minimum. SOLSTICE measures solar irradiance from 115 nm to 300 nm with a spectral resolution of 0.1 nm. The variability seen by SORCE SOLSTICE is greater than the variability recorded by the instruments on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite(UARS). This poster will describe the magnitude and uncertainty of solar irradiance variability in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum during the SORCE mission with comparisons to irradiance models based on UARS measurements.

  5. Selected Micronutrients in Cognitive Decline Prevention and Therapy.

    PubMed

    Visioli, Francesco; Burgos-Ramos, Emma

    2016-08-01

    Population aging is a worldwide demographic trend. Consequently, the prevalence of chronic age-related conditions such as clinically diagnosed neurological diseases, cognitive decline, and dementia will significantly increase in the near future. The important role of diets and healthy lifestyle as preventative of neurodegenerative diseases is widely accepted nowadays, and it may provide preventive strategies in very early, non-symptomatic phases of dementia well, especially because there are still no effective treatments for it. In this article, we review the known effects of selected micronutrients on the aging brain and we propose strategies for dietary improvements. PMID:26198569

  6. Causes of maternal mortality decline in Matlab, Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Mahbub Elahi; Ahmed, Anisuddin; Kalim, Nahid; Koblinsky, Marge

    2009-04-01

    Bangladesh is distinct among developing countries in achieving a low maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 322 per 100,000 livebirths despite the very low use of skilled care at delivery (13% nationally). This variation has also been observed in Matlab, a rural area in Bangladesh, where longitudinal data on maternal mortality are available since the mid-1970s. The current study investigated the possible causes of the maternal mortality decline in Matlab. The study analyzed 769 maternal deaths and 215,779 pregnancy records from the Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) and other sources of safe motherhood data in the ICDDR,B and government service areas in Matlab during 1976-2005. The major interventions that took place in both the areas since the early 1980s were the family-planning programme plus safe menstrual regulation services and safe motherhood interventions (midwives for normal delivery in the ICDDR,B service area from the late 1980s and equal access to comprehensive emergency obstetric care [EmOC] in public facilities for women from both the areas). National programmes for social development and empowerment of women through education and microcredit programmes were implemented in both the areas. The quantitative findings were supplemented by a qualitative study by interviewing local community care providers for their change in practices for maternal healthcare over time. After the introduction of the safe motherhood programme, reduction in maternal mortality was higher in the ICDDR,B service area (68.6%) than in the government service area (50.4%) during 1986-1989 and 2001-2005. Reduction in the number of maternal deaths due to the fertility decline was higher in the government service area (30%) than in the ICDDR,B service area (23%) during 1979-2005. In each area, there has been substantial reduction in abortion-related mortality--86.7% and 78.3%--in the ICDDR,B and government service areas respectively. Education of women was a strong predictor

  7. Capacity decline of ambient temperature secondary lithium battery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shen, D. H.; Subbarao, S.; Nakamura, B. J.; Yen, S. P. S.; Bankston, C. P.

    1988-01-01

    The use of ambient temperature secondary lithium cells is limited primarily because of the poor cycle life performance. Much of the cell capacity is irreversibly lost upon cycling. Studies have been undertaken to understand the problem of capacity decline. Experimental Li-TiS2 cells were fabricated and tested for their cycle life performance. Cells were disassembled at different stages of cycle life, and cell active components were analyzed by various analytical techniques. The results of this study indicate that all the cell's active components/materials are undergoing degradation. Details of the experiments carried out and the results obtained are described.

  8. Crowdsourced estimation of cognitive decline and resilience in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Allen, Genevera I; Amoroso, Nicola; Anghel, Catalina; Balagurusamy, Venkat; Bare, Christopher J; Beaton, Derek; Bellotti, Roberto; Bennett, David A; Boehme, Kevin L; Boutros, Paul C; Caberlotto, Laura; Caloian, Cristian; Campbell, Frederick; Chaibub Neto, Elias; Chang, Yu-Chuan; Chen, Beibei; Chen, Chien-Yu; Chien, Ting-Ying; Clark, Tim; Das, Sudeshna; Davatzikos, Christos; Deng, Jieyao; Dillenberger, Donna; Dobson, Richard J B; Dong, Qilin; Doshi, Jimit; Duma, Denise; Errico, Rosangela; Erus, Guray; Everett, Evan; Fardo, David W; Friend, Stephen H; Fröhlich, Holger; Gan, Jessica; St George-Hyslop, Peter; Ghosh, Satrajit S; Glaab, Enrico; Green, Robert C; Guan, Yuanfang; Hong, Ming-Yi; Huang, Chao; Hwang, Jinseub; Ibrahim, Joseph; Inglese, Paolo; Iyappan, Anandhi; Jiang, Qijia; Katsumata, Yuriko; Kauwe, John S K; Klein, Arno; Kong, Dehan; Krause, Roland; Lalonde, Emilie; Lauria, Mario; Lee, Eunjee; Lin, Xihui; Liu, Zhandong; Livingstone, Julie; Logsdon, Benjamin A; Lovestone, Simon; Ma, Tsung-Wei; Malhotra, Ashutosh; Mangravite, Lara M; Maxwell, Taylor J; Merrill, Emily; Nagorski, John; Namasivayam, Aishwarya; Narayan, Manjari; Naz, Mufassra; Newhouse, Stephen J; Norman, Thea C; Nurtdinov, Ramil N; Oyang, Yen-Jen; Pawitan, Yudi; Peng, Shengwen; Peters, Mette A; Piccolo, Stephen R; Praveen, Paurush; Priami, Corrado; Sabelnykova, Veronica Y; Senger, Philipp; Shen, Xia; Simmons, Andrew; Sotiras, Aristeidis; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Tangaro, Sabina; Tateo, Andrea; Tung, Yi-An; Tustison, Nicholas J; Varol, Erdem; Vradenburg, George; Weiner, Michael W; Xiao, Guanghua; Xie, Lei; Xie, Yang; Xu, Jia; Yang, Hojin; Zhan, Xiaowei; Zhou, Yunyun; Zhu, Fan; Zhu, Hongtu; Zhu, Shanfeng

    2016-06-01

    Identifying accurate biomarkers of cognitive decline is essential for advancing early diagnosis and prevention therapies in Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's disease DREAM Challenge was designed as a computational crowdsourced project to benchmark the current state-of-the-art in predicting cognitive outcomes in Alzheimer's disease based on high dimensional, publicly available genetic and structural imaging data. This meta-analysis failed to identify a meaningful predictor developed from either data modality, suggesting that alternate approaches should be considered for prediction of cognitive performance. PMID:27079753

  9. Clinical Report: Cognitive decline in a patient with Cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome.

    PubMed

    Cabrera, Sergio; Morel, Chantal; Tartaglia, Maria Carmela

    2016-05-01

    Cardiofaciocutaneous Syndrome (CFCS) is a rare genetic syndrome caused by mutations in one of four genes: BRAF, MAP2K1, MAP2K2, and KRAS. There is tremendous phenotypic heterogeneity in patients with CFCS and so confirmation of diagnosis requires genetic testing. Neurologic and/or cognitive symptoms are present in almost all CFCS individuals. Little is known about cognitive function in older patients with CFCS. In this report, we present the cognitive, neuropsychiatric, and imaging findings of a patient diagnosed with CFCS who after having remained stable developed progressive cognitive/behavioral and motor decline. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26842671

  10. Ecosystem scale declines in elk recruitment and population growth with wolf colonization: a before-after-control-impact approach.

    PubMed

    Christianson, David; Creel, Scott

    2014-01-01

    The reintroduction of wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone provided the unusual opportunity for a quasi-experimental test of the effects of wolf predation on their primary prey (elk--Cervus elaphus) in a system where top-down, bottom-up, and abiotic forces on prey population dynamics were closely and consistently monitored before and after reintroduction. Here, we examined data from 33 years for 12 elk population segments spread across southwestern Montana and northwestern Wyoming in a large scale before-after-control-impact analysis of the effects of wolves on elk recruitment and population dynamics. Recruitment, as measured by the midwinter juvenile∶female ratio, was a strong determinant of elk dynamics, and declined by 35% in elk herds colonized by wolves as annual population growth shifted from increasing to decreasing. Negative effects of population density and winter severity on recruitment, long recognized as important for elk dynamics, were detected in uncolonized elk herds and in wolf-colonized elk herds prior to wolf colonization, but not after wolf colonization. Growing season precipitation and harvest had no detectable effect on recruitment in either wolf treatment or colonization period, although harvest rates of juveniles∶females declined by 37% in wolf-colonized herds. Even if it is assumed that mortality due to predation is completely additive, liberal estimates of wolf predation rates on juvenile elk could explain no more than 52% of the total decline in juvenile∶female ratios in wolf-colonized herds, after accounting for the effects of other limiting factors. Collectively, these long-term, large-scale patterns align well with prior studies that have reported substantial decrease in elk numbers immediately after wolf recolonization, relatively weak additive effects of direct wolf predation on elk survival, and decreased reproduction and recruitment with exposure to predation risk from wolves. PMID:25028933

  11. Ecosystem Scale Declines in Elk Recruitment and Population Growth with Wolf Colonization: A Before-After-Control-Impact Approach

    PubMed Central

    Christianson, David; Creel, Scott

    2014-01-01

    The reintroduction of wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone provided the unusual opportunity for a quasi-experimental test of the effects of wolf predation on their primary prey (elk – Cervus elaphus) in a system where top-down, bottom-up, and abiotic forces on prey population dynamics were closely and consistently monitored before and after reintroduction. Here, we examined data from 33 years for 12 elk population segments spread across southwestern Montana and northwestern Wyoming in a large scale before-after-control-impact analysis of the effects of wolves on elk recruitment and population dynamics. Recruitment, as measured by the midwinter juvenile∶female ratio, was a strong determinant of elk dynamics, and declined by 35% in elk herds colonized by wolves as annual population growth shifted from increasing to decreasing. Negative effects of population density and winter severity on recruitment, long recognized as important for elk dynamics, were detected in uncolonized elk herds and in wolf-colonized elk herds prior to wolf colonization, but not after wolf colonization. Growing season precipitation and harvest had no detectable effect on recruitment in either wolf treatment or colonization period, although harvest rates of juveniles∶females declined by 37% in wolf-colonized herds. Even if it is assumed that mortality due to predation is completely additive, liberal estimates of wolf predation rates on juvenile elk could explain no more than 52% of the total decline in juvenile∶female ratios in wolf-colonized herds, after accounting for the effects of other limiting factors. Collectively, these long-term, large-scale patterns align well with prior studies that have reported substantial decrease in elk numbers immediately after wolf recolonization, relatively weak additive effects of direct wolf predation on elk survival, and decreased reproduction and recruitment with exposure to predation risk from wolves. PMID:25028933

  12. Red spruce decline---Winter injury and air pollutants

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, T.M. )

    1989-10-01

    There has been a widespread decline in growth of red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) since 1960 in the eastern United States. There is evidence that this decline is at least partly attributable to age- and density-related growth patterns, particularly at lower elevations. Mortality has been severe at high elevation sites where similar episodes have occasionally occurred in the last 100 years. At these sites, periods of low growth preceding 1960 were related to periods with warm late summers and cold early winters. Since 1960, this relationship no longer holds, although there is an association with unusual deviations from mean temperatures. There are field reports that one of the main causes of reduced growth and mortality is apical dieback induced by severe winter conditions. Preliminary observations suggest that high elevation red spruce may not be sufficiently hardened to tolerate low autumn temperatures. However, appearance of injury in the spring, association of injury with wind exposure and correlation of provenance susceptibility with cuticular transpiration rates, including the importance of desiccation injury. Sensitivity to both types of winter injury may be increased by air pollutants (particularly ozone and less probably, acid mist or excess nitrogen deposition). Nutrient deficiency (particularly magnesium and to a lesser extent potassium) may also increase cold sensitivity. The nature and extent of these interactions are being actively researched for red spruce. 48 refs.

  13. Fertility preservation for age-related fertility decline.

    PubMed

    Stoop, Dominic; Cobo, Ana; Silber, Sherman

    2014-10-01

    Cryopreservation of eggs or ovarian tissue to preserve fertility for patients with cancer has been studied since 1994 with R G Gosden's paper describing restoration of fertility in oophorectomised sheep, and for decades previously by others in smaller mammals. Clinically this approach has shown great success. Many healthy children have been born from eggs cryopreserved with the Kuwayama egg vitrification technique for non-medical (social) indications, but until now very few patients with cancer have achieved pregnancy with cryopreserved eggs. Often, oncologists do not wish to delay cancer treatment while the patient goes through multiple ovarian stimulation cycles to retrieve eggs, and the patient can only start using the oocytes after full recovery from cancer. Ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval is not a barrier for patients without cancer who wish to delay childbearing, which makes oocyte cryopreservation increasingly popular to overcome an age-related decline in fertility. Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue is an option if egg cryopreservation is ruled out. More than 35 babies have been born so far with cryopreserved ovarian tissue in patients with cancer who have had a complete return of hormonal function, and fertility to baseline. Both egg and ovarian tissue cryopreservation might be ready for application to the preservation of fertility not only in patients with cancer but also in countering the increasing incidence of age-related decline in female fertility. PMID:25283572

  14. Neighborhood Integration and Connectivity Predict Cognitive Performance and Decline

    PubMed Central

    Watts, Amber; Ferdous, Farhana; Moore, Keith Diaz; Burns, Jeffrey M.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Neighborhood characteristics may be important for promoting walking, but little research has focused on older adults, especially those with cognitive impairment. We evaluated the role of neighborhood characteristics on cognitive function and decline over a 2-year period adjusting for measures of walking. Method In a study of 64 older adults with and without mild Alzheimer's disease (AD), we evaluated neighborhood integration and connectivity using geographical information systems data and space syntax analysis. In multiple regression analyses, we used these characteristics to predict 2-year declines in factor analytically derived cognitive scores (attention, verbal memory, mental status) adjusting for age, sex, education, and self-reported walking. Results Neighborhood integration and connectivity predicted cognitive performance at baseline, and changes in cognitive performance over 2 years. The relationships between neighborhood characteristics and cognitive performance were not fully explained by self-reported walking. Discussion Clearer definitions of specific neighborhood characteristics associated with walkability are needed to better understand the mechanisms by which neighborhoods may impact cognitive outcomes. These results have implications for measuring neighborhood characteristics, design and maintenance of living spaces, and interventions to increase walking among older adults. We offer suggestions for future research measuring neighborhood characteristics and cognitive function. PMID:26504889

  15. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego G; Teuling, Adriaan J; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; Wang, Liwei; Pan, Xuebiao; Bai, Wei; Niyogi, Dev

    2015-01-01

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983-2012, we find that topsoil (0-50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p < 0.01), with a trend of -0.011 to -0.015 m(3) m(-3) per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistent with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system. PMID:26158774

  16. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego G.; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; Wang, Liwei; Pan, Xuebiao; Bai, Wei; Niyogi, Dev

    2015-07-01

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983-2012, we find that topsoil (0-50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p < 0.01), with a trend of -0.011 to -0.015 m3 m-3 per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistent with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system.

  17. Socioeconomic development, health interventions and mortality decline in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Rosero-Bixby, L

    1991-01-01

    Costa Rica, whose life expectancy was 74 years by 1985, has reached a health level comparable to a developed country. The health achievements of this country are product of political and socioeconomic circumstances as well as of right public health policies. Until about 1970 the features of Costa Rica mortality, although somewhat better than the Latin American average, evolved in a similar way to the rest of the region. In particular, the decades of 1940s and 1950s saw dramatic improvements in life expectancy, thanks mainly to the import of low-cost, high-effectiveness health technologies. In the 1970s, however, Costa Rica departed from a regional pattern of stagnation and managed to close the gap with developed countries in terms of mortality levels. A dramatic decline in the infant mortality rate from 60 to 19 per 1,000 took place in this decade. The main determinants of this breakthrough were health interventions, notably a primary health care program, even though favorable socioeconomic conditions and a reduced fertility also played a role. Ecological data and other evidence suggest that up to three fourths of the mortality decline was accounted for contemporary improvements in public health services, with about 40 percent attributable to primary health care interventions. Furthermore, by targeting interventions on the less privileged population, these interventions had the merit of reducing geographic and socioeconomic differentials in child mortality. PMID:1805367

  18. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego; Teuling, Adriann; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; Wang, Liwei; Pan, Xuebiao; Bai, Wei; Niyogi, Dev

    2015-07-09

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983–2012, we find that topsoil (0–50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p<0.01), with a trend of -0.011 to -0.015 m3 m-3 per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistent with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system.

  19. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego; Teuling, Adriann; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; et al

    2015-07-09

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983–2012, we find that topsoil (0–50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p<0.01), with a trend of -0.011 to -0.015 m3 m-3 per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistentmore » with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system.« less

  20. Correlating precursory declines in groundwater radon with earthquake magnitude.

    PubMed

    Kuo, T

    2014-01-01

    Both studies at the Antung hot spring in eastern Taiwan and at the Paihe spring in southern Taiwan confirm that groundwater radon can be a consistent tracer for strain changes in the crust preceding an earthquake when observed in a low-porosity fractured aquifer surrounded by a ductile formation. Recurrent anomalous declines in groundwater radon were observed at the Antung D1 monitoring well in eastern Taiwan prior to the five earthquakes of magnitude (Mw ): 6.8, 6.1, 5.9, 5.4, and 5.0 that occurred on December 10, 2003; April 1, 2006; April 15, 2006; February 17, 2008; and July 12, 2011, respectively. For earthquakes occurring on the longitudinal valley fault in eastern Taiwan, the observed radon minima decrease as the earthquake magnitude increases. The above correlation has been proven to be useful for early warning local large earthquakes. In southern Taiwan, radon anomalous declines prior to the 2010 Mw 6.3 Jiasian, 2012 Mw 5.9 Wutai, and 2012 ML 5.4 Kaohsiung earthquakes were also recorded at the Paihe spring. For earthquakes occurring on different faults in southern Taiwan, the correlation between the observed radon minima and the earthquake magnitude is not yet possible. PMID:23550908

  1. Decline curve analysis of vapor-dominated reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Faulder, D.D.

    1997-05-01

    Geothermal Program activities at the INEEL include a review of the transient and pseudosteady state behavior of production wells in vapor-dominated systems with a focus on The Geysers field. The complicated history of development, infill drilling, injection, and declining turbine inlet pressures makes this field an ideal study area to test new techniques. The production response of a well can be divided into two distinct periods: transient flow followed by pseudo-steady state (depletion). The transient period can be analyzed using analytic equations, while the pseudo-steady state period is analyzed using empirical relationships. Yet by reviewing both periods, a great deal of insight can be gained about the well and reservoir. An example is presented where this approach is used to determine the permeability thickness product, kh, injection and production interference, and estimate the empirical Arps decline parameter b. When the production data is reinitialized (as may be required by interference effects), the kh determined from the new transient period is repeatable. This information can be used for well diagnostics, quantification of injection benefits, and the empirical estimation of remaining steam reserves.

  2. Non-pharmacological strategies to delay cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    Lautenschlager, Nicola T; Anstey, Kaarin J; Kurz, Alexander F

    2014-10-01

    Non-pharmacological preventive strategies to delay cognitive decline have become the focus of recent research. This review aims to discuss evidence supporting the use of physical and cognitive activity to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in later life. Both strategies are associated with better cognitive health in older adults. This positive effect seems stronger for middle-aged and older adults with normal cognition and less clear when cognitive impairment is present. Physical and cognitive activities have been linked to indirect and direct biological factors affecting brain health. Future research will need to explore details about type, intensity, duration and combination of interventions. An important aim is standardization between studies, as well as evidence of improved clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness. Identifying strategies that succeed at sustaining improved lifestyle is necessary, and the use of modern technology could play a crucial role in this regard. In the meantime advice on physical and cognitive activities should be included when health advice is given to middle-aged and older adults. PMID:25231337

  3. Anaerobic function of CNS white matter declines with age.

    PubMed

    Hamner, Margaret A; Möller, Thomas; Ransom, Bruce R

    2011-04-01

    The mammalian central nervous system (CNS) is generally believed to be completely dependent on the presence of oxygen (O(2)) to maintain energy levels necessary for excitability. However, previous studies on CNS white matter (WM) have shown that a large subset of CNS-myelinated axons of mice aged 4 to 6 weeks remains excitable in the absence of O(2). We investigated whether this surprising WM tolerance to anoxia varied with age. Acutely isolated mouse optic nerve (MON), a purely myelinated WM tract, was studied electrophysiologically. Excitability in the MONs from 1-month-, 4-month-, and 8-month-old mice was assessed quantitatively as the area under the supramaximal compound action potential (CAP). Anoxia-resistant WM function declined with age. After 60  minutes of anoxia, ∼23% of the CAP remained in 1-month-old mice, 8% in 4-month-old mice, and ∼0 in the 8-month-old group. Our results indicated that although some CNS axons function anaerobically in young adult animals, they lose this ability in later adulthood. This finding may help explain the clinical impression that favorable outcome after stroke and other brain injuries declines with age. PMID:21179073

  4. Heterozygosity-fitness correlations in a declining seabird population.

    PubMed

    Velando, Alberto; Barros, Álvaro; Moran, Paloma

    2015-03-01

    Loss of genetic diversity is thought to lead to increased risk of extinction in endangered populations due to decreasing fitness of homozygous individuals. Here, we evaluated the presence of inbreeding depression in a long-lived seabird, the European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), after a severe decline in population size by nearly 70%. During three reproductive seasons, 85 breeders were captured and genotyped at seven microsatellite loci. Nest sites were monitored during the breeding season to estimate reproductive success as the number of chicks surviving to full-size-grown per nest. Captured birds were tagged with a ring with an individual code, and resighting data were collected during 7-year period. We found a strong effect of multilocus heterozygosity on female reproductive performance, and a significant, although weaker, effect on breeder survival. However, our matrix population model suggests that this relatively small effect of genetic diversity on breeder survival may have a profound effect on fitness. This highlights the importance of integrating life history consequences in HFC studies. Importantly, heterozygosity was correlated across loci, suggesting that genomewide effects, rather than single loci, are responsible for the observed HFCs. Overall, the HFCs are a worrying symptom of genetic erosion in this declining population. Many long-lived species are prone to extinction, and future studies should evaluate the magnitude of fitness impact of genetic deterioration on key population parameters, such as survival of breeders. PMID:25626726

  5. The decline and rise of the medical school applicant pool.

    PubMed

    Kassebaum, D G; Szenas, P L

    1995-04-01

    The authors characterize the demographic changes that transpired with the decline and rise of the medical school applicant pool over the past decade, and describe the variations in academic antecedents, attrition, and graduation rates of students matriculated during that time. Data over the ten-year cycle, derived from the AAMC's Student and Applicant Information Management System (SAIMS), were examined in the context of published education and employment statistics. The contraction and expansion of the applicant pool were related to changes in the number and pattern of undergraduate majors and to changes in the employment conditions for college-educated youth. Furthermore, a significant part of the variations in size of the applicant pool is an artifact of changes in the number of repeat applications. Matriculants' pre-medical grades and MCAT scores dropped slightly during the period of applicant decline, and rebounded as admission committees were able to exercise greater selection when the pool expanded. The attrition of medical students rose and fell during this time, but the changes were small and of little discrete influence on graduation rates during the period. The downturn and rebound in applications over the past decade appear to be more related to cycles in the employment market for college graduates than to applicants' perceptions of unfavorable/favorable conditions in medical education and practice. PMID:7718069

  6. Agriculture intensifies soil moisture decline in Northern China

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yaling; Pan, Zhihua; Zhuang, Qianlai; Miralles, Diego G.; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Zhang, Tonglin; An, Pingli; Dong, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Jingting; He, Di; Wang, Liwei; Pan, Xuebiao; Bai, Wei; Niyogi, Dev

    2015-01-01

    Northern China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Agricultural activities have intensified since the 1980s to provide food security to the country. However, this intensification has likely contributed to an increasing scarcity in water resources, which may in turn be endangering food security. Based on in-situ measurements of soil moisture collected in agricultural plots during 1983–2012, we find that topsoil (0–50 cm) volumetric water content during the growing season has declined significantly (p < 0.01), with a trend of −0.011 to −0.015 m3 m−3 per decade. Observed discharge declines for the three large river basins are consistent with the effects of agricultural intensification, although other factors (e.g. dam constructions) likely have contributed to these trends. Practices like fertilizer application have favoured biomass growth and increased transpiration rates, thus reducing available soil water. In addition, the rapid proliferation of water-expensive crops (e.g., maize) and the expansion of the area dedicated to food production have also contributed to soil drying. Adoption of alternative agricultural practices that can meet the immediate food demand without compromising future water resources seem critical for the sustainability of the food production system. PMID:26158774

  7. Unravelling the annual cycle in a migratory animal: breeding-season habitat loss drives population declines of monarch butterflies.

    PubMed

    Flockhart, D T Tyler; Pichancourt, Jean-Baptiste; Norris, D Ryan; Martin, Tara G

    2015-01-01

    Threats to migratory animals can occur at multiple periods of the annual cycle that are separated by thousands of kilometres and span international borders. Populations of the iconic monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) of eastern North America have declined over the last 21 years. Three hypotheses have been posed to explain the decline: habitat loss on the overwintering grounds in Mexico, habitat loss on the breeding grounds in the United States and Canada, and extreme weather events. Our objectives were to assess population viability, determine which life stage, season and geographical region are contributing the most to population dynamics and test the three hypotheses that explain the observed population decline. We developed a spatially structured, stochastic and density-dependent periodic projection matrix model that integrates patterns of migratory connectivity and demographic vital rates across the annual cycle. We used perturbation analysis to determine the sensitivity of population abundance to changes in vital rate among life stages, seasons and geographical regions. Next, we compared the singular effects of each threat to the full model where all factors operate concurrently. Finally, we generated predictions to assess the risk of host plant loss as a result of genetically modified crops on current and future monarch butterfly population size and extinction probability. Our year-round population model predicted population declines of 14% and a quasi-extinction probability (<1000 individuals) >5% within a century. Monarch abundance was more than four times more sensitive to perturbations of vital rates on the breeding grounds than on the wintering grounds. Simulations that considered only forest loss or climate change in Mexico predicted higher population sizes compared to milkweed declines on the breeding grounds. Our model predictions also suggest that mitigating the negative effects of genetically modified crops results in higher population size and

  8. Establishing conservation baselines with dynamic distribution models for bat populations facing imminent decline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodhouse, Thomas J.; Ormsbee, Patricia C.; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Vierling, Lee A.; Szewczak, Joseph M.; Vierling, Kerri T.

    2015-01-01

    Landscape keystone structures associated with roosting habitat emerged as regionally important predictors of bat distributions. The challenges of bat monitoring have constrained previous species distribution modelling efforts to temporally static presence-only approaches. Our approach extends to broader spatial and temporal scales than has been possible in the past for bats, making a substantial increase in capacity for bat conservation.

  9. Acidification of floodplains due to river level decline during drought.

    PubMed

    Mosley, Luke M; Palmer, David; Leyden, Emily; Cook, Freeman; Zammit, Benjamin; Shand, Paul; Baker, Andrew; W Fitzpatrick, Rob

    2014-06-01

    A severe drought from 2007 to 2010 resulted in the lowest river levels (1.75 m decline from average) in over 90 years of records at the end of the Murray-Darling Basin in South Australia. Due to the low river level and inability to apply irrigation, the groundwater depth on the adjacent agricultural flood plain also declined substantially (1-1.5 m) and the alluvial clay subsoils dried and cracked. Sulfidic material (pH>4, predominantly in the form of pyrite, FeS2) in these subsoils oxidised to form sulfuric material (pH<4) over an estimated 3300 ha on 13 floodplains. Much of the acidity in the deeply cracked contaminated soil layers was in available form (in pore water and on cation exchange sites), with some layers having retained acidity (iron oxyhydroxysulfate mineral jarosite). Post drought, the rapid raising of surface and ground water levels mobilised acidity in acid sulfate soil profiles to the floodplain drainage channels and this was transported back to the river via pumping. The drainage water exhibited low pH (2-5) with high soluble metal (Al, Co, Mn, Fe, Mn, Ni, and Zn) concentrations, in exceedance of guidelines for ecosystem protection. Irrigation increased the short-term transport of acidity, however loads were generally greater in the non-irrigation (winter) season when rainfall is highest (0.0026 tonnes acidity/ha/day) than in the irrigation (spring-summer) season (0.0013 tonnes acidity/ha/day). Measured reductions in groundwater acidity and increases in pH have been observed over time but severe acidification persisted in floodplain sediments and waters for over two years post-drought. Results from 2-dimensional modelling of the river-floodplain hydrological processes were consistent with field measurements during the drying phase and illustrated how the declining river levels led to floodplain acidification. A modelled management scenario demonstrated how river level stabilisation and limited irrigation could have prevented, or greatly lessened

  10. Interannual trends in water use efficiency in declining riparian woodlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stella, J. C.; Riddle, J. D.; Piégay, H.; Teece, M.; Trémelo, M.

    2012-12-01

    Riparian ecosystems in water limited regions are under stress worldwide from flow regulation, land use and climate change. We analyzed tree-ring growth and stable carbon isotope geochemistry in pioneer trees to identify shifts in riparian tree water use as it affects forest condition. We cored individuals of Populus nigra, a riparian species that is vulnerable to changes in local groundwater levels, at floodplain sites along the Drôme River, in the Mediterranean-climate zone of southern France, to analyze the relative ecological impacts of in-stream gravel mining and climate-induced flow reductions on tree growth, crown dieback, and ecohydrological function. Regime Shift Detection analysis of site chronologies showed a divergent pattern among sites, with four sites maintaining stable growth and three others with sharply declining trends in growth to less than 30 cm2 basal area increment (BAI) in all recent years. At sites with stable growth, there was a negative relationship between growth and δ13C (slope = -0.37 to -0.55, p<0.01), indicating that the highest growth occurred when water was abundant. At declining sites, there was a positive relationship between growth and δ13C (slope = 0.33 to 0.52, p<0.01). These trends suggest that the highest water stress occurred in high growth years, and is consistent with limited groundwater capacity. Trees with the greatest crown dieback evident from low-altitude aerial photos had the greatest increase in water use efficiency. Growth declines and increased 13C enrichment were initiated in years of meteorological droughts that occurred after (but never prior to) the mining period, and were spatially distributed to suggest local bedrock controls on soil depth. The combined results indicate that these semi-arid riparian woodlands are vulnerable to multiple physical drivers, but that the severity of impacts is conditioned by interactions between drivers at different scales, including regional climate variability, reach

  11. Acidification of floodplains due to river level decline during drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosley, Luke M.; Palmer, David; Leyden, Emily; Cook, Freeman; Zammit, Benjamin; Shand, Paul; Baker, Andrew; W. Fitzpatrick, Rob

    2014-06-01

    A severe drought from 2007 to 2010 resulted in the lowest river levels (1.75 m decline from average) in over 90 years of records at the end of the Murray-Darling Basin in South Australia. Due to the low river level and inability to apply irrigation, the groundwater depth on the adjacent agricultural flood plain also declined substantially (1-1.5 m) and the alluvial clay subsoils dried and cracked. Sulfidic material (pH > 4, predominantly in the form of pyrite, FeS2) in these subsoils oxidised to form sulfuric material (pH < 4) over an estimated 3300 ha on 13 floodplains. Much of the acidity in the deeply cracked contaminated soil layers was in available form (in pore water and on cation exchange sites), with some layers having retained acidity (iron oxyhydroxysulfate mineral jarosite). Post drought, the rapid raising of surface and ground water levels mobilised acidity in acid sulfate soil profiles to the floodplain drainage channels and this was transported back to the river via pumping. The drainage water exhibited low pH (2-5) with high soluble metal (Al, Co, Mn, Fe, Mn, Ni, and Zn) concentrations, in exceedance of guidelines for ecosystem protection. Irrigation increased the short-term transport of acidity, however loads were generally greater in the non-irrigation (winter) season when rainfall is highest (0.0026 tonnes acidity/ha/day) than in the irrigation (spring-summer) season (0.0013 tonnes acidity/ha/day). Measured reductions in groundwater acidity and increases in pH have been observed over time but severe acidification persisted in floodplain sediments and waters for over two years post-drought. Results from 2-dimensional modelling of the river-floodplain hydrological processes were consistent with field measurements during the drying phase and illustrated how the declining river levels led to floodplain acidification. A modelled management scenario demonstrated how river level stabilisation and limited irrigation could have prevented, or greatly

  12. Imaging Phenotype of Occupational Endotoxin-Related Lung Function Decline

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Peggy S.; Hang, Jing-qing; Zhang, Feng-ying; Sun, J.; Zheng, Bu-Yong; Su, Li; Washko, George R.; Christiani, David C.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Although occupational exposures contribute to a significant proportion of obstructive lung disease, the phenotype of obstructive lung disease associated with work-related organic dust exposure independent of smoking remains poorly defined. Objective: We identified the relative contributions of smoking and occupational endotoxin exposure to parenchymal and airway remodeling as defined by quantitative computed tomography (CT). Methods: The Shanghai Textile Worker Study is a longitudinal study of endotoxin-exposed cotton workers and endotoxin-unexposed silk workers that was initiated in 1981. Spirometry, occupational endotoxin exposure, and smoking habits were assessed at 5-year intervals. High-resolution computed tomography (CT) was performed in 464 retired workers in 2011, along with quantitative lung densitometric and airway analysis. Results: Significant differences in all CT measures were noted across exposure groups. Occupational endotoxin exposure was associated with a decrease (–1.3%) in percent emphysema (LAAI-950), a 3.3-Hounsfield unit increase in 15th percentile density, an 18.1-g increase in lung mass, and a 2.3% increase in wall area percent. Current but not former smoking was associated with a similar CT phenotype. Changes in LAAI-950 were highly correlated with 15th percentile density (correlation –1.0). Lung mass was the only measure associated with forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1) decline, with each 10-g increase in lung mass associated with an additional loss (–6.1 mL) of FEV1 (p = 0.001) between 1981 and 2011. Conclusions: There are many similarities between the effects of occupational endotoxin exposure and those of tobacco smoke exposure on lung parenchyma and airway remodeling. The effects of occupational endotoxin exposure appear to persist even after the cessation of exposure. LAAI-950 may not be a reliable indicator of emphysema in subjects without spirometric impairment. Lung mass is a CT-based biomarker of

  13. To Your Health: NLM update transcript - HPV declines among young women

    MedlinePlus

    ... transcript041116.html To Your Health: NLM update Transcript HPV declines among young women : 04/11/2016 To ... topics. Health threatening strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) declined significantly among female teens and young women ...

  14. 25 CFR 900.21 - When can a proposal be declined?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 25 Indians 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false When can a proposal be declined? 900.21 Section 900.21... Declination Procedures § 900.21 When can a proposal be declined? As explained in §§ 900.16 and 900.17, a proposal can only be declined within 90 days after the Secretary receives the proposal, unless that...

  15. A peak and decline in North Atlantic CO2 uptake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halloran, Paul; Lebehot, Alice; Watson, Andy; McNeall, Doug; Schuster, Ute; Voelker, Christoph; Booth, Ben; Totterdell, Ian; Jones, Chris; Lambert, Hugo

    2016-04-01

    The oceans play a vital role in mitigating climate change by removing anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere. Presently, only around half of human-emitted CO2 remains in the atmosphere, with the rest being taken up by the land and ocean carbon sinks in approximately equal proportions. Of the ocean's CO2 uptake, that occurring in that high-latitude North Atlantic is the most intense. We develop a theoretical framework which proposes that Subpolar North Atlantic CO2 uptake is likely to peak and decline within the coming century. Considering the CMIP5 models within this framework, and comparing their behaviour to observations, we find that the CMIP5 models underestimate how close the real world's Subpolar North Atlantic CO2 uptake is to reaching peak uptake.

  16. Declining bioavailability and inappropriate estimation of risk of persistent compounds

    SciTech Connect

    Kelsey, J.W.; Alexander, M.

    1997-03-01

    Earthworms (Eisenia foetida) assimilated decreasing amounts of atrazine, phenanthrene, and naphthalene that had been incubated for increasing periods of time in sterile soil. The amount of atrazine and phenanthrene removed from soil by mild extractants also decreased with time. The declines in bioavailability of the three compounds to earthworms and of naphthalene to bacteria were not reflected by analysis involving vigorous methods of solvent extraction; similar results for bioavailability of phenanthrene and 4-nitrophenol to bacteria were obtained in a previous study conducted at this laboratory. The authors suggest that regulations based on vigorous extractions for the analyses of persistent organic pollutants in soil do not appropriately estimate exposure or risk to susceptible populations.

  17. Possible red spruce decline: Contributions of tree-ring analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Van Deusen, P.C. ); Reams, G.A. ); Cook, E.R. )

    1991-01-01

    Debate continues about the cause of apparent unprecedented decreases in ring width at all elevations, and increasing levels of mortality at high elevations, in red spruce (Picea rubens) stands in the northeastern United States. These growth and mortality trends are often used as evidence of red spruce decline, but the possibility remains that they may be occurring naturally. Two hypotheses are being used to explain the causes of red spruce growth reduction across its range and increased levels of standing dead at some high-elevation sites. This article summarizes the basic evidence used by advocates of these hypotheses and discusses the strengths of their arguments. The information presented is based primarily on tree-ring studies sponsored by the Forest Response Program, which is part of the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program.

  18. The Penetrating Gaze and the Decline of the Autopsy.

    PubMed

    Stempsey, William E

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the decline in the autopsy rate can be furthered through analysis of Foucault's idea of the medical gaze and the ancient Greek idea of theoria. The medical gaze has shifted over time from the surface of the body to the inner organs to the cellular and subcellular levels. Physicians and loved ones of the deceased person are not likely to "gaze" at the same levels. Patients' loved ones might not theorize as physicians do; they have different interests, which suggest the need for more attention to informed consent for autopsies. Responding to this need should take priority over efforts to increase the autopsy rate, and it can also be seen as an opportunity to improve autopsy and autopsy consent practices. PMID:27550568

  19. Influence of Nonhost Plants on Population Decline of Rotylenchulus reniformis

    PubMed Central

    Caswell, E. P.; DeFrank, J.; Apt, W. J.; Tang, C. S.

    1991-01-01

    The influence of Chloris gayana, Crotalaria juncea, Digitaria decumbens, Tagetes patula, and a chitin-based soil amendment on Hawaiian populations of Rotylenchulus reniformis was examined. Chloris gayana was a nonhost for R. reniformis. The nematode did not penetrate the roots, and in greenhouse and field experiments, C. gayana reduced reniform nematode numbers at least as well as fallow. Tagetes patula was a poor host for reniform nematode and reduced reniform nematode numbers in soil better than did fallow. Crotalaria juncea was a poor host for R. reniformis, and only a small fraction of the nematode population penetrated the roots. Crotalaria juncea and D. decumbens reduced reniform nematode populations at least as well as fallow. A chitin-based soil amendment, applied at 2.24 t/ha to fallow soil, did not affect the population decline of reniform nematode. PMID:19283098

  20. Stormy oceans are associated with declines in sea turtle hatching.

    PubMed

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Bass, Oron L

    2007-08-01

    Many sea turtle populations are below 10% of their pre-Columbian numbers [1-4]. Though historic and systematic over-exploitation is the principal cause of these declines, sea turtles face similar threats today. Adults and juveniles are actively hunted and commercial fisheries catch them incidentally. Nesting suffers from beach development, egg poaching and the poaching of nesting females. Accompanying these familiar hazards is the largely unknown consequences of recent climate change. Here we report monitoring surveys from the Dry Tortugas National Park (DTNP, 24.64N 82.86W), Florida, and show that hurricanes and other storm events are an additional and increasing threat to loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting. Both species are listed by the US Endangered Species Act and the IUCN considers them 'endangered'. PMID:17686427

  1. Decline in sex ratio at birth after Kobe earthquake.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, M; Fukuda, K; Shimizu, T; Møller, H

    1998-08-01

    We investigated the possible association between the Kobe earthquake (January 1995) and the sex ratio among live-born infants after the catastrophe. A significant decline in the sex ratio (0.501) of Hyogo Prefecture in October 1995 was observed 9 months after the Kobe earthquake as compared with an expected value of 0.516 in the period from January 1993 to January 1996 (P = 0.04; one-tailed). Simultaneously, a reduction in fertility of approximately 6% was also observed, compared with the month of October 2 years previously. Thus, the acute stress resulting from a great natural catastrophe can be a cause of a low sex ratio at birth 9 months later. PMID:9756319

  2. Pathogenesis of chytridiomycosis, a cause of catastrophic amphibian declines.

    PubMed

    Voyles, Jamie; Young, Sam; Berger, Lee; Campbell, Craig; Voyles, Wyatt F; Dinudom, Anuwat; Cook, David; Webb, Rebecca; Alford, Ross A; Skerratt, Lee F; Speare, Rick

    2009-10-23

    The pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the skin disease chytridiomycosis, is one of the few highly virulent fungi in vertebrates and has been implicated in worldwide amphibian declines. However, the mechanism by which Bd causes death has not been determined. We show that Bd infection is associated with pathophysiological changes that lead to mortality in green tree frogs (Litoria caerulea). In diseased individuals, electrolyte transport across the epidermis was inhibited by >50%, plasma sodium and potassium concentrations were respectively reduced by approximately 20% and approximately 50%, and asystolic cardiac arrest resulted in death. Because the skin is critical in maintaining amphibian homeostasis, disruption to cutaneous function may be the mechanism by which Bd produces morbidity and mortality across a wide range of phylogenetically distant amphibian taxa. PMID:19900897

  3. The suprachiasmatic nucleus: age-related decline in biological rhythms.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Takahiro J; Takasu, Nana N; Nakamura, Wataru

    2016-09-01

    Aging is associated with changes in sleep duration and quality, as well as increased rates of pathologic/disordered sleep. While several factors contribute to these changes, emerging research suggests that age-related changes in the mammalian central circadian clock within the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) may be a key factor. Prior work from our group suggests that circadian output from the SCN declines because of aging. Furthermore, we have previously observed age-related infertility in female mice, caused by a mismatch between environmental light-dark cycles and the intrinsic, internal biological clocks. In this review, we address regulatory mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms in mammals and summarize recent literature describing the effects of aging on the circadian system. PMID:26915078

  4. The Cognitive Decline of Marshal Philippe Pétain.

    PubMed

    Jennekens, Frans G I

    2015-01-01

    In 1940, at the age of 84, Marshal Pétain was appointed the head of state and government of France. His health was excellent but he tired easily. He felt unable to learn and his memory was weak. During a crisis situation in 1942, he did not lead, plan and decide and he was replaced as head of government. From 1943 on, he was increasingly apathetic. In 1945/1946 he had difficulty finding words after a short conversation. A parliamentary committee concluded in 1947 that he was senile. His mental condition worsened in the years thereafter. In retrospect, it is clear that the final responsibility for the policies of the French government in the Second World War had rested on a man who was going through a predementia process of cognitive decline. PMID:26107612

  5. Bucking the Trend: Is Ethnoracial Diversity Declining in American Communities?

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Barrett A.; Hughes, Lauren A.

    2015-01-01

    Although increasing diversity at the national scale is a well-documented trend, substantial variation in patterns of ethnoracial change occurs across American communities. Our research considers one theoretically implied path: that some communities are ‘bucking the trend’, becoming more homogeneous over time. Using 1980 through 2010 decennial census data, we calculate panethnic (five-group) entropy index scores to measure the magnitude of diversity for nearly 11,000 census-defined places. Our results indicate that while certain places reach their diversity peak in 1980 or 1990, they are few in number. Moreover, they experience a variety of post-peak trajectories other than monotonic diversity decline. Decreasing diversity is concentrated in the South and West, among places with higher levels of diversity and larger proportions of Hispanic or black residents at the beginning of the study period. These places exhibit complex shifts in racial-ethnic structure, but Hispanic succession predominates. PMID:26023247

  6. Cognitive decline due to aging among persons with Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Das, J P; Divis, B; Alexander, J; Parrila, R K; Naglieri, J A

    1995-01-01

    This study examined decline in cognitive functions in individuals with Down syndrome (DS) over the age of 40 in comparison to participants of the same age and comparable mental handicap without Down syndrome (NonDS). Both DS (n = 32) and NonDS (n = 31) samples were divided into "younger" (40-49 years) and "older" (50-62) groups. Cognitive processes were examined by tests of general intellectual functioning (Dementia Rating Scale, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised, and the Matrix Analogies Test-Expanded form), as well as planning, attention, simultaneous, and successive processing tests taken from Das-Naglieri Cognitive Assessment System. The older individuals with Down syndrome performed more poorly than those in the other three groups. The differences were particularly evident in tasks requiring planning and attention. The possibility of using these tests as indicators of the early signs of Alzheimer's disease is discussed. PMID:8584766

  7. Historical decline in coral reef growth after the Panama Canal.

    PubMed

    Guzman, Hector M; Cipriani, Roberto; Jackson, Jeremy B C

    2008-07-01

    The Panama Canal is near its vessel size and tonnage handling capacity, and Panamanians have decided to expand it. The expansion of the Canal may consider the historical long-lasting impacts on marine coastal habitats particularly on sensitive coral reefs. These potential impacts were discussed during the national referendum as were other equally important issues, such as its effects on forests, watersheds, and water supply. Coral growth rates provide a direct measure of coral fitness and past environmental conditions comparable to analyses of tree rings. We examined stable isotopes, metal geochemical tracers, and growth rates on a century-long (1880-1989) chronology based on 77 cores of the dominant reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea collected near the Caribbean entrance to the canal. Our results showed a gradual decline in coral growth unrelated to changes in sea surface temperature but linked to runoff and sedimentation to coastal areas resulting from the construction and operation of the Panama Canal. PMID:18828279

  8. Urate predicts rate of clinical decline in Parkinson disease

    PubMed Central

    Ascherio, Alberto; LeWitt, Peter A.; Xu, Kui; Eberly, Shirley; Watts, Arthur; Matson, Wayne R.; Marras, Connie; Kieburtz, Karl; Rudolph, Alice; Bogdanov, Mikhail B.; Schwid, Steven R.; Tennis, Marsha; Tanner, Caroline M.; Beal, M. Flint; Lang, Anthony E.; Oakes, David; Fahn, Stanley; Shoulson, Ira; Schwarzschild, Michael A.

    2009-01-01

    Context The risk of Parkinson disease (PD) and its rate of progression may decline with increasing blood urate, a major antioxidant. Objective To determine whether serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of urate predict clinical progression in patients with PD. Design, Setting, and Participants 800 subjects with early PD enrolled in the DATATOP trial. Pre-treatment urate was measured in serum for 774 subjects and in CSF for 713. Main Outcome Measures Treatment-, age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for clinical disability requiring levodopa therapy, the pre-specified primary endpoint. Results The HR of progressing to endpoint decreased with increasing serum urate (HR for 1 standard deviation increase = 0.82; 95% CI = 0.73 to 0.93). In analyses stratified by α-tocopherol treatment (2,000 IU/day), a decrease in the HR for the primary endpoint was seen only among subjects not treated with α-tocopherol (HR = 0.75; 95% CI = 0.62 to 0.89, versus those treated HR = 0.90; 95% CI = 0.75 to 1.08). Results were similar for the rate of change in the United Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). CSF urate was also inversely related to both the primary endpoint (HR for highest versus lowest quintile = 0.65; 95% CI: 0.54 to 0.96) and to the rate of change in UPDRS. As with serum urate, these associations were present only among subjects not treated with α-tocopherol. Conclusion Higher serum and CSF urate at baseline were associated with slower rates of clinical decline. The findings strengthen the link between urate and PD and the rationale for considering CNS urate elevation as a potential strategy to slow PD progression. PMID:19822770

  9. Towards renewed fears of population and family decline?

    PubMed

    Gauthier, A H

    1993-01-01

    The emphasis of the analysis of population and family policy in industrialized countries (Western Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand) is on ascertaining the extent to which governments have been responsive to recent demographic changes, the point of view expressed, and the differences in response between the present and in the 1930s. Family and population are treated as separate entities regardless of their policy links; the general attitudes inherent in commission reports is the focus rather than government interventions such as family benefits or concrete policy measures. Regional and local government initiatives are considered only in the case of Quebec. Nongovernmental organizations have played a larger role in the present. Over the past 30 years, governments in most counties have responded to demographic changes, but the way issues were treated was divergent. During the 1930s, population decline was seen in the context of a military argument and concern have been population aging. There has been greater acceptance of nontraditional family forms. County differences showed France as the only country with an explicit pronatalist position and intervention by governmental and nongovernmental groups. Germany has been unable to directly attend to pronatalism, because of the Nazi population policy experiments; attention has been directed to public child care, albeit underdeveloped, and other obstacles to female employment. In contrast, Nordic countries have been very supportive of working mothers and fathers, and sex equality. There have been extensive maternity and parental leave support systems in place for some time, and extensive child care networks. In Britain and the US, fears of overpopulation have dominated the agenda, along with nonstate interference with family life and acceptance of market forces as a dominant influence. The focus was on poverty, single parents, and welfare dependency. Southern European countries have shown great concern

  10. Anthropogenically-Mediated Density Dependence in a Declining Farmland Bird.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Jenny C; Hamer, Keith C; Benton, Tim G

    2015-01-01

    Land management intrinsically influences the distribution of animals and can consequently alter the potential for density-dependent processes to act within populations. For declining species, high densities of breeding territories are typically considered to represent productive populations. However, as density-dependent effects of food limitation or predator pressure may occur (especially when species are dependent upon separate nesting and foraging habitats), high territory density may limit per-capita productivity. Here, we use a declining but widespread European farmland bird, the yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella L., as a model system to test whether higher territory densities result in lower fledging success, parental provisioning rates or nestling growth rates compared to lower densities. Organic landscapes held higher territory densities, but nests on organic farms fledged fewer nestlings, translating to a 5 times higher rate of population shrinkage on organic farms compared to conventional. In addition, when parental provisioning behaviour was not restricted by predation risk (i.e., at times of low corvid activity), nestling provisioning rates were higher at lower territory densities, resulting in a much greater increase in nestling mass in low density areas, suggesting that food limitation occurred at high densities. These findings in turn suggest an ecological trap, whereby preferred nesting habitat does not provide sufficient food for rearing nestlings at high population density, creating a population sink. Habitat management for farmland birds should focus not simply on creating a high nesting density, but also on ensuring heterogeneous habitats to provide food resources in close proximity to nesting birds, even if this occurs through potentially restricting overall nest density but increasing population-level breeding success. PMID:26431173

  11. Anthropogenically-Mediated Density Dependence in a Declining Farmland Bird

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, Jenny C.; Hamer, Keith C.; Benton, Tim G.

    2015-01-01

    Land management intrinsically influences the distribution of animals and can consequently alter the potential for density-dependent processes to act within populations. For declining species, high densities of breeding territories are typically considered to represent productive populations. However, as density-dependent effects of food limitation or predator pressure may occur (especially when species are dependent upon separate nesting and foraging habitats), high territory density may limit per-capita productivity. Here, we use a declining but widespread European farmland bird, the yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella L., as a model system to test whether higher territory densities result in lower fledging success, parental provisioning rates or nestling growth rates compared to lower densities. Organic landscapes held higher territory densities, but nests on organic farms fledged fewer nestlings, translating to a 5 times higher rate of population shrinkage on organic farms compared to conventional. In addition, when parental provisioning behaviour was not restricted by predation risk (i.e., at times of low corvid activity), nestling provisioning rates were higher at lower territory densities, resulting in a much greater increase in nestling mass in low density areas, suggesting that food limitation occurred at high densities. These findings in turn suggest an ecological trap, whereby preferred nesting habitat does not provide sufficient food for rearing nestlings at high population density, creating a population sink. Habitat management for farmland birds should focus not simply on creating a high nesting density, but also on ensuring heterogeneous habitats to provide food resources in close proximity to nesting birds, even if this occurs through potentially restricting overall nest density but increasing population-level breeding success. PMID:26431173

  12. Posthypoxic ventilatory decline during NREM sleep: influence of sleep apnea.

    PubMed

    Omran, Amal M; Aboubakr, Salah E; Aboussouan, Loutfi S; Pierchala, Lisa; Badr, M Safwan

    2004-06-01

    We wished to determine the severity of posthypoxic ventilatory decline in patients with sleep apnea relative to normal subjects during sleep. We studied 11 men with sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome and 11 normal men during non-rapid eye movement sleep. We measured EEG, electrooculogram, arterial O(2) saturation, and end-tidal P(CO2). To maintain upper airway patency in patients with sleep apnea, nasal continuous positive pressure was applied at a level sufficient to eliminate apneas and hypopneas. We compared the prehypoxic control (C) with posthypoxic recovery breaths. Nadir minute ventilation in normal subjects was 6.3 +/- 0.5 l/min (83.8 +/- 5.7% of room air control) vs. 6.7 +/- 0.9 l/min, 69.1 +/- 8.5% of room air control in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients; nadir minute ventilation (% of control) was lower in patients with OSA relative to normal subjects (P < 0.05). Nadir tidal volume was 0.55 +/- 0.05 liter (80.0 +/- 6.6% of room air control) in OSA patients vs. 0.42 +/- 0.03 liter, 86.5 +/- 5.2% of room air control in normal subjects. In addition, prolongation of expiratory time (Te) occurred in the recovery period. There was a significant difference in Te prolongation between normal subjects (2.61 +/- 0.3 s, 120 +/- 11.2% of C) and OSA patients (5.6 +/- 1.5 s, 292 +/- 127.6% of C) (P < 0.006). In conclusion, 1) posthypoxic ventilatory decline occurred after termination of hypocapnic hypoxia in normal subjects and patients with sleep apnea and manifested as decreased tidal volume and prolongation of Te; and 2) posthypoxic ventilatory prolongation of Te was more pronounced in patients with sleep apnea relative to normal subjects. PMID:14990552

  13. Body Mass Index and Decline of Cognitive Function

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sujin; Kim, Yongjoo; Park, Sang Min

    2016-01-01

    Background The association between body mass index (BMI) and cognitive function is a public health issue. This study investigated the relationship between obesity and cognitive impairment which was assessed by the Korean version of the Mini-mental state examination (K-MMSE) among mid- and old-aged people in South Korea. Methods A cohort of 5,125 adults, age 45 or older with normal cognitive function (K-MMSE≥24) at baseline (2006), was derived from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (KLoSA) 2006~2012. The association between baseline BMI and risk of cognitive impairment was assessed using multiple logistic regression models. We also assessed baseline BMI and change of cognitive function over the 6-year follow-up using multiple linear regressions. Results During the follow-up, 358 cases of severe cognitive impairment were identified. Those with baseline BMI≥25 kg/m2 than normal-weight (18.5≤BMI<23 kg/m2) were marginally less likely to experience the development of severe cognitive impairment (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.52 to 1.03; Ptrend = 0.03). This relationship was stronger among female (aOR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.40 to 1.00; Ptrend = 0.01) and participants with low-normal K-MMSE score (MMSE: 24–26) at baseline (aOR = 0.59, 95% CI = 0.35 to 0.98; Ptrend<0.01). In addition, a slower decline of cognitive function was observed in obese individuals than those with normal weight, especially among women and those with low-normal K-MMSE score at baseline. Conclusion In this nationally representative study, we found that obesity was associated with lower risk of cognitive decline among mid- and old-age population. PMID:26867138

  14. The Population Decline and Extinction of Darwin’s Frogs

    PubMed Central

    Soto-Azat, Claudio; Valenzuela-Sánchez, Andrés; Collen, Ben; Rowcliffe, J. Marcus; Veloso, Alberto; Cunningham, Andrew A.

    2013-01-01

    Darwin’s frogs (Rhinoderma darwinii and R. rufum) are two species of mouth-brooding frogs from Chile and Argentina. Here, we present evidence on the extent of declines, current distribution and conservation status of Rhinoderma spp.; including information on abundance, habitat and threats to extant Darwin’s frog populations. All known archived Rhinoderma specimens were examined in museums in North America, Europe and South America. Extensive surveys were carried out throughout the historical ranges of R. rufum and R. darwinii from 2008 to 2012. Literature review and location data of 2,244 archived specimens were used to develop historical distribution maps for Rhinoderma spp. Based on records of sightings, optimal linear estimation was used to estimate whether R. rufum can be considered extinct. No extant R. rufum was found and our modelling inferred that this species became extinct in 1982 (95% CI, 1980–2000). Rhinoderma darwinii was found in 36 sites. All populations were within native forest and abundance was highest in Chiloé Island, when compared with Coast, Andes and South populations. Estimated population size and density (five populations) averaged 33.2 frogs/population (range, 10.2–56.3) and 14.9 frogs/100 m2 (range, 5.3–74.1), respectively. Our results provide further evidence that R. rufum is extinct and indicate that R. darwinii has declined to a much greater degree than previously recognised. Although this species can still be found across a large part of its historical range, remaining populations are small and severely fragmented. Conservation efforts for R. darwinii should be stepped up and the species re-classified as Endangered. PMID:23776705

  15. Fibrosis with Inflammation at One Year Predicts Transplant Functional Decline

    PubMed Central

    Park, Walter D.; Griffin, Matthew D.; Cornell, Lynn D.; Cosio, Fernando G.

    2010-01-01

    Lack of knowledge regarding specific causes for late loss of kidney transplants hampers improvements in long-term allograft survival. Kidney transplants with both interstitial fibrosis and subclinical inflammation but not fibrosis alone after 1 year have reduced survival. This study tested whether fibrosis with inflammation at 1 year associates with decline of renal function in a low-risk cohort and characterized the nature of the inflammation. We studied 151 living-donor, tacrolimus/mycophenolate-treated recipients without overt risk factors for reduced graft survival. Transplants with normal histology (n = 86) or fibrosis alone (n = 45) on 1-year protocol biopsy had stable renal function between 1 and 5 years, whereas those with both fibrosis and inflammation (n = 20) exhibited a decline in GFR and reduced graft survival. Immunohistochemistry confirmed increased interstitial T cells and macrophages/dendritic cells in the group with both fibrosis and inflammation, and there was increased expression of transcripts related to innate and cognate immunity. Pathway- and pathologic process–specific analyses of microarray profiles revealed that potentially damaging immunologic activities were enriched among the overexpressed transcripts (e.g., Toll-like receptor signaling, antigen presentation/dendritic cell maturation, IFN-γ–inducible response, cytotoxic T lymphocyte–associated and acute rejection–associated genes). Therefore, the combination of fibrosis and inflammation in 1-year protocol biopsies associates with reduced graft function and survival as well as a rejection-like gene expression signature, even among recipients with no clinical risk factors for poor outcomes. Early interventions aimed at altering rejection-like inflammation may improve long-term survival of kidney allografts. PMID:20813870

  16. Alzheimer's disease and age-related memory decline (preclinical).

    PubMed

    Terry, Alvin V; Callahan, Patrick M; Hall, Brandon; Webster, Scott J

    2011-08-01

    An unfortunate result of the rapid rise in geriatric populations worldwide is the increasing prevalence of age-related cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is a devastating neurodegenerative illness that is characterized by a profound impairment of cognitive function, marked physical disability, and an enormous economic burden on the afflicted individual, caregivers, and society in general. The rise in elderly populations is also resulting in an increase in individuals with related (potentially treatable) conditions such as "Mild Cognitive Impairment" (MCI) which is characterized by a less severe (but abnormal) level of cognitive impairment and a high-risk for developing dementia. Even in the absence of a diagnosable disorder of cognition (e.g., AD and MCI), the perception of increased forgetfulness and declining mental function is a clear source of apprehension in the elderly. This is a valid concern given that even a modest impairment of cognitive function is likely to be associated with significant disability in a rapidly evolving, technology-based society. Unfortunately, the currently available therapies designed to improve cognition (i.e., for AD and other forms of dementia) are limited by modest efficacy and adverse side effects, and their effects on cognitive function are not sustained over time. Accordingly, it is incumbent on the scientific community to develop safer and more effective therapies that improve and/or sustain cognitive function in the elderly allowing them to remain mentally active and productive for as long as possible. As diagnostic criteria for memory disorders evolve, the demand for pro-cognitive therapeutic agents is likely to surpass AD and dementia to include MCI and potentially even less severe forms of memory decline. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the contemporary therapeutic targets and preclinical pharmacologic approaches (with representative drug examples) designed to enhance memory

  17. Mediterranean Diet and Mobility Decline in Older Persons

    PubMed Central

    Milaneschi, Yuri; Bandinelli, Stefania; Corsi, Anna Maria; Lauretani, Fabrizio; Paolisso, Giuseppe; Dominguez, Ligia J.; Semba, Richard D; Tanaka, Toshiko; Abbatecola, Angela M; Talegawkar, Sameera A; Guralnik, Jack M.; Ferrucci, Luigi

    2010-01-01

    We examined whether adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet has positive effects on mobility assessed over a nine-year follow-up in a representative sample of older adults. This research is part of the InCHIANTI Study, a prospective population-based study of older persons in Tuscany, Italy. The sample for this analysis included 935 women and men aged 65 years and older. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed at baseline by the standard 10-unit Mediterranean diet score (MDS). Lower extremity function was measured at baseline, and at the 3, 6 and 9-year follow-up visits using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). At baseline, higher adherence to Mediterranean diet was associated with better lower body performance. Participants with higher adherence experienced less decline in SPPB score, which was of 0.9 points higher (p<.0001) at the 3-year-follow, 1.1 points higher (p= 0.0004) at the 6-year follow-up and 0.9 points higher (p= 0.04) at the 9-year follow-up compared to those with lower adherence. Among participants free of mobility disability at baseline, those with higher adherence had a lower risk (HR=0.71,95%CI=0.51–0.98, p=0.04) of developing new mobility disability. High adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet is associated with a slower decline of mobility over time in community dwelling older persons. If replicated, this observation is highly relevant in terms of public health. PMID:21111801

  18. Climate change and pollution speed declines in zebrafish populations

    PubMed Central

    Owen, Stewart F.; Peters, James; Zhang, Yong; Soffker, Marta; Paull, Gregory C.; Hosken, David J.; Wahab, M. Abdul; Tyler, Charles R.

    2015-01-01

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are potent environmental contaminants, and their effects on wildlife populations could be exacerbated by climate change, especially in species with environmental sex determination. Endangered species may be particularly at risk because inbreeding depression and stochastic fluctuations in male and female numbers are often observed in the small populations that typify these taxa. Here, we assessed the interactive effects of water temperature and EDC exposure on sexual development and population viability of inbred and outbred zebrafish (Danio rerio). Water temperatures adopted were 28 °C (current ambient mean spawning temperature) and 33 °C (projected for the year 2100). The EDC selected was clotrimazole (at 2 μg/L and 10 μg/L), a widely used antifungal chemical that inhibits a key steroidogenic enzyme [cytochrome P450(CYP19) aromatase] required for estrogen synthesis in vertebrates. Elevated water temperature and clotrimazole exposure independently induced male-skewed sex ratios, and the effects of clotrimazole were greater at the higher temperature. Male sex ratio skews also occurred for the lower clotrimazole exposure concentration at the higher water temperature in inbred fish but not in outbred fish. Population viability analysis showed that population growth rates declined sharply in response to male skews and declines for inbred populations occurred at lower male skews than for outbred populations. These results indicate that elevated temperature associated with climate change can amplify the effects of EDCs and these effects are likely to be most acute in small, inbred populations exhibiting environmental sex determination and/or differentiation. PMID:25733876

  19. 26 CFR 1.165-4 - Decline in value of stock.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Decline in value of stock. 1.165-4 Section 1.165... in value of stock. (a) Deduction disallowed. No deduction shall be allowed under section 165(a) solely on account of a decline in the value of stock owned by the taxpayer when the decline is due to...

  20. Downward Spirals, Boiled Frogs, and Catastrophes: Examining the Rate of School Decline

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hochbein, Craig

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to determine the validity of common assumptions about the rate at which school decline manifests. From a population of 981 elementary schools in the state of Virginia, the author uses three operational definitions of school decline to identify samples of declining schools: Absolute (n = 217), Relational (n = 510), and…