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Sample records for protected terrestrial vertebrates

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-07-01

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

  4. On how much biodiversity is covered in Europe by national protected areas and by the Natura 2000 network: insights from terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Maiorano, L; Amori, G; Montemaggiori, A; Rondinini, C; Santini, L; Saura, S; Boitani, L

    2015-08-01

    The European Union has made extensive biodiversity conservation efforts with the Habitats and Birds Directives and with the establishment of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas, one of the largest networks of conservation areas worldwide. We performed a gap analysis of the entire Natura 2000 system plus national protected areas and all terrestrial vertebrates (freshwater fish excluded). We also evaluated the level of connectivity of both systems, providing therefore a first estimate of the functionality of the Natura 2000 system as an effective network of protected areas. Together national protected areas and the Natura 2000 network covered more than one-third of the European Union. National protected areas did not offer protection to 13 total gap species (i.e., species not covered by any protected area) or to almost 300 partial gap species (i.e., species whose representation target is not met). Together the Natura 2000 network and national protected areas left 1 total gap species and 121 partial gap species unprotected. The terrestrial vertebrates listed in the Habitats and Birds Directives were relatively well covered (especially birds), and overall connectivity was improved considerably by Natura 2000 sites that act as stepping stones between national protected areas. Overall, we found that the Natura 2000 network represents at continental level an important network of protected areas that acts as a good complement to existing national protected areas. However, a number of problems remain that are mainly linked to the criteria used to list the species in the Habitats and Birds Directives. The European Commission initiated in 2014 a process aimed at assessing the importance of the Birds and Habitats Directives for biodiversity conservation. Our results contribute to this assessment and suggest the system is largely effective for terrestrial vertebrates but would benefit from further updating of the species lists and field management. PMID:25997522

  5. Contaminant Exposure in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    EPA Science Inventory

    Manuscript is a critical review of the state of the science for quantifying exposures of terrestrial wildlife species to chemical contamination. It describes the unique aspects of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and threatened and endangered species. Fate and transport of ...

  6. Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2000-08-01

    Although herbivory probably first appeared over 300 million years ago, it only became established as a common feeding strategy during Late Permian times. Subsequently, herbivory evolved in numerous lineages of terrestrial vertebrates, and the acquisition of this mode of feeding was frequently associated with considerable evolutionary diversification in those lineages. This book represents a comprehensive overview of the evolution of herbivory in land-dwelling amniote tetrapods in recent years. In Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates, leading experts review the evolutionary history and structural adaptations required for feeding on plants in the major groups of land-dwelling vertebrates, especially dinosaurs and ungulate mammals. As such, this volume will be the definitive reference source on this topic for evolutionary biologists and vertebrate paleontologists.

  7. [Construction of an indicator system for evaluating the protection efficacy of national nature reserves in China: A case study on terrestrial vertebrates (excluding migratory birds)].

    PubMed

    Yan, Yu-ying; Yang, Dao-de; Deng, Jiao; Zhang, Zhi-qiang; Zhou, Xian-yan; Wang, Wei; Li, Jun-sheng

    2015-05-01

    The protection efficacy of nature reserves is a key element in achieving targets of biodiversity conservation. It is therefore very important to develop a scientific, systematic, and accurate index system for evaluating the protection efficacy of national nature reserves in China. Using methods of frequency statistics, expert consultation, analytic hierarchy process, and demonstration survey, we present a novel index system for evaluating the protection efficacy of Chinese national nature reserves for terrestrial vertebrates (excluding migratory birds) over a 10-year period. The indicator system included one target layer, two system layers, nine factor layers, and forty index layers. The system layer included ecological effectiveness evaluation (with a score of 60%) and management effectiveness evaluation (score of 40%). The ecological effectiveness evaluation was a comprehensive, dynamic evaluation of the target species, population, habitat, and ecological system. The management effectiveness evaluation was focused on the effectiveness of patrol and monitoring. The additional part aimed to analyze the impact of humans on the target species, population and nature resources of the nature reserve. This study combined the ecological effectiveness evaluation and the management effectiveness evaluation for the first time, highlighted the importance of time and space changes, distinguished the influence of natural factors from human factors, and integrated them into the evaluation results. By emphasizing quantifiable indicators, this evaluation index system could vastly assist the protection of nature reserves by improving management effectiveness, biodiversity conservation, and macroscopic decision-making. PMID:26571679

  8. Late Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrate fauna, North Slope, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Clemens, W.A.; Allison, C.W.

    1985-01-01

    Closely related terrestrial vertebrates in Cretaceous mid-latitude (30/sup 0/ to 50/sup 0/) faunas of North America and Asia as well as scattered occurrences of footprints and skin impressions suggested that in the Late Mesozoic the Alaskan North Slope supported a diverse fauna. In 1961 abundant skeletal elements of Cretaceous, Alaskan dinosaurs (hadrosaurids) were discovered by the late R.L. Liscomb. This material is being described by K.L. Davies. Additional fossils collected by E.M. Brouwers and her associates include skeletal elements of hadrosaurid and carnosaurian (.tyrannosaurid) dinosaurs and other vertebrates. The fossil locality on the North Slope is not at about 70/sup 0/N. In the Late Cretaceous the members of this fauna were subject to the daylight regime and environment at a paleolatitude closer to 80/sup 0/N. Current hypotheses attributing extinctions of dinosaurs and some other terrestrial vertebrates to impact of an extraterrestrial object cite periods of darkness, decreased temperature (possibly followed by extreme warming) and acid rain as the direct causes of their demise. Unless members of this North Slope fauna undertook long-distance migrations, their high latitude occurrence indicates groups of dinosaurs and other terrestrial vertebrates regularly tolerated months of darkness.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    We identified hotspots of terrestrial vertebrate species diversity in Europe and adjacent islands. Moreover, we assessed the extent to which by the end of the 21(st) century such hotspots will be exposed to average monthly temperature and precipitation patterns which can be regarded as extreme if compared to the climate experienced during 1950-2000. In particular, we considered the entire European sub-continent plus Turkey and a total of 1149 species of terrestrial vertebrates. For each species, we developed species-specific expert-based distribution models (validated against field data) which we used to calculate species richness maps for mammals, breeding birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Considering four global circulation model outputs and three emission scenarios, we generated an index of risk of exposure to extreme climates, and we used a bivariate local Moran's I to identify the areas with a significant association between hotspots of diversity and high risk of exposure to extreme climates. Our results outline that the Mediterranean basin represents both an important hotspot for biodiversity and especially for threatened species for all taxa. In particular, the Iberian and Italian peninsulas host particularly high species richness as measured over all groups, while the eastern Mediterranean basin is particularly rich in amphibians and reptiles; the islands (both Macaronesian and Mediterranean) host the highest richness of threatened species for all taxa occurs. Our results suggest that the main hotspots of biodiversity for terrestrial vertebrates may be extensively influenced by the climate change projected to occur over the coming decades, especially in the Mediterranean bioregion, posing serious concerns for biodiversity conservation. PMID:24066162

  10. Threats from Climate Change to Terrestrial Vertebrate Hotspots in Europe

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    We identified hotspots of terrestrial vertebrate species diversity in Europe and adjacent islands. Moreover, we assessed the extent to which by the end of the 21st century such hotspots will be exposed to average monthly temperature and precipitation patterns which can be regarded as extreme if compared to the climate experienced during 1950-2000. In particular, we considered the entire European sub-continent plus Turkey and a total of 1149 species of terrestrial vertebrates. For each species, we developed species-specific expert-based distribution models (validated against field data) which we used to calculate species richness maps for mammals, breeding birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Considering four global circulation model outputs and three emission scenarios, we generated an index of risk of exposure to extreme climates, and we used a bivariate local Moran’s I to identify the areas with a significant association between hotspots of diversity and high risk of exposure to extreme climates. Our results outline that the Mediterranean basin represents both an important hotspot for biodiversity and especially for threatened species for all taxa. In particular, the Iberian and Italian peninsulas host particularly high species richness as measured over all groups, while the eastern Mediterranean basin is particularly rich in amphibians and reptiles; the islands (both Macaronesian and Mediterranean) host the highest richness of threatened species for all taxa occurs. Our results suggest that the main hotspots of biodiversity for terrestrial vertebrates may be extensively influenced by the climate change projected to occur over the coming decades, especially in the Mediterranean bioregion, posing serious concerns for biodiversity conservation. PMID:24066162

  11. Global patterns of terrestrial vertebrate diversity and conservation.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  12. Contaminant effect endpoints in terrestrial vertebrates at and above the individual level

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Cohen, J.B.; Golden, N.H.

    2000-01-01

    Use of biochemical, physiological, anatomical, reproductive and behavioral characteristics of wild terrestrial vertebrates to assess contaminant exposure and effects has become commonplace over the past 3 decades. At the level of the individual organism, response patterns have been associated with and sometimes causally linked to contaminant exposure. However, such responses at the organismal level are rarely associated with or causally linked to effects at the population level. Although the ultimate goal of ecotoxicology is the protection of populations, communities, and ecosystems, most of the existing science and regulatory legislation focus on the level of the individual. Consequently, much of this overview concentrates on contaminant effects at the organismal level, with some extrapolation to higher-level effects. In this chapter, we review the state of the science for the evaluation of biotic end-points used to assess contaminant exposure and effects at or above the level of the individual. In addition, we describe extant contaminant concentration thresholds, guidelines, or standards (toxicant criteria) in environmental matrices (e.g., water, soil, sediment, foods) that have been developed to protect wild terrestrial vertebrates. Suggestions are provided to develop and embellish the use and value of such endpoints and criteria for extrapolation of effects to higher levels of biological organization. Increasing focus on populations, communities, and ecosystems is needed to develop biologically meaningful regulatory guidelines that will protect natural resources.

  13. Checklist of the terrestrial vertebrates of the Guiana Shield

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2005-01-01

    Distributions are given for 1850 species of terrestrial vertebrates in the Guiana Shield region of northeastern South America, with introductory text by the authors of each section. Distributions cover the three Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, and French Guiana), and the states of the Venezuelan Guayna (Amazonas, Bolivar, and Delta Amacuro), and in some cases the states of the Brazilian portion of the Guiana Shield (Amazonas, Roraima, Para, and Amapa), and the Colombian portion of the Guiana Shield. The first section is a checklist of amphibians of the Guiana Shield, by J. Celsa Sefiaris and Ross MacCulloch, detailing the distribution of 269 species. The second section is a checklist of the reptiles of the Guiana Shield by Teresa C. S. de Avila Pires, detailing the distribution of 295 species. The third section is a checklist of the birds of the Guiana Shield, by Chris Milensky, Wiltshire Hinds, Alexandre Aleixo, and Maria de Fatima C. Lima, detailing the distribution of 1004 species. The fourth section is a checklist of the mammals of the Guiana Shield, by Burton K. Lim, Mark D. Engstrom, and Jose Ochoa G., detailing the distribution of 282 species.

  14. Late Quaternary terrestrial vertebrate coprolites from New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Jamie R.; Wilmshurst, Janet M.

    2014-08-01

    Over the past decade, concerted efforts to find and study Late Quaternary terrestrial vertebrate coprolites in New Zealand have revealed new insights into the diets and ecologies of New Zealand's prehistoric birds. Here, we provide a broader review of the coprolites found in natural (non-archaeological) Late Quaternary deposits from New Zealand. We summarise the morphological diversity of the coprolites, and discuss the taphonomy of the sites in which they are found. Since the 1870s more than 2000 coprolites have been discovered from 30 localities, all restricted to the South Island. The distribution of coprolite localities appears to reflect the presence of geological and climatic factors that enhance the potential for coprolite preservation; coprolites require dry conditions for preservation, and have been found on the ground surface within drafting cave entrances and at shallow (<300 mm) depths beneath rock overhangs with a northerly aspect. We classify the coprolites into eleven morphotypes, each of which may represent a range of different bird and/or reptile species. A review of genetically identified specimens shows that coprolites of different bird species overlap in size and morphology, reinforcing the need for identifications to be based on ancient DNA analysis.

  15. Climate and topography explain range sizes of terrestrial vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yiming; Li, Xianping; Sandel, Brody; Blank, David; Liu, Zetian; Liu, Xuan; Yan, Shaofei

    2016-05-01

    Identifying the factors that influence range sizes of species provides important insight into the distribution of biodiversity, and is crucial for predicting shifts in species ranges in response to climate change. Current climate (for example, climate variability and climate extremes), long-term climate change, evolutionary age, topographic heterogeneity, land area and species traits such as physiological thermal limits, dispersal ability, annual fecundity and body size have been shown to influence range size. Yet, few studies have examined the generality of each of these factors among different taxa, or have simultaneously evaluated the strength of relationships between range size and these factors at a global scale. We quantify contributions of these factors to range sizes of terrestrial vertebrates (mammals, birds and reptiles) at a global scale. We found that large-ranged species experience greater monthly extremes of maximum or minimum temperature within their ranges, or occur in areas with higher long-term climate velocity and lower topographic heterogeneity or lower precipitation seasonality. Flight ability, body mass and continent width are important only for particular taxa. Our results highlight the importance of climate and topographic context in driving range size variation. The results suggest that small-range species may be vulnerable to climate change and should be the focus of conservation efforts.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  17. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Alves, Maria Alice S; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Patterns of Vertebrate Diversity and Protection in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Clinton N.; Alves, Maria Alice S.; Uezu, Alexandre; Vale, Mariana M.

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Reproductive costs in terrestrial male vertebrates: insights from bird studies.

    PubMed

    Bleu, Josefa; Gamelon, Marlène; Sæther, Bernt-Erik

    2016-01-27

    Reproduction requires resources that cannot be allocated to other functions resulting in direct reproductive costs (i.e. trade-offs between current reproduction and subsequent survival/reproduction). In wild vertebrates, direct reproductive costs have been widely described in females, but their occurrence in males remains to be explored. To fill this gap, we gathered 53 studies on 48 species testing direct reproductive costs in male vertebrates. We found a trade-off between current reproduction and subsequent performances in 29% of the species and in every clade. As 73% of the studied species are birds, we focused on that clade to investigate whether such trade-offs are associated with (i) levels of paternal care, (ii) polygyny or (iii) pace of life. More precisely for this third question, it is expected that fast species (i.e. short lifespan, early maturity, high fecundity) pay a cost in terms of survival, whereas slow species (with opposite characteristics) do so in terms of fecundity. Our findings tend to support this hypothesis. Finally, we pointed out the potential confounding effects that should be accounted for when investigating reproductive costs in males and strongly encourage the investigation of such costs in more clades to understand to what extent our results are relevant for other vertebrates. PMID:26791619

  20. Reproductive costs in terrestrial male vertebrates: insights from bird studies

    PubMed Central

    Gamelon, Marlène; Sæther, Bernt-Erik

    2016-01-01

    Reproduction requires resources that cannot be allocated to other functions resulting in direct reproductive costs (i.e. trade-offs between current reproduction and subsequent survival/reproduction). In wild vertebrates, direct reproductive costs have been widely described in females, but their occurrence in males remains to be explored. To fill this gap, we gathered 53 studies on 48 species testing direct reproductive costs in male vertebrates. We found a trade-off between current reproduction and subsequent performances in 29% of the species and in every clade. As 73% of the studied species are birds, we focused on that clade to investigate whether such trade-offs are associated with (i) levels of paternal care, (ii) polygyny or (iii) pace of life. More precisely for this third question, it is expected that fast species (i.e. short lifespan, early maturity, high fecundity) pay a cost in terms of survival, whereas slow species (with opposite characteristics) do so in terms of fecundity. Our findings tend to support this hypothesis. Finally, we pointed out the potential confounding effects that should be accounted for when investigating reproductive costs in males and strongly encourage the investigation of such costs in more clades to understand to what extent our results are relevant for other vertebrates. PMID:26791619

  1. Stability of Mitochondrial Membrane Proteins in Terrestrial Vertebrates Predicts Aerobic Capacity and Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Kitazoe, Yasuhiro; Kishino, Hirohisa; Hasegawa, Masami; Matsui, Atsushi; Lane, Nick; Tanaka, Masashi

    2011-01-01

    The cellular energy produced by mitochondria is a fundamental currency of life. However, the extent to which mitochondrial (mt) performance (power and endurance) is adapted to habitats and life strategies of vertebrates is not well understood. A global analysis of mt genomes revealed that hydrophobicity (HYD) of mt membrane proteins (MMPs) is much lower in terrestrial vertebrates than in fishes and shows a strong negative correlation with serine/threonine composition (STC). Here, we present evidence that this systematic feature of MMPs was crucial for the evolution of large terrestrial vertebrates with high aerobic capacity. An Arrhenius-type equation gave positive correlations between STC and maximum life span (MLS) in terrestrial vertebrates (with a few exceptions relating to the lifestyle of small animals with a high resting metabolic rate [RMR]) and negative correlations in secondary marine vertebrates, such as cetaceans and alligators (which returned from land to water, utilizing buoyancy with increased body size). In particular, marked STC increases in primates (especially hominoids) among placentals were associated with very high MLS values. We connected these STC increases in MMPs with greater stability of respiratory complexes by estimating the degradation of the Arrhenius plot given by accelerating mtRMR up to mt maximum metabolic rate. Both mtRMR and HYD in terrestrial vertebrates decreased with increasing body mass. Decreases in mtRMR raise MMP stability when high mobility is not required, whereas decreased HYD may weaken this stability under the hydrophobic environment of lipid bilayer. High maximal metabolic rates (5–10 RMR), which we postulate require high MMP mobility, presumably render MMPs more unstable. A marked rise in STC may therefore be essential to stabilize MMPs, perhaps as dynamic supercomplexes, via hydrogen bonds associated with serine/threonine motifs. PMID:21824868

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

    PubMed

    Bishop, Peter J; Walmsley, Christopher W; Phillips, Matthew J; Quayle, Michelle R; Boisvert, Catherine A; McHenry, Colin R

    2015-01-01

    The origin of terrestrial tetrapods was a key event in vertebrate evolution, yet how and when it occurred remains obscure, due to scarce fossil evidence. Here, we show that the study of palaeopathologies, such as broken and healed bones, can help elucidate poorly understood behavioural transitions such as this. Using high-resolution finite element analysis, we demonstrate that the oldest known broken tetrapod bone, a radius of the primitive stem tetrapod Ossinodus pueri from the mid-Viséan (333 million years ago) of Australia, fractured under a high-force, impact-type loading scenario. The nature of the fracture suggests that it most plausibly occurred during a fall on land. Augmenting this are new osteological observations, including a preferred directionality to the trabecular architecture of cancellous bone. Together, these results suggest that Ossinodus, one of the first large (>2m length) tetrapods, spent a significant proportion of its life on land. Our findings have important implications for understanding the temporal, biogeographical and physiological contexts under which terrestriality in vertebrates evolved. They push the date for the origin of terrestrial tetrapods further back into the Carboniferous by at least two million years. Moreover, they raise the possibility that terrestriality in vertebrates first evolved in large tetrapods in Gondwana rather than in small European forms, warranting a re-evaluation of this important evolutionary event. PMID:25938463

  3. Oldest Pathology in a Tetrapod Bone Illuminates the Origin of Terrestrial Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Bishop, Peter J.; Walmsley, Christopher W.; Phillips, Matthew J.; Quayle, Michelle R.

    2015-01-01

    The origin of terrestrial tetrapods was a key event in vertebrate evolution, yet how and when it occurred remains obscure, due to scarce fossil evidence. Here, we show that the study of palaeopathologies, such as broken and healed bones, can help elucidate poorly understood behavioural transitions such as this. Using high-resolution finite element analysis, we demonstrate that the oldest known broken tetrapod bone, a radius of the primitive stem tetrapod Ossinodus pueri from the mid-Viséan (333 million years ago) of Australia, fractured under a high-force, impact-type loading scenario. The nature of the fracture suggests that it most plausibly occurred during a fall on land. Augmenting this are new osteological observations, including a preferred directionality to the trabecular architecture of cancellous bone. Together, these results suggest that Ossinodus, one of the first large (>2m length) tetrapods, spent a significant proportion of its life on land. Our findings have important implications for understanding the temporal, biogeographical and physiological contexts under which terrestriality in vertebrates evolved. They push the date for the origin of terrestrial tetrapods further back into the Carboniferous by at least two million years. Moreover, they raise the possibility that terrestriality in vertebrates first evolved in large tetrapods in Gondwana rather than in small European forms, warranting a re-evaluation of this important evolutionary event. PMID:25938463

  4. The chemical and evolutionary ecology of tetrodotoxin (TTX) toxicity in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hanifin, Charles T

    2010-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is widely distributed in marine taxa, however in terrestrial taxa it is limited to a single class of vertebrates (Amphibia). Tetrodotoxin present in the skin and eggs of TTX-bearing amphibians primarily serves as an antipredator defense and these taxa have provided excellent models for the study of the evolution and chemical ecology of TTX toxicity. The origin of TTX present in terrestrial vertebrates is controversial. In marine organisms the accepted hypothesis is that the TTX present in metazoans results from either dietary uptake of bacterially produced TTX or symbiosis with TTX producing bacteria, but this hypothesis may not be applicable to TTX-bearing amphibians. Here I review the taxonomic distribution and evolutionary ecology of TTX in amphibians with some attention to the origin of TTX present in these taxa. PMID:20411116

  5. The Chemical and Evolutionary Ecology of Tetrodotoxin (TTX) Toxicity in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Hanifin, Charles T.

    2010-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is widely distributed in marine taxa, however in terrestrial taxa it is limited to a single class of vertebrates (Amphibia). Tetrodotoxin present in the skin and eggs of TTX-bearing amphibians primarily serves as an antipredator defense and these taxa have provided excellent models for the study of the evolution and chemical ecology of TTX toxicity. The origin of TTX present in terrestrial vertebrates is controversial. In marine organisms the accepted hypothesis is that the TTX present in metazoans results from either dietary uptake of bacterially produced TTX or symbiosis with TTX producing bacteria, but this hypothesis may not be applicable to TTX-bearing amphibians. Here I review the taxonomic distribution and evolutionary ecology of TTX in amphibians with some attention to the origin of TTX present in these taxa. PMID:20411116

  6. The oldest caseid synapsid from the Late Pennsylvanian of Kansas, and the evolution of herbivory in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Reisz, Robert R; Fröbisch, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    The origin and early evolution of amniotes (fully terrestrial vertebrates) led to major changes in the structure and hierarchy of terrestrial ecosystems. The first appearance of herbivores played a pivotal role in this transformation. After an early bifurcation into Reptilia and Synapsida (including mammals) 315 Ma, synapsids dominated Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrate communities, with the herbivorous caseids representing the largest vertebrates on land. Eocasea martini gen. et sp. nov., a small carnivorous caseid from the Late Carboniferous, extends significantly the fossil record of Caseidae, and permits the first clade-based study of the origin and initial evolution of herbivory in terrestrial tetrapods. Our results demonstrate for the first time that large caseid herbivores evolved from small, non-herbivorous caseids. This pattern is mirrored by three other clades, documenting multiple, independent, but temporally staggered origins of herbivory and increase in body size among early terrestrial tetrapods, leading to patterns consistent with modern terrestrial ecosystem. PMID:24739998

  7. The Oldest Caseid Synapsid from the Late Pennsylvanian of Kansas, and the Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Reisz, Robert R.; Fröbisch, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    The origin and early evolution of amniotes (fully terrestrial vertebrates) led to major changes in the structure and hierarchy of terrestrial ecosystems. The first appearance of herbivores played a pivotal role in this transformation. After an early bifurcation into Reptilia and Synapsida (including mammals) 315 Ma, synapsids dominated Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrate communities, with the herbivorous caseids representing the largest vertebrates on land. Eocasea martini gen. et sp. nov., a small carnivorous caseid from the Late Carboniferous, extends significantly the fossil record of Caseidae, and permits the first clade-based study of the origin and initial evolution of herbivory in terrestrial tetrapods. Our results demonstrate for the first time that large caseid herbivores evolved from small, non-herbivorous caseids. This pattern is mirrored by three other clades, documenting multiple, independent, but temporally staggered origins of herbivory and increase in body size among early terrestrial tetrapods, leading to patterns consistent with modern terrestrial ecosystem. PMID:24739998

  8. Conservation of Terrestrial Vertebrates in a Global Hotspot of Karst Area in Southwestern China

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Fang, Hongxia; Li, Chunwang

    2016-01-01

    The karst area of southwest China (KASC) is the largest piece of karst landscape on the earth and a global biodiversity hot-spot with high concentrations of endemic species. Although a number of nature reserves (NRs) have been established across the region, the representativeness of biodiversity of the NR system is still unknown. Based on comprehensive literature and field surveys, and intensive consultations with zoologists and wildlife managers, we compiled distributions of 1,204 terrestrial vertebrate species and 271 NRs in KASC. We found Jinxiu, Mengla, Hekou, and Jinghong have the richest amphibian species; Jinxiu has the highest species richness of reptiles; Jinghong, Menghai, and Mengla have the largest numbers of avian species; whereas, Mengla, Longzhou, and Ningming have the greatest mammalian diversity in the region. Gap analysis among NR system, species richness pattern, and five biogeographic indicators found insufficient representation of the NR system on territorial vertebrate diversity. The conservation effectiveness in Guizhou Province was much lower than that in Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces. Under-representation and over-representation simultaneously occurred in many of the ecoregions, elevation classes, vegetation types, landcover categories, and human disturbance intensity gradients. For conservation of terrestrial vertebrates in KASC, several suggestions were presented in this study. PMID:27228463

  9. Conservation of Terrestrial Vertebrates in a Global Hotspot of Karst Area in Southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Fang, Hongxia; Li, Chunwang

    2016-01-01

    The karst area of southwest China (KASC) is the largest piece of karst landscape on the earth and a global biodiversity hot-spot with high concentrations of endemic species. Although a number of nature reserves (NRs) have been established across the region, the representativeness of biodiversity of the NR system is still unknown. Based on comprehensive literature and field surveys, and intensive consultations with zoologists and wildlife managers, we compiled distributions of 1,204 terrestrial vertebrate species and 271 NRs in KASC. We found Jinxiu, Mengla, Hekou, and Jinghong have the richest amphibian species; Jinxiu has the highest species richness of reptiles; Jinghong, Menghai, and Mengla have the largest numbers of avian species; whereas, Mengla, Longzhou, and Ningming have the greatest mammalian diversity in the region. Gap analysis among NR system, species richness pattern, and five biogeographic indicators found insufficient representation of the NR system on territorial vertebrate diversity. The conservation effectiveness in Guizhou Province was much lower than that in Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces. Under-representation and over-representation simultaneously occurred in many of the ecoregions, elevation classes, vegetation types, landcover categories, and human disturbance intensity gradients. For conservation of terrestrial vertebrates in KASC, several suggestions were presented in this study. PMID:27228463

  10. Pupil shapes and lens optics in the eyes of terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Malmström, Tim; Kröger, Ronald H H

    2006-01-01

    Animal eyes that are primarily used under low-light conditions usually have optical systems of short depth of focus, such that chromatic defocus may lead to considerable blurring of the images. In some vertebrates, the problem is solved by multifocal lenses having concentric zones of different focal lengths, each of which focuses a different relevant spectral range onto the retina. A partially constricted circular pupil would shade the peripheral zones of the lens, leading to the loss of well-focused images at relevant wavelengths. The slit pupil, however, allows for use of the full diameter of the lens even in bright light. We studied species of terrestrial vertebrates from a variety of phylogenetic groups to establish how widespread multifocal lenses are and how pupil shapes are adapted to the optical systems. We found that multifocal lenses are common from amphibians to mammals, including primates. Slit pupils were only present in animals having multifocal optical systems. Among the felids, small species have multifocal lenses and slit pupils, while large species have monofocal lenses and round pupils. The Eurasian lynx, a cat of intermediate size, has an intermediate eye design. The functional significance of the absence of multifocal optical systems in large felids remains mysterious, because such systems are present in other large-eyed terrestrial vertebrates. Multifocal optical systems in nocturnal prosimians suggest that those animals have colour vision despite being described as cone monochromats. PMID:16354774

  11. Environmental Contaminants and Terrestrial Vertebrates: Effects on Populations, Communities, and Ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2000-01-01

    The desire of resource managers, risk assessors, and the general public to better understand the consequences of environmental contamination has produced a strong and growing need for information on the effects of contaminants on populations and groups of species, and over moderate to large areas of land or water. However, the problems associated with research involving populations and groups of species or large and complex geographic areas, especially in terrestrial environments, are well known within the scientific community. With the previous thoughts in mind, an interactive symposium was held at the University of Maryland in October 1998. The purpose of the symposium was to review and critically evaluate our understanding of the effects of contaminants on terrestrial vertebrates at levels of organization above that of the individual. Invited background and technical presentations provided a common baseline of information for symposium participants. Discussion groups were then asked to critically evaluate the topics of two technical sessions. Several presentations of recent or ongoing research provided participants with examples of current approaches to assessments of the effects of contaminants on terrestrial vertebrates at the population or higher level of organization. The book consists of 10 chapters written by presenters at the symposium and three chapters conveying the reports of discussion group.

  12. Axial allometry in a neutrally buoyant environment: effects of the terrestrial-aquatic transition on vertebral scaling.

    PubMed

    Jones, K E; Pierce, S E

    2016-03-01

    Ecological diversification into new environments presents new mechanical challenges for locomotion. An extreme example of this is the transition from a terrestrial to an aquatic lifestyle. Here, we examine the implications of life in a neutrally buoyant environment on adaptations of the axial skeleton to evolutionary increases in body size. On land, mammals must use their thoracolumbar vertebral column for body support against gravity and thus exhibit increasing stabilization of the trunk as body size increases. Conversely, in water, the role of the axial skeleton in body support is reduced, and, in aquatic mammals, the vertebral column functions primarily in locomotion. Therefore, we hypothesize that the allometric stabilization associated with increasing body size in terrestrial mammals will be minimized in secondarily aquatic mammals. We test this by comparing the scaling exponent (slope) of vertebral measures from 57 terrestrial species (23 felids, 34 bovids) to 23 semi-aquatic species (pinnipeds), using phylogenetically corrected regressions. Terrestrial taxa meet predictions of allometric stabilization, with posterior vertebral column (lumbar region) shortening, increased vertebral height compared to width, and shorter, more disc-shaped centra. In contrast, pinniped vertebral proportions (e.g. length, width, height) scale with isometry, and in some cases, centra even become more spool-shaped with increasing size, suggesting increased flexibility. Our results demonstrate that evolution of a secondarily aquatic lifestyle has modified the mechanical constraints associated with evolutionary increases in body size, relative to terrestrial taxa. PMID:26679743

  13. The "terminal Triassic catastrophic extinction event" in perspective: a review of carboniferous through Early Jurassic terrestrial vertebrate extinction patterns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weems, R.E.

    1992-01-01

    A catastrophic terminal Triassic extinction event among terrestrial vertebrates is not supported by available evidence. The current model for such an extinction is based on at least eight weak or untenable assumptions: (1) a terminal Triassic extinction-inducing asteroid impact occurred, (2) a terminal Triassic synchronous mass extinction of terrestrial vertebrates occurred, (3) a concurrent terminal Triassic marine extinction occurred, (4) all terrestrial vertebrate families have similar diversities and ecologies, (5) changes in familial diversity can be gauged accurately from the known fossil record, (6) extinction of families can be compared through time without normalizing for changes in familial diversity through time, (7) extinction rates can be compared without normalizing for differing lengths of geologic stages, and (8) catastrophic mass extinctions do not select for small size. These assumptions have resulted in unsupportable and (or) erroneous conclusions. Carboniferous through Early Jurassic terrestrial vertebrate families mostly have evolution and extinction patterns unlike the vertebrate evolution and extinction patterns during the terminal Cretaceous event. Only the Serpukhovian (mid Carboniferous) extinction event shows strong analogy to the terminal Cretaceous event. Available data suggest no terminal Triassic extinction anomaly, but rather a prolonged and nearly steady decline in the global terrestrial vertebrate extinction rate throughout the Triassic and earliest Jurassic. ?? 1992.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-23

    Given the physiological limits to egg size, large-bodied non-avian dinosaurs experienced some of the most extreme shifts in size during postnatal ontogeny found in terrestrial vertebrate systems. In contrast, mammals--the other dominant vertebrate group since the Mesozoic--have less complex ontogenies. Here, we develop a model that quantifies the impact of size-specific interspecies competition on abundances of differently sized dinosaurs and mammals, taking into account the extended niche breadth realized during ontogeny among large oviparous species. Our model predicts low diversity at intermediate size classes (between approx. 1 and 1000 kg), consistent with observed diversity distributions of dinosaurs, and of Mesozoic land vertebrates in general. It also provides a mechanism--based on an understanding of different ecological and evolutionary constraints across vertebrate groups--that explains how mammals and birds, but not dinosaurs, were able to persist beyond the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary, and how post-K-T mammals were able to diversify into larger size categories. PMID:22513279

  15. A new database on contaminant exposure and effects in terrestrial vertebrates for natural resource managers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Pearson, J.L.; Garrett, L.J.; Erwin, R.M.; Walz, A.; Ottinger, M.A.

    1997-01-01

    The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) program of the Department of the Interior is focused to identify and understand effects of contaminant stressors on biological resources under their stewardship. Despite the desire of many to continuously monitor the environmental health of our estuaries, much can be learned by summarizing existing temporal, geographic, and phylogenetic contaminant information. To this end, retrospective contaminant exposure and effects data for amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals residing within 30 km of Atlantic coast estuaries are being assembled through searches of published literature (e.g., Fisheries Review, Wildlife Review, BIOSIS Previews) and databases (e.g., US EPA Ecological Incident Information System; USGS Diagnostic and Epizootic Databases), and compilation of summary data from unpublished reports of government natural resource agencies, private conservation groups, and universities. These contaminant exposure and effect data for terrestrial vertebrates (CEE-TV) are being summarized using Borland dBASE in a 96- field format, including species, collection time and site coordinates, sample matrix, contaminant concentration, biomarker and bioindicator responses, and source of information (N>1500 records). This CEE-TV database has been imported into the ARC/INFO geographic information system (GIS), for purposes of examining geographic coverage and trends, and to identify critical data gaps. A preliminary risk assessment will be conducted to identify and characterize contaminants and other stressors potentially affecting terrestrial vertebrates that reside, migrate through or reproduce in these estuaries. Evaluations are underway, using specific measurement and assessment endpoints, to rank and prioritize estuarine ecosystems in which terrestrial vertebrates are potentially at risk for purposes of prediction and focusing future biomonitoring efforts.

  16. Geometric factors influencing the diet of vertebrate predators in marine and terrestrial environments.

    PubMed

    Carbone, Chris; Codron, Daryl; Scofield, Conrad; Clauss, Marcus; Bielby, Jon

    2014-12-01

    Predator-prey relationships are vital to ecosystem function and there is a need for greater predictive understanding of these interactions. We develop a geometric foraging model predicting minimum prey size scaling in marine and terrestrial vertebrate predators taking into account habitat dimensionality and biological traits. Our model predicts positive predator-prey size relationships on land but negative relationships in the sea. To test the model, we compiled data on diets of 794 predators (mammals, snakes, sharks and rays). Consistent with predictions, both terrestrial endotherm and ectotherm predators have significantly positive predator-prey size relationships. Marine predators, however, exhibit greater variation. Some of the largest predators specialise on small invertebrates while others are large vertebrate specialists. Prey-predator mass ratios were generally higher for ectothermic than endothermic predators, although dietary patterns were similar. Model-based simulations of predator-prey relationships were consistent with observed relationships, suggesting that our approach provides insights into both trends and diversity in predator-prey interactions. PMID:25265992

  17. Geometric factors influencing the diet of vertebrate predators in marine and terrestrial environments

    PubMed Central

    Carbone, Chris; Codron, Daryl; Scofield, Conrad; Clauss, Marcus; Bielby, Jon; Enquist, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Predator–prey relationships are vital to ecosystem function and there is a need for greater predictive understanding of these interactions. We develop a geometric foraging model predicting minimum prey size scaling in marine and terrestrial vertebrate predators taking into account habitat dimensionality and biological traits. Our model predicts positive predator–prey size relationships on land but negative relationships in the sea. To test the model, we compiled data on diets of 794 predators (mammals, snakes, sharks and rays). Consistent with predictions, both terrestrial endotherm and ectotherm predators have significantly positive predator–prey size relationships. Marine predators, however, exhibit greater variation. Some of the largest predators specialise on small invertebrates while others are large vertebrate specialists. Prey–predator mass ratios were generally higher for ectothermic than endothermic predators, although dietary patterns were similar. Model-based simulations of predator–prey relationships were consistent with observed relationships, suggesting that our approach provides insights into both trends and diversity in predator–prey interactions. PMID:25265992

  18. Contaminant exposure and effects--terrestrial vertebrates database: Trends and data gaps for Atlantic Coast estuaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

    In order to examine the condition of biota in Atlantic coast estuaries, a ?Contaminant Exposure and Effects--Terrestrial Vertebrates? database (CEE-TV) has been compiled through computerized search of published literature, review of existing databases, and solicitation of unpublished reports from conservation agencies, private groups, and universities. Summary information has been entered into the database, including species, collection date (1965-present), site coordinates, estuary name, hydrologic unit catalogue code, sample matrix, contaminant concentrations, biomarker and bioindicator responses, and reference source, utilizing a 98-field character and numeric format. Currently, the CEE-TV database contains 3699 georeferenced records representing 190 vertebrate species and >145,000 individuals residing in estuaries from Maine through Florida. This relational database can be directly queried, imported into a Geographic Information System to examine spatial patterns, identify data gaps and areas of concern, generate hypotheses, and focus ecotoxicological field assessments. Information on birds made up the vast majority (83%) of the database, with only a modicum of data on amphibians (75,000 chemical compounds in commerce, only 118 commonly measured environmental contaminants were quantified in tissues of terrestrial vertebrates. There were no CEE-TV data records in 15 of the 67 estuaries located along the Atlantic coast and Florida Gulf coast. The CEE-TV database has a number of potential applications including focusing biomonitoring efforts to generate critically needed ecotoxicological data in the numerous ?gaps? along the coast, reducing uncertainty about contaminant risk, identifying areas for mitigation, restoration or special management, and ranking ecological conditions of estuaries.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Inner architecture of vertebral centra in terrestrial and aquatic mammals: a two-dimensional comparative study.

    PubMed

    Dumont, Maitena; Laurin, Michel; Jacques, Florian; Pellé, Eric; Dabin, Willy; de Buffrénil, Vivian

    2013-05-01

    Inner vertebral architecture is poorly known, except in human and laboratory animals. In order to document this topic at a broad comparative level, a 2D-histomorphometric study of vertebral centra was conducted in a sample of 98 therian mammal species, spanning most of the size range and representing the main locomotor adaptations known in therian taxa. Eleven variables relative to the development and geometry of trabecular networks were extracted from CT scan mid-sagittal sections. Phylogeny-informed statistical tests were used to reveal the respective influences of phylogeny, size, and locomotion adaptations on mammalian vertebral structure. The use of random taxon reshuffling and squared change parsimony reveals that 9 of the 11 characteristics (the two exceptions are total sectional area and structural polarization) contain a phylogenetic signal. Linear discriminant analyses suggest that the sampled taxa can be arranged into three categories with respect to locomotion mode: a) terrestrial + flying + digging + amphibious forms, b) coastal oscillatory aquatic taxa, and c) pelagic oscillatory aquatic forms represented by oceanic cetaceans. Pairwise comparison tests and linear regressions show that, when specific size increases, the length of trabecular network (Tt.Tb.Le), as well as trabecular proliferation in total sections (Pr.Tb.Tt), increase with positive allometry. This process occurs in all locomotion categories but is particularly pronounced in pelagic oscillators. Conversely, mean trabecular width has a lesser increase with size in pelagic oscillators. Trabecular orientation is not influenced by size. All tests were corrected for multiple testing. By using six structural variables or indices, locomotion mode can be predicted with a 97.4% success rate for terrestrial forms, 66.7% for coastal oscillatory, and 81.3% for pelagic oscillatory. The possible functional meaning of these results and their potential use for paleobiological inference of locomotion in

  2. Environmental contaminant exposure data and monitoring priorities for wild terrestrial vertebrates at national parks in coastal and estuarine habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.; Eisenreich, K.M.; McKernan, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    The Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) Project of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assesses the exposure and effects of environmental contaminants on select species and habitats in the United States. One of the many BEST Project activities entails the development of decision-support tools to assist in the identification of chemical threats to species and lands under the stewardship of the Department of the Interior. Although there are many ecotoxicological monitoring programs that focus on aquatic species and habitats, there are currently no large-scale efforts that are focused on terrestrial vertebrates in the United States. Nonetheless, organochlorine contaminants, metals, and new pollutants continue to pose hazards to terrestrial vertebrates at many spatial scales (ranging from small hazardous-waste-site point sources to entire watersheds). To evaluate and prioritize pollutant hazards for terrestrial vertebrates, a ?Contaminant Exposure and EffectsTerrestrial Vertebrates? (CEE-TV) database (www.pwrc.usgs.gov/contaminants-online) was developed. The CEE-TV database has been used to conduct simple searches for exposure and biological effects information for a given species or location, identification of temporal contaminant exposure trends, information gap analyses for national wildlife refuge and national park units, and ranking of terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological information needs based on data density and water quality problems. Despite widespread concerns about environmental contamination, during the past decade only about one-half of the coastal National Park units appear to have terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological data. Based upon known environmental contaminant hazards, it is recommended that regionalized monitoring programs or efforts focused on lands managed by the Department of the Interior should be undertaken to prevent serious natural resource problems.

  3. Global patterns of the beta diversity-energy relationship in terrestrial vertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Hong; Xiao, Ming

    2012-02-01

    Patterns in beta diversity or species turnover, describing the change in species composition between places, have their wide implication for ecological and evolutionary issues. It is thought that beta diversity increases with increasing energy availability, but very few studies have directly tested this hypothesis. We examined the beta diversity-energy relationship for four classes of terrestrial vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians) in ecoregions across the world. The relationship was examined for each class in each of six biogeographic realms. We show that beta diversity is generally higher in areas with higher energy availability, measured as annual potential evapotranspiration. A higher level of beta diversity in areas with higher energy availability may have contributed to the well-known latitudinal diversity gradient (i.e., species richness increases towards the equator).

  4. [The origin and evolution of parasitism on terrestrial vertebrates in insects, mites, and ticks].

    PubMed

    Balashov, Iu S

    2006-01-01

    Coexistence of terrestrial vertebrates and arthropods has been continuing over 200 million years; various forms of parasitism originated independently in various groups of arthropods during this period. The association of Acari and insects with nests and shelters of their hosts (nidicoly) played the main role in the origin of parasitism in these major groups of arthropods. The primary step in the evolution of parasitism was the permanent habitation in nests and borrows of mammals and birds in Mesozoic era. The second step was a substitution of various forms of schizophagy by the regular feeding on products of vital activity and dead parts of host body. The next step was the feeding on various body parts of vertebrate hosts, namely skin, hair, feathers, external excreta, and drops of blood. The final step was the development of the ability to damage skin and suck out the blood of vertebrates. In some taxa of astigmatid mites the parasitism on birds originated from phoresy: hypopi (heteromorphous deutonymphs) obtained the ability to absorb the liquid nutrients from hair follicles and subcutaneous tissues through the cuticle. The development of haematophagous feeding on mammals in several families of Diptera was the second way of the origin of parasitism. Highly mobile dipterans with the piercing-sucking or licking mouthparts were able to change easily from the accidental puncturing of the host skin or licking of the blood, pus, and mucus to the obligatory haematophagy. The evolution of some arthropod taxa did not went beyond a primary domination of spatial relations, as in many astigmatid mites, or trophic relations in the form of micropredatory, as in the haematophagous Diptera. PMID:17144402

  5. Terrestrial vertebrate fauna surveys for the preparation of environmental impact assessments; how can we do it better? A Western Australian example

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, Graham G. . E-mail: g.thompson@ecu.edu.au

    2007-01-15

    The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in 2002 released Position Statement, No. 3, Terrestrial Biological Surveys as an Element of Biodiversity Protection outlining how terrestrial fauna survey data are to be used and interpreted in the preparation of environmental impact assessments (EIA). In 2004, the EPA released its Guidance for the Assessment of Environmental Factors, Terrestrial Fauna Surveys for Environmental Impact Assessment in Western Australia, No. 56. This paper briefly assesses the adequacy of recent terrestrial fauna surveys undertaken to support publicly released EIAs and indicates that the EPA is not always adhering to its own position and guidance statements. This paper argues that the current fauna survey guidelines are in need of improvement. The approach and requirements of some other Australian states are briefly assessed to identify similarities and where improvements can be made to the Western Australian (WA) guidelines. This paper concludes with suggestions on how the process and the guidelines in WA can be revised to more adequately assess the impact of developments on terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity and ecosystem function. These suggestions may have relevance for other areas where fauna surveys are undertaken to support EIAs.

  6. Spatial mismatch of phylogenetic diversity across three vertebrate groups and protected areas in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Zupan, Laure; Cabeza, Mar; Maiorano, Luigi; Roquet, Cristina; Devictor, Vincent; Lavergne, Sébastien; Mouillot, David; Mouquet, Nicolas; Renaud, Julien; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2014-01-01

    Aim We investigate patterns of phylogenetic diversity in relation to species diversity for European birds, mammals and amphibians, to evaluate their congruence and highlight areas of particular evolutionary history. We estimate the extent to which the European network of protected areas (PAs) network retains interesting evolutionary history areas for the three groups separately and simultaneously. Location Europe Methods Phylogenetic (QEPD) and species diversity (SD) were estimated using the Rao’s quadratic entropy at 10′ resolution. We determined the regional relationship between QEPD and SD for each taxa with a spatial regression model and used the tails of the residuals (QERES) distribution to identify areas of higher and lower QEPD than predicted. Spatial congruence of biodiversity between groups was assessed with Pearson’s correlation. A simple classification scheme allowed building a convergence map where a convergent pixel equalled to a QERES value of the same sign for the 3 groups. This convergence map was overlaid to the current PAs network to estimate the level of protection in convergent pixels and compared it to a null expectation built on 1000 randomization of PAs over the landscape. Results QERES patterns across vertebrates show a strong spatial mismatch highlighting different evolutionary histories. Convergent areas represent only 2.7% of the Western Palearctic, with only 8.4% of these areas being covered by the current PAs network while a random distribution would retain 10.4% of them. QERES are unequally represented within PAs: areas with higher QEPD than predicted are better covered than expected, while low QEPD areas are undersampled. Main conclusions Patterns of diversity strongly diverge between groups of vertebrates in Europe. Although Europe has the world’s most extensive PAs network, evolutionary history of terrestrial vertebrates is unequally protected. The challenge is now to reconcile effective conservation planning with a

  7. Evidence for Natural Selection in Nucleotide Content Relationships Based on Complete Mitochondrial Genomes: Strong Effect of Guanine Content on Separation between Terrestrial and Aquatic Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sorimachi, Kenji; Okayasu, Teiji

    2015-01-01

    The complete vertebrate mitochondrial genome consists of 13 coding genes. We used this genome to investigate the existence of natural selection in vertebrate evolution. From the complete mitochondrial genomes, we predicted nucleotide contents and then separated these values into coding and non-coding regions. When nucleotide contents of a coding or non-coding region were plotted against the nucleotide content of the complete mitochondrial genomes, we obtained linear regression lines only between homonucleotides and their analogs. On every plot using G or A content purine, G content in aquatic vertebrates was higher than that in terrestrial vertebrates, while A content in aquatic vertebrates was lower than that in terrestrial vertebrates. Based on these relationships, vertebrates were separated into two groups, terrestrial and aquatic. However, using C or T content pyrimidine, clear separation between these two groups was not obtained. The hagfish (Eptatretus burgeri) was further separated from both terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates. Based on these results, nucleotide content relationships predicted from the complete vertebrate mitochondrial genomes reveal the existence of natural selection based on evolutionary separation between terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate groups. In addition, we propose that separation of the two groups might be linked to ammonia detoxification based on high G and low A contents, which encode Glu rich and Lys poor proteins. PMID:25853054

  8. Inter-specific interactions linking predation and scavenging in terrestrial vertebrate assemblages.

    PubMed

    Moleón, Marcos; Sánchez-Zapata, José A; Selva, Nuria; Donázar, José A; Owen-Smith, Norman

    2014-11-01

    Predation and scavenging have been classically understood as independent processes, with predator-prey interactions and scavenger-carrion relationships occurring separately. However, the mere recognition that most predators also scavenge at variable rates, which has been traditionally ignored in food-web and community ecology, leads to a number of emergent interaction routes linking predation and scavenging. The general goal of this review is to draw attention to the main inter-specific interactions connecting predators (particularly, large mammalian carnivores), their live prey (mainly ungulates), vultures and carrion production in terrestrial assemblages of vertebrates. Overall, we report an intricate network of both direct (competition, facilitation) and indirect (hyperpredation, hypopredation) processes, and provide a conceptual framework for the future development of this promising topic in ecological, evolutionary and biodiversity conservation research. The classic view that scavenging does not affect the population dynamics of consumed organisms is questioned, as multiple indirect top-down effects emerge when considering carrion and its facultative consumption by predators as fundamental and dynamic components of food webs. Stimulating although challenging research opportunities arise from the study of the interactions among living and detrital or non-living resource pools in food webs. PMID:24602047

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

    PubMed

    Dunhill, Alexander M; Wills, Matthew A

    2015-01-01

    Rates of extinction vary greatly through geological time, with losses particularly concentrated in mass extinctions. Species duration at other times varies greatly, but the reasons for this are unclear. Geographical range correlates with lineage duration amongst marine invertebrates, but it is less clear how far this generality extends to other groups in other habitats. It is also unclear whether a wide geographical distribution makes groups more likely to survive mass extinctions. Here we test for extinction selectivity amongst terrestrial vertebrates across the end-Triassic event. We demonstrate that terrestrial vertebrate clades with larger geographical ranges were more resilient to extinction than those with smaller ranges throughout the Triassic and Jurassic. However, this relationship weakened with increasing proximity to the end-Triassic mass extinction, breaking down altogether across the event itself. We demonstrate that these findings are not a function of sampling biases; a perennial issue in studies of this kind. PMID:26261053

  10. Photographic identification of individuals of a free-ranging, small terrestrial vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Treilibs, Claire E; Pavey, Chris R; Hutchinson, Mark N; Bull, C Michael

    2016-02-01

    Recognition of individuals within an animal population is central to a range of estimates about population structure and dynamics. However, traditional methods of distinguishing individuals, by some form of physical marking, often rely on capture and handling which may affect aspects of normal behavior. Photographic identification has been used as a less-invasive alternative, but limitations in both manual and computer-automated recognition of individuals are particularly problematic for smaller taxa (<500 g). In this study, we explored the use of photographic identification for individuals of a free-ranging, small terrestrial reptile using (a) independent observers, and (b) automated matching with the Interactive Individual Identification System (I(3)S Pattern) computer algorithm. We tested the technique on individuals of an Australian skink in the Egernia group, Slater's skink Liopholis slateri, whose natural history and varied scale markings make it a potentially suitable candidate for photo-identification. From 'photographic captures' of skink head profiles, we designed a multi-choice key based on alternate character states and tested the abilities of observers - with or without experience in wildlife survey - to identify individuals using categorized test photos. We also used the I(3)S Pattern algorithm to match the same set of test photos against a database of 30 individuals. Experienced observers identified a significantly higher proportion of photos correctly (74%) than those with no experience (63%) while the I(3)S software correctly matched 67% as the first ranked match and 83% of images in the top five ranks. This study is one of the first to investigate photo identification with a free-ranging small vertebrate. The method demonstrated here has the potential to be applied to the developing field of camera-traps for wildlife survey and thus a wide range of survey and monitoring applications. PMID:26865967

  11. Vulnerability of terrestrial island vertebrates to projected sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Wetzel, Florian T; Beissmann, Helmut; Penn, Dustin J; Jetz, Walter

    2013-07-01

    Sea-level rise (SLR) from global warming may have severe consequences for biodiversity; however, a baseline, broad-scale assessment of the potential consequences of SLR for island biodiversity is lacking. Here, we quantify area loss for over 12 900 islands and over 3000 terrestrial vertebrates in the Pacific and Southeast Asia under three different SLR scenarios (1 m, 3 m and 6 m). We used very fine-grained elevation information, which offered >100 times greater spatial detail than previous analyses and allowed us to evaluate thousands of hitherto not assessed small islands. Depending on the SLR scenario, we estimate that 15-62% of islands in our study region will be completely inundated and 19-24% will lose 50-99% of their area. Overall, we project that between 1% and 9% of the total island area in our study region may be lost. We find that Pacific species are 2-3 times more vulnerable than those in the Indomalayan or Australasian region and risk losing 4-22% of range area (1-6 m SLR). Species already listed as threatened by IUCN are particularly vulnerable compared with non-threatened species. Under a simple area loss-species loss proportionality assumption, we estimate that 37 island group endemic species in this region risk complete inundation of their current global distribution in the 1 m SLR scenario that is widely anticipated for this century (and 118 species under 3 m SLR). Our analysis provides a first, broad-scale estimate of the potential consequences of SLR for island biodiversity and our findings confirm that islands are extremely vulnerable to sea-level rise even within this century. PMID:23504764

  12. Planetary Protection: Two Relevant Terrestrial Examples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chyba, C.

    2002-09-01

    Concerns about potential pathogens in returned samples from Mars ("Mars Sample Return: Issues and Recommendations", National Research Council, 1997) or planetary satellites ("Evaluating the Biological Potential in Samples Returned from Planetary Satellites and Small Solar System Bodies", National Research Council, 1998) focus on two potential types of pathogenesis, toxic and infectious. The National Research Council reports cited above state that the chances of extraterrestrial organisms proving either toxic or infectious to humans are extremely low, but cannot be entirely ruled out. Here I discuss recently discovered terrestrial examples relevant to each possibility, in order to make these concerns concrete. The first example concerns the production of hepatotoxins (toxins affecting the liver) and neurotoxins by cyanobacteria in glacial lakes on alpine pastures in Switzerland. In this example, mat-forming benthic cyanobacteria are implicated in a hundred cattle poisonings that have been reported from alpine pasteurs in southeastern Switzerland over the past twenty-five years (e.g. K. Mez et al, Hydrobiologia 368, 1-15 (1998)). It is unlikely that these cyanobacteria evolved the toxins in response to dairy cows; rather the susceptibility of cattle to these toxins seems simply to be an unfortunate coincidence of a toxin working across a large evolutionary distance. The second example concerns the recent demonstration that the decimation of shallow-water Caribbean elkhorn coral is due to infection by a common fecal enterobacterium associated with the human gut (K. L. Patterson et al., PNAS 99, 8725-8730 (2002)). The bacterium, Serratia marcenscens, is also a free-living microbe in water and soil, as well as an opportunistic pathogen in a variety of animal species. The distance between humans and corals emphasizes the possibility that certain organisms may prove pathogenic across a wide evolutionary divide. Of course, in neither of these cases are the evolutionary

  13. Terrestrial EVA Suit = Fire Fighter's Protective Clothing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foley, Tico; Brown, Robert G.; Burrell, Eddie; DelRosso, Dominic; Krishen, Kumar; Moffitt, Harold; Orndoff, Evelyne; Santos, Beatrice; Butzer, Melissa; Dasgupta, Rajib

    1999-01-01

    Firefighters want to go to work, do their job well, and go home alive and uninjured. For their most important job, saving lives, firefighters want protective equipment that will allow more extended and effective time at fire scenes in order to perform victim search and rescue. A team, including engineers at NASA JSC and firefighters from Houston, has developed a list of problem areas for which NASA technology and know-how can recommend improvements for firefighter suits and gear. Prototypes for solutions have been developed and are being evaluated. This effort will spin back to NASA as improvements for lunar and planetary suits.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-08-01

    The Contaminant Exposure and Effects-Terrestrial Vertebrates (CEE-TV) database was developed to conduct simple searches for ecotoxicological information, examine exposure trends, and identify significant data gaps. The CEE-TV database contains 16,696 data records on free-ranging amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals residing in estuarine and coastal habitats of the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Great Lakes. Information in the database was derived from over 1800 source documents, representing 483 unique species (about 252,000 individuals), with sample collection dates spanning from 1884 to 2003. The majority of the records contain exposure data (generally contaminant concentrations) on a limited number (n = 209) of chlorinated and brominated compounds, cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides, economic poisons, metals, and petroleum hydrocarbons, whereas only 9.3% of the records contain biomarker or bioindicator effects data. Temporal examination of exposure data provides evidence of declining concentrations of certain organochlorine pesticides in some avian species (e.g., ospreys, Pandion haliaetus), and an apparent increase in the detection and possibly the incidence of avian die-offs related to cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides. To identify spatial data gaps, 11,360 database records with specific sampling locations were combined with the boundaries of coastal watersheds, and National Wildlife Refuge and National Park units. Terrestrial vertebrate ecotoxicological data were lacking in 41.9% of 464 coastal watersheds in the continental United States. Recent (1990-2003) terrestrial vertebrate contaminant exposure or effects data were available for only about half of the National Wildlife Refuge and National Park units in the geographic area encompassed by the database. When these data gaps were overlaid on watersheds exhibiting serious water quality problems and/or high vulnerability to pollution, 72 coastal watersheds, and 76

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albers, P.H.; Heinz, G.H.; Hall, R.J.

    2000-01-01

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

  17. Contaminant exposure and potential effects on terrestrial vertebrates residing in the National Capital Region network and Mid-Atlantic network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.

    2006-01-01

    Based upon these and other findings, ecotoxicological monitoring and research investigations of terrestrial vertebrates are warranted at several National Parks. These include Shenandoah National Park, Richmond National Battlefield, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Valley Forge National Historic Park, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Monocacy National Battlefield, and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. The types of investigations vary according to the species present at these parks and potential contaminant threats, but should focus on contemporary use pesticides and herbicides, polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury, lead, and perhaps, emerging contaminants including antibiotics, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants. Other management recommendations include additional training for natural resource staff members in the area of ecotoxicology, inclusion of terrestrial vertebrate contaminant monitoring and the Contaminant Assessment Process (U.S. Geological Survey Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends Project) into the National Park Service Vital Signs Program, development of protocols for hand ling and toxicological analysis of dead or seemingly affected wildlife, consideration of some alternative methods and compounds for pest management and weed control

  18. Jumping sans legs: does elastic energy storage by the vertebral column power terrestrial jumps in bony fishes?

    PubMed

    Ashley-Ross, Miriam A; Perlman, Benjamin M; Gibb, Alice C; Long, John H

    2014-02-01

    Despite having no obvious anatomical modifications to facilitate movement over land, numerous small fishes from divergent teleost lineages make brief, voluntary terrestrial forays to escape poor aquatic conditions or to pursue terrestrial prey. Once stranded, these fishes produce a coordinated and effective "tail-flip" jumping behavior, wherein lateral flexion of the axial body into a C-shape, followed by contralateral flexion of the body axis, propels the fish into a ballistic flight-path that covers a distance of multiple body lengths. We ask: how do anatomical structures that evolved in one habitat generate effective movement in a novel habitat? Within this context, we hypothesized that the mechanical properties of the axial skeleton play a critical role in producing effective overland movement, and that tail-flip jumping species demonstrate enhanced elastic energy storage through increased body flexural stiffness or increased body curvature, relative to non-jumping species. To test this hypothesis, we derived a model to predict elastic recoil work from the morphology of the vertebral (neural and hemal) spines. From ground reaction force (GRF) measurements and high-speed video, we calculated elastic recoil work, flexural stiffness, and apparent material stiffness of the body for Micropterus salmoides (a non-jumper) and Kryptolebias marmoratus (adept tail-flip jumper). The model predicted no difference between the two species in work stored by the vertebral spines, and GRF data showed that they produce the same magnitude of mass-specific elastic recoil work. Surprisingly, non-jumper M. salmoides has a stiffer body than tail-flip jumper K. marmoratus. Many tail-flip jumping species possess enlarged, fused hypural bones that support the caudal peduncle, which suggests that the localized structures, rather than the entire axial skeleton, may explain differences in terrestrial performance. PMID:24388492

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

    PubMed

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use-land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa. PMID:26161981

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

    PubMed Central

    Mouchet, Maud; Levers, Christian; Zupan, Laure; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plutzar, Christoph; Erb, Karlheinz; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Haberl, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe). Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness) of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity), land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals) at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i) seasonality of temperature, (ii) actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii) seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover) and (iv) and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use–land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa. PMID:26161981

  1. Caribbean biogeography: molecular evidence for dispersal in West Indian terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed Central

    Hedges, S B; Hass, C A; Maxson, L R

    1992-01-01

    The geological association of the Greater Antilles with North and South America in the late Cretaceous led to the hypothesis that the present Antillean biota reflects those ancient land connections. Molecular data from diverse West Indian amphibians and reptiles and their mainland relatives support a more recent derivation of the Antillean vertebrate fauna by overwater dispersal. The catastrophic bolide impact in the Caribbean region at the close of the Cretaceous provides a proximate cause for the absence of an ancient West Indian biota. PMID:11607282

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

    PubMed

    Łopucki, Rafał; Mróz, Iwona

    2016-02-01

    The majority of studies on the effects of wind energy development on wildlife have been focused on birds and bats, whereas knowledge of the response of terrestrial, non-flying vertebrates is very scarce. In this paper, the impact of three functioning wind farms on terrestrial small mammal communities (rodents and shrews) and the population parameters of the most abundant species were studied. The study was carried out in southeastern Poland within the foothills of the Outer Western Carpathians. Small mammals were captured at 12 sites around wind turbines and at 12 control sites. In total, from 1200 trap-days, 885 individuals of 14 studied mammal species were captured. There was no difference in the characteristics of communities of small mammals near wind turbines and within control sites; i.e. these types of sites were inhabited by a similar number of species of similar abundance, similar species composition, species diversity (H' index) and species evenness (J') (Pielou's index). For the two species with the highest proportion in the communities (Apodemus agrarius and Microtus arvalis), the parameters of their populations (mean body mass, sex ratio, the proportion of adult individuals and the proportion of reproductive female) were analysed. In both species, none of the analysed parameters differed significantly between sites in the vicinity of turbines and control sites. For future studies on the impact of wind turbines on small terrestrial mammals in different geographical areas and different species communities, we recommend the method of paired 'turbine-control sites' as appropriate for animal species with pronounced fluctuations in population numbers. PMID:26818016

  3. Tidal marshes: A global perspective on the evolution and conservation of their terrestrial vertebrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenberg, R.; Maldonado, J.E.; Droege, S.; McDonald, M.V.

    2006-01-01

    Globally, tidal marshes are found in small pockets or narrow bands totaling only approximately 45,000 square kilometers. The combination of salinity, low floristic and structural complexity, and regular tidal inundation, as well as unpredictable catastrophic flooding, provides a unique selective environment that shapes local adaptations, including those that are morphological, physiological, demographic, and behavioral. Although tidal marshes support a low diversity of nonaquatic vertebrate species, a high proportion of these inhabitants, at least along North American coastlines, are restricted to or have subspecies restricted to tidal marshes. Tidal marshes and their endemic fauna face broad threats from a variety of human-caused environmental changes. Future research should focus on global inventories, intercontinental comparative work, and investigation to determine why almost all presently described endemic taxa appear to be found in North America.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  5. Pervasive influence of large-scale climate in the dynamics of a terrestrial vertebrate community

    PubMed Central

    Post, Eric; Forchhammer, Mads C

    2001-01-01

    Background Large-scale climatic variability has been implicated in the population dynamics of many vertebrates throughout the Northern Hemisphere, but has not been demonstrated to directly influence dynamics at multiple trophic levels of any single system. Using data from Isle Royale, USA, comprising time series on the long-term dynamics at three trophic levels (wolves, moose, and balsam fir), we analyzed the relative contributions of density dependence, inter-specific interactions, and climate to the dynamics of each level of the community. Results Despite differences in dynamic complexity among the predator, herbivore, and vegetation levels, large-scale climatic variability influenced dynamics directly at all three levels. The strength of the climatic influence on dynamics was, however, strongest at the top and bottom trophic levels, where density dependence was weakest. Conclusions Because of the conflicting influences of environmental variability and intrinsic processes on population stability, a direct influence of climate on the dynamics at all three levels suggests that climate change may alter stability of this community. Theoretical considerations suggest that if it does, such alteration is most likely to result from changes in stability at the top or bottom trophic levels, where the influence of climate was strongest. PMID:11782292

  6. Locomotor preferences in terrestrial vertebrates: An online crowdsourcing approach to data collection

    PubMed Central

    Lees, John; Gardiner, James; Usherwood, James; Nudds, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how animals move within their environment is a burgeoning field of research. Despite this, relatively basic data, such as the locomotor speeds that animals choose to walk at in the wild, are sparse. If animals choose to walk with dynamic similarity, they will move at equal dimensionless speeds, represented by Froude number (Fr). Fr may be interpreted from simple limb kinematics obtained from video data. Here, using Internet videos, limb kinematics were measured in 112 bird and mammal species weighing between 0.61 and 5400 kg. This novel method of data collection enabled the determination of kinematics for animals walking at their self-selected speeds without the need for exhaustive fieldwork. At larger sizes, both birds and mammals prefer to walk at slower relative speeds and relative stride frequencies, as preferred Fr decreased in larger species, indicating that Fr may not be a good predictor of preferred locomotor speeds. This may result from the observation that the minimum cost of transport is approached at lower Fr in larger species. Birds walk with higher duty factors, lower stride frequencies and longer stance times compared to mammals at self-selected speeds. The trend towards lower preferred Fr is also apparent in extinct vertebrate species. PMID:27381514

  7. Locomotor preferences in terrestrial vertebrates: An online crowdsourcing approach to data collection.

    PubMed

    Lees, John; Gardiner, James; Usherwood, James; Nudds, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how animals move within their environment is a burgeoning field of research. Despite this, relatively basic data, such as the locomotor speeds that animals choose to walk at in the wild, are sparse. If animals choose to walk with dynamic similarity, they will move at equal dimensionless speeds, represented by Froude number (Fr). Fr may be interpreted from simple limb kinematics obtained from video data. Here, using Internet videos, limb kinematics were measured in 112 bird and mammal species weighing between 0.61 and 5400 kg. This novel method of data collection enabled the determination of kinematics for animals walking at their self-selected speeds without the need for exhaustive fieldwork. At larger sizes, both birds and mammals prefer to walk at slower relative speeds and relative stride frequencies, as preferred Fr decreased in larger species, indicating that Fr may not be a good predictor of preferred locomotor speeds. This may result from the observation that the minimum cost of transport is approached at lower Fr in larger species. Birds walk with higher duty factors, lower stride frequencies and longer stance times compared to mammals at self-selected speeds. The trend towards lower preferred Fr is also apparent in extinct vertebrate species. PMID:27381514

  8. Coccidian parasites of fish encompass profound phylogenetic diversity and gave rise to each of the major parasitic groups in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Rosenthal, Benjamin M; Dunams-Morel, Detiger; Ostoros, Gyorgyi; Molnár, Kálmán

    2016-06-01

    Fish are the oldest and most diverse group of vertebrates; it therefore stands to reason that fish may have been the original hosts for many types of extant vertebrate parasites. Here, we sought to determine whether coccidian parasites of fish are especially diverse. We therefore sampled such parasites from thirty-nine species of fish and tested phylogenetic hypotheses concerning their relationships, using 18S rDNA. We found compelling phylogenetic support for distinctions among at least four lineages of piscine parasites presently ascribed to the genus Goussia. Some, but not all parasites attributed to Eimeria were confirmed as such. Major taxonomic revisions are likely justified for these parasites of fish, which appear to have given rise to each of the major lineages of coccidian parasites that subsequently proliferated in terrestrial vertebrates, including those such as Toxoplasma gondii that form tissue cysts in intermediate hosts. PMID:26911642

  9. Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of Xenopus tropicalis Frog Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 Reveal Its Functional Evolution for Heat, Acid, and Capsaicin Sensitivities in Terrestrial Vertebrates*

    PubMed Central

    Ohkita, Masashi; Saito, Shigeru; Imagawa, Toshiaki; Takahashi, Kenji; Tominaga, Makoto; Ohta, Toshio

    2012-01-01

    The functional difference of thermosensitive transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the evolutionary context has attracted attention, but thus far little information is available on the TRP vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) function of amphibians, which diverged earliest from terrestrial vertebrate lineages. In this study we cloned Xenopus tropicalis frog TRPV1 (xtTRPV1), and functional characterization was performed using HeLa cells heterologously expressing xtTRPV1 (xtTRPV1-HeLa) and dorsal root ganglion neurons isolated from X. tropicalis (xtDRG neurons) by measuring changes in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). The channel activity was also observed in xtTRPV1-expressing Xenopus oocytes. Furthermore, we tested capsaicin- and heat-induced nocifensive behaviors of the frog X. tropicalis in vivo. At the amino acid level, xtTRPV1 displays ∼60% sequence identity to other terrestrial vertebrate TRPV1 orthologues. Capsaicin induced [Ca2+]i increases in xtTRPV1-HeLa and xtDRG neurons and evoked nocifensive behavior in X. tropicalis. However, its sensitivity was extremely low compared with mammalian orthologues. Low extracellular pH and heat activated xtTRPV1-HeLa and xtDRG neurons. Heat also evoked nocifensive behavior. In oocytes expressing xtTRPV1, inward currents were elicited by heat and low extracellular pH. Mutagenesis analysis revealed that two amino acids (tyrosine 523 and alanine 561) were responsible for the low sensitivity to capsaicin. Taken together, our results indicate that xtTRPV1 functions as a polymodal receptor similar to its mammalian orthologues. The present study demonstrates that TRPV1 functions as a heat- and acid-sensitive channel in the ancestor of terrestrial vertebrates. Because it is possible to examine vanilloid and heat sensitivities in vitro and in vivo, X. tropicalis could be the ideal experimental lower vertebrate animal for the study of TRPV1 function. PMID:22130664

  10. The densest terrestrial vertebrate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodda, G.H.; Perry, G.; Rondeau, R.J.; Lazell, J.

    2001-01-01

    As governments impose increasingly stringent regulations on the collection of bird specimens and as man alters ever greater areas of habitat with the loss of many of their contained species, museum specimens increase immeasurably in importance. Yet at present, museum collections do not contain an adequate representation of the world's avifauna and, unfortunately, are not likely to do so. Thus, it is imperative that data associated with specimens that are obtained be as complete as possible. To this end, we describe categories of information with wide application to many types of studies, outline character states, and recommend standard forms of data notation. We recognize that under certain circumstances, it may be appropriate to record more limited data. However, we encourage at least those engaged in general collecting to record as many of these standard data as possible.

  11. Comparison of marine and terrestrial protected areas under federal jurisdiction in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lindholm, J.; Barr, B.

    2001-01-01

    There is a significant disparity in the protection of terrestrial and marine environments in the United States. Despite the considerable literature dedicated to the subject of protected areas, both terrestrial and marine, in the United States, we are not aware of work explicitly describing this dichotomy. We compared marine and terrestrial areas under federal jurisdiction to provide a quantitative assessment of the differences between the conservation of land and sea in the United States. Specifically, we compared national marine sanctuaries (including sanctuary preservation areas and ecological reserves) with national parks, national forests, and national wildlife refuges (including national wilderness preservation areas). Our results suggest that marine sanctuaries are fewer in number, smaller in total area, and smaller in percentage of area covered than are terrestrial protected areas.

  12. Phylogeography of a widespread terrestrial vertebrate in a barely-studied Palearctic region: green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup) indicate glacial refugia in Eastern Central Asia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi-Jun; Stöck, Matthias; Zhang, Peng; Wang, Xiu-Ling; Zhou, Hui; Qu, Liang-Hu

    2008-11-01

    The phylogeography of western Palearctic species is relatively well studied, but data on Eastern Central Asia are scarce. We present one of the first data sets from a widespread terrestrial vertebrate (Bufo pewzowi) inhabiting Eastern Central Asian mountains and deserts to gain knowledge on its phylogeography in this region. We applied combined phylogenetic and demographic analyses to understand the evolutionary history using mitochondrial DNA D-loop variation of toads from 37 locations. Genetic structure of Bufo pewzowi is strongly affected by landscape: we found three haplotype groups in eastern Kazakhstan, Dzungaria and Tarim Basin, divided by the Tian Shan and Dzungarian Alatau ranges. A vicariant hypothesis may explain divergence among groups. The divergence time of the three major clades was estimated about 0.9 million years ago (confidence interval 0.5-1.4), and is discussed with respect to Quaternary uplifting and glaciation in the Tian Shan. Demographic analyses provided evidence for both historical bottlenecks and population expansions and suggested Pleistocene signatures. Glacial refugia were inferred in the Tarim Basin (around the Turpan depression), in southern Dzungaria (Urumqui region), at the northern foot of the Tian Shan (Gongnaisi) and perhaps at the Altai range (Terekti). Regional Post-Last Glacial Maximum dispersal patterns are proposed. A taxonomic hypothesis is presented. This study provides a detailed history of how a widespread terrestrial vertebrate responded to geological change and Quaternary glacial events in Eastern Central Asia and may have significance for future phylogeographic research in this understudied region. PMID:18301990

  13. Eimeria that infect fish are diverse and are related to, but distinct from, those that infect terrestrial vertebrates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Eimeria are ubiquitous Apicoplexan parasites (family: coccidia) of the gut epithelium of vertebrates which complete their development in a single host species and whose sporocysts may be recognized by the presence of a Stieda body through which their sporozoites excyst. Their diversity and rel...

  14. China's endemic vertebrates sheltering under the protective umbrella of the giant panda.

    PubMed

    Li, Binbin V; Pimm, Stuart L

    2016-04-01

    The giant panda attracts disproportionate conservation resources. How well does this emphasis protect other endemic species? Detailed data on geographical ranges are not available for plants or invertebrates, so we restrict our analyses to 3 vertebrate taxa: birds, mammals, and amphibians. There are gaps in their protection, and we recommend practical actions to fill them. We identified patterns of species richness, then identified which species are endemic to China, and then which, like the panda, live in forests. After refining each species' range by its known elevational range and remaining forest habitats as determined from remote sensing, we identified the top 5% richest areas as the centers of endemism. Southern mountains, especially the eastern Hengduan Mountains, were centers for all 3 taxa. Over 96% of the panda habitat overlapped the endemic centers. Thus, investing in almost any panda habitat will benefit many other endemics. Existing panda national nature reserves cover all but one of the endemic species that overlap with the panda's distribution. Of particular interest are 14 mammal, 20 bird, and 82 amphibian species that are inadequately protected. Most of these species the International Union for Conservation of Nature currently deems threatened. But 7 mammal, 3 bird, and 20 amphibian species are currently nonthreatened, yet their geographical ranges are <20,000 km(2) after accounting for elevational restriction and remaining habitats. These species concentrate mainly in Sichuan, Yunnan, Nan Mountains, and Hainan. There is a high concentration in the east Daxiang and Xiaoxiang Mountains of Sichuan, where pandas are absent and where there are no national nature reserves. The others concentrate in Yunnan, Nan Mountains, and Hainan. Here, 10 prefectures might establish new protected areas or upgrade local nature reserves to national status. PMID:26332026

  15. Global status of and prospects for protection of terrestrial geophysical diversity.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Eric W; Segan, Daniel B; Watson, James E M

    2015-06-01

    Conservation of representative facets of geophysical diversity may help conserve biological diversity as the climate changes. We conducted a global classification of terrestrial geophysical diversity and analyzed how land protection varies across geophysical diversity types. Geophysical diversity was classified in terms of soil type, elevation, and biogeographic realm and then compared to the global distribution of protected areas in 2012. We found that 300 (45%) of 672 broad geophysical diversity types currently meet the Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi Target 11 of 17% terrestrial areal protection, which suggested that efforts to implement geophysical diversity conservation have a substantive basis on which to build. However, current protected areas were heavily biased toward high elevation and low fertility soils. We assessed 3 scenarios of protected area expansion and found that protection focused on threatened species, if fully implemented, would also protect an additional 29% of geophysical diversity types, ecoregional-focused protection would protect an additional 24%, and a combined scenario would protect an additional 42%. Future efforts need to specifically target low-elevation sites with productive soils for protection and manage for connectivity among geophysical diversity types. These efforts may be hampered by the sheer number of geophysical diversity facets that the world contains, which makes clear target setting and prioritization an important next step. PMID:25923989

  16. Using Artificial Life to Assess the Typicality of Terrestrial Life: Implications for Human Mission Planetary Protection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lupisella, Mark; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The extent to which extraterrestrial life questions can be addressed, in the absence of an actual example, rests in some measure on the extent to which terrestrial life is representative of life in general since we will likely have to draw heavily, if not completely, from terrestrial life research. One example of a practical question involving extraterrestrial life that arises in preparing for a human mission to another planet such as Mars, is trying to assess and minimize the possible adverse effects of the presence of humans on possible indigenous extraterrestrial life-forms. This paper will present some key planetary protection challenges for a human Mars mission and then focus on one possible approach for assessing the extent to which terrestrial life is representative of biological phenomena in general, informing perhaps, the level of confidence we might have in applying terrestrial research - to extraterrestrial life issues. The approach involves appealing to the relatively new field of Artificial Life (A-Life) to: (1) use what might be the most basic minimal set of life-defining characteristics in (2) a large number of open-ended Artificial Life simulations to generate a "life possibility space" (3) the products of which can be examined for their plausibility within the context of relevant constraining knowledge, so that (4) the remaining possibility space can be examined for its variability relative to terrestrial life, where low variability might suggest that terrestrial life is representative of life in general, and high variability would indicate otherwise.

  17. Insecticidal and vertebrate toxicity associated with ethnobotanicals used as post-harvest protectants in Ghana.

    PubMed

    Belmain, S R; Neal, G E; Ray, D E; Golob, P

    2001-03-01

    Six plant species (Cassia sophera, Chamaecrista nigricans, Mitragyna inermis, Ocimum americanum, Securidaca longepedunculata and Synedrella nodiflora) traditionally used in Ghana to control insect pests of stored grain and legumes were screened in the laboratory at three concentrations (0.5, 1 and 5%, w/w) against four common storage pests (Rhyzopertha dominica, Callosobruchus maculatus, Sitophilus zeamais and Prostephanus truncatus). All the plants showed some ability to control all or some of the test insect species. Levels of efficacy varied according to test concentration with the highest concentration tested providing the best control. The S. longepedunculata plant induced the highest percent mortality and was the best at reducing emergence of the F(1) generation. The six plants were also incorporated into standard rat diet at two concentrations (1 and 5%, w/w) and fed to rats over a 6-week period to assess potential deleterious effects against vertebrates. None of the plants demonstrated any neurotoxicological or neurobehavioural effects to the rats over the course of the trial. However, S. longepedunculata and C. nigricans caused a significant reduction in rat growth rate when incorporated at 5% in the diet, induced cell hyperplasia in the liver, and reduced the mean weight of the liver and kidneys, compared to the control group of rats. Kidney pathology was affected only by the 5% concentration of S. longepedunculata which caused a reduced accumulation of alpha2mu-globulin. The implications of these results are discussed in the context of farmer usage of insecticidal plants for stored product protection. PMID:11278061

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Why are some mitochondria more powerful than others: insights from comparisons of muscle mitochondria from three terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Guderley, Helga; Turner, Nigel; Else, Paul L; Hulbert, A J

    2005-10-01

    We studied the molecular composition of muscle mitochondria to evaluate whether the contents of cytochromes or adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT) or phospholipid acyl compositions reflect differences in mitochondrial oxidative capacities. We isolated mitochondria from three vertebrates of similar size and preferred temperature, the rat (Rattus norvegicus), the cane toad (Bufo marinus) and the bearded dragon lizard (Pogona vitticeps). Mitochondrial oxidative capacities were higher in rats and cane toads than in bearded dragon, whether rates were expressed relative to protein, cytochromes or ANT. Inter-specific differences were least pronounced when rates were expressed relative to cytochrome A, a component of cytochrome C oxidase (CCO), or ANT. In mitochondria from rat and cane toad, cytochrome A was more abundant than C followed by B and then C(1), while in bearded dragon mitochondria, the cytochromes were present in roughly equal levels. Analysis of correlations between mitochondrial oxidative capacities and macromolecular components revealed that cytochrome A explained at least half of the intra- and inter-specific variability in substrate oxidation rates. ANT levels were an excellent correlate of state 3 rates while phospholipid contents were correlated with state 4 rates. As the % poly-unsaturation and the % 20:4n-6 in mitochondrial phospholipids were equivalent in toads and rats, and exceeded the levels in lizards, they may contribute to the inter-specific differences in oxidative capacities. We suggest that the numbers of CCO and ANT together with the poly-unsaturation of phospholipids explain the higher oxidative capacities in muscle mitochondria from rats and cane toads. PMID:16085440

  1. Use of survey data to develop sediment criteria for protecting aquatic vertebrates in mountain streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examined the relationship of aquatic vertebrate taxa abundances and an index of biotic integrity (IBI) to reachwide measures of areal percent streambed surficial fines (≤ 0.06 mm) and sand and fines (≤ 2 mm), based on data collected from 557 wadeable streams in the Western Mou...

  2. Endovascular stenting of symptomatic innominate artery stenosis under distal balloon protection of the internal carotid and vertebral artery for cerebral protection: a technical case report.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Shigeyuki; Kiura, Yoshihiro; Kajihara, Yosuke; Mukada, Kazutoshi; Kurisu, Kaoru

    2013-02-01

    The use of cerebral protection devices in endovascular treatment for innominate artery (IA) stenosis is not well established. We describe a novel technique for cerebral protection during endovascular stenting of symptomatic IA stenosis. An 82-year-old man presented with acutely scattered brain infarction by artery-to-artery embolism due to IA stenosis. Endovascular treatment for symptomatic IA stenosis was planned to prevent recurrent attacks. Endovascular stenting for IA stenosis via the right femoral artery approach was performed under simultaneous distal balloon protection of the right internal carotid artery (ICA) and vertebral artery (VA) via the right brachial artery approach. Successful treatment of symptomatic IA stenosis was achieved with no complications. The technique with simultaneous distal balloon protection of the ICA and VA provided excellent cerebral protection in stenting of IA stenosis. PMID:23263481

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    With the recent increase in utility-scale wind energy development, researchers have become increasingly concerned how this activity will affect wildlife and their habitat. To understand the potential impacts of wind energy facilities (WEF) post-construction (i.e., operation and maintenance) on wildlife, we compared differences in activity centers and survivorship of Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) inside or near a WEF to neighboring tortoises living near a wilderness area (NWA) and farther from the WEF. We found that the size of tortoise activity centers varied, but not significantly so, between the WEF (6.25 ± 2.13 ha) and adjacent NWA (4.13 ± 1.23 ha). However, apparent survival did differ significantly between the habitat types: over the 18-year study period apparent annual survival estimates were 0.96 ± 0.01 for WEF tortoises and 0.92 ± 0.02 for tortoises in the NWA. High annual survival suggests that operation and maintenance of the WEF has not caused considerable declines in the adult population over the past two decades. Low traffic volume, enhanced resource availability, and decreased predator populations may influence annual survivorship at this WEF. Further research on these proximate mechanisms and population recruitment would be useful for mitigating and managing post-development impacts of utility-scale wind energy on long-lived terrestrial vertebrates. PMID:25894273

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  5. Turbines and terrestrial vertebrates: variation in tortoise survivorship between a wind energy facility and an adjacent undisturbed wildland area in the desert southwest (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. The applicability of terrestrial visitor impact management strategies to the protection of coral reefs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marion, J.L.; Rogers, C.S.

    1994-01-01

    A dramatic expansion in nature-based tourism to tropical coastal destinations has occurred in the past 20 years. Tourism development, combined with intense recreational pressures, has irreversibly transformed and degraded many popular scenic natural environments. This paper examines the management of recreational impacts to coral reefs using Virgin Islands National Park as a case study. A review of terrestrial recreational ecology research explores the implications and potential applicability of some principal findings to the protection of coral reefs. Visitor impact management recommendations for the protection of coral reefs are offered. Managers can minimize coral reef recreational impacts by (1) restricting high-impact uses, (2) containing rather than dispersing recreational use, (3) encouraging the use of resistant environments, (4) teaching low-impact recreational practices, and (5) enforcing park rules and regulations.

  7. THE INFLUENCE OF THERMAL EVOLUTION IN THE MAGNETIC PROTECTION OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Bustamante, Sebastian; Cuartas, Pablo A.; Hoyos, Jaime H. E-mail: sbustama@pegasus.udea.edu.co E-mail: jhhoyos@udem.edu.co

    2013-06-10

    Magnetic protection of potentially habitable planets plays a central role in determining their actual habitability and/or the chances of detecting atmospheric biosignatures. Here we develop a thermal evolution model of potentially habitable Earth-like planets and super-Earths (SEs). Using up-to-date dynamo-scaling laws, we predict the properties of core dynamo magnetic fields and study the influence of thermal evolution on their properties. The level of magnetic protection of tidally locked and unlocked planets is estimated by combining simplified models of the planetary magnetosphere and a phenomenological description of the stellar wind. Thermal evolution introduces a strong dependence of magnetic protection on planetary mass and rotation rate. Tidally locked terrestrial planets with an Earth-like composition would have early dayside magnetopause distances between 1.5 and 4.0 R{sub p} , larger than previously estimated. Unlocked planets with periods of rotation {approx}1 day are protected by magnetospheres extending between 3 and 8 R{sub p} . Our results are robust in comparison with variations in planetary bulk composition and uncertainties in other critical model parameters. For illustration purposes, the thermal evolution and magnetic protection of the potentially habitable SEs GL 581d, GJ 667Cc, and HD 40307g were also studied. Assuming an Earth-like composition, we found that the dynamos of these planets are already extinct or close to being shut down. While GL 581d is the best protected, the protection of HD 40307g cannot be reliably estimated. GJ 667Cc, even under optimistic conditions, seems to be severely exposed to the stellar wind, and, under the conditions of our model, has probably suffered massive atmospheric losses.

  8. Vertebrate skeletogenesis.

    PubMed

    Lefebvre, Véronique; Bhattaram, Pallavi

    2010-01-01

    Vertebrate skeletogenesis consists in elaborating an edifice of more than 200 pieces of bone and cartilage. Each skeletal piece is crafted at a distinct location in the body, is articulated with others, and reaches a specific size, shape, and tissue composition according to both species instructions and individual determinants. This complex, customized body frame fulfills multiple essential tasks. It confers morphological features, allows controlled postures and movements, protects vital organs, houses hematopoiesis, stores minerals, and adsorbs toxins. This review provides an overview of the multiple facets of this ingenious process for experts as well as nonexperts of skeletogenesis. We explain how the developing vertebrate uses both specific and ubiquitously expressed genes to generate multipotent mesenchymal cells, specify them to a skeletogenic fate, control their survival and proliferation, and direct their differentiation into cartilage, bone, and joint cells. We review milestone discoveries made toward uncovering the intricate networks of regulatory factors that are involved in these processes, with an emphasis on signaling pathways and transcription factors. We describe numerous skeletal malformation and degeneration diseases that occur in humans as a result of mutations in regulatory genes, and explain how these diseases both help and motivate us to further decipher skeletogenic processes. Upon discussing current knowledge and gaps in knowledge in the control of skeletogenesis, we highlight ultimate research goals and propose research priorities and approaches for future endeavors. PMID:20691853

  9. Coccidian parasites of fish encompass profound phylogenetic diversity and gave rise to each of the major parasitic groups in terrestrial vertebrates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Coccidian paraasites are ubiquitous single-celled protists that cause enteric disease in all manner of vertebrate hosts. These include infections of wildlife, livestock, and people, resulting in a variety of disease outcomes. The diversity and relationships among these diverse parasites is best kn...

  10. Vertebral Morphometry.

    PubMed

    Chou, Sharon H; Vokes, Tamara

    2016-01-01

    There is as yet no agreement about the criteria by which to arrive at an imaging diagnosis of a vertebral fracture. Because high-grade fractures result in alterations in vertebral shape, 1 possible avenue of diagnosis has been to quantitate changes in vertebral shape. The result has been a variety of methods for the relative and absolute measurements of vertebral dimensions. Such measurements have also lent themselves to automated computed analysis. The number of techniques reflects the absence of any consensus about the best. The semiquantitative technique proposed by Genant has become the most widely used and has served the field well for comparative purposes. Its use in higher grade fractures has been widely endorsed, if some concepts (e.g., short vertebral height-vertebrae) are at variance with lower grades of fracturing. Vertebral morphometry may be the only recourse in high volume epidemiological and interventional studies. PMID:26349790

  11. Assessment of protective and anti-oxidant properties of Tribulus terrestris fruits against testicular toxicity in rats

    PubMed Central

    Shalaby, Mostafa Abbas; Hammouda, Ashraf Abd El-Khalik

    2014-01-01

    Aims: This study was carried out to assess the protective and anti-oxidant activities of the methanolic extract of Tribulus terrestris fruits (METT) against sodium valproate (SVP)-induced testicular toxicity in rats. Materials and Methods: Fifty mature male rats were randomly divided into five equal groups (n = 10). Group 1 was used normal (negative) control, and the other four groups were intoxicated with SVP (500 mg/kg–1, orally) during the last week of the experiment. Group 2 was kept intoxicated (positive) control, and Groups 3, 4 and 5 were orally pre-treated with METT in daily doses 2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 mg/kg–1 for 60 days, respectively. Weights of sexual organs, serum testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, semen picture, testicular anti-oxidant capacity and histopathology of testes were the parameters used in this study. Results: Oral pre-treatment with METT significantly increased weights of testes and seminal vesicles; serum testosterone, FSH and LH levels and sperm motility, count and viability in SVP-intoxicated rats. METT enhanced the activity of testicular anti-oxidant enzymes and partially alleviated degenerative changes induced by SVP in testes. Conclusion: The pre-treatment with METT has protective and anti-oxidant effects in SVP-intoxicated rats. Mechanisms of this protective effect against testicular toxicity may be due to the increased release of testosterone, FSH and LH and the enhanced tissue anti-oxidant capacity. These results affirm the traditional use of T. terrestris fruits as an aphrodisiac for treating male sexual impotency and erectile dysfunction in patients. The study recommends that T. terrestris fruits may be beneficial for male patients suffering from infertility. PMID:26401358

  12. Local biodiversity is higher inside than outside terrestrial protected areas worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Claudia L.; Hill, Samantha L. L.; Newbold, Tim; Hudson, Lawrence N.; Börger, Luca; Contu, Sara; Hoskins, Andrew J.; Ferrier, Simon; Purvis, Andy; Scharlemann, Jörn P. W.

    2016-01-01

    Protected areas are widely considered essential for biodiversity conservation. However, few global studies have demonstrated that protection benefits a broad range of species. Here, using a new global biodiversity database with unprecedented geographic and taxonomic coverage, we compare four biodiversity measures at sites sampled in multiple land uses inside and outside protected areas. Globally, species richness is 10.6% higher and abundance 14.5% higher in samples taken inside protected areas compared with samples taken outside, but neither rarefaction-based richness nor endemicity differ significantly. Importantly, we show that the positive effects of protection are mostly attributable to differences in land use between protected and unprotected sites. Nonetheless, even within some human-dominated land uses, species richness and abundance are higher in protected sites. Our results reinforce the global importance of protected areas but suggest that protection does not consistently benefit species with small ranges or increase the variety of ecological niches. PMID:27465407

  13. Local biodiversity is higher inside than outside terrestrial protected areas worldwide.

    PubMed

    Gray, Claudia L; Hill, Samantha L L; Newbold, Tim; Hudson, Lawrence N; Börger, Luca; Contu, Sara; Hoskins, Andrew J; Ferrier, Simon; Purvis, Andy; Scharlemann, Jörn P W

    2016-01-01

    Protected areas are widely considered essential for biodiversity conservation. However, few global studies have demonstrated that protection benefits a broad range of species. Here, using a new global biodiversity database with unprecedented geographic and taxonomic coverage, we compare four biodiversity measures at sites sampled in multiple land uses inside and outside protected areas. Globally, species richness is 10.6% higher and abundance 14.5% higher in samples taken inside protected areas compared with samples taken outside, but neither rarefaction-based richness nor endemicity differ significantly. Importantly, we show that the positive effects of protection are mostly attributable to differences in land use between protected and unprotected sites. Nonetheless, even within some human-dominated land uses, species richness and abundance are higher in protected sites. Our results reinforce the global importance of protected areas but suggest that protection does not consistently benefit species with small ranges or increase the variety of ecological niches. PMID:27465407

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-15

    Wildlife organisms are exposed to a combination of chemical, biological and physical stressors. Information about the relative impact of each stressor can support management decisions, e.g., by the allocation of resources to counteract those stressors that cause most harm. The present paper introduces Eco-SpaCE; a novel receptor-oriented cumulative exposure model for wildlife species that includes relevant ecological processes such as spatial habitat variation, food web relations, predation, and life history. A case study is presented in which the predicted mortality due to cadmium contamination is compared with the predicted mortality due to flooding, starvation, and predation for three small mammal species (Wood mouse, Common vole, and European mole) and a predator (Little owl) living in a lowland floodplain along the river Rhine in The Netherlands. Results indicated that cadmium is the principal stressor for European mole and Little owl populations. Wood mouse and Common vole population densities were mainly influenced by flooding and food availability. Their estimated population sizes were consistent with numbers reported in literature. Predictions for cadmium accumulation and flooding stress were in agreement with field data. The large uncertainty around cadmium toxicity for wildlife leads to the conclusion that more species-specific ecotoxicological data is required for more realistic risk assessments. The predictions for starvation were subject to the limited quantitative information on biomass obtainable as food for vertebrates. It is concluded that the modelling approach employed in Eco-SpaCE, combining ecology with ecotoxicology, provides a viable option to explore the relative contribution of contamination to the overall stress in an ecosystem. This can help environmental managers to prioritize management options, and to reduce local risks. PMID:20005557

  15. Cypermethrin induced reproductive toxicity in male Wistar rats: protective role of Tribulus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Poonam; Huq, Amir Ul; Singh, Rambir

    2013-09-01

    The present study was designed to investigate role of ethanolic extract of Tribulus terrestris (EETT) against alpha-cypermethrin induced reproductive toxicity in male Wistar rats. 24 male Wistar rats weighing about 250-300g were divided in four groups. Group-I was control. alpha-cypermethrin (3.38 mg kg-1b.wt.) was given to group-IlI for 28 days. In Group-Ill, alpha-cypermethrin and EETT (100 mg kg -1b.wt.) were administered in combination for 28 days. Rats in group-IV were given EETT for 28 days. At the end of the experiment, rats were sacrificed, testes and epididymis were removed and sperm characteristics, sex hormones and various biochemical parameters were studied. Decrease in weight of testes and epididymis, testicular sperm head count, sperm motility, live sperm count, serum testosterone (T), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), leutinizing hormone (LH), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione S transferase (GST), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), total protein content and increase in sperm abnormalities and lipid peroxidation (LPO) level was observed in rats exposed to cypermethrin. In combination group-Ill, EETT treatment ameliorated alpha-cypermethrin induced damage. EETT treatment in group-IV increased testes and epididymis weight, sperm head counts, sperm motility, live sperm counts, testosterone, FSH, LH, GSH, CAT, SOD, GST, GR, GPx and total protein content. The study suggested that Tribulus terrestris plant possess reproductive system enhancement and antioxidant activity. PMID:24558798

  16. Representation of ecosystem services by terrestrial protected areas: Chile as a case study.

    PubMed

    Durán, América P; Casalegno, Stefano; Marquet, Pablo A; Gaston, Kevin J

    2013-01-01

    Protected areas are increasingly considered to play a key role in the global maintenance of ecosystem processes and the ecosystem services they provide. It is thus vital to assess the extent to which existing protected area systems represent those services. Here, for the first time, we document the effectiveness of the current Chilean protected area system and its planned extensions in representing both ecosystem services (plant productivity, carbon storage and agricultural production) and biodiversity. Additionally, we evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas based on their respective management objectives. Our results show that existing protected areas in Chile do not contain an unusually high proportion of carbon storage (14.9%), agricultural production (0.2%) or biodiversity (11.8%), and also represent a low level of plant productivity (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index of 0.38). Proposed additional priority sites enhance the representation of ecosystem services and biodiversity, but not sufficiently to attain levels of representation higher than would be expected for their area of coverage. Moreover, when the species groups were assessed separately, amphibians was the only one well represented. Suggested priority sites for biodiversity conservation, without formal protection yet, was the only protected area category that over-represents carbon storage, agricultural production and biodiversity. The low representation of ecosystem services and species' distribution ranges by the current protected area system is because these protected areas are heavily biased toward southern Chile, and contain large extents of ice and bare rock. The designation and management of proposed priority sites needs to be addressed in order to increase the representation of ecosystem services within the Chilean protected area system. PMID:24376559

  17. Representation of Ecosystem Services by Terrestrial Protected Areas: Chile as a Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Durán, América P.; Casalegno, Stefano; Marquet, Pablo A.; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2013-01-01

    Protected areas are increasingly considered to play a key role in the global maintenance of ecosystem processes and the ecosystem services they provide. It is thus vital to assess the extent to which existing protected area systems represent those services. Here, for the first time, we document the effectiveness of the current Chilean protected area system and its planned extensions in representing both ecosystem services (plant productivity, carbon storage and agricultural production) and biodiversity. Additionally, we evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas based on their respective management objectives. Our results show that existing protected areas in Chile do not contain an unusually high proportion of carbon storage (14.9%), agricultural production (0.2%) or biodiversity (11.8%), and also represent a low level of plant productivity (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index of 0.38). Proposed additional priority sites enhance the representation of ecosystem services and biodiversity, but not sufficiently to attain levels of representation higher than would be expected for their area of coverage. Moreover, when the species groups were assessed separately, amphibians was the only one well represented. Suggested priority sites for biodiversity conservation, without formal protection yet, was the only protected area category that over-represents carbon storage, agricultural production and biodiversity. The low representation of ecosystem services and species’ distribution ranges by the current protected area system is because these protected areas are heavily biased toward southern Chile, and contain large extents of ice and bare rock. The designation and management of proposed priority sites needs to be addressed in order to increase the representation of ecosystem services within the Chilean protected area system. PMID:24376559

  18. Protective effect of Tribulus terrestris linn on liver and kidney in cadmium intoxicated rats.

    PubMed

    Lakshmi, G Dhana; Kumar, P Ravi; Bharavi, K; Annapurna, P; Rajendar, B; Patel, Pankaj T; Kumar, C S V Satish; Rao, G S

    2012-02-01

    Administration of cadmium (Cd) significantly increased the peroxidation markers such as malondialdehyde and protein carbonyls along with significant decrease in antioxidant markers such as super oxide dismutase and reduced glutathione in liver and kidney tissues. Cadmium also caused a significant alteration in hepatic and renal functional markers in serum viz. total protein, albumin, alanine transaminase, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine. Prominent pathological changes observed in liver were severe vascular and sinusoidal congestion with diffuse degenerative changes and mononuclear infiltration into peripheral areas, while the kidney showed vascular and glomerular congestion, cloudy swelling of tubular epithelium. Coadministration of ethonolic extract of T. terrestris or vitamin E along with Cd significantly reversed the Cd induced changes along with significant reduction in Cd load. PMID:22670477

  19. Saponins from Tribulus terrestris L. protect human keratinocytes from UVB-induced damage.

    PubMed

    Sisto, Margherita; Lisi, Sabrina; D'Amore, Massimo; De Lucro, Raffaella; Carati, Davide; Castellana, Donatello; La Pesa, Velia; Zuccarello, Vincenzo; Lofrumento, Dario D

    2012-12-01

    Chronic exposure to solar UVB radiation damages skin, increasing the risk to develop cancer. Hence the identification of compounds with a photoprotective efficacy is essential. This study examined the role of saponins derived from Tribulus terrestris L. (TT) on the modulation of apoptosis in normal human keratinocytes (NHEK) exposed to physiological doses of UVB and to evaluate their antitumoral properties. In NHEK, TT saponins attenuate UVB-induced programmed cell death through inhibition of intrinsic apoptotic pathway. In squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) TT saponins do not make the malignant keratinocytes more resistant to UVB and determine an enhanced apoptotic response. The photoprotective effect of TT saponins is tightly correlated to the enhancement of NER genes expression and the block of UVB-mediated NF-κB activation. Collectively, our study shows experimental evidence that TT has a preventive efficacy against UVB-induced carcinogenesis and the molecular knowledge on the mechanisms through which TT saponins regulate cell death suggests great potential for TT to be developed into a new medicine for cancer patients. PMID:23142932

  20. Considerations of an air-quality standard to protect terrestrial vegetation from acidic precipitation

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, L.S.

    1981-01-01

    Studies on the effects of acidic precipitation which is here defined as wet or frozen deposition with a hydrogen ion concentration greater than 2.5 ..mu..eq 1/sup -1/, are reviewed. At the present time there is an inadequate amount of information that shows decreases in crop growth except for one field study. Most studies with plants (crops and forests) are inadequate for standard setting because they are not conducted in the field with adequate randomization of plots coupled with rigorous statistical analyses. Although visible injury to foliage has been documented in a variety of greenhouse studies, no experimental evidence demonstrates loss of field crop value or reduction in plant productivity due to visible foliar injury. Acidic precipitation can contribute nutrients to vegetation and could also influence leaching rates of nutrients from vegetation. Although these processes occur, there are no data that show changes in nutrient levels in foliage that relate to crop or natural ecosystem productivity. Experimental results show that fertilization of ferns is inhibited by current levels of acidic precipitation in the northeastern United States. However, the overall impacts of inhibited fertilization on perpetuation of the species or ecosystem productivity have not been evaluated. Simulated acidic precipitation has been shown to effect plant pathogens in greenhouse and field experiments. Simulated acidic precipitation inhibited pathogen activities under some circumstances and promoted pathogen activities under other circumstances. No conclusion can be drawn about the effects of current levels of precipitation acidity on plant pathogen-host interactions. From these data it must be concluded that research on the effects of acidic precipitation on terrestrial vegetation is too meager to draw any conclusions with regard to an air quality standard.

  1. Iron-Scytonemin Complexes: DFT Calculations on New UV Protectants for Terrestrial Cyanobacteria and Astrobiological Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varnali, Tereza; Edwards, Howell G. M.

    2010-09-01

    Cyanobacterial colonies produce the radiation-protectant biomolecule scytonemin as part of their response strategy for survival in environmentally stressed conditions in hot and cold deserts. These colonies frequently use sandstone rocks as host matrices for subsurface colonization, which is accompanied by a zone of depletion of iron and transportation of iron compounds to the mineral surface. It is suggested that an iron-scytonemin complex could feature in this survival strategy and facilitate the movement of iron through the rock. Calculations were as host matrices for subsurface colonization, which is accompanied by a zone of depletion of iron and transportation of iron compounds to the mineral surface. It is suggested that an iron-scytonemin complex could feature in this survival strategy and facilitate the movement of iron through the rock. Calculations were carried out on several hypothetical iron-scytonemin complexes to evaluate the most stable structure energetically and examine the effect of the complexation of the biomolecule upon the electronic absorption characteristics of the radiation-protectant species. The implications for extraterrestrial planetary detection and analytical monitoring of an iron-scytonemin complex are assessed.

  2. Protective Effect of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Tribulus Terrestris on Cisplatin Induced Renal Tissue Damage in Male Mice

    PubMed Central

    Raoofi, Amir; Khazaei, Mozafar; Ghanbari, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Background: According beneficial effects of Tribulus terrestris (TT) extract on tissue damage, the present study investigated the influence of hydroalcoholic extract of TT plant on cisplatin (CIS) (EBEWE Pharma, Unterach, Austria) induced renal tissue damage in male mice. Methods: Thirty mice were divided into five groups (n = 6). The first group (control) was treated with normal saline (0.9% NaCl) and experimental groups with CIS (E1), CIS + 100 mg/kg extract of TT (E2), CIS + 300 mg/kg extract of TT (E3), CIS + 500 mg/kg extract of TT (E4) intraperitoneally. The kidneys were removed after 4 days of injections, and histological evaluations were performed. Results: The data were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance followed by Tukey's post-hoc test, paired-sample t-test, Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney tests. In the CIS treated group, the whole kidney tissue showed an increased dilatation of Bowman's capsule, medullar congestion, and dilatation of collecting tubules and a decreased in the body weight and kidney weight. These parameters reached to the normal range after administration of fruit extracts of TT for 4 days. Conclusions: The results suggested that the oral administration of TT fruit extract at dose 100, 300 and 500 mg/kg body weight provided protection against the CIS induced toxicity in the mice. PMID:25789143

  3. Conservation on international boundaries: the impact of security barriers on selected terrestrial mammals in four protected areas in Arizona, USA.

    PubMed

    McCallum, Jamie W; Rowcliffe, J Marcus; Cuthill, Innes C

    2014-01-01

    Several thousand terrestrial protected areas (PAs) lie on international boundaries. Because international boundaries can be focal points for trade, illegal activity and development, such PAs can be vulnerable to a range of anthropogenic threats. There is an increasing trend towards the erection of international boundary infrastructure (including fences, barriers and ditches) in many parts of the world, which may reduce the risk of these anthropogenic threats to some PAs. However this may restrict home range and access to resources for some native species. We sought to understand the impacts of these two different types of threat by using camera traps to measure the activity level of humans, native and invasive mammals in four US PAs on the Mexican international boundary. Comparisons were made between treatment areas with barriers and those without. Results showed that puma and coati were more likely to appear in treatment areas without barriers, whereas humans were not observed more frequently in one treatment area over another. The suggestion is that the intermittent fencing present in this part of the world does affect some native species, but does not necessarily restrict the movement of humans (including illegal migrants), who may negatively impact native species. PMID:24717982

  4. Conservation on International Boundaries: The Impact of Security Barriers on Selected Terrestrial Mammals in Four Protected Areas in Arizona, USA

    PubMed Central

    McCallum, Jamie W.; Rowcliffe, J. Marcus; Cuthill, Innes C.

    2014-01-01

    Several thousand terrestrial protected areas (PAs) lie on international boundaries. Because international boundaries can be focal points for trade, illegal activity and development, such PAs can be vulnerable to a range of anthropogenic threats. There is an increasing trend towards the erection of international boundary infrastructure (including fences, barriers and ditches) in many parts of the world, which may reduce the risk of these anthropogenic threats to some PAs. However this may restrict home range and access to resources for some native species. We sought to understand the impacts of these two different types of threat by using camera traps to measure the activity level of humans, native and invasive mammals in four US PAs on the Mexican international boundary. Comparisons were made between treatment areas with barriers and those without. Results showed that puma and coati were more likely to appear in treatment areas without barriers, whereas humans were not observed more frequently in one treatment area over another. The suggestion is that the intermittent fencing present in this part of the world does affect some native species, but does not necessarily restrict the movement of humans (including illegal migrants), who may negatively impact native species. PMID:24717982

  5. Vertebrate Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kornbluth, Sally; Fissore, Rafael

    2015-10-01

    Vertebrate reproduction requires a myriad of precisely orchestrated events-in particular, the maternal production of oocytes, the paternal production of sperm, successful fertilization, and initiation of early embryonic cell divisions. These processes are governed by a host of signaling pathways. Protein kinase and phosphatase signaling pathways involving Mos, CDK1, RSK, and PP2A regulate meiosis during maturation of the oocyte. Steroid signals-specifically testosterone-regulate spermatogenesis, as does signaling by G-protein-coupled hormone receptors. Finally, calcium signaling is essential for both sperm motility and fertilization. Altogether, this signaling symphony ensures the production of viable offspring, offering a chance of genetic immortality. PMID:26430215

  6. Vertebrate Dissimilarity Due to Turnover and Richness Differences in a Highly Beta-Diverse Region: The Role of Spatial Grain Size, Dispersal Ability and Distance

    PubMed Central

    Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M.; Moreno, Claudia E.; Pineda-López, Rubén; Sánchez-Rojas, Gerardo; Zuria, Iriana

    2013-01-01

    We explore the influence of spatial grain size, dispersal ability, and geographic distance on the patterns of species dissimilarity of terrestrial vertebrates, separating the dissimilarity explained by species replacement (turnover) from that resulting from richness differences. With data for 905 species of terrestrial vertebrates distributed in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, classified into five groups according to their taxonomy and dispersal ability, we calculated total dissimilarity and its additive partitioning as two components: dissimilarity derived from turnover and dissimilarity derived from richness differences. These indices were compared using fine (10 x 10 km), intermediate (20 x 20 km) and coarse (40 x 40 km) grain grids, and were tested for any correlations with geographic distance. The results showed that total dissimilarity is high for the terrestrial vertebrates in this region. Total dissimilarity, and dissimilarity due to turnover are correlated with geographic distance, and the patterns are clearer when the grain is fine, which is consistent with the distance-decay pattern of similarity. For all terrestrial vertebrates tested on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec both the dissimilarity derived from turnover and the dissimilarity resulting from richness differences make important contributions to total dissimilarity, and dispersal ability does not seem to influence the dissimilarity patterns. These findings support the idea that conservation efforts in this region require a system of interconnected protected areas that embrace the environmental, climatic and biogeographic heterogeneity of the area. PMID:24324840

  7. Proximal Analysis of Regolith Habitats and Protective Biomolecules in Situ by Laser Raman Spectroscopy: Overview of Terrestrial Antarctic Habitats and Mars Analogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wynn-Williams, D. D.; Edwards, H. G. M.

    2000-04-01

    Fourier-transform laser Raman spectroscopy in the near infrared (1064 nm) has been used to characterize a variety of key pigments and biomolecules produced by cyanobacteria and other stresstolerant microbes in material from extreme Antarctic cold deserts analogous to martian habitats. These compounds include photosynthetic pigments and sunscreens to protect against harmful UV radiation in the light zone (chlorophyll, scytonemin, β-carotene) and photoprotective minerals, such as silica containing iron (III) oxide. Calcium oxalate mono- and dihydrate produced as a result of the biological weathering processes and stress-protective compounds, necessary to protect organisms against desiccation, freezing temperatures, and hypersalinity, such as water-replacement molecules (trehalose), are also monitored. From the results obtained using Antarctic samples, it is shown that a laser-based system can be used to characterize biomolecules in their natural state within their mineral microhabitats. Because of the similarities between the Antarctic cold desert ecosystems, which represent some of the most extreme terrestrial environmental habitats, and putative martian analogs, the laser-Raman spectrosocopic approach is proposed for the detection of former life on Mars analogs to terrestrial cyanobacteria under stress, such as stromatolites, evaporites, and endolithic communities. To this end, the spectral database that is being accumulated from laser-Raman studies of these Antarctic communities will provide a resource of potential biomarkers for future remote laser-Raman analysis on future Mars missions.

  8. Interaction between spring temperature-photoperiod and experimentally induced transient cold shock influencing proliferative activity in the brain of an adult terrestrial heterothermic vertebrate, Rana bergeri (Günther, 1986).

    PubMed

    Chimenti, Claudio; Margotta, Vito

    2015-01-01

    The seasonal thermal cycle and correlated variations in photoperiod exert antithetical influences on the proliferation of the reserve brain stem cells, which are mostly ependymal and subependymal, of adult earth-dwelling heterothermic vertebrates upon deprivation of an encephalic area. Also, an induced sudden, transient thermal stress preceding surgical cerebral maiming increases or depresses the proliferation of these stand-by cells, depending on the season. In particular, the concomitance of spring temperature and photoperiod with a cold stimulus increases proliferation. To re-evaluate these findings, normal adults of Rana bergeri were exposed to a cold shock in spring time. The outlined patterns, as revealed by immunocytochemical detection of a proliferation-linked antigen, showed that those conditions affect only the forebrain, where immunoreactivity was identifiable in quiescent cells mostly located in peculiar telencephalic ependymal sites, known as zonae germinativae dorsales and ventrales, while the regions lying behind had no substantial proliferative response. These results may be due to the absence of further proliferative stimuli (surgical stress, cerebral ablation), so that only the stand-by cells in the encephalic areas more rich in such cells are activated to proliferate. The findings are in line with the subordinate position of Anurans as compared with Urodeles, which are the most gifted with spontaneous and experimentally induced reparative and regenerative capacity among vertebrates. PMID:27086439

  9. US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Clinton N; Van Houtan, Kyle S; Pimm, Stuart L; Sexton, Joseph O

    2015-04-21

    Because habitat loss is the main cause of extinction, where and how much society chooses to protect is vital for saving species. The United States is well positioned economically and politically to pursue habitat conservation should it be a societal goal. We assessed the US protected area portfolio with respect to biodiversity in the country. New synthesis maps for terrestrial vertebrates, freshwater fish, and trees permit comparison with protected areas to identify priorities for future conservation investment. Although the total area protected is substantial, its geographic configuration is nearly the opposite of patterns of endemism within the country. Most protected lands are in the West, whereas the vulnerable species are largely in the Southeast. Private land protections are significant, but they are not concentrated where the priorities are. To adequately protect the nation's unique biodiversity, we recommend specific areas deserving additional protection, some of them including public lands, but many others requiring private investment. PMID:25847995

  10. US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities

    PubMed Central

    Pimm, Stuart L.; Sexton, Joseph O.

    2015-01-01

    Because habitat loss is the main cause of extinction, where and how much society chooses to protect is vital for saving species. The United States is well positioned economically and politically to pursue habitat conservation should it be a societal goal. We assessed the US protected area portfolio with respect to biodiversity in the country. New synthesis maps for terrestrial vertebrates, freshwater fish, and trees permit comparison with protected areas to identify priorities for future conservation investment. Although the total area protected is substantial, its geographic configuration is nearly the opposite of patterns of endemism within the country. Most protected lands are in the West, whereas the vulnerable species are largely in the Southeast. Private land protections are significant, but they are not concentrated where the priorities are. To adequately protect the nation’s unique biodiversity, we recommend specific areas deserving additional protection, some of them including public lands, but many others requiring private investment. PMID:25847995

  11. Terrestrial pesticide exposure of amphibians: An underestimated cause of global decline?

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, a class of animals in global decline, are present in agricultural landscapes characterized by agrochemical inputs. Effects of pesticides on terrestrial life stages of amphibians such as juvenile and adult frogs, toads and newts are little understood and a specific risk assessment for pesticide exposure, mandatory for other vertebrate groups, is currently not conducted. We studied the effects of seven pesticide products on juvenile European common frogs (Rana temporaria) in an agricultural overspray scenario. Mortality ranged from 100% after one hour to 40% after seven days at the recommended label rate of currently registered products. The demonstrated toxicity is alarming and a large-scale negative effect of terrestrial pesticide exposure on amphibian populations seems likely. Terrestrial pesticide exposure might be underestimated as a driver of their decline calling for more attention in conservation efforts and the risk assessment procedures in place do not protect this vanishing animal group. PMID:23350038

  12. Earliest evidence for efficient oral processing in a terrestrial herbivore.

    PubMed

    Rybczynski, N; Reisz, R R

    2001-06-01

    Herbivores can increase their digestion rate by mechanically reducing particle size through oral trituration. Groups of terrestrial vertebrates with the greatest capacity to reduce tough plant foods orally are also the most abundant and diverse, as exemplified by ornithopod dinosaurs during the Mesozoic and extant artiodactyl and perissodactyl mammals. Thus, the effective oral processing of high-fibre plant material seems to represent an evolutionary innovation of both functional and macroevolutionary significance. However, evidence for oral processing is poorly documented in the fossil record, especially during the initial stages of terrestrial vertebrate diversification. Here we report on the basal anomodont Suminia getmanovi, the only known Palaeozoic vertebrate in which unequivocal specializations in its cranium and teeth for high-fibre herbivory are well preserved. We propose that the capacity to comminute tough plant foods was critical to the diversification of anomodonts, the most diverse, widely dispersed and abundant group of Palaeozoic terrestrial vertebrates, and to the onset of modern terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:11395768

  13. Terrestrial sequestration

    ScienceCinema

    Charlie Byrer

    2010-01-08

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  14. Terrestrial sequestration

    SciTech Connect

    Charlie Byrer

    2008-03-10

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  15. Targeting global protected area expansion for imperiled biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Venter, Oscar; Fuller, Richard A; Segan, Daniel B; Carwardine, Josie; Brooks, Thomas; Butchart, Stuart H M; Di Marco, Moreno; Iwamura, Takuya; Joseph, Liana; O'Grady, Damien; Possingham, Hugh P; Rondinini, Carlo; Smith, Robert J; Venter, Michelle; Watson, James E M

    2014-06-01

    Governments have agreed to expand the global protected area network from 13% to 17% of the world's land surface by 2020 (Aichi target 11) and to prevent the further loss of known threatened species (Aichi target 12). These targets are interdependent, as protected areas can stem biodiversity loss when strategically located and effectively managed. However, the global protected area estate is currently biased toward locations that are cheap to protect and away from important areas for biodiversity. Here we use data on the distribution of protected areas and threatened terrestrial birds, mammals, and amphibians to assess current and possible future coverage of these species under the convention. We discover that 17% of the 4,118 threatened vertebrates are not found in a single protected area and that fully 85% are not adequately covered (i.e., to a level consistent with their likely persistence). Using systematic conservation planning, we show that expanding protected areas to reach 17% coverage by protecting the cheapest land, even if ecoregionally representative, would increase the number of threatened vertebrates covered by only 6%. However, the nonlinear relationship between the cost of acquiring land and species coverage means that fivefold more threatened vertebrates could be adequately covered for only 1.5 times the cost of the cheapest solution, if cost efficiency and threatened vertebrates are both incorporated into protected area decision making. These results are robust to known errors in the vertebrate range maps. The Convention on Biological Diversity targets may stimulate major expansion of the global protected area estate. If this expansion is to secure a future for imperiled species, new protected areas must be sited more strategically than is presently the case. PMID:24960185

  16. Testing Skills in Vertebrates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funk, Mildred Sears; Tosto, Pat

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the authors present a project that gives students examples of basic skills that many vertebrate species develop as they grow and function in their ecosystem. These activities involve information gathering about surroundings, learning how to use objects, and tracking and searching skills. Different vertebrate species may acquire…

  17. Soil criteria to protect terrestrial wildlife and open-range livestock from metal toxicity at mining sites.

    PubMed

    Ford, Karl L; Beyer, W Nelson

    2014-03-01

    Thousands of hard rock mines exist in the western USA and in other parts of the world as a result of historic and current gold, silver, lead, and mercury mining. Many of these sites in the USA are on public lands. Typical mine waste associated with these sites are tailings and waste rock dumps that may be used by wildlife and open-range livestock. This report provides wildlife screening criteria levels for metals in soil and mine waste to evaluate risk and to determine the need for site-specific risk assessment, remediation, or a change in management practices. The screening levels are calculated from toxicity reference values based on maximum tolerable levels of metals in feed, on soil and plant ingestion rates, and on soil to plant uptake factors for a variety of receptors. The metals chosen for this report are common toxic metals found at mining sites: arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc. The resulting soil screening values are well above those developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The difference in values was mainly a result of using toxicity reference values that were more specific to the receptors addressed rather than the most sensitive receptor. PMID:24310366

  18. Protective effect of Tribulus terrestris L. fruit aqueous extracton lipid profile and oxidative stress in isoproterenol induced myocardial necrosis in male albino Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Sailaja, K V; Shivaranjani, V Leela; Poornima, H; Rahamathulla, S B Md; Devi, K Lakshmi

    2013-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to evaluate the possible protective effects of Tribulus terrestris fruit aqueous extract (TTFAEt) on lipid profile and oxidative stress in isoproterenol (ISO) induced myocardial necrosis in albino Wistar rats. Albino Wistar rats were divided into normal control, TTFAEt alone treated, ISO control and pretreated (TTFAEt+ISO) groups. The extract was administered at a dose of 50 mg/kg body weight for 40 days orally by gavage and ISO was administered at a dose of 85 mg/kg body weight for two consecutive days intraperitoneally at an interval of 24 h. ISO induced myocardial infarction (MI) was confirmed by disturbances in serum lipid profile, heart tissue lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzyme levels. There was a significant increase in the levels of serum total cholesterol (32.60 %), triglycerides (41.30 %), very low density lipoproteins (81.81 %), low density lipoproteins (84%) and phospholipids (38.88 %) and a significant decrease in the levels of high density lipoproteins (33.33 %) in the ISO control group when compared to normal controls. Additionally, there is a significant decrease in the levels of heart tissue antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase and depletion of reduced glutathione, which indicates enhanced lipid peroxidation(172 %). Pretreatment with extract significantly showed a protective effect against ISO altered lipid profile, lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzyme levels. The present study showed therapeutic effect of TTFAEt on lipid profile and oxidative stress in isoproterenol (ISO) induced myocardial necrosis in experimental rats. PMID:26417233

  19. Permo-Triassic vertebrate extinctions: A program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, E. C.

    1988-01-01

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

  20. Identification of evolutionary hotspots based on genetic data from multiple terrestrial and aquatic taxa and gap analysis of hotspots in protected lands encompassed by the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robinson, J.; Snider, M.; Duke, J.; Moyer, G.R.

    2014-01-01

     The southeastern United States is a recognized hotspot of biodiversity for a variety of aquatic taxa, including fish, amphibians, and mollusks. Unfortunately, the great diversity of the area is accompanied by a large proportion of species at risk of extinction . Gap analysis was employed to assess the representation of evolutionary hotspots in protected lands w h ere an evolutionary hotspot was defined as an area with high evolutionary potential and measured by atypical patterns of genetic divergence, genetic diversity, and to a lesser extent genetic similarity across multiple terrestrial or aquatic taxa. A survey of the primary literature produced 16 terrestrial and 14 aquatic genetic datasets for estimation of genetic divergence and diversity. Relative genetic diversity and divergence values for each terrestrial and aquatic dataset were used for interpolation of multispecies genetic surfaces and subsequent visualization using ArcGIS. The multispecies surfaces interpolated from relative divergences and diversity data identified numerous evolutionary hotspots for both terrestrial and aquatic taxa , many of which were afforded some current protection. For instance, 14% of the cells identified as hotspots of aquatic diversity were encompassed by currently protected areas. Additionally, 25% of the highest 1% of terrestrial diversity cells were afforded some level of protection. In contrast, areas of high and low divergence among species, and areas of high variance in diversity were poorly represented in the protected lands. Of particular interest were two areas that were consistently identified by several different measures as important from a conservation perspective. These included an area encompassing the panhandle of Florida and southern Georgia near the Apalachicola National Forest (displaying varying levels of genetic divergence and greater than average levels of genetic diversity) and a large portion of the coastal regions of North and South Carolina

  1. Explaining large-scale patterns of vertebrate diversity

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, John J.

    2015-01-01

    The major clades of vertebrates differ dramatically in their current species richness, from 2 to more than 32 000 species each, but the causes of this variation remain poorly understood. For example, a previous study noted that vertebrate clades differ in their diversification rates, but did not explain why they differ. Using a time-calibrated phylogeny and phylogenetic comparative methods, I show that most variation in diversification rates among 12 major vertebrate clades has a simple ecological explanation: predominantly terrestrial clades (i.e. birds, mammals, and lizards and snakes) have higher net diversification rates than predominantly aquatic clades (i.e. amphibians, crocodilians, turtles and all fish clades). These differences in diversification rates are then strongly related to patterns of species richness. Habitat may be more important than other potential explanations for richness patterns in vertebrates (such as climate and metabolic rates) and may also help explain patterns of species richness in many other groups of organisms. PMID:26202428

  2. Use of a mobile terrestrial laser system to quantify the impact of rigid coastal protective structures on sandy beaches, Quebec, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van-Wierts, S.; Bernatchez, P.

    2012-04-01

    Coastal erosion is an important issue within the St-Lawrence estuary and gulf, especially in zones of unconsolidated material. Wide beaches are important coastal environments; they act as a buffer against breaking waves by absorbing and dissipating their energy, thus reducing the rate of coastal erosion. They also offer protection to humans and nearby ecosystems, providing habitat for plants, animals and lifeforms such as algae and microfauna. Conventional methods, such as aerial photograph analysis, fail to adequately quantify the morphosedimentary behavior of beaches at the scale of a hydrosedimentary cells. The lack of reliable and quantitative data leads to considerable errors of overestimation and underestimation of sediment budgets. To address these gaps and to minimize acquisition costs posed by airborne LiDAR survey, a mobile terrestrial LiDAR has been set up to acquire topographic data of the coastal zone. The acquisition system includes a LiDAR sensor, a high precision navigation system (GPS-INS) and a video camera. Comparison of LiDAR data with 1050 DGPS control points shows a vertical mean absolute error of 0.1 m in beach areas. The extracted data is used to calculate sediment volumes, widths, slopes, and a sediment budget index. A high accuracy coastal characterization is achieved through the integration of laser data and video. The main objective of this first project using this system is to quantify the impact of rigid coastal protective structures on sediment budget and beach morphology. Results show that the average sediment volume of beaches located before a rock armour barrier (12 m3/m) were three times narrower than for natural beaches (35,5 m3/m). Natural beaches were also found to have twice the width (25.4 m) of the beaches bordering inhabited areas (12.7 m). The development of sediment budget index for beach areas is an excellent proxy to quickly identify deficit areas and therefore the coastal segments most at risk of erosion. The obtained

  3. TERRESTRIAL ECOTOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Terrestrial ecotoxicology is the study of how environmental pollutants affect land-dependent organisms and their environment. It requires three elements: (1) a source, (2) a receptor, and (3) an exposure pathway. This article reviews the basic principles of each of each element...

  4. Avoidance and tolerance of freezing in ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Costanzo, Jon P; Lee, Richard E

    2013-06-01

    Ectothermic vertebrates have colonized regions that are seasonally or perpetually cold, and some species, particularly terrestrial hibernators, must cope with temperatures that fall substantially below 0°C. Survival of such excursions depends on either freeze avoidance through supercooling or freeze tolerance. Supercooling, a metastable state in which body fluids remain liquid below the equilibrium freezing/melting point, is promoted by physiological responses that protect against chilling injury and by anatomical and behavioral traits that limit risk of inoculative freezing by environmental ice and ice-nucleating agents. Freeze tolerance evolved from responses to fundamental stresses to permit survival of the freezing of a substantial amount of body water under thermal and temporal conditions of ecological relevance. Survival of freezing is promoted by a complex suite of molecular, biochemical and physiological responses that limit cell death from excessive shrinkage, damage to macromolecules and membranes, metabolic perturbation and oxidative stress. Although freeze avoidance and freeze tolerance generally are mutually exclusive strategies, a few species can switch between them, the mode used in a particular instance of chilling depending on prevailing physiological and environmental conditions. PMID:23678097

  5. Oxygen concentration affects upper thermal tolerance in a terrestrial vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Shea, Tanner K; DuBois, P Mason; Claunch, Natalie M; Murphey, Nicolette E; Rucker, Kiley A; Brewster, Robert A; Taylor, Emily N

    2016-09-01

    We tested the oxygen limitation hypothesis, which states that animals decline in performance and reach the upper limits of their thermal tolerance when the metabolic demand for oxygen at high temperatures exceeds the circulatory system's ability to supply adequate oxygen, in air-breathing lizards exposed to air with different oxygen concentrations. Lizards exposed to hypoxic air (6% O2) gaped, panted, and lost their righting response at significantly lower temperatures than lizards exposed to normoxic (21% O2) or hyperoxic (35% O2) air. A greater proportion of lizards in the hyperoxic treatment were able to withstand body temperatures above 44°C than in the normoxic treatment. We also found that female lizards had a higher panting threshold than male lizards, while sex had no effect on gaping threshold and loss of righting response. Body size affected the temperature at which lizards lost the righting response, with larger lizards losing the response at lower temperatures than smaller lizards when exposed to hypoxic conditions. These data suggest that oxygen limitation plays a mechanistic role in the thermal tolerance of lizards. PMID:27264957

  6. Management of Vertebral Stenosis Complicated by Presence of Acute Thrombus

    SciTech Connect

    Canyigit, Murat; Arat, Anil Cil, Barbaros E.; Sahin, Gurdal; Turkbey, Baris; Elibol, Bulent

    2007-04-15

    A 44-year-old male presented with multiple punctate acute infarcts of the vertebrobasilar circulation and a computed tomographic angiogram showing stenosis of the right vertebral origin. A digital subtraction angiogram demonstrated a new intraluminal filling defect at the origin of the stenotic vertebral artery where antegrade flow was maintained. This filling defect was accepted to be an acute thrombus of the vertebral origin, most likely due to rupture of a vulnerable plaque. The patient was treated with intravenous heparin. A control angiogram revealed dissolution of the acute thrombus under anticoagulation and the patient was treated with stenting with distal protection. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated no additional acute ischemic lesions. We were unable to find a similar report in the English literature documenting successful management of an acute vertebral ostial thrombus with anticoagulation. Anticoagulation might be considered prior to endovascular treatment of symptomatic vertebral stenoses complicated by the presence of acute thrombus.

  7. [Vertebral hydatidosis: case report].

    PubMed

    Varela, R; Santelices, J P; Cuzmar, D; Aldunate, J T; Plaza-Guzmán, N; Lizama-Calvo, P

    2015-01-01

    Hydatidosis caused by echinococcus granulosus may affect any organ in the body, with the lungs and the liver as the most commonly affected organs. Vertebral compromise resulting from echinococcus granulosus has a low prevalence and accounts for less than 1% of bone compromise. We report the case of a 50 year-old female who presented at the Trauma Service with progressive low back pain with 5 months of duration that irradiated to the right lower limb, and led to neurologic compromise of the limb. Imaging studies showed spondylodiscitis at T12-L1, confirmed by a biopsy. Treatment of this condition is both orthopedic and surgical. The recurrence rate is high, between 30 and 40%. The objective of describing this case is to propose the differential diagnosis of a vertebral mass of unknown origin and provide details as to how to manage this condition. PMID:27012085

  8. Viruses of lower vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Essbauer, S; Ahne, W

    2001-08-01

    Viruses of lower vertebrates recently became a field of interest to the public due to increasing epizootics and economic losses of poikilothermic animals. These were reported worldwide from both wildlife and collections of aquatic poikilothermic animals. Several RNA and DNA viruses infecting fish, amphibians and reptiles have been studied intensively during the last 20 years. Many of these viruses induce diseases resulting in important economic losses of lower vertebrates, especially in fish aquaculture. In addition, some of the DNA viruses seem to be emerging pathogens involved in the worldwide decline in wildlife. Irido-, herpes- and polyomavirus infections may be involved in the reduction in the numbers of endangered amphibian and reptile species. In this context the knowledge of several important RNA viruses such as orthomyxo-, paramyxo-, rhabdo-, retro-, corona-, calici-, toga-, picorna-, noda-, reo- and birnaviruses, and DNA viruses such as parvo-, irido-, herpes-, adeno-, polyoma- and poxviruses, is described in this review. PMID:11550762

  9. Head segmentation in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Schilling, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Classic theories of vertebrate head segmentation clearly exemplify the idealistic nature of comparative embryology prior to the 20th century. Comparative embryology aimed at recognizing the basic, primary structure that is shared by all vertebrates, either as an archetype or an ancestral developmental pattern. Modern evolutionary developmental (Evo-Devo) studies are also based on comparison, and therefore have a tendency to reduce complex embryonic anatomy into overly simplified patterns. Here again, a basic segmental plan for the head has been sought among chordates. We convened a symposium that brought together leading researchers dealing with this problem, in a number of different evolutionary and developmental contexts. Here we give an overview of the outcome and the status of the field in this modern era of Evo-Devo. We emphasize the fact that the head segmentation problem is not fully resolved, and we discuss new directions in the search for hints for a way out of this maze. PMID:20607135

  10. Building the Vertebrate Spine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pourquié, Olivier

    2008-03-01

    The vertebrate body can be subdivided along the antero-posterior (AP) axis into repeated structures called segments. This periodic pattern is established during embryogenesis by the somitogenesis process. Somites are generated in a rhythmic fashion from the paraxial mesoderm and subsequently differentiate to give rise to the vertebrae and skeletal muscles of the body. Somite formation involves an oscillator-the segmentation clock-whose periodic signal is converted into the periodic array of somite boundaries. This clock drives the dynamic expression of cyclic genes in the presomitic mesoderm and requires Notch and Wnt signaling. Microarray studies of the mouse presomitic mesoderm transcriptome reveal that the segmentation clock drives the periodic expression of a large network of cyclic genes involved in cell signaling. Mutually exclusive activation of the Notch/FGF and Wnt pathways during each cycle suggests that coordinated regulation of these three pathways underlies the clock oscillator. In humans, mutations in the genes associated to the function of this oscillator such as Dll3 or Lunatic Fringe result in abnormal segmentation of the vertebral column such as those seen in congenital scoliosis. Whereas the segmentation clock is thought to set the pace of vertebrate segmentation, the translation of this pulsation into the reiterated arrangement of segment boundaries along the AP axis involves dynamic gradients of FGF and Wnt signaling. The FGF signaling gradient is established based on an unusual mechanism involving mRNA decay which provides an efficient means to couple the spatio-temporal activation of segmentation to the posterior elongation of the embryo. Another striking aspect of somite production is the strict bilateral symmetry of the process. Retinoic acid was shown to control aspects of this coordination by buffering destabilizing effects from the embryonic left-right machinery. Defects in this embryonic program controlling vertebral symmetry might lead

  11. Use of terrestrial model ecosystem data in environmental risk assessment for industrial chemicals, biocides and plant protection products in the EU.

    PubMed

    Weyers, Arnd; Sokull-Klüttgen, Birgit; Knacker, Thomas; Martin, Sabine; Van Gestel, Cornelis A M

    2004-01-01

    Risk assessment approaches within the regulatory framework of the European Union (EU) based on single species tests were compared to those using data from terrestrial model ecosystems (TMEs). In a case study with the fungicide carbendazim, single species data led to ratios of the predicted environmental concentration (PEC) and predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) of above 1000, depending on available data and related assessment factors, indicating concern for the terrestrial environment. Considering the high degree of realism of the TME studies with multiple endpoints measured, but also residual uncertainty related to higher variability of endpoints, an assessment factor of 5 was applied on TME data. The most sensitive reliable endpoint was earthworm biomass. With the TME studies yielding slightly higher effect thresholds compared to laboratory data, and due to the lower assessment factor, the PEC/PNEC ratio was lowered to 5. This means that there would be concern for high application rates of carbendazim. PMID:14992478

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Air breathing was critical to the terrestrial radiation and evolution of tetrapods and arose in fish. The vertebrate lung originated from a progenitor structure present in primitive boney fish. The origin of the neural substrates, which are sensitive to metabolically produced CO2 and which rhythmically activate respiratory muscles to match lung ventilation to metabolic demand, is enigmatic. We have found that a distinct periodic centrally generated rhythm, described as "cough" and occurring in lamprey in vivo and in vitro, is modulated by central sensitivity to CO2. This suggests that elements critical for the evolution of breathing in tetrapods, were present in the most basal vertebrate ancestors prior to the evolution of the lung. We propose that the evolution of breathing in all vertebrates occurred through exaptations derived from these critical basal elements. PMID:26476056

  13. Global protected area expansion is compromised by projected land-use and parochialism.

    PubMed

    Montesino Pouzols, Federico; Toivonen, Tuuli; Di Minin, Enrico; Kukkala, Aija S; Kullberg, Peter; Kuusterä, Johanna; Lehtomäki, Joona; Tenkanen, Henrikki; Verburg, Peter H; Moilanen, Atte

    2014-12-18

    Protected areas are one of the main tools for halting the continuing global biodiversity crisis caused by habitat loss, fragmentation and other anthropogenic pressures. According to the Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity, the protected area network should be expanded to at least 17% of the terrestrial world by 2020 (http://www.cbd.int/sp/targets). To maximize conservation outcomes, it is crucial to identify the best expansion areas. Here we show that there is a very high potential to increase protection of ecoregions and vertebrate species by expanding the protected area network, but also identify considerable risk of ineffective outcomes due to land-use change and uncoordinated actions between countries. We use distribution data for 24,757 terrestrial vertebrates assessed under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 'red list of threatened species', and terrestrial ecoregions (827), modified by land-use models for the present and 2040, and introduce techniques for global and balanced spatial conservation prioritization. First, we show that with a coordinated global protected area network expansion to 17% of terrestrial land, average protection of species ranges and ecoregions could triple. Second, if projected land-use change by 2040 (ref. 11) takes place, it becomes infeasible to reach the currently possible protection levels, and over 1,000 threatened species would lose more than 50% of their present effective ranges worldwide. Third, we demonstrate a major efficiency gap between national and global conservation priorities. Strong evidence is shown that further biodiversity loss is unavoidable unless international action is quickly taken to balance land-use and biodiversity conservation. The approach used here can serve as a framework for repeatable and quantitative assessment of efficiency, gaps and expansion of the global protected area network globally, regionally and nationally, considering

  14. Mechanotransduction During Vertebrate Neurulation.

    PubMed

    Sokol, Sergei Y

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrate neural tube formation is a complex morphogenetic process, which involves hundreds of genes dynamically coordinating various behaviors in different cell populations of neural tissue. The challenge remains to determine the relative contributions of physical forces and biochemical signaling events to neural tube closure and accompanying cell fate specification. Planar cell polarity (PCP) molecules are prime candidate factors for the production of actomyosin-dependent mechanical signals necessary for morphogenesis. Conversely, physical forces may contribute to the polarized distribution of PCP proteins. Understanding mechanosensory and mechanotransducing properties of diverse molecules should help define the direction and amplitude of physical stresses that are critical for neurulation. PMID:26969989

  15. Vertebral Angiosarcoma. Case Study.

    PubMed

    Guzik, Grzegorz

    2015-01-01

    Bone angiosarcomas, especially vertebral angiosarcomas, are very rare. There are no studies based on large clinical samples in the literature, and only a few single case reports can be found. The symptoms of the disease are not specific. It is usually detected incidentally or at a late stage when pathological vertebral fractures or neurological complications occur. Diagnostic imaging and history help to recognize the tumour behind the symptoms, but do not allow accurate clinical diagnosis. The basis for a diagnosis is the histopathological examination supported by immunohistochemistry (IHC) assays. The case of a 26-year-old woman with an angiosarcoma involving the eighth thoracic vertebra we report reflects diagnostic problems adversely affecting the efficacy and accuracy of treatment offered to patients. The patient underwent three surgeries of the spine, including two biopsies. A needle biopsy did not provide sufficient information for the diagnosis. An open excisional biopsy, which at the same time temporarily reduced neurological deficits in the patient, was the only chance to obtain an accurate diagnosis. The third surgery was posterior decompression of the spinal cord due to the rapidly escalating paraparesis. It was not until 8 weeks later that the final diagnosis was established. At that time, the patient could not be qualified for any supplementary treatment. The patient died in hospital 6 months after the onset of disease. PMID:26468177

  16. The epidemiology of vertebral fractures. European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study Group.

    PubMed

    Cooper, C; O'Neill, T; Silman, A

    1993-01-01

    Vertebral fractures are recognised as a hallmark of osteoporosis, yet little is known of their epidemiology. This deficiency limits accurate characterisation of the public health importance of osteoporosis. Assessment of the impact of vertebral fractures has been hampered by the absence of formal criteria for identifying fractures on a thoracolumbar radiograph. Initial methods relying upon subjective radiological assessments have given way to morphometric measurements of vertebral heights, with deformities defined according to various algorithms. These methods have been used in a series of studies performed in Rochester, MN, to determine the incidence, outcome, and time trends of vertebral deformities. The results suggest a prevalence rate of vertebral deformity of 25.3 per 100 Rochester women aged 50 years and over (95% CI, 22.3-28.2), with an estimated incidence of 17.8 per 1,000 person-years. The incidence of clinically diagnosed vertebral fractures among women in the same population was 5.3 per 1,000 person-years, suggesting that around 30% of such deformities in women receive clinical attention. Morphometric measurement on the radiographs of women with clinically diagnosed fractures revealed that 80% had grade 2 ( > 4 SD) deformities. Comparable data on the occurrence and health impact of vertebral deformities throughout Europe are urgently required. The European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS) is a multicentre epidemiological study that aims to address this issue. It is designed as a radiographic prevalence study in 34 European centres.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8110529

  17. Vertebral fracture classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Bruijne, Marleen; Pettersen, Paola C.; Tankó, László B.; Nielsen, Mads

    2007-03-01

    A novel method for classification and quantification of vertebral fractures from X-ray images is presented. Using pairwise conditional shape models trained on a set of healthy spines, the most likely unfractured shape is estimated for each of the vertebrae in the image. The difference between the true shape and the reconstructed normal shape is an indicator for the shape abnormality. A statistical classification scheme with the two shapes as features is applied to detect, classify, and grade various types of deformities. In contrast with the current (semi-)quantitative grading strategies this method takes the full shape into account, it uses a patient-specific reference by combining population-based information on biological variation in vertebra shape and vertebra interrelations, and it provides a continuous measure of deformity. Good agreement with manual classification and grading is demonstrated on 204 lateral spine radiographs with in total 89 fractures.

  18. Chemical ecology of vertebrate carrion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vertebrate carrion is a nutrient-rich, ephemeral resource that is utilized by many different organisms ranging from vertebrate and invertebrate scavengers to microbes. The organisms that consume carrion play an important ecological role, as decomposition is vital to ecosystem function. Without the...

  19. Use of Terrestrial Hermit Crabs in the Study of Habituation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nolan, Laurence J.

    2004-01-01

    For small colleges, the use of invertebrates in undergraduate learning laboratory experiments may be a valuable alternative to the use of vertebrate species. This article describes a habituation experiment using terrestrial hermit crabs. All of the materials required are inexpensive and readily available. What makes this experiment unique is that…

  20. Utility terrestrial biodiversity issues

    SciTech Connect

    Breece, G.A.; Ward, B.J.

    1996-11-01

    Results from a survey of power utility biologists indicate that terrestrial biodiversity is considered a major issued by only a few utilities; however, a majority believe it may be a future issue. Over half of the respondents indicated that their company is involved in some management for biodiversity, and nearly all feel that it should be a goal for resource management. Only a few utilities are funding biodiversity research, but a majority felt more research was needed. Generally, larger utilities with extensive land holdings had greater opportunities and resources for biodiversity management. Biodiversity will most likely be a concern with transmission rights-of-way construction and maintenance, endangered species issues and general land resource management, including mining reclamation and hydro relicensing commitments. Over half of the companies surveyed have established voluntary partnerships with management groups, and biodiversity is a goal in nearly all the joint projects. Endangered species management and protection, prevention of forest fragmentation, wetland protection, and habitat creation and protection are the most common partnerships involving utility companies. Common management practices and unique approaches are presented, along with details of the survey. 4 refs.

  1. Molecular Evolutionary Analysis of β-Defensin Peptides in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Jianbo; Li, Diyan; Li, Qingqing; Zhang, Long; Zhu, Qing; Gaur, Uma; Fan, Xiaolan; Xu, Huailiang; Yao, Yongfang; Zhao, Xiaoling; Yang, Mingyao

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate β-defensins comprise an important family of antimicrobial peptides that protect organisms from a diverse spectrum of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoan parasites. Previous studies have shown a marked variation in the number of β-defensins among species, but the underlying reason is unclear. To address this question, we performed comprehensive computational searches to study the intact β-defensin genes from 29 vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis of the β-defensin genes in vertebrates identified frequent changes in the number of β-defensin genes and multiple species-specific gene gains and losses that have been occurring throughout the evolution of vertebrates. The number of intact β-defensin genes varied from 1 in the western clawed frog to 20 in cattle, with numerous expansions and contractions of the gene family throughout vertebrates, especially among tetrapods. The β-defensin gene number in a species is relevant to the ever-changing microbial challenges from the environment that they inhabit. Selection pressure analysis shows there exist three amino acid sites under significant positive selection. Protein structural characteristics analysis suggests that structural diversity determines the diverse functions of β-defensins. Our study provides a new perspective on the relationships among vertebrate β-defensin gene repertoires and different survival circumstances, which helps explain how β-defensins have evolved. PMID:26056425

  2. Molecular Evolutionary Analysis of β-Defensin Peptides in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Tu, Jianbo; Li, Diyan; Li, Qingqing; Zhang, Long; Zhu, Qing; Gaur, Uma; Fan, Xiaolan; Xu, Huailiang; Yao, Yongfang; Zhao, Xiaoling; Yang, Mingyao

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate β-defensins comprise an important family of antimicrobial peptides that protect organisms from a diverse spectrum of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoan parasites. Previous studies have shown a marked variation in the number of β-defensins among species, but the underlying reason is unclear. To address this question, we performed comprehensive computational searches to study the intact β-defensin genes from 29 vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis of the β-defensin genes in vertebrates identified frequent changes in the number of β-defensin genes and multiple species-specific gene gains and losses that have been occurring throughout the evolution of vertebrates. The number of intact β-defensin genes varied from 1 in the western clawed frog to 20 in cattle, with numerous expansions and contractions of the gene family throughout vertebrates, especially among tetrapods. The β-defensin gene number in a species is relevant to the ever-changing microbial challenges from the environment that they inhabit. Selection pressure analysis shows there exist three amino acid sites under significant positive selection. Protein structural characteristics analysis suggests that structural diversity determines the diverse functions of β-defensins. Our study provides a new perspective on the relationships among vertebrate β-defensin gene repertoires and different survival circumstances, which helps explain how β-defensins have evolved. PMID:26056425

  3. Charcot Arthropathy of the Lumbosacral Spine Mimicking a Vertebral Tumor after Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Son, Soo-Bum; Kim, Eun-Sang; Eoh, Whan

    2013-01-01

    Charcot spinal arthropathy is a rare, progressive type of vertebral joint degeneration that occurs in the setting of any preexisting condition characterized by decreased afferent innervation to the extent that normal protective joint sensation in the vertebral column is impaired. The authors report on a case of Charcot arthropathy of the lower lumbar spine mimicking a spinal tumor following cervical cord injury. PMID:24527202

  4. Lymphatic regulation in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hedrick, Michael S; Hillman, Stanley S; Drewes, Robert C; Withers, Philip C

    2013-08-01

    All vertebrate animals share in common the production of lymph through net capillary filtration from their closed circulatory system into their tissues. The balance of forces responsible for net capillary filtration and lymph formation is described by the Starling equation, but additional factors such as vascular and interstitial compliance, which vary markedly among vertebrates, also have a significant impact on rates of lymph formation. Why vertebrates show extreme variability in rates of lymph formation and how nonmammalian vertebrates maintain plasma volume homeostasis is unclear. This gap hampers our understanding of the evolution of the lymphatic system and its interaction with the cardiovascular system. The evolutionary origin of the vertebrate lymphatic system is not clear, but recent advances suggest common developmental factors for lymphangiogenesis in teleost fishes, amphibians, and mammals with some significant changes in the water-land transition. The lymphatic system of anuran amphibians is characterized by large lymphatic sacs and two pairs of lymph hearts that return lymph into the venous circulation but no lymph vessels per se. The lymphatic systems of reptiles and some birds have lymph hearts, and both groups have extensive lymph vessels, but their functional role in both lymph movement and plasma volume homeostasis is almost completely unknown. The purpose of this review is to present an evolutionary perspective in how different vertebrates have solved the common problem of the inevitable formation of lymph from their closed circulatory systems and to point out the many gaps in our knowledge of this evolutionary progression. PMID:23640588

  5. Lungfish axial muscle function and the vertebrate water to land transition.

    PubMed

    Horner, Angela M; Jayne, Bruce C

    2014-01-01

    The role of axial form and function during the vertebrate water to land transition is poorly understood, in part because patterns of axial movement lack morphological correlates. The few studies available from elongate, semi-aquatic vertebrates suggest that moving on land may be powered simply from modifications of generalized swimming axial motor patterns and kinematics. Lungfish are an ideal group to study the role of axial function in terrestrial locomotion as they are the sister taxon to tetrapods and regularly move on land. Here we use electromyography and high-speed video to test whether lungfish moving on land use axial muscles similar to undulatory swimming or demonstrate novelty. We compared terrestrial lungfish data to data from lungfish swimming in different viscosities as well as to salamander locomotion. The terrestrial locomotion of lungfish involved substantial activity in the trunk muscles but almost no tail activity. Unlike other elongate vertebrates, lungfish moved on land with a standing wave pattern of axial muscle activity that closely resembled the pattern observed in terrestrially locomoting salamanders. The similarity in axial motor pattern in salamanders and lungfish suggests that some aspects of neuromuscular control for the axial movements involved in terrestrial locomotion were present before derived appendicular structures. PMID:24788982

  6. Evolution of vertebrate retinal photoreception

    PubMed Central

    Lamb, Trevor D.

    2009-01-01

    Recent findings shed light on the steps underlying the evolution of vertebrate photoreceptors and retina. Vertebrate ciliary photoreceptors are not as wholly distinct from invertebrate rhabdomeric photoreceptors as is sometimes thought. Recent information on the phylogenies of ciliary and rhabdomeric opsins has helped in constructing the likely routes followed during evolution. Clues to the factors that led the early vertebrate retina to become invaginated can be obtained by combining recent knowledge about the origin of the pathway for dark re-isomerization of retinoids with knowledge of the inability of ciliary opsins to undergo photoreversal, along with consideration of the constraints imposed under the very low light levels in the deep ocean. Investigation of the origin of cell classes in the vertebrate retina provides support for the notion that cones, rods and bipolar cells all originated from a primordial ciliary photoreceptor, whereas ganglion cells, amacrine cells and horizontal cells all originated from rhabdomeric photoreceptors. Knowledge of the molecular differences between cones and rods, together with knowledge of the scotopic signalling pathway, provides an understanding of the evolution of rods and of the rods' retinal circuitry. Accordingly, it has been possible to propose a plausible scenario for the sequence of evolutionary steps that led to the emergence of vertebrate photoreceptors and retina. PMID:19720653

  7. Medical treatment of vertebral osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Lippuner, K

    2003-10-01

    Although osteoporosis is a systemic disease, vertebral fractures due to spinal bone loss are a frequent, sometimes early and often neglected complication of the disease, generally associated with considerable disability and pain. As osteoporotic vertebral fractures are an important predictor of future fracture risk, including at the hip, medical management is targeted at reducing fracture risk. A literature search for randomized, double-blind, prospective, controlled clinical studies addressing medical treatment possibilities of vertebral fractures in postmenopausal Caucasian women was performed on the leading medical databases. For each publication, the number of patients with at least one new vertebral fracture and the number of randomized patients by treatment arm was retrieved. The relative risk (RR) and the number needed to treat (NNT, i.e. the number of patients to be treated to avoid one radiological vertebral fracture over the duration of the study), together with the respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated for each study. Treatment of steroid-induced osteoporosis and treatment of osteoporosis in men were reviewed separately, based on the low number of publications available. Forty-five publications matched with the search criteria, allowing for analysis of 15 different substances tested regarding their anti-fracture efficacy at the vertebral level. Bisphosphonates, mainly alendronate and risedronate, were reported to have consistently reduced the risk of a vertebral fracture over up to 50 months of treatment in four (alendronate) and two (risedronate) publications. Raloxifene reduced vertebral fracture risk in one study over 36 months, which was confirmed by 48 months' follow-up data. Parathormone (PTH) showed a drastic reduction in vertebral fracture risk in early studies, while calcitonin may also be a treatment option to reduce fracture risk. For other substances published data are conflicting (calcitriol, fluoride) or insufficient

  8. Ectodomain Architecture Affects Sequence and Functional Evolution of Vertebrate Toll-like Receptors.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinlan; Zhang, Zheng; Liu, Jing; Zhao, Jing; Yin, Deling

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are crucial components of innate immunity that specifically recognize diverse pathogen-associated molecular patterns from pathogens. The continuous hydrogen-bond network (asparagine ladder) formed among the asparagine residues on the concave surfaces of neighboring leucine-rich repeat modules assists in stabilizing the overall shape of TLR ectodomains responsible for ligand recognition. Analysis of 28 types of vertebrate TLRs showed that their ectodomains possessed three types of architectures: a single-domain architecture with an intact asparagine ladder, a three-domain architecture with the ladder interrupted in the middle, and a trans-three-domain architecture with the ladder broken in both termini. Based on a phylogenetic analysis, the three vertebrate TLR architectures arose during early evolution. The 1428 vertebrate TLRs can be divided into eight families based on sequence and structural differences. TLRs ligand specificities are affected by their ectodomain architectures. Three-domain TLRs bind hydrophobic ligands, whereas single-domain and trans-three-domain TLRs mainly recognize hydrophilic ligands. Analysis of 39 vertebrate genomes suggested that the number of single-domain TLR genes in terrestrial vertebrate genomes decreased by half compared to aquatic vertebrate genomes. Single-domain TLR genes underwent stronger purifying selective pressures than three-domain TLR genes in mammals. Overall, ectodomain architecture influences the sequence and functional evolution of vertebrate TLRs. PMID:27216145

  9. Ectodomain Architecture Affects Sequence and Functional Evolution of Vertebrate Toll-like Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jinlan; Zhang, Zheng; Liu, Jing; Zhao, Jing; Yin, Deling

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are crucial components of innate immunity that specifically recognize diverse pathogen-associated molecular patterns from pathogens. The continuous hydrogen-bond network (asparagine ladder) formed among the asparagine residues on the concave surfaces of neighboring leucine-rich repeat modules assists in stabilizing the overall shape of TLR ectodomains responsible for ligand recognition. Analysis of 28 types of vertebrate TLRs showed that their ectodomains possessed three types of architectures: a single-domain architecture with an intact asparagine ladder, a three-domain architecture with the ladder interrupted in the middle, and a trans-three-domain architecture with the ladder broken in both termini. Based on a phylogenetic analysis, the three vertebrate TLR architectures arose during early evolution. The 1428 vertebrate TLRs can be divided into eight families based on sequence and structural differences. TLRs ligand specificities are affected by their ectodomain architectures. Three-domain TLRs bind hydrophobic ligands, whereas single-domain and trans-three-domain TLRs mainly recognize hydrophilic ligands. Analysis of 39 vertebrate genomes suggested that the number of single-domain TLR genes in terrestrial vertebrate genomes decreased by half compared to aquatic vertebrate genomes. Single-domain TLR genes underwent stronger purifying selective pressures than three-domain TLR genes in mammals. Overall, ectodomain architecture influences the sequence and functional evolution of vertebrate TLRs. PMID:27216145

  10. Terrestrial gamma radioactivity levels and their corresponding extent exposure of environmental samples from Wadi El Assuity protective area, Assuit, Upper Egypt.

    PubMed

    El-Taher, A

    2011-06-01

    Representative environmental samples (sandy soil, limestone, marble and gravels) collected from Wadi El Assuity, protective area, Assuit governorate in Upper Egypt have been investigated radiometrically using NaI (Tl) gamma-ray spectrometer. The specific activity of the radionuclides in Bq kg⁻¹ for soil ranged between 10.5 and 18.7 for ²²⁶Ra, 1.5 to 4.6 for ²³²Th and from 94 to 107 for ⁴⁰K, for limestone ranged between 19 and 27.1 for ²²⁶Ra, 32.9 to 50 for ²³²Th and from 49 to 7 3 for ⁴⁰K, where, for marble ranged between 12.2 and 30.7 for ²²⁶Ra, 32.6 to 59.5 for ²³²Th and 55 to 70 for ⁴⁰K and for gravels ranged between 7.8 and 21.8 for ²²⁶Ra, 19.8 to 30.0 for ²³²Th and from 151 to 260 for ⁴⁰K. The mean activity concentrations of measured radionuclides were compared with other literature values. The absorbed dose rate, radium equivalent activity and external hazard index were calculated and compared with internationally recommended values. The gamma absorbed dose rates in the samples ranged between 8.44 and 50.89 nGy h⁻¹. These dose rates are consistent with the accepted worldwide average 55 nGy h⁻¹ for the public. All values obtained for radium equivalent activity are < 370 Bq kg⁻¹, which are acceptable for safe use. The calculated values of external hazard index obtained varied from 0.12 to 0.24. Since these values are lower than unity, one can say that the radiation hazard is insignificant for the population living in the investigated area. This permits the use of these materials sediments as building materials in any probable development projects at this area. PMID:21123240

  11. Solar/terrestrial physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov-Kholodnyi, G. S.; Lotova, N. A.; Obridko, V. N.; Fel'Dshtein, Ia. I.; Fomichev, V. V.

    The history of the development of solar/terrestrial physics research at IZMIRAN (the Soviet Institute for the Study of Terrestrial Magnetism, the Ionosphere, and the Propagation of Radio Waves) is reviewed, and the activity of the Institute in organizing international solar/terrestrial physics research is examined. Particular attention is given to investigations of solar corpuscular radiation and its effect on the ionosphere; and to studies of auroras and the interplanetary medium.

  12. Learning about Vertebrate Limb Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liang, Jennifer O.; Noll, Matthew; Olsen, Shayna

    2014-01-01

    We have developed an upper-level undergraduate laboratory exercise that enables students to replicate a key experiment in developmental biology. In this exercise, students have the opportunity to observe live chick embryos and stain the apical ectodermal ridge, a key tissue required for development of the vertebrate limb. Impressively, every…

  13. Late Permian vertebrate community of the Pranhita Godavari valley, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Sanghamitra; Bandyopadhyay, Saswati

    2003-03-01

    The Kundaram Formation of the Pranhita-Godavari valley yields the only Late Permian multispecies terrestrial vertebrate assemblage from India. This includes various medium and small dicynodonts such as Endothiodon, Oudenodon, Kingoria, Emydops, Cistecephalus and Pristerodon. At present two species of Endothiodon ( E. mahalanobisi and E. uniseries) are known. Apart from these dicynodonts, the Kundaram vertebrate fauna also contains a medium-sized gorgonopsian and a small captorhinid. The material, from the red mudstone dominated Kundaram Formation, includes numerous isolated, disarticulated skulls and lower jaws. Postcranial elements are relatively rare except for a few broken limb ends and vertebrae. The bones are encrusted by iron rich matrix and most of them had suffered deformation. This skull dominant accumulation is attributed to prolonged aerial exposure prior to burial resulting in disarticulation of the skeletons and subsequent inundation by floodwater. The limb bones and other postcranial elements of the already disarticulated skeletons were winnowed out by shallow competent flow while the relatively heavier skulls and lower jaws resisting transportation were buried near the site of death. The Late Permian scenario of the Pranhita-Godavari valley was characterised by the dominance of herbivores. This abundance of herbivores at the base and the presence of relatively few carnivores and omnivores at the top of the Kundaram food pyramid indicate a trophic structure similar to that of the modern-day terrestrial ecosystem.

  14. Vertebral Augmentation: State of the Art.

    PubMed

    Sebaaly, Amer; Nabhane, Linda; Issa El Khoury, Fouad; Kreichati, Gaby; El Rachkidi, Rami

    2016-04-01

    Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVF) are an increasing public health problem. Cement augmentation (vertebroplasty of kyphoplasty) helps stabilize painful OVF refractory to medical treatment. This stabilization is thought to improve pain and functional outcome. Vertebroplasty consists of injecting cement into a fractured vertebra using a percutaneous transpedicular approach. Balloon kyphoplasty uses an inflatable balloon prior to injecting the cement. Although kyphoplasty is associated with significant improvement of local kyphosis and less cement leakage, this does not result in long-term clinical and functional improvement. Moreover, vertebroplasty is favored by some due to the high cost of kyphoplasty. The injection of cement increases the stiffness of the fracture vertebrae. This can lead, in theory, to adjacent OVF. However, many studies found no increase of subsequent fracture when comparing medical treatment to cement augmentation. Kyphoplasty can have a protective effect due to restoration of sagittal balance. PMID:27114782

  15. Vertebral Augmentation: State of the Art

    PubMed Central

    Nabhane, Linda; Issa El Khoury, Fouad; Kreichati, Gaby; El Rachkidi, Rami

    2016-01-01

    Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVF) are an increasing public health problem. Cement augmentation (vertebroplasty of kyphoplasty) helps stabilize painful OVF refractory to medical treatment. This stabilization is thought to improve pain and functional outcome. Vertebroplasty consists of injecting cement into a fractured vertebra using a percutaneous transpedicular approach. Balloon kyphoplasty uses an inflatable balloon prior to injecting the cement. Although kyphoplasty is associated with significant improvement of local kyphosis and less cement leakage, this does not result in long-term clinical and functional improvement. Moreover, vertebroplasty is favored by some due to the high cost of kyphoplasty. The injection of cement increases the stiffness of the fracture vertebrae. This can lead, in theory, to adjacent OVF. However, many studies found no increase of subsequent fracture when comparing medical treatment to cement augmentation. Kyphoplasty can have a protective effect due to restoration of sagittal balance. PMID:27114782

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

    PubMed

    Wright, Traver J; Davis, Randall W

    2015-07-01

    Myoglobin (Mb) is an oxygen binding protein found in vertebrate skeletal muscle, where it facilitates intracellular transport and storage of oxygen. This protein has evolved to suit unique physiological needs in the muscle of diving vertebrates that express Mb at much greater concentrations than their terrestrial counterparts. In this study, we characterized Mb oxygen affinity (P50) from 25 species of aquatic and terrestrial birds and mammals. Among diving species, we tested for correlations between Mb P50 and routine dive duration. Across all species examined, Mb P50 ranged from 2.40 to 4.85 mmHg. The mean P50 of Mb from terrestrial ungulates was 3.72±0.15 mmHg (range 3.70-3.74 mmHg). The P50 of cetaceans was similar to terrestrial ungulates ranging from 3.54 to 3.82 mmHg, with the exception of the melon-headed whale, which had a significantly higher P50 of 4.85 mmHg. Among pinnipeds, the P50 ranged from 3.23 to 3.81 mmHg and showed a trend for higher oxygen affinity in species with longer dive durations. Among diving birds, the P50 ranged from 2.40 to 3.36 mmHg and also showed a trend of higher affinities in species with longer dive durations. In pinnipeds and birds, low Mb P50 was associated with species whose muscles are metabolically active under hypoxic conditions associated with aerobic dives. Given the broad range of potential globin oxygen affinities, Mb P50 from diverse vertebrate species appears constrained within a relatively narrow range. High Mb oxygen affinity within this range may be adaptive for some vertebrates that make prolonged dives. PMID:25987728

  17. Ecological Relationships of Meso-Scale Distribution in 25 Neotropical Vertebrate Species

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Vertebral Augmentation for Osteoporotic Compression Fractures.

    PubMed

    Richmond, Bradford J

    2016-01-01

    Vertebral augmentation procedures such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty were developed to reduce pain and improve quality of life for patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. However, the use of vertebral augmentation has been debated and questioned since its inception. This article addresses some of these issues. PMID:26490134

  19. TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM SIMULATOR

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Terrestrial Habitats Project at the Western Ecology Division (Corvallis, OR) is developing tools and databases to meet the needs of Program Office clients for assessing risks to wildlife and terrestrial ecosystems. Because habitat is a dynamic condition in real-world environm...

  20. Terrestrial Planets: Comparative Planetology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    Papers were presented at the 47th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting on the Comparative planetology of Terrestrial Planets. Subject matter explored concerning terrestrial planets includes: interrelationships among planets; plaentary evolution; planetary structure; planetary composition; planetary Atmospheres; noble gases in meteorites; and planetary magnetic fields.

  1. Climate change and marine vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sydeman, William J; Poloczanska, Elvira; Reed, Thomas E; Thompson, Sarah Ann

    2015-11-13

    Climate change impacts on vertebrates have consequences for marine ecosystem structures and services. We review marine fish, mammal, turtle, and seabird responses to climate change and discuss their potential for adaptation. Direct and indirect responses are demonstrated from every ocean. Because of variation in research foci, observed responses differ among taxonomic groups (redistributions for fish, phenology for seabirds). Mechanisms of change are (i) direct physiological responses and (ii) climate-mediated predator-prey interactions. Regional-scale variation in climate-demographic functions makes range-wide population dynamics challenging to predict. The nexus of metabolism relative to ecosystem productivity and food webs appears key to predicting future effects on marine vertebrates. Integration of climate, oceanographic, ecosystem, and population models that incorporate evolutionary processes is needed to prioritize the climate-related conservation needs for these species. PMID:26564847

  2. Rare, threatened, and endangered vertebrates of southwest Florida and potential OCS activity impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Woolfenden, G.E.

    1983-02-01

    The eight southwestern Florida counties include populations of 68 vertebrates considered in this report as rare, threatened, or endangered. The terrestrial and near-shore habitats of the study area and the habitat preferences of each of the 68 vertebrates are described. Each vertebrate is listed in the habitats it occupies, and information about reproduction, feeding, and where available, population estimates, is given under the habitat considered most important for each species. The distributions of the rare, threatened and endangered vertebrates by county and habitat demonstrate the relative importance of the southernmost counties (Monroe and Collier) and wetland and coastal habitats (strand, mangrove/marsh, estuaries). Activities contributing to the decline of these 68 vertebrates are assessed and habitat loss is overwhelmingly more important for all. Potential impacts of OCS development are assessed by estimating the effects OCS activities might have on various habitats. Direct impact of OCS development is estimated to be small. Oil spills are considered the most dangerous result of development and the habitats continguous with marine waters (strand, mangrove/marsh, estuaries) are the most susceptible to damage. These are also the habitats identified as harboring the largest, number of rare and endangered vertebrates in southwest Florida.

  3. Partitioning sources of variation in vertebrate species richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Levi, Taal; Wheat, Rachel E; Allen, Jennifer M; Wilmers, Christopher C

    2015-01-01

    Salmon and other anadromous fish are consumed by vertebrates with distinct life history strategies to capitalize on this ephemeral pulse of resource availability. Depending on the timing of salmon arrival, this resource may be in surplus to the needs of vertebrate consumers if, for instance, their populations are limited by food availability during other times of year. However, the life history of some consumers enables more efficient exploitation of these ephemeral resources. Bears can deposit fat and then hibernate to avoid winter food scarcity, and highly mobile consumers such as eagles, gulls, and other birds can migrate to access asynchronous pulses of salmon availability. We used camera traps on pink, chum, and sockeye salmon spawning grounds with various run times and stream morphologies, and on individual salmon carcasses, to discern potentially different use patterns among consumers. Wildlife use of salmon was highly heterogeneous. Ravens were the only avian consumer that fed heavily on pink salmon in small streams. Eagles and gulls did not feed on early pink salmon runs in streams, and only moderately at early sockeye runs, but were the dominant consumers at late chum salmon runs, particularly on expansive river flats. Brown bears used all salmon resources far more than other terrestrial vertebrates. Notably, black bears were not observed on salmon spawning grounds despite being the most frequently observed vertebrate on roads and trails. From a conservation and management perspective, all salmon species and stream morphologies are used extensively by bears, but salmon spawning late in the year are disproportionately important to eagles and other highly mobile species that are seasonally limited by winter food availability. PMID:26339539

  5. Rapid progress on the vertebrate tree of life

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Among the greatest challenges for biology in the 21st century is inference of the tree of life. Interest in, and progress toward, this goal has increased dramatically with the growing availability of molecular sequence data. However, we have very little sense, for any major clade, of how much progress has been made in resolving a full tree of life and the scope of work that remains. A series of challenges stand in the way of completing this task but, at the most basic level, progress is limited by data: a limited fraction of the world's biodiversity has been incorporated into a phylogenetic analysis. More troubling is our poor understanding of what fraction of the tree of life is understood and how quickly research is adding to this knowledge. Here we measure the rate of progress on the tree of life for one clade of particular research interest, the vertebrates. Results Using an automated phylogenetic approach, we analyse all available molecular data for a large sample of vertebrate diversity, comprising nearly 12,000 species and 210,000 sequences. Our results indicate that progress has been rapid, increasing polynomially during the age of molecular systematics. It is also skewed, with birds and mammals receiving the most attention and marine organisms accumulating far fewer data and a slower rate of increase in phylogenetic resolution than terrestrial taxa. We analyse the contributors to this phylogenetic progress and make recommendations for future work. Conclusions Our analyses suggest that a large majority of the vertebrate tree of life will: (1) be resolved within the next few decades; (2) identify specific data collection strategies that may help to spur future progress; and (3) identify branches of the vertebrate tree of life in need of increased research effort. PMID:20211001

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

    PubMed Central

    Wheat, Rachel E.; Allen, Jennifer M.; Wilmers, Christopher C.

    2015-01-01

    Salmon and other anadromous fish are consumed by vertebrates with distinct life history strategies to capitalize on this ephemeral pulse of resource availability. Depending on the timing of salmon arrival, this resource may be in surplus to the needs of vertebrate consumers if, for instance, their populations are limited by food availability during other times of year. However, the life history of some consumers enables more efficient exploitation of these ephemeral resources. Bears can deposit fat and then hibernate to avoid winter food scarcity, and highly mobile consumers such as eagles, gulls, and other birds can migrate to access asynchronous pulses of salmon availability. We used camera traps on pink, chum, and sockeye salmon spawning grounds with various run times and stream morphologies, and on individual salmon carcasses, to discern potentially different use patterns among consumers. Wildlife use of salmon was highly heterogeneous. Ravens were the only avian consumer that fed heavily on pink salmon in small streams. Eagles and gulls did not feed on early pink salmon runs in streams, and only moderately at early sockeye runs, but were the dominant consumers at late chum salmon runs, particularly on expansive river flats. Brown bears used all salmon resources far more than other terrestrial vertebrates. Notably, black bears were not observed on salmon spawning grounds despite being the most frequently observed vertebrate on roads and trails. From a conservation and management perspective, all salmon species and stream morphologies are used extensively by bears, but salmon spawning late in the year are disproportionately important to eagles and other highly mobile species that are seasonally limited by winter food availability. PMID:26339539

  7. Extraneural Glioblastoma Multiforme Vertebral Metastasis.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, C Rory; Liang, Lydia; Abu-Bonsrah, Nancy; Hdeib, Alia; Elder, Benjamin D; Kosztowski, Thomas; Bettegowda, Chetan; Laterra, John; Burger, Peter; Sciubba, Daniel M

    2016-05-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant central nervous system tumor; however, extraneural metastasis is uncommon. Of those that metastasize extraneurally, metastases to the vertebral bodies represent a significant proportion. We present a review of 28 cases from the published literature of GBM metastasis to the vertebra. The mean age at presentation was 38.4 years with an average overall survival of 26 months. Patients were either asymptomatic with metastasis discovered at autopsy or presented with varying degrees of pain, weakness of the extremities, or other neurologic deficits. Of the cases that included the time to spinal metastasis, the average time was 26.4 months with a reported survival of 10 months after diagnosis of vertebral metastasis. A significant number of patients had no treatments for their spinal metastasis, although the intracranial lesions were treated extensively with surgery and/or adjuvant therapy. With increasing incremental gains in the survival of patients with GBM, clinicians will encounter patients with extracranial metastasis. As such, this review presents timely information concerning the presentation and outcomes of patients with vertebral metastasis. PMID:26704201

  8. Extraneural Glioblastoma Multiforme Vertebral Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Goodwin, C. Rory; Liang, Lydia; Abu-Bonsrah, Nancy; Hdeib, Alia; Elder, Benjamin D.; Kosztowski, Thomas; Bettegowda, Chetan; Laterra, John; Burger, Peter; Sciubba, Daniel M.

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant central nervous system tumor; however, extraneural metastasis is uncommon. Of those that metastasize extraneurally, metastases to the vertebral bodies represent a significant proportion. We present a review of 28 cases from the published literature of GBM metastasis to the vertebra. The mean age at presentation was 38.4 years with an average overall survival of 26 months. Patients were either asymptomatic with metastasis discovered at autopsy or presented with varying degrees of pain, weakness of the extremities, or other neurologic deficits. Of the cases that included the time to spinal metastasis, the average time was 26.4 months with a reported survival of 10 months after diagnosis of vertebral metastasis. A significant number of patients had no treatments for their spinal metastasis, although the intracranial lesions were treated extensively with surgery and/or adjuvant therapy. With increasing incremental gains in the survival of patients with GBM, clinicians will encounter patients with extracranial metastasis. As such, this review presents timely information concerning the presentation and outcomes of patients with vertebral metastasis. PMID:26704201

  9. Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.

    PubMed

    Carroll, R L; Kuntz, A; Albright, K

    1999-01-01

    Amphibians provide an unparalleled opportunity to integrate studies of development and evolution through the investigation of the fossil record of larval stages. The pattern of vertebral development in modern frogs strongly resembles that of Paleozoic labyrinthodonts in the great delay in the ossification of the vertebrae, with the centra forming much later than the neural arches. Slow ossification of the trunk vertebrae in frogs and the absence of ossification in the tail facilitate the rapid loss of the tail during metamorphosis, and may reflect retention of the pattern in their specific Paleozoic ancestors. Salamanders and caecilians ossify their centra at a much earlier stage than frogs, which resembles the condition in Paleozoic lepospondyls. The clearly distinct patterns and rates of vertebral development may indicate phylogenetic separation between the ultimate ancestors of frogs and those of salamanders and caecilians within the early radiation of ancestral tetrapods. This divergence may date from the Lower Carboniferous. Comparison with the molecular regulation of vertebral development described in modern mammals and birds suggests that the rapid chondrification of the centra in salamanders relative to that of frogs may result from the earlier migration of sclerotomal cells expressing Pax1 to the area surrounding the notochord. PMID:11324019

  10. Vertebral Fractures: Clinical Importance and Management.

    PubMed

    Kendler, D L; Bauer, D C; Davison, K S; Dian, L; Hanley, D A; Harris, S T; McClung, M R; Miller, P D; Schousboe, J T; Yuen, C K; Lewiecki, E M

    2016-02-01

    Vertebral fractures are common and can result in acute and chronic pain, decreases in quality of life, and diminished lifespan. The identification of vertebral fractures is important because they are robust predictors of future fractures. The majority of vertebral fractures do not come to clinical attention. Numerous modalities exist for visualizing suspected vertebral fracture. Although differing definitions of vertebral fracture may present challenges in comparing data between different investigations, at least 1 in 5 men and women aged >50 years have one or more vertebral fractures. There is clinical guidance to target spine imaging to individuals with a high probability of vertebral fracture. Radiology reports of vertebral fracture need to clearly state that the patient has a "fracture," with further pertinent details such as the number, recency, and severity of vertebral fracture, each of which is associated with risk of future fractures. Patients with vertebral fracture should be considered for antifracture therapy. Physical and pharmacologic modalities of pain control and exercises or physiotherapy to maintain spinal movement and strength are important components in the care of vertebral fracture patients. PMID:26524708

  11. Bilateral mechanical rotational vertebral artery occlusion.

    PubMed

    Dargon, Phong T; Liang, Conrad W; Kohal, Anmol; Dogan, Aclan; Barnwell, Stanley L; Landry, Gregory J

    2013-10-01

    Rotational vertebral artery occlusion, or bow hunter's stroke, is reversible, positional symptomatic vertebrobasilar ischemia. The typical mechanism of action is obstruction of a dominant vertebral artery with contralateral head rotation in the setting of baseline ipsilateral vertebral artery stenosis or occlusion. Here we present a rare case of mechanical occlusion of bilateral patent vertebral arteries manifesting as near syncope with rightward head rotation. Diagnostic cerebral angiography showed dynamic right C5 vertebral occlusion and left C2 vertebral occlusion. The patient underwent right C4/5 transverse process decompression. Postoperative angiogram showed patent flow through the right vertebral artery in neutral position and with head turn with resultant resolution of symptoms. PMID:23465174

  12. Presentation--HABITAT DISTRIBUTION MODELS FOR 37 VERTEBRATE SPECIES IN THE MOJAVE DESERT ECOREGION OF NEVADA, ARIZONA, AND UTAH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Thirty-seven terrestrial vertebrate species in the Clark County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) were previously modeled through the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (SWReGAP), using a deductive approach. To increase the applicability of such habitat models ...

  13. FATE OF SELECTED FUNGICIDES IN A TERRESTRIAL LABORATORY ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The disposition of (14)C-labeled pentachloronitrobenzene (PCNB), two of its analogues pentachlorophenol (PCP) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and captan was examined as seed-protectant coatings in a terrestrial microcosm chamber (TMC) in comparison to a reference compound, dieldrin ...

  14. Evolution of the new vertebrate head by co-option of an ancient chordate skeletal tissue.

    PubMed

    Jandzik, David; Garnett, Aaron T; Square, Tyler A; Cattell, Maria V; Yu, Jr-Kai; Medeiros, Daniel M

    2015-02-26

    A defining feature of vertebrates (craniates) is a pronounced head that is supported and protected by a robust cellular endoskeleton. In the first vertebrates, this skeleton probably consisted of collagenous cellular cartilage, which forms the embryonic skeleton of all vertebrates and the adult skeleton of modern jawless and cartilaginous fish. In the head, most cellular cartilage is derived from a migratory cell population called the neural crest, which arises from the edges of the central nervous system. Because collagenous cellular cartilage and neural crest cells have not been described in invertebrates, the appearance of cellular cartilage derived from neural crest cells is considered a turning point in vertebrate evolution. Here we show that a tissue with many of the defining features of vertebrate cellular cartilage transiently forms in the larvae of the invertebrate chordate Branchiostoma floridae (Florida amphioxus). We also present evidence that during evolution, a key regulator of vertebrate cartilage development, SoxE, gained new cis-regulatory sequences that subsequently directed its novel expression in neural crest cells. Together, these results suggest that the origin of the vertebrate head skeleton did not depend on the evolution of a new skeletal tissue, as is commonly thought, but on the spread of this tissue throughout the head. We further propose that the evolution of cis-regulatory elements near an ancient regulator of cartilage differentiation was a major factor in the evolution of the vertebrate head skeleton. PMID:25487155

  15. Obligate vertebrate scavengers must be large soaring fliers.

    PubMed

    Ruxton, Graeme D; Houston, David C

    2004-06-01

    Among extant vertebrates, only the 23 species of vulture are obligate scavengers. We use an energetic modelling approach to explore the constraints imposed by an obligate scavenging lifestyle, and to ask whether obligate scavengers must always be avian and generally large-bodied users of soaring flight. Our model found that aerial scavengers always out-competed postulated terrestrial ones, mainly because flight allows area to be searched much more rapidly for carrion. Soaring was favoured over flapping flight because the reduction in flight speed (and so rate of area search) was more than compensated for by the decrease in the costs of transport. Large individual size is selected for if carrion is available in large packages, when obligate scavenger feed only infrequently, and so must be able to survive on body reserves in the periods between discovering food falls. In the absence of avian radiation, an obligate terrestrial scavenger seems energetically feasible, but we argue that such a beast is unlikely to have evolved. In birds, in order to become exclusive scavengers, vultures have needed to specialize for efficient soaring flight as a low energy form of travel, and as a consequence they have lost the agility needed to kill prey. In mammals, however, no comparable trade-off occurs. So for terrestrial carnivores there is probably no strong selection pressure towards being an exclusive scavenger. Indeed it will perhaps always be more advantageous to retain the flexibility of obtaining food by either predation or scavenging. PMID:15135041

  16. The Vertebral Fracture Cascade: Etiology and Clinical Implications.

    PubMed

    Broy, Susan B

    2016-01-01

    A vertebral fracture is a marker of bone fragility and is associated with a downward spiral of recurrent fractures known as the vertebral fracture cascade. Etiology of this unfortunate cascade includes bone and muscle loss from immobility, changes in spinal mechanics causing increased loading on adjacent vertebrae, and the development of an increased thoracic kyphosis (hyperkyphosis [HK]). Degenerative disc disease, common in osteoporotic patients, can also cause HK. HK of any etiology has been associated with decreased thoracic extensor muscle strength, unstable gait, increased body sway, decreased physical and pulmonary functions, chronic pain, and increased spinal loads contributing to the vertebral fracture cascade. Preventing this downward spiral requires a multidisciplinary approach that includes early identification, consideration of pharmacologic treatment, early mobilization of the fracture patient, appropriate exercise, and back protection. Exercise should include weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening activities, but caution is needed to avoid undue stress on the back. Physical therapy can be particularly helpful by teaching the patient how to safely perform daily activities and can assist the patient in establishing a safe exercise program that avoids flexion but promotes back extension and weight-bearing activities. Hopefully, these measures will decrease pain, prevent falls, improve posture, prevent additional bone and muscle loss, and potentially abort the devastating downward spiral of the vertebral fracture cascade. PMID:26363627

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

    The transition from aquatic to terrestrial habitats was a seminal event in vertebrate evolution because it precipitated a sudden radiation of species as new land animals diversified in response to novel physical and biological conditions. However, the first stages of this environmental transition presented numerous challenges to ancestrally aquatic organisms, and necessitated changes in the morphological and physiological mechanisms that underlie most life processes, among them movement, feeding, respiration, and reproduction. How did solutions to these functional challenges evolve? One approach to this question is to examine modern vertebrate species that face analogous demands; just as the first tetrapods lived at the margins of bodies of water and likely moved between water and land regularly, many extant fishes and amphibians use their body systems in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats on a daily basis. Thus, studies of amphibious vertebrates elucidate the functional demands of two very different habitats and clarify our understanding of the initial evolutionary challenges of moving onto land. A complementary approach is to use studies of the fossil record and comparative development to gain new perspectives on form and function of modern amphibious and non-amphibious vertebrate taxa. Based on the synthetic approaches presented in the symposium, it is clear that our understanding of aquatic-to-terrestrial transitions is greatly improved by the reciprocal integration of paleontological and neontological perspectives. In addition, common themes and new insights that emerged from this symposium point to the value of innovative approaches, new model species, and cutting-edge research techniques to elucidate the functional challenges and evolutionary changes associated with vertebrates' invasion of the land. PMID:23660589

  18. Terrestrial photovoltaic measurements, 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The following major topics are discussed; (1) Terrestrial solar irradiance; (2) Solar simulation and reference cell calibration; and (3) Cell and array measurement procedures. Numerous related subtopics are also discussed within each major topic area.

  19. Evolutionary Specialization of Tactile Perception in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Eve R; Gracheva, Elena O; Bagriantsev, Slav N

    2016-05-01

    Evolution has endowed vertebrates with the remarkable tactile ability to explore the world through the perception of physical force. Yet the sense of touch remains one of the least well understood senses at the cellular and molecular level. Vertebrates specializing in tactile perception can highlight general principles of mechanotransduction. Here, we review cellular and molecular adaptations that underlie the sense of touch in typical and acutely mechanosensitive vertebrates. PMID:27053733

  20. Variance in the treatment of vertebral haemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Rawat, Sheh; Nangia, S; Ezhilalan, R B; Bansal, A K; Ghosh, D

    2007-01-01

    Vertebral haemangiomas constitute an infrequently encounterd entity in clinical practice. Although x-ray, computerised tomography scan and magnetic resonance Imaging scan provide a pathognomic picture confirming the diagnosis of vertebral haemangiomas, angiography constitutes an important tool for diagnosis and helps in deciding and execution of treatment. Various treatment modalities like surgery, radiotherapy, pre-operative embolisation, percutaneous vertebroplasty and intralesional ethanol have been discussed in the setting of asymptomatic vertebral haemangiomas to those presenting with features of cord compression. PMID:17802977

  1. General management of vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Rapado, A

    1996-03-01

    Vertebral fractures cause pain and disability. Four concepts should guide their comprehensive management: treat the patient, not the skeleton; use a multidisciplinary approach; engage the patient and his or her family in the treatment; and provide appropriate goals, education, encouragement, and support. The goals include procuring bone mass and preventing injury: back support, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychosocial support, and prevention of falls. Initial treatment includes bed rest, pain management with local and systemic analgesia, bracing to improve comfort, and patient reassurance. Long-term management includes spinal stretching exercises and continuing ordinary activities within limits permitted by pain. A back school program is an effective addition to conventional concepts using physiotherapy exclusively. In certain selected patients, the indication for operative treatment of vertebral fracture depends on the additional injury, and extent and characteristics of cord compression; stability of the fracture; and the amount of deformity. Vertebroplasty can be effective in the control of pain and in obtaining stability of the spine. PMID:8777087

  2. Centrosome positioning in vertebrate development

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Nan; Marshall, Wallace F.

    2012-01-01

    Summary The centrosome, a major organizer of microtubules, has important functions in regulating cell shape, polarity, cilia formation and intracellular transport as well as the position of cellular structures, including the mitotic spindle. By means of these activities, centrosomes have important roles during animal development by regulating polarized cell behaviors, such as cell migration or neurite outgrowth, as well as mitotic spindle orientation. In recent years, the pace of discovery regarding the structure and composition of centrosomes has continuously accelerated. At the same time, functional studies have revealed the importance of centrosomes in controlling both morphogenesis and cell fate decision during tissue and organ development. Here, we review examples of centrosome and centriole positioning with a particular emphasis on vertebrate developmental systems, and discuss the roles of centrosome positioning, the cues that determine positioning and the mechanisms by which centrosomes respond to these cues. The studies reviewed here suggest that centrosome functions extend to the development of tissues and organs in vertebrates. PMID:23277534

  3. Ghrelin Receptors in Non-Mammalian Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Kangawa, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2012-01-01

    The growth hormone secretagogue-receptor (GHS-R) was discovered in humans and pigs in 1996. The endogenous ligand, ghrelin, was discovered 3 years later, in 1999, and our understanding of the physiological significance of the ghrelin system in vertebrates has grown steadily since then. Although the ghrelin system in non-mammalian vertebrates is a subject of great interest, protein sequence data for the receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates has been limited until recently, and related biological information has not been well organized. In this review, we summarize current information related to the ghrelin receptor in non-mammalian vertebrates. PMID:23882259

  4. Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions.

    PubMed

    Conde, Dalia A; Colchero, Fernando; Güneralp, Burak; Gusset, Markus; Skolnik, Ben; Parr, Michael; Byers, Onnie; Johnson, Kevin; Young, Glyn; Flesness, Nate; Possingham, Hugh; Fa, John E

    2015-03-16

    Despite an increase in policy and management responses to the global biodiversity crisis, implementation of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets still shows insufficient progress [1]. These targets, strategic goals defined by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), address major causes of biodiversity loss in part by establishing protected areas (Target 11) and preventing species extinctions (Target 12). To achieve this, increased interventions will be required for a large number of sites and species. The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) [2], a consortium of conservation-oriented organisations that aims to protect Critically Endangered and Endangered species restricted to single sites, has identified 920 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, conifers and reef-building corals in 588 'trigger' sites [3]. These are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites. Protected area coverage of AZE sites is a key indicator of progress towards Target 11 [1]. Moreover, effective conservation of AZE sites is essential to achieve Target 12, as the loss of any of these sites would certainly result in the global extinction of at least one species [2]. However, averting human-induced species extinctions within AZE sites requires enhanced planning tools to increase the chances of success [3]. Here, we assess the potential for ensuring the long-term conservation of AZE vertebrate species (157 mammals, 165 birds, 17 reptiles and 502 amphibians) by calculating a conservation opportunity index (COI) for each species. The COI encompasses a set of measurable indicators that quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation of a species in its natural habitat (COIh) and by establishing insurance populations in zoos (COIc). PMID:25784036

  5. On the Origin and Evolution of Vertebrate Olfactory Receptor Genes: Comparative Genome Analysis Among 23 Chordate Species

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Olfaction is a primitive sense in organisms. Both vertebrates and insects have receptors for detecting odor molecules in the environment, but the evolutionary origins of these genes are different. Among studied vertebrates, mammals have ∼1,000 olfactory receptor (OR) genes, whereas teleost fishes have much smaller (∼100) numbers of OR genes. To investigate the origin and evolution of vertebrate OR genes, I attempted to determine near-complete OR gene repertoires by searching whole-genome sequences of 14 nonmammalian chordates, including cephalochordates (amphioxus), urochordates (ascidian and larvacean), and vertebrates (sea lamprey, elephant shark, five teleost fishes, frog, lizard, and chicken), followed by a large-scale phylogenetic analysis in conjunction with mammalian OR genes identified from nine species. This analysis showed that the amphioxus has >30 vertebrate-type OR genes though it lacks distinctive olfactory organs, whereas all OR genes appear to have been lost in the urochordate lineage. Some groups of genes (θ, κ, and λ) that are phylogenetically nested within vertebrate OR genes showed few gene gains and losses, which is in sharp contrast to the evolutionary pattern of OR genes, suggesting that they are actually non-OR genes. Moreover, the analysis demonstrated a great difference in OR gene repertoires between aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates, reflecting the necessity for the detection of water-soluble and airborne odorants, respectively. However, a minor group (β) of genes that are atypically present in both aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates was also found. These findings should provide a critical foundation for further physiological, behavioral, and evolutionary studies of olfaction in various organisms. PMID:20333175

  6. Estrogenic modulation of auditory processing: a vertebrate comparison

    PubMed Central

    Caras, Melissa L.

    2013-01-01

    Sex-steroid hormones are well-known regulators of vocal motor behavior in several organisms. A large body of evidence now indicates that these same hormones modulate processing at multiple levels of the ascending auditory pathway. The goal of this review is to provide a comparative analysis of the role of estrogens in vertebrate auditory function. Four major conclusions can be drawn from the literature: First, estrogens may influence the development of the mammalian auditory system. Second, estrogenic signaling protects the mammalian auditory system from noise- and age-related damage. Third, estrogens optimize auditory processing during periods of reproductive readiness in multiple vertebrate lineages. Finally, brain-derived estrogens can act locally to enhance auditory response properties in at least one avian species. This comparative examination may lead to a better appreciation of the role of estrogens in the processing of natural vocalizations and may provide useful insights toward alleviating auditory dysfunctions emanating from hormonal imbalances. PMID:23911849

  7. Building the backbone: the development and evolution of vertebral patterning.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Angeleen; Kishida, Marcia G; Kimmel, Charles B; Keynes, Roger J

    2015-05-15

    The segmented vertebral column comprises a repeat series of vertebrae, each consisting of two key components: the vertebral body (or centrum) and the vertebral arches. Despite being a defining feature of the vertebrates, much remains to be understood about vertebral development and evolution. Particular controversy surrounds whether vertebral component structures are homologous across vertebrates, how somite and vertebral patterning are connected, and the developmental origin of vertebral bone-mineralizing cells. Here, we assemble evidence from ichthyologists, palaeontologists and developmental biologists to consider these issues. Vertebral arch elements were present in early stem vertebrates, whereas centra arose later. We argue that centra are homologous among jawed vertebrates, and review evidence in teleosts that the notochord plays an instructive role in segmental patterning, alongside the somites, and contributes to mineralization. By clarifying the evolutionary relationship between centra and arches, and their varying modes of skeletal mineralization, we can better appreciate the detailed mechanisms that regulate and diversify vertebral patterning. PMID:25968309

  8. Terrestrial Gravity Fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harms, Jan

    2015-12-01

    Different forms of fluctuations of the terrestrial gravity field are observed by gravity experiments. For example, atmospheric pressure fluctuations generate a gravity-noise foreground in measurements with super-conducting gravimeters. Gravity changes caused by high-magnitude earthquakes have been detected with the satellite gravity experiment GRACE, and we expect high-frequency terrestrial gravity fluctuations produced by ambient seismic fields to limit the sensitivity of ground-based gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. Accordingly, terrestrial gravity fluctuations are considered noise and signal depending on the experiment. Here, we will focus on ground-based gravimetry. This field is rapidly progressing through the development of GW detectors. The technology is pushed to its current limits in the advanced generation of the LIGO and Virgo detectors, targeting gravity strain sensitivities better than 10^-23 Hz^-1/2 above a few tens of a Hz. Alternative designs for GW detectors evolving from traditional gravity gradiometers such as torsion bars, atom interferometers, and superconducting gradiometers are currently being developed to extend the detection band to frequencies below 1 Hz. The goal of this article is to provide the analytical framework to describe terrestrial gravity perturbations in these experiments. Models of terrestrial gravity perturbations related to seismic fields, atmospheric disturbances, and vibrating, rotating or moving objects, are derived and analyzed. The models are then used to evaluate passive and active gravity noise mitigation strategies in GW detectors, or alternatively, to describe their potential use in geophysics. The article reviews the current state of the field, and also presents new analyses especially with respect to the impact of seismic scattering on gravity perturbations, active gravity noise cancellation, and time-domain models of gravity perturbations from atmospheric and seismic point sources. Our understanding of

  9. Terrestrial-Imaging Spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vane, Gregg A.; Goetz, Alexander F. H.

    1990-01-01

    Report reviews history and state of art of terrestrial imaging spectroscopy. Discusses history, design, and performance of Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS), which is pioneering sensor for terrestrial high-resolution remote sensing. Also discusses recent developments described in literature of imaging spectroscopy from three points of view: techniques for handling and analysis of spectral-image data, geological research, and botanical research. This field encompasses use of airborne and spaceborne imaging spectrometers to generate specialized maps for use in agriculture, geology, ecology, and related disciplines.

  10. Problems with six-point vertebral morphometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardner, Jill C.; Yaffe, Laurence G.; Johansen, Jennifer M.; von Ingersleben, Gabriel; Chestnut, Charles H., III

    1998-06-01

    In this study we have examined errors in measurements of vertebral heights and vertebral area resulting from spin rotation and projection effects in x-ray images. Measurement errors were evaluated with phantom images, and simulated rotations of a 3D spine model. An active contour model (snake) was used for measurements of vertebral area. The model contained two pressure parameters which were needed to obtain good fits of the snake to upper and lower edges (endplates) of rotated vertebral bodies. Details of the snake model are included in this report. The results of this study indicate that six point vertebral morphometry can result to significant measurement errors, representing an overestimation of vertebral height and area, in cases showing projection effects and concealed endplate contours. In serial studies, such errors could produce the erroneous appearance of `growing' vertebral bodies. One can improve the accuracy of the morphometric analysis by using additional fiducial points placed on corresponding endplate contours. Additional useful information on fracture and vertebral deformity can be obtained by accurately tracking edge contours, using an active contour model, or comparable techniques.

  11. [Vertebral changes in histiocytosis x (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Greinacher, I; Gutjahr, P

    1978-06-01

    Manifestations of histiocytosis X in the vertebral column occurred in 3 of 15 children. Pathological alterations showed a marked variability. Especially a vertebra plana should be considered as eosinophilic granuloma, until another cause is proven. Bone scans were positive in all three cases. Even in most severe cases with vertebral destruction neurological abnormalities were absent. PMID:308238

  12. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided. PMID:26316746

  13. Nanotechnology for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

    PubMed

    Gao, Chunxia; Wei, Donglei; Yang, Huilin; Chen, Tao; Yang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a serious public health problem affecting hundreds of millions of aged people worldwide, with severe consequences including vertebral fractures that are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To augment or treat osteoporotic vertebral fractures, a number of surgical approaches including minimally invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty have been developed. However, these approaches face problems and difficulties with efficacy and long-term stability. Recent advances and progress in nanotechnology are opening up new opportunities to improve the surgical procedures for treating osteoporotic vertebral fractures. This article reviews the improvements enabled by new nanomaterials and focuses on new injectable biomaterials like bone cements and surgical instruments for treating vertebral fractures. This article also provides an introduction to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and current clinical treatments, along with the rationale and efficacy of utilizing nanomaterials to modify and improve biomaterials or instruments. In addition, perspectives on future trends with injectable bone cements and surgical instruments enhanced by nanotechnology are provided. PMID:26316746

  14. Diterpenoids of terrestrial origin.

    PubMed

    Hanson, James R

    2015-12-19

    Covering January to December 2014. Previous review, Nat. Prod. Rep., 2015, 32, 76-87 This review covers the isolation and chemistry of diterpenoids from terrestrial as opposed to marine sources and includes, labdanes, clerodanes, abietanes, pimaranes, kauranes, cembranes and their cyclization products. There are 200 references. PMID:26514379

  15. INTRODUCED TERRESTRIAL SPECIES (FUTURE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    These data represent predicted future potential distributions of terrestrial plants, animals, and pathogens non-native to the Middle-Atlantic region. These data are available for 8-digit HUCs. The data are a weighted proportion of appropriate habitat overlapped by the potential...

  16. The terrestrial silica pump.

    PubMed

    Carey, Joanna C; Fulweiler, Robinson W

    2012-01-01

    Silicon (Si) cycling controls atmospheric CO(2) concentrations and thus, the global climate, through three well-recognized means: chemical weathering of mineral silicates, occlusion of carbon (C) to soil phytoliths, and the oceanic biological Si pump. In the latter, oceanic diatoms directly sequester 25.8 Gton C yr(-1), accounting for 43% of the total oceanic net primary production (NPP). However, another important link between C and Si cycling remains largely ignored, specifically the role of Si in terrestrial NPP. Here we show that 55% of terrestrial NPP (33 Gton C yr(-1)) is due to active Si-accumulating vegetation, on par with the amount of C sequestered annually via marine diatoms. Our results suggest that similar to oceanic diatoms, the biological Si cycle of land plants also controls atmospheric CO(2) levels. In addition, we provide the first estimates of Si fixed in terrestrial vegetation by major global biome type, highlighting the ecosystems of most dynamic Si fixation. Projected global land use change will convert forests to agricultural lands, increasing the fixation of Si by land plants, and the magnitude of the terrestrial Si pump. PMID:23300825

  17. Terrestrial planet formation

    PubMed Central

    Righter, K.; O’Brien, D. P.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (∼106 y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few × 106 y), and finally embryos to planets (107–108 y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  18. Batteries for terrestrial applications

    SciTech Connect

    Kulin, T.M.

    1998-07-01

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

  19. The Terrestrial Silica Pump

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Joanna C.; Fulweiler, Robinson W.

    2012-01-01

    Silicon (Si) cycling controls atmospheric CO2 concentrations and thus, the global climate, through three well-recognized means: chemical weathering of mineral silicates, occlusion of carbon (C) to soil phytoliths, and the oceanic biological Si pump. In the latter, oceanic diatoms directly sequester 25.8 Gton C yr−1, accounting for 43% of the total oceanic net primary production (NPP). However, another important link between C and Si cycling remains largely ignored, specifically the role of Si in terrestrial NPP. Here we show that 55% of terrestrial NPP (33 Gton C yr−1) is due to active Si-accumulating vegetation, on par with the amount of C sequestered annually via marine diatoms. Our results suggest that similar to oceanic diatoms, the biological Si cycle of land plants also controls atmospheric CO2 levels. In addition, we provide the first estimates of Si fixed in terrestrial vegetation by major global biome type, highlighting the ecosystems of most dynamic Si fixation. Projected global land use change will convert forests to agricultural lands, increasing the fixation of Si by land plants, and the magnitude of the terrestrial Si pump. PMID:23300825

  20. Terrestrial planet formation.

    PubMed

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  1. The corneal surface of aquatic vertebrates: microstructures with optical and nutritional function?

    PubMed

    Collin, H B; Collin, S P

    2000-09-29

    The anterior surface of the mammalian cornea plays an important role in maintaining a smooth optical interface and consequently a sharp retinal image. The smooth surface is produced by a tear film, which adheres to a variety of microprojections, which increase the cell surface area, improve the absorbance of oxygen and nutrients and aid in the movement of metabolic products across the outer cell membrane. However, little is known of the structural adaptations and tear film support provided in other vertebrates from different environments. Using field emission scanning electron microscopy; this study examines the density and surface structure of corneal epithelial cells in representative species of the classes Cephalaspidomorphi, Chondrichthyes, Osteichthyes, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves and Mammalia, including some Marsupialia. Variations in cell density and the structure and occurrence of microholes, microridges, microplicae and microvilli are described with respect to the demands placed upon the cornea in different aquatic environments such as marine and freshwater. A progressive decrease in epithelial cell density occurs from marine (e.g. 29348 cells mm(-2) in the Dover sole Microstomius pacficus) to estuarine or freshwater (e.g. 5999 cells mm(-2) in the black bream Acanthopagrus butcheri) to terrestrial (e.g. 2126 cells mm(-2) in the Australian koala Phascolarctos cinereus) vertebrates, indicating the reduction in osmotic stress across the corneal surface. The microholes found in the Southern Hemisphere lampreys, namely the pouched lamprey (Geotria australis) and the shorthead lamprey (Mordacia mordax) represent openings for the release of mucus, which may protect the cornea from abrasion during their burrowing phase. Characteristic of marine teleosts, fingerprint-like patterns of corneal microridges are a ubiquitous feature, covering many types of sensory epithelia (including the olfactory epithelium and the oral mucosa). Like microplicae and microvilli

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-20

    Theory on trophic interactions predicts that predators increase plant biomass by feeding on herbivores, an indirect interaction called a trophic cascade. Theory also predicts that predators feeding on predators, or intraguild predation, will weaken trophic cascades. Although past syntheses have confirmed cascading effects of terrestrial arthropod predators, we lack a comprehensive analysis for vertebrate insectivores-which by virtue of their body size and feeding habits are often top predators in these systems-and of how intraguild predation mediates trophic cascade strength. We report here on a meta-analysis of 113 experiments documenting the effects of insectivorous birds, bats, or lizards on predaceous arthropods, herbivorous arthropods, and plants. Although vertebrate insectivores fed as intraguild predators, strongly reducing predaceous arthropods (38%), they nevertheless suppressed herbivores (39%), indirectly reduced plant damage (40%), and increased plant biomass (14%). Furthermore, effects of vertebrate insectivores on predatory and herbivorous arthropods were positively correlated. Effects were strongest on arthropods and plants in communities with abundant predaceous arthropods and strong intraguild predation, but weak in communities depauperate in arthropod predators and intraguild predation. The naturally occurring ratio of arthropod predators relative to herbivores varied tremendously among the studied communities, and the skew to predators increased with site primary productivity and in trees relative to shrubs. Although intraguild predation among arthropod predators has been shown to weaken herbivore suppression, we find this paradigm does not extend to vertebrate insectivores in these communities. Instead, vertebrate intraguild preda-tion is associated with strengthened trophic cascades, and insectivores function as dominant predators in terrestrial plant-arthropod communities. PMID:20368418

  3. Mitotic chromosome condensation in vertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Vagnarelli, Paola

    2012-07-15

    Work from several laboratories over the past 10-15 years has revealed that, within the interphase nucleus, chromosomes are organized into spatially distinct territories [T. Cremer, C. Cremer, Chromosome territories, nuclear architecture and gene regulation in mammalian cells, Nat. Rev. Genet. 2 (2001) 292-301 and T. Cremer, M. Cremer, S. Dietzel, S. Muller, I. Solovei, S. Fakan, Chromosome territories-a functional nuclear landscape, Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 18 (2006) 307-316]. The overall compaction level and intranuclear location varies as a function of gene density for both entire chromosomes [J.A. Croft, J.M. Bridger, S. Boyle, P. Perry, P. Teague,W.A. Bickmore, Differences in the localization and morphology of chromosomes in the human nucleus, J. Cell Biol. 145 (1999) 1119-1131] and specific chromosomal regions [N.L. Mahy, P.E. Perry, S. Gilchrist, R.A. Baldock, W.A. Bickmore, Spatial organization of active and inactive genes and noncoding DNA within chromosome territories, J. Cell Biol. 157 (2002) 579-589] (Fig. 1A, A'). In prophase, when cyclin B activity reaches a high threshold, chromosome condensation occurs followed by Nuclear Envelope Breakdown (NEB) [1]. At this point vertebrate chromosomes appear as compact structures harboring an attachment point for the spindle microtubules physically recognizable as a primary constriction where the two sister chromatids are held together. The transition from an unshaped interphase chromosome to the highly structured mitotic chromosome (compare Figs. 1A and B) has fascinated researchers for several decades now; however a definite picture of how this process is achieved and regulated is not yet in our hands and it will require more investigation to comprehend the complete process. From a biochemical point of view a vertebrate mitotic chromosomes is composed of DNA, histone proteins (60%) and non-histone proteins (40%) [6]. I will discuss below what is known to date on the contribution of these two different classes of

  4. Volcanic ash - Terrestrial versus extraterrestrial

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okeefe, J. A.

    1976-01-01

    A principal difference between terrestrial and extraterrestrial lavas may consist in the greater ability of terrestrial lavas to form thin films (like those of soap bubbles) and hence foams. It would follow that, in place of the pumice and spiny shards found in terrestrial volcanic ash, an extraterrestrial ash should contain minute spherules. This hypothesis may help to explain lunar microspherules.

  5. Rotations in a Vertebrate Setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCollum, Gin

    2003-05-01

    Rotational movements of the head are often considered to be measured in a single three dimensional coordinate system implemented by the semicircular canals of the vestibular system of the inner ear. However, the vertebrate body -- including the nervous system -- obeys rectangular symmetries alien to rotation groups. At best, nervous systems mimic the physical rotation group in a fragmented way, only partially reintegrating physical movements in whole organism responses. The vestibular canal reference frame is widely used in nervous systems, for example by eye movements. It is used to some extent even in the cerebrum, as evidenced by the remission of hemineglect -- in which half of space is ignored -- when the vestibular system is stimulated. However, reintegration of space by the organism remains incomplete. For example, compensatory eye movements (which in most cases aid visual fixation) may disagree with conscious self-motion perception. In addition, movement-induced nausea, illusions, and cue-free perceptions demonstrate symmetry breaking or incomplete spatial symmetries. As part of a long-term project to investigate rotation groups in nervous systems, we have analyzed the symmetry group of a primary vestibulo-spinal projection.

  6. Hypoxia, global warming, and terrestrial late Permian extinctions.

    PubMed

    Huey, Raymond B; Ward, Peter D

    2005-04-15

    A catastrophic extinction occurred at the end of the Permian Period. However, baseline extinction rates appear to have been elevated even before the final catastrophe, suggesting sustained environmental degradation. For terrestrial vertebrates during the Late Permian, the combination of a drop in atmospheric oxygen plus climate warming would have induced hypoxic stress and consequently compressed altitudinal ranges to near sea level. Our simulations suggest that the magnitude of altitudinal compression would have forced extinctions by reducing habitat diversity, fragmenting and isolating populations, and inducing a species-area effect. It also might have delayed ecosystem recovery after the mass extinction. PMID:15831755

  7. Time Scales: Terrestrial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petit, G.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Terrestrial time is at present derived from atomic clocks. The SI second, the unit of time of the international system of units, has been defined since 1967 in terms of a hyperfine transition of the cesium atom and the best primary frequency standards now realize it with a relative uncertainty of a few parts in 1015, which makes it the most accurately measurable physical quantity. INTERNATIONAL A...

  8. Update of vertebral cementoplasty in porotic patients

    PubMed Central

    Masala, Salvatore; Muto, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Vertebroplasty (VP) is a percutaneous mini-invasive technique developed in the late 1980s as antalgic and stabilizing treatment in patients affected by symptomatic vertebral fracture due to porotic disease, traumatic injury and primary or secondary vertebral spine tumors. The technique consists of a simple metameric injection of an inert cement (poly-methyl-methacrylate, PMMA), through a needle by trans-peduncular, parapeduncular or trans-somatic approach obtaining a vertebral augmentation and stabilization effect associated with pain relief. The technique is simple and fast, and should be performed under fluoroscopy or CT guidance in order to obtain a good result with low complication rate. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the utility of VP, the indications-contraindications criteria, how to technically perform the technique using imaging guidance, and the results and complications of this treatment in patients affected by symptomatic vertebral compression fracture. PMID:26015527

  9. Vertebrate eye development as modeled in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Wawersik, S; Maas, R L

    2000-04-12

    Pax6, a member of the paired-box family of transcription factors, is critical for oculogenesis in both vertebrates and insects. Identification of potential vertebrate Pax6 targets has been guided by studies in Drosophila, where the Pax6 homologs eyeless ( ey ) and twin of eyeless ( toy ) function within a network of genes that synergistically pattern the developing fly eye. These targets, which share homology with the fly genes sine oculis, eyes absent and dachshund, exist in mice and humans as the Six, Eya and Dach gene families. Members of these gene families are present in the developing vertebrate eye, and preliminary studies suggest that they may function in a network analogous to that in the fly. Thus, despite radically different architecture, a similar molecular scaffold underlies both vertebrate and fly eye patterning, suggesting that the considerable power of Drosophila genetics can be harnessed to study mammalian ocular development. PMID:10767315

  10. A Case of Aerococcus Urinae Vertebral Osteomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    Jerome, Michael; Slim, Jihad; Sison, Raymund; Marton, Randy

    2015-01-01

    Aerococcus urinae is an aerobic, alpha hemolytic gram positive coccus bacterium that grows in pairs or clusters. We report the first case of vertebral osteomyelitis due to A. urinae. This has not been previously reported in the literature. PMID:26069429

  11. RFamide Peptides in Early Vertebrate Development

    PubMed Central

    Sandvik, Guro Katrine; Hodne, Kjetil; Haug, Trude Marie; Okubo, Kataaki; Weltzien, Finn-Arne

    2014-01-01

    RFamides (RFa) are neuropeptides involved in many different physiological processes in vertebrates, such as reproductive behavior, pubertal activation of the reproductive endocrine axis, control of feeding behavior, and pain modulation. As research has focused mostly on their role in adult vertebrates, the possible roles of these peptides during development are poorly understood. However, the few studies that exist show that RFa are expressed early in development in different vertebrate classes, perhaps mostly associated with the central nervous system. Interestingly, the related peptide family of FMRFa has been shown to be important for brain development in invertebrates. In a teleost, the Japanese medaka, knockdown of genes in the Kiss system indicates that Kiss ligands and receptors are vital for brain development, but few other functional studies exist. Here, we review the literature of RFa in early vertebrate development, including the possible functional roles these peptides may play. PMID:25538682

  12. Sleep and orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Volkoff, Hélène

    2012-01-01

    Although a precise definition of "sleep" has yet to be established, sleep-like behaviors have been observed in all animals studied to date including mammals and nonmammalian vertebrates. Orexins are hypothalamic neuropeptides that are involved in the regulation of many physiological functions, including feeding, thermoregulation, cardiovascular control, as well as the control of the sleep-wakefulness cycle. To date, the knowledge on the functions of orexins in nonmammalian vertebrates is still limited, but the similarity of the structures of orexins and their receptors among vertebrates suggest that they have similar conserved physiological functions. This review describes our current knowledge on sleep in nonmammalian vertebrates (birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) and the possible role of orexins in the regulation of their energy homeostasis and arousal states. PMID:22640621

  13. Innate immunity in vertebrates: an overview.

    PubMed

    Riera Romo, Mario; Pérez-Martínez, Dayana; Castillo Ferrer, Camila

    2016-06-01

    Innate immunity is a semi-specific and widely distributed form of immunity, which represents the first line of defence against pathogens. This type of immunity is critical to maintain homeostasis and prevent microbe invasion, eliminating a great variety of pathogens and contributing with the activation of the adaptive immune response. The components of innate immunity include physical and chemical barriers, humoral and cell-mediated components, which are present in all jawed vertebrates. The understanding of innate defence mechanisms in non-mammalian vertebrates is the key to comprehend the general picture of vertebrate innate immunity and its evolutionary history. This is also essential for the identification of new molecules with applications in immunopharmacology and immunotherapy. In this review, we describe and discuss the main elements of vertebrate innate immunity, presenting core findings in this field and identifying areas that need further investigation. PMID:26878338

  14. [Vertebral osteomyelitis associated with epidural block].

    PubMed

    Carrillo Esper, R; Cruz-Bautista, I

    2001-01-01

    Infectious complications after epidural anesthesia are infrequent and the most common are epidural and subdural abscess. We report one rare case of vertebral osteomyelitus associated with an epidural catheter and review the literature. PMID:11381807

  15. A new vertebrate fauna from the Cretaceous Red Sandstone Group, Rukwa Rift Basin, Southwestern Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connor, Patrick M.; Gottfried, Michael D.; Stevens, Nancy J.; Roberts, Eric M.; Ngasala, Sifa; Kapilima, Saidi; Chami, Remigius

    2006-03-01

    The Rukwa Rift Basin Project was initiated to conduct exploratory field paleontology in poorly sampled terrestrial strata in southern and western Tanzania. Here we report the discovery of a series of new fossiliferous localities from Red Sandstone Group deposits in the Rukwa Rift Basin. These localities contain a diverse Cretaceous terrestrial/freshwater vertebrate fauna that consists of members of several major clades, including fishes, turtles, crocodyliforms, dinosaurs and mammals. Expeditions conducted in the austral summers of 2002-05 have identified numerous fossil-bearing localities, with specimens ranging from isolated elements to semi-articulated sauropod and theropod dinosaurs. Notable among the finds are the most complete mammal specimen recovered from the Cretaceous of continental Africa, megaloolithid dinosaur eggshell, and both theropod and sauropod dinosaurs. Given the scarcity of Cretaceous terrestrial faunas from sub-equatorial Africa, this portion of the East Africa Rift System holds great promise for providing new paleontological data that will contribute to testing and refining a number of biogeographic hypotheses that have been advanced to explain Gondwanan vertebrate distributions in the latter half of the Mesozoic.

  16. Late Miocene/Early Pliocene vertebrate fauna from Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Western Mediterranean): an update.

    PubMed

    Bover, Pere; Rofes, Juan; Bailon, Salvador; Agustí, Jordi; Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria; Torres, Enric; Alcover, Josep Antoni

    2014-03-01

    The vertebrate fossil record from the Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean) has improved considerably over the past decade, especially in Mallorca and Menorca. In Menorca, the Pliocene terrestrial fauna was updated by the discovery and description of the large-sized leporid Nuralagus, several reptiles and an amphibian. In Mallorca, paleontological exploration yielded 2 deposits with a Late Miocene/Early Pliocene chronology, Caló den Rafelino (CdR) and Na Burguesa-1 (NB-1). So far, 4 new mammalian taxa and 2 new reptiles have been identified for the CdR deposit, whereas the faunal assemblage from the recently discovered deposit (Apr 2012) of NB-1 is currently composed of, at least, 6 terrestrial mammals, 8 reptiles and an amphibian. Its faunal composition and some primitive characteristics of the obtained taxa suggest that the chronology of this deposit is slightly earlier than the CdR. The terrestrial vertebrates recorded in these 2 Mallorcan deposits are changing the view of the paleofaunal assemblage previously known for the Plio-Pleistocene of the island. Morphological characteristics displayed by some of the taxa suggest that these faunas would be at the beginning of an isolated evolution. In this paper we present a preliminary report on the fossils recovered from the NB-1 deposit, as well as some unpublished data from CdR, and we analyze the whole fauna from both Mallorcan deposits, focusing on taxonomical and paleobiogeographical aspects. PMID:24673762

  17. Vertebrate records in polar sediments: Biological responses to past climate change and human activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, L. G.; Emslie, S. D.; Huang, T.; Blais, J. M.; Xie, Z. Q.; Liu, X. D.; Yin, X. B.; Wang, Y. H.; Huang, W.; Hodgson, D. A.; Smol, J. P.

    2013-11-01

    Biological responses to climate and environmental changes in remote polar regions are of increasing interest in global change research. Terrestrial and marine polar ecosystems have suffered from impacts of both rapid climate change and intense human activities, and large fluctuations in the population sizes of seabirds, seals, and Antarctic krill have been observed in the past decades. To understand the mechanisms driving these regime shifts in polar ecosystems, it is important to first distinguish the influences of natural forcing from anthropogenic activities. Therefore, investigations of past changes of polar ecosystems prior to human contact are relevant for placing recent human-induced changes within a long-term historical context. Here we focus our review on the fossil, sub-fossil, archaeological, and biogeochemical remains of marine vertebrates in polar sediments. These remains include well-preserved tissues such as bones, hairs and feathers, and biogeochemical markers and other proxy indicators, including deposits of guano and excrement, which can accumulate in lake and terrestrial sediments over thousands of years. Analyses of these remains have provided insight into both natural and anthropogenic impacts on marine vertebrates over millennia and have helped identify the causal agents for these impacts. Furthermore, land-based seabirds and marine mammals have been shown to play an important role as bio-vectors in polar environments as they transport significant amounts of nutrients and anthropogenic contaminants between ocean and terrestrial ecosystems.

  18. Recombination Drives Vertebrate Genome Contraction

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Kiwoong; Ellegren, Hans

    2012-01-01

    Selective and/or neutral processes may govern variation in DNA content and, ultimately, genome size. The observation in several organisms of a negative correlation between recombination rate and intron size could be compatible with a neutral model in which recombination is mutagenic for length changes. We used whole-genome data on small insertions and deletions within transposable elements from chicken and zebra finch to demonstrate clear links between recombination rate and a number of attributes of reduced DNA content. Recombination rate was negatively correlated with the length of introns, transposable elements, and intergenic spacer and with the rate of short insertions. Importantly, it was positively correlated with gene density, the rate of short deletions, the deletion bias, and the net change in sequence length. All these observations point at a pattern of more condensed genome structure in regions of high recombination. Based on the observed rates of small insertions and deletions and assuming that these rates are representative for the whole genome, we estimate that the genome of the most recent common ancestor of birds and lizards has lost nearly 20% of its DNA content up until the present. Expansion of transposable elements can counteract the effect of deletions in an equilibrium mutation model; however, since the activity of transposable elements has been low in the avian lineage, the deletion bias is likely to have had a significant effect on genome size evolution in dinosaurs and birds, contributing to the maintenance of a small genome. We also demonstrate that most of the observed correlations between recombination rate and genome contraction parameters are seen in the human genome, including for segregating indel polymorphisms. Our data are compatible with a neutral model in which recombination drives vertebrate genome size evolution and gives no direct support for a role of natural selection in this process. PMID:22570634

  19. Vertebrate Cells Express Protozoan Antigen after Hybridization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crane, Mark St. J.; Dvorak, James A.

    1980-04-01

    Epimastigotes, the invertebrate host stage of Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan parasite causing Chagas' disease in man, were fused with vertebrate cells by using polyethylene glycol. Hybrid cells were selected on the basis of T. cruzi DNA complementation of biochemical deficiencies in the vertebrate cells. Some clones of the hybrid cells expressed T. cruzi-specific antigen. It might be possible to use selected antigens obtained from the hybrids as vaccines for immunodiagnosis or for elucidation of the pathogenesis of Chagas' disease.

  20. Vertebral artery occlusion and oral contraceptives.

    PubMed Central

    Ask-Upmark, E; Bickerstaff, E R

    1976-01-01

    If vertebral artery occlusion occurs in degenerative arterial disease it is almost invariably left-sided, but in vertebral artery deficiency syndromes associated with oral contraceptives a striking preponderance of right-sided involvement has been shown. This observation adds support to the view that causes other than changes in the wall of the vessel at the site of occlusion must be sought as an explanation of the occlusion. PMID:1252812

  1. Cilia in vertebrate development and disease

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Edwin C.; Katsanis, Nicholas

    2012-01-01

    Through the combined study of model organisms, cell biology, cell signaling and medical genetics we have significantly increased our understanding of the structure and functions of the vertebrate cilium. This ancient organelle has now emerged as a crucial component of certain signaling and sensory perception pathways in both developmental and homeostatic contexts. Here, we provide a snapshot of the structure, function and distribution of the vertebrate cilium and of the pathologies that are associated with its dysfunction. PMID:22223675

  2. Cervical vertebral fusion with anterior meningocele

    PubMed Central

    Chavredakis, Emmanuel; Carter, David; Bhojak, Manesh; Jenkinson, Michael D; Clark, Simon R

    2015-01-01

    We present the first described case of cervical vertebral fusion associated with anterior meningocele and syringomyelia. A 45-year-old woman presented with minor trauma, and plain cervical spine radiographs highlighted a congenital deformity of the cervical vertebral bodies. She had a normal neurological examination; however, further imaging revealed a meningocele and syringomyelia. This case highlights the importance of thorough imaging investigation when presented with a congenital deformity in order to detect and prevent development of degenerative spinal cord pathologies. PMID:25923673

  3. Percutaneous Vertebral Body Augmentation: An Updated Review

    PubMed Central

    Omidi-Kashani, Farzad

    2014-01-01

    There are many medical conditions like osteoporosis, tumor, or osteonecrosis that weaken the structural strength of the vertebral body and prone it to fracture. Percutaneous vertebral augmentation that is usually applied by polymethylmethacrylate is a relatively safe, effective, and long lasting procedure commonly performed in these situations. In this paper, we updated a review of biomechanics, indications, contraindications, surgical techniques, complications, and overall prognosis of these minimally invasive spinal procedures. PMID:25379561

  4. Risk factors for vertebral deformities in men: relationship to number of vertebral deformities. European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study Group.

    PubMed

    Ismail, A A; O'Neill, T W; Cooper, C; Silman, A J

    2000-02-01

    Recent epidemiological studies suggest a similar overall prevalence of vertebral deformity in men to that in women, though the influence of increasing age on the prevalence of vertebral deformity is less marked in men. However, most affected men have only a single or two vertebral deformities, which may be unrelated to osteoporosis. The aim of this study was to examine the role of risk factors, previously demonstrated to be associated with vertebral osteoporosis in females, in men with single/dual deformities compared to those with multiple deformities. Age stratified random samples of men aged 50 years and over were recruited from population registers in 30 European centers as part of the European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study (EVOS). Subjects had a lateral spinal radiograph and the presence of vertebral deformity was determined using the McCloskey algorithm. Lifestyle and other risk factor data were obtained from an interviewer-administered questionnaire. In all 6937 men with a mean age of 64.4 (SD = 8.5) years were studied of whom 738 (10.6%) subjects had one or two deformities, and 109 (1.6%) subjects had three or more deformities. There was a marked increase in the prevalence of multiple vertebral deformities with increasing age, but only a modest effect of age on the prevalence of single deformities. Associations between various risk factors for osteoporosis and vertebral deformity were analyzed separately in men with single/dual vertebral deformity from those with three or more deformities using logistic regression. After adjustment for age, there were statistically significant associations between the following risk factors and multiple deformities: previous hip fracture (odds ratio [OR] 10.5), lack of regular physical activity (OR 2.9), low body mass (OR 2.5), and previous steroid use (OR 2.3). By contrast, there were only weak associations with these same variables in males with single/dual deformities and, apart from poor self-reported general health, all

  5. Evolution and development of the vertebrate neck

    PubMed Central

    Ericsson, Rolf; Knight, Robert; Johanson, Zerina

    2013-01-01

    Muscles of the vertebrate neck include the cucullaris and hypobranchials. Although a functional neck first evolved in the lobe-finned fishes (Sarcopterygii) with the separation of the pectoral/shoulder girdle from the skull, the neck muscles themselves have a much earlier origin among the vertebrates. For example, lampreys possess hypobranchial muscles, and may also possess the cucullaris. Recent research in chick has established that these two muscles groups have different origins, the hypobranchial muscles having a somitic origin but the cucullaris muscle deriving from anterior lateral plate mesoderm associated with somites 1–3. Additionally, the cucullaris utilizes genetic pathways more similar to the head than the trunk musculature. Although the latter results are from experiments in the chick, cucullaris homologues occur in a variety of more basal vertebrates such as the sharks and zebrafish. Data are urgently needed from these taxa to determine whether the cucullaris in these groups also derives from lateral plate mesoderm or from the anterior somites, and whether the former or the latter represent the basal vertebrate condition. Other lateral plate mesoderm derivatives include the appendicular skeleton (fins, limbs and supporting girdles). If the cucullaris is a definitive lateral plate-derived structure it may have evolved in conjunction with the shoulder/limb skeleton in vertebrates and thereby provided a greater degree of flexibility to the heads of predatory vertebrates. PMID:22697305

  6. Brave new propagules: terrestrial embryos in anamniotic eggs.

    PubMed

    Martin, K L; Carter, A L

    2013-08-01

    A surprisingly large number of fish and amphibian species reproduce terrestrially despite the absence of the key evolutionary innovation of the amniotic egg. In contrast with shelled eggs of reptiles and birds, eggs of teleost fish and amphibians are typically much smaller and enclosed in relatively simple chorionic membranes. Incubation times may be brief or prolonged, and resultant hatchlings typically require the return to an aquatic habitat. Advantages of terrestrial incubation include the increased availability of warmer temperatures and avoidance of aquatic hypoxia, whereas disadvantages include desiccation, exposure to novel predators, and the risk of hatching into a hostile habitat. Hatching may be environmentally cued. Use of energy in the yolk may require trade-offs between growth of the embryo and extended incubation, as exemplified by a case study of the California Grunion. The physical challenges of terrestrial incubation, constraints for hatching, effects of egg size, and parental care are explored. Eight different types of early life history among anamniotic embryos incubating in a terrestrial environment are identified, with examples of these alternate routes to the invasion of land by vertebrates. PMID:23604618

  7. Heinrich Event 4 characterized by terrestrial proxies in southwestern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-García, J. M.; Blain, H.-A.; Bennàsar, M.; Sanz, M.; Daura, J.

    2013-02-01

    Heinrich Event 4 (H4) is well documented in the North Atlantic Ocean as a cooling event that occurred between 39 000 and 40 000 yr BP. Deep-sea cores around the Iberian Peninsula coastline have been analysed to characterize the H4 event, but there are no data on the terrestrial response to this event. Here we present for the first time an analysis of terrestrial proxies for characterizing the H4 event, using the small-vertebrate assemblage (comprising small mammals, squamates and amphibians) from Terrassa Riera dels Canyars, an archaeo-palaeontological deposit located on the seaboard of the northeastern Iberian Peninsula. This assemblage shows that the H4 event is characterized in northeastern Iberia by harsher and drier terrestrial conditions than today. Our results were compared with other proxies such as pollen, charcoal, phytolith, avifauna and large-mammal data available for this site, as well as with the general H4 event fluctuations and with other sites where H4 and the previous and subsequent Heinrich events (H5 and H3) have been detected in the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions of the Iberian Peninsula. We conclude that the terrestrial proxies follow the same patterns as the climatic and environmental conditions detected by the deep-sea cores at the Iberian margins.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-García, J. M.; Blain, H.-A.; Bennàsar, M.; Sanz, M.; Daura, J.

    2013-05-01

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

  9. Ecological Guild Evolution and the Discovery of the World's Smallest Vertebrate

    PubMed Central

    Rittmeyer, Eric N.; Allison, Allen; Gründler, Michael C.; Thompson, Derrick K.; Austin, Christopher C.

    2012-01-01

    Living vertebrates vary drastically in body size, yet few taxa reach the extremely minute size of some frogs and teleost fish. Here we describe two new species of diminutive terrestrial frogs from the megadiverse hotspot island of New Guinea, one of which represents the smallest known vertebrate species, attaining an average body size of only 7.7 mm. Both new species are members of the recently described genus Paedophryne, the four species of which are all among the ten smallest known frog species, making Paedophryne the most diminutive genus of anurans. This discovery highlights intriguing ecological similarities among the numerous independent origins of diminutive anurans, suggesting that minute frogs are not mere oddities, but represent a previously unrecognized ecological guild. PMID:22253785

  10. Expression patterns and adaptive functional diversity of vertebrate myoglobins.

    PubMed

    Helbo, Signe; Weber, Roy E; Fago, Angela

    2013-09-01

    Recent years have witnessed a new round of research on one of the most studied proteins - myoglobin (Mb), the oxygen (O2) carrier of skeletal and heart muscle. Two major discoveries have stimulated research in this field: 1) that Mb has additional protecting functions, such as the regulation of in vivo levels of the signaling molecule nitric oxide (NO) by scavenging and generating NO during normoxia and hypoxia, respectively; and 2) that Mb in vertebrates (particularly fish) is expressed as tissue-specific isoforms in other tissues than heart and skeletal muscle, such as vessel endothelium, liver and brain, as found in cyprinid fish. Furthermore, Mb has also been found to protect against oxidative stress after hypoxia and reoxygenation and to undergo allosteric, O2-linked S-nitrosation, as in rainbow trout. Overall, the emerging evidence, particularly from fish species, indicates that Mb fulfills a broader array of physiological functions in a wider range of different tissues than hitherto appreciated. This new knowledge helps to better understand how variations in Mb structure and function may correlate with differences in animals' lifestyles and hypoxia-tolerance. This review integrates old and new results on Mb expression patterns and functional properties amongst vertebrates and discusses how these may relate to adaptive variations in different species. This article is part of a special issue entitled: Oxygen Binding and Sensing Proteins. PMID:23388387

  11. Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Walton, D.W.H.

    1987-01-01

    The Maritime and Continental Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems are considered in the context of environmental impacts - habitat destruction, alien introductions, and pollution. Four types of pollution are considered: nutrients, radionuclides, inert materials, and noxious chemicals. Their ability to recover from perturbation is discussed in the light of present scientific knowledge, and the methods used to control impacts are reviewed. It is concluded that techniques of waste disposal are still inadequate, adequate training in environmental and conservation principles for Antarctic personnel in many countries is lacking, and scientific investigations may be a much more serious threat than tourism to the integrity of these ecosystems. Some priorities crucial to future management are suggested.

  12. The terrestrial ionosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schunk, R. W.

    1983-01-01

    The theory relating to the basic physics governing the behavior of the terrestrial ionosphere is reviewed. The review covers the coupling of the ionosphere to both the neutral atmosphere and magnetosphere, the creation and transport of ionization in the ionosphere, and the ionospheric thermal structure. The review also covers the variation of the ionosphere with altitude, latitude, longitude, universal time, season, solar cycle, and geomagnetic activity. In addition, some unique ionospheric features are discussed, such as the polar ionization hole, the main electron density trough, the ion temperature hot spots, the high-latitude ionization tongue, the equatorial fountain, Appleton's peaks, and the polar wind.

  13. Solar terrestrial observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Eight basic solar-terrestrial scientific objectives that benefit from the Shuttle/Platform approach and a program of measurements for each are discussed. The objectives are to understand: (1) solar variability, (2) wave-particle processes, (3) magnetosphere-ionosphere mass transport, (4) the global electric circuit, (5) upper atmospheric dynamics, (6) middle atmospheric chemistry and energetics, (7) lower atmospheric turbidity, and (8) planetary atmospheric waves. A two stage approach to a multidisciplinary payload is developed: an initial STO, that uses a single platform in a low-Earth orbit, and an advanced STO that uses two platforms in differing orbits.

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

    PubMed

    Benchimol, Maíra; Peres, Carlos A

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments. PMID:26132139

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Mega hydropower projects in tropical forests pose a major emergent threat to terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Despite the unprecedented number of existing, under-construction and planned hydroelectric dams in lowland tropical forests, long-term effects on biodiversity have yet to be evaluated. We examine how medium and large-bodied assemblages of terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (including 35 mammal, bird and tortoise species) responded to the drastic 26-year post-isolation history of archipelagic alteration in landscape structure and habitat quality in a major hydroelectric reservoir of Central Amazonia. The Balbina Hydroelectric Dam inundated 3,129 km2 of primary forests, simultaneously isolating 3,546 land-bridge islands. We conducted intensive biodiversity surveys at 37 of those islands and three adjacent continuous forests using a combination of four survey techniques, and detected strong forest habitat area effects in explaining patterns of vertebrate extinction. Beyond clear area effects, edge-mediated surface fire disturbance was the most important additional driver of species loss, particularly in islands smaller than 10 ha. Based on species-area models, we predict that only 0.7% of all islands now harbor a species-rich vertebrate assemblage consisting of ≥80% of all species. We highlight the colossal erosion in vertebrate diversity driven by a man-made dam and show that the biodiversity impacts of mega dams in lowland tropical forest regions have been severely overlooked. The geopolitical strategy to deploy many more large hydropower infrastructure projects in regions like lowland Amazonia should be urgently reassessed, and we strongly advise that long-term biodiversity impacts should be explicitly included in pre-approval environmental impact assessments. PMID:26132139

  16. Homeotic transformations and number changes in the vertebral column of Triturus newts.

    PubMed

    Slijepčević, Maja; Galis, Frietson; Arntzen, Jan W; Ivanović, Ana

    2015-01-01

    We explored intraspecific variation in vertebral formulae, more specifically the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae and frequencies of transitional sacral vertebrae in Triturus newts (Caudata: Salamandridae). Within salamandrid salamanders this monophyletic group shows the highest disparity in the number of thoracic vertebrae and considerable intraspecific variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae. Triturus species also differ in their ecological preferences, from predominantly terrestrial to largely aquatic. Following Geoffroy St. Hilaire's and Darwin's rule which states that structures with a large number of serially homologous repetitive elements are more variable than structures with smaller numbers, we hypothesized that the variation in vertebral formulae increases in more elongated species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. We furthermore hypothesized that the frequency of transitional vertebrae will be correlated with the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae within the species. We also investigated potential effects of species hybridization on the vertebral formula. The proportion of individuals with a number of thoracic vertebrae different from the modal number and the range of variation in number of vertebrae significantly increased in species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. Contrary to our expectation, the frequencies of transitional vertebrae were not correlated with frequencies of change in the complete vertebrae number. The frequency of transitional sacral vertebra in hybrids did not significantly differ from that of the parental species. Such a pattern could be a result of selection pressure against transitional vertebrae and/or a bias towards the development of full vertebrae numbers. Although our data indicate relaxed selection for vertebral count changes in more elongated, aquatic species, more data on different selective pressures in species with different numbers of vertebrae in the two contrasting

  17. Homeotic transformations and number changes in the vertebral column of Triturus newts

    PubMed Central

    Slijepčević, Maja; Galis, Frietson; Arntzen, Jan W.

    2015-01-01

    We explored intraspecific variation in vertebral formulae, more specifically the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae and frequencies of transitional sacral vertebrae in Triturus newts (Caudata: Salamandridae). Within salamandrid salamanders this monophyletic group shows the highest disparity in the number of thoracic vertebrae and considerable intraspecific variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae. Triturus species also differ in their ecological preferences, from predominantly terrestrial to largely aquatic. Following Geoffroy St. Hilaire’s and Darwin’s rule which states that structures with a large number of serially homologous repetitive elements are more variable than structures with smaller numbers, we hypothesized that the variation in vertebral formulae increases in more elongated species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. We furthermore hypothesized that the frequency of transitional vertebrae will be correlated with the variation in the number of thoracic vertebrae within the species. We also investigated potential effects of species hybridization on the vertebral formula. The proportion of individuals with a number of thoracic vertebrae different from the modal number and the range of variation in number of vertebrae significantly increased in species with a larger number of thoracic vertebrae. Contrary to our expectation, the frequencies of transitional vertebrae were not correlated with frequencies of change in the complete vertebrae number. The frequency of transitional sacral vertebra in hybrids did not significantly differ from that of the parental species. Such a pattern could be a result of selection pressure against transitional vertebrae and/or a bias towards the development of full vertebrae numbers. Although our data indicate relaxed selection for vertebral count changes in more elongated, aquatic species, more data on different selective pressures in species with different numbers of vertebrae in the two contrasting

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  19. Vertebral microanatomy in squamates: structure, growth and ecological correlates

    PubMed Central

    Houssaye, Alexandra; Mazurier, Arnaud; Herrel, Anthony; Volpato, Virginie; Tafforeau, Paul; Boistel, Renaud; de Buffrénil, Vivian

    2010-01-01

    The histological study of vertebrae in extant squamates shows that the internal vertebral structure in this group differs from that of other tetrapods. Squamate vertebrae are lightly built and basically composed of two roughly concentric osseous tubes – one surrounding the neural canal and the other constituting the peripheral cortex of the vertebra – connected by few thin trabeculae. This structure, which characteristically evokes that of a tubular bone, results from a peculiar remodelling process characterised by an imbalance between local bone resorption and redeposition; in both periosteal and endosteo-endochondral territories, bone is extensively resorbed but not reconstructed in the same proportion by secondary deposits. This process is particularly intense in the deep region of the centrum, where originally compact cortices are made cancellous, and where the endochondral spongiosa is very loose. This remodelling process starts at an early stage of development and remains active throughout subsequent growth. The growth of squamate centra is also strongly asymmetrical, with the posterior (condylar) part growing much faster than the anterior (cotylar) part. Preliminary analyses testing for associations between vertebral structure and habitat use suggest that vertebrae of fossorial taxa are denser than those of terrestrial taxa, those in aquatic taxa being of intermediate density. However, phylogenetically informed analyses do not corroborate these findings, thus suggesting a strong phylogenetic signal in the data. As our analyses demonstrate that vertebrae in snakes are generally denser than those of lizards sensu stricto, this may drive the presence of a phylogenetic signal in the data. More comprehensive sampling of fossorial and aquatic lizards is clearly needed to more rigorously evaluate these patterns. PMID:21039477

  20. Terrestrial ecology of semi-aquatic giant gartersnakes (Thamnophis gigas)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Halstead, Brian J.; Skalos, Shannon M.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    Wetlands are a vital component of habitat for semiaquatic herpetofauna, but for most species adjacent terrestrial habitats are also essential. We examined the use of terrestrial environments by Giant Gartersnakes (Thamnophis gigas) to provide behavioral information relevant to conservation of this state and federally listed threatened species. We used radio telemetry data collected 1995–2011 from adults at several sites throughout the Sacramento Valley, California, USA, to examine Giant Gartersnake use of the terrestrial environment. We found Giant Gartersnakes in terrestrial environments more than half the time during the summer, with the use of terrestrial habitats increasing to nearly 100% during brumation. While in terrestrial habitats, we found Giant Gartersnakes underground more than half the time in the early afternoon during summer, and the probability of being underground increased to nearly 100% of the time at all hours during brumation. Extreme temperatures also increased the probability that we would find Giant Gartersnakes underground. Under most conditions, we found Giant Gartersnakes to be within 10 m of water at 95% of observations. For females during brumation and individuals that we found underground, however, the average individual had a 10% probability of being located > 20 m from water. Individual variation in each of the response variables was extensive; therefore, predicting the behavior of an individual was fraught with uncertainty. Nonetheless, our estimates provide resource managers with valuable information about the importance of protecting and carefully managing terrestrial habitats for conserving a rare semiaquatic snake.

  1. Localization of calmodulin in epidermis and skin glands: a comparative immunohistological investigation in different vertebrate species.

    PubMed

    Wollina, U; Wevers, A; Mahrle, G

    1991-01-01

    The study deals with the immunolocalization of calmodulin-reactive epithelial cells in different vertebrates (Tinca tinca, Ambystoma mexicanum, Xenopus laevis, Rana ridibunda, Columba domestica, Sus scrofa domestica, Homo sapiens sapiens). The immunoperoxidase technique was performed on acetone fixed frozen sections using monoclonal (BF8) and polyclonal (ACAM) anti-calmodulin antibodies. We were able to differentiate 2 major types of staining patterns: 1. A more superficial epidermal staining in species adapted to an aqueous environment and 2. a staining along the epidermal-dermal junction in species adapted to a terrestrial environment. It seems most likely that epithelial cells immunoreactive for calmodulin are involved in skin permeability control. PMID:1718122

  2. Developmental mechanisms of vertebrate limb evolution.

    PubMed

    Cohn, M J

    2001-01-01

    Over the past few years, our understanding of the evolution of limbs has been improved by important new discoveries in the fossil record. Additionally, rapid progress has been made in identifying the molecular basis of vertebrate limb development. It is now possible to integrate these two areas of research in order to identify the molecular developmental mechanisms underlying the evolution of paired appendages in vertebrates. After the origin of paired appendages, several vertebrate lineages reduced or eliminated fins and limbs and returned to the limbless condition. Examples include eels, caecilians, snakes, slow worms and several marine mammals. Analyses of fossil and extant vertebrates show that evolution of limblessness frequently occurred together with elongation of the trunk and loss of clear morphological boundaries in the vertebral column. This may be suggestive of a common developmental mechanism linking these two processes. We have addressed this question by analysing python embryonic development at tissue, cellular and molecular levels, and we have identified a developmental mechanism which may account for evolution of limb loss in these animals. PMID:11277086

  3. The extraembryonic serosa protects the insect egg against desiccation.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Chris G C; Rezende, Gustavo L; Lamers, Gerda E M; van der Zee, Maurijn

    2013-08-01

    Insects have been extraordinarily successful in occupying terrestrial habitats, in contrast to their mostly aquatic sister group, the crustaceans. This success is typically attributed to adult traits such as flight, whereas little attention has been paid to adaptation of the egg. An evolutionary novelty of insect eggs is the serosa, an extraembryonic membrane that enfolds the embryo and secretes a cuticle. To experimentally test the protective function of the serosa, we exploit an exceptional possibility to eliminate this membrane by zerknüllt1 RNAi in the beetle Tribolium castaneum. We analyse hatching rates of eggs under a range of humidities and find dramatically decreasing hatching rates with decreasing humidities for serosa-less eggs, but not for control eggs. Furthermore, we show serosal expression of Tc-chitin-synthase1 and demonstrate that its knock-down leads to absence of the serosal cuticle and a reduction in hatching rates at low humidities. These developmental genetic techniques in combination with ecological testing provide experimental evidence for a crucial role of the serosa in desiccation resistance. We propose that the origin of this extraembryonic membrane facilitated the spectacular radiation of insects on land, as did the origin of the amniote egg in the terrestrial invasion of vertebrates. PMID:23782888

  4. Tail use improves performance on soft substrates in models of early vertebrate land locomotors.

    PubMed

    McInroe, Benjamin; Astley, Henry C; Gong, Chaohui; Kawano, Sandy M; Schiebel, Perrin E; Rieser, Jennifer M; Choset, Howie; Blob, Richard W; Goldman, Daniel I

    2016-07-01

    In the evolutionary transition from an aquatic to a terrestrial environment, early tetrapods faced the challenges of terrestrial locomotion on flowable substrates, such as sand and mud of variable stiffness and incline. The morphology and range of motion of appendages can be revealed in fossils; however, biological and robophysical studies of modern taxa have shown that movement on such substrates can be sensitive to small changes in appendage use. Using a biological model (the mudskipper), a physical robot model, granular drag measurements, and theoretical tools from geometric mechanics, we demonstrate how tail use can improve robustness to variable limb use and substrate conditions. We hypothesize that properly coordinated tail movements could have provided a substantial benefit for the earliest vertebrates to move on land. PMID:27387947

  5. The vertebral column of Australopithecus sediba.

    PubMed

    Williams, Scott A; Ostrofsky, Kelly R; Frater, Nakita; Churchill, Steven E; Schmid, Peter; Berger, Lee R

    2013-04-12

    Two partial vertebral columns of Australopithecus sediba grant insight into aspects of early hominin spinal mobility, lumbar curvature, vertebral formula, and transitional vertebra position. Au. sediba likely possessed five non-rib-bearing lumbar vertebrae and five sacral elements, the same configuration that occurs modally in modern humans. This finding contrasts with other interpretations of early hominin regional vertebral numbers. Importantly, the transitional vertebra is distinct from and above the last rib-bearing vertebra in Au. sediba, resulting in a functionally longer lower back. This configuration, along with a strongly wedged last lumbar vertebra and other indicators of lordotic posture, would have contributed to a highly flexible spine that is derived compared with earlier members of the genus Australopithecus and similar to that of the Nariokotome Homo erectus skeleton. PMID:23580532

  6. The origin of the vertebrate skeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pivar, Stuart

    2011-01-01

    The anatomy of the human and other vertebrates has been well described since the days of Leonardo da Vinci and Vesalius. The causative origin of the configuration of the bones and of their shapes and forms has been addressed over the ensuing centuries by such outstanding investigators as Goethe, Von Baer, Gegenbauer, Wilhelm His and D'Arcy Thompson, who sought to apply mechanical principles to morphogenesis. However, no coherent causative model of morphogenesis has ever been presented. This paper presents a causative model for the origin of the vertebrate skeleton, based on the premise that the body is a mosaic enlargement of self-organized patterns engrained in the membrane of the egg cell. Drawings illustrate the proposed hypothetical origin of membrane patterning and the changes in the hydrostatic equilibrium of the cytoplasm that cause topographical deformations resulting in the vertebrate body form.

  7. Chitin is endogenously produced in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sohn, Joel J.; Amemiya, Chris T.

    2015-01-01

    Chitin, a biopolymer of N-acetylglucosamine, is abundant in invertebrates and fungi, and is an important structural molecule. There has been a longstanding belief that vertebrates do not produce chitin, however, we have obtained compelling evidence to the contrary. Chitin synthase genes are present in numerous fishes and amphibians, and chitin is localized in situ to the lumen of the developing zebrafish gut, in epithelial cells of fish scales, and in at least three different cell types in larval salamander appendages. Chitin synthase gene knockdowns and various histochemical experiments in zebrafish further authenticated our results. Finally, a polysaccharide was extracted from scales of salmon that exhibited all the chemical hallmarks of chitin. Our data and analyses demonstrate the existence of endogenous chitin in vertebrates and suggest that it serves multiple roles in vertebrate biology. PMID:25772447

  8. Three Distinct Glutamate Decarboxylase Genes in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Grone, Brian P.; Maruska, Karen P.

    2016-01-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a widely conserved signaling molecule that in animals has been adapted as a neurotransmitter. GABA is synthesized from the amino acid glutamate by the action of glutamate decarboxylases (GADs). Two vertebrate genes, GAD1 and GAD2, encode distinct GAD proteins: GAD67 and GAD65, respectively. We have identified a third vertebrate GAD gene, GAD3. This gene is conserved in fishes as well as tetrapods. We analyzed protein sequence, gene structure, synteny, and phylogenetics to identify GAD3 as a homolog of GAD1 and GAD2. Interestingly, we found that GAD3 was lost in the hominid lineage. Because of the importance of GABA as a neurotransmitter, GAD3 may play important roles in vertebrate nervous systems. PMID:27461130

  9. [Amphioxus: how to become a vertebrate].

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Stéphanie; Camasses, Alain; Escriva, Hector

    2007-01-01

    Evo-devo is a young disciplin, which aims to explain the morphological evolution of organisms through developmental mechanisms and genes networks. A major question within this discipline is the origin of vertebrates. It seems now admitted that vertebrates derive from an invertebrate chordate ancestor. Several models among living chordate representatives are used today to answer this question. The small world of evo-evo interested in the emergence of vertebrates is ebullient about the advent of several totally sequenced genomes allowing comparative analyses to become evermore reliable. Furthermore "non classical" models are developed which can be submitted to refined developmental analysis. One of these is amphioxus (genus Branchyostoma), "a peaceful anchory fillet to illuminate chordate evolution" (Garcia-Fernandez, 2006a, b). The features of this model are described in this review. PMID:17762824

  10. Industrial effluents as a source of mercury contamination in terrestrial riparian vertebrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, G.V.N.

    1983-01-01

    Eight species of piscivorous and insectivorous birds and one species of bat collected along Virginia's North Fork of the Holston River contained elevated mercury residues. The ubiquitous occurrence of mercury in riparian insectivores implicates aquatic insects as a vehicle for spreading mercury contamination from one ecosystem to another and expands the ecological ramifications of mercury-contaminated industrial effluents.