Science.gov

Sample records for unpredictable environmental conditions

  1. Maternal response to environmental unpredictability.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Miguel; Lopes, Isabel; Venâncio, Catia; Janeiro, Maria João; Morrisey, Michael Blair; Soares, Amadeu M V M

    2015-10-01

    Mothers are expected to use environmental cues to modify maternal investment to optimize their fitness. However, when the environment varies unpredictably, cues may not be an accurate proxy of future conditions. Under such circumstances, selection favors a diversifying maternal investment strategy. While there is evidence that the environment is becoming more uncertain, the extent to which mothers are able to respond to this unpredictability is generally unknown. In this study, we test the hypothesis that Daphnia magna increase the variance in maternal investment in response to unpredictable variation in temperature consistent with global change predictions. We detected significant variability across temperature treatments in brood size, neonate size at birth, and time between broods. The estimated variability within-brood size was higher (albeit not statistically significant) in mothers reared in unpredictable temperature conditions. We also detected a cross-generational effect with the temperature history of mothers modulating the phenotypic response of F1's. Notably, our results diverged from the prediction that increased variability poses a greater risk to organisms than changes in mean temperature. Increased unpredictability in temperature had negligible effects on fitness-correlated traits. Mothers in the unpredictable treatment, survived as long, and produced as many F1's during lifetime as those produced in the most fecund treatment. Further, increased unpredictability in temperature did not affect the probability of survival of F1's. Collectively, we provide evidence that daphnia respond effectively to thermal unpredictability. But rather than increasing the variance in maternal investment, daphnia respond to uncertainty by being a jack of all temperatures, master of none. Importantly, our study highlights the essential need to examine changes in variances rather than merely on means, when investigating maternal responses. PMID:26668723

  2. Using a Novel Wireless-Networked Decentralized Control Scheme under Unpredictable Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chung-Liang; Huang, Yi-Ming; Hong, Guo-Fong

    2015-01-01

    The direction of sunshine or the installation sites of environmental control facilities in the greenhouse result in different temperature and humidity levels in the various zones of the greenhouse, and thus, the production quality of crop is inconsistent. This study proposed a wireless-networked decentralized fuzzy control scheme to regulate the environmental parameters of various culture zones within a greenhouse. The proposed scheme can create different environmental conditions for cultivating different crops in various zones and achieve diversification or standardization of crop production. A star-type wireless sensor network is utilized to communicate with each sensing node, actuator node, and control node in various zones within the greenhouse. The fuzzy rule-based inference system is used to regulate the environmental parameters for temperature and humidity based on real-time data of plant growth response provided by a growth stage selector. The growth stage selector defines the control ranges of temperature and humidity of the various culture zones according to the leaf area of the plant, the number of leaves, and the cumulative amount of light. The experimental results show that the proposed scheme is stable and robust and provides basis for future greenhouse applications. PMID:26569264

  3. Using a Novel Wireless-Networked Decentralized Control Scheme under Unpredictable Environmental Conditions.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chung-Liang; Huang, Yi-Ming; Hong, Guo-Fong

    2015-01-01

    The direction of sunshine or the installation sites of environmental control facilities in the greenhouse result in different temperature and humidity levels in the various zones of the greenhouse, and thus, the production quality of crop is inconsistent. This study proposed a wireless-networked decentralized fuzzy control scheme to regulate the environmental parameters of various culture zones within a greenhouse. The proposed scheme can create different environmental conditions for cultivating different crops in various zones and achieve diversification or standardization of crop production. A star-type wireless sensor network is utilized to communicate with each sensing node, actuator node, and control node in various zones within the greenhouse. The fuzzy rule-based inference system is used to regulate the environmental parameters for temperature and humidity based on real-time data of plant growth response provided by a growth stage selector. The growth stage selector defines the control ranges of temperature and humidity of the various culture zones according to the leaf area of the plant, the number of leaves, and the cumulative amount of light. The experimental results show that the proposed scheme is stable and robust and provides basis for future greenhouse applications. PMID:26569264

  4. The effects of feeding unpredictability and classical conditioning on pre-release training of white-lipped peccary (Mammalia, Tayassuidae).

    PubMed

    Nogueira, Selene S C; Abreu, Shauana A; Peregrino, Helderes; Nogueira-Filho, Sérgio L G

    2014-01-01

    Some authors have suggested that environmental unpredictability, accompanied by some sort of signal for behavioral conditioning, can boost activity or foster exploratory behavior, which may increase post-release success in re-introduction programs. Thus, using white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari), a vulnerable Neotropical species, as a model, we evaluated an unpredictable feeding schedule. Associating this with the effect of classical conditioning on behavioral activities, we assessed the inclusion of this approach in pre-release training protocols. The experimental design comprised predictable feeding phases (control phases: C1, C2 and C3) and unpredictable feeding phases (U1- signaled and U2- non-signaled). The animals explored more during the signaled and non-signaled unpredictable phases and during the second control phase (C2) than during the other two predictable phases (C1 and C3). The peccaries also spent less time feeding during the signaled unpredictable phase (U1) and the following control phase (C2) than during the other phases. Moreover, they spent more time in aggressive encounters during U1 than the other experimental phases. However, the animals did not show differences in the time they spent on affiliative interactions or in the body weight change during the different phases. The signaled unpredictability, besides improving foraging behavior, showing a prolonged effect on the next control phase (C2), also increased the competition for food. The signaled feeding unpredictability schedule, mimicking wild conditions by eliciting the expression of naturalistic behaviors in pre-release training, may be essential to fully prepare them for survival in the wild. PMID:24475072

  5. The Effects of Feeding Unpredictability and Classical Conditioning on Pre-Release Training of White-Lipped Peccary (Mammalia, Tayassuidae)

    PubMed Central

    Nogueira, Selene S. C.; Abreu, Shauana A.; Peregrino, Helderes; Nogueira-Filho, Sérgio L. G.

    2014-01-01

    Some authors have suggested that environmental unpredictability, accompanied by some sort of signal for behavioral conditioning, can boost activity or foster exploratory behavior, which may increase post-release success in re-introduction programs. Thus, using white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari), a vulnerable Neotropical species, as a model, we evaluated an unpredictable feeding schedule. Associating this with the effect of classical conditioning on behavioral activities, we assessed the inclusion of this approach in pre-release training protocols. The experimental design comprised predictable feeding phases (control phases: C1, C2 and C3) and unpredictable feeding phases (U1- signaled and U2- non-signaled). The animals explored more during the signaled and non-signaled unpredictable phases and during the second control phase (C2) than during the other two predictable phases (C1 and C3). The peccaries also spent less time feeding during the signaled unpredictable phase (U1) and the following control phase (C2) than during the other phases. Moreover, they spent more time in aggressive encounters during U1 than the other experimental phases. However, the animals did not show differences in the time they spent on affiliative interactions or in the body weight change during the different phases. The signaled unpredictability, besides improving foraging behavior, showing a prolonged effect on the next control phase (C2), also increased the competition for food. The signaled feeding unpredictability schedule, mimicking wild conditions by eliciting the expression of naturalistic behaviors in pre-release training, may be essential to fully prepare them for survival in the wild. PMID:24475072

  6. A New Tool for Assessing Context Conditioning Induced by US-Unpredictability in Humans: The Martians Task Restyled

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meulders, Ann; Vervliet, Bram; Vansteenwegen, Debora; Hermans, Dirk; Baeyens, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Unpredictability of an unconditioned stimulus (US) typically produces context conditioning in animals and humans. We modified the Martians task--a computer game measuring learning of Pavlovian associations through conditioned suppression--for assessing context conditioning in humans. One between-subjects and one within-subjects study are reported.…

  7. A New Tool for Assessing Context Conditioning Induced by US-Unpredictability in Humans: The Martians Task Restyled

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meulders, Ann; Vervliet, Bram; Vansteenwegen, Debora; Hermans, Dirk; Baeyens, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Unpredictability of an unconditioned stimulus (US) typically produces context conditioning in animals and humans. We modified the Martians task--a computer game measuring learning of Pavlovian associations through conditioned suppression--for assessing context conditioning in humans. One between-subjects and one within-subjects study are reported.

  8. Diet and social conditions during sexual maturation have unpredictable influences on female life history trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Barrett, E L B; Moore, A J; Moore, P J

    2009-03-01

    The trade-off between gametes and soma is central to life history evolution. Oosorption has been proposed as a mechanism by which females can redirect nutrients invested in oocytes into survival when conditions for reproduction are poor. Although positive correlations between oocyte degradation and lifespan have been documented in oviparous insects, the adaptive significance of this process in species with more complex reproductive biology has not been explored. Further, environmental condition is a multivariate state, and combinations of environmental stresses may interact in unpredictable ways. Previous work on the ovoviviparous cockroach, Nauphoeta cinerea, revealed that females manipulated to mate late relative to sexual maturation experience age-related loss in fecundity because of loss of viable oocytes via apoptosis. This loss in fecundity is correlated with a reduction in female mate choice. Food deprivation while mating is delayed further increases levels of oocyte apoptosis, but the relationship between starvation-induced apoptosis and life history are unknown. To investigate this, virgin females were either fed or starved from eclosion until provided with a mate at a time known to be suboptimal for fertility. Following mating, females were fed for the duration of their lifespan. We measured lifetime reproductive performance. Contrary to predictions, under conditions of delayed mating opportunity, starved females had greater fecundity, gave birth to more high-quality offspring and had increased longevity compared with that of fed females. We suggest that understanding proximal mechanisms underlying life history trade-offs, including the function of oocyte apoptosis, and how these mechanisms respond to varied environmental conditions is critical. PMID:19170814

  9. Apomorphine induced conditioned place preference and sensitization is greater in rats exposed to unpredictable chronic mild stress.

    PubMed

    Kanwal, Sumera; Ikram, Huma; Farhan, Muhammad; Haleem, Darakhshan Jabeen

    2015-11-01

    CNS stimulants are the class of the drugs that may be used to get relief from depression. Apomorphine is a D1 and D2 receptor agonist with a CNS stimulatory effect used for the treatment of Parkinson's disease is also abused. Although many drugs of abuse produce tolerance and dependence. Long term use of pshycostimulants produce reverse tolerance described as sensitization. These drugs also have a number of other beneficial effects but their therapeutic use is limited because of abuse potential. Conditioned place preference (CPP) test is used to monitor the reinforcing effect of drugs of abuse. Stress is an important factor that precipitates and potentiates addictive effects of different drugs of abuse. The present study was designed to investigate the addictive effect of apomorphine (1mg/kg) in rats previously exposed to repeated unpredictable chronic mild stress for 10 days (animal model of depression). Results from present study illustrate that unpredictable chronic mild stress potentiates the reinforcing effects of apomorphine as the number of entries and the time spent in the CPP compartment associated with drug administration is increased. Motor activity was taken as a parameter for behavioral sensitization which is induced by repeated administration of apomorphine, monitored as the number of cage crossings in light compartment of the CPP apparatus, also increased. PMID:26639488

  10. Intestinal pseudo-obstruction: An uncommon condition with heterogeneous etiology and unpredictable outcome

    PubMed Central

    Georgescu, Eugen Florin; Vasile, Ion; Ionescu, Reanina

    2008-01-01

    Intestinal pseudo-obstruction (IPO) either acute or chronic is a condition including features of intestinal ileus in absence of mechanical obstruction. Our paper presents such a rare case of idiopathic IPO in a 53-year-old male patient with recurrent episodes of pseudo-obstruction, which were successfully resolved by anticholinesterase agents, motilin agonists or colonic decompression. However, the patient finally underwent total colectomy. Huge colonic dilatation was identified intraoperatively, while histology showed a neuropathic variant of chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction. Etiologic mechanisms and current therapeutic methods are reviewed in this paper, which concludes that IPO is a condition in which conservative treatment usually fails. Total colectomy with ileoanal pouch may be the only solution in these situations. PMID:18240359

  11. Ingestion of environmentally contaminated Lake Ontario salmon by laboratory rats increases avoidance of unpredictable aversive nonreward and mild electric shock

    SciTech Connect

    Daly, H.B.; Hertzler, D.R.; Sargent, D.M. )

    1989-12-01

    To determine what behavioral changes are caused by consumption of Lake Ontario salmon, a 30% diet of Lake Ontario or control Pacific Ocean salmon was fed to rats for 20 days. In Experiments 1 and 2 (preference-for-predictability E-maze test), rats fed Lake Ontario salmon developed a preference for predictable food rewards more quickly than did the control rats. In Experiments 3 (passive avoidance) and 4 (conditioned suppression), rats fed Lake Ontario salmon suppressed responding to food far more after the introduction of mild electric shocks than did control rats. All results supported the hypothesis that ingestion of Lake Ontario salmon, contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury, lead, etc., increases the reactivity of rats to aversive events. The results were successfully simulated by DMOD, a mathematical model of learning, using the assumption that rats fed Lake Ontario salmon find unpredictable nonreward and mild shock more aversive.

  12. Strategic foresight: how planning for the unpredictable can improve environmental decision-making.

    PubMed

    Cook, Carly N; Inayatullah, Sohail; Burgman, Mark A; Sutherland, William J; Wintle, Brendan A

    2014-09-01

    Advanced warning of potential new opportunities and threats related to biodiversity allows decision-makers to act strategically to maximize benefits or minimize costs. Strategic foresight explores possible futures, their consequences for decisions, and the actions that promote more desirable futures. Foresight tools, such as horizon scanning and scenario planning, are increasingly used by governments and business for long-term strategic planning and capacity building. These tools are now being applied in ecology, although generally not as part of a comprehensive foresight strategy. We highlight several ways foresight could play a more significant role in environmental decisions by: monitoring existing problems, highlighting emerging threats, identifying promising new opportunities, testing the resilience of policies, and defining a research agenda. PMID:25097098

  13. Strategies for Managing When Resources are Unpredictable.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chaffee, Ellen Earle; Krakower, Jack Y.

    The effect of unpredictable resources on organizational performance in higher education was examined, along with whether some management strategies are more successful under conditions of relative predictability or unpredictability. Perceptions of administrators about institutional resources and performance were studied, along with the effects of…

  14. Breeding under unpredictable conditions: Annual variation in gonadal maturation, energetic reserves and plasma levels of androgens and corticosterone in anurans from the Brazilian semi-arid.

    PubMed

    Madelaire, Carla Bonetti; Gomes, Fernando Ribeiro

    2016-03-01

    Anurans living in arid and semi-arid habitats are subjected to unpredictable rain patterns. Consequently, they should be prepared to reproduce at the onset of rain events. We investigated the covariation between calling behavior, testicular maturation, abdominal fat body index (FBI), plasma levels of androgens (T-DHT) and corticosterone (CORT) of males from three species of anurans in the Brazilian semi-arid during the reproductive period and drought. One of these species aestivates during the drought, while the other two species remain foraging. Although the three species display different behavioral strategies during the dry period, they present the same general reproductive patterns. T-DHT levels on the plasma and germinative cyst diameters were higher during the reproductive and breeding period compared to the drought. Additionally, the germinative cysts had all cell stages including sperm bundles during the dry season, however, it was only during the breeding event that free spermatozoa were found in the cyst lumen. These results suggest that these species present the reproductive pattern typical of desert anurans, consisting of opportunistic breeders that reproduce when triggered by a rain stimulus. Rhinella jimi and Pleurodema diplolister had higher CORT when males were calling. Moreover, Rhinella granulosa and P. diplolister showed lower FBI during breeding event, when males were calling. The high levels of CORT and lower FBI during reproductive period are associated, indicating that CORT modulates the recruitment of energy stores to prepare and maintain reproduction, particularly the expensive calling effort. PMID:26808964

  15. Friction causing unpredictability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oldham, Joshua; Weigert, Stefan

    2016-03-01

    We study the effect of friction on the dynamics of a classical point particle in a one-dimensional double-well potential. It turns out that finite uncertainty in the initial conditions of the particle may prevent us from reliably predicting the well in which the particle will come to rest. This difficulty—to make reliable long-term predictions—originates from the layered structure of phase-space regions sending the particle to the left and the right well, respectively. Similar structures are known to arise in models used, for example, to described the tossing of a coin where friction is, however, not the root cause of the phenomenon.

  16. A correlational analysis of the effects of changing environmental conditions on the NR atomic hydrogen maser

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dragonette, Richard A.; Suter, Joseph J.

    1992-01-01

    An extensive statistical analysis has been undertaken to determine if a correlation exists between changes in an NR atomic hydrogen maser's frequency offset and changes in environmental conditions. Correlation analyses have been performed comparing barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature with maser frequency offset as a function of time for periods ranging from 5.5 to 17 days. Semipartial correlation coefficients as large as -0.9 have been found between barometric pressure and maser frequency offset. Correlation between maser frequency offset and humidity was small compared to barometric pressure and unpredictable. Analysis of temperature data indicates that in the most current design, temperature does not significantly affect maser frequency offset.

  17. Criticality and unpredictability in macroevolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soléand, Ricard V.; Manrubia, Susanna C.

    1997-04-01

    A recently presented model of large-scale evolution exhibiting self-organized criticality is explored from the dynamical point of view. It is shown that the system approaches the critical state in an anomalous way, with a dynamical exponent z=0. At the same time, the complexity of the interactions among species increases, leading to higher unpredictability. The dynamic evolution is able to generate phylogenetic fractal trees with dimension close to the one obtained from real taxonomy. Some analytic results are presented and an interesting interpretation of the macroevolutionary process is suggested.

  18. Immune activity, body condition and human-associated environmental impacts in a wild marine mammal.

    PubMed

    Brock, Patrick M; Hall, Ailsa J; Goodman, Simon J; Cruz, Marilyn; Acevedo-Whitehouse, Karina

    2013-01-01

    Within individuals, immunity may compete with other life history traits for resources, such as energy and protein, and the damage caused by immunopathology can sometimes outweigh the protective benefits that immune responses confer. However, our understanding of the costs of immunity in the wild and how they relate to the myriad energetic demands on free-ranging organisms is limited. The endangered Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) is threatened simultaneously by disease from domestic animals and rapid changes in food availability driven by unpredictable environmental variation. We made use of this unique ecology to investigate the relationship between changes in immune activity and changes in body condition. We found that during the first three months of life, changes in antibody concentration were negatively correlated with changes in mass per unit length, skinfold thickness and serum albumin concentration, but only in a sea lion colony exposed to anthropogenic environmental impacts. It has previously been shown that changes in antibody concentration during early Galapagos sea lion development were higher in a colony exposed to anthropogenic environmental impacts than in a control colony. This study allows for the possibility that these relatively large changes in antibody concentration are associated with negative impacts on fitness through an effect on body condition. Our findings suggest that energy availability and the degree of plasticity in immune investment may influence disease risk in natural populations synergistically, through a trade-off between investment in immunity and resistance to starvation. The relative benefits of such investments may change quickly and unpredictably, which allows for the possibility that individuals fine-tune their investment strategies in response to changes in environmental conditions. In addition, our results suggest that anthropogenic environmental impacts may impose subtle energetic costs on individuals, which could contribute to population declines, especially in times of energy shortage. PMID:23840603

  19. Dynamic photosynthesis in different environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Elias; Morales, Alejandro; Harbinson, Jeremy; Kromdijk, Johannes; Heuvelink, Ep; Marcelis, Leo F M

    2015-05-01

    Incident irradiance on plant leaves often fluctuates, causing dynamic photosynthesis. Whereas steady-state photosynthetic responses to environmental factors have been extensively studied, knowledge of dynamic modulation of photosynthesis remains scarce and scattered. This review addresses this discrepancy by summarizing available data and identifying the research questions necessary to advance our understanding of interactions between environmental factors and dynamic behaviour of photosynthesis using a mechanistic framework. Firstly, dynamic photosynthesis is separated into sub-processes related to proton and electron transport, non-photochemical quenching, control of metabolite flux through the Calvin cycle (activation states of Rubisco and RuBP regeneration, and post-illumination metabolite turnover), and control of CO? supply to Rubisco (stomatal and mesophyll conductance changes). Secondly, the modulation of dynamic photosynthesis and its sub-processes by environmental factors is described. Increases in ambient CO? concentration and temperature (up to ~35C) enhance rates of photosynthetic induction and decrease its loss, facilitating more efficient dynamic photosynthesis. Depending on the sensitivity of stomatal conductance, dynamic photosynthesis may additionally be modulated by air humidity. Major knowledge gaps exist regarding environmental modulation of loss of photosynthetic induction, dynamic changes in mesophyll conductance, and the extent of limitations imposed by stomatal conductance for different species and environmental conditions. The study of mutants or genetic transformants for specific processes under various environmental conditions could provide significant progress in understanding the control of dynamic photosynthesis. PMID:25324402

  20. Environmental Conditions in Kentucky's Penal Institutions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Irving

    1974-01-01

    A state task force was organized to identify health or environmental deficiencies existing in Kentucky penal institutions. Based on information gained through direct observation and inmate questionnaires, the task force concluded that many hazardous and unsanitary conditions existed, and recommended that immediate action be given to these

  1. Environmental Conditions in Kentucky's Penal Institutions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Irving

    1974-01-01

    A state task force was organized to identify health or environmental deficiencies existing in Kentucky penal institutions. Based on information gained through direct observation and inmate questionnaires, the task force concluded that many hazardous and unsanitary conditions existed, and recommended that immediate action be given to these…

  2. The effect of unpredictable early childhood environments on parenting in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Szepsenwol, Ohad; Simpson, Jeffry A; Griskevicius, Vladas; Raby, K Lee

    2015-12-01

    Life history theory suggests that individual differences in parenting are partially rooted in environmental conditions experienced early in life. Whereas certain conditions should promote increased investment in parenting, unpredictable and/or harsh environments should promote decreased investment in parenting, especially in men. We tested this hypothesis in 3 studies. In Study 1a, we conducted analyses on 112 parents taking part in the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation (MLSRA), all of whom have been continuously studied starting before they were born. Parenting orientations were assessed at age 32 via an interview. Findings showed that experiencing more unpredictability at ages 0-4 (i.e., frequent changes in parental employment status, cohabitation status, and residence) prospectively forecasted more negative parenting orientations among men, but not women. This effect was serially mediated by lower early maternal supportive presence measured at ages 0-4 and insecure attachment assessed at ages 19 and 26. In Study 1b, we replicated these findings on 96 parents from the MLSRA using behavioral observations of their parental supportive presence. In Study 2, we replicated the effect of early-life unpredictability on men's parenting orientations with a sample of 435 parents. This effect was mediated by adult attachment anxiety and avoidance. Across all studies, greater early-life harshness (low socioeconomic status [SES]) did not predict adult parenting outcomes. These findings suggest that greater early-life unpredictability may be conveyed to children through less supportive parenting, which results in insecure attachment representations in adulthood. Among men, this process culminates in less positive adult parenting orientations and less supportive parenting. PMID:26461797

  3. Cross-taxon congruence and environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Diversity patterns of different taxa typically covary in space, a phenomenon called cross-taxon congruence. This pattern has been explained by the effect of one taxon diversity on taxon diversity, shared biogeographic histories of different taxa, and/or common responses to environmental conditions. A meta-analysis of the association between environment and diversity patterns found that in 83 out of 85 studies, more than 60% of the spatial variability in species richness was related to variables representing energy, water or their interaction. The role of the environment determining taxa diversity patterns leads us to hypothesize that this would explain the observed cross-taxon congruence. However, recent analyses reported the persistence of cross-taxon congruence when environmental effect was statistically removed. Here we evaluate this hypothesis, analyzing the cross-taxon congruence between birds and mammals in the Brazilian Cerrado, and assess the environmental role on the spatial covariation in diversity patterns. Results We found a positive association between avian and mammal richness and a positive latitudinal trend for both groups in the Brazilian Cerrado. Regression analyses indicated an effect of latitude, PET, and mean temperature over both biological groups. In addition, we show that NDVI was only associated with avian diversity; while the annual relative humidity, was only correlated with mammal diversity. We determined the environmental effects on diversity in a path analysis that accounted for 73% and 76% of the spatial variation in avian and mammal richness. However, an association between avian and mammal diversity remains significant. Indeed, the importance of this link between bird and mammal diversity was also supported by a significant association between birds and mammal spatial autoregressive model residuals. Conclusion Our study corroborates the main role of environmental conditions on diversity patterns, but suggests that other important mechanisms, which have not been properly evaluated, are involved in the observed cross-taxon congruence. The approaches introduced here indicate that the prevalence of a significant association among taxa, after considering the environmental determinant, could indicate both the need to incorporate additional processes (e.g. biogeographic and evolutionary history or trophic interactions) and/or the existence of a shared trend in detection biases among taxa and regions. PMID:20637092

  4. Interpreting ambiguous social cues in unpredictable contexts.

    PubMed

    Davis, F Caroline; Neta, Maital; Kim, M Justin; Moran, Joseph M; Whalen, Paul J

    2016-05-01

    Unpredictable environments can be anxiety-provoking and elicit exaggerated emotional responses to aversive stimuli. Even neutral stimuli, when presented in an unpredictable fashion, prime anxiety-like behavior and elicit heightened amygdala activity. The amygdala plays a key role in initiating responses to biologically relevant information, such as facial expressions of emotion. While some expressions clearly signal negative (anger) or positive (happy) events, other expressions (e.g. surprise) are more ambiguous in that they can predict either valence, depending on the context. Here, we sought to determine whether unpredictable presentations of ambiguous facial expressions would bias participants to interpret them more negatively. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging and facial electromyography (EMG) to characterize responses to predictable vs unpredictable presentations of surprised faces. We observed moderate but sustained increases in amygdala reactivity to predictable presentations of surprised faces, and relatively increased amygdala responses to unpredictable faces that then habituated, similar to previously observed responses to clearly negative (e.g. fearful) faces. We also observed decreased corrugator EMG responses to predictable surprised face presentations, similar to happy faces, and increased responses to unpredictable surprised face presentations, similar to angry faces. Taken together, these data suggest that unpredictability biases people to interpret ambiguous social cues negatively. PMID:26926605

  5. Certifying Unpredictable Randomness from Quantum Nonlocality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bierhorst, Peter

    2015-03-01

    A device-independent quantum randomness protocol takes an initial random seed as input and then expands it in to a longer random string. It has been proven that if the initial random seed is trusted to be unpredictable, then the longer output string can also be certified to be unpredictable by an experimental violation of Bell's inequality. It has furthermore been argued that the initial random seed may not need to be truly unpredictable, but only uncorrelated to specific parts of the Bell experiment. In this work, we demonstrate rigorously that this is indeed true, under assumptions related to ``no superdeterminism/no conspiracy'' concepts along with the no-signaling assumption. So if we assume that superluminal signaling is impossible, then a loophole-free test of Bell's inequality would be able to generate provably unpredictable randomness from an input source of (potentially predictable) classical randomness.

  6. Unpredictability and the transmission of numbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers, John M.; Madjid, F. Hadi

    2015-08-01

    Curiously overlooked in physics is its dependence on the transmission of numbers. For example, the transmission of numerical clock readings is implicit in the concept of a coordinate system. The transmission of numbers and other logical distinctions is often achieved over a computer-mediated communications network in the face of an unpredictable environment. By unpredictable we mean something stronger than the spread of probabilities over given possible outcomes, namely an opening to unforeseeable possibilities. Unpredictability, until now overlooked in theoretical physics, makes the transmission of numbers interesting. Based on recent proofs within quantum theory that provide a theoretical foundation to unpredictability, here we show how regularities in physics rest on a background of channels over which numbers are transmitted. As is known to engineers of digital communications, numerical transmissions depend on coordination reminiscent of the cycle of throwing and catching by players tossing a ball back and forth. In digital communications, the players are computers, and the required coordination involves unpredictably adjusting "live clocks" that step these computers through phases of a cycle. We show how this phasing, which we call logical synchronization, constrains number-carrying networks, and, if a spacetime manifold in invoked, put "stripes" on spacetime. Via its logically synchronized channels, a network of live clocks serves as a reference against which to locate events. Such a network in any case underpins a coordinate frame, and in some cases the direct use of a network can be tailored to investigate an unpredictable environment. Examples include explorations of gravitational variations near Earth.

  7. Unpredictability and the transmission of numbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers, John M.; Madjid, F. Hadi

    2016-03-01

    Curiously overlooked in physics is its dependence on the transmission of numbers. For example, the transmission of numerical clock readings is implicit in the concept of a coordinate system. The transmission of numbers and other logical distinctions is often achieved over a computer-mediated communications network in the face of an unpredictable environment. By unpredictable we mean something stronger than the spread of probabilities over given possible outcomes, namely an opening to unforeseeable possibilities. Unpredictability, until now overlooked in theoretical physics, makes the transmission of numbers interesting. Based on recent proofs within quantum theory that provide a theoretical foundation to unpredictability, here we show how regularities in physics rest on a background of channels over which numbers are transmitted. As is known to engineers of digital communications, numerical transmissions depend on coordination reminiscent of the cycle of throwing and catching by players tossing a ball back and forth. In digital communications, the players are computers, and the required coordination involves unpredictably adjusting "live clocks" that step these computers through phases of a cycle. We show how this phasing, which we call logical synchronization, constrains number-carrying networks, and, if a spacetime manifold in invoked, put "stripes" on spacetime. Via its logically synchronized channels, a network of live clocks serves as a reference against which to locate events. Such a network in any case underpins a coordinate frame, and in some cases the direct use of a network can be tailored to investigate an unpredictable environment. Examples include explorations of gravitational variations near Earth.

  8. 10 CFR 50.36b - Environmental conditions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... and keeping records of environmental data, and any conditions and monitoring requirement for the..., requirements for reporting and keeping records of environmental data, and any conditions and monitoring... 10 Energy 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Environmental conditions. 50.36b Section 50.36b...

  9. Environmental conditions and reproductive health outcomes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental exposures range across multiple domains to affect human health. In an effort to learn how environmental factors combine to contribute to health outcomes we constructed a multiple environmental domain index (MEDI) for use in health research. We used principal compone...

  10. [Guidelines on asthma in extreme environmental conditions].

    PubMed

    Drobnic, Franchek; Borderías Clau, Luis

    2009-01-01

    Asthma is a highly prevalent chronic disease which, if not properly controlled, can limit the patient's activities and lifestyle. In recent decades, owing to the diffusion of educational materials, the application of clinical guidelines and, most importantly, the availability of effective pharmacological treatment, most patients with asthma are now able to lead normal lives. Significant social changes have also taken place during the same period, including more widespread pursuit of sporting activities and tourism. As a result of these changes, individuals with asthma can now participate in certain activities that were inconceivable for these patients only a few years ago, including winter sports, underwater activities, air flight, and travel to remote places with unusual environmental conditions (deserts, high mountain environments, and tropical regions). In spite of the publication of several studies on this subject, our understanding of the effects of these situations on patients with asthma is still limited. The Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) has decided to publish these recommendations based on the available evidence and expert opinion in order to provide information on this topic to both doctors and patients and to avert potentially dangerous situations that could endanger the lives of these patients. PMID:19186299

  11. Crops Models for Varying Environmental Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Harry; Cavazzoni, James; Keas, Paul

    2001-01-01

    New variable environment Modified Energy Cascade (MEC) crop models were developed for all the Advanced Life Support (ALS) candidate crops and implemented in SIMULINK. The MEC models are based on the Volk, Bugbee, and Wheeler Energy Cascade (EC) model and are derived from more recent Top-Level Energy Cascade (TLEC) models. The MEC models simulate crop plant responses to day-to-day changes in photosynthetic photon flux, photoperiod, carbon dioxide level, temperature, and relative humidity. The original EC model allows changes in light energy but uses a less accurate linear approximation. The simulation outputs of the new MEC models for constant nominal environmental conditions are very similar to those of earlier EC models that use parameters produced by the TLEC models. There are a few differences. The new MEC models allow setting the time for seed emergence, have realistic exponential canopy growth, and have corrected harvest dates for potato and tomato. The new MEC models indicate that the maximum edible biomass per meter squared per day is produced at the maximum allowed carbon dioxide level, the nominal temperatures, and the maximum light input. Reducing the carbon dioxide level from the maximum to the minimum allowed in the model reduces crop production significantly. Increasing temperature decreases production more than it decreases the time to harvest, so productivity in edible biomass per meter squared per day is greater at nominal than maximum temperatures, The productivity in edible biomass per meter squared per day is greatest at the maximum light energy input allowed in the model, but the edible biomass produced per light energy input unit is lower than at nominal light levels. Reducing light levels increases light and power use efficiency. The MEC models suggest we can adjust the light energy day-to- day to accommodate power shortages or Lise excess power while monitoring and controlling edible biomass production.

  12. Resource unpredictability promotes species diversity and coexistence in an avian scavenger guild: a field experiment.

    PubMed

    Corts-Avizanda, A; Jovani, R; Carrete, M; Donzar, J A

    2012-12-01

    Chance per se plays a key role in ecology and evolution, e.g., genetic mutation, resource spatiotemporal unpredictability. In community ecology, chance is recognized as a key factor in community assemblage, but less is known about its role in intraguild processes leading to species coexistence. Here we study the relevance of resource unpredictability per se as a promoter of intraguild positive interspecific interactions and as a biodiversity enhancer in an Old World avian scavenger guild, which has evolved to feed upon spatially and temporally unpredictable resources, i.e., carcasses. We performed a large-scale field experiment in which 58 carcasses were disposed of and observed until complete consumption, either in continuously active supplementary feeding stations (predictable carcasses) or disposed of at random in the field (unpredictable carcasses). Richness of scavenger species was similar at unpredictable and predictable carcasses, but their relative abundances were highly uneven at predictable carcasses leading to higher scavenger diversity (Shannon index) at unpredictable carcasses. Facilitatory interspecific processes only occurred at unpredictable resources but were disrupted in predictable conditions because the dominant specialist species (in our case, the Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus) arrived earlier and in larger numbers, monopolizing the resource. Small, endangered scavengers congregated at supplementary feeding stations but profited less compared to unpredictable carcasses, suggesting that they could constitute an ecological trap. Our findings offer new insights into the relevance of unpredictability of trophic resources in promoting both positive facilitatory interspecific interactions and species diversity and thus maintaining the function of guilds. Finally, the preservation of randomness in resource availability and the processes associated with its exploitation should be a major goal of conservation strategies aimed to preserve scavenger guilds evolved under naturally unpredictable trophic resources. PMID:23431588

  13. Eliminating Unpredictable Variation through Iterated Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Kenny; Wonnacott, Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    Human languages may be shaped not only by the (individual psychological) processes of language acquisition, but also by population-level processes arising from repeated language learning and use. One prevalent feature of natural languages is that they avoid unpredictable variation. The current work explores whether linguistic predictability might…

  14. Eliminating Unpredictable Variation through Iterated Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Kenny; Wonnacott, Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    Human languages may be shaped not only by the (individual psychological) processes of language acquisition, but also by population-level processes arising from repeated language learning and use. One prevalent feature of natural languages is that they avoid unpredictable variation. The current work explores whether linguistic predictability might

  15. Mineral losses during extreme environmental conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Minerals are nutrients that are conserved by the body. During exposure to environmental stimuli, such as heat and/or exercise, the excretion of minerals, macro (Na, K, Ca, Mg) and micro (Cu, Fe, Zn), occurs through the body surface in the form of cellular desquamation and sweat, as well as in the u...

  16. Environmental enrichment reduces impulsivity during appetitive conditioning.

    PubMed

    Wood, David A; Siegel, Amy K; Rebec, George V

    2006-06-15

    Although environmental enrichment is presumed to enhance learning, appetitive behavior may also be altered by this experience: anticipatory responding for sucrose is reduced in environmentally enriched (EE) rats [van der Harst, J.E., Baars, A.M. and Spruijt, B.M. Standard housed rats are more sensitive to rewards than enriched housed rats as reflected by their anticipatory behaviour. Behav Brain Res 2003;142:151-156]. To assess the impact of differential environmental experience on learning and appetitive behavior, we trained 17 EE and socially isolated (SI) rats in a three-phase, operant-shaping procedure for sucrose reinforcement. In phase one, a feeder cue was paired with sucrose availability. In phase two, a nose poke to either one of two lit holes on the opposing wall activated the feeder cue. In phase three, the feeder cue was elicited by a poke to a single lit hole. While acquisition rates in phase one and phase two were similar, EE animals reached phase-three criteria [completion of 100 trials in 45 min and 15 or fewer bad pokes] faster than SI animals. These two groups showed similar session completion rates, reinforced and non-reinforced licking responses, and overall behavioral activity during phase three acquisition; however, SI rats performed more bad pokes (responses to the non-lit hole after nose-poke cue onset) and intertrial interval (ITI) pokes during this training period. Because all ITI (and presumably many bad) pokes were initiated before onset of nose-poke cue, this difference indicates greater anticipatory responding in SI animals. This experience-dependent alteration in appetitive behavior may explain, in part, the tendency of SI rats to show attenuated learning rates in appetitive contexts in which complex contingencies exist. PMID:16678224

  17. Lunar Polar Environmental Testing: Regolith Simulant Conditioning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kleinhenz, Julie

    2014-01-01

    As ISRU system development approaches flight fidelity, there is a need to test hardware in relevant environments. Extensive laboratory and field testing have involved relevant soil (lunar regolith simulants), but the current design iterations necessitate relevant pressure and temperature conditions. Including significant quantities of lunar regolith simulant in a thermal vacuum chamber poses unique challenges. These include facility operational challenges (dust tolerant hardware) and difficulty maintaining a pre-prepared soil state during pump down (consolidation state, moisture retention).For ISRU purposes, the regolith at the lunar poles will be of most interest due to the elevated water content. To test at polar conditions, the regolith simulant must be doped with water to an appropriate percentage and then chilled to cryogenic temperatures while exposed to vacuum conditions. A 1m tall, 28cm diameter bin of simulant was developed for testing these simulant preparation and drilling operations. The bin itself was wrapped with liquid nitrogen cooling loops (100K) so that the simulant bed reached an average temperature of 140K at vacuum. Post-test sampling was used to determine desiccation of the bed due to vacuum exposure. Depth dependent moisture data is presented from frozen and thawed soil samples.Following simulant only evacuation tests, drill hardware was incorporated into the vacuum chamber to test auguring techniques in the frozen soil at thermal vacuum conditions. The focus of this testing was to produce cuttings piles for a newly developed spectrometer to evaluate. This instrument, which is part of the RESOLVE program science hardware, detects water signatures from surface regolith. The drill performance, behavior of simulant during drilling, and characteristics of the cuttings piles will be offered.

  18. Management of Cattle Exposed to Adverse Environmental Conditions.

    PubMed

    Mader, Terry L; Griffin, Dee

    2015-07-01

    During periods of adverse weather, optimum conditions for animal comfort and performance are compromised. Use of alternative supplementation programs need to be considered for livestock challenged by adverse environmental conditions. Use of additional water for consumption and cooling, shade, and/or alternative management strategies need to be considered to help livestock cope with heat stress. For animals reared outside during winter, strategies that increase animal space and environmental buffers need to be used to minimize effects of mud, wet conditions, and windchill. There are ample opportunities for livestock producers to enhance animal welfare and minimize the impact of environmental stress. PMID:26139190

  19. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLIER ORGANIC TRANSFORMATIONS ON MINERAL SUPPORTS UNDER NONTRADITIONAL CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Synthetic organic reactions performed under non-traditional conditions are gaining popularity primarily to circumvent the growing environmental concerns. A solvent-free approach that involves microwave (MW) exposure of neat reactants (undiluted) either in presence of a catalyst o...

  20. Conditional Probability Analysis: A Statistical Tool for Environmental Analysis.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The use and application of environmental conditional probability analysis (CPA) is relatively recent. The first presentation using CPA was made in 2002 at the New England Association of Environmental Biologists Annual Meeting in Newport. Rhode Island. CPA has been used since the...

  1. Overview of environmental and hydrogeologic conditions at King Salmon, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waythomas, C.F.

    1994-01-01

    The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting preliminary environmental assessments at most of its present or former facilities in Alaska. Information about environmental conditions at King Salmon, Alaska are presented in this report. This report gives an overview of the geology, hydro- logy, and climate of the King Salmon area and describes general geohydrologic conditions. A thick alluvial aquifer underlies King Salmon and both ground water and surface water are plentiful in the area.

  2. Empirical observations on the unpredictable behavior of nuclear matter

    SciTech Connect

    Tannenbaum, M.J.

    1994-01-19

    While many aspects of matter are unpredictable from basic principles, there are some that are susceptible to empirical descriptions which can be quite accurate and beautiful. One such example from the field of ``Nuclear Matter Under Extreme Conditions`` is the distribution of the number of particles produced, or alternatively, of the energy carried by these particles, in energetic collisions of atomic nuclei. The present work consists of a series of published scientific papers on measurements of the distribution of particles produced, or the energy carried by these particles, in collisions of various nuclei, spanning more than a decade of research. Due to the unpredictability of the theory, the work includes empirical studies of the regularity of the measured distributions from which significant knowledge is gained. The aesthetics of this subject derives from the physical beauty of the measured curves, the characteristic changes of shape with different species of nuclei, and the deep understanding obtained by the use of a simple and elegant mathematical function to describe the data.

  3. Beyond Cumulative Risk: Distinguishing Harshness and Unpredictability as Determinants of Parenting and Early Life History Strategy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belsky, Jay; Schlomer, Gabriel L.; Ellis, Bruce J.

    2012-01-01

    Drawing on life history theory, Ellis and associates' (2009) recent across- and within-species analysis of ecological effects on reproductive development highlighted two fundamental dimensions of environmental variation and influence: harshness and unpredictability. To evaluate the unique contributions of these factors, the authors of present…

  4. Modelling canopy photosynthesis in response to environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, I. R.

    Physiological models in the plant and crop sciences provide a means of integrating different aspects of the system, in particular the interaction between plant processes and environmental factors. This paper focuses on the response of canopy photosynthesis, including adaptation, to environmental conditions. Adaptation is likely to be important when considering controlled ecological life support systems since physiological characteristics are affected by past as well as current environmental conditions. In particular, the level of photosynthetic enzymes in a plant is generally greater for plants grown in high irradiance levels than for similar plants grown in low irradiance. The models have been developed to apply to `normal' growing conditions, although the principles will apply to closed bioregenerative systems.

  5. Evolution, stress, and sensitive periods: the influence of unpredictability in early versus late childhood on sex and risky behavior.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Jeffry A; Griskevicius, Vladas; Kuo, Sally I-Chun; Sung, Sooyeon; Collins, W Andrew

    2012-05-01

    According to a recent evolutionary life history model of development proposed by Ellis, Figueredo, Brumbach, and Schlomer (2009), growing up in harsh versus unpredictable environments should have unique effects on life history strategies in adulthood. Using data from the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation, we tested how harshness and unpredictability experienced in early childhood (age 0-5) versus in later childhood (age 6-16) uniquely predicted sexual and risky behavior at age 23. Findings showed that the strongest predictor of both sexual and risky behavior was an unpredictable environment between ages 0 and 5. Individuals exposed to more unpredictable, rapidly changing environments during the first 5 years of life displayed a faster life history strategy at age 23 by having more sexual partners, engaging in more aggressive and delinquent behaviors, and being more likely to be associated with criminal activities. In contrast, exposure to either harsh environments or experiencing unpredictability in later childhood (age 6-16) was, for the most part, not significantly related to these outcomes at age 23. Viewed together, these findings show that unpredictable rather than merely harsh childhood environments exert unique effects on risky behavior later in life consistent with a faster life history strategy. The findings also suggest that there is a developmentally sensitive period for assessing environmental unpredictability during the first 5 years of life. PMID:22329381

  6. Matching biological traits to environmental conditions in marine benthic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bremner, J.; Rogers, S. I.; Frid, C. L. J.

    2006-05-01

    The effects of variability in environmental conditions on species composition in benthic ecosystems are well established, but relatively little is known about how environmental variability relates to ecosystem functioning. Benthic invertebrate assemblages are heavily involved in the maintenance of ecological processes and investigation of the biological characteristics (traits) expressed in these assemblages can provide information about some aspects of functioning. The aim of this study was to establish and explore relationships between environmental variability and biological traits expressed in megafauna assemblages in two UK regions. Patterns of trait composition were matched to environmental conditions and subsets of variables best describing these patterns determined. The nature of the relationships were subsequently examined at two separate scales, both between and within the regions studied. Over the whole area, some traits related to size, longevity, reproduction, mobility, flexibility, feeding method, sociability and living habit were negatively correlated with salinity, sea surface temperature, annual temperature range and the level of fishing effort, and positively associated with fish taxon richness and shell content of the substratum. Between the two regions, reductions in temperature range and shell content were associated with infrequent relative occurrences of short-lived, moderately mobile, flexible, solitary, opportunistic, permanent-burrow dwelling fauna and those exhibiting reproductive strategies based on benthic development. Relationships between some traits and environmental conditions diverged within the two regions, with increases in fishing effort and shell content of the substratum being associated with low frequencies of occurrence of moderately mobile and moderately to highly flexible fauna within one region, but high frequencies in the other. These changes in trait composition have implications for ecosystem processes, with, for example, reductions in permanent-burrow dwellers within one of the regions potentially compromising the ability of the assemblages to process and store chemicals and waste products. However, the connections between environmental conditions and trait composition are complex and incorporate many factors. Experimental investigations will be necessary to determine the extent and consequences of these important relationships.

  7. Ceramic production during changing environmental/climatic conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oestreich, Daniela B.; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.

    2015-04-01

    Ceramics, with regard to their status as largely everlasting everyday object as well as on the basis of their chronological sensitivity, reflect despite their simplicity the technological level of a culture and therefore also, directly or indirectly, the adaptability of a culture with respect to environmental and/or climatic changes. For that reason the question arises, if it is possible to identify changes in production techniques and raw material sources for ceramic production, as a response to environmental change, e.g. climate change. This paper will present results of a research about Paracas Culture (800 - 200 BC), southern Peru. Through several investigations (e.g. Schittek et al., 2014; Eitel and Mächtle, 2009) it is well known that during Paracas period changes in climate and environmental conditions take place. As a consequence, settlement patterns shifted several times through the various stages of Paracas time. Ceramics from three different sites (Jauranga, Cutamalla, Collanco) and temporal phases of the Paracas period are detailed archaeometric, geochemical and mineralogical characterized, e.g. Raman spectroscopy, XRD, and ICP-MS analyses. The aim of this research is to resolve potential differences in the chemical composition of the Paracas ceramics in space and time and to compare the data with the data sets of pre-Columbian environmental conditions. Thus influences of changing environmental conditions on human societies and their cultural conditions will be discussed. References Eitel, B. and Mächtle, B. 2009. Man and Environment in the eastern Atacama Desert (Southern Peru): Holocene climate changes and their impact on pre-Columbian cultures. In: Reindel, M. & Wagner, G. A. (eds.) New Technologies for Archaeology. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. Schittek, K., Mächtle, B., Schäbitz, F., Forbriger, M., Wennrich, V., Reindel, M., and Eitel, B.. Holocene environmental changes in the highlands of the southern Peruvian Andes (14° S) and their impact on pre-Columbian cultures, Clim. Past Discuss., 10, 1707-1746.

  8. Environmental Conditions for Space Flight Hardware: A Survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plante, Jeannette; Lee, Brandon

    2005-01-01

    Interest in generalization of the physical environment experienced by NASA hardware from the natural Earth environment (on the launch pad), man-made environment on Earth (storage acceptance an d qualification testing), the launch environment, and the space environment, is ed to find commonality among our hardware in an effort to reduce cost and complexity. NASA is entering a period of increase in its number of planetary missions and it is important to understand how our qualification requirements will evolve with and track these new environments. Environmental conditions are described for NASA projects in several ways for the different periods of the mission life cycle. At the beginning, the mission manager defines survivability requirements based on the mission length, orbit, launch date, launch vehicle, and other factors . such as the use of reactor engines. Margins are then applied to these values (temperature extremes, vibration extremes, radiation tolerances, etc,) and a new set of conditions is generalized for design requirements. Mission assurance documents will then assign an additional margin for reliability, and a third set of values is provided for during testing. A fourth set of environmental condition values may evolve intermittently from heritage hardware that has been tested to a level beyond the actual mission requirement. These various sets of environment figures can make it quite confusing and difficult to capture common hardware environmental requirements. Environmental requirement information can be found in a wide variety of places. The most obvious is with the individual projects. We can easily get answers to questions about temperature extremes being used and radiation tolerance goals, but it is more difficult to map the answers to the process that created these requirements: for design, for qualification, and for actual environment with no margin applied. Not everyone assigned to a NASA project may have that kind of insight, as many have only the environmental requirement numbers needed to do their jobs but do not necessarily have a programmatic-level understanding of how all of the environmental requirements fit together.

  9. Stress in Atlantic salmon: response to unpredictable chronic stress.

    PubMed

    Madaro, Angelico; Olsen, Rolf E; Kristiansen, Tore S; Ebbesson, Lars O E; Nilsen, Tom O; Flik, Gert; Gorissen, Marnix

    2015-08-01

    Combinations of stressors occur regularly throughout an animal's life, especially in agriculture and aquaculture settings. If an animal fails to acclimate to these stressors, stress becomes chronic, and a condition of allostatic overload arises with negative results for animal welfare. In the current study, we describe effects of exposing Atlantic salmon parr to an unpredictable chronic stressor (UCS) paradigm for 3?weeks. The paradigm involves exposure of fish to seven unpredictable stressors three times a day. At the end of the trial, experimental and control fish were challenged with yet another novel stressor and sampled before and 1?h after that challenge. Plasma cortisol decreased steadily over time in stressed fish, indicative of exhaustion of the endocrine stress axis. This was confirmed by a lower cortisol response to the novel stressor at the end of the stress period in chronically stressed fish compared with the control group. In the preoptic area (POA) and pituitary gland, chronic stress resulted in decreased gene expression of 11?hsd2, gr1 and gr2 in the POA and increased expression of those genes in the pituitary gland. POA crf expression and pituitary expression of pomcs and mr increased, whereas interrenal gene expression was unaffected. Exposure to the novel stressor had no effect on POA and interrenal gene expression. In the pituitary, crfr1, pomcs, 11?hsd2, grs and mr were down-regulated. In summary, our results provide a novel overview of the dynamic changes that occur at every level of the hypothalamic-pituitary gland-interrenal gland (HPI) axis as a result of chronic stress in Atlantic salmon. PMID:26056242

  10. Environmental conditions influence tissue regeneration rates in scleractinian corals.

    PubMed

    Sabine, Alexis M; Smith, Tyler B; Williams, Dana E; Brandt, Marilyn E

    2015-06-15

    Natural and anthropogenic factors may influence corals' ability to recover from partial mortality. To examine how environmental conditions affect lesion healing, we assessed several water quality parameters and tissue regeneration rates in corals at six reefs around St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. We hypothesized that sites closer to developed areas would have poor water quality due to proximity to anthropogenic stresses, which would impede tissue regeneration. We found that water flow and turbidity most strongly influenced lesion recovery rates. The most impacted site, with high turbidity and low flow, recovered almost three times slower than the least impacted site, with low turbidity, high flow, and low levels of anthropogenic disturbance. Our results illustrate that in addition to lesion-specific factors known to affect tissue regeneration, environmental conditions can also control corals' healing rates. Resource managers can use this information to protect low-flow, turbid nearshore reefs by minimizing sources of anthropogenic stress. PMID:25982415

  11. Can environmental conditions experienced in early life influence future generations?

    PubMed Central

    Burton, Tim; Metcalfe, Neil B.

    2014-01-01

    The consequences of early developmental conditions for performance in later life are now subjected to convergent interest from many different biological sub-disciplines. However, striking data, largely from the biomedical literature, show that environmental effects experienced even before conception can be transmissible to subsequent generations. Here, we review the growing evidence from natural systems for these cross-generational effects of early life conditions, showing that they can be generated by diverse environmental stressors, affect offspring in many ways and can be transmitted directly or indirectly by both parental lines for several generations. In doing so, we emphasize why early life might be so sensitive to the transmission of environmentally induced effects across generations. We also summarize recent theoretical advancements within the field of developmental plasticity, and discuss how parents might assemble different ‘internal’ and ‘external’ cues, even from the earliest stages of life, to instruct their investment decisions in offspring. In doing so, we provide a preliminary framework within the context of adaptive plasticity for understanding inter-generational phenomena that arise from early life conditions. PMID:24807254

  12. Uncontrollable and unpredictable stress interacts with subclinical depression and anxiety scores in determining anxiety response.

    PubMed

    Havranek, Michael M; Bolliger, Bianca; Roos, Sophie; Pryce, Christopher R; Quednow, Boris B; Seifritz, Erich

    2016-01-01

    According to learned helplessness theory, uncontrollable stress is assumed to be a critical etiological factor in the pathogenesis of depression. In contrast, unpredictability of stressors is assumed to facilitate the development of sustained anxiety. Despite the frequent co-morbidity of depression and anxiety disorders, these two factors have rarely been studied simultaneously in humans. Therefore, we investigated whether there are interaction effects of uncontrollability and unpredictability on anxiety response in healthy participants. Seventy-nine healthy participants performed a visual dot probe task with emotional faces, while receiving mild electrical shocks in four different conditions (2??2 factorial design). In (un)controllable conditions, participants were (not) able to attenuate shock intensity. In (un)predictable conditions, participants were (not) able to anticipate shock occurrence. Before the experiment, participants' subclinical depression and anxiety scores were measured using the Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories (BDI/BAI). During the experiment, continuous skin conductance and self-reported state anxiety were assessed and attentional biases towards angry faces were calculated. As expected, participants showed greater anxiety in uncontrollable compared to controllable and in unpredictable compared to predictable conditions. Additionally, anxiety decreased within the test sessions in participants with low BDI/BAI scores but not in participants with higher BDI/BAI scores. Most importantly, controllability and predictability interacted with each other and with BDI/BAI scores with regard to anxiety. Our results provide evidence that uncontrollability and unpredictability of stressors not only have separate but also interaction effects on several anxiety measures in susceptible individuals and may provide insights into the psychological mechanisms underlying a depressive/anxiety co-morbidity. PMID:26669536

  13. Protection of chemolithoautotrophic bacteria exposed to simulated Mars environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, Felipe; Mateo-Martí, Eva; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Martín-Gago, Jose; Amils, Ricardo

    2010-10-01

    Current surface conditions (strong oxidative atmosphere, UV radiation, low temperatures and xeric conditions) on Mars are considered extremely challenging for life. The question is whether there are any features on Mars that could exert a protective effect against the sterilizing conditions detected on its surface. Potential habitability in the subsurface would increase if the overlaying material played a protective role. With the aim of evaluating this possibility we studied the viability of two microorganisms under different conditions in a Mars simulation chamber. An acidophilic chemolithotroph isolated from Río Tinto belonging to the Acidithiobacillus genus and Deinococcus radiodurans, a radiation resistant microorganism, were exposed to simulated Mars conditions under the protection of a layer of ferric oxides and hydroxides, a Mars regolith analogue. Samples of these microorganisms were exposed to UV radiation in Mars atmospheric conditions at different time intervals under the protection of 2 and 5 mm layers of oxidized iron minerals. Viability was evaluated by inoculation on fresh media and characterization of their growth cultures. Here we report the survival capability of both bacteria to simulated Mars environmental conditions.

  14. Effects of Harsh and Unpredictable Environments in Adolescence on Development of Life History Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Figueredo, Aurelio José; Ellis, Bruce J.

    2010-01-01

    The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health data were used to test predictions from life history theory. We hypothesized that (1) in young adulthood an emerging life history strategy would exist as a common factor underlying many life history traits (e.g., health, relationship stability, economic success), (2) both environmental harshness and unpredictability would account for unique variance in expression of adolescent and young adult life history strategies, and (3) adolescent life history traits would predict young adult life history strategy. These predictions were supported. The current findings suggest that the environmental parameters of harshness and unpredictability have concurrent effects on life history development in adolescence, as well as longitudinal effects into young adulthood. In addition, life history traits appear to be stable across developmental time from adolescence into young adulthood. PMID:20634914

  15. The effect and role of environmental conditions on magnetosome synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Moisescu, Cristina; Ardelean, Ioan I.; Benning, Liane G.

    2014-01-01

    Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) are considered the model species for the controlled biomineralization of magnetic Fe oxide (magnetite, Fe3O4) or Fe sulfide (greigite, Fe3S4) nanocrystals in living organisms. In MTB, magnetic minerals form as membrane-bound, single-magnetic domain crystals known as magnetosomes and the synthesis of magnetosomes by MTB is a highly controlled process at the genetic level. Magnetosome crystals reveal highest purity and highest quality magnetic properties and are therefore increasingly sought after as novel nanoparticulate biomaterials for industrial and medical applications. In addition, “magnetofossils,” have been used as both past terrestrial and potential Martian life biosignature. However, until recently, the general belief was that the morphology of mature magnetite crystals formed by MTB was largely unaffected by environmental conditions. Here we review a series of studies that showed how changes in environmental factors such as temperature, pH, external Fe concentration, external magnetic fields, static or dynamic fluid conditions, and nutrient availability or concentrations can all affect the biomineralization of magnetite magnetosomes in MTB. The resulting variations in magnetic nanocrystals characteristics can have consequence both for their commercial value but also for their use as indicators for ancient life. In this paper we will review the recent findings regarding the influence of variable chemical and physical environmental control factors on the synthesis of magnetosome by MTB, and address the role of MTB in the global biogeochemical cycling of iron. PMID:24575087

  16. Ecological Conditions Favoring Budding in Colonial Organisms under Environmental Disturbance

    PubMed Central

    Nakamaru, Mayuko; Takada, Takenori; Ohtsuki, Akiko; Suzuki, Sayaki U.; Miura, Kanan; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2014-01-01

    Dispersal is a topic of great interest in ecology. Many organisms adopt one of two distinct dispersal tactics at reproduction: the production of small offspring that can disperse over long distances (such as seeds and spawned eggs), or budding. The latter is observed in some colonial organisms, such as clonal plants, corals and ants, in which (super)organisms split their body into components of relatively large size that disperse to a short distance. Contrary to the common dispersal viewpoint, short-dispersal colonial organisms often flourish even in environments with frequent disturbances. In this paper, we investigate the conditions that favor budding over long-distance dispersal of small offspring, focusing on the life history of the colony growth and the colony division ratio. These conditions are the relatively high mortality of very small colonies, logistic growth, the ability of dispersers to peacefully seek and settle unoccupied spaces, and small spatial scale of environmental disturbance. If these conditions hold, budding is advantageous even when environmental disturbance is frequent. These results suggest that the demography or life history of the colony underlies the behaviors of the colonial organisms. PMID:24621824

  17. Assessing environmental conditions of Antarctic footpaths to support management decisions.

    PubMed

    Tejedo, Pablo; Benayas, Javier; Cajiao, Daniela; Albertos, Belén; Lara, Francisco; Pertierra, Luis R; Andrés-Abellán, Manuela; Wic, Consuelo; Luciáñez, Maria José; Enríquez, Natalia; Justel, Ana; Reck, Günther K

    2016-07-15

    Thousands of tourists visit certain Antarctic sites each year, generating a wide variety of environmental impacts. Scientific knowledge of human activities and their impacts can help in the effective design of management measures and impact mitigation. We present a case study from Barrientos Island in which a management measure was originally put in place with the goal of minimizing environmental impacts but resulted in new undesired impacts. Two alternative footpaths used by tourist groups were compared. Both affected extensive moss carpets that cover the middle part of the island and that are very vulnerable to trampling. The first path has been used by tourists and scientists since over a decade and is a marked route that is clearly visible. The second one was created more recently. Several physical and biological indicators were measured in order to assess the environmental conditions for both paths. Some physical variables related to human impact were lower for the first path (e.g. soil penetration resistance and secondary treads), while other biochemical and microbiological variables were higher for the second path (e.g. β-glucosidase and phosphatase activities, soil respiration). Moss communities located along the new path were also more diverse and sensitive to trampling. Soil biota (Collembola) was also more abundant and richer. These data indicate that the decision to adopt the second path did not lead to the reduction of environmental impacts as this path runs over a more vulnerable area with more outstanding biological features (e.g. microbiota activity, flora and soil fauna diversity). In addition, the adoption of a new route effectively doubles the human footprint on the island. We propose using only the original path that is less vulnerable to the impacts of trampling. Finally from this process, we identify several key issues that may be taken into account when carrying out impact assessment and environmental management decision-making in the Antarctic area. PMID:27111650

  18. Alternative stable states explain unpredictable biological control of Salvinia molesta in Kakadu.

    PubMed

    Schooler, Shon S; Salau, Buck; Julien, Mic H; Ives, Anthony R

    2011-02-01

    Suppression of the invasive plant Salvinia molesta by the salvinia weevil is an iconic example of successful biological control. However, in the billabongs (oxbow lakes) of Kakadu National Park, Australia, control is fitful and incomplete. By fitting a process-based nonlinear model to thirteen-year data sets from four billabongs, here we show that incomplete control can be explained by alternative stable states--one state in which salvinia is suppressed and the other in which salvinia escapes weevil control. The shifts between states are associated with annual flooding events. In some years, high water flow reduces weevil populations, allowing the shift from a controlled to an uncontrolled state; in other years, benign conditions for weevils promote the return shift to the controlled state. In most described ecological examples, transitions between alternative stable states are relatively rare, facilitated by slow-moving environmental changes, such as accumulated nutrient loading or climate change. The billabongs of Kakadu give a different manifestation of alternative stable states that generate complex and seemingly unpredictable dynamics. Because shifts between alternative stable states are stochastic, they present a potential management strategy to maximize effective biological control: when the domain of attraction to the state of salvinia control is approached, augmentation of the weevil population or reduction of the salvinia biomass may allow the lower state to trap the system. PMID:21293376

  19. Ecohydrology of managed ecosystems: Linking rainfall unpredictability, agronomic performance, and sustainable water use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vico, Giulia; Porporato, Amilcare

    2014-05-01

    The field of ecohydrology, traditionally focusing on natural ecosystems, can offer the necessary quantitative tools to assess and compare the sustainability of agriculture across climates, soil types, crops, and irrigation strategies, including rainfall unpredictability. In particular, irrigation is one of the main strategies to enhance and stabilize agricultural productivity, but represents a cost in terms of often scarce water resources. Here, the sustainability of irrigated and rainfed agriculture is assessed by means of water productivity (defined as the ratio between yield and total supplied water), yields, water requirements, and their variability. These indicators are quantified using a probabilistic description of the soil water balance and crop development. Employing this framework, we interpret changes in water productivity as total water input is altered, in two staple crops (maize and wheat) grown under different soils, climates, and irrigation strategies. Climate change scenarios are explored by using the same approach and altering the rainfall statistics. For a given irrigation strategy, intermediate rainfall inputs leads to the highest variability in yield and irrigation water requirement - it is under these conditions that water management is most problematic. When considering the contrasting needs of limiting water requirements while ensuring adequate yields, micro-irrigation emerges as the most sustainable strategy at the field level, although consideration should be given to its profitability and long-term environmental implications.

  20. Lateralization and Gender Differences in the Dopaminergic Response to Unpredictable Reward in the Human Ventral Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Martin-Soelch, Chantal; Szczepanik, Joanna; Nugent, Allison; Barhaghi, Krystle; Rallis, Denise; Herscovitch, Peter; Carson, Richard E.; Drevets, Wayne C.

    2011-01-01

    Electrophysiological studies showed that mesostriatal dopamine (DA) neurons increase activity in response to unpredicted rewards. With respect to other functions of the mesostriatal dopaminergic system, dopamine’s actions show prominent laterality effects. Whether changes in DA transmission elicited by rewards also are lateralized, however, has not been investigated. Using [11C]raclopride-PET to assess the striatal DA response to unpredictable monetary rewards, we hypothesized that such rewards would induce an asymmetric reduction of [11C]raclopride binding in the ventral striatum, reflecting lateralization of endogenous dopamine release. In 24 healthy volunteers, differences in the regional D2/3 receptor binding potential (ΔBP) between an unpredictable reward condition and a sensorimotor control condition were measured using the bolus-plus-constant-infusion [11C]raclopride method. During the reward condition subjects randomly received monetary awards while performing a “slot-machine” task. The ΔBP between conditions was assessed in striatal regions-of-interest and compared between left and right sides. We found a significant condition × lateralization interaction in the ventral striatum. A significant reduction in binding potential (BPND) in the reward condition versus the control condition was found only in the right ventral striatum, and the ΔBP was greater in the right than the left ventral striatum. Unexpectedly, these laterality effects appeared to be partly accounted for by sex differences, as our data showed a significant bilateral BPND reduction in women, while in men the reduction reached significance only in the right ventral striatum. These data suggest that DA release in response to unpredictable reward is lateralized in the human ventral striatum, particularly in males. PMID:21453423

  1. Studying the relationship between on-farm environmental conditions and local meteorological station data during the summer.

    PubMed

    Shock, D A; LeBlanc, S J; Leslie, K E; Hand, K; Godkin, M A; Coe, J B; Kelton, D F

    2016-03-01

    High ambient heat and humidity have profound effects on the production, health, profitability, and welfare of dairy cattle. To describe the relationship between summer temperature and relative humidity in the barn and determine the appropriateness of using meteorological station data as a surrogate for on-farm environmental monitoring, a study was conducted on 48 farms in Ontario, Canada, over the summer (May through September) of 2013. Within-barn environmental conditions were recorded using remote data loggers. These values were compared with those of the closest official meteorological station. In addition, farm-level characteristics and heat-abatement strategies were recorded for each farm. Environmental readings within the barn were significantly higher than those of the closest meteorological station; however, this relationship varied greatly by herd. Daily temperature-humidity index (THI) values within the barn tended to be 1 unit higher than those of the closest meteorological station. Numerically, 1.5 times more mean daily THI readings were in excess of 68 (heat stress threshold for lactating dairy cows) in the barn, relative to the closest meteorological station. In addition, tiestalls, herds that were allowed access to pasture, and herds that had no permanent cooling strategy for their cows had the highest mean and maximum daily THI values. Minimum daily THI values were almost 4 units higher for tiestall relative to freestall herds. Overall, due to farm-specific and unpredictable variability in magnitude of environmental differences between on-farm and meteorological station readings, researchers attempting to study the effects of environment on dairy cows should not use readings from meteorological stations because these will often underestimate the level of heat stress to which cows are exposed. PMID:26778304

  2. Distinct state anxiety after predictable and unpredictable fear training in mice.

    PubMed

    Seidenbecher, Thomas; Remmes, Jasmin; Daldrup, Thiemo; Lesting, Jörg; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2016-05-01

    Sustained fear paradigms in rodents have been developed to monitor states of anxious apprehension and to model situations in patients suffering from long-lasting anxiety disorders. A recent report describes a fear conditioning paradigm, allowing distinction between phasic and sustained states of conditioned fear in non-restrained mice. However, so far no prospective studies have yet been conducted to elucidate whether induction of phasic or sustained fear can affect states of anxiety. Here, we used CS (conditioned stimulus) and US (unconditioned stimulus) pairing with predictable and unpredictable timing to induce phasic and sustained fear in mice. State anxiety during various fear response components was assessed using the elevated plus-maze test. Training with unpredictable CS-US timing resulted in CS-evoked sustained components of fear (freezing), while predictable CS-US timing resulted in rapid decline. Data suggested the influence of training procedure on state anxiety which is dependent on progression of conditioned fear during fear memory retrieval. Animals trained with unpredictable CS-US timing showed an unchanged high anxiety state throughout behavioral observation. In contrast, mice trained with predictable CS-US timing showed anxiolytic-like behavior 3min after CS onset, which was accompanied by a fast decline of the fear conditioned response (freezing). Further systematic studies are needed to validate the phasic/sustained fear model in rodents as translational model for anxiety disorders in humans. PMID:26876138

  3. Multimodal cues improve prey localization under complex environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Rhebergen, F; Taylor, R C; Ryan, M J; Page, R A; Halfwerk, W

    2015-09-01

    Predators often eavesdrop on sexual displays of their prey. These displays can provide multimodal cues that aid predators, but the benefits in attending to them should depend on the environmental sensory conditions under which they forage. We assessed whether bats hunting for frogs use multimodal cues to locate their prey and whether their use varies with ambient conditions. We used a robotic set-up mimicking the sexual display of a male túngara frog (Physalaemus pustulosus) to test prey assessment by fringe-lipped bats (Trachops cirrhosus). These predatory bats primarily use sound of the frog's call to find their prey, but the bats also use echolocation cues returning from the frog's dynamically moving vocal sac. In the first experiment, we show that multimodal cues affect attack behaviour: bats made narrower flank attack angles on multimodal trials compared with unimodal trials during which they could only rely on the sound of the frog. In the second experiment, we explored the bat's use of prey cues in an acoustically more complex environment. Túngara frogs often form mixed-species choruses with other frogs, including the hourglass frog (Dendropsophus ebraccatus). Using a multi-speaker set-up, we tested bat approaches and attacks on the robofrog under three different levels of acoustic complexity: no calling D. ebraccatus males, two calling D. ebraccatus males and five D. ebraccatus males. We found that bats are more directional in their approach to the robofrog when more D. ebraccatus males were calling. Thus, bats seemed to benefit more from multimodal cues when confronted with increased levels of acoustic complexity in their foraging environments. Our data have important consequences for our understanding of the evolution of multimodal sexual displays as they reveal how environmental conditions can alter the natural selection pressures acting on them. PMID:26336176

  4. Defensive activation to (un)predictable interoceptive threat: The NPU respiratory threat test (NPUr).

    PubMed

    Schroijen, Mathias; Fantoni, Simona; Rivera, Carmen; Vervliet, Bram; Schruers, Koen; van den Bergh, Omer; van Diest, Ilse

    2016-06-01

    Potentially life-threatening interoceptive sensations easily engage the behavioral defensive system. Resulting fear and anxiety toward interoceptive threat are functionally distinct states that are hypothesized to play a prominent role in the etiology of panic disorder. The present study aimed to investigate whether fear- and anxiety-potentiated startle responses occur to predictable and unpredictable interoceptive threat, respectively. Therefore, we modified the NPU threat test (Schmitz & Grillon, ) and replaced the aversive electrocutaneous stimulus with an aversive interoceptive stimulus (a breathing occlusion, making it briefly impossible to breathe). Healthy participants (N = 48) underwent three instructed conditions. A visual cue signaled the occlusion in the predictable condition (P), whereas another cue was unrelated to the occurrence of the occlusion in the unpredictable condition (U). The safe condition (N) also had a visual cue, but no occlusion. Both fear- and anxiety-potentiated startle blink responses were observed in response to predictable and unpredictable respiratory threat, respectively. The current study presents and validates the NPU respiratory threat test (NPUr) as an ecologically valid paradigm to study both anxiety and fear in response to a panic-relevant interoceptive threat. The paradigm allows future testing of contextual generalization, investigation of different clinical groups, and more explicit comparisons of defensive responding to interoceptive versus exteroceptive threats. PMID:26879710

  5. Environmental factors affecting indole metabolism under anaerobic conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Madsen, E.L.; Francis, A.J.; Bollag, J.M.

    1988-01-01

    The influence of physiological and environmental factors on the accumulation of oxindole during anaerobic indole metabolism was investigated by high-performance liquid chromatography. Under methanogenic conditions, indole was temporarily converted to oxindole in stoichiometric amounts in media inoculated with three freshwater sediments and an organic soil. In media inoculated with methanogenic sewage sludge, the modest amounts of oxindole detected at 35/sup 0/C reached higher concentrations and persisted longer when the incubation temperature was decreased from 35 to 15/sup 0/C. Also, decreasing the concentration of sewage sludge used as an inoculum from 50 to 1% caused an increase in the accumulation of oxindole from 10 to 75% of the indole added. Under denitrifying conditions, regardless of the concentration or source of the inoculum, oxindole appeared in trace amounts but did not accumulate during indole metabolism. In addition, denitrifying consortia which previously metabolized indole degraded oxindole with no lag period. Our data suggest that oxindole accumulation under methanogenic, but not under denitrifying conditions is caused by differences between relative rates of oxindole production and destruction.

  6. A New Arbiter PUF for Enhancing Unpredictability on FPGA

    PubMed Central

    Machida, Takanori; Yamamoto, Dai; Iwamoto, Mitsugu; Sakiyama, Kazuo

    2015-01-01

    In general, conventional Arbiter-based Physically Unclonable Functions (PUFs) generate responses with low unpredictability. The N-XOR Arbiter PUF, proposed in 2007, is a well-known technique for improving this unpredictability. In this paper, we propose a novel design for Arbiter PUF, called Double Arbiter PUF, to enhance the unpredictability on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and we compare our design to conventional N-XOR Arbiter PUFs. One metric for judging the unpredictability of responses is to measure their tolerance to machine-learning attacks. Although our previous work showed the superiority of Double Arbiter PUFs regarding unpredictability, its details were not clarified. We evaluate the dependency on the number of training samples for machine learning, and we discuss the reason why Double Arbiter PUFs are more tolerant than the N-XOR Arbiter PUFs by evaluating intrachip variation. Further, the conventional Arbiter PUFs and proposed Double Arbiter PUFs are evaluated according to other metrics, namely, their uniqueness, randomness, and steadiness. We demonstrate that 3-1 Double Arbiter PUF archives the best performance overall. PMID:26491720

  7. A New Arbiter PUF for Enhancing Unpredictability on FPGA.

    PubMed

    Machida, Takanori; Yamamoto, Dai; Iwamoto, Mitsugu; Sakiyama, Kazuo

    2015-01-01

    In general, conventional Arbiter-based Physically Unclonable Functions (PUFs) generate responses with low unpredictability. The N-XOR Arbiter PUF, proposed in 2007, is a well-known technique for improving this unpredictability. In this paper, we propose a novel design for Arbiter PUF, called Double Arbiter PUF, to enhance the unpredictability on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and we compare our design to conventional N-XOR Arbiter PUFs. One metric for judging the unpredictability of responses is to measure their tolerance to machine-learning attacks. Although our previous work showed the superiority of Double Arbiter PUFs regarding unpredictability, its details were not clarified. We evaluate the dependency on the number of training samples for machine learning, and we discuss the reason why Double Arbiter PUFs are more tolerant than the N-XOR Arbiter PUFs by evaluating intrachip variation. Further, the conventional Arbiter PUFs and proposed Double Arbiter PUFs are evaluated according to other metrics, namely, their uniqueness, randomness, and steadiness. We demonstrate that 3-1 Double Arbiter PUF archives the best performance overall. PMID:26491720

  8. K, U, and Th behavior in Martian environmental conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zolotov, M. YU.; Krot, T. V.; Moroz, L. V.

    1993-01-01

    The possibility of K, U, and Th content determination from orbit and in situ allows consideration of those elements as geochemical indicators in the planetary studies. In the case of Mars the unambiguous interpretations of such data in terms of igneous rocks are remarkably constrained by the widespread rock alteration and the existence of exogenic deposits. Besides, the terrestrial experience indicates that K, U, and Th contents could be used as indicators of environmental geochemical processes. Thus the determination of K, U, and Th contents in the Martian surface materials could provide the indirect data on the conditions of some exogenic geological processes. The speculations on the K, U, and Th behavior in the Martian environments show that aeolian and aqueous processes leads to the preferential accumulation of K, U, and Th in fine dust material. The separation of K, U, and Th on Mars is smaller in scale to that on Earth.

  9. Leaching of metals from cement under simulated environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Lu, Huixia; Wei, Fang; Tang, Jingchun; Giesy, John P

    2016-03-15

    Leaching of metals from cement under various environmental conditions was measured to evaluate their environmental safety. A cement product containing clinker, which was produced from cement kiln co-processing of hazardous wastes, was solidified and leaching of metals was characterized using the 8-period test. Concentrations and speciation of metals in cements were determined. Effects of ambient environment and particle size on leachability of metals and mineralogical phases of cement mortars were evaluated by use of XRD and SEM. Results indicated that metals in cements were leachable in various media in descending order of: sea water, groundwater and acid rain. Cr, Ni, As, Co and V were leached by simulated sea water, while Cu, Cd, Pb, Zn, Mn, Sb and Tl were not leached in simulated sea water, groundwater or acid rain. When exposed to simulated acid rain or groundwater, amounts of Cr, Ni, As and V leached was inversely proportional to particle size of cement mortar. According to the one-dimensional diffusion equation, Cr was most leachable and the cumulative leached mass was predicted to be 9.6 mg kg(-1) after 20 years. Results of this study are useful in predicting releases of metals from cement products containing ash and clinkers cement kiln co-processing of hazardous wastes, so that they can be safely applied in the environment. PMID:26802528

  10. Studies of culture conditions and environmental stability of human metapneumovirus

    PubMed Central

    Tollefson, Sharon J.; Cox, Reagan G.; Williams, John V.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a paramyxovirus that is a leading cause of acute respiratory disease. HMPV is difficult to cultivate and limited published data describe the in vitro growth characteristics of the virus and its ability to replicate in different cell lines. Stability of HMPV to different temperatures or environmental conditions has not been described. Nosocomial infections due to HMPV have been reported, and thus the survival of infectious particles on environmental surfaces is important. We tested multiple cell lines for the ability to support HMPV replication both in the presence and absence of exogenous trypsin. The most permissive monkey kidney epithelial cells were LLC-MK2 and Vero, while the most permissive human airway epithelial cell line was BEAS-2B. LLC-MK2 cells were tolerant of trypsin and thus remain an ideal cell line for HMPV cultivation. Spinoculation significantly increased the infectivity of HMPV for cells in monolayer culture. Infectious virus was very stable to repeat freeze-thaw cycles and ambient room temperature or 4°C, while incubation at 37 °C led to degradation of virus titer. Finally, nonporous materials such as metal or plastic retained infectious virus for prolonged periods, while virus deposited on tissue and fabric rapidly lost infectivity. These findings provide guidance for laboratories attempting to culture HMPV and relevant information for infection control policies. PMID:20380856

  11. Evaluating microbial indicators of environmental condition in Oregon rivers.

    PubMed

    Pennington, A T; Harding, A K; Hendricks, C W; Campbell, H M

    2001-12-01

    Traditional bacterial indicators used in public health to assess water quality and the Biolog system were evaluated to compare their response to biological, chemical, and physical habitat indicators of stream condition both within the state of Oregon and among ecoregion aggregates (Coast Range, Willamette Valley, Cascades, and eastern Oregon). Forty-three randomly selected Oregon river sites were sampled during the summer in 1997 and 1998. The public health indicators included heterotrophic plate counts (HPC), total coliforms (TC), fecal coliforms (FC) and Escherichia coli (EC). Statewide, HPC correlated strongly with physical habitat (elevation, riparian complexity, % canopy presence, and indices of agriculture, pavement, road, pasture, and total disturbance) and chemistry (pH, dissolved O2, specific conductance, acid-neutralizing capacity, dissolved organic carbon, total N, total P, SiO2, and SO4). FC and EC were significantly correlated generally with the river chemistry indicators. TC bacteria significantly correlated with riparian complexity, road disturbance, dissolved O2, and SiO2 and FC. Analyzing the sites by ecoregion, eastern Oregon was characterized by high HPC, FC, EC, nutrient loads, and indices of human disturbance, whereas the Cascades ecoregion had correspondingly low counts of these indicators. The Coast Range and Willamette Valley presented inconsistent indicator patterns that are more difficult to characterize. Attempts to distinguish between ecoregions with the Biolog system were not successful, nor did a statistical pattern emerge between the first five principle components and the other environmental indicators. Our research suggests that some traditional public health microbial indicators may be useful in measuring the environmental condition of lotic systems. PMID:11915970

  12. Evaluating Microbial Indicators of Environmental Condition in Oregon Rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennington, Alan T.; Harding, Anna K.; Hendricks, Charles W.; Campbell, Heidi M. K.

    2001-12-01

    Traditional bacterial indicators used in public health to assess water quality and the Biolog® system were evaluated to compare their response to biological, chemical, and physical habitat indicators of stream condition both within the state of Oregon and among ecoregion aggregates (Coast Range, Willamette Valley, Cascades, and eastern Oregon). Forty-three randomly selected Oregon river sites were sampled during the summer in 1997 and 1998. The public health indicators included heterotrophic plate counts (HPC), total coliforms (TC), fecal coliforms (FC) and Escherichia coli (EC). Statewide, HPC correlated strongly with physical habitat (elevation, riparian complexity, % canopy presence, and indices of agriculture, pavement, road, pasture, and total disturbance) and chemistry (pH, dissolved O2, specific conductance, acid-neutralizing capacity, dissolved organic carbon, total N, total P, SiO2, and SO4). FC and EC were significantly correlated generally with the river chemistry indicators. TC bacteria significantly correlated with riparian complexity, road disturbance, dissolved O2, and SiO2 and FC. Analyzing the sites by ecoregion, eastern Oregon was characterized by high HPC, FC, EC, nutrient loads, and indices of human disturbance, whereas the Cascades ecoregion had correspondingly low counts of these indicators. The Coast Range and Willamette Valley presented inconsistent indicator patterns that are more difficult to characterize. Attempts to distinguish between ecoregions with the Biolog system were not successful, nor did a statistical pattern emerge between the first five principle components and the other environmental indicators. Our research suggests that some traditional public health microbial indicators may be useful in measuring the environmental condition of lotic systems.

  13. Environmental and Sanitary Conditions of Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro.

    PubMed

    Fistarol, Giovana O; Coutinho, Felipe H; Moreira, Ana Paula B; Venas, Tainá; Cánovas, Alba; de Paula, Sérgio E M; Coutinho, Ricardo; de Moura, Rodrigo L; Valentin, Jean Louis; Tenenbaum, Denise R; Paranhos, Rodolfo; do Valle, Rogério de A B; Vicente, Ana Carolina P; Amado Filho, Gilberto M; Pereira, Renato Crespo; Kruger, Ricardo; Rezende, Carlos E; Thompson, Cristiane C; Salomon, Paulo S; Thompson, Fabiano L

    2015-01-01

    Guanabara Bay is the second largest bay in the coast of Brazil, with an area of 384 km(2). In its surroundings live circa 16 million inhabitants, out of which 6 million live in Rio de Janeiro city, one of the largest cities of the country, and the host of the 2016 Olympic Games. Anthropogenic interference in Guanabara Bay area started early in the XVI century, but environmental impacts escalated from 1930, when this region underwent an industrialization process. Herein we present an overview of the current environmental and sanitary conditions of Guanabara Bay, a consequence of all these decades of impacts. We will focus on microbial communities, how they may affect higher trophic levels of the aquatic community and also human health. The anthropogenic impacts in the bay are flagged by heavy eutrophication and by the emergence of pathogenic microorganisms that are either carried by domestic and/or hospital waste (e.g., virus, KPC-producing bacteria, and fecal coliforms), or that proliferate in such conditions (e.g., vibrios). Antibiotic resistance genes are commonly found in metagenomes of Guanabara Bay planktonic microorganisms. Furthermore, eutrophication results in recurrent algal blooms, with signs of a shift toward flagellated, mixotrophic groups, including several potentially harmful species. A recent large-scale fish kill episode, and a long trend decrease in fish stocks also reflects the bay's degraded water quality. Although pollution of Guanabara Bay is not a recent problem, the hosting of the 2016 Olympic Games propelled the government to launch a series of plans to restore the bay's water quality. If all plans are fully implemented, the restoration of Guanabara Bay and its shores may be one of the best legacies of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. PMID:26635734

  14. Environmental and Sanitary Conditions of Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro

    PubMed Central

    Fistarol, Giovana O.; Coutinho, Felipe H.; Moreira, Ana Paula B.; Venas, Tainá; Cánovas, Alba; de Paula, Sérgio E. M.; Coutinho, Ricardo; de Moura, Rodrigo L.; Valentin, Jean Louis; Tenenbaum, Denise R.; Paranhos, Rodolfo; do Valle, Rogério de A. B.; Vicente, Ana Carolina P.; Amado Filho, Gilberto M.; Pereira, Renato Crespo; Kruger, Ricardo; Rezende, Carlos E.; Thompson, Cristiane C.; Salomon, Paulo S.; Thompson, Fabiano L.

    2015-01-01

    Guanabara Bay is the second largest bay in the coast of Brazil, with an area of 384 km2. In its surroundings live circa 16 million inhabitants, out of which 6 million live in Rio de Janeiro city, one of the largest cities of the country, and the host of the 2016 Olympic Games. Anthropogenic interference in Guanabara Bay area started early in the XVI century, but environmental impacts escalated from 1930, when this region underwent an industrialization process. Herein we present an overview of the current environmental and sanitary conditions of Guanabara Bay, a consequence of all these decades of impacts. We will focus on microbial communities, how they may affect higher trophic levels of the aquatic community and also human health. The anthropogenic impacts in the bay are flagged by heavy eutrophication and by the emergence of pathogenic microorganisms that are either carried by domestic and/or hospital waste (e.g., virus, KPC-producing bacteria, and fecal coliforms), or that proliferate in such conditions (e.g., vibrios). Antibiotic resistance genes are commonly found in metagenomes of Guanabara Bay planktonic microorganisms. Furthermore, eutrophication results in recurrent algal blooms, with signs of a shift toward flagellated, mixotrophic groups, including several potentially harmful species. A recent large-scale fish kill episode, and a long trend decrease in fish stocks also reflects the bay’s degraded water quality. Although pollution of Guanabara Bay is not a recent problem, the hosting of the 2016 Olympic Games propelled the government to launch a series of plans to restore the bay’s water quality. If all plans are fully implemented, the restoration of Guanabara Bay and its shores may be one of the best legacies of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. PMID:26635734

  15. Spectral Characterization of Phobos Analogues Under Simulated Environmental Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donaldson Hanna, K. L.; Bowles, N. E.; Edwards, C. S.; Glotch, T. D.; Greenhagen, B. T.; Pieters, C. M.; Thomas, I.

    2014-12-01

    The surface of Phobos holds many keys for understanding its formation and evolution as well as the history and dynamics of the Mars-Phobos system. Visible to near infrared (VNIR) observations suggests that Phobos' surface is compositionally heterogeneous with 'redder' and 'bluer' units that both appear to be anhydrous in nature. Lunar highland spectra have been identified as spectral analogues for the 'redder' and 'bluer' units while thermally metamorphosed CI/CM chondrites, lab-heated carbonaceous chondrites and highly space weathered mafic mineral assemblages have been identified as the best analogues for the 'bluer' surface units. Additionally, thermal infrared emissivity spectra indicate that if Phobos' surface is optically mature it may be rich in feldspar, which is consistent with VNIR observations of Phobos' surface being spectrally similar to lunar highland spectra. While remote observations provide key insights into the composition and evolution of planetary surfaces, a fundamentally important component to any remote compositional analysis of planetary surfaces is laboratory measurements of well-characterized samples measured under the appropriate environmental conditions. The vacuum environment of airless bodies creates a steep thermal gradient in the upper hundreds of microns of regolith. Lab studies of particulate rocks and minerals as well as selected lunar soils under vacuum and lunar-like conditions have identified significant effects of this thermal gradient on thermal infrared (TIR) spectral measurements. However recent lab measurements of carbonaceous chondrites demonstrated that simulated asteroid conditions do not affect the resulting emissivity spectra to the degree observed in lunar soils and is highly dependent on composition. Such lab studies demonstrate the high sensitivity of TIR emissivity spectra to environmental conditions under which they are measured and indicate that the near surface environment of all airless bodies do not spectrally behave in similar ways. An initial set of TIR emissivity measurements of Phobos analogue materials will be made in the Simulated Lunar Environment chamber at the University of Oxford. These lab measurements will be characterized in an effort better understand how to interpret current and future TIR observations of Phobos.

  16. Environmental Conditions Determine the Course and Outcome of Phytoplankton Chytridiomycosis.

    PubMed

    Rohrlack, Thomas; Haande, Sigrid; Molversmyr, Åge; Kyle, Marcia

    2015-01-01

    Chytrid fungi are highly potent parasites of phytoplankton. They are thought to force phytoplankton organisms into an evolutionary arms race with high population diversity as the outcome. The underlying selection regime is known as Red Queen dynamics. However, our study suggests a more complex picture for chytrid parasitism in the cyanobacterium Planktothrix. Laboratory experiments identified a "cold thermal refuge", inside which Planktothrix can grow without chytrid infection. A field study in two Norwegian lakes underlined the ecological significance of this finding. The study utilized sediment DNA as a biological archive in combination with existing monitoring data. In one lake, temperature and light conditions forced Planktothrix outside the thermal refuge for most of the growing season. This probably resulted in Red Queen dynamics as suggested by a high parasitic pressure exerted by chytrids, an increase in Planktothrix genotype diversity over time, and a correlation between Planktothrix genotype diversity and duration of bloom events. In the second lake, a colder climate allowed Planktothrix to largely stay inside the thermal refuge. The parasitic pressure exerted by chytrids and Planktothrix genotype diversity remained low, indicating that Planktothrix successfully evaded the Red Queen dynamics. Episodic Planktothrix blooms were observed during spring and autumn circulation, in the metalimnion or under the ice. Interestingly, both lakes were dominated by the same or related Planktothrix genotypes. Taken together, our data suggest that, depending on environmental conditions, chytrid parasitism can impose distinct selection regimes on conspecific phytoplankton populations with similar genotype composition, causing these populations to behave and perhaps to evolve differently. PMID:26714010

  17. Epistatic interactions among metabolic genes depend upon environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Jagdishchandra Joshi, Chintan; Prasad, Ashok

    2014-10-01

    When the effect of the state of one gene is dependent on the state of another gene in more than an additive or a neutral way, the phenomenon is termed epistasis. In particular, positive epistasis signifies that the impact of the double deletion is less severe than the neutral combination, while negative epistasis signifies that the double deletion is more severe. Epistatic interactions between genes affect the fitness landscape of an organism in its environment and are believed to be important for the evolution of sex and the evolution of recombination. Here we use large-scale computational metabolic models of microorganisms to study epistasis computationally using Flux Balance Analysis (FBA). We study what the effects of the environment are on epistatic interactions between metabolic genes in three different microorganisms: the model bacterium E. coli, the cyanobacteria Synechocystis PCC6803 and the model green algae, C. reinhardtii. Prior studies have shown that under standard laboratory conditions epistatic interactions between metabolic genes are dominated by positive epistasis. We show here that epistatic interactions depend strongly upon environmental conditions, i.e. the source of carbon, the carbon/oxygen ratio, and for photosynthetic organisms, the intensity of light. By a comparative analysis of flux distributions under different conditions, we show that whether epistatic interactions are positive or negative depends upon the topology of the carbon flow between the reactions affected by the pair of genes being considered. Thus complex metabolic networks can show epistasis even without explicit interactions between genes, and the direction and the scale of epistasis are dependent on network flows. Our results suggest that the path of evolutionary adaptation in fluctuating environments is likely to be very history dependent because of the strong effect of the environment on epistasis. PMID:25018101

  18. Photodegradation of rotenone in soils under environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Cavoski, Ivana; Caboni, Pierluigi; Sarais, Giorgia; Cabras, Paolo; Miano, Teodoro

    2007-08-22

    An environmental fate study was performed to analyze the effects of soil components on the photochemical behavior of rotenone. Photodegradation experiments were carried out on three types of soil collected in southern Italy, Valenzano (VAL), Turi (TUR), and Conversano (CON), from April to June 2006. Soil thin-layer plates (1 mm thick) were spiked with 1.5 mg/kg of rotenone and exposed under natural conditions of sunlight and temperature. The plates were removed from the sunlight at predetermined intervals of continuous irradiation. Other soil samples, control and sterilized, were kept in the dark to evaluate possible effects of chemical and microbiological degradation during the irradiation experiment. The time for 50% loss of the initially applied rotenone varied from 5 to 7 h, following the order TUR < CON < VAL. In environmental studies, changes in temperature and/or moisture affected the degradation rate and caused deviations from first-order kinetics. The photolysis reaction fit the two compartment or the multiple compartment model pathways better. A fast initial decrease during the first 5 h of rotenone irradiation was followed by a much slower decline, which clearly indicates the rather complex chemical process of rotenone photodegradation on soil surfaces. Also, the degradation was shown to be directly related to the soil concentration of clay and organic matter. Rotenolone (12abeta-hydroxyrotenone) was detected by HPLC/DAD/MS analysis as the only photodegradation byproduct of rotenone in soil thin layers. Results provide additional insights on the rates and the mechanisms of rotenone degradation, aiming to describe more clearly the degradation performance of chemical residues in the environment. PMID:17658825

  19. Evaluation of Diesel Exhaust Continuous Monitors in Controlled Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Chang Ho; Patton, Allison P.; Zhang, Andrew; Fanac, Zhi-Hua (Tina); Weisel, Clifford P.; Lioy, Paul J.

    2015-01-01

    Diesel exhaust (DE) contains a variety of toxic air pollutants, including diesel particulate matter (DPM) and gaseous contaminants (e.g., carbon monoxide (CO)). DPM is dominated by fine (PM2.5) and ultrafine particles (UFP), and can be representatively determined by its thermal-optical refractory as elemental carbon (EC) or light-absorbing characteristics as black carbon (BC). The currently accepted reference method for sampling and analysis of occupational exposure to DPM is the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Method 5040. However, this method cannot provide in-situ short-term measurements of DPM. Thus, real-time monitors are gaining attention to better examine DE exposures in occupational settings. However, real-time monitors are subject to changing environmental conditions. Field measurements have reported interferences in optical sensors and subsequent real-time readings, under conditions of high humidity and abrupt temperature changes. To begin dealing with these issues, we completed a controlled study to evaluate five real-time monitors: Airtec real-time DPM/EC Monitor, TSI SidePak Personal Aerosol Monitor AM510 (PM2.5), TSI Condensation Particle Counter 3007, microAeth AE51 BC Aethalometer, and Langan T15n CO Measurer. Tests were conducted under different temperatures (55, 70, and 80 °F), relative humidity (10, 40, and 80%), and DPM concentrations (50 and 200 µg/m3) in a controlled exposure facility. The 2-hour averaged EC measurements from the Airtec instrument showed relatively good agreement with NIOSH Method 5040 (R2=0.84; slope=1.17±0.06; N=27) and reported ~17% higher EC concentrations than the NIOSH reference method. Temperature, relative humidity, and DPM levels did not significantly affect relative differences in 2-hour averaged EC concentrations obtained by the Airtec instrument versus the NIOSH method (p<0.05). Multiple linear regression analyses, based on 1-min averaged data, suggested combined effects of up to 5% from relative humidity and temperature on real-time measurements. The overall deviations of these real-time monitors from the NIOSH method results were ≤20%. However, simultaneous monitoring of temperature and relative humidity is recommended in field investigations to understand and correct for environmental impacts on real-time monitoring data. PMID:25894766

  20. Environmental Conditions Determine the Course and Outcome of Phytoplankton Chytridiomycosis

    PubMed Central

    Haande, Sigrid; Molversmyr, Åge

    2015-01-01

    Chytrid fungi are highly potent parasites of phytoplankton. They are thought to force phytoplankton organisms into an evolutionary arms race with high population diversity as the outcome. The underlying selection regime is known as Red Queen dynamics. However, our study suggests a more complex picture for chytrid parasitism in the cyanobacterium Planktothrix. Laboratory experiments identified a “cold thermal refuge”, inside which Planktothrix can grow without chytrid infection. A field study in two Norwegian lakes underlined the ecological significance of this finding. The study utilized sediment DNA as a biological archive in combination with existing monitoring data. In one lake, temperature and light conditions forced Planktothrix outside the thermal refuge for most of the growing season. This probably resulted in Red Queen dynamics as suggested by a high parasitic pressure exerted by chytrids, an increase in Planktothrix genotype diversity over time, and a correlation between Planktothrix genotype diversity and duration of bloom events. In the second lake, a colder climate allowed Planktothrix to largely stay inside the thermal refuge. The parasitic pressure exerted by chytrids and Planktothrix genotype diversity remained low, indicating that Planktothrix successfully evaded the Red Queen dynamics. Episodic Planktothrix blooms were observed during spring and autumn circulation, in the metalimnion or under the ice. Interestingly, both lakes were dominated by the same or related Planktothrix genotypes. Taken together, our data suggest that, depending on environmental conditions, chytrid parasitism can impose distinct selection regimes on conspecific phytoplankton populations with similar genotype composition, causing these populations to behave and perhaps to evolve differently. PMID:26714010

  1. Episyenites within the Tauern Window metagranitoids: unpredictable?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennacchioni, Giorgio; Ceccato, Alberto; Fioretti, Anna Maria; Mazzoli, Claudio; Zorzi, Federico; Ferretti, Patrizia

    2015-04-01

    The core of the Tauern tectonic window (Eastern Alps) consists of dominant pre-Alpine granitoids (~295 Ma) that were metamorphosed and deformed during the Alpine orogenesis (at ~30 Ma). Ductile deformation at peak conditions (550-600 ° C and 0.5-0.7 GPa) was followed by cataclastic faulting (Pennacchioni and Mancktelow, 2007). Both deformation phases occurred in a fluid-rich environment with formation of veins filled with quartz- calcite-biotite-feldspar and quartz-chlorite-epidote-adularia-calcite, respectively. Faults are typically low displacement strike-slip structures (offset < 1m) organized in en-echelon arrays at different scales with a stepping geometry consistent with the sense of fault slip (e.g. left-stepping for dextral slip). Fault stepovers include pervasive fracturing dominated by a set of antithetic faults (Pennacchioni and Mancktelow, 2013). These faults were locally exploited by episyenitic alteration which represented the "last" event of fluid-rock interaction in the Tauern metagranitoids. Episyenites within metagranodiorites have a macroscopic porosity in the range between 25 and 35% volume (determined by microtomography), mostly derived from dissolution of multi-mm-sized quartz. Recent glacier-polished outcrops provide a unique opportunity to investigate the relationships between episyenites and overprinted faults. Detailed field mapping of a selected outcrop indicates that episyenites: (i) are spatially linked to precursor faults and statically overprinted all previous structures; (ii) occur discontinuously along faults; (iii) have a thickness (of as much as a few meters) that does not correlate with either the amount of fault slip or the density of the fracture network; (iv) developed independently of rock type (passing "undisturbed" lithologic boundaries with conspicuous variations of quartz grain size of the protolith lithology). Although the faults in the studied outcrop are extensively decorated by relatively large volumes of episyenite, occurrences of episyenite in the Tauern granitoids are generally rare. This study indicates that there is not a simple way to predict the location and the extent of episyenite alteration from the geometry and fracturing patterns of the network of precursor cataclastic faults. The dominant quartz dissolution during episyenitization was accompanied and/or followed by: (i) pervasive substitution of oligoclase and chlorite/biotite of the metagranodiorite by albite and clay-minerals, respectively, and (ii) limited precipitation of new adularia, anatase, calcite, hematite and zeolite within pores. Isotopic data from calcite filling the episyenite porosity suggest a meteoric source of the fluids (δ18O (SMOW) ˜ -2 o). In contrast, fluids synkinematic with previous episodes of fluid-rock interaction during faulting and ductile shearing had a deeper origin (δ18O (SMOW) ˜ 8-9 o). References Pennacchioni, G., Mancktelow, N.S., 2007. J. Struct. Geol. 29, 1757-1780. Pennacchioni, G., Mancktelow, N.S., 2013. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 125, 1468-1483.

  2. Unpredictable and Uncontrollable Events: A New Perspective on Experimental Neurosis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kihlstrom, John F.; Mineka, Susan

    1978-01-01

    Recent work has shown that unpredictable and/or uncontrollable events can produce a variety of cognitive, affective, and somatic disturbances to the organism. These disturbances are compared to and found to be quite similar to the symptoms of the classic cases of experimental neurosis described by Pavlov, Gantt, Liddell, Masserman, and Wolpe.…

  3. Transport Across Chloroplast Membranes: Optimizing Photosynthesis for Adverse Environmental Conditions.

    PubMed

    Pottosin, Igor; Shabala, Sergey

    2016-03-01

    Chloroplasts are central to solar light harvesting and photosynthesis. Optimal chloroplast functioning is vitally dependent on a very intensive traffic of metabolites and ions between the cytosol and stroma, and should be attuned for adverse environmental conditions. This is achieved by an orchestrated regulation of a variety of transport systems located at chloroplast membranes such as porines, solute channels, ion-specific cation and anion channels, and various primary and secondary active transport systems. In this review we describe the molecular nature and functional properties of the inner and outer envelope and thylakoid membrane channels and transporters. We then discuss how their orchestrated regulation affects thylakoid structure, electron transport and excitation energy transfer, proton-motive force partition, ion homeostasis, stromal pH regulation, and volume regulation. We link the activity of key cation and anion transport systems with stress-specific signaling processes in chloroplasts, and discuss how these signals interact with the signals generated in other organelles to optimize the cell performance, with a special emphasis on Ca(2+) and reactive oxygen species signaling. PMID:26597501

  4. Age at menarche: the influence of environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saar, E.; Shalev, C.; Dalal, I.; Sod-Moriah, U. A.

    1988-03-01

    Age at menarche was studied by the recollection method in two groups of Causasian Jewish high school girls, inhabitants of two towns in Israel, Safad and Elat. The two towns differ mainly in climatic conditions. The age at menarche was found to be significantly lower ( P<0.02) in the hot town of Elat than in the temperate town of Safad: 13.30±1.21 and 13.58±0.9 years, respectively (mean ±SD). A significant association was found between the age at menarche and the town in which the girls lived. Accordingly, in the hot town of Elat, the percentage of girls who had their first menstrual cycle by the age of 12 years and earlier, was more than double that of the girls in Safad (17.9% and 7.1%, respectively). It is concluded that the environmental temperature, with or without any possible interaction of humidity, is probably responsible for the tendency for an earlier onset of menarche in girls living in the hot town of Elat.

  5. Environmental Conditions in a Chamber with Dry Ice.

    PubMed

    Artwohl, James E.; Kovacs, Mark; Bennett, B. Taylor

    1999-01-01

    Dry ice is used in research laboratories as a source of CO2 for euthanasia of rodents. The present study was performed to evaluate environmental conditions created in a standard (9-liter) bell jar. By using a portable gas analyzer and measuring at 7.5 cm above the platform, we evaluated the chamber filling rate at room temperature with a known quantity of dry ice, maintenance of 70% CO2, and concentration of CO2 maintained when the top of the chamber was removed and replaced. Ambient temperature in the chamber and temperature of the platform were also measured. Results indicated that 500 g dry ice was required to maintain the filling rate and CO2 concentration at levels recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association Panel on Euthanasia; that after removal of an animal, the lid should be replaced for 1 min before placing another animal in the chamber; and that although ambient temperature in the chamber never fell below 178C during an 80-min period, the platform temperature decreased to 08C. If a chamber must be used as described above for more than 1 h, consideration should be given to alternating between two chambers and allowing a chamber to warm to room temperature before reuse. PMID:12086455

  6. Impact of Environmental Conditions on the Survival of Cryptosporidium and Giardia on Environmental Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Alum, Absar; Absar, Isra M.; Asaad, Hamas; Rubino, Joseph R.; Ijaz, M. Khalid

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to find out the impact of environmental conditions on the survival of intestinal parasites on environmental surfaces commonly implicated in the transmission of these parasites. The study was performed by incubating Cryptosporidium and Giardia (oo)cysts on environmentally relevant surfaces such as brushed stainless steel, formica, ceramic, fabric, and skin. Parallel experiments were conducted using clean and soiled coupons incubated under three temperatures. The die-off coefficient rates (K) were calculated using first-order exponential formula. For both parasites, the fastest die-off was recorded on fabric, followed by ceramic, formica, skin, and steel. Die-off rates were directly correlated to the incubation temperatures and surface porosity. The presence of organic matter enhanced the survivability of the resting stages of test parasites. The decay rates calculated in this study can be used in models for public health decision-making process and highlights the mitigation role of hand hygiene agents in their prevention and control. PMID:25045350

  7. Impact of environmental conditions on the survival of cryptosporidium and giardia on environmental surfaces.

    PubMed

    Alum, Absar; Absar, Isra M; Asaad, Hamas; Rubino, Joseph R; Ijaz, M Khalid

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to find out the impact of environmental conditions on the survival of intestinal parasites on environmental surfaces commonly implicated in the transmission of these parasites. The study was performed by incubating Cryptosporidium and Giardia (oo)cysts on environmentally relevant surfaces such as brushed stainless steel, formica, ceramic, fabric, and skin. Parallel experiments were conducted using clean and soiled coupons incubated under three temperatures. The die-off coefficient rates (K) were calculated using first-order exponential formula. For both parasites, the fastest die-off was recorded on fabric, followed by ceramic, formica, skin, and steel. Die-off rates were directly correlated to the incubation temperatures and surface porosity. The presence of organic matter enhanced the survivability of the resting stages of test parasites. The decay rates calculated in this study can be used in models for public health decision-making process and highlights the mitigation role of hand hygiene agents in their prevention and control. PMID:25045350

  8. Prediction of glass durability as a function of environmental conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Jantzen, C.M.

    1988-01-01

    A thermodynamic model of glass durability is applied to natural, ancient, and nuclear waste glasses. The durabilities of over 150 different natural and man-made glasses, including actual ancient Roman and Islamic glasses (Jalame ca. 350 AD, Nishapur 10-11th century AD and Gorgon 9-11th century AD), are compared. Glass durability is a function of the thermodynamic hydration free energy, ..delta..G/sub hyd/, which can be calculated from glass composition and solution pH. The durability of the most durable nuclear waste glasses examined was /approximately/10/sup 6/ years. The least durable waste glass formulations were comparable in durability to the most durable simulated medieval window glasses of /approximately/10/sup 3/ years. In this manner, the durability of nuclear waste glasses has been interpolated to be /approximately/10/sup 6/ years and no less than 10/sup 3/ years. Hydration thermodynamics have been shown to be applicable to the dissolution of glass in various natural environments. Groundwater-glass interactions relative to geologic disposal of nuclear waste, hydration rind dating of obsidians, andor other archeological studies can be modeled, e.g., the relative durabilities of six simulated medieval window glasses have been correctly predicted for both laboratory (one month) and burial (5 years) experiments. Effects of solution pH on glass dissolution has been determined experimentally for the 150 different glasses and can be predicted theoretically by hydration thermodynamics. The effects of solution redox on dissolution of glass matrix elements such as SI and B have shown to be minimal. The combined effects of solution pH and Eh have been described and unified by construction of thermodynamically calculated Pourbaix (pH-Eh) diagrams for glass dissolution. The Pourbaix diagrams have been quantified to describe glass dissolution as a function of environmental conditions by use of the data derived from hydration thermodynamics. 56 refs., 7 figs.

  9. Effects of Environmental Conditions on an Urban Wetland's Methane Fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naor Azrieli, L.; Morin, T. H.; Bohrer, G.; Schafer, K. V.; Brooker, M.; Mitsch, W. J.

    2013-12-01

    Methane emissions from wetlands are the largest natural source of uncertainty in the global methane (CH4) budget. Wetlands are highly productive ecosystems with a large carbon sequestration potential. While wetlands are a net sink for carbon dioxide, they also release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. To effectively develop wetland management techniques, it is important to properly calculate the carbon budget of wetlands by understand the driving factors of methane fluxes. We constructed an eddy flux covariance system in the Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, a series of created and restored wetland in Columbus Ohio. Through the use of high frequency open path infrared gas analyzer (IRGA) sensors, we have continuously monitored the methane fluxes associated with the wetland since May 2011. To account for the heterogeneous landscape surrounding the tower, a footprint analysis was used to isolate data originating from within the wetland. Continuous measurements of the meteorological and environmental conditions at the wetlands coinciding with the flux measurements allow the interactions between methane fluxes and the climate and ecological forcing to be studied. The wintertime daily cycle of methane peaks around midday indicating a typical diurnal pattern in cold months. In the summer, the peak shifts to earlier in the day and also includes a daily peak occurring at approximately 10 AM. We believe this peak is associated with the onset of photosynthesis in Typha latifolia flushing methane from the plant's air filled tissue. Correlations with methane fluxes include latent heat flux, soil temperature, and incoming radiation. The connection to radiation may be further evidence of plant activity as a driver of methane fluxes. Higher methane fluxes corresponding with higher soil temperature indicates that warmer days stimulate the methanogenic consortium. Further analysis will focus on separating the methane fluxes into emissions from different terrain types within the wetland.

  10. Race, Social and Environmental Conditions, and Health Behaviors in Men.

    PubMed

    Thorpe, Roland J; Kennedy-Hendricks, Alene; Griffith, Derek M; Bruce, Marino A; Coa, Kisha; Bell, Caryn N; Young, Jessica; Bowie, Janice V; LaVeist, Thomas A

    2015-01-01

    Although understanding race differences in health behaviors among men is an important step in reducing disparities in leading causes of death in the United States, progress has been stifled when using national data because of the confounding of race, socioeconomic status, and residential segregation. The purpose of this study is to examine the nature of disparities in health behaviors among African American and white men in the Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities Study-Southwest Baltimore, which was conducted in a racially integrated neighborhood of Baltimore to data from the 2003 National Health Interview Survey. After adjusting for age, marital status, insurance, income, educational attainment, poor or fair health, and obesity status, African American men in National Health Interview Survey had greater odds of being physically inactive (odds ratio [OR] = 1.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 129-1.69), reduced odds of being a current smoker (OR = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.65-0.90), and reduced odds of being a current drinker (OR = 0.58; 95% CI, 0.50-0.67). In the Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities Study-Southwest Baltimore sample, African American and white men had similar odds of being physically inactive (OR = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.50-1.24), being a current smoker (OR = 0.86; 95% CI, 0.60-1.23), or being a current drinker (OR = 1.34; 95% CI, 0.81-2.21). Because race disparities in these health behaviors were ameliorated in the sample where African American and white men were living under similar social, environmental, and socioeconomic status conditions, these findings suggest that social environment may be an important determinant of health behaviors among African American and white men. Public health interventions and health promotion strategies should consider the social environment when seeking to better understand men's health disparities. PMID:26291190

  11. The role of an alpha animal in changing environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Wolter, Riccarda; Pantel, Norbert; Stefanski, Volker; Möstl, Erich; Krueger, Konstanze

    2014-06-22

    The maintenance and development of conservation areas by grazing of large herbivores, such as Przewalski's horses, is common practice. Several nature conservation areas house male bachelor groups of this species. When males are needed for breeding they are removed from the groups, often without considering group compositions and individual social positions. However, alpha animals are needed for ensuring group stability and decision making in potentially dangerous situations in several species. To investigate the role of the alpha male in a bachelor group, we observed the behaviour of five Przewalski's horse males during the enlargement of their enclosure. We analyzed the group's social structure and movement orders, as well as the animals' connectedness, activity budgets, and whether they moved with preferred group members and how factors such as social rank influenced the horses' behaviour. We also investigated the excretion of glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM) via faeces of the horses while exploring a new area as a parameter of glucocorticoid production. Our results show that the alpha male is important for a bachelor group in changing environmental conditions. The alpha male had the highest level of connectedness within the group. When exploring the new environment, its position in the group changed from previously being the last to being the first. Furthermore the whole group behaviour changed when exploring the new area. The stallions showed reduced resting behavior, increased feeding and did not stay close to each other. We found that the excretion of glucocorticoid metabolites of most horses rose only marginally during the first days on the new area while only the alpha male showed a significant increased amount of glucocorticoid production during the first day of the enclosure enlargement. PMID:24878311

  12. INTEGRATED ASSESSMENTS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITION OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Chesapeake Bay, the Nation's largest estuary, has experienced environmental degradation due to nutrient enrichment, contamination, loss of habitat, and over-harvesting of living resources. Resource managers need information on the extent of degradation to formulate restoratio...

  13. The unpredictability of prolonged activation of stress response pathways

    PubMed Central

    Lamech, Lilian T.

    2015-01-01

    In response to stress, cellular compartments activate signaling pathways that mediate transcriptional programs to promote survival and reestablish homeostasis. Manipulation of the magnitude and duration of the activation of stress responses has been proposed as a strategy to prevent or repair the damage associated with aging or degenerative diseases. However, as these pathways likely evolved to respond specifically to transient perturbations, the unpredictability of prolonged activation should be considered. PMID:26101215

  14. Clocking in the face of unpredictability beyond quantum uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madjid, F. Hadi; Myers, John M.

    2015-05-01

    In earlier papers we showed unpredictability beyond quantum uncertainty in atomic clocks, ensuing from a proven gap between given evidence and explanations of that evidence. Here we reconceive a clock, not as an isolated entity, but as enmeshed in a self-adjusting communications network adapted to one or another particular investigation, in contact with an unpredictable environment. From the practical uses of clocks, we abstract a clock enlivened with the computational capacity of a Turing machine, modified to transmit and to receive numerical communications. Such "live clocks" phase the steps of their computations to mesh with the arrival of transmitted numbers. We lift this phasing, known in digital communications, to a principle of logical synchronization, distinct from the synchronization defined by Einstein in special relativity. Logical synchronization elevates digital communication to a topic in physics, including applications to biology. One explores how feedback loops in clocking affect numerical signaling among entities functioning in the face of unpredictable influences, making the influences themselves into subjects of investigation. The formulation of communications networks in terms of live clocks extends information theory by expressing the need to actively maintain communications channels, and potentially, to create or drop them. We show how networks of live clocks are presupposed by the concept of coordinates in a spacetime. A network serves as an organizing principle, even when the concept of the rigid body that anchors a special-relativistic coordinate system is inapplicable, as is the case, for example, in a generic curved spacetime.

  15. Environmental conditions that influence toxin biosynthesis in cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Neilan, Brett A; Pearson, Leanne A; Muenchhoff, Julia; Moffitt, Michelle C; Dittmann, Elke

    2013-05-01

    Over the past 15 years, the genetic basis for production of many cyanobacterial bioactive compounds has been described. This knowledge has enabled investigations into the environmental factors that regulate the production of these toxins at the molecular level. Such molecular or systems level studies are also likely to reveal the physiological role of the toxin and contribute to effective water resource management. This review focuses on the environmental regulation of some of the most relevant cyanotoxins, namely the microcystins, nodularin, cylindrospermopsin, saxitoxins, anatoxins and jamaicamides. PMID:22429476

  16. Behavioral and neurochemical effects of dietary methyl donor deficiency combined with unpredictable chronic mild stress in rats.

    PubMed

    Javelot, H; Messaoudi, M; Jacquelin, C; Bisson, J F; Rozan, P; Nejdi, A; Lazarus, C; Cassel, J C; Strazielle, C; Lalonde, R

    2014-03-15

    Methyl donor deficiencies and chronic stress cause depression independently, but their interaction has never been thoroughly evaluated. In our study, methyl donor deficient diet and chronic stress condition consisted respectively of a B2, B9, B12, and choline-free diet and a chronic mild stress procedure. Rats were randomly assigned to six groups with three "diet" conditions (free-feeding, pair-fed and methyl donor deficient diet) and two "stress" conditions (no-stress and stress) and were evaluated in the open-field, the elevated plus-maze and the forced swimming test. After the behavioral evaluation, corticosterone and homocysteine plasma levels were measured and dopamine, DOPAC, serotonin, 5HIAA concentrations were evaluated in several brain areas. Rats given a methyl donor deficient diet for 11 weeks causing elevated plasma homocysteine levels were compared to pair-fed and free-feeding rats with or without unpredictable chronic mild stress. Regardless of stress environmental conditions, the methyl donor deficient diet decreased plasma corticosterone levels and caused disinhibition in the elevated plus-maze condition relative to both control groups. However, stress potentiated the effects of the deficient regimen on rearing in the open-field and climbing in the forced swim test. The dietary changes involved in behavior and plasma corticosterone could be caused by homocysteine-induced decreases in dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine metabolites in selective brain regions and it can be noted that regardless of stress-conditions, methyl donor deficient diet decreases DOPAC/dopamine and 5HIAA/serotonin ratios in striatum and hypothalamus and selectively 5HIAA/serotonin ratio in the sensorimotor cortex. Our experimental data is particularly relevant in the context of neuropsychiatric disorders frequently associated with folate deficiency and hyperhomocysteinemia. PMID:24333542

  17. Perceiving environmental properties from motion information: Minimal conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Proffitt, Dennis R.; Kaiser, Mary K.

    1989-01-01

    The status of motion as a minimal information source for perceiving the environmental properties of surface segregation, three-dimensional (3-D) form, displacement, and dynamics is discussed. The selection of these particular properties was motivated by a desire to present research on perceiving properties that span the range of dimensional complexity.

  18. Coping with uncertainty: breeding adjustments to an unpredictable environment in an opportunistic raptor.

    PubMed

    Sergio, Fabrizio; Blas, J; López, L; Tanferna, A; Díaz-Delgado, R; Donázar, J A; Hiraldo, F

    2011-05-01

    No environment is truly constant in time. As a result, animals have evolved multiple adjustments to cope with such fluctuations. However, the allocation of effort to costly activities that imply long-term commitments, such as breeding, may be extremely challenging when future resources change constantly and unpredictably, a context that has received little investigation. To fill this gap, we studied the breeding response by a wetland-dependent raptor, the black kite Milvus migrans, to within and between-years fluctuations in resource availability (inundation levels). The breeding performance of the population was decomposed into reproductive components expressed in a sequence of successive tasks along the breeding cycle (e.g. timing of laying, clutch size, hatching success, brood reduction). Variation in each component was related to resource levels observed at different key dates of the season in order to test whether and when population-level reproduction was adjusted to available resources. Along a 22-year time-series, inundation levels fluctuated unpredictably within and among years, and mostly affected the later components of kites' reproduction, such as hatching success and the incidence of brood reduction, which were the main determinants of the population yearly breeding output. Results were consistent with multiple adjustments to cope with uncertainty. As the season progressed and resources became easier to assess, a bet-hedging waiting strategy based on a conservatively small, invariant and asynchronous clutch gave way to real-time resource-tracking mechanisms mediated by progressive adjustments to current prey availability, so that population-level breeding rates were determined and tuned to resources rather late in the season. Such adjustments were the likely outcome of the interaction between parental tactics and environmental constraints. Behavioural flexibility, such as dietary opportunism, probably promoted further resistance to resource oscillations. Given that all ecosystems show some degree of unpredictability, resource-tracking adjustments, such as the ones depicted here, are likely to be commonplace in most communities. PMID:20953963

  19. Biodiversity buffers pollination from changes in environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Brittain, Claire; Kremen, Claire; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2013-02-01

    A hypothesized underlying principle of the diversity-functioning relationship is that functional groups respond differently to environmental change. Over 3 years, we investigated how pollinator diversity contributes to the magnitude of pollination service through spatial complementarity and differential response to high winds in California almond orchards. We found honey bees preferentially visited the top sections of the tree. Where wild pollinators were present, they showed spatial complementarity to honey bees and visited the bottom tree sections more frequently. As wind speed increased, honey bees' spatial preference shifted toward the bottom tree sections. In high winds (>2.5 m s(-1) ), orchards with low pollinator diversity (honey bees only) received almost no flower visits. In orchards with high pollinator diversity, visitation decreased to a lesser extent as wild bee visitation was unaffected by high winds. Our results demonstrate how spatial complementarity in diverse communities can help buffer pollination services to environmental changes like wind speed. PMID:23504791

  20. Assessing the Relationship between Socioeconomic Conditions and Urban Environmental Quality in Accra, Ghana

    PubMed Central

    Fobil, Julius; May, Juergen; Kraemer, Alexander

    2010-01-01

    The influence of socioeconomic status (SES) on health inequalities is widely known, but there is still poor understanding of the precise relationship between area-based socioeconomic conditions and neighborhood environmental quality. This study aimed to investigate the socioeconomic conditions which predict urban neighbourhood environmental quality. The results showed wide variation in levels of association between the socioeconomic variables and environmental conditions, with strong evidence of a real difference in environmental quality across the five socioeconomic classes with respect to total waste generation (p < 0.001), waste collection rate (p < 0.001), sewer disposal rate (p < 0.001), non-sewer disposal (p < 0.003), the proportion of households using public toilets (p = 0.005). Socioeconomic conditions are therefore important drivers of change in environmental quality and urban environmental interventions aimed at infectious disease prevention and control if they should be effective could benefit from simultaneous implementation with other social interventions. PMID:20195437

  1. 78 FR 7850 - Sixty First Meeting: RTCA Special Committee 135, Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-04

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Sixty First Meeting: RTCA Special Committee 135, Environmental Conditions... public of the Sixty-First meeting of the RTCA Special Committee 135, Environmental Conditions and...

  2. EFFECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ON ISOPRENE EMISSION FROM LIVE OAK

    EPA Science Inventory

    Live-oak plants (Quercus virginia) were subjected to various levels of CO2, water stress or photosynthetic photon flux density to test the hypothesis that isoprene biosynthesis occurred only under conditions of restricted CO2 availability. Isoprene emission increases as the ambie...

  3. Overview of environmental and hydrogeologic conditions at Galena, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nakanishi, Allan S.; Dorava, Joseph M.

    1994-01-01

    The remote Native village of Galena along the Yukon River in west-central Alaska has long cold winters and short summers that affects the hydrology of the area. The Federal Aviation Administration owns or operates airport support facilities in Galena and wishes to consider the subsistence lifestyle of the residents and the quality of the current environment when evaluating options for remediation of environmental contamination at these facilities. Galena is located on the flood plain of the Yukon River and obtains its drinking water from a shallow aquifer located in the thick alluvium underlying the village. Surface spills and disposal of hazardous materials combined with annual flooding of the Yukon River may affect the quality of the ground water. Alternative drinking-water sources are available but at significantly greater cost than existing supplies.

  4. Overview of environmental and hydrogeologic conditions at Barrow, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCarthy, K.A.

    1994-01-01

    To assist the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in evaluating the potential effects of environmental contamination at their facility in Barrow, Alaska, a general assessment was made of the hydrologic system is the vicinity of the installation. The City of Barrow is located approximately 16 kilometers southwest of Point Barrow, the northernmost point in Alaska, and therefore lies within the region of continuous permafrost. Migration of surface or shallow- subsurface chemical releases in this environ- ment would be largely restricted by near-surface permafrost to surface water and the upper, suprapermafrost zone of the subsurface. In the arctic climate and tundra terrain of the Barrow area, this shallow environment has a limited capacity to attenuate the effects of either physical disturbances or chemical contamination and is therefore highly susceptible to degradation. Esatkuat Lagoon, the present drink- ing water supply for the City of Barrow, is located approximately 2 kilometers from the FAA facility. This lagoon is the only practical source of drinking water available to the City of Barrow because alternative sources of water in the area are (1) frozen throughout most of the year, (2) insufficient in volume, (3) of poor quality, or (4) too costly to develop and distribute.

  5. Multivariable environmental conditions promote photosynthetic adaptation potential in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Wituszy?ska, Weronika; Ga??zka, Kamila; Rusaczonek, Anna; Vanderauwera, Sandy; Van Breusegem, Frank; Karpi?ski, Stanis?aw

    2013-04-15

    Most of our knowledge on the regulation of photosynthesis originates from studies performed in highly controlled laboratory conditions. However, in their natural habitats plants are simultaneously subjected to a broad range of abiotic and biotic stimuli which influence photosynthetic efficiency; hence there is an emerging need to examine the process of photosynthesis under multivariable field conditions in order to elucidate the mechanisms that underlie its regulation. Such knowledge has potential for providing novel targets that would improve both crop yield and performance. In the present study we compared laboratory- and field-grown Arabidopsis thaliana plants in terms of photosynthetic efficiency in modulated light intensities and CO2 concentrations. We show here that the field-acclimated plants display highly efficient photosynthesis and are more tolerant to variable light intensities and CO2 concentrations than their laboratory-grown counterparts. We also demonstrate that some structural rearrangements of LHCII and PSII, together with altered pigments composition and stomatal density, are responsible for the differences in assimilation and photochemistry. Furthermore, we employ a transcript profiling approach to explain the genetic mechanisms underlying these adaptations and suggest that they are mainly induced by the high and fluctuating light intensities which occur in the natural environment. PMID:23287000

  6. Neighborhood Urban Environmental Quality Conditions Are Likely to Drive Malaria and Diarrhea Mortality in Accra, Ghana

    PubMed Central

    Fobil, Julius N.; Kraemer, Alexander; Meyer, Christian G.; May, Juergen

    2011-01-01

    Background. Urbanization is a process which alters the structure and function of urban environments. The alteration in the quality of urban environmental conditions has significant implications for health. This applies both to the ecology of insect vectors that may transmit diseases and the burden of disease. Study Objectives. To investigate the relationship between malaria and infectious diarrhea mortality and spatially varied neighborhood environmental quality conditions in a low-income economy. Design. A one time point spatial analysis of cluster-level environmental conditions and mortality data using principal component analysis (PCA), one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and generalized linear models (GLMs). Methods. Environmental variables were extracted from the Ghana Census 2000 database while mortality data were obtained from the Ghana Births and Deaths Registry in Accra over the period 1998–2002. Results. Whereas there was a strong evidence of a difference in relative mortality of malaria across urban environmental zones of differing neighborhood environmental conditions, no such evidence of mortality differentials was observed for diarrhea. In addition, whereas bivariate analyses showed a weak to strong evidence of association between the environmental variables and malaria mortality, no evidence of association was found between diarrhea mortality and environmental variables. Conclusion. We conclude that environmental management initiatives intended for infectious disease control might substantially reduce the risk of urban malaria mortality and to a less extent that for urban diarrhea mortality in rapidly urbanizing areas in a low-income setting. PMID:21776438

  7. Rift Valley Fever Outbreaks in Mauritania and Related Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Caminade, Cyril; Ndione, Jacques A.; Diallo, Mawlouth; MacLeod, Dave A.; Faye, Ousmane; Ba, Yamar; Dia, Ibrahima; Morse, Andrew P.

    2014-01-01

    Four large outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) occurred in Mauritania in 1998, 2003, 2010 and 2012 which caused lots of animal and several human deaths. We investigated rainfall and vegetation conditions that might have impacted on RVF transmission over the affected regions. Our results corroborate that RVF transmission generally occurs during the months of September and October in Mauritania, similarly to Senegal. The four outbreaks were preceded by a rainless period lasting at least a week followed by heavy precipitation that took place during the second half of the rainy season. First human infections were generally reported three to five weeks later. By bridging the gap between meteorological forecasting centers and veterinary services, an early warning system might be developed in Senegal and Mauritania to warn decision makers and health services about the upcoming RVF risk. PMID:24413703

  8. Corrosion behavior of carbon steels under tuff repository environmental conditions

    SciTech Connect

    McCright, R.D.; Weiss, H.

    1984-10-01

    Carbon steels may be used for borehole liners in a potential high-level nuclear waste repository in tuff in Nevada. Borehole liners are needed to facilitate emplacement of the waste packages and to facilitate retrieval of the packages, if required. Corrosion rates of low carbon structural steels AISI 1020 and ASTM A-36 were determined in J-13 well water and in saturated steam at 100{sup 0}C. Tests were conducted in air-sparged J-13 water to attain more oxidizing conditions representative of irradiated aqueous environments. A limited number of irradiation corrosion and stress corrosion tests were performed. Chromium-molybdenum alloy steels and cast irons were also tested. These materials showed lower general corrosion but were susceptible to stress corrosion cracking when welded. 4 references, 4 tables.

  9. Rift Valley Fever outbreaks in Mauritania and related environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Caminade, Cyril; Ndione, Jacques A; Diallo, Mawlouth; MacLeod, Dave A; Faye, Ousmane; Ba, Yamar; Dia, Ibrahima; Morse, Andrew P

    2014-01-01

    Four large outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) occurred in Mauritania in 1998, 2003, 2010 and 2012 which caused lots of animal and several human deaths. We investigated rainfall and vegetation conditions that might have impacted on RVF transmission over the affected regions. Our results corroborate that RVF transmission generally occurs during the months of September and October in Mauritania, similarly to Senegal. The four outbreaks were preceded by a rainless period lasting at least a week followed by heavy precipitation that took place during the second half of the rainy season. First human infections were generally reported three to five weeks later. By bridging the gap between meteorological forecasting centers and veterinary services, an early warning system might be developed in Senegal and Mauritania to warn decision makers and health services about the upcoming RVF risk. PMID:24413703

  10. 76 FR 22161 - Fifty Seventh Meeting: RTCA Special Committee 135, Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-20

    ... Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA... Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment. SUMMARY: The FAA is issuing this notice to advise the public of a meeting of RTCA Special Committee 135: Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures...

  11. Relationships among fisheries exploitation, environmental conditions, and ecological indicators across a series of marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Caihong; Large, Scott; Knight, Ben; Richardson, Anthony J.; Bundy, Alida; Reygondeau, Gabriel; Boldt, Jennifer; van der Meeren, Gro I.; Torres, Maria A.; Sobrino, Ignacio; Auber, Arnaud; Travers-Trolet, Morgane; Piroddi, Chiara; Diallo, Ibrahima; Jouffre, Didier; Mendes, Hugo; Borges, Maria Fatima; Lynam, Christopher P.; Coll, Marta; Shannon, Lynne J.; Shin, Yunne-Jai

    2015-08-01

    Understanding how external pressures impact ecosystem structure and functioning is essential for ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management. We quantified the relative effects of fisheries exploitation and environmental conditions on ecological indicators derived from two different data sources, fisheries catch data (catch-based) and fisheries independent survey data (survey-based) for 12 marine ecosystems using a partial least squares path modeling approach (PLS-PM). We linked these ecological indicators to the total biomass of the ecosystem. Although the effects of exploitation and environmental conditions differed across the ecosystems, some general results can be drawn from the comparative approach. Interestingly, the PLS-PM analyses showed that survey-based indicators were less tightly associated with each other than the catch-based ones. The analyses also showed that the effects of environmental conditions on the ecological indicators were predominantly significant, and tended to be negative, suggesting that in the recent period, indicators accounted for changes in environmental conditions and the changes were more likely to be adverse. Total biomass was associated with fisheries exploitation and environmental conditions; however its association with the ecological indicators was weak across the ecosystems. Knowledge of the relative influence of exploitation and environmental pressures on the dynamics within exploited ecosystems will help us to move towards ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management. PLS-PM proved to be a useful approach to quantify the relative effects of fisheries exploitation and environmental conditions and suggest it could be used more widely in fisheries oceanography.

  12. EVALUATION OF WASTE PACKAGE EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITION STUDY

    SciTech Connect

    E. N. Lindner and E. F. Dembowski

    1998-07-23

    The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) is studying Yucca Mountain as the possible site for a permanent underground repository for disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and other high-level waste (HLW). The emplacement of high-level radioactive waste in Yucca Mountain will release a large amount of heat into the rock above and below the repository. Due to this heat, the rock temperature will rise, and then decrease when the production of decay heat falls below the rate at which heat escapes from the hot zone. In addition to raising the rock temperature, the heat will vaporize water, which will condense in cooler regions. The condensate water may drain back toward the emplacement drifts or it may ''shed'' through the pillars between emplacement drifts. Other effects, such as coupled chemical and mechanical processes, may influence the movement of water above, within, and below the emplacement drifts. This study examined near field environmental parameters that could have an effect on the waste package, including temperature, humidity, seepage rate, pH of seepage, chemistry (dissolved salts/minerals) of seepage, composition of drift atmosphere, colloids, and biota. This report is a Type I analysis performed in support of the development of System Description Documents (SDDs). A Type I analysis is a quantitative or qualitative analysis that may fulfill any of a variety of purposes associated with the Monitored Geologic Repository (MGR), other than providing direct analytical support for design output documents. A Type I analysis may establish design input, as defined in the ''Quality Assurance Requirements and Description'' (QARD) (DOE 1998). This study establishes a technical basis for emplacement drift (i.e. at the waste package surface) environment criteria to be considered in the development of the waste package design. The information will support development of several SDDs and resolve emplacement drift external environment questions in the criteria of those documents. This study supports the following System Description Documents (SDDs): Uncanistered SNF Disposal Container, Canistered SNF Disposal Container, DHLW Disposal Container, DOE Waste Forms Disposal Container, Non-Fuel Components Disposal Container, Naval SNF Disposal Container and Ex-Container Systems development. Minimum and maximum bounding values for the parameters described in the scope of this study are established to support environment criteria development for those systems.

  13. Controllability modulates the neural response to predictable but not unpredictable threat in humans.

    PubMed

    Wood, Kimberly H; Wheelock, Muriah D; Shumen, Joshua R; Bowen, Kenton H; Ver Hoef, Lawrence W; Knight, David C

    2015-10-01

    Stress resilience is mediated, in part, by our ability to predict and control threats within our environment. Therefore, determining the neural mechanisms that regulate the emotional response to predictable and controllable threats may provide important new insight into the processes that mediate resilience to emotional dysfunction and guide the future development of interventions for anxiety disorders. To better understand the effect of predictability and controllability on threat-related brain activity in humans, two groups of healthy volunteers participated in a yoked Pavlovian fear conditioning study during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Threat predictability was manipulated by presenting an aversive unconditioned stimulus (UCS) that was either preceded by a conditioned stimulus (i.e., predictable) or by presenting the UCS alone (i.e., unpredictable). Similar to animal model research that has employed yoked fear conditioning procedures, one group (controllable condition; CC), but not the other group (uncontrollable condition; UC) was able to terminate the UCS. The fMRI signal response within the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), dorsomedial PFC, ventromedial PFC, and posterior cingulate was diminished during predictable compared to unpredictable threat (i.e., UCS). In addition, threat-related activity within the ventromedial PFC and bilateral hippocampus was diminished only to threats that were both predictable and controllable. These findings provide insight into how threat predictability and controllability affects the activity of brain regions (i.e., ventromedial PFC and hippocampus) involved in emotion regulation, and may have important implications for better understanding neural processes that mediate emotional resilience to stress. PMID:26149610

  14. Sustainable Environmental Education: Conditions and Characteristics Needed for a Successfully Integrated Program in Public Elementary Schools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rieckenberg, Cara Rae

    This case study investigated what conditions and characteristics contributed to a successful environmental education program within elementary schools of a school district where environmental education was the mandate. While research does exist on practical application of environmental education within schools, little if any literature has been written or research conducted on schools actually implementing environmental education to study what contributes to the successful implementation of the program. To study this issue, 24 participants from a Midwestern school district were interviewed, six of whom were principals of each of the six elementary schools included in the study. All participants were identified as champions of environmental education integration within their buildings due to leadership positions held focused on environmental education. Analysis of the data collected via interviews revealed findings that hindered the implementation of environmental education, findings that facilitated the implementation of environmental education, and findings that indicated an environmental education-focused culture existed within the schools. Conditions and characteristics found to contribute to the success of these school's environmental education programs include: professional development opportunities, administrative support, peer leadership opportunities and guidance, passion with the content and for the environment, comfort and confidence with the content, ease of activities and events that contribute to the culture and student success. Keywords: environmental education, integration, leadership, teachers as leaders.

  15. The stability of collected human scent under various environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Davia T; Curran, Allison M; Furton, Kenneth G

    2009-11-01

    Human scent evidence collected from objects at a crime scene is used for scent discrimination with specially trained canines. Storage of the scent evidence is usually required yet no optimized storage protocol has been determined. Storage containers including glass, polyethylene, and aluminized pouches were evaluated to determine the optimal medium for storing human scent evidence of which glass was determined to be the optimal storage matrix. Hand odor samples were collected on three different sorbent materials, sealed in glass vials and subjected to different storage environments including room temperature, -80 degrees C conditions, dark storage, and UVA/UVB light exposure over a 7-week period. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the headspace of the samples were extracted and identified using solid-phase micro-extraction-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (SPME-GC/MS). Three-dimensional covariance mapping showed that glass containers subjected to minimal UVA/UVB light exposure provide the most stable environment for stored human scent samples. PMID:19737339

  16. Chaotic Stochasticity: A Ubiquitous Source of Unpredictability in Epidemics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rand, D. A.; Wilson, H. B.

    1991-11-01

    We address the question of whether or not childhood epidemics such as measles and chickenpox are chaotic, and argue that the best explanation of the observed unpredictability is that it is a manifestation of what we call chaotic stochasticity. Such chaos is driven and made permanent by the fluctuations from the mean field encountered in epidemics, or by extrinsic stochastic noise, and is dependent upon the existence of chaotic repellors in the mean field dynamics. Its existence is also a consequence of the near extinctions in the epidemic. For such systems, chaotic stochasticity is likely to be far more ubiquitous than the presence of deterministic chaotic attractors. It is likely to be a common phenomenon in biological dynamics.

  17. Damage detection under varying environmental and operational conditions using Wavelet Transform Modulus Maxima decay lines similarity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tjirkallis, A.; Kyprianou, A.

    2016-01-01

    Over the last three decades, there have been increasing demands to develop and deploy Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems for engineering structures in service. Since these structures are subjected to varying environmental and operational conditions, reliable SHM methodologies must be capable of not misattributing to damage changes due to environmental conditions. This paper presents a novel damage detection methodology based on the similarity between maxima decay lines of the continuous wavelet transform scalogram of the structural responses obtained under different operational and environmental conditions. The normalized cross correlation (NCC) is used as a measure of this similarity. In addition, the pointwise summation of similar Wavelet Transform Modulus Maxima (WTMM) decay lines is used to identify changes due to the presence of damage from different force realizations and/or varying environmental conditions. The effectiveness of the proposed methodology is demonstrated using a simulated 3DOF system and an experimental cantilever beam.

  18. Multifunctional integrated optical circuit for the fiber gyro under environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regener, Rolf A.

    1989-02-01

    Pigtailed Ti:LiNbO3 multifunctional integrated optical circuits for use in fiber gyros have been developed and tested under environmental conditions. Emphasis has been placed on reliability of the fiber-to-waveguide attachment.

  19. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLIER ORGANIC TRANSFORMATIONS ON MINERAL SUPPORTS UNDER NON-TRADITIONAL CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Synthetic organic reactions performed under non-traditional conditions are gaining popularity primarily to circumvent the growing environmental concerns. A solvent-free approach that involves microwave (MW) exposure of neat reactants (undiluted) either in presence of a catalyst o...

  20. Water Retention of Extremophiles and Martian Soil Simulants Under Close to Martian Environmental Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jänchen, J.; Bauermeister, A.; Feyh, N.; deVera, J.-P.

    2012-05-01

    We report data about interaction of moisture with soil simulants and extremophiles under Martian environmental conditions contributing on atmosphere/surface modelling and on effects determining the water inventory of the upper soil layer of Mars.

  1. Using a Physical Education Environmental Survey to Identify Areas of Concern and Improve Conditions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Grant; Hulbert, George

    2007-01-01

    School environmental conditions can impact learning in physical educational classes. It is important for schools to control environmental health hazards, not only to promote a conducive school learning environment, but to also reduce associated health risks. To help physical education leaders determine the quality of physical education facilities…

  2. Neglected Buildings, Damaged Health: A "Snapshot" of New York City Public School Environmental Conditions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Advocates for Children of New York, Inc., Long Island City.

    Survey results are presented from 65 parents, students over 12 years, teachers, and other school employees using 39 different schools about environmental conditions in New York City public schools. It shows the results of years of neglect of infrastructure for children and reveals disturbing new information about the environmental health of school…

  3. 33 CFR 148.710 - What environmental conditions must be satisfied?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false What environmental conditions must be satisfied? 148.710 Section 148.710 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (CONTINUED) DEEPWATER PORTS DEEPWATER PORTS: GENERAL Environmental Review Criteria for Deepwater Ports § 148.710 What...

  4. 33 CFR 148.710 - What environmental conditions must be satisfied?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Deepwater Ports § 148.710 What environmental conditions must be satisfied? (a) MARAD may issue a license to... serves the national interest. (c) In accordance with 40 CFR 1502.9, the Commandant (CG-5) will prepare a... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What environmental...

  5. Environmental Conditions in Northern Gulf of Mexico Estuaries: Before and After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    EPA Science Inventory

    When conducting an environmental assessment to determine the ecological effects of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), baseline environmental data is essential to establish ecosystem condition prior to the incident. EPAs National Coastal Assessment...

  6. Environmental Conditions in Northern Gulf of Mexico Estuaries: Before and After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    EPA Science Inventory

    When conducting an environmental assessment to determine the ecological effects of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), baseline environmental data is essential to establish ecosystem condition prior to the incident. EPA’s National Coastal Assessment...

  7. 40 CFR 86.161-00 - Air conditioning environmental test facility ambient requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 19 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Air conditioning environmental test facility ambient requirements. 86.161-00 Section 86.161-00 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) CONTROL OF EMISSIONS FROM NEW AND IN-USE HIGHWAY VEHICLES AND ENGINES Emission Regulations...

  8. 40 CFR 86.161-00 - Air conditioning environmental test facility ambient requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 19 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Air conditioning environmental test facility ambient requirements. 86.161-00 Section 86.161-00 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) CONTROL OF EMISSIONS FROM NEW AND IN-USE HIGHWAY VEHICLES AND ENGINES Emission Regulations...

  9. 40 CFR 86.1312-2007 - Filter stabilization and microbalance workstation environmental conditions, microbalance...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 20 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Filter stabilization and microbalance workstation environmental conditions, microbalance specifications, and particulate matter filter handling and weighing procedures. 86.1312-2007 Section 86.1312-2007 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR PROGRAMS...

  10. Flexible DCP interface. [signal conditioning system for use with Kansas environmental sensors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kanemasu, E. T. (Principal Investigator); Schimmelpfenning, H.

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. A user of an ERTS data collection system must supply the sensors and signal conditioning interface. The electronic interface must be compatible with the NASA-furnished data collection platform (DCP). A universal signal conditioning system for use with a wide range of environmental sensors is described. The interface is environmentally and electronically compatible with the DCP and has operated satisfactorily for a complete winter wheat growing season in Kansas.

  11. Basal behavioral characterization of hsf1 deficient mice and its cellular and behavioral abnormalities underlying chronic unpredictable stressors.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiongzhao; Cheng, Ming; Peng, Min; Xiao, Xianzhong; Yao, Shuqiao; Zhang, Xiuwu

    2008-11-21

    The heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) is a major transcriptional factor that controls the rapid induction of heat shock proteins in response to various environmental stressors. In this study, we globally investigated the effect of HSF1 deficiency on animal behaviors during postnatal growth, and abnormalities in hippocampal neurons and behavior in response to chronic unpredictable stressors (CUS). Mouse behaviors were measured in several behavioral paradigms, including elevated plus maze, open field, closed field, T-maze continuous alternation task (T-CAT), bridge-walking, and wire suspension tests. The hsf1-null mice exhibited reduction in basal anxiety levels and exploratory behavior, and working memory deficits, but normal motor coordination abilities. Chronic unpredictable stressors significantly increased apoptosis in hippocampal CA3 cells in both the hsf1-null and wild-type (WT) mice in the in situ TUNEL staining and induced more anxiety-like behavior in the hsf1-null mice than WT mice in the plus T-maze paradigm. We conclude that hsf1 gene deficiency results in significant abnormalities in mouse basal behaviors and sensitization to chronic unpredictable stressors. PMID:18601956

  12. 75 FR 9016 - Fifty-Fifth Meeting, RTCA Special Committee 135: Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-26

    ... and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of RTCA Special Committee 135: Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment... Committee 135: Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment. DATES: The meeting...

  13. 77 FR 15449 - 59th Meeting: RTCA Special Committee 135, Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-15

    ... and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S... Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment. SUMMARY: The FAA is issuing this notice to advise the public of the fifty-ninth meeting of RTCA Special Committee 135, Environmental Conditions and...

  14. 78 FR 43963 - Sixty-Second Meeting: RTCA Special Committee 135, Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-22

    ... and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S... Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment. SUMMARY: The FAA is issuing this notice to advise the public of the Sixty-Second meeting of the RTCA Special Committee 135, Environmental Conditions and...

  15. 77 FR 56253 - 60th Meeting: RTCA Special Committee 135, Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-12

    ... Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Department... Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment SUMMARY: The FAA is issuing this notice to advise the public of the sixtieth meeting of the RTCA Special Committee 135, Environmental Conditions and...

  16. Coping with an unpredictable and stressful environment: the life history and metabolic response to variable food and host availability in a polyphagous tephritid fly.

    PubMed

    Aluja, Martín; Birke, Andrea; Guillén, Larissa; Díaz-Fleischer, Francisco; Nestel, David

    2011-12-01

    The way energy resources are used under variable environmental conditions lies at the heart of our understanding of resource management and opportunism in many organisms. Here we sought to determine how a time-limited, synovigenic and polyphagous insect with a high reproductive-potential (Anastrephaludens), copes behaviourally and metabolically with environmental unpredictability represented by constant and variable regimes of host availability and variation in food quality. We hypothesized that an adaptive response to a windfall of nutritious food would be the rapid accumulation of energy metabolites (whole body lipids, glycogen and proteins) in the female. We also studied patterns of oogenesis as an indicator of egg-reabsorption under stressful environmental conditions. As predicted, patterns of energy metabolites were mainly driven by the quality and temporal pattern of food availability. In contrast, patterns of host availability had a lower impact upon metabolites. When given constant access to high quality nutrients, after an initial increase early in life, whole body lipids and glycogen were regulated downward to a steady-state level and somatic protein levels did not vary. In contrast, when food uncertainty was introduced, whole body lipid, glycogen and protein oscillated sharply with peaks associated with pulses of high-quality food. Production of eggs was highest when offered continuous access to hosts and high quality food. Importantly, females fully recovered their reproductive capacity when fruit became available following a period of host deprivation. With no evidence of egg resorption and high levels of egg dumping, it appears that egg dumping may favour the continuous production of eggs such that the female's reproductive tissues are ready to respond to rapid changes in the availability of hosts. Our results exemplify the capacity of insects to maximize reproduction under variable and stressful environmental conditions. PMID:21855550

  17. Regulation of free corticosterone and CBG capacity under different environmental conditions in altricial nestlings.

    PubMed

    Almasi, Bettina; Roulin, Alexandre; Jenni-Eiermann, Susanne; Breuner, Creagh W; Jenni, Lukas

    2009-01-01

    The concentration of circulating glucocorticoids is regulated in response to environmental and endogenous conditions. Total circulating corticosterone, the main glucocorticoid in birds, consists of a fraction which is bound to corticosterone-binding globulins (CBG) and a free fraction. There is increasing evidence that the environment modulates free corticosterone levels through varying the concentration of CBG, but experimental evidence is lacking. To test the hypothesis that the regulation of chronic stress in response to endogenous and environmental conditions involves variation in both corticosterone release and CBG capacity, we performed an experiment with barn owl (Tyto alba) nestlings in two different years with pronounced differences in environmental conditions and in nestlings experimentally fed ad libitum. In half of the individuals we implanted a corticosterone-releasing pellet to artificially increase corticosterone levels and in the other half we implanted a placebo pellet. We then repeatedly collected blood samples to measure the change in total and free corticosterone levels as well as CBG capacity. The increase in circulating total corticosterone after artificial corticosterone administration varied with environmental conditions and with the food regime of the nestlings. The highest total corticosterone levels were found in nestlings growing up in poor environmental conditions and the lowest in ad libitum fed nestlings. CBG was highest in the year with poor environmental conditions, so that, contrary to total corticosterone, free corticosterone levels were low under poor environmental conditions. When nestlings were fed ad libitum total corticosterone, CBG and free corticosterone did not increase when administering corticosterone. These results suggest that depending on the individual history an animal experienced during development the HPA-axis is regulated differently. PMID:19467233

  18. Unpredictable environments lead to the evolution of parental neglect in birds

    PubMed Central

    Caro, Shana M.; Griffin, Ashleigh S.; Hinde, Camilla A.; West, Stuart A.

    2016-01-01

    A nest of begging chicks invites an intuitive explanation: needy chicks want to be fed and parents want to feed them. Surprisingly, however, in a quarter of species studied, parents ignore begging chicks. Furthermore, parents in some species even neglect smaller chicks that beg more, and preferentially feed the biggest chicks that beg less. This extreme variation across species, which contradicts predictions from theory, represents a major outstanding problem for the study of animal signalling. We analyse parent–offspring communication across 143 bird species, and show that this variation correlates with ecological differences. In predictable and good environments, chicks in worse condition beg more, and parents preferentially feed those chicks. In unpredictable and poor environments, parents pay less attention to begging, and instead rely on size cues or structural signals of quality. Overall, these results show how ecological variation can lead to different signalling systems being evolutionarily stable in different species. PMID:27023250

  19. Unpredictable environments lead to the evolution of parental neglect in birds.

    PubMed

    Caro, Shana M; Griffin, Ashleigh S; Hinde, Camilla A; West, Stuart A

    2016-01-01

    A nest of begging chicks invites an intuitive explanation: needy chicks want to be fed and parents want to feed them. Surprisingly, however, in a quarter of species studied, parents ignore begging chicks. Furthermore, parents in some species even neglect smaller chicks that beg more, and preferentially feed the biggest chicks that beg less. This extreme variation across species, which contradicts predictions from theory, represents a major outstanding problem for the study of animal signalling. We analyse parent-offspring communication across 143 bird species, and show that this variation correlates with ecological differences. In predictable and good environments, chicks in worse condition beg more, and parents preferentially feed those chicks. In unpredictable and poor environments, parents pay less attention to begging, and instead rely on size cues or structural signals of quality. Overall, these results show how ecological variation can lead to different signalling systems being evolutionarily stable in different species. PMID:27023250

  20. Parasitism in early life: environmental conditions shape within-brood variation in responses to infection.

    PubMed

    Granroth-Wilding, Hanna M V; Burthe, Sarah J; Lewis, Sue; Reed, Thomas E; Herborn, Katherine A; Newell, Mark A; Takahashi, Emi A; Daunt, Francis; Cunningham, Emma J A

    2014-09-01

    Parasites play key ecological and evolutionary roles through the costs they impose on their host. In wild populations, the effect of parasitism is likely to vary considerably with environmental conditions, which may affect the availability of resources to hosts for defense. However, the interaction between parasitism and prevailing conditions is rarely quantified. In addition to environmental variation acting on hosts, individuals are likely to vary in their response to parasitism, and the combined effect of both may increase heterogeneity in host responses. Offspring hierarchies, established by parents in response to uncertain rearing conditions, may be an important source of variation between individuals. Here, we use experimental antiparasite treatment across 5 years of variable conditions to test how annual population productivity (a proxy for environmental conditions) and parasitism interact to affect growth and survival of different brood members in juvenile European shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). In control broods, last-hatched chicks had more plastic growth rates, growing faster in more productive years. Older siblings grew at a similar rate in all years. Treatment removed the effect of environment on last-hatched chicks, such that all siblings in treated broods grew at a similar rate across environmental conditions. There were no differences in nematode burden between years or siblings, suggesting that variation in responses arose from intrinsic differences between chicks. Whole-brood growth rate was not affected by treatment, indicating that within-brood differences were driven by a change in resource allocation between siblings rather than a change in overall parental provisioning. We show that gastrointestinal parasites can be a key component of offspring's developmental environment. Our results also demonstrate the value of considering prevailing conditions for our understanding of parasite effects on host life-history traits. Establishing how environmental conditions shape responses to parasitism is important as environmental variability is predicted to increase. PMID:25535557

  1. Parasitism in early life: environmental conditions shape within-brood variation in responses to infection

    PubMed Central

    Granroth-Wilding, Hanna M V; Burthe, Sarah J; Lewis, Sue; Reed, Thomas E; Herborn, Katherine A; Newell, Mark A; Takahashi, Emi A; Daunt, Francis; Cunningham, Emma J A

    2014-01-01

    Parasites play key ecological and evolutionary roles through the costs they impose on their host. In wild populations, the effect of parasitism is likely to vary considerably with environmental conditions, which may affect the availability of resources to hosts for defense. However, the interaction between parasitism and prevailing conditions is rarely quantified. In addition to environmental variation acting on hosts, individuals are likely to vary in their response to parasitism, and the combined effect of both may increase heterogeneity in host responses. Offspring hierarchies, established by parents in response to uncertain rearing conditions, may be an important source of variation between individuals. Here, we use experimental antiparasite treatment across 5 years of variable conditions to test how annual population productivity (a proxy for environmental conditions) and parasitism interact to affect growth and survival of different brood members in juvenile European shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). In control broods, last-hatched chicks had more plastic growth rates, growing faster in more productive years. Older siblings grew at a similar rate in all years. Treatment removed the effect of environment on last-hatched chicks, such that all siblings in treated broods grew at a similar rate across environmental conditions. There were no differences in nematode burden between years or siblings, suggesting that variation in responses arose from intrinsic differences between chicks. Whole-brood growth rate was not affected by treatment, indicating that within-brood differences were driven by a change in resource allocation between siblings rather than a change in overall parental provisioning. We show that gastrointestinal parasites can be a key component of offspring's developmental environment. Our results also demonstrate the value of considering prevailing conditions for our understanding of parasite effects on host life-history traits. Establishing how environmental conditions shape responses to parasitism is important as environmental variability is predicted to increase. PMID:25535557

  2. Unpredictable Chronic Stress Alters Adenosine Metabolism in Zebrafish Brain.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, F F; Altenhofen, S; Kist, L W; Leite, C E; Bogo, M R; Cognato, G P; Bonan, C D

    2016-05-01

    Stress is considered a risk factor for several human disorders. Despite the broad knowledge of stress responses in mammals, data on the relationship between unpredictable chronic stress (UCS) and its effects on purinergic signaling are limited. ATP hydrolysis by ectonucleotidases is an important source of adenosine, and adenosine deaminase (ADA) contributes to the control of the nucleoside concentrations. Considering that some stress models could affect signaling systems, the objective of this study was to investigate whether UCS alters ectonucleotidase and ADA pathway in zebrafish brain. Additionally, we analyzed ATP metabolism as well as ada1, ada2.1, ada2.2, adaL, and adaasi gene expression in zebrafish brain. Our results have demonstrated that UCS did not alter ectonucleotidase and soluble ADA activities. However, ecto-ADA activity was significantly decreased (26.8 %) in brain membranes of animals exposed to UCS when compared to the control group. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) analysis did not show significant changes on ADA gene expression after the UCS exposure. The brain ATP metabolism showed a marked increase in adenosine levels (ADO) in animals exposed to UCS. These data suggest an increase on extracellular adenosine levels in zebrafish brain. Since this nucleoside has neuromodulatory and anxiolytic effects, changes in adenosine levels could play a role in counteracting the stress, which could be related to a compensatory mechanism in order to restore the homeostasis. PMID:26081145

  3. Neurochemical and Behavioral Effects of Chronic Unpredictable Stress

    PubMed Central

    Matuszewich, Leslie; McFadden, Lisa M.; Friedman, Ross D.; Frye, Cheryl A.

    2014-01-01

    Chronic stress can influence behaviors associated with medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) function, such as cognition and emotion regulation. Dopamine in the mPFC is responsive to stress and modulates its behavioral effects. The current study tested whether exposure to 10 days of chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) altered the effects of acute elevation stress on dopamine release in the mPFC and on spatial recognition memory. Male rats previously exposed to CUS or non-stressed controls were tested behaviorally, and underwent microdialysis to assess mPFC dopamine or had blood sampled for corticosterone analysis. Dopamine in the mPFC significantly increased in both groups during acute elevation stress compared to baseline levels but was attenuated in CUS rats compared to controls. Control rats exposed to elevation stress immediately prior to the T-maze showed impaired performance, whereas CUS rats did not. No group differences were observed in general motor activity or plasma corticosterone following elevation stress. The present results indicate that prior exposure to this particular CUS procedure reduced dopamine release in the mPFC during acute elevation stress and prevented the impairment of performance on a spatial recognition test following an acute stressor. These findings may contribute to an understanding the complex behavioral consequences of stress. PMID:25003946

  4. Disease in a more variable and unpredictable climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMahon, T. A.; Raffel, T.; Rohr, J. R.; Halstead, N.; Venesky, M.; Romansic, J.

    2014-12-01

    Global climate change is shifting the dynamics of infectious diseases of humans and wildlife with potential adverse consequences for disease control. Despite this, the role of global climate change in the decline of biodiversity and the emergence of infectious diseases remains controversial. Climate change is expected to increase climate variability in addition to increasing mean temperatures, making climate less predictable. However, few empirical or theoretical studies have considered the effects of climate variability or predictability on disease, despite it being likely that hosts and parasites will have differential responses to climatic shifts. Here we present a theoretical framework for how temperature variation and its predictability influence disease risk by affecting host and parasite acclimation responses. Laboratory experiments and field data on disease-associated frog declines in Latin America support this framework and provide evidence that unpredictable temperature fluctuations, on both monthly and diurnal timescales, decrease frog resistance to the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Furthermore, the pattern of temperature-dependent growth of the fungus on frogs was inconsistent with the pattern of Bd growth in culture, emphasizing the importance of accounting for the host-parasite interaction when predicting climate-dependent disease dynamics. Consistent with our laboratory experiments, increased regional temperature variability associated with global El Niño climatic events was the best predictor of widespread amphibian losses in the genus Atelopus. Thus, incorporating the effects of small-scale temporal variability in climate can greatly improve our ability to predict the effects of climate change on disease.

  5. Characterizing the environmental conditions and estimating aboveground biomass productivity for switchgrass in the Great Plains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Y.; Wylie, B. K.; Howard, D. M.

    2013-12-01

    Switchgrass is being evaluated as a potential feedstock source for cellulosic biofuels and is being cultivated in several regions of the United States. The recent availability of switchgrass land cover maps derived from the National Agricultural Statistics Service cropland data layer for the conterminous United States provides an opportunity to assess the environmental conditions of switchgrass over large areas and across different geographic locations. The main goal of this study is to investigate the relationship between site environmental conditions and switchgrass productivity and identify the optimal conditions for productive switchgrass in the Great Plains (GP). Environmental and climate variables such as elevation, soil organic carbon, available water capacity, climate, and seasonal weather were used in this study. Satellite-derived growing season averaged Normalized Difference Vegetation Index was used as a proxy for switchgrass productivity. The environmental conditions for switchgrass sites of variable productivity were summarized and a data-driven multiple regression switchgrass productivity model was developed. Results show that spring precipitation has the strongest correlation with switchgrass productivity (r = 0.92, 176 samples) and spring minimum temperature has the weakest correlation with switchgrass productivity (r = 0.16). An estimated switchgrass productivity map for the entire GP based on site environmental and climate conditions was generated. The estimated switchgrass biomass productivity map indicates that highly productive switchgrass areas are mainly located in the eastern part of the GP. Results from this study provide useful information for assessing economic feasibility or optimal land use decisions regarding switchgrass development in the GP.

  6. Long-term changes in cognitive bias and coping response as a result of chronic unpredictable stress during adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Chaby, Lauren E.; Cavigelli, Sonia A.; White, Amanda; Wang, Kayllie; Braithwaite, Victoria A.

    2013-01-01

    Animals that experience adverse events in early life often have life-long changes to their physiology and behavior. Long-term effects of stress during early life have been studied extensively, but less attention has been given to the consequences of negative experiences solely during the adolescent phase. Adolescence is a particularly sensitive period of life when regulation of the glucocorticoid “stress” hormone response matures and specific regions in the brain undergo considerable change. Aversive experiences during this time might, therefore, be expected to generate long-term consequences for the adult phenotype. Here we investigated the long-term effects of exposure to chronic unpredictable stress during adolescence on adult decision-making, coping response, cognitive bias, and exploratory behavior in rats. Rats exposed to chronic unpredictable stress (e.g., isolation, crowding, cage tilt) were compared to control animals that were maintained in standard, predictable conditions throughout development. Unpredictable stress during adolescence resulted in a suite of long-term behavioral and cognitive changes including a negative cognitive bias [F(1, 12) = 5.000, P < 0.05], altered coping response [T(1, 14) = 2.216, P = 0.04], and accelerated decision-making [T(1, 14) = 3.245, P = 0.01]. Exposure to chronic stress during adolescence also caused a short-term increase in boldness behaviors; in a novel object test 15 days after the last stressor, animals exposed to chronic unpredictable stress had decreased latencies to leave a familiar shelter and approach a novel object [T(1, 14) = 2.240, P = 0.04; T(1, 14) = 2.419, P = 0.03, respectively]. The results showed that stress during adolescence has long-term impacts on behavior and cognition that affect the interpretation of ambiguous stimuli, behavioral response to adverse events, and how animals make decisions. PMID:23847501

  7. Long-term changes in cognitive bias and coping response as a result of chronic unpredictable stress during adolescence.

    PubMed

    Chaby, Lauren E; Cavigelli, Sonia A; White, Amanda; Wang, Kayllie; Braithwaite, Victoria A

    2013-01-01

    Animals that experience adverse events in early life often have life-long changes to their physiology and behavior. Long-term effects of stress during early life have been studied extensively, but less attention has been given to the consequences of negative experiences solely during the adolescent phase. Adolescence is a particularly sensitive period of life when regulation of the glucocorticoid "stress" hormone response matures and specific regions in the brain undergo considerable change. Aversive experiences during this time might, therefore, be expected to generate long-term consequences for the adult phenotype. Here we investigated the long-term effects of exposure to chronic unpredictable stress during adolescence on adult decision-making, coping response, cognitive bias, and exploratory behavior in rats. Rats exposed to chronic unpredictable stress (e.g., isolation, crowding, cage tilt) were compared to control animals that were maintained in standard, predictable conditions throughout development. Unpredictable stress during adolescence resulted in a suite of long-term behavioral and cognitive changes including a negative cognitive bias [F (1, 12) = 5.000, P < 0.05], altered coping response [T (1, 14) = 2.216, P = 0.04], and accelerated decision-making [T (1, 14) = 3.245, P = 0.01]. Exposure to chronic stress during adolescence also caused a short-term increase in boldness behaviors; in a novel object test 15 days after the last stressor, animals exposed to chronic unpredictable stress had decreased latencies to leave a familiar shelter and approach a novel object [T (1, 14) = 2.240, P = 0.04; T (1, 14) = 2.419, P = 0.03, respectively]. The results showed that stress during adolescence has long-term impacts on behavior and cognition that affect the interpretation of ambiguous stimuli, behavioral response to adverse events, and how animals make decisions. PMID:23847501

  8. Coping with unpredictability: dopaminergic and neurotrophic responses to omission of expected reward in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.).

    PubMed

    Vindas, Marco A; Sørensen, Christina; Johansen, Ida B; Folkedal, Ole; Höglund, Erik; Khan, Uniza W; Stien, Lars H; Kristiansen, Tore S; Braastad, Bjarne O; Øverli, Øyvind

    2014-01-01

    Comparative studies are imperative for understanding the evolution of adaptive neurobiological processes such as neural plasticity, cognition, and emotion. Previously we have reported that prolonged omission of expected rewards (OER, or 'frustrative nonreward') causes increased aggression in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Here we report changes in brain monoaminergic activity and relative abundance of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and dopamine receptor mRNA transcripts in the same paradigm. Groups of fish were initially conditioned to associate a flashing light with feeding. Subsequently, the expected food reward was delayed for 30 minutes during two out of three meals per day in the OER treatment, while the previously established routine was maintained in control groups. After 8 days there was no effect of OER on baseline brain stem serotonin (5-HT) or dopamine (DA) activity. Subsequent exposure to acute confinement stress led to increased plasma cortisol and elevated turnover of brain stem DA and 5-HT in all animals. The DA response was potentiated and DA receptor 1 (D1) mRNA abundance was reduced in the OER-exposed fish, indicating a sensitization of the DA system. In addition OER suppressed abundance of BDNF in the telencephalon of non-stressed fish. Regardless of OER treatment, a strong positive correlation between BDNF and D1 mRNA abundance was seen in non-stressed fish. This correlation was disrupted by acute stress, and replaced by a negative correlation between BDNF abundance and plasma cortisol concentration. These observations indicate a conserved link between DA, neurotrophin regulation, and corticosteroid-signaling pathways. The results also emphasize how fish models can be important tools in the study of neural plasticity and responsiveness to environmental unpredictability. PMID:24465595

  9. Environmental performance of wastewater reuse systems: impact of system boundaries and external conditions.

    PubMed

    Baresel, Christian; Dalgren, Lena; Almemark, Mats; Lazic, Aleksandra

    2016-01-01

    Wastewater reclamation will be a significant part of future water management and the environmental assessment of various treatment systems to reuse wastewater has become an important research field. The secondary treatment process and sludge handling on-site are, especially, electricity demanding processes due to aeration, pumping, mixing, dewatering, etc. used for operation and are being identified as the main contributor for many environmental impacts. This study discusses how the environmental performance of reuse treatment systems may be influenced by surrounding conditions. This article illustrates and discusses the importance of factors commonly treated as externalities and as such not being included in optimization strategies of reuse systems, but that are necessary to environmentally assess wastewater reclamation systems. This is illustrated by two up-stream and downstream processes; electricity supply and the use of sludge as fertilizer commonly practiced in regions considered for wastewater reclamation. The study shows that external conditions can have a larger impact on the overall environmental performance of reuse treatment systems than internal optimizations could compensate for. These results imply that a more holistic environmental assessment of reuse schemes could provide less environmental impacts as externalities could be included in measures to reduce the overall impacts. PMID:27003080

  10. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS MODULATE NEUROTOXIC EFFECTS OF PSYCHOMOTOR STIMULANT DRUGS OF ABUSE

    PubMed Central

    Kiyatkin, Eugene A.; Sharma, Hari S.

    2013-01-01

    Psychomotor stimulants such as methamphetamine (METH), amphetamine, and 3,4-Metylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) are potent addictive drugs. While it is known that their abuse could result in adverse health complications, including neurotoxicity, both the environmental conditions and activity states associated with their intake could strongly enhance drug toxicity, often resulting in life-threatening health complications. In this review we analyze results of animal experiments that suggest that even moderate increases in environmental temperatures and physiological activation, the conditions typical of human raves parties, dramatically potentiate brain hyperthermic effects of METH and MDMA. We demonstrate that METH also induces breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), acute glial activation, brain edema, and structural abnormalities of various subtypes of brain cells; these effects are also strongly enhanced when the drug is used at moderately warm environmental conditions. We consider the mechanisms underlying environmental modulation of acute drug neurotoxicity and focus on the role of brain temperature, a critical homeostatic parameter that could be affected by metabolism-enhancing drugs and environmental conditions and affect neural activity and functions. PMID:22748829

  11. The aetiopathogenesis of fatigue: unpredictable, complex and persistent

    PubMed Central

    Clark, James E.; Fai Ng, W.; Watson, Stuart; Newton, Julia L.

    2016-01-01

    Background Chronic fatigue syndrome is a common condition characterized by severe fatigue with post-exertional malaise, impaired cognitive ability, poor sleep quality, muscle pain, multi-joint pain, tender lymph nodes, sore throat or headache. Its defining symptom, fatigue is common to several diseases. Areas of agreement Research has established a broad picture of impairment across autonomic, endocrine and inflammatory systems though progress seems to have reached an impasse. Areas of controversy The absence of a clear consensus view of the pathophysiology of fatigue suggests the need to switch from a focus on abnormalities in one system to an experimental and clinical approach which integrates findings across multiple systems and their constituent parts and to consider multiple environmental factors. Growing points We discuss this with reference to three key factors, non-determinism, non-reductionism and self-organization and suggest that an approach based on these principles may afford a coherent explanatory framework for much of the observed phenomena in fatigue and offers promising avenues for future research. Areas timely for developing research By adopting this approach, the field can examine issues regarding aetiopathogenesis and treatment, with relevance for future research and clinical practice. PMID:26872857

  12. Temporally Unpredictable Sounds Exert a Context-Dependent Influence on Evaluation of Unrelated Images

    PubMed Central

    Bach, Dominik R.; Seifritz, Erich; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2015-01-01

    Temporally unpredictable stimuli influence murine and human behaviour, as previously demonstrated for sequences of simple sounds with regular or irregular onset. It is unknown whether this influence is mediated by an evaluation of the unpredictable sound sequences themselves, or by an interaction with task context. Here, we find that humans evaluate unrelated neutral pictures as more negative when these are presented together with a temporally unpredictable sound sequence, compared to a predictable sequence. The same is observed for evaluation of neutral, angry and fearful face photographs. Control experiments suggest this effect is specific to interspersed presentation of negative and neutral visual stimuli. Unpredictable sounds presented on their own were evaluated as more activating, but not more aversive, and were preferred over predictable sounds. When presented alone, these sound sequences also did not elicit tonic autonomic arousal or negative mood change. We discuss how these findings might account for previous data on the effects of unpredictable sounds, in humans and rodents. PMID:26098105

  13. "I just cope from day to day": unpredictability and anxiety in the lives of women.

    PubMed

    Walters, V; Charles, N

    1997-12-01

    Data are presented from in-depth interviews with 35 women in an industrial town in South Wales, U.K., many of whom were from low income households. The research aimed to explore women's own concerns about their health and the ways in which health problems affected their lives. This paper focuses on one prominent theme in these interviews: unpredictability. In particular, women described how their lives had become less predictable and amenable to control as a result of health problems--epilepsy, asthma, ME, anxiety, nerves and panic attacks, for example. Women's accounts are used to show how they experienced these problems, how they influenced women's self-identity and the ways in which women struggled to cope with the dreadful uncertainty that characterized their days. They often hid these problems, and the privacy of this aspect of their lives is striking. The data are set within the context of class and gender relations which diminish women's control over their lives and erode their self-esteem and sense of autonomy. Class and gender combine with ill health to create the conditions for women's sense of unpredictability and powerlessness. They can aggravate and provoke the health problems women described: women spoke of the challenges they faced in their roles as wives and mothers, the problems associated with widowhood, the loss of their jobs, the impact of unemployment and their efforts to cope with severe financial problems. In part, these provided them with a framework for understanding the uncertainty, anxiety, nerves and panic they experienced. PMID:9428091

  14. Environmental Condition and its Impact on Landscape Description by Salient Element

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soleimani, S.; Malek, M. R.; Soleimani, Z.; Arabsheibani, R.

    2015-12-01

    Describing a landscape means making link between concepts of visible features and people's perception. Most landscape description methods underline salient entities which are a key trigger for wayfinding problems and tourism management. Searching for a better understanding of landscape descriptions implies to explore and identify the main visual properties that differentiate between landscapes depending on both human cognition and environmental condition. Furthermore, this environmental condition affects the credibility of data produced by people, particularly when using Volunteered Geographical Information systems which brings forward a huge amount of information. Then this paper proposes an approach to emerge patterns by which describing landscape in general and choosing salient objects in particular have been influenced.

  15. Resistance of Microorganisms to Extreme Environmental Conditions and Its Contribution to Astrobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rampelotto, Pabulo Henrique

    2010-06-01

    In the last decades, substantial changes have occurred regarding what scientists consider the limits of habitable environmental conditions. For every extreme environmental condition investigated, a variety of microorganisms have shown that not only can they tolerate these conditions, but that they also often require these extreme conditions for survival. Microbes can return to life even after hundreds of millions of years. Furthermore, a variety of studies demonstrate that microorganisms can survive under extreme conditions, such as ultracentrifugation, hypervelocity, shock pressure, high temperature variations, vacuums, and different ultraviolet and ionizing radiation intensities, which simulate the conditions that microbes could experience during the ejection from one planet, the journey through space, as well as the impact in another planet. With these discoveries, our knowledge about the biosphere has grown and the putative boundaries of life have expanded. The present work examines the recent discoveries and the principal advances concerning the resistance of microorganisms to extreme environmental conditions, and analyzes its contributions to the development of the main themes of astrobiology: the origins of life, the search for extraterrestrial life, and the dispersion of life in the Universe.

  16. Intrusions of a drowsy mind: neural markers of phenomenological unpredictability.

    PubMed

    Noreika, Valdas; Canales-Johnson, Andrés; Koh, Justin; Taylor, Mae; Massey, Irving; Bekinschtein, Tristan A

    2015-01-01

    The transition from a relaxed to a drowsy state of mind is often accompanied by hypnagogic experiences: most commonly, perceptual imagery, but also linguistic intrusions, i.e., the sudden emergence of unpredictable anomalies in the stream of inner speech. This study has sought to describe the contents of such intrusions, to verify their association with the progression of sleep onset, and to investigate the electroencephalographic processes associated with linguistic intrusions as opposed to more common hypnagogic perceptual imagery. A single participant attended 10 experimental sessions in the EEG laboratory, where he was allowed to drift into a drowsy state of mind, while maintaining metacognition of his own experiences. Once a linguistic intrusion or a noticeable perceptual image occurred, the participant pressed a button and reported it verbally. An increase in the EEG-defined depth of drowsiness as assessed by the Hori system of sleep onset was observed in the last 20 s before a button press. Likewise, EEG Dimension of Activation values decreased before the button press, indicating that the occurrence of cognitively incongruous experiences coincides with the rapid change of EEG predictability patterns. EEG hemispheric asymmetry analysis showed that linguistic intrusions had a higher alpha and gamma power in the left hemisphere electrodes, whereas perceptual imagery reports were associated with a higher beta power over the right hemisphere. These findings indicate that the modality as well as the incongruence of drowsiness-related hypnagogic experiences is strongly associated with distinct EEG signatures in this participant. Sleep onset may provide a unique possibility to study the neural mechanisms accompanying the fragmentation of the stream of consciousness in healthy individuals. PMID:25814962

  17. Intrusions of a drowsy mind: neural markers of phenomenological unpredictability

    PubMed Central

    Noreika, Valdas; Canales-Johnson, Andrés; Koh, Justin; Taylor, Mae; Massey, Irving; Bekinschtein, Tristan A.

    2015-01-01

    The transition from a relaxed to a drowsy state of mind is often accompanied by hypnagogic experiences: most commonly, perceptual imagery, but also linguistic intrusions, i.e., the sudden emergence of unpredictable anomalies in the stream of inner speech. This study has sought to describe the contents of such intrusions, to verify their association with the progression of sleep onset, and to investigate the electroencephalographic processes associated with linguistic intrusions as opposed to more common hypnagogic perceptual imagery. A single participant attended 10 experimental sessions in the EEG laboratory, where he was allowed to drift into a drowsy state of mind, while maintaining metacognition of his own experiences. Once a linguistic intrusion or a noticeable perceptual image occurred, the participant pressed a button and reported it verbally. An increase in the EEG-defined depth of drowsiness as assessed by the Hori system of sleep onset was observed in the last 20 s before a button press. Likewise, EEG Dimension of Activation values decreased before the button press, indicating that the occurrence of cognitively incongruous experiences coincides with the rapid change of EEG predictability patterns. EEG hemispheric asymmetry analysis showed that linguistic intrusions had a higher alpha and gamma power in the left hemisphere electrodes, whereas perceptual imagery reports were associated with a higher beta power over the right hemisphere. These findings indicate that the modality as well as the incongruence of drowsiness-related hypnagogic experiences is strongly associated with distinct EEG signatures in this participant. Sleep onset may provide a unique possibility to study the neural mechanisms accompanying the fragmentation of the stream of consciousness in healthy individuals. PMID:25814962

  18. Does Environmental Heterogeneity Promote Cognitive Abilities?

    PubMed

    González-Gómez, Paulina L; Razeto-Barry, Pablo; Araya-Salas, Marcelo; Estades, Cristian F

    2015-09-01

    In the context of global change the possible loss of biodiversity has been identified as a major concern. Biodiversity could be seriously threatened as a direct consequence of changes in availability of food, changing thermal conditions, and loss and fragmentation of habitat. Considering the magnitude of global change, an understanding of the mechanisms involved in coping with a changing environment is urgent. We explore the hypothesis that species and individuals experiencing highly variable environments are more likely to develop a wider range of responses to handle the different and unpredictable conditions imposed by global change. In the case of vertebrates, the responses to the challenges imposed by unpredictable perturbations ultimately are linked to cognitive abilities allowing the solving of problems, and the maximization of energy intake. Our models were hummingbirds, which offer a particularly compelling group in which to examine the functional and mechanistic links between behavioral and energetic strategies in individuals experiencing different degrees of social and environmental heterogeneity. PMID:26082484

  19. Adapting to the unpredictable: reproductive biology of vertebrates in the Australian wet-dry tropics.

    PubMed

    Shine, Richard; Brown, Gregory P

    2008-01-27

    In the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia, temperatures are high and stable year-round but monsoonal rainfall is highly seasonal and variable both annually and spatially. Many features of reproduction in vertebrates of this region may be adaptations to dealing with this unpredictable variation in precipitation, notably by (i) using direct proximate (rainfall-affected) cues to synchronize the timing and extent of breeding with rainfall events, (ii) placing the eggs or offspring in conditions where they will be buffered from rainfall extremes, and (iii) evolving developmental plasticity, such that the timing and trajectory of embryonic differentiation flexibly respond to local conditions. For example, organisms as diverse as snakes (Liasis fuscus, Acrochordus arafurae), crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus), birds (Anseranas semipalmata) and wallabies (Macropus agilis) show extreme annual variation in reproductive rates, linked to stochastic variation in wet season rainfall. The seasonal timing of initiation and cessation of breeding in snakes (Tropidonophis mairii) and rats (Rattus colletti) also varies among years, depending upon precipitation. An alternative adaptive route is to buffer the effects of rainfall variability on offspring by parental care (including viviparity) or by judicious selection of nest sites in oviparous taxa without parental care. A third type of adaptive response involves flexible embryonic responses (including embryonic diapause, facultative hatching and temperature-dependent sex determination) to incubation conditions, as seen in squamates, crocodilians and turtles. Such flexibility fine-tunes developmental rates and trajectories to conditions--especially, rainfall patterns--that are not predictable at the time of oviposition. PMID:17638689

  20. Responses of Organic Phosphorus Fractionation to Environmental Conditions and Lake Evolution.

    PubMed

    Lü, Changwei; Wang, Bing; He, Jiang; Vogt, Rolf D; Zhou, Bin; Guan, Rui; Zuo, Le; Wang, Weiying; Xie, Zhilei; Wang, Jinghua; Yan, Daohao

    2016-05-17

    Geochemical fractionation is used to assess the significance of environmental factors on organic phosphorus (OP) pools in sediments. Labile, moderately labile, and nonlabile OP pools in the sediments from Lake Hulun, Inner Mongolia, were fractionated, and their responses to environmental conditions and lake evolution were investigated based on the spatial and vertical distribution of OP fractionations. In light of the recalcitrant characteristics of organic matter (OM) in different environmental conditions, the pH presents significant negative effects on the amount of labile OP, while water depth shows an important role in regulating the distribution between the moderately labile and nonlabile OP pools. A latitudinal zonation in the distribution of OP pools in surface sediments from different lakes was apparent with this zonation likely linked to the gradient effects of climate and anthropogenic activities on OM decomposition and thereby on the sediments capacity to hold phosphorus. These results show that OM plays a role in governing the impacts of weather and environmental factors on OP fractionation in aquatic environments. This work suggests that OP pools in the sediment core could be used as an archive for environmental conditions and lake evolution. PMID:27104794

  1. Environmental heterogeneity influences the reliability of secondary sexual traits as condition indicators.

    PubMed

    Vergara, Pablo; Martinez-Padilla, J; Mougeot, F; Leckie, F; Redpath, S M

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have shown positive associations between ornaments and condition, as predicted by indicator models of sexual selection. However, this idea is continuously challenged by opposite results, which reveal our lack of full understanding of how sexual selection works. Environmental heterogeneity may explain such inconsistencies, but valid field tests of this idea are currently lacking. We first analysed the relationship between condition and ornament expression from nine populations over 7 years in a wild bird, the red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus. We then manipulated male aggressiveness at the population level by means of testosterone implants in a replicated field experiment. We found that the relationship between condition and ornamentation varied greatly between environments and became stronger when environmental conditions (ECs) were worse or when aggressiveness in the population was experimentally increased. Some ornaments may therefore reliably advertise a better condition only in adverse ECs. Considering environmental heterogeneity can help reconcile conflicting findings regarding the reliability of ornaments as indicators of condition and will help our understanding of sexual selection processes. PMID:22022806

  2. Applications of remote sensing for the evaluation of Adriatic Sea environmental conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Vitiello, F.; Borfecchia, F.; De Cecco, L.; Martini, S.

    1997-08-01

    The paper shows the remote sensing activities that ENEA is carrying out for the evaluation of Adriatic Sea environmental conditions and their modifications over the last fifteen years. The activities were requested by the Italian Research Ministry to gain knowledge of the circulation model of the Adriatic Sea and to understand what caused algae blooms in some of the last years. The Adriatic Sea is a high environmental risk sea, because its depth is low and a strong pollutant charge is coming into the sea from the Po river and from many other rivers of the NE coast of Italy. Processing of satellite images has covered the period from 1980 up to now and has allowed the reconstruction of modifications of the environmental conditions of the sea. The paper shows the first results obtained by remote sensing images processing that will be utilized for the database of the Adriatic Sea.

  3. Environmental Control System Installer/Servicer (Residential Air Conditioning Mechanic). V-TECS Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, Calvin F.; Benson, Robert T.

    This guide provides job relevant tasks, performance objectives, performance guides, resources, learning activitites, evaluation standards, and achievement testing in the occupation of environmental control system installer/servicer (residential air conditioning mechanic). It is designed to be used with any chosen teaching method. The course…

  4. Purification, storage, and pathogenicity assay of rice false smut fungus under controlled environmental conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rice false smut, caused by Ustilaginoidea virens, is serious disease that affects grain yield and quality. In the present study, a method to purify, store, and evaluate pathogenicity of U. virens under controlled environmental conditions was developed. Yellow chlamydospores were collected from fresh...

  5. Dietary CDP-Choline Supplementation Prevents Memory Impairment Caused by Impoverished Environmental Conditions in Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teather, Lisa A.; Wurtman, Richard J.

    2005-01-01

    The authors previously showed that dietary cytidine (5')-diphosphocholine (CDP-choline) supplementation could protect against the development of memory deficits in aging rats. In the present study, younger rats exposed to impoverished environmental conditions and manifesting hippocampal-dependent memory impairments similar to those observed in the…

  6. Ebola Virus RNA Stability in Human Blood and Urine in West Africa’s Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Delaune, Deborah; Poyot, Thomas; Valade, Eric; Mérens, Audrey; Rollin, Pierre E.; Foissaud, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    We evaluated RNA stability of Ebola virus in EDTA blood and urine samples collected from infected patients and stored in West Africa’s environmental conditions. In blood, RNA was stable for at least 18 days when initial cycle threshold values were <30, but in urine, RNA degradation occurred more quickly. PMID:26812135

  7. 76 FR 59481 - Fifty Eighth Meeting: RTCA Special Committee 135, Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-26

    ... and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department... and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment. SUMMARY: The FAA is issuing this notice to advise the public of a meeting of RTCA Special Committee 135: Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures...

  8. Ebola Virus RNA Stability in Human Blood and Urine in West Africa's Environmental Conditions.

    PubMed

    Janvier, Frédéric; Delaune, Deborah; Poyot, Thomas; Valade, Eric; Mérens, Audrey; Rollin, Pierre E; Foissaud, Vincent

    2016-02-01

    We evaluated RNA stability of Ebola virus in EDTA blood and urine samples collected from infected patients and stored in West Africa's environmental conditions. In blood, RNA was stable for at least 18 days when initial cycle threshold values were <30, but in urine, RNA degradation occurred more quickly. PMID:26812135

  9. 40 CFR 86.161-00 - Air conditioning environmental test facility ambient requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Light-Duty Trucks and New Otto-Cycle Complete Heavy-Duty Vehicles; Test Procedures § 86.161-00 Air... conditioning compressor while operating on a specific driving cycle. The environmental facility control... average of 100 ±5 grains of water/pound of dry air. (2) Humidity is recorded continuously at a minimum...

  10. 40 CFR 86.161-00 - Air conditioning environmental test facility ambient requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... Light-Duty Trucks and New Otto-Cycle Complete Heavy-Duty Vehicles; Test Procedures § 86.161-00 Air... conditioning compressor while operating on a specific driving cycle. The environmental facility control... average of 100 ±5 grains of water/pound of dry air. (2) Humidity is recorded continuously at a minimum...

  11. 40 CFR 86.161-00 - Air conditioning environmental test facility ambient requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... Light-Duty Trucks and New Otto-Cycle Complete Heavy-Duty Vehicles; Test Procedures § 86.161-00 Air... conditioning compressor while operating on a specific driving cycle. The environmental facility control... average of 100 ±5 grains of water/pound of dry air. (2) Humidity is recorded continuously at a minimum...

  12. Association between Markers of Classroom Environmental Conditions and Teachers' Respiratory Health

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Claudio, Luz; Rivera, Glory A.; Ramirez, Olivia F.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Studies have assessed health in schoolchildren. Less is known about the environmental and occupational health of teachers. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of teachers was conducted in 24 randomly selected public elementary schools. Questionnaire included sociodemographic information, healthcare, school conditions, and health…

  13. EVALUATION OF SEVERAL ASSESSMENT METHODS AS INDICATORS OF ESTUARINE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Researchers from U.S. EPA's Gulf Ecology Division have conducted a multi-year evaluation of the environmental condition of near-coastal areas affected by different types of stressors. Areas of study have included coastal rivers, transportation canals, residential canals and estua...

  14. Environmental consequences of impact cratering events as a function of ambient conditions on Earth.

    PubMed

    Kring, David A

    2003-01-01

    The end of the Mesozoic Era is defined by a dramatic floral and faunal turnover that has been linked with the Chicxulub impact event, thus leading to the realization that impact cratering can affect both the geologic and biologic evolution of Earth. However, the environmental consequences of an impact event and any subsequent biological effects rely on several factors, including the ambient environmental conditions and the extant ecosystem structures at the time of impact. Some of the severest environmental perturbations of the Chicxulub impact event would not have been significant in some periods of Earth history. Consequently, the environmental and biological effects of an impact event must be evaluated in the context in which it occurs. PMID:12809133

  15. Environmental Consequences of Impact Cratering Events as a Function of Ambient Conditions on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kring, David A.

    2003-01-01

    The end of the Mesozoic Era is defined by a dramatic floral and faunal turnover that has been linked with the Chicxulub impact event, thus leading to the realization that impact cratering can affect both the geologic and biologic evolution of Earth. However, the environmental consequences of an impact event and any subsequent biological effects rely on several factors, including the ambient environmental conditions and the extant ecosystem structures at the time of impact. Some of the severest environmental perturbations of the Chicxulub impact event would not have been significant in some periods of Earth history. Consequently, the environmental and biological effects of an impact event must be evaluated in the context in which it occurs.

  16. Partitioning the Relative Importance of Phylogeny and Environmental Conditions on Phytoplankton Fatty Acids

    PubMed Central

    Galloway, Aaron W. E.; Winder, Monika

    2015-01-01

    Essential fatty acids (EFA), which are primarily generated by phytoplankton, limit growth and reproduction in diverse heterotrophs. The biochemical composition of phytoplankton is well-known to be governed both by phylogeny and environmental conditions. Nutrients, light, salinity, and temperature all affect both phytoplankton growth and fatty acid composition. However, the relative importance of taxonomy and environment on algal fatty acid content has yet to be comparatively quantified, thus inhibiting predictions of changes to phytoplankton food quality in response to global environmental change. We compiled 1145 published marine and freshwater phytoplankton fatty acid profiles, consisting of 208 species from six major taxonomic groups, cultured in a wide range of environmental conditions, and used a multivariate distance-based linear model to quantify the total variation explained by each variable. Our results show that taxonomic group accounts for 3-4 times more variation in phytoplankton fatty acids than the most important growth condition variables. The results underscore that environmental conditions clearly affect phytoplankton fatty acid profiles, but also show that conditions account for relatively low variation compared to phylogeny. This suggests that the underlying mechanism determining basal food quality in aquatic habitats is primarily phytoplankton community composition, and allows for prediction of environmental-scale EFA dynamics based on phytoplankton community data. We used the compiled dataset to calculate seasonal dynamics of long-chain EFA (LCEFA; ≥C20 ɷ-3 and ɷ-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid) concentrations and ɷ-3:ɷ-6 EFA ratios in Lake Washington using a multi-decadal phytoplankton community time series. These analyses quantify temporal dynamics of algal-derived LCEFA and food quality in a freshwater ecosystem that has undergone large community changes as a result of shifting resource management practices, highlighting diatoms, cryptophytes and dinoflagellates as key sources of LCEFA. Moreover, the analyses indicate that future shifts towards cyanobacteria-dominated communities will result in lower LCEFA content in aquatic ecosystems. PMID:26076015

  17. Examples of landscape indicators for assessing environmental conditions and problems in urban and suburban areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin-Duque, J. F.; Godfrey, A.; Diez, A.; Cleaves, E.; Pedraza, J.; Sanz, M.A.; Carrasco, R.M.; Bodoque, J.

    2002-01-01

    Geo-indicators can help to assess environmental conditions in city urban and suburban areas. Those indicators should be meaningful for understanding environmental changes. From examples of Spanish and American cities, geo-indicators for assessing environmental conditions and changes in urban and suburban areas are proposed. The paper explore two types of geo-indicators. The first type presents general information that can be used to indicate the presence of a broad array of geologic conditions, either favouring or limiting various kinds of uses of the land. The second type of geo-indicator is the one most commonly used, and as a group most easily understood; these are site and problem specific and they are generally used after a problem is identified. Among them, watershed processes, seismicity and physiographic diversity are explained in more detail. A second dimension that is considered when discussing geo-indicators is the issue of scale. Broad scale investigations, covering extensive areas are only efficient at cataloguing general conditions common to much of the area or some outstanding feature within the area. This type of information is best used for policy type decisions. Detailed scale investigations can provide information about local conditions, but are not efficient at cataloguing vast areas. Information gathered at the detailed level is necessary for project design and construction.

  18. The behavioural and physiological strategies of bird and reptile embryos in response to unpredictable variation in nest temperature.

    PubMed

    Du, Wei-Guo; Shine, Richard

    2015-02-01

    Temperature profoundly affects the rate and trajectory of embryonic development, and thermal extremes can be fatal. In viviparous species, maternal behaviour and physiology can buffer the embryo from thermal fluctuations; but in oviparous animals (like most reptiles and all birds), an embryo is likely to encounter unpredictable periods when incubation temperatures are unfavourable. Thus, we might expect natural selection to have favoured traits that enable embryos to maintain development despite those fluctuations. Our review of recent research identifies three main routes that embryos use in this way. Extreme temperatures (i) can be avoided (e.g. by accelerating hatching, by moving within the egg, by cooling the egg by enhanced rates of evaporation, or by hysteresis in rates of heating versus cooling); (ii) can be tolerated (e.g. by entering diapause, by producing heat-shock proteins, or by changing oxygen use); or (iii) the embryo can adjust its physiology and/or developmental trajectory in ways that reduce the fitness penalties of unfavourable thermal conditions (e.g. by acclimating, by exploiting brief windows of favourable conditions, or by producing the hatchling phenotype best suited to those incubation conditions). Embryos are not simply passive victims of ambient conditions. Like free-living stages of the life cycle, embryos exhibit behavioural and physiological plasticity that enables them to deal with unpredictable abiotic challenges. PMID:24593133

  19. Effect of environmental conditions on the fatty acid fingerprint of microbial communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biryukov, Mikhail; Dippold, Michaela; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2014-05-01

    Lipid biomarkers, especially phospholipids, are routinely used to characterize microbial community structure in environmental samples. Interpretations of these fingerprints mainly depend on rare results of pure cultures which were cultivated under standardized batch conditions. However, membrane lipids (e.g. phopholipid biomarker) build up the interface between microorganisms and their environment and consequently are prone to be adapted according to the environmental conditions. We cultivated several bacteria, isolated from soil (gram-positive and gram-negative) under various conditions e.g. C supply and temperature regimes. Effect of growth conditions on phospholipids fatty acid (PLFA) as well as neutral lipid fatty acids (NLFA) and glycolipid fatty acids (GLFA) was investigated by conventional method of extraction and derivatization, followed by assessments with gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In addition, phospholipids were measured as intact molecules by ultra high performance liquid chromatography - quadrupole - time of flight mass spectrometer (UHPLC-Q-ToF) to further assess the composition of headgroups with fatty acids residues and their response on changing environmental conditions. PLFA fingerprints revealed a strong effect of growth stage, C supply and temperature e.g. decrease of temperature increased the amount of branched and/or unsaturated fatty acids to maintain the membrane fluidity. This strongly changes the ratio of specific to unspecific fatty acids depending on environmental conditions. Therefore, amounts of specific fatty acids cannot be used to assess biomass of a functional microbial group in soil. Intracellular neutral lipids depended less on environmental conditions reflecting a more stable biomarker group but also showed less specific fatty acids then PLFA. Therefore, combination of several lipid classes is suggested as more powerful tool to assess amounts and functionality of environmental microbial communities. Further information was gained from the analysis of intact polar lipids. Ethanolamines and cholines were the most abundant head groups within bacteria and are mainly combined with one specific and one unspecific fatty acid. Reactions on changing environmental conditions occurred mainly by modifications of fatty acids and rarely by a change of the headgroup fingerprint. This approach thus enables to categorize a certain amount of formerly unspecific fatty acids towards a specific microbial group. Ecological understanding for the interface between surrounding environment and cellular metabolism could be deepened by investigating the intact compounds e.g. intact phospholipids of microbial membranes. However, data from further organisms as well as diverse microbial communities are needed to continue the databases of intact phospholipids. Further investigations of diverse microbial communities under changing environmental conditions have to follow these first studies to 1) assess the effects of soil environment on microbial membranes (e.g. associations in biofilms) and 2) assess the effect of interspecific microbial interactions on their membrane properties and lipid fingerprints. Thus, combination of various lipid biomarkers as well as their intact characterization enables a more detailed look into microbial community structure and their respond on environmental conditions, improves our understanding of microbial functioning in ecosystems and enables a more specific estimation of biomass of various microbial groups.

  20. The Influence of Causal Explanations and Diagnostic Labeling on Psychology Students' Beliefs About Treatments, Prognosis, Dangerousness and Unpredictability in Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Magliano, Lorenza; Read, John; Rinaldi, Angela; Costanzo, Regina; De Leo, Renata; Schioppa, Giustina; Petrillo, Miriam

    2016-04-01

    This study explored views of 566 Italian psychology students about schizophrenia. The most frequently cited causes were psychological traumas (68 %) and heredity (54 %). Thirty-three percent of students firmly believed that people with the condition could recover. Reporting heredity among the causes, and identifying schizophrenia were both associated with prognostic pessimism, greater confidence in pharmacological treatments and lower confidence in psychological treatments. Schizophrenia labeling was also associated with higher perception of unpredictability and dangerousness. Compared to first year students, fourth/fifth year students more frequently reported heredity among the causes, and were more pessimistic about schizophrenia recovery. Stigma topics should be included in future psychologists' education. PMID:26081981

  1. Commercial catch rates of the clam Spisula solida reflect local environmental coastal conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baptista, V.; Leitão, F.

    2014-02-01

    The effect of environmental variables and fishing pressure (explanatory variables were lagged 1 year) on commercial catch rates of the clam Spisula solida was studied on an annual basis over a 21 year period in three areas off the Portuguese coast (the Northwest, the Southwest and the South) between 1989 and 2009. Each area showed distinct environmental (oceanographic and hydrological) characteristics. Different sensitivities of S. solida fishing grounds to environmental variables were found among the study areas. On the Northwest coast, the combined effect of NAO indices and sea surface temperature had a positive effect on S. solida fisheries, particularly during the spawning season. On the Southwest coast, the variation of S. solida catches was negatively associated with wind magnitude and positively related with South-Southeast winds. Winter river discharges and summer sea surface temperature negatively affected S. solida catches on the South coast. Fishing effort also affected S. solida catch rates in the South. However, “extreme” changes in environmental conditions were the main drivers of short-term variations in catch rates. These results indicate that variations of S. solida catches strongly reflect a regional signature of local climatic features off the coast. Information on local environmental conditions should therefore be used for the purpose of identifying management actions to ensure long-term sustainability of S. solida fisheries.

  2. How environmental conditions affect canopy leaf-level photosynthesis in four deciduous tree species

    SciTech Connect

    Bassow, S.L.; Bazzaz, F.A.

    1998-12-01

    Species composition of temperate forests vary with successional age and seems likely to change in response to significant global climate change. Because photosynthesis rates in co-occurring tree species can differ in their sensitivity to environmental conditions, these changes in species composition are likely to alter the carbon dynamics of temperate forests. To help improve their understanding of such atmosphere-biosphere interactions, the authors explored changes in leaf-level photosynthesis in a 60--70 yr old temperate mixed-deciduous forest in Petersham, Massachusetts (USA). Diurnally and seasonally varying environmental conditions differentially influenced in situ leaf-level photosynthesis rates in the canopies of four mature temperate deciduous tree species: red oak (Quercus rubra), red maple (Acer rubrum), white birch (Betula papyrifera), and yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis). The authors measured in situ photosynthesis at two heights within the canopies through a diurnal time course on 7 d over two growing seasons. They simultaneously measured a suite of environmental conditions surrounding the leaf at the time of each measurement. The authors used path analysis to examine the influence of environmental factors on in situ photosynthesis in the tree canopies.

  3. An adaptive ant colony optimization framework for scheduling environmental flow management alternatives under varied environmental water availability conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szemis, J. M.; Maier, H. R.; Dandy, G. C.

    2014-10-01

    Human water use is increasing and, as such, water for the environment is limited and needs to be managed efficiently. One method for achieving this is the scheduling of environmental flow management alternatives (EFMAs) (e.g., releases, wetland regulators), with these schedules generally developed over a number of years. However, the availability of environmental water changes annually as a result of natural variability (e.g., drought, wet years). To incorporate this variation and schedule EFMAs in a operational setting, a previously formulated multiobjective optimization approach for EFMA schedule development used for long-term planning has been modified and incorporated into an adaptive framework. As part of this approach, optimal schedules are updated at regular intervals during the planning horizon based on environmental water allocation forecasts, which are obtained using artificial neural networks. In addition, the changes between current and updated schedules can be minimized to reduce any disruptions to long-term planning. The utility of the approach is assessed by applying it to an 89km section of the River Murray in South Australia. Results indicate that the approach is beneficial under a range of hydrological conditions and an improved ecological response is obtained in a operational setting compared with previous long-term approaches. Also, it successfully produces trade-offs between the number of disruptions to schedules and the ecological response, with results suggesting that ecological response increases with minimal alterations required to existing schedules. Overall, the results indicate that the information obtained using the proposed approach potentially aides managers in the efficient management of environmental water.

  4. Oil Recovery from Water under Environmentally Relevant Conditions Using Magnetic Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Mirshahghassemi, Seyyedali; Lead, Jamie R

    2015-10-01

    Large oil spills and oily wastewater discharges from ships and industrial activities can have serious impacts on the environment with potentially major economic impacts. Current oil remediation techniques are inefficient and may have deleterious environmental consequences. However, nanotechnology offers a new route to potentially remediate oil pollution. In this study, a cheap and facile hydrothermal method was developed to synthesize polyvinylpyrrolidone-coated magnetite nanoparticles to separate a reference MC252 oil from oil-water mixture under environmentally relevant conditions. Fluorescence and Proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy results showed near 100% oil removal from oil-water mixture in the ultrapure water under optimum condition. Based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry data, approximately 100% of lower molecular mass alkanes (C9-C21) were removed within 10 min of magnetic separation and by increasing the separation time to 40 min, greater than 67% of C22-25 alkanes were removed. Moreover, nanoparticles removed near 100% oil from synthetic seawater solutions in the presence and absence of fulvic acid showing excellent oil removal capacity of the nanoparticles under different conditions. Results show that these nanoparticles can be utilized to remove oil over a short time with a high removal efficiency under environmentally relevant conditions. PMID:26358198

  5. Behavior of stressed and unstressed 304L specimens in tuff repository environmental conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Juhas, M.C.; McCright, R.D.; Garrison, R.E.

    1984-11-01

    This paper presents preliminary results of an investigation of the behavior of candidate barrier material for high-level nuclear waste storage, Type 304L stainless steel, in tuff repository environmental conditions. Tuff is a densely welded, devitrified, igneous rock common to the proposed repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The results discussed include: irradiation corrosion tests, U-bend irradiation corrosion tests, slow strain rate tests, and bent beam stress corrosion tests. Results indicate that Type 304L stainless steel shows excellent resistance to general, localized, and stress corrosion under the environmental and microstructural conditions tested so far. The environmental test conditions are 50 to 100{sup 0}C J-13 well water (non-saline, near neutral pH, and oxic in nature) and saturated steam at 100{sup 0}C. Microstructural conditions include solution annealed and long furnace heat treatments to provoke a sensitized structure. However, this particular type of stainless steel may be susceptible to long-term, low-temperature sensitization because of the combination of expected time at elevated temperature and residual stress in the container after emplacement in the repository. Other grades of austenitic stainless steels are reported to be more resistant to low-temperature sensitization. Future work will therefore include more extensive testing of these grades. 15 references, 5 figures, 7 tables.

  6. Environmental conditions associated with bat white-nose syndrome in the north-eastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flory, Abigail R.; Kumar, Sunil; Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Cryan, Paul M.

    2012-01-01

    2. By 2010, the fungus G. destructans was detected in new areas of North America far from the area it was first observed, as well as in eight European bat species in different countries, yet mortality was not observed in many of these new areas of North America or in any part of Europe. This could be because of the differences in the fungus, rates of disease progression and/or in life-history or physiological traits of the affected bat species between different regions. Infection of bats by G. destructans without associated mortality might also suggest that certain environmental conditions might have to co-occur with fungal infection to cause mortality. 3. We tested the environmental conditions hypothesis using Maxent to map and model landscape surface conditions associated with WNS mortality. This approach was unique in that we modelled possible requisite environmental conditions for disease mortality and not simply the presence of the causative agent. 4. The top predictors of WNS mortality were land use/land cover types, mean air temperature of wettest quarter, elevation, frequency of precipitation and annual temperature range. Model results suggest that WNS mortality is most likely to occur in landscapes that are higher in elevation and topographically heterogeneous, drier and colder during winter, and more seasonally variable than surrounding landscapes. 5. Synthesis and applications. This study mapped the most likely environmental surface conditions associated with bat mortality owing to WNS in the north-eastern United Sates; maps can be used for selection of priority monitoring sites. Our results provide a starting point from which to investigate and predict the potential spread and population impacts of this catastrophic emerging disease.

  7. Accounting for Variable Environmental Conditions in Time-Lapse Electrical Resistivity Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bentley, L. R.; Gharibi, M.; Hayley, K.

    2006-05-01

    Time-lapse electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) is being used to monitor salt transport at a remediation site in Alberta, Canada. The goal is to use ERI to produce images of salt concentration in soil. Mapping the salt concentration is possible because soil electrical conductivity (EC) is strongly correlated with salt concentration. However, soil EC is also affected by the temperature of the soil and the soil moisture content. Temperature and soil moisture conditions vary with changing environmental conditions. Three-D ERI results show that dramatically incorrect interpretations will result by neglecting differences in environmental conditions at the time of surveys. These results have two important implications 1) the petrophysical relationship that maps ERI values to salt concentration must be applied to images that have been converted to a standard condition equivalent EC value, and 2) auxiliary field measurements are required to establish temperature and saturation profiles at the time of surveys. We have chosen to standardize our images to 6 Deg. C and saturation of 1 because these values are most representative of the average conditions at the site. Laboratory measurements show that the temperature correction is 3.0% EC per Deg. C. The Waxman-Smits equation is used to correct for saturation differences. Finally, laboratory measurements have established an empirical relationship between soil EC at standard conditions and the regulatory measure of soil paste EC.

  8. Social effects on foraging behavior and success depend on local environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Harry H; Carter, Alecia J; Ashford, Alexandra; Rowcliffe, J Marcus; Cowlishaw, Guy

    2015-01-01

    In social groups, individuals' dominance rank, social bonds, and kinship with other group members have been shown to influence their foraging behavior. However, there is growing evidence that the particular effects of these social traits may also depend on local environmental conditions. We investigated this by comparing the foraging behavior of wild chacma baboons, Papio ursinus, under natural conditions and in a field experiment where food was spatially clumped. Data were collected from 55 animals across two troops over a 5-month period, including over 900 agonistic foraging interactions and over 600 food patch visits in each condition. In both conditions, low-ranked individuals received more agonism, but this only translated into reduced foraging performances for low-ranked individuals in the high-competition experimental conditions. Our results suggest one possible reason for this pattern may be low-ranked individuals strategically investing social effort to negotiate foraging tolerance, but the rank-offsetting effect of this investment being overwhelmed in the higher-competition experimental environment. Our results also suggest that individuals may use imbalances in their social bonds to negotiate tolerance from others under a wider range of environmental conditions, but utilize the overall strength of their social bonds in more extreme environments where feeding competition is more intense. These findings highlight that behavioral tactics such as the strategic investment of social effort may allow foragers to mitigate the costs of low rank, but that the effectiveness of these tactics is likely to be limited in certain environments. PMID:25691973

  9. Effects of varying environmental conditions on vegetation response to ozone exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Zaleski, R.T.; Triemer, L.R.

    1995-12-31

    Developing an exposure-effects model for plant response to ozone exposure is a complex process. It is known that ozone must enter the plant through the stomata for an effect to occur. Therefore, ozone uptake is related not only to ambient ozone concentrations, but also to environmental factors which control stomatal movement. In addition, cellular factors within the plant can mitigate ozone impact and ultimately control plant response. This paper presents a review of the scientific literature on plant responses (e.g. visible foliar injury, reductions in growth or yield) to ozone exposures under varying environmental conditions known to affect stomatal aperture. The results of this effort show the importance of considering key environmental factors when developing exposure-effects models.

  10. Quantifying the effects of seed arrival and environmental conditions on tropical seedling community structure.

    PubMed

    Paine, C E Timothy; Harms, Kyle E

    2009-05-01

    Though it is recognized that both stochastic and deterministic processes structure all communities, empirical assessments of their relative importance are rare, particularly within any single community. In this paper, we quantify the dynamic effects of dispersal assembly and niche assembly on the seedling layer in a diverse neotropical rain forest. The two theories make divergent predictions regarding the roles of seed arrival and environmental heterogeneity in generating community structure. Put simply, dispersal assembly posits that the stochasticity inherent to seed arrival structures communities, whereas niche assembly suggests that heterogeneity in post-dispersal environmental conditions is more important. We experimentally sowed 15,132 seeds of eight tree species at varying levels of density and diversity. Every six months we censused the seedlings that germinated and assessed the abiotic and biotic conditions of each plot. We assessed the density, diversity, and species composition of three nested subsets of the seedling layer: seedlings germinated from sown seeds, all seedlings germinated between July 2003 and 2004, and all woody seedlings. We partitioned the variance in density and diversity of each subset of the seedling layer into components representing seed-addition treatments and environmental conditions at 6- to 12-month intervals. Seed additions initially explained more variance in the density and diversity than did environmental heterogeneity for seven of eight sown species, but explained little variance in the density or diversity of the entire seedling layer. Species composition was better explained by seed-addition treatments than by environmental heterogeneity for all three subsets and in all time periods. Nevertheless, the variance in community structure explained by seed-addition treatments declined over the two years following germination, presaging shifts in the relative importance of dispersal assembly and niche assembly. Our study quantifies how dispersal assembly and niche assembly may vary among the components of an ecological community and shift dynamically through time. PMID:19142667

  11. Microbial Forensics: Predicting Phenotypic Characteristics and Environmental Conditions from Large-Scale Gene Expression Profiles

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Minseung; Zorraquino, Violeta; Tagkopoulos, Ilias

    2015-01-01

    A tantalizing question in cellular physiology is whether the cellular state and environmental conditions can be inferred by the expression signature of an organism. To investigate this relationship, we created an extensive normalized gene expression compendium for the bacterium Escherichia coli that was further enriched with meta-information through an iterative learning procedure. We then constructed an ensemble method to predict environmental and cellular state, including strain, growth phase, medium, oxygen level, antibiotic and carbon source presence. Results show that gene expression is an excellent predictor of environmental structure, with multi-class ensemble models achieving balanced accuracy between 70.0% (±3.5%) to 98.3% (±2.3%) for the various characteristics. Interestingly, this performance can be significantly boosted when environmental and strain characteristics are simultaneously considered, as a composite classifier that captures the inter-dependencies of three characteristics (medium, phase and strain) achieved 10.6% (±1.0%) higher performance than any individual models. Contrary to expectations, only 59% of the top informative genes were also identified as differentially expressed under the respective conditions. Functional analysis of the respective genetic signatures implicates a wide spectrum of Gene Ontology terms and KEGG pathways with condition-specific information content, including iron transport, transferases, and enterobactin synthesis. Further experimental phenotypic-to-genotypic mapping that we conducted for knock-out mutants argues for the information content of top-ranked genes. This work demonstrates the degree at which genome-scale transcriptional information can be predictive of latent, heterogeneous and seemingly disparate phenotypic and environmental characteristics, with far-reaching applications. PMID:25774498

  12. The ammonium excretion of the shore crab, carcinus maenas, in relation to environmental osmotic conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spaargaren, D. H.

    Ammonia concentrations were measured in blood and external media of shore crabs, Carcinus maenas, acclimated to 6 different salinities at high (20° C) and low (4° C) temperatures. It is seen that environmental osmotic conditions (temperature and salinity) have a major influence on NH 4+ formation and thus on protein (amino acid) catabolism. Blood ammonia concentrations appear to be strongly stabilized, independent of environmental osmotic conditions, ranging between 0.25 and 0.55 mmol·l -1. At normal, low environmental NH 4+ concentrations blood NH 4+ is strongly hyper-ionic compared to external concentrations; at high environmental NH 4+ concentrations (even when artificially raised to 2.5 mmol·l -1), blood NH 4+ is strongly hypo-ionic. Regulation of the blood NH 4+ concentrations takes place by a variable efflux of NH 4+; at high environmental NH 4+ concentrations (> 0.28 mmol · l -1), in addition to a high NH 4+ efflux, stabilization of the blood NH 4+ concentrations is effectuated by the formation of urea. Ammonia efflux to the surrounding water is highly dependent to the osmotic conditions of the environment: viz. positively related to temperature and inversely related to external salinity, with relatively stable value near the isosmotic salinity. Related to the strong variations in ammonia efflux, external NH 4+ concentrations in a closed volume of water are highly variable. In the course of time very high values develop in media of low salinity at high temperature. A close connection between NH 4+ excretion and extracellular ion regulation is indicated.

  13. Investigating the genetic architecture of conditional strategies using the environmental threshold model.

    PubMed

    Buzatto, Bruno A; Buoro, Mathieu; Hazel, Wade N; Tomkins, Joseph L

    2015-12-22

    The threshold expression of dichotomous phenotypes that are environmentally cued or induced comprise the vast majority of phenotypic dimorphisms in colour, morphology, behaviour and life history. Modelled as conditional strategies under the framework of evolutionary game theory, the quantitative genetic basis of these traits is a challenge to estimate. The challenge exists firstly because the phenotypic expression of the trait is dichotomous and secondly because the apparent environmental cue is separate from the biological signal pathway that induces the switch between phenotypes. It is the cryptic variation underlying the translation of cue to phenotype that we address here. With a 'half-sib common environment' and a 'family-level split environment' experiment, we examine the environmental and genetic influences that underlie male dimorphism in the earwig Forficula auricularia. From the conceptual framework of the latent environmental threshold (LET) model, we use pedigree information to dissect the genetic architecture of the threshold expression of forceps length. We investigate for the first time the strength of the correlation between observable and cryptic 'proximate' cues. Furthermore, in support of the environmental threshold model, we found no evidence for a genetic correlation between cue and the threshold between phenotypes. Our results show strong correlations between observable and proximate cues and less genetic variation for thresholds than previous studies have suggested. We discuss the importance of generating better estimates of the genetic variation for thresholds when investigating the genetic architecture and heritability of threshold traits. By investigating genetic architecture by means of the LET model, our study supports several key evolutionary ideas related to conditional strategies and improves our understanding of environmentally cued decisions. PMID:26674955

  14. Environmental and mental conditions predicting the experience of involuntary musical imagery: An experience sampling method study.

    PubMed

    Floridou, Georgia A; Müllensiefen, Daniel

    2015-05-01

    An experience sampling method (ESM) study on 40 volunteers was conducted to explore the environmental factors and psychological conditions related to involuntary musical imagery (INMI) in everyday life. Participants reported 6 times per day for one week on their INMI experiences, relevant contextual information and associated environmental conditions. The resulting data was modeled with Bayesian networks and led to insights into the interplay of factors related to INMI experiences. The activity that a person is engaged was found to play an important role in the experience of mind wandering, which in turn enables the experience of INMI. INMI occurrence is independent of the time of the day while the INMI trigger affects the subjective evaluation of the INMI experience. The results are compared to findings from earlier studies based on retrospective surveys and questionnaires and highlight the advantage of ESM techniques in research on spontaneous experiences like INMI. PMID:25800098

  15. Creep and Environmental Durability of EBC/CMCs Under Imposed Thermal Gradient Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Appleby, Matthew; Morscher, Gregory N.; Zhu, Dongming

    2013-01-01

    Interest in SiC fiber-reinforced SiC ceramic matrix composite (CMC) environmental barrier coating (EBC) systems for use in high temperature structural applications has prompted the need for characterization of material strength and creep performance under complex aerospace turbine engine environments. Stress-rupture tests have been performed on SiC/SiC composites systems, with varying fiber types and coating schemes to demonstrate material behavior under isothermal conditions. Further testing was conducted under exposure to thermal stress gradients to determine the effect on creep resistance and material durability. In order to understand the associated damage mechanisms, emphasis is placed on experimental techniques as well as implementation of non-destructive evaluation; including electrical resistivity monitoring. The influence of environmental and loading conditions on life-limiting material properties is shown.

  16. Food web expansion and contraction in response to changing environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Tunney, Tyler D; McCann, Kevin S; Lester, Nigel P; Shuter, Brian J

    2012-01-01

    Macroscopic ecosystem properties, such as major material pathways and community biomass structure, underlie the ecosystem services on which humans rely. While ecologists have long sought to identify the determinants of the trophic height of food webs (food chain length), it is somewhat surprising how little research effort is invested in understanding changes among other food web properties across environmental conditions. Here we theoretically and empirically show how a suite of fundamental macroscopic food web structures respond, in concert, to changes in habitat accessibility using post-glacial lakes as model ecosystems. We argue that as resource accessibility increases in coupled food webs, food chain length contracts (that is, reduced predator trophic position), habitat coupling expands (that is, increasingly coupled macrohabitats) and biomass pyramid structure becomes more top heavy. Our results further support an emerging theoretical view of flexible food webs that provides a foundation for generally understanding ecosystem responses to changing environmental conditions. PMID:23033081

  17. Wireless monitoring of the longitudinal displacement of the Tamar Suspension Bridge deck under changing environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Battista, Nicky; Westgate, Robert; Koo, Ki Young; Brownjohn, James

    2011-04-01

    In order to be able to monitor the performance and health of a civil structure it is essential to understand how it behaves under different environmental conditions. It is a well documented fact that the structural performance of bridges can be altered considerably when they are subjected to changes in environmental conditions. This paper presents a study investigating the longitudinal movement of the road deck on Tamar Suspension Bridge in Plymouth in the UK over six months. The expansion joint of the bridge deck was instrumented with pull-wire type extensometers. The data were transmitted wirelessly using commercial wireless sensor nodes and collected at a data acquisition laptop computer, which was accessible online for remote monitoring. In addition, position data of various locations on the bridge deck were collected using a Robotic Total Station (RTS). Environmental data, such as the temperature, and structural data, such as cable tension, were acquired from other monitoring systems. Conclusions drawn from a fusion of the bridge deck's longitudinal displacement with other structural and environmental data are discussed in this paper.

  18. Piezoelectric transducer self-diagnosis under changing environmental and structural conditions.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang Jun; Sohn, Hoon

    2010-09-01

    Surface-mountable wafer-type piezoelectric transducers using lead zirconate titanate (PZT) are widely used to generate and sense guided waves for nondestructive evaluation and structural health monitoring applications. However, little attention has been paid to monitoring PZT transducer integrity, despite possibly being the weakest link in the entire monitoring system. In this study, PZT transducer self-diagnostic techniques, which enable a single PZT transducer to examine its own integrity, are developed based on a time-reversal process; the effects of temperature and structural condition variations are explicitly considered. Two PZT self-diagnosis indices are proposed which allow debonded and cracked PZT conditions to be identified and distinguished from changing environmental and structural conditions. First, the proposed self-diagnosis schemes are theoretically formulated, and then the feasibility of the proposed schemes is validated through simulations and experimental tests under varying temperature and structural conditions. PMID:20875991

  19. Environmental conditions in favour of a hantavirus outbreak in 2015 in Germany?

    PubMed

    Reil, D; Imholt, C; Drewes, S; Ulrich, R G; Eccard, J A; Jacob, J

    2016-03-01

    Bank voles can harbour Puumala virus (PUUV) and vole populations usually peak in years after beech mast. A beech mast occurred in 2014 and a predictive model indicates high vole abundance in 2015. This pattern is similar to the years 2009/2011 when beech mast occurred, bank voles multiplied and human PUUV infections increased a year later. Given similar environmental conditions in 2014/2015, increased risk of human PUUV infections in 2015 is likely. Risk management measures are recommended. PMID:26177110

  20. Dichromated pullulan diffraction gratings: influence of environmental conditions and storage time on their properties.

    PubMed

    Sević, Svetlana Savić; Pantelić, Dejan

    2007-01-20

    Investigations of the environmental stability of diffraction gratings, recorded in dichromated pullulan (DCP), are reported. Profile changes of DCP surface relief gratings, under high humidity conditions, were analyzed using an atomic force microscope. It was found that the profile was not altered, while the diffraction efficiency was preserved. The influence of storage life on the diffraction efficiency and surface profile of DCP gratings were also investigated. It was concluded that DCP gratings offer much better stability compared with the dichromated gelatin. PMID:17228370

  1. Fitness consequences of environmental conditions at different life stages in a long-lived vertebrate

    PubMed Central

    Douhard, Mathieu; Plard, Floriane; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Capron, Gilles; Delorme, Daniel; Klein, François; Duncan, Patrick; Loe, Leif Egil; Bonenfant, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    The predictive adaptive response (PAR) hypothesis proposes that animals adjust their physiology and developmental trajectory during early life in anticipation of their future environments. Accordingly, when environmental conditions in early life match environmental conditions during adulthood, individual fitness should be greater. Here, we test this hypothesis in a long-lived mammal, the roe deer, using data from two contrasting populations, intensively monitored for more than 35 years. In the highly productive site, the fitness of female roe deer increased with the quality of environment during adulthood and, contrary to predictions of PAR, individuals born in good conditions always outperformed those born under poor conditions. In the resource-limited site, the fitness of female roe deer born in poor years was better than those born in good conditions in poor years when the animals were adult, but not in good years. Although consistent with predictions of PAR, we showed that this pattern is likely to be a consequence of increased viability selection during the juvenile stage for animals born in poor years. While PARs are often advanced in evolutionary medicine, our findings suggest that detailed biological processes should be investigated before drawing conclusions about the existence of this phenomenon. PMID:24789898

  2. Role of phenotypic plasticity and population differentiation in adaptation to novel environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

    Volis, Sergei; Ormanbekova, Danara; Yermekbayev, Kanat

    2015-01-01

    Species can adapt to new environmental conditions either through individual phenotypic plasticity, intraspecific genetic differentiation in adaptive traits, or both. Wild emmer wheat, Triticum dicoccoides, an annual grass with major distribution in Eastern Mediterranean region, is predicted to experience in the near future, as a result of global climate change, conditions more arid than in any part of the current species distribution. To understand the role of the above two means of adaptation, and the effect of population range position, we analyzed reaction norms, extent of plasticity, and phenotypic selection across two experimental environments of high and low water availability in two core and two peripheral populations of this species. We studied 12 quantitative traits, but focused primarily on the onset of reproduction and maternal investment, which are traits that are closely related to fitness and presumably involved in local adaptation in the studied species. We hypothesized that the population showing superior performance under novel environmental conditions will either be genetically differentiated in quantitative traits or exhibit higher phenotypic plasticity than the less successful populations. We found the core population K to be the most plastic in all three trait categories (phenology, reproductive traits, and fitness) and most successful among populations studied, in both experimental environments; at the same time, the core K population was clearly genetically differentiated from the two edge populations. Our results suggest that (1) two means of successful adaptation to new environmental conditions, phenotypic plasticity and adaptive genetic differentiation, are not mutually exclusive ways of achieving high adaptive ability; and (2) colonists from some core populations can be more successful in establishing beyond the current species range than colonists from the range extreme periphery with conditions seemingly closest to those in the new environment. PMID:26380708

  3. Neuroprotective Role of Intermittent Hypobaric Hypoxia in Unpredictable Chronic Mild Stress Induced Depression in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Deep, Satayanarayan; Prasad, Dipti; Singh, Shashi Bala; Khan, Nilofar

    2016-01-01

    Hypoxic exposure results in several pathophysiological conditions associated with nervous system, these include acute and chronic mountain sickness, loss of memory, and high altitude cerebral edema. Previous reports have also suggested the role of hypoxia in pathogenesis of depression and related psychological conditions. On the other hand, sub lethal intermittent hypoxic exposure induces protection against future lethal hypoxia and may have beneficial effect. Therefore, the present study was designed to explore the neuroprotective role of intermittent hypobaric hypoxia (IHH) in Unpredictable Chronic Mild Stress (UCMS) induced depression like behaviour in rats. The IHH refers to the periodic exposures to hypoxic conditions interrupted by the normoxic or lesser hypoxic conditions. The current study examines the effect of IHH against UCMS induced depression, using elevated plus maze (EPM), open field test (OFT), force swim test (FST), as behavioural paradigm and related histological and molecular approaches. The data indicated the UCMS induced depression like behaviour as evident from decreased exploration activity in OFT with increased anxiety levels in EPM, and increased immobility time in the FST; whereas on providing the IHH (5000m altitude, 4hrs/day for two weeks) these behavioural changes were ameliorated. The morphological and molecular studies also validated the neuroprotective effect of IHH against UCMS induced neuronal loss and decreased neurogenesis. Here, we also explored the role of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in anticipatory action of IHH against detrimental effect of UCMS as upon blocking of BDNF-TrkB signalling the beneficial effect of IHH was nullified. Taken together, the findings of our study demonstrate that the intermittent hypoxia has a therapeutic potential similar to an antidepressant in animal model of depression and could be developed as a preventive therapeutic option against this pathophysiological state. PMID:26901349

  4. Neuroprotective Role of Intermittent Hypobaric Hypoxia in Unpredictable Chronic Mild Stress Induced Depression in Rats.

    PubMed

    Kushwah, Neetu; Jain, Vishal; Deep, Satayanarayan; Prasad, Dipti; Singh, Shashi Bala; Khan, Nilofar

    2016-01-01

    Hypoxic exposure results in several pathophysiological conditions associated with nervous system, these include acute and chronic mountain sickness, loss of memory, and high altitude cerebral edema. Previous reports have also suggested the role of hypoxia in pathogenesis of depression and related psychological conditions. On the other hand, sub lethal intermittent hypoxic exposure induces protection against future lethal hypoxia and may have beneficial effect. Therefore, the present study was designed to explore the neuroprotective role of intermittent hypobaric hypoxia (IHH) in Unpredictable Chronic Mild Stress (UCMS) induced depression like behaviour in rats. The IHH refers to the periodic exposures to hypoxic conditions interrupted by the normoxic or lesser hypoxic conditions. The current study examines the effect of IHH against UCMS induced depression, using elevated plus maze (EPM), open field test (OFT), force swim test (FST), as behavioural paradigm and related histological and molecular approaches. The data indicated the UCMS induced depression like behaviour as evident from decreased exploration activity in OFT with increased anxiety levels in EPM, and increased immobility time in the FST; whereas on providing the IHH (5000m altitude, 4hrs/day for two weeks) these behavioural changes were ameliorated. The morphological and molecular studies also validated the neuroprotective effect of IHH against UCMS induced neuronal loss and decreased neurogenesis. Here, we also explored the role of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in anticipatory action of IHH against detrimental effect of UCMS as upon blocking of BDNF-TrkB signalling the beneficial effect of IHH was nullified. Taken together, the findings of our study demonstrate that the intermittent hypoxia has a therapeutic potential similar to an antidepressant in animal model of depression and could be developed as a preventive therapeutic option against this pathophysiological state. PMID:26901349

  5. Degradation of the pharmaceuticals diclofenac and sulfamethoxazole and their transformation products under controlled environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Poirier-Larabie, S; Segura, P A; Gagnon, C

    2016-07-01

    Contamination of the aquatic environment by pharmaceuticals via urban effluents is well known. Several classes of drugs have been identified in waterways surrounding these effluents in the last 15years. To better understand the fate of pharmaceuticals in ecosystems, degradation processes need to be investigated and transformation products must be identified. Thus, this study presents the first comparative study between three different natural environmental conditions: photolysis and biodegradation in aerobic and anaerobic conditions both in the dark of diclofenac and sulfamethoxazole, two common drugs present in significant amounts in impacted surface waters. Results indicated that degradation kinetics differed depending on the process and the type of drug and the observed transformation products also differed among these exposure conditions. Diclofenac was nearly degraded by photolysis after 4days, while its concentration only decreased by 42% after 57days of exposure to bacteria in aerobic media and barely 1% in anaerobic media. For sulfamethoxazole, 84% of the initial concentration was still present after 11days of exposure to light, while biodegradation decreased its concentration by 33% after 58days of exposure under aerobic conditions and 5% after 70days of anaerobic exposure. In addition, several transformation products were observed and persisted over time while others degraded in turn. For diclofenac, chlorine atoms were lost primarily in the photolysis, while a redox reaction was promoted by biodegradation under aerobic conditions. For sulfamethoxazole, isomerization was favored by photolysis while a redox reaction was also favored by the biodegradation under aerobic conditions. To summarize this study points out the occurrence of different transformation products under variable degradation conditions and demonstrates that specific functional groups are involved in the tested natural attenuation processes. Given the complexity of environmental samples more analytical effort is needed to fully identify new products of potential toxicity. PMID:26999369

  6. Dietary Lysine Responses of Male Broilers From 14 to 28 Days of Age Subjected to Different Environmental Conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dietary amino acid requirements are influenced by environmental conditions. Two experiments examined growth responses of Ross × Ross TP 16 male broilers fed diets varying in digestible (dig) Lys concentrations from 14 to 28 days of age under different environmental conditions. Experiment 1 was condu...

  7. Digestible Lysine Requirements of Male Broilers From 14 to 28 Days of Age Subjected to Different Environmental Conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dietary amino acid requirements are influenced by environmental conditions. Two experiments examined growth responses of Ross × Ross TP 16 male broilers fed diets varying in digestible (dig) Lys concentrations from 14 to 28 d of age under different environmental conditions. Experiment 1 was conduc...

  8. Avian migrants adjust migration in response to environmental conditions en route.

    PubMed

    Tøttrup, Anders P; Thorup, Kasper; Rainio, Kalle; Yosef, Reuven; Lehikoinen, Esa; Rahbek, Carsten

    2008-12-23

    The onset of migration in birds is assumed to be primarily under endogenous control in long-distance migrants. Recently, climate changes appear to have been driving a rapid change in breeding area arrival. However, little is known about the climatic factors affecting migratory birds during the migration cycle, or whether recently reported phenological changes are caused by plastic behavioural responses or evolutionary change. Here, we investigate how environmental conditions in the wintering areas as well as en route towards breeding areas affect timing of migration. Using data from 1984 to 2004 covering the entire migration period every year from observatories located in the Middle East and northern Europe, we show that passage of the Sahara Desert is delayed and correlated with improved conditions in the wintering areas. By contrast, migrants travel more rapidly through Europe, and adjust their breeding area arrival time in response to improved environmental conditions en route. Previous studies have reported opposing results from a different migration route through the Mediterranean region (Italy). We argue that the simplest explanation for different phenological patterns at different latitudes and between migratory routes appears to be phenotypic responses to spatial variability in conditions en route. PMID:18700199

  9. DEGRADATION OF FIBERBOARD IN MODEL 9975 PACKAGE FOLLOWING ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONING FIRST INTERIM REPORT

    SciTech Connect

    Daugherty, W; Stephen Harris, S

    2007-06-13

    Fiberboard material, used in the 9975 shipping package, has been tested for thermal, mechanical and physical properties following environmental conditioning for periods up to 64 weeks. The environments are either representative or bounding of KAMS storage conditions, in order to provide prediction of long-term performance of the 9975 package in KAMS. This report summarizes the data and analysis performed to date. These data show degradation of some properties in some of the environments, but samples have not degraded beyond identified minimum KAMS requirements. Statistical analysis of the data collected to date support the development of a model to predict a service life in KAMS. Further model development and lifetime predictions will be made following additional conditioning and testing in accordance with the task technical plan.

  10. Bill E. Kunkle Interdisciplinary Beef Symposium: Animal welfare concerns for cattle exposed to adverse environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Mader, T L

    2014-12-01

    Increasing awareness of animal welfare has become a priority in food production systems involving animals. Under normal working environments, production practices are constantly evaluated to maintain optimum levels of animal well-being. However, during periods of adverse weather, optimum conditions for animal comfort, as well as animal performance, are often compromised. In the Midwest and Great Plains states, the heat waves of 1995, 1999, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2013 were particularly difficult on animals reared in confinement, with documented cattle losses approaching 5,000 head each year. Additionally, during the summer of 2011, nearly 15,000 head of cattle across 5 states were lost as a result of heat stress. During prolonged periods of heat stress, lower conceptions rates are observed in livestock. In addition, animals reared in confinement buildings are often compromised because of limitations in ventilation systems. Under the opposite environmental spectrum, the winters of 1992 to 1993, 1996 to 1997, 1997 to 1998, 2006 to 2007, and 2008 to 2009 caused hardship for livestock producers, particularly for those rearing animals in an outdoor environment. During the winters of 1996 to 1997 and 2008 to 2009 up to 50% of the newborn calves were lost in many areas, with over 75,000 head of cattle lost in the northern plains states. Late fall and early winter snowstorms in 1992, 1997, 2006, and 2013 resulted in the loss of over 25,000 head of cattle each year in the Great Plains region of the United States. Economic losses from reduced performance of cattle experiencing severe environmental stress likely exceed losses associated with livestock death by 5- to 10-fold. Use of alternative supplementation programs may need to be considered for livestock challenged by adverse environmental conditions. Use of additional water for consumption and cooling, shade, and/or alternative management strategies need to be considered to help livestock cope with heat stress. For animals reared outside during the winter, strategies that increase animal space and environmental buffers need to be employed to minimize effects of mud, wet conditions, and wind chill. The above-mentioned weather events suggest that there are ample opportunities for livestock producers to enhance animal welfare and minimize impact of environmental stress. Caretakers need a greater understanding of animal responses to weather challenges to help animals cope with adverse climatic conditions. PMID:25414102

  11. The effect of different holding conditions for environmental monitoring with caged rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

    PubMed

    Hanson, Niklas; Guttman, Elin; Larsson, Ake

    2006-10-01

    Biomarkers in fish can be a useful tool for environmental monitoring of aquatic ecosystems when diffuse pollution is becoming more important and new chemicals are being created continuously. There are, however, a number of drawbacks with this method. Because of environmental variability, health status of wild fish populations may differ between years, leading to unrepresentative results in long term studies. Furthermore, genetic or adaptive differences between populations complicate the interpretation of studies on different sites. The use of farmed fish, placed in cages, can reduce these problems. However, experimental conditions are likely to differ between sites. For practical reasons it may, e.g., be neccesary to use different types of caging. Here, the use of net cages and flow through tanks has been compared for a number of biomarkers. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were placed in net cages and flow through tanks in the river Göta Alv, in western Sweden, during three different periods in 2004 and 2005. No differences between types of caging were found for any biomarker. Therefore, the results suggest that net cages and flow through tanks can be used and compared in environmental monitoring using biomarkers in caged rainbow trout. However, efforts should be taken to reduce differences in experimental conditions, e.g., light intensity and feeding levels. PMID:17240904

  12. Identifying the Environmental Conditions Favouring West Nile Virus Outbreaks in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Metz, Markus; Rosà, Roberto; Marini, Giovanni; Chadwick, Elizabeth; Neteler, Markus

    2015-01-01

    West Nile Virus (WNV) is a globally important mosquito borne virus, with significant implications for human and animal health. The emergence and spread of new lineages, and increased pathogenicity, is the cause of escalating public health concern. Pinpointing the environmental conditions that favour WNV circulation and transmission to humans is challenging, due both to the complexity of its biological cycle, and the under-diagnosis and reporting of epidemiological data. Here, we used remote sensing and GIS to enable collation of multiple types of environmental data over a continental spatial scale, in order to model annual West Nile Fever (WNF) incidence across Europe and neighbouring countries. Multi-model selection and inference were used to gain a consensus from multiple linear mixed models. Climate and landscape were key predictors of WNF outbreaks (specifically, high precipitation in late winter/early spring, high summer temperatures, summer drought, occurrence of irrigated croplands and highly fragmented forests). Identification of the environmental conditions associated with WNF outbreaks is key to enabling public health bodies to properly focus surveillance and mitigation of West Nile virus impact, but more work needs to be done to enable accurate predictions of WNF risk. PMID:25803814

  13. Identifying the environmental conditions favouring West Nile Virus outbreaks in Europe.

    PubMed

    Marcantonio, Matteo; Rizzoli, Annapaola; Metz, Markus; Rosà, Roberto; Marini, Giovanni; Chadwick, Elizabeth; Neteler, Markus

    2015-01-01

    West Nile Virus (WNV) is a globally important mosquito borne virus, with significant implications for human and animal health. The emergence and spread of new lineages, and increased pathogenicity, is the cause of escalating public health concern. Pinpointing the environmental conditions that favour WNV circulation and transmission to humans is challenging, due both to the complexity of its biological cycle, and the under-diagnosis and reporting of epidemiological data. Here, we used remote sensing and GIS to enable collation of multiple types of environmental data over a continental spatial scale, in order to model annual West Nile Fever (WNF) incidence across Europe and neighbouring countries. Multi-model selection and inference were used to gain a consensus from multiple linear mixed models. Climate and landscape were key predictors of WNF outbreaks (specifically, high precipitation in late winter/early spring, high summer temperatures, summer drought, occurrence of irrigated croplands and highly fragmented forests). Identification of the environmental conditions associated with WNF outbreaks is key to enabling public health bodies to properly focus surveillance and mitigation of West Nile virus impact, but more work needs to be done to enable accurate predictions of WNF risk. PMID:25803814

  14. Photoacclimation supports environmental tolerance of a sponge to turbid low-light conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biggerstaff, A.; Smith, D. J.; Jompa, J.; Bell, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    Changes to coral reefs are occurring worldwide, often resulting in declining environmental quality which can be in the form of higher sedimentation rates and increased turbidity. While environmental acclimation to turbid and low-light conditions has been extensively studied in corals, far less is known about other phototrophic reef invertebrates. The photosynthetic cyanobacteria containing sponge Lamellodysidea herbacea is one of the most abundant sponges in the Wakatobi Marine National Park (WMNP, Indonesia), and its abundance is greatest at highly disturbed, turbid sites. This study investigated photoacclimation of L. herbacea symbionts to turbid reef sites using in situ PAM fluorometry combined with shading and transplant experiments at environmental extremes of light availability for this species. We found in situ photoacclimation of L. herbacea to both shallow, clear, high-light environments and deep, turbid, low-light environments. Shading experiments provide some evidence that L. herbacea are dependent on nutrition from their photosymbionts as significant tissue loss was seen in shaded sponges. Symbionts within surviving shaded tissue showed evidence of photoacclimation. Lamellodysidea herbacea transplanted from high- to low-light conditions appeared to have photoacclimated within 5 d with no significant effect of the lowered light level on survival. This ability of L. herbacea to photoacclimate to rapid and extreme changes in light availability may be one of the factors contributing to their survival on more turbid reef sites in the WMNP. Our study highlights the ability of some sponge species to acclimate to changes in light levels as a result of increased turbidity.

  15. Environmental Conditions in Low-Income Urban Housing: Clustering and Associations With Self-Reported Health

    PubMed Central

    Spengler, John D.; Harley, Amy E.; Stoddard, Anne; Yang, May; Alvarez-Reeves, Marty; Sorensen, Glorian

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. We explored prevalence and clustering of key environmental conditions in low-income housing and associations with self-reported health. Methods. The Health in Common Study, conducted between 2005 and 2009, recruited participants (n = 828) from 20 low-income housing developments in the Boston area. We interviewed 1 participant per household and conducted a brief inspection of the unit (apartment). We created binary indexes and a summed index for household exposures: mold, combustion by-products, secondhand smoke, chemicals, pests, and inadequate ventilation. We used multivariable logistic regression to examine the associations between each index and household characteristics and between each index and self-reported health. Results. Environmental problems were common; more than half of homes had 3 or more exposure-related problems (median summed index = 3). After adjustment for household-level demographics, we found clustering of problems in site (P < .01) for pests, combustion byproducts, mold, and ventilation. Higher summed index values were associated with higher adjusted odds of reporting fair–poor health (odds ratio = 2.7 for highest category; P < .008 for trend). Conclusions. We found evidence that indoor environmental conditions in multifamily housing cluster by site and that cumulative exposures may be associated with poor health. PMID:24028244

  16. Experimental evidence of population differences in reproductive investment conditional on environmental stochasticity.

    PubMed

    Gauthey, Zoé; Panserat, Stéphane; Elosegi, Arturo; Herman, Alexandre; Tentelier, Cédric; Labonne, Jacques

    2016-01-15

    Environmental stochasticity is expected to shape life histories of species, wherein organisms subjected to strong environmental variation should display adaptive response by being able to tune their reproductive investment. For riverine ecosystems, climate models forecast an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme events such as floods and droughts. The speed and the mechanisms by which organisms may adapt their reproductive investment are therefore of primary importance to understand how species will cope with such radical environmental changes. In the present study, we sampled spawners from two different populations of wild brown trout, originating from two environments with contrasting levels of flow stochasticity. We placed them in sympatry within an experimental channel during reproductive season. In one modality, water flow was maintained constant, whereas in another modality, water flow was highly variable. Reproductive investment of all individuals was monitored using weight and energetic plasma metabolite variation throughout the reproductive season. Only the populations originating from the most variable environment showed a plastic response to experimental manipulation of water flow, the females being able to reduce their weight variation (from 19.2% to 13.1%) and metabolites variations (from 84.2% to 18.6% for triglycerides for instance) under variable flow conditions. These results imply that mechanisms to cope with environmental stochasticity can differ between populations of the same species, where some populations can be plastic whereas other cannot. PMID:26406108

  17. Ectomycorrhizal fungal traits reflect environmental conditions along a coastal California edaphic gradient.

    PubMed

    Moeller, Holly V; Peay, Kabir G; Fukami, Tadashi

    2014-03-01

    Multispecies mutualisms, such as the association between trees and ectomycorrhizal fungi, are often shaped by environmental context. Here, we explored the functional mechanisms underlying this environmental filtering. Using a single population of Pinus muricata (Bishop pine) growing along a strong edaphic gradient, we examined how environmental stress affected ectomycorrhizal fungi. The gradient spans c. 400000 years of soil age, and reduced nutrient availability and increased water stress dwarf trees on older sites. Fungal community composition shifted with nutrient and water availability and with the stature of the P. muricata host trees. Not only did pygmy trees host a taxonomically different fungal subset as compared to nonpygmy trees, but associated fungal communities also differed in life history strategies: trees in more stressful conditions hosted fungi with more carbon-intensive foraging strategies. Our results indicate a link between environmental controls of host nutritional status and turnover in the ectomycorrhizal fungal community. The transition to more energy-intensive strategies under nutrient stress may allow for close recycling of recalcitrant nutrient pools within the root zone and facilitate transport of nutrients and water over long distances. These results highlight the value of life history data to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of species distributions. PMID:24289145

  18. Useful model organisms, indicators, or both? Ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) reflecting environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

    Koivula, Matti J.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Classic studies have successfully linked single-species abundances, life-history traits, assemblage structures and biomass of carabid beetles to past and present, human-caused environmental impacts and variation in ‘natural’ conditions. This evidence has led many to suggest carabids to function as ‘indicators’ − a term that bears multiple meanings. Here, a conservation-oriented definition for an indicator is used, carabid indicator potential from seven views is evaluated, and ways to proceed in indicator research are discussed. (1) Carabid species richness poorly indicates the richness and abundance of other taxa, which underlines the importance of using multiple taxa in environmental assessments. The ability of assemblage indices and specialist or functional-group abundances to reflect rare species and habitats should be examined in detail. (2) Experimental evidence suggests that carabids may potentially serve as keystone indicators. (3) Carabids are sensitive to human-altered abiotic conditions, such as pesticide use in agro-ecosystems and heavy metal contamination of soils. Carabids might thus reflect ecological sustainability and ‘ecosystem health’. (4) Carabid assemblages host abundant species characteristic of particular habitat types or successional stages, which makes them promising dominance indicators. (5) Carabids reflect variation in ‘natural’ conditions, but vegetation and structural features are more commonly adopted as condition indicators. Carabids nevertheless provide yet another, equally accurate, view on the structure of the environment. (6) Carabids may function as early-warning signalers, as suggested by recent studies linking climate and carabid distributions. (7) Carabids reflect natural and human-caused disturbances and management, but the usefulness of these responses for conservation purposes requires further research. In summary, European carabids appear useful model organisms and possibly indicators because they are diverse, taxonomically and ecologically well-known, efficiently reflect biotic and abiotic conditions, are relevant at multiple spatial scales, and are easy to collect in sufficiently large numbers to allow statistical analyses. The assumption that carabid responses would reflect rare environmental conditions or the responses of rare and threatened species ‒ crucial information for conservationists and managers ‒ has not yet been critically evaluated. Even if it holds, the usefulness will be context dependent: species and their populations vary, conditions vary, questions put forward vary, and assessment goals vary. PMID:21738418

  19. Hormonal Signal Amplification Mediates Environmental Conditions during Development and Controls an Irreversible Commitment to Adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Schaedel, Oren N.; Gerisch, Birgit; Antebi, Adam; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2012-01-01

    Many animals can choose between different developmental fates to maximize fitness. Despite the complexity of environmental cues and life history, different developmental fates are executed in a robust fashion. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans serves as a powerful model to examine this phenomenon because it can adopt one of two developmental fates (adulthood or diapause) depending on environmental conditions. The steroid hormone dafachronic acid (DA) directs development to adulthood by regulating the transcriptional activity of the nuclear hormone receptor DAF-12. The known role of DA suggests that it may be the molecular mediator of environmental condition effects on the developmental fate decision, although the mechanism is yet unknown. We used a combination of physiological and molecular biology techniques to demonstrate that commitment to reproductive adult development occurs when DA levels, produced in the neuroendocrine XXX cells, exceed a threshold. Furthermore, imaging and cell ablation experiments demonstrate that the XXX cells act as a source of DA, which, upon commitment to adult development, is amplified and propagated in the epidermis in a DAF-12 dependent manner. This positive feedback loop increases DA levels and drives adult programs in the gonad and epidermis, thus conferring the irreversibility of the decision. We show that the positive feedback loop canalizes development by ensuring that sufficient amounts of DA are dispersed throughout the body and serves as a robust fate-locking mechanism to enforce an organism-wide binary decision, despite noisy and complex environmental cues. These mechanisms are not only relevant to C. elegans but may be extended to other hormonal-based decision-making mechanisms in insects and mammals. PMID:22505848

  20. Genomic sweep and potential genetic rescue during limiting environmental conditions in an isolated wolf population.

    PubMed

    Adams, Jennifer R; Vucetich, Leah M; Hedrick, Philip W; Peterson, Rolf O; Vucetich, John A

    2011-11-22

    Genetic rescue, in which the introduction of one or more unrelated individuals into an inbred population results in the reduction of detrimental genetic effects and an increase in one or more vital rates, is a potentially important management tool for mitigating adverse effects of inbreeding. We used molecular techniques to document the consequences of a male wolf (Canis lupus) that immigrated, on its own, across Lake Superior ice to the small, inbred wolf population in Isle Royale National Park. The immigrant's fitness so exceeded that of native wolves that within 2.5 generations, he was related to every individual in the population and his ancestry constituted 56 per cent of the population, resulting in a selective sweep of the total genome. In other words, all the male ancestry (50% of the total ancestry) descended from this immigrant, plus 6 per cent owing to the success of some of his inbred offspring. The immigration event occurred in an environment where space was limiting (i.e. packs occupied all available territories) and during a time when environmental conditions had deteriorated (i.e. wolves' prey declined). These conditions probably explain why the immigration event did not obviously improve the population's demography (e.g. increased population numbers or growth rate). Our results show that the beneficial effects of gene flow may be substantial and quickly manifest, short-lived under some circumstances, and how the demographic benefits of genetic rescue might be masked by environmental conditions. PMID:21450731

  1. Genomic sweep and potential genetic rescue during limiting environmental conditions in an isolated wolf population

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Jennifer R.; Vucetich, Leah M.; Hedrick, Philip W.; Peterson, Rolf O.; Vucetich, John A.

    2011-01-01

    Genetic rescue, in which the introduction of one or more unrelated individuals into an inbred population results in the reduction of detrimental genetic effects and an increase in one or more vital rates, is a potentially important management tool for mitigating adverse effects of inbreeding. We used molecular techniques to document the consequences of a male wolf (Canis lupus) that immigrated, on its own, across Lake Superior ice to the small, inbred wolf population in Isle Royale National Park. The immigrant's fitness so exceeded that of native wolves that within 2.5 generations, he was related to every individual in the population and his ancestry constituted 56 per cent of the population, resulting in a selective sweep of the total genome. In other words, all the male ancestry (50% of the total ancestry) descended from this immigrant, plus 6 per cent owing to the success of some of his inbred offspring. The immigration event occurred in an environment where space was limiting (i.e. packs occupied all available territories) and during a time when environmental conditions had deteriorated (i.e. wolves' prey declined). These conditions probably explain why the immigration event did not obviously improve the population's demography (e.g. increased population numbers or growth rate). Our results show that the beneficial effects of gene flow may be substantial and quickly manifest, short-lived under some circumstances, and how the demographic benefits of genetic rescue might be masked by environmental conditions. PMID:21450731

  2. Water retention of selected microorganisms and Martian soil simulants under close to Martian environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jänchen, J.; Bauermeister, A.; Feyh, N.; de Vera, J.-P.; Rettberg, P.; Flemming, H.-C.; Szewzyk, U.

    2014-08-01

    Based on the latest knowledge about microorganisms resistant towards extreme conditions on Earth and results of new complex models on the development of the Martian atmosphere we quantitatively examined the water-bearing properties of selected extremophiles and simulated Martian regolith components and their interaction with water vapor under close to Martian environmental conditions. Three different species of microorganisms have been chosen and prepared for our study: Deinococcus geothermalis, Leptothrix sp. OT_B_406, and Xanthoria elegans. Further, two mineral mixtures representing the early and the late Martian surface as well as montmorillonite as a single component of phyllosilicatic minerals, typical for the Noachian period on Mars, were selected. The thermal mass loss of the minerals and bacteria-samples was measured by thermoanalysis. The hydration and dehydration properties were determined under close to Martian environmental conditions by sorption isotherm measurements using a McBain-Bakr quartz spring balance. It was possible to determine the total water content of the materials as well as the reversibly bound water fraction as function of the atmospheres humidity by means of these methods. Our results are important for the evaluation of future space mission outcomes including astrobiological aspects and can support the modeling of the atmosphere/surface interaction by showing the influence on the water inventory of the upper most layer of the Martian surface.

  3. Evaluation of natural colonisation of cementitious materials: effect of bioreceptivity and environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Manso, Sandra; Calvo-Torras, María Ángeles; De Belie, Nele; Segura, Ignacio; Aguado, Antonio

    2015-04-15

    Incorporation of living organisms, such as photosynthetic organisms, on the structure envelope has become a priority in the area of architecture and construction due to aesthetical, economic and ecological advantages. Important research efforts are made to achieve further improvements, such as for the development of cementitious materials with an enhanced bioreceptivity to stimulate biological growth. Previously, the study of the bioreceptivity of cementitious materials has been carried out mainly under laboratory conditions although field-scale experiments may present different results. This work aims at analysing the colonisation of cementitious materials with different levels of bioreceptivity by placing them in three different environmental conditions. Specimens did not present visual colonisation, which indicates that environmental conditions have a greater impact than intrinsic properties of the material at this stage. Therefore, it appears that in addition to an optimized bioreceptivity of the concrete (i.e., composition, porosity and roughness), extra measures are indispensable for a rapid development of biological growth on concrete surfaces. An analysis of the colonisation in terms of genus and quantity of the most representative microorganisms found on the specimens for each location was carried out and related to weather conditions, such as monthly average temperature and total precipitation, and air quality in terms of NOx, SO2, CO and O3. OPC-based specimens presented a higher colonisation regarding both biodiversity and quantity. However, results obtained in a previous experimental programme under laboratory conditions suggested a higher suitability of Magnesium Phosphate Cement-based (MPC-based) specimens for algal growth. Consequently, carefully considering the environment and the relationships between the different organisms present in an environment is vital for successfully using a cementitious material as a substrate for biological growth. PMID:25644840

  4. Thermal Cyclic Behavior of Thermal and Environmental Barrier Coatings Investigated Under High-Heat-Flux Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhu, Dongming; Lee, Kang N.; Miller, Robert A.

    2002-01-01

    Environmental barrier coatings (EBC's) have been developed to protect silicon-carbide- (SiC) based ceramic components in gas turbine engines from high-temperature environmental attack. With continuously increasing demands for significantly higher engine operating temperature, future EBC systems must be designed for both thermal and environmental protection of the engine components in combustion gases. In particular, the thermal barrier functions of EBC's become a necessity for reducing the engine-component thermal loads and chemical reaction rates, thus maintaining the required mechanical properties and durability of these components. Advances in the development of thermal and environmental barrier coatings (TBC's and EBC's, respectively) will directly impact the successful use of ceramic components in advanced engines. To develop high-performance coating systems, researchers must establish advanced test approaches. In this study, a laser high-heat-flux technique was employed to investigate the thermal cyclic behavior of TBC's and EBC's on SiC-reinforced SiC ceramic matrix composite substrates (SiC/SiC) under high thermal gradient and thermal cycling conditions. Because the laser heat flux test approach can monitor the coating's real-time thermal conductivity variations at high temperature, the coating thermal insulation performance, sintering, and delamination can all be obtained during thermal cycling tests. Plasma-sprayed yttria-stabilized zirconia (ZrO2-8 wt% Y2O3) thermal barrier and barium strontium aluminosilicate-based environmental barrier coatings (BSAS/BSAS+mullite/Si) on SiC/SiC ceramic matrix composites were investigated in this study. These coatings were laser tested in air under thermal gradients (the surface and interface temperatures were approximately 1482 and 1300 C, respectively). Some coating specimens were also subject to alternating furnace cycling (in a 90-percent water vapor environment at 1300 C) and laser thermal gradient cycling tests (in air), to investigate the water vapor effect. All cyclic tests were conducted using a 60-min hot-time temperature.

  5. Responses of five Mediterranean halophytes to seasonal changes in environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

    Gil, Ricardo; Bautista, Inmaculada; Boscaiu, Monica; Lidón, Antonio; Wankhade, Shantanu; Sánchez, Héctor; Llinares, Josep; Vicente, Oscar

    2014-01-01

    In their natural habitats, different mechanisms may contribute to the tolerance of halophytes to high soil salinity and other abiotic stresses, but their relative contribution and ecological relevance, for a given species, remain largely unknown. We studied the responses to changing environmental conditions of five halophytes (Sarcocornia fruticosa, Inula crithmoides, Plantago crassifolia, Juncus maritimus and J. acutus) in a Mediterranean salt marsh, from summer 2009 to autumn 2010. A principal component analysis was used to correlate soil and climatic data with changes in the plants' contents of chemical markers associated with stress responses: ions, osmolytes, malondialdehyde (MDA, a marker of oxidative stress) and antioxidant systems. Stress tolerance in S. fruticosa, I. crithmoides and P. crassifolia (all succulent dicots) seemed to depend mostly on the transport of ions to aerial parts and the biosynthesis of specific osmolytes, whereas both Juncus species (monocots) were able to avoid accumulation of toxic ions, maintaining relatively high K+/Na+ ratios. For the most salt-tolerant taxa (S. fruticosa and I. crithmoides), seasonal variations of Na+, Cl−, K+ and glycine betaine, their major osmolyte, did not correlate with environmental parameters associated with salt or water stress, suggesting that their tolerance mechanisms are constitutive and relatively independent of external conditions, although they could be mediated by changes in the subcellular compartmentalization of ions and compatible osmolytes. Proline levels were too low in all the species to possibly have any effect on osmotic adjustment. However—except for P. crassifolia—proline may play a role in stress tolerance based on its ‘osmoprotectant’ functions. No correlation was observed between the degree of environmental stress and the levels of MDA or enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, indicating that the investigated halophytes are not subjected to oxidative stress under natural conditions and do not, therefore, need to activate antioxidant defence mechanisms. PMID:25139768

  6. Distinctive Representation of Mispredicted and Unpredicted Prediction Errors in Human Electroencephalography.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Yi-Fang; Le Bars, Solene; Hämäläinen, Jarmo A; Waszak, Florian

    2015-10-28

    The predictive coding model of perception proposes that neuronal responses are modulated by the amount of sensory input that the internal prediction cannot account for (i.e., prediction error). However, there is little consensus on what constitutes nonpredicted stimuli. Conceptually, whereas mispredicted stimuli may induce both prediction error generated by prediction that is not perceived and prediction error generated by sensory input that is not anticipated, unpredicted stimuli involves no top-down, only bottom-up, propagation of information in the system. Here, we examined the possibility that the processing of mispredicted and unpredicted stimuli are dissociable at the neurophysiological level using human electroencephalography. We presented participants with sets of five tones in which the frequency of the fifth tones was predicted, mispredicted, or unpredicted. Participants were required to press a key when they detected a softer fifth tone to maintain their attention. We found that mispredicted and unpredicted stimuli are associated with different amount of cortical activity, probably reflecting differences in prediction error. Moreover, relative to predicted stimuli, the mispredicted prediction error manifested as neuronal enhancement and the unpredicted prediction error manifested as neuronal attenuation on the N1 event-related potential component. These results highlight the importance of differentiating between the two nonpredicted stimuli in theoretical work on predictive coding. PMID:26511253

  7. Physical performance and environmental conditions: 2014 World Soccer Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Veneroso, Christiano E; Ramos, Guilherme P; Mendes, Thiago T; Silami-Garcia, Emerson

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT This editorial is for the special issue “Temperature sciences in Brazil” of the journal Temperature. It focuses on the physical performance and environmental conditions during the 2014 World Cup and the coming 2016 Summer Olympics. It emphasizes that a hot and humid environment imposes a great challenge to the human thermoregulation system, can lead to performance decrements, and increases the risk of developing hyperthermia. Adequate hydration, acclimatization, and body cooling strategies are effective interventions to minimize the risks associated with exercise in the heat. PMID:27227058

  8. Note: Electrical resolution during conductive atomic force microscopy measurements under different environmental conditions and contact forces

    SciTech Connect

    Lanza, M.; Porti, M.; Nafria, M.; Aymerich, X.; Whittaker, E.; Hamilton, B.

    2010-10-15

    Conductive atomic force microscopy experiments on gate dielectrics in air, nitrogen, and UHV have been compared to evaluate the impact of the environment on topography and electrical measurements. In current images, an increase of the lateral resolution and a reduction of the conductivity were observed in N{sub 2} and, especially, in UHV (where current depends also on the contact force). Both effects were related to the reduction/elimination of the water layer between the tip and the sample in N{sub 2}/UHV. Therefore, since current measurements are very sensitive to environmental conditions, these factors must be taken into consideration when comparisons between several experiments are performed.

  9. Tick community composition in Midwestern US habitats in relation to sampling method and environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Rynkiewicz, Evelyn C; Clay, Keith

    2014-01-01

    The ranges of many tick species are changing due to climate change and human alteration of the landscape. Understanding tick responses to environmental conditions and how sampling method influences measurement of tick communities will improve our assessment of human disease risk. We compared tick sampling by three collection methods (dragging, CO2 trapping and rodent surveys) in adjacent forested and grassland habitats in the lower Midwest, USA, and analyzed the relationship between tick abundance and microclimate conditions. The study areas were within the overlapping ranges of three tick species, which may provide conditions for pathogen exchange and spread into new vectors. Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick) was found using all methods, Amblyomma americanum (lonestar tick) was found by dragging and CO2 trapping and Ixodes scapularis (blacklegged deer tick) was found only on rodents. Proportion of each species differed significantly among sampling methods. More ticks were found in forests compared to open habitats. Further, more ticks were collected by dragging and from rodents in hotter, drier conditions. Our results demonstrate that multiple sampling methodologies better measure the tick community and that microclimate conditions strongly influence the abundance and activity of individual tick species. PMID:24705853

  10. Physiological and genetic analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana anthocyanin biosynthesis mutants under chronic adverse environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

    Rothstein, Steven J.

    2013-01-01

    Anthocyanin production is a characteristic response of flowering plants to unfavourable environmental conditions. The potential roles of flavonoids and anthocyanins in plant growth were investigated by growing Arabidopsis thaliana anthocyanin production mutants (transparent testa) under limiting nitrogen and high light conditions. Inability to produce kaempferol or subsequent intermediate compounds by some transparent testa lines was correlated with less biomass accumulation in mature plants compared with wild-type control plants under all growth conditions tested. However, under both limiting nitrogen and high light chronic stress conditions, mutant lines defective in later steps of the anthocyanin production pathway produced the same or more biomass than wild-type plants. No difference in senescence between transparent testa and wild-type plants was found using chlorophyll catabolism and SAG12 expression measurements, and no mutants were impaired in the ability to remobilize nutrients from the vegetative to reproductive tissues. Moreover, the absence of anthocyanin and/or upstream flavonoids does not affect the ability of plants to respond to limiting nitrogen by reducing photosynthetic capacity. These results support a role for kaempferol and quercetin accumulation in normal plant growth and development. Further, the absence of anthocyanins has no effect on plant growth under the chronic stress conditions tested. PMID:23162120

  11. Portuguese native Artemia parthenogenetica resisting invasion by Artemia franciscana - Assessing reproductive parameters under different environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinto, Pedro M.; Hontoria, Francisco; Vieira, Natividade; Bio, Ana

    2014-05-01

    There is widespread interest in the conservation of native Artemia biodiversity. In Portugal, only two known populations of native Artemia remain: one in the Rio Maior salina, the other in the Aveiro salina complex, both of the diploid Artemia parthenogenetica species. All other Portuguese hypersaline environments where Artemia can be found have been invaded by Artemia franciscana, which has eradicated the native strains. Invasiveness and resilience of, respectively, exotic and indigenous species are thought to depend on strain-specific traits and adaptation to local conditions. This work evaluates the reproductive performance of the two Portuguese native strains and the invasive species exposed to different salinities, temperatures, photoperiods and food supplies. Reproduction periods, quantity and quality of offspring varied significantly, depending on both the Artemia strain and environmental conditions. A. parthenogenetica from Rio Maior reproduced better than A. franciscana at high salinity (150) and low food supply, which may reflect an adaptation to its biotope that aids its resistance to invasion. But A. parthenogenetica form Aveiro performed much worse than its invasive competitor, under most of the conditions tested. It is unlikely that A. franciscana has not been introduced in this salina by chance alone. Other biological traits of the local A. parthenogenetica or adaptation to unstudied local factors (e.g. pollution) are probably responsible for this strain's survival. Further knowledge on specific local conditions and trait-specific tolerances to biotic and abiotic conditions are needed to understand (non-)invasion patterns and preserve the remaining native populations.

  12. Variation in the Abundance of Neotropical Bees in an Unpredictable Seasonal Environment.

    PubMed

    Knoll, F R N

    2016-04-01

    This study provides information on the number of orchid bees based on a long-term monitoring study in an antropized savanna region in Southeastern Brazil. Sampling was carried out using chemical lures, and 77 samples were monthly collected to assess the number of individuals as well as the annual and seasonal species fluctuation. The number of species varied significantly among years but not among months, and there was a positive correlation between the number of species and the number of individuals in each sample. Monthly number counts revealed a seasonal pattern for Eulaema nigrita Lepeletier and Exaerete smaragdina Perty, which were more numerous during humid months but peaked in December, January, and February. Different species of Euglossa presented a significant variation in number among years, but not among months, with no pattern along the years. The community and the populations studied were less stable when compared to those of well-preserved habitats of equatorial forests. The El Niño phenomenon of 1997/98 did not result in negative effects in the populations studied; on the contrary, there was a peak in the number of E. nigrita. The amplitude in the yearly variation of the male orchid bee population reflects the evolutionary history of species living in unpredictable seasonal weather that led to the development of particular adaptive traits designed to deal with environmental uncertainties. This study suggests that the plasticity of the life cycle may explain population stability and provide greater resilience to severe climate change events in the future. PMID:26597968

  13. Unpredictable elbow joint perturbation during reaching results in multijoint motor equivalence.

    PubMed

    Mattos, D J S; Latash, M L; Park, E; Kuhl, J; Scholz, J P

    2011-09-01

    Motor equivalence expresses the idea that movement components reorganize in the face of perturbations to preserve the value of important performance variables, such as the hand's position in reaching. A formal method is introduced to evaluate this concept quantitatively: changes in joint configuration due to unpredictable elbow perturbation lead to a smaller change in performance variables than expected given the magnitude of joint configuration change. This study investigated whether motor equivalence was present during the entire movement trajectory and how magnitude of motor equivalence was affected by constraints imposed by two different target types. Subjects pointed to spherical and cylindrical targets both with and without an elbow joint perturbation produced by a low- or high-stiffness elastic band. Subjects' view of their arm was blocked in the initial position, and the perturbation condition was randomized to avoid prediction of the perturbation or its magnitude. A modification of the uncontrolled manifold method variance analysis was used to investigate how changes in joint configuration on perturbed vs. nonperturbed trials (joint deviation vector) affected the hand's position or orientation. Evidence for motor equivalence induced by the perturbation was present from the reach onset and increased with the strength of the perturbation after 40% of the reach, becoming more prominent as the reach progressed. Hand orientation was stabilized more strongly by motor equivalent changes in joint configuration than was three-dimensional position regardless of the target condition. Results are consistent with a recent model of neural control that allows for flexible patterns of joint coordination while resisting joint configuration deviations in directions that affect salient performance variables. The observations also fit a general scheme of synergic control with referent configurations defined across different levels of the motor hierarchy. PMID:21676927

  14. Nonlinear Dielectric Properties of Yeast Cells Cultured in Different Environmental Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawanishi, Gomon; Fukuda, Naoki; Muraji, Masafumi

    The harmonics of the electric current through yeast suspensions, the nonlinear dielectric properties of yeast cells, have particular patterns according to the biological activity of the cells and the measurement of these patterns is a technique for determining the activity of living cells. The concentration of glucose and oxygen in yeast culture medium influences the manifestation of fermentation or respiration of yeast cells. Measurements were made with yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) cultured aerobically and anaerobically in sufficient glucose concentration, aerobic fermentation and anaerobic fermentation, and aerobically in limited glucose concentration, respiration. The results showed that the harmonics were barely apparent for yeast cells in aerobic fermentation and respiratory; however, cells in the anaerobic fermentation displayed substantial third and fifth harmonics. We can say that environmental condition affects the yeast cells' nonlinear properties, from another viewpoint, the measurements of the nonlinear properties are available to determine the activity of yeast cells adjusted to the conditions of their cultivation.

  15. Environmental and physiological conditions affecting Tetrahymena sp. infection in guppies, Poecilia reticulata Peters.

    PubMed

    Pimenta Leibowitz, M; Ariav, R; Zilberg, D

    2005-09-01

    Parasitic infections caused by Tetrahymena sp. constitute a serious problem in guppies, Poecilia reticulata. Tetrahymena was isolated from skin lesions of naturally infected guppies in a commercial aquaculture farm, cultured in vitro and used in subsequent experimental infections. In addition to guppies, angelfish, Pterophyllum scalare, platyfish, Xiphophorus maculates, and neontetra, Paracheirodon innesi, were susceptible, whereas tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus xO. aureus) was resistant. The ciliate had a high affinity for dead fish. Skin abrasion did not affect the infection, but fish with gas bubble disease exhibited a significantly higher infection than non-affected fish. Infection was significantly higher when fish were exposed to high levels of ammonia, high organic load and low water temperatures. Under shipment conditions, infection was significantly elevated. Full recovery was achieved at a low fish density. Results suggest that poor environmental and physiological conditions enhance infection with Tetrahymena sp. PMID:16266327

  16. [Role of micro-organisms in adapting plants to environmental stress conditions].

    PubMed

    Hirt, Heribert

    2012-01-01

    Due to their sessile nature, plants have always been confronted to various abiotic and biotic stresses in their immediate environment. As a consequence, the survival of plants depended on their ability to adjust rapidly their physiology, development and growth to escape or mitigate the impacts of stress. All plants are known to perceive and respond to stress signals such as drought, heat, salinity, attacks by herbivores and pathogens. Some biochemical processes are common to all plant stress responses including the production of certain stress proteins and metabolites, as well as the modification of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism. Although there has been extensive research in the plant stress response field, it is not yet known which factors are responsible for conferring to some plant species the capacity to colonize extreme habitats. Although considerable progress has been made in our understanding of plant stress physiology, the contribution of the plant-associated microbial community in the soil, commonly called the rhizosphere, has only recently received enhanced attention. Recent studies showed that some plant species in natural habitats require microbial associations for stress tolerance and survival. Since plants have colonized land, they have evolved mechanisms to respond to changing environmental conditions and settle in extreme habitats. Although many plants lack the adaptive capability to adapt to stress conditions, the ability of a variety of plants to adapt to stress conditions appears to depend on the association with microbes, raising a number of questions: can all plants improve stress tolerance when associated with their appropriate microbial partners? Did we miss identifying the right partners for a given plant species or variety? What distinguishes the microbes and plants that are adapted to extreme environmental conditions from those living in temperate zones? Answers to these questions are likely to revolutionize plant biology and could lead to new methods for a sustainable agriculture. PMID:23419255

  17. A research on functional status, environmental conditions, and risk of falls in dementia.

    PubMed

    Eshkoor, Sima Ataollahi; Hamid, Tengku Aizan; Nudin, Siti Sa'adiah Hassan; Mun, Chan Yoke

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the effects of disability, physical activity, and functional status as well as environmental conditions on the risk of falls among the elderly with dementia after adjusting for sociodemographic factors. Data were derived from a group including 1210 Malaysian elderly who were demented and noninstitutionalized. The study was a national cross-sectional survey that was entitled "Determinants of Health Status among Older Malaysians." Approximately 17% of subjects experienced falls. The results showed that ethnic non-Malay (OR = 1.73) and functional decline (OR = 1.67) significantly increased the risk of falls in samples (P < 0.05). The findings indicated that increased environmental quality (OR = 0.64) significantly decreased the risk of falls (P < 0.05). Disability, age, marital status, educational level, sex differences, and physical activity were found irrelevant to the likelihood of falls in subjects (P > 0.05). It was concluded that functional decline and ethnic non-Malay increased the risk of falls but the increased environmental quality reduced falls. PMID:24963440

  18. Experiment 8: Environmental Conditions in the ASTROCULTURE(trademark) Plant Chamber During the USML-2 Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bula, R. J.; Zhou, Weijia; Yetka, R. A.; Draeger, N. A.

    1998-01-01

    Conducting plant research to assess the impact of microgravity on plant growth and development requires a plant chamber that has the capability to control other environmental parameters involved in plant growth and development. The environmental control in a space-based plant chamber must be equivalent to that available in such facilities used for terrestrial plant research. Additionally, plants are very sensitive to a number of atmospheric gaseous materials. Thus, the atmosphere of a plant chamber must be isolated from the space vehicle atmosphere, and the plant growth unit should have the capability to remove any such deleterious materials that may impact plant growth and development. The Wisconsin Center for Space Automation and Robotics (WCSAR), University of Wisconsin-Madison, has developed a totally enclosed controlled environment plant growth unit. The flight unit was used to support the ASTROCULTURE(TM) experiment conducted during the USML-2 mission. The experiment had two major objectives: 1) Provide further validation of the flight unit to control the experiment-defined environmental parameters in the plant chamber, and 2) support a plant experiment to assess the capability of potato plant material to produce tubers in microgravity. This paper describes the temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide conditions of the plant chamber during the mission, from launch to landing. Another paper will present the plant response data.

  19. The first "space" vegetables have been grown in the "SVET" greenhouse using controlled environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanova, T. N.; Bercovich, Yu. A.; Mashinskiy, A. L.; Meleshko, G. I.

    The paper describes the "SVET" project—a new generation of space greenhouse with small dimensions. Through the use of a minicomputer, "SVET" is fully capable of automatically operating and controlling environmental systems for higher plant growth. A number of preliminary studies have shown the radish and cabbage to be potentially important crops for CELSS (Closed Environmental Life Support System). The "SVET" space greenhouse was mounted on the "CRYSTAL" technological module docked to the Mir orbital space station on 10 June 1990. Soviet cosmonauts Balandin and Solovyov started the first experiments with the greenhouse on 15 June 1990. Preliminary results of seed cultivation over an initial 54-day period in "SVET" are presented. Morphometrical characteristics of plants brought back to Earth are given. Alteration in plant characteristics, such as growth and developmental changes, or morphological contents were noted. A crop of radish plants was harvested under microgravity conditions. Characteristics of plant environmental control parameters and an estimation of functional properties of control and regulation systems of the "SVET" greenhouse in space flight as received via telemetry data is reported.

  20. Robust ultrasonic damage detection under complex environmental conditions using singular value decomposition.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chang; Harley, Joel B; Bergés, Mario; Greve, David W; Oppenheim, Irving J

    2015-04-01

    Guided wave ultrasonics is an attractive monitoring technique for damage diagnosis in large-scale plate and pipe structures. Damage can be detected by comparing incoming records with baseline records collected on intact structure. However, during long-term monitoring, environmental and operational conditions often vary significantly and produce large changes in the ultrasonic signals, thereby challenging the baseline comparison based damage detection. Researchers developed temperature compensation methods to eliminate the effects of temperature variation, but they have limitations in practical implementations. In this paper, we develop a robust damage detection method based on singular value decomposition (SVD). We show that the orthogonality of singular vectors ensures that the effect of damage and that of environmental and operational variations are separated into different singular vectors. We report on our field ultrasonic monitoring of a 273.05 mm outer diameter pipe segment, which belongs to a hot water piping system in continuous operation. We demonstrate the efficacy of our method on experimental pitch-catch records collected during seven months. We show that our method accurately detects the presence of a mass scatterer, and is robust to the environmental and operational variations exhibited in the practical system. PMID:25600118

  1. Response of mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) populations to seasonally unpredictable perturbations

    SciTech Connect

    Horn, M.J.; Stewart, A.J.

    1990-07-01

    Many questions remain unresolved about the linkages between life history attributes of fishes and the tactics that these organisms employ in response to environmental uncertainty. Such questions include (1). If a perturbation affects the entire ecosystem, what are the consequences for a given population of fish (2) What tactics can a fish employ to increase its chances of leaving offspring (3) Do fish respond differently to such perturbations depending on the season (4) How do these changes relate to the overall resilience of the population The research reported here was designed to address such questions. Mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) populations in thirteen experimental ponds at Oak Ridge National Laboratory were sampled ten times between June 1988, and July 1989 in response to a series of chemical disturbances. During each sampling period the population size and total biomass of Gambusia in each pond was estimated using photographs and a length weight regression. Size-frequency histograms were used to examine seasonal and dose-related changes in population structure. Lipid content and reproductive allotment were measured for a series of fish from each pond on all dates to explore the energy allocation patterns at the individual. 106 refs., 38 figs., 16 tabs.

  2. Species traits and environmental conditions govern the relationship between biodiversity effects across trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Spooner, Daniel E; Vaughn, Caryn C; Galbraith, Heather S

    2012-02-01

    Changing environments can have divergent effects on biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships at alternating trophic levels. Freshwater mussels fertilize stream foodwebs through nutrient excretion, and mussel species-specific excretion rates depend on environmental conditions. We asked how differences in mussel diversity in varying environments influence the dynamics between primary producers and consumers. We conducted field experiments manipulating mussel richness under summer (low flow, high temperature) and fall (moderate flow and temperature) conditions, measured nutrient limitation, algal biomass and grazing chironomid abundance, and analyzed the data with non-transgressive overyielding and tripartite biodiversity partitioning analyses. Algal biomass and chironomid abundance were best explained by trait-independent complementarity among mussel species, but the relationship between biodiversity effects across trophic levels (algae and grazers) depended on seasonal differences in mussel species' trait expression (nutrient excretion and activity level). Both species identity and overall diversity effects were related to the magnitude of nutrient limitation. Our results demonstrate that biodiversity of a resource-provisioning (nutrients and habitat) group of species influences foodweb dynamics and that understanding species traits and environmental context are important for interpreting biodiversity experiments. PMID:21901360

  3. Species traits and environmental conditions govern the relationship between biodiversity effects across trophic levels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spooner, D.E.; Vaughn, C.C.; Galbraith, H.S.

    2012-01-01

    Changing environments can have divergent effects on biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships at alternating trophic levels. Freshwater mussels fertilize stream foodwebs through nutrient excretion, and mussel species-specific excretion rates depend on environmental conditions. We asked how differences in mussel diversity in varying environments influence the dynamics between primary producers and consumers. We conducted field experiments manipulating mussel richness under summer (low flow, high temperature) and fall (moderate flow and temperature) conditions, measured nutrient limitation, algal biomass and grazing chironomid abundance, and analyzed the data with non-transgressive overyielding and tripartite biodiversity partitioning analyses. Algal biomass and chironomid abundance were best explained by trait-independent complementarity among mussel species, but the relationship between biodiversity effects across trophic levels (algae and grazers) depended on seasonal differences in mussel species' trait expression (nutrient excretion and activity level). Both species identity and overall diversity effects were related to the magnitude of nutrient limitation. Our results demonstrate that biodiversity of a resource-provisioning (nutrients and habitat) group of species influences foodweb dynamics and that understanding species traits and environmental context are important for interpreting biodiversity experiments. ?? 2011 Springer-Verlag.

  4. Environmental conditions associated with lesions in introduced free-ranging sheep in Hawai‘i

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powers, Jenny G.; Duncan, Colleen G.; Spraker, Terry R.; Schuler, Bridget A.; Hess, Steven C.; Faford, Jonathan K.J.; Sin, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Wildlife species which have been translocated between temperate and tropical regions of the world provide unique opportunities to understand how disease processes may be affected by environmental conditions. European mouflon sheep (Ovis gmelini musimon) from the Mediterranean Islands were introduced to the Hawaiian Islands for sport hunting beginning in 1954 and were subsequently hybridized with feral domestic sheep (O. aries), which had been introduced in 1793. Three isolated mouflon populations have become established in the Hawaiian Islands but diseases in these populations have been little studied. The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare gross and histologic lesions in respiratory, renal, and hepatic systems of free-ranging sheep in two isolated volcanic environments on Hawai‘i Island. Tissue and fecal samples were collected in conjunction with population reductions during February 2011. We found gross or histologic evidence of lungworm infection in 44/49 sheep from Mauna Loa which were exposed to gaseous emissions from Kīlauea Volcano. In contrast, only 7/50 sheep from Mauna Kea had lesions consistent with lungworm, but Mauna Kea sheep had significantly more upper respiratory tract inflammation and hyperplasia consistent with chronic antigenic stimulation, possibly associated with exposure to fine airborne particulates during extended drought conditions. We hypothesize that gasses from Kīlauea Volcano contributed to severity of respiratory disease principally associated with chronic lungworm infections at Mauna Loa; however, there were numerous other potentially confounding environmental factors and interactions that merit further investigation.

  5. The Role of Abiotic Environmental Conditions and Herbivory in Shaping Bacterial Community Composition in Floral Nectar

    PubMed Central

    Samuni-Blank, Michal; Izhaki, Ido; Laviad, Sivan; Bar-Massada, Avi; Gerchman, Yoram; Halpern, Malka

    2014-01-01

    Identifying the processes that drive community assembly has long been a central theme in ecology. For microorganisms, a traditional prevailing hypothesis states that “everything is everywhere, but the environment selects”. Although the bacterial community in floral nectar may be affected by both atmosphere (air-borne bacteria) and animals as dispersal vectors, the environmental and geographic factors that shape microbial communities in floral nectar are unknown. We studied culturable bacterial communities in Asphodelus aestivus floral nectar and in its typical herbivorous bug Capsodes infuscatus, along an aridity gradient. Bacteria were sampled from floral nectar and bugs at four sites, spanning a geographical range of 200 km from Mediterranean to semi-arid conditions, under open and bagged flower treatments. In agreement with the niche assembly hypothesis, the differences in bacterial community compositions were explained by differences in abiotic environmental conditions. These results suggest that microbial model systems are useful for addressing macro-ecological questions. In addition, similar bacterial communities were found in the nectar and on the surface of the bugs that were documented visiting the flowers. These similarities imply that floral nectar bacteria dispersal is shaped not only by air borne bacteria and nectar consumers as previously reported, but also by visiting vectors like the mirid bugs. PMID:24922317

  6. Using magnetically responsive tea waste to remove lead in waters under environmentally relevant conditions.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Siang Yee; Choi, Siwon; Dien, Vivian; Sow-Peh, Yoke Keow; Qi, Genggeng; Hatton, T Alan; Doyle, Patrick S; Thio, Beng Joo Reginald

    2013-01-01

    We report the use of a simple yet highly effective magnetite-waste tea composite to remove lead(II) (Pb(2+)) ions from water. Magnetite-waste tea composites were dispersed in four different types of water-deionized (DI), artificial rainwater, artificial groundwater and artificial freshwater-that mimic actual environmental conditions. The water samples had varying initial concentrations (0.16-5.55 ppm) of Pb(2+) ions and were mixed with the magnetite-waste tea composite for at least 24 hours to allow adsorption of the Pb(2+) ions to reach equilibrium. The magnetite-waste tea composites were stable in all the water samples for at least 3 months and could be easily removed from the aqueous media via the use of permanent magnets. We detected no significant leaching of iron (Fe) ions into the water from the magnetite-waste tea composites. The percentage of Pb adsorbed onto the magnetite-waste tea composite ranged from ∼70% to 100%; the composites were as effective as activated carbon (AC) in removing the Pb(2+) ions from water, depending on the initial Pb concentration. Our prepared magnetite-waste tea composites show promise as a green, inexpensive and highly effective sorbent for removal of Pb in water under environmentally realistic conditions. PMID:23818955

  7. Performance of diffusion-barrier scintillation cells under a variety of controlled environmental conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Spangler, R.R.; Langner, G.H., Jr.

    1989-02-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Remedial Action and Waste Technology established the Technical Measurements Center (TMC) at the Grand Junction, Colorado, Projects Office (GJPO), in part, to develop and evaluate new devices for the DOE remedial action projects. The TMC charged the GJPO Radon Laboratory, under the management of UNC Geotech (UNC), with developing and testing a passive scintillation-type, time-averaging radon monitor. Two types of monitors were developed--a diffusion-barrier scintillation cell (DBSC) and a diffusion-barrier liquid scintillation cell (DBLSC). The performance of the DBSCs was tested under different relative humidities, temperatures, and wind speeds. The test results of the DBSCs showed no statistically significant change in accuracy due to the environmental test conditions. Radon-concentration measurement results for diffusion-barrier charcoal canisters (DBCC), exposed along with the DBSCs, did show significant effects due to wind and temperature, but no effects due to relative humidity. The performance of the DBLSCs under a variety of environmental conditions was not tested because a sufficiently sensitive device could not be developed using the existing GJPO liquid-scintillation counting system and a nontoxic counting medium. 10 refs., 10 figs., 10 tabs.

  8. Using Magnetically Responsive Tea Waste to Remove Lead in Waters under Environmentally Relevant Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Yeo, Siang Yee; Choi, Siwon; Dien, Vivian; Sow-Peh, Yoke Keow; Qi, Genggeng; Hatton, T. Alan; Doyle, Patrick S.; Thio, Beng Joo Reginald

    2013-01-01

    We report the use of a simple yet highly effective magnetite-waste tea composite to remove lead(II) (Pb2+) ions from water. Magnetite-waste tea composites were dispersed in four different types of water–deionized (DI), artificial rainwater, artificial groundwater and artificial freshwater–that mimic actual environmental conditions. The water samples had varying initial concentrations (0.16–5.55 ppm) of Pb2+ ions and were mixed with the magnetite-waste tea composite for at least 24 hours to allow adsorption of the Pb2+ ions to reach equilibrium. The magnetite-waste tea composites were stable in all the water samples for at least 3 months and could be easily removed from the aqueous media via the use of permanent magnets. We detected no significant leaching of iron (Fe) ions into the water from the magnetite-waste tea composites. The percentage of Pb adsorbed onto the magnetite-waste tea composite ranged from ∼70% to 100%; the composites were as effective as activated carbon (AC) in removing the Pb2+ ions from water, depending on the initial Pb concentration. Our prepared magnetite-waste tea composites show promise as a green, inexpensive and highly effective sorbent for removal of Pb in water under environmentally realistic conditions. PMID:23818955

  9. Physically based model of organic carbon mineralization under varying soil environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghezzehei, Teamrat; Arnold, Chelsea; Asefaw Berhe, Asmeret

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, it is increasingly becoming clear that soil encironmental conditions exert significant control on the rate of organic matter mineralization. However, the exact mechanistic coupling between hydrological and biogeochemical processes that govern the rate of mineralization remains poorly understood. Here we present a modification of the conventional exponential decay model of organic matter mineralization (dC/dt = -kC) by incorporating the effects of water content and temperature. First, we redefine the instantaneous labile carbon concentration term as accessibility of the bulk carbon to decomposers. This in turn is related to water saturation (S); with the end members being that all the carbon is accessible in saturated soil and none of the carbon is accessible in completely dry soil (C ≈ S). The decay constant is refined as a product of several environmental and biogeochemical factors that regulate rate of mineralization (k = kWkAkTkB..., where the W, A, T, and B denote water, oxygen, temperature, and biology, respectively). This modeling framework is tested by comparison with a large set of experimental data. One important advantage of this physically based model is that it can be used to describe carbon mineralization rate under dynamic soil environmental conditions (such as temperature and water content fluctuations). In addition, the model accurately captures the complex mineralization pattern in aggregated soils that are characterized by multiple classes of pores (e.g., inter- and intra-aggregate pores).

  10. Manipulating individual state during migration provides evidence for carry-over effects modulated by environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

    Legagneux, Pierre; Fast, Peter L. F.; Gauthier, Gilles; Bêty, Joël

    2012-01-01

    Despite observational evidence of carry-over effects (COEs, events occurring in one season that produce residual effects on individuals the following seasons), to our knowledge no experimental studies have been carried out to explore how COEs might affect reproductive output. We simulated an environmental perturbation affecting spring-staging migrants to investigate COEs in greater snow geese (Anser caerulescens atlanticus). During three consecutive years, 2037 females captured during spring staging (approx. 3000 km south of their Arctic breeding grounds) were maintained in captivity (with or without access to food) for 0–4 days. Duration of captivity (but not food treatment) negatively affected reproductive success, probably through stress response. Reproductive success was reduced by 45–71% in 2 years, but not in a third year with unusually favourable breeding conditions. This unprecedented manipulation indicates that COEs can have a strong effect on individual reproductive success in long-distance migrants, but that this effect can be partly compensated for by good environmental conditions on the breeding ground. PMID:21865256

  11. Environmental conditions and human drivers for changes to north Ethiopian mountain landscapes over 145 years.

    PubMed

    Nyssen, Jan; Frankl, Amaury; Haile, Mitiku; Hurni, Hans; Descheemaeker, Katrien; Crummey, Donald; Ritler, Alfons; Portner, Brigitte; Nievergelt, Bernhard; Moeyersons, Jan; Munro, Neil; Deckers, Jozef; Billi, Paolo; Poesen, Jean

    2014-07-01

    As quantitative or spatially distributed studies of environmental change over truly long-term periods of more than 100 years are extremely rare, we re-photographed 361 landscapes that appear on historical photographs (1868-1994) within a 40,000 km(2) study area in northern Ethiopia. Visible evidence of environmental changes apparent from the paired photographs was analyzed using an expert rating system. The conditions of the woody vegetation, soil and water conservation structures and land management were worse in the earlier periods compared to their present conditions. The cover by indigenous trees is a notable exception: it peaked in the 1930s, declined afterwards and then achieved a second peak in the early 21st century. Particularly in areas with greater population densities, there has been a significant increase in woody vegetation and soil and water conservation structures over the course of the study period. We conclude that except for an apparent upward movement of the upper tree limit, the direct human impacts on the environment are overriding the effects of climate change in the north Ethiopian highlands and that the northern Ethiopian highlands are currently greener than at any other time in the last 145 years. PMID:24717722

  12. Environmental and Geometrical Conditions to Sustain Crevice Corrosion in Alloy 22

    SciTech Connect

    Carranza, R M; Rodr?guez, M A; Rebak, R B

    2006-11-10

    Alloy 22 (N06022) is highly resistant to localized corrosion. Under aggressive environmental conditions Alloy 22 may be susceptible to crevice corrosion in hot chloride (Cl{sup -}) solutions. The objective of the present work was to explore the environmental and geometrical conditions for crevice corrosion to occur. Electrochemical tests were performed using PCA and prismatic mill annealed Alloy 22 specimens in chloride solutions. Crevice corrosion current density was found to be a function of applied potential. i{sub CREV} values ranged from 40 {micro}A/cm{sup 2} to 20 mA/cm{sup 2}. Such low values of current density explained the absence of pitting corrosion in Alloy 22 at any potential. Decreasing of the effective diffusion distance in a propagating crevice is thought to cause crevice corrosion stifling or repassivation after long anodic polarization. Crevice corrosion breakdown potential is expected to decrease with potential scan rate, approaching repassivation potential for low scan rates. The lowest corrosion potential of Alloy 22 in hydrochloric acid solutions at which active corrosion exists was proposed as the lowest possible repassivation potential for crevice corrosion.

  13. Iodine isotopes species fingerprinting environmental conditions in surface water along the northeastern Atlantic Ocean

    PubMed Central

    He, Peng; Hou, Xiaolin; Aldahan, Ala; Possnert, Göran; Yi, Peng

    2013-01-01

    Concentrations and species of iodine isotopes (127I and 129I) provide vital information about iodine geochemistry, environmental conditions and water masses exchange in oceans. Despite extensive investigations of anthropogenic 129I in the Arctic Ocean and the Nordic Seas, concentrations of the isotope in the Atlantic Ocean are, however, still unknown. We here present first data on 129I and 127I, and their species (iodide and iodate) in surface water transect along the northeastern Atlantic between 30° and 50°N. The results show iodate as the predominant species in the analyzed marine waters for both 127I and 129I. Despite the rather constant ratios of 127I−/127IO3−, the 129I−/129IO3− values reveal variations that apparently response to sources, environmental conditions and residence time. These findings provide a new tracer approach that will strongly enhance the application of anthropogenic 129I in ocean environments and impact on climate at the ocean boundary layer. PMID:24284916

  14. Functional traits of selected mangrove species in Brazil as biological indicators of different environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Arrivabene, Hiulana Pereira; Souza, Iara; Có, Walter Luiz Oliveira; Rodella, Roberto Antônio; Wunderlin, Daniel Alberto; Milanez, Camilla Rozindo

    2014-04-01

    Ecological studies on phenotypic plasticity illustrate the relevance of this phenomenon in nature. Conditions of biota reflect environmental changes, highlighting the adaptability of resident species that can be used as bioindicators of such changes. We report the morpho-anatomical plasticity of leaves of Avicennia schaueriana Stapf & Leechm. ex Moldenke, Laguncularia racemosa (L.) C.F.Gaertn. and Rhizophora mangle L., evaluated in three estuaries (Vitória bay, Santa Cruz and Itaúnas River; state of Espírito Santo, Brazil), considering five areas of mangrove ecosystems with diverse environmental issues. Two sampling sites are part of the Ecological Station Lameirão Island in Vitória bay, close to a harbor. A third sampling site in Cariacica (Vitória bay) is inside the Vitória harbor and also is influenced by domestic sewage. The fourth studied area (Santa Cruz) is part of Piraquê Mangrove Ecological Reservation, while the fifth (Itaúnas River) is a small mangrove, with sandy sediment and greater photosynthetically active radiation, also not strongly influenced by anthropic activity. Results pointed out the morpho-anatomical plasticity in studied species, showing that A. schaueriana and L. racemosa might be considered the most appropriate bioindicators to indicate different settings and environmental conditions. Particularly, the dry mass per leaf area (LMA) of A. schaueriana was the main biomarker measured. In our study, LMA of A. schaueriana was positively correlated with salinity (Spearman 0.71), Mn content (0.81) and pH (0.82) but negatively correlated with phosphorus content (-0.63). Thus, the evaluation of modification in LMA of A. schaueriana pointed out changes among five studied sites, suggesting its use to reflect changes in the environment, which could be also useful in the future to evaluate the climate change. PMID:24496023

  15. Remotely Sensed Environmental Conditions and Malaria Mortality in Three Malaria Endemic Regions in Western Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Ahlm, Clas; Rocklöv, Joacim

    2016-01-01

    Background Malaria is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in malaria endemic countries. The malaria mosquito vectors depend on environmental conditions, such as temperature and rainfall, for reproduction and survival. To investigate the potential for weather driven early warning systems to prevent disease occurrence, the disease relationship to weather conditions need to be carefully investigated. Where meteorological observations are scarce, satellite derived products provide new opportunities to study the disease patterns depending on remotely sensed variables. In this study, we explored the lagged association of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NVDI), day Land Surface Temperature (LST) and precipitation on malaria mortality in three areas in Western Kenya. Methodology and Findings The lagged effect of each environmental variable on weekly malaria mortality was modeled using a Distributed Lag Non Linear Modeling approach. For each variable we constructed a natural spline basis with 3 degrees of freedom for both the lag dimension and the variable. Lag periods up to 12 weeks were considered. The effect of day LST varied between the areas with longer lags. In all the three areas, malaria mortality was associated with precipitation. The risk increased with increasing weekly total precipitation above 20 mm and peaking at 80 mm. The NDVI threshold for increased mortality risk was between 0.3 and 0.4 at shorter lags. Conclusion This study identified lag patterns and association of remote- sensing environmental factors and malaria mortality in three malaria endemic regions in Western Kenya. Our results show that rainfall has the most consistent predictive pattern to malaria transmission in the endemic study area. Results highlight a potential for development of locally based early warning forecasts that could potentially reduce the disease burden by enabling timely control actions. PMID:27115874

  16. Size-dependent Structure and Reactivity of Silver Nanoparticles under Different Environmental Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levard, C.; Michel, F. M.; Kendelewicz, T.; Brown, G. E.

    2009-12-01

    Rapid development of nanotechnologies has raised environmental questions concerning the impact of nanoparticles on microbes and other organisms. Ag nanoparticles are of particular interest because they are the most widely used in the nanotechnology industry and are expected to be released into the environment in relatively large amounts. In this context, the focus of our study is on the structure and reactivity of near-spherical Ag nanoparticles as a function of particle size (5-100 nm) and environmental conditions (e.g., Eh, pH, solution composition). The first step consists of synthesizing silver nanoparticles using a modification of the polyol process. To prevent aggregation, the nanoparticles are coated with polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP). Total scattering experiments combined with pair distribution function analysis revealed that silver nanoparticles are crystalline with a fcc lattice for 5 to 50 nm particle sizes. We have observed no changes of the lattice parameter (a = 4.09 ± 0.01 Å) with increasing particle size. A focus of our current study is characterization of surface products on Ag nanoparticles formed under different conditions that will impact the reactivity of the nanoparticles. Preliminary surface characterization studies have been performed, including Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). These two techniques appear to be well adapted for characterizing the polymer stability under different conditions as well as the silver nanoparticle surface corrosion products. Indeed, STXM results reveal the presence of sulfur at the surfaces of the silver nanoparticles exposed to ambient air during the past few months. An interesting result is that PVP does not prevent the sulfidation of the silver nanoparticle surfaces. Sulfidation of silver nanoparticle surfaces results in the formation of acanthite (Ag2S), which is a well-known process. However, the effect of particle size on sulfidation rate is unknown and needs to be further explored. The chemical reactivity of our aged silver nanoparticles will be investigated as a function of particle size. Zn(II) will be used as a probe ion to investigate the reactive sites of the Ag nanoparticle surfaces. Zn(II) sorption on Ag nanoparticle surfaces prepared under different environmental conditions will be investigated by measuring pH-dependent and concentration-dependent Zn adsorption isotherms. Sorption products will be characterized using Zn K-edge EXAFS and TEM.

  17. [Predicting suicide or predicting the unpredictable in an uncertain world: Reinforcement Learning Model-Based analysis].

    PubMed

    Desseilles, Martin

    2012-01-01

    In general, it appears that the suicidal act is highly unpredictable with the current scientific means available. In this article, the author submits the hypothesis that predicting suicide is complex because it results in predicting a choice, in itself unpredictable. The article proposes a Reinforcement learning model-based analysis. In this model, we integrate on the one hand, four ascending modulatory neurotransmitter systems (acetylcholine, noradrenalin, serotonin, and dopamine) with their regions of respective projections and afferences, and on the other hand, various observations of brain imaging identified until now in the suicidal process. PMID:23666284

  18. Multiple Attractor Bifurcations: A Source of Unpredictability in Piecewise Smooth Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Dutta, Mitrajit; Nusse, Helena E.; Ott, Edward; Yorke, James A.; Yuan, Guohui

    1999-11-22

    There exists a variety of physically interesting situations described by continuous maps that are nondifferentiable on some surface in phase space. Such systems exhibit novel types of bifurcations in which multiple coexisting attractors can be created simultaneously. The striking feature of these bifurcations is that in the presence of arbitrarily small noise they lead to fundamentally unpredictable behavior of orbits as a system parameter is varied slowly through its bifurcation value. This unpredictability gradually disappears as the speed of variation of the system parameter through the bifurcation is reduced to zero. (c) 1999 The American Physical Society.

  19. The ecophysiology of sulfur isotope fractionation by sulfate reducing bacteria in response to variable environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leavitt, W.; Bradley, A. S.; Johnston, D. T.; Pereira, I. A. C.; Venceslau, S.; Wallace, C.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial sulfate reducers (MSR) drive the Earth's biogeochemical sulfur cycle. At the heart of this energy metabolism is a cascade of redox transformations coupling organic carbon and/or hydrogen oxidation to the dissimilatory reduction of sulfate to sulfide. The sulfide produced is depleted in the heavier isotopes of sulfur relative to sulfate. The magnitude of discrimination (fractionation) depends on: i) the cell-specific sulfate reduction rate (csSRR, Kaplan & Rittenberg (1964) Can. J. Microbio.; Chambers et al. (1975) Can. J. Microbio; Sim et al. (2011) GCA; Leavitt et al. (2013) PNAS), ii) the ambient sulfate concentration (Harrison & Thode (1958) Research; Habicht et al. (2002) Science; Bradley et al. in review), iii) both sulfate and electron donor availability, or iv) an intrinsic physiological limitation (e.g. cellular division rate). When neither sulfate nor electron donor limits csSRR a more complex function relates the magnitude of isotope fractionation to cell physiology and environmental conditions. In recent and on-going work we have examined the importance of enzyme-specific fractionation factors, as well as the influence of electron donor or electron acceptor availability under carefully controlled culture conditions (e.g. Leavitt et al. (2013) PNAS). In light of recent advances in MSR genetics and biochemistry we utilize well-characterized mutant strains, along with a continuous-culture methodology (Leavitt et al. (2013) PNAS) to further probe the fractionation capacity of this metabolism under controlled physiological conditions. We present our latest findings on the magnitude of S and D/H isotope fractionation in both wild type and mutant strains. We will discuss these in light of recent theoretical advances (Wing & Halevy (2014) PNAS), examining the mode and relevance of MSR isotope fractionation in the laboratory to modern and ancient environmental settings, particularly anoxic marine sediments.

  20. The importance of environmental conditions in reflectance spectroscopy of laboratory analogs for Mars surface materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bishop, J.; Murchie, S.; Pratt, S.; Mustard, J.; Pieters, C.

    1993-01-01

    Reflectance spectra are presented here for a variety of particulate, ferric-containing analogs to Martian soil (Fe(3+)-doped smectites and palagonites) to facilitate interpretation of remotely acquired spectra. The analog spectra were measured under differing environmental conditions to evaluate the influence of exposure history on water content and absorption features due to H2O in these samples. Each of these materials contains structural OH bonded to metal cations, adsorbed H2O, and bound H2O (either in a glass, structural site, or bound to a cation). Previous experiments involving a variety of Mars analogs have shown that the 3 micron H2O band in spectra of palagonites is more resistant to drying than the 3 micron H2O band in spectra of montmorillonites. Other experiments have shown that spectra of ferrihydrite and montmorillonites doped with ferric sulfate also contain sufficient bound H2O to retain a strong 3 micron band under dry conditions. Once the effects of the environment on bound water in clays, oxides, and salts are better understood, the hydration bands measured via reflectance spectroscopy can be used to gain information about the chemical composition and moisture content of real soil systems. Such information would be especially useful in interpreting observations of Mars where subtle spatial variations in the strengths of metal-OH and H2O absorptions have been observed in telescopic and ISM spectra. We measured bidirectional reflectance spectra of several Mars soil analogs under controlled environmental conditions to assess the effects of moisture content on the metal-OH and H2O absorptions. The samples analyzed include chemically altered montmorillonites, ferrihydrite. and palagonites from Hawaii and Iceland. Procedures for preparation of the cation-exchanged montmorillonites, ferric-salt doped montmorillonites, and ferric oxyhydroxides are described in detail elsewhere.

  1. Environmental distribution of acetochlor, atrazine, chlorpyrifos, and propisochlor under field conditions.

    PubMed

    Konda, L N; Pásztor, Z

    2001-08-01

    The environmental behavior, movement, distribution, persistence, and runoff by rainfall of the pesticides acetochlor, atrazine, chlorpyrifos, and propisochlor were studied under field conditions during a five-month period at normal weather conditions. The pesticide concentrations in soil depths of 0-5 and 5-20 cm, and in sediment and runoff water samples (collected from an artificial reservoir built in the lower part of the experimental plot) were measured every second week and following every runoff event. The contamination of a stream running across the lowest part of the plot was also monitored. The weather conditions were also recorded at the experimental site. The pesticide residues were quantified by a capillary gas chromatograph equipped with a nitrogen phosphorus selective detector (GC-NPD). There was a consistent decrease in pesticide residues in the 0-5 cm soil layer with time after spaying. At 140 days after treatment only atrazine and chlorpyrifos were present; acetochlor and propisochlor were not detected in this soil layer. Atrazine and chlorpyrifos in the soil at a depth of 5-20 cm were detectable during the whole experimental interval, whereas acetochlor and propisochlor concentrations were below the limit of detection. Pesticide losses by the surface runoff process and the contamination of the stream were closely related to the time of rainfall elapsed after treatment and amount of rain at the experimental plots. Losses were primarily dependent on surface rainfall volume and intensity. The maximum detected residues of atrazine and acetochlor in stream water were 1 order of magnitude higher than the maximum residue limit specified by the European Union (EU) for environmental and drinking water (0.1 microg/L for individual compounds and 0.5 microg/L for total pesticides). Chlorpyrifos and propisochlor were not detected in this matrix. PMID:11513679

  2. Differences in saccadic latency and express saccades between skilled and novice ball players in tracking predictable and unpredictable targets at two visual angles.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian; Watanabe, Kazuhiko

    2005-06-01

    The purpose of the study was to investigate saccadic latency and percentage of express saccades involved in predictable tasks between skilled and novice ball players. Participants performed four different tasks, including time and direction unpredictable task, time predictable task, direction predictable task, and time and direction predictable task at the visual angles of 10 and 20 degrees. Skilled ball players had shorter mean saccadic latency than novice players on direction and time and direction predictable tasks. The percentage of express saccades of skilled ball players was higher than that of novice players on the latter. Saccadic latency was shorter in the 10 degrees condition in time and direction unpredictable task and time predictable task than for 20 degrees. These results suggested that predictive ability might be one of the general characters distinguishing skilled ball athletes from novices in visuomotor performance. The prediction might reduce the mean difference in the saccadic latency at various visual angles. PMID:16158699

  3. Ethanol and cocaine: environmental place conditioning, stereotypy, and synergism in planarians.

    PubMed

    Tallarida, Christopher S; Bires, Kristopher; Avershal, Jacob; Tallarida, Ronald J; Seo, Stephanie; Rawls, Scott M

    2014-09-01

    More than 90% of individuals who use cocaine also report concurrent ethanol use, but only a few studies, all conducted with vertebrates, have investigated pharmacodynamic interactions between ethanol and cocaine. Planaria, a type of flatworm often considered to have the simplest 'brain,' is an invertebrate species especially amenable to the quantification of drug-induced behavioral responses and identification of conserved responses. Here, we investigated stereotypical and environmental place conditioning (EPC) effects of ethanol administered alone and in combination with cocaine. Planarians displayed concentration-related increases in C-shaped movements following exposure to ethanol (0.01-1%) (maximal effect: 9.9±1.1 C-shapes/5 min at 0.5%) or cocaine (0.1-5 mM) (maximal effect: 42.8±4.1 C-shapes/5 min at 5 mM). For combined administration, cocaine (0.1-5 mM) was tested with submaximal ethanol concentrations (0.01, 0.1%); the observed effect for the combination was enhanced compared to its predicted effect, indicating synergism for the interaction. The synergy with ethanol was specific for cocaine, as related experiments revealed that combinations of ethanol and nicotine did not result in synergy. For EPC experiments, ethanol (0.0001-1%) concentration-dependently increased EPC, with significant environmental shifts detected at 0.01 and 1%. Cocaine (0.001-1 μM) produced an inverted U-shaped concentration-effect curve, with a significant environmental shift observed at 0.01 μM. For combined exposure, variable cocaine concentrations (0.001-1 μM) were administered with a statistically ineffective concentration of ethanol (0.0001%). For each concentration of cocaine, the environmental shift was enhanced by ethanol, with significance detected at 1 μM. Cocaethylene, a metabolite of cocaine and ethanol, also produced C-shapes and EPC. Lidocaine (0.001-10 μM), an anesthetic and analog of cocaine, did not produce EPC or C-shaped movements. Evidence from planarians that ethanol produces place-conditioning effects and motor dysfunction, and interacts synergistically with cocaine, suggests that aspects of ethanol neuropharmacology are conserved across species. PMID:25212751

  4. Ethanol and cocaine: environmental place conditioning, stereotypy and synergism in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Tallarida, Christopher S.; Bires, Kristopher; Avershal, Jacob; Tallarida, Ronald J.; Seo, Stephanie; Rawls, Scott M.

    2015-01-01

    More than 90% of individuals who use cocaine also report concurrent ethanol use, but only a few studies, all conducted with vertebrates, have investigated pharmacodynamic interactions between ethanol and cocaine. Planaria, a type of flatworm often considered to have the simplest ‘brain’, is an invertebrate species especially amenable to the quantification of drug-induced behavioral responses and identification of conserved responses. Here, we investigated stereotypical and environmental place conditioning (EPC) effects of ethanol administered alone and in combination with cocaine. Planarians displayed concentration-related increases in C-shape movements following exposure to ethanol (0.01 – 1%) (maximal effect: 9.9 ± 1.1 C-shapes/5 min at 0.5%) or cocaine (0.1 – 5 mM) (maximal effect: 42.8 ± 4.1 C-shapes/5 min at 5 mM). For combined administration, cocaine (0.1 – 5 mM) were tested with submaximal ethanol concentrations (0.01, 0,1%), the observed effect for the combination was enhanced compared to its predicted effect, indicating synergism for the interaction. The synergy with ethanol was specific for cocaine, as related experiments revealed that combinations of ethanol and nicotine did not result in synergy. For EPC experiments, ethanol (0.0001 – 1%) concentration-dependently increased EPC, with significant environmental shifts detected at 0.01 and 1%. Cocaine (0.001 – 1 μM) produced an inverted U-shaped concentration-effect curve, with a significant environmental shift observed at 0.01 μM. For combined exposure, variable cocaine concentrations (0.001 – 1 μM) were administered with a statistically ineffective concentration of ethanol (0.0001%). For each concentration of cocaine, the environmental shift was enhanced by ethanol, with significance detected at 1 μM. Cocaethylene, a metabolite of cocaine and ethanol, also produced C-shapes and EPC. Lidocaine (0.001 – 10 μM), an anesthetic and analog of cocaine, did not produce EPC or C-shape movements. Evidence from planarians that ethanol produces place-conditioning effects, motor dysfunction, and interacts synergistically with cocaine suggests that aspects of ethanol neuropharmacology are conserved across species. PMID:25212751

  5. Major methodological constraints to the assessment of environmental status based on the condition of benthic communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medeiros, João Paulo; Pinto, Vanessa; Sá, Erica; Silva, Gilda; Azeda, Carla; Pereira, Tadeu; Quintella, Bernardo; Raposo de Almeida, Pedro; Lino Costa, José; José Costa, Maria; Chainho, Paula

    2014-05-01

    The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) was published in 2008 and requires Member States to take the necessary measures to achieve or maintain good environmental status in aquatic ecosystems by the year of 2020. The MSFD indicates 11 qualitative descriptors for environmental status assessment, including seafloor integrity, using the condition of the benthic community as an assessment indicator. Member States will have to define monitoring programs for each of the MSFD descriptors based on those indicators in order to understand which areas are in a Good Environmental Status and what measures need to be implemented to improve the status of areas that fail to achieve that major objective. Coastal and offshore marine waters are not frequently monitored in Portugal and assessment tools have only been developed very recently with the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The lack of historical data and knowledge on the constraints of benthic indicators in coastal areas requires the development of specific studies addressing this issue. The major objective of the current study was to develop and test and experimental design to assess impacts of offshore projects. The experimental design consisted on the seasonal and interannual assessment of benthic invertebrate communities in the area of future implementation of the structures (impact) and two potential control areas 2 km from the impact area. Seasonal benthic samples were collected at nine random locations within the impact and control areas in two consecutive years. Metrics included in the Portuguese benthic assessment tool (P-BAT) were calculated since this multimetric tool was proposed for the assessment of the ecological status in Portuguese coastal areas under the WFD. Results indicated a high taxonomic richness in this coastal area and no significant differences were found between impact and control areas, indicating the feasibility of establishing adequate control areas in marine ecosystems. Nevertheless, significant differences were found between different seasons and different years, showing that the coastal benthic communities important temporal variations. Although those variations did not affect the status assessment based on metrics that considered the ratio between sensitive and tolerant taxa, diversity indices showed different classifications between seasons and years. These results indicate the need for a temporal stratification of the monitoring programs. That might be achieved by setting different thresholds for specific seasons or selecting specific monitoring seasons. It might also require a regular assessment of the environmental conditions that support the identification of outlier years, which monitoring results should be carefully considered.

  6. Environmental conditions within active seafloor vent structures: Sensitivity to vent fluid composition and fluid flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kingston Tivey, Margaret

    Environmental conditions within chimneys and flanges of seafloor vent deposits are deduced by estimating rates of fluid flow, and calculating temperatures and compositions of pore fluids by considering diffusive and advective transport across the structures. The composition and temperature of seawater and vent fluid at the bounds and the physical configuration (pore and mineral distribution) of the chimney or flange are factored into the calculations. Calculated conditions, particularly the pH and the oxidation state of pore fluids, differ significantly from conditions calculated assuming batch mixing of vent fluid and seawater, and are sensitive to the composition of the end-member vent fluid, and different styles of mixing. The temperature of the transition from oxidized to reduced conditions can vary from <3°C to ˜90°C. Thus thermophilic aerobes and mesophilic anaerobes may reside within vent structures. The calculated available metabolic energy within vent structures is dominantly a function of the oxidation state of the pore fluid, and differs little from amounts calculated for batch mixing. The pH of pore fluids within thin chimneys and flanges is low, ranging from <3 to 4.5 at temperatures of 80°C to 120°C unless there is advection inward of seawater across a 1-layer wall, or outward of vent fluid that has a chloride concentration close to or greater than that of seawater, in which case pH is near neutrality. These results indicate a wide range of environments present within seafloor vent deposits. The conclusion that pH within pore fluids of most thin chimneys and flanges is low indicates that initial enrichments for hyperthermophiles from seafloor vent samples should be made under low pH conditions.

  7. Relationship between environmental conditions and rates of coastal erosion in Arctic Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnhart, K. R.; Anderson, R. S.; Overeem, I.; Wobus, C. W.; Clow, G. D.; Urban, F. E.; LeWinter, A. L.; Stanton, T. P.

    2012-12-01

    Rates of coastal cliff erosion are a function of the geometry and substrate of the coast; storm frequency, duration, magnitude, and wave field; and regional sediment sources. In the Arctic, the duration of sea ice-free conditions limits the time over which coastal erosion can occur, and sea water temperature modulates erosion rates where ice content of coastal bluffs is high. Predicting how coastal erosion rates in this environment will respond to future climate change requires that we first understand modern coastal erosion rates. Arctic coastlines are responding rapidly to climate change. Remotely sensed observations of coastline position indicate that the mean annual erosion rate along a 60-km reach of Alaska's Beaufort Sea coast, characterized by high ice content and small grain size, doubled from 7 m yr-1 for the period 1955-1979 to 14 m yr-1 for 2002-2007. Over the last 30 years the duration of the open water season expanded from 45 days to 95 days, increasing exposure of permafrost bluffs to seawater by a factor of 2.5. Time-lapse photography indicates that coastal erosion in this environment is a halting process: most significant erosion occurs during storm events in which local water level is elevated by surge, during which instantaneous submarine erosion rates can reach 1-2 m/day. In contrast, at times of low water, or when sea ice is present, erosion rates are negligible. We employ a 1D coastal cross-section numerical model of the erosion of ice-rich permafrost bluffs to explore the sensitivity of the system to environmental drivers. Our model captures the geometry and style of coastal erosion observed near Drew Point, Alaska, including insertion of a melt-notch, topple of ice-wedge-bounded blocks, and subsequent degradation of these blocks. Using consistent rules, we test our model against the temporal pattern of coastal erosion over two periods: the recent past (~30 years), and a short (~2 week) period in summer 2010. Environmental conditions used to drive model runs for the summer of 2010 include ground-based measurements of meteorological conditions (air temperature, wind speed, wind direction) and coastal waters (water level, wave field, water temperature), supplemented by high temporal frequency (4 frames/hour) time-lapse photography of the coast. Reconstruction of the 30-year coastal erosion history is accomplished by assembling published observations and records of meteorology and sea ice conditions, including both ground and satellite-based records, to construct histories of coastline position and environmental conditions. We model wind-driven water level set-up, the local wave field, and water temperature, and find a good match against the short-term erosion record. We then evaluate which environmental drivers are most significant in controlling the rates of coastal erosion, and which melt-erosion rule best captures the coastal history, with a series of sensitivity analyses. The understanding gained from these analyses provides a foundation for evaluating how continuing climate change may influence future coastal erosion rates in the Arctic.

  8. Fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt. ) germination and establishment under arid environmental conditions of Saudi Arabia

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Hedaithy, S.S.M.

    1983-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to conduct an autecological investigation of fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt.) in the Al-Gassim region of Saudi Arabia, upon which range rehabilitation could be based. Germination, seedling, transplanting, and water relation characteristics of the species under controlled and field conditions were determined. Most of the field work was conducted at plain and sand dune areas of the Al-Gassim, Saudi Arabia, and supplemented with growth chamber experiments. Seeds of tetrapolid and diploid forms, native to the United States, were introduced to Saudi Arabia, and their performance was determined. The Al-Gassim soil and climatic features were analyzed. Laboratory and field tests proved that fourwing saltbush was able to become established under and tolerate wide ranges of soil and harsh climatic conditions as found in the Al-Gassim. The best temperature range for germination was 15 to 35 C. High salinity in the soil of the plains area was found to be the only soil character that slightly decreased seedling growth, but germination and survival behaviors were not affected. The adaptation to extreme environmental conditions coupled with its known high nutritional forage values makes fourwing saltbush a valuable range plant in the arid regions of Saudi Arabia. As demand on rangeland increases, improved forage plants must have drough and salinity resistance mechanisms, and improved range management techniques should be used to achieve optimum returns.

  9. Evaluating environmental joint extremes for the offshore industry using the conditional extremes model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewans, Kevin; Jonathan, Philip

    2014-02-01

    Understanding extreme ocean environments and their interaction with fixed and floating structures is critical for the design of offshore and coastal facilities. The joint effect of various ocean variables on extreme responses of offshore structures is fundamental in determining the design loads. For example, it is known that mean values of wave periods tend to increase with increasing storm intensity, and a floating system responds in a complex way to both variables. Specification of joint extremes in design criteria has often been somewhat ad hoc, being based on fairly arbitrary combinations of extremes of variables estimated independently. Such approaches are even outlined in design guidelines. Mathematically more consistent estimates of the joint occurrence of extreme environmental variables fall into two camps in the offshore industry - response-based and response-independent. Both are outlined here, with emphasis on response-independent methods, particularly those based on the conditional extremes model recently introduced by (Heffernan and Tawn, 2004), which has a solid theoretical motivation. We illustrate an application of the conditional extremes model to joint estimation of extreme storm peak significant wave height and peak period at a northern North Sea location, incorporating storm direction as a model covariate. We also discuss joint estimation of extreme current profiles with depth off the North West Shelf of Australia. Methods such as the conditional extremes model provide valuable additions to the metocean engineer's toolkit.

  10. Raman spectroscopy of a single living cell in environmentally stressed conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Gajendra P.; Creely, Caitriona; Volpe, Giovanni; Grotsch, Helga; Petrov, Dmitri

    2005-08-01

    Living cells initiate a stress response in order to survive environmentally stressful conditions. We monitored changes in the Raman spectra of an optically trapped Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cell under normal and hyperosmotic stress conditions. When the yeast cells were challenged with a high concentration of glucose so as to exert hyperosmotic stress, it was shown that two chemical substances - glycerol and ethanol - could be monitored in real time in a single cell. The volume of the detection area of our confocal microspectrometer is approximately 1 fL. The average quantities of detected glycerol and ethanol are about 300 attomol and 700 attomol respectively. This amounts to the detection of approximately 108 glycerol molecules and 4 X 108 ethanol molecules after 36 min of hyper osmotic stress. Besides this, we also optically trapped a single yeast cell for up to three hours under normal conditions and monitored the changes in the Raman spectra during the lag phase of its growth and the G1 phase of its cell cycle. During the lag phase the cell synthesises new proteins and the observed behavior of the peaks corresponding to these proteins as well as those of RNA served as a sensitive indicator of the adaptation of the cell to its changed environment. The changes observed in the Raman spectra of a trapped yeast cell in the late G1 phase or the beginning of S phase corresponded to the growth of a bud.

  11. Environmental baseline conditions for impact assessment of unconventional gas exploitation: the G-Baseline project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kloppmann, Wolfram; Mayer, Berhard; Millot, Romain; Parker, Beth L.; Gaucher, Eric; Clarkson, Christopher R.; Cherry, John A.; Humez, Pauline; Cahill, Aaron

    2015-04-01

    A major scientific challenge and an indispensible prerequisite for environmental impact assessment in the context of unconventional gas development is the determination of the baseline conditions against which potential environmental impacts on shallow freshwater resources can be accurately and quantitatively tested. Groundwater and surface water resources overlying the low-permeability hydrocarbon host rocks containing shale gas may be impacted to different extents by naturally occurring saline fluids and by natural gas emanations. Baseline assessments in areas of previous conventional hydrocarbon production may also reveal anthropogenic impacts from these activities not related to unconventional gas development. Once unconventional gas exploitation has started, the baseline may be irrevocably lost by the intricate superposition of geogenic and potential anthropogenic contamination by stray gas, formation waters and chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing. The objective of the Franco-Canadian NSERC-ANR project G-Baseline is to develop an innovative and comprehensive methodology of geochemical and isotopic characterization of the environmental baseline for water and gas samples from all three essential zones: (1) the production zone, including flowback waters, (2) the intermediate zone comprised of overlying formations, and (3) shallow aquifers and surface water systems where contamination may result from diverse natural or human impacts. The outcome will be the establishment of a methodology based on innovative tracer and monitoring techniques, including traditional and non-traditional isotopes (C, H, O, S, B, Sr, Cl, Br, N, U, Li, Cu, Zn, CSIA...) for detecting, quantifying and modeling of potential leakage of stray gas and of saline formation water mixed with flowback fluids into fresh groundwater resources and surface waters taking into account the pathways and mechanisms of fluid and gas migration. Here we present an outline of the project as well as first results from chemical and isotopic analyses on gas, fluid and solid samples collected during a baseline monitoring program at the Carbon Management Canada field research site in south-eastern Alberta, Canada.

  12. A qualitative study of internal wave ship wakes: Dependence on environmental conditions and experimental parameters

    SciTech Connect

    Mullenhoff, C.J.; Brase, J.M.

    1995-04-24

    For the past several years the UK-US Radar Ocean Imaging Program has conducted a series of field experiments with the primary purpose of gathering real aperture radar (RAR) imagery at low grazing angle of ship-generated internal wave (IW) wakes. The first observations with RAR`s were made in the 1989 Loch Linnhe experiment where it was observed that radar images at low grazing angles (LGA) of approximately six degrees had significantly higher modulation levels than SAR images made at higher grazing angles of 35 - 65 degrees. These initial observations have led to several more experiments designed to verify the phenomenon and to test its dependence on experimental and environmental conditions. A parallel effort began to develop theoretical models of the LGA imaging process. Through this series of experiments we have developed an extensive database of radar imagery and supporting environmental data. The objective of this report is twofold: (1) To describe the database and the associated space of parameters. We will look at the coverage of the parameter space within the database and at areas which should be covered. (2) To take an initial look at the dependence of qualitative modulation strength on the experimental and environmental parameters. This first look will indicate the strongest dependencies which can then be studied in more detail. Section 2 describes the experimental database and Section 3 discusses the parameter space, image quality, and their relationships based on the images in the database. In Section 4 we summarize our conclusions and make recommendations for both future analyses and experiments.

  13. Environmental conditions impacting juvenile Chinook salmon growth off central California: An ecosystem model analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiechter, J.; Huff, D. D.; Martin, B. T.; Jackson, D. W.; Edwards, C. A.; Rose, K. A.; Curchitser, E. N.; Hedstrom, K. S.; Lindley, S. T.; Wells, B. K.

    2015-04-01

    A fully coupled ecosystem model is used to identify the effects of environmental conditions and upwelling variability on growth of juvenile Chinook salmon in central California coastal waters. The ecosystem model framework consists of an ocean circulation submodel, a biogeochemical submodel, and an individual-based submodel for salmon. Simulation results indicate that years favorable for juvenile salmon growth off central California are characterized by particularly intense early season upwelling (i.e., March through May), leading to enhanced krill concentrations during summer near the location of ocean entry (i.e., Gulf of the Farallones). Seasonally averaged growth rates in the model are generally consistent with observed values and suggest that juvenile salmon emigrating later in the season (i.e., late May and June) achieve higher weight gains during their first 90 days of ocean residency.

  14. [Mathematical modeling to assess the effects of organic waste dumping on sanitary conditions of environmental waters].

    PubMed

    Cunha, Cynara de Lourdes da Nóbrega; Ferreira, Aldo Pacheco

    2006-08-01

    This article provides an overview of emerging trends in environmental approaches to wastewater management in the developing world. Organic matter present in wastewater is one of the main sources of water pollution. In large amounts it can increase the number of microorganisms and thus the excessive consumption of dissolved oxygen in the metabolic processes of its utilization and stabilization, leading to the disappearance and extinction of aerobic organisms, favoring the appearance of other life forms in anaerobic conditions, often producing toxic residues. The main focus of this article is to analyze the presence of organic matter in urban sewage using a water quality model whose main parameters are dissolved oxygen and biochemical oxygen demand. Wastewater management methodologies can contribute to public health, sanitation, and improved conservation of water resources. PMID:16832543

  15. Optimization of mechanical oil spill recovery equipment under variable environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broje, Viktoria A.

    Oil spills in marine environments may cause significant damage to marine and coastal ecosystems if not recovered quickly and efficiently. Although mechanical recovery is the most commonly used oil spill response technique, it can be very time consuming and expensive when employed at a large scale due, to its low recovery rates. The goal of this work was to optimize mechanical oil spill recovery for various environmental conditions by analyzing the recovery process and identifying parameters with the most significant impact on the recovery efficiency. As a result of this work, laboratory equipment and procedures tailored to the study of oil spill recovery at small scale were developed. A number of materials and surface patterns that can increase the adhesion skimmer recovery efficiency up to three times were identified and tested in a full scale oil spill recovery study.

  16. Changes in fatty acid and hydrocarbon composition of zooplankton assemblages related to environmental conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Lambert, R.M.

    1989-01-01

    Changes in zooplankton fatty acid and hydrocarbon patterns are described in relation to changes in environmental conditions and species composition. The regulation of zooplankton abundance by sea nettle-ctenophore interaction was examined in a small Rhode Island coastal pond. Sea nettles were nettles were able to eliminate ctenophores from the pond and subsequently zooplankton abundance increased. During one increase in zooplankton abundance, it was found that polyunsaturated fatty acids decreased while monounsaturated fatty acids increased. It was concluded that this shift in biochemical pattern was due to food limitation. In addition, zooplankton fatty acids were used in multivariate discriminant analysis to classify whether zooplankton were from coastal or estuarine environments. Zooplankton from coastal environments were characterized by higher monounsaturate fatty acids. Zooplankton hydrocarbon composition was affected by species composition and by pollution inputs. The presence of Calanus finmarchicus was detected by increased levels of pristane.

  17. On robust regression analysis as a means of exploring environmental and operational conditions for SHM data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dervilis, N.; Worden, K.; Cross, E. J.

    2015-07-01

    In the data-based approach to structural health monitoring (SHM), the absence of data from damaged structures in many cases forces a dependence on novelty detection as a means of diagnosis. Unfortunately, this means that benign variations in the operating or environmental conditions of the structure must be handled very carefully, lest they lead to false alarms. If novelty detection is implemented in terms of outlier detection, the outliers may arise in the data as the result of both benign and malign causes and it is important to understand their sources. Comparatively recent developments in the field of robust regression have the potential to provide ways of exploring and visualising SHM data as a means of shedding light on the different origins of outliers. The current paper will illustrate the use of robust regression for SHM data analysis through experimental data acquired from the Z24 and Tamar Bridges, although the methods are general and not restricted to SHM or civil infrastructure.

  18. Quantifying Preferences and Responsiveness of Marine Zooplankton to Changing Environmental Conditions using Microfluidics

    PubMed Central

    Merten, Christoph A.; Arendt, Detlev

    2015-01-01

    Global environmental change significantly affects marine species composition. However, analyzing the impact of these changes on marine zooplankton communities was so far mostly limited to assessing lethal doses through mortality assays and hence did not allow a direct assessment of the preferred conditions, or preferendum. Here, we use a microfluidic device to characterize individual behavior of actively swimming zooplankton, and to quantitatively determine their ecological preferendum. For the annelid zooplankton model Platynereis dumerilii we observe a broader pH preferendum than for the copepod Euterpina acutifrons, and reveal previously unrecognized sub-populations with different pH preferenda. For Platynereis, the minimum concentration difference required to elicit a response (responsiveness) is ~1 μM for H+ and ~13.7 mM for NaCl. Furthermore, using laser ablations we show that olfactomedin-expressing sensory cells mediate chemical responsiveness in the Platynereis foregut. Taken together, our microfluidic approach allows precise assessment and functional understanding of environmental perception on planktonic behaviour. PMID:26517120

  19. Bacterial assisted degradation of chlorpyrifos: The key role of environmental conditions, trace metals and organic solvents.

    PubMed

    Khalid, Saira; Hashmi, Imran; Khan, Sher Jamal

    2016-03-01

    Wastewater from pesticide industries, agricultural or surface runoff containing pesticides and their residues has adverse environmental impacts. Present study demonstrates effect of petrochemicals and trace metals on chlorpyrifos (CP) biotransformation often released in wastewater of agrochemical industry. Biodegradation was investigated using bacterial strain Pseudomonas kilonensis SRK1 isolated from wastewater spiked with CP. Optimal environmental conditions for CP removal were CFU (306 × 10(6)), pH (8); initial CP concentration (150 mg/L) and glucose as additional carbon source. Among various organic solvents (petrochemicals) used in this study toluene has stimulatory effect on CP degradation process using SRK1, contrary to this benzene and phenol negatively inhibited degradation process. Application of metal ions (Cu (II), Fe (II) Zn (II) at low concentration (1 mg/L) took part in biochemical reaction and positively stimulated CP degradation process. Metal ions at high concentrations have inhibitory effect on degradation process. A first order growth model was shown to fit the data. It could be concluded that both type and concentration of metal ions and petrochemicals can affect CP degradation process. PMID:26692411

  20. The Impact of Different Environmental Conditions on Cognitive Function: A Focused Review.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Lee; Watkins, Samuel L; Marshall, Hannah; Dascombe, Ben J; Foster, Josh

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive function defines performance in objective tasks that require conscious mental effort. Extreme environments, namely heat, hypoxia, and cold can all alter human cognitive function due to a variety of psychological and/or biological processes. The aims of this Focused Review were to discuss; (1) the current state of knowledge on the effects of heat, hypoxic and cold stress on cognitive function, (2) the potential mechanisms underpinning these alterations, and (3) plausible interventions that may maintain cognitive function upon exposure to each of these environmental stressors. The available evidence suggests that the effects of heat, hypoxia, and cold stress on cognitive function are both task and severity dependent. Complex tasks are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat stress, whereas both simple and complex task performance appear to be vulnerable at even at moderate altitudes. Cold stress also appears to negatively impact both simple and complex task performance, however, the research in this area is sparse in comparison to heat and hypoxia. In summary, this focused review provides updated knowledge regarding the effects of extreme environmental stressors on cognitive function and their biological underpinnings. Tyrosine supplementation may help individuals maintain cognitive function in very hot, hypoxic, and/or cold conditions. However, more research is needed to clarify these and other postulated interventions. PMID:26779029

  1. Interactions of environmental conditions and mechanical loads have influence on matrix turnover by nucleus pulposus cells.

    PubMed

    Neidlinger-Wilke, Cornelia; Mietsch, Antje; Rinkler, Christina; Wilke, Hans-Joachim; Ignatius, Anita; Urban, Jill

    2012-01-01

    Disc degeneration is associated with several changes in the physicochemical environment of intervertebral disc cells. Nucleus pulposus (NP) cells in the center of degenerated discs are exposed to decreased glucose supply, osmolarity, pH, and oxygen levels. To understand the complexity of these interactions on a cellular level, we designed standardized experiments in which we compared responses to these environmental factors under normal levels with those seen under two different degrees of disc degeneration. We hypothesized that these changes in environmental stimuli influence gene expression of matrix proteins and matrix degrading enzymes and alter their responses to cyclic hydrostatic pressure (HP). Our results suggest that a simulation of degenerative conditions influences the degradation of disc matrix through impairing matrix formation and accelerating matrix resorption via up- or down-regulation of the respective target genes. The greatest effects were seen for decreases in glucose concentration and pH. Low oxygen had little influence. HP had little direct effect but appeared to counteract matrix degradation by reducing or inverting some of the adverse effects of other stimuli. For ongoing in vitro studies, interactions between mechanical stimuli and factors in the physicochemical environment should not be ignored as these could markedly influence results. PMID:21674606

  2. Plant response to environmental conditions: assessing potential production, water demand, and negative effects of water deficit

    PubMed Central

    Tardieu, François

    2013-01-01

    This paper reviews methods for analyzing plant performance and its genetic variability under a range of environmental conditions. Biomass accumulation is linked every day to available light in the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) domain, multiplied by the proportion of light intercepted by plants and by the radiation use efficiency. Total biomass is cumulated over the duration of the considered phase (e.g., plant cycle or vegetative phase). These durations are essentially constant for a given genotype provided that time is corrected for temperature (thermal time). Several ways of expressing thermal time are reviewed. Two alternative equations are presented, based either on the effect of transpiration, or on yield components. Their comparative interests and drawbacks are discussed. The genetic variability of each term of considered equations affects yield under water deficit, via mechanisms at different scales of plant organization and time. The effect of any physiological mechanism on yield of stressed plants acts via one of these terms, although the link is not always straightforward. Finally, I propose practical ways to compare the productivity of genotypes in field environments, and a “minimum dataset” of environmental data and traits that should be recorded for that. PMID:23423357

  3. The Impact of Different Environmental Conditions on Cognitive Function: A Focused Review

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Lee; Watkins, Samuel L.; Marshall, Hannah; Dascombe, Ben J.; Foster, Josh

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive function defines performance in objective tasks that require conscious mental effort. Extreme environments, namely heat, hypoxia, and cold can all alter human cognitive function due to a variety of psychological and/or biological processes. The aims of this Focused Review were to discuss; (1) the current state of knowledge on the effects of heat, hypoxic and cold stress on cognitive function, (2) the potential mechanisms underpinning these alterations, and (3) plausible interventions that may maintain cognitive function upon exposure to each of these environmental stressors. The available evidence suggests that the effects of heat, hypoxia, and cold stress on cognitive function are both task and severity dependent. Complex tasks are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat stress, whereas both simple and complex task performance appear to be vulnerable at even at moderate altitudes. Cold stress also appears to negatively impact both simple and complex task performance, however, the research in this area is sparse in comparison to heat and hypoxia. In summary, this focused review provides updated knowledge regarding the effects of extreme environmental stressors on cognitive function and their biological underpinnings. Tyrosine supplementation may help individuals maintain cognitive function in very hot, hypoxic, and/or cold conditions. However, more research is needed to clarify these and other postulated interventions. PMID:26779029

  4. Evidence for the role of environmental agents in the initiation or progression of autoimmune conditions.

    PubMed Central

    Powell, J J; Van de Water, J; Gershwin, M E

    1999-01-01

    The concordance of autoimmune disease among identical twins is virtually always less than 50% and often in the 25-40% range. This observation, as well as epidemic clustering of some autoimmune diseases following xenobiotic exposure, reinforces the thesis that autoimmune disease is secondary to both genetic and environmental factors. Because nonliving agents do not have genomes, disease characteristics involving nonliving xenobiotics are primarily secondary to host phenotype and function. In addition, because of individual genetic susceptibilities based not only on major histocompatibility complex differences but also on differences in toxin metabolism, lifestyles, and exposure rates, individuals will react differently to the same chemicals. With these comments in mind it is important to note that there have been associations of a number of xenobiotics with human autoimmune disease, including mercury, iodine, vinyl chloride, canavanine, organic solvents, silica, l-tryptophan, particulates, ultraviolet radiation, and ozone. In addition, there is discussion in the literature that raises the possibility that xenobiotics may also exacerbate an existing autoimmune disease. In this article we discuss these issues and, in particular, the evidence for the role of environmental agents in the initiation or progression of autoimmune conditions. With the worldwide deterioration of the environment, this is a particularly important subject for human health. PMID:10970167

  5. Adsorption of a Protein Monolayer via Hydrophobic Interactions Prevents Nanoparticle Aggregation under Harsh Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Dominguez-Medina, Sergio; Blankenburg, Jan; Olson, Jana; Landes, Christy F.; Link, Stephan

    2013-01-01

    We find that citrate-stabilized gold nanoparticles aggregate and precipitate in saline solutions below the NaCl concentration of many bodily fluids and blood plasma. Our experiments indicate that this is due to complexation of the citrate anions with Na+ cations in solution. A dramatically enhanced colloidal stability is achieved when bovine serum albumin is adsorbed to the gold nanoparticle surface, completely preventing nanoparticle aggregation under harsh environmental conditions where the NaCl concentration is well beyond the isotonic point. Furthermore, we explore the mechanism of the formation of this albumin ‘corona’ and find that monolayer protein adsorption is most likely ruled by hydrophobic interactions. As for many nanotechnology-based biomedical and environmental applications, particle aggregation and sedimentation are undesirable and could substantially increase the risk of toxicological side-effects, the formation of the BSA corona presented here provides a low-cost bio-compatible strategy for nanoparticle stabilization and transport in highly ionic environments. PMID:23914342

  6. Food for thought: Conditions for discourse reflection in the light of environmental assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Runhaar, Hens; Runhaar, Piety R.; Oegema, Tammo

    2010-11-15

    People tend to take notice of what is happening around them selectively. Discourses-frames through which actors give meaning to aspects of the world-act as built-in filters that distinguish relevant from irrelevant data. Use of knowledge generated by environmental assessments (EAs) in decision-making may be understood from this perspective. Environmental knowledge that is inconsistent with dominant discourses runs the risk of being ignored. Discourses on the value of EA as a tool for decision-making may have a similar effect. Stimulating decision-makers and stakeholders to critically reflect on and reconsider their discourses in the light of EAs-also known as frame reflection or policy learning-may enhance the probability that these assessments and the knowledge that they generate impact upon decision-making. Up to now little has been written about how discourse reflection in the context of EA can be promoted. Valuable inputs are fragmented over different bodies of literature. In this paper we draw from these bodies to identify favourable conditions for discourse reflection.

  7. National Education Goals and Standards: The Unpredictable Evolution of National Policy for All Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dungan, Andy T.; Brownbridge, Robert D.

    The National Education Goals, Goals 2000, were signed into law by President Clinton in 1994. From 1989 to 1994 the goals existed in a symbolic context with minimal funding to support them. An unpredictable series of events sustained the National Education Goals through a period of potential obscurity to enactment. The goals appear to be unique in…

  8. Revegetation processes and environmental conditions in abandoned peat production fields in Estonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orru, M.; Orru, H.

    2009-04-01

    As a result of peat extraction, peat production has been finished in Estonia at different times in 154 peat production areas and 9,500 ha (~1% of peatlands) are abandoned, although the peat reserves are not exhausted yet; besides, several areas are not properly recultivated. In addition 12,000 ha of fens (oligotrophic peat layers) are drained and used as grasslands. If the abandoned and non-recultivated peat production areas are not vegetated, their CO2 emission is considerable and peat mineralises in such areas. The aim of the study was to find out specific ecological and geological factors, which affect recovering of peatlands and influence the recultivation. During the revision the amount and quality of the remained reserves, as well as the state of water regime, drainage network and revegetation was assessed in all 154 abandoned peat production areas. The study showed that the state of them is very variable. Some of them are covered with forest, prevailingly with birches at former drainage ditches, later supplemented by pine trees. In the others predominate grasses among plants, and various species of moss (Cladonia rei, Bryum caespiticum, Sphagnum ripariuma, Sphagnum squarrosum) occur as well. Besides, some abandoned areas are completely overgrown with cotton grass. Open abandoned peat areas, which are not covered by vegetation, are much rarer. We found out, that water regime among the factors plays most important role. Moreover abandoned peat production fields, where the environmental conditions have changed - are appropriate for growth of several moss species, which cannot inhabit the areas already occupied by other species. The most interesting discovers were: second growing site of Polia elongata in West-Estonia and Ephemerum serratum, last found in Estonia in the middle of the 19th century, was identified in central Estonia. Also Campylopus introflexus, what was unknown in Estonia. However, the changes in environmental conditions influence the peat layers structure and technical characteristics of organic soils that affect the vegetation of peatlands.

  9. Female Weddell seals show flexible strategies of colony attendance related to varying environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Chambert, Thierry; Rotella, Jay J; Garrott, Robert A

    2015-02-01

    Many animal life cycles involve movements among different habitats to fulfill varying resource demands. There are inherent costs associated with such movements, and the decision to leave or stay at a given location ought to be motivated by the benefits associated with potential target habitats. Because movement patterns, especially those associated with reproduction, can have important implications for the success (survival, reproduction) of individual animals, and therefore a population's dynamics, it is important to identify and understand their sources of variation (environmental and individual). Here, using a mark-recapture, multistate modeling approach, we investigated a set of a priori hypotheses regarding sources and patterns of variation in breeding-colony attendance for Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) females on sabbatical from pup production. For such females, colony attendance might be motivated by predation avoidance and positive social interactions related to reproduction, but some costs, such as reduced foraging opportunities or aggressive interactions with conspecifics, might also exist. We expected these benefits and costs to vary with a female's condition and the environment. Results revealed that the probability of being absent from colonies was higher (1) in years when the extent of local sea ice was larger, (2) for the youngest and oldest individuals, and (3) for females with less reproductive experience. We also found substantial levels of residual individual heterogeneity in these rates. Based on our a priori predictions, we postulate that the decision to attend breeding colonies or not is directly influenced by an individual's physiological condition, as well as by the ice-covered distance to good foraging areas, availability of predator-free haul-out sites, and the level of negative interactions with conspecifics inside colonies. Our results support the idea that in iteroparous species, and colonial animals in particular, seasonal and temporary movements from/to reproductive sites represent flexible behavioral strategies that can play an important role in coping with environmental variability. PMID:26240869

  10. Adaptations of the Secretome of Candida albicans in Response to Host-Related Environmental Conditions.

    PubMed

    Klis, Frans M; Brul, Stanley

    2015-12-01

    The wall proteome and the secretome of the fungal pathogen Candida albicans help it to thrive in multiple niches of the human body. Mass spectrometry has allowed researchers to study the dynamics of both subproteomes. Here, we discuss some major responses of the secretome to host-related environmental conditions. Three β-1,3-glucan-modifying enzymes, Mp65, Sun41, and Tos1, are consistently found in large amounts in culture supernatants, suggesting that they are needed for construction and expansion of the cell wall β-1,3-glucan layer and thus correlate with growth and might serve as diagnostic biomarkers. The genes ENG1, CHT3, and SCW11, which encode an endoglucanase, the major chitinase, and a β-1,3-glucan-modifying enzyme, respectively, are periodically expressed and peak in M/G1. The corresponding protein abundances in the medium correlate with the degree of cell separation during single-yeast-cell, pseudohyphal, and hyphal growth. We also discuss the observation that cells treated with fluconazole, or other agents causing cell surface stress, form pseudohyphal aggregates. Fluconazole-treated cells secrete abundant amounts of the transglucosylase Phr1, which is involved in the accumulation of β-1,3-glucan in biofilms, raising the question whether this is a general response to cell surface stress. Other abundant secretome proteins also contribute to biofilm formation, emphasizing the important role of secretome proteins in this mode of growth. Finally, we discuss the relevance of these observations to therapeutic intervention. Together, these data illustrate that C. albicans actively adapts its secretome to environmental conditions, thus promoting its survival in widely divergent niches of the human body. PMID:26453650

  11. Effects of sawdust thickness on the growth performance, environmental condition, and welfare quality of yellow broilers.

    PubMed

    Shao, Dan; He, Jiao; Lu, Jian; Wang, Qiang; Chang, Lingling; Shi, Shou Rong; Bing, Tong Hai

    2015-01-01

    An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of litter thickness on growth performance, immune status, environmental condition, and welfare quality in yellow broilers. In total, 1,800 one-day-old Suqin yellow broilers were raised for 21 d. On d 22, 1,600 birds of similar BW (404±12 g) were randomly selected and placed into 20 indoor pens (8 birds/m2, 10 m2/pen). These birds were assigned to a litter treatment of 4, 8, 12, and 16 cm. Each treatment was repeated in five pens. The results showed that a thicker litter was related to increased BW, daily weight gain, and daily feed intake (P<0.001). Feed conversion ratio and mortality were unaffected by litter thickness (P=0.320, P=0.353, respectively). Absolute and relative liver weights showed a significant linear response to increasing litter thickness (P=0.01, P=0.001, respectively). The litter moisture content, air ammonia, and CO2 content decreased, whereas the air dust content increased with increasing litter thickness (P<0.001, P=0.017, P=0.033, P<0.001, respectively). Litter thickness had no effect on gait, plumage damage, hock burn or breast skin crusting (P = 0.076, P=0.964, P=0.131, P=0.401, respectively). Plumage cleanliness, foot pad dermatitis, hock swelling and breast blister varied significantly with litter thickness (P=0.027, P=0.011, P=0.014, P=0.042, respectively). The results of this study suggest that an increasing litter thickness has a beneficial effect on the growth performance, environmental condition and welfare of birds. PMID:25577790

  12. Adaptations of the Secretome of Candida albicans in Response to Host-Related Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Brul, Stanley

    2015-01-01

    The wall proteome and the secretome of the fungal pathogen Candida albicans help it to thrive in multiple niches of the human body. Mass spectrometry has allowed researchers to study the dynamics of both subproteomes. Here, we discuss some major responses of the secretome to host-related environmental conditions. Three β-1,3-glucan-modifying enzymes, Mp65, Sun41, and Tos1, are consistently found in large amounts in culture supernatants, suggesting that they are needed for construction and expansion of the cell wall β-1,3-glucan layer and thus correlate with growth and might serve as diagnostic biomarkers. The genes ENG1, CHT3, and SCW11, which encode an endoglucanase, the major chitinase, and a β-1,3-glucan-modifying enzyme, respectively, are periodically expressed and peak in M/G1. The corresponding protein abundances in the medium correlate with the degree of cell separation during single-yeast-cell, pseudohyphal, and hyphal growth. We also discuss the observation that cells treated with fluconazole, or other agents causing cell surface stress, form pseudohyphal aggregates. Fluconazole-treated cells secrete abundant amounts of the transglucosylase Phr1, which is involved in the accumulation of β-1,3-glucan in biofilms, raising the question whether this is a general response to cell surface stress. Other abundant secretome proteins also contribute to biofilm formation, emphasizing the important role of secretome proteins in this mode of growth. Finally, we discuss the relevance of these observations to therapeutic intervention. Together, these data illustrate that C. albicans actively adapts its secretome to environmental conditions, thus promoting its survival in widely divergent niches of the human body. PMID:26453650

  13. Nitrous Oxide Production and Fluxes from Coastal Sediments under Varying Environmental Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziebis, W.; Wankel, S. D.; de Beer, D.; Dentinger, J.; Buchwald, C.; Charoenpong, C.

    2014-12-01

    Although coastal zones represent important contributors to the increasing levels of atmospheric nitrous oxide (N2O), it is still unclear which role benthic processes play and whether marine sediments represent sinks or sources for N2O, since interactions among closely associated microbial groups lead to a high degree of variability. In addition, coastal areas are extremely dynamic regions, often exposed to increased nutrient loading and conditions of depleted oxygen. We investigated benthic N2O fluxes and how environmental conditions affect N2O production in different sediments at 2 different geographical locations (German Wadden Sea, a California coastal lagoon). At each location, a total of 32 sediment cores were taken in areas that differed in sediment type, organic content and pore-water nutrient concentrations, as well as in bioturbation activity. Parallel cores were incubated under in-situ conditions, low oxygen and increased nitrate levels for 10 days. Zones of N2O production and consumption were identified in intact cores by N2O microprofiles at the beginning and end of the experiments. In a collaborative effort to determine the dominant sources of N2O, samples were taken throughout the course of the experiments for the determination of the isotopic composition of N2O (as well as nitrate, nitrite and ammonium). Our results indicate that both, nitrate addition and low oxygen conditions in the overlying water, caused an increase of subsurface N2O production in most sediments, with a high variability between different sediment types. N2O production in the sediments was accompanied by N2O consumption, reducing the fluxes to the water column. In general, organic rich sediments showed the strongest response to environmental changes with increased production and efflux of N2O into the overlying water. Bioturbation activity added to the complexity of N2O dynamics by an increase in nitrification-denitrification processes, as well as enhanced pore-water transport. The results will be used in a metabolic modeling approach that will allow numerical simulation and prediction of sedimentary N2O dynamics.

  14. Environmental trends in extinction during the Paleozoic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. John, Jr.

    1987-01-01

    Extinction intensities calculated from 505 Paleozoic marine assemblages divided among six environmental zones and 40 stratigraphic intervals indicate that whole communities exhibit increasing extinction offshore but that genera within individual taxonomic classes tend to have their highest extinction onshore. The offshore trend at the community level results from a concentration of genera in classes with low characteristic extinction rates in nearshore environments. This finding is consistent with the ecologic expectation that organisms inhabiting unpredictably fluctuating environments should suffer more extinction than counterparts living under more predictably equitable conditions.

  15. Unpredictable Chronic Stress-Induced Reproductive Suppression Associated with the Decrease of Kisspeptin Immunoreactivity in Male Mice

    PubMed Central

    HIRANO, Tetsushi; KOBAYASHI, Yoshihiro; OMOTEHARA, Takuya; TATSUMI, Atsutoshi; HASHIMOTO, Rie; UMEMURA, Yuria; NAGAHARA, Daichi; MANTANI, Youhei; YOKOYAMA, Toshifumi; KITAGAWA, Hiroshi; HOSHI, Nobuhiko

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Environmental stress affects various parts of mammals typically through the circulation of stress hormones. It has been identified as one of the possible reasons for male reproductive difficulties, but the complex mechanisms responsible for stress-induced reproductive suppression are poorly understood. Here, we examined the relationship between chronic environmental stress and hypothalamic kisspeptin, a recently discovered upstream regulator of the reproductive endocrine feedback system. We studied male mice under an unpredictable chronic stress procedure to replicate the situation of animals under chronic stress. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses were performed focusing on kisspeptin neurons in the arcuate hypothalamic nucleus (ARC) and DNA fragmented cells in seminiferous tubules. Although the ARC was not morphologically altered in either the stressed or non-stressed group, granular kisspeptin immunoreactivities decreased slightly in the stress group. In the testes of the stress group, several signs of testicular degeneration were observed, including increased numbers of ssDNA-positive cells per seminiferous tubule, thinning, vacuoled seminiferous epithelia and multinucleated giant cells. The decreases in kisspeptin in the stress group might be due to other hypothalamic peptides, such as corticotropin-releasing hormone and leptin, whose receptors are known to coexpress in the ARC. In addition, environmental stress directly and indirectly affects testicular function through stress hormones and gonadotropins. In summary, our findings enhance the understanding of stress-induced reproductive suppression possibly mediated by kisspeptin in the ARC. PMID:24871549

  16. Control of Saccharomyces cerevisiae pre-tRNA processing by environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Foretek, Dominika; Wu, Jingyan; Hopper, Anita K; Boguta, Magdalena

    2016-03-01

    tRNA is essential for translation and decoding of the proteome. The yeast proteome responds to stress and tRNA biosynthesis contributes in this response by repression of tRNA transcription and alterations of tRNA modification. Here we report that the stress response also involves processing of pre-tRNA 3' termini. By a combination of Northern analyses and RNA sequencing, we show that upon shift to elevated temperatures and/or to glycerol-containing medium, aberrant pre-tRNAs accumulate in yeast cells. For pre-tRNAUAU (Ile) and pre-tRNAUUU (Lys) these aberrant forms are unprocessed at the 5' ends, but they possess extended 3' termini. Sequencing analyses showed that partial 3' processing precedes 5' processing for pre-tRNAUAU (Ile). An aberrant pre-tRNA(Tyr) that accumulates also possesses extended 3' termini, but it is processed at the 5' terminus. Similar forms of these aberrant pre-tRNAs are detected in the rex1? strain that is defective in 3' exonucleolytic trimming of pre-tRNAs but are absent in the lhp1? mutant lacking 3' end protection. We further show direct correlation between the inhibition of 3' end processing rate and the stringency of growth conditions. Moreover, under stress conditions Rex1 nuclease seems to be limiting for 3' end processing, by decreased availability linked to increased protection by Lhp1. Thus, our data document complex 3' processing that is inhibited by stress in a tRNA-type and condition-specific manner. This stress-responsive tRNA 3' end maturation process presumably contributes to fine-tune the levels of functional tRNA in budding yeast in response to environmental conditions. PMID:26729922

  17. Perfluoroalkyl substance concentrations in a terrestrial raptor: relationships to environmental conditions and individual traits.

    PubMed

    Bustnes, Jan O; Bangjord, Georg; Ahrens, Lutz; Herzke, Dorte; Yoccoz, Nigel G

    2015-01-01

    Accumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in wildlife may be influenced by the physical and biotic environment, and concentrations vary greatly among areas, seasons, and individuals. Different hypotheses about sources of variation in perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) concentrations were examined in eggs (n = 107) of tawny owls (Strix aluco) collected over a 24-yr period (1986-2009) in Norway. Predictor variables included the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), temperature, snow, food availability (vole abundance), and individual traits such as age, body condition, and clutch size. Concentrations of both perfluoro-octane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) varied several fold in the population, both inter- and intra-annually. Moreover, individuals laid eggs with several times higher or lower PFAS concentrations within few years (1 yr-5 yr). After controlling for temporal trends (i.e., declining PFOS and increasing PFCA concentrations), both PFOS and PFCAs were positively associated to the winter NAO in the previous year (NAOy - 1 ), suggesting that atmospheric transport may be affecting the input of PFASs to the local ecosystem. Perfluoro-octane sulfonate was negatively related to temperature, but the pattern was complex as there was an interaction between temperature and the feeding conditions. The PFOS accumulation was highest in years with high vole abundance and low to medium temperatures. For PFCAs, there was an interaction between NAOy - 1 and feeding conditions, suggesting that strong air transport toward Norway and high consumption of voles led to a moderate increase in PFCA accumulation. The individual traits, however, had very little impact on the concentrations of PFASs in the eggs. The present study thus suggests that annual variation in environmental conditions influences the concentrations of PFASs in a terrestrial raptor such as the tawny owl. PMID:25323676

  18. Biocontrol agents promote growth of potato pathogens, depending on environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Cray, Jonathan A; Connor, Mairéad C; Stevenson, Andrew; Houghton, Jonathan D R; Rangel, Drauzio E N; Cooke, Louise R; Hallsworth, John E

    2016-05-01

    There is a pressing need to understand and optimize biological control so as to avoid over-reliance on the synthetic chemical pesticides that can damage environmental and human health. This study focused on interactions between a novel biocontrol-strain, Bacillus sp. JC12GB43, and potato-pathogenic Phytophthora and Fusarium species. In assays carried out in vitro and on the potato tuber, the bacterium was capable of near-complete inhibition of pathogens. This Bacillus was sufficiently xerotolerant (water activity limit for growth = 0.928) to out-perform Phytophthora infestans (~0.960) and challenge Fusarium coeruleum (~0.847) and Fusarium sambucinum (~0.860) towards the lower limits of their growth windows. Under some conditions, however, strain JC12GB43 stimulated proliferation of the pathogens: for instance, Fusarium coeruleum growth-rate was increased under chaotropic conditions in vitro (132 mM urea) by >100% and on tubers (2-M glycerol) by up to 570%. Culture-based assays involving macromolecule-stabilizing (kosmotropic) compatible solutes provided proof-of-principle that the Bacillus may provide kosmotropic metabolites to the plant pathogen under conditions that destabilize macromolecular systems of the fungal cell. Whilst unprecedented, this finding is consistent with earlier reports that fungi can utilize metabolites derived from bacterial cells. Unless the antimicrobial activities of candidate biocontrol strains are assayed over a full range of field-relevant parameters, biocontrol agents may promote plant pathogen infections and thereby reduce crop yields. These findings indicate that biocontrol activity, therefore, ought to be regarded as a mode-of-behaviour (dependent on prevailing conditions) rather than an inherent property of a bacterial strain. PMID:26880001

  19. Rate constants and mechanisms for the crystallization of Al nano-goethite under environmentally relevant conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bazilevskaya, Ekaterina; Archibald, Douglas D.; Martínez, Carmen Enid

    2012-07-01

    Mobile inorganic and organic nanocolloidal particles originate-from and interact-with bulk solid phases in soil and sediment environments, and as such, they contribute to the dynamic properties of environmental systems. In particular, ferrihydrite and (nano)goethite are the most abundant of nanocolloidal Fe oxy(hydr)oxides in these environments. We therefore investigated the ferrihydrite to goethite phase transformation using experimental reaction conditions that mimicked environmental conditions where the formation of nanocolloidal Fe oxy(hydr)oxides may occur: slow titration of dilute solutions to pH 5 at 25 °C with and without 2 mol% Al. Subsequently, the rate constants from 54-d nano-goethite aging/crystallization experiments at 50 °C were determined using aliquots pulled for vibrational spectroscopy (including multivariate curve resolution, MCR, analyses of infrared spectra) and synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction (XRD). We also present a mechanistic model that accounts for the nano-goethite crystallization observed by the aforementioned techniques, and particle structural characteristics observed by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In contrast to the common assumption that metastable ferrihydrite precipitates first, before it transforms to goethite, the presence of characteristic infrared bands in freshly synthesized nanoparticle suspensions indicate goethite can precipitate directly from solution under environmentally relevant conditions: low Fe concentration, ambient temperature, and pH maintained at 5. However, the presence of 2 mol% Al prevented direct goethite precipitation. Rate constants obtained by fitting the contributions from the MCR-derived goethite-like component to the OH-stretching region were (7.4 ± 1.1) × 10-7 s-1 for 0% Al and (4.2 ± 0.4) × 10-7 s-1 for 2 mol% Al suspensions. Rate constants derived from intensities of OH-bending infrared vibrations (795 and 895 cm-1) showed similar values, within error, for both 0 and 2 mol% Al nanoparticle suspensions. Thus, the presence of 2 mol% Al decreased the rate constants determined from analyses of infrared OH-stretching and OH-bending vibrations by 43-57%. We postulate that dissolution re-precipitation reactions are accelerated in aggregate microenvironments by locally increased supersaturation, yielding the dominant mechanism for transformation of ferrihydrite to goethite and goethite crystal growth when bulk ion concentrations are low. Although we did observe growth of a population of prismatic goethite single crystals by TEM, there was more substantial growth of a population of polycrystalline goethite needles that appeared to retain some defects from a preceding aggregation step that we detected with DLS. Since the presence of Al hinders the dissolution of ferrihydrite, it too reduces the rate of crystallization to goethite and its crystal growth. As exemplified in this nano-particle crystallization study, the combination of advanced spectral-curve-resolution algorithms and sensitive and quantitative infrared sampling techniques opens future opportunities for the quantification of mineral phase dynamics in nanocolloidal suspensions, which is important for many aspects of environmental studies.

  20. Absolute gravity measurements at three sites characterized by different environmental conditions using two portable ballistic gravimeters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greco, Filippo; Biolcati, Emanuele; Pistorio, Antonio; D'Agostino, Giancarlo; Germak, Alessandro; Origlia, Claudio; Del Negro, Ciro

    2015-03-01

    The performances of two absolute gravimeters at three different sites in Italy between 2009 and 2011 is presented. The measurements of the gravity acceleration g were performed using the absolute gravimeters Micro-g LaCoste FG5#238 and the INRiM prototype IMGC-02, which represent the state of the art in ballistic gravimeter technology (relative uncertainty of a few parts in 109). For the comparison, the measured g values were reported at the same height by means of the vertical gravity gradient estimated at each site with relative gravimeters. The consistency and reliability of the gravity observations, as well as the performance and efficiency of the instruments, were assessed by measurements made in sites characterized by different logistics and environmental conditions. Furthermore, the various factors affecting the measurements and their uncertainty were thoroughly investigated. The measurements showed good agreement, with the minimum and maximum differences being 4.0 and 8.3 μGal. The normalized errors are very much lower than 1, ranging between 0.06 and 0.45, confirming the compatibility between the results. This excellent agreement can be attributed to several factors, including the good working order of gravimeters and the correct setup and use of the instruments in different conditions. These results can contribute to the standardization of absolute gravity surveys largely for applications in geophysics, volcanology and other branches of geosciences, allowing achieving a good trade-off between uncertainty and efficiency of gravity measurements.

  1. Environmental effects on grass-endophyte associations in the harsh conditions of south Patagonia.

    PubMed

    Novas, M Victoria; Collantes, Marta; Cabral, Daniel

    2007-07-01

    Cool-season grasses are frequently infected by Neotyphodium endophytes and this association is often considered as a mutualistic symbiosis. We examined the incidence of Neotyphodium in populations of Bromus setifolius, Phleum alpinum and Poa spiciformis, native and wide-spread grasses from south Patagonia, Argentina. The incidence of 36 populations of Bromus setifolius was studied in association with climatic and soil variables. 31 populations of Ph. alpinum were sampled in five different plant communities. Seventeen populations of P. spiciformis were sampled in three different plant communities. The association between incidence and climatic variables in Ph. alpinum and between incidence and soil fertility in P. spiciformis was investigated. In B. setifolius endophyte incidence was positively correlated with annual average rainfall contrary to the results found in Ph. alpinum. All the populations of P. spiciformis were infected by endophytes and the incidence was associated with plant community. The Neotyphodium-grass interaction is variable in natural populations, supporting the increasing evidence that the Neotyphodium-host interaction depends, in many cases, on the environmental conditions. Field observations suggest that in detrimental low growth conditions the association is not favoured, leading to a decrease in the endophyte frequency of infection or even to the complete loss of the association. PMID:17466027

  2. Environmental conditions of the Laptev Sea region in the late postglacial time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naidina, O. D.

    2016-01-01

    The comparison between the first results of comprehensive micropaleontological analysis (pollen, spores, foraminifera, and ostracods) and those of radiocarbon dating (AMS14C) for the sediments of the eastern inner shelf of the Laptev Sea (the core collected from depth of 37 m) indicates that considerable changes in natural conditions in the sea and on land coincide in time and refer to the time period of 1500-1700 years B.P. This period is characterized by changes in microfossils: appearance of thermophilic pollen and planktonic foraminifera and increase in total number of benthic foraminifera and ostracods. Intense warming and humidification of the climate reconstructed for this 200-year period promoted the expansion of large-shrub tundra. Summer air temperatures were lower than that in the peak mid-Holocene climatic optimum by 2°-3°C, but 1°C higher than the present-day temperature. An estuary freshwater basin developed: it was strongly affected by river discharge, but North Atlantic waters also intensely penetrated here in short-term intervals. In general, the studied microfossil complex reflects the relatively stable environmental conditions and decrease in seawater salinity in the eastern part of the Laptev Sea shelf during the last 2300 years.

  3. Reconstruction of baseline time-trace under changing environmental and operational conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aryan, P.; Kotousov, A.; Ng, C. T.; Wildy, S.

    2016-03-01

    Compensation of changing environmental and operational conditions (EOC) is often necessary when using guided-wave based techniques for structural health monitoring in real-world applications. Many studies have demonstrated that the effect of changing EOC can mask damage to a degree that a critical defect might not be detected. Several effective strategies, specifically for compensating the temperature variations, have been developed in recent years. However, many other factors, such as changing humidity and boundary conditions or degradation of material properties, have not received much attention. This paper describes a practical method for reconstruction of the baseline time-trace corresponding to the current EOC. Thus, there is no need for differentiation or compensation procedures when using this method for damage diagnosis. It is based on 3D surface measurements of the velocity field near the actuator using laser vibrometry, in conjunction with high-fidelity finite element simulations of guided wave propagation in free from defects structure. To demonstrate the feasibility and efficiency of the proposed method we provide several examples of the reconstruction and damage detection.

  4. Precursor Environmental Conditions Associated with the Termination of Madden-Julian Oscillation Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stachnik, J. P.; Waliser, D. E.; Majda, A.

    2014-12-01

    Current generations of global climate models continue to struggle with simulating many of the observed features of the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) and suffer from low skill regarding initiation forecasts. While recent work has focused on those mechanisms thought to be important for MJO initiation, fewer studies have examined the large-scale conditions associated with quiescent periods of the MJO and the decay of existing events. Understanding these mechanisms may provide a valuable context toward improving simulations of MJO initiation and propagation in climate and operational weather forecast models. This study presents an analysis of the precursor environmental conditions related to the termination of MJO events. A simple climatology is created using a real-time MJO monitoring index, documenting the locations and frequencies of MJO decay. Lead-lag composites of several atmospheric variables including temperature, moisture, and intraseasonal wind anomalies are generated from three reanalyses. Long-term, lower tropospheric moisture deficits over the local domain best identify terminating events over the Indian Ocean, with a northward shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and corresponding lead times as much as 20 days prior to MJO decay. Statistically significant differences are also identified more than 10 days in advance of MJO termination events in the west Pacific, though the vertical velocity and moisture anomalies are more symmetric about the equator. We also present results for those MJOs that terminate over the maritime continent. Unlike the Indian Ocean and west Pacific, the likelihood of an MJO to cross the maritime continent appears related to its own intensity, rather than the upstream environmental conditions, with only the strongest MJOs propagating into the warm pool region. Finally, a budget analysis is performed on the three-dimensional moisture advection equation in order to better elucidate what time-scales and physical mechanisms are most important for MJO termination. The combination of intraseasonal vertical circulation anomalies coupled with the mean state specific humidity best explain the anomalous moisture patterns associated with MJO termination, suggesting that the upstream influence of the MJO circulation can eventually lead to its own demise.

  5. Cold-water coral growth under extreme environmental conditions, the Cape Lookout area, NW Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mienis, F.; Duineveld, G. C. A.; Davies, A. J.; Lavaleye, M. M. S.; Ross, S. W.; Seim, H.; Bane, J.; van Haren, H.; Bergman, M. J. N.; de Haas, H.; Brooke, S.; van Weering, T. C. E.

    2014-05-01

    The Cape Lookout cold-water coral area off the coast of North Carolina forms the shallowest and northernmost cold-water coral mound area on the Blake Plateau in the NW Atlantic. Cold-water coral habitats near Cape Lookout are occasionally bathed in the Gulf Stream, which is characterised by oligotrophic warm water and strong surface currents. Here, we present the first insights into the mound distribution and morphology, sedimentary environment and coral cover and near-bed environmental conditions as recorded by bottom landers from this coral area. The mounds occur between 320 and 550 m water depth and are characterised by high acoustic backscatter indicating the presence of hard structure. Three distinct mound morphologies were observed: (1) a mound with a flattened top at 320 m, (2) multi-summited mounds with a teardrop shape in the middle part of the area and (3) a single mound at 540 m water depth. Echosounder profiles show the presence of a strong reflector underneath all mound structures that forms the base of the mounds. This reflector cropped out at the downstream side of the single mound and consists of carbonate slabs. Video analysis revealed that all mounds are covered by Lophelia pertusa and that living colonies only occur close to the summits of the SSW side of the mounds, which is the side that faces the strongest currents. Off-mound areas were characterised by low backscatter and sediment ripples, indicating the presence of relatively strong bottom currents. Two bottom landers were deployed amidst the coral mounds between December 2009 and May 2010. Both landers recorded prominent events, characterised by large fluctuations in environmental conditions near the seabed as well as in the overlying water column. The period between December and April was characterised by several events of increasing temperature and salinity, coinciding with increased flow and near-bed acoustic backscatter. During these events temperature fluctuated by up to 9 °C within a day, which is the largest temperature variability as measured so far in a cold-water coral habitat. Warm events, related to Gulf Stream meanders, had the duration of roughly 1 week and the current during these events was directed to the NNE. The consequences of such events must be significant given the strong effects of temperature on the metabolism of cold-water corals. Furthermore, elevated acoustic backscatter values and high mass fluxes were also recorded during these events, indicating a second stressor that may affect the corals. The abrasive nature of sand in combination with strong currents might sand blast the corals. We conclude that cold-water corals near Cape Lookout live under extreme conditions that limit mound growth at present.

  6. Calcification intensity in planktonic Foraminifera reflects ambient conditions irrespective of environmental stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinkauf, M. F. G.; Moller, T.; Koch, M. C.; Kučera, M.

    2013-07-01

    Planktonic Foraminifera are important marine calcifiers, and the ongoing change in the oceanic carbon system makes it essential to understand the influence of environmental factors on the biomineralisation of their shells. The amount of calcite deposited by planktonic Foraminifera during calcification has been hypothesized to reflect a range of environmental factors. However, it has never been assessed whether their calcification only passively responds to the conditions of the ambient seawater or whether it reflects changes in resource allocation due to physiological stress. To disentangle these two end-member scenarios, an experiment is required where the two processes are separated. A natural analogue to such an experiment occurred during the deposition of the Mediterranean sapropels, where large changes in surface water composition and stratification at the onset of the sapropel deposition were decoupled from local extinctions of planktonic Foraminifera species. We take advantage of this natural experiment and investigate the reaction of calcification intensity, expressed as size-normalized weight (SNW), of four species of planktonic Foraminifera to changing conditions during the onset of Sapropel S5 (126-121 ka) in a sediment core from the Levantine Basin. We observe a significant relationship between SNW and surface water properties, as reflected by stable isotopes in the calcite of Foraminifera shells, but we failed to observe any reaction of calcification intensity on ecological stress during times of decreasing abundance culminating in local extinction. The reaction of calcification intensity to surface water perturbation at the onset of the sapropel was observed only in surface dwelling species, but all species calcified more strongly prior to the sapropel deposition and less strongly within the sapropel than at comparable conditions during the present day. These results indicate that the high-salinity environment of the glacial Mediterranean Sea prior to sapropel deposition induced a more intense calcification, whereas the freshwater injection to the surface waters associated with sapropel deposition inhibited calcification. The results are robust to changes in carbonate preservation and collectively imply that changes in normalized shell weight in planktonic Foraminifera should reflect mainly abiotic forcing.

  7. Calcification intensity in planktonic Foraminifera reflects ambient conditions irrespective of environmental stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinkauf, M. F. G.; Moller, T.; Koch, M. C.; Kučera, M.

    2013-10-01

    Planktonic Foraminifera are important marine calcifiers, and the ongoing change in the oceanic carbon system makes it essential to understand the influence of environmental factors on the biomineralization of their shells. The amount of calcite deposited by planktonic Foraminifera during calcification has been hypothesized to reflect a range of environmental factors. However, it has never been assessed whether their calcification only passively responds to the conditions of the ambient seawater or whether it reflects changes in resource allocation due to physiological stress. To disentangle these two end-member scenarios, an experiment is required where the two processes are separated. A natural analogue to such an experiment occurred during the deposition of the Mediterranean sapropels, where large changes in surface water composition and stratification at the onset of the sapropel deposition were decoupled from local extinctions of planktonic Foraminifera species. We took advantage of this natural experiment and investigated the reaction of calcification intensity, expressed as mean area density (MAD), of four species of planktonic Foraminifera to changing conditions during the onset of Sapropel S5 (126-121 ka) in a sediment core from the Levantine Basin. We observed a significant relationship between MAD and surface water properties, as reflected by stable isotopes in the calcite of Foraminifera shells, but we failed to observe any reaction of calcification intensity on ecological stress during times of decreasing abundance culminating in local extinction. The reaction of calcification intensity to surface water perturbation at the onset of the sapropel was observed only in surface-dwelling species, but all species calcified more strongly prior to the sapropel deposition and less strongly within the sapropel than at similar conditions during the present-day. These results indicate that the high-salinity environment of the glacial Mediterranean Sea prior to sapropel deposition induced a~more intense calcification, whereas the freshwater injection to the surface waters associated with sapropel deposition inhibited calcification. The results are robust to changes in carbonate preservation and collectively imply that changes in normalized shell weight in planktonic Foraminifera should reflect mainly abiotic forcing.

  8. Optimizing the trade-off between offspring number and quality in unpredictable environments: testing the role of differential androgen transfer to collared flycatcher eggs.

    PubMed

    Rice, Amber M; Vallin, Niclas; Kulma, Katarzyna; Arntsen, Hanna; Husby, Arild; Tobler, Michael; Qvarnstrm, Anna

    2013-05-01

    According to the brood reduction hypothesis, parents adjust their brood size in response to current environmental conditions. When resources are abundant, parents can successfully raise all hatched offspring, but when resources are scarce, brood reduction, i.e., the sacrifice of some siblings to secure the quality of a subset of offspring, may maximize fitness. Differential transfer of maternal androgens is one potential proximate mechanism through which female birds may facilitate brood reduction because it may alter the relative competitive ability of sibling nestlings. We tested the hypothesis that female collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis) manipulate sibling competition by transferring less androgens to eggs late in the laying sequence. We experimentally elevated androgen levels in i) whole clutches and ii) only the two last laid eggs, and compared growth and begging behavior of offspring from these treatments with a control treatment. By using three treatments and video assessment of begging, we examined the effects of within-clutch patterns of yolk androgen transfer on levels of sibling competition in situ. When androgens were elevated in only the two last laid eggs, begging was more even among siblings compared to control nests. We also found that female nestlings receiving additional yolk androgens showed higher mass gain later in the breeding season, while their male counterparts did not. Our results suggest that females may improve reproductive success in unpredictable environments by altering within-clutch patterns of yolk androgen transfer. We discuss the possibility that life-history divergence between the co-occurring collared and pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) is amplified by patterns of yolk androgen transfer. PMID:23602767

  9. [Natural attenuation of tetracycline in the water of Taihu Lake under different environmental conditions].

    PubMed

    Duan, Lun-Chao; Wang, Feng-He; Ji, Ying-Xue; Zhang, Fan; Zhao, Bin; Wang, Guo-Xiang

    2014-04-01

    Tetracycline (TC) has been widely used in veterinary medicines and disease treatments, and has been discharged into nature system due to manure application. To know the harmfulness of TC residues, and to investigate the natural attenuation of TC under different environmental conditions, simulated attenuation experiments in the presence of light, sediment, Cd (NO3) 2 and Pb(NO3)2 were performed. Results showed that the natural attenuation of TC was not obvious under the sunlight, and the natural attenuation rate of TC in water with unsterilized sediment was greater than that with sterilized sediment. The natural attenuation of TC in water with Pb(NO3)2 was slow at the first stage of the experiment, and progressively speeded up as time went on. However, the natural attenuation of TC in water with Cd(NO3)2 was more rapid at the beginning, and significantly faster than that of Pb(NO3)2. The natural attenuation rates of 0.08 mmol x L(-1) TC under different conditions follow the sequence: unsterilized sediment (87.2%) > sterilized sediment (70.37%) > Cd(NO3)2 (64.2%) > Pb(NO3)2 (32.3%) > blank (6.6%), suggesting that all these factors can promote the natural attenuation of TC. Though the natural attenuation trend under different conditions in the dark is similar to that under the sunlight, the natural attenuation rate is less than that under the sunlight, which implicates that sunlight may promote the natural attenuation of TC. PMID:24946582

  10. Thermal biology of flight in a butterfly: genotype, flight metabolism, and environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Mattila, Anniina L K

    2015-12-01

    Knowledge of the effects of thermal conditions on animal movement and dispersal is necessary for a mechanistic understanding of the consequences of climate change and habitat fragmentation. In particular, the flight of ectothermic insects such as small butterflies is greatly influenced by ambient temperature. Here, variation in body temperature during flight is investigated in an ecological model species, the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia). Attention is paid on the effects of flight metabolism, genotypes at candidate loci, and environmental conditions. Measurements were made under a natural range of conditions using infrared thermal imaging. Heating of flight muscles by flight metabolism has been presumed to be negligible in small butterflies. However, the results demonstrate that Glanville fritillary males with high flight metabolic rate maintain elevated body temperature better during flight than males with a low rate of flight metabolism. This effect is likely to have a significant influence on the dispersal performance and fitness of butterflies and demonstrates the possible importance of intraspecific physiological variation on dispersal in other similar ectothermic insects. The results also suggest that individuals having an advantage in low ambient temperatures can be susceptible to overheating at high temperatures. Further, tolerance of high temperatures may be important for flight performance, as indicated by an association of heat-shock protein (Hsp70) genotype with flight metabolic rate and body temperature at takeoff. The dynamics of body temperature at flight and factors affecting it also differed significantly between female and male butterflies, indicating that thermal dynamics are governed by different mechanisms in the two sexes. This study contributes to knowledge about factors affecting intraspecific variation in dispersal-related thermal performance in butterflies and other insects. Such information is needed for predictive models of the evolution of dispersal in the face of habitat fragmentation and climate change. PMID:27069604

  11. Encystment of Vermamoeba (Hartmannella) vermiformis: Effects of environmental conditions and cell concentration.

    PubMed

    Fouque, Emilie; Trouilhé, Marie-Cécile; Thomas, Vincent; Humeau, Philippe; Héchard, Yann

    2014-11-01

    Vermamoeba vermiformis is a free-living amoeba (FLA) which is widely distributed in the environment. It is known to colonize water systems and to be a reservoir of pathogenic bacteria, such as Legionella pneumophila. For these reasons the control of V. vermiformis represents an important health issue. However, FLA may be resistant to disinfection treatments due to the process of encystment. Thereby, it is important to better understand factors influencing this process. In this aim, we investigated the effect of temperature, pH, osmotic pressure and cell concentration on the encystment of two V. vermiformis strains. Encystment was quite fast, with a 100% encystment rate being observed after 9h of incubation. For the two strains, an optimal encystment was obtained at 25 and 37°C. Concerning pH and osmotic pressure, there were different effects on the encystment according to the tested strains. For the reference strain (ATCC 50237), the patterns of encystment were similar for pH comprised between 5 and 9 and for KCl concentrations ranging from 0.05 to 0.2 mol L(-1). For the environmental strain (172A) an optimal encystment was obtained for basic pH (8 and 9) and for a concentration in KCl of 0.1 mol L(-1). The results also clearly demonstrated that the encystment rate increased with cell concentration, suggesting that there is an inter-amoebal communication. The present study establish for the first time environmental conditions favoring encystment and would lay the foundations to better control the encystment of V. vermiformis. PMID:24721257

  12. Automated ambulatory assessment of cognitive performance, environmental conditions, and motor activity during military operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lieberman, Harris R.; Kramer, F. Matthew; Montain, Scott J.; Niro, Philip; Young, Andrew J.

    2005-05-01

    Until recently scientists had limited opportunities to study human cognitive performance in non-laboratory, fully ambulatory situations. Recently, advances in technology have made it possible to extend behavioral assessment to the field environment. One of the first devices to measure human behavior in the field was the wrist-worn actigraph. This device, now widely employed, can acquire minute-by-minute information on an individual"s level of motor activity. Actigraphs can, with reasonable accuracy, distinguish sleep from waking, the most critical and basic aspect of human behavior. However, rapid technologic advances have provided the opportunity to collect much more information from fully ambulatory humans. Our laboratory has developed a series of wrist-worn devices, which are not much larger then a watch, which can assess simple and choice reaction time, vigilance and memory. In addition, the devices can concurrently assess motor activity with much greater temporal resolution then the standard actigraph. Furthermore, they continuously monitor multiple environmental variables including temperature, humidity, sound and light. We have employed these monitors during training and simulated military operations to collect information that would typically be unavailable under such circumstances. In this paper we will describe various versions of the vigilance monitor and how each successive version extended the capabilities of the device. Samples of data from several studies are presented, included studies conducted in harsh field environments during simulated infantry assaults, a Marine Corps Officer training course and mechanized infantry (Stryker) operations. The monitors have been useful for documenting environmental conditions experienced by wearers, studying patterns of sleep and activity and examining the effects of nutritional manipulations on warfighter performance.

  13. Climatic and environmental conditions favoring the crossing of the Carpathians by early Neolithic populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perşoiu, Ioana; Perşoiu, Aurel

    2015-04-01

    The study of the origin and spread of Neolithic has been the subject of heated debate since the early studies of Childe (1942). To what extent the dispersal process was influenced by environmental factors is still debated, one of the issues being whether climatic conditions influencing agricultural practices, could have influenced the dispersal route, "blocking" some of the Neolithic societies in front of ecological barriers. Data from Neolithic sites in SE Europe shows that a continuous stream of people and cultures flowed through the Danube's Iron Gates towards Central Europe, while in the eastern part of Europe this process was delayed, people and cultures "moving" around the Carpathians and crossing them with a delay of ca. 1000 years. One of the possible avenues for this crossing is the floodplain of Someşu Mic River (Transylvanian depression), home to the oldest (~8500 cal. BP) Neolithic settlement in Romania. In this paper, we review the climatic and environmental changes that affected the region at the time of Neolithic dispersal. Pollen and stable isotopes in cave ice indicate an early Holocene rapid warming during summer months, peaking around 7 ka cal. BP; and a delayed warming for autumn and winter months, peaking at 5 ka cal. BP, both followed by a continuous cooling trend towards the present. Someşu Mic River developed and maintained a narrow sinuous channel during the Holocene, with local development of meanders and anabranches, in response to both climatic and geologic controlling factors. Archaeological finds in the floodplain and the lower terraces suggest that human societies in the region responded in sensitive manner to these climatic and environmental changes. During warm and dry periods, with low fluvial activity, the number of settlements increased in the floodplain's perimeter, while during the short cold and humid periods, the number of settlements rapidly increased on the lower terraces and on the valley slopes, disappearing from the flooded valley bottom and flash-flood prone alluvial fans. Our results suggest that once reaching the foothills of the Carpathian Mts., early Neolithic communities encountered a forested landscape and rather than clearing it for agriculture, they have moved along the middle Danube towards Pannonia and Central Europe, as well as along the lower reaches of the Danube's tributaries, following the most suitable and easily accessible terrain for agriculture practices.

  14. Environmental conditions predict helminth prevalence in red foxes in Western Australia☆

    PubMed Central

    Dybing, Narelle A.; Fleming, Patricia A.; Adams, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are the most common and widely distributed wild carnivore worldwide. These predators harbour a wide range of parasites, many of which may have important conservation, agricultural and zoonotic repercussions. This project investigated the occurrence of helminth parasites from the intestines of 147 red foxes across 14 sampling localities of southwest Western Australia. Helminth parasites were detected in 58% of fox intestines: Dipylidium caninum (27.7% of foxes), Uncinaria stenocephala (18.2%), Toxocara canis (14.9%), Spirometra erinaceieuropaei (5.4%), Toxascaris leonina (4.7%), Taenia serialis (1.4%), Taenia hydatigena (0.7%), unidentified Taenia spp. (4.1%), Brachylaima cribbi (0.7%), Plagiorchis maculosus (0.7%) and an Acanthocephalan; family Centrorhynchidae (2.1%). Importantly, two cestodes of agricultural significance, Echinococcus granulosus and Taenia ovis, were not detected in red foxes in this study, despite the presence of suitable intermediate hosts in the diets of these animals. Parasite richness varied from 1–3 species per host, with average parasite number varying from 1–39 worms (across all helminth species). Regression analyses indicated that the presence of four helminth parasites was related to various environmental factors. The presence of S. erinaceieuropaei (p < 0.001), T. leonina (p < 0.01) and U. stenocephala (p < 0.01) was positively associated with average relative humidity which may affect the longevity of infective stages in the environment. The presence of S. erinaceieuropaei and U. stenocephala (p < 0.001) was positively associated with 5-y-average minimum temperature which could reflect poor survival of infective stages through cold winter conditions. The presence of T. canis and U. stenocephala (p < 0.001) was positively associated with the percentage cover of native vegetation at each sampling location, which is likely to reflect transmission from native prey species acting as paratenic hosts. These data identify environmental factors affecting transmission and potential distribution of each parasite taxon, and provide important information increasing our understanding of the potential effects of environmental change on parasite ecology. PMID:24533331

  15. Environmental conditions predict helminth prevalence in red foxes in Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Dybing, Narelle A; Fleming, Patricia A; Adams, Peter J

    2013-12-01

    Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are the most common and widely distributed wild carnivore worldwide. These predators harbour a wide range of parasites, many of which may have important conservation, agricultural and zoonotic repercussions. This project investigated the occurrence of helminth parasites from the intestines of 147 red foxes across 14 sampling localities of southwest Western Australia. Helminth parasites were detected in 58% of fox intestines: Dipylidium caninum (27.7% of foxes), Uncinaria stenocephala (18.2%), Toxocara canis (14.9%), Spirometra erinaceieuropaei (5.4%), Toxascaris leonina (4.7%), Taenia serialis (1.4%), Taenia hydatigena (0.7%), unidentified Taenia spp. (4.1%), Brachylaima cribbi (0.7%), Plagiorchis maculosus (0.7%) and an Acanthocephalan; family Centrorhynchidae (2.1%). Importantly, two cestodes of agricultural significance, Echinococcus granulosus and Taenia ovis, were not detected in red foxes in this study, despite the presence of suitable intermediate hosts in the diets of these animals. Parasite richness varied from 1-3 species per host, with average parasite number varying from 1-39 worms (across all helminth species). Regression analyses indicated that the presence of four helminth parasites was related to various environmental factors. The presence of S. erinaceieuropaei (p < 0.001), T. leonina (p < 0.01) and U. stenocephala (p < 0.01) was positively associated with average relative humidity which may affect the longevity of infective stages in the environment. The presence of S. erinaceieuropaei and U. stenocephala (p < 0.001) was positively associated with 5-y-average minimum temperature which could reflect poor survival of infective stages through cold winter conditions. The presence of T. canis and U. stenocephala (p < 0.001) was positively associated with the percentage cover of native vegetation at each sampling location, which is likely to reflect transmission from native prey species acting as paratenic hosts. These data identify environmental factors affecting transmission and potential distribution of each parasite taxon, and provide important information increasing our understanding of the potential effects of environmental change on parasite ecology. PMID:24533331

  16. Environmental Conditions Affect Exhalation of H3N2 Seasonal and Variant Influenza Viruses and Respiratory Droplet Transmission in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Gustin, Kortney M.; Belser, Jessica A.; Veguilla, Vic; Zeng, Hui; Katz, Jacqueline M.; Tumpey, Terrence M.; Maines, Taronna R.

    2015-01-01

    The seasonality of influenza virus infections in temperate climates and the role of environmental conditions like temperature and humidity in the transmission of influenza virus through the air are not well understood. Using ferrets housed at four different environmental conditions, we evaluated the respiratory droplet transmission of two influenza viruses (a seasonal H3N2 virus and an H3N2 variant virus, the etiologic virus of a swine to human summertime infection) and concurrently characterized the aerosol shedding profiles of infected animals. Comparisons were made among the different temperature and humidity conditions and between the two viruses to determine if the H3N2 variant virus exhibited enhanced capabilities that may have contributed to the infections occurring in the summer. We report here that although increased levels of H3N2 variant virus were found in ferret nasal wash and exhaled aerosol samples compared to the seasonal H3N2 virus, enhanced respiratory droplet transmission was not observed under any of the environmental settings. However, overall environmental conditions were shown to modulate the frequency of influenza virus transmission through the air. Transmission occurred most frequently at 23°C/30%RH, while the levels of infectious virus in aerosols exhaled by infected ferrets agree with these results. Improving our understanding of how environmental conditions affect influenza virus infectivity and transmission may reveal ways to better protect the public against influenza virus infections. PMID:25969995

  17. Effect of environmental conditions on the spectroscopic signature of DNT in sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanco, Alejandro; Mina, Nairmen; Castro, Miguel E.; Castillo-Chara, Jairo; Hernandez-Rivera, Samuel P.

    2005-06-01

    Landmines have been a part of war technology for many years. As a result of the continued and indiscriminate use in approximately 90 countries landmines pose a severe and ever growing problem and a daily risk. Raman Spectroscopy is capable of providing rich information about the molecular structure of the sample and pinpoint detection of many chemicals, both of organic and inorganic nature. The presence of landmines in soils can be detected by Raman Spectroscopy sensing in a Point Detection modality, using characteristic vibrational signals of each explosive present in landmines. Detection of 2,4-DNT in sand and studies on how the vibrational signatures of 2,4-DNT is modified by interacting with soil particles and environmental conditions is reported. Raman Microspectrometers equipped with 514 nm and 785 nm laser excitation lines were used. The work focused in how the spectroscopic signatures of DNT in contact with Ottawa Sand are affected by the presence of humidity, pH, temperature, UV light and reaction times. Samples of mixtures of sand/2,4-DNT were analyzed by Raman Spectroscopy at 10, 50 and 100% water content and temperatures in range of 40-80 °C. Mixtures were also analyzed at different pH: 4, 7 and 10 and under ultraviolet light at 254 nm. Raman spectra were taken as a function of time in an interval from 24 to 336 hours (two weeks). Characteristic signals of 2,4-DNT were analyzed in different ranges 100-3800 cm-1, 600-1200 cm-1, 300-1700 cm-1 and 2800-3500 cm-1. The effect of these variables was measured during 45 consecutive days. It was confirmed that the decrease of characteristic vibrational signatures of 2,4-DNT can be attributed to increase of the degradation of 2,4-DNT by the simulated environmental conditions. Spectroscopic characterization of degradation products, both in contact with sand as well as airborne is under way. These results will make possible the development of highly sensitive sensors for detection of explosives materials and correlated with their degradation products in landmines.

  18. Changes in mineral soil biogeochemical cycling and environmental conditions following tree harvest in the Northeast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vario, C.; Friedland, A.

    2012-12-01

    In the northeastern United States, reductions in carbon dioxide emissions have been attempted by using local wood as a renewable alternative to oil. Although woody biomass products are readily available, recent findings suggest that forest disturbance may cause release of carbon from the deeper mineral soil. Worldwide, deep soils sequester more than half of soil carbon, making it critical in the global carbon cycle; however, most studies on the effect of harvesting have focused on the organic soil horizon. Our research aimed to uncover changes in biogeochemistry and environmental conditions in deeper, mineral soil after clear cutting forests. We quantified post-harvest mineral soil carbon pools through a regional study. We utilized stands of different ages to measure the recovery of soil carbon over time since harvest. Stands included in this study were cut approximately 5, 12, 25, 50, or 120 ybp, in order to identify changes in soil carbon over time since harvest. We sampled harvested stands in six research or protected forests across New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Soil samples were collected to a depth of 60 cm below the surface of the mineral soil using a gas-powered augur and 9.5 cm diameter drill bit. Soil samples were analyzed at Dartmouth College. In order to understand specific changes in mineral soil carbon dynamics following harvest, measurements of carbon fluxes, such as soil respiration and DOC transport were conducted at five different-aged stands at Bartlett Experimental Forest, NH. While parameters that may influence carbon storage—such as pH, clay content, tree cover and elevation— did not vary across the different-aged stands in each forest, carbon pools did vary over time. We found changes in carbon pools in at least three experimental forests across the northeast. At Bartlett Experimental Forest, we found a gradual decline in mineral soil carbon storage from between 85-87 Mg ha-1 in 120 year old and primary forest stands to a minimum of 53 Mg ha-1 in the 75 year old stand. In our carbon flux measurements, we observed higher DOC concentrations in lysimeter samples collected at 30 cm at 12 years after harvest. We have also documented consistently higher soil temperatures across summer months at 50 cm below the mineral soil in the recently clear-cut site at Bartlett Experimental Forest. These changes in biogeochemical and environmental conditions suggest that forest clearing does affect mineral soil, and our findings may help identify a mechanism to explain the observed carbon loss from soils in clear-cut forests.

  19. Holocene environmental conditions in South Georgia - a multi-proxy study on a coastal marine record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berg, Sonja; Jivcov, Sandra; Groten, Sonja; Viehberg, Finn; Rethemeyer, Janet; Melles, Martin

    2014-05-01

    The Holocene environmental history of the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia so far has been reconstructed from lake sediments, peat records and geomorphological observations. The data available indicate a postglacial ice retreat, which reached the coastal areas around the early Holocene. Climate reconstructions for the Holocene, on the other hand, provide a more complex picture, which may partly result from the influence of local effects. We present preliminary results of a multi-proxy study on a sediment core recovered in early 2013 from a coastal marine inlet (Little Jason Lagoon) in Cumberland West Bay. The results include elemental data (high resolution XRF-scans, total organic carbon (TOC), nitrogen, and sulphur, lipid biomarkers, and macrofossil data. The sediment core comprises a c. 11m long sequence, which contains a complete record of postglacial sedimentation in the inlet. Its base is formed by a diamicton, indicating a former glaciation of the site, which is overlain by well-stratified sediments passing over into more massive muds in the upper past. A radiocarbon age from the organic-rich sediments above the diamicton provides a first estimate of 9700 14C years BP for a minimum age of ice retreat. We use the elemental data to infer changes in clastic input (e.g., K/Ti ratios), productivity (TOC) and water salinity (Cl counts) in the course of the Holocene. While Little Jason Lagoon has a connection to the sea today (sill depth c. 1 m), a decrease in Cl counts downcore points to fresher conditions in the early part of the record. This could be an indicator for changing relative sea level and/or changes in the amounts of freshwater inflow from the catchment. Macroscopic plant remains and lipid biomarkers (n-alkanes, n-fatty acids and sterols) provide information on the terrestrial vegetation in the catchment and its changes through time as well as on the influence of marine conditions in the lagoon. We suggest that the record from Little Jason Lagoon provides an important link between terrestrial and marine archives of Holocene environmental change in South Georgia.

  20. Innovative monitoring campaign of the environmental conditions of the Stibbert museum in Florence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angelini, E.; Civita, F.; Corbellini, S.; Fulginiti, D.; Giovagnoli, A.; Grassini, S.; Parvis, M.

    2016-02-01

    Conservation of ancient metallic artefact displayed inside museums is a complex problem due to the large number of constraints mainly related to the artefacts fruition by people. The development of a simple procedure for monitoring the artefact conservation state promptly highlighting risky conditions without impacting on the normal museum operations could be of interest in the cultural heritage world. This paper describes the interesting results obtained by using a highly sensitive and innovative methodology for evaluating the safety level of the museum indoor areas, and more specifically of the interior of the showcases, with respect to the metallic artefacts. The methodology is based on the use of an innovative smart sensors network and of copper reference samples. The smart sensors network was employed for the continuous monitoring of temperature and relative humidity close to the artefacts, i.e. inside the display showcases. The reference specimens were Cu coated with a 100 nm Cu nanostructured layer put for 1 year in the exhibition rooms inside and outside the showcases and characterised by means of normal imaging, colorimetric and FESEM techniques at regular intervals. The results of the monitoring activity evidenced the higher reactivity to the environmental aggressivity of the nanocoated copper specimen with respect to bulk artefacts and therefore the possibility to use them as alerts to possible corrosion phenomena that may occur to the real artefacts. A proper temperature and relative humidity monitoring inside the showcases and close to each group of artefacts is a powerful though economic and non-invasive way to highlight most of the possible critical display conditions.

  1. Simulation of the environmental climate conditions on martian surface and its effect on Deinococcus radiodurans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Vega, U. Pogoda; Rettberg, P.; Reitz, G.

    The resistance of terrestrial microorganisms under the thermo-physical conditions of Mars (diurnal temperature variations, UV climate, atmospheric pressure and gas composition) at mid-latitudes was studied for the understanding and assessment of potential life processes on Mars. In order to accomplish a targeted search for life on other planets, e.g. Mars, it is necessary to know the limiting physical and chemical parameters of terrestrial life. Therefore the polyextremophile bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans was chosen as test organism for these investigations. For the simulation studies at the Planetary and Space Simulation Facilities (PSI) at DLR, Cologne, Germany, conditions that are present during the southern summer at latitude of 60° on Mars were applied. We could simulate several environmental parameters of Mars in one single experiment: vacuum/low pressure, anoxic atmosphere and diurnal cycles in temperature and relative humidity, energy-rich ultraviolet (UV) radiation as well as shielding by different martian soil analogue materials. These parameters have been applied both single and in different combinations in laboratory experiments. Astonishingly the diurnal Mars-like cycles in temperature and relative humidity affected the viability of D. radiodurans cells quite severely. But the martian UV climate turned out to be the most deleterious factor, though D. radiodurans is red-pigmented due to carotenoids incorporated in its cell wall, which have been assigned not only a possible role as free radical scavenger but also as a UV-protectant. An additional UV-protection was accomplished by mixing the bacteria with nano-sized hematite.

  2. Environmental Conditioning of Skeletal Anomalies Typology and Frequency in Gilthead Seabream (Sparus aurata L., 1758) Juveniles

    PubMed Central

    Prestinicola, Loredana; Boglione, Clara; Makridis, Pavlos; Spanò, Attilio; Rimatori, Valentina; Palamara, Elisa; Scardi, Michele; Cataudella, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, 981 reared juveniles of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) were analysed, 721 of which were from a commercial hatchery located in Northern Italy (Venice, Italy) and 260 from the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (Crete, Greece). These individuals were from 4 different egg batches, for a total of 10 different lots. Each egg batch was split into two lots after hatching, and reared with two different methodologies: intensive and semi-intensive. All fish were subjected to processing for skeletal anomaly and meristic count analysis. The aims involved: (1) quantitatively and qualitatively analyzing whether differences in skeletal elements arise between siblings and, if so, what they are; (2) investigating if any skeletal bone tissue/ossification is specifically affected by changing environmental rearing conditions; and (3) contributing to the identification of the best practices for gilthead seabream larval rearing in order to lower the deformity rates, without selections. The results obtained in this study highlighted that: i) in all the semi-intensive lots, the bones having intramembranous ossification showed a consistently lower incidence of anomalies; ii) the same clear pattern was not observed in the skeletal elements whose ossification process requires a cartilaginous precursor. It is thus possible to ameliorate the morphological quality (by reducing the incidence of severe skeletal anomalies and the variability in meristic counts of dermal bones) of reared seabream juveniles by lowering the stocking densities (maximum 16 larvae/L) and increasing the volume of the hatchery rearing tanks (minimum 40 m3). Feeding larvae with a wide variety of live (wild) preys seems further to improve juvenile skeletal quality. Additionally, analysis of the morphological quality of juveniles reared under two different semi-intensive conditions, Mesocosm and Large Volumes, highlighted a somewhat greater capacity of Large Volumes to significantly augment the gap with siblings reared in intensive (conventional) modality. PMID:23409031

  3. Interaction of ribonucleotides with oxide and silicate minerals under varying environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feuillie, C.; Sverjensky, D. A.; Hazen, R. M.

    2013-12-01

    Large quantities of nucleic acids are found in natural environments, released after the death of an organism and subsequent cell lysis [1]. Nucleic acids are known to adsorb on mineral surfaces [2, 3, 4], which protect them from degradation, whether enzymatic [5, 6] or UV-mediated [7]. It may then contribute to the extracellular genetic pool available in soils to microorganisms for horizontal gene transfers [8]. In order to better understand the behaviour of extracellular nucleic acids in soils, we have investigated the interactions between nucleotides, 5'-GMP, 5'-CMP, 5'-AMP and 5'-UMP, and α-alumina as a model compound for Al in six-fold coordination in soil minerals. We carried out batch adsorption experiments over a wide range of pH, ionic strength and surface loading. Alumina adsorbs high amounts of nucleotides > 2 μmol/m2. In similar environmental conditions, swelling clays such as nontronite and montmorillonite adsorb less than 0.1 μmol/m2 if the total surface area is taken under consideration. However, if only the edges of clay particles are considered, the amount of nucleotides adsorbed reaches values between 1.2 and 2 μmol/m2 [9], similar to the alumina and consistent with ';oxide-like' surface sites on the edges of the clay particles. Surface complexation modeling enabled us to predict the speciation of the surface species on the alumina, as well as the stoichiometry and thermodynamic equilibrium constants for the adsorption of nucleotides. We used the extended triple-layer model (ETLM), that takes into account the electrical work linked to the desorption of chemisorbed water molecules during the formation of inner-sphere complexes. Two surface species are thought to form on the surface of corundum: a monodentate inner-sphere complex, dominant at pH < 7.5, and a bidentate outer-sphere complex, dominant at higher pH. Both complexes involve interactions between the negatively charged phosphate group and the positively charged surface of alumina. Our results provide a better understanding of how nucleic acids attach to mineral surfaces under varying environmental conditions in soil environments. Moreover, the predicted configuration of nucleotide surface species, bound via the phosphate group, could have implications for the abiotic formation and concentration of nucleic acids in the context of the origin of life. References : [1] Lorenz and Wackernagel (1987), Applied and environmental microbial., 2948-2952 [2] Ferris (2005), Reviews in mineralogy & geochemistry 59, 187-210 [3] Cleaves H.J. et al. (2011), Chemosphere 83, 1560-1567 [4] Arora & Kamaluddin (2009), Astrobiology 9, 165-171 [5] Cai et al. (2006), Environ. Sci. Technol. 40 (9), 2971-2976 [6] Franchi and Gallori (2005),Gene 346, 205-214 [7] Scappini et al. (2004), International Journal of Astrobiology 3(1), 17-19 [8] Levy-Booth et al. (2007), Soil Biol. Biochem. 39, 2977-2991. [9] Feuillie et al. (2013), Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (in press)

  4. Old males reduce melanin-pigmented traits and increase reproductive outcome under worse environmental conditions in common kestrels.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Idiaquez, David; Vergara, Pablo; Fargallo, Juan Antonio; Martinez-Padilla, Jess

    2016-02-01

    Secondary sexual traits displayed by males and females may have evolved as a signal of individual quality. However, both individual quality and investment on producing or maintaining enhanced sexual traits change as individuals age. At the same time, the costs associated to produce sexual traits might be attenuated or increased if environmental conditions are benign or worse respectively. Accordingly, environmental conditions are expected to shape the association between the expression of sexual traits and their reproductive outcome as individuals age. Nonetheless, little is known about the environmental influence on the co-variation between sexual traits and reproductive outcome throughout the life of individuals. We studied the age-dependency of the number and size of back spots, a melanin-based and sexual trait in adults of common kestrels (Falco tinnunculus). We analysed the age-dependence of reproductive traits and the environmental influence, defined as vole abundance, using a 10-year individual-based dataset. We broke down age-related changes of reproductive traits into within- and between-individual variation to assess their contribution to population-level patterns. Our results showed a within-individual decrease in the number, but not the size, of back spots in males. The size of back spots was positively correlated with food availability in males. Reproductive performance of males increased as they aged, in agreement with the life-history theory but depending of vole abundance. Remarkably, we found that having fewer back spots was positively associated with clutch size only for old individuals under low-food conditions. We suggest that environmental variation may shape the association between the expression of a sexual signal and reproductive outcome. We speculate that the reliability of sexual traits is higher when environmental conditions are poor only for old individuals. Within an evolutionary context, we suggest that the expression of sexual traits might be constrained by environmental conditions at later stages of life. PMID:26941948

  5. Levels of (±) Abscisic Acid and Xanthoxin in Spinach under Different Environmental Conditions 1

    PubMed Central

    Zeevaart, Jan A. D.

    1974-01-01

    The levels of the growth inhibitors(+)-abscisic acid and xanthoxin were determined in the long day plant spinach (Spinacia oleracea L. cv. Savoy Hybrid 612) grown under different environmental conditions. When plants were transferred from light to darkness, the (+)-abscisic acid level always decreased, whereas the xanthoxin content did not change. The (+)-abscisic acid content was higher in plants grown under low than under high relative humidity. Xanthoxin levels were not affected by photoperiod, whereas the (+)-abscisic acid content increased 2 to 3 times upon transferring plants from short day to long day. Shoot tips with young leaves and mature leaves of the same plants analyzed separately did not differ in their inhibitor content when expressed per unit dry weight. No increase in xanthoxin level was observed in wilting plants. In general, the xanthoxin levels of spinach were much less affected by changes in the environment than were those of (+)-abscisic acid. In conclusion, there is no correlation between xanthoxin and (+)-abscisic acid levels in spinach on the one hand, and growth and flowering responses on the other. PMID:16658759

  6. Environmental risk assessment of GE plants under low-exposure conditions.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Andrew; Devos, Yann; Raybould, Alan; Bigelow, Patrick; Gray, Alan

    2014-12-01

    The requirement for environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically engineered (GE) plants prior to large scale or commercial introduction into the environment is well established in national laws and regulations, as well as in international agreements. Since the first introductions of GE plants in commercial agriculture in the 1990s, a nearly universal paradigm has emerged for conducting these assessments based on a few guiding principles. These include the concept of case-by-case assessment, the use of comparative assessments, and a focus of the ERA on characteristics of the plant, the introduced trait, and the receiving environment as well as the intended use. In practice, however, ERAs for GE plants have frequently focused on achieving highly detailed characterizations of potential hazards at the expense of consideration of the relevant levels of exposure. This emphasis on exhaustive hazard characterization can lead to great difficulties when applied to ERA for GE plants under low-exposure conditions. This paper presents some relevant considerations for conducting an ERA for a GE plant in a low-exposure scenario in the context of the generalized ERA paradigm, building on discussions and case studies presented during a session at ISBGMO 12. PMID:24178711

  7. Modelling stream-fish functional traits in reference conditions: regional and local environmental correlates.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, João M; Segurado, Pedro; Santos, José M; Teixeira, Amílcar; Ferreira, Maria T; Cortes, Rui V

    2012-01-01

    Identifying the environmental gradients that control the functional structure of biological assemblages in reference conditions is fundamental to help river management and predict the consequences of anthropogenic stressors. Fish metrics (density of ecological guilds, and species richness) from 117 least disturbed stream reaches in several western Iberia river basins were modelled with generalized linear models in order to investigate the importance of regional- and local-scale abiotic gradients to variation in functional structure of fish assemblages. Functional patterns were primarily associated with regional features, such as catchment elevation and slope, rainfall, and drainage area. Spatial variations of fish guilds were thus associated with broad geographic gradients, showing (1) pronounced latitudinal patterns, affected mainly by climatic factors and topography, or (2) at the basin level, strong upstream-downstream patterns related to stream position in the longitudinal gradient. Maximum native species richness was observed in midsize streams in accordance with the river continuum concept. The findings of our study emphasized the need to use a multi-scale approach in order to fully assess the factors that govern the functional organization of biotic assemblages in 'natural' streams, as well as to improve biomonitoring and restoration of fluvial ecosystems. PMID:23029242

  8. Identification of environmental factors limiting plant uptake of metaldehyde seed treatments under field conditions.

    PubMed

    Simms, Louise C; Dawson, Julian J C; Paton, Graeme I; Wilson, Michael J

    2006-05-17

    Slugs are serious pests of oilseed rape (canola) and wheat with most damage occurring just after sowing and seedling emergence. As an alternative to the use of bait pellets, molluscicidal seed treatments have been shown to protect seeds and seedlings from slug damage in laboratory and semi-field experiments. However, protection offered to plants in field trials was diminished and shortlived in comparison with laboratory experiments. To determine why field efficacy was reduced, we grew seedlings under a range of environmental conditions, with appropriate controls, that simulated differences between laboratory and field experiments. We then measured the metaldehyde content of plant seedlings using a previously unpublished methodology described herein, which, unlike previous methods, did not first depolymerize the metaldehyde to acetaldehyde. We confirmed that naturally abundant plant-derived acetaldehyde could not interfere with our measurements of metaldehyde, even if depolymerization took place within the column. Our data suggest that reduced field efficacy results from microbial breakdown and/or loss of active ingredient caused by percolating soil water. Once the seedlings had emerged, neither volatalization nor simulated rainwater reduced the metaldehyde content of seedlings. Our findings will help develop superior seed treatment formulations to overcome these constraints. PMID:19127739

  9. Toxicity of pentachlorophenol to aquatic organisms under naturally varying and controlled environmental conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Hedtke, S.F.; West, C.W.; Allen, K.N.; Norberg-King, T.J.; Mount, D.I.

    1986-06-01

    The toxicity of pentachlorophenol (PCP) was determined in the laboratory for 11 aquatic species. Tests were conducted seasonally in ambient Mississippi River water and under controlled conditions in Lake Superior water. Fifty-one acute toxicity tests were conducted, with LC50 values ranging from 85 micrograms/L for the white sucker Catastomus commersoni during the summer to greater than 7770 micrograms/L for the isopod Asellus racovitzai during the winter. The effect of PCP on growth and/or reproduction was determined for seven species. The most sensitive chronically exposed organisms were the cladoceran Ceriodaphnia reticulata and the snail Physa gyrina. The greatest variation in toxicity was due to species sensitivity. Within a given, season there was as much as a 40-fold difference in LC50 values between species. For any one species, the maximum variation in LC50 between seasons was approximately 14-fold. There were also substantial differences in acute-chronic relationships, with acute/chronic ratios ranging from greater than 37 for C. reticulata to 1 for Simocephalus vetulus. It is suggested that the composition of the aquatic community should be the most important consideration in estimating the potential environmental effects of PCP.

  10. Modelling Stream-Fish Functional Traits in Reference Conditions: Regional and Local Environmental Correlates

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, João M.; Segurado, Pedro; Santos, José M.; Teixeira, Amílcar; Ferreira, Maria T.; Cortes, Rui V.

    2012-01-01

    Identifying the environmental gradients that control the functional structure of biological assemblages in reference conditions is fundamental to help river management and predict the consequences of anthropogenic stressors. Fish metrics (density of ecological guilds, and species richness) from 117 least disturbed stream reaches in several western Iberia river basins were modelled with generalized linear models in order to investigate the importance of regional- and local-scale abiotic gradients to variation in functional structure of fish assemblages. Functional patterns were primarily associated with regional features, such as catchment elevation and slope, rainfall, and drainage area. Spatial variations of fish guilds were thus associated with broad geographic gradients, showing (1) pronounced latitudinal patterns, affected mainly by climatic factors and topography, or (2) at the basin level, strong upstream-downstream patterns related to stream position in the longitudinal gradient. Maximum native species richness was observed in midsize streams in accordance with the river continuum concept. The findings of our study emphasized the need to use a multi-scale approach in order to fully assess the factors that govern the functional organization of biotic assemblages in ‘natural’ streams, as well as to improve biomonitoring and restoration of fluvial ecosystems. PMID:23029242

  11. IGF-1 Release Kinetics from Chitosan Microparticles Fabricated Using Environmentally Benign Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Mantripragada, Venkata P.; Jayasuriya, Ambalangodage C.

    2014-01-01

    The main objective of this study is to maximize growth factor encapsulation efficiency into microparticles. The novelty of this study is to maximize the encapsulated growth factors into microparticles by minimizing the use of organic solvents and using relatively low temperatures. The microparticles were fabricated using chitosan biopolymer as a base polymer and cross-linked with tripolyphosphate (TPP). Insulin like-growth factor-1 (IGF-1) was encapsulated into microparticles to study release kinetics and bioactivity. In order to authenticate the harms of using organic solvents like hexane and acetone during microparticle preparation, IGF-1 encapsulated microparticles prepared by the emulsification and coacervation methods were compared. The microparticles fabricated by emulsification method have shown a significant decrease (p<0.05) in IGF-1 encapsulation efficiency, and cumulative release during the two-week period. The biocompatibility of chitosan microparticles and the bioactivity of the released IGF-1 were determined in vitro by live/dead viability assay. The mineralization data observed with Von Kossa assay, was supported by mRNA expression levels of osterix and runx2, which are transcription factors necessary for osteoblasts differentiation. Real time RT-PCR data showed an increased expression of runx 2 and a decreased expression of osterix over time, indicating differentiating osteoblasts. Chitosan microparticles prepared in optimum environmental conditions are a promising controlled delivery system for cells to attach, proliferate, differentiate and mineralize, thereby acting as a suitable bone repairing material. PMID:25063148

  12. Effect of environmental conditions on the permeability of high density polyethylene film to fumigant vapors.

    PubMed

    Papiernik, Sharon K; Yates, Scott R

    2002-04-15

    Soil fumigation in greenhouses or agricultural fields often includes tarping the soil surface with polyethylene (PE) films to contain the fumigant in the soil and reduce emissions to the atmosphere. Previous research has demonstrated that PE films are permeable to methyl bromide and other fumigant compounds. In these experiments, the effect of temperature, fumigant mixtures, condensed water, and field aging on the permeability of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) was determined. Mass transfer coefficients (h, a measure of permeability) of the fumigants methyl bromide, 1,3-dichloropropene, propargyl bromide, and chloropicrin across HDPE films were determined. In these studies, temperature and HDPE film type had the largest impact on the h of fumigant compounds across HDPE films. Other factors investigated, including fumigant mixtures, condensed water on the film, and field aging of UV-stabilized film, did not have a significant impact on h. The results of these experiments suggest that the permeability of an intact piece of an agricultural film will increase with increasing temperature but is relatively constant despite changes in other environmental conditions. PMID:11993884

  13. How environmental conditions impact mosquito ecology and Japanese encephalitis: an eco-epidemiological approach.

    PubMed

    Tian, Huai-Yu; Bi, Peng; Cazelles, Bernard; Zhou, Sen; Huang, Shan-Qian; Yang, Jing; Pei, Yao; Wu, Xiao-Xu; Fu, Shi-Hong; Tong, Shi-Lu; Wang, Huan-Yu; Xu, Bing

    2015-06-01

    Japanese encephalitis (JE) is one of the major vector-borne diseases in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region, posing a threat to human health. In rural and suburban areas, traditional rice farming and intensive pig breeding provide an ideal environment for both mosquito development and the transmission of JEV among human beings. Combining surveillance data for mosquito vectors, human JE cases, and environmental conditions in Changsha, China, 2004-2009, generalized threshold models were constructed to project the mosquito and JE dynamics. Temperature and rainfall were found to be closely associated with mosquito density at 1, and 4month lag, respectively. The two thresholds, maximum temperature of 22-23°C for mosquito development and minimum temperature of 25-26°C for JEV transmission, play key roles in the ecology of JEV. The model predicts that, in the upper regime, a 1g/m(3) increase in absolute humidity would on average increase human cases by 68-84%. A shift in mosquito species composition in 2007 was observed, and possibly caused by a drought. Effective predictive models could be used in risk management to provide early warnings for potential JE transmission. PMID:25771078

  14. Sensitivity of Latent Heating Profiles to Environmental Conditions: Implications for TRMM and Climate Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shepherd, J. Marshall; Einaudi, Franco (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) as a part of NASA's Earth System Enterprise is the first mission dedicated to measuring tropical rainfall through microwave and visible sensors, and includes the first spaceborne rain radar. Tropical rainfall comprises two-thirds of global rainfall. It is also the primary distributor of heat through the atmosphere's circulation. It is this circulation that defines Earth's weather and climate. Understanding rainfall and its variability is crucial to understanding and predicting global climate change. Weather and climate models need an accurate assessment of the latent heating released as tropical rainfall occurs. Currently, cloud model-based algorithms are used to derive latent heating based on rainfall structure. Ultimately, these algorithms can be applied to actual data from TRMM. This study investigates key underlying assumptions used in developing the latent heating algorithms. For example, the standard algorithm is highly dependent on a system's rainfall amount and structure. It also depends on an a priori database of model-derived latent heating profiles based on the aforementioned rainfall characteristics. Unanswered questions remain concerning the sensitivity of latent heating profiles to environmental conditions (both thermodynamic and kinematic), regionality, and seasonality. This study investigates and quantifies such sensitivities and seeks to determine the optimal latent heating profile database based on the results. Ultimately, the study seeks to produce an optimized latent heating algorithm based not only on rainfall structure but also hydrometeor profiles.

  15. Non-coding RNAs in marine Synechococcus and their regulation under environmentally relevant stress conditions

    PubMed Central

    Gierga, Gregor; Voss, Bjrn; Hess, Wolfgang R

    2012-01-01

    Regulatory small RNAs (sRNAs) have crucial roles in the adaptive responses of bacteria to changes in the environment. Thus far, potential regulatory RNAs have been studied mainly in marine picocyanobacteria in genetically intractable Prochlorococcus, rendering their molecular analysis difficult. Synechococcus sp. WH7803 is a model cyanobacterium, representative of the picocyanobacteria from the mesotrophic areas of the ocean. Similar to the closely related Prochlorococcus it possesses a relatively streamlined genome and a small number of genes, but is genetically tractable. Here, a comparative genome analysis was performed for this and four additional marine Synechococcus to identify the suite of possible sRNAs and other RNA elements. Based on the prediction and on complementary microarray profiling, we have identified several known as well as 32 novel sRNAs. Some sRNAs overlap adjacent coding regions, for instance for the central photosynthetic gene psbA. Several of these novel sRNAs responded specifically to environmentally relevant stress conditions. Among them are six sRNAs changing their accumulation level under cold stress, six responding to high light and two to iron limitation. Target predictions suggested genes encoding components of the light-harvesting apparatus as targets of sRNAs originating from genomic islands and that one of the iron-regulated sRNAs might be a functional homolog of RyhB. These data suggest that marine Synechococcus mount adaptive responses to these different stresses involving regulatory sRNAs. PMID:22258101

  16. Environmental conditions affecting exopolysaccharide production by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Micrococcus sp., and Ochrobactrum sp.

    PubMed

    Kiliç, Nur Koçberber; Dönmez, Gönül

    2008-06-15

    Three different chromium-resistant microorganisms (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Micrococcus sp., and Ochrobactrum sp.) were tested with regard to their EPS production at different pH levels, temperatures, Cr(VI) concentrations, and incubation periods. The optimum pH level was 7 for P. aeruginosa and Micrococcus sp., while it was 8 for Ochrobactrum sp. according to the highest EPS amount at 100 mg/L Cr(VI) concentration. The highest production of EPSs by the three bacteria was obtained under different environmental conditions. P. aeruginosa produced the highest EPS (863.3 mg/L) after incubation for 96 h on media with 50 mg/L Cr(VI) at 20 degrees C, Micrococcus sp. gave the highest yield (444.6 mg/L) after incubation for 72 h on media with 100 mg/L Cr(VI) at the same temperature, and Ochrobactrum sp. had the highest production (430.5 mg/L) on media with 150 mg/L Cr(VI) at 30 degrees C at the end of 48 h of incubation. PMID:18155834

  17. Evaluation and refinement of the environmental stress index for different climatic conditions.

    PubMed

    Moran, D S; Pandolf, K B; Laor, A; Heled, Y; Matthew, W T; Gonzalez, R R

    2003-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the recently constructed environmental stress index (ESI) for a large database comprising various climatic conditions. Data analysis of measurements from 19 locations revealed a high correlation between ESI and the wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) index for each database. Validity from statistical analysis, including optimization procedures, slightly changed the ESI constants as follows: ESI = 0.62Ta - 0.007RH + 0.002SR + 0.0043(Ta x RH) - 0.078(0.1 + SR)(-1) where: Ta = ambient temperature (degrees C); RH = relative humidity (%); and SR = solar radiation (w x m(-2)). The refined ESI and the WBGT index were applied to databases of more than 125,000 measurements for each variable: Ta, RH, SR, black globe temperature (Tg), and wet bulb temperature (Tw). For each database, the ESI was then successfully correlated with the WBGT (P < 0.05, R2 > or = 0.899). We conclude that the refined ESI, which is constructed from fast response and commonly used weather sensors (Ta, RH, SR), is a potential index to serve as an alternative to the WBGT for heat category assessment. PMID:12901442

  18. Cyclic Failure Mechanisms of Thermal and Environmental Barrier Coating Systems Under Thermal Gradient Test Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhu, Dongming; Lee, Kang N.; Miller, Robert A.

    2002-01-01

    Plasma-sprayed ZrO2-8wt%Y2O3 and mullite+BSAS/Si multilayer thermal and environmental barrier coating (TBC-EBC) systems on SiC/SiC ceramic matrix composite (CMC) substrates were thermally cyclic tested under high thermal gradients using a laser high-heat-flux rig in conjunction with furnace exposure in water-vapor environments. Coating sintering and interface damage were assessed by monitoring the real-time thermal conductivity changes during the laser heat-flux tests and by examining the microstructural changes after exposure. Sintering kinetics of the coating systems were also independently characterized using a dilatometer. It was found that the coating failure involved both the time-temperature dependent sintering and the cycle frequency dependent cyclic fatigue processes. The water vapor environments not only facilitated the initial coating conductivity increases due to enhanced sintering and interface reaction, but also promoted later conductivity reductions due to the accelerated coating cracking and delamination. The failure mechanisms of the coating systems are also discussed based on the cyclic test results and are correlated to the sintering and thermal stress behavior under the thermal gradient test conditions.

  19. Variation of saponin contents and physiological status in Quillaja saponaria under different environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Grandón, Angélica S; Espinosa, B Miguel; Ríos, Darcy L; Sánchez, O Manuel; Sáez, C Katia; Hernández, S Víctor; Becerra, A José

    2013-12-01

    Quillaja saponaria (Quillay), an evergreen tree found in Chile, is one of the main sources of saponins. Quillaja saponins have hypocholesterolaemic, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant and pesticidal properties, and are used as adjuvants for vaccines. Samples of Quillay growing at three zones in O'Higgins Region, Chile (Coastal, Central and Mountain zones) were analyzed for content of saponins and physiological status. The results revealed differences in the content of saponins depending on the zone of sample collection. The highest contents were found in samples from the Mountain zone, where the highest saponin contents were accompanied by the lowest foliar nitrogen contents, the highest antioxidant activity and the highest carotenoid contents. The results suggest a physiological and adaptive mechanism of saponins in plants to survive under unfavourable environmental conditions. The results have important implications for a theoretical basis for the design of a reasonable harvest, to avoid the cost of poor quality material, and also to provide a sustainable use and conservation of this important species. Further research on the effects of stress will improve our understanding of the saponins production and their physiological functions in plants, whereas they have generally been studied for their biological and chemical applications. PMID:24555275

  20. Yield and quality attributes of faba bean inbred lines grown under marginal environmental conditions of Sudan.

    PubMed

    Gasim, Seif; Hamad, Solafa A A; Abdelmula, Awadalla; Mohamed Ahmed, Isam A

    2015-11-01

    Faba beans (Vicia faba L.) represent an essential source of food protein for many people in Sudan, especially those who cannot afford to buy animal meat. The demand for faba bean seeds is greatly increased in recent years, and consequently its production area was extended southward where the climate is marginally suitable. Therefore, this study was aimed to evaluate seed yield and nutritional quality of five faba bean inbred lines grown under marginal environmental conditions of Sudan. The inbred lines have considerable (P ≤ 0.05) variability in yield and yield components, and seed chemical composition. The mean carbohydrate content was very high (501.1 g kg(-1)) and negatively correlated with seed yield, whereas the average protein content was relatively high (253.1 g kg(-1)) and positively correlated with seed yield. Globulin was the significant fraction (613.5 g kg(-1)protein) followed by albumin (200.2 g kg(-1)protein). Biplot analysis indicates that inbred lines Hudeiba/93-S5 and Ed-damar-S5 outscore other lines in terms of seed yield and nutritional quality. This study demonstrates that Hudeiba/93-S5 and Ed-damar-S5 are useful candidates in faba bean breeding program to terminate the protein deficiency malnutrition and provide healthy and nutritious meal for people living in subtropical areas. PMID:26788295

  1. Dependence of Cumulus Anvil Radiative Properties on Environmental Conditions in the Tropical West Pacific

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ye, B.; DelGenio, A. D.

    1999-01-01

    Areally extensive, optically thick anvil clouds associated with mesoscale convective clusters dominate the shortwave cloud forcing in the tropics and provide longwave forcing comparable to that of thin cirrus. Changes in the cover and optical thickness of tropical anvils as climate warms can regulate the sign of cloud feedback. As a prelude to the study of MMCR data from the ARM TWP sites, we analyze ISCCP-derived radiative characteristics of anvils observed in the tropical west Pacific during the TOGA-COARE IOP. Anvils with radius greater than 100 km were identified and tracked from inception to decay using the Machado-Rossow algorithm. Corresponding environmental conditions just prior to the start of the convectove event were diagnosed using the Lin-Johnson objective analysis product. Small clusters (100-200 km radius) are observed to have a broad range of optical thicknesses (10-50), while intermediate optical thickness clusters are observed to range in size from 100 km to almost 1000 km. Large-size clusters appear to be favored by strong pre-storm large scale upward motion throughout the troposphere, moist low-to-midlevel relative humidities, environments with slightly higher CAPE than those for smaller clusters, and strong front-to-rear flow. Optically thick anvils are favored in situations of strong low-level moisture convergence and strong upper-level shear.

  2. Overview of environmental and hydrogeologic conditions at the Merle K. "Mudhole" Smith Airport near Cordova, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dorava, J.M.; Sokup, J.M.

    1994-01-01

    Air service to Cordova, Alaska and the surrounding region is provided by the Merle K. "Mudhole" Smith Airport, 21 kilometers east of the townsite. The Federal Aviation Administration owns or operates support facilities at the airport and wishes to consider the environmental setting and hydro- geologic conditions when evaluating options for remediation of potential contamination at these facilities. The airport is within the Copper River Delta wetlands area and the Chugach National Forest. Silts, sands, and gravels of fluvial origin underlie the airport. Potential flooding may be caused by outbursts of glacier-dammed lakes, glacier icemelt, snowmelt runoff, or precipitation. Surface spills and disposal of hazardous materials in conjunction with precipitation or flooding may adversely affect the quality of ground water. Drinking water at the airport is currently supplied by wells. Alternative drinking-water sources include local rivers and streams, transporting city water from Cordova, or undiscovered aquifers. Each alternative source, however, would likely cost significantly more to develop than using the existing shallow aquifer supply.

  3. Environmental Conditions Associated with Elevated Vibrio parahaemolyticus Concentrations in Great Bay Estuary, New Hampshire

    PubMed Central

    Urquhart, Erin A.; Jones, Stephen H.; Yu, Jong W.; Schuster, Brian M.; Marcinkiewicz, Ashley L.; Whistler, Cheryl A.; Cooper, Vaughn S.

    2016-01-01

    Reports from state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the annual number of reported human vibriosis cases in New England has increased in the past decade. Concurrently, there has been a shift in both the spatial distribution and seasonal detection of Vibrio spp. throughout the region based on limited monitoring data. To determine environmental factors that may underlie these emerging conditions, this study focuses on a long-term database of Vibrio parahaemolyticus concentrations in oyster samples generated from data collected from the Great Bay Estuary, New Hampshire over a period of seven consecutive years. Oyster samples from two distinct sites were analyzed for V. parahaemolyticus abundance, noting significant relationships with various biotic and abiotic factors measured during the same period of study. We developed a predictive modeling tool capable of estimating the likelihood of V. parahaemolyticus presence in coastal New Hampshire oysters. Results show that the inclusion of chlorophyll a concentration to an empirical model otherwise employing only temperature and salinity variables, offers improved predictive capability for modeling the likelihood of V. parahaemolyticus in the Great Bay Estuary. PMID:27144925

  4. Effects of environmental conditions on the release of phosphorus from biochar.

    PubMed

    Qian, Tingting; Zhang, Xuesong; Hu, Jianyang; Jiang, Hong

    2013-11-01

    Biochar, the byproduct from fast pyrolysis of waste biomass, is widely used as a soil conditioner. The phosphorus in biochar is not only a P source for plant growth, but also an important factor caused the eutrophication of water. Here, the effects of environmental conditions on the release of different P species from biochar in a biochar-water system were investigated. About 2.2 mg g(-1) P in the form of inorganic orthophosphate and pyrophosphate was released from a raw biochar (contained 4.7 mg P g(-1)) at initial pH of 9.0 in the initial 8h. The release of orthophosphate was significantly enhanced from 0.64 to 1.35 mg g(-1) by the coexisting anions of Cl(-), NO3(-) or SO4(2-) due to the effect of ion exchange competition, while the release of pyrophosphate (P2O7(4-)) was not influenced by the introduction of anions which might be attributed to the formation of stable complexes. The introduction of Hoagland nutrient solution led to the decrease in release of P due to the formation of precipitates between dissolved P and excessive Ca(2+) and Mg(2+). PMID:23958443

  5. Changes of Enzyme Activities and Compositions of Abnormal Fruiting Bodies Grown under Artificial Environmental Conditions in Pleurotus ostreatus

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Soo Muk; June, Chang Sung; Weon, Hang Yeon; Park, Jeong Sik; Choi, Sun Gyu; Cheong, Jong Chun; Sung, Jae Mo

    2005-01-01

    This study investigated the biochemical changes of abnormal fruiting bodies grown under artificial environmental conditions in P. ostreatus. Abnormal mushroom growth during cultivation damages the production of good quality mushroom. This study showed that different environmental conditions produced morphological changes in the fruiting bodies of P. ostreatus. The fruiting bodies with morphological changes were collected and examined for differences in biochemical properties, enzyme activities, and carbohydrates composition. The enzyme activities assay showed that glucanase and chitinase activities decreased when the temperature was below or above the optimum cultivation temperature for P. ostreatus. The biochemical compositions of the abnormal mushroom were significantly different from the normal fruiting bodies. It was suggested that the changes in the biochemical composition of abnormal mushroom were caused by the unfavorable environmental conditions during mushroom cultivation. PMID:24049471

  6. Chronic unpredictable mild stress generates oxidative stress and systemic inflammation in rats.

    PubMed

    López-López, Ana Laura; Jaime, Herlinda Bonilla; Escobar Villanueva, María Del Carmen; Padilla, Malinalli Brianza; Palacios, Gonzalo Vázquez; Aguilar, Francisco Javier Alarcón

    2016-07-01

    Stress is considered to be a causal agent of chronic degenerative diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, arthritis and Alzheimer's. Chronic glucocorticoid and catecholamine release into the circulation during the stress response has been suggested to activate damage mechanisms, which in the long term produce metabolic alterations associated with oxidative stress and inflammation. However, the consequences of stress in animal models for periods longer than 40days have not been explored. The goal of this work was to determine whether chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) produced alterations in the redox state and the inflammatory profile of rats after 20, 40, and 60days. CUMS consisted of random exposure of the animals to different stressors. The following activities were measured in the liver and pancreas: reduced glutathione (GSH), lipid peroxidation (LPO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and protein oxidation. Similarly, serum cytokine levels (IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-10) were determined. CUMS activated the stress response from day 20 until day 60. In the liver and pancreas, GHS levels were decreased from day 40, whereas protein lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation were increased. This is the first work to report that the pancreas redox state is subject to chronic stress conditions. The TAC was constant in the liver and reduced in the pancreas. An increase in the TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 inflammatory markers and a decrease in the IL-10 level due to CUMS was shown, thereby resulting in the generation of a systemic inflammation state after 60days of treatment. Together, the CUMS consequences on day 60 suggest that both processes can contribute to the development of chronic degenerative diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. CUMS is an animal model that in addition to avoiding habituation activates damage mechanisms such as oxidative stress and low-grade chronic inflammation, which allows the study of physio-pathological stress aspects over prolonged time periods of at least 60days. PMID:27063246

  7. [Unpredictable chronic mild stress effects on antidepressants activities in forced swim test].

    PubMed

    Kudryashov, N V; Kalinina, T S; Voronina, T A

    2015-02-01

    The experiments has been designed to study unpredictable chronic mild stress effect on anti-depressive activities of amitriptyline (10 mg/kg) and fluoxetine (20 mg/kg) in forced swim test in male outbred mice. It is shown that acute treatment with fluoxetine does not produce any antidepressant effects in mice following stress of 14 days while the sub-chronic injections of fluoxetine result in more deep depressive-like behavior. In 28 daily stressed mice, antidepressant effect of fluoxetine is observed independently of the injection rates. Amitriptyline demonstrates the antidepressant activity regardless of the duration of stress or administration scheduling, but at the same time the severity of anti-immobilization effect of amitriptyline in stressed mice is weaker in compare to non-stressed trails. Thus, the injection rates and duration of unpredictable mild chronic stress are the parameters that determine the efficiency of antidepressants in the mouse forced swimming test. PMID:26012108

  8. Feasibility of fiber Bragg grating and long-period fiber grating sensors under different environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jian-Neng; Tang, Jaw-Luen

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents the feasibility of utilizing fiber Bragg grating (FBG) and long-period fiber grating (LPFG) sensors for nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of infrastructures using Portland cement concretes and asphalt mixtures for temperature, strain, and liquid-level monitoring. The use of hybrid FBG and LPFG sensors is aimed at utilizing the advantages of two kinds of fiber grating to implement NDE for monitoring strains or displacements, temperatures, and water-levels of infrastructures such as bridges, pavements, or reservoirs for under different environmental conditions. Temperature fluctuation and stability tests were examined using FBG and LPFG sensors bonded on the surface of asphalt and concrete specimens. Random walk coefficient (RWC) and bias stability (BS) were used for the first time to indicate the stability performance of fiber grating sensors. The random walk coefficients of temperature variations between FBG (or LPFG) sensor and a thermocouple were found in the range of -0.7499 °C/ [square root]h to -1.3548 °C/ [square root]h. In addition, the bias stability for temperature variations, during the fluctuation and stability tests with FBG (or LPFG) sensors were within the range of 0.01 °C/h with a 15-18 h time cluster to 0.09 °C/h with a 3-4 h time cluster. This shows that the performance of FBG or LPFG sensors is comparable with that of conventional high-resolution thermocouple sensors under rugged conditions. The strain measurement for infrastructure materials was conducted using a packaged FBG sensor bonded on the surface of an asphalt specimen under indirect tensile loading conditions. A finite element modeling (FEM) was applied to compare experimental results of indirect tensile FBG strain measurements. For a comparative analysis between experiment and simulation, the FEM numerical results agreed with those from FBG strain measurements. The results of the liquid-level sensing tests show the LPFG-based sensor could discriminate five stationary liquid-levels and exhibits at least 1,050-mm liquid-level measurement capacity. Thus, the hybrid FBG and LPFG sensors reported here could benefit the NDE development and applications for infrastructure health monitoring such as strain, temperature and liquid-level measurements. PMID:22163460

  9. Feasibility of Fiber Bragg Grating and Long-Period Fiber Grating Sensors under Different Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jian-Neng; Tang, Jaw-Luen

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents the feasibility of utilizing fiber Bragg grating (FBG) and long-period fiber grating (LPFG) sensors for nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of infrastructures using Portland cement concretes and asphalt mixtures for temperature, strain, and liquid-level monitoring. The use of hybrid FBG and LPFG sensors is aimed at utilizing the advantages of two kinds of fiber grating to implement NDE for monitoring strains or displacements, temperatures, and water-levels of infrastructures such as bridges, pavements, or reservoirs for under different environmental conditions. Temperature fluctuation and stability tests were examined using FBG and LPFG sensors bonded on the surface of asphalt and concrete specimens. Random walk coefficient (RWC) and bias stability (BS) were used for the first time to indicate the stability performance of fiber grating sensors. The random walk coefficients of temperature variations between FBG (or LPFG) sensor and a thermocouple were found in the range of ?0.7499 C/ h to ?1.3548 C/ h. In addition, the bias stability for temperature variations, during the fluctuation and stability tests with FBG (or LPFG) sensors were within the range of 0.01 C/h with a 1518 h time cluster to 0.09 C/h with a 34 h time cluster. This shows that the performance of FBG or LPFG sensors is comparable with that of conventional high-resolution thermocouple sensors under rugged conditions. The strain measurement for infrastructure materials was conducted using a packaged FBG sensor bonded on the surface of an asphalt specimen under indirect tensile loading conditions. A finite element modeling (FEM) was applied to compare experimental results of indirect tensile FBG strain measurements. For a comparative analysis between experiment and simulation, the FEM numerical results agreed with those from FBG strain measurements. The results of the liquid-level sensing tests show the LPFG-based sensor could discriminate five stationary liquid-levels and exhibits at least 1,050-mm liquid-level measurement capacity. Thus, the hybrid FBG and LPFG sensors reported here could benefit the NDE development and applications for infrastructure health monitoring such as strain, temperature and liquid-level measurements. PMID:22163460

  10. 29 CFR 4022.27 - Phase-in of guarantee of unpredictable contingent event benefits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 9 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Phase-in of guarantee of unpredictable contingent event.... Reg. § 1.436-1(b)(3)(ii) (26 CFR 1.436-1(b)(3)(ii)) (i.e., the date the UCE occurs is the date of the... employees are permanently laid off. The plan terminates as of December 1, 2015. (ii) Conclusion: PBGC...

  11. Characteristics of lead(II) adsorption onto "Natural Red Earth" in simulated environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahatantila, K.; Vithanage, M. S.; Seike, Y.; Okumura, M.

    2011-12-01

    Lead is considered as a non-biodegradable and potentially toxic heavy metal and it is found as a common environmental pollutant. Adsorption characteristics of Pb(II) onto natural iron and aluminum coated sand, which is called Natural Red Earth (NRE), have been studied to ascertain the effect of pH, ionic strength, initial sorbate concentrations, temperature and time. Lead(II) adsorption achieved its maximum adsorption of nearly 100% at neutral to slightly acidic conditions. The optimum pH was nearly 5.5 and 6.5 for 2.41 and 24.1 ?mol/L initial Pb(II) concentrations, respectively. Lead(II) adsorption was independent of 100 fold variation of ionic strength (0.001 - 0.1), indirectly evidencing dominance of an inner-sphere surface complexation mechanism for 10 fold variation of initial Pb(II) concentrations (2.41 and 24.1 ?mol/L). Adsorption edges were quantified with a 2pK generalized diffuse double layer model considering two site types, >FeOH and >AlOH, for Pb(II) binding. The modeling results better fit with the mixture of monodentate and bidentated binding of Pb(II) onto >FeOH site and bidentate binding of Pb(II) onto >AlOH site. The intrinsic constants obtained were log KFeOPb=13.93, log K(FeO)2Pb=11.88 and log K(AlO)2Pb=13.21. Time required to reach the equilibrium was also increase from 15 min to 1hr with increasing Pb(II) concentrations from 2.41 to 24.1 ?mol/L. Kinetic data fitted better to pseudo second order kinetic model. Lead(II) adsorption onto NRE was better explained by Two-site Langmuir isotherm with sorption maximum of 1.39x10-2 and 2.30x10-3 mol/kg for two sites with different affinities. Negative Gibbs free energy values indicated spontaneity of Pb(II) adsorption onto NRE, and entropy and enthalpy of adsorption were 124.04 J/K mol and 17.71 KJ/mol, respectively. These results suggested that the NRE could be effectively used as a low cost candidate for removal of Pb(II) from environmental water, since use of low cost materials to treat contaminated water is of importance for the developing world.

  12. Environmental Exposure Conditions for Teflon FEP on the Hubble Space Telescope Investigated

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dever, Joyce A.; deGroh, Kim K.; Banks, Bruce A.; Townsend, Jacqueline a.; Barth, Janet L.; Thomson, Shaun; Gregory, Teri; Savage, William J.

    2000-01-01

    The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was launched into low Earth orbit on April 24,1990. During the first servicing mission in December 1993 (3.6 years after launch), multilayer insulation (MLI) blankets were retrieved from the two magnetic sensing systems located on the light shield. Retrieval of one of the solar arrays during this mission also provided MLI blanket material from the solar array drive arm. These MLI materials were analyzed in ground-based facilities, and results indicate that the space-facing outer layer of the MLI, aluminized Teflon FEP (DuPont; fluorinated ethylene propylene), was beginning to degrade. Close inspection of the FEP revealed through-the-thickness cracks in areas with the highest solar exposure and stress concentration. During the second servicing mission in February 1997 (6.8 years after launch), astronauts observed and documented severe cracking in the outer layer of the MLI blankets on both the solar-facing and anti-solar-facing surfaces. During this second mission, some material from the outer layer of the light shield MLI was retrieved and subsequently analyzed in ground-based facilities. After the second servicing mission, a Failure Review Board was convened by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to address the MLI degradation problem on HST. Members of the Electro-Physics Branch of the NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field participated on this board. To determine possible degradation mechanisms, board researchers needed to consider all environmental constituents to which the FEP MLI surfaces were exposed. On the basis of measurements, models, and predictions, environmental exposure conditions for FEP surfaces on HST were estimated for various time periods from launch in 1990 through 2010, the planned end-of-life for HST. The table summarizes these data including the number and temperature ranges of thermal cycles; equivalent Sun hours; fluence and absorbed radiation dose from solar event x rays; fluence and absorbed dose from solar wind protons and electrons trapped in Earth s magnetic field; fluence of plasma electrons and protons; and atomic oxygen fluence.

  13. Morphology of biogenic iron oxides records microbial physiology and environmental conditions: toward interpreting iron microfossils.

    PubMed

    Krepski, S T; Emerson, D; Hredzak-Showalter, P L; Luther, G W; Chan, C S

    2013-09-01

    Despite the abundance of Fe and its significance in Earth history, there are no established robust biosignatures for Fe(II)-oxidizing micro-organisms. This limits our ability to piece together the history of Fe biogeochemical cycling and, in particular, to determine whether Fe(II)-oxidizers played a role in depositing ancient iron formations. A promising candidate for Fe(II)-oxidizer biosignatures is the distinctive morphology and texture of extracellular Fe(III)-oxyhydroxide stalks produced by mat-forming microaerophilic Fe(II)-oxidizing micro-organisms. To establish the stalk morphology as a biosignature, morphologic parameters must be quantified and linked to the microaerophilic Fe(II)-oxidizing metabolism and environmental conditions. Toward this end, we studied an extant model organism, the marine stalk-forming Fe(II)-oxidizing bacterium, Mariprofundus ferrooxydans PV-1. We grew cultures in flat glass microslide chambers, with FeS substrate, creating opposing oxygen/Fe(II) concentration gradients. We used solid-state voltammetric microelectrodes to measure chemical gradients in situ while using light microscopy to image microbial growth, motility, and mineral formation. In low-oxygen (2.7-28 μm) zones of redox gradients, the bacteria converge into a narrow (100 μm-1 mm) growth band. As cells oxidize Fe(II), they deposit Fe(III)-oxyhydroxide stalks in this band; the stalks orient directionally, elongating toward higher oxygen concentrations. M. ferrooxydans stalks display a narrow range of widths and uniquely biogenic branching patterns, which result from cell division. Together with filament composition, these features (width, branching, and directional orientation) form a physical record unique to microaerophilic Fe(II)-oxidizer physiology; therefore, stalk morphology is a biosignature, as well as an indicator of local oxygen concentration at the time of formation. Observations of filamentous Fe(III)-oxyhydroxide microfossils from a ~170 Ma marine Fe-Si hydrothermal deposit show that these morphological characteristics can be preserved in the microfossil record. This study demonstrates the potential of morphological biosignatures to reveal microbiology and environmental chemistry associated with geologic iron formation depositional processes. PMID:23790206

  14. Transgene expression and Bt protein content in transgenic Bt maize (MON810) under optimal and stressful environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Trtikova, Miluse; Wikmark, Odd Gunnar; Zemp, Niklaus; Widmer, Alex; Hilbeck, Angelika

    2015-01-01

    Bt protein content in transgenic insect resistant (Bt) maize may vary between tissues within plants and between plants growing under different environmental conditions. However, it is unknown whether and how Bt protein content correlates with transgene expression, and whether this relationship is influenced by stressful environmental conditions. Two Bt maize varieties containing the same transgene cassette (MON 810) were grown under optimal and stressful conditions. Before and during stress exposure, the upper leaves were analysed for transgene expression using quantitative RT-PCR and for Bt content using ELISA. Under optimal conditions there was no significant difference in the transgene expression between the two investigated Bt maize varieties whereas Bt protein content differed significantly. Transgene expression was correlated with Bt protein content in only one of the varieties. Under stressful environmental conditions we found similar transgene expressions as under optimal conditions but Bt content responded differently. These results suggest that Bt content is not only controlled by the transgene expression but is also dependent on the genetic background of the maize variety. Under stressful conditions the concentration of Bt protein is even more difficult to predict. PMID:25853814

  15. Growth conditions and environmental factors impact aerosolization but not virulence of Francisella tularensis infection in mice

    PubMed Central

    Faith, Seth A.; Smith, Le'Kneitah P.; Swatland, Angela S.; Reed, Douglas S.

    2012-01-01

    In refining methodology to develop a mouse model for inhalation of Francisella tularensis, it was noted that both relative humidity and growth media impacted the aerosol concentration of the live vaccine strain (LVS) of F. tularensis. A relative humidity of less than 55% had a negative impact on the spray factor, the ratio between the concentration of LVS in the aerosol and the nebulizer. The spray factor was significantly higher for LVS grown in brain heart infusion (BHI) broth than LVS grown in Mueller–Hinton broth (MHb) or Chamberlain's chemically defined medium (CCDM). The variability between aerosol exposures was also considerably less with BHI. LVS grown in BHI survived desiccation far longer than MHb-grown or CCDM-grown LVS (~70% at 20 min for BHI compared to <50% for MHb and CCDM). Removal of the capsule by hypertonic treatment impacted the spray factor for CCDM-grown LVS or MHb-grown LVS but not BHI-grown LVS, suggesting the choice of culture media altered the adherence of the capsule to the cell membrane. The choice of growth media did not impact the LD50 of LVS but the LD99 of BHI-grown LVS was 1 log lower than that for MHb-grown LVS or CCDM-grown LVS. Splenomegaly was prominent in mice that succumbed to MHb- and BHI-grown LVS but not CCDM-grown LVS. Environmental factors and growth conditions should be evaluated when developing new animal models for aerosol infection, particularly for vegetative bacterial pathogens. PMID:23087911

  16. Degradation kinetics of a potent antifouling agent, butenolide, under various environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lianguo; Xu, Ying; Wang, Wenxiong; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Here, we investigated the degradation kinetics of butenolide, a promising antifouling compound, under various environmental conditions. The active ingredient of the commercial antifoulant SeaNine 211, 4,5-dichloro-2-n-octyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one (DCOIT), was used as positive control. The results showed that the degradation rate increased with increasing temperature. Half-lives of butenolide at 4 °C, 25 °C and 40 °C were>64 d, 30.5 d and 3.9 d, respectively. Similar half-lives were recorded for DCOIT: >64 d at 4 °C, 27.9 d at 25 °C and 4.5d at 40 °C. Exposure to sunlight accelerated the degradation of both butenolide and DCOIT. The photolysis half-lives of butenolide and DCOIT were 5.7 d and 6.8 d, respectively, compared with 9.7 d and 14.4 d for the dark control. Biodegradation led to the fastest rate of butenolide removal from natural seawater, with a half-life of 0.5 d, while no obvious degradation was observed for DCOIT after incubation for 4 d. The biodegradative ability of natural seawater for butenolide was attributed mainly to marine bacteria. During the degradation of butenolide and DCOIT, a gradual decrease in antifouling activity was observed, as indicated by the increased settlement percentage of cypris larvae from barnacle Balanus amphitrite. Besides, increased cell growth of marine diatom Skeletonema costatum demonstrated that the toxicity of seawater decreased gradually without generation of more toxic by-products. Overall, rapid degradation of butenolide in natural seawater supported its claim as a promising candidate for commercial antifouling industry. PMID:25460745

  17. Infrared Spectroscopy of Pollen Identifies Plant Species and Genus as Well as Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Zimmermann, Boris; Kohler, Achim

    2014-01-01

    Background It is imperative to have reliable and timely methodologies for analysis and monitoring of seed plants in order to determine climate-related plant processes. Moreover, impact of environment on plant fitness is predominantly based on studies of female functions, while the contribution of male gametophytes is mostly ignored due to missing data on pollen quality. We explored the use of infrared spectroscopy of pollen for an inexpensive and rapid characterization of plants. Methodology The study was based on measurement of pollen samples by two Fourier transform infrared techniques: single reflectance attenuated total reflectance and transmission measurement of sample pellets. The experimental set, with a total of 813 samples, included five pollination seasons and 300 different plant species belonging to all principal spermatophyte clades (conifers, monocotyledons, eudicots, and magnoliids). Results The spectroscopic-based methodology enables detection of phylogenetic variations, including the separation of confamiliar and congeneric species. Furthermore, the methodology enables measurement of phenotypic plasticity by the detection of inter-annual variations within the populations. The spectral differences related to environment and taxonomy are interpreted biochemically, specifically variations of pollen lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and sporopollenins. The study shows large variations of absolute content of nutrients for congenital species pollinating in the same environmental conditions. Moreover, clear correlation between carbohydrate-to-protein ratio and pollination strategy has been detected. Infrared spectral database with respect to biochemical variation among the range of species, climate and biogeography will significantly improve comprehension of plant-environment interactions, including impact of global climate change on plant communities. PMID:24748390

  18. Concrete Durability in Harsh Environmental Conditions Exposed to Freeze Thaw Cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamze, Youssef

    Under line Pathology of Materials; one of the environmental causes of damage effects on concrete is freeze thaw cycles, which deteriorate the concrete exposed to water in cold weather. An example of old concrete is a dam project that was built in Canada, in the early 1909-1913. This project was reconstructed in 1932, 1934 and 1972, and required renovation due to the ice abrasion with the freeze/thaw cycles. Before completing any renovation, it is required to analyze the structural stability and the concrete failures of this dam. An investigation was conducted to determine the quality of the concrete in the Piers and in the Bridge Deck Slab. It was also required to determine the basic materials' properties that constitute this project. This will improve the analysis of its stability [10]. Core samples were examined and used as test samples, for the Alkali-Silica reactivity test samples, as well as the compressive strength test, the Chloride Ion test, and the freeze thaw testing which was performed on two sets of 12 concrete core samples that were taken from different locations in the project. These locations are the representations of the age of the concrete. Thus, the age difference between the samples' two sets is four decades. Testing was performed on prisms cut from cores. ASTM C-666 procedure (A) was applied using an automatic test system [6]. It was suggested that a plan for renovation of this project should be performed after the analysis is undertaken to assess the conditions estimating the remaining life of the concrete in this project [15].

  19. Quantification of vapor intrusion pathways into a slab-on-ground building under varying environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Bradley M; Davis, Greg B

    2009-02-01

    Potential hydrocarbon-vapor intrusion pathways into a building through a concrete slab-on-ground were investigated and quantified under a variety of environmental conditions to elucidate the potential mechanisms for indoor air contamination. Vapor discharge from the uncovered open ground soil adjacent to the building and subsequent advection into the building was unlikely due to the low soil-gas concentrations at the edge of the building as a result of aerobic biodegradation of hydrocarbon vapors. When the building's interior was under ambient pressure, a flux of vapors into the building due to molecular diffusion of vapors through the building's concrete slab (cyclohexane 11 and methylcyclohexane 31 mg m(-2) concrete slab day(-1)) and short-term (up to 8 h) cyclical pressure-driven advection of vapors through an artificial crack (cyclohexane 4.2 x 10(3) and methylcyclohexane 1.2 x 10(4) mg m(-2) cracks day(-1)) was observed. The average subslab vapor concentration under the center of the building was 25,000 microg L(-1). Based on the measured building's interiorvapor concentrations and the building's air exchange rate of 0.66 h(-1), diffusion of vapors through the concrete slab was the dominantvapor intrusion pathway and cyclical pressure exchanges resulted in a near zero advective flux. When the building's interior was under a reduced pressure (-12 Pa), advective transport through cracks or gaps in the concrete slab (cyclohexane 340 and methylcyclohexane 1100 mg m(-2) cracks day(-1)) was the dominant vapor intrusion pathway. PMID:19244997

  20. Spatial structuring of an evolving life-history strategy under altered environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Hegg, Jens C; Kennedy, Brian P; Chittaro, Paul M; Zabel, Richard W

    2013-08-01

    Human disturbances to ecosystems have created challenges to populations worldwide, forcing them to respond phenotypically in ways that increase their fitness under current conditions. One approach to examining population responses to disturbance in species with complex life histories is to study species that exhibit spatial patterns in their phenotypic response across populations or demes. In this study, we investigate a threatened population of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Snake River of Idaho, in which a significant fraction of the juvenile population have been shown to exhibit a yearling out-migration strategy which had not previously been thought to exist. It has been suggested that dam-related environmental changes may have altered the selective pressures experienced by out-migrating fall chinook, driving evolution of a later and more selectively advantageous migration strategy. Using isotopic analysis of otoliths from returning adult spawners, we reconstructed the locations of individual fish at three major juvenile life stages to determine if the representation of the yearling life history was geographically structured within the population. We reconstructed juvenile locations for natal, rearing and overwintering life stages in each of the major spawning areas in the basin. Our results indicate that the yearling life-history strategy is predominantly represented within one of the main spawning regions, the Clearwater River, rather than being distributed throughout the basin. Previous studies have shown the Clearwater River to have cooler temperatures, later hatch dates, and later outmigration of juveniles, indicating a link between environment and expression of the yearling life history. Our data suggest that this new yearling life history may be disproportionally represented in returning adult spawners, indicating selection for this life history within the population. PMID:23423520

  1. Ultrastructure of potato tubers formed in microgravity under controlled environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Cook, Martha E; Croxdale, Judith G

    2003-09-01

    Previous spaceflight reports attribute changes in plant ultrastructure to microgravity, but it was thought that the changes might result from growth in uncontrolled environments during spaceflight. To test this possibility, potato explants were examined (a leaf, axillary bud, and small stem segment) grown in the ASTROCULTURETM plant growth unit, which provided a controlled environment. During the 16 d flight of space shuttle Columbia (STS-73), the axillary bud of each explant developed into a mature tuber. Upon return to Earth, tuber slices were examined by transmission electron microscopy. Results showed that the cell ultrastructure of flight-grown tubers could not be distinguished from that of tuber cells grown in the same growth unit on the ground. No differences were observed in cellular features such as protein crystals, plastids with starch grains, mitochondria, rough ER, or plasmodesmata. Cell wall structure, including underlying microtubules, was typical of ground-grown plants. Because cell walls of tubers formed in space were not required to provide support against the force due to gravity, it was hypothesized that these walls might exhibit differences in wall components as compared with walls formed in Earth-grown tubers. Wall components were immunolocalized at the TEM level using monoclonal antibodies JIM 5 and JIM 7, which recognize epitopes of pectins, molecules thought to contribute to wall rigidity and cell adhesion. No difference in presence, abundance or distribution of these pectin epitopes was seen between space- and Earth-grown tubers. This evidence indicates that for the parameters studied, microgravity does not affect the cellular structure of plants grown under controlled environmental conditions. PMID:12867548

  2. Relations between introduced fish and environmental conditions at large geographic scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meador, M.R.; Brown, L.R.; Short, T.

    2003-01-01

    Data collected from 20 major river basins between 1993 and 1995 as part of the US Geological Survey's (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program were analyzed to assess patterns in introduced and native fish species richness and abundance relative to watershed characteristics and stream physicochemistry. Sites (N = 157) were divided into three regions-northeast, southeast, and west- to account for major longitudinal differences in precipitation/runoff and latitudinal limits of glaciation that affect zoogeographic patterns in fish communities. Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were the most frequently collected introduced fish species across all river basins combined. Based on the percentage of introduced fish species, the fish communities most altered by the presence of introduced fish occurred in the western and northeastern parts of the US. Native fish species richness was not an indicator of introduced fish species richness for any of the three regions. However, in the west, introduced fish species richness was an indicator of total fish species richness and the abundance of introduced fish was negatively related to native fish species richness. Some relations between introduced fish species and environmental conditions were common between regions. Increased introduced fish species richness was related to increased population density in the northeast and southeast; increased total nitrogen in the northeast and west; and increased total phosphorous and water temperature in the southeast and west. These results suggest that introduced fish species tend to be associated with disturbance at large geographic scales, though specific relations may vary regionally. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Biodegradation of chemicals in a standardized test and in environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Ahtiainen, Jukka; Aalto, Miia; Pessala, Piia

    2003-05-01

    The estimation of biodegradation rates is an important source of uncertainty in chemical risk assessment. The existing OECD tests for ready biodegradability have been developed to devise screening methods to determine whether a chemical is potentially easily biodegradable, rather than to predict the actual rate, of biodegradation in the environment. However, risk assessment needs degradation rates. In practice these rates are often estimated (default values) from ready biodegradability tests. These tests have many compromising arbitrary features compared to the situation in the real environment. One important difference is the concentration of the chemical. In wastewater treatment or in the environment many chemicals are present at ng l(-1) to microg l(-1) levels whereas in the tests the concentrations exceed 10-400 mg carbon per litre. These different concentrations of the chemical will lead to different growth kinetics and hence different biodegradation rates. At high concentrations the chemical, if it is degradable, can serve as a primary substrate and competent microorganisms will grow exponentially, resulting in a sigmoid biodegradation curve. At low environmental concentrations the chemical does not serve as a primary substrate, and therefore does not support significant growth of the degraders, and the substrate has a linear biodegradation rate. In this study the biodegradation rates of two reference chemicals, aniline and 4-chloroaniline, were compared in a standard method and in more realistic conditions at low concentrations, using 14C-labelled substances and different sources of inocula. Biomass evolution during the tests was monitored by adenosine triphosphate measurement and also on the basis of the residual 14C-activity in the particulate matter. The results partly support the thesis that low concentrations lead to different biodegradation kinetics compared to the concentrations used in the standard tests. Furthermore the biodegradation rates of the chemicals studied, particularly of 4-chloroaniline, in Finnish natural waters appeared to be lower than those reported in some other countries. PMID:12615106

  4. Amoxicillin-degradation products formed under controlled environmental conditions: identification and determination in the aquatic environment.

    PubMed

    Gozlan, Igal; Rotstein, Adi; Avisar, Dror

    2013-05-01

    Amoxicillin (AMX) is a widely used penicillin-type antibiotic whose presence in the environment has been widely investigated, despite its rapid hydrolysis to various degradation products (DPs). In this work, the formation of AMX DPs was studied in various aqueous solutions containing 100μgmL(-1) AMX. Three phosphate buffer solutions, at pH 5, pH 7 and pH 8, and a fourth buffer solution at pH 7 with the addition of the bivalent ions Mg(2+)and Ca(2) as chelating agents, were examined under controlled environmental conditions. In addition, two solutions from natural sources were examined secondary effluents and tap water. The obtained DPs were identified by their MS/MS, UV and NMR spectra (obtained from pure compounds isolated by preparative HPLC) as: AMX penicilloic acid (ADP1/2), AMX penilloic acid (ADP4/5) and phenol hydroxypyrazine (ADP6). Two additional detected DPs AMX 2',5'-diketopiperazine (ADP8/9), and AMX-S-oxide (ADP3) were reported and discussed in our previous publications. These DPs were then detected in secondary effluent and groundwater from a well located beneath agricultural fields continuously irrigated with secondary effluent. Concentrations in the secondary effluent were: ADP1/2, several micrograms per liter; ADP4/5, 0.15μgL(-1), and ADP8/9, 0.5μgL(-1). ADP6 were detected but not quantified. In the groundwater, only ADP8/9 was detected, at a concentration of 0.03μgL(-1). The detection and quantification of DPs of other investigated drugs is recommended as an integral part of any study, method or technique dealing with pharmaceutical residues in aquatic environments. PMID:23466086

  5. Ultrastructure of potato tubers formed in microgravity under controlled environmental conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, Martha E.; Croxdale, Judith G.; Tibbitts, T. W. (Principal Investigator)

    2003-01-01

    Previous spaceflight reports attribute changes in plant ultrastructure to microgravity, but it was thought that the changes might result from growth in uncontrolled environments during spaceflight. To test this possibility, potato explants were examined (a leaf, axillary bud, and small stem segment) grown in the ASTROCULTURETM plant growth unit, which provided a controlled environment. During the 16 d flight of space shuttle Columbia (STS-73), the axillary bud of each explant developed into a mature tuber. Upon return to Earth, tuber slices were examined by transmission electron microscopy. Results showed that the cell ultrastructure of flight-grown tubers could not be distinguished from that of tuber cells grown in the same growth unit on the ground. No differences were observed in cellular features such as protein crystals, plastids with starch grains, mitochondria, rough ER, or plasmodesmata. Cell wall structure, including underlying microtubules, was typical of ground-grown plants. Because cell walls of tubers formed in space were not required to provide support against the force due to gravity, it was hypothesized that these walls might exhibit differences in wall components as compared with walls formed in Earth-grown tubers. Wall components were immunolocalized at the TEM level using monoclonal antibodies JIM 5 and JIM 7, which recognize epitopes of pectins, molecules thought to contribute to wall rigidity and cell adhesion. No difference in presence, abundance or distribution of these pectin epitopes was seen between space- and Earth-grown tubers. This evidence indicates that for the parameters studied, microgravity does not affect the cellular structure of plants grown under controlled environmental conditions.

  6. Weeks Island brine diffuser site study: baseline conditions and environmental assessment technical report

    SciTech Connect

    1980-12-12

    This technical report presents the results of a study conducted at two alternative brine diffuser sites (A and B) proposed for the Weeks Island salt dome, together with an analysis of the potential physical, chemical, and biological effects of brine disposal for this area of the Gulf of Mexico. Brine would result from either the leaching of salt domes to form or enlarge oil storage caverns, or the subsequent use of these caverns for crude oil storage in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) program. Brine leached from the Weeks Island salt dome would be transported through a pipeline which would extend from the salt dome either 27 nautical miles (32 statute miles) for Site A, or 41 nautical miles (47 statute miles) for Site B, into Gulf waters. The brine would be discharged at these sites through an offshore diffuser at a sustained peak rate of 39 ft/sup 3//sec. The disposal of large quantities of brine in the Gulf could have a significant impact on the biology and water quality of the area. Physical and chemical measurements of the marine environment at Sites A and B were taken between September 1977 and July 1978 to correlate the existing environmental conditions with the estimated physical extent of tthe brine discharge as predicted by the MIT model (US Dept. of Commerce, 1977a). Measurements of wind, tide, waves, currents, and stratification (water column structure) were also obtained since the diffusion and dispersion of the brine plume are a function of the local circulation regime. These data were used to calculate both near- and far-field concentrations of brine, and may also be used in the design criteria for diffuser port configuration and verification of the plume model. Biological samples were taken to characterize the sites and to predict potential areas of impact with regard to the discharge. This sampling focused on benthic organisms and demersal fish. (DMC)

  7. Cold-water coral growth under extreme environmental conditions, the Cape Lookout area, NW Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mienis, F.; Duineveld, G.; Davies, A. J.; Lavaleye, M. J. N.; Ross, S. W.; Seim, H.; Bane, J.; van Haren, H.; Bergman, M.; de Haas, H.; Brooke, S.; van Weering, T.

    2013-12-01

    The Cape Lookout cold-water coral area off the coast of North Carolina forms the shallowest and northernmost cold-water coral mound area on the Blake Plateau in the NW Atlantic. Cold-water coral habitats near Cape Lookout are occasionally bathed in the Gulf Stream, which is characterised by oligotrophic warm water and strong surface currents. Here, we present the first insights into the mound distribution and morphology, sedimentary environment and coral cover and near-bed environmental conditions as recorded by bottom landers from this coral area. The mounds occur between 320-550 m water depth and are characterised by high acoustic backscatter indicating the presence of hard structure. Three distinct mound morphologies were observed, (1) a mound with a flattened top at 320 m, (2) multi-summited mounds with a tear drop shape in the middle part of the area and (3) a single mound at 540 m water depth. Echosounder profiles show the presence of a strong reflector underneath all mound structures that forms the base of the mounds. This reflector cropped out at the downstream side of the single mound and consists of carbonate slabs. Video analysis revealed that all mounds are covered by Lophelia pertusa and that living colonies only occur close to the summits of the SSW side of the mounds, which is the side that faces the strongest currents. Off mound areas were characterised by low backscatter and sediment ripples, indicating the presence of relatively strong bottom currents. Two bottom landers were deployed amidst the coral mounds between December 2009 and May 2010. Both landers recorded prominent features near the seabed as well as in the overlying water column. The period between December and April was characterised by several events of increasing temperature and salinity, coinciding with increased flow and near-bed acoustic backscatter. During these events temperature fluctuated by up to 9 C within a day, which is the largest temperature variability as measured so far in a cold-water coral habitat. Warm events, related to Gulf Stream meanders, had the duration of roughly one week and the current during these events was directed to the NNE. The consequences of such events must be significant given the strong effects of temperature on the metabolism of cold-water corals. Furthermore, elevated acoustic backscatter values and high mass fluxes were also recorded during these events, indicating a second stressor that may affect the corals. The abrasive nature of sand in combination with strong currents might sand blast the corals. We conclude that cold-water corals near Cape Lookout live under extreme conditions that limit mound growth at present.

  8. Effectiveness Analysis of Filters Used with Radon Detectors under Extreme Environmental Conditions for Long-term Exposures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, V.; Font, Ll.; Baixeras, C.; Garcia-Orellana, J.; Bach, J.; Grossi, C.; Vargas, A.

    Active and passive radon detectors have been exposed with different filter configurations at the INTE radon chamber controlled conditions. Correction factors and delay times of the radon diffusion through each filter have been determined. Additionally, some of the studied filter/detector configurations have been used to measure radon in several workplaces and outdoor sites under real extreme environmental conditions. Analysis of these detectors showed partial degradation, so used filters seem not to be protective enough for long-term exposures.

  9. Fine-scale spatial variation in plant species richness and its relationship to environmental conditions in coastal marshlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mancera, J.E.; Meche, G.C.; Cardona-Olarte, P.P.; Castaneda-Moya, E.; Chiasson, R.L.; Geddes, N.A.; Schile, L.M.; Wang, H.G.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Grace, J.B.

    2005-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that variations in environmental conditions play a major role in explaining variations in plant species richness at community and landscape scales. In this study, we considered the degree to which fine-scale spatial variations in richness could be related to fine-scale variations in abiotic and biotic factors. To examine spatial variation in richness, grids of 1 m(2) plots were laid out at five sites within a coastal riverine wetland landscape. At each site, a 5 x 7 array of plots was established adjacent to the river's edge with plots one meter apart. In addition to the estimation of species richness, environmental measurements included sediment salinity, plot microelevation, percent of plot recently disturbed, and estimated community biomass. Our analysis strategy was to combine the use of structural equation modeling (path modeling) with an assessment of spatial association. Mantel's tests revealed significant spatial autocorrelation in species richness at four of the five sites sampled, indicating that richness in a plot correlated with the richness of nearby plots. We subsequently considered the degree to which spatial autocorrelations in richness could be explained by spatial autocorrelations in environmental conditions. Once data were corrected for environmental correlations, spatial autocorrelation in residual species richness could not be detected at any site. Based on these results, we conclude that in this coastal wetland, there appears to be a fine-scale mapping of diversity to microgradients in environmental conditions.

  10. Variation in gene expression of Andropogon gerardii in response to altered environmental conditions associated with climate change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ecological consequences of changes in environmental conditions associated with global climate change will depend in part on how organisms respond to those shifts at the individual level. Currently our understanding of genetic responses of plants to alterations in precipitation and temperature as...

  11. Seeking Balance: The Importance of Environmental Conditions in Men and Women Faculty's Well-Being

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCoy, Shannon K.; Newell, Ellen E.; Gardner, Susan K.

    2013-01-01

    Faculty retention is of increasing importance in the current economic climate. We examined the role of an institution's environmental conditions (e.g., climate, collegiality, and administration) in faculty well-being (i.e., job satisfaction, intent to leave, emotional and physical health). Women reported significantly lower well-being and a…

  12. 75 FR 47881 - Fifty-Sixth Meeting, RTCA Special Committee 135: Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-09

    ... and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department... Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment meeting. SUMMARY: The FAA is issuing this notice to advise the.../SC135-678). Review/Approval Revised DO-160F--Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for...

  13. GCM Simulations of Neoproterozoic "Snowball Earth" Conditions: Implications for the Environmental Limits on Terrestrial Metazoans and Their Extraterrestrial Analogues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sohl, L. E.; Chandler, M. A.

    2001-01-01

    The Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth intervals provide excellent opportunities to examine the environmental limits on terrestrial metazoans. A series of GCM simulations was run in order to quantify climatic conditions during these intervals. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  14. Alternative splicing and nonsense-mediated decay of circadian clock genes under environmental stress conditions in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The circadian clock enables living organisms to anticipate recurring daily and seasonal fluctuations in their growth habitats and synchronize their biology to the environmental cycle. The plant circadian clock consists of multiple transcription-translation feedback loops that are entrained by environmental signals, such as light and temperature. In recent years, alternative splicing emerges as an important molecular mechanism that modulates the clock function in plants. Several clock genes are known to undergo alternative splicing in response to changes in environmental conditions, suggesting that the clock function is intimately associated with environmental responses via the alternative splicing of the clock genes. However, the alternative splicing events of the clock genes have not been studied at the molecular level. Results We systematically examined whether major clock genes undergo alternative splicing under various environmental conditions in Arabidopsis. We also investigated the fates of the RNA splice variants of the clock genes. It was found that the clock genes, including EARLY FLOWERING 3 (ELF3) and ZEITLUPE (ZTL) that have not been studied in terms of alternative splicing, undergo extensive alternative splicing through diverse modes of splicing events, such as intron retention, exon skipping, and selection of alternative 5′ splice site. Their alternative splicing patterns were differentially influenced by changes in photoperiod, temperature extremes, and salt stress. Notably, the RNA splice variants of TIMING OF CAB EXPRESSION 1 (TOC1) and ELF3 were degraded through the nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) pathway, whereas those of other clock genes were insensitive to NMD. Conclusion Taken together, our observations demonstrate that the major clock genes examined undergo extensive alternative splicing under various environmental conditions, suggesting that alternative splicing is a molecular scheme that underlies the linkage between the clock and environmental stress adaptation in plants. It is also envisioned that alternative splicing of the clock genes plays more complex roles than previously expected. PMID:24885185

  15. Developmental programming: cumulative effects of increased pre-hatching corticosterone levels and post-hatching unpredictable food availability on physiology and behaviour in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Zimmer, Cédric; Boogert, Neeltje J; Spencer, Karen A

    2013-08-01

    Prolonged exposure to stress during development can have long-term detrimental effects on health and wellbeing. However, the environmental matching hypothesis proposes that developmental stress programs physiology and behaviour in an adaptive way that can enhance fitness if early environments match those experienced later in life. Most research has focused on the harmful effects that stress during a single period in early life may exert in adulthood. In this study, we tested the potential additive and beneficial effects that stress experienced during both pre- and post-hatching development may have on adult physiology and behaviour. Japanese quail experienced different stress-related treatments across two developmental life stages: pre-hatching corticosterone (CORT) injection, post-hatching unpredictable food availability, both pre- and post-hatching treatments, or control. In adulthood, we determined quails' acute stress response, neophobia and novel environment exploration. The pre-hatching CORT treatment resulted in attenuated physiological responses to an acute stressor, increased activity levels and exploration in a novel environment. Post-hatching unpredictable food availability decreased adults' latency to feed. Furthermore, there were cumulative effects of these treatments across the two developmental stages: quail subjected to both pre- and post-hatching treatments were the most explorative and risk-taking of all treatment groups. Such responses to novel environments could enhance survival in unpredictable environments in later life. Our data also suggest that these behavioural responses may have been mediated by long-term physiological programming of the adrenocortical stress response, creating phenotypes that could exhibit fitness-enhancing behaviours in a changing environment. PMID:23891687

  16. Achieving compliance with environmental health-related land use planning conditions in Hong Kong: perspectives from traditional motivation theories.

    PubMed

    Man, Rita Li Yi

    2009-11-01

    Environmental health-related land use planning conditions can enhance the environment in Hong Kong. Previous research by others has shown, however, that a lack of compliance with planning conditions often occurs. And as no direct enforcement of planning conditions exists in Hong Kong, it is of interest to understand possible ways in which to increase the motivation of land developers and property owners to comply with planning conditions. The author looked at motivation from the perspective of three traditional motivation theories: Theory X, Theory Y, and incentive theory. While the majority of this article focuses on the enforcement and the legal tests in land use planning conditions, it also presents the results of the first study of the motivations behind Hong Kong land developers to comply with land use planning conditions. PMID:19908435

  17. Fat or lean: adjustment of endogenous energy stores to predictable and unpredictable changes in allostatic load

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schultner, Jannik; Kitaysky, Alexander S.; Welcker, Jorg; Hatch, Scott

    2013-01-01

    6. Overall, results of this study support the ‘lean and fit’ hypothesis. We conclude that increased energy stores may not necessarily reflect better environmental conditions experienced by individuals or predict their higher fitness. A major advantage of adopting a lean physique when environmental conditions allow may be the avoidance of additional energetic costs for moving a heavy body. In breeding seabirds, this advantage may be more important during chick-rearing. In the focal species, the secretion of glucocorticoids might be involved in regulation of energy stores within a life history stage but does not appear to mediate an adaptive shift in energy stores between the incubating and chick-rearing stages of reproduction.

  18. Sensitive and selective culture medium for detection of environmental Clostridium difficile isolates without requirement for anaerobic culture conditions.

    PubMed

    Cadnum, Jennifer L; Hurless, Kelly N; Deshpande, Abhishek; Nerandzic, Michelle M; Kundrapu, Sirisha; Donskey, Curtis J

    2014-09-01

    Effective and easy-to-use methods for detecting Clostridium difficile spore contamination would be useful for identifying environmental reservoirs and monitoring the effectiveness of room disinfection. Culture-based detection methods are sensitive for detecting C. difficile, but their utility is limited due to the requirement of anaerobic culture conditions and microbiological expertise. We developed a low-cost selective broth medium containing thioglycolic acid and l-cystine, termed C. difficile brucella broth with thioglycolic acid and l-cystine (CDBB-TC), for the detection of C. difficile from environmental specimens under aerobic culture conditions. The sensitivity and specificity of CDBB-TC (under aerobic culture conditions) were compared to those of CDBB (under anaerobic culture conditions) for the recovery of C. difficile from swabs collected from hospital room surfaces. CDBB-TC was significantly more sensitive than CDBB for recovering environmental C. difficile (36/41 [88%] versus 21/41 [51%], respectively; P = 0.006). C. difficile latex agglutination, an enzyme immunoassay for toxins A and B or glutamate dehydrogenase, and a PCR for toxin B genes were all effective as confirmatory tests. For 477 total environmental cultures, the specificity of CDBB-TC versus that of CDBB based upon false-positive yellow-color development of the medium without recovery of C. difficile was 100% (0 false-positive results) versus 96% (18 false-positive results), respectively. False-positive cultures for CDBB were attributable to the growth of anaerobic non-C. difficile organisms that did not grow in CDBB-TC. Our results suggest that CDBB-TC provides a sensitive and selective medium for the recovery of C. difficile organisms from environmental samples, without the need for anaerobic culture conditions. PMID:24958803

  19. Fatigue Crack Growth Analysis Under Spectrum Loading in Various Environmental Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikheevskiy, S.; Glinka, G.; Lee, E.

    2013-03-01

    The fatigue process consists, from the engineering point of view, of three stages: crack initiation, fatigue crack growth, and the final failure. It is also known that the fatigue process near notches and cracks is governed by local strains and stresses in the regions of maximum stress and strain concentrations. Therefore, the fatigue crack growth can be considered as a process of successive crack increments, and the fatigue crack initiation and subsequent growth can be modeled as one repetitive process. The assumptions mentioned above were used to derive a fatigue crack growth model based, called later as the UniGrow model, on the analysis of cyclic elastic-plastic stresses-strains near the crack tip. The fatigue crack growth rate was determined by simulating the cyclic stress-strain response in the material volume adjacent to the crack tip and calculating the accumulated fatigue damage in a manner similar to fatigue analysis of stationary notches. The fatigue crack growth driving force was derived on the basis of the stress and strain history at the crack tip and the Smith-Watson-Topper (SWT) fatigue damage parameter, D = ?max??/2. It was subsequently found that the fatigue crack growth was controlled by a two-parameter driving force in the form of a weighted product of the stress intensity range and the maximum stress intensity factor, ? K p K {max/1- p }. The effect of the internal (residual) stress induced by the reversed cyclic plasticity has been accounted for and therefore the two-parameter driving force made it possible to predict the effect of the mean stress including the influence of the applied compressive stress, tensile overloads, and variable amplitude spectrum loading. It allows estimating the fatigue life under variable amplitude loading without using crack closure concepts. Several experimental fatigue crack growth datasets obtained for the Al 7075 aluminum alloy were used for the verification of the proposed unified fatigue crack growth model. The method can be also used to predict fatigue crack growth under constant amplitude and spectrum loading in various environmental conditions such as vacuum, air, and corrosive environment providing that appropriate limited constant amplitude fatigue crack growth data obtained in the same environment are available. The proposed methodology is equally suitable for fatigue analysis of smooth, notched, and cracked components.

  20. 33 CFR 148.710 - What environmental conditions must be satisfied?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... serves the national interest. (c) In accordance with 40 CFR 1502.9, the Commandant (CG-5) will prepare a..., environmental quality, protection from the threat of terrorist attack and other subversive activity...

  1. 33 CFR 148.710 - What environmental conditions must be satisfied?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... deepwater port for oil clearly best serves the national interest. (c) In accordance with 40 CFR 1502.9, the..., environmental quality, protection from the threat of terrorist attack and other subversive activity...

  2. 33 CFR 148.710 - What environmental conditions must be satisfied?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... deepwater port for oil clearly best serves the national interest. (c) In accordance with 40 CFR 1502.9, the..., environmental quality, protection from the threat of terrorist attack and other subversive activity...

  3. THE ROLE OF INDIVIDUAL VARIABILITY IN POPULATION DYNAMICS UNDER CHANGING ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental variability can influence species distributions through changes in
    survival, fecundity, behavior, and metabolic activities. As worldwide coastal populations rise, the associated deforestation and development can increase both quantities and variability in runoff...

  4. Variation in early-life telomere dynamics in a long-lived bird: links to environmental conditions and survival

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Hannah; Bolton, Mark; Monaghan, Pat

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Conditions experienced during early life can have profound consequences for both short- and long-term fitness. Variation in the natal environment has been shown to influence survival and reproductive performance of entire cohorts in wild vertebrate populations. Telomere dynamics potentially provide a link between the early environment and long-term fitness outcomes, yet we know little about how the environment can influence telomere dynamics in early life. We found that environmental conditions during growth have an important influence on early-life telomere length (TL) and attrition in nestlings of a long-lived bird, the European storm petrel Hydrobates pelagicus. Nestlings reared under unfavourable environmental conditions experienced significantly greater telomere loss during postnatal development compared with nestlings reared under more favourable natal conditions, which displayed a negligible change in TL. There was, however, no significant difference in pre-fledging TL between cohorts. The results suggest that early-life telomere dynamics could contribute to the marked differences in life-history traits that can arise among cohorts reared under different environmental conditions. Early-life TL was also found to be a significant predictor of survival during the nestling phase, providing further evidence for a link between variation in TL and individual fitness. To what extent the relationship between early-life TL and mortality during the nestling phase is a consequence of genetic, parental and environmental factors is currently unknown, but it is an interesting area for future research. Accelerated telomere attrition under unfavourable conditions, as observed in this study, might play a role in mediating the effects of the early-life environment on later-life performance. PMID:25617465

  5. Household Environmental Conditions Are Associated with Enteropathy and Impaired Growth in Rural Bangladesh

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Audrie; Arnold, Benjamin F.; Afreen, Sadia; Goto, Rie; Huda, Tarique Mohammad Nurul; Haque, Rashidul; Raqib, Rubhana; Unicomb, Leanne; Ahmed, Tahmeed; Colford, John M.; Luby, Stephen P.

    2013-01-01

    We assessed the relationship of fecal environmental contamination and environmental enteropathy. We compared markers of environmental enteropathy, parasite burden, and growth in 119 Bangladeshi children (≤ 48 months of age) across rural Bangladesh living in different levels of household environmental cleanliness defined by objective indicators of water quality and sanitary and hand-washing infrastructure. Adjusted for potential confounding characteristics, children from clean households had 0.54 SDs (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.06, 1.01) higher height-for-age z scores (HAZs), 0.32 SDs (95% CI = −0.72, 0.08) lower lactulose:mannitol (L:M) ratios in urine, and 0.24 SDs (95% CI = −0.63, 0.16) lower immunoglobulin G endotoxin core antibody (IgG EndoCAb) titers than children from contaminated households. After adjusting for age and sex, a 1-unit increase in the ln L:M was associated with a 0.33 SDs decrease in HAZ (95% CI = −0.62, −0.05). These results are consistent with the hypothesis that environmental contamination causes growth faltering mediated through environmental enteropathy. PMID:23629931

  6. Environmental conditions experienced during the tadpole stage alter post-metamorphic glucocorticoid response to stress in an amphibian.

    PubMed

    Crespi, Erica J; Warne, Robin W

    2013-12-01

    Exposure to adverse environmental conditions during early development can shape life-history traits and have lasting effects on physiological function in later life. Although findings within the biomedical literature have shown that environmentally induced elevations in glucocorticoids (GCs) during critical developmental windows can cause persistent carry-over effects (i.e., developmental programming), little is known about whether such effects of GCs can be generalized to wildlife species. Using wood frogs as a study species, we conducted an experiment with a split-plot design to assess the short-term and the long-term physiological consequences of availability of food, hydroperiod length (i.e., pond drying), and the interaction between these two environmental conditions. In outdoor experimental ponds, we reared tadpoles in chronically high or low-food conditions, and tadpoles from each pond experienced either high water until metamorphosis or a reduction in water volume during late developmental stages (after Gosner stage 38). After metamorphosis, animals were housed individually and fed ad libitum for 10 weeks, and growth rate, fat content, and resting and acute stress-induced GC levels were measured. We found that tadpoles experiencing low availability of food and reduced water volume had elevated GC levels, reduced mass, and body condition as they approached metamorphosis. At 10 weeks after metamorphosis, we found that these two conditions also had persistent interactive effects on post-metamorphic allocation of resources to growth, energy storage, and responsiveness of GCs to a novel stressor. Of individuals that experienced reduced water volume, only those that experienced high food as tadpoles were able to catch up to individuals that did not experience reduced water volume in terms of body mass, femur length, and body condition, and they allocated more resources to fat storage. By contrast, 10-week old frogs with low-food and that experienced low water volume and low-food levels as tadpoles allocated fewer resources to mass-specific growth, stored less fat, and exhibited blunted GC response to a novel stressor relative to those that did not experience water-reduction. Our findings demonstrate that environmental conditions experienced prior to and during important developmental transitions shape resource allocation and the ability to physiologically respond to future stressors in juvenile and potentially adult animals. These results suggest that chronic and acute environmental stressors experienced during early life stages can have cumulative and interactive effects that need to be considered when modeling the ecological and evolutionary consequences of environmental change on populations. PMID:23922274

  7. The effect of different environmental conditions on the decision-making performance of soccer goal line officials.

    PubMed

    Watkins, Samuel L; Castle, Paul; Mauger, Alexis R; Sculthorpe, Nicholas; Fitch, Natalie; Aldous, Jeffrey; Brewer, John; Midgley, Adrian W; Taylor, Lee

    2014-01-01

    Goal line officials (GLO) are exposed to extreme environmental conditions when employed to officiate in professional European soccer cup competitions. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of such environments on GLO decision-making ability. Thirteen male participants were exposed to three conditions: cold (-5°C, 50% relative humidity (RH)); temperate (18°C, 50% RH); and hot (30°C, 50% RH) for 90 min per condition, with a 15 min half-time break after 45 min. Decision-making ability was assessed throughout the 90 min exposure. Core and skin temperatures were recorded throughout. Decision making was improved during exposure to the temperate condition when compared with the cold (mean difference = 12.5%; 95% CI = 1.1%, 23.9%; P = 0.031). Regression analysis indicated that as skin temperature increases so does decision-making ability. Exposure to cold conditions diminished the decision-making ability of GLO. PMID:25295479

  8. Cerebellar metastases of recurrent phyllodes tumor breast; a rare phenomenon reflecting the unpredictable outcome.

    PubMed

    Singh, Jyotsna; Majumdar, Kaushik; Gupta, Rahul; Batra, Vineeta Vijay

    2015-01-01

    Carcinomas of lung, breast, colon, kidney, and malignant melanomas are the most common malignancies that metastasize to the central nervous system (CNS). Phyllodes tumor is a rare fibroepithelial tumor of the breast, often having unpredictable recurrences, with increasing histological grade and distant metastasis. Malignant forms exist, which may develop distant metastases usually to the lung, pleura, bone, and liver. CNS metastasis of phyllodes tumor is rare and associated with a poor prognosis, with resistance to chemotherapy and radiation. We present a rare case of cerebellar metastasis in recurrent phyllodes tumor breast with subsequent rapid downhill course. PMID:26881637

  9. Experimental study of inequality and unpredictability in an artificial cultural market.

    PubMed

    Salganik, Matthew J; Dodds, Peter Sheridan; Watts, Duncan J

    2006-02-10

    Hit songs, books, and movies are many times more successful than average, suggesting that "the best" alternatives are qualitatively different from "the rest"; yet experts routinely fail to predict which products will succeed. We investigated this paradox experimentally, by creating an artificial "music market" in which 14,341 participants downloaded previously unknown songs either with or without knowledge of previous participants' choices. Increasing the strength of social influence increased both inequality and unpredictability of success. Success was also only partly determined by quality: The best songs rarely did poorly, and the worst rarely did well, but any other result was possible. PMID:16469928

  10. Effect of potential catastrophic morality and other unpredictable events on optimal forest rotation policy

    SciTech Connect

    Routledge, R.D.

    1980-09-01

    Because standard methods for computing the optimal rotation age of a forest stand must assume complete knowledge of the stand value at any future time, a forest manager must treat his estimates of future values as if they were completely accurate. Minor, unpredictable fluctuations from year to year are assumed to somehow cancel each other out. Potential catastrophes, such as forest fires or insect plagues, are customarily ignored. An alternate method for dealing with uncertainty is presented here. This method can incorporate estimates of the likelihood of catastrophes. It is shown that catastrophic moraltiy has a potentially significant effect on the optimal rotation strategy, average profits, and land valuation.

  11. Thermo-mechanical response of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) large volumes exposed to time-dependent environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraldi, M.; Esposito, L.; Perrella, G.; Cutolo, A.

    2014-02-01

    Low thermal conductivity and elevated absorbance of large bulky volumes of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) exposed to moderately aggressive environmental conditions may cooperate to determine critical mechanical conditions, kindling unexpected high thermal stresses values which lead the material to failure. From the engineering point of view, this can be explained as the result of two concomitant phenomena which activate a cascade of events: very sharp thermal gradients engendered by transient thermal processes induced by cyclic environmental conditions, combined with significant bulk heat generation due to the high thermal inertia of massive PMMA volumes, in turn aggravating the steepness of the thermal gradients, may in fact ingenerate severe stress regimes, potentially undermining the structural stability of the material. Moving from these considerations, the present study is aimed to investigate possible rupture of PMMA blocks experiencing heating processes as a consequence of their exposure to outdoor cyclic environmental conditions. The problem is approached by means of both rigorous analytical arguments and the Finite Element based numerical methods, finally exploiting the theoretical outcomes to formulate a hypothesis which might explain the still unclear phenomenon of the sudden breaking of the PMMA structure, named Huge Wine Glass and designed by the world famous Japanese architect Toyo Ito, which occurred in Pescara (Italy) in 2009.

  12. Variety in cereal production in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages in relation to environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poništiak, Štefan; Dreslerová, Dagmar; Šefrna, Luděk; Kočár, Petr; Chuman, Tomáš

    2013-04-01

    The objective of this paper is to assess the relationship between the cereals cultivated in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages (ca. 1250 - 400 cal BC) on the territory of present day Czech Republic and their environmental settings. The representation of various charred cereal caryopses in the archaeobotanical assemblages from 35 archaeological sites differ, especially in the proportion of wheats and barley. The cereal assemblages were compared with a site altitude, weather conditions,soils and soil productivity. The most important environmental variable influencing the choice of a particular crop seem to be altitude associated with the length of growing season (afterwards the soil conditions). Although the ecological requirements of cereals cultivated in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages are not known, they presumably thrived under similar conditions to present day species/varieties and that the strategy of past crop husbandry was based on similar principles as today, e.g. the flexible adaptations to local environmental conditions in an effort to achieve optimal yields and to reduce the danger of crop failure.

  13. Long-term human response to uncertain environmental conditions in the Andes

    PubMed Central

    Dillehay, Tom D.; Kolata, Alan L.

    2004-01-01

    Human interaction with the physical environment has increasingly transformed Earth-system processes. Reciprocally, climate anomalies and other processes of environmental change of natural and anthropogenic origin have been affecting, and often disrupting, societies throughout history. Transient impact events, despite their brevity, can have significant long-term impact on society, particularly if they occur in the context of ongoing, protracted environmental change. Major climate events can affect human activities in critical conjunctures that shape particular trajectories of social development. Here we report variable human responses to major environmental events in the Andes with a particular emphasis on the period from anno Domini 500–1500 on the desert north coast of Perú. We show that preindustrial agrarian societies implemented distinct forms of anticipatory response to environmental change and uncertainty. We conclude that innovations in production strategies and agricultural infrastructures in these indigenous societies reflect differential social response to both transient (El Niño–Southern Oscillation events) and protracted (desertification) environmental change. PMID:15024122

  14. Autofluorescence of atmospheric bioaerosols - Biological standard particles and the influence of environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pöhlker, Christopher; Huffman, J. Alex; Förster, Jan-David; Pöschl, Ulrich

    2013-04-01

    Primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP) such as pollen, fungal spores, bacteria, biogenic polymers and debris from larger organisms are known to influence atmospheric chemistry and physics, the biosphere and public health. PBAP can account for up to ~30% of fine and up to ~70% of coarse particulate matter in urban, rural and pristine environment and are released with estimated emission rates of up to ~1000 Tg/a [1]. Continuous measurements of the abundance, variability and diversity of PBAP have been difficult until recently, however. The application of on-line instruments able to detect autofluorescence from biological particles in real-time has been a promising development for the measurement of PBAP concentrations and fluxes in different environments [2,3]. The detected fluorescent biological aerosol particles (FBAP) can be regarded as a subset of PBAP, although the exact relationship between PBAP and FBAP is still being investigated. Autofluorescence of FBAP is usually a superposition of fluorescence from a mixture of individual fluorescent molecules (fluorophores). Numerous biogenic fluorophores such as amino acids (e.g., tryptophan, tyrosine), coenzymes (e.g., NAD(P)H, riboflavin) and biopolymers (e.g., cellulose) emit fluorescent light due to heterocyclic aromatic rings or conjugated double bonds within their molecular structures. The tryptophan emission peak is a common feature of most bioparticles because the amino acid is a constituent of many proteins and peptides. The influence of the coenzymes NAD(P)H and riboflavin on the autofluorescence of bacteria can be regarded as an indicator for bacterial metabolism and has been utilized to discriminate between viable and non-viable organisms [4]. However, very little information is available about other essential biofluorophores in fungal spores and pollen. In order to better understand the autofluorescence behavior of FBAP, we have used fluorescence spectroscopy and fluorescence microscopy to analyze standard bioparticles (pollen, fungal spores, and bacteria) as well as atmospherically relevant chemical substances. We addressed the sensitivity and selectivity of autofluorescence based online techniques. Moreover, we investigated the influence of environmental conditions, such as relative humidity and oxidizing agents in the atmosphere, on the autofluorescence signature of standard bioparticles. Our results will support the molecular understanding and quantitative interpretation of data obtained by real-time FBAP instrumentation [5,6]. [1] Elbert, W., Taylor, P. E., Andreae, M. O., & Pöschl, U. (2007). Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 4569-4588. [2] Huffman, J. A., Treutlein, B., & Pöschl, U. (2010). Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 3215-3233. [3] Pöschl, U., et al. (2010). Science, 329, 1513-1516. [4] Lakowicz, J., Principles of fluorescence spectroscopy, Plenum publishers, New York, 1999. [5] Pöhlker, C., Huffman, J. A., & Pöschl, U., (2012). Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 37-71. [6] Pöhlker, C., Huffman, J. A., Förster J.-D., & Pöschl, U., (2012) in preparation.

  15. Spatial and temporal variations in indoor environmental conditions, human occupancy, and operational characteristics in a new hospital building.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Tiffanie; Dedesko, Sandra; Siegel, Jeffrey A; Gilbert, Jack A; Stephens, Brent

    2015-01-01

    The dynamics of indoor environmental conditions, human occupancy, and operational characteristics of buildings influence human comfort and indoor environmental quality, including the survival and progression of microbial communities. A suite of continuous, long-term environmental and operational parameters were measured in ten patient rooms and two nurse stations in a new hospital building in Chicago, IL to characterize the indoor environment in which microbial samples were taken for the Hospital Microbiome Project. Measurements included environmental conditions (indoor dry-bulb temperature, relative humidity, humidity ratio, and illuminance) in the patient rooms and nurse stations; differential pressure between the patient rooms and hallways; surrogate measures for human occupancy and activity in the patient rooms using both indoor air CO2 concentrations and infrared doorway beam-break counters; and outdoor air fractions in the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems serving the sampled spaces. Measurements were made at 5-minute intervals over consecutive days for nearly one year, providing a total of ∼8×106 data points. Indoor temperature, illuminance, and human occupancy/activity were all weakly correlated between rooms, while relative humidity, humidity ratio, and outdoor air fractions showed strong temporal (seasonal) patterns and strong spatial correlations between rooms. Differential pressure measurements confirmed that all patient rooms were operated at neutral pressure. The patient rooms averaged about 100 combined entrances and exits per day, which suggests they were relatively lightly occupied compared to higher traffic environments (e.g., retail buildings) and more similar to lower traffic office environments. There were also clear differences in several environmental parameters before and after the hospital was occupied with patients and staff. Characterizing and understanding factors that influence these building dynamics is vital for hospital environments, where they can impact patient health and the survival and spread of healthcare associated infections. PMID:25729898

  16. Spatial and Temporal Variations in Indoor Environmental Conditions, Human Occupancy, and Operational Characteristics in a New Hospital Building

    PubMed Central

    Ramos, Tiffanie; Dedesko, Sandra; Siegel, Jeffrey A.; Gilbert, Jack A.; Stephens, Brent

    2015-01-01

    The dynamics of indoor environmental conditions, human occupancy, and operational characteristics of buildings influence human comfort and indoor environmental quality, including the survival and progression of microbial communities. A suite of continuous, long-term environmental and operational parameters were measured in ten patient rooms and two nurse stations in a new hospital building in Chicago, IL to characterize the indoor environment in which microbial samples were taken for the Hospital Microbiome Project. Measurements included environmental conditions (indoor dry-bulb temperature, relative humidity, humidity ratio, and illuminance) in the patient rooms and nurse stations; differential pressure between the patient rooms and hallways; surrogate measures for human occupancy and activity in the patient rooms using both indoor air CO2 concentrations and infrared doorway beam-break counters; and outdoor air fractions in the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems serving the sampled spaces. Measurements were made at 5-minute intervals over consecutive days for nearly one year, providing a total of ∼8×106 data points. Indoor temperature, illuminance, and human occupancy/activity were all weakly correlated between rooms, while relative humidity, humidity ratio, and outdoor air fractions showed strong temporal (seasonal) patterns and strong spatial correlations between rooms. Differential pressure measurements confirmed that all patient rooms were operated at neutral pressure. The patient rooms averaged about 100 combined entrances and exits per day, which suggests they were relatively lightly occupied compared to higher traffic environments (e.g., retail buildings) and more similar to lower traffic office environments. There were also clear differences in several environmental parameters before and after the hospital was occupied with patients and staff. Characterizing and understanding factors that influence these building dynamics is vital for hospital environments, where they can impact patient health and the survival and spread of healthcare associated infections. PMID:25729898

  17. Spatial and temporal variations in indoor environmental conditions, human occupancy, and operational characteristics in a new hospital building

    SciTech Connect

    Ramos, Tiffanie; Dedesko, Sandra; Siegel, Jeffrey A.; Gilbert, Jack A.; Stephens, Brent

    2015-03-02

    The dynamics of indoor environmental conditions, human occupancy, and operational characteristics of buildings influence human comfort and indoor environmental quality, including the survival and progression of microbial communities. A suite of continuous, long-term environmental and operational parameters were measured in ten patient rooms and two nurse stations in a new hospital building in Chicago, IL to characterize the indoor environment in which microbial samples were taken for the Hospital Microbiome Project. Measurements included environmental conditions (indoor dry-bulb temperature, relative humidity, humidity ratio, and illuminance) in the patient rooms and nurse stations; differential pressure between the patient rooms and hallways; surrogate measures for human occupancy and activity in the patient rooms using both indoor air CO₂ concentrations and infrared doorway beam-break counters; and outdoor air fractions in the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems serving the sampled spaces. Measurements were made at 5-minute intervals over consecutive days for nearly one year, providing a total of ~8×10⁶ data points. Indoor temperature, illuminance, and human occupancy/activity were all weakly correlated between rooms, while relative humidity, humidity ratio, and outdoor air fractions showed strong temporal (seasonal) patterns and strong spatial correlations between rooms. Differential pressure measurements confirmed that all patient rooms were operated at neutral pressure. The patient rooms averaged about 100 combined entrances and exits per day, which suggests they were relatively lightly occupied compared to higher traffic environments (e.g., retail buildings) and more similar to lower traffic office environments. There were also clear differences in several environmental parameters before and after the hospital was occupied with patients and staff. Characterizing and understanding factors that influence these building dynamics is vital for hospital environments, where they can impact patient health and the survival and spread of healthcare associated infections.

  18. Spatial and temporal variations in indoor environmental conditions, human occupancy, and operational characteristics in a new hospital building

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ramos, Tiffanie; Dedesko, Sandra; Siegel, Jeffrey A.; Gilbert, Jack A.; Stephens, Brent

    2015-03-02

    The dynamics of indoor environmental conditions, human occupancy, and operational characteristics of buildings influence human comfort and indoor environmental quality, including the survival and progression of microbial communities. A suite of continuous, long-term environmental and operational parameters were measured in ten patient rooms and two nurse stations in a new hospital building in Chicago, IL to characterize the indoor environment in which microbial samples were taken for the Hospital Microbiome Project. Measurements included environmental conditions (indoor dry-bulb temperature, relative humidity, humidity ratio, and illuminance) in the patient rooms and nurse stations; differential pressure between the patient rooms and hallways; surrogatemore » measures for human occupancy and activity in the patient rooms using both indoor air CO₂ concentrations and infrared doorway beam-break counters; and outdoor air fractions in the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems serving the sampled spaces. Measurements were made at 5-minute intervals over consecutive days for nearly one year, providing a total of ~8×10⁶ data points. Indoor temperature, illuminance, and human occupancy/activity were all weakly correlated between rooms, while relative humidity, humidity ratio, and outdoor air fractions showed strong temporal (seasonal) patterns and strong spatial correlations between rooms. Differential pressure measurements confirmed that all patient rooms were operated at neutral pressure. The patient rooms averaged about 100 combined entrances and exits per day, which suggests they were relatively lightly occupied compared to higher traffic environments (e.g., retail buildings) and more similar to lower traffic office environments. There were also clear differences in several environmental parameters before and after the hospital was occupied with patients and staff. Characterizing and understanding factors that influence these building dynamics is vital for hospital environments, where they can impact patient health and the survival and spread of healthcare associated infections.« less

  19. Environmental Conditions and the Occurrence of Exertional Heat Illnesses and Exertional Heat Stroke at the Falmouth Road Race

    PubMed Central

    DeMartini, Julie K.; Casa, Douglas J.; Belval, Luke N.; Crago, Arthur; Davis, Rob J.; Jardine, John J.; Stearns, Rebecca L.

    2014-01-01

    Context: The Falmouth Road Race is unique because of the environmental conditions and relatively short distance, which allow runners to maintain a high intensity for the duration of the event. Therefore, the occurrence of exertional heat illnesses (EHIs), especially exertional heat stroke (EHS), is 10 times higher than in other races. Objective: To summarize the occurrence and relationship of EHI and environmental conditions at the Falmouth Road Race. Design: Descriptive epidemiologic study. Setting: An 11.3-km (7-mile) road race in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Patients or Other Participants: Runners who sustained an EHI while participating in the Falmouth Road Race. Main Outcome Measure(s): We obtained 18 years of medical records and environmental conditions from the Falmouth Road Race and documented the incidence of EHI, specifically EHS, as related to ambient temperature (Tamb), relative humidity, and heat index (HI). Results: Average Tamb, relative humidity, and HI were 23.3 ± 2.5°C, 70 ± 16%, and 24 ± 3.5°C, respectively. Of the 393 total EHI cases observed, EHS accounted for 274 (70%). An average of 15.2 ± 13.0 EHS cases occurred each year; the incidence was 2.13 ± 1.62 cases per 1000 runners. Regression analysis revealed a relationship between the occurrence of both EHI and EHS and Tamb (R2 = 0.71, P = .001, and R2 = 0.65, P = .001, respectively) and HI (R2 = 0.76, P < .001, and R2 = 0.74, P < .001, respectively). Occurrences of EHS (24.2 ± 15.5 cases versus 9.3 ± 4.3 cases) and EHI (32.3 ± 16.3 versus 13.0 ± 4.9 cases) were higher when Tamb and HI were high compared with when Tamb and HI were low. Conclusions: Because of the environmental conditions and race duration, the Falmouth Road Race provides a unique setting for a high incidence of EHS. A clear relationship exists between environmental stress, especially as measured by Tamb and HI, and the occurrence of EHS or other EHI. Proper prevention and treatment strategies should be used during periods of high environmental temperatures as the likelihood of runners experiencing EHS is exacerbated in these harsh conditions. PMID:24972041

  20. Cultural and environmental factors governing tomato production: Local food production under elevated temperature conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Long-term fresh tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) production data was used to estimate cultural and environmental impacts on marketable tomato yields in eastern Oklahoma. Quantifying the interactive effects of planting date and growing season duration and the effects of cumulative heat units and heat...

  1. Sustainability and environmental assessment of fertigation in an intensive olive grove under Mediterranean conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Over application of water and nitrogen is a major concern for intensive olive groves in South of Portugal. In this study, field experimental measurements were integrated with a system model, Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) to assess the sustainability and environmental impact of fertigation in...

  2. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH BRIEF: WASTE MINIMIZATION ASSESSMENT FOR A MANUFACTURER OF HEATING, VENTILATING, AND AIR CONDITIONING EQUIPMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has funded a pilot project to assist small- and medium-size manufacturers who want to minimize their generation of hazardous waste but lack the expertise to do so. Waste Minimization Assessment Centers (WMACs) were established at sel...

  3. Environmental and genetic variation of soybean tocopherol content under Brazilian growing conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Information about the chemical composition of soybean cultivars (cvs.) and environmental impact on their composition is important for processors and exporters to meet the demand of niche markets. Tocopherol composition (alpha, beta, delta, gamma, and total), was analyzed in seeds of 89 Brazilian so...

  4. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS IN NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO COASTAL WATERS FOLLOWING HURRICANE KATRINA

    EPA Science Inventory

    On the morning of August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina struck the coast of Louisiana, between New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi, as a strong category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The massive winds and flooding had the potential for a tremendous environmental impac...

  5. Testosterone has antidepressant-like efficacy and facilitates imipramine-induced neuroplasticity in male rats exposed to chronic unpredictable stress.

    PubMed

    Wainwright, Steven R; Workman, Joanna L; Tehrani, Amir; Hamson, Dwayne K; Chow, Carmen; Lieblich, Stephanie E; Galea, Liisa A M

    2016-03-01

    Hypogonadal men are more likely to develop depression, while testosterone supplementation shows antidepressant-like effects in hypogonadal men and facilitates antidepressant efficacy. Depression is associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity and testosterone exerts suppressive effects on the HPA axis. The hippocampus also plays a role in the feedback regulation of the HPA axis, and depressed patients show reduced hippocampal neuroplasticity. We assessed the antidepressant-like effects of testosterone with, or without, imipramine on behavioral and neural endophenotypes of depression in a chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) model of depression. A 21-day CUS protocol was used on gonadectomized male Sprague-Dawley rats treated with vehicle, 1mg of testosterone propionate, 10mg/kg of imipramine, or testosterone and imipramine in tandem. Testosterone treatment reduced novelty-induced hypophagia following CUS exposure, but not under non-stress conditions, representing state-dependent effects. Further, testosterone increased the latency to immobility in the forced swim test (FST), reduced basal corticosterone, and reduced adrenal mass in CUS-exposed rats. Testosterone also facilitated the effects of imipramine by reducing the latency to immobility in the FST and increasing sucrose preference. Testosterone treatment had no significant effect on neurogenesis, though the combination of testosterone and imipramine increased PSA-NCAM expression in the ventral dentate gyrus. These findings demonstrate the antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects of testosterone within a CUS model of depression, and provide insight into the mechanism of action, which appears to be independent of enhanced hippocampal neurogenesis. PMID:26774465

  6. Dormant stages of crustaceans as a mechanism of propagation in the extreme and unpredictable environment in the Crimean hypersaline lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shadrin, Nickolai V.; Anufriieva, Elena V.; Amat, Francisco; Eremin, Oleg Yu.

    2015-11-01

    A pool of dormant stages of planktonic organisms in saline lakes is a substantial component in the plankton communities; we need to take it into account to understand plankton dynamics. Hypersaline water bodies in Crimea, the largest peninsula in the Black Sea, constitute a very characteristic and peculiar habitat type in the region. We examined the presence of crustacean resting stages in sediments of dried up sites of the Crimean hypersaline lakes. Sediment samples were taken in 9 different lakes. Experiments performed on the hatching of these resting stages showed the presence of Moina salina (Cladocera), parthenogenetic Artemia and Artemia urmiana (Anostraca), Eucypris mareotica ( inflata) (Ostracoda), and Cletocamptus retrogressus (Harpacticoida). Comparing the experimental results obtained with clean dried brine shrimp cysts and those kept in sediment samples, it was noted that clean cysts hatched much faster than those from sediments did. Some components in bottom sediments slow down and desynchronize hatching from resting eggs in different groups of crustaceans. The sediments of different lakes inhibited the nauplii output from Artemia and ostracod resting eggs to different degrees. More data are needed before we can discuss the reasons of this inhibition. The nonsynchronous output of active stages from the bottom resting ones may be an adaptation that allows crustacean species to exist in extreme and unpredictably changing environments, avoiding the risk that all may emerge at once under unsuitable conditions.

  7. Short-term synaptic plasticity in the deterministic Tsodyks–Markram model leads to unpredictable network dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Cortes, Jesus M.; Desroches, Mathieu; Rodrigues, Serafim; Veltz, Romain; Muñoz, Miguel A.; Sejnowski, Terrence J.

    2013-01-01

    Short-term synaptic plasticity strongly affects the neural dynamics of cortical networks. The Tsodyks and Markram (TM) model for short-term synaptic plasticity accurately accounts for a wide range of physiological responses at different types of cortical synapses. Here, we report a route to chaotic behavior via a Shilnikov homoclinic bifurcation that dynamically organizes some of the responses in the TM model. In particular, the presence of such a homoclinic bifurcation strongly affects the shape of the trajectories in the phase space and induces highly irregular transient dynamics; indeed, in the vicinity of the Shilnikov homoclinic bifurcation, the number of population spikes and their precise timing are unpredictable and highly sensitive to the initial conditions. Such an irregular deterministic dynamics has its counterpart in stochastic/network versions of the TM model: The existence of the Shilnikov homoclinic bifurcation generates complex and irregular spiking patterns and—acting as a sort of springboard—facilitates transitions between the down-state and unstable periodic orbits. The interplay between the (deterministic) homoclinic bifurcation and stochastic effects may give rise to some of the complex dynamics observed in neural systems. PMID:24062464

  8. Temporal variation in environmental conditions and the structure of fish assemblages around an offshore oil platform in the North Sea.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Toyonobu

    2015-07-01

    This study reports temporal variations in the environmental conditions and the structure of fish assemblages observed in the vicinity of an offshore oil platform and the surrounding seafloor in the North Sea. Multi-seasonal sampling was conducted at a typical large steel jacketed facility, using mid-water fish traps at three different depths (i.e., 10, 50 & 100 m). Commercially important gadoids such as saithe Pollachius virens, haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus and cod Gadus morhua were the most abundant species, however, the species composition and the relative abundances of the species varied with depth, season and between years. Comparisons with a large-scale bottom trawl survey data suggested highly dynamic and species-specific interactions between fish movements, changing environmental conditions and the physical presence of an offshore platform. Given the number of platforms currently installed across the North Sea, there is a need to identify biological mechanisms behind such dynamic interactions. PMID:25965149

  9. Tracking the autumn migration of the bar-headed goose (Anser indicus) with satellite telemetry and relationship to environmental conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhang, Yaonan; Hao, Meiyu; Takekawa, John Y.; Lei, Fumin; Yan, Baoping; Prosser, Diann J.; Douglas, David C.; Xing, Zhi; Newman, Scott H.

    2011-01-01

    The autumn migration routes of bar-headed geese captured before the 2008 breeding season at Qinghai Lake, China, were documented using satellite tracking data. To assess how the migration strategies of bar-headed geese are influenced by environmental conditions, the relationship between migratory routes, temperatures, and vegetation coverage at stopovers sites estimated with the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) were analyzed. Our results showed that there were four typical migration routes in autumn with variation in timing among individuals in start and end times and in total migration and stopover duration. The observed variation may be related to habitat type and other environmental conditions along the routes. On average, these birds traveled about 1300 to 1500 km, refueled at three to six stopover sites and migrated for 73 to 83 days. The majority of the habitat types at stopover sites were lake, marsh, and shoal wetlands, with use of some mountainous regions, and farmland areas.

  10. Chronic unpredictable stress regulates visceral adipocyte‐mediated glucose metabolism and inflammatory circuits in male rats

    PubMed Central

    Karagiannides, Iordanes; Golovatscka, Viktoriya; Bakirtzi, Kyriaki; Sideri, Aristea; Salas, Martha; Stavrakis, Dimitris; Polytarchou, Christos; Iliopoulos, Dimitrios; Pothoulakis, Charalabos; Bradesi, Sylvie

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Chronic psychological stress is a prominent risk factor involved in the pathogenesis of many complex diseases, including major depression, obesity, and type II diabetes. Visceral adipose tissue is a key endocrine organ involved in the regulation of insulin action and an important component in the development of insulin resistance. Here, we examined for the first time the changes on visceral adipose tissue physiology and on adipocyte‐associated insulin sensitivity and function after chronic unpredictable stress in rats. Male rats were subjected to chronic unpredictable stress for 35 days. Total body and visceral fat was measured. Cytokines and activated intracellular kinase levels were determined using high‐throughput multiplex assays. Adipocyte function was assessed via tritiated glucose uptake assay. Stressed rats showed no weight gain, and their fat/lean mass ratio increased dramatically compared to control animals. Stressed rats had significantly higher mesenteric fat content and epididymal fat pad weight and demonstrated reduced serum glucose clearing capacity following glucose challenge. Alterations in fat depot size were mainly due to changes in adipocyte numbers and not size. High‐throughput molecular screening in adipocytes isolated from stressed rats revealed activation of intracellular inflammatory, glucose metabolism, and MAPK networks compared to controls, as well as significantly reduced glucose uptake capacity in response to insulin stimulation. Our study identifies the adipocyte as a key regulator of the effects of chronic stress on insulin resistance, and glucose metabolism, with important ramifications in the pathophysiology of several stress‐related disease states. PMID:24819750

  11. Unpredicted Pitch Modulates Beta Oscillatory Power during Rhythmic Entrainment to a Tone Sequence.

    PubMed

    Chang, Andrew; Bosnyak, Dan J; Trainor, Laurel J

    2016-01-01

    Extracting temporal regularities in external stimuli in order to predict upcoming events is an essential aspect of perception. Fluctuations in induced power of beta band (15-25 Hz) oscillations in auditory cortex are involved in predictive timing during rhythmic entrainment, but whether such fluctuations are affected by prediction in the spectral (frequency/pitch) domain remains unclear. We tested whether unpredicted (i.e., unexpected) pitches in a rhythmic tone sequence modulate beta band activity by recording EEG while participants passively listened to isochronous auditory oddball sequences with occasional unpredicted deviant pitches at two different presentation rates. The results showed that the power in low-beta (15-20 Hz) was larger around 200-300 ms following deviant tones compared to standard tones, and this effect was larger when the deviant tones were less predicted. Our results suggest that the induced beta power activities in auditory cortex are consistent with a role in sensory prediction of both "when" (timing) upcoming sounds will occur as well as the prediction precision error of "what" (spectral content in this case). We suggest, further, that both timing and content predictions may co-modulate beta oscillations via attention. These findings extend earlier work on neural oscillations by investigating the functional significance of beta oscillations for sensory prediction. The findings help elucidate the functional significance of beta oscillations in perception. PMID:27014138

  12. Unpredicted Pitch Modulates Beta Oscillatory Power during Rhythmic Entrainment to a Tone Sequence

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Andrew; Bosnyak, Dan J.; Trainor, Laurel J.

    2016-01-01

    Extracting temporal regularities in external stimuli in order to predict upcoming events is an essential aspect of perception. Fluctuations in induced power of beta band (15–25 Hz) oscillations in auditory cortex are involved in predictive timing during rhythmic entrainment, but whether such fluctuations are affected by prediction in the spectral (frequency/pitch) domain remains unclear. We tested whether unpredicted (i.e., unexpected) pitches in a rhythmic tone sequence modulate beta band activity by recording EEG while participants passively listened to isochronous auditory oddball sequences with occasional unpredicted deviant pitches at two different presentation rates. The results showed that the power in low-beta (15–20 Hz) was larger around 200–300 ms following deviant tones compared to standard tones, and this effect was larger when the deviant tones were less predicted. Our results suggest that the induced beta power activities in auditory cortex are consistent with a role in sensory prediction of both “when” (timing) upcoming sounds will occur as well as the prediction precision error of “what” (spectral content in this case). We suggest, further, that both timing and content predictions may co-modulate beta oscillations via attention. These findings extend earlier work on neural oscillations by investigating the functional significance of beta oscillations for sensory prediction. The findings help elucidate the functional significance of beta oscillations in perception. PMID:27014138

  13. Implementing unpredictability in feeding enrichment for Malayan sun bears (Helarctos malayanus).

    PubMed

    Schneider, Marion; Nogge, Gunther; Kolter, Lydia

    2014-01-01

    Bears in the wild spend large proportions of time in foraging activities. In zoos their time budgets differ markedly from those of their wild counterparts. Feeding enrichment has been documented to increase foraging behavior and to reduce stereotypies. But in general these procedures have no long-term effects and result in habituation. As can be expected by the predictions of the optimal foraging theory, foraging activities are restricted as long as the availability of food is predictable. To quantify the effect of spatial unpredictability, three feeding methods have been designed to stimulate functional foraging behavior in captive Malayan sun bears in the long-term. In order to examine if habituation occurs, the most effective method was tested for 12 consecutive days. Activities of four adult sun bears at the Cologne Zoo were recorded by focal animal recording of foraging behaviors and time sampling of activities for a total of 360 hr. Implementing unpredictability significantly increased the time the bears spent foraging and led to a higher diversity of foraging behaviors. The effects lasted throughout the entire day and no habituation occurred in the course of 12 consecutive days. The study shows how functional species typical behavior in captive Malayan sun bears can be stimulated in the long-term by simulating natural characteristics of food availability. PMID:24402968

  14. The Normandy field study on juvenile osteochondral conditions: conclusions regarding the influence of genetics, environmental conditions and management, and the effect on performance.

    PubMed

    van Weeren, P René; Denoix, Jean-Marie

    2013-07-01

    Juvenile osteochondral conditions (JOCC) have a major impact on the equine industry and include many musculoskeletal disorders of the young horse, of which osteochondrosis (OC) is the most prominent. The Breeding, Osteochondral Status and Athletic Career (BOSAC) project is the first large, comprehensive, longitudinal field study on the subject conducted in three breeds of performance horses (Thoroughbreds, Standardbred Trotters and Warmbloods) that were monitored in their natural environment where they were reared under common field conditions. The BOSAC study used a radiographic protocol designed for field use coupled to an internally validated severity scoring system, providing weighted radiographic findings as the primary outcome measure. The natural courses of various JOCC appear to differ, according to the joint and condition involved. Genetically, there were also large differences with moderate heritabilities in the tarsocrural and metacarpophalangeal/metatarsophalangeal joints and virtually no heritability for femoropatellar OC. There was a strong influence of exercise history (as an environmental condition) on the manifestation and natural course of JOCC. In the younger age class (<6months) lack of exercise or irregular exercise had a negative effect, as had exposure to excessive exercise. In the yearling category, (exercise-associated) intrinsic trauma seemed to be the most important negative factor. In terms of later function, the association of a poor radiographic score with poorer performance in racing Trotters could be demonstrated. PMID:23639367

  15. The influence of uncertainty and location-specific conditions on the environmental prioritisation of human pharmaceuticals in Europe.

    PubMed

    Oldenkamp, Rik; Huijbregts, Mark A J; Ragas, Ad M J

    2016-05-01

    The selection of priority APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) can benefit from a spatially explicit approach, since an API might exceed the threshold of environmental concern in one location, while staying below that same threshold in another. However, such a spatially explicit approach is relatively data intensive and subject to parameter uncertainty due to limited data. This raises the question to what extent a spatially explicit approach for the environmental prioritisation of APIs remains worthwhile when accounting for uncertainty in parameter settings. We show here that the inclusion of spatially explicit information enables a more efficient environmental prioritisation of APIs in Europe, compared with a non-spatial EU-wide approach, also under uncertain conditions. In a case study with nine antibiotics, uncertainty distributions of the PAF (Potentially Affected Fraction) of aquatic species were calculated in 100∗100km(2) environmental grid cells throughout Europe, and used for the selection of priority APIs. Two APIs have median PAF values that exceed a threshold PAF of 1% in at least one environmental grid cell in Europe, i.e., oxytetracycline and erythromycin. At a tenfold lower threshold PAF (i.e., 0.1%), two additional APIs would be selected, i.e., cefuroxime and ciprofloxacin. However, in 94% of the environmental grid cells in Europe, no APIs exceed either of the thresholds. This illustrates the advantage of following a location-specific approach in the prioritisation of APIs. This added value remains when accounting for uncertainty in parameter settings, i.e., if the 95th percentile of the PAF instead of its median value is compared with the threshold. In 96% of the environmental grid cells, the location-specific approach still enables a reduction of the selection of priority APIs of at least 50%, compared with a EU-wide prioritisation. PMID:26999515

  16. Assessment of the risk of failure of high voltage substations due to environmental conditions and pollution on insulators.

    PubMed

    Castillo Sierra, Rafael; Oviedo-Trespalacios, Oscar; Candelo, John E; Soto, Jose D

    2015-07-01

    Pollution on electrical insulators is one of the greatest causes of failure of substations subjected to high levels of salinity and environmental pollution. Considering leakage current as the main indicator of pollution on insulators, this paper focuses on establishing the effect of the environmental conditions on the risk of failure due to pollution on insulators and determining the significant change in the magnitude of the pollution on the insulators during dry and humid periods. Hierarchical segmentation analysis was used to establish the effect of environmental conditions on the risk of failure due to pollution on insulators. The Kruskal-Wallis test was utilized to determine the significant changes in the magnitude of the pollution due to climate periods. An important result was the discovery that leakage current was more common on insulators during dry periods than humid ones. There was also a higher risk of failure due to pollution during dry periods. During the humid period, various temperatures and wind directions produced a small change in the risk of failure. As a technical result, operators of electrical substations can now identify the cause of an increase in risk of failure due to pollution in the area. The research provides a contribution towards the behaviour of the leakage current under conditions similar to those of the Colombian Caribbean coast and how they affect the risk of failure of the substation due to pollution. PMID:25634366

  17. Hypoxia tolerance of common sole juveniles depends on dietary regime and temperature at the larval stage: evidence for environmental conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Zambonino-Infante, José L.; Claireaux, Guy; Ernande, Bruno; Jolivet, Aurélie; Quazuguel, Patrick; Sévère, Armelle; Huelvan, Christine; Mazurais, David

    2013-01-01

    An individual's environmental history may have delayed effects on its physiology and life history at later stages in life because of irreversible plastic responses of early ontogenesis to environmental conditions. We chose a marine fish, the common sole, as a model species to study these effects, because it inhabits shallow marine areas highly exposed to environmental changes. We tested whether temperature and trophic conditions experienced during the larval stage had delayed effects on life-history traits and resistance to hypoxia at the juvenile stage. We thus examined the combined effect of global warming and hypoxia in coastal waters, which are potential stressors to many estuarine and coastal marine fishes. Elevated temperature and better trophic conditions had a positive effect on larval growth and developmental rates; warmer larval temperature had a delayed positive effect on body mass and resistance to hypoxia at the juvenile stage. The latter suggests a lower oxygen demand of individuals that had experienced elevated temperatures during larval stages. We hypothesize that an irreversible plastic response to temperature occurred during early ontogeny that allowed adaptive regulation of metabolic rates and/or oxygen demand with long-lasting effects. These results could deeply affect predictions about impacts of global warming and eutrophication on marine organisms. PMID:23486433

  18. Hypoxia tolerance of common sole juveniles depends on dietary regime and temperature at the larval stage: evidence for environmental conditioning.

    PubMed

    Zambonino-Infante, Jos L; Claireaux, Guy; Ernande, Bruno; Jolivet, Aurlie; Quazuguel, Patrick; Svre, Armelle; Huelvan, Christine; Mazurais, David

    2013-05-01

    An individual's environmental history may have delayed effects on its physiology and life history at later stages in life because of irreversible plastic responses of early ontogenesis to environmental conditions. We chose a marine fish, the common sole, as a model species to study these effects, because it inhabits shallow marine areas highly exposed to environmental changes. We tested whether temperature and trophic conditions experienced during the larval stage had delayed effects on life-history traits and resistance to hypoxia at the juvenile stage. We thus examined the combined effect of global warming and hypoxia in coastal waters, which are potential stressors to many estuarine and coastal marine fishes. Elevated temperature and better trophic conditions had a positive effect on larval growth and developmental rates; warmer larval temperature had a delayed positive effect on body mass and resistance to hypoxia at the juvenile stage. The latter suggests a lower oxygen demand of individuals that had experienced elevated temperatures during larval stages. We hypothesize that an irreversible plastic response to temperature occurred during early ontogeny that allowed adaptive regulation of metabolic rates and/or oxygen demand with long-lasting effects. These results could deeply affect predictions about impacts of global warming and eutrophication on marine organisms. PMID:23486433

  19. The impact of an unpredictable context and intolerance of uncertainty on the electrocortical response to monetary gains and losses.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Brady D; Kessel, Ellen M; Jackson, Felicia; Hajcak, Greg

    2016-02-01

    There is growing evidence that unpredictability and uncertainty can alter reward system functioning. The present study examined the impact of (1) a task-irrelevant unpredictable relative to predictable context and (2) individual differences in intolerance of uncertainty (IU) on the reward-related positivity (RewP), an event-related potential (ERP) response to monetary gains relative to losses. Specifically, 64 participants listened to predictable and unpredictable tone sequences while electroencephalography was recorded during a monetary gambling task. Participants also completed the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale, which measures both cognitive distress (prospective IU) and behavioral inhibition (inhibitory IU) elicited by uncertainty, in addition to the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 and Penn State Worry Questionnaire. Results indicated that the RewP was reduced during the unpredictable relative to the predictable context. Greater self-reported anxiety elicited by the unpredictable context was associated with a decreased RewP, and a decreased RewP was associated with poorer lose-shift behavioral adjustment. Furthermore, the RewP mediated the relationship between self-reported anxiety elicited by the unpredictable context and lose-shift behavioral adjustment. The IU subscales demonstrated the opposite relationship with the RewP across both contexts-inhibitory IU was associated with an attenuated RewP and prospective IU was associated with an enhanced RewP. In contrast, anxiety, depression, stress, and worry symptomatology were not associated with the RewP. This is the first study to demonstrate that an unpredictable context and individual differences in the degree to which people cannot tolerate uncertainty impact an ERP measure of reward system functioning. PMID:26438205

  20. Analysis of the Salmonella typhimurium Proteome through Environmental Response toward Infectious Conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Adkins, Joshua N.; Mottaz, Heather M.; Norbeck, Angela D.; Gustin, Jean K.; Rue, Joanne; Clauss, Therese RW; Purvine, Samuel O.; Rodland, Karin D.; Heffron, Fred; Smith, Richard D.

    2006-08-01

    Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (aka, S. typhimurium) is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes ~40,000 reported cases of acute gastroenteritis and diarrhea a year in the United States. To develop a deeper understanding of the infectious state of S. typhimurium, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based “bottom-up” proteomics was used to globally analyze the proteins present under specific growth conditions. Salmonella typhimurium LT2 strain cells were grown in contrasting culture conditions that mimicked both natural free-living conditions and an infectious state, i.e., logarithm phase, stationary phase and Mg-depleted medium growth. Initial comparisons of the LT2 strain protein abundances among cell culture conditions indicate that the majority of proteins do not change significantly. Not unexpectedly, cells grown in Mg-depleted medium conditions had a higher abundance of Mg2+ transport proteins than found in other growth conditions. A second more virulent Salmonella typhimurium strain (14028) was also studied with these growth conditions and used to directly compare to the LT2 strain. The strain comparison offers a unique opportunity to compare and contrast observations in these closely related bacteria. One particular protein family, propanediol utilization proteins, was drastically more abundant in the 14028 strain than in the LT2 strain, and may be a contributor to increased pathogenicity in the 14028 strain.

  1. Stromatolites As Fine Records of Terrestrial Environmental Conditions: Examples from the Eocene Green River Formation (Wyoming)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frantz, C. M.; Corsetti, F. A.; Petryshyn, V. A.; Wagner, M.; Tripati, A.

    2014-12-01

    Stromatolites are layered structures that form subaqueously, thereby recording chemical information about their formation environment. As such, these accretionary structures are useful tools for fine-timescale environmental reconstructions. High-resolution geochemical analyses of stromatolites that formed in paleolake Gosiute (Eocene Green River Formation) provided novel information about terrestrial environmental variability during the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO), the period with the highest temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels in the Cenozoic. Stromatolites from the ~51 Ma Rife Bed of the Tipton Shale Member of the Green River Formation record dramatic changes in lake volume (and correspondingly, water depth and shoreline) indicating the environment during the peak of the EECO was more variable than previously appreciated. A second set of stromatolites from the ~49 Ma Lower Laclede Bed of the Laney Member of the Green River Formation record transient periods of basin closure during a time when the basin is generally considered to have been balanced-filled. In addition, the results reveal that basin filling after desiccation was not continuous, but fluctuated before becoming an open system, further indicating local climate variability during the EECO. In both cases, major environmental changes are reflected not only in the recorded chemistry, but also in changes in stromatolite microfabric. In addition, clumped isotope paleothermometry provided estimates of water temperature from the evolving lake, which for most of its existence was so massive that it would have influenced regional climate. These and other studies demonstrate that stromatolite laminae can be used to understand fine-scale environmental variability in ancient lacustrine systems.

  2. Individuals Maintain Similar Rates of Protein Synthesis over Time on the Same Plane of Nutrition under Controlled Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Ian D.; Owen, Stewart F.; Watt, Peter W.; Houlihan, Dominic F.

    2016-01-01

    Consistent individual differences in animal performance drive individual fitness under variable environmental conditions and provide the framework through which natural selection can operate. Underlying this concept is the assumption that individuals will display consistent levels of performance in fitness-related traits and interest has focused on individual variation and broad sense repeatability in a range of behavioural and physiological traits. Despite playing a central role in maintenance and growth, and with considerable inter-individual variation documented, broad sense repeatability in rates of protein synthesis has not been assessed. In this study we show for the first time that juvenile flounder Platichthys flesus reared under controlled environmental conditions on the same plane of nutrition for 46 days maintain consistent whole-animal absolute rates of protein synthesis (As). By feeding meals containing 15N-labelled protein and using a stochastic end-point model, two non-terminal measures of protein synthesis were made 32 days apart (d14 and d46). As values (mass-corrected to a standard mass of 12 g) showed 2- to 3-fold variation between individuals on d14 and d46 but individuals showed similar As values on both days with a broad sense repeatability estimate of 0.684 indicating significant consistency in physiological performance under controlled experimental conditions. The use of non-terminal methodologies in studies of animal ecophysiology to make repeat measures of physiological performance enables known individuals to be tracked across changing conditions. Adopting this approach, repeat measures of protein synthesis under controlled conditions will allow individual ontogenetic changes in protein metabolism to be assessed to better understand the ageing process and to determine individual physiological adaptive capacity, and associated energetic costs of adaptation, to global environmental change. PMID:27018996

  3. Modeling the effects of environmental conditions on HT2 and T2 toxin accumulation in field oat grains.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiangming; Madden, Laurence V; Edwards, Simon G

    2014-01-01

    Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat and barley has been extensively researched worldwide; in contrast, there is limited information on the effects of environmental conditions on Fusarium toxin accumulation in oat grains. More than 300 samples of oat grain from various regions of the United Kingdom from 2006 to 2008 were analyzed for mycotoxin contamination due to infection by Fusarium spp. HT2 and T2 toxins were the two most commonly detected, and their concentrations in individual samples were highly correlated. Hourly weather data were obtained from meteorological recording stations near most of the sampling sites. Statistical modeling was applied to both the original toxin (HT2 plus T2) data and the toxin data adjusted for oat cultivars and number of cereal crops in the previous four seasons. Accumulation of HT2 and T2 toxin was positively correlated with warm and wet conditions during early May and dry conditions thereafter. Using a collection of 51 environmental variables summarized over three lengths (10, 15, and 20 days) of time periods encompassing early May, late May, and early July, all-subsets regression showed that many models, consisting of three to six predictor variables, could be identified with similar explanatory strength for the effect of environmental conditions on toxin accumulation. Most important predictor variables were related to wet conditions during the early-May period, which was before anthesis. These results suggest that the predominant period for Fusarium langsethiae infection of oat is likely to be before rather than during anthesis, as for other head blight pathogens. These empirical models may be further improved by using quantified pathogen biomass within the grains and weather predictor variables summarized in relation to plant growth stages (instead of calendar times). PMID:23883158

  4. Individual Consistency and Phenotypic Plasticity in Rockhopper Penguins: Female but Not Male Body Mass Links Environmental Conditions to Reproductive Investment

    PubMed Central

    Dehnhard, Nina; Eens, Marcel; Demongin, Laurent; Quillfeldt, Petra; Poisbleau, Maud

    2015-01-01

    In marine habitats, increasing ocean temperatures due to global climate change may distinctly reduce nutrient and consequently food availability for seabirds. Food availability is a known driver of body mass and reproductive investment in birds, but these traits may also depend on individual effects. Penguins show extreme intra-annual body mass variation and rely on accumulated body reserves for successful breeding. However, no study so far has tested individual consistency and phenotypic responses in body mass and reproductive investment in this taxon. Using a unique dataset on individually marked female and male southern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome) across six years, we investigated 1) the individual consistency in body mass (measured at egg laying), body condition and reproductive investment across years, subsequently 2) identified the best-explanatory temperature-related environmental variables for female and male body mass, and 3) tested the effect of female and male body mass on reproductive investment. Body mass, body condition and reproductive investment were all highly repeatable. As body condition should control for the structural size of the birds, the similarly high repeatability estimates for body mass and body condition suggested that the consistent between-individual body mass differences were independent of structural size. This supported the use of body mass for the subsequent analyses. Body mass was higher under colder environmental conditions (positive Southern Annular Mode), but the overall phenotypic response appeared limited. Reproductive investment increased with female but not male body mass. While environmental effects on body mass in our study period were rather small, one can expect that ongoing global climate change will lead to a deterioration of food availability and we might therefore in the long-term expect a phenotypical decline in body mass and reproductive investment. PMID:26030824

  5. Homogenization of Environmental Condition and Benthic Communities in Restored Streams of the North Carolina Piedmont.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tullos, D. D.; Penrose, D. L.; Jennings, G. D.; Wentworth, T. R.

    2005-05-01

    Stream ecosystems, as described through benthic communities and twenty environmental variables, exhibited decreased variances and reduced ordinal dimensionality in restored streams when compared to associated upstream reaches in this upstream-downstream investigation of stream restoration in the North Carolina Piedmont. Through paired t-tests of the environmental variables and several descriptions of community structure and function, the variance for restored stream reaches was lower than the upstream reaches for 70% of environmental characteristics, for 75% of Functional Feeding and Habitat Groups, and for all of the community descriptions, including the Q statistic, Shannon Index, Simpson Index, EPT taxa richness, and NCBI. Further, Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling of the sites best expressed the upstream reaches on three axes, while the restored stream reaches required only one axis to effectively describe variation in the benthic communities. These results suggest that simplification of the biota may occur following steam restoration activities, indicating the biological losses associated with early recovery in these streams. While the science of stream restoration has advanced since the early construction and implementation at these sites, the consequential homogenization demonstrated by these biotic and abiotic stream corridor features emphasizes the importance of a concentrated effort to re-establish heterogeneity in restoration designs.

  6. Introducing a conditional 'Willingness to Pay' index as a quantifier for environmental impact assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batzias, Fragiskos; Kopsidas, Odysseas

    2012-12-01

    The optimal concentration Copt of a pollutant in the environment can be determined as an equilibrium point in the trade off between (i) environmental cost, due to impact on man/ecosystem/economy, and (ii) economic cost for environmental protection, as it can be expressed by Pigouvian tax. These two conflict variables are internalized within the same techno-economic objective function of total cost, which is minimized. In this work, the first conflict variable is represented by a Willingness To Pay (WTP) index. A methodology is developed for the estimation of this index by using fuzzy sets to count for uncertainty. Implementation of this methodology is presented, concerning odor pollution of air round an olive pomace oil mill. The ASTM E544-99 (2004) 'Standard Practice for Referencing Suprathreshold Odor Intensity' has been modified to serve as a basis for testing, while a network of the quality standards, required for the realization/application of this 'Practice', is also presented. Last, sensitivity analysis of Copt as regards the impact of (i) the increase of environmental information/sensitization and (ii) the decrease of interest rate reveals a shifting of Copt to lower and higher values, respectively; certain positive and negative implications (i.e., shifting of Copt to lower and higher values, respectively) caused by socio-economic parameters are also discussed.

  7. How to improve housing conditions of laboratory animals: the possibilities of environmental refinement.

    PubMed

    Baumans, V; Van Loo, P L P

    2013-01-01

    Housing systems for captive animals have often been designed on the basis of economic and ergonomic considerations, such as equipment, costs, space, workload, ability to observe the animals and to maintain a certain degree of hygiene, with little or no consideration for animal welfare. Environmental refinement can be defined as any modification in the environment of captive animals that seeks to enhance the physical and psychological well-being of the animals by providing stimuli which meet the animals' species-specific needs. This article provides an overview of environmental factors that influence the well-being of captive animals with specific reference to the needs of the most common laboratory species. It is important to evaluate environmental refinement in terms of the benefit to the animal, by assessing the use of and preference for certain enrichment, the effect on behaviour, and the performance of species-typical behaviour on physiological parameters. It is also necessary to evaluate the impact of refinement on scientific outcome, including whether and how statistical power is affected. Communication and team work between animal welfare scientists, animal research scientists, institutional animal welfare officers, veterinarians and animal ethics committees, animal facility management and personnel, are essential for success. PMID:23127868

  8. Environmental Conditions in northern Gulf of Mexico Estuaries: before and after the BP Oil Spill

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation provides a summary of ecological condition and sediment chemistry data for northern Gulf of Mexico estuaries that were exposed to oil and oil-related contaminants from the BP Oil Spill.

  9. MEASURES OF GENETIC DIVERSITY ARE EFFECTIVE TOOLS FOR EVALUATING ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITION

    EPA Science Inventory

    At their core, ecological risk assessments aim to evaluate the biological integrity and long-term sustainability of natural ecosystems. These are difficult objectives that will ultimately require development of novel indicators of ecological condition that are more accurate and ...

  10. Seasonal variations of phytoplankton dynamics in Nunatsiavut fjords (Labrador, Canada) and their relationships with environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simo-Matchim, Armelle-Galine; Gosselin, Michel; Blais, Marjolaine; Gratton, Yves; Tremblay, Jean-Éric

    2016-04-01

    We assessed phytoplankton dynamics and its environmental control in four Labrador fjords (Nachvak, Saglek, Okak, and Anaktalak) during summer, early fall and late fall. Primary production and chlorophyll a (chl a) biomass were measured at seven optical depths, including the depth of subsurface chl a maximum (SCM). Phytoplankton abundance, size structure and taxonomy were determined at the SCM. Principal component analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling were used to analyze relationships between production, biomass and community composition in relation to environmental variables. We observed a marked seasonal variability, with significant differences in phytoplankton structure and function between summer and fall. Surprisingly, primary production and chl a biomass were not significantly different from one fjord to another. The highest values of primary production (1730 mg C m- 2 day- 1) and chl a biomass (96 mg chl a m- 2) were measured during the summer bloom, and those high values indicate that Labrador fjords are highly productive ecosystems. The summer community showed relatively high abundance of nanophytoplankton (2-20 μm) while the fall community was characterized by low primary production and chl a biomass as well as relatively high abundance of picophytoplankton (< 2 μm). The low value of carbon potentially exported out of the euphotic zone throughout the study (≤ 31% of total primary production) suggests that phytoplankton production was mainly grazed by microzooplankton rather than being exported to greater depths. We observed a mixed assemblage of diatoms and flagellates in summer, whereas the fall community was largely dominated by flagellates. Seasonal variations in phytoplankton dynamics were mainly controlled by the strength of the vertical stratification and by the large differences in day length due to the northerly location of Labrador fjords. This study documents for the very first time phytoplankton structure and function in Labrador fjords, and provides an essential foundation for further research and for monitoring environmental changes in arctic and subarctic coastal areas.

  11. Results on the survival of cryptobiotic cyanobacteria samples after exposure to Mars-like environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vera, J.-P.; Dulai, S.; Kereszturi, A.; Koncz, L.; Lorek, A.; Mohlmann, D.; Marschall, M.; Pocs, T.

    2014-01-01

    Tests on cyanobacteria communities embedded in cryptobiotic crusts collected in hot and cold deserts on Earth were performed under Mars-like conditions. The simulations were realized as a survey, to find the best samples for future research. During the tests organisms have to resist Mars-like conditions such as atmospheric composition, pressure, variable humidity (saturated and dry conditions) and partly strong UV irradiation. Organisms were tested within their original habitat inside the crust. Nearly half of the cryptobiotic samples from various sites showed survival of a substantial part of their coexisting organisms. The survival in general depended more on the nature of the original habitat and type of the sample than on the different conditions they were exposed to. The best survival was observed in samples from United Arab Emirates (Jebel Ali, 25 km SW of Dubai town) and from Western Australia (near the South edge of Lake Barley), by taxa: Tolypothrix byssoidea, Gloeocapsopsis pleurocapsoides, Nostoc microscopicum, Leptolyngbya or Symploca sp. At both places in salty desert areas members of the Chenopodiaceae family dominated among the higher plants and in the cryptobiotic crust cyanobacterial taxa Tolypothrix was dominant. These organisms were all living in salty locations with dry conditions most of the year. Among them Tolypothrix, Gloeocapsopsis and Symploca sp. were tested in Mars simulation chambers for the first time. The results suggest that extremophiles should be tested with taken into account the context of their original microenvironment, and also the importance to analyse communities of microbes beside single organisms.

  12. Environmental conditions for the formation of insoluble Tc in water ponds located above paddy fields.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Koiso, Hiroyuki; Takeda, Hiroshi; Uchida, Shigeo

    2008-06-01

    Optimum conditions for the formation of insoluble Tc (Tc in >0.2 microm size fraction) were studied using a microcosm including water ponds above a paddy field to understand Tc behavior in such fields. In the microcosm, soluble TcO(4)(-) was converted to insoluble forms, but no changes in the form of Tc were observed in filtered microcosm samples which were microorganisms-free. The formation of insoluble Tc was inhibited by the addition of the antibiotic chloramphenicol. In addition, the reduction of soluble Tc(VII)O(4)(-) to low-valence oxide was not observed in the filtered microcosm samples, although reducing conditions were present. These results indicated that bacteria were involved in the formation of insoluble Tc. Since oxidizing conditions influence bacterial metabolism, the formation of insoluble Tc by bacteria was studied under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The results showed that anaerobic conditions were favorable for the formation of insoluble Tc. In addition, the addition of formate as an electron donor to a microcosm sample facilitated the formation of insoluble Tc. The results suggested that insoluble Tc in the water ponds above paddy fields was caused by bacteria, which were shown to couple the oxidation of formate to the reduction of Tc(VII) during anaerobic respiration. PMID:18096280

  13. Visible/Near-Infrared Hyperspectral Sensing of Solids under Controlled Environmental Conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Bernacki, Bruce E.; Anheier, Norman C.; Mendoza, Albert; Fritz, Brad G.; Johnson, Timothy J.

    2011-06-01

    We describe the use of a wind tunnel for conducting controlled passive hyperspectral imaging experiments. Passive techniques are potentially useful for detecting explosives, solid-phase chemicals and other materials of interest from a distance so as to provide operator safety. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory operates a wind tunnel facility that can generate and circulate artificial atmospheres to control lighting, humidity, temperature, aerosol burdens, and obscurants. We will present recent results describing optimized sensing of solids over tens of meters distance using both visible and near-infrared cameras, as well as the effects of certain environmental parameters on data retrieval.

  14. Evaluation of chemical conversion material (protective coating) exposed to space environmental conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, D. L.

    1993-01-01

    This report focuses on the development of an operational Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) system and shows the application of such a system on a space environmental test. Thin films of aluminum and tantalum were deposited on diamond substrates. These films were anodized and preexposure characterization spectra obtained using RBS and total hemispherical reflectance. The samples were exposed to energetic protons then postexposure characterization spectra was obtained using the same techniques. Conclusions based on the comparison of preexposure and postexposure spectra are presented. RBS comparison spectra show no change in the metal/metal oxide interface, while the comparison reflectance data indicate change. Explanations for this reflectance change are presented in this report.

  15. Environmental research on potential pesticides: indispensability and scope under conditions of Poland.

    PubMed

    Gwiazda, M; Gorecka, K

    1983-08-01

    In consideration of the ubiquitous presence of pesticides in the environment, research should be done for each new compound aimed at evaluation of the hazard resulting from its application. Environmental investigations conducted in Poland encompass research on: (a) abiotic transformations (hydrolysis, photodegradation), (b) metabolism in plants and animals, as well as the fate in aquatic and soil environments; (c) influence on biota (including microflora, honey-bee and other beneficial arthropoda, aquatic organisms, birds); (d) side effects (bioaccumulation, resistance, subsequent action of sublethal amounts on populations); (e) mechanisms of action; (f) biological survey of sewage. The data obtained make possible an evaluation of risk connected with application of the investigated compound. PMID:6630895

  16. Germination and Growth of a Vegetable Exposed to Very Severe Environmental Conditions Experimentally Induced by High Voltage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aoki, Takashi; Ikezawa, Shunjiro

    1982-09-01

    Ultra-high-voltage (UHV) transmission power lines are required in order to reduce transmission energy losses, and to transfer more power across long distances. However, the ecological and biological influence of UHV lines has not been documented well. Possible influences of UHV lines are: electro-magnetic field, ozone, NOx, and ion shower. The purpose of this study was to obtain information on the germination and growth of Raphanus sativus L.cv. Kaiware-daikon exposed to an experimental environment in which all the above influences at very severe intensity levels were working simultaneously. Several environmental conditions severer than those predicted for future UHV lines were set up, using a high voltage at 60 Hz. The germination and growth of this plant were suppressed under the experimental conditions used, the suppression being greater the severer the conditions. When the electric field is strong, corona discharge occurs at the tip of the plant.

  17. Cadmium toxicity investigated at the physiological and biophysical levels under environmentally relevant conditions using the aquatic model plant Ceratophyllum demersum.

    PubMed

    Andresen, Elisa; Kappel, Sophie; Stärk, Hans-Joachim; Riegger, Ulrike; Borovec, Jakub; Mattusch, Jürgen; Heinz, Andrea; Schmelzer, Christian E H; Matoušková, Šárka; Dickinson, Bryan; Küpper, Hendrik

    2016-06-01

    Cadmium (Cd) is an important environmental pollutant and is poisonous to most organisms. We aimed to unravel the mechanisms of Cd toxicity in the model water plant Ceratophyllum demersum exposed to low (nM) concentrations of Cd as are present in nature. Experiments were conducted under environmentally relevant conditions, including nature-like light and temperature cycles, and a low biomass to water ratio. We measured chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence kinetics, oxygen exchange, the concentrations of reactive oxygen species and pigments, metal binding to proteins, and the accumulation of starch and metals. The inhibition threshold concentration for most parameters was 20 nM. Below this concentration, hardly any stress symptoms were observed. The first site of inhibition was photosynthetic light reactions (the maximal quantum yield of photosystem II (PSII) reaction centre measured as Fv /Fm , light-acclimated PSII activity ΦPSII , and total Chl). Trimers of the PSII light-harvesting complexes (LHCIIs) decreased more than LHC monomers and detection of Cd in the monomers suggested replacement of magnesium (Mg) by Cd in the Chl molecules. As a consequence of dysfunctional photosynthesis and energy dissipation, reactive oxygen species (superoxide and hydrogen peroxide) appeared. Cadmium had negative effects on macrophytes at much lower concentrations than reported previously, emphasizing the importance of studies applying environmentally relevant conditions. A chain of inhibition events could be established. PMID:26840406

  18. Comparison of 905 nm and 1550 nm semiconductor laser rangefinders' performance deterioration due to adverse environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wojtanowski, J.; Zygmunt, M.; Kaszczuk, M.; Mierczyk, Z.; Muzal, M.

    2014-09-01

    Laser rangefinder performance (i.e., maximum range) is strongly affected by environment due to visibility-dependent laser attenuation in the atmosphere and target reflectivity variations induced by surface condition changes (dry vs. wet). Both factors have their unique spectral features which means that rangefinders operating at different wavelengths are affected by specific environmental changes in a different way. Current state of the art TOF (time of flight) semiconductor laser rangefinders are based mainly on two wavelengths: 905 nm and 1550 nm, which results from atmospheric transmission windows and availability of high power pulsed sources. The paper discusses the scope of maximum range degradation of hypothetical 0.9 μm and 1.5 μm rangefinders due to selected water-related environmental effects. Atmospheric extinction spectra were adapted from Standard Atmosphere Model and reflectance fingerprints of various materials have been measured. It is not the aim of the paper to determine in general which wavelength is superior for laser range finding, since a number of criteria could be considered, but to verify their susceptibility to adverse environmental conditions.

  19. Droplet-turbulence interactions in sprays exposed to supercritical environmental conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santavicca, Domenic A.

    1993-01-01

    The goal of this research was to experimentally characterize the behavior of droplets in vaporizing sprays under conditions typical of those encountered in high pressure combustion systems such as liquid fueled rocket engines. Of particular interest are measurements of droplet drag and lift, droplet dispersion, droplet heating, and droplet vaporization under both subcritical and supercritical conditions. A summary of the major accomplishments achieved during the period from June 1990 through June 1993, a brief description and status report on five research areas, which were directly or indirectly supported by this grant, and a list of publications and personnel associated with this research is included.

  20. Droplet-turbulence interactions in sprays exposed to supercritical environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santavicca, Domenic A.

    1993-09-01

    The goal of this research was to experimentally characterize the behavior of droplets in vaporizing sprays under conditions typical of those encountered in high pressure combustion systems such as liquid fueled rocket engines. Of particular interest are measurements of droplet drag and lift, droplet dispersion, droplet heating, and droplet vaporization under both subcritical and supercritical conditions. A summary of the major accomplishments achieved during the period from June 1990 through June 1993, a brief description and status report on five research areas, which were directly or indirectly supported by this grant, and a list of publications and personnel associated with this research is included.

  1. Variation of cyanobacteria with different environmental conditions in Nansi Lake, China.

    PubMed

    Tian, Chang; Peil, Haiyan; Hu, Wenrong; Xie, Jun

    2012-01-01

    Nansi Lake is located on the east line of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project in China. A comprehensive study was carried out to investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of cyanobacteria in the lake from June 2008 to May 2011 based on monthly sample monitoring from five stations. The effect of environmental factors on cyanobacterial abundance was also evaluated. The cyanobacterial community contained 15 genera and 23 species. The cyanobacterial abundance of each monitoring station ranged from 0 to 1.53 x 10(7) cells/L with an average of 1.45 x 10(6) cells/L, which accounted for 11.66% of the total phytoplankton abundance. The dominant species of cyanobacteria were Pseudanabaena (32.94%) and Merismopedia (19.85%), not the bloom-forming algae such as Microcystis and Anabaena. In addition, the cyanobacterial community structure and water quality variables changed substantially over the survey period. Redundancy analysis (RDA) suggested that temperature and phosphorus were important environmental factors that affected cyanobacteria. Temperature was the most important factor affecting cyanobacterial abundance. The effect of phosphorus on cyanobacterial abundance was more notable in warm periods than in periods with low temperature. PMID:23513680

  2. Changing environmental conditions and applying organic fertilizers in Origanum vulgare L.

    PubMed Central

    Murillo-Amador, Bernardo; Morales-Prado, Luis E.; Troyo-Diéguez, Enrique; Córdoba-Matson, Miguel V.; Hernández-Montiel, Luis G.; Rueda-Puente, Edgar O.; Nieto-Garibay, Alejandra

    2015-01-01

    Any improvement in agricultural systems that results in higher production should also reduce negative environmental impacts and enhance sustainability. The aim of this research was to investigate the effect of two different production systems, one open-field and the other shade-enclosure with four bocashi doses, in order to find the best environmental option in terms of yield, physiological and morphometric characteristics in one oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) cultivar. In this study a completely randomized block design was used with four replications and evaluated for photosynthetic and transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, chlorophyll, leaf area and temperature, aerial and roots fresh and dry biomass, fresh and dry yield. The results showed that oregano adapted best to the shade-enclosure with increase yield of fresh and dry leaf weight of 165% and 118%, respectively, when compared to open-field. Also, higher doses of bocashi improved yield in both environments but more so in shade-enclosure. Soil moisture retention was higher in shade-enclosure which was reflected in physiological variables for soil matric potential, transpiration, stomatal conductivity, photosynthesis being significantly higher in shade-enclosure compared to open-field, thus improving yield. It seems that oregano plants can be grown and perform better under shade-enclosure than open-field and bocashi is a suitable organic fertilizer. PMID:26257756

  3. Reconstructing Historical Environmental Conditions in Pittsburgh Using Tree Ring Metal Concentrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, A. L.; Bain, D. J.

    2009-12-01

    Urban and industrial activities emit trace metals into the atmosphere, water, and soil. This pollution can affect biota and necessitates an understanding of the effects of human emissions on organisms and systems. Trace metal (lead, copper, cadmium, zinc, and nickel) contamination recorded in a red oak tree (Quercus rubra) from Schenley Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is used to reconstruct the pollution history over the 126 year life of this tree (1880-2006). Preliminary results found a statistically significant (p<0.05) increases for all metals except nickel when concentrations in the earliest rings (1880-1900) were compared to those in the latest rings (1996-2006). This demonstrates increases in environmental pollution over this time period. Characterization of the remaining rings (1901-1995) will afford an annual record of metal assimilation and direct comparison of metal assimilation with industrial history. This history of regional industrial loadings is being concurrently reconstructed from archival records to understand processes controlling metal concentrations in individual rings. Ultimately this study will improve understanding of environmental pollution in Pittsburgh and the transfer of trace metals into vegetation in general.

  4. Determination of Storm Flashing/Non-Flashing Condition From Convective and Environmental Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boccippio, Dennis J.

    2002-01-01

    A simple and fundamental problem in cloud electrification is whether or not a cloud can be determined to be producing lightning or not producing lightning, based solely on knowledge of its microphysical (and perhaps environmental) state. A merged database of TRMM radar, microwave and lightning observations and NCEP reanalysis environmental parameters is used to answer this question, for the tropics. The formal skill of traditional, univariate rule-based approaches (e.g., 35 dBZ occurrence at 6 km altitude) is quantified (via the probability of detection (POD), false alarm rate (FAR) and critical skill index (CSI)). Under indiscriminate application to the tropics, peak rule-based CSI for categorization of flashing storms is approximately 50%, with peak POD approximately 67% and minimum FAR approximately 33%, with peak CSI found for radar reflectivity-based parameters at 7-7.5 km altitude (near -15C). Separation of land and ocean domains yields approximately 5-10% gains in CSI over land. Conventional multivariate categorization techniques (discriminant analysis) are then applied, and less conventional (neural network) categorization techniques are also discussed.

  5. Proper housing conditions in experimental stroke studies—special emphasis on environmental enrichment

    PubMed Central

    Mering, Satu; Jolkkonen, Jukka

    2015-01-01

    Environmental enrichment provides laboratory animals with novelty and extra space, allowing different forms of multisensory stimulation ranging from social grouping to enhanced motor activity. At the extreme end of the spectrum, one can have a super-enriched environment. Environmental enrichment is believed to result in improved cognitive and sensorimotor functions both in naïve rodents and in animals with brain lesions such as those occurring after a stroke. Robust behavioral effects in animals which have suffered a stroke are probably related not only to neuronal plasticity in the perilesional cortex but also in remote brain areas. There is emerging evidence to suggest that testing restorative therapies in an enriched environment can maximize treatment effects, e.g., the perilesional milieu seems to be more receptive to concomitant pharmacotherapy and/or cell therapy. This review provides an updated overview on the effect of an enriched environment in stroke animals from the practical points to be considered when planning experiments to the mechanisms explaining why combined therapies can contribute to behavioral improvement in a synergistic manner. PMID:25870536

  6. Transcriptional response of the model planctomycete Rhodopirellula baltica SH1T to changing environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

    Wecker, Patricia; Klockow, Christine; Ellrott, Andreas; Quast, Christian; Langhammer, Philipp; Harder, Jens; Glöckner, Frank Oliver

    2009-01-01

    Background The marine model organism Rhodopirellula baltica SH1T was the first Planctomycete to have its genome completely sequenced. The genome analysis predicted a complex lifestyle and a variety of genetic opportunities to adapt to the marine environment. Its adaptation to environmental stressors was studied by transcriptional profiling using a whole genome microarray. Results Stress responses to salinity and temperature shifts were monitored in time series experiments. Chemostat cultures grown in mineral medium at 28°C were compared to cultures that were shifted to either elevated (37°C) or reduced (6°C) temperatures as well as high salinity (59.5‰) and observed over 300 min. Heat shock showed the induction of several known chaperone genes. Cold shock altered the expression of genes in lipid metabolism and stress proteins. High salinity resulted in the modulation of genes coding for compatible solutes, ion transporters and morphology. In summary, over 3000 of the 7325 genes were affected by temperature and/or salinity changes. Conclusion Transcriptional profiling confirmed that R. baltica is highly responsive to its environment. The distinct responses identified here have provided new insights into the complex adaptation machinery of this environmentally relevant marine bacterium. Our transcriptome study and previous proteome data suggest a set of genes of unknown functions that are most probably involved in the global stress response. This work lays the foundation for further bioinformatic and genetic studies which will lead to a comprehensive understanding of the biology of a marine Planctomycete. PMID:19725962

  7. Reaction norm model to describe environmental sensitivity across first lactation in dairy cattle under tropical conditions.

    PubMed

    Bignardi, Annaiza Braga; El Faro, Lenira; Pereira, Rodrigo Junqueira; Ayres, Denise Rocha; Machado, Paulo Fernando; de Albuquerque, Lucia Galvão; Santana, Mário Luiz

    2015-10-01

    Reaction norm models have been widely used to study genotype by environment interaction (G × E) in animal breeding. The objective of this study was to describe environmental sensitivity across first lactation in Brazilian Holstein cows using a reaction norm approach. A total of 50,168 individual monthly test day (TD) milk yields (10 test days) from 7476 complete first lactations of Holstein cattle were analyzed. The statistical models for all traits (10 TDs and for 305-day milk yield) included the fixed effects of contemporary group, age of cow (linear and quadratic effects), and days in milk (linear effect), except for 305-day milk yield. A hierarchical reaction norm model (HRNM) based on the unknown covariate was used. The present study showed the presence of G × E in milk yield across first lactation of Holstein cows. The variation in the heritability estimates implies differences in the response to selection depending on the environment where the animals of this population are evaluated. In the average environment, the heritabilities for all traits were rather similar, in range from 0.02 to 0.63. The scaling effect of G × E predominated throughout most of lactation. Particularly during the first 2 months of lactation, G × E caused reranking of breeding values. It is therefore important to include the environmental sensitivity of animals according to the phase of lactation in the genetic evaluations of Holstein cattle in tropical environments. PMID:26143280

  8. A Comprehensive Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with INTEGRAL/SPI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, K.; Teegarden, B. J.

    2005-12-01

    ESA's INTEGRAL mission was launched in October, 2002. The on-board Spectrometer SPI is the most sensitive high resolution gamma-ray spectrometer thus far flown in space. We have undertaken a global search of the first year of the SPI data for unpredicted gamma-ray lines. We utilize the SPIROS software to obtain individual spectra from point sources on the Bright Source Catalog available at http://lheawww.gsfc.nasa.gov/users/beckmann/INTEGRAL_bright_sources.html. We also search for lines from diffuse emission using the light bucket method with careful background subtraction. We find no new significant astrophysical lines. Our upper limits vary between a few X 10-5cm-2s-1 and a few X 10-3cm-2s-1 depending on line energy, width and exposure.

  9. Chronic unpredictable mild stress affects myocardial metabolic profiling of SD rats.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wen-yuan; Liu, Shao; Li, Huan-de; Cai, Hua-lin

    2012-11-01

    Depression is frequently comorbid with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), but a full understanding of the mechanisms is still on its way. Chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) model is a commonly used model to mimic clinical depression, here we present a GC/MS-based metabolic profiling approach to investigate myocardial metabolic changes of CUMS SD rats. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Partial Least Squares-Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) were utilized to reveal differences between the model and control group. This study found that molecules proved cardioprotective involving glutamine (P=0.019) and inosine (P=0.013), fatty acid (9,12-octadecadienoic acid, P=0.002; hexadecanoic acid, P=0.006; octadecanoic acid, P=0.030) which serve as the major energy source of heart and collagen molecule precursor proline (P=0.036) had down-regulated in CUMS model group. PMID:22658902

  10. [Comment on Earthquake precursors: Banished forever?] Comment: Unpredictability of earthquakes-Truth or fiction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lomnitz, Cinna

    I was delighted to read Alexander Gusev's opinions on what he calls the “unpredictability paradigm” of earthquakes (Eos, February 10, 1998, p. 71). I always enjoy hearing from a good friend in the pages of Eos. I immediately looked up “paradigm” in my Oxford Dictionary and found this: paradigm n 1) set of all the different forms of a word: verb paradigms. 2) Type of something; pattern; model: a paradigm for others to copy.I wonder whether Sasha Gusev actually believes that branding earthquake prediction a “proven nonscience” [Geller, 1997] is a paradigm for others to copy. As for me, I choose to refrain from climbing on board this particular bandwagon for the following reasons.

  11. The natural history of diabetic nephropathy: unpredictable insulin requirements--a further clue.

    PubMed

    Avram, M M; Paik, S K; Okanya, D; Rajpal, K

    1984-01-01

    Diabetic nephropathy has evolved into the single most prevalent cause of uremia among patients sustained by the United States End Stage Renal Disease program. Clarification of the natural history of kidney involvement and insufficiency in Type I and II diabetes has improved substantially over the past 5 years. However, it remains a poorly understood and relatively underreported morbid entity. This report reviews the problem, then reconstructs the natural history of diabetic nephropathy by studying the course of 50 Type I and Type II uremic diabetics treated with hemodialysis at The Long Island College Hospital. It traces the various stages from hyperglycemia to proteinuria to renal failure, and then reports morbidity, including cardiac, eye, stroke, and amputation complications. A new paradox is herein reported--the unpredictable insulin requirement, including new insulin need for the first time once hemodialysis was begun, in 8 of 50 patients studied. PMID:6368068

  12. Umbelliferone attenuates unpredictable chronic mild stress induced-insulin resistance in rats.

    PubMed

    Su, Qiang; Tao, Weiwei; Wang, Hanqing; Chen, Yanyan; Huang, Huang; Chen, Gang

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether umbelliferone (Umb) could attenuate insulin resistance in unpredictable chronic mild stress (CUMS)-induced rats. Behavioral changes were evaluated through sucrose preference test (SPT), open-field test, forced swimming test, and tail suspension test (TST), suggesting that Umb (20 and 40 mg/kg) could effectively improve depression symptoms. Oral glucose tolerance test and serum insulin indicated that Umb attributed to the control of blood glucose levels. The phosphorylation of insulin receptor, insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1, glycogen synthase kinase-3β, PI3K, and Akt was increased in Umb (20 and 40 mg/kg) treatment according to Western blot analysis. Taken together, the current results suggested the ameliorative effect of Umb against insulin resistance in the CUMS-induced rats. © 2016 IUBMB Life, 68(5):403-409, 2016. PMID:27027512

  13. An assessment of environmental conditions for control of downy brome by Pseudomonas fluorescens D7

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Purpose: We evaluated the conditions that favoured Pseudomonas fluorescens strain D7 (P.f. D7) growth and inhibition of downy brome. Design/methodology/approach: Tn5 mutagenesis and a competitive assay were used to isolate mutants of P.f. D7. Isolates were screened for polysaccharide production and ...

  14. Visual fatigue in video display terminal operators: objective measure and relation to environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Gobba, F M; Broglia, A; Sarti, R; Luberto, F; Cavalleri, A

    1988-01-01

    The lighting conditions, luminance, contrast, and design of the workplace were studied in video display terminal (VDT) work stations operated by a group of female VDT data-acquisition clerks. VDT-induced symptoms were assessed by means of subject answers to a questionnaire. To measure VDT-induced ocular fatigue objectively, refraction power was determined before and at the end of workshift by an infrared autorefractometer. Job-induced refraction changes were then related to visual complaints and conditions in the workplace. The results confirmed that VDT data-acquisition work can lead to temporary myopia (myopization) in a remarkable percentage of operators; a significant correlation between eye discomfort, ocular asthenopia, and myopization was also found. Illumination levels, luminance, and contrast seem to be of paramount importance regarding visual symptoms: neither asthenopia nor myopization was observed when all of these conditions were adequate. If the ergonomic design of the workplace and the viewing distance are adequate, there are also usually fewer musculoskeletal symptoms. Our results suggest that changes in the ocular refraction status before and at the end of the work-shift, as determined by an automatic refractometer, provide a good objective index of VDT-induced "ocular fatigue", which in our study proved to be significantly related to workplace conditions. PMID:3346085

  15. TOXICITY OF PENTACHLOROPHENOL TO AQUATIC ORGANISMS UNDER NATURALLY VARYING AND CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The toxicity of pentachlorophenol (PCP) was determined in the laboratory for 11 aquatic species. Tests were conducted seasonally in ambient Mississippi River water and under controlled conditions in Lake Superior water. Fifty-one acute toxicity tests were conducted, with LC50 val...

  16. THE EFFECT OF EARLY ENVIRONMENTAL MANIPULATION ON LOCOMOTOR SENSITIVITY AND METHAMPHETAMINE CONDITIONED PLACE PREFERENCE REWARD

    PubMed Central

    Hensleigh, E.; Pritchard, L. M.

    2014-01-01

    Early life stress leads to several effects on neurological development, affecting health and well-being later in life. Instances of child abuse and neglect are associated with higher rates of depression, risk taking behavior, and an increased risk of drug abuse later in life. This study used repeated neonatal separation of rat pups as a model of early life stress. Rat pups were either handled and weighed as controls or separated for 180 minutes per day during postnatal days 2-8. In adulthood, male and female rats were tested for methamphetamine conditioned place preference reward and methamphetamine induced locomotor activity. Tissue samples were collected and mRNA was quantified for the norepinephrine transporter in the prefrontal cortex and the dopamine transporter in the nucleus accumbens. Results indicated rats given methamphetamine formed a conditioned place preference, but there was no effect of early separation or sex. Separated males showed heightened methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity, but there was no effect of early separation for females. Overall females were more active than males in response to both saline and methamphetamine. No differences in mRNA levels were observed across any conditions. These results suggest early neonatal separation affects methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity in a sex-dependent manner but has no effects on methamphetamine conditioned place preference. PMID:24713150

  17. The effect of early environmental manipulation on locomotor sensitivity and methamphetamine conditioned place preference reward.

    PubMed

    Hensleigh, E; Pritchard, L M

    2014-07-15

    Early life stress leads to several effects on neurological development, affecting health and well-being later in life. Instances of child abuse and neglect are associated with higher rates of depression, risk taking behavior, and an increased risk of drug abuse later in life. This study used repeated neonatal separation of rat pups as a model of early life stress. Rat pups were either handled and weighed as controls or separated for 180 min per day during postnatal days 2-8. In adulthood, male and female rats were tested for methamphetamine conditioned place preference reward and methamphetamine induced locomotor activity. Tissue samples were collected and mRNA was quantified for the norepinephrine transporter in the prefrontal cortex and the dopamine transporter in the nucleus accumbens. Results indicated rats given methamphetamine formed a conditioned place preference, but there was no effect of early separation or sex. Separated males showed heightened methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity, but there was no effect of early separation for females. Overall females were more active than males in response to both saline and methamphetamine. No differences in mRNA levels were observed across any conditions. These results suggest early neonatal separation affects methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity in a sex-dependent manner but has no effects on methamphetamine conditioned place preference. PMID:24713150

  18. Basic Environmental Control Devices for Persons with Severe Multiple Handicapping Conditions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giangreco, Michael F.

    The guide presents a non-technical approach to adapting battery-operated and electrical devices for persons with severe handicapping conditions. The material was developed through Project REACH (Reconstructive Equipment Adaptations for Children with Handicaps). Chapter 1 presents rationales for the use of adapted switches and devices, including…

  19. Acquiring an attacking forehand drive: the effects of static and dynamic environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Bootsma, R J; Houbiers, M H; Whiting, H T; van Wieringen, P C

    1991-09-01

    Two groups of 10 novice subjects each were trained to perform attacking forehand drives in table tennis and land the balls as fast and as accurately as possible onto a target on the opposite side of the net under two different training conditions. Under the static training condition, the balls were to be struck from a constant position, and under the dynamic training condition, balls approached the subjects in a normal way. Both groups were tested under dynamic conditions prior to and after four days of training, during which they received 1,600 practice trials. Both groups of subjects were shown to increase the number of balls that landed on the target, and learning was also evident from an increased consistency of the direction of travel of the bat at the moment of ball/bat contact. However, no increase in consistency was found for the location of the bat at the moment of ball/bat contact and for the movement times. Thus, learning can occur in the absence of externally generated time-to-contact information, but this is not due to the establishment of a consistent movement form. Learning appears to progress from control at the moment of ball/bat contact backward, toward the moment of initiation. PMID:1925055

  20. Challenges for Physical Characterization of Silver Nanoparticles Under Pristine and Environmentally Relevant Conditions

    EPA Science Inventory

    The reported size distribution of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) is strongly affected by the underlying measurement method, agglomeration state, and dispersion conditions. A selection of AgNP materials with vendor-reported diameters ranging from 1 nm to 100 nm, various size distrib...

  1. ASSESSMENT OF FUNGAL GROWTH ON CEILING TILES UNDER ENVIRONMENTALLY CHARACTERIZED CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The paper discusses investigation of the impact of the building environment on the ability of building materials to support microbial growth, using static chambers with defined relative humidity, temperature, and light conditions. he ability of fungi to grow on materials is well ...

  2. Antidepressant-Like Effects of Cordycepin in a Mice Model of Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress

    PubMed Central

    Tianzhu, Zhang; Shihai, Yang; Juan, Du

    2014-01-01

    Cordycepin (3?-deoxyadenosine), a major bioactive component isolated from Cordyceps militaris, has multiple pharmacological activities. This study is attempted to investigate whether cordycepin (COR) possesses beneficial effects on chronic unpredictable mild stress- (CUMS-) induced behavioral deficits (depression-like behaviors) and explore the possible mechanisms. ICR mice were subjected to chronic unpredictable mild stress for 42 consecutive days. Then, COR and fluoxetine (FLU, positive control drug) were administered for 21 consecutive days at the last three weeks of CUMS procedure. The classical behavioral tests, open field test (OFT), sucrose preference test (SPT), tail suspension test (TST), and forced swimming test (FST), were applied to evaluate the antidepressant effects of COR. Then the serotonin (5-HT) and noradrenaline (NE) concentrations in hippocampal were evaluated by HPLC; tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in hippocampal were evaluated, and the proteins of TNF-?, IL-6, NF-?BP65 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2AR), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in hippocampal were evaluated by Western blot. Our results indicated that 6 weeks of CUMS exposure induced significant depression-like behavior, with low 5-HT and NE levels, high TNF-? and IL-6 in brain and high hippocampal TNF-?, IL-6, P-NF-?BP65, and 5-HT2AR levels, and low BDNF expression levels. Whereas, chronic COR (20, 40?mg/kg) treatments reversed the behavioral deficiency induced by CUMS exposure, treatment with COR normalized the change of TNF-?, IL-6, 5-HT, and NE levels, which demonstrated that COR could partially restore CUMS-induced 5-HT receptor impairments and inflammation. Besides, hippocampal BDNF expressions were also upregulated after COR treatments. In conclusion, COR remarkably improved depression-like behavior in CUMS mice and its antidepressant activity is mediated, at least in part, by the upregulating BDNF and downregulating 5-HT2AR levels and inflammation in hippocampus. PMID:25587342

  3. Total environmental warming impact (TEWI) calculations for alternative automative air-conditioning systems

    SciTech Connect

    Sand, J.R.; Fischer, S.K.

    1997-01-01

    The Montreal Protocol phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) has required manufacturers to develop refrigeration and air-conditioning systems that use refrigerants that can not damage stratospheric ozone. Most refrigeration industries have adapted their designs to use hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) or hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants; new automobile air- conditioning systems use HFC-134a. These industries are now being affected by scientific investigations of greenhouse warming and questions about the effects of refrigerants on global warming. Automobile air-conditioning has three separate impacts on global warming; (1) the effects of refrigerant inadvertently released to the atmosphere from accidents, servicing, and leakage; (2) the efficiency of the cooling equipment (due to the emission of C0{sub 2} from burning fuel to power the system); and (3) the emission of C0{sub 2} from burning fuel to transport the system. The Total Equivalent Warming Impact (TEWI) is an index that should be used to compare the global warming effects of alternative air-conditioning systems because it includes these contributions from the refrigerant, cooling efficiency, and weight. This paper compares the TEWI of current air-conditioning systems using HFC-134a with that of transcritical vapor compression system using carbon dioxide and systems using flammable refrigerants with secondary heat transfer loops. Results are found to depend on both climate and projected efficiency of C0{sub 2}systems. Performance data on manufacturing prototype systems are needed to verify the potential reductions in TEWI. Extensive field testing is also required to determine the performance, reliability, and ``serviceability`` of each alternative to HFC-134a to establish whether the potential reduction of TEWI can be achieved in a viable consumer product.

  4. Maternal sex effects and inbreeding depression under varied environmental conditions in gynodioecious Fragaria vesca subsp. bracteata

    PubMed Central

    Dalton, Rebecca M.; Koski, Matthew H.; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Gynodioecy (coexistence of females and hermaphrodites) is a sexual system that occurs in numerous flowering plant lineages. Thus, understanding the features that affect its maintenance has wide importance. Models predict that females must have a seed fitness advantage over hermaphrodites, and this may be achieved via seed quality or quantity. Females in a population of Fragaria vesca subsp. bracteata, a long-lived gynodioecious perennial, do not demonstrate a seed quantity advantage, so this study explored whether females produced better quality seed via maternal sex effects or avoidance of inbreeding depression (IBD). Methods Families of selfed and outcrossed seed were created using hermaphrodite mothers and families of outcrossed seed were created using female mothers. The effects of these pollination treatments were assessed under benign conditions early in life and under varied conditions later in life. To test for an effect of maternal sex, fitness components and traits associated with acclimation to variable environments of progeny of outbred hermaphrodites and females were compared. To test for expression of IBD, fitness parameters between inbred and outbred progeny of hermaphrodites were compared. Key Results Offspring of females were more likely to germinate in benign conditions and survive in harsh resource environments than outbred progeny of hermaphrodites. IBD was low across most life stages, and both the effect of maternal sex on progeny quality and the expression of IBD depended on both maternal family and resource condition of the progeny. Conclusions The effect of maternal sex and IBD on progeny quality depended on resource conditions, maternal lineage and progeny life stage. In conjunction with known lack of differences in seed quantity, the quality advantages and IBD observed here are still unlikely to be sufficient for maintenance of gynodioecy under nuclear inheritance of male sterility. PMID:23723257

  5. Biofouling community composition across a range of environmental conditions and geographical locations suitable for floating marine renewable energy generation.

    PubMed

    Macleod, Adrian K; Stanley, Michele S; Day, John G; Cook, Elizabeth J

    2016-03-01

    Knowledge of biofouling typical of marine structures is essential for engineers to define appropriate loading criteria in addition to informing other stakeholders about the ecological implications of creating novel artificial environments. There is a lack of information regarding biofouling community composition (including weight and density characteristics) on floating structures associated with future marine renewable energy generation technologies. A network of navigation buoys were identified across a range of geographical areas, environmental conditions (tidal flow speed, temperature and salinity), and deployment durations suitable for future developments. Despite the perceived importance of environmental and temporal factors, geographical location explained the greatest proportion of the observed variation in community composition, emphasising the importance of considering geography when assessing the impact of biofouling on device functioning and associated ecology. The principal taxa associated with variation in biofouling community composition were mussels (Mytilus edulis), which were also important when determining loading criteria. PMID:26900732

  6. Male germplasm in relation to environmental conditions: synoptic focus on DNA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jenkins, Jill A.

    2011-01-01

    Wild animals are generally more sensitive than humans to environmental stressors, thus they act as sentinels for resource degradation. Sublethal stress is generally manifested first at the sub-organismal level, where immune systems are compromised, reproductive success is reduced, and genetic integrity is altered. Biomarkers - variables quantifiably responsive to changes in the environment - provide useful information to resource managers and regulatory agencies. Biomarkers of sperm quality are proving useful in this capacity, as well as in artificial breeding. Cellular and molecular bioassays can help to determine mechanisms of action of deleterious agents, predict fertility and reproductive potential, and model population-wide and community level effects. A sequence of biomarker assays can be tailored to fit species of concern, to study physiological effects responsive to known contamination events, and can be selectively applied to fresh, thawed, and fixed samples, as well as those shipped to the laboratory from field sites.

  7. Environmental Conditions Influence Induction of Key ABC-Transporter Genes Affecting Glyphosate Resistance Mechanism in Conyza canadensis.

    PubMed

    Tani, Eleni; Chachalis, Demosthenis; Travlos, Ilias S; Bilalis, Dimitrios

    2016-01-01

    Conyza canadensis has been reported to be the most frequent weed species that evolved resistance to glyphosate in various parts of the world. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of environmental conditions (temperature and light) on the expression levels of the EPSPS gene and two major ABC-transporter genes (M10 and M11) on glyphosate susceptible (GS) and glyphosate resistant (GR) horseweed populations, collected from several regions across Greece. Real-time PCR was conducted to determine the expression level of the aforementioned genes when glyphosate was applied at normal (1×; 533 g·a.e.·ha(-1)) and high rates (4×, 8×), measured at an early one day after treatment (DAT) and a later stage (four DAT) of expression. Plants were exposed to light or dark conditions, at three temperature regimes (8, 25, 35 °C). GR plants were made sensitive when exposed to 8 °C with light; those sensitized plants behaved biochemically (shikimate accumulation) and molecularly (expression of EPSPS and ABC-genes) like the GS plants. Results from the current study show the direct link between the environmental conditions and the induction level of the above key genes that likely affect the efficiency of the proposed mechanism of glyphosate resistance. PMID:27104532

  8. The impact of reproductive investment and early-life environmental conditions on senescence: support for the disposable soma hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Hammers, M; Richardson, D S; Burke, T; Komdeur, J

    2013-09-01

    Several hypotheses have been put forward to explain the evolution of senescence. One of the leading hypotheses, the disposable soma hypothesis, predicts a trade-off, whereby early-life investment in reproduction leads to late-life declines in survival (survival senescence). Testing this hypothesis in natural populations is challenging, but important for understanding the evolution of senescence. We used the long-term data set from a contained, predator-free population of individually marked Seychelles warblers (Acrocephalus sechellensis) to investigate how age-related declines in survival are affected by early-life investment in reproduction and early-life environmental conditions. The disposable soma hypothesis predicts that higher investment in reproduction, or experiencing harsh conditions during early life, will lead to an earlier onset, and an increased rate, of senescence. We found that both sexes showed similar age-related declines in late-life survival consistent with senescence. Individuals that started breeding at a later age showed a delay in survival senescence, but this later onset of breeding did not result in a less rapid decline in late-life survival. Although survival senescence was not directly related to early-life environmental conditions, age of first breeding increased with natal food availability. Therefore, early-life food availability may affect senescence by influencing age of first breeding. The disposable soma hypothesis of senescence is supported by delayed senescence in individuals that started breeding at a later age and therefore invested less in reproduction. PMID:23961923

  9. Environmental Conditions Influence Induction of Key ABC-Transporter Genes Affecting Glyphosate Resistance Mechanism in Conyza canadensis

    PubMed Central

    Tani, Eleni; Chachalis, Demosthenis; Travlos, Ilias S.; Bilalis, Dimitrios

    2016-01-01

    Conyza canadensis has been reported to be the most frequent weed species that evolved resistance to glyphosate in various parts of the world. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of environmental conditions (temperature and light) on the expression levels of the EPSPS gene and two major ABC-transporter genes (M10 and M11) on glyphosate susceptible (GS) and glyphosate resistant (GR) horseweed populations, collected from several regions across Greece. Real-time PCR was conducted to determine the expression level of the aforementioned genes when glyphosate was applied at normal (1×; 533 g·a.e.·ha−1) and high rates (4×, 8×), measured at an early one day after treatment (DAT) and a later stage (four DAT) of expression. Plants were exposed to light or dark conditions, at three temperature regimes (8, 25, 35 °C). GR plants were made sensitive when exposed to 8 °C with light; those sensitized plants behaved biochemically (shikimate accumulation) and molecularly (expression of EPSPS and ABC-genes) like the GS plants. Results from the current study show the direct link between the environmental conditions and the induction level of the above key genes that likely affect the efficiency of the proposed mechanism of glyphosate resistance. PMID:27104532

  10. Robust Vehicle Detection under Various Environmental Conditions Using an Infrared Thermal Camera and Its Application to Road Traffic Flow Monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Iwasaki, Yoichiro; Misumi, Masato; Nakamiya, Toshiyuki

    2013-01-01

    We have already proposed a method for detecting vehicle positions and their movements (henceforth referred to as “our previous method”) using thermal images taken with an infrared thermal camera. Our experiments have shown that our previous method detects vehicles robustly under four different environmental conditions which involve poor visibility conditions in snow and thick fog. Our previous method uses the windshield and its surroundings as the target of the Viola-Jones detector. Some experiments in winter show that the vehicle detection accuracy decreases because the temperatures of many windshields approximate those of the exterior of the windshields. In this paper, we propose a new vehicle detection method (henceforth referred to as “our new method”). Our new method detects vehicles based on tires' thermal energy reflection. We have done experiments using three series of thermal images for which the vehicle detection accuracies of our previous method are low. Our new method detects 1,417 vehicles (92.8%) out of 1,527 vehicles, and the number of false detection is 52 in total. Therefore, by combining our two methods, high vehicle detection accuracies