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Sample records for affect ecological processes

  1. Nutrient addition differentially affects ecological processes of Avicennia germinans in nitrogen versus phosphorus limited mangrove ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Feller, Ilka C.; Lovelock, C.E.; McKee, K.L.

    2007-01-01

    Nutrient over-enrichment is a major threat to marine environments, but system-specific attributes of coastal ecosystems may result in differences in their sensitivity and susceptibility to eutrophication. We used fertilization experiments in nitrogen (N)- and phosphorus (P)-limited mangrove forests to test the hypothesis that alleviating different kinds of nutrient limitation may have different effects on ecosystem structure and function in natural systems. We compared a broad range of ecological processes to determine if these systems have different thresholds where shifts might occur in nutrient limitation. Growth responses indicated N limitation in Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) forests in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida, and P limitation at Twin Cays, Belize. When nutrient deficiency was relieved, A. germinans grew out of its stunted form by increasing wood relative to leaf biomass and shoot length relative to lateral growth. At the P-limited site, P enrichment (+P) increased specific leaf area, N resorption, and P uptake, but had no effect on P resorption. At the N-limited site, +N increased both N and P resorption, but did not alter biomass allocation. Herbivory was greater at the P-limited site and was unaffected by +P, whereas +N led to increased herbivory at the N-limited site. The responses to nutrient enrichment depended on the ecological process and limiting nutrient and suggested that N- versus P-limited mangroves do have different thresholds. +P had a greater effect on more ecological processes at Twin Cays than did +N at the IRL, which indicated that the P-limited site was more sensitive to nutrient loading. Because of this sensitivity, eutrophication is more likely to cause a shift in nutrient limitation at P-limited Twin Cays than N-limited IRL. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  2. Affective processing requires awareness.

    PubMed

    Lähteenmäki, Mikko; Hyönä, Jukka; Koivisto, Mika; Nummenmaa, Lauri

    2015-04-01

    Studies using backward masked emotional stimuli suggest that affective processing may occur outside visual awareness and imply primacy of affective over semantic processing, yet these experiments have not strictly controlled for the participants' awareness of the stimuli. Here we directly compared the primacy of affective versus semantic categorization of biologically relevant stimuli in 5 experiments (n = 178) using explicit (semantic and affective discrimination; Experiments 1-3) and implicit (semantic and affective priming; Experiments 4-5) measures. The same stimuli were used in semantic and affective tasks. Visual awareness was manipulated by varying exposure duration of the masked stimuli, and subjective level of stimulus awareness was measured after each trial using a 4-point perceptual awareness scale. When participants reported no awareness of the stimuli, semantic and affective categorization were at chance level and priming scores did not differ from zero. When participants were even partially aware of the stimuli, (a) both semantic and affective categorization could be performed above chance level with equal accuracy, (b) semantic categorization was faster than affective categorization, and (c) both semantic and affective priming were observed. Affective categorization speed was linearly dependent on semantic categorization speed, suggesting dependence of affective processing on semantic recognition. Manipulations of affective and semantic categorization tasks revealed a hierarchy of categorization operations beginning with basic-level semantic categorization and ending with superordinate level affective categorization. We conclude that both implicit and explicit affective and semantic categorization is dependent on visual awareness, and that affective recognition follows semantic categorization.

  3. How landscape scale changes affect ecological processes in conservation areas: external factors influence land use by zebra (Equus burchelli) in the Okavango Delta

    PubMed Central

    Bartlam-Brooks, Hattie L A; Bonyongo, Mpaphi C; Harris, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Most large-bodied wildlife populations in sub-Saharan Africa only survive in conservation areas, but are continuing to decline because external changes influence ecological processes within reserves, leading to a lack of functionality. However, failure to understand how landscape scale changes influence ecological processes limits our ability to manage protected areas. We used GPS movement data to calculate dry season home ranges for 14 zebra mares in the Okavango Delta and investigated the effects of a range of landscape characteristics (number of habitat patches, mean patch shape, mean index of juxtaposition, and interspersion) on home range size. Resource utilization functions (RUF) were calculated to investigate how specific landscape characteristics affected space use. Space use by all zebra was clustered. In the wetter (Central) parts of the Delta home range size was negatively correlated with the density of habitat patches, more complex patch shapes, low juxtaposition of habitats and an increased availability of floodplain and grassland habitats. In the drier (Peripheral) parts of the Delta, higher use by zebra was also associated with a greater availability of floodplain and grassland habitats, but a lower density of patches and simpler patch shapes. The most important landscape characteristic was not consistent between zebra within the same area of the Delta, suggesting that no single foraging strategy is substantially superior to others, and so animals using different foraging strategies may all thrive. The distribution and complexity of habitat patches are crucial in determining space use by zebra. The extent and duration of seasonal flooding is the principal process affecting habitat patch characteristics in the Okavango Delta, particularly the availability of floodplains, which are the habitat at greatest risk from climate change and anthropogenic disturbance to the Okavango's catchment basin. Understanding how the factors that determine habitat

  4. How landscape scale changes affect ecological processes in conservation areas: external factors influence land use by zebra (Equus burchelli) in the Okavango Delta.

    PubMed

    Bartlam-Brooks, Hattie L A; Bonyongo, Mpaphi C; Harris, Stephen

    2013-09-01

    Most large-bodied wildlife populations in sub-Saharan Africa only survive in conservation areas, but are continuing to decline because external changes influence ecological processes within reserves, leading to a lack of functionality. However, failure to understand how landscape scale changes influence ecological processes limits our ability to manage protected areas. We used GPS movement data to calculate dry season home ranges for 14 zebra mares in the Okavango Delta and investigated the effects of a range of landscape characteristics (number of habitat patches, mean patch shape, mean index of juxtaposition, and interspersion) on home range size. Resource utilization functions (RUF) were calculated to investigate how specific landscape characteristics affected space use. Space use by all zebra was clustered. In the wetter (Central) parts of the Delta home range size was negatively correlated with the density of habitat patches, more complex patch shapes, low juxtaposition of habitats and an increased availability of floodplain and grassland habitats. In the drier (Peripheral) parts of the Delta, higher use by zebra was also associated with a greater availability of floodplain and grassland habitats, but a lower density of patches and simpler patch shapes. The most important landscape characteristic was not consistent between zebra within the same area of the Delta, suggesting that no single foraging strategy is substantially superior to others, and so animals using different foraging strategies may all thrive. The distribution and complexity of habitat patches are crucial in determining space use by zebra. The extent and duration of seasonal flooding is the principal process affecting habitat patch characteristics in the Okavango Delta, particularly the availability of floodplains, which are the habitat at greatest risk from climate change and anthropogenic disturbance to the Okavango's catchment basin. Understanding how the factors that determine habitat

  5. Enhancing the Ecological Risk Assessment Process

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, Virginia H

    2008-01-01

    The Ecological Processes and Effects Committee of the US Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board conducted a self-initiated study and convened a public workshop to characterize the state of the ecological risk assessment (ERA), with a view toward advancing the science and application of the process. That survey and analysis of ERA in decision making shows that such assessments have been most effective when clear management goals were included in the problem formulation; translated into information needs; and developed in collaboration with decision makers, assessors, scientists, and stakeholders. This process is best facilitated when risk managers, risk assessors, and stakeholders are engaged in an ongoing dialogue about problem formulation. Identification and acknowledgment of uncertainties that have the potential to profoundly affect the results and outcome of risk assessments also improves assessment effectiveness. Thus we suggest (1) thorough peer review of ERAs be conducted at the problem formulation stage and (2) the predictive power of risk-based decision making be expanded to reduce uncertainties through analytical and methodological approaches like life cycle analysis. Risk assessment and monitoring programs need better integration to reduce uncertainty and to evaluate risk management decision outcomes. Postdecision audit programs should be initiated to evaluate the environmental outcomes of risk-based decisions. In addition, a process should be developed to demonstrate how monitoring data can be used to reduce uncertainties. Ecological risk assessments should include the effects of chemical and nonchemical stressors at multiple levels of biological organization and spatial scale, and the extent and resolution of the pertinent scales and levels of organization should be explicitly considered during problem formulation. An approach to interpreting lines of evidence and weight of evidence is critically needed for complex assessments, and it

  6. Ecological sounds affect breath duration more than artificial sounds.

    PubMed

    Murgia, Mauro; Santoro, Ilaria; Tamburini, Giorgia; Prpic, Valter; Sors, Fabrizio; Galmonte, Alessandra; Agostini, Tiziano

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that auditory rhythms affect both movement and physiological functions. We hypothesized that the ecological sounds of human breathing can affect breathing more than artificial sounds of breathing, varying in tones for inspiration and expiration. To address this question, we monitored the breath duration of participants exposed to three conditions: (a) ecological sounds of breathing, (b) artificial sounds of breathing having equal temporal features as the ecological sounds, (c) no sounds (control). We found that participants' breath duration variability was reduced in the ecological sound condition, more than in the artificial sound condition. We suggest that ecological sounds captured the timing of breathing better than artificial sounds, guiding as a consequence participants' breathing. We interpreted our results according to the Theory of Event Coding, providing further support to its validity, and suggesting its possible extension in the domain of physiological functions which are both consciously and unconsciously controlled.

  7. Social ecological complexity and resilience processes.

    PubMed

    Ungar, Michael

    2015-01-01

    A social ecological model of resilience avoids the reductionism of simple explanations of the complex and multisystemic processes associated with well-being in contexts of adversity. There is evidence that when stressors are abnormally high, environmental factors account for more of an individual's resilience than do individual traits or cognitions. In this commentary, a social ecological model of resilience is discussed.

  8. Positive affect and psychobiological processes.

    PubMed

    Dockray, Samantha; Steptoe, Andrew

    2010-09-01

    Positive affect has been associated with favourable health outcomes, and it is likely that several biological processes mediate the effects of positive mood on physical health. There is converging evidence that positive affect activates the neuroendocrine, autonomic and immune systems in distinct and functionally meaningful ways. Cortisol, both total output and the awakening response, has consistently been shown to be lower among individuals with higher levels of positive affect. The beneficial effects of positive mood on cardiovascular function, including heart rate and blood pressure, and the immune system have also been described. The influence of positive affect on these psychobiological processes is independent of negative affect, suggesting that positive affect may have characteristic biological correlates. The duration and conceptualisation of positive affect may be important considerations in understanding how different biological systems are activated in association with positive affect. The association of positive affect and psychobiological processes has been established, and these biological correlates may be partly responsible for the protective effects of positive affect on health outcomes.

  9. An ecological process model of systems change.

    PubMed

    Peirson, Leslea J; Boydell, Katherine M; Ferguson, H Bruce; Ferris, Lorraine E

    2011-06-01

    In June 2007 the American Journal of Community Psychology published a special issue focused on theories, methods and interventions for systems change which included calls from the editors and authors for theoretical advancement in this field. We propose a conceptual model of systems change that integrates familiar and fundamental community psychology principles (succession, interdependence, cycling of resources, adaptation) and accentuates a process orientation. To situate our framework we offer a definition of systems change and a brief review of the ecological perspective and principles. The Ecological Process Model of Systems Change is depicted, described and applied to a case example of policy driven systems level change in publicly funded social programs. We conclude by identifying salient implications for thinking and action which flow from the Model.

  10. Does Gender Affect a Scientist's Research Output in Evolutionary Ecology?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonnet, Xavier; Shine, Richard; Lourdais, Olivier

    To examine how an author's gender influences his or her research output, the authors analyzed (not simply scored) more than 900 published articles in nine leading scientific journals in the field of evolutionary ecology. Women were strongly underrepresented in all countries, but this bias is decreasing. Men and women differed significantly in their fields of research, with women preferentially conducting projects on behavior rather than evolution or ecology. Most aspects of the structure of published articles and the level of conceptual generality were unaffected by an author's gender. Because discriminatory practices by reviewers and editors can be manifested in attributes of the articles that survive the review process, the latter result suggests a lack of gender-based discrimination during the review process. Gender differences in research output presumably reflect a complex array of genetic and social influences; a clearer understanding of these causal factors may help identify (and thus reduce) gender-based discrimination.

  11. Stage structure alters how complexity affects stability of ecological networks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rudolf, V.H.W.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2011-01-01

    Resolving how complexity affects stability of natural communities is of key importance for predicting the consequences of biodiversity loss. Central to previous stability analysis has been the assumption that the resources of a consumer are substitutable. However, during their development, most species change diets; for instance, adults often use different resources than larvae or juveniles. Here, we show that such ontogenetic niche shifts are common in real ecological networks and that consideration of these shifts can alter which species are predicted to be at risk of extinction. Furthermore, niche shifts reduce and can even reverse the otherwise stabilizing effect of complexity. This pattern arises because species with several specialized life stages appear to be generalists at the species level but act as sequential specialists that are hypersensitive to resource loss. These results suggest that natural communities are more vulnerable to biodiversity loss than indicated by previous analyses.

  12. Bacteriophage ecology in environmental biotechnology processes.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Orr H; Kushmaro, Ariel

    2011-06-01

    Heterotrophic bacteria are an integral part of any environmental biotechnology process (EBP). Therefore, factors controlling bacterial abundance, activity, and community composition are central to the understanding of such processes. Among these factors, top-down control by bacteriophage predation has so far received very limited attention. With over 10(8) particles per ml, phage appear to be the most numerous biological entities in EBP. Phage populations in EBP appear to be highly dynamic and to correlate with the population dynamics of their hosts and genomic evidence suggests bacteria evolve to avoid phage predation. Clearly, there is much to learn regarding bacteriophage in EBP before we can truly understand the microbial ecology of these globally important systems.

  13. Ecological succession as an energy dispersal process.

    PubMed

    Würtz, Peter; Annila, Arto

    2010-04-01

    Ecological succession is described by the 2nd law of thermodynamics. According to the universal law of the maximal energy dispersal, an ecosystem evolves toward a stationary state in its surroundings by consuming free energy via diverse mechanisms. Species are the mechanisms that conduct energy down along gradients between repositories of energy which consist of populations at various thermodynamic levels. The salient characteristics of succession, growing biomass production, increasing species richness and shifting distributions of species are found as consequences of the universal quest to diminish energy density differences in least time. The analysis reveals that during succession the ecosystem's energy transduction network, i.e., the food web organizes increasingly more effective in the free energy reduction by acquiring new, more effective and abandoning old, less effective species of energy transduction. The number of species does not necessarily peak at the climax state that corresponds to the maximum-entropy partition of species maximizing consumption of free energy. According to the theory of evolution by natural selection founded on statistical physics of open systems, ecological succession is one among many other evolutionary processes.

  14. Analysis on spatial transfer model of energy development layout and the ecological footprint affection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Xiaoxia; Zhang, Jinfang

    2017-01-01

    Consider the global energy interconnection, the global is concentrating on carrying out clean energy alternative, which is mainly focusing on using the clean energy to take place of fossil energy, and change the global energy layout and ecological atmosphere condition. This research gives the energy spatial transfer model of energy development layout to analyse the global energy development layout condition and ecological affection. And it is a fast and direct method to analyse its energy usage process and environmental affection. The paper also gives out a system dynamics model of energy spatial transfer shows, which electric power transmission is better than original energy usage and transportation. It also gives the comparison of different parameters. The energy spatial transfer can affect the environment directly. Consider its three environmental factors, including energy saving, climate changing and conventional pollutant emission reduction, synthetic combine with the spatial transfer model, it can get the environmental change parameters, which showed that with the clean energy wide usage, the ecological footprint affection will be affected significantly.

  15. INCORPORATING INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY INTO HIERARCHICAL CHEMICAL PROCESS DESIGN

    EPA Science Inventory

    Incorporating Industrial Ecology into Hierarchical Chemical Process Design: Determining Targets for the Exchange of Waste

    The exchange of waste to be used as a recycled feed has long been encouraged by practitioners of industrial ecology. Industrial ecology is a field t...

  16. Ecological interactions affecting population-level responses to chemical stress in Mesocyclops leuckarti.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Devdutt; Hommen, Udo; Schäffer, Andreas; Preuss, Thomas G

    2014-10-01

    Higher tiers of ecological risk assessment (ERA) consider population and community-level endpoints. At the population level, the phenomenon of density dependence is one of the most important ecological processes that influence population dynamics. In this study, we investigated how different mechanisms of density dependence would influence population-level ERA of the cyclopoid copepod Mesocyclops leuckarti under toxicant exposure. We used a combined approach of laboratory experiments and individual-based modelling. An individual-based model was developed for M. leuckarti to simulate population dynamics under triphenyltin exposure based on individual-level ecological and toxicological data from laboratory experiments. The study primarily aimed to-(1) determine which life-cycle processes, based on feeding strategies, are most significant in determining density dependence (2) explore how these mechanisms of density dependence affect extrapolation from individual-level effects to the population level under toxicant exposure. Model simulations showed that cannibalism of nauplii that were already stressed by TPT exposure contributed to synergistic effects of biotic and abiotic factors and led to a twofold stress being exerted on the nauplii, thereby resulting in a higher population vulnerability compared to the scenario without cannibalism. Our results suggest that in population-level risk assessment, it is easy to underestimate toxicity unless underlying ecological interactions including mechanisms of population-level density regulation are considered. This study is an example of how a combined approach of experiments and mechanistic modelling can lead to a thorough understanding of ecological processes in ecotoxicology and enable a more realistic ERA.

  17. Affect, Behavioural Schemas and the Proving Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Selden, Annie; McKee, Kerry; Selden, John

    2010-01-01

    In this largely theoretical article, we discuss the relation between a kind of affect, behavioural schemas and aspects of the proving process. We begin with affect as described in the mathematics education literature, but soon narrow our focus to a particular kind of affect--nonemotional cognitive feelings. We then mention the position of feelings…

  18. Factors Affecting Technology Uses in Schools: An Ecological Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhao, Yong; Frank, Kenneth A.

    2003-01-01

    Why is technology not used more in schools? Many researchers have tried to solve this persistent puzzle. The authors of this article report on their study of technology uses in 19 schools. They suggest an ecological metaphor, using the example of the introduction of the zebra mussel into the Great Lakes, to integrate and organize sets of factors…

  19. [Soil microbial ecological process and microbial functional gene diversity].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Zhang, Huiwen; Li, Xinyu; Su, Zhencheng; Zhang, Chenggang

    2006-06-01

    Soil microbes in terrestrial ecosystem carry out a series of important ecological functions, such as geo-chemical cycling of elements, degradation of pollutants, and buffering to the acute changes of environment, etc. Soil microbial ecological function has a close relation with soil function, and the changes in the structure and composition of soil microbial populations can directly affect the realization of soil function. Through their produced enzymes, soil microbes take part in a series of metabolic activities, and the functional genes of coded enzymes are the functional markers of microbes. In recent ten years, molecular ecology focusing on the functional gene diversity has been developed rapidly, which gives us a new cut-in point to understand soil microbial ecological function from the point of functional gene. This paper reviewed the research advances in the functional gene diversity correlated to soil microbial ecological function, with the perspectives in this field discussed.

  20. Effective discharge analysis of ecological processes in streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doyle, M.W.; Stanley, E.H.; Strayer, D.L.; Jacobson, R.B.; Schmidt, J.C.

    2005-01-01

    [1] Discharge is a master variable that controls many processes in stream ecosystems. However, there is uncertainty of which discharges are most important for driving particular ecological processes and thus how flow regime may influence entire stream ecosystems. Here the analytical method of effective discharge from fluvial geomorphology is used to analyze the interaction between frequency and magnitude of discharge events that drive organic matter transport, algal growth, nutrient retention, macroinvertebrate disturbance, and habitat availability. We quantify the ecological effective discharge using a synthesis of previously published studies and modeling from a range of study sites. An analytical expression is then developed for a particular case of ecological effective discharge and is used to explore how effective discharge varies within variable hydrologic regimes. Our results suggest that a range of discharges is important for different ecological processes in an individual stream. Discharges are not equally important; instead, effective discharge values exist that correspond to near modal flows and moderate floods for the variable sets examined. We suggest four types of ecological response to discharge variability: discharge as a transport mechanism, regulator of habitat, process modulator, and disturbance. Effective discharge analysis will perform well when there is a unique, essentially instantaneous relationship between discharge and an ecological process and poorly when effects of discharge are delayed or confounded by legacy effects. Despite some limitations the conceptual and analytical utility of the effective discharge analysis allows exploring general questions about how hydrologic variability influences various ecological processes in streams. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.

  1. Ecological Risk Assessment Process under the Endangered Species Act

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This document provides an overview of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ecological risk assessment process for the evaluation of potential risk to endangered and threatened (listed) species from exposure to pesticides.

  2. Estimating and mapping ecological processes influencing microbial community assembly

    DOE PAGES

    Stegen, James C.; Lin, Xueju; Fredrickson, Jim K.; ...

    2015-05-01

    Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i) selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii) dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii) ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal is a rate, we conceptualize extreme dispersal rates as two categories; dispersal limitation results from limited exchange of organisms among communities, and homogenizing dispersal results from high levels of organism exchange. To estimate the influence and spatial variation of each process we extend a recentlymore » developed statistical framework, use a simulation model to evaluate the accuracy of the extended framework, and use the framework to examine subsurface microbial communities over two geologic formations. For each subsurface community we estimate the degree to which it is influenced by homogeneous selection, variable selection, dispersal limitation, and homogenizing dispersal. Our analyses revealed that the relative influences of these ecological processes vary substantially across communities even within a geologic formation. We further identify environmental and spatial features associated with each ecological process, which allowed mapping of spatial variation in ecological-process-influences. The resulting maps provide a new lens through which ecological systems can be understood; in the subsurface system investigated here they revealed that the influence of variable selection was associated with the rate at which redox conditions change with subsurface depth.« less

  3. Estimating and mapping ecological processes influencing microbial community assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Stegen, James C.; Lin, Xueju; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Konopka, Allan E.

    2015-05-01

    Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i) selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii) dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii) ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal is a rate, we conceptualize extreme dispersal rates as two categories; dispersal limitation results from limited exchange of organisms among communities, and homogenizing dispersal results from high levels of organism exchange. To estimate the influence and spatial variation of each process we extend a recently developed statistical framework, use a simulation model to evaluate the accuracy of the extended framework, and use the framework to examine subsurface microbial communities over two geologic formations. For each subsurface community we estimate the degree to which it is influenced by homogeneous selection, variable selection, dispersal limitation, and homogenizing dispersal. Our analyses revealed that the relative influences of these ecological processes vary substantially across communities even within a geologic formation. We further identify environmental and spatial features associated with each ecological process, which allowed mapping of spatial variation in ecological-process-influences. The resulting maps provide a new lens through which ecological systems can be understood; in the subsurface system investigated here they revealed that the influence of variable selection was associated with the rate at which redox conditions change with subsurface depth.

  4. Estimating and mapping ecological processes influencing microbial community assembly

    PubMed Central

    Stegen, James C.; Lin, Xueju; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Konopka, Allan E.

    2015-01-01

    Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i) selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii) dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii) ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal is a rate, we conceptualize extreme dispersal rates as two categories; dispersal limitation results from limited exchange of organisms among communities, and homogenizing dispersal results from high levels of organism exchange. To estimate the influence and spatial variation of each process we extend a recently developed statistical framework, use a simulation model to evaluate the accuracy of the extended framework, and use the framework to examine subsurface microbial communities over two geologic formations. For each subsurface community we estimate the degree to which it is influenced by homogeneous selection, variable selection, dispersal limitation, and homogenizing dispersal. Our analyses revealed that the relative influences of these ecological processes vary substantially across communities even within a geologic formation. We further identify environmental and spatial features associated with each ecological process, which allowed mapping of spatial variation in ecological-process-influences. The resulting maps provide a new lens through which ecological systems can be understood; in the subsurface system investigated here they revealed that the influence of variable selection was associated with the rate at which redox conditions change with subsurface depth. PMID:25983725

  5. Virtual Reality for Enhanced Ecological Validity and Experimental Control in the Clinical, Affective and Social Neurosciences

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Thomas D.

    2015-01-01

    An essential tension can be found between researchers interested in ecological validity and those concerned with maintaining experimental control. Research in the human neurosciences often involves the use of simple and static stimuli lacking many of the potentially important aspects of real world activities and interactions. While this research is valuable, there is a growing interest in the human neurosciences to use cues about target states in the real world via multimodal scenarios that involve visual, semantic, and prosodic information. These scenarios should include dynamic stimuli presented concurrently or serially in a manner that allows researchers to assess the integrative processes carried out by perceivers over time. Furthermore, there is growing interest in contextually embedded stimuli that can constrain participant interpretations of cues about a target’s internal states. Virtual reality environments proffer assessment paradigms that combine the experimental control of laboratory measures with emotionally engaging background narratives to enhance affective experience and social interactions. The present review highlights the potential of virtual reality environments for enhanced ecological validity in the clinical, affective, and social neurosciences. PMID:26696869

  6. [Ecological security of wastewater treatment processes: a review].

    PubMed

    Yang, Sai; Hua, Tao

    2013-05-01

    Though the regular indicators of wastewater after treatment can meet the discharge requirements and reuse standards, it doesn't mean the effluent is harmless. From the sustainable point of view, to ensure the ecological and human security, comprehensive toxicity should be considered when discharge standards are set up. In order to improve the ecological security of wastewater treatment processes, toxicity reduction should be considered when selecting and optimizing the treatment processes. This paper reviewed the researches on the ecological security of wastewater treatment processes, with the focus on the purposes of various treatment processes, including the processes for special wastewater treatment, wastewater reuse, and for the safety of receiving waters. Conventional biological treatment combined with advanced oxidation technologies can enhance the toxicity reduction on the base of pollutants removal, which is worthy of further study. For the process aimed at wastewater reuse, the integration of different process units can complement the advantages of both conventional pollutants removal and toxicity reduction. For the process aimed at ecological security of receiving waters, the emphasis should be put on the toxicity reduction optimization of process parameters and process unit selection. Some suggestions for the problems in the current research and future research directions were put forward.

  7. Experimental and environmental factors affect spurious detection of ecological thresholds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Daily, Jonathan P.; Hitt, Nathaniel P.; Smith, David; Snyder, Craig D.

    2012-01-01

    Threshold detection methods are increasingly popular for assessing nonlinear responses to environmental change, but their statistical performance remains poorly understood. We simulated linear change in stream benthic macroinvertebrate communities and evaluated the performance of commonly used threshold detection methods based on model fitting (piecewise quantile regression [PQR]), data partitioning (nonparametric change point analysis [NCPA]), and a hybrid approach (significant zero crossings [SiZer]). We demonstrated that false detection of ecological thresholds (type I errors) and inferences on threshold locations are influenced by sample size, rate of linear change, and frequency of observations across the environmental gradient (i.e., sample-environment distribution, SED). However, the relative importance of these factors varied among statistical methods and between inference types. False detection rates were influenced primarily by user-selected parameters for PQR (τ) and SiZer (bandwidth) and secondarily by sample size (for PQR) and SED (for SiZer). In contrast, the location of reported thresholds was influenced primarily by SED. Bootstrapped confidence intervals for NCPA threshold locations revealed strong correspondence to SED. We conclude that the choice of statistical methods for threshold detection should be matched to experimental and environmental constraints to minimize false detection rates and avoid spurious inferences regarding threshold location.

  8. Microplastics Affect the Ecological Functioning of an Important Biogenic Habitat.

    PubMed

    Green, Dannielle Senga; Boots, Bas; O'Connor, Nessa E; Thompson, Richard

    2017-01-03

    Biological effects of microplastics on the health of bivalves have been demonstrated elsewhere, but ecological impacts on the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of bivalve-dominated habitats are unknown. Thus, we exposed intact sediment cores containing European flat oysters (Ostrea edulis) or blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) in seawater to two different densities (2.5 or 25 μg L(-1)) of biodegradable or conventional microplastics in outdoor mesocosms. We hypothesized that filtration rates of the bivalves, inorganic nitrogen cycling, primary productivity of sediment dwelling microphytobenthos, and the structure of invertebrate benthic assemblages would be influenced by microplastics. After 50 days, filtration by M. edulis was significantly less when exposed to 25 μg L(-1) of either type of microplastics, but there were no effects on ecosystem functioning or the associated invertebrate assemblages. Contrastingly, filtration by O. edulis significantly increased when exposed to 2.5 or 25 μg L(-1) of microplastics, and porewater ammonium and biomass of benthic cyanobacteria decreased. Additionally the associated infaunal invertebrate assemblages differed, with significantly less polychaetes and more oligochaetes in treatments exposed to microplastics. These findings highlight the potential of microplastics to impact the functioning and structure of sedimentary habitats and show that such effects may depend on the dominant bivalve present.

  9. The Ecology of Technological Progress: How Symbiosis and Competition Affect the Growth of Technology Domains

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carnabuci, Gianluca

    2010-01-01

    We show that the progress of technological knowledge is an inherently ecological process, wherein the growth rate of each technology domain depends on dynamics occurring in "other" technology domains. We identify two sources of ecological interdependence among technology domains. First, there are symbiotic interdependencies, implying…

  10. Influence of Urbanization on Ecological Processes in Wetlands

    SciTech Connect

    Thom, Ronald M.; Borde, Amy B.; Richter, Klaus O.; Hibler, Lyle F.; Mark Wigmosta and Stephen Burges

    2001-01-23

    Wetlands provide a wide variety of ecological functions and services critical to the overall functioning of many ecosystems. Since, by definition, wetlands are wet for a significant portion of a year, the ability of wetlands to provide these functions is highly dependent on hydrology. Over half of the wetlands globally have been destroyed over the past 150 years or so. Degradation of remaining wetlands is significant in places here studies have been carried out. Much of this degradation has been due to alteration of hydrology through reduction in inputs through construction of hard surfaces, channelization, damming of outflows, introduction of contaminants, introduction of exotic species, and a variety of other impacts. Studies in the Puget Sound trough and in the Portland, Oregon, region, have intensively investigated hydrological alterations and wetlands. In general, increases of impervious surfaces and rerouting of natural hydrology have affected plant and animal species composition and production and have altered the processes of primary production, nutrient cycling, groundwater recharge rates, and sediment dynamics. The close coupling of wetland functions, plant and animal populations, and hydrology is clearly illustrated in these case studies. The studies have resulted in significant contributions to the management of wetland systems in these areas through consideration of the hydrologic processes.

  11. Plant ecology. Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Yann; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Reich, Peter B

    2015-04-17

    Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth's ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the stability of ecosystem productivity is only changed by those drivers that alter biodiversity, with a given decrease in plant species numbers leading to a quantitatively similar decrease in ecosystem stability regardless of which driver caused the biodiversity loss. These results suggest that changes in biodiversity caused by drivers of environmental change may be a major factor determining how global environmental changes affect ecosystem stability.

  12. Identifying microorganisms responsible for ecologically significant biogeochemical processes.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Eugene L

    2005-05-01

    Throughout evolutionary time, and each day in every habitat throughout the globe, microorganisms have been responsible for maintaining the biosphere. Despite the crucial part that they play in the cycling of nutrients in habitats such as soils, sediments and waters, only rarely have the microorganisms actually responsible for key processes been identified. Obstacles that have traditionally impeded fundamental microbial ecology inquiries are now yielding to technical advancements that have important parallels in medical microbiology. The pace of new discoveries that document ecological processes and their causative agents will no doubt accelerate in the near future, and might assist in ecosystem management.

  13. Affect intensity and processing fluency of deterrents.

    PubMed

    Holman, Andrei

    2013-01-01

    The theory of emotional intensity (Brehm, 1999) suggests that the intensity of affective states depends on the magnitude of their current deterrents. Our study investigated the role that fluency--the subjective experience of ease of information processing--plays in the emotional intensity modulations as reactions to deterrents. Following an induction phase of good mood, we manipulated both the magnitude of deterrents (using sets of photographs with pre-tested potential to instigate an emotion incompatible with the pre-existent affective state--pity) and their processing fluency (normal vs. enhanced through subliminal priming). Current affective state and perception of deterrents were then measured. In the normal processing conditions, the results revealed the cubic effect predicted by the emotional intensity theory, with the initial affective state being replaced by the one appropriate to the deterrent only in participants exposed to the high magnitude deterrence. In the enhanced fluency conditions the emotional intensity pattern was drastically altered; also, the replacement of the initial affective state occurred at a lower level of deterrence magnitude (moderate instead of high), suggesting the strengthening of deterrence emotional impact by enhanced fluency.

  14. Cognitive and Affective Processes Underlying Career Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muja, Naser; Appelbaum, Steven H.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Aligning social identity and career identity has become increasingly complex due to growth in the pursuit of meaningful careers that offer very long-term personal satisfaction and stability. This paper aims to explore the complex cognitive and affective thought process involved in the conscious planning of voluntary career change.…

  15. Ecological aspects of the evolutionary processes.

    PubMed

    Bock, Walter J

    2003-03-01

    Darwin in his On the Origin of species made it clear that evolutionary change depends on the combined action of two different causes, the first being the origin of genetically based phenotypic variation in the individual organisms comprising the population and the second being the action of selective agents of the external environment placing demands on the individual organisms. For over a century following Darwin, most evolutionists focused on the origin of inherited variation and its transmission; many workers continue to regard genetics to be the core of evolutionary theory. Far less attention has been given to the exact nature of the selective agents with most evolutionists still treating this cause imprecisely to the detriment of our understanding of both nomological and historical evolutionary theory. Darwin was vague in the meaning of his new concept of "Natural Selection," using it interchangeably as one of the causes for evolutionary change and as the final outcome (= evolutionary change). In 1930, natural selection was defined clearly as "non-random, differential reproduction of genes" by R. Fisher and J.B.S. Haldane which is a statement of the outcome of evolutionary process and which omits mention of the causes bringing about this change. Evolutionists quickly accepted this outcome definition of natural selection, and have used interchangeably selection both as a cause and as the result of evolutionary change, causing great confusion. Herein, the details will be discussed of how the external environment (i.e., the environment-phenotype interaction) serves as selective agents and exerts demands on the phenotypic organisms. Included are the concepts of fitness and of the components of fitness (= adaptations) which are respectively (a) survival, (b) direct reproductive and (c) indirect reproductive features. Finally, it will be argued that historical-narrative analyses of organisms, including classification and phylogenetic history, are possible only with

  16. Invasive plant ecology and management: Linking processes to practice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This book brings together 10 chapters from renowned researchers that study how ecosystems operate and how to adopt the principles of ecology to manage invasive plants. This book taps this expertise by seeking to bridge the inherent disconnect between processes operating within ecosystems and the pr...

  17. Microphysical Processes Affecting the Pinatubo Volcanic Plume

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamill, Patrick; Houben, Howard; Young, Richard; Turco, Richard; Zhao, Jingxia

    1996-01-01

    In this paper we consider microphysical processes which affect the formation of sulfate particles and their size distribution in a dispersing cloud. A model for the dispersion of the Mt. Pinatubo volcanic cloud is described. We then consider a single point in the dispersing cloud and study the effects of nucleation, condensation and coagulation on the time evolution of the particle size distribution at that point.

  18. Applications of Ecological Engineering Remedies for Uranium Processing Sites, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Waugh, William

    2016-05-23

    The U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) is responsible for remediation of environmental contamination and long-term stewardship of sites associated with the legacy of nuclear weapons production during the Cold War in the United States. Protection of human health and the environment will be required for hundreds or even thousands of years at many legacy sites. USDOE continually evaluates and applies advances in science and technology to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of surface and groundwater remedies (USDOE 2011). This paper is a synopsis of ecological engineering applications that USDOE is evaluating to assess the effectiveness of remedies at former uranium processing sites in the southwestern United States. Ecological engineering remedies are predicated on the concept that natural ecological processes at legacy sites, once understood, can be beneficially enhanced or manipulated. Advances in tools for characterizing key processes and for monitoring remedy performance are demonstrating potential. We present test cases for four ecological engineering remedies that may be candidates for international applications.

  19. Stress modulation of cognitive and affective processes.

    PubMed

    Campeau, Serge; Liberzon, Israel; Morilak, David; Ressler, Kerry

    2011-09-01

    This review summarizes the major discussion points of a symposium on stress modulation of cognitive and affective processes, which was held during the 2010 workshop on the neurobiology of stress (Boulder, CO, USA). The four discussants addressed a number of specific cognitive and affective factors that are modulated by exposure to acute or repeated stress. Dr David Morilak discussed the effects of various repeated stress situations on cognitive flexibility, as assessed with a rodent model of attentional set-shifting task, and how performance on slightly different aspects of this test is modulated by different prefrontal regions through monoaminergic neurotransmission. Dr Serge Campeau summarized the findings of several studies exploring a number of factors and brain regions that regulate habituation of various autonomic and neuroendocrine responses to repeated audiogenic stress exposures. Dr Kerry Ressler discussed a body of work exploring the modulation and extinction of fear memories in rodents and humans, especially focusing on the role of key neurotransmitter systems including excitatory amino acids and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Dr Israel Liberzon presented recent results on human decision-making processes in response to exogenous glucocorticoid hormone administration. Overall, these discussions are casting a wider framework on the cognitive/affective processes that are distinctly regulated by the experience of stress and some of the brain regions and neurotransmitter systems associated with these effects.

  20. Revisiting the Holy Grail: using plant functional traits to understand ecological processes.

    PubMed

    Funk, Jennifer L; Larson, Julie E; Ames, Gregory M; Butterfield, Bradley J; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Firn, Jennifer; Laughlin, Daniel C; Sutton-Grier, Ariana E; Williams, Laura; Wright, Justin

    2016-04-22

    One of ecology's grand challenges is developing general rules to explain and predict highly complex systems. Understanding and predicting ecological processes from species' traits has been considered a 'Holy Grail' in ecology. Plant functional traits are increasingly being used to develop mechanistic models that can predict how ecological communities will respond to abiotic and biotic perturbations and how species will affect ecosystem function and services in a rapidly changing world; however, significant challenges remain. In this review, we highlight recent work and outstanding questions in three areas: (i) selecting relevant traits; (ii) describing intraspecific trait variation and incorporating this variation into models; and (iii) scaling trait data to community- and ecosystem-level processes. Over the past decade, there have been significant advances in the characterization of plant strategies based on traits and trait relationships, and the integration of traits into multivariate indices and models of community and ecosystem function. However, the utility of trait-based approaches in ecology will benefit from efforts that demonstrate how these traits and indices influence organismal, community, and ecosystem processes across vegetation types, which may be achieved through meta-analysis and enhancement of trait databases. Additionally, intraspecific trait variation and species interactions need to be incorporated into predictive models using tools such as Bayesian hierarchical modelling. Finally, existing models linking traits to community and ecosystem processes need to be empirically tested for their applicability to be realized.

  1. Ecological Momentary Assessment of Affective and Interpersonal Instability in Adolescent Non-Suicidal Self-Injury.

    PubMed

    Santangelo, Philip S; Koenig, Julian; Funke, Vera; Parzer, Peter; Resch, Franz; Ebner-Priemer, Ulrich W; Kaess, Michael

    2016-12-19

    Affective and interpersonal instability, both core features of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), have been suggested to underlie non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is the method of choice when investigating dynamic processes. Previously no study addressed affective and interpersonal instability in daily life of adolescents engaging in NSSI. Female adolescents with NSSI (n = 26) and age- and sex-matched healthy controls (n = 20) carried e-diaries on 2 consecutive weekends and were prompted in hourly intervals to rate their momentary affective state and feelings of attachment towards their mother and best friend. The majority of participants in the NSSI group also fulfilled diagnostic criteria for BPD (73%). Squared successive differences were calculated to quantify instability. Adolescents with NSSI reported less positive affect, t (44) = 6.94, p < 0.01, lower levels of attachment to the mother, t (44) = 5.53, p < 0.01, and best friend, t (44) = 4.36, p < 0.01. Both affective, t (44) = -5.55, p < 0.01, and interpersonal instability, mother: t (44) = -4.10, p < 0.01; best friend: t (44) = -4.57, p < 0.01, were significantly greater in adolescents engaging in NSSI. In the NSSI group, the number of BPD criteria met was positively correlated with affective instability, r = 0.40, p < 0.05, and instability of attachment to the best friend, r = 0.42, p < 0.05, but not instability of attachment towards the mother, r = 0.06, p = 0.79. In line with previous work in adults, NSSI is associated with affective and interpersonal instability assessed by EMA in adolescents. Preliminary findings highlight the association of affective and interpersonal instability with diagnostic criteria for BPD. Clinical implications and avenues for further research are discussed.

  2. Conservation success as a function of good alignment of social and ecological structures and processes.

    PubMed

    Bodin, Orjan; Crona, Beatrice; Thyresson, Matilda; Golz, Anna-Lea; Tengö, Maria

    2014-10-01

    How to create and adjust governing institutions so that they align (fit) with complex ecosystem processes and structures across scales is an issue of increasing concern in conservation. It is argued that lack of such social-ecological fit makes governance and conservation difficult, yet progress in explicitly defining and rigorously testing what constitutes a good fit has been limited. We used a novel modeling approach and data from case studies of fishery and forest conservation to empirically test presumed relationships between conservation outcomes and certain patterns of alignment of social-ecological interdependences. Our approach made it possible to analyze conservation outcome on a systems level while also providing information on how individual actors are positioned in the complex web of social-ecological interdependencies. We found that when actors who shared resources were also socially linked, conservation at the level of the whole social-ecological system was positively affected. When the scales at which individual actors used resources and the scale at which ecological resources were interconnected to other ecological resources were aligned through tightened feedback loops, conservation outcome was better than when they were not aligned. The analysis of individual actors' positions in the web of social-ecological interdependencies was helpful in understanding why a system has a certain level of social-ecological fit. Results of analysis of positions showed that different actors contributed in very different ways to achieve a certain fit and revealed some underlying difference between the actors, for example in terms of actors' varying rights to access and use different ecological resources.

  3. A Comparison of Affect Ratings Obtained with Ecological Momentary Assessment and the Day Reconstruction Method

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dockray, Samantha; Grant, Nina; Stone, Arthur A.; Kahneman, Daniel; Wardle, Jane; Steptoe, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Measurement of affective states in everyday life is of fundamental importance in many types of quality of life, health, and psychological research. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is the recognized method of choice, but the respondent burden can be high. The day reconstruction method (DRM) was developed by Kahneman and colleagues ("Science,"…

  4. Hierarchical approaches to the study of ecological process and pattern

    SciTech Connect

    Waterhouse, J.C.; Farrell, M.P.; DeAngelis, D.L.

    1986-08-01

    An approach based on hierarchy theory is applied to problems involving the relationships between levels of analysis in ecology. The first problem involves ''emergence'' - the inability to predict the behavior of the whole from its parts. To analyze emergence, a hierarchical conceptual model is developed, which is then used to clarify several controversies involving emergence and to help assess the benefits and pitfalls of higher level analyses. If a taxonomic hierarchy can be assumed to reflect a hierarchy of ecological similarity of species, then higher taxonomic levels may be useful in detecting larger scale ecological patterns. Patterns shown by specific and generic level binary similarity coefficients are compared for chironomid species data from a polluted Ohio stream. The ecological similarity of congenerics is assessed using the trend in the species:genus ratio along the pollution gradient. A hierarchical approach assumes that a hierarchy of pattern reflects a hierarchy of process. Simulation models of New England and Australian rocky intertidal communities were used to show how this assumption may be violated. The model results indicate that three characteristics of the Australian rocky intertidal community may allow small-scale ''stochastic'' processes to have larger scale effects than in the New England community.

  5. Mess management in microbial ecology: Rhetorical processes of disciplinary integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCracken, Christopher W.

    As interdisciplinary work becomes more common in the sciences, research into the rhetorical processes mediating disciplinary integration becomes more vital. This dissertation, which takes as its subject the integration of microbiology and ecology, combines a postplural approach to rhetoric of science research with Victor Turner's "social drama" analysis and a third-generation activity theory methodological framework to identify conceptual and practical conflicts in interdisciplinary work and describe how, through visual and verbal communication, scientists negotiate these conflicts. First, to understand the conflicting disciplinary principles that might impede integration, the author conducts a Turnerian analysis of a disciplinary conflict that took place in the 1960s and 70s, during which American ecologists and biologists debated whether they should participate in the International Biological Program (IBP). Participation in the IBP ultimately contributed to the emergence of ecology as a discipline distinct from biology, and Turnerian social drama analysis of the debate surrounding participation lays bare the conflicting principles separating biology and ecology. Second, to answer the question of how these conflicting principles are negotiated in practice, the author reports on a yearlong qualitative study of scientists working in a microbial ecology laboratory. Focusing specifically on two case studies from this fieldwork that illustrate the key concept of textually mediated disciplinary integration, the author's analysis demonstrates how scientific objects emerge in differently situated practices, and how these objects manage to cohere despite their multiplicity through textually mediated rhetorical processes of calibration and alignment.

  6. Flow effects on benthic stream invertebrates and ecological processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koprivsek, Maja; Brilly, Mitja

    2010-05-01

    Flow is the main abiotic factor in the streams. Flow affects the organisms in many direct and indirect ways. The organisms are directly affected by various hydrodynamic forces and mass transfer processes like drag forces, drift, shear stress, food and gases supply and washing metabolites away. Indirect effects on the organisms are determining and distribution of the particle size and structure of the substrate and determining the morphology of riverbeds. Flow does not affect only on individual organism, but also on many ecological effects. To expose just the most important: dispersal of the organisms, habitat use, resource acquisition, competition and predator-prey interactions. Stream invertebrates are adapted to the various flow conditions in many kinds of way. Some of them are avoiding the high flow with living in a hyporeic zone, while the others are adapted to flow with physical adaptations (the way of feeding, respiration, osmoregulation and resistance to draught), morphological adaptations (dorsoventrally flattened shape of organism, streamlined shape of organism, heterogeneous suckers, silk, claws, swimming hair, bristles and ballast gravel) or with behaviour. As the flow characteristics in a particular stream vary over a broad range of space and time scales, it is necessary to measure accurately the velocity in places where the organisms are present to determine the actual impact of flow on aquatic organisms. By measuring the mean flow at individual vertical in a single cross-section, we cannot get any information about the velocity situation close to the bottom of the riverbed where the stream invertebrates are living. Just measuring the velocity near the bottom is a major problem, as technologies for measuring the velocity and flow of natural watercourses is not adapted to measure so close to the bottom. New researches in the last two decades has shown that the thickness of laminar border layer of stones in the stream is only a few 100 micrometers, what

  7. Effects of season on ecological processes in extensive earthen tilapia ponds in Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Favaro, E G P; Sipaúba-Tavares, L H; Milstein, A

    2015-11-01

    In Southeastern Brazil tilapia culture is conducted in extensive and semi-intensive flow-through earthen ponds, being water availability and flow management different in the rainy and dry seasons. In this region lettuce wastes are a potential cheap input for tilapia culture. This study examined the ecological processes developing during the rainy and dry seasons in three extensive flow-through earthen tilapia ponds fertilized with lettuce wastes. Water quality, plankton and sediment parameters were sampled monthly during a year. Factor analysis was used to identify the ecological processes occurring within the ponds and to construct a conceptual graphic model of the pond ecosystem functioning during the rainy and dry seasons. Processes related to nitrogen cycling presented differences between both seasons while processes related to phosphorus cycling did not. Ecological differences among ponds were due to effects of wind protection by surrounding vegetation, organic loading entering, tilapia density and its grazing pressure on zooplankton. Differences in tilapia growth among ponds were related to stocking density and ecological process affecting tilapia food availability and intraspecific competition. Lettuce wastes addition into the ponds did not produce negative effects, thus this practice may be considered a disposal option and a low-cost input source for tilapia, at least at the amounts applied in this study.

  8. Agricultural management affects evolutionary processes in a migratory songbird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perlut, N.G.; Freeman-Gallant, C. R.; Strong, A.M.; Donovan, T.M.; Kilpatrick, C.W.; Zalik, N.J.

    2008-01-01

    Hay harvests have detrimental ecological effects on breeding songbirds, as harvesting results in nest failure. Importantly, whether harvesting also affects evolutionary processes is not known. We explored how hay harvest affected social and genetic mating patterns, and thus, the overall opportunity for sexual selection and evolutionary processes for a ground-nesting songbird, the Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis). On an unharvested field, 55% of females were in polygynous associations, and social polygyny was associated with greater rates of extra-pair paternity (EPP). In this treatment, synchrony explained variation in EPP rates, as broods by more synchronous females had more EPP than broods by asynchronous females. In contrast, on a harvested field, simultaneous nest failure caused by haying dramatically decreased the overall incidence of EPP by increasing the occurrence of social monogamy and, apparently, the ability of polygynous males to maintain paternity in their own nests. Despite increased social and genetic monogamy, these haying-mediated changes in mating systems resulted in greater than twofold increase in the opportunity for sexual selection. This effect arose, in part, from a 30% increase in the variance associated with within-pair fertilization success, relative to the unharvested field. This effect was caused by a notable increase (+110%) in variance associated with the quality of social mates following simultaneous nest failure. Because up to 40% of regional habitat is harvested by early June, these data may demonstrate a strong population-level effect on mating systems, sexual selection, and consequently, evolutionary processes. ?? 2008 The Authors.

  9. Microbial Ecology of Thailand Tsunami and Non-Tsunami Affected Terrestrials

    PubMed Central

    Somboonna, Naraporn; Wilantho, Alisa; Jankaew, Kruawun; Assawamakin, Anunchai; Sangsrakru, Duangjai; Tangphatsornruang, Sithichoke; Tongsima, Sissades

    2014-01-01

    The effects of tsunamis on microbial ecologies have been ill-defined, especially in Phang Nga province, Thailand. This ecosystem was catastrophically impacted by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as well as the 600 year-old tsunami in Phra Thong island, Phang Nga province. No study has been conducted to elucidate their effects on microbial ecology. This study represents the first to elucidate their effects on microbial ecology. We utilized metagenomics with 16S and 18S rDNA-barcoded pyrosequencing to obtain prokaryotic and eukaryotic profiles for this terrestrial site, tsunami affected (S1), as well as a parallel unaffected terrestrial site, non-tsunami affected (S2). S1 demonstrated unique microbial community patterns than S2. The dendrogram constructed using the prokaryotic profiles supported the unique S1 microbial communities. S1 contained more proportions of archaea and bacteria domains, specifically species belonging to Bacteroidetes became more frequent, in replacing of the other typical floras like Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Basidiomycota. Pathogenic microbes, including Acinetobacter haemolyticus, Flavobacterium spp. and Photobacterium spp., were also found frequently in S1. Furthermore, different metabolic potentials highlighted this microbial community change could impact the functional ecology of the site. Moreover, the habitat prediction based on percent of species indicators for marine, brackish, freshwater and terrestrial niches pointed the S1 to largely comprise marine habitat indicating-species. PMID:24710002

  10. Microbial ecology of Thailand tsunami and non-tsunami affected terrestrials.

    PubMed

    Somboonna, Naraporn; Wilantho, Alisa; Jankaew, Kruawun; Assawamakin, Anunchai; Sangsrakru, Duangjai; Tangphatsornruang, Sithichoke; Tongsima, Sissades

    2014-01-01

    The effects of tsunamis on microbial ecologies have been ill-defined, especially in Phang Nga province, Thailand. This ecosystem was catastrophically impacted by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as well as the 600 year-old tsunami in Phra Thong island, Phang Nga province. No study has been conducted to elucidate their effects on microbial ecology. This study represents the first to elucidate their effects on microbial ecology. We utilized metagenomics with 16S and 18S rDNA-barcoded pyrosequencing to obtain prokaryotic and eukaryotic profiles for this terrestrial site, tsunami affected (S1), as well as a parallel unaffected terrestrial site, non-tsunami affected (S2). S1 demonstrated unique microbial community patterns than S2. The dendrogram constructed using the prokaryotic profiles supported the unique S1 microbial communities. S1 contained more proportions of archaea and bacteria domains, specifically species belonging to Bacteroidetes became more frequent, in replacing of the other typical floras like Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Basidiomycota. Pathogenic microbes, including Acinetobacter haemolyticus, Flavobacterium spp. and Photobacterium spp., were also found frequently in S1. Furthermore, different metabolic potentials highlighted this microbial community change could impact the functional ecology of the site. Moreover, the habitat prediction based on percent of species indicators for marine, brackish, freshwater and terrestrial niches pointed the S1 to largely comprise marine habitat indicating-species.

  11. Ecological Evidence that Affect and Perceptions of Drink Effects Depend on Alcohol Expectancies

    PubMed Central

    Treloar, Hayley; Piasecki, Thomas M.; McCarthy, Denis M.; Sher, Kenneth J.; Heath, Andrew C.

    2015-01-01

    Aims (1) To compare affective changes over drinking and non-drinking days among frequent drinkers. (2) To evaluate whether drinkers’ expectations influence affective changes and perceived pleasure and relief from drinking. Design Observational study involving ecological momentary assessments collected via electronic diaries over the course of three weeks. Setting Drinkers’ usual settings in Columbia, MO, USA. Participants 400 adult, frequent drinkers, ages 18–70. Measurements Ecological assessments included morning reports, pre-drinking random prompts, user-initiated first-drink reports, and device-prompted follow-ups over drinking episodes. Participants rated positive (enthusiastic, excited, happy) and negative (distressed, sad) affect and perceived pleasure and relief from drinking in real time. A self-report questionnaire completed at baseline evaluated expectancies for enhanced sociability and tension reduction from drinking. Findings Relative to affective changes over non-drinking days, positive affect increased prior to drinking, 95%CI[.073,.102], and at first drink, 95%CI[.169,.254], whereas negative affect decreased prior to drinking, 95%CI[−.008,−.0005], and at first drink, 95%CI[−.148,−.079]. Sociability expectancies augmented increases in positive affect prior to drinking, 95%CI[.006,.024], and at first drink, 95%CI[.004,.159]). Sociability expectancies also enhanced perceived pleasure from first drinks, 95%CI[.046,.318]. Tension-reduction expectancies attenuated decreases in negative affect at first drink, 95%CI[−.137, −.027], but augmented perceived relief from first drinks, 95%CI[.001,.304]. Conclusions Although theoretical models tend to focus on negative affective outcomes of drinking, changes in positive affect prior to drinking and early in drinking episodes are important for maintaining drinking behavior. Frequent drinkers’ expectations for enhanced sociability or tension reduction from drinking influence their affective

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

    SciTech Connect

    Saban, L.B.

    1995-12-31

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

  13. The evaluation of natural attenuation processes in ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Swindoll, C.M.; Dziuk, L.J. |

    1994-12-31

    The intent of the ecological risk assessment (ERA) process is to provide the scientific basis for making remediation decisions that are protective of the environment. In some instances, remedial actions may result in more damage to area flora and fauna than is warranted based on the long-term risk of the chemical stressor; this is particularly true of wetlands. To minimize the potential for putting the site`s ecosystem at greater risk because of remediation, the ERA should include an evaluation of ``no action`` and ``nondestructive`` scenarios. An essential component of this evaluation is an assessment of the natural attenuation of the chemical stressor. Natural processes including biodegradation, hydrolysis, photodegradation, speciation, and complexation can be important to the mitigation of long-term ecological impact of chemical substances. The importance of natural processes for the attenuation of contaminants in aquifers is recognized by both the regulatory and scientific communities and has been adopted by several states as a viable remedial alternative. The potential for natural attenuation to reduce environmental risk is greater for surface environments than for the subsurface. The rationale, methodology, and tools available for evaluating natural attenuation in the context of the ERA process will be presented. Specific examples of implementing this approach at several industrial sites and benefits, including the effective utilization of limited regulatory and industrial resources, will be discussed.

  14. Ecological momentary assessment of stressful events and negative affect in bulimia nervosa

    PubMed Central

    Goldschmidt, Andrea B.; Wonderlich, Stephen A.; Crosby, Ross D.; Engel, Scott G.; Lavender, Jason M.; Peterson, Carol B.; Crow, Scott J.; Cao, Li; Mitchell, James E.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Negative affect precedes binge eating and purging in bulimia nervosa (BN), but little is known about factors that precipitate negative affect in relation to these behaviors. We aimed to assess the temporal relation among stressful events, negative affect, and bulimic events in the natural environment using ecological momentary assessment. Method A total of 133 women with current BN recorded their mood, eating behavior, and the occurrence of stressful events every day for two weeks. Multi-level structural equation mediation models evaluated the relations among Time 1 stress measures (i.e., interpersonal stressors, work/environment stressors, general daily hassles, and stress appraisal), Time 2 negative affect, and Time 2 binge eating and purging, controlling for Time 1 negative affect. Results Increases in negative affect from Time 1 to Time 2 significantly mediated the relations between Time 1 interpersonal stressors, work/environment stressors, general daily hassles, and stress appraisal, and Time 2 binge eating and purging. When modeled simultaneously, confidence intervals for interpersonal stressors, general daily hassles, and stress appraisal did not overlap, suggesting that each had a distinct impact on negative affect in relation to binge eating or purging. Conclusions Our findings indicate that stress precedes the occurrence of bulimic behaviors and that increases in negative affect following stressful events mediate this relation. Results suggest that stress and subsequent negative affect may function as maintenance factors for bulimic behaviors and should be targeted in treatment. PMID:24219182

  15. How the social ecology and social situation shape individuals' affect valence and arousal.

    PubMed

    Vogel, Nina; Ram, Nilam; Conroy, David E; Pincus, Aaron L; Gerstorf, Denis

    2017-04-01

    Many theories highlight the role social contexts play in shaping affective experience. However, little is known about how individuals' social environments influence core affect on short time-scales (e.g., hours). Using experience sampling data from the iSAHIB, wherein 150 adults aged 18 to 89 years reported on 64,213 social interactions (average 6.92 per day, SD = 2.85) across 9 weeks of daily life, we examined how 4 features of individuals' social ecology (between-person differences) and immediate social situations (within-person changes) were associated with core affect-valence and arousal-and how those associations differ with age. Results from multilevel models revealed that familiarity, importance, type of social partner, and gender composition of the social context were associated with affect valence and/or affect arousal. Higher familiarity, higher importance, and same-gender composition were associated with more positive affect valence and higher arousal. Interactions with family and friends were linked to more positive valence whereas nonfamily social partners were linked to higher arousal. Age moderated the associations between importance and affect arousal, and between type of social partner and both dimensions of core affect. Findings align with theoretical propositions, contributing to but also suggesting need for further precision regarding how development shapes the interplay between social context and moment-to-moment affective experience. (PsycINFO Database Record

  16. Using ecological production functions to link ecological processes to ecosystem services.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively ...

  17. Deterministic processes vary during community assembly for ecologically dissimilar taxa

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Jeff R.; Karunaratne, Senani; Campbell, Colin D.; Yao, Huaiying; Robinson, Lucinda; Singh, Brajesh K.

    2015-01-01

    The continuum hypothesis states that both deterministic and stochastic processes contribute to the assembly of ecological communities. However, the contextual dependency of these processes remains an open question that imposes strong limitations on predictions of community responses to environmental change. Here we measure community and habitat turnover across multiple vertical soil horizons at 183 sites across Scotland for bacteria and fungi, both dominant and functionally vital components of all soils but which differ substantially in their growth habit and dispersal capability. We find that habitat turnover is the primary driver of bacterial community turnover in general, although its importance decreases with increasing isolation and disturbance. Fungal communities, however, exhibit a highly stochastic assembly process, both neutral and non-neutral in nature, largely independent of disturbance. These findings suggest that increased focus on dispersal limitation and biotic interactions are necessary to manage and conserve the key ecosystem services provided by these assemblages. PMID:26436640

  18. From patterns to emerging processes in mechanistic urban ecology.

    PubMed

    Shochat, Eyal; Warren, Paige S; Faeth, Stanley H; McIntyre, Nancy E; Hope, Diane

    2006-04-01

    Rapid urbanization has become an area of crucial concern in conservation owing to the radical changes in habitat structure and loss of species engendered by urban and suburban development. Here, we draw on recent mechanistic ecological studies to argue that, in addition to altered habitat structure, three major processes contribute to the patterns of reduced species diversity and elevated abundance of many species in urban environments. These activities, in turn, lead to changes in animal behavior, morphology and genetics, as well as in selection pressures on animals and plants. Thus, the key to understanding urban patterns is to balance studying processes at the individual level with an integrated examination of environmental forces at the ecosystem scale.

  19. Mood dysregulation and affective instability in emerging adults with childhood maltreatment: An ecological momentary assessment study.

    PubMed

    Teicher, Martin H; Ohashi, Kyoko; Lowen, Steven B; Polcari, Ann; Fitzmaurice, Garrett M

    2015-11-01

    Childhood maltreatment increases risk for mood, anxiety, substance use and personality disorders and is associated with alterations in structure, function and connectivity of brain regions involved in emotional regulation. We sought to assess whether maltreatment was specifically associated with disturbances in positive or negative mood regulation. Ecological momentary ratings were collected with a wristwatch-like device with joy-stick (Seiko ecolog) approximately six times per day over a week in 60 unmedicated participants (22 control, 38 maltreated, 18-25 years old). Forty-five percent of maltreated subjects had a history of major depression but all were currently euthymic. Principal component analysis with varimax rotation was used to provide orthogonal measures of positive and negative valence, which were analyzed for indices of variability, circadian rhythmicity and persistence, using linear and non-linear hierarchical modeling and Hurst analysis. Groups did not differ in mean levels of positive or negative affect. Maltreated subjects had increased variability and circadian and hemicircadian abnormalities in ratings of positive but not negative affect. Conversely, they had higher estimated Hurst exponents for negative but not positive affect ratings indicating a greater degree of persistence. Abnormalities in variability, rhythmicity and persistence were present in both maltreated subjects with and without histories of major depression. These findings suggest that both positive and negative valence systems may be dysregulated in individuals with childhood maltreatment. However the nature of the dysregulation appears to differ fundamentally in these domains, as positive mood ratings were more variable and negative ratings more persistent.

  20. Allocation, stress tolerance and carbon transport in plants: how does phloem physiology affect plant ecology?

    PubMed

    Savage, Jessica A; Clearwater, Michael J; Haines, Dustin F; Klein, Tamir; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Sevanto, Sanna; Turgeon, Robert; Zhang, Cankui

    2016-04-01

    Despite the crucial role of carbon transport in whole plant physiology and its impact on plant-environment interactions and ecosystem function, relatively little research has tried to examine how phloem physiology impacts plant ecology. In this review, we highlight several areas of active research where inquiry into phloem physiology has increased our understanding of whole plant function and ecological processes. We consider how xylem-phloem interactions impact plant drought tolerance and reproduction, how phloem transport influences carbon allocation in trees and carbon cycling in ecosystems and how phloem function mediates plant relations with insects, pests, microbes and symbiotes. We argue that in spite of challenges that exist in studying phloem physiology, it is critical that we consider the role of this dynamic vascular system when examining the relationship between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment.

  1. Inference of human affective states from psychophysiological measurements extracted under ecologically valid conditions

    PubMed Central

    Betella, Alberto; Zucca, Riccardo; Cetnarski, Ryszard; Greco, Alberto; Lanatà, Antonio; Mazzei, Daniele; Tognetti, Alessandro; Arsiwalla, Xerxes D.; Omedas, Pedro; De Rossi, Danilo; Verschure, Paul F. M. J.

    2014-01-01

    Compared to standard laboratory protocols, the measurement of psychophysiological signals in real world experiments poses technical and methodological challenges due to external factors that cannot be directly controlled. To address this problem, we propose a hybrid approach based on an immersive and human accessible space called the eXperience Induction Machine (XIM), that incorporates the advantages of a laboratory within a life-like setting. The XIM integrates unobtrusive wearable sensors for the acquisition of psychophysiological signals suitable for ambulatory emotion research. In this paper, we present results from two different studies conducted to validate the XIM as a general-purpose sensing infrastructure for the study of human affective states under ecologically valid conditions. In the first investigation, we recorded and classified signals from subjects exposed to pictorial stimuli corresponding to a range of arousal levels, while they were free to walk and gesticulate. In the second study, we designed an experiment that follows the classical conditioning paradigm, a well-known procedure in the behavioral sciences, with the additional feature that participants were free to move in the physical space, as opposed to similar studies measuring physiological signals in constrained laboratory settings. Our results indicate that, by using our sensing infrastructure, it is indeed possible to infer human event-elicited affective states through measurements of psychophysiological signals under ecological conditions. PMID:25309310

  2. Examining Convergence of Retrospective and Ecological Momentary Assessment Measures of Negative Affect and Eating Disorder Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Wonderlich, Joseph A.; Lavender, Jason M.; Wonderlich, Stephen A.; Peterson, Carol B.; Crow, Scott J.; Engel, Scott G.; Le Grange, Daniel; Mitchell, James E.; Crosby, Ross D.

    2017-01-01

    Objective Data gathered via retrospective forms of assessment are subject to various recall biases. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is an alternative approach involving repeated momentary assessments within a participant's natural environment, thus reducing recall biases and improving ecological validity. EMA has been used in numerous prior studies examining various constructs of theoretical relevance to eating disorders. Method This investigation includes data from three previously published studies with distinct clinical samples: (a) women with anorexia nervosa (N=118), (b) women with bulimia nervosa (N=133), and (c) obese men and women (N=50; 9 with current binge eating disorder). Each study assessed negative affective states and eating disorder behaviors using traditional retrospective assessments and EMA. Spearman rho correlations were used to evaluate the concordance of retrospective versus EMA measures of affective and/or behavioral constructs in each sample. Bland-Altman plots were also used to further evaluate concordance in the assessment of eating disorder behaviors. Results There was moderate to strong concordance for the measures of negative affective states across all three studies. Moderate to strong concordance was also found for the measures of binge eating and exercise frequency. The strongest evidence of concordance across measurement approaches was found for purging behaviors. Discussion Overall, these preliminary findings support the convergence of retrospective and EMA assessments of both negative affective states and various eating disorder behaviors. Given the advantages and disadvantages associated with each of these assessment approaches, the specific questions being studied in future empirical studies should inform decisions regarding selection of the most appropriate method. PMID:25195932

  3. Do unconscious processes affect educational institutions?

    PubMed

    Hinshelwood, R D

    2009-10-01

    In this article I discuss the way that aspects of school and teaching have unconscious roots. Where anxiety about the process, for teachers and children, is high then there is the risk that unconscious defensive processes may occur resulting in institutionalized phenomena. These take the form of cultural attitudes and common practices which may not necessarily enhance the work and in some cases may actively interfere.

  4. Review of nekton patterns and ecological processes in seagrass landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connolly, Rod M.; Hindell, Jeremy S.

    2006-07-01

    We reviewed seagrass landscape studies on nekton (fish and larger mobile crustaceans) to summarise: (1) patterns of nekton abundance in relation to patch attributes; and (2) models used to explain processes underpinning observed patterns. The response of nekton to landscape attributes is highly variable. Different taxa showed increasing densities with: increasing and decreasing patch size (12 and 11 taxa, respectively), increasing and decreasing proximity within a patch to edge (9, 14), increasing and decreasing distances from nearest seagrass patch (4, 11), and with patches perpendicular and parallel to currents (1, 2). The majority of taxa (213 out of 281, or 82%) showed no relationships. Landscape scale patterns are important for some species but evidence so far does not demonstrate major landscape effects overall. The lack of pattern might reflect the overriding importance of other factors such as within-patch characteristics, water depth or position within an estuary. It might also result from measurements at the wrong scale. The rigour of surveys can be improved by avoiding confounding of patch attributes by other factors, increasing awareness of statistical power, and more considered survey designs for attributes such as edge effects. The predation model is the most frequently invoked and tested model. Other explanatory models are based on disturbance, rates of encounter, food availability, larval supply, migration and reproductive success, but in many cases are not based on observed patterns. The best experimental work has been done on nekton species for which landscape studies have been built on a detailed understanding of the ecology of the species, such as for blue crabs ( Callinectes sapidus). As this basic ecological platform is laid for more species, the landscape approach will become increasingly fruitful.

  5. Physical Activity, Mind Wandering, Affect, and Sleep: An Ecological Momentary Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Mackenzie, Michael; Roberts, Sarah; Crato, Ines; Ehlers, Diane; McAuley, Edward

    2016-01-01

    Background A considerable portion of daily thought is spent in mind wandering. This behavior has been related to positive (eg, future planning, problem solving) and negative (eg, unhappiness, impaired cognitive performance) outcomes. Objective Based on previous research suggesting future-oriented (ie, prospective) mind wandering may support autobiographical planning and self-regulation, this study examined associations between hourly mind wandering and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and the impact of affect and daily sleep on these relations. Methods College-aged adults (N=33) participated in a mobile phone-delivered ecological momentary assessment study for 1 week. Sixteen hourly prompts assessing mind wandering and affect were delivered daily via participants’ mobile phones. Perceived sleep quality and duration was assessed during the first prompt each day, and participants wore an ActiGraph accelerometer during waking hours throughout the study week. Results Study findings suggest present-moment mind wandering was positively associated with future MVPA (P=.03), and this relationship was moderated by affective state (P=.04). Moreover, excessive sleep the previous evening was related to less MVPA across the following day (P=.007). Further, mind wandering was positively related to activity only among those who did not oversleep (P=.007). Conclusions Together, these results have implications for multiple health behavior interventions targeting physical activity, affect, and sleep. Researchers may also build on this work by studying these relationships in the context of other important behaviors and psychosocial factors (eg, tobacco use, depression, loneliness). PMID:27580673

  6. Dilution, Not Load, Affects Distractor Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Daryl E.; Muroi, Miya; MacLeod, Colin M.

    2011-01-01

    Lavie and Tsal (1994) proposed that spare attentional capacity is allocated involuntarily to the processing of irrelevant stimuli, thereby enabling interference. Under this view, when task demands increase, spare capacity should decrease and distractor interference should decrease. In support, Lavie and Cox (1997) found that increasing perceptual…

  7. Sound Affects the Speed of Visual Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keetels, Mirjam; Vroomen, Jean

    2011-01-01

    The authors examined the effects of a task-irrelevant sound on visual processing. Participants were presented with revolving clocks at or around central fixation and reported the hand position of a target clock at the time an exogenous cue (1 clock turning red) or an endogenous cue (a line pointing toward 1 of the clocks) was presented. A…

  8. Ecological traits affect the sensitivity of bees to land-use pressures in European agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    De Palma, Adriana; Kuhlmann, Michael; Roberts, Stuart P M; Potts, Simon G; Börger, Luca; Hudson, Lawrence N; Lysenko, Igor; Newbold, Tim; Purvis, Andy

    2015-12-01

    Bees are a functionally important and economically valuable group, but are threatened by land-use conversion and intensification. Such pressures are not expected to affect all species identically; rather, they are likely to be mediated by the species' ecological traits.Understanding which types of species are most vulnerable under which land uses is an important step towards effective conservation planning.We collated occurrence and abundance data for 257 bee species at 1584 European sites from surveys reported in 30 published papers (70 056 records) and combined them with species-level ecological trait data. We used mixed-effects models to assess the importance of land use (land-use class, agricultural use-intensity and a remotely-sensed measure of vegetation), traits and trait × land-use interactions, in explaining species occurrence and abundance.Species' sensitivity to land use was most strongly influenced by flight season duration and foraging range, but also by niche breadth, reproductive strategy and phenology, with effects that differed among cropland, pastoral and urban habitats. Synthesis and applications. Rather than targeting particular species or settings, conservation actions may be more effective if focused on mitigating situations where species' traits strongly and negatively interact with land-use pressures. We find evidence that low-intensity agriculture can maintain relatively diverse bee communities; in more intensive settings, added floral resources may be beneficial, but will require careful placement with respect to foraging ranges of smaller bee species. Protection of semi-natural habitats is essential, however; in particular, conversion to urban environments could have severe effects on bee diversity and pollination services. Our results highlight the importance of exploring how ecological traits mediate species responses to human impacts, but further research is needed to enhance the predictive ability of such analyses.

  9. Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund: Process for Designing and Conducting Ecological Risk Assessments - Interim Final

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This document provides guidance to site managers and Remedial Project Managers who are legally responsible for the management of a site on how to design and conduct technically defensible ecological risk assessments for the Superfund program.

  10. Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

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

  11. Ecological context and metapopulation dynamics affect sex-ratio variation among dioecious plant populations

    PubMed Central

    Field, David L.; Pickup, Melinda; Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Populations of dioecious flowering plants commonly exhibit heterogeneity in sex ratios and deviations from the equilibrium expectation of equal numbers of females and males. Yet the role of ecological and demographic factors in contributing towards biased sex ratios is currently not well understood. Methods Species-level studies from the literature were analysed to investigate ecological correlates of among-population sex-ratio variation and metapopulation models and empirical data were used to explore the influence of demography and non-equilibrium conditions on flowering sex ratios. Key Results The survey revealed significant among-population heterogeneity in sex ratios and this was related to the degree of sampling effort. For some species, sex-ratio bias was associated with the proportion of non-reproductive individuals, with greater male bias in populations with a lower proportion of individuals that were flowering. Male-biased ratios were also found at higher altitudes and latitudes, and in more xeric sites. Simulations and empirical data indicated that clonal species exhibited greater heterogeneity in sex ratios than non-clonal species as a result of their slower approach to equilibrium. The simulations also indicated the importance of interactions between reproductive mode and founder effects, with greater departures from equilibrium in clonal populations with fewer founding individuals. Conclusions The results indicate that sex-based differences in costs of reproduction and non-equilibrium conditions can each play important roles in affecting flowering sex ratios in populations of dioecious plants. PMID:23444124

  12. Revisiting the Affect Regulation Model of Binge Eating: A Meta-Analysis of Studies Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

    The affect regulation model of binge eating, which posits that patients binge eat to reduce negative affect (NA), has received support from cross-sectional and laboratory-based studies. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) involves momentary ratings and repeated assessments over time and is ideally suited to identify temporal antecedents and…

  13. Low temperature alteration processes affecting ultramafic bodies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nesbitt, H.W.; Bricker, O.P.

    1978-01-01

    At low temperatures, in the presence of an aqueous solution, olivine and orthopyroxene are not stable relative to the hydrous phases brucite, serpentine and talc. Alteration of dunite and peridotite to serpentine or steatite bodies must therefore proceed via non-equilibrium processes. The compositions of natural solutions emanating from dunites and peridotites demonstrate that the dissolution of forsterite and/or enstatite is rapid compared with the precipitation of the hydrous phases; consequently, dissolution of anhydrous minerals controls the chemistry of such solutions. In the presence of an aqueous phase, precipitation of hydrous minerals is the rate-controlling step. Brucite-bearing and -deficient serpentinites alter at low temperature by non-equilibrium processes, as evidenced by the composition of natural solutions from these bodies. The solutions approach equilibrium with the least stable hydrous phase and, as a consequence, are supersaturated with other hydrous phases. Dissolution of the least stable phase is rapid compared to precipitation of other phases, so that the dissolving mineral controls the solution chemistry. Non-equilibrium alteration of anhydrous ultramafic bodies continues until at least one anhydrous phase equilibrates with brucite, chrysotile or talc. The lowest temperature (at a given pressure) at which this happens is defined by the reaction: 3H2O + 2Mg2SiO4 ??? Mg3Si2O5(OH)4 + Mg(OH)2 (Johannes, 1968, Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 19, 309-315) so that non-equilibrium alteration may occur well into greenschist facies metamorphic conditions. ?? 1978.

  14. Ecological stabilization of thickened wastewater sludge from CAST process.

    PubMed

    Cui, Y B; Wu, X H; Liu, Zh Sh; Liu, J Zh; Lin, Y Z

    2008-01-01

    Wastewater sludge ecological stabilization (WWSES) pilot scale experiments were conducted for thickening treatment and disposal of sludge which came from Cyclic Activated Sludge Technology (CAST) process. The study was performed over the periods from June to November 2005 and from May to November 2006, on a bed of 80 m2. The sludge loadings were stopped for the winter from December 2005 and resumed in May 2006. The results shows that dried sludge layer has higher permeation coefficients of 0.15-1.3 m/h. It is suggested that the percolate did not filtrate downwards evenly, part of percolate filtrates downwards along stems, roots and cracks existing in dried sludge which have lower flow resistance. The relationship of dried sludge thickness and operation time is in accord with quadratic equation under fluctuating sludge loadings. Linear regression equation can indicate dried sludge thickness variation under fixed sludge loading. In comparison with natural ones, coarse protein content of Phragmites australis roots in the system is twice as high, coarse fiber content of roots, coarse fat content of stems and leaf are obviously higher; and coarse protein content of Typha augustifolia in the system are obviously higher, while coarse fat and coarse fiber contents have no significant difference.

  15. The role of carrion in maintaining biodiversity and ecological processes in terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Barton, Philip S; Cunningham, Saul A; Lindenmayer, David B; Manning, Adrian D

    2013-04-01

    Carrion provides a resource for a subset of animal species that deliver a critical ecosystem service by consuming dead animal matter and recycling its nutrients. A growing number of studies have also shown various effects of carrion on different plant and microbial communities. However, there has been no review of these studies to bring this information together and identify priority areas for future research. We review carrion ecology studies from the last two decades and summarise the range of spatial and temporal effects of carrion on soil nutrients, microbes, plants, arthropods, and vertebrates. We identify key knowledge gaps in carrion ecology, and discuss how closing these gaps can be achieved by focusing future research on the (1) different kinds of carrion resources, (2) interactions between different components of the carrion community, (3) the ways that ecosystem context can moderate carrion effects, and (4) considerations for carrion management. To guide this research, we outline a framework that builds on the 'ephemeral resource patch' concept, and helps to structure research questions that link localised effects of carrion with their consequences at landscape scales. This will enable improved characterisation of carrion as a unique resource pool, provide answers for land managers in a position to influence carrion availability, and establish the ways that carrion affects the dynamics of species diversity and ecological processes within landscapes.

  16. Cloud Processed CCN Affect Cloud Microphysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudson, J. G.; Noble, S. R., Jr.; Tabor, S. S.

    2015-12-01

    Variations in the bimodality/monomodality of CCN spectra (Hudson et al. 2015) exert opposite effects on cloud microphysics in two aircraft field projects. The figure shows two examples, droplet concentration, Nc, and drizzle liquid water content, Ld, against classification of CCN spectral modality. Low ratings go to balanced separated bimodal spectra, high ratings go to single mode spectra, strictly monomodal 8. Intermediate ratings go merged modes, e.g., one mode a shoulder of another. Bimodality is caused by mass or hygroscopicity increases that go only to CCN that made activated cloud droplets. In the Ice in Clouds Experiment-Tropical (ICE-T) small cumuli with lower Nc, greater droplet mean diameters, MD, effective radii, re, spectral widths, σ, cloud liquid water contents, Lc, and Ld were closer to more bimodal (lower modal ratings) below cloud CCN spectra whereas clouds with higher Nc, smaller MD, re, σ, and Ld were closer to more monomodal CCN (higher modal ratings). In polluted stratus clouds of the MArine Stratus/Stratocumulus Experiment (MASE) clouds that had greater Nc, and smaller MD, re, σ, Lc, and Ld were closer to more bimodal CCN spectra whereas clouds with lower Nc, and greater MD, re, σ, Lc, and Ld were closer to more monomodal CCN. These relationships are opposite because the dominant ICE-T cloud processing was coalescence whereas chemical transformations (e.g., SO2 to SO4) were dominant in MASE. Coalescence reduces Nc and thus also CCN concentrations (NCCN) when droplets evaporate. In subsequent clouds the reduced competition increases MD and σ, which further enhance coalescence and drizzle. Chemical transformations do not change Nc but added sulfate enhances droplet and CCN solubility. Thus, lower critical supersaturation (S) CCN can produce more cloud droplets in subsequent cloud cycles, especially for the low W and effective S of stratus. The increased competition reduces MD, re, and σ, which inhibit coalescence and thus reduce drizzle

  17. The Underlying Ecological Processes of Gut Microbiota Among Cohabitating Retarded, Overgrown and Normal Shrimp.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Jinbo; Dai, Wenfang; Zhu, Jinyong; Liu, Keshao; Dong, Chunming; Qiu, Qiongfen

    2016-12-13

    Increasing evidence of tight links among the gut microbiota, obesity, and host health has emerged, but knowledge of the ecological processes that shape the variation in microbial assemblages across growth rates remains elusive. Moreover, inadequately control for differences in factors that profoundly affect the gut microbial community, hampers evaluation of the gut microbiota roles in regulating growth rates. To address this gap, we evaluated the composition and ecological processes of the gut bacterial community in cohabitating retarded, overgrown, and normal shrimps from identically managed ponds. Gut bacterial community structures were distinct (P = 0.0006) among the shrimp categories. Using a structural equation modeling (SEM), we found that changes in the gut bacterial community were positively related to digestive activities, which subsequently affected shrimp growth rate. This association was further supported by intensified interspecies interaction and enriched lineages with high nutrient intake efficiencies in overgrown shrimps. However, the less phylogenetic clustering of gut microbiota in overgrown and retarded subjects may offer empty niches for pathogens invasion, as evidenced by higher abundances of predicted functional pathways involved in disease infection. Given no differences in biotic and abiotic factors among the cohabitating shrimps, we speculated that the distinct gut community assembly could be attributed to random colonization in larval shrimp (e.g., priority effects) and that an altered microbiota could be a causative factor in overgrowth or retardation in shrimp. To our knowledge, this is the first study to provide an integrated overview of the direct roles of gut microbiota in shaping shrimp growth rate and the underlying ecological mechanisms.

  18. Studies of dynamical processes affecting global climate

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, C.; Cooper, D.; Eichinger, W.

    1998-12-31

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The main objective was, by a combined theoretical and observational approach, to develop improved models of dynamic processes in the oceans and atmosphere and to incorporate them into large climate codes, chiefly in four main areas: numerical physics, chemistry, water vapor, and ocean-atmosphere interactions. Main areas of investigation included studies of: cloud parameterizations for global climate codes, Lidar and the planetary boundary layer, chemistry, climate variability using coupled ocean-atmospheric models, and numerical physical methods. This project employed a unique approach that included participation of a number of University of California faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students who collaborated with Los Alamos research staff on specific tasks, thus greatly enhancing the research output. Overall accomplishments during the sensing of the atmospheric planetary were: (1) first two- and three-dimensional remote sensing of the atmospheric planetary boundary layer using Lidars, (2) modeling of 20-year cycle in both pressure and sea surface temperatures in North Pacific, (3) modeling of low frequency internal variability, (4) addition of aerosols to stratosphere to simulate Pinatubo effect on ozone, (5) development of fast, comprehensive chemistry in the troposphere for urban pollution studies, (6) new prognostic cloud parameterization in global atmospheric code remedied problems with North Pacific atmospheric circulation and excessive equatorial precipitation, (7) development of a unique aerosol analysis technique, the aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ATOFMS), which allows real-time analysis of the size and chemical composition of individual aerosol particles, and (8) numerical physics applying Approximate Inertial Manifolds to ocean circulation. 14 refs., 6 figs.

  19. Elaboration Likelihood and the Counseling Process: The Role of Affect.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stoltenberg, Cal D.; And Others

    The role of affect in counseling has been examined from several orientations. The depth of processing model views the efficiency of information processing as a function of the extent to which the information is processed. The notion of cognitive processing capacity states that processing information at deeper levels engages more of one's limited…

  20. Cognitive control modulates preferential sensory processing of affective stimuli.

    PubMed

    Steinhauser, Marco; Flaisch, Tobias; Meinzer, Marcus; Schupp, Harald T

    2016-10-01

    Adaptive human behavior crucially relies on the ability of the brain to allocate resources automatically to emotionally significant stimuli. This ability has consistently been demonstrated by studies showing preferential processing of affective stimuli in sensory cortical areas. It is still unclear, however, whether this putatively automatic mechanism can be modulated by cognitive control processes. Here, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether preferential processing of an affective face distractor is suppressed when an affective distractor has previously elicited a response conflict in a word-face Stroop task. We analyzed this for three consecutive stages in the ventral stream of visual processing for which preferential processing of affective stimuli has previously been demonstrated: the striate area (BA 17), category-unspecific extrastriate areas (BA 18/19), and the fusiform face area (FFA). We found that response conflict led to a selective suppression of affective face processing in category-unspecific extrastriate areas and the FFA, and this effect was accompanied by changes in functional connectivity between these areas and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, preferential processing of affective face distractors was unaffected in the striate area. Our results indicate that cognitive control processes adaptively suppress preferential processing of affective stimuli under conditions where affective processing is detrimental because it elicits response conflict.

  1. Interventions for Children Affected by War: An Ecological Perspective on Psychosocial Support and Mental Health Care

    PubMed Central

    Betancourt, Theresa S.; Meyers-Ohki, Sarah E.; Charrow, Alexandra P.; Tol, Wietse A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Children and adolescents exposed to armed conflict are at high risk of developing mental health problems. To date, a range of psychosocial approaches and clinical/psychiatric interventions has been used to address mental health needs in these groups. Aims To provide an overview of peer-reviewed psychosocial and mental health interventions designed to address mental health needs of conflict-affected children, and to highlight areas in which policy and research need strengthening. Methods We used standard review methodology to identify interventions aimed at improving or treating mental health problems in conflict-affected youth. An ecological lens was used to organize studies according to the individual, family, peer/school, and community factors targeted by each intervention. Interventions were also evaluated for their orientation toward prevention, treatment, or maintenance, and for the strength of the scientific evidence of reported effects. Results Of 2305 studies returned from online searches of the literature and 21 sources identified through bibliography mining, 58 qualified for full review, with 40 peer-reviewed studies included in the final narrative synthesis. Overall, the peer-reviewed literature focused largely on school-based interventions. Very few family and community-based interventions have been empirically evaluated. Only two studies assessed multilevel or stepped-care packages. Conclusions The evidence base on effective and efficacious interventions for conflict-affected youth requires strengthening. Postconflict development agendas must be retooled to target the vulnerabilities characterizing conflict-affected youth, and these approaches must be collaborative across bodies responsible for the care of youth and families. PMID:23656831

  2. 31 CFR 576.508 - Judicial process in legal proceedings involving ecological accidents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance:Treasury 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Judicial process in legal proceedings involving ecological accidents. 576.508 Section 576.508 Money and Finance: Treasury Regulations Relating to... § 576.508 Judicial process in legal proceedings involving ecological accidents. The Office of...

  3. 31 CFR 576.508 - Judicial process in legal proceedings involving ecological accidents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance:Treasury 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Judicial process in legal proceedings involving ecological accidents. 576.508 Section 576.508 Money and Finance: Treasury Regulations Relating to... § 576.508 Judicial process in legal proceedings involving ecological accidents. The Office of...

  4. Ecological conditions affect evolutionary trajectory in a predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Gallet, Romain; Tully, Thomas; Evans, Margaret E K

    2009-03-01

    The arms race of adaptation and counter adaptation in predator-prey interactions is a fascinating evolutionary dynamic with many consequences, including local adaptation and the promotion or maintenance of diversity. Although such antagonistic coevolution is suspected to be widespread in nature, experimental documentation of the process remains scant, and we have little understanding of the impact of ecological conditions. Here, we present evidence of predator-prey coevolution in a long-term experiment involving the predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus and the prey Pseudomonas fluorescens, which has three morphs (SM, FS, and WS). Depending on experimentally applied disturbance regimes, the predator-prey system followed two distinct evolutionary trajectories, where the prey evolved to be either super-resistant to predation (SM morph) without counter-adaptation by the predator, or moderately resistant (FS morph), specialized to and coevolving with the predator. Although predation-resistant FS morphs suffer a cost of resistance, the evolution of extreme resistance to predation by the SM morph was apparently unconstrained by other traits (carrying capacity, growth rate). Thus we demonstrate empirically that ecological conditions can shape the evolutionary trajectory of a predator-prey system.

  5. Management of local economic and ecological system of coal processing company

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiseleva, T. V.; Mikhailov, V. G.; Karasev, V. A.

    2016-10-01

    The management issues of local ecological and economic system of coal processing company - coal processing plant - are considered in the article. The objectives of the research are the identification and the analysis of local ecological and economic system (coal processing company) performance and the proposals for improving the mechanism to support the management decision aimed at improving its environmental safety. The data on the structure of run-of-mine coal processing products are shown. The analysis of main ecological and economic indicators of coal processing enterprises, characterizing the state of its environmental safety, is done. The main result of the study is the development of proposals to improve the efficiency of local enterprise ecological and economic system management, including technical, technological and business measures. The results of the study can be recommended to industrial enterprises to improve their ecological and economic efficiency.

  6. Targeted Acoustic Data Processing for Ocean Ecological Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2005-01-01

    Individual-based models (IBMs) allow the explicit inclusion of individual variation in greater detail than do classical differential-equation and difference-equation models. Inclusion of such variation is important for continued progress in ecological and evolutionary theory. We provide a conceptual basis for IBMs by describing five major types of individual variation in IBMs: spatial, ontogenetic, phenotypic, cognitive, and genetic. IBMs are now used in almost all subfields of ecology and evolutionary biology. We map those subfields and look more closely at selected key papers on fish recruitment, forest dynamics, sympatric speciation, metapopulation dynamics, maintenance of diversity, and species conservation. Theorists are currently divided on whether IBMs represent only a practical tool for extending classical theory to more complex situations, or whether individual-based theory represents a radically new research program. We feel that the tension between these two poles of thinking can be a source of creativity in ecology and evolutionary theory.

  8. Inferring Group Processes from Computer-Mediated Affective Text Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Schryver, Jack C; Begoli, Edmon; Jose, Ajith; Griffin, Christopher

    2011-02-01

    Political communications in the form of unstructured text convey rich connotative meaning that can reveal underlying group social processes. Previous research has focused on sentiment analysis at the document level, but we extend this analysis to sub-document levels through a detailed analysis of affective relationships between entities extracted from a document. Instead of pure sentiment analysis, which is just positive or negative, we explore nuances of affective meaning in 22 affect categories. Our affect propagation algorithm automatically calculates and displays extracted affective relationships among entities in graphical form in our prototype (TEAMSTER), starting with seed lists of affect terms. Several useful metrics are defined to infer underlying group processes by aggregating affective relationships discovered in a text. Our approach has been validated with annotated documents from the MPQA corpus, achieving a performance gain of 74% over comparable random guessers.

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna

    2015-06-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hellden, Gustav F.

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

  12. Implicit Processing of Visual Emotions Is Affected by Sound-Induced Affective States and Individual Affective Traits

    PubMed Central

    Quarto, Tiziana; Blasi, Giuseppe; Pallesen, Karen Johanne; Bertolino, Alessandro; Brattico, Elvira

    2014-01-01

    The ability to recognize emotions contained in facial expressions are affected by both affective traits and states and varies widely between individuals. While affective traits are stable in time, affective states can be regulated more rapidly by environmental stimuli, such as music, that indirectly modulate the brain state. Here, we tested whether a relaxing or irritating sound environment affects implicit processing of facial expressions. Moreover, we investigated whether and how individual traits of anxiety and emotional control interact with this process. 32 healthy subjects performed an implicit emotion processing task (presented to subjects as a gender discrimination task) while the sound environment was defined either by a) a therapeutic music sequence (MusiCure), b) a noise sequence or c) silence. Individual changes in mood were sampled before and after the task by a computerized questionnaire. Additionally, emotional control and trait anxiety were assessed in a separate session by paper and pencil questionnaires. Results showed a better mood after the MusiCure condition compared with the other experimental conditions and faster responses to happy faces during MusiCure compared with angry faces during Noise. Moreover, individuals with higher trait anxiety were faster in performing the implicit emotion processing task during MusiCure compared with Silence. These findings suggest that sound-induced affective states are associated with differential responses to angry and happy emotional faces at an implicit stage of processing, and that a relaxing sound environment facilitates the implicit emotional processing in anxious individuals. PMID:25072162

  13. Implicit processing of visual emotions is affected by sound-induced affective states and individual affective traits.

    PubMed

    Quarto, Tiziana; Blasi, Giuseppe; Pallesen, Karen Johanne; Bertolino, Alessandro; Brattico, Elvira

    2014-01-01

    The ability to recognize emotions contained in facial expressions are affected by both affective traits and states and varies widely between individuals. While affective traits are stable in time, affective states can be regulated more rapidly by environmental stimuli, such as music, that indirectly modulate the brain state. Here, we tested whether a relaxing or irritating sound environment affects implicit processing of facial expressions. Moreover, we investigated whether and how individual traits of anxiety and emotional control interact with this process. 32 healthy subjects performed an implicit emotion processing task (presented to subjects as a gender discrimination task) while the sound environment was defined either by a) a therapeutic music sequence (MusiCure), b) a noise sequence or c) silence. Individual changes in mood were sampled before and after the task by a computerized questionnaire. Additionally, emotional control and trait anxiety were assessed in a separate session by paper and pencil questionnaires. Results showed a better mood after the MusiCure condition compared with the other experimental conditions and faster responses to happy faces during MusiCure compared with angry faces during Noise. Moreover, individuals with higher trait anxiety were faster in performing the implicit emotion processing task during MusiCure compared with Silence. These findings suggest that sound-induced affective states are associated with differential responses to angry and happy emotional faces at an implicit stage of processing, and that a relaxing sound environment facilitates the implicit emotional processing in anxious individuals.

  14. Ecological Factors Affecting the Flight Phenology of the Endangered Coenonympha nipisiquit (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae).

    PubMed

    Chiasson, Billie; Moreau, Gaétan

    2017-03-17

    Coenonympha nipisiquit McDunnough (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) is an endemic butterfly species that has been recorded only in 10 salt marshes of eastern Canada. Despite obtaining the endangered status and benefiting from a conservation program, the populations of this species appear to be declining. However, a lack of information about the ecology of the species and current demographics undermines potential in-situ conservation efforts. To identify the environmental factors affecting the emergence phenology and flight period of this species, daily visual counts of adult C. nipisiquit were carried out on a daily basis from 2011 to 2015 during the flight period along transects in four marshes where the butterfly maintains a continuous presence. A series of environmental parameters was collected during the monitoring. Additive modeling indicated that the accumulation of degree-days above 7 °C from mid-May contributed to the synchronization of adult emergence and flight in C. nipisiquit and identified a number of abiotic factors having an impact on the activity and monitoring of this insect. Data also indicated that some demographic aspects of this butterfly differ between sites and confirmed that C. nipisiquit has been declining from 2011 to 2015. In conclusion, this study not only generated information critical to the adjustment of the conservation program for C. nipisiquit, but also indicated that the extirpation of this species from its natural range should remain a concern.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  16. Analysis of Affective Instability in Ecological Momentary Assessment: Indices Using Successive Difference and Group Comparison via Multilevel Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jahng, Seungmin; Wood, Phillip K.; Trull, Timothy J.

    2008-01-01

    Temporal instability of affect is a defining characteristic of psychological disorders such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) and mood cycling disorders. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) enables researchers to directly assess such frequent and extreme fluctuations over time. The authors examined 4 operationalizations of such temporal…

  17. 31 CFR 576.508 - Judicial process in legal proceedings involving ecological accidents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... involving ecological accidents. 576.508 Section 576.508 Money and Finance: Treasury Regulations Relating to... § 576.508 Judicial process in legal proceedings involving ecological accidents. The Office of Foreign... accident (including an oil spill) that occurred after May 22, 2003....

  18. Experiential Learning as a Constraint-Led Process: An Ecological Dynamics Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brymer, Eric; Davids, Keith

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we present key ideas for an ecological dynamics approach to learning that reveal the importance of learner-environment interactions to frame outdoor experiential learning. We propose that ecological dynamics provides a useful framework for understanding the interacting constraints of the learning process and for designing learning…

  19. Socio-Ecological Factors Affecting Pregnant Women's Anemia Status in Freetown, Sierra Leone

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    M'Cormack, Fredanna; Drolet, Judy

    2012-01-01

    Background: Sierra Leone has high maternal mortality. Socio-ecological factors are considered contributing factors to this high mortality. Anemia is considered to be a direct cause of 4% of maternal deaths and an indirect cause of 20-40% of maternal deaths. Purpose: The current study explores socio-ecological contributing factors to the anemia…

  20. Nutraceutical properties of flour and tortillas made with an ecological nixtamalization process.

    PubMed

    Méndez, Lilia Irene Rodríguez; Cárdenas, Juan de Dios Figueroa; Gómez, Minerva Ramos; Lagunas, Lilia Leticia Méndez

    2013-10-01

    The traditional nixtamalization (TN) process, used for obtaining maize-based products, negatively affects bioactive compounds because of its highly alkaline pH. Recently, an ecological nixtamalization (EN) process has been developed that retains the pericarp and maintains the nejayote (wastewater) within the acidic-neutral range. This study examines the effect of pH on the nutraceutical compounds (NC) of maize, such as polyphenolics and anthocyanins (ANT), as well as the effect on the antioxidant capacity (AC). The highest concentration of total phenolics (TP) in the maize kernel was found in the black and yellow genotypes, the highest concentration of ANT in the black genotypes, and the highest concentration of AC in the red and white genotypes. In the flour, TP levels were between 206 to 400 mg GA/100 g, ANT levels were 141 to 4107 mg cyanidin-3 glucoside/kg, and AC levels were 2544 to 3001 mg AA/kg. In tortillas, TP levels were 255 to 319 mg GA/100 g, ANT levels were 32 to 3420 mg cyanidin-3 glucoside/kg, and AC levels were from 1513 to 2695 mg AA/kg. The reduced loss of soluble solids, the pH, and the formation of compounds with proteins and carbohydrates from the EN process positively affected NC retention.

  1. Ecology of Caribbean Sponges: Are Top-Down or Bottom-Up Processes More Important?

    PubMed Central

    Lesser, Michael P.; Slattery, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Benthic-pelagic coupling and the role of bottom-up versus top-down processes are recognized as having a major impact on the structure of marine communities. While the roles of bottom-up processes are better appreciated they are still viewed as principally affecting the outcome of top-down processes. Sponges on coral reefs are important members of the benthic community and provide a critically important functional linkage between water-column productivity and the benthos. As active suspension feeders sponges utilize the abundant autotrophic and heterotrophic picoplankton in the water column. As a result sponges across the Caribbean basin exhibit a consistent and significant pattern of greater biomass, tube extension rate, and species numbers with increasing depth. Likewise, the abundance of their food supply also increases along a depth gradient. Using experimental manipulations it has recently been reported that predation is the primary determinant of sponge community structure. Here we provide data showing that the size and growth of the sponge Callyspongia vaginalis are significantly affected by food availability. Sponges increased in size and tube extension rate with increasing depth down to 46 m, while simultaneously exposed to the full range of potential spongivores at all depths. Additionally, we point out important flaws in the experimental design used to demonstrate the role of predation and suggest that a resolution of this important question will require well-controlled, multi-factorial experiments to examine the independent and interactive effects of predation and food abundance on the ecology of sponges. PMID:24244563

  2. Ecology of Caribbean sponges: are top-down or bottom-up processes more important?

    PubMed

    Lesser, Michael P; Slattery, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Benthic-pelagic coupling and the role of bottom-up versus top-down processes are recognized as having a major impact on the structure of marine communities. While the roles of bottom-up processes are better appreciated they are still viewed as principally affecting the outcome of top-down processes. Sponges on coral reefs are important members of the benthic community and provide a critically important functional linkage between water-column productivity and the benthos. As active suspension feeders sponges utilize the abundant autotrophic and heterotrophic picoplankton in the water column. As a result sponges across the Caribbean basin exhibit a consistent and significant pattern of greater biomass, tube extension rate, and species numbers with increasing depth. Likewise, the abundance of their food supply also increases along a depth gradient. Using experimental manipulations it has recently been reported that predation is the primary determinant of sponge community structure. Here we provide data showing that the size and growth of the sponge Callyspongia vaginalis are significantly affected by food availability. Sponges increased in size and tube extension rate with increasing depth down to 46 m, while simultaneously exposed to the full range of potential spongivores at all depths. Additionally, we point out important flaws in the experimental design used to demonstrate the role of predation and suggest that a resolution of this important question will require well-controlled, multi-factorial experiments to examine the independent and interactive effects of predation and food abundance on the ecology of sponges.

  3. Multiplex social ecological network analysis reveals how social changes affect community robustness more than resource depletion.

    PubMed

    Baggio, Jacopo A; BurnSilver, Shauna B; Arenas, Alex; Magdanz, James S; Kofinas, Gary P; De Domenico, Manlio

    2016-11-29

    Network analysis provides a powerful tool to analyze complex influences of social and ecological structures on community and household dynamics. Most network studies of social-ecological systems use simple, undirected, unweighted networks. We analyze multiplex, directed, and weighted networks of subsistence food flows collected in three small indigenous communities in Arctic Alaska potentially facing substantial economic and ecological changes. Our analysis of plausible future scenarios suggests that changes to social relations and key households have greater effects on community robustness than changes to specific wild food resources.

  4. Multiplex social ecological network analysis reveals how social changes affect community robustness more than resource depletion

    PubMed Central

    BurnSilver, Shauna B.; Arenas, Alex; Magdanz, James S.; Kofinas, Gary P.

    2016-01-01

    Network analysis provides a powerful tool to analyze complex influences of social and ecological structures on community and household dynamics. Most network studies of social–ecological systems use simple, undirected, unweighted networks. We analyze multiplex, directed, and weighted networks of subsistence food flows collected in three small indigenous communities in Arctic Alaska potentially facing substantial economic and ecological changes. Our analysis of plausible future scenarios suggests that changes to social relations and key households have greater effects on community robustness than changes to specific wild food resources. PMID:27856752

  5. Spatial pattern and ecological process in the coffee agroforestry system.

    PubMed

    Perfecto, Ivette; Vandermeer, John

    2008-04-01

    The coffee agroforestry system provides an ideal platform for the study of spatial ecology. The uniform pattern of the coffee plants and shade trees allows for the study of pattern generation through intrinsic biological forces rather than extrinsic habitat patchiness. Detailed studies, focusing on a key mutualism between an ant (Azteca instabilis) and a scale insect (Coccus viridis), conducted in a 45-ha plot in a coffee agroforestry system have provided insights into (1) the quantitative evaluation of spatial pattern of the scale insect Coccus viridis on coffee bushes, (2) the mechanisms for the generation of patterns through the combination of local satellite ant nest formation and regional control from natural enemies, and (3) the consequences of the spatial pattern for the stability of predator-prey (host-parasitoid) systems, for a key coccinelid beetle preying on the scale insects and a phorid fly parasitoid parasitizing the ant.

  6. [Book review] Aquatic Ecology: Scale, Pattern and Process, edited by Paul S. Giller, Alan G. Hildrew, and David G. Raffaelli

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perry, M.C.

    1995-01-01

    Review of: Aquatic ecology : scale, pattern, and process. Paul S Giller; A G Hildrew; D G Raffaelli; British Ecological Society. Symposium; American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. Oxford ; Boston : Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1994. xiii, 649 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.

  7. Affective value and associative processing share a cortical substrate.

    PubMed

    Shenhav, Amitai; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Bar, Moshe

    2013-03-01

    The brain stores information in an associative manner so that contextually related entities are connected in memory. Such associative representations mediate the brain's ability to generate predictions about which other objects and events to expect in a given context. Likewise, the brain encodes and is able to rapidly retrieve the affective value of stimuli in our environment. That both contextual associations and affect serve as building blocks of numerous mental functions often makes interpretation of brain activation ambiguous. A critical brain region where such activation has often resulted in equivocal interpretation is the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC), which has been implicated separately in both affective and associative processing. To characterize its role more unequivocally, we tested whether activity in the mOFC was most directly attributable to affective processing, associative processing, or a combination of both. Subjects performed an object recognition task while undergoing fMRI scans. Objects varied independently in their affective valence and in their degree of association with other objects (associativity). Analyses revealed an overlapping sensitivity whereby the left mOFC responded both to increasingly positive affective value and to stronger associativity. These two properties individually accounted for mOFC response, even after controlling for their interrelationship. The role of the mOFC is either general enough to encompass associations that link stimuli both with reinforcing outcomes and with other stimuli or abstract enough to use both valence and associativity in conjunction to inform downstream processes related to perception and action. These results may further point to a fundamental relationship between associativity and positive affect.

  8. Yeast culture supplement during nursing and transport affects immunity and intestinal microbial ecology of weanling pigs.

    PubMed

    Weedman, S M; Rostagno, M H; Patterson, J A; Yoon, I; Fitzner, G; Eicher, S D

    2011-06-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine the influence of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product on innate immunity and intestinal microbial ecology after weaning and transport stress. In a randomized complete block design, before weaning and in a split-plot analysis of a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of yeast culture (YY) and transport (TT) after weaning, 3-d-old pigs (n = 108) were randomly assigned within litter (block) to either a control (NY, milk only) or yeast culture diet (YY; delivered in milk to provide 0.1 g of yeast culture product/kg of BW) from d 4 to 21. At weaning (d 21), randomly, one-half of the NY and YY pigs were assigned to a 6-h transport (NY-TT and YY-TT) before being moved to nursery housing, and the other one-half were moved directly to nursery housing (NY-NT and YY-NT, where NT is no transport). The yeast treatment was a 0.2% S. cerevisiae fermentation product and the control treatment was a 0.2% grain blank in feed for 2 wk. On d 1 before transport and on d 1, 4, 7, and 14 after transport, blood was collected for leukocyte assays, and mesenteric lymph node, jejunal, and ileal tissue, and jejunal, ileal, and cecal contents were collected for Toll-like receptor expression (TLR); enumeration of Escherichia coli, total coliforms, and lactobacilli; detection of Salmonella; and microbial analysis. After weaning, a yeast × transport interaction for ADG was seen (P = 0.05). Transport affected (P = 0.09) ADFI after weaning. Yeast treatment decreased hematocrit (P = 0.04). A yeast × transport interaction was found for counts of white blood cells (P = 0.01) and neutrophils (P = 0.02) and for the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (P = 0.02). Monocyte counts revealed a transport (P = 0.01) effect. Interactions of yeast × transport (P = 0.001) and yeast × transport × day (P = 0.09) for TLR2 and yeast × transport (P = 0.08) for TLR4 expression in the mesenteric lymph node were detected. Day affected lactobacilli, total coliform, and E

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-12-01

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

  10. fMRI Scanner Noise Interaction with Affective Neural Processes

    PubMed Central

    Skouras, Stavros; Gray, Marcus; Critchley, Hugo; Koelsch, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was the investigation of interaction effects between functional MRI scanner noise and affective neural processes. Stimuli comprised of psychoacoustically balanced musical pieces, expressing three different emotions (fear, neutral, joy). Participants (N=34, 19 female) were split into two groups, one subjected to continuous scanning and another subjected to sparse temporal scanning that features decreased scanner noise. Tests for interaction effects between scanning group (sparse/quieter vs continuous/noisier) and emotion (fear, neutral, joy) were performed. Results revealed interactions between the affective expression of stimuli and scanning group localized in bilateral auditory cortex, insula and visual cortex (calcarine sulcus). Post-hoc comparisons revealed that during sparse scanning, but not during continuous scanning, BOLD signals were significantly stronger for joy than for fear, as well as stronger for fear than for neutral in bilateral auditory cortex. During continuous scanning, but not during sparse scanning, BOLD signals were significantly stronger for joy than for neutral in the left auditory cortex and for joy than for fear in the calcarine sulcus. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to show a statistical interaction effect between scanner noise and affective processes and extends evidence suggesting scanner noise to be an important factor in functional MRI research that can affect and distort affective brain processes. PMID:24260420

  11. Are you in the mood? Therapist affect and psychotherapy process.

    PubMed

    Chui, Harold; Hill, Clara E; Kline, Kathryn; Kuo, Patty; Mohr, Jonathan J

    2016-07-01

    Studies on therapist factors have mostly focused on therapist traits rather than states such as affect. Research related to therapist affect has often looked at therapist baseline well-being or therapist reactions, but not both. Fifteen therapists and 51 clients rated pre- and postsession affect, as well as postsession working alliance and session quality, for 1,172 sessions of individual psychotherapy at a community clinic. Therapists' affect became more positive when clients were initially positive and when clients became more positive over the session, and became more negative when clients were initially negative and when clients became more negative over the session. Furthermore, when therapists were initially positive in affect and when therapists became more positive over the session, clients rated the session quality to be high. Conversely, when therapists were initially negative in affect and when therapists became more negative over the session, clients rated the session quality and working alliance low. On open-ended questions, therapists reported mood shifts in 67% of sessions (63% positive, 50% negative). Positive affect change was attributed to collaborating with the client, perceiving the client to be engaged, or being a good therapist. Negative affect change was attributed to having a difficult client, perceiving the client to be in distress, or being a poor therapist. Thus, therapist state affect at presession and change in affect across a session may independently contribute to the process and outcome of therapy sessions. The examination of within-therapist variables over the course of therapy may further our understanding of therapist factors. (PsycINFO Database Record

  12. Physiological processes during winter dormancy and their ecological significance

    SciTech Connect

    Havranek, W.M.; Tranquillini, W.

    1995-07-01

    Lengthy and severe winters require that trees in the forests of boreal and mountain zones undergo winter dormancy. Physiologically, a high resistance to subfreezing temperatures and concomitant dehydration are necessary. To accomplish this dormancy, both physiological and structural changes are needed at the cellular level that require induction by endogenous and photoperiodic control early in autumn. Endogenous rhythmicity promotes cold hardening in early autumn and the persistence of hardiness throughout the winter. Numerous physiological functions are maintained at a reduced level, or become completely inhibited during true winter dormancy. Winter hardiness also includes the capability to minimize water loss effectively when water uptake is severely impeded or impossible. Anatomical features such as tracheids act to minimize xylem embolism during frequent freeze-thaw cycles, and {open_quotes}crown{close_quotes} tissues enable buds to stay in a dehydrated and, thus, more resistant state during winter. Both these structural features are adaptations that contribute to the dominance of conifers in cold climates. Interestingly, deciduous tree species rather than evergreen conifers dominate in the most severe winter climates, although it is not clear whether limitations during winter, during the summer growth period, or during both are most limiting to conifer tree ecology. Additional work that evaluates the importance of winter and summer growth restriction, and their interaction, is needed before a comprehensive understanding of conifer tree ecophysiology will be possible.

  13. Flagella, flexibility and flow: Physical processes in microbial ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brumley, D. R.; Rusconi, R.; Son, K.; Stocker, R.

    2015-12-01

    How microorganisms interact with their environment and with their conspecifics depends strongly on their mechanical properties, on the hydrodynamic signatures they generate while swimming and on fluid flows in their environment. The rich fluid-structure interaction between flagella - the appendages microorganisms use for propulsion - and the surrounding flow, has broad reaching effects for both eukaryotic and prokaryotic microorganisms. Here, we discuss selected recent advances in our understanding of the physical ecology of microorganisms, which have hinged on the ability to directly interrogate the movement of individual cells and their swimming appendages, in precisely controlled fluid environments, and to image them at appropriately fast timescales. We review how a flagellar buckling instability can unexpectedly serve a fundamental function in the motility of bacteria, we elucidate the role of hydrodynamics and flexibility in the emergent properties of groups of eukaryotic flagella, and we show how fluid flows characteristic of microbial habitats can strongly bias the migration and spatial distribution of bacteria. The topics covered here are illustrative of the potential inherent in the adoption of experimental methods and conceptual frameworks from physics in understanding the lives of microorganisms.

  14. Ecological traits affect the response of tropical forest bird species to land-use intensity.

    PubMed

    Newbold, Tim; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Butchart, Stuart H M; Sekercioğlu, Cağan H; Alkemade, Rob; Booth, Hollie; Purves, Drew W

    2013-01-07

    Land-use change is one of the main drivers of current and likely future biodiversity loss. Therefore, understanding how species are affected by it is crucial to guide conservation decisions. Species respond differently to land-use change, possibly related to their traits. Using pan-tropical data on bird occurrence and abundance across a human land-use intensity gradient, we tested the effects of seven traits on observed responses. A likelihood-based approach allowed us to quantify uncertainty in modelled responses, essential for applying the model to project future change. Compared with undisturbed habitats, the average probability of occurrence of bird species was 7.8 per cent and 31.4 per cent lower, and abundance declined by 3.7 per cent and 19.2 per cent in habitats with low and high human land-use intensity, respectively. Five of the seven traits tested affected the observed responses significantly: long-lived, large, non-migratory, primarily frugivorous or insectivorous forest specialists were both less likely to occur and less abundant in more intensively used habitats than short-lived, small, migratory, non-frugivorous/insectivorous habitat generalists. The finding that species responses to land use depend on their traits is important for understanding ecosystem functioning, because species' traits determine their contribution to ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the loss of species with particular traits might have implications for the delivery of ecosystem services.

  15. How current ginning processes affect fiber length uniformity index

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There is a need to develop cotton ginning methods that improve fiber characteristics that are compatible with the newer and more efficient spinning technologies. A literature search produced recent studies that described how current ginning processes affect HVI fiber length uniformity index. Resul...

  16. Developing Worksheet Based on Science Process Skills: Factors Affecting Solubility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karsli, Fethiye; Sahin, Cigdem

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to develop a worksheet about the factors affecting solubility, which could be useful for the prospective science teachers (PST) to remind and regain their science process skills (SPS). The pilot study of the WS was carried out with 32 first grade PST during the 2007-2008 academic year in the education department at…

  17. Detection of macro-ecological patterns in South American hummingbirds is affected by spatial scale.

    PubMed Central

    Rahbek, C; Graves, G R

    2000-01-01

    Scale is widely recognized as a fundamental conceptual problem in biology, but the question of whether species-richness patterns vary with scale is often ignored in macro-ecological analyses, despite the increasing application of such data in international conservation programmes. We tested for scaling effects in species-richness gradients with spatially scaled data for 241 species of South American hummingbirds (Trochilidae). Analyses revealed that scale matters above and beyond the effect of quadrat area. Species richness was positively correlated with latitude and topographical relief at ten different spatial scales spanning two orders of magnitude (ca. 12,300 to ca. 1,225,000 km2). Surprisingly, when the influence of topography was removed, the conditional variation in species richness explained by latitude fell precipitously to insignificance at coarser spatial scales. The perception of macro-ecological pattern thus depends directly upon the scale of analysis. Although our results suggest there is no single correct scale for macro-ecological analyses, the averaging effect of quadrat sampling at coarser geographical scales obscures the fine structure of species-richness gradients and localized richness peaks, decreasing the power of statistical tests to discriminate the causal agents of regional richness gradients. Ideally, the scale of analysis should be varied systematically to provide the optimal resolution of macro-ecological pattern. PMID:11413641

  18. Yeast culture supplement during nursing and transport affects immunity and intestinal microbial ecology of weanling pigs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weaning and transport stress can have a negative impact on the piglet's immune system and intestinal microbiota. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of a yeast product on innate immunity and microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal tract following stress of weaning and trans...

  19. Ecological Factors Affecting Access to General Education Content and Contexts for Students with Significant Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruppar, Andrea L.; Allcock, Heather; Gonsier-Gerdin, Jean

    2017-01-01

    In this review, we applied Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory to examine factors that support or restrict access to the general curriculum for students with significant disabilities. We organize the literature in relationship to factors within the micro-, meso-, macro-, exo-, and chronosystems that influence decisions about access to the…

  20. From single-substance evaluation to ecological process concept: the dilemma of processing gold with cyanide.

    PubMed

    Korte, F; Coulston, F

    1995-10-01

    In the past decades, limit concentration values for environmentally dangerous synthetic and natural chemical substances have been established in industrialized countries. Depending on the range of application, state of aggregation, propagation velocity, specific action on living organisms, long- or short-time effect, etc., different terms are used to specify these limit concentrations (acceptable daily intakes, TLV, LD50, emission values, water quality standards, etc.). Several parameters (e.g., range of application, ethic and social valuation, environmental factors, scientific knowledge) have led to nationally and internationally varying values depending on the region and time. The accuracy of this system of evaluation cannot necessarily be improved by listing further analytical data, but rather by furnishing sufficiently secured scientific data for a serious discussion, with the public concepts influenced more and more by the mass media. The best-established scientific knowledge has been acquired by the chemical industry. National and international groups demand that ecological-chemical problems in other fields of industry be dealt with as well; this research should, without doubt, be intensified. The example of the mining industry, which must employ chemical methods to isolate small concentrations (ppm), demonstrates the environmental conflict caused by the increasing world population, requiring the adaptation of the process by industry to the modern environmental concept. This is illustrated by the evolution of the gold recovery process.

  1. Humans process dog and human facial affect in similar ways.

    PubMed

    Schirmer, Annett; Seow, Cui Shan; Penney, Trevor B

    2013-01-01

    Humans share aspects of their facial affect with other species such as dogs. Here we asked whether untrained human observers with and without dog experience are sensitive to these aspects and recognize dog affect with better-than-chance accuracy. Additionally, we explored similarities in the way observers process dog and human expressions. The stimulus material comprised naturalistic facial expressions of pet dogs and human infants obtained through positive (i.e., play) and negative (i.e., social isolation) provocation. Affect recognition was assessed explicitly in a rating task using full face images and images cropped to reveal the eye region only. Additionally, affect recognition was assessed implicitly in a lexical decision task using full faces as primes and emotional words and pseudowords as targets. We found that untrained human observers rated full face dog expressions from the positive and negative condition more accurately than would be expected by chance. Although dog experience was unnecessary for this effect, it significantly facilitated performance. Additionally, we observed a range of similarities between human and dog face processing. First, the facial expressions of both species facilitated lexical decisions to affectively congruous target words suggesting that their processing was equally automatic. Second, both dog and human negative expressions were recognized from both full and cropped faces. Third, female observers were more sensitive to affective information than were male observers and this difference was comparable for dog and human expressions. Together, these results extend existing work on cross-species similarities in facial emotions and provide evidence that these similarities are naturally exploited when humans interact with dogs.

  2. Humans Process Dog and Human Facial Affect in Similar Ways

    PubMed Central

    Schirmer, Annett; Seow, Cui Shan; Penney, Trevor B.

    2013-01-01

    Humans share aspects of their facial affect with other species such as dogs. Here we asked whether untrained human observers with and without dog experience are sensitive to these aspects and recognize dog affect with better-than-chance accuracy. Additionally, we explored similarities in the way observers process dog and human expressions. The stimulus material comprised naturalistic facial expressions of pet dogs and human infants obtained through positive (i.e., play) and negative (i.e., social isolation) provocation. Affect recognition was assessed explicitly in a rating task using full face images and images cropped to reveal the eye region only. Additionally, affect recognition was assessed implicitly in a lexical decision task using full faces as primes and emotional words and pseudowords as targets. We found that untrained human observers rated full face dog expressions from the positive and negative condition more accurately than would be expected by chance. Although dog experience was unnecessary for this effect, it significantly facilitated performance. Additionally, we observed a range of similarities between human and dog face processing. First, the facial expressions of both species facilitated lexical decisions to affectively congruous target words suggesting that their processing was equally automatic. Second, both dog and human negative expressions were recognized from both full and cropped faces. Third, female observers were more sensitive to affective information than were male observers and this difference was comparable for dog and human expressions. Together, these results extend existing work on cross-species similarities in facial emotions and provide evidence that these similarities are naturally exploited when humans interact with dogs. PMID:24023954

  3. Positive affect and psychobiological processes relevant to health.

    PubMed

    Steptoe, Andrew; Dockray, Samantha; Wardle, Jane

    2009-12-01

    Empirical evidence suggests that there are marked associations between positive psychological states and health outcomes, including reduced cardiovascular disease risk and increased resistance to infection. These observations have stimulated the investigation of behavioral and biological processes that might mediate protective effects. Evidence linking positive affect with health behaviors has been mixed, though recent cross-cultural research has documented associations with exercising regularly, not smoking, and prudent diet. At the biological level, cortisol output has been consistently shown to be lower among individuals reporting positive affect, and favorable associations with heart rate, blood pressure, and inflammatory markers such as interleukin-6 have also been described. Importantly, these relationships are independent of negative affect and depressed mood, suggesting that positive affect may have distinctive biological correlates that can benefit health. At the same time, positive affect is associated with protective psychosocial factors such as greater social connectedness, perceived social support, optimism, and preference for adaptive coping responses. Positive affect may be part of a broader profile of psychosocial resilience that reduces risk of adverse physical health outcomes.

  4. Microflora of Processed Cheese and the Factors Affecting It.

    PubMed

    Buňková, Leona; Buňka, František

    2015-09-11

    The basic raw materials for the production of processed cheese are natural cheese which is treated by heat with the addition of emulsifying salts. From a point of view of the melting temperatures used (and the pH-value of the product), the course of processed cheese production can be considered "pasteurisation of cheese". During the melting process, the majority of vegetative forms of microorganisms, including bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae, are inactivated. The melting temperatures are not sufficient to kill the endospores, which survive the process but they are often weakened. From a microbiological point of view, the biggest contamination problem of processed cheese is caused by gram-positive spore-forming rod-shaped bacteria of the genera Bacillus, Geobacillus and Clostridium. Other factors affecting the shelf-life and quality of processed cheese are mainly the microbiological quality of the raw materials used, strict hygienic conditions during the manufacturing process as well as the type of packaging materials and storage conditions. The quality of processed cheese is not only dependent on the ingredients used but also on other parameters such as the value of water activity of the processed cheese, its pH-value, the presence of salts and emulsifying salts and the amount of fat in the product.

  5. Spelling-to-sound correspondences affect acronym recognition processes.

    PubMed

    Playfoot, David; Izura, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    A large body of research has examined the factors that affect the speed with which words are recognized in lexical decision tasks. Nothing has yet been reported concerning the important factors in differentiating acronyms (e.g., BBC, HIV, NASA) from nonwords. It appears that this task poses little problem for skilled readers, in spite of the fact that acronyms have uncommon, even illegal, spellings in English. We used regression techniques to examine the role of a number of lexical and nonlexical variables known to be important in word processing in relation to lexical decision for acronym targets. Findings indicated that acronym recognition is affected by age of acquisition and imageability. In a departure from findings in word recognition, acronym recognition was not affected by frequency. Lexical decision responses for acronyms were also affected by the relationship between spelling and sound-a pattern not usually observed in word recognition. We argue that the complexity of acronym recognition means that the process draws phonological information in addition to semantics.

  6. Processes affecting the oceanic distributions of dissolved calcium and alkalinity

    SciTech Connect

    Shiller, A.M.; Gieskes, J.M.

    1980-05-20

    Recent studies of the CO/sub 2/ system have suggested that chemical processes in addition to the dissolution and precipitation of calcium carbonate affect the oceanic calcium and alkalinity distributions. Calcium and alkalinity data from the North Pacific have been examined both by using the simple physical-chemical model of previous workers and by a study involving the broader oceanographic context of these data. The simple model is shown to be an inadequate basis for these studies. Although a proton flux associated with organic decomposition may affect the alkalinity, previously reported deviations of calcium-alkalinity correlations from expected trends appear to be related to boundary processes that have been neglected rather than to this proton flux. The distribution of calcium in the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean is examined.

  7. Ecology of conflict: marine food supply affects human-wildlife interactions on land

    PubMed Central

    Artelle, Kyle A.; Anderson, Sean C.; Reynolds, John D.; Cooper, Andrew B.; Paquet, Paul C.; Darimont, Chris T.

    2016-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflicts impose considerable costs to people and wildlife worldwide. Most research focuses on proximate causes, offering limited generalizable understanding of ultimate drivers. We tested three competing hypotheses (problem individuals, regional population saturation, limited food supply) that relate to underlying processes of human-grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) conflict, using data from British Columbia, Canada, between 1960–2014. We found most support for the limited food supply hypothesis: in bear populations that feed on spawning salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), the annual number of bears/km2 killed due to conflicts with humans increased by an average of 20% (6–32% [95% CI]) for each 50% decrease in annual salmon biomass. Furthermore, we found that across all bear populations (with or without access to salmon), 81% of attacks on humans and 82% of conflict kills occurred after the approximate onset of hyperphagia (July 1st), a period of intense caloric demand. Contrary to practices by many management agencies, conflict frequency was not reduced by hunting or removal of problem individuals. Our finding that a marine resource affects terrestrial conflict suggests that evidence-based policy for reducing harm to wildlife and humans requires not only insight into ultimate drivers of conflict, but also management that spans ecosystem and jurisdictional boundaries. PMID:27185189

  8. Living in the branches: population dynamics and ecological processes in dendritic networks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.; Lowe, W.H.; Fagan, W.F.

    2007-01-01

    Spatial structure regulates and modifies processes at several levels of ecological organization (e.g. individual/genetic, population and community) and is thus a key component of complex systems, where knowledge at a small scale can be insufficient for understanding system behaviour at a larger scale. Recent syntheses outline potential applications of network theory to ecological systems, but do not address the implications of physical structure for network dynamics. There is a specific need to examine how dendritic habitat structure, such as that found in stream, hedgerow and cave networks, influences ecological processes. Although dendritic networks are one type of ecological network, they are distinguished by two fundamental characteristics: (1) both the branches and the nodes serve as habitat, and (2) the specific spatial arrangement and hierarchical organization of these elements interacts with a species' movement behaviour to alter patterns of population distribution and abundance, and community interactions. Here, we summarize existing theory relating to ecological dynamics in dendritic networks, review empirical studies examining the population- and community-level consequences of these networks, and suggest future research integrating spatial pattern and processes in dendritic systems.

  9. Disentangling the importance of ecological niches from stochastic processes across scales

    PubMed Central

    Chase, Jonathan M.; Myers, Jonathan A.

    2011-01-01

    Deterministic theories in community ecology suggest that local, niche-based processes, such as environmental filtering, biotic interactions and interspecific trade-offs largely determine patterns of species diversity and composition. In contrast, more stochastic theories emphasize the importance of chance colonization, random extinction and ecological drift. The schisms between deterministic and stochastic perspectives, which date back to the earliest days of ecology, continue to fuel contemporary debates (e.g. niches versus neutrality). As illustrated by the pioneering studies of Robert H. MacArthur and co-workers, resolution to these debates requires consideration of how the importance of local processes changes across scales. Here, we develop a framework for disentangling the relative importance of deterministic and stochastic processes in generating site-to-site variation in species composition (β-diversity) along ecological gradients (disturbance, productivity and biotic interactions) and among biogeographic regions that differ in the size of the regional species pool. We illustrate how to discern the importance of deterministic processes using null-model approaches that explicitly account for local and regional factors that inherently create stochastic turnover. By embracing processes across scales, we can build a more synthetic framework for understanding how niches structure patterns of biodiversity in the face of stochastic processes that emerge from local and biogeographic factors. PMID:21768151

  10. Continental-Scale Stable Isotope Measurements at NEON to Address Ecological Processes Across Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, H.; Goodman, K. J.; Hinckley, E. S.; West, J. B.; Williams, D. G.; Bowen, G. J.

    2013-12-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a national-scale research platform. The overarching goal of NEON is to enable understanding and forecasting of the impacts of climate change, land use change, and invasive species on aspects of continental-scale ecology (such as biodiversity, biogeochemistry, infectious diseases, ecohydrology, etc.). NEON focuses explicitly on questions that relate to grand challenges in environmental science, are relevant to large regions, and would otherwise be very difficult to address with traditional ecological approaches. The use of stable isotope approaches in ecological research has grown steadily during the last two decades. Stable isotopes at natural abundances in the environment trace and integrate the interaction between abiotic and biotic components across temporal and spatial scales. In this poster, we will present the NEON data products that incorporate stable isotope measurements in atmospheric, terrestrial, and aquatic ecosystems in North America. We further outline current questions in the natural sciences community and how these data products can be used to address continental-scale ecological questions, such as the ecological impacts of climate change, terrestrial-aquatic system linkages, land-atmosphere exchange, landscape ecohydrological processes, and linking biogeochemical cycles across systems. Specifically, we focus on the use of stable isotopes to evaluate water availability and residence times in terrestrial systems, as well as nutrient sources to terrestrial systems, and cycling across ecosystem boundaries.

  11. Electrophysiological Differences in the Processing of Affect Misattribution

    PubMed Central

    Hashimoto, Yohei; Minami, Tetsuto; Nakauchi, Shigeki

    2012-01-01

    The affect misattribution procedure (AMP) was proposed as a technique to measure an implicit attitude to a prime image [1]. In the AMP, neutral symbols (e.g., a Chinese pictograph, called the target) are presented, following an emotional stimulus (known as the prime). Participants often misattribute the positive or negative affect of the priming images to the targets in spite of receiving an instruction to ignore the primes. The AMP effect has been investigated using behavioral measures; however, it is difficult to identify when the AMP effect occurs in emotional processing—whether the effect may occur in the earlier attention allocation stage or in the later evaluation stage. In this study, we examined the neural correlates of affect misattribution, using event-related potential (ERP) dividing the participants into two groups based on their tendency toward affect misattribution. The ERP results showed that the amplitude of P2 was larger for the prime at the parietal location in participants showing a low tendency to misattribution than for those showing a high tendency, while the effect of judging neutral targets amiss according to the primes was reflected in the late processing of targets (LPP). In addition, the topographic pattern analysis revealed that EPN-like component to targets was correlated with the difference of AMP tendency as well as P2 to primes and LPP to targets. Taken together, the mechanism of the affective misattribution was closely related to the attention allocation processing. Our findings provide neural evidence that evaluations of neutral targets are misattributed to emotional primes. PMID:23145097

  12. Habitat Complexity in Aquatic Microcosms Affects Processes Driven by Detritivores

    PubMed Central

    Flores, Lorea; Bailey, R. A.; Elosegi, Arturo; Larrañaga, Aitor; Reiss, Julia

    2016-01-01

    Habitat complexity can influence predation rates (e.g. by providing refuge) but other ecosystem processes and species interactions might also be modulated by the properties of habitat structure. Here, we focussed on how complexity of artificial habitat (plastic plants), in microcosms, influenced short-term processes driven by three aquatic detritivores. The effects of habitat complexity on leaf decomposition, production of fine organic matter and pH levels were explored by measuring complexity in three ways: 1. as the presence vs. absence of habitat structure; 2. as the amount of structure (3 or 4.5 g of plastic plants); and 3. as the spatial configuration of structures (measured as fractal dimension). The experiment also addressed potential interactions among the consumers by running all possible species combinations. In the experimental microcosms, habitat complexity influenced how species performed, especially when comparing structure present vs. structure absent. Treatments with structure showed higher fine particulate matter production and lower pH compared to treatments without structures and this was probably due to higher digestion and respiration when structures were present. When we explored the effects of the different complexity levels, we found that the amount of structure added explained more than the fractal dimension of the structures. We give a detailed overview of the experimental design, statistical models and R codes, because our statistical analysis can be applied to other study systems (and disciplines such as restoration ecology). We further make suggestions of how to optimise statistical power when artificially assembling, and analysing, ‘habitat complexity’ by not confounding complexity with the amount of structure added. In summary, this study highlights the importance of habitat complexity for energy flow and the maintenance of ecosystem processes in aquatic ecosystems. PMID:27802267

  13. Affect and alcohol use: an ecological momentary assessment study of outpatients with borderline personality disorder.

    PubMed

    Jahng, Seungmin; Solhan, Marika B; Tomko, Rachel L; Wood, Phillip K; Piasecki, Thomas M; Trull, Timothy J

    2011-08-01

    Alcohol use may be viewed as an attempt (albeit maladaptive) to regulate negative emotional states. We examined associations between both negative and positive affects and alcohol use in outpatient women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD; n=74), a prototype of emotional dysregulation, as well as a psychiatric control group of women with current depressive disorder (major depressive disorder/dysthymic disorder [MDD\\DYS]; n=50). Participants completed randomly prompted reports of mood and alcohol use up to six times a day over a 28-day period using electronic diaries. Mean levels of either positive or negative affects did not distinguish between drinkers and nondrinkers in either diagnostic group. However, levels of both negative and positive affects were positively associated with alcohol use at the momentary level in BPD drinkers. More robust findings were obtained with respect to within-person affective variability, which was related to alcohol use in multiple ways. BPD drinkers showed higher within-person variability for most negative affects than BPD nondrinkers; MDD\\DYS drinkers in general showed less within-person variability than MDD\\DYS nondrinkers for negative affects. Multilevel lagged analyses for BPD drinkers indicated that alcohol use was positively related to variability in all affects, concurrently, but fewer significant effects of affect variability on the next day's drinking or significant effects of alcohol use on the next day's affect variability were observed. Among MDD\\DYS drinkers, we observed more significant associations between affect variability on next day's alcohol use and of alcohol use on next day's affect variability. We discuss theoretical and methodological issues relevant to these findings as well as implications for future research.

  14. Mechanisms by Which Phenotypic Plasticity Affects Adaptive Divergence and Ecological Speciation.

    PubMed

    Nonaka, Etsuko; Svanbäck, Richard; Thibert-Plante, Xavier; Englund, Göran; Brännström, Åke

    2015-11-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of one genotype to produce different phenotypes depending on environmental conditions. Several conceptual models emphasize the role of plasticity in promoting reproductive isolation and, ultimately, speciation in populations that forage on two or more resources. These models predict that plasticity plays a critical role in the early stages of speciation, prior to genetic divergence, by facilitating fast phenotypic divergence. The ability to plastically express alternative phenotypes may, however, interfere with the early phase of the formation of reproductive barriers, especially in the absence of geographic barriers. Here, we quantitatively investigate mechanisms under which plasticity can influence progress toward adaptive genetic diversification and ecological speciation. We use a stochastic, individual-based model of a predator-prey system incorporating sexual reproduction and mate choice in the predator. Our results show that evolving plasticity promotes the evolution of reproductive isolation under diversifying environments when individuals are able to correctly select a more profitable habitat with respect to their phenotypes (i.e., adaptive habitat choice) and to assortatively mate with relatively similar phenotypes. On the other hand, plasticity facilitates the evolution of plastic generalists when individuals have a limited capacity for adaptive habitat choice. We conclude that plasticity can accelerate the evolution of a reproductive barrier toward adaptive diversification and ecological speciation through enhanced phenotypic differentiation between diverging phenotypes.

  15. Application of ultrasound processed images in space: assessing diffuse affectations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Poch, A.; Bru, C.; Nicolau, C.

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate diffuse affectations in the liver using texture image processing techniques. Ultrasound diagnose equipments are the election of choice to be used in space environments as they are free from hazardous effects on health. However, due to the need for highly trained radiologists to assess the images, this imaging method is mainly applied on focal lesions rather than on non-focal ones. We have conducted a clinical study on 72 patients with different degrees of chronic hepatopaties and a group of control of 18 individuals. All subjects' clinical reports and results of biopsies were compared to the degree of affectation calculated by our computer system , thus validating the method. Full statistical results are given in the present paper showing a good correlation (r=0.61) between pathologist's report and analysis of the heterogenicity of the processed images from the liver. This computer system to analyze diffuse affectations may be used in-situ or via telemedicine to the ground.

  16. PROCESS TRANSFER FUNCTIONS TO RELATE STREAM ECOLOGICAL CONDITION METRICS TO NITRATE RETENTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecologists have developed hydrological metrics to characterize the nutrient processing capability of streams. In most cases these are used qualitatively to draw inferences on ecological function. In this work, several of these metrics have been integrated in a nonsteady state adv...

  17. The Rapid Benefit Indicators Approach: A Process for Assessing the Social Benefits of Ecological Restoration

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Rapid Benefit Indicators (RBI) Approach is an easy-to-use process for assessing restoration sites using non-monetary benefit indicators. The RBI uses readily-available data to estimate and quantify benefits to people around an ecological restoration site. It is a five step as...

  18. Processes affecting the remediation of chromium-contaminated sites.

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, C D; Wittbrodt, P R

    1991-01-01

    The remediation of chromium-contaminated sites requires knowledge of the processes that control the migration and transformation of chromium. Advection, dispersion, and diffusion are physical processes affecting the rate at which contaminants can migrate in the subsurface. Heterogeneity is an important factor that affects the contribution of each of these mechanisms to the migration of chromium-laden waters. Redox reactions, chemical speciation, adsorption/desorption phenomena, and precipitation/dissolution reactions control the transformation and mobility of chromium. The reduction of CrVI to CrIII can occur in the presence of ferrous iron in solution or in mineral phases, reduced sulfur compounds, or soil organic matter. At neutral to alkaline pH, the CrIII precipitates as amorphous hydroxides or forms complexes with organic matter. CrIII is oxidized by manganese dioxide, a common mineral found in many soils. Solid-phase precipitates of hexavalent chromium such as barium chromate can serve either as sources or sinks for CrVI. Adsorption of CrVI in soils increases with decreasing chromium concentration, making it more difficult to remove the chromium as the concentration decreases during pump-and-treat remediation. Knowledge of these chemical and physical processes is important in developing and selecting effective, cost-efficient remediation designs for chromium-contaminated sites. PMID:1935849

  19. Bibliometric approach of factors affecting scientific productivity in environmental sciences and ecology.

    PubMed

    Dragos, Cristian Mihai; Dragos, Simona Laura

    2013-04-01

    Different academic bibliometric studies have measured the influence of economic, political and linguistic factors in the academic output of countries. Separate analysis in different fields can reveal specific incentive factors. Our study proves that the Environmental Performance Index, computed by Yale University, is highly significant (p<0.01) for the productivity of research and development activities in environmental sciences and ecology. The control variables like education financing, publishing of ISI Thomson domestic journals and the English language are also significant. The methodology uses Ordinary Least Squares multiple regressions with convincing results (R(2)=0.752). The relative positions of the 92 countries in the sample are also discussed. We draw up a ranking of the countries' concern for the environment, considering evenly the scientific productivity and the environment quality. We notice huge differences concerning the number of inhabitants and population income between the countries that dominate the classification and those occupying the last positions.

  20. FACTORS AFFECTING SENSITIVITY OF CHEMICAL AND ECOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF MARINE EMBAYMEMTS TO NITROGEN LOADING

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper summarizes an ongoing examination of the primary factors that affect sensitivity of marine embayment responses to nitrogen loading. Included is a discussion of two methods for using these factors: classification of embayments into discrete sensitivity classes and norma...

  1. Separating macroecological pattern and process: comparing ecological, economic, and geological systems.

    PubMed

    Blonder, Benjamin; Sloat, Lindsey; Enquist, Brian J; McGill, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Theories of biodiversity rest on several macroecological patterns describing the relationship between species abundance and diversity. A central problem is that all theories make similar predictions for these patterns despite disparate assumptions. A troubling implication is that these patterns may not reflect anything unique about organizational principles of biology or the functioning of ecological systems. To test this, we analyze five datasets from ecological, economic, and geological systems that describe the distribution of objects across categories in the United States. At the level of functional form ('first-order effects'), these patterns are not unique to ecological systems, indicating they may reveal little about biological process. However, we show that mechanism can be better revealed in the scale-dependency of first-order patterns ('second-order effects'). These results provide a roadmap for biodiversity theory to move beyond traditional patterns, and also suggest ways in which macroecological theory can constrain the dynamics of economic systems.

  2. Separating Macroecological Pattern and Process: Comparing Ecological, Economic, and Geological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Blonder, Benjamin; Sloat, Lindsey; Enquist, Brian J.; McGill, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Theories of biodiversity rest on several macroecological patterns describing the relationship between species abundance and diversity. A central problem is that all theories make similar predictions for these patterns despite disparate assumptions. A troubling implication is that these patterns may not reflect anything unique about organizational principles of biology or the functioning of ecological systems. To test this, we analyze five datasets from ecological, economic, and geological systems that describe the distribution of objects across categories in the United States. At the level of functional form (‘first-order effects’), these patterns are not unique to ecological systems, indicating they may reveal little about biological process. However, we show that mechanism can be better revealed in the scale-dependency of first-order patterns (‘second-order effects’). These results provide a roadmap for biodiversity theory to move beyond traditional patterns, and also suggest ways in which macroecological theory can constrain the dynamics of economic systems. PMID:25383874

  3. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of effluent toxicity of a wastewater reclamation plant based on process modeling.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Siyu; Huang, Yunqing; Sun, Fu; Li, Dan; He, Miao

    2016-09-01

    The growing use of reclaimed wastewater for environmental purposes such as stream flow augmentation requires comprehensive ecological risk assessment and management. This study applied a system analysis approach, regarding a wastewater reclamation plant (WRP) and its recipient water body as a whole system, and assessed the ecological risk of the recipient water body caused by the WRP effluent. Instead of specific contaminants, two toxicity indicators, i.e. genotoxicity and estrogenicity, were selected to directly measure the biological effects of all bio-available contaminants in the reclaimed wastewater, as well as characterize the ecological risk of the recipient water. A series of physically based models were developed to simulate the toxicity indicators in a WRP through a typical reclamation process, including ultrafiltration, ozonation, and chlorination. After being validated against the field monitoring data from a full-scale WRP in Beijing, the models were applied to simulate the probability distribution of effluent toxicity of the WRP through Latin Hypercube Sampling to account for the variability of influent toxicity and operation conditions. The simulated effluent toxicity was then used to derive the predicted environmental concentration (PEC) in the recipient stream, considering the variations of the toxicity and flow of the upstream inflow as well. The ratio of the PEC of each toxicity indicator to its corresponding predicted no-effect concentration was finally used for the probabilistic ecological risk assessment. Regional sensitivity analysis was also performed with the developed models to identify the critical control variables and strategies for ecological risk management.

  4. Affective and executive network processing associated with persuasive antidrug messages.

    PubMed

    Ramsay, Ian S; Yzer, Marco C; Luciana, Monica; Vohs, Kathleen D; MacDonald, Angus W

    2013-07-01

    Previous research has highlighted brain regions associated with socioemotional processes in persuasive message encoding, whereas cognitive models of persuasion suggest that executive brain areas may also be important. The current study aimed to identify lateral prefrontal brain areas associated with persuasive message viewing and understand how activity in these executive regions might interact with activity in the amygdala and medial pFC. Seventy adolescents were scanned using fMRI while they watched 10 strongly convincing antidrug public service announcements (PSAs), 10 weakly convincing antidrug PSAs, and 10 advertisements (ads) unrelated to drugs. Antidrug PSAs compared with nondrug ads more strongly elicited arousal-related activity in the amygdala and medial pFC. Within antidrug PSAs, those that were prerated as strongly persuasive versus weakly persuasive showed significant differences in arousal-related activity in executive processing areas of the lateral pFC. In support of the notion that persuasiveness involves both affective and executive processes, functional connectivity analyses showed greater coactivation between the lateral pFC and amygdala during PSAs known to be strongly (vs. weakly) convincing. These findings demonstrate that persuasive messages elicit activation in brain regions responsible for both emotional arousal and executive control and represent a crucial step toward a better understanding of the neural processes responsible for persuasion and subsequent behavior change.

  5. Saharan Dust Deposition May Affect Phytoplankton Growth in the Mediterranean Sea at Ecological Time Scales

    PubMed Central

    Gallisai, Rachele; Peters, Francesc; Volpe, Gianluca; Basart, Sara; Baldasano, José Maria

    2014-01-01

    The surface waters of the Mediterranean Sea are extremely poor in the nutrients necessary for plankton growth. At the same time, the Mediterranean Sea borders with the largest and most active desert areas in the world and the atmosphere over the basin is subject to frequent injections of mineral dust particles. We describe statistical correlations between dust deposition over the Mediterranean Sea and surface chlorophyll concentrations at ecological time scales. Aerosol deposition of Saharan origin may explain 1 to 10% (average 5%) of seasonally detrended chlorophyll variability in the low nutrient-low chlorophyll Mediterranean. Most of the statistically significant correlations are positive with main effects in spring over the Eastern and Central Mediterranean, conforming to a view of dust events fueling needed nutrients to the planktonic community. Some areas show negative effects of dust deposition on chlorophyll, coinciding with regions under a large influence of aerosols from European origin. The influence of dust deposition on chlorophyll dynamics may become larger in future scenarios of increased aridity and shallowing of the mixed layer. PMID:25333783

  6. Non-breeding habitat preference affects ecological speciation in migratory waders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraaijeveld, Ken

    2008-04-01

    Models of ecological speciation predict that certain types of habitat should be more conducive to species diversification than others. In this study, I test this hypothesis in waders of the sub-order Charadrii using the number of morphological sub-species per species as an index of diversity. I classified all members of this clade as spending the non-breeding season either coastally or inland and argue that these represent fundamentally different environments. Coastal mudflats are characterised by high predictability and patchy worldwide distribution, whilst inland wetlands are widespread but unpredictable. The results show that migratory species that winter coastally are sub-divided into more sub-species than those that winter inland. This was not the case for non-migratory species. I argue that coastal environments select for more rigid migratory pathways, whilst inland wetlands favour more flexible movement patterns. Population sub-division could then result from the passive segregation of breeding sites or from the active selection for assortative mating of ecomorphs.

  7. Ecology and genetics affect relative invasion success of two Echium species in southern Australia

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xiaocheng; Weston, Paul A.; Skoneczny, Dominik; Gopurenko, David; Meyer, Lucie; Lepschi, Brendan J.; Callaway, Ragan M.; Gurr, Geoff M.; Weston, Leslie A.

    2017-01-01

    Echium plantagineum and E. vulgare are congeneric exotics first introduced to Australia in the early 1800 s. There, E. plantagineum is now highly invasive, whereas E. vulgare has a limited distribution. Studies were conducted to evaluate distribution, ecology, genetics and secondary chemistry to shed light on factors associated with their respective invasive success. When sampled across geographically diverse locales, E. plantagineum was widespread and exhibited a small genome size (1 C = 0.34 pg), an annual life cycle, and greater genetic diversity as assessed by DNA sequence analysis. It was found frequently in areas with temperature extremes and low rainfall. In contrast, E. vulgare exhibited a larger genome size (1 C = 0.43 pg), a perennial lifecycle, less chloroplast genetic diversity, and occurred in areas with lower temperatures and higher rainfall. Twelve chloroplast haplotypes of E. plantagineum were evident and incidence aligned well with reported historical introduction events. In contrast, E. vulgare exhibited two haplotypes and was found only sporadically at higher elevations. Echium plantagineum possessed significantly higher levels of numerous pyrrolizidine alkaloids involved in plant defence. We conclude that elevated genetic diversity, tolerance to environmental stress and capacity for producing defensive secondary metabolites have contributed to the successful invasion of E. plantagineum in Australia. PMID:28211478

  8. Saharan dust deposition may affect phytoplankton growth in the Mediterranean sea at ecological time scales.

    PubMed

    Gallisai, Rachele; Peters, Francesc; Volpe, Gianluca; Basart, Sara; Baldasano, José Maria

    2014-01-01

    The surface waters of the Mediterranean Sea are extremely poor in the nutrients necessary for plankton growth. At the same time, the Mediterranean Sea borders with the largest and most active desert areas in the world and the atmosphere over the basin is subject to frequent injections of mineral dust particles. We describe statistical correlations between dust deposition over the Mediterranean Sea and surface chlorophyll concentrations at ecological time scales. Aerosol deposition of Saharan origin may explain 1 to 10% (average 5%) of seasonally detrended chlorophyll variability in the low nutrient-low chlorophyll Mediterranean. Most of the statistically significant correlations are positive with main effects in spring over the Eastern and Central Mediterranean, conforming to a view of dust events fueling needed nutrients to the planktonic community. Some areas show negative effects of dust deposition on chlorophyll, coinciding with regions under a large influence of aerosols from European origin. The influence of dust deposition on chlorophyll dynamics may become larger in future scenarios of increased aridity and shallowing of the mixed layer.

  9. Using Ecological Momentary Assessment to Examine Interpersonal and Affective Predictors of Loss of Control Eating in Adolescent Girls

    PubMed Central

    Ranzenhofer, Lisa M.; Engel, Scott G.; Crosby, Ross D.; Anderson, Micheline; Vannucci, Anna; Cohen, L. Adelyn; Cassidy, Omni; Tanofsky-Kraff, Marian

    2015-01-01

    Objective Pediatric loss of control (LOC) eating is predictive of partial- and full-syndrome binge eating disorder. The interpersonal model proposes that LOC eating is used to cope with negative mood states resulting from interpersonal distress, possibly on a momentary level. We therefore examined temporal associations between interpersonal problems, negative affect, and LOC eating among overweight adolescent girls using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Method Thirty overweight and obese (≥85th body mass index (BMI) percentile; BMI: M = 36.13, SD = 7.49 kg/m2) adolescent females (Age: M = 14.92, SD = 1.54 y; 60.0% African American) who reported at least two LOC episodes in the past month completed self-report momentary ratings of interpersonal problems, state affect, and LOC eating for 2 weeks. A series of 2-level multilevel models with centering within subjects was conducted. Results Between- and within-subjects interpersonal problems (p’s < .05), but not between- (p = .12) or within- (p = .32) subjects negative affect predicted momentary LOC eating. At the between-subjects level, interpersonal problems significantly predicted increases in negative affect (p < 001). Discussion Naturalistic data lend support to the predictive value of interpersonal problems for LOC eating among adolescents. Interventions targeting interpersonal factors on a momentary basis may be useful during this developmental stage. PMID:25046850

  10. Ecological factors affecting Rainbow Smelt recruitment in the main basin of Lake Huron, 1976-2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Brien, Timothy P.; Taylor, William W.; Roseman, Edward F.; Madenjian, Charles P.; Riley, Stephen C.

    2014-01-01

    Rainbow Smelt Osmerus mordax are native to northeastern Atlantic and Pacific–Arctic drainages and have been widely introduced throughout North America. In the Great Lakes region, Rainbow Smelt are known predators and competitors of native fish and a primary prey species in pelagic food webs. Despite their widespread distribution, importance as a prey species, and potential to negatively interact with native fish species, there is limited information concerning stock–recruitment relationships for Rainbow Smelt. To better understand recruitment mechanisms, we evaluated potential ecological factors determining recruitment dynamics for Rainbow Smelt in Lake Huron using data from bottom trawl catches. We specifically evaluated influence of stock size, environmental factors (water temperature, lake levels, and precipitation), and salmonine predation on the production of age-0 recruits from 1976 to 2010. Rainbow Smelt recruitment was negatively related to stock size exceeding 10 kg/ha, indicating that compensatory, density-dependent mortality from cannibalism or intraspecific competition was an important factor related to the production of age-0 recruits. Recruitment was positively related to spring precipitation suggesting that the amount of stream-spawning habitat as determined by precipitation was important for the production of strong Rainbow Smelt recruitment. Additionally, density of age-0 Rainbow Smelt was positively related to Lake Trout Salvelinus namaycush abundance. However, spawning stock biomass of Rainbow Smelt, which declined substantially from 1989 to 2010, was negatively associated with Lake Trout catch per effort suggesting predation was an important factor related to the decline of age-2 and older Rainbow Smelt in Lake Huron. As such, we found that recruitment of Rainbow Smelt in Lake Huron was regulated by competition with or cannibalism by older conspecifics, spring precipitation influencing stream spawning habitats, and predation by Lake Trout on

  11. Anatomical, chemical, and ecological factors affecting tree species choice in dendrochemistry studies

    SciTech Connect

    Cutter, B.E.; Guyette, R.P.

    1993-07-01

    Recently, element concentrations in tree rings have been used to monitor metal contamination, fertilization, and the effects of acid precipitation on soils. This has stimulated interest in which tree species may be suitable for use in studies of long-term trends in environmental chemistry. Potential radial translocation of elements across living boundaries can be a confounding factor in assessing environmental change. The selection of species which minimizes radial translocation of elements can be critical to the success of dendrochemical research. Criteria for selection of species with characteristics favorable for dendrochemical analysis are categorized into (1) habitat-based factors, (2) xylem-based factors, and (3) element-based factors. A wide geographic range and ecological amplitude provide an advantage in calibration and better controls on the effects of soil chemistry. The most important xylem-based criteria are heartwood moisture content, permeability, and the nature of the sapwood-heartwood transition. The element of interest is important in determining suitable tree species because all elements are not equally mobile or detectable in the xylem. Ideally, the tree species selected for dendrochemical study will be long-lived, grow on a wide range of sites over a large geographic distribution, have a distinct heartwood with a low number of rings in the sapwood, a low heartwood moisture content, and have low radial permeability. Recommended temperate zone North American species include white oak (Quercus alba L.), post oak (Q. stellate Wangenh.), eastern redcedar (funiperus virginiana L.), old-growth Douglas-fir [Pseudoaugu menziesii (Mirb.) Franco] and big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.). In addition, species such as bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata Engelm. syn. longaeva), old-growth redwood [Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.], and giant sequoia [S. gigantea (Lindl.) Deene] may be suitable for local purposes. 118 refs., 2 tabs.

  12. Dieback of Acacia koa in Hawaii: Ecological and pathological characteristics of affected stands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, R.C.; Gardner, D.E.; Daehler, C.C.; Meinzer, F.C.

    2002-01-01

    Koa (Acacia koa) is an endemic Hawaiian tree that serves as a keystone species in the upper elevation forests of all the main islands. In the Mauna Loa Strip area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, mature koa stands are suffering from an unexplained dieback that has increased in severity since it was first noticed approximately 25 years ago. The dieback is often evident in patches, and generally spreads within stands in a radial fashion from a localized infection center. Entire crowns of affected trees become wilted, with foliage gradually progressing from an apparent healthy to a completely chlorotic condition. Although most trees die soon after the onset of symptoms, some trees are able to survive crown death by producing epicormic shoots on the lower portions of the trunk. Previously published studies reported that a vascular wilt fungus (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. koae) was associated with koa seeds and the rhizosphere of healthy and dieback-affected koa stands. The purpose of this study was to characterize the stand structure, soil conditions, and physiological condition of dieback-affected trees, and to assess the possible role of F. oxysporum f. sp. koae in the current dieback stands. This fungus was isolated from branches of symptomatic koa in dieback-affected stands and roots from healthy and dieback-affected stands. Possible differences in the pathogenicity and virulence of F. oxysporum f. sp. koae isolates obtained from the roots of healthy koa in unaffected stands and those from branches of dieback-affected koa were determined by greenhouse inoculations of koa seedlings. Healthy koa saplings in stands unaffected by dieback were also inoculated to determine if disease symptoms could be induced by inoculation of injured roots in the field. Both branch and root isolates were pathogenic; with the percent mortality of inoculated seedlings ranging from 30 to 60% for all isolates. Disease severity between branch and root isolates was not significantly different

  13. Hemispheric processing of memory is affected by sleep.

    PubMed

    Monaghan, Padraic; Shaw, John J; Ashworth-Lord, Anneliese; Newbury, Chloe R

    2017-04-01

    Sleep is known to affect learning and memory, but the extent to which it influences behavioural processing in the left and right hemispheres of the brain is as yet unknown. We tested two hypotheses about lateralised effects of sleep on recognition memory for words: whether sleep reactivated recent experiences of words promoting access to the long-term store in the left hemisphere (LH), and whether sleep enhanced spreading activation differentially in semantic networks in the hemispheres. In Experiment 1, participants viewed lists of semantically related words, then slept or stayed awake for 12h before being tested on seen, unseen but related, or unrelated words presented to the left or the right hemisphere. Sleep was found to promote word recognition in the LH, and to spread activation equally within semantic networks in both hemispheres. Experiment 2 ensured that the results were not due to time of day effects influencing cognitive performance.

  14. Processes Controlling Temporal Changes in Agriculturally-Affected Groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burow, K. R.; Belitz, K.; Jurgens, B. C.

    2014-12-01

    The National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program of the U.S. Geological Survey includes assessment of groundwater-quality changes with time. To better understand changes at a national scale, NAWQA has implemented smaller scale flow-path studies to evaluate the processes affecting these changes. Flow path studies are designed to sample groundwater of different ages. Wells are sampled for a suite of constituents, including tracers of groundwater age. In the 1990s, a 4.6 km transect of monitoring wells was installed near Fresno in the southern Central Valley of California. The region is dominated by intensive agriculture. The wells were sampled in 1994-95, 2003, and 2013 to provide data on changes in water quality and groundwater age. In 2013, the flow path was extended to a regional scale (30 km) by using existing production wells. Preliminary interpretation of the local-scale flow path indicates that nitrate concentrations in the upper 25 m of the aquifer are higher than the USEPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for drinking water and variably increase or decrease with time. At intermediate depths (25-40 m), nitrate concentrations are lower and show small to moderate increases. The legacy pesticide 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP) is degrading at a half-life of about 4-6 years. DBCP is present above the MCL at intermediate depths even though it is has been banned from use for more than 30 years. Both nitrate and DBCP appear to be moving vertically downward through the aquifer. Whereas uranium concentrations are generally below the MCL in the local-scale flow path, concentrations increase along the regional transect, with concentrations nearly an order of magnitude above the MCL in some wells. Further evaluation of processes affecting these constituents (such as source, redox, and mobilization factors) will provide important insight that can be applied to other regions and will assist local water managers.

  15. CO2 gradient affects on deep subsurface microbial ecology during carbon sequestration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulliver, D.; Gregory, K.

    2011-12-01

    Geological carbon sequestration is likely to be part of a comprehensive strategy to minimize the release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Reservoir storage capacities and long-term security of these deposits will be dependent on the trapping mechanisms and mineral transformation in the deep subsurface. Therefore, a critical need exists to understand the evolution of microbial populations that may influence the biogeochemistry in the reservoirs. As the CO2 front moves through the storage aquifer, microbial communities may preside in residual brine left behind in cracks, dead flow zones, and upstream to the front; this brine will have a gradient of dissolved CO2 in which microbial interaction may behave differently, depending on the distance from the CO2 front. The evolution of microbial ecology along this CO2 gradient was investigated using fluid-slurry samples obtained from the prospective carbon sequestration site, the Arbuckle saline aquifer at the Wellington oil field, KS. The native species of these samples were investigated with a series of batch reactors under constant temperature of 40 °C, constant total pressure of 2,000 psi, and varying CO2 partial pressures of 0 psi, 20 psi, 200 psi, and 2,000 psi. After 1 day, 7 days, and 56 days of exposure in the batch reactors, fluid samples were centrifuged and the resulting pellet was biologically analyzed. Clone libraries and quantitative PCR determined that the bacterial diversity and population of the native microbial community was dependant on both the duration of exposure and the CO2 partial pressure. For example, the microbial community of 0 psi CO2 and 20 psi CO2 was predominantly related to the families halomonadaceae and marinilabiaceae while at 2,000 psi CO2 the community was predominantly in the family psychromonadaceae. The population size at 2,000 psi CO2 was also found to decrease by 3 orders of magnitude after only 7 days of CO2 exposure. Although these experiments were relatively short

  16. Ecological hierarchies and self-organisation - Pattern analysis, modelling and process integration across scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reuter, H.; Jopp, F.; Blanco-Moreno, J. M.; Damgaard, C.; Matsinos, Y.; DeAngelis, D.L.

    2010-01-01

    A continuing discussion in applied and theoretical ecology focuses on the relationship of different organisational levels and on how ecological systems interact across scales. We address principal approaches to cope with complex across-level issues in ecology by applying elements of hierarchy theory and the theory of complex adaptive systems. A top-down approach, often characterised by the use of statistical techniques, can be applied to analyse large-scale dynamics and identify constraints exerted on lower levels. Current developments are illustrated with examples from the analysis of within-community spatial patterns and large-scale vegetation patterns. A bottom-up approach allows one to elucidate how interactions of individuals shape dynamics at higher levels in a self-organisation process; e.g., population development and community composition. This may be facilitated by various modelling tools, which provide the distinction between focal levels and resulting properties. For instance, resilience in grassland communities has been analysed with a cellular automaton approach, and the driving forces in rodent population oscillations have been identified with an agent-based model. Both modelling tools illustrate the principles of analysing higher level processes by representing the interactions of basic components.The focus of most ecological investigations on either top-down or bottom-up approaches may not be appropriate, if strong cross-scale relationships predominate. Here, we propose an 'across-scale-approach', closely interweaving the inherent potentials of both approaches. This combination of analytical and synthesising approaches will enable ecologists to establish a more coherent access to cross-level interactions in ecological systems. ?? 2010 Gesellschaft f??r ??kologie.

  17. Ecological Interactions Affecting the Efficacy of Aphidius colemani in Greenhouse Crops

    PubMed Central

    Prado, Sara G.; Jandricic, Sarah E.; Frank, Steven D.

    2015-01-01

    Aphidius colemani Viereck (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) is a solitary endoparasitoid used for biological control of many economically important pest aphids. Given its widespread use, a vast array of literature on this natural enemy exists. Though often highly effective for aphid suppression, the literature reveals that A. colemani efficacy within greenhouse production systems can be reduced by many stressors, both biotic (plants, aphid hosts, other natural enemies) and abiotic (climate and lighting). For example, effects from 3rd and 4th trophic levels (fungal-based control products, hyperparasitoids) can suddenly decimate A. colemani populations. But, the most chronic negative effects (reduced parasitoid foraging efficiency, fitness) seem to be from stressors at the first trophic level. Negative effects from the 1st trophic level are difficult to mediate since growers are usually constrained to particular plant varieties due to market demands. Major research gaps identified by our review include determining how plants, aphid hosts, and A. colemani interact to affect the net aphid population, and how production conditions such as temperature, humidity and lighting affect both the population growth rate of A. colemani and its target pest. Decades of research have made A. colemani an essential part of biological control programs in greenhouse crops. Future gains in A. colemani efficacy and aphid biological control will require an interdisciplinary, systems approach that considers plant production and climate effects at all trophic levels. PMID:26463203

  18. The gut microbiota of rural papua new guineans: composition, diversity patterns, and ecological processes.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Inés; Stegen, James C; Maldonado-Gómez, Maria X; Eren, A Murat; Siba, Peter M; Greenhill, Andrew R; Walter, Jens

    2015-04-28

    Although recent research revealed an impact of westernization on diversity and composition of the human gut microbiota, the exact consequences on metacommunity characteristics are insufficiently understood, and the underlying ecological mechanisms have not been elucidated. Here, we have compared the fecal microbiota of adults from two non-industrialized regions in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with that of United States (US) residents. Papua New Guineans harbor communities with greater bacterial diversity, lower inter-individual variation, vastly different abundance profiles, and bacterial lineages undetectable in US residents. A quantification of the ecological processes that govern community assembly identified bacterial dispersal as the dominant process that shapes the microbiome in PNG but not in the US. These findings suggest that the microbiome alterations detected in industrialized societies might arise from modern lifestyle factors limiting bacterial dispersal, which has implications for human health and the development of strategies aimed to redress the impact of westernization.

  19. A Social-Ecological, Process-Oriented Perspective on Political Violence and Child Development.

    PubMed

    Cummings, E Mark; Goeke-Morey, Marcie; Merrilees, Christine E; Taylor, Laura K; Shirlow, Peter A

    2014-06-01

    Youths' risk for adjustment problems in contexts of political violence is well-documented. However, outcomes vary widely, with many children functioning well. Accordingly, moving beyond further documenting the risk for many negative outcomes associated with living in contexts of political violence, a second generation of research is moving towards identifying the mechanisms and conditions that contribute to children's adjustment. Increasing support is emerging for understanding effects on children in terms of changes in the social contexts in which children live, and in the psychological processes engaged by these social ecologies. Selected themes are considered, including (a) the need to study multiple levels of the social ecology, (b) differentiating between the effects of exposure to contexts of political versus non-political violence, and (c) theories about explanatory processes. Selected research pertinent to these directions is reviewed, including findings from a six-wave longitudinal study on political violence and children in Northern Ireland.

  20. Effects of human activities on the ecological processes of river biofilms in a highly urbanized river

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, R.; Li, M.

    2013-12-01

    Many anthropogenic disturbances and their effects of aquatic ecosystem are difficult to quantify in urbanized rivers. In past, specific taxa analysis of community structure was a common approach in river health monitoring studies. However, it is still difficult to understand stream ecosystem integrity without considering ecosystem processes. The complex species composition and metabolism of a river biofilm have the capacity to interact and/or modulate their surrounding environment. Because of their short life cycles, species richness, and worldwide distribution, structure and function of river biofilm communities are sensitive to change in environmental conditions. Therefore, biofilms are widely used as early warning systems of water pollution for water quality monitoring studies. In this study, we used river biofilms as a bioindicator by examining their extracellular enzyme activities and photosynthesis efficiency to understand human activities on the ecological processes of river ecosystem in a highly urbanized river. We sampled four sites along the Keelung River, Taiwan, based on different intensities of anthropogenic disturbances including water pollution index, population densities, land use types and types of stream habitats. Two study sites are heavily influenced by human activities and the others are not. The activities of extracellular enzymes within the biofilm play an important function for organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling. We measured seven extracellular enzyme activities (β-d-glucosidase, phosphatase, leucine-aminopeptidase, sulfatase, peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase, and esterase) to examine specific enzyme activity changes at four study sites monthly. In addition, relative proportion of each extracellular enzyme activity on total enzyme activities was calculated in order to examine the relationship between functional biofilm profiles and different urban intensities. Among four study sites, leucine-aminopeptidase and esterase

  1. How processing digital elevation models can affect simulated water budgets.

    PubMed

    Kuniansky, Eve L; Lowery, Mark A; Campbell, Bruce G

    2009-01-01

    For regional models, the shallow water table surface is often used as a source/sink boundary condition, as model grid scale precludes simulation of the water table aquifer. This approach is appropriate when the water table surface is relatively stationary. Since water table surface maps are not readily available, the elevation of the water table used in model cells is estimated via a two-step process. First, a regression equation is developed using existing land and water table elevations from wells in the area. This equation is then used to predict the water table surface for each model cell using land surface elevation available from digital elevation models (DEM). Two methods of processing DEM for estimating the land surface for each cell are commonly used (value nearest the cell centroid or mean value in the cell). This article demonstrates how these two methods of DEM processing can affect the simulated water budget. For the example presented, approximately 20% more total flow through the aquifer system is simulated if the centroid value rather than the mean value is used. This is due to the one-third greater average ground water gradients associated with the centroid value than the mean value. The results will vary depending on the particular model area topography and cell size. The use of the mean DEM value in each model cell will result in a more conservative water budget and is more appropriate because the model cell water table value should be representative of the entire cell area, not the centroid of the model cell.

  2. Barley cultivar, kernel composition, and processing affect the glycemic index.

    PubMed

    Aldughpassi, Ahmed; Abdel-Aal, El-Sayed M; Wolever, Thomas M S

    2012-09-01

    Barley has a low glycemic index (GI), but it is unknown whether its GI is affected by variation in carbohydrate composition in different cultivars and by food processing and food form. To examine the effect of these factors on GI, 9 barley cultivars varying in amylose and β-glucan content were studied in 3 experiments in separate groups of 10 healthy participants. In Expt. 1, 3 barley cultivars underwent 2 levels of processing: hull removal [whole-grain (WG)] and bran, germ, and crease removal [white pearled (WP)]. GI varied by cultivar (CDC Fibar vs. AC Parkhill, [mean ± SEM]: 26 ± 3 vs. 53 ± 4, respectively; P < 0.05) and pearling (WG vs. WP: 26 ± 4 vs. 35 ± 3, respectively; P < 0.05) with no cultivar × pearling interaction. In Expt. 2, the GI of 7 WG cultivars ranged from 21 ± 4 to 36 ± 8 (P = 0.09). In Expt. 3, WG and WP AC Parkhill and Celebrity cultivars were ground and made into wet pasta. The GI of AC Parkhill pasta (69 ± 3) was similar to that of Celebrity pasta (64 ± 4) but, unlike in Expt. 1, the GI of WP pasta (61 ± 3) was less than that of WG pasta (72 ± 4) (P < 0.05). Pooled data from Expts. 1 and 2 showed that GI was correlated with total fiber (r = -0.75, P = 0.002) but not with measures of starch characteristics. We conclude that the GI of barley is influenced by cultivar, processing, and food form but is not predicted by its content of amylose or other starch characteristics.

  3. Positive affect and psychosocial processes related to health.

    PubMed

    Steptoe, Andrew; O'Donnell, Katie; Marmot, Michael; Wardle, Jane

    2008-05-01

    Positive affect is associated with longevity and favourable physiological function. We tested the hypothesis that positive affect is related to health-protective psychosocial characteristics independently of negative affect and socio-economic status. Both positive and negative affect were measured by aggregating momentary samples collected repeatedly over 1 day, and health-related psychosocial factors were assessed by questionnaire in a sample of 716 men and women aged 58-72 years. Positive affect was associated with greater social connectedness, emotional and practical support, optimism and adaptive coping responses, and lower depression, independently of age, gender, household income, paid employment, smoking status, and negative affect. Negative affect was independently associated with negative relationships, greater exposure to chronic stress, depressed mood, pessimism, and avoidant coping. Positive affect may be beneficial for health outcomes in part because it is a component of a profile of protective psychosocial characteristics.

  4. Ecological and evolutionary processes drive the origin and maintenance of imperfect mimicry.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Joseph S; Jahner, Joshua P; Williams, Kevin A; Forister, Matthew L

    2013-01-01

    Although the forces behind the evolution of imperfect mimicry remain poorly studied, recent hypotheses suggest that relaxed selection on small-bodied individuals leads to imperfect mimicry. While evolutionary history undoubtedly affects the development of imperfect mimicry, ecological community context has largely been ignored and may be an important driver of imperfect mimicry. Here we investigate how evolutionary and ecological contexts might influence mimetic fidelity in Müllerian and Batesian mimicry systems. In Batesian hoverfly systems we find that body size is not a strong predictor of mimetic fidelity. However, in Müllerian velvet ants we find a weak positive relationship between body size and mimetic fidelity when evolutionary context is controlled for and a much stronger relationship between community diversity and mimetic fidelity. These results suggest that reduced selection on small-bodied individuals may not be a major driver of the evolution of imperfect mimicry and that other factors, such as ecological community context, should be considered when studying the evolution of imperfect mimicry.

  5. Groundwater–surface water mixing shifts ecological assembly processes and stimulates organic carbon turnover

    PubMed Central

    Stegen, James C.; Fredrickson, James K.; Wilkins, Michael J.; Konopka, Allan E.; Nelson, William C.; Arntzen, Evan V.; Chrisler, William B.; Chu, Rosalie K.; Danczak, Robert E.; Fansler, Sarah J.; Kennedy, David W.; Resch, Charles T.; Tfaily, Malak

    2016-01-01

    Environmental transitions often result in resource mixtures that overcome limitations to microbial metabolism, resulting in biogeochemical hotspots and moments. Riverine systems, where groundwater mixes with surface water (the hyporheic zone), are spatially complex and temporally dynamic, making development of predictive models challenging. Spatial and temporal variations in hyporheic zone microbial communities are a key, but understudied, component of riverine biogeochemical function. Here, to investigate the coupling among groundwater–surface water mixing, microbial communities and biogeochemistry, we apply ecological theory, aqueous biogeochemistry, DNA sequencing and ultra-high-resolution organic carbon profiling to field samples collected across times and locations representing a broad range of mixing conditions. Our results indicate that groundwater–surface water mixing in the hyporheic zone stimulates heterotrophic respiration, alters organic carbon composition, causes ecological processes to shift from stochastic to deterministic and is associated with elevated abundances of microbial taxa that may degrade a broad suite of organic compounds. PMID:27052662

  6. Groundwater-Surface Water Mixing Shifts Ecological Assembly Processes and Stimulates Organic Carbon Turnover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stegen, J.; Fredrickson, J.; Wilkins, M.; Konopka, A.; Nelson, W.; Arntzen, E.; Chrisler, W.; Chu, R. K.; Danczak, B.; Fansler, S.; Kennedy, D.; Resch, T.; Tfaily, M. M.

    2015-12-01

    Environmental transitions often result in resource mixtures that overcome limitations to microbial metabolism, resulting in biogeochemical hot spots and moments. Riverine systems where groundwater mixes with surface water (the hyporheic zone) are spatially complex and temporally dynamic, making development of predictive models challenging. Spatial and temporal variations in hyporheic zone microbial communities are a key, but understudied, component of riverine biogeochemical function. To investigate the coupling among groundwater-surface water mixing, microbial communities, and biogeochemistry we applied ecological theory, aqueous biogeochemistry, DNA sequencing, and ultra-high resolution organic carbon profiling to field samples collected across times and locations representing a broad range of mixing conditions. Our results indicate that groundwater-surface water mixing in the hyporheic zone simultaneously (i) stimulated heterotrophic respiration, (ii) altered organic carbon composition, (iii) caused ecological processes to shift from stochastic to deterministic, and (iv) selected for microbial taxa capable of degrading a broad suite of organic compounds.

  7. Processes Affecting Nitrogen Speciation in a Karst Aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahler, B. J.; Musgrove, M.; Wong, C. I.

    2011-12-01

    Like many karst aquifers, the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards aquifer, in central Texas, is in an area undergoing rapid growth in population, and there is concern as to how increased amounts of wastewater might affect groundwater quality. We measured concentrations and estimated loads of nitrogen (N) species in recharge to and discharge from the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards aquifer, central Texas, to evaluate processes affecting the transport and fate of N species in groundwater. Water samples were collected during 17 months (November 2008-March 2010) from five streams that contribute about 85% of recharge to the aquifer segment and from Barton Springs, the principal point of discharge from the segment. The sampling period spanned a range of climatic conditions from exceptional drought to above-normal rainfall. Samples were analyzed for N species (organic N + ammonia, ammonia, nitrate + nitrite, nitrite); loads of organic N and nitrate were estimated with LOADEST, a regression-based model that uses a time series of streamflow and measured constituent concentrations to estimate constituent loads. Concentrations of organic nitrogen and dissolved oxygen were higher and concentrations of nitrate were lower in surface water than in spring discharge, consistent with conversion of organic nitrogen to nitrate and associated consumption of dissolved oxygen in the aquifer. During the period of the study, the estimated load of organic N in recharge from streams (average daily load [adl] of 39 kg/d) was about 10 times that in Barton Springs discharge (adl of 9.4 kg/d), whereas the estimated load of nitrate in recharge from streams (adl of 123 kg/d) was slightly less than that in Barton Springs discharge (adl of 148 kg/d). The total average N load in recharge from streams and discharge from Barton Springs was not significantly different (adl of 162 and 157 kg/d, respectively), indicating that surface-water recharge can account for all of the N in Barton Springs

  8. Sources and Processes Affecting Particulate Matter Pollution over North China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Shao, J.; Lu, X.; Zhao, Y.; Gong, S.; Henze, D. K.

    2015-12-01

    Severe fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution over North China has received broad attention worldwide in recent years. Better understanding the sources and processes controlling pollution over this region is of great importance with urgent implications for air quality policy. We will present a four-dimensional variational (4D-Var) data assimilation system using the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model and its adjoint model at 0.25° × 0.3125° horizontal resolution, and apply it to analyze the factors affecting PM2.5 concentrations over North China. Hourly surface observations of PM2.5 and sulfur dioxide (SO2) from the China National Environmental Monitoring Center (CNEMC) can be assimilated into the model to evaluate and constrain aerosol (primary and precursors) emissions. Application of the data assimilation system to the APEC period (the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit; 5-11 November 2014) shows that 46% of the PM2.5 pollution reduction during APEC ("The APEC Blue") can be attributed to meteorology conditions and the rest 54% to emission reductions due to strict emission controls. Ammonia emissions are shown to significantly contribute to PM2.5 over North China in the fall. By converting sulfuric acid and nitric acid to longer-lived ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate aerosols, ammonia plays an important role in promoting their regional transport influences. We will also discuss the pathways and mechanisms of external long-range transport influences to the PM2.5 pollution over North China.

  9. Addiction Motivation Reformulated: An Affective Processing Model of Negative Reinforcement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Timothy B.; Piper, Megan E.; McCarthy, Danielle E.; Majeskie, Matthew R.; Fiore, Michael C.

    2004-01-01

    This article offers a reformulation of the negative reinforcement model of drug addiction and proposes that the escape and avoidance of negative affect is the prepotent motive for addictive drug use. The authors posit that negative affect is the motivational core of the withdrawal syndrome and argue that, through repeated cycles of drug use and…

  10. The underlying process of early ecological and genetic differentiation in a facultative mutualistic Sinorhizobium meliloti population.

    PubMed

    Toro, Nicolás; Villadas, Pablo J; Molina-Sánchez, María Dolores; Navarro-Gómez, Pilar; Vinardell, José M; Cuesta-Berrio, Lidia; Rodríguez-Carvajal, Miguel A

    2017-04-06

    The question of how genotypic and ecological units arise and spread in natural microbial populations remains controversial in the field of evolutionary biology. Here, we investigated the early stages of ecological and genetic differentiation in a highly clonal sympatric Sinorhizobium meliloti population. Whole-genome sequencing revealed that a large DNA region of the symbiotic plasmid pSymB was replaced in some isolates with a similar synteny block carrying densely clustered SNPs and displaying gene acquisition and loss. Two different versions of this genomic island of differentiation (GID) generated by multiple genetic exchanges over time appear to have arisen recently, through recombination in a particular clade within this population. In addition, these isolates display resistance to phages from the same geographic region, probably due to the modification of surface components by the acquired genes. Our results suggest that an underlying process of early ecological and genetic differentiation in S. meliloti is primarily triggered by acquisition of genes that confer resistance to soil phages within particular large genomic DNA regions prone to recombination.

  11. 77 FR 4319 - Notification of Two Public Teleconferences of the Science Advisory Board Ecological Processes and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-27

    ... the EPA Risk Assessment Forum (RAF) document, ``Integrating Ecological Assessment and Decision-Making..., ``Integrating Ecological Assessment and Decision-Making at EPA, 2011 RAF Ecological Assessment Action Plan... Decision-Making at EPA, 2011 RAF Ecological Assessment Action Plan (August, 11, 2011).'' The action...

  12. From Reef to Table: Social and Ecological Factors Affecting Coral Reef Fisheries, Artisanal Seafood Supply Chains, and Seafood Security

    PubMed Central

    Kittinger, John N.; Teneva, Lida T.; Koike, Haruko; Stamoulis, Kostantinos A.; Kittinger, Daniela S.; Oleson, Kirsten L. L.; Conklin, Eric; Gomes, Mahana; Wilcox, Bart; Friedlander, Alan M.

    2015-01-01

    Ocean and coastal ecosystems provide critical fisheries, coastal protection, and cultural benefits to communities worldwide, but these services are diminishing due to local and global threats. In response, place-based strategies involve communities and resource users in management have proliferated. Here, we present a transferable community-based approach to assess the social and ecological factors affecting resource sustainability and food security in a small-scale, coral reef fishery. Our results show that this small-scale fishery provides large-scale benefits to communities, including 7,353 ± 1547 kg yr-1 (mean ± SE) of seafood per year, equating to >30,000 meals with an economic value of $78,432. The vast majority of the catch is used for subsistence, contributing to community food security: 58% is kept, 33.5% is given away, and 8.5% is sold. Our spatial analysis assesses the geographic distribution of community beneficiaries from the fishery (the “food shed” for the fishery), and we document that 20% of seafood procured from the fishery is used for sociocultural events that are important for social cohesion. This approach provides a method for assessing social, economic, and cultural values provided by small-scale food systems, as well as important contributions to food security, with significant implications for conservation and management. This interdisciplinary effort aims to demonstrate a transferable participatory research approach useful for resource-dependent communities as they cope with socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental change. PMID:26244910

  13. From Reef to Table: Social and Ecological Factors Affecting Coral Reef Fisheries, Artisanal Seafood Supply Chains, and Seafood Security.

    PubMed

    Kittinger, John N; Teneva, Lida T; Koike, Haruko; Stamoulis, Kostantinos A; Kittinger, Daniela S; Oleson, Kirsten L L; Conklin, Eric; Gomes, Mahana; Wilcox, Bart; Friedlander, Alan M

    2015-01-01

    Ocean and coastal ecosystems provide critical fisheries, coastal protection, and cultural benefits to communities worldwide, but these services are diminishing due to local and global threats. In response, place-based strategies involve communities and resource users in management have proliferated. Here, we present a transferable community-based approach to assess the social and ecological factors affecting resource sustainability and food security in a small-scale, coral reef fishery. Our results show that this small-scale fishery provides large-scale benefits to communities, including 7,353 ± 1547 kg yr(-1) (mean ± SE) of seafood per year, equating to >30,000 meals with an economic value of $78,432. The vast majority of the catch is used for subsistence, contributing to community food security: 58% is kept, 33.5% is given away, and 8.5% is sold. Our spatial analysis assesses the geographic distribution of community beneficiaries from the fishery (the "food shed" for the fishery), and we document that 20% of seafood procured from the fishery is used for sociocultural events that are important for social cohesion. This approach provides a method for assessing social, economic, and cultural values provided by small-scale food systems, as well as important contributions to food security, with significant implications for conservation and management. This interdisciplinary effort aims to demonstrate a transferable participatory research approach useful for resource-dependent communities as they cope with socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental change.

  14. Socio-ecological features other than sex affect habitat selection in the socially obligate monogamous Eurasian beaver.

    PubMed

    Steyaert, Sam M J G; Zedrosser, Andreas; Rosell, Frank

    2015-12-01

    Habitat selection is a context-dependent mechanism, in which both the internal state as well as external factors affect the behavior and decisions of an individual. This is well known for polygamous mammals, which are typically sexually dimorphic, and often express great variability in behavior and habitat selection between individuals as well between the sexes. Among monogamous mammals, however, variability in habitat selection should be explained by group characteristics and the presence of offspring rather than by sex. We evaluated this hypothesis in a socially monogamous rodent, the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber), in a saturated Norwegian population. For the first time in this species we applied GPS tracking devices (N = 22 adult beavers, in 15 territories, 2009-2013), and used resource selection functions (i) to document population-wide habitat selection and the importance of 'territory' therein, and (ii) to evaluate which socio-ecological factors explained potential individual differences in habitat selection. We found that variation in habitat selection was stronger between territories than between years or individuals nested by territory. We identified that family size and the presence of kits, but not sex, explained individual variation in habitat selection. Adults with kits and/or larger families tended to exhibit low risk-taking behavior (avoiding human-related variables such as roads, buildings, and agricultural land), and stayed close to their main lodge (parental care). Our results show that habitat selection is a context-dependent mechanism even in a species which expresses very little behavioral and morphological dimorphism.

  15. Wet process shotcrete: An ecological and economical quality product for the future

    SciTech Connect

    Bracher, G.

    1995-12-31

    Shotcrete is an essential component of modern tunnelling and its importance is continuously growing. In order to comply with this role, the demands made on quality and economy have increased considerably. The wet process Shotcrete has been established on all the major job sites in Switzerland. Regarding the technical and ecological aspects, the introduction of an alkali free non-toxic accelerator has set up a new standard. Enormous high early strengths in combination with strength gains compared to the reference concrete can be achieved.

  16. An ecological perspective of Listeria monocytogenes biofilms in food processing facilities.

    PubMed

    Valderrama, Wladir B; Cutter, Catherine N

    2013-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes can enter the food chain at virtually any point. However, food processing environments seem to be of particular importance. From an ecological point of view, food processing facilities are microbial habitats that are constantly disturbed by cleaning and sanitizing procedures. Although L. monocytogenes is considered ubiquitous in nature, it is important to recognize that not all L. monocytogenes strains appear to be equally distributed; the distribution of the organism seems to be related to certain habitats. Currently, no direct evidence exists that L. monocytogenes-associated biofilms have played a role in food contamination or foodborne outbreaks, likely because biofilm isolation and identification are not part of an outbreak investigation, or the definition of biofilm is unclear. Because L. monocytogenes is known to colonize surfaces, we suggest that contamination patterns may be studied in the context of how biofilm formation is influenced by the environment within food processing facilities. In this review, direct and indirect epidemiological and phenotypic evidence of lineage-related biofilm formation capacity to specific ecological niches will be discussed. A critical view on the development of the biofilm concept, focused on the practical implications, strengths, and weaknesses of the current definitions also is discussed. The idea that biofilm formation may be an alternative surrogate for microbial fitness is proposed. Furthermore, current research on the influence of environmental factors on biofilm formation is discussed.

  17. [Process on researching methods of ecology of Chinese traditional medicine resources].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yingqun; Cao, Hailu; Zhao, Runhuai; Chen, Shilin

    2011-02-01

    Though the study on ecology of Chinese traditional medicinal resources methods has achieved great progress in recent years, it is not able to catch the pace of the development of ecology science. Based on the analysis of recent literatures about ecology development trend and Chinese traditional medicinal ecology methods, the progress of Chinese traditional medicinal ecology methods was reviewed, and future study trend was discussed.

  18. Recycled Fiber Properties as Affected by Contaminants and Removal Processes.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    Five materials were applied to either a kraft pulp furnish or to a kraft paper and were removed by conventional removal processes. Uncontaminated... kraft paper subjected to the same removal processes determined that the process, not the contaminant, was responsible for changes in sheet properties

  19. Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing for Analysis of Landscape Ecological Processes: Methods and Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quattrochi, Dale A.; Luvall, Jeffrey C.

    1998-01-01

    Thermal Infrared (TIR) remote sensing data can provide important measurements of surface energy fluxes and temperatures, which are integral to understanding landscape processes and responses. One example of this is the successful application of TIR remote sensing data to estimate evapotranspiration and soil moisture, where results from a number of studies suggest that satellite-based measurements from TIR remote sensing data can lead to more accurate regional-scale estimates of daily evapotranspiration. With further refinement in analytical techniques and models, the use of TIR data from airborne and satellite sensors could be very useful for parameterizing surface moisture conditions and developing better simulations of landscape energy exchange over a variety of conditions and space and time scales. Thus, TIR remote sensing data can significantly contribute to the observation, measurement, and analysis of energy balance characteristics (i.e., the fluxes and redistribution of thermal energy within and across the land surface) as an implicit and important aspect of landscape dynamics and landscape functioning. The application of TIR remote sensing data in landscape ecological studies has been limited, however, for several fundamental reasons that relate primarily to the perceived difficulty in use and availability of these data by the landscape ecology community, and from the fragmentation of references on TIR remote sensing throughout the scientific literature. It is our purpose here to provide evidence from work that has employed TIR remote sensing for analysis of landscape characteristics to illustrate how these data can provide important data for the improved measurement of landscape energy response and energy flux relationships. We examine the direct or indirect use of TIR remote sensing data to analyze landscape biophysical characteristics, thereby offering some insight on how these data can be used more robustly to further the understanding and modeling of

  20. Stochasticity and determinism: how density-independent and density-dependent processes affect population variability.

    PubMed

    Ohlberger, Jan; Rogers, Lauren A; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2014-01-01

    A persistent debate in population ecology concerns the relative importance of environmental stochasticity and density dependence in determining variability in adult year-class strength, which contributes to future reproduction as well as potential yield in exploited populations. Apart from the strength of the processes, the timing of density regulation may affect how stochastic variation, for instance through climate, translates into changes in adult abundance. In this study, we develop a life-cycle model for the population dynamics of a large marine fish population, Northeast Arctic cod, to disentangle the effects of density-independent and density-dependent processes on early life-stages, and to quantify the strength of compensatory density dependence in the population. The model incorporates information from scientific surveys and commercial harvest, and dynamically links multiple effects of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on all life-stages, from eggs to spawners. Using a state-space approach we account for observation error and stochasticity in the population dynamics. Our findings highlight the importance of density-dependent survival in juveniles, indicating that this period of the life cycle largely determines the compensatory capacity of the population. Density regulation at the juvenile life-stage dampens the impact of stochastic processes operating earlier in life such as environmental impacts on the production of eggs and climate-dependent survival of larvae. The timing of stochastic versus regulatory processes thus plays a crucial role in determining variability in adult abundance. Quantifying the contribution of environmental stochasticity and compensatory mechanisms in determining population abundance is essential for assessing population responses to climate change and exploitation by humans.

  1. The Gut Microbiota of Rural Papua New Guineans: Composition, Diversity Patterns, and Ecological Processes

    DOE PAGES

    Martínez, Inés; Stegen, James C.; Maldonado-Gómez, Maria X.; ...

    2015-04-01

    Comparisons between the fecal microbiota of humans from industrialized and non-industrialized communities indicate a pronounced impact of westernization on the diversity and composition of the human gut microbiota. However, the exact consequences of westernization on community characteristics are still insufficiently understood, and the ecological processes that drive differences have not been elucidated. Here we have compared the fecal microbiota of adults from two non-industrialized regions in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with that of United States (US) residents. Papua New Guineans harbor communities with greater bacterial diversity but lower inter-individual variation. Although the fecal microbiota in PNG and US was largelymore » dominated by shared bacterial lineages, the relative abundance of 25 families, 45 genera, and 230 species-level OTUs differed, and 47 core OTUs in PNG were undetectable in US residents. To gain insight into the ecological mechanisms that cause the observed differences, we quantified community assembly processes in PNG and US microbiomes using a null modeling approach. This analysis demonstrated a significant higher rate of bacterial dispersal in PNG and divergent selective environments in the US. Interestingly, equivalent findings were obtained for other datasets comparing industrialized and non-industrialized microbiomes. Overall, the findings demonstrate a dominant role for microbial dispersal in shaping the human gut microbiota in non-industrialized societies, and point to differential selection pressures across individuals as a major factor shaping microbiomes associated with modern lifestyle.« less

  2. The Gut Microbiota of Rural Papua New Guineans: Composition, Diversity Patterns, and Ecological Processes

    SciTech Connect

    Martínez, Inés; Stegen, James C.; Maldonado-Gómez, Maria X.; Eren, A. Murat; Siba, Peter M.; Greenhill, Andrew R.; Walter, Jens

    2015-04-01

    Comparisons between the fecal microbiota of humans from industrialized and non-industrialized communities indicate a pronounced impact of westernization on the diversity and composition of the human gut microbiota. However, the exact consequences of westernization on community characteristics are still insufficiently understood, and the ecological processes that drive differences have not been elucidated. Here we have compared the fecal microbiota of adults from two non-industrialized regions in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with that of United States (US) residents. Papua New Guineans harbor communities with greater bacterial diversity but lower inter-individual variation. Although the fecal microbiota in PNG and US was largely dominated by shared bacterial lineages, the relative abundance of 25 families, 45 genera, and 230 species-level OTUs differed, and 47 core OTUs in PNG were undetectable in US residents. To gain insight into the ecological mechanisms that cause the observed differences, we quantified community assembly processes in PNG and US microbiomes using a null modeling approach. This analysis demonstrated a significant higher rate of bacterial dispersal in PNG and divergent selective environments in the US. Interestingly, equivalent findings were obtained for other datasets comparing industrialized and non-industrialized microbiomes. Overall, the findings demonstrate a dominant role for microbial dispersal in shaping the human gut microbiota in non-industrialized societies, and point to differential selection pressures across individuals as a major factor shaping microbiomes associated with modern lifestyle.

  3. Processing of Affective Speech Prosody Is Impaired in Asperger Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Korpilahti, Pirjo; Jansson-Verkasalo, Eira; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Kuusikko, Sanna; Suominen, Kalervo; Rytky, Seppo; Pauls, David L.; Moilanen, Irma

    2007-01-01

    Many people with the diagnosis of Asperger syndrome (AS) show poorly developed skills in understanding emotional messages. The present study addressed discrimination of speech prosody in children with AS at neurophysiological level. Detection of affective prosody was investigated in one-word utterances as indexed by the N1 and the mismatch…

  4. Microbiology, ecology, and application of the nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation process

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Li-Dong; He, Zhan-Fei; Zhu, Qun; Chen, Dong-Qing; Lou, Li-Ping; Xu, Xiang-Yang; Zheng, Ping; Hu, Bao-Lan

    2012-01-01

    Nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (n-damo), which couples the anaerobic oxidation of methane to denitrification, is a recently discovered process mediated by “Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera.” M. oxyfera is affiliated with the “NC10” phylum, a phylum having no members in pure culture. Based on the isotopic labeling experiments, it is hypothesized that M. oxyfera has an unusual intra-aerobic pathway for the production of oxygen via the dismutation of nitric oxide into dinitrogen gas and oxygen. In addition, the bacterial species has a unique ultrastructure that is distinct from that of other previously described microorganisms. M. oxyfera-like sequences have been recovered from different natural habitats, suggesting that the n-damo process potentially contributes to global carbon and nitrogen cycles. The n-damo process is a process that can reduce the greenhouse effect, as methane is more effective in heat-trapping than carbon dioxide. The n-damo process, which uses methane instead of organic matter to drive denitrification, is also an economical nitrogen removal process because methane is a relatively inexpensive electron donor. This mini-review summarizes the peculiar microbiology of M. oxyfera and discusses the potential ecological importance and engineering application of the n-damo process. PMID:22905032

  5. Microbiology, ecology, and application of the nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation process.

    PubMed

    Shen, Li-Dong; He, Zhan-Fei; Zhu, Qun; Chen, Dong-Qing; Lou, Li-Ping; Xu, Xiang-Yang; Zheng, Ping; Hu, Bao-Lan

    2012-01-01

    Nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (n-damo), which couples the anaerobic oxidation of methane to denitrification, is a recently discovered process mediated by "Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera." M. oxyfera is affiliated with the "NC10" phylum, a phylum having no members in pure culture. Based on the isotopic labeling experiments, it is hypothesized that M. oxyfera has an unusual intra-aerobic pathway for the production of oxygen via the dismutation of nitric oxide into dinitrogen gas and oxygen. In addition, the bacterial species has a unique ultrastructure that is distinct from that of other previously described microorganisms. M. oxyfera-like sequences have been recovered from different natural habitats, suggesting that the n-damo process potentially contributes to global carbon and nitrogen cycles. The n-damo process is a process that can reduce the greenhouse effect, as methane is more effective in heat-trapping than carbon dioxide. The n-damo process, which uses methane instead of organic matter to drive denitrification, is also an economical nitrogen removal process because methane is a relatively inexpensive electron donor. This mini-review summarizes the peculiar microbiology of M. oxyfera and discusses the potential ecological importance and engineering application of the n-damo process.

  6. How Word Frequency Affects Morphological Processing in Monolinguals and Bilinguals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehtonen, Minna; Laine, Matti

    2003-01-01

    The present study investigated processing of morphologically complex words in three different frequency ranges in monolingual Finnish speakers and Finnish-Swedish bilinguals. By employing a visual lexical decision task, we found a differential pattern of results in monolinguals vs. bilinguals. Monolingual Finns seemed to process low frequency and…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grizans, Jurijs; Vanags, Janis

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Integrating the Affective Domain into the Instructional Design Process

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-03-01

    domains. Yet, instructional design models and practices have focused primarily on the acquisition of knowledge and psychomotor skills . Concern for the...the skills involved in the reactive and interactive domains are as amenable to the general principles of instruction as are cognitive and psychomotor ... skills . He also sees a parallel between the automation of affective domain skills (reflexive, conditioned activity versus behavior resulting from a

  9. Biological Production in Lakes. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Ecological Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walters, R. A.; Carey, G. F.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. Primary production in aquatic ecosystems is carried out by phytoplankton, microscopic plants…

  10. Ecological Analysis of Deserti Fication Processes in Semi Arid Land in Algeria Using Satellite Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zegrar, Ahmed

    2016-07-01

    Desertification, a phenomenon of loss of productivity of the land is both a matter of Environment and Development (Cornet, 2002). It is linked to the anthropogenic action and to climate variability but also to changes in biodiversity, in particular the Maghreb (Hobbs et al., 1995). The desertification of the steppe areas of North Africa (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) is considered of special concern by the specialists in these regions. Desertification, Climate Change and the erosion of biodiversity are the central issues for the development of arid, semi-­arid. In this region, the combination of two factors, climatic and anthropogenic, has fostered a deterioration of the vegetation cover, soil erosion and the scarcity of water resources. The climate of this region is characterized by periods of recurring droughts since the 1970s. The anthropogenic pressure is the result of a combination of factors among which the strong demographic growth, the intensification and extension of production systems agro-­pastoral or still further the concentration of a growing livestock on smaller spaces. In this study, the criteria for classification and identification of physical parameters for spatial ecological analysis of vegetation in the steppe region to determine the degradation and vulnerability vegetation formations and how to conduct to phenomenon of desertification. So we use some satellite data in different dates (LANDSAT) in order to determine the ecological of steppe formation and changes in land cover, sand moving and forest deterioration. The application of classification and some arithmetic combination with NDVI and MSAVI2 through specific processes was used to characterize the main steppe formations. An ecological analysis of plant communities and impact of sand move describe the nature of the desertification phenomenon and allow us to determine the impact of factors of climate and entropic activity in the Algerian steppe.

  11. Microbial ecology of Vietnamese Tra fish (Pangasius hypophthalmus) fillets during processing.

    PubMed

    Tong Thi, Anh Ngoc; Noseda, Bert; Samapundo, Simbarashe; Nguyen, Binh Ly; Broekaert, Katrien; Rasschaert, Geertrui; Heyndrickx, Marc; Devlieghere, Frank

    2013-10-15

    There are numerous factors that can have an impact on the microbial ecology and quality of frozen Pangasius hypophthalmus fillets during processing in Vietnam. The presence of spoilage bacteria along the processing line can shorten the shelf-life of thawed frozen fish products. Therefore, the spoilage microbiota throughout the processing chain of two companies (BC: large scale factory, chlorine-based process, BW: large scale factory, water-based process and SC: small scale factory, chlorine-based process) was identified by culture-dependent techniques and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The microbiological counts were observed to be insignificantly different (p>0.05) between BC and BW. Surprisingly, chlorine treated fillets from the SC line were revealed to have significantly higher microbial counts than potable water treated fillets at BW line. This was determined to be a result of temperature abuse during processing at SC, with temperatures even greater than 10 °C being recorded from skinning onwards. On the contrary, the microbiota related to spoilage for BC and BW lines was determined by 16S rRNA gene sequencing to be more diverse than that on the SC line. A total of 174 isolates, 20 genera and 38 species were identified along the processing chains. The genera Aeromonas, Acinetobacter, Lactococcus and Enterococcus were prevalent at various processing steps on all the processing lines evaluated. A diverse range of isolates belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae such as Providencia, Shigella, Klebsiella, Enterobacter and Wautersiella were isolated from fillets sampled on the SC line whereas Serratia was only observed on fillets sampled on the BC and BW lines. The results can be used to improve Good Manufacturing Practices for processed Pangasius fillets and to select effective measures to prolong the shelf-life of thawed Vietnamese Pangasius fillets products.

  12. Drying process strongly affects probiotics viability and functionalities.

    PubMed

    Iaconelli, Cyril; Lemetais, Guillaume; Kechaou, Noura; Chain, Florian; Bermúdez-Humarán, Luis G; Langella, Philippe; Gervais, Patrick; Beney, Laurent

    2015-11-20

    Probiotic formulations are widely used and are proposed to have a variety of beneficial effects, depending on the probiotic strains present in the product. The impact of drying processes on the viability of probiotics is well documented. However, the impact of these processes on probiotics functionality remains unclear. In this work, we investigated variations in seven different bacterial markers after various desiccation processes. Markers were composed of four different viability evaluation (combining two growth abilities and two cytometric measurements) and in three in vitro functionalities: stimulation of IL-10 and IL-12 production by PBMCs (immunomodulation) and bacterial adhesion to hexadecane. We measured the impact of three drying processes (air-drying, freeze-drying and spray-drying), without the use of protective agents, on three types of probiotic bacteria: Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus zeae. Our results show that the bacteria respond differently to the three different drying processes, in terms of viability and functionality. Drying methods produce important variations in bacterial immunomodulation and hydrophobicity, which are correlated. We also show that adherence can be stimulated (air-drying) or inhibited (spray-drying) by drying processes. Results of a multivariate analysis show no direct correlation between bacterial survival and functionality, but do show a correlation between probiotic responses to desiccation-rewetting and the process used to dry the bacteria.

  13. Stimulus characteristics affect humor processing in individuals with Asperger syndrome.

    PubMed

    Samson, Andrea C; Hegenloh, Michael

    2010-04-01

    The present paper aims to investigate whether individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS) show global humor processing deficits or whether humor comprehension and appreciation depends on stimulus characteristics. Non-verbal visual puns, semantic and Theory of Mind cartoons were rated on comprehension, funniness and the punchlines were explained. AS individuals did not differ to the control group in humor appreciation of visual puns. However, they had difficulty understanding and appreciating Theory of Mind cartoons and provided mentalistic explanations less frequently than controls suggesting that humor processing is strongly related to the cognitive requirements that the stimuli pose on the perceiver. Furthermore, AS individuals referred in all conditions more frequently to non-joke relevant details. Therefore, humor processing is also influenced by their detail-oriented processing style.

  14. Benthic processes affecting contaminant transport in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuwabara, James S.; Topping, Brent R.; Carter, James L.; Carlson, Rick A; Parchaso, Francis; Fend, Steven V.; Stauffer-Olsen, Natalie; Manning, Andrew J.; Land, Jennie M.

    2016-09-30

    Executive SummaryMultiple sampling trips during calendar years 2013 through 2015 were coordinated to provide measurements of interdependent benthic processes that potentially affect contaminant transport in Upper Klamath Lake (UKL), Oregon. The measurements were motivated by recognition that such internal processes (for example, solute benthic flux, bioturbation and solute efflux by benthic invertebrates, and physical groundwater-surface water interactions) were not integrated into existing management models for UKL. Up until 2013, all of the benthic-flux studies generally had been limited spatially to a number of sites in the northern part of UKL and limited temporally to 2–3 samplings per year. All of the benthic invertebrate studies also had been limited to the northern part of the lake; however, intensive temporal (weekly) studies had previously been completed independent of benthic-flux studies. Therefore, knowledge of both the spatial and temporal variability in benthic flux and benthic invertebrate distributions for the entire lake was lacking. To address these limitations, we completed a lakewide spatial study during 2013 and a coordinated temporal study with weekly sampling of benthic flux and benthic invertebrates during 2014. Field design of the spatially focused study in 2013 involved 21 sites sampled three times as the summer cyanobacterial bloom developed (that is, May 23, June 13, and July 3, 2013). Results of the 27-week, temporally focused study of one site in 2014 were summarized and partitioned into three periods (referred to herein as pre-bloom, bloom and post-bloom periods), each period involving 9 weeks of profiler deployments, water column and benthic sampling. Partitioning of the pre-bloom, bloom, and post-bloom periods were based on water-column chlorophyll concentrations and involved the following date intervals, respectively: April 15 through June 10, June 17 through August 13, and August 20 through October 16, 2014. To examine

  15. Process Formulations And Curing Conditions That Affect Saltstone Properties

    SciTech Connect

    Reigel, M. M.; Pickenheim, B. R.; Daniel, W. E.

    2012-09-28

    The first objective of this study was to analyze saltstone fresh properties to determine the feasibility of reducing the formulation water to premix (w/p) ratio while varying the amount of extra water and admixtures used during processing at the Saltstone Production Facility (SPF). The second part of this study was to provide information for understanding the impact of curing conditions (cure temperature, relative humidity (RH)) and processing formulation on the performance properties of cured saltstone.

  16. NEON: High Frequency Monitoring Network for Watershed-Scale Processes and Aquatic Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vance, J. M.; Fitzgerald, M.; Parker, S. M.; Roehm, C. L.; Goodman, K. J.; Bohall, C.; Utz, R.

    2014-12-01

    Networked high frequency hydrologic and water quality measurements needed to investigate physical and biogeochemical processes at the watershed scale and create robust models are limited and lacking standardization. Determining the drivers and mechanisms of ecological changes in aquatic systems in response to natural and anthropogenic pressures is challenging due to the large amounts of terrestrial, aquatic, atmospheric, biological, chemical, and physical data it requires at varied spatiotemporal scales. The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a continental-scale infrastructure project designed to provide data to address the impacts of climate change, land-use, and invasive species on ecosystem structure and function. Using a combination of standardized continuous in situ measurements and observational sampling, the NEON Aquatic array will produce over 200 data products across its spatially-distributed field sites for 30 years to facilitate spatiotemporal analysis of the drivers of ecosystem change. Three NEON sites in Alabama were chosen to address linkages between watershed-scale processes and ecosystem changes along an eco-hydrological gradient within the Tombigbee River Basin. The NEON Aquatic design, once deployed, will include continuous measurements of surface water physical, chemical, and biological parameters, groundwater level, temperature and conductivity and local meteorology. Observational sampling will include bathymetry, water chemistry and isotopes, and a suite of organismal sampling from microbes to macroinvertebrates to vertebrates. NEON deployed a buoy to measure the temperature profile of the Black Warrior River from July - November, 2013 to determine the spatiotemporal variability across the water column from a daily to seasonal scale. In July 2014 a series of water quality profiles were performed to assess the contribution of physical and biogeochemical drivers over a diurnal cycle. Additional river transects were performed

  17. Respiration, metabolic balance, and attention in affective picture processing.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Patrick; Shafy, Samiha; Danuser, Brigitta

    2008-05-01

    The respiratory behavior during affective states is not completely understood. We studied breathing pattern responses to picture series in 37 participants. We also measured end-tidal pCO2 (EtCO2) to determine if ventilation is in balance with metabolic demands and spontaneous eye-blinking to investigate the link between respiration and attention. Minute ventilation (MV) and inspiratory drive increased with self-rated arousal. These relationships reflected increases in inspiratory volume rather than shortening of the time parameters. EtCO2 covaried with pleasantness but not arousal. Eye-blink rate decreased with increasing unpleasantness in line with a negativity bias in attention. This study confirms that respiratory responses to affective stimuli are organized to a certain degree along the dimensions of valence and arousal. It shows, for the first time, that during picture viewing, ventilatory increases with increasing arousal are in balance with metabolic activity and that inspiratory volume is modulated by arousal. MV emerges as the most reliable respiratory index of self-perceived arousal.

  18. Comparable ecological dynamics underlie early cancer invasion and species dispersal, involving self-organizing processes

    PubMed Central

    Marco, Diana E.; Cannas, Sergio A.; Montemurro, Marcelo A.; Hu, Bo; Cheng, Shi-Yuan

    2010-01-01

    Occupancy of new habitats through dispersion is a central process in nature. In particular, long-distance dispersal is involved in the spread of species and epidemics, although it has not been previously related with cancer invasion, a process that involves cell spreading to tissues far away from the primary tumour. Using simulations and real data we show that the early spread of cancer cells is similar to the species individuals spread and we suggest that both processes are represented by a common spatio-temporal signature of long-distance dispersal and subsequent local proliferation. This signature is characterized by a particular fractal geometry of the boundaries of patches generated, and a power-law scaled, disrupted patch size distribution. In contrast, invasions involving only dispersal but not subsequent proliferation (“physiological invasions”) like trophoblast cells invasion during normal human placentation did not show the patch size power-law pattern. Our results are consistent under different temporal and spatial scales, and under different resolution levels of analysis. We conclude that the scaling properties are a hallmark and a direct result of long-distance dispersal and proliferation, and that they could reflect homologous ecological processes of population self-organization during cancer and species spread. Our results are significant for the detection of processes involving long-range dispersal and proliferation like cancer local invasion and metastasis, biological invasions and epidemics, and for the formulation of new cancer therapeutical approaches. PMID:18930739

  19. Psychometric Characteristics of the EEAA (Scale of Affective Strategies in the Learning Process)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Villardón-Gallego, Lourdes; Yániz, Concepción

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Affective strategies for coping with affective states linked to the learning process may be oriented toward controlling emotions or toward controlling motivation. Both types affect performance, directly and indirectly. The objective of this research was to design an instrument for measuring the affective strategies used by university…

  20. Distal Prosodic Context Affects Word Segmentation and Lexical Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dilley, Laura C.; McAuley, J. Devin

    2008-01-01

    Three experiments investigated the role of distal (i.e., nonlocal) prosody in word segmentation and lexical processing. In Experiment 1, prosodic characteristics of the initial five syllables of eight-syllable sequences were manipulated; the final portions of these sequences were lexically ambiguous (e.g., "note bookworm", "notebook worm"). Distal…

  1. Stimulus Characteristics Affect Humor Processing in Individuals with Asperger Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samson, Andrea C.; Hegenloh, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The present paper aims to investigate whether individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS) show global humor processing deficits or whether humor comprehension and appreciation depends on stimulus characteristics. Non-verbal visual puns, semantic and Theory of Mind cartoons were rated on comprehension, funniness and the punchlines were explained. AS…

  2. Factors Affecting the Processing of Epoxy Film Adhesives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pike, R. A.

    1985-01-01

    The increasing awareness that adhesive performance is controlled not only by the condition of the adherend surface but also the condition or state of the adhesive and the process parameters used during fabrication is expected to result in improved reliability, as well as bond performance. The critical process variables which have been found to control adhesive bond formation and ultimate bond strength in 250F and 350F curing epoxy adhesives are described in terms of fabrication parameters and adhesive characteristics. These include the heat-up rate and cure temperature during processing and the adhesive moisture content and age condition (degree of advancement). The diagnostic methods used to delineate the effects of these process variables on adhesive performance are illustrated. These are dielectric, thermomechanical (TMA) and dynamic mechanical (DMA) analyses. Correlation of test results with measured mechanical tensile lap shear strengths of bonded joints is presented and the results briefly discussed in terms of the additives and hardeners used in the adhesive systems.

  3. Can Process Portfolios Affect Students' Writing Self-Efficacy?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicolaidou, Iolie

    2012-01-01

    Can process portfolios that support students in goal setting, reflection, self-evaluation and feedback have a positive impact on students' writing self-efficacy? This article presents the findings of a yearlong study conducted in three 4th grade elementary classes in Cyprus where paper-based and web-based portfolios were implemented to help…

  4. Volcano ecology at Chaiten, Chile: geophysical processes interact with forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanson, F. J.; Crisafulli, C.; Jones, J. A.; Lara, A.

    2010-12-01

    The May 2008 eruption of Chaiten Volcano (Chile) offers many insights into volcano ecology -ecological responses to volcanic and associated hydrologic processes and ecosystem development in post-eruption landscapes. Varied intensities of pyroclastic density currents (PDC) and thickness of tephra fall deposits (to 50+ cm) created strong gradients of disturbance in several hundred square kilometers of native forest in a sector north to southeast from the volcano. A gradient from tree removal to toppled forest to standing, scorched forest extends 1.5 km northward from the caldera rim along the trajectory of a PDC. Close to the vent (e.g., 2 km NE from rim) a rain of ca. 10 cm of gravel tephra stripped foliage and twigs from tree canopies; farther away (23 km SE) 10 cm of fine tephra loaded the canopy, causing extensive fall of limbs >8 cm diameter. Even in the severely disturbed, north-flank PDC zone, surviving bamboo, ferns, and other herbs sprouted from pre-eruption soil and other refugia; sprouts of new foliage appeared on the boles and major limbs of several species of toppled and scorched, standing trees; animals including vertebrates (rodents and amphibians) and terrestrial invertebrates (e.g., insects and arachnids) either survived or quickly recolonized; and a diverse fungal community began decomposing the vast dead wood resource. During the second growing season we documented the presence of some plant species that had colonized by seed. Within two years after the eruption secondary ecological disturbances resulting from channel change and overbank deposition of fluvially transported tephra created new patches of damaged forest in riparian zones of streams draining the north flank and along the Rio Rayas and Rio Chaiten. These features parallel observations in the intensively-studied, post-1980-eruption landscape of Mount St. Helens over a similar time period. However, several aspects of ecological response to the two eruptions differ because of differences

  5. SCALE OF HABITAT FRAGMENTATION AFFECTS ECOLOGICAL PROCESSES AND BIRD POPULATION VIABILITY. (R827673)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  6. How gender-expectancy affects the processing of "them".

    PubMed

    Doherty, Alice; Conklin, Kathy

    2017-04-01

    How sensitive is pronoun processing to expectancies based on real-world knowledge and language usage? The current study links research on the integration of gender stereotypes and number-mismatch to explore this question. It focuses on the use of them to refer to antecedents of different levels of gender-expectancy (low-cyclist, high-mechanic, known-spokeswoman). In a rating task, them is considered increasingly unnatural with greater gender-expectancy. However, participants might not be able to differentiate high-expectancy and gender-known antecedents online because they initially search for plural antecedents (e.g., Sanford & Filik), and they make all-or-nothing gender inferences. An eye-tracking study reveals early differences in the processing of them with antecedents of high gender-expectancy compared with gender-known antecedents. This suggests that participants have rapid access to the expected gender of the antecedent and the level of that expectancy.

  7. Soil biota can change after exotic plant invasion: Does this affect ecosystem processes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Sherrod, S.K.; Moldenke, A.

    2005-01-01

    Invasion of the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum into stands of the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii significantly reduced the abundance of soil biota, especially microarthropods and nematodes. Effects of invasion on active and total bacterial and fungal biomass were variable, although populations generally increased after 50+ years of invasion. The invasion of Bromus also resulted in a decrease in richness and a species shift in plants, microarthropods, fungi, and nematodes. However, despite the depauperate soil fauna at the invaded sites, no effects were seen on cellulose decomposition rates, nitrogen mineralization rates, or vascular plant growth. When Hilaria was planted into soils from not-invaded, recently invaded, and historically invaded sites (all currently or once dominated by Hilaria), germination and survivorship were not affected. In contrast, aboveground Hilaria biomass was significantly greater in recently invaded soils than in the other two soils. We attributed the Hilaria response to differences in soil nutrients present before the invasion, especially soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as these nutrients were elevated in the soils that produced the greatest Hilaria biomass. Our data suggest that it is not soil biotic richness per se that determines soil process rates or plant productivity, but instead that either (1) the presence of a few critical soil food web taxa can keep ecosystem function high, (2) nutrient loss is very slow in this ecosystem, and/or (3) these processes are microbially driven. However, the presence of Bromus may reduce key soil nutrients over time and thus may eventually suppress native plant success. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of America.

  8. Infiltration and runoff generation processes in fire-affected soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moody, John A.; Ebel, Brian A.

    2014-01-01

    Post-wildfire runoff was investigated by combining field measurements and modelling of infiltration into fire-affected soils to predict time-to-start of runoff and peak runoff rate at the plot scale (1 m2). Time series of soil-water content, rainfall and runoff were measured on a hillslope burned by the 2010 Fourmile Canyon Fire west of Boulder, Colorado during cyclonic and convective rainstorms in the spring and summer of 2011. Some of the field measurements and measured soil physical properties were used to calibrate a one-dimensional post-wildfire numerical model, which was then used as a ‘virtual instrument’ to provide estimates of the saturated hydraulic conductivity and high-resolution (1 mm) estimates of the soil-water profile and water fluxes within the unsaturated zone.Field and model estimates of the wetting-front depth indicated that post-wildfire infiltration was on average confined to shallow depths less than 30 mm. Model estimates of the effective saturated hydraulic conductivity, Ks, near the soil surface ranged from 0.1 to 5.2 mm h−1. Because of the relatively small values of Ks, the time-to-start of runoff (measured from the start of rainfall),  tp, was found to depend only on the initial soil-water saturation deficit (predicted by the model) and a measured characteristic of the rainfall profile (referred to as the average rainfall acceleration, equal to the initial rate of change in rainfall intensity). An analytical model was developed from the combined results and explained 92–97% of the variance of  tp, and the numerical infiltration model explained 74–91% of the variance of the peak runoff rates. These results are from one burned site, but they strongly suggest that  tp in fire-affected soils (which often have low values of Ks) is probably controlled more by the storm profile and the initial soil-water saturation deficit than by soil hydraulic properties.

  9. Urban microbiomes and urban ecology: how do microbes in the built environment affect human sustainability in cities?

    PubMed

    King, Gary M

    2014-09-01

    Humans increasingly occupy cities. Globally, about 50% of the total human population lives in urban environments, and in spite of some trends for deurbanization, the transition from rural to urban life is expected to accelerate in the future, especially in developing nations and regions. The Republic of Korea, for example, has witnessed a dramatic rise in its urban population, which now accounts for nearly 90% of all residents; the increase from about 29% in 1955 has been attributed to multiple factors, but has clearly been driven by extraordinary growth in the gross domestic product accompanying industrialization. While industrialization and urbanization have unarguably led to major improvements in quality of life indices in Korea and elsewhere, numerous serious problems have also been acknowledged, including concerns about resource availability, water quality, amplification of global warming and new threats to health. Questions about sustainability have therefore led Koreans and others to consider deurbanization as a management policy. Whether this offers any realistic prospects for a sustainable future remains to be seen. In the interim, it has become increasingly clear that built environments are no less complex than natural environments, and that they depend on a variety of internal and external connections involving microbes and the processes for which microbes are responsible. I provide here a definition of the urban microbiome, and through examples indicate its centrality to human function and wellbeing in urban systems. I also identify important knowledge gaps and unanswered questions about urban microbiomes that must be addressed to develop a robust, predictive and general understanding of urban biology and ecology that can be used to inform policy-making for sustainable systems.

  10. Carbohydrate-Free Peach (Prunus persica) and Plum (Prunus domestica) Juice Affects Fecal Microbial Ecology in an Obese Animal Model

    PubMed Central

    Markel, Melissa; Martino, Hercia S.; Minamoto, Yasushi; Steiner, Jörg M.; Byrne, David; Suchodolski, Jan S.; Mertens-Talcott, Susanne U.

    2014-01-01

    Background Growing evidence shows the potential of nutritional interventions to treat obesity but most investigations have utilized non-digestible carbohydrates only. Peach and plum contain high amounts of polyphenols, compounds with demonstrated anti-obesity effects. The underlying process of successfully treating obesity using polyphenols may involve an alteration of the intestinal microbiota. However, this phenomenon is not well understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Obese Zucker rats were assigned to three groups (peach, plum, and control, n = 10 each), wild-type group was named lean (n = 10). Carbohydrates in the fruit juices were eliminated using enzymatic hydrolysis. Fecal samples were obtained after 11 weeks of fruit or control juice administration. Real-time PCR and 454-pyrosequencing were used to evaluate changes in fecal microbiota. Over 1,500 different Operational Taxonomic Units at 97% similarity were detected in all rats. Several bacterial groups (e.g. Lactobacillus and members of Ruminococcacea) were found to be more abundant in the peach but especially in the plum group (plum juice contained 3 times more total polyphenolics compared to peach juice). Principal coordinate analysis based on Unifrac-based unweighted distance matrices revealed a distinct separation between the microbiota of control and treatment groups. These changes in fecal microbiota occurred simultaneously with differences in fecal short-chain acids concentrations between the control and treatment groups as well as a significant decrease in body weight in the plum group. Conclusions This study suggests that consumption of carbohydrate-free peach and plum juice has the potential to modify fecal microbial ecology in an obese animal model. The separate contribution of polyphenols and non-polyphenols compounds (vitamins and minerals) to the observed changes is unknown. PMID:25007331

  11. Factors affecting growth of foodborne pathogens on minimally processed apples.

    PubMed

    Alegre, Isabel; Abadias, Maribel; Anguera, Marina; Oliveira, Marcia; Viñas, Inmaculada

    2010-02-01

    Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella and Listeria innocua increased by more than 2 log(10) units over a 24 h period on fresh-cut 'Golden Delicious' apple plugs stored at 25 and 20 degrees C. L. innocua reached the same final population level at 10 degrees C meanwhile E. coli and Salmonella only increased 1.3 log(10) units after 6 days. Only L. innocua was able to grow at 5 degrees C. No significant differences were observed between the growth of foodborne pathogens on fresh-cut 'Golden Delicious', 'Granny Smith' and 'Shampion' apples stored at 25 and 5 degrees C. The treatment of 'Golden Delicious' and 'Granny Smith' apple plugs with the antioxidants, ascorbic acid (2%) and NatureSeal (6%), did not affect pathogen growth. The effect of passive modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) on the growth of E. coli, Salmonella and L. innocua on 'Golden Delicious' apple slices was also tested. There were no significant differences in growth of pathogens in MAP conditions compared with air packaging of 'Golden Delicious' apple plugs, but the growth of mesophilic and psychrotrophic microorganisms was inhibited. These results highlight the importance of avoiding contamination of fresh-cut fruit with foodborne pathogens and the maintenance of the cold chain during storage until consumption.

  12. Understanding processes affecting mineral deposits in humid environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seal, Robert R., II; Ayuso, Robert A.

    2011-01-01

    Recent interdisciplinary studies by the U.S. Geological Survey have resulted in substantial progress toward understanding the influence that climate and hydrology have on the geochemical signatures of mineral deposits and the resulting mine wastes in the eastern United States. Specific areas of focus include the release, transport, and fate of acid, metals, and associated elements from inactive mines in temperate coastal areas and of metals from unmined mineral deposits in tropical to subtropical areas; the influence of climate, geology, and hydrology on remediation options for abandoned mines; and the application of radiogenic isotopes to uniquely apportion source contributions that distinguish natural from mining sources and extent of metal transport. The environmental effects of abandoned mines and unmined mineral deposits result from a complex interaction of a variety of chemical and physical factors. These include the geology of the mineral deposit, the hydrologic setting of the mineral deposit and associated mine wastes, the chemistry of waters interacting with the deposit and associated waste material, the engineering of a mine as it relates to the reactivity of mine wastes, and climate, which affects such factors as temperature and the amounts of precipitation and evapotranspiration; these factors, in turn, influence the environmental behavior of mineral deposits. The role of climate is becoming increasingly important in environmental investigations of mineral deposits because of the growing concerns about climate change.

  13. Dopaminergic modulation of memory and affective processing in Parkinson depression.

    PubMed

    Blonder, Lee X; Slevin, John T; Kryscio, Richard J; Martin, Catherine A; Andersen, Anders H; Smith, Charles D; Schmitt, Frederick A

    2013-11-30

    Depression is common in Parkinson's disease and is associated with cognitive impairment. Dopaminergic medications are effective in treating the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease; however, little is known regarding the effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy on cognitive function in depressed Parkinson patients. This study examines the neuropsychological effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy in Parkinsonian depression. We compared cognitive function in depressed and non-depressed Parkinson patients at two time-points: following overnight withdrawal and after the usual morning regimen of dopaminergic medications. A total of 28 non-demented, right-handed patients with mild to moderate idiopathic Parkinson's disease participated. Ten of these patients were depressed according to DSM IV criteria. Results revealed a statistically significant interaction between depression and medication status on three measures of verbal memory and a facial affect naming task. In all cases, depressed Parkinson's patients performed significantly more poorly while on dopaminergic medication than while off. The opposite pattern emerged for the non-depressed Parkinson's group. The administration of dopaminergic medication to depressed Parkinson patients may carry unintended risks.

  14. From neurons to epidemics: How trophic coherence affects spreading processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaise, Janis; Johnson, Samuel

    2016-06-01

    Trophic coherence, a measure of the extent to which the nodes of a directed network are organised in levels, has recently been shown to be closely related to many structural and dynamical aspects of complex systems, including graph eigenspectra, the prevalence or absence of feedback cycles, and linear stability. Furthermore, non-trivial trophic structures have been observed in networks of neurons, species, genes, metabolites, cellular signalling, concatenated words, P2P users, and world trade. Here, we consider two simple yet apparently quite different dynamical models—one a susceptible-infected-susceptible epidemic model adapted to include complex contagion and the other an Amari-Hopfield neural network—and show that in both cases the related spreading processes are modulated in similar ways by the trophic coherence of the underlying networks. To do this, we propose a network assembly model which can generate structures with tunable trophic coherence, limiting in either perfectly stratified networks or random graphs. We find that trophic coherence can exert a qualitative change in spreading behaviour, determining whether a pulse of activity will percolate through the entire network or remain confined to a subset of nodes, and whether such activity will quickly die out or endure indefinitely. These results could be important for our understanding of phenomena such as epidemics, rumours, shocks to ecosystems, neuronal avalanches, and many other spreading processes.

  15. Simultanagnosia does not affect processes of auditory Gestalt perception.

    PubMed

    Rennig, Johannes; Bleyer, Anna Lena; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2017-03-23

    Simultanagnosia is a neuropsychological deficit of higher visual processes caused by temporo-parietal brain damage. It is characterized by a specific failure of recognition of a global visual Gestalt, like a visual scene or complex objects, consisting of local elements. In this study we investigated to what extend this deficit should be understood as a deficit related to specifically the visual domain or whether it should be seen as defective Gestalt processing per se. To examine if simultanagnosia occurs across sensory domains, we designed several auditory experiments sharing typical characteristics of visual tasks that are known to be particularly demanding for patients suffering from simultanagnosia. We also included control tasks for auditory working memory deficits and for auditory extinction. We tested four simultanagnosia patients who suffered from severe symptoms in the visual domain. Two of them indeed showed significant impairments in recognition of simultaneously presented sounds. However, the same two patients also suffered from severe auditory working memory deficits and from symptoms comparable to auditory extinction, both sufficiently explaining the impairments in simultaneous auditory perception. We thus conclude that deficits in auditory Gestalt perception do not appear to be characteristic for simultanagnosia and that the human brain obviously uses independent mechanisms for visual and for auditory Gestalt perception.

  16. Sensitivity analysis on parameters and processes affecting vapor intrusion risk.

    PubMed

    Picone, Sara; Valstar, Johan; van Gaans, Pauline; Grotenhuis, Tim; Rijnaarts, Huub

    2012-05-01

    A one-dimensional numerical model was developed and used to identify the key processes controlling vapor intrusion risks by means of a sensitivity analysis. The model simulates the fate of a dissolved volatile organic compound present below the ventilated crawl space of a house. In contrast to the vast majority of previous studies, this model accounts for vertical variation of soil water saturation and includes aerobic biodegradation. The attenuation factor (ratio between concentration in the crawl space and source concentration) and the characteristic time to approach maximum concentrations were calculated and compared for a variety of scenarios. These concepts allow an understanding of controlling mechanisms and aid in the identification of critical parameters to be collected for field situations. The relative distance of the source to the nearest gas-filled pores of the unsaturated zone is the most critical parameter because diffusive contaminant transport is significantly slower in water-filled pores than in gas-filled pores. Therefore, attenuation factors decrease and characteristic times increase with increasing relative distance of the contaminant dissolved source to the nearest gas diffusion front. Aerobic biodegradation may decrease the attenuation factor by up to three orders of magnitude. Moreover, the occurrence of water table oscillations is of importance. Dynamic processes leading to a retreating water table increase the attenuation factor by two orders of magnitude because of the enhanced gas phase diffusion.

  17. Does Signal Degradation Affect Top-Down Processing of Speech?

    PubMed

    Wagner, Anita; Pals, Carina; de Blecourt, Charlotte M; Sarampalis, Anastasios; Başkent, Deniz

    2016-01-01

    Speech perception is formed based on both the acoustic signal and listeners' knowledge of the world and semantic context. Access to semantic information can facilitate interpretation of degraded speech, such as speech in background noise or the speech signal transmitted via cochlear implants (CIs). This paper focuses on the latter, and investigates the time course of understanding words, and how sentential context reduces listeners' dependency on the acoustic signal for natural and degraded speech via an acoustic CI simulation.In an eye-tracking experiment we combined recordings of listeners' gaze fixations with pupillometry, to capture effects of semantic information on both the time course and effort of speech processing. Normal-hearing listeners were presented with sentences with or without a semantically constraining verb (e.g., crawl) preceding the target (baby), and their ocular responses were recorded to four pictures, including the target, a phonological (bay) competitor and a semantic (worm) and an unrelated distractor.The results show that in natural speech, listeners' gazes reflect their uptake of acoustic information, and integration of preceding semantic context. Degradation of the signal leads to a later disambiguation of phonologically similar words, and to a delay in integration of semantic information. Complementary to this, the pupil dilation data show that early semantic integration reduces the effort in disambiguating phonologically similar words. Processing degraded speech comes with increased effort due to the impoverished nature of the signal. Delayed integration of semantic information further constrains listeners' ability to compensate for inaudible signals.

  18. Left Hand Dominance Affects Supra-Second Time Processing

    PubMed Central

    Vicario, Carmelo Mario; Bonní, Sonia; Koch, Giacomo

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies exploring specific brain functions of left- and right-handed subjects have shown variances in spatial and motor abilities that might be explained according to consistent structural and functional differences. Given the role of both spatial and motor information in the processing of temporal intervals, we designed a study aimed at investigating timing abilities in left-handed subjects. To this purpose both left- and right-handed subjects were asked to perform a time reproduction of sub-second vs. supra-second time intervals with their left and right hand. Our results show that during processing of the supra-second intervals left-handed participants sub-estimated the duration of the intervals, independently of the hand used to perform the task, while no differences were reported for the sub-second intervals. These results are discussed on the basis of recent findings on supra-second motor timing, as well as emerging evidence that suggests a linear representation of time with a left-to-right displacement. PMID:22028685

  19. Processes affecting coastal wetland loss in the Louisiana deltaic plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, S. Jeffress; Penland, Shea; Roberts, Harry H.

    1993-01-01

    Nowhere are the problems of coastal wetland loss more serious and dramatic than in the Mississippi River deltaic plain region of south-central Louisiana. In that area, rates of shoreline erosion of 20 m.yr and loss of land area of up to 75 km/yr result from a complex combination of natural (delta switching, subsidence, sea-level rise, storms) and human (flood control, navigation, oil and gas development, land reclamation) factors. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as part of the National Coastal Geology Program, has undertaken joint filed investigations with Federal, State, and university partners. The objective of these long-term studies is to gather and interpret baseline information in order to improve our scientific understanding of the critical processes and responses responsible for creation, maintenance, and deterioration of coastal wetlands.

  20. Visual processing affects the neural basis of auditory discrimination.

    PubMed

    Kislyuk, Daniel S; Möttönen, Riikka; Sams, Mikko

    2008-12-01

    The interaction between auditory and visual speech streams is a seamless and surprisingly effective process. An intriguing example is the "McGurk effect": The acoustic syllable /ba/ presented simultaneously with a mouth articulating /ga/ is typically heard as /da/ [McGurk, H., & MacDonald, J. Hearing lips and seeing voices. Nature, 264, 746-748, 1976]. Previous studies have demonstrated the interaction of auditory and visual streams at the auditory cortex level, but the importance of these interactions for the qualitative perception change remained unclear because the change could result from interactions at higher processing levels as well. In our electroencephalogram experiment, we combined the McGurk effect with mismatch negativity (MMN), a response that is elicited in the auditory cortex at a latency of 100-250 msec by any above-threshold change in a sequence of repetitive sounds. An "odd-ball" sequence of acoustic stimuli consisting of frequent /va/ syllables (standards) and infrequent /ba/ syllables (deviants) was presented to 11 participants. Deviant stimuli in the unisensory acoustic stimulus sequence elicited a typical MMN, reflecting discrimination of acoustic features in the auditory cortex. When the acoustic stimuli were dubbed onto a video of a mouth constantly articulating /va/, the deviant acoustic /ba/ was heard as /va/ due to the McGurk effect and was indistinguishable from the standards. Importantly, such deviants did not elicit MMN, indicating that the auditory cortex failed to discriminate between the acoustic stimuli. Our findings show that visual stream can qualitatively change the auditory percept at the auditory cortex level, profoundly influencing the auditory cortex mechanisms underlying early sound discrimination.

  1. Quantitative evolution of volcanic surfaces affected by erosional processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahitte, Pierre; Boillot-Airaksinen, Kim; Germa, Aurélie; Lavigne, Franck

    2016-04-01

    Variations through time of erosion dynamics, a key point to investigate correlation between climates and landform evolution, still remains poorly documented. One of the main issue in this type of study is the difficulty in determining for how long the erosion has operated. For this purpose, volcanic contexts are particularly suitable for defining the temporal dynamics governing erosion since the age of volcanic activity also constrains the age of emplacement of the surface today eroded, and thus the erosion duration. Furthermore, quantitative analysis of river profiles offers the opportunity to discriminate, among the wide variety of geological phenomena influencing erosion, their respective influence. Quantification of erosion processes and constrain of their signature on reliefs can be addressed by a morphometric approach of river profiles in volcanic environment through the analysis of digital topography (DEM). Break in slope zones, the so-called knickpoints, are usually related to a retreat of the point between the relict channel, upstream, and the adjusted channel, downstream. They are induced by either a lithological contrast, a change in the base level, uplift or eustatism, or a rejuvenation of the age of the volcanic surface. The stream long-profile and its watershed is also investigated by their concavity and hypsometric indexes to determine for how long the complexity and its heterogeneity along the valley incision remain visible. The present study focusses on the erosion of volcanoes in the Lesser Antilles, Reunion Island and Lombok Island (Indonesia). All located in tropical environments, these volcanoes offer a wide diversity of age (30 - 0 Ma) and lithology for investigating the respective influence of geological processes that have induced a large variety of shapes and volcanic history that we try to correlate to geometry of river profiles.

  2. Phenol removal efficiencies of sewage treatment processes and ecological risks associated with phenols in effluents.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Wenjue; Wang, Donghong; Xu, Xiaowei

    2012-05-30

    Phenols pose a risk to the environment and to human health. Phenols found in rivers mainly originate from sewage treatment plants (STPs). In this paper, analytical procedures, based on deconvolution technology and retention time locking technology, were investigated to simultaneously identify and determine the concentrations of fifty different phenols in sewage water and effluents. Seventeen different phenols were found in sewage and five - including two regulated phenols (phenol and 2,4,6-trichlorophenol) and three un-regulated phenols (2-chlorophenol, 2,5-dichlorophenol and 2,4-dichloro-3-ethyl-6-nitrophenol) - were identified in effluents of five STPs. A number of processes undertaken in five STPs were also investigated. These processes can be used to remove phenols at efficiency levels of between 88.95% and 99.97%. Among the processes tested, a combination of anaerobic/anoxic/oxic (A(2)/O), continuous microfiltration (CMF), ozone oxidation (O(3)), and chlorination, appeared to be the best option for the removal of key phenols. Among the five phenols identified in effluents, 2,5-dichlorophenol (1.89 μg/L) and 2,4-dichloro-3-ethyl-6-nitrophenol (22.6 μg/L) pose the greatest ecological risk to receiving waters.

  3. Transition probabilities for general birth-death processes with applications in ecology, genetics, and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Forrest W.; Suchard, Marc A.

    2011-01-01

    A birth-death process is a continuous-time Markov chain that counts the number of particles in a system over time. In the general process with n current particles, a new particle is born with instantaneous rate λn and a particle dies with instantaneous rate μn. Currently no robust and efficient method exists to evaluate the finite-time transition probabilities in a general birth-death process with arbitrary birth and death rates. In this paper, we first revisit the theory of continued fractions to obtain expressions for the Laplace transforms of these transition probabilities and make explicit an important derivation connecting transition probabilities and continued fractions. We then develop an efficient algorithm for computing these probabilities that analyzes the error associated with approximations in the method. We demonstrate that this error-controlled method agrees with known solutions and outperforms previous approaches to computing these probabilities. Finally, we apply our novel method to several important problems in ecology, evolution, and genetics. PMID:21984359

  4. Early Social Experience Affects the Development of Eye Gaze Processing

    PubMed Central

    Senju, Atsushi; Vernetti, Angélina; Ganea, Natasa; Hudry, Kristelle; Tucker, Leslie; Charman, Tony; Johnson, Mark H.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Eye gaze is a key channel of non-verbal communication in humans [1, 2, 3]. Eye contact with others is present from birth [4], and eye gaze processing is crucial for social learning and adult-infant communication [5, 6, 7]. However, little is known about the effect of selectively different experience of eye contact and gaze communication on early social and communicative development. To directly address this question, we assessed 14 sighted infants of blind parents (SIBPs) longitudinally at 6–10 and 12–16 months. Face scanning [8] and gaze following [7, 9] were assessed using eye tracking. In addition, naturalistic observations were made when the infants were interacting with their blind parent and with an unfamiliar sighted adult. Established measures of emergent autistic-like behaviors [10] and standardized tests of cognitive, motor, and linguistic development [11] were also collected. These data were then compared with those obtained from a group of infants of sighted parents. Despite showing typical social skills development overall, infants of blind parents allocated less attention to adult eye movements and gaze direction, an effect that increased between 6–10 and 12–16 months of age. The results suggest that infants adjust their use of adults’ eye gaze depending on gaze communication experience from early in life. The results highlight that human functional brain development shows selective experience-dependent plasticity adaptive to the individual’s specific social environment. PMID:26752077

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

    SciTech Connect

    Pechmann, J.H.K.; Scott, D.E.; McGregor, J.H.; Estes, R.A.; Chazal, A.C.

    1993-02-01

    The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) was built on the Savannah River Site (SRS) during the mid-1980's. The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) has completed 12 years of ecological studies related to the construction of the DWPF complex. Prior to construction, the 600-acre site (S-Area) contained a Carolina bay and the headwaters of a stream. Research conducted by the SREL has focused primarily on four questions related to these wetlands: (1) Prior to construction, what fauna and flora were present at the DWPF site and at similar, yet undisturbed, alternative sites (2) By comparing the Carolina bay at the DWPF site (Sun Bay) with an undisturbed control Carolina bay (Rainbow Bay), what effect is construction having on the organisms that inhabited the DWPF site (3) By comparing control streams with streams on the periphery of the DWPF site, what effect is construction having on the peripheral streams (4) How effective have efforts been to lessen the impacts of construction, both with respect to erosion control measures and the construction of refuge ponds'' as alternative breeding sites for amphibians that formerly bred at Sun Bay Through the long-term census-taking of biota at the DWPF site and Rainbow Bay, SREL has begun to evaluate the impact of construction on the biota and the effectiveness of mitigation efforts. Similarly, the effects of erosion from the DWPF site on the water quality of S-Area peripheral streams are being assessed. This research provides supporting data relevant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, Executive Orders 11988 (Floodplain Management) and 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), and United States Department of Energy (DOE) Guidelines for Compliance with Floodplain/Wetland Environmental Review Requirements (10CFR1022).

  6. Drugs affecting prelamin A processing: Effects on heterochromatin organization

    SciTech Connect

    Mattioli, Elisabetta; Columbaro, Marta; Capanni, Cristina; Santi, Spartaco; D'Apice, M. Rosaria; Novelli, Giuseppe; Riccio, Massimo; Squarzoni, Stefano; Lattanzi, Giovanna

    2008-02-01

    Increasing interest in drugs acting on prelamin A has derived from the finding of prelamin A involvement in severe laminopathies. Amelioration of the nuclear morphology by inhibitors of prelamin A farnesylation has been widely reported in progeroid laminopathies. We investigated the effects on chromatin organization of two drugs inhibiting prelamin A processing by an ultrastructural and biochemical approach. The farnesyltransferase inhibitor FTI-277 and the non-peptidomimetic drug N-acetyl-S-farnesyl-L-cysteine methylester (AFCMe) were administered to cultured control human fibroblasts for 6 or 18 h. FTI-277 interferes with protein farnesylation causing accumulation of non-farnesylated prelamin A, while AFCMe impairs the last cleavage of the lamin A precursor and is expected to accumulate farnesylated prelamin A. FTI-277 caused redistribution of heterochromatin domains at the nuclear interior, while AFCMe caused loss of heterochromatin domains, increase of nuclear size and nuclear lamina thickening. At the biochemical level, heterochromatin-associated proteins and LAP2{alpha} were clustered at the nuclear interior following FTI-277 treatment, while they were unevenly distributed or absent in AFCMe-treated nuclei. The reported effects show that chromatin is an immediate target of FTI-277 and AFCMe and that dramatic remodeling of chromatin domains occurs following treatment with the drugs. These effects appear to depend, at least in part, on the accumulation of prelamin A forms, since impairment of prelamin A accumulation, here obtained by 5-azadeoxycytidine treatment, abolishes the chromatin effects. These results may be used to evaluate downstream effects of FTIs or other prelamin A inhibitors potentially useful for the therapy of laminopathies.

  7. Pattern and process of diversification in an ecologically diverse epifaunal bivalve group Pterioidea (Pteriomorphia, Bivalvia).

    PubMed

    Tsubaki, Remi; Kameda, Yuichi; Kato, Makoto

    2011-01-01

    The pterioid bivalves (superfamily Pterioidea) are epifaunal filter feeders that attach to various substrata, including rocks, corals, gorgonians, and sponges. An intriguing question is how different substratum types have affected the diversification of pterioid bivalves. To elucidate the evolutionary pathway of Pterioidea, we conducted a phylogenetic analysis of 49 individuals belonging to 18 pterioid and 5 outgroup species using 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA genes. The results supported the monophyly of superfamily Pterioidea and recovered three major clades within Pterioidea: Malleus, Pteria and Electroma (Pterelectroma) zebra and the rest. This result contradicts the current circumscription of the pterioid families, Pteriidae, Malleidae, and Isognomonidae, and suggests that hinge morphology, which has long been used as a diagnostic character, does not reflect phylogenetic relationships. The monophyly of most genera, however, was confirmed. Mapping substrata types on the phylogenetic tree indicated that the ancestors of pterioid bivalves were epifaunal on rocks, and that epizoic life on sessile cnidarians had a single origin. Although we could not ascertain whether endozoic life in sponges evolved once or twice, our results suggest that colonization of biotic substrata resulted in diversification and morphological and ecological adaptation to epi-/endozoic life. We estimated that the genus Pteria has diversified since the late Cretaceous in response to gorgonian diversification. These results emphasize the importance of substratum shifts in speciation and diversification of pterioid bivalves.

  8. Translating the Interconnections between Ecological and Hydrological Processes in a Small Watershed into Process Networks using Information Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, J.; Woo, N. C.; Kim, S.; Yun, J.; Kim, S.; Kang, M.; Cho, C. H.; Chun, J. H.

    2014-12-01

    We demonstrate how field measurements can inform the selection of model frameworks in small watershed applications. Based on the assumption that ecohydrological systems are open and complex, we employ the process network analysis to identify the system state and the subsystems architecture with changing environment conditions. Ecohydrological and biogeochemical processes in a watershed can be viewed as a network of processes of a wide range of scales involving various feedback loops and time delay. Using the KoFlux tower-based measurements of energy, water and CO2 flux time series along with those representing the soil-plant-atmospheric continuum; we evaluated statistical measures of characterizing the organization of the information flows in the system. We used Shannon's information entropy and calculated the mutual information and transfer entropy, following Ruddell and Kumar (2009). Transfer entropy can measure the relative strength and time scale of couplings between the variables. In this analysis, we selected 15 variables associated with ecohydrological processes, which are groundwater table height, water temperature, specific conductivity, soil moisture contents at three depths, ecosystem respiration, gross primary productivity, sensible heat flux, latent heat flux, precipitation, air temperature, vapor pressure deficit, atmospheric pressure, and solar radiation. The data-driven nature of this investigation may shed a light on reconciling model parsimony with equifinality in small watershed applications. (Acknowledgment: This work and the data used in the study were funded by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant Weather Information Service Engine (WISE) project,153-3100-3133-302-350 and Grant CATER 2014-3030, respectively. The KoFlux site was supported by the Long-term Ecological Study and Monitoring of Forest Ecosystem Project of Korea Forest Research Institute.)

  9. The sensitivity of current and future forest managers to climate-induced changes in ecological processes.

    PubMed

    Seidl, Rupert; Aggestam, Filip; Rammer, Werner; Blennow, Kristina; Wolfslehner, Bernhard

    2016-05-01

    Climate vulnerability of managed forest ecosystems is not only determined by ecological processes but also influenced by the adaptive capacity of forest managers. To better understand adaptive behaviour, we conducted a questionnaire study among current and future forest managers (i.e. active managers and forestry students) in Austria. We found widespread belief in climate change (94.7 % of respondents), and no significant difference between current and future managers. Based on intended responses to climate-induced ecosystem changes, we distinguished four groups: highly sensitive managers (27.7 %), those mainly sensitive to changes in growth and regeneration processes (46.7 %), managers primarily sensitive to regeneration changes (11.2 %), and insensitive managers (14.4 %). Experiences and beliefs with regard to disturbance-related tree mortality were found to particularly influence a manager's sensitivity to climate change. Our findings underline the importance of the social dimension of climate change adaptation, and suggest potentially strong adaptive feedbacks between ecosystems and their managers.

  10. Contrasting Ecological Processes and Functional Compositions Between Intestinal Bacterial Community in Healthy and Diseased Shrimp.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jinyong; Dai, Wenfang; Qiu, Qiongfen; Dong, Chunming; Zhang, Jinjie; Xiong, Jinbo

    2016-11-01

    Intestinal bacterial communities play a pivotal role in promoting host health; therefore, the disruption of intestinal bacterial homeostasis could result in disease. However, the effect of the occurrences of disease on intestinal bacterial community assembly remains unclear. To address this gap, we compared the multifaceted ecological differences in maintaining intestinal bacterial community assembly between healthy and diseased shrimps. The neutral model analysis shows that the relative importance of neutral processes decreases when disease occurs. This pattern is further corroborated by the ecosphere null model, revealing that the bacterial community assembly of diseased samples is dominated by stochastic processes. In addition, the occurrence of shrimp disease reduces the complexity and cooperative activities of species-to-species interactions. The keystone taxa affiliated with Alphaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria in healthy shrimp gut shift to Gammaproteobacteria species in diseased shrimp. Changes in intestinal bacterial communities significantly alter biological functions in shrimp. Within a given metabolic pathway, the pattern of enrichment or decrease between healthy and deceased shrimp is correlated with its functional effects. We propose that stressed shrimp are more prone to invasion by alien strains (evidenced by more stochastic assembly and higher migration rate in diseased shrimp), which, in turn, disrupts the cooperative activity among resident species. These findings greatly aid our understanding of the underlying mechanisms that govern shrimp intestinal community assembly between health statuses.

  11. The Ecology and Evolution of Stoichiometric Phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Leal, Miguel C; Seehausen, Ole; Matthews, Blake

    2017-02-01

    Ecological stoichiometry has generated new insights into how the balance of elements affects ecological interactions and ecosystem processes, but little is known about the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of stoichiometric traits. Understanding the origins and drivers of stoichiometric trait variation between and within species will improve our understanding about the ecological responses of communities to environmental change and the ecosystem effects of organisms. In addition, studying the plasticity, heritability, and genetic basis of stoichiometric traits might improve predictions about how organisms adapt to changing environmental conditions, and help to identify interactions and feedbacks between phenotypic evolution and ecosystem processes.

  12. Episodic processes, invasion and faunal mosaics in evolutionary and ecological time

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Episodes of ecological perturbation and faunal turnover represent crises for global biodiversity and have occurred periodically across Earth history on a continuum linking deep evolutionary and shallow ecological time. Major extinction events and biodiversity crises across the 540 milion years of th...

  13. Considerations of Scale and Processes in Stream Restoration and Ecological Response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, A.; Shields, D.; Kuhnle, R.; Knight, S.

    2005-12-01

    stream temperatures. Aggradation processes typical of Stage V result in loss of interstitial spaces for spawning, de-oxygenation of substrate and may suffocate organisms. Perhaps most importantly, channel widening produces shallower depths at base flow and renders streams less retentive of large wood. Ecological characteristics recover in advanced stages of channel evolution as baseflow channels are narrowed and berms re-vegetate (Stage VI), but full recovery to pre-incision (Stage I) conditions has not been observed for both ecologic and sediment-transport systems. The processes reflected by stages of evolution can operate over entire fluvial networks and over time scales in the order of 100 years. Issues regarding effectiveness or benefit of stream restoration practices, therefore, must address scale. Furthermore, site and approach selection for reach-scale restoration projects should be guided by knowledge of watershed-scale processes. As an example, a grade control structure installed on Hotophia Creek, Mississippi successfully eliminated upstream-progressing incision and resulted in locally improved aquatic populations in the stilling basin. However, the trapping of hydraulically-controlled sediment on the upstream side of the structure resulted in streambed incision, de-stabilization of streambanks and degraded aquatic habitat in downstream reaches not protected by other grade-control structures.

  14. Conceptualizing and Estimating Process Speed in Studies Employing Ecological Momentary Assessment Designs: A Multilevel Variance Decomposition Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shiyko, Mariya P.; Ram, Nilam

    2011-01-01

    Researchers have been making use of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and other study designs that sample feelings and behaviors in real time and in naturalistic settings to study temporal dynamics and contextual factors of a wide variety of psychological, physiological, and behavioral processes. As EMA designs become more widespread,…

  15. An overview of physical and ecological processes in the Rio de la Plata Estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcelo Acha, E.; Mianzan, Hermes; Guerrero, Raúl; Carreto, José; Giberto, Diego; Montoya, Norma; Carignan, Mario

    2008-07-01

    The Rio de la Plata is a large-scale estuary located at 35°S on the Atlantic coast of South America. This system is one of the most important estuarine environments in the continent, being a highly productive area that sustains valuable artisanal and coastal fisheries in Uruguay and Argentina. The main goals of this paper are to summarize recent knowledge on this estuary, integrating physical, chemical and biological studies, and to explore the sources and ecological meaning of estuarine variability associated to the stratification/mixing alternateness in the estuary. We summarized unpublished data and information from several bibliographic sources. From study cases representing different stratification conditions, we draw a holistic view of physical patterns and ecological processes of the stratification/mixing alternateness. This estuary is characterized by strong vertical salinity stratification most of the time (the salt-wedge condition). The head of the estuary is characterized by a well-developed turbidity front. High turbidity constrains their photosynthesis. Immediately offshore the turbidity front, water becomes less turbid and phytoplankton peaks. As a consequence, trophic web in the estuary could be based on two sources of organic matter: phytoplankton and plant detritus. Dense plankton aggregations occur below the halocline and at the tip of the salt wedge. The mysid Neomysis americana, a key prey for juvenile fishes, occurs all along the turbidity front. A similar spatial pattern is shown by one of the most abundant benthic species, the clam Mactra isabelleana. These species could be taken advantage of the particulate organic matter and/or phytoplankton concentrated near the front. Nekton is represented by a rich fish community, with several fishes breeding inside the estuary. The most important species in terms of biomass is Micropogonias furnieri, the main target for the coastal fisheries of Argentina and Uruguay. Two processes have been identified

  16. Ecological implications of behavioural syndromes.

    PubMed

    Sih, Andrew; Cote, Julien; Evans, Mara; Fogarty, Sean; Pruitt, Jonathan

    2012-03-01

    Interspecific trait variation has long served as a conceptual foundation for our understanding of ecological patterns and dynamics. In particular, ecologists recognise the important role that animal behaviour plays in shaping ecological processes. An emerging area of interest in animal behaviour, the study of behavioural syndromes (animal personalities) considers how limited behavioural plasticity, as well as behavioural correlations affects an individual's fitness in diverse ecological contexts. In this article we explore how insights from the concept and study of behavioural syndromes provide fresh understanding of major issues in population ecology. We identify several general mechanisms for how population ecology phenomena can be influenced by a species or population's average behavioural type, by within-species variation in behavioural type, or by behavioural correlations across time or across ecological contexts. We note, in particular, the importance of behavioural type-dependent dispersal in spatial ecology. We then review recent literature and provide new syntheses for how these general mechanisms produce novel insights on five major issues in population ecology: (1) limits to species' distribution and abundance; (2) species interactions; (3) population dynamics; (4) relative responses to human-induced rapid environmental change; and (5) ecological invasions.

  17. Fungal isolates and metabolites in locally processed rice from five agro-ecological zones of Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Abdus-Salaam, Rofiat; Atanda, Olusegun; Fanelli, Francesca; Sulyok, Micheal; Cozzi, Giuseppe; Bavaro, Simona; Krska, Rudolf; Logrieco, Antonio F; Ezekiel, Chibundu N; Salami, Waheed A

    2016-12-01

    This study reports the distribution of fungal isolates and fungal metabolites that naturally contaminate locally processed rice from five agro-ecological zones of Nigeria. The fungal species were isolated by the dilution plate technique and identified by appropriate diagnostics, while metabolites were determined by a liquid chromatographic tandem mass spectrometric method. Aspergillus and Penicillium species were the predominant isolates found in the rice samples while Fusarium spp. were not isolated. The mean fungal count differed significantly (p < 0.05) across the zones and ranged from 9.98 × 10(2) cfu g(-1) in the Southern Guinea Savannah to 96.97 × 10(2) cfu g(-1) in the Derived Savannah. For 16 fungal metabolites, selected from 63 positively identified fungal metabolites based on their concentration and spread across the zones, an occurrence map was constructed. The Northern Guinea Savannah recorded the highest contamination of fungal metabolites while the Sudan Savannah zone recorded the least.

  18. Situation of classical swine fever and the epidemiologic and ecologic aspects affecting its distribution in the American continent.

    PubMed

    Vargas Terán, Moisés; Calcagno Ferrat, Nelson; Lubroth, Juan

    2004-10-01

    Classical swine fever (CSF) is a viral transboundary animal disease that is highly contagious among domestic and wild pigs, such as boars and peccaries. Today, far from being what was classically described historically, the disease is characterized as having a varied clinical picture, and its diagnosis depends on resorting to proper sample collection and prompt dispatch to a laboratory that can employ several techniques to obtain a definitive diagnosis. Laboratory findings should be complemented with a field analysis of the occurrence of disease to have a better understanding of its epidemiology. The disease is still present in various regions and countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, thus hindering production, trade, and the livestock economy in the region. Consequently, it is among the diseases included in List A of the Office International des Epizooties (OIE). Currently, there are epidemiologic and ecologic aspects that characterize its geographical distribution in the region such as: continued trends in the demand for pork and pork products; an increase in swine investment with low production costs which are able to compete advantageously in international markets; the convention of associating CSF in the syndrome of "swine hemorrhagic diseases" owing to the historical description of its acute presentation and not to the new and more frequent subacute presentations or the diseases with which it may be confused (notably, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and porcine dermopathic nephropathy syndrome, among others); dissemination of the virus through asymptomatic hosts such as piglets infected in utero; frequent lack of quality control and registration of vaccines and vaccinations; feeding of swine with contaminated food waste (swill); the common practice of smuggling animals and by-products across borders; the backyard family production system or extensive open field methods of swine rearing with minimal input in care and feeding; poor

  19. Spatial scale modulates the strength of ecological processes driving disease distributions

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Jeremy M.; Civitello, David J.; Brace, Amber J.; Feichtinger, Erin M.; Ortega, C. Nicole; Richardson, Jason C.; Sauer, Erin L.; Liu, Xuan; Rohr, Jason R.

    2016-01-01

    Humans are altering the distribution of species by changing the climate and disrupting biotic interactions and dispersal. A fundamental hypothesis in spatial ecology suggests that these effects are scale dependent; biotic interactions should shape distributions at local scales, whereas climate should dominate at regional scales. If so, common single-scale analyses might misestimate the impacts of anthropogenic modifications on biodiversity and the environment. However, large-scale datasets necessary to test these hypotheses have not been available until recently. Here we conduct a cross-continental, cross-scale (almost five orders of magnitude) analysis of the influence of biotic and abiotic processes and human population density on the distribution of three emerging pathogens: the amphibian chytrid fungus implicated in worldwide amphibian declines and West Nile virus and the bacterium that causes Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), which are responsible for ongoing human health crises. In all three systems, we show that biotic factors were significant predictors of pathogen distributions in multiple regression models only at local scales (∼102–103 km2), whereas climate and human population density always were significant only at relatively larger, regional scales (usually >104 km2). Spatial autocorrelation analyses revealed that biotic factors were more variable at smaller scales, whereas climatic factors were more variable at larger scales, as is consistent with the prediction that factors should be important at the scales at which they vary the most. Finally, no single scale could detect the importance of all three categories of processes. These results highlight that common single-scale analyses can misrepresent the true impact of anthropogenic modifications on biodiversity and the environment. PMID:27247398

  20. The dynamic nature of the stress appraisal process and the infusion of affect.

    PubMed

    Eschleman, Kevin J; Alarcon, Gene M; Lyons, Joseph B; Stokes, Charlene K; Schneider, Tamera

    2012-05-01

    Very little is known about the process in which people reappraise a stressful environment or the factors that may influence this process. In the current study, we address the several limitations to previous research regarding stress reappraisals and explore the role of affect on this process. A total of 320 participants (mean age = 20 years, 60% male) completed an increasingly demanding team-based coordination task. Mood and stress appraisals were assessed at three time points using self-report surveys during four different waves of data collection. The longitudinal design enabled us to assess primary and secondary reappraisals (change in appraisals during the experiment), task-irrelevant affect (affect assessed prior to experiment participation), and task-relevant affect (change in affect experienced during the experiment). Guided by the Transactional Theory of Stress, we argue that the relationship between primary reappraisal and secondary reappraisal is an accurate representation of a dynamic stress appraisal process. We found that participants were more likely to engage in the stress appraisal process when they experienced less task-irrelevant positive affect and greater task-relevant positive affect. Both task-irrelevant and task-relevant negative affect were not found to influence the stress appraisal process.

  1. Soil Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Killham, Ken

    1994-04-01

    Soil Ecology is designed to meet the increasing challenge faced by today's environmental scientists, ecologists, agriculturalists, and biotechnologists for an integrated approach to soil ecology. It emphasizes the interrelations among plants, animals, and microbes, by first establishing the fundamental physical and chemical properties of the soil habitat and then functionally characterizing the major components of the soil biota and some of their most important interactions. The fundamental principles underpinning soil ecology are established and this then enables an integrated approach to explore and understand the processes of soil nutrient (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) cycling and the ecology of extreme soil conditions such as soil-water stress. Two of the most topical aspects of applied soil ecology are then selected. First, the ecology of soil pollution is examined, focusing on acid deposition and radionuclide pollution. Second, manipulation of soil ecology through biotechnology is discussed, illustrating the use of pesticides and microbial inocula in soils and pointing toward the future by considering the impact of genetically modified inocula on soil ecology.

  2. Water supplementation affects the behavioral and physiological ecology of Gila monsters (Heloderma suspectum) in the Sonoran Desert.

    PubMed

    Davis, Jon R; DeNardo, Dale F

    2009-01-01

    In desert species, seasonal peaks in animal activity often correspond with times of higher rainfall. However, the underlying reason for such seasonality can be hard to discern because the rainy season is often associated with shifts in temperature as well as water and food availability. We used a combination of the natural climate pattern of the Sonoran Desert and periodic water supplementation to determine the extent to which water intake influenced both the behavioral ecology and the physiological ecology of a long-lived desert lizard, the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) (Cope 1869). Water-supplemented lizards had lower plasma osmolality (i.e., were more hydrated) and maintained urinary bladder water reserves better during seasonal drought than did control lizards. During seasonal drought, water-supplemented lizards were surface active a significantly greater proportion of time than were controls. This increased surface activity can lead to greater food acquisition for supplemental Gila monsters because tail volume (an index of caudal lipid stores) was significantly greater in supplemented lizards compared with controls in one of the two study years.

  3. Possible ecological risks of transgenic organism release when transgenes affect mating success: Sexual selection and the Trojan gene hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Muir, William M.; Howard, Richard D.

    1999-01-01

    Widespread interest in producing transgenic organisms is balanced by concern over ecological hazards, such as species extinction if such organisms were to be released into nature. An ecological risk associated with the introduction of a transgenic organism is that the transgene, though rare, can spread in a natural population. An increase in transgene frequency is often assumed to be unlikely because transgenic organisms typically have some viability disadvantage. Reduced viability is assumed to be common because transgenic individuals are best viewed as macromutants that lack any history of selection that could reduce negative fitness effects. However, these arguments ignore the potential advantageous effects of transgenes on some aspect of fitness such as mating success. Here, we examine the risk to a natural population after release of a few transgenic individuals when the transgene trait simultaneously increases transgenic male mating success and lowers the viability of transgenic offspring. We obtained relevant life history data by using the small cyprinodont fish, Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) as a model. Our deterministic equations predict that a transgene introduced into a natural population by a small number of transgenic fish will spread as a result of enhanced mating advantage, but the reduced viability of offspring will cause eventual local extinction of both populations. Such risks should be evaluated with each new transgenic animal before release. PMID:10570162

  4. Differences in the dynamics of affective and cognitive processing - An ERP study.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Christina J; Fritsch, Nathalie; Hofmann, Markus J; Kuchinke, Lars

    2017-01-15

    A controversy in emotion research concerns the question of whether affective or cognitive primacy are evident in processing affective stimuli and the factors contributing to each alternative. Using electrophysiological recordings in an adapted visual oddball paradigm allowed tracking the dynamics of affective and cognitive effects. Stimuli consisted of face pictures displaying affective expressions with rare oddballs differing from frequent stimuli in either affective expression, structure (while frequent stimuli were shown frontally these deviants were turned sideways) or they differed on both dimensions, i.e. in affective expression and structure. Results revealed a defined sequence of differences in ERP amplitudes: For stimuli deviating in their affective expression only, P1 modulations ~100ms were evident, while affective differences of structure deviants were not evident before the N170 time window. All three types of deviants differed in P300 amplitudes, indicating integration of affective and structural information. These results encompass evidence for both, cognitive and affective primacy depending on stimulus properties. Specifically affective primacy is only visible when the respective facial features can be extracted with ease. When structural differences make face processing harder, however, cognitive primacy is brought forward.

  5. Study of individual and group affective processes in the crew of a simulated mission to Mars: Positive affectivity as a valuable indicator of changes in the crew affectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poláčková Šolcová, Iva; Lačev, Alek; Šolcová, Iva

    2014-07-01

    The success of a long-duration space mission depends on various technical demands as well as on the psychological (cognitive, affective, and motivational) adaptation of crewmembers and the quality of interactions within the crew. We examined the ways crewmembers of a 520-day simulated spaceflight to Mars (held in the Institute for Biomedical Problems, in Moscow) experienced and regulated their moods and emotions. Results show that crewmembers experienced predominantly positive emotions throughout their 520-day isolation and the changes in mood of the crewmembers were asynchronous and balanced. The study suggests that during the simulation, crewmembers experienced and regulated their emotions differently than they usually do in their everyday life. In isolation, crewmembers preferred to suppress and neutralize their negative emotions and express overtly only emotions with positive valence. Although the affective processes were almost invariable throughout the simulation, two periods of time when the level of positive emotions declined were identified. Regarding the findings, the paper suggests that changes in positive affectivity could be a more valuable indicator of human experience in demanding but professional environments than changes in negative affectivity. Finally, the paper discusses the phenomenology of emotions during a real space mission.

  6. 10 years of BAWLing into affective and aesthetic processes in reading: what are the echoes?

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, Arthur M.; Võ, Melissa L.-H.; Briesemeister, Benny B.; Conrad, Markus; Hofmann, Markus J.; Kuchinke, Lars; Lüdtke, Jana; Braun, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Reading is not only “cold” information processing, but involves affective and aesthetic processes that go far beyond what current models of word recognition, sentence processing, or text comprehension can explain. To investigate such “hot” reading processes, standardized instruments that quantify both psycholinguistic and emotional variables at the sublexical, lexical, inter-, and supralexical levels (e.g., phonological iconicity, word valence, arousal-span, or passage suspense) are necessary. One such instrument, the Berlin Affective Word List (BAWL) has been used in over 50 published studies demonstrating effects of lexical emotional variables on all relevant processing levels (experiential, behavioral, neuronal). In this paper, we first present new data from several BAWL studies. Together, these studies examine various views on affective effects in reading arising from dimensional (e.g., valence) and discrete emotion features (e.g., happiness), or embodied cognition features like smelling. Second, we extend our investigation of the complex issue of affective word processing to words characterized by a mixture of affects. These words entail positive and negative valence, and/or features making them beautiful or ugly. Finally, we discuss tentative neurocognitive models of affective word processing in the light of the present results, raising new issues for future studies. PMID:26089808

  7. Ecological Inference

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Gary; Rosen, Ori; Tanner, Martin A.

    2004-09-01

    This collection of essays brings together a diverse group of scholars to survey the latest strategies for solving ecological inference problems in various fields. The last half-decade has witnessed an explosion of research in ecological inference--the process of trying to infer individual behavior from aggregate data. Although uncertainties and information lost in aggregation make ecological inference one of the most problematic types of research to rely on, these inferences are required in many academic fields, as well as by legislatures and the Courts in redistricting, by business in marketing research, and by governments in policy analysis.

  8. Searching for Judy: How Small Mysteries Affect Narrative Processes and Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Love, Jessica; McKoon, Gail; Gerrig, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    Current theories of text processing say little about how authors' narrative choices, including the introduction of small mysteries, can affect readers' narrative experiences. Gerrig, Love, and McKoon (2009) provided evidence that 1 type of small mystery--a character introduced without information linking him or her to the story--affects readers'…

  9. Key factors, Soil N Processes, and nitrite accumulation affecting nitrous oxide emissions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A better understanding of the key factors affecting nitrous oxide (N2O) emission and potential mitigation strategies is essential for sustainable agriculture. The objective of this study was to examine the important factors affecting N2O emissions, soil processes involved, and potential mitigation s...

  10. Human macroecology: linking pattern and process in big-picture human ecology.

    PubMed

    Burnside, William R; Brown, James H; Burger, Oskar; Hamilton, Marcus J; Moses, Melanie; Bettencourt, Luis M A

    2012-02-01

    Humans have a dual nature. We are subject to the same natural laws and forces as other species yet dominate global ecology and exhibit enormous variation in energy use, cultural diversity, and apparent social organization. We suggest scientists tackle these challenges with a macroecological approach-using comparative statistical techniques to identify deep patterns of variation in large datasets and to test for causal mechanisms. We show the power of a metabolic perspective for interpreting these patterns and suggesting possible underlying mechanisms, one that focuses on the exchange of energy and materials within and among human societies and with the biophysical environment. Examples on human foraging ecology, life history, space use, population structure, disease ecology, cultural and linguistic diversity patterns, and industrial and urban systems showcase the power and promise of this approach.

  11. An Overview of Ecological Processes in the Rio de la Plata Estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acha, M.; Mianzan, H.

    2005-05-01

    picnocline, meanwhile the upper layer is biologically poor. Marine species penetrate the estuary advected or following the saline waters. The surface salinity front is the offshore end of the salt wedge. At this portion of the estuary, mixing of estuarine and marine waters and enhancement of vertical nutrient flux fertilize the frontal area and another maximum chlorophyll-a concentrations is observed. Zooplankton concentrations, mainly gelatinous plankton have been reported here. Reproduction of some fishes seem also associated to this surface front. This front is the more subtle and high dynamic portion of the wedge, showing a seasonal pattern driven by winds. It delineates the boundary between the estuary and the continental shelf waters. The influence of this large river in the ecological processes of the continental shelf is largely unknown. The knowledge on the ecology of the Rio de la Plata estuary has been remarkably enlarged during the last ten years, and some ongoing researches such as the study of different sources of primary production and the complexity of the trophic pathways, looks promissory and surely will contribute to the understanding of the regional importance of the estuary.

  12. Optimization of the scheme for natural ecology planning of urban rivers based on ANP (analytic network process) model.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yichuan; Wang, Jiangping

    2015-07-01

    Rivers serve as a highly valued component in ecosystem and urban infrastructures. River planning should follow basic principles of maintaining or reconstructing the natural landscape and ecological functions of rivers. Optimization of planning scheme is a prerequisite for successful construction of urban rivers. Therefore, relevant studies on optimization of scheme for natural ecology planning of rivers is crucial. In the present study, four planning schemes for Zhaodingpal River in Xinxiang City, Henan Province were included as the objects for optimization. Fourteen factors that influenced the natural ecology planning of urban rivers were selected from five aspects so as to establish the ANP model. The data processing was done using Super Decisions software. The results showed that important degree of scheme 3 was highest. A scientific, reasonable and accurate evaluation of schemes could be made by ANP method on natural ecology planning of urban rivers. This method could be used to provide references for sustainable development and construction of urban rivers. ANP method is also suitable for optimization of schemes for urban green space planning and design.

  13. Simple processes drive unpredictable differences in estuarine fish assemblages: Baselines for understanding site-specific ecological and anthropogenic impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheaves, Marcus

    2016-03-01

    Predicting patterns of abundance and composition of biotic assemblages is essential to our understanding of key ecological processes, and our ability to monitor, evaluate and manage assemblages and ecosystems. Fish assemblages often vary from estuary to estuary in apparently unpredictable ways, making it challenging to develop a general understanding of the processes that determine assemblage composition. This makes it problematic to transfer understanding from one estuary situation to another and therefore difficult to assemble effective management plans or to assess the impacts of natural and anthropogenic disturbance. Although system-to-system variability is a common property of ecological systems, rather than being random it is the product of complex interactions of multiple causes and effects at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. I investigate the drivers of differences in estuary fish assemblages, to develop a simple model explaining the diversity and complexity of observed estuary-to-estuary differences, and explore its implications for management and conservation. The model attributes apparently unpredictable differences in fish assemblage composition from estuary to estuary to the interaction of species-specific, life history-specific and scale-specific processes. In explaining innate faunal differences among estuaries without the need to invoke complex ecological or anthropogenic drivers, the model provides a baseline against which the effects of additional natural and anthropogenic factors can be evaluated.

  14. A 2-D process-based model for suspended sediment dynamics: A first step towards ecological modeling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Achete, F. M.; van der Wegen, M.; Roelvink, D.; Jaffe, B.

    2015-01-01

    In estuaries suspended sediment concentration (SSC) is one of the most important contributors to turbidity, which influences habitat conditions and ecological functions of the system. Sediment dynamics differs depending on sediment supply and hydrodynamic forcing conditions that vary over space and over time. A robust sediment transport model is a first step in developing a chain of models enabling simulations of contaminants, phytoplankton and habitat conditions. This works aims to determine turbidity levels in the complex-geometry delta of the San Francisco estuary using a process-based approach (Delft3D Flexible Mesh software). Our approach includes a detailed calibration against measured SSC levels, a sensitivity analysis on model parameters and the determination of a yearly sediment budget as well as an assessment of model results in terms of turbidity levels for a single year, water year (WY) 2011. Model results show that our process-based approach is a valuable tool in assessing sediment dynamics and their related ecological parameters over a range of spatial and temporal scales. The model may act as the base model for a chain of ecological models assessing the impact of climate change and management scenarios. Here we present a modeling approach that, with limited data, produces reliable predictions and can be useful for estuaries without a large amount of processes data.

  15. A 2-D process-based model for suspended sediment dynamics: a first step towards ecological modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Achete, F. M.; van der Wegen, M.; Roelvink, D.; Jaffe, B.

    2015-06-01

    In estuaries suspended sediment concentration (SSC) is one of the most important contributors to turbidity, which influences habitat conditions and ecological functions of the system. Sediment dynamics differs depending on sediment supply and hydrodynamic forcing conditions that vary over space and over time. A robust sediment transport model is a first step in developing a chain of models enabling simulations of contaminants, phytoplankton and habitat conditions. This works aims to determine turbidity levels in the complex-geometry delta of the San Francisco estuary using a process-based approach (Delft3D Flexible Mesh software). Our approach includes a detailed calibration against measured SSC levels, a sensitivity analysis on model parameters and the determination of a yearly sediment budget as well as an assessment of model results in terms of turbidity levels for a single year, water year (WY) 2011. Model results show that our process-based approach is a valuable tool in assessing sediment dynamics and their related ecological parameters over a range of spatial and temporal scales. The model may act as the base model for a chain of ecological models assessing the impact of climate change and management scenarios. Here we present a modeling approach that, with limited data, produces reliable predictions and can be useful for estuaries without a large amount of processes data.

  16. Assessing environmental health using ecological indices for soft bottom in sewage-affected rocky shores: The case of the largest seaside resort of SW Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Garaffo, G V; Jaubet, M L; Becherucci, M E; Elías, R

    2017-02-15

    Efficient ecological indices can reflect the differences between impacted and nonimpacted sites, leading to significant variations at the contamination spatial scale. Here, we evaluated the spatial-temporal variability of 3 ecological indices (AMBI, M-AMBI, and BENTIX) in response to the distinct levels of sewage contamination. The indices were evaluated in two different ways: including Brachidontes rodriguezii (IBR) and excluding B. rodriguezii (EBR). The fact that mussel beds create a secondary infaunal habitat allows us to test these indices for soft bottoms in areas with rocky bottoms. The effectiveness and the level of agreement of these indices were increased when they were calculated with EBR. BENTIX and M-AMBI produced under- and overestimations of the ecological status of the studied sites. AMBI (EBR) seems to be better suited for environmental quality assessment in the study area. This index reduces the processing time of samples; thus, the AMBI (EBR) index could be used as a robust management tool for monitoring programs in areas with hard substrate.

  17. Wave modelling as a proxy for seagrass ecological modelling: Comparing fetch and process-based predictions for a bay and reef lagoon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callaghan, David P.; Leon, Javier X.; Saunders, Megan I.

    2015-02-01

    The distribution, abundance, behaviour, and morphology of marine species is affected by spatial variability in the wave environment. Maps of wave metrics (e.g. significant wave height Hs, peak energy wave period Tp, and benthic wave orbital velocity URMS) are therefore useful for predictive ecological models of marine species and ecosystems. A number of techniques are available to generate maps of wave metrics, with varying levels of complexity in terms of input data requirements, operator knowledge, and computation time. Relatively simple "fetch-based" models are generated using geographic information system (GIS) layers of bathymetry and dominant wind speed and direction. More complex, but computationally expensive, "process-based" models are generated using numerical models such as the Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN) model. We generated maps of wave metrics based on both fetch-based and process-based models and asked whether predictive performance in models of benthic marine habitats differed. Predictive models of seagrass distribution for Moreton Bay, Southeast Queensland, and Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, were generated using maps based on each type of wave model. For Lizard Island, performance of the process-based wave maps was significantly better for describing the presence of seagrass, based on Hs, Tp, and URMS. Conversely, for the predictive model of seagrass in Moreton Bay, based on benthic light availability and Hs, there was no difference in performance using the maps of the different wave metrics. For predictive models where wave metrics are the dominant factor determining ecological processes it is recommended that process-based models be used. Our results suggest that for models where wave metrics provide secondarily useful information, either fetch- or process-based models may be equally useful.

  18. Thinking Back about a Positive Event: The Impact of Processing Style on Positive Affect.

    PubMed

    Nelis, Sabine; Holmes, Emily A; Palmieri, Rosa; Bellelli, Guglielmo; Raes, Filip

    2015-01-01

    The manner in which individuals recall an autobiographical positive life event has affective consequences. Two studies addressed the processing styles during positive memory recall in a non-clinical sample. Participants retrieved a positive memory, which was self-generated (Study 1, n = 70) or experimenter-chosen (i.e., academic achievement, Study 2, n = 159), followed by the induction of one of three processing styles (between-subjects): in Study 1, a "concrete/imagery" vs. "abstract/verbal" processing style was compared. In Study 2, a "concrete/imagery," "abstract/verbal," and "comparative/verbal" processing style were compared. The processing of a personal memory in a concrete/imagery-based way led to a larger increase in positive affect compared to abstract/verbal processing in Study 1, as well as compared to comparative/verbal thinking in Study 2. Results of Study 2 further suggest that it is making unfavorable verbal comparisons that may hinder affective benefits to positive memories (rather than general abstract/verbal processing per se). The comparative/verbal thinking style failed to lead to improvements in positive affect, and with increasing levels of depressive symptoms it had a more negative impact on change in positive affect. We found no evidence that participant's tendency to have dampening thoughts in response to positive affect in daily life contributed to the affective impact of positive memory recall. The results support the potential for current trainings in boosting positive memories and mental imagery, and underline the search for parameters that determine at times deleterious outcomes of abstract/verbal memory processing in the face of positive information.

  19. The Impact of Affect on Out-Group Judgments Depends on Dominant Information-Processing Styles: Evidence From Incidental and Integral Affect Paradigms.

    PubMed

    Isbell, Linda M; Lair, Elicia C; Rovenpor, Daniel R

    2016-04-01

    Two studies tested the affect-as-cognitive-feedback model, in which positive and negative affective states are not uniquely associated with particular processing styles, but rather serve as feedback about currently accessible processing styles. The studies extend existing work by investigating (a) both incidental and integral affect, (b) out-group judgments, and (c) downstream consequences. We manipulated processing styles and either incidental (Study 1) or integral (Study 2) affect and measured perceptions of out-group homogeneity. Positive (relative to negative) affect increased out-group homogeneity judgments when global processing was primed, but under local priming, the effect reversed (Studies 1 and 2). A similar interactive effect emerged on attributions, which had downstream consequences for behavioral intentions (Study 2). These results demonstrate that both incidental and integral affect do not directly produce specific processing styles, but rather influence thinking by providing feedback about currently accessible processing styles.

  20. Information-Processing and Perceptions of Control: How Attribution Style Affects Task-Relevant Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeigh, Tony

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of perceived controllability on information processing within Weiner's (1985, 1986) attributional model of learning. Attributional style was used to identify trait patterns of controllability for 37 university students. Task-relevant feedback on an information-processing task was then manipulated to test for…

  1. Modeling hydrodynamics, water quality, and benthic processes to predict ecological effects in Narragansett Bay

    EPA Science Inventory

    The environmental fluid dynamics code (EFDC) was used to study the three dimensional (3D) circulation, water quality, and ecology in Narragansett Bay, RI. Predictions of the Bay hydrodynamics included the behavior of the water surface elevation, currents, salinity, and temperatur...

  2. Understanding Ecology Content Knowledge and Acquiring Science Process Skills through Project-Based Science Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colley, Kabba E.

    2006-01-01

    This activity discusses a two-day unit on ecology implemented during the summer of 2004 using the project-based science instructional (PBSI) approach. Through collaborative fieldwork, group discussions, presentations, and reflections, students planned, implemented, and reported their own scientific investigations on the environmental health of…

  3. DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF POPULATION MODELS TO SUPPORT EPA'S ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT PROCESSES FOR PESTICIDES

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of a broader exploratory effort to develop ecological risk assessment approaches to estimate potential chemical effects on non-target populations, we describe an approach for developing simple population models to estimate the extent to which acute effects on individual...

  4. Interaction of ecological and angler processes: experimental stocking in an open access, spatially structured fishery.

    PubMed

    Mee, Jonathan A; Post, John R; Ward, Hillary; Wilson, Kyle L; Newton, Eric; Cantin, Ariane

    2016-09-01

    Effective management of socioecological systems requires an understanding of the complex interactions between people and the environment. In recreational fisheries, which are prime examples of socioecological systems, anglers are analogous to mobile predators in natural predator-prey systems, and individual fisheries in lakes across a region are analogous to a spatially structured landscape of prey patches. Hence, effective management of recreational fisheries across large spatial scales requires an understanding of the dynamic interactions among ecological density dependent processes, landscape-level characteristics, and angler behaviors. We focused on the stocked component of the open access rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fishery in British Columbia (BC), and we used an experimental approach wherein we manipulated stocking densities in a subset of 34 lakes in which we monitored angler effort, fish abundance, and fish size for up to seven consecutive years. We used an empirically derived relationship between fish abundance and fish size across rainbow trout populations in BC to provide a measure of catch-based fishing quality that accounts for the size-abundance trade off in this system. We replicated our experimental manipulation in two regions known to have different angler populations and broad-scale access costs. We hypothesized that angler effort would respond to variation in stocking density, resulting in spatial heterogeneity in angler effort but homogeneity in catch-based fishing quality within regions. We found that there is an intermediate stocking density for a given lake or region at which angler effort is maximized (i.e., an optimal stocking density), and that this stocking density depends on latent effort and lake accessibility. Furthermore, we found no clear effect of stocking density on our measure of catch-based fishing quality, suggesting that angler effort homogenizes catch-related attributes leading to an eroded relationship between

  5. The “Musical Emotional Bursts”: a validated set of musical affect bursts to investigate auditory affective processing

    PubMed Central

    Paquette, Sébastien; Peretz, Isabelle; Belin, Pascal

    2013-01-01

    The Musical Emotional Bursts (MEB) consist of 80 brief musical executions expressing basic emotional states (happiness, sadness and fear) and neutrality. These musical bursts were designed to be the musical analog of the Montreal Affective Voices (MAV)—a set of brief non-verbal affective vocalizations portraying different basic emotions. The MEB consist of short (mean duration: 1.6 s) improvisations on a given emotion or of imitations of a given MAV stimulus, played on a violin (10 stimuli × 4 [3 emotions + neutral]), or a clarinet (10 stimuli × 4 [3 emotions + neutral]). The MEB arguably represent a primitive form of music emotional expression, just like the MAV represent a primitive form of vocal, non-linguistic emotional expression. To create the MEB, stimuli were recorded from 10 violinists and 10 clarinetists, and then evaluated by 60 participants. Participants evaluated 240 stimuli [30 stimuli × 4 (3 emotions + neutral) × 2 instruments] by performing either a forced-choice emotion categorization task, a valence rating task or an arousal rating task (20 subjects per task); 40 MAVs were also used in the same session with similar task instructions. Recognition accuracy of emotional categories expressed by the MEB (n:80) was lower than for the MAVs but still very high with an average percent correct recognition score of 80.4%. Highest recognition accuracies were obtained for happy clarinet (92.0%) and fearful or sad violin (88.0% each) MEB stimuli. The MEB can be used to compare the cerebral processing of emotional expressions in music and vocal communication, or used for testing affective perception in patients with communication problems. PMID:23964255

  6. Nutrient-based ecological consideration of a temporary river catchment affected by a reservoir operation to facilitate efficient management.

    PubMed

    Tzoraki, Ourania A; Dörflinger, Gerald; Kathijotes, Nicholas; Kontou, Artemis

    2014-01-01

    The water quality status of the Kouris river in Cyprus was examined in order to fulfil the requirements for ecological quality as defined by the Water Framework Directive-2000/60/EC. Nitrate concentration (mean value) was increased in the Limnatis (2.8 mg L(-1)) tributary in comparison with the Kryos (2.1 mg L(-1)) and Kouris (1.0 mg L(-1)) tributaries depicting the influence of anthropogenic activities. The total maximum daily nutrients loads (TMDLs) based on the flow duration curves approach, showed that nutrients loads exceeded threshold values (33.3-75.6% in all hydrologic condition classes in the Kouris tributary, and 65-78% in the Limnatis tributary) especially under low flow conditions. The TMDL graph is intended to guide the temporal schedule for chemical sampling in all hydrologic classes. Kouris reservoir is an oligotrophic system, strongly influenced by the river's flash-flood character but also by the implemented management practices. Kouris river outflow, which was reduced to one-tenth in the post dam period altered the wetland hydrologic network and contributed to the decrease of aquifer thickness. Continuous evaluation and update of the River Basin Management Plans will be the basis for the sustainable development of the Kouris basin.

  7. How Does Tele-Mental Health Affect Group Therapy Process? Secondary Analysis of a Noninferiority Trial

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Carolyn J.; Morland, Leslie A.; Macdonald, Alexandra; Frueh, B. Christopher; Grubbs, Kathleen M.; Rosen, Craig S.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Video teleconferencing (VTC) is used for mental health treatment delivery to geographically remote, underserved populations. However, few studies have examined how VTC affects individual or group psychotherapy processes. This study compares process variables such as therapeutic alliance and attrition among participants receiving anger…

  8. [Wetland landscape ecological classification: research progress].

    PubMed

    Cao, Yu; Mo, Li-jiang; Li, Yan; Zhang, Wen-mei

    2009-12-01

    Wetland landscape ecological classification, as a basis for the studies of wetland landscape ecology, directly affects the precision and effectiveness of wetland-related research. Based on the history, current status, and latest progress in the studies on the theories, indicators, and methods of wetland landscape classification, some scientific wetland classification systems, e.g., NWI, Ramsar, and HGM, were introduced and discussed in this paper. It was suggested that a comprehensive classification method based on HGM and on the integral consideration of wetlands spatial structure, ecological function, ecological process, topography, soil, vegetation, hydrology, and human disturbance intensity should be the major future direction in this research field. Furthermore, the integration of 3S technologies, quantitative mathematics, landscape modeling, knowledge engineering, and artificial intelligence to enhance the automatization and precision of wetland landscape ecological classification would be the key issues and difficult topics in the studies of wetland landscape ecological classification.

  9. Surface Covering of Downed Logs: Drivers of a Neglected Process in Dead Wood Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Dynesius, Mats; Gibb, Heloise; Hjältén, Joakim

    2010-01-01

    Many species use coarse woody debris (CWD) and are disadvantaged by the forestry-induced loss of this resource. A neglected process affecting CWD is the covering of the surfaces of downed logs caused by sinking into the ground (increasing soil contact, mostly covering the underside of the log), and dense overgrowth by ground vegetation. Such cover is likely to profoundly influence the quality and accessibility of CWD for wood-inhabiting organisms, but the factors affecting covering are largely unknown. In a five-year experiment we determined predictors of covering rate of fresh logs in boreal forests and clear-cuts. Logs with branches were little covered because they had low longitudinal ground contact. For branchless logs, longitudinal ground contact was most strongly related to estimated peat depth (positive relation). The strongest predictor for total cover of branchless logs was longitudinal ground contact. To evaluate the effect on cover of factors other than longitudinal ground contact, we separately analyzed data from only those log sections that were in contact with the ground. Four factors were prominent predictors of percentage cover of such log sections: estimated peat depth, canopy shade (both increasing cover), potential solar radiation calculated from slope and slope aspect, and diameter of the log (both reducing cover). Peat increased cover directly through its low resistance, which allowed logs to sink and soil contact to increase. High moisture and low temperatures in pole-ward facing slopes and under a canopy favor peat formation through lowered decomposition and enhanced growth of peat-forming mosses, which also proved to rapidly overgrow logs. We found that in some boreal forests, peat and fast-growing mosses can rapidly cover logs lying on the ground. When actively introducing CWD for conservation purposes, we recommend that such rapid covering is avoided, thereby most likely improving the CWD's longevity as habitat for many species. PMID

  10. Surface covering of downed logs: drivers of a neglected process in dead wood ecology.

    PubMed

    Dynesius, Mats; Gibb, Heloise; Hjältén, Joakim

    2010-10-07

    Many species use coarse woody debris (CWD) and are disadvantaged by the forestry-induced loss of this resource. A neglected process affecting CWD is the covering of the surfaces of downed logs caused by sinking into the ground (increasing soil contact, mostly covering the underside of the log), and dense overgrowth by ground vegetation. Such cover is likely to profoundly influence the quality and accessibility of CWD for wood-inhabiting organisms, but the factors affecting covering are largely unknown. In a five-year experiment we determined predictors of covering rate of fresh logs in boreal forests and clear-cuts. Logs with branches were little covered because they had low longitudinal ground contact. For branchless logs, longitudinal ground contact was most strongly related to estimated peat depth (positive relation). The strongest predictor for total cover of branchless logs was longitudinal ground contact. To evaluate the effect on cover of factors other than longitudinal ground contact, we separately analyzed data from only those log sections that were in contact with the ground. Four factors were prominent predictors of percentage cover of such log sections: estimated peat depth, canopy shade (both increasing cover), potential solar radiation calculated from slope and slope aspect, and diameter of the log (both reducing cover). Peat increased cover directly through its low resistance, which allowed logs to sink and soil contact to increase. High moisture and low temperatures in pole-ward facing slopes and under a canopy favor peat formation through lowered decomposition and enhanced growth of peat-forming mosses, which also proved to rapidly overgrow logs. We found that in some boreal forests, peat and fast-growing mosses can rapidly cover logs lying on the ground. When actively introducing CWD for conservation purposes, we recommend that such rapid covering is avoided, thereby most likely improving the CWD's longevity as habitat for many species.

  11. The complexity of learning, memory and neural processes in an evolutionary ecological context.

    PubMed

    Smid, Hans M; Vet, Louise Em

    2016-06-01

    The ability to learn and form memories is widespread among insects, but there exists considerable natural variation between species and populations in these traits. Variation manifests itself in the way information is stored in different memory forms. This review focuses on ecological factors such as environmental information, spatial aspects of foraging behavior and resource distribution that drive the evolution of this natural variation and discusses the role of different genes and neural networks. We conclude that at the level of individual, population or species, insect learning and memory cannot be described as good or bad. Rather, we argue that insects evolve tailor-made learning and memory types; they gate learned information into memories with high or low persistence. This way, they are prepared to learn and form memory to optimally deal with the specific ecologies of their foraging environments.

  12. Groundwater-ocean interaction and its effects on coastal ecological processes - are there groundwater-dependant ecosystems in the coastal zone?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stieglitz, T. C.

    2013-05-01

    Hydrological land-ocean connectivity is an important driver of coastal ecosystems. Rivers are obvious and visible pathways for terrestrial runoff. The critical role of surface water discharge from rivers to coastal ecosystems has been well documented. Hidden from view, 'downstream' effects of coastal (supra-tidal, intertidal and submarine) groundwater discharge are far less well understood. Whilst hydrological and geochemical processes associated with coastal groundwater discharge have received an increasing amount of scientific attention over the past decade or so, the effects of groundwater flow on productivity, composition, diversity and functioning of coastal ecosystems along the world's shorelines have received little attention to date. Coastal groundwater discharge includes both terrestrial (fresh) groundwater fluxes and the recirculation of seawater through sediments, analogous to hyporheic flow in rivers. I will present an overview over relevant coastal hydrological processes, and will illustrate their ecological effects on examples from diverse tropical coastal ecosystems, e.g. (1) perennial fresh groundwater discharge from coastal sand dune systems permitting growth of freshwater-dependent vegetation in the intertidal zone of the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), (2) recirculation of seawater through mangrove forest floors directly affecting tree health and providing a pathway for carbon export from these ecosystems, (3) the local hydrology of groundwater-fed coastal inlets on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula affecting the movement behaviour of and habitat use by the queen conch Strombus gigas, an economically important species in the Caribbean region. These examples for hydrological-ecological coupling in the coastal zone invite the question if we should not consider these coastal ecosystems to be groundwater-dependent, in analogy to groundwater-dependency in freshwater aquatic systems.

  13. Affective priming effects of musical sounds on the processing of word meaning.

    PubMed

    Steinbeis, Nikolaus; Koelsch, Stefan

    2011-03-01

    Recent studies have shown that music is capable of conveying semantically meaningful concepts. Several questions have subsequently arisen particularly with regard to the precise mechanisms underlying the communication of musical meaning as well as the role of specific musical features. The present article reports three studies investigating the role of affect expressed by various musical features in priming subsequent word processing at the semantic level. By means of an affective priming paradigm, it was shown that both musically trained and untrained participants evaluated emotional words congruous to the affect expressed by a preceding chord faster than words incongruous to the preceding chord. This behavioral effect was accompanied by an N400, an ERP typically linked with semantic processing, which was specifically modulated by the (mis)match between the prime and the target. This finding was shown for the musical parameter of consonance/dissonance (Experiment 1) and then extended to mode (major/minor) (Experiment 2) and timbre (Experiment 3). Seeing that the N400 is taken to reflect the processing of meaning, the present findings suggest that the emotional expression of single musical features is understood by listeners as such and is probably processed on a level akin to other affective communications (i.e., prosody or vocalizations) because it interferes with subsequent semantic processing. There were no group differences, suggesting that musical expertise does not have an influence on the processing of emotional expression in music and its semantic connotations.

  14. Meditation-induced neuroplastic changes in amygdala activity during negative affective processing.

    PubMed

    Leung, Mei-Kei; Lau, Way K W; Chan, Chetwyn C H; Wong, Samuel S Y; Fung, Annis L C; Lee, Tatia M C

    2017-04-10

    Recent evidence suggests that the effects of meditation practice on affective processing and resilience have the potential to induce neuroplastic changes within the amygdala. Notably, literature speculates that meditation training may reduce amygdala activity during negative affective processing. Nonetheless, studies have thus far not verified this speculation. In this longitudinal study, participants (N = 21, 9 men) were trained in awareness-based compassion meditation (ABCM) or matched relaxation training. The effects of meditation training on amygdala activity were examined during passive viewing of affective and neutral stimuli in a non-meditative state. We found that the ABCM group exhibited significantly reduced anxiety and right amygdala activity during negative emotion processing than the relaxation group. Furthermore, ABCM participants who performed more compassion practice had stronger right amygdala activity reduction during negative emotion processing. The lower right amygdala activity after ABCM training may be associated with a general reduction in reactivity and distress. As all participants performed the emotion processing task in a non-meditative state, it appears likely that the changes in right amygdala activity are carried over from the meditation practice into the non-meditative state. These findings suggest that the distress-reducing effects of meditation practice on affective processing may transfer to ordinary states, which have important implications on stress management.

  15. Influence of COMT genotype and affective distractors on the processing of self-generated thought

    PubMed Central

    Dumontheil, Iroise; Wood, Nicholas W.; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2015-01-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme is a major determinant of prefrontal dopamine levels. The Val158Met polymorphism affects COMT enzymatic activity and has been associated with variation in executive function and affective processing. This study investigated the effect of COMT genotype on the flexible modulation of the balance between processing self-generated and processing stimulus-oriented information, in the presence or absence of affective distractors. Analyses included 124 healthy adult participants, who were also assessed on standard working memory (WM) tasks. Relative to Val carriers, Met homozygotes made fewer errors when selecting and manipulating self-generated thoughts. This effect was partly accounted for by an association between COMT genotype and visuospatial WM performance. We also observed a complex interaction between the influence of affective distractors, COMT genotype and sex on task accuracy: male, but not female, participants showed a sensitivity to the affective distractors that was dependent on COMT genotype. This was not accounted for by WM performance. This study provides novel evidence of the role of dopaminergic genetic variation on the ability to select and manipulate self-generated thoughts. The results also suggest sexually dimorphic effects of COMT genotype on the influence of affective distractors on executive function. PMID:25190703

  16. Affective information processing in pregnancy and postpartum with and without major depression.

    PubMed

    Gollan, Jackie K; Hoxha, Denada; Getch, Sarah; Sankin, Lindsey; Michon, Ruth

    2013-04-30

    Adults with clinical depression exhibit systematic errors in their recognition and interpretation of affective stimuli. This study investigated the extent to which depression and phases of pregnancy and postpartum influence affective processing of positive and negative information, and the extent to which affective information processing in pregnancy predicts depressive symptoms in postpartum. Data were collected from 80 unmedicated women, diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) or with no psychiatric disorder and between ages 18 and 44 years, during 32-36 weeks of pregnancy and during 6-8 weeks postpartum. All completed a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) Axis I review, symptom reports, and a computer task measuring affective information processing. Significant group differences were found in which postpartum women with major depression were less responsive to negative stimuli, with lower ratings of intensity and reactions to negative pictorial stimuli, compared with postpartum healthy women. Also, lower ratings of the intensity and reactions to negative stimuli during pregnancy among depressed women predicted postpartum depression severity, even after controlling for depressive severity and affect ratings in pregnancy. Blunted affective reactivity to negative stimuli is a characteristic of depression that was observed among depressed women during pregnancy and postpartum in our study.

  17. Developmental Coordination Disorder Affects the Processing of Action-Related Verbs

    PubMed Central

    Mirabella, Giovanni; Del Signore, Sara; Lakens, Daniel; Averna, Roberto; Penge, Roberta; Capozzi, Flavia

    2017-01-01

    Processing action-language affects the planning and execution of motor acts, which suggests that the motor system might be involved in action-language understanding. However, this claim is hotly debated. For the first time, we compared the processing of action-verbs in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), a disease that specifically affects the motor system, with children with a typical development (TD). We administered two versions of a go/no-go task in which verbs expressing either hand, foot or abstract actions were presented. We found that only when the semantic content of a verb has to be retrieved, TD children showed an increase in reaction times if the verb involved the same effector used to give the response. In contrast, DCD patients did not show any difference between verb categories irrespective of the task. These findings suggest that the pathological functioning of the motor system in individuals with DCD also affects language processing. PMID:28119585

  18. Intuitive (in)coherence judgments are guided by processing fluency, mood and affect.

    PubMed

    Sweklej, Joanna; Balas, Robert; Pochwatko, Grzegorz; Godlewska, Małgorzata

    2014-01-01

    Recently proposed accounts of intuitive judgments of semantic coherence assume that processing fluency results in a positive affective response leading to successful assessment of semantic coherence. The present paper investigates whether processing fluency may indicate semantic incoherence as well. In two studies, we employ a new paradigm in which participants have to detect an incoherent item among semantically coherent words. In Study 1, we show participants accurately indicating an incoherent item despite not being able to provide an accurate solution to coherent words. Further, this effect is modified by affective valence of solution words that are not retrieved from memory. Study 2 replicates those results and extend them by showing that mood moderates incoherence judgments independently of affective valence of solutions. The results support processing fluency account of intuitive semantic coherence judgments and show that it is not fluency per se but fluency variations that drive judgments.

  19. The lateralized processing of affect in emotionally labile extraverts and introverts: central and autonomic effects.

    PubMed

    Smith, B D; Kline, R; Lindgren, K; Ferro, M; Smith, D A; Nespor, A

    1995-02-01

    The purpose of the present study was to better understand both the lateralized hemispheric processing of emotion and the differential neural processing of arousal in extraverts and introverts. We preselected right-handed male and female extraverts and introverts who were high in emotional lability. Each subject was exposed to two positive and two negative emotional stimuli under each of three counterbalanced conditions, including affective, cognitive, and neutral, while EEG and electrodermal activity (EDA) were recorded. Results showed that introverts are more aroused and that extraversion interacts with gender to produce differentiated patterns of lateralized neural activity. In addition, affective conditions produced higher levels of arousal than did cognitive or neutral conditions, particularly in the left hemisphere and under negative as opposed to positive stimuli. Finally, the hemispherically differentiated processing of positive and negative stimuli was affected by the contextual conditions under which they were experienced.

  20. Process, policy, and implementation of pool-wide drawdowns on the Upper Mississippi River: a promising approach for ecological restoration of large impounded rivers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kenow, Kevin P.; Gretchen Benjamin,; Tim Schlagenhaft,; Ruth Nissen,; Mary Stefanski,; Gary Wege,; Scott A. Jutila,; Newton, Teresa J.

    2016-01-01

    The Upper Mississippi River (UMR) has been developed and subsequently managed for commercial navigation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The navigation pools created by a series of lock and dams initially provided a complex of aquatic habitats that supported a variety of fish and wildlife. However, biological productivity declined as the pools aged. The River Resources Forum, an advisory body to the St. Paul District of the USACE, established a multiagency Water Level Management Task Force (WLMTF) to evaluate the potential of water level management to improve ecological function and restore the distribution and abundance of fish and wildlife habitat. The WLMTF identified several water level management options and concluded that summer growing season drawdowns at the pool scale offered the greatest potential to provide habitat benefits over a large area. Here we summarize the process followed to plan and implement pool-wide drawdowns on the UMR, including involvement of stakeholders in decision making, addressing requirements to modify reservoir operating plans, development and evaluation of drawdown alternatives, pool selection, establishment of a monitoring plan, interagency coordination, and a public information campaign. Three pool-wide drawdowns were implemented within the St. Paul District and deemed successful in providing ecological benefits without adversely affecting commercial navigation and recreational use of the pools. Insights are provided based on more than 17 years of experience in planning and implementing drawdowns on the UMR. 

  1. Microbial ecology of the rumen evaluated by 454 GS FLX pyrosequencing is affected by starch and oil supplementation of diets.

    PubMed

    Zened, Asma; Combes, Sylvie; Cauquil, Laurent; Mariette, Jérôme; Klopp, Christophe; Bouchez, Olivier; Troegeler-Meynadier, Annabelle; Enjalbert, Francis

    2013-02-01

    To provide a comprehensive examination of the bacterial diversity in the rumen content of cows fed different diets, high-throughput 16S rRNA gene-based pyrosequencing was used. Four rumen fistulated nonlactating Holstein cows received 12 kg of dry matter per day of four diets based on maize silage during four periods: the low-starch diet (22% starch, 3% fat); the high-starch diet, supplemented with wheat plus barley (35% starch, 3% fat); the low-starch plus oil diet, supplemented with 5% of sunflower oil (20% starch, 7.6% fat) and the high-starch plus oil diet (33% starch, 7.3% fat). Samples were taken after 12 days of adaptation, 5 h postfeeding. Whatever the diet, bacterial community of sieved rumen contents was dominated by Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcaceae, Prevotellaceae, and Rikenellaceae families were highly present and were clearly affected by cow diet. The highest abundance of Prevotellaceae and the lowest abundance of Ruminococcaceae and Rikenellaceae were found with the high-starch plus oil diet. Dietary starch increased the relative abundance of only three genera: Barnesiella, Oribacterium and Olsenella, but decreased the relative abundances of several genera, with very significant effects for Rikenellaceae_RC9 and Butyrivibrio-Pseudobutyrivibrio. Oil alone had a limited effect, but interestingly, starch plus oil addition differently affected the bacterial populations compared to starch addition without oil.

  2. Phylogeographic analysis reveals association of tick-borne pathogen, Anaplasma marginale, MSP1a sequences with ecological traits affecting tick vector performance

    PubMed Central

    Estrada-Peña, Agustín; Naranjo, Victoria; Acevedo-Whitehouse, Karina; Mangold, Atilio J; Kocan, Katherine M; de la Fuente, José

    2009-01-01

    Background The tick-borne pathogen Anaplasma marginale, which is endemic worldwide, is the type species of the genus Anaplasma (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae). Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is the most important tick vector of A. marginale in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Despite extensive characterization of the genetic diversity in A. marginale geographic strains using major surface protein sequences, little is known about the biogeography and evolution of A. marginale and other Anaplasma species. For A. marginale, MSP1a was shown to be involved in vector-pathogen and host-pathogen interactions and to have evolved under positive selection pressure. The MSP1a of A. marginale strains differs in molecular weight because of a variable number of tandem 23-31 amino acid repeats and has proven to be a stable marker of strain identity. While phylogenetic studies of MSP1a repeat sequences have shown evidence of A. marginale-tick co-evolution, these studies have not provided phylogeographic information on a global scale because of the high level of MSP1a genetic diversity among geographic strains. Results In this study we showed that the phylogeography of A. marginale MSP1a sequences is associated with world ecological regions (ecoregions) resulting in different evolutionary pressures and thence MSP1a sequences. The results demonstrated that the MSP1a first (R1) and last (RL) repeats and microsatellite sequences were associated with world ecoregion clusters with specific and different environmental envelopes. The evolution of R1 repeat sequences was found to be under positive selection. It is hypothesized that the driving environmental factors regulating tick populations could act on the selection of different A. marginale MSP1a sequence lineages, associated to each ecoregion. Conclusion The results reported herein provided the first evidence that the evolution of A. marginale was linked to ecological traits affecting tick vector performance. These

  3. Ecological epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Kilvitis, Holly J; Alvarez, Mariano; Foust, Christy M; Schrey, Aaron W; Robertson, Marta; Richards, Christina L

    2014-01-01

    Biologists have assumed that heritable variation due to DNA sequence differences (i.e., genetic variation) allows populations of organisms to be both robust and adaptable to extreme environmental conditions. Natural selection acts on the variation among different genotypes and ultimately changes the genetic composition of the population. While there is compelling evidence about the importance of genetic polymorphisms, evidence is accumulating that epigenetic mechanisms (e.g., chromatin modifications, DNA methylation) can affect ecologically important traits, even in the absence of genetic variation. In this chapter, we review this evidence and discuss the consequences of epigenetic variation in natural populations. We begin by defining the term epigenetics, providing a brief overview of various epigenetic mechanisms, and noting the potential importance of epigenetics in the study of ecology. We continue with a review of the ecological epigenetics literature to demonstrate what is currently known about the amount and distribution of epigenetic variation in natural populations. Then, we consider the various ecological contexts in which epigenetics has proven particularly insightful and discuss the potential evolutionary consequences of epigenetic variation. Finally, we conclude with suggestions for future directions of ecological epigenetics research.

  4. Cyanobacteria to Link Closed Ecological Systems and In-Situ Resources Utilization Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Igor

    Introduction: A major goal for the Vision of Space Exploration is to extend human presence across the solar sys-tem. With current technology, however, all required consumables for these missions (propellant, air, food, water) as well as habitable volume and shielding to support human explorers will need to be brought from Earth. In-situ pro-duction of consumables (In-Situ Resource Utilization-ISRU) will significantly facilitate current plans for human ex-ploration and colonization of the solar system, especially by reducing the logistical overhead such as recurring launch mass. The production of oxygen from lunar materials is generally recognized as the highest priority process for lunar ISRU, for both human metabolic and fuel oxidation needs. The most challenging technology developments for future lunar settlements may lie in the extraction of elements (O, Fe, Mn, Ti, Si, etc) from local rocks and soils for life support, industrial feedstock and the production of propellants. With few exceptions (e.g., Johannson, 1992), nearly all technology development to date has employed an ap-proach based on inorganic chemistry (e.g. Allen et al., 1996). None of these technologies include concepts for inte-grating the ISRU system with a bioregenerative life support system and a food production systems. Bioregenerative life support efforts have recently been added to the Constellation ISRU development program (Sanders et al, 2007). Methods and Concerns: The European Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA) is an ad-vanced concept for organizing a bioregenerative system for long term space flights and extraterrestrial settlements (Hendrickx, De Wever et al., 2005). However the MELiSSA system is a net consumer of ISRU products without a net return to in-situ technologies, e.g.. to extract elements as a result of complete closure of MELiSSA. On the other hand, the physical-chemical processes for ISRU are typically massive (relative to the rate of oxygen

  5. The trans-species core SELF: the emergence of active cultural and neuro-ecological agents through self-related processing within subcortical-cortical midline networks.

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak; Northoff, Georg

    2009-03-01

    The nature of "the self" has been one of the central problems in philosophy and more recently in neuroscience. This raises various questions: (i) Can we attribute a self to animals? (ii) Do animals and humans share certain aspects of their core selves, yielding a trans-species concept of self? (iii) What are the neural processes that underlie a possible trans-species concept of self? (iv) What are the developmental aspects and do they result in various levels of self-representation? Drawing on recent literature from both human and animal research, we suggest a trans-species concept of self that is based upon what has been called a "core-self" which can be described by self-related processing (SRP) as a specific mode of interaction between organism and environment. When we refer to specific neural networks, we will here refer to the underlying system as the "core-SELF." The core-SELF provides primordial neural coordinates that represent organisms as living creatures-at the lowest level this elaborates interoceptive states along with raw emotional feelings (i.e., the intentions in action of a primordial core-SELF) while higher medial cortical levels facilitate affective-cognitive integration (yielding a fully-developed nomothetic core-self). Developmentally, SRP allows stimuli from the environment to be related and linked to organismic needs, signaled and processed within core-self structures within subcorical-cortical midline structures (SCMS) that provide the foundation for epigenetic emergence of ecologically framed, higher idiographic forms of selfhood across different individuals within a species. These functions ultimately operate as a coordinated network. We postulate that core SRP operates automatically, is deeply affective, and is developmentally and epigenetically connected to sensory-motor and higher cognitive abilities. This core-self is mediated by SCMS, embedded in visceral and instinctual representations of the body that are well integrated with basic

  6. From process to proxy: Ecological challenges and opportunities of tree-ring based environmental reconstructions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilmking, Martin; Buras, Allan; Heinrich, Ingo; Scharnweber, Tobias; Simard, Sonia; Smiljanic, Marko; van der Maaten, Ernst; van der Maaten-Theunissen, Marieke

    2014-05-01

    Trees are sessile, long-living organisms and as such constantly need to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Accordingly, they often show high phenotypic plasticity (the ability to change phenotypic traits, such as allocation of resources) in response to environmental change. This high phenotypic plasticity is generally considered as one of the main ingredients for a sessile organism to survive and reach high ages. Precisely because of the ability of trees to reach old age and their in-ability to simply run away when conditions get worse, growth information recorded in tree rings has long been used as a major environmental proxy, covering time scales from decades to millennia. Past environmental conditions (e.g. climate) are recorded in i.e. annual tree-ring width, early- and latewood width, wood density, isotopic concentrations, cell anatomy or wood chemistry. One prerequisite for a reconstruction is that the relationship between the environmental variable influencing tree growth and the tree-growth variable itself is stable through time. This, however, might contrast the ecological theory of high plasticity and the trees ability to adapt to change. To untangle possible mechanisms leading to stable or unstable relationships between tree growth and environmental variables, it is helpful to have exact site information and several proxy variables of each tree-ring series available. Although we gain insight into the environmental history of a sampling site when sampling today, this is extremely difficult when using archeological wood. In this latter case, we face the additional challenge of unknown origin, provenance and (or) site conditions, making it even more important to use multiple proxy time-series from the same sample. Here, we review typical examples, where the relationship between tree growth and environmental variables seems 1) stable and 2) instable through time, and relate these two cases to ecological theory. Based on ecological theory, we then

  7. Using ERPs to investigate valence processing in the affect misattribution procedure.

    PubMed

    von Gunten, Curtis D; Bartholow, Bruce D; Scherer, Laura D

    2017-02-01

    The construct validity of the affect misattribution procedure (AMP) has been challenged by theories proposing that the task does not actually measure affect misattribution. The current study tested the validity of the AMP as a measure of affect misattribution by examining three components of the ERP known to be associated with the allocation of motivated attention. Results revealed that ERP amplitudes varied in response to affectively ambiguous targets as a function of the valence of preceding primes. Furthermore, differences in ERP responses to the targets were largely similar to differences in ERPs elicited by the primes. The existence of valence differentiation in both the prime-locked and the target-locked ERPs, along with the similarity in this differentiation, provides evidence that the affective content of the primes is psychologically registered, and that this content influences the processing of the subsequent, evaluatively ambiguous targets, both of which are required if the priming effects found in the AMP are the result of affect misattribution. However, the behavioral priming effect was uncorrelated with ERP amplitudes, leaving some question as to the locus of this effect in the information-processing system. Findings are discussed in light of the strengths and weaknesses of using ERPs to understand the priming effects in the AMP.

  8. Biological Processes Affecting Bioaccumulation, Transfer, and Toxicity of Metal Contaminants in Estuarine Sediments

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-12-01

    acclimation……………………………………………………………………….p. 59 Figure 26. Interactive transcriptome revealed……………………………………p. 60 Figure 27. Functional network of... interacting genes……………………………...p. 61 4 Tables: Table 1. Salinity, DOC and metal concentration additions…………………..….p. 13 Table 2. AVS-SEM... ecology , metal biogeochemistry, ecotoxicology, applied genomics) to investigate “fundamental pathways and processes controlling the movement of

  9. A preliminary comparison of flat affect schizophrenics and brain-damaged patients on measures of affective processing.

    PubMed

    Borod, J C; Alpert, M; Brozgold, A; Martin, C; Welkowitz, J; Diller, L; Peselow, E; Angrist, B; Lieberman, A

    1989-04-01

    Flat affect is a major component of schizophrenia and is often also seen in neurological disorders. A preliminary set of comparisons were conducted to delineate neuropsychological mechanisms underlying flat affect in schizophrenia, and new measures are described for the assessment of affective deficits in clinical populations. Subjects were schizophrenic with flat affect (SZs), right brain-damaged (RBD), Parkinson's Disease (PDs), and normal control (NC) right-handed adults. Subjects were administered affective measures of expression and perception in both facial and vocal channels. For both perceptual and expressive tasks the SZs performed significantly less accurately than the NCs and the PDs but did not differ from the RBDs. This was the case for both face and voice. This finding lends support to the speculation that right hemisphere mechanisms, especially cortical ones, may be compromised among schizophrenics with flat affect.

  10. Combined unilateral lesions of the amygdala and orbital prefrontal cortex impair affective processing in rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Izquierdo, Alicia; Murray, Elisabeth A

    2004-05-01

    The amygdala and orbital prefrontal cortex (PFo) interact as part of a system for affective processing. To assess whether there is a hemispheric functional specialization for the processing of emotion or reward or both in nonhuman primates, rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) with combined lesions of the amygdala and PFo in one hemisphere, either left or right, were compared with unoperated controls on a battery of tasks that tax affective processing, including two tasks that tax reward processing and two that assess emotional reactions. Although the two operated groups did not differ from each other, monkeys with unilateral lesions, left and right, showed altered reward-processing abilities as evidenced by attenuated reinforcer devaluation effects and an impairment in object reversal learning relative to controls. In addition, both operated groups showed blunted emotional reactions to a rubber snake. By contrast, monkeys with unilateral lesions did not differ from controls in their responses to an unfamiliar human (human "intruder"). Although the results provide no support for a hemispheric specialization of function, they yield the novel finding that unilateral lesions of the amygdala-orbitofrontal cortical circuit in monkeys are sufficient to significantly disrupt affective processing.

  11. Hormones and phenotypic plasticity in an ecological context: linking physiological mechanisms to evolutionary processes.

    PubMed

    Lema, Sean C

    2014-11-01

    Hormones are chemical signaling molecules that regulate patterns of cellular physiology and gene expression underlying phenotypic traits. Hormone-signaling pathways respond to an organism's external environment to mediate developmental stage-specific malleability in phenotypes, so that environmental variation experienced at different stages of development has distinct effects on an organism's phenotype. Studies of hormone-signaling are therefore playing a central role in efforts to understand how plastic phenotypic responses to environmental variation are generated during development. But, how do adaptive, hormonally mediated phenotypes evolve if the individual signaling components (hormones, conversion enzymes, membrane transporters, and receptors) that comprise any hormone-signaling pathway show expressional flexibility in response to environmental variation? What relevance do these components hold as molecular targets for selection to couple or decouple correlated hormonally mediated traits? This article explores how studying the endocrine underpinnings of phenotypic plasticity in an ecologically relevant context can provide insights into these, and other, crucial questions into the role of phenotypic plasticity in evolution, including how plasticity itself evolves. These issues are discussed in the light of investigations into how thyroid hormones mediate morphological plasticity in Death Valley's clade of pupfishes (Cyprinodon spp.). Findings from this work with pupfish illustrate that the study of hormone-signaling from an ecological perspective can reveal how phenotypic plasticity contributes to the generation of phenotypic novelty, as well as how physiological mechanisms developmentally link an organism's phenotype to its environmental experiences.

  12. Facial Affect Processing and Depression Susceptibility: Cognitive Biases and Cognitive Neuroscience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bistricky, Steven L.; Ingram, Rick E.; Atchley, Ruth Ann

    2011-01-01

    Facial affect processing is essential to social development and functioning and is particularly relevant to models of depression. Although cognitive and interpersonal theories have long described different pathways to depression, cognitive-interpersonal and evolutionary social risk models of depression focus on the interrelation of interpersonal…

  13. Processes affecting the transport of nitrogen in groundwater and factors related to slope position

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nitrate (NO3-) pollution of water resources has been a major problem for years, causing contaminated water supplies, harmful effects on human health, and widespread eutrophication of fresh water resources. The main objectives of this study were to: 1) understand the processes affecting NO3- transpor...

  14. City living and urban upbringing affect neural social stress processing in humans.

    PubMed

    Lederbogen, Florian; Kirsch, Peter; Haddad, Leila; Streit, Fabian; Tost, Heike; Schuch, Philipp; Wüst, Stefan; Pruessner, Jens C; Rietschel, Marcella; Deuschle, Michael; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas

    2011-06-22

    More than half of the world's population now lives in cities, making the creation of a healthy urban environment a major policy priority. Cities have both health risks and benefits, but mental health is negatively affected: mood and anxiety disorders are more prevalent in city dwellers and the incidence of schizophrenia is strongly increased in people born and raised in cities. Although these findings have been widely attributed to the urban social environment, the neural processes that could mediate such associations are unknown. Here we show, using functional magnetic resonance imaging in three independent experiments, that urban upbringing and city living have dissociable impacts on social evaluative stress processing in humans. Current city living was associated with increased amygdala activity, whereas urban upbringing affected the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex, a key region for regulation of amygdala activity, negative affect and stress. These findings were regionally and behaviourally specific, as no other brain structures were affected and no urbanicity effect was seen during control experiments invoking cognitive processing without stress. Our results identify distinct neural mechanisms for an established environmental risk factor, link the urban environment for the first time to social stress processing, suggest that brain regions differ in vulnerability to this risk factor across the lifespan, and indicate that experimental interrogation of epidemiological associations is a promising strategy in social neuroscience.

  15. Affect and non-uniform characteristics of predictive processing in musical behaviour.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Rebecca S; Overy, Katie; Nelson, Peter

    2013-06-01

    The important roles of prediction and prior experience are well established in music research and fit well with Clark's concept of unified perception, cognition, and action arising from hierarchical, bidirectional predictive processing. However, in order to fully account for human musical intelligence, Clark needs to further consider the powerful and variable role of affect in relation to prediction error.

  16. Factors Affecting Christian Parents' School Choice Decision Processes: A Grounded Theory Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prichard, Tami G.; Swezey, James A.

    2016-01-01

    This study identifies factors affecting the decision processes for school choice by Christian parents. Grounded theory design incorporated interview transcripts, field notes, and a reflective journal to analyze themes. Comparative analysis, including open, axial, and selective coding, was used to reduce the coded statements to five code families:…

  17. Affective Cues and Processing Strategy: Color-Coded Examination Forms Influence Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinclair, Robert C.; Soldat, Alexander S.; Mark, Melvin M.

    1998-01-01

    Argues that external cues provide affective information that influence processing strategy and, therefore, examination performance. Notes the differences in performance for two midterm examinations, identical, except that they were printed on blue and red paper. Discusses a method for appropriately adjusting scores to control for form effects.…

  18. 76 FR 30509 - Court Orders and Legal Processes Affecting Thrift Savings Plan Accounts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-26

    ... Part 1653 Court Orders and Legal Processes Affecting Thrift Savings Plan Accounts AGENCY: Federal... amendment which subjects TSP accounts to orders issued pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act... in which child support orders and MVRA orders are payable. The amendments clarify that these...

  19. Social Information Processing in Children: Specific Relations to Anxiety, Depression, and Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luebbe, Aaron M.; Bell, Debora J.; Allwood, Maureen A.; Swenson, Lance P.; Early, Martha C.

    2010-01-01

    Two studies examined shared and unique relations of social information processing (SIP) to youth's anxious and depressive symptoms. Whether SIP added unique variance over and above trait affect in predicting internalizing symptoms was also examined. In Study 1, 215 youth (ages 8-13) completed symptom measures of anxiety and depression and a…

  20. Approaching the Affective Factors of Information Seeking: The Viewpoint of the Information Search Process Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savolainen, Reijo

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: The article contributes to the conceptual studies of affective factors in information seeking by examining Kuhlthau's information search process model. Method: This random-digit dial telephone survey of 253 people (75% female) living in a rural, medically under-serviced area of Ontario, Canada, follows-up a previous interview study…

  1. Interaction between Task Oriented and Affective Information Processing in Cognitive Robotics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haazebroek, Pascal; van Dantzig, Saskia; Hommel, Bernhard

    There is an increasing interest in endowing robots with emotions. Robot control however is still often very task oriented. We present a cognitive architecture that allows the combination of and interaction between task representations and affective information processing. Our model is validated by comparing simulation results with empirical data from experimental psychology.

  2. A Synthesis of Cognitive and Affective Processes in Social Studies Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hills, James L.

    Three tasks are described in the development of a Valuing Lexicon: 1) the identification of a hierarchy of cognitive processes; 2) the identification of the affective components; and, 3) the clarification of the relationships between the two. For the purpose of clarifying the development of the lexicon, Krathwohl's hierarchy on what 'valuing'…

  3. Transactional Distance among Open University Students: How Does it Affect the Learning Process?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kassandrinou, Amanda; Angelaki, Christina; Mavroidis, Ilias

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the presence of transactional distance among students, the factors affecting it, as well as the way it influences the learning process of students in a blended distance learning setting in Greece. The present study involved 12 postgraduate students of the Hellenic Open University (HOU). A qualitative research was conducted,…

  4. The ecological characteristics of the riparian vegetation affected by river overflowing disturbance in the lower Tarim River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Hailiang; Ye, Mao; Li, Jimei

    2009-10-01

    Based on data obtained from field investigations, this paper aims to analyze the influence of the river overflow on the desert riparian vegetation and discuss the function of the river overflow on the vegetation restoration at the lower Tarim River. The results show that (1) there are only 17 species, 13 genera and 9 families in the study areas before river overflow, while there are 34 species, 26 genera and 12 families after the overflowing in which 18 species emerged newly; (2) judging by the biodiversity indices, the species diversity and species richness in the river overflowed area increase more significantly than those in the un-overflow area; (3) judging by the importance of different species after years of river overflowing, the annual herbs germinate quickly at first, while the perennial herbs with deep roots or root clones become dominant in the plant community; (4) after several times of river overflowing, some arbors and shrubs such as Populus euphratica and Tamarix ramosissima germinate easily and can dominate gradually in the plant community. The results indicate that the river overflowing restores the severely degraded ecosystem in the lower Tarim River and the function is connected with restoration of eco-hydrological processes in the study areas. The results suggest that experimental overflowing has initiated a process of restoring ecosystem function within the riparian forest.

  5. Ecologically Valid Carbohydrate Intake during Soccer-Specific Exercise Does Not Affect Running Performance in a Fed State.

    PubMed

    Funnell, Mark P; Dykes, Nick R; Owen, Elliot J; Mears, Stephen A; Rollo, Ian; James, Lewis J

    2017-01-05

    This study assessed the effect of carbohydrate intake on self-selected soccer-specific running performance. Sixteen male soccer players (age 23 ± 4 years; body mass 76.9 ± 7.2 kg; predicted VO2max = 54.2 ± 2.9 mL∙kg(-1)∙min(-1); soccer experience 13 ± 4 years) completed a progressive multistage fitness test, familiarisation trial and two experimental trials, involving a modified version of the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST) to simulate a soccer match in a fed state. Subjects completed six 15 min blocks (two halves of 45 min) of intermittent shuttle running, with a 15-min half-time. Blocks 3 and 6, allowed self-selection of running speeds and sprint times, were assessed throughout. Subjects consumed 250 mL of either a 12% carbohydrate solution (CHO) or a non-caloric taste matched placebo (PLA) before and at half-time of the LIST. Sprint times were not different between trials (CHO 2.71 ± 0.15 s, PLA 2.70 ± 0.14 s; p = 0.202). Total distance covered in self-selected blocks (block 3: CHO 2.07 ± 0.06 km; PLA 2.09 ± 0.08 km; block 6: CHO 2.04 ± 0.09 km; PLA 2.06 ± 0.08 km; p = 0.122) was not different between trials. There was no difference between trials for distance covered (p ≥ 0.297) or mean speed (p ≥ 0.172) for jogging or cruising. Blood glucose concentration was greater (p < 0.001) at the end of half-time during the CHO trial. In conclusion, consumption of 250 mL of 12% CHO solution before and at half-time of a simulated soccer match does not affect self-selected running or sprint performance in a fed state.

  6. Mining-caused changes to habitat structure affect amphibian and reptile population ecology more than metal pollution.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Kiyoshi; Lesbarrères, David; Watson, Glen; Litzgus, Jacqueline

    2015-12-01

    Emissions from smelting not only contaminate water and soil with metals, but also induce extensive forest dieback and changes in resource availability and microclimate. The relative effects of such co-occurring stressors are often unknown, but this information is imperative in developing targeted restoration strategies. We assessed the role and relative effects of structural alterations of terrestrial habitat and metal pollution caused by century-long smelting operations on amphibian and reptile communities by collecting environmental and time- and area-standardized multivariate abundance data along three spatially replicated impact gradients. Overall, species richness, diversity, and abundance declined progressively with increasing levels of metals (As, Cu, and Ni) and soil temperature (T(s)) and decreasing canopy cover, amount of coarse woody debris (CWD), and relative humidity (RH). The composite habitat variable (which included canopy cover, CWD, T(s), and RH) was more strongly associated with most response metrics than the composite metal variable (As, Cu, and Ni), and canopy cover alone explained 19-74% of the variance. Moreover, species that use terrestrial habitat for specific behaviors (e.g., hibernation, dispersal), especially forest-dependent species, were more severely affected than largely aquatic species. These results suggest that structural alterations of terrestrial habitat and concomitant changes in the resource availability and microclimate have stronger effects than metal pollution per se. Furthermore, much of the variation in response metrics was explained by the joint action of several environmental variables, implying synergistic effects (e.g., exacerbation of metal toxicity by elevated temperatures in sites with reduced canopy cover). We thus argue that the restoration of terrestrial habitat conditions is a key to successful recovery of herpetofauna communities in smelting-altered landscapes.

  7. Diversity of free-living nitrogen-fixing microorganisms in wastelands of copper mine tailings during the process of natural ecological restoration.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Jing; Sun, Qingye

    2011-01-01

    Biological nitrogen fixing is an important source of nitrogen input in the natural ecological restoration of mine wastelands. The diversity of nifH genes in tailings samples under different plant communities in Yangshanchong and Tongguanshan wastelands in Tongling, was analyzed using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) approach. The nitrogen-fixing microorganism community in the upper layer of tailings of Tongguanshan wasteland discarded in 1980 showed higher Shannon-Wiener diversity index than that in Yangshanchong wasteland discarded in 1991. The diversity of nifH genes in Yangshanchong wasteland of copper mine tailings did not display a consistent successional tendency with development of plant communities during the process of natural ecological restoration. Phylogenetic analysis of 25 sequences of nifH gene fragments retrieved from the DGGE gels indicated that there were mainly two taxa of free-living nitrogen-fixing microorganisms, Proteobacteria and Cyanobacteria living in the wastelands investigated, most of which were unique and uncultured. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) based on the relationship between band patterns of DGGE profile and physico-chemical properties of tailings samples showed that the diversity of nifH genes in different tailing samples was mainly affected by loss of ignition, water content, pH and available Zn contents of wastelands. The dominant plant species and development period of plant communities by ameliorating pH, reducing the toxicity of heavy metals, increasing organic matter and water content affected the diversity and structure of the free-living nitrogen-fixing microorganisms in wastelands of copper mine tailings.

  8. Ecology of indigenous lactic acid bacteria along different winemaking processes of Tempranillo red wine from La Rioja (Spain).

    PubMed

    González-Arenzana, Lucía; Santamaría, Pilar; López, Rosa; Tenorio, Carmen; López-Alfaro, Isabel

    2012-01-01

    Ecology of the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) during alcoholic fermentation (AF) and spontaneous malolactic fermentation (MLF) of Tempranillo wines from four wineries of La Rioja has been studied analyzing the influence of the winemaking method, processing conditions, and geographical origin. Five different LAB species were isolated during AF, while, during MLF, only Oenococcus oeni was detected. Although the clonal diversity of O. oeni strains was moderate, mixed populations were observed, becoming at least one strain with distinct PFGE profile the main responsible for MLF. Neither the winemaking method nor the cellar situation was correlated with the LAB diversity. However, processing conditions influenced the total number of isolates and the percentage of each isolated species and strains. The winemaking method could cause that genotypes found in semicarbonic maceration did not appear in other wineries. Four genotypes of O. oeni were isolated in more than one of the rest wineries. These four together with other dominant strains might be included in a future selection process.

  9. Ecologically Valid Carbohydrate Intake during Soccer-Specific Exercise Does Not Affect Running Performance in a Fed State

    PubMed Central

    Funnell, Mark P.; Dykes, Nick R.; Owen, Elliot J.; Mears, Stephen A.; Rollo, Ian; James, Lewis J.

    2017-01-01

    This study assessed the effect of carbohydrate intake on self-selected soccer-specific running performance. Sixteen male soccer players (age 23 ± 4 years; body mass 76.9 ± 7.2 kg; predicted VO2max = 54.2 ± 2.9 mL∙kg−1∙min−1; soccer experience 13 ± 4 years) completed a progressive multistage fitness test, familiarisation trial and two experimental trials, involving a modified version of the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST) to simulate a soccer match in a fed state. Subjects completed six 15 min blocks (two halves of 45 min) of intermittent shuttle running, with a 15-min half-time. Blocks 3 and 6, allowed self-selection of running speeds and sprint times, were assessed throughout. Subjects consumed 250 mL of either a 12% carbohydrate solution (CHO) or a non-caloric taste matched placebo (PLA) before and at half-time of the LIST. Sprint times were not different between trials (CHO 2.71 ± 0.15 s, PLA 2.70 ± 0.14 s; p = 0.202). Total distance covered in self-selected blocks (block 3: CHO 2.07 ± 0.06 km; PLA 2.09 ± 0.08 km; block 6: CHO 2.04 ± 0.09 km; PLA 2.06 ± 0.08 km; p = 0.122) was not different between trials. There was no difference between trials for distance covered (p ≥ 0.297) or mean speed (p ≥ 0.172) for jogging or cruising. Blood glucose concentration was greater (p < 0.001) at the end of half-time during the CHO trial. In conclusion, consumption of 250 mL of 12% CHO solution before and at half-time of a simulated soccer match does not affect self-selected running or sprint performance in a fed state. PMID:28067762

  10. Ecological risk assessment of boreal sediments affected by metal mining: Metal geochemistry, seasonality, and comparison of several risk assessment methods.

    PubMed

    Väänänen, Kristiina; Kauppila, Tommi; Mäkinen, Jari; Leppänen, Matti T; Lyytikäinen, Merja; Akkanen, Jarkko

    2016-10-01

    The mining industry is a common source of environmental metal emissions, which cause long-lasting effects in aquatic ecosystems. Metal risk assessment is challenging due to variations in metal distribution, speciation, and bioavailability. Therefore, seasonal effects must be better understood, especially in boreal regions in which seasonal changes are large. We sampled 4 Finnish lakes and sediments affected by mining for metals and geochemical characteristics in autumn and late winter, to evaluate seasonal changes in metal behavior, the importance of seasonality in risk assessment, and the sensitivity and suitability of different risk assessment methods. We compared metal concentrations in sediment, overlying water, and porewater against environmental quality guidelines (EQGs). We also evaluated the toxicity of metal mixtures using simultaneously extracted metals and an acid volatile sulfides (SEM-AVS) approach together with water quality criteria (US Environmental Protection Agency equilibrium partitioning benchmarks). Finally, site-specific risks for 3 metals (Cu, Ni, Zn) were assessed using 2 biotic ligand models (BLMs). The metal concentrations in the impacted lakes were elevated. During winter stratification, the hypolimnetic O2 saturation levels were low (<6%) and the pH was acidic (3.5-6.5); however, abundant O2 (>89%) and neutral pH (6.1-7.5) were found after the autumnal water overturn. Guidelines were the most conservative benchmark for showing an increased risk of toxicity in the all of the lakes. The situation remained stable between seasons. On the other hand, SEM-AVS, equilibrium partition sediment benchmarks (ESBs), and BLMs provided a clearer distinction between lakes and revealed a seasonal variation in risk among some of the lakes, which evidenced a higher risk during late winter. If a sediment risk assessment is based on the situation in the autumn, the overall risk may be underestimated. It is advisable to carry out sampling and risk assessment

  11. Facial affect processing deficits in schizophrenia: A meta-analysis of antipsychotic treatment effects

    PubMed Central

    Kempton, Matthew J; Mehta, Mitul A

    2015-01-01

    Social cognition, including emotion processing, is a recognised deficit observed in patients with schizophrenia. It is one cognitive domain which has been emphasised as requiring further investigation, with the efficacy of antipsychotic treatment on this deficit remaining unclear. Nine studies met our criteria for entry into a meta-analysis of the effects of medication on facial affect processing, including data from 1162 patients and six antipsychotics. Overall we found a small, positive effect (Hedge’s g = 0.13, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.21, p = 0.002). In a subgroup analysis this was statistically significant for atypical, but not typical, antipsychotics. It should be noted that the pooled sample size of the typical subgroup was significantly lower than the atypical. Meta-regression analyses revealed that age, gender and changes in symptom severity were not moderating factors. For the small, positive effect on facial affect processing, the clinical significance is questionable in terms of treating deficits in emotion identification in schizophrenia. We show that antipsychotic medications are poor at improving facial affect processing compared to reducing symptoms. This highlights the need for further investigation into the neuropharmacological mechanisms associated with accurate emotion processing, to inform treatment options for these deficits in schizophrenia. PMID:25492885

  12. White wine taste and mouthfeel as affected by juice extraction and processing.

    PubMed

    Gawel, Richard; Day, Martin; Van Sluyter, Steven C; Holt, Helen; Waters, Elizabeth J; Smith, Paul A

    2014-10-15

    The juice used to make white wine can be extracted using various physical processes that affect the amount and timing of contact of juice with skins. The influence of juice extraction processes on the mouthfeel and taste of white wine and their relationship to wine composition were determined. The amount and type of interaction of juice with skins affected both wine total phenolic concentration and phenolic composition. Wine pH strongly influenced perceived viscosity, astringency/drying, and acidity. Despite a 5-fold variation in total phenolics among wines, differences in bitter taste were small. Perceived viscosity was associated with higher phenolics but was not associated with either glycerol or polysaccharide concentration. Bitterness may be reduced by using juice extraction and handling processes that minimize phenolic concentration, but lowering phenolic concentration may also result in wines of lower perceived viscosity.

  13. Different modalities of painful somatosensory stimulations affect anticipatory cortical processes: a high-resolution EEG study.

    PubMed

    Babiloni, Claudio; Brancucci, Alfredo; Capotosto, Paolo; Del Percio, Claudio; Romani, Gian Luca; Arendt-Nielsen, Lars; Rossini, Paolo Maria

    2007-03-15

    Pain sensation is characterized by multiple features that allow to differentiate pricking, burning, aching, stinging, and electrical shock. These features are sub-served by neural pathways that might give flexibility and selectivity to the cerebral anticipatory processes. In this line, the present high-resolution electroencephalography (EEG) study tested the hypothesis that the anticipatory cortical processes are stronger for painful thermal (biologically relevant) than electrical ("artificial") stimuli with similar intensity. EEG data (128 electrodes) were recorded in normal subjects during the expectancy of painful electrical or laser stimuli (visual omitted stimulus paradigm; interval between two painful stimuli: 16s), delivered over the median nerve region of the right arm (nonpainful stimuli as controls). After each stimulus, the subject reported the perceived stimulus intensity. Surface Laplacian estimation of the EEG data spatially enhanced the anticipatory stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN), which reflects motivational relevance of the stimulus. Subjects perceived no difference in the intensity of the electrical versus laser stimuli in both painful and nonpainful conditions. However, the anticipatory SPN appeared over large scalp regions before painful laser but not electrical stimulation. The same was true for the nonpainful stimulations. The present results suggest that the motivational anticipatory cortical processes are induced by nonpainful and painful biologically/ecologically relevant laser stimuli rather than by "artificial" electrical stimuli with similar intensity.

  14. Groundwater–surface water mixing shifts ecological assembly processes and stimulates organic carbon turnover

    SciTech Connect

    Stegen, James C.; Fredrickson, James K.; Wilkins, Michael J.; Konopka, Allan E.; Nelson, William C.; Arntzen, Evan V.; Chrisler, William B.; Chu, Rosalie K.; Danczak, Robert E.; Fansler, Sarah J.; Kennedy, David W.; Resch, Charles T.; Tfaily, Malak

    2016-04-07

    Environmental transition zones are associated with geochemical gradients that overcome energy limitations to microbial metabolism, resulting in biogeochemical hot spots and moments. Riverine systems where groundwater mixes with surface water (the hyporheic zone) are spatially complex and temporally dynamic, making development of predictive models challenging. Spatial and temporal variations in hyporheic zone microbial communities are a key, but understudied, component of riverine biogeochemical function. To investigate the coupling among groundwater-surface water mixing, microbial communities, and biogeochemistry we applied ecological theory, aqueous biogeochemistry, DNA sequencing, and ultra-high resolution organic carbon profiling to field samples collected across times and locations representing a broad range of mixing conditions. Mixing of groundwater and surface water resulted in a shift from transport-driven stochastic dynamics to a deterministic microbial structure associated with elevated biogeochemical rates. While the dynamics of the hyporheic make predictive modeling a challenge, we provide new knowledge that can improve the tractability of such models.

  15. Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing for Analysis of Landscape Ecological Processes: Current Insights and Trends. Chapter 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quattrochi, Dale A.; Luvall, Jeffrey C.

    2014-01-01

    NASA or NOAA Earth-observing satellites are not the only space-based TIR platforms. The European Space Agency (ESA), the Chinese, and other countries have in orbit or plan to launch TIR remote sensing systems. Satellite remote sensing provides an excellent opportunity to study land-atmosphere energy exchanges at the regional scale. A predominant application of TIR data has been in inferring evaporation, evapotranspiration (ET), and soil moisture. In addition to using TIR data for ET and soil moisture analysis over vegetated surfaces, there is also a need for using these data for assessment of drought conditions. The concept of ecological thermodynamics provides a quantification of surface energy fluxes for landscape characterization in relation to the overall amount of energy input and output from specific land cover types.

  16. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): an affect-processing and thought disorder?

    PubMed

    Günter, Michael

    2014-02-01

    In the literature on child and adolescent psychoanalysis attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is described as complex syndrome with wide-ranging psychodynamic features. Broadly speaking, the disorder is divided into three categories: 1. a disorder in early object relations leading to the development of a maniform defence organization in which object-loss anxieties and depressed affects are not worked through via symbolization but are organized in a body-near manner; 2. a triangulation disorder in which the cathexis of the paternal position is not stable; structures providing little support alternate with excessive arousal, affect regulation is restricted; 3. current emotional stress or a traumatic experience. I suggest taking a fresh look at ADHD from a psychoanalytic vantage point. With respect to the phenomenology of the disorder, the conflict-dynamic approach should be supplemented by a perspective regarding deficits in α-function as constitutive for ADHD. These deficits cause affect-processing and thought disorders compensated for (though not fully) by the symptomatology. At a secondary level, a vicious circle develops through the mutual reinforcement of defective processing of sense data and affects into potential thought content, on the one hand, and secondary, largely narcissistic defence processes on the other. These considerations have major relevance for the improved understanding of ADHD and for psychoanalytic technique.

  17. Review of vegetable fermentations with particular emphasis on processing modifications, microbial ecology, and spoilage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The consumption of vegetables is widespread in the world and represents a major component of the human diet. Microorganisms (mainly lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, Enterobacteriaceae, Propionibacterium and Clostridium species) play a significant role in vegetable fermentations, affecting the quality a...

  18. Protein Molecular Structures, Protein SubFractions, and Protein Availability Affected by Heat Processing: A Review

    SciTech Connect

    Yu,P.

    2007-01-01

    The utilization and availability of protein depended on the types of protein and their specific susceptibility to enzymatic hydrolysis (inhibitory activities) in the gastrointestine and was highly associated with protein molecular structures. Studying internal protein structure and protein subfraction profiles leaded to an understanding of the components that make up a whole protein. An understanding of the molecular structure of the whole protein was often vital to understanding its digestive behavior and nutritive value in animals. In this review, recently obtained information on protein molecular structural effects of heat processing was reviewed, in relation to protein characteristics affecting digestive behavior and nutrient utilization and availability. The emphasis of this review was on (1) using the newly advanced synchrotron technology (S-FTIR) as a novel approach to reveal protein molecular chemistry affected by heat processing within intact plant tissues; (2) revealing the effects of heat processing on the profile changes of protein subfractions associated with digestive behaviors and kinetics manipulated by heat processing; (3) prediction of the changes of protein availability and supply after heat processing, using the advanced DVE/OEB and NRC-2001 models, and (4) obtaining information on optimal processing conditions of protein as intestinal protein source to achieve target values for potential high net absorbable protein in the small intestine. The information described in this article may give better insight in the mechanisms involved and the intrinsic protein molecular structural changes occurring upon processing.

  19. [Ecology and ecologies].

    PubMed

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.

  20. Life and death of Picea abies after bark-beetle outbreak: ecological processes driving seedling recruitment.

    PubMed

    Macek, Martin; Wild, Jan; Kopecký, Martin; Červenka, Jaroslav; Svoboda, Miroslav; Zenáhlíková, Jitka; Brůna, Josef; Mosandl, Reinhard; Fischer, Anton

    2017-01-01

    The severity and spatial extent of bark-beetle outbreaks substantially increased in recent decades worldwide. The ongoing controversy about natural forest recovery after these outbreaks highlights the need for individual-based long-term studies, which disentangle processes driving forest regeneration. However, such studies have been lacking. To fill this gap, we followed the fates of 2,552 individual seedlings for 12 years after a large-scale bark-beetle outbreak that caused complete canopy dieback in mountain Norway spruce (Picea abies) forests in southeast Germany. We explore the contribution of advance, disturbance-related, and post-disturbance regeneration to forest recovery. Most seedlings originated directly within the three-year dieback of canopy trees induced by bark-beetle outbreak. After complete canopy dieback, the establishment of new seedlings was minimal. Surprisingly, advance regeneration formed only a minor part of all regeneration. However, because it had the highest survival rate, its importance increased over time. The most important factor influencing the survival of seedlings after disturbance was their height. Survival was further modified by microsite: seedlings established on dead wood survived best, whereas almost all seedlings surrounded by graminoids died. For 5 cm tall seedlings, annual mortality ranged from 20 to 50% according to the rooting microsite. However, for seedlings taller than 50 cm, annual mortality was below 5% at all microsites. While microsite modified seedling mortality, it did not affect seedling height growth. A model of regeneration dynamics based on short-term observations accurately predicts regeneration height growth, but substantially underestimates mortality rate, thus predicting more surviving seedlings than were observed. We found that P. abies forests were able to regenerate naturally even after severe bark-beetle outbreaks owing to advance and particularly disturbance-related regeneration. This, together

  1. Increased yield stability of field-grown winter barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) varietal mixtures through ecological processes

    PubMed Central

    Creissen, Henry E.; Jorgensen, Tove H.; Brown, James K.M.

    2016-01-01

    Crop variety mixtures have the potential to increase yield stability in highly variable and unpredictable environments, yet knowledge of the specific mechanisms underlying enhanced yield stability has been limited. Ecological processes in genetically diverse crops were investigated by conducting field trials with winter barley varieties (Hordeum vulgare), grown as monocultures or as three-way mixtures in fungicide treated and untreated plots at three sites. Mixtures achieved yields comparable to the best performing monocultures whilst enhancing yield stability despite being subject to multiple predicted and unpredicted abiotic and biotic stresses including brown rust (Puccinia hordei) and lodging. There was compensation through competitive release because the most competitive variety overyielded in mixtures thereby compensating for less competitive varieties. Facilitation was also identified as an important ecological process within mixtures by reducing lodging. This study indicates that crop varietal mixtures have the capacity to stabilise productivity even when environmental conditions and stresses are not predicted in advance. Varietal mixtures provide a means of increasing crop genetic diversity without the need for extensive breeding efforts. They may confer enhanced resilience to environmental stresses and thus be a desirable component of future cropping systems for sustainable arable farming. PMID:27375312

  2. Ontogenetic diet shifts and their incidence on ecological processes: a case study using two morphologically similar stoneflies (Plecoptera)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Céréghino, Régis

    2006-07-01

    Most ecological studies consider conspecific individuals as ecologically equivalent, assuming that inter-instar variation is weak and has a limited influence on functional processes. To test this assumption, we investigated the life history and trophic basis of production in two predatory stoneflies, Perlodes microcephalus and Isoperla acicularis, in a mountain stream. The variety of prey types increased with predator size. However, larvae started their development with a strictly phytophagous diet (3 months), then ingested both vegetal material and animal prey (2-3 months). Finally, larvae were strictly carnivorous when head width reached 1.1 mm. Young (herbivorous) I. acicularis larvae occurred from June to August. Young P. microcephalus larvae hatched in October, and were herbivorous until December, when I. acicularis larvae were omnivorous. Competition for animal prey was likely to occur in the spring, but P. microcephalus grew faster and emerged earlier. The cohort productions were mostly based on carnivory (78.7-90.7%), because most production occurred in later instars. Ontogenetic diet shifts could play a role in the structuring of species assemblages by adjusting species' requirements to the temporal dynamics of environmental conditions, including food availability and biotic interactions. However, their incidence on global processes is quantitatively limited, large individuals having the greatest impacts on the way energy flows.

  3. Increased yield stability of field-grown winter barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) varietal mixtures through ecological processes.

    PubMed

    Creissen, Henry E; Jorgensen, Tove H; Brown, James K M

    2016-07-01

    Crop variety mixtures have the potential to increase yield stability in highly variable and unpredictable environments, yet knowledge of the specific mechanisms underlying enhanced yield stability has been limited. Ecological processes in genetically diverse crops were investigated by conducting field trials with winter barley varieties (Hordeum vulgare), grown as monocultures or as three-way mixtures in fungicide treated and untreated plots at three sites. Mixtures achieved yields comparable to the best performing monocultures whilst enhancing yield stability despite being subject to multiple predicted and unpredicted abiotic and biotic stresses including brown rust (Puccinia hordei) and lodging. There was compensation through competitive release because the most competitive variety overyielded in mixtures thereby compensating for less competitive varieties. Facilitation was also identified as an important ecological process within mixtures by reducing lodging. This study indicates that crop varietal mixtures have the capacity to stabilise productivity even when environmental conditions and stresses are not predicted in advance. Varietal mixtures provide a means of increasing crop genetic diversity without the need for extensive breeding efforts. They may confer enhanced resilience to environmental stresses and thus be a desirable component of future cropping systems for sustainable arable farming.

  4. An ecological planning model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Riet, W. F.; Cooks, J.

    1990-05-01

    In this article a model is proposed that could be used as a basis for ecological planning of natural resources. The role of people as part of the ecosystem is emphasized, and the various factors that should be considered in such planning are discussed. An understanding of ecological planning is dependent on the study of human activities in, and the nature of, natural ecosystems. It also depends on the fact that people are a part of nature, and as a result nature is of value to humans. Realizing the importance of this principle is a prerequisite to studying nature and also for an understanding of the various steps in the ecological planning approach. Realization of these values is often through a series of activities that may result in a negative environmental impact. Nature is described as an interacting group of natural features and processes. In this study both the features and processes are described as natural resources. The use of these natural resources obviously affects them, and if this use is to continue over a long period, both the activity and the resource must be understood if they are to be maintained in a productive state. In order to limit impact and maintain value, a planning aid called zoning is used to assist in the understanding of the processes involved.

  5. The influence of inhibitory processes on affective theory of mind in young and old adults.

    PubMed

    Mahy, Caitlin E V; Vetter, Nora; Kühn-Popp, Nina; Löcher, Carolin; Krautschuk, Susan; Kliegel, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    The primary aim of this study was to examine the impact of an inhibition manipulation on the effect of age on theory of mind (ToM) in an ecologically valid, affective ToM task. Participants were 30 young and 30 old adults. The Cambridge Mindreading Face-Voice Battery was used to measure ToM; in addition, measures of fluid and crystallized intelligence were taken. Participants were subjected to three levels of inhibitory demand during ToM reasoning: emotional inhibition, non-emotional inhibition, and no inhibition. Old adults performed worse than young adults. The emotional and non-emotional inhibition conditions resulted in worse ToM performance compared to the no inhibition condition. There were no differences in the impact of the inhibition conditions on old and young adults. Regression analyses suggested that old adults' crystallized intelligence was a significant predictor of ToM performance, whereas it did not predict young adults' ToM performance. Results are discussed in terms of verbal ability as a possible compensatory mechanism in coping with verbal inhibitory load in ToM reasoning.

  6. Use of ecological regions in aquatic assessments of ecological condition.

    PubMed

    Stoddard, John L

    2004-01-01

    Ecological regions are areas of similar climate, landform, soil, potential natural vegetation, hydrology, or other ecologically relevant variables. The makeup of aquatic biological assemblages (e.g., fish, macroinvertebrates, algae, riparian birds, etc.) varies dramatically over the landscape, as do the environmental stresses that affect the condition of those assemblages. Ecoregions delineate areas where similar assemblages are likely to occur and, therefore, where similar expectations can be established. For this reason, ecological regions have proven to be an important tool for use in the process of ecological assessment. This article describes four examples of the use of ecological regions in important aspects of environmental monitoring and assessment: (1) design of monitoring networks; (2) estimating expected conditions (criteria development); (3) reporting of results; (4) setting priorities for future monitoring and restoration. By delineating geographic areas with similar characteristics, ecological regions provide a framework for developing relevant indicators, setting expectations through the use of regional reference sites, establishing ecoregion-specific criteria and/or standards, presenting results, focusing models based on relationships between landscape and surface water metrics, and setting regional priorities for management and restoration. The Environmental Protection Agency and many state environmental departments currently use ecoregions to aid the development of environmental criteria, to illustrate current environmental condition, and to guide efforts to maintain and restore physical, chemical and biological integrity in lakes, streams, and rivers.

  7. An ecological process model of female sex offending: the role of victimization, psychological distress, and life stressors.

    PubMed

    DeCou, Christopher R; Cole, Trevor T; Rowland, Sarah E; Kaplan, Stephanie P; Lynch, Shannon M

    2015-06-01

    Female sex offenders may be implicated in up to one fifth of all sex crimes committed in the United States. Despite previous research findings that suggest unique patterns of offending among female sex offenders, limited empirical research has investigated the motivations and processes involved. The present study qualitatively examined female sex offenders' offense-related experiences and characterized the internal and external factors that contributed to offending. Semi-structured interviews with 24 female sex offenders were analyzed by a team of coders with limited exposure to the existing literature using grounded theory analysis. A conceptual framework emerged representing distinctive processes for solo- and co-offending, contextualized within ecological layers of social and environmental influence. This model extends previous work by offering an example of nested vulnerabilities proximal to female sexual offending. Implications for future research, prevention, and treatment are discussed.

  8. Extraversion and reward-related processing: probing incentive motivation in affective priming tasks.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Michael D; Moeller, Sara K; Ode, Scott

    2010-10-01

    Based on an incentive motivation theory of extraversion (Depue & Collins, 1999), it was hypothesized that extraverts (relative to introverts) would exhibit stronger positive priming effects in affective priming tasks, whether involving words or pictures. This hypothesis was systematically supported in four studies involving 229 undergraduates. In each of the four studies, and in a subsequent combined analysis, extraversion was positively predictive of positive affective priming effects, but was not predictive of negative affective priming effects. The results bridge an important gap in the literature between biological and trait models of incentive motivation and do so in a way that should be informative to subsequent efforts to understand the processing basis of extraversion as well as incentive motivation.

  9. Management of sediment and erosion processes in boreal headwaters affected by peatland drainage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marttila, H.; Tammela, S.; Kløve, B.

    2009-04-01

    Peatland drainage for forestry, agriculture, peat harvesting and urban infrastructure has been altered landscape in Finland. Pristine peatlands and headwaters provide important hydrological and ecological functions that can be lost after drainage. The drainage has resulted in increase of forest resources but also negative environmental effects including changes in runoffs, erosion processes, siltation and eutrophication. The changes that can occur after drainage are, however, complex and must be better understood if the negative impacts of drainage are to be reduced or prevented. Especially erosion and transport processes of organic peat sediment are not well understood (Marttila and Kløve, 2008). Methods for controlling the sediment load include erosion and transport control practices in the catchment area (Marttila and Kløve, 2009; Tammela et al. 2009). The presentation/poster will present methods and preliminary results project from Northern Finland. The issues especially covered are sediment erosion and transport and methods to restore and reduce impacts of peatland drainage in boreal headwaters. Keywords: sediment transport, erosion, peatland drainage, organic and inorganic sediment, stream and catchment restoration, management, environment References: Marttila, H. and Kløve. B. 2008. Erosion and delivery of deposited peat sediment. Water Resources Research. 44 (6). Marttila, H. Kløve. B. 2009. Retention of sediment and nutrient loads with peak runoff control. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering (in press). Tammela, S. Marttila, H. and Kløve. B. 2009. Effect and design of an underminer structure on flow distribution and local bed topography (submitted).

  10. Elevated Preattentive Affective Processing in Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder: A Preliminary fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R.; Hooley, Jill M.; Dahlgren, Mary K.; Gönenc, Atilla; Yurgelun-Todd, Deborah A.; Gruber, Staci A.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Emotion dysregulation is central to the clinical conceptualization of borderline personality disorder (BPD), with individuals often displaying instability in mood and intense feelings of negative affect. Although existing data suggest important neural and behavioral differences in the emotion processing of individuals with BPD, studies thus far have only explored reactions to overt emotional information. Therefore, it is unclear if BPD-related emotional hypersensitivity extends to stimuli presented below the level of conscious awareness (preattentively). Methods: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to measure neural responses to happy, angry, fearful, and neutral faces presented preattentively, using a backward masked affect paradigm. Given their tendency toward emotional hyperreactivity and altered amygdala and frontal activation, we hypothesized that individuals with BPD would demonstrate a distinct pattern of fMRI responses relative to those without BPD during the viewing of masked affective versus neutral faces in specific regions of interests (ROIs). Results: Results indicated that individuals with BPD demonstrated increases in frontal, cingulate, and amygdalar activation represented by number of voxels activated and demonstrated a different pattern of activity within the ROIs relative to those without BPD while viewing masked affective versus neutral faces. Conclusion: These findings suggest that in addition to the previously documented heightened responses to overt displays of emotion, individuals with BPD also demonstrate differential responses to positive and negative emotions, early in the processing stream, even before conscious awareness. PMID:26696932

  11. No support for dual process accounts of human affective learning in simple Pavlovian conditioning.

    PubMed

    Lipp, Ottmar V; Purkis, Helena M

    2005-02-01

    Dual process accounts of affective learning state that the learning of likes and dislikes reflects a learning mechanism that is distinct from the one reflected in expectancy learning, the learning of signal relationships, and has different empirical characteristics. Affective learning, for example, is said not to be affected by: (a) extinction training; (b) occasion setting; (c) cue competition; and (d) awareness of the CS-US contingencies. These predictions were tested in a series of experiments that employed simple Pavlovian conditioning procedures. Neutral visual pictures of geometric shapes, or tactile conditional stimuli (CS) were paired with aversive electrotactile unconditional stimuli (US). Dependent measures were physiological (skin conductance, blink startle modulation) or verbal (US expectancy, on-line and off-line ratings of CS pleasantness). Different combinations of these dependent measures were employed across different experiments in an attempt to assess affective and expectancy learning simultaneously. Changes in CS pleasantness as indexed by ratings or blink startle modulation were readily observed. However, contrary to the predictions from dual-process accounts, results indicated that acquired CS unpleasantness is subject to extinction, occasion setting, cue competition, and not found in absence of CS-US contingency awareness.

  12. Performance processes within affect-related performance zones: a multi-modal investigation of golf performance.

    PubMed

    van der Lei, Harry; Tenenbaum, Gershon

    2012-12-01

    Individual affect-related performance zones (IAPZs) method utilizing Kamata et al. (J Sport Exerc Psychol 24:189-208, 2002) probabilistic model of determining the individual zone of optimal functioning was utilized as idiosyncratic affective patterns during golf performance. To do so, three male golfers of a varsity golf team were observed during three rounds of golf competition. The investigation implemented a multi-modal assessment approach in which the probabilistic relationship between affective states and both, performance process and performance outcome, measures were determined. More specifically, introspective (i.e., verbal reports) and objective (heart rate and respiration rate) measures of arousal were incorporated to examine the relationships between arousal states and both, process components (i.e., routine consistency, timing), and outcome scores related to golf performance. Results revealed distinguishable and idiosyncratic IAPZs associated with physiological and introspective measures for each golfer. The associations between the IAPZs and decision-making or swing/stroke execution were strong and unique for each golfer. Results are elaborated using cognitive and affect-related concepts, and applications for practitioners are provided.

  13. Advancing the Assessment of Personality Pathology With the Cognitive-Affective Processing System.

    PubMed

    Huprich, Steven K; Nelson, Sharon M

    2015-01-01

    The Cognitive-Affective Processing System (CAPS) is a dynamic and expansive model of personality proposed by Mischel and Shoda (1995) that incorporates dispositional and processing frameworks by considering the interaction of the individual and the situation, and the patterns of variation that result. These patterns of cognition, affect, and behavior are generally defined through the use of if … then statements, and provide a rich understanding of the individual across varying levels of assessment. In this article, we describe the CAPS model and articulate ways in which it can be applied to conceptualizing and assessing personality pathology. We suggest that the CAPS model is an ideal framework that integrates a number of current theories of personality pathology, and simultaneously overcomes a number of limits that have been empirically identified in the past.

  14. Integrative Processing of Touch and Affect in Social Perception: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Ebisch, Sjoerd J. H.; Salone, Anatolia; Martinotti, Giovanni; Carlucci, Leonardo; Mantini, Dante; Perrucci, Mauro G.; Saggino, Aristide; Romani, Gian Luca; Di Giannantonio, Massimo; Northoff, Georg; Gallese, Vittorio

    2016-01-01

    Social perception commonly employs multiple sources of information. The present study aimed at investigating the integrative processing of affective social signals. Task-related and task-free functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 26 healthy adult participants during a social perception task concerning dynamic visual stimuli simultaneously depicting facial expressions of emotion and tactile sensations that could be either congruent or incongruent. Confounding effects due to affective valence, inhibitory top–down influences, cross-modal integration, and conflict processing were minimized. The results showed that the perception of congruent, compared to incongruent stimuli, elicited enhanced neural activity in a set of brain regions including left amygdala, bilateral posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and left superior parietal cortex. These congruency effects did not differ as a function of emotion or sensation. A complementary task-related functional interaction analysis preliminarily suggested that amygdala activity depended on previous processing stages in fusiform gyrus and PCC. The findings provide support for the integrative processing of social information about others’ feelings from manifold bodily sources (sensory-affective information) in amygdala and PCC. Given that the congruent stimuli were also judged as being more self-related and more familiar in terms of personal experience in an independent sample of participants, we speculate that such integrative processing might be mediated by the linking of external stimuli with self-experience. Finally, the prediction of task-related responses in amygdala by intrinsic functional connectivity between amygdala and PCC during a task-free state implies a neuro-functional basis for an individual predisposition for the integrative processing of social stimulus content. PMID:27242474

  15. How work context affects operating room processes: using data mining and computer simulation to analyze facility and process design.

    PubMed

    Baumgart, André; Denz, Christof; Bender, Hans-Joachim; Schleppers, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    The complexity of the operating room (OR) requires that both structural (eg, department layout) and behavioral (eg, staff interactions) patterns of work be considered when developing quality improvement strategies. In our study, we investigated how these contextual factors influence outpatient OR processes and the quality of care delivered. The study setting was a German university-affiliated hospital performing approximately 6000 outpatient surgeries annually. During the 3-year-study period, the hospital significantly changed its outpatient OR facility layout from a decentralized (ie, ORs in adjacent areas of the building) to a centralized (ie, ORs in immediate vicinity of each other) design. To study the impact of the facility change on OR processes, we used a mixed methods approach, including process analysis, process modeling, and social network analysis of staff interactions. The change in facility layout was seen to influence OR processes in ways that could substantially affect patient outcomes. For example, we found a potential for more errors during handovers in the new centralized design due to greater interdependency between tasks and staff. Utilization of the mixed methods approach in our analysis, as compared with that of a single assessment method, enabled a deeper understanding of the OR work context and its influence on outpatient OR processes.

  16. The ANK3 gene and facial affect processing: An ERP study.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Wan; Zhang, Qiumei; Yu, Ping; Zhang, Zhifang; Chen, Xiongying; Gu, Huang; Zhai, Jinguo; Chen, Min; Du, Boqi; Deng, Xiaoxiang; Ji, Feng; Wang, Chuanyue; Xiang, Yu-Tao; Li, Dawei; Wu, Hongjie; Dong, Qi; Luo, Yuejia; Li, Jun; Chen, Chuansheng

    2016-09-01

    ANK3 is one of the most promising candidate genes for bipolar disorder (BD). A polymorphism (rs10994336) within the ANK3 gene has been associated with BD in at least three genome-wide association studies of BD [McGuffin et al., 2003; Kieseppä, 2004; Edvardsen et al., 2008]. Because facial affect processing is disrupted in patients with BD, the current study aimed to explore whether the BD risk alleles are associated with the N170, an early event-related potential (ERP) component related to facial affect processing. We collected data from two independent samples of healthy individuals (Ns = 83 and 82, respectively) to test the association between rs10994336 and an early event-related potential (ERP) component (N170) that is sensitive to facial affect processing. Repeated-measures analysis of covariance in both samples consistently revealed significant main effects of rs10994336 genotype (Sample I: F (1, 72) = 7.24, P = 0.009; Sample II: F (1, 69) = 11.81, P = 0.001), but no significant interaction of genotype × electrodes (Ps > 0.05) or genotype × emotional conditions (Ps > 0.05). These results suggested that rs10994336 was linked to early ERP component reflecting facial structural encoding during facial affect processing. These results shed new light on the brain mechanism of this risk SNP and associated disorders such as BD. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Groundwater–surface water mixing shifts ecological assembly processes and stimulates organic carbon turnover

    DOE PAGES

    Stegen, James C.; Fredrickson, James K.; Wilkins, Michael J.; ...

    2016-04-07

    Environmental transition zones are associated with geochemical gradients that overcome energy limitations to microbial metabolism, resulting in biogeochemical hot spots and moments. Riverine systems where groundwater mixes with surface water (the hyporheic zone) are spatially complex and temporally dynamic, making development of predictive models challenging. Spatial and temporal variations in hyporheic zone microbial communities are a key, but understudied, component of riverine biogeochemical function. To investigate the coupling among groundwater-surface water mixing, microbial communities, and biogeochemistry we applied ecological theory, aqueous biogeochemistry, DNA sequencing, and ultra-high resolution organic carbon profiling to field samples collected across times and locations representing amore » broad range of mixing conditions. Mixing of groundwater and surface water resulted in a shift from transport-driven stochastic dynamics to a deterministic microbial structure associated with elevated biogeochemical rates. While the dynamics of the hyporheic make predictive modeling a challenge, we provide new knowledge that can improve the tractability of such models.« less

  18. Soy processing affects metabolism and disposition of dietary isoflavones in ovariectomized BALB/c mice.

    PubMed

    Allred, Clinton D; Twaddle, Nathan C; Allred, Kimberly F; Goeppinger, Tracy S; Churchwell, Mona I; Ju, Young H; Helferich, William G; Doerge, Daniel R

    2005-11-02

    Soy foods and nutritional supplements are widely consumed for potential health benefits. It was previously shown that isoflavone-supplemented diets, which contained equal genistein equivalents, differentially stimulated mammary tumor growth in athymic mice based on the degree of processing. This paper reports plasma pharmacokinetic analysis and metabolite identification using the parental mouse strain fed the same diets, which contained genistin, mixed isoflavones, Novasoy, soy molasses, or soy flour plus mixed isoflavones. Whereas the degree of soy processing did affect several parameters reflecting isoflavone bioavailability and gut microflora metabolism of daidzein to equol, stimulation of tumor growth correlated significantly with only the plasma concentration of aglycon genistein produced by the diets. This conclusion is consistent with the known estrogen agonist activity of genistein aglycon on mammary tumor growth. Conversely, plasma equol concentration was inversely correlated with the degree of soy processing. Although antagonism of genistein-stimulated tumor growth by equol could explain this result, the very low concentration of aglycon equol in plasma (12-fold lower relative to genistein) is inconsistent with any effect. These findings underscore the importance of food processing, which can remove non-nutritive components from soy, on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of isoflavones. Such changes in diet composition affect circulating, and presumably target tissue, concentrations of genistein aglycon, which initiates estrogen receptor-mediated processes required for the stimulation of tumor growth in a mouse model for postmenopausal breast cancer.

  19. TMS affects moral judgment, showing the role of DLPFC and TPJ in cognitive and emotional processing

    PubMed Central

    Jeurissen, Danique; Sack, Alexander T.; Roebroeck, Alard; Russ, Brian E.; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2014-01-01

    Decision-making involves a complex interplay of emotional responses and reasoning processes. In this study, we use TMS to explore the neurobiological substrates of moral decisions in humans. To examining the effects of TMS on the outcome of a moral-decision, we compare the decision outcome of moral-personal and moral-impersonal dilemmas to each other and examine the differential effects of applying TMS over the right DLPFC or right TPJ. In this comparison, we find that the TMS-induced disruption of the DLPFC during the decision process, affects the outcome of the moral-personal judgment, while TMS-induced disruption of TPJ affects only moral-impersonal conditions. In other words, we find a double-dissociation between DLPFC and TPJ in the outcome of a moral decision. Furthermore, we find that TMS-induced disruption of the DLPFC during non-moral, moral-impersonal, and moral-personal decisions lead to lower ratings of regret about the decision. Our results are in line with the dual-process theory and suggest a role for both the emotional response and cognitive reasoning process in moral judgment. Both the emotional and cognitive processes were shown to be involved in the decision outcome. PMID:24592204

  20. Using Bayesian Nonparametric Hidden Semi-Markov Models to Disentangle Affect Processes during Marital Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, William A.; Li, Xun

    2016-01-01

    Sequential affect dynamics generated during the interaction of intimate dyads, such as married couples, are associated with a cascade of effects—some good and some bad—on each partner, close family members, and other social contacts. Although the effects are well documented, the probabilistic structures associated with micro-social processes connected to the varied outcomes remain enigmatic. Using extant data we developed a method of classifying and subsequently generating couple dynamics using a Hierarchical Dirichlet Process Hidden semi-Markov Model (HDP-HSMM). Our findings indicate that several key aspects of existing models of marital interaction are inadequate: affect state emissions and their durations, along with the expected variability differences between distressed and nondistressed couples are present but highly nuanced; and most surprisingly, heterogeneity among highly satisfied couples necessitate that they be divided into subgroups. We review how this unsupervised learning technique generates plausible dyadic sequences that are sensitive to relationship quality and provide a natural mechanism for computational models of behavioral and affective micro-social processes. PMID:27187319

  1. Attentional and affective processing of sexual stimuli in women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

    PubMed

    Brauer, Marieke; van Leeuwen, Matthijs; Janssen, Erick; Newhouse, Sarah K; Heiman, Julia R; Laan, Ellen

    2012-08-01

    Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is the most common sexual problem in women. From an incentive motivation perspective, HSDD may be the result of a weak association between sexual stimuli and rewarding experiences. As a consequence, these stimuli may either lose or fail to acquire a positive meaning, resulting in a limited number of incentives that have the capacity to elicit a sexual response. According to current information processing models of sexual arousal, sexual stimuli automatically activate meanings and if these are not predominantly positive, processes relevant to the activation of sexual arousal and desire may be interrupted. Premenopausal U.S. and Dutch women with acquired HSDD (n = 42) and a control group of sexually functional women (n = 42) completed a single target Implicit Association Task and a Picture Association Task assessing automatic affective associations with sexual stimuli and a dot detection task measuring attentional capture by sexual stimuli. Results showed that women with acquired HSDD displayed less positive (but not more negative) automatic associations with sexual stimuli than sexually functional women. The same pattern was found for self-reported affective sex-related associations. Participants were slower to detect targets in the dot detection task that replaced sexual images, irrespective of sexual function status. As such, the findings point to the relevance of affective processing of sexual stimuli in women with HSDD, and imply that the treatment of HSDD might benefit from a stronger emphasis on the strengthening of the association between sexual stimuli and positive meaning and sexual reward.

  2. Water quality and processes affecting dissolved oxygen concentrations in the Blackwater River, Canaan Valley, West Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waldron, M.C.; Wiley, J.B.

    1996-01-01

    The water quality and environmental processes affecting dissolved oxygen were determined for the Blackwater River in Canaan Valley, West Virginia. Canaan Valley is oval-shaped (14 miles by 5 miles) and is located in the Allegheny Mountains at an average elevation of 3,200 feet above sea level. Tourism, population, and real estate development have increased in the past two decades. Most streams in Canaan Valley are a dilute calcium magnesium bicarbonate-type water. Streamwater typicaly was soft and low in alkalinity and dissolved solids. Maximum values for specific conductance, hardness, alkalinity, and dissolved solids occurred during low-flow periods when streamflow was at or near baseflow. Dissolved oxygen concentrations are most sensitive to processes affecting the rate of reaeration. The reaeration is affected by solubility (atmospheric pressure, water temperature, humidity, and cloud cover) and processes that determine stream turbulence (stream depth, width, velocity, and roughness). In the headwaters, photosynthetic dissolved oxygen production by benthic algae can result in supersaturated dissolved oxygen concentrations. In beaver pools, dissolved oxygen consumption from sediment oxygen demand and carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand can result in dissolved oxygen deficits.

  3. Towards Tunable Consensus Clustering for Studying Functional Brain Connectivity During Affective Processing.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chao; Abu-Jamous, Basel; Brattico, Elvira; Nandi, Asoke K

    2017-03-01

    In the past decades, neuroimaging of humans has gained a position of status within neuroscience, and data-driven approaches and functional connectivity analyses of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data are increasingly favored to depict the complex architecture of human brains. However, the reliability of these findings is jeopardized by too many analysis methods and sometimes too few samples used, which leads to discord among researchers. We propose a tunable consensus clustering paradigm that aims at overcoming the clustering methods selection problem as well as reliability issues in neuroimaging by means of first applying several analysis methods (three in this study) on multiple datasets and then integrating the clustering results. To validate the method, we applied it to a complex fMRI experiment involving affective processing of hundreds of music clips. We found that brain structures related to visual, reward, and auditory processing have intrinsic spatial patterns of coherent neuroactivity during affective processing. The comparisons between the results obtained from our method and those from each individual clustering algorithm demonstrate that our paradigm has notable advantages over traditional single clustering algorithms in being able to evidence robust connectivity patterns even with complex neuroimaging data involving a variety of stimuli and affective evaluations of them. The consensus clustering method is implemented in the R package "UNCLES" available on http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/UNCLES/index.html .

  4. The Ecosystem Concept and Linking Models of Physical-Chemical Processes to Ecological Responses: Introduction and Annotated Bibliography

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-07-01

    Schneider, D. C. 1994. Quantitative ecology. Spatial and temporal scaling. Academic Press. Shugart, H. H. 1990. Ecological models and the ecotone . In: The...ecology and management of aquatic-terrestrial ecotones . Man and the biosphere series, Vol. 4. ed. R. J. Naiman and H. Decamps, 23-36. Paris, France

  5. Ecological studies related to construction of the Defense Waste Processing Facility on the Savannah River Site. Annual report, FY 1993

    SciTech Connect

    1994-11-01

    Construction of the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) on the Savannah River Site (SRS) began during FY-1984. The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) has completed 15 years of ecological studies related to the construction of the DWPF complex. Prior to construction, the 600-acre site (S-Area) contained a Carolina bay and the headwaters of a stream. Through the long-term census taking of biota at the DWPF site and Rainbow Bay, SREL has been evaluating the impact of construction on the biota and the effectiveness of mitigation efforts. similarly, the effects of erosion from the DWPF site on the water quality of S-Area peripheral streams are being assessed. This research provides supporting data relevant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, Executive orders 11988 (Floodplain Management) and 11990 (Protection of Wetlands), and United States Department of Energy (DOE) Guidelines for Compliance with Floodplain/Wetland Environmental Review Requirements (10 CFR 1022).

  6. The role of social and ecological processes in structuring animal populations: a case study from automated tracking of wild birds

    PubMed Central

    Farine, Damien R.; Firth, Josh A.; Aplin, Lucy M.; Crates, Ross A.; Culina, Antica; Garroway, Colin J.; Hinde, Camilla A.; Kidd, Lindall R.; Milligan, Nicole D.; Psorakis, Ioannis; Radersma, Reinder; Verhelst, Brecht; Voelkl, Bernhard; Sheldon, Ben C.

    2015-01-01

    Both social and ecological factors influence population process and structure, with resultant consequences for phenotypic selection on individuals. Understanding the scale and relative contribution of these two factors is thus a central aim in evolutionary ecology. In this study, we develop a framework using null models to identify the social and spatial patterns that contribute to phenotypic structure in a wild population of songbirds. We used automated technologies to track 1053 individuals that formed 73 737 groups from which we inferred a social network. Our framework identified that both social and spatial drivers contributed to assortment in the network. In particular, groups had a more even sex ratio than expected and exhibited a consistent age structure that suggested local association preferences, such as preferential attachment or avoidance. By contrast, recent immigrants were spatially partitioned from locally born individuals, suggesting differential dispersal strategies by phenotype. Our results highlight how different scales of social decision-making, ranging from post-natal dispersal settlement to fission–fusion dynamics, can interact to drive phenotypic structure in animal populations. PMID:26064644

  7. Developing standards for environmental toxicants: the need to consider abiotic environmental factors and microbe-mediated ecologic processes.

    PubMed Central

    Babich, H; Stotzky, G

    1983-01-01

    This article suggests and discusses two novel aspects for the formulation of standards for environmental toxicants. First, uniform national standards for each pollutant will be underprotective for some ecosystems and overprotective for others, inasmuch as the toxicity of a pollutant to the indigenous biota is dependent on the physicochemical properties of the recipient environment. As the number of chemicals that need regulation is immense and as microbes appear to respond similarly to pollutant-abiotic factor interactions as do plants and animals, it is suggested that microbial assays be used initially to identify those abiotic factors that most influence the toxicity of specific pollutants. Thereafter, additional studies using plants and animals can focus on these pollutant-abiotic factor interactions, and more meaningful standards can then be formulated more rapidly and inexpensively. Second, it is suggested that the response to pollutants of microbe-mediated ecologic processes be used to quantitate the sensitivity of different ecosystems to various toxicants. Such a quantification, expressed in terms of an "ecological dose 50%" (EcD50), could be easily incorporated into the methodologies currently used to set water quality criteria and would also be applicable to setting criteria for terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:6339225

  8. The role of social and ecological processes in structuring animal populations: a case study from automated tracking of wild birds.

    PubMed

    Farine, Damien R; Firth, Josh A; Aplin, Lucy M; Crates, Ross A; Culina, Antica; Garroway, Colin J; Hinde, Camilla A; Kidd, Lindall R; Milligan, Nicole D; Psorakis, Ioannis; Radersma, Reinder; Verhelst, Brecht; Voelkl, Bernhard; Sheldon, Ben C

    2015-04-01

    Both social and ecological factors influence population process and structure, with resultant consequences for phenotypic selection on individuals. Understanding the scale and relative contribution of these two factors is thus a central aim in evolutionary ecology. In this study, we develop a framework using null models to identify the social and spatial patterns that contribute to phenotypic structure in a wild population of songbirds. We used automated technologies to track 1053 individuals that formed 73 737 groups from which we inferred a social network. Our framework identified that both social and spatial drivers contributed to assortment in the network. In particular, groups had a more even sex ratio than expected and exhibited a consistent age structure that suggested local association preferences, such as preferential attachment or avoidance. By contrast, recent immigrants were spatially partitioned from locally born individuals, suggesting differential dispersal strategies by phenotype. Our results highlight how different scales of social decision-making, ranging from post-natal dispersal settlement to fission-fusion dynamics, can interact to drive phenotypic structure in animal populations.

  9. Early neural activation during facial affect processing in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder☆

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Rachel C.; Pang, Elizabeth W.; Cassel, Daniel; Brian, Jessica A.; Smith, Mary Lou; Taylor, Margot J.

    2014-01-01

    Impaired social interaction is one of the hallmarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Emotional faces are arguably the most critical visual social stimuli and the ability to perceive, recognize, and interpret emotions is central to social interaction and communication, and subsequently healthy social development. However, our understanding of the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying emotional face processing in adolescents with ASD is limited. We recruited 48 adolescents, 24 with high functioning ASD and 24 typically developing controls. Participants completed an implicit emotional face processing task in the MEG. We examined spatiotemporal differences in neural activation between the groups during implicit angry and happy face processing. While there were no differences in response latencies between groups across emotions, adolescents with ASD had lower accuracy on the implicit emotional face processing task when the trials included angry faces. MEG data showed atypical neural activity in adolescents with ASD during angry and happy face processing, which included atypical activity in the insula, anterior and posterior cingulate and temporal and orbitofrontal regions. Our findings demonstrate differences in neural activity during happy and angry face processing between adolescents with and without ASD. These differences in activation in social cognitive regions may index the difficulties in face processing and in comprehension of social reward and punishment in the ASD group. Thus, our results suggest that atypical neural activation contributes to impaired affect processing, and thus social cognition, in adolescents with ASD. PMID:25610782

  10. Early neural activation during facial affect processing in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Leung, Rachel C; Pang, Elizabeth W; Cassel, Daniel; Brian, Jessica A; Smith, Mary Lou; Taylor, Margot J

    2015-01-01

    Impaired social interaction is one of the hallmarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Emotional faces are arguably the most critical visual social stimuli and the ability to perceive, recognize, and interpret emotions is central to social interaction and communication, and subsequently healthy social development. However, our understanding of the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying emotional face processing in adolescents with ASD is limited. We recruited 48 adolescents, 24 with high functioning ASD and 24 typically developing controls. Participants completed an implicit emotional face processing task in the MEG. We examined spatiotemporal differences in neural activation between the groups during implicit angry and happy face processing. While there were no differences in response latencies between groups across emotions, adolescents with ASD had lower accuracy on the implicit emotional face processing task when the trials included angry faces. MEG data showed atypical neural activity in adolescents with ASD during angry and happy face processing, which included atypical activity in the insula, anterior and posterior cingulate and temporal and orbitofrontal regions. Our findings demonstrate differences in neural activity during happy and angry face processing between adolescents with and without ASD. These differences in activation in social cognitive regions may index the difficulties in face processing and in comprehension of social reward and punishment in the ASD group. Thus, our results suggest that atypical neural activation contributes to impaired affect processing, and thus social cognition, in adolescents with ASD.

  11. [Dynamics of plant community species diversity in the process of ecological rehabilitation in north Shaanxi loess area].

    PubMed

    Qin, Wei; Zhu, Qing-Ke; Zhang, Yu-Qing; Zhao, Lei-Lei

    2009-02-01

    Based on the vegetation survey on 18 sampling plots in Wuqi County of Shaanxi Province, and by using the methods of substituting space series for time series and of contrastive analysis, the dynamics of plant community species diversity in the process of ecological rehabilitation in the County was analyzed from the aspects of succession time, rehabilitation mode, and slope direction. The results showed that in the 25 years natural succession series, the natural restoration community on previous cropland experienced the sequence of Salsola collina, Artemisia scoparia, Lespedeza davurica, Artemisia sacrorum, and Bothriochloa ischcemum, with the dominant species tended to be changed from annual to perennial and from low-class to high-class. The variations of species number, Margalef index, Simpson index, Shannon-Wiener index, and Pielou index in the succession process could all be described by a quadratic function y = at2 + bt + c, suggesting that after the outside pressure removed, the degraded ecosystem in loess area could naturally restore to an advanced and steady state, but the restoration rate would be very slow. With the same site factors and restoration periods, the Margalef index, Shannon-Wiener index and Pielou index of herb layer decreased in the order of naturally restoring on previous cropland (I) > converting cropland to grassland (II) > converting cropland to forestland (III) > afforestation on barren hills (IV), while Simpson index changed in adverse. Comparing with natural restoration, the community types of herb layer in II and III were at the more advanced stage of natural succession series though the species diversity index was lower, indicating that artificial planting would accelerate the succession process. In the same period of rehabilitation, the Margalef index, Shannon-Wiener index and Pielou index of natural restoration community were obviously higher on shady slope than on sunny slope, and the community type was at the more advanced stage

  12. Multi-scale interactions affecting transport, storage, and processing of solutes and sediments in stream corridors (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harvey, J. W.; Packman, A. I.

    2010-12-01

    Surface water and groundwater flow interact with the channel geomorphology and sediments in ways that determine how material is transported, stored, and transformed in stream corridors. Solute and sediment transport affect important ecological processes such as carbon and nutrient dynamics and stream metabolism, processes that are fundamental to stream health and function. Many individual mechanisms of transport and storage of solute and sediment have been studied, including surface water exchange between the main channel and side pools, hyporheic flow through shallow and deep subsurface flow paths, and sediment transport during both baseflow and floods. A significant challenge arises from non-linear and scale-dependent transport resulting from natural, fractal fluvial topography and associated broad, multi-scale hydrologic interactions. Connections between processes and linkages across scales are not well understood, imposing significant limitations on system predictability. The whole-stream tracer experimental approach is popular because of the spatial averaging of heterogeneous processes; however the tracer results, implemented alone and analyzed using typical models, cannot usually predict transport beyond the very specific conditions of the experiment. Furthermore, the results of whole stream tracer experiments tend to be biased due to unavoidable limitations associated with sampling frequency, measurement sensitivity, and experiment duration. We recommend that whole-stream tracer additions be augmented with hydraulic and topographic measurements and also with additional tracer measurements made directly in storage zones. We present examples of measurements that encompass interactions across spatial and temporal scales and models that are transferable to a wide range of flow and geomorphic conditions. These results show how the competitive effects between the different forces driving hyporheic flow, operating at different spatial scales, creates a situation

  13. Processing Instruction, Communicative Value, and Ecological Validity: A Response to Collentine's Defense.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farley, Andrew

    2002-01-01

    Collentine's (1998) treatment materials are discussed in light of Van Patten's (1996) definition of processing instruction (PI) and the four processing problems outlined in Van Patten (1997). Collentine's understanding of communicative value is contrasted with VanPatten's (1995) original definition of the term and Collentine's comments concerning…

  14. More than who eats who: Discerning ecological processes from stable isotopes data

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stable isotope analyses of biota are now commonly used to discern trophic pathways between consumers and their foods. However, those same isotope data also hold information about processes that influence the physicochemical setting of food webs as well as biological processes ope...

  15. SIMULATION OF ECOLOGICALLY CONSCIOUS CHEMICAL PROCESSES: FUGITIVE EMISSIONS VERSUS OPERATING CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Catalytic reforming is an important refinery process for the conversion of low-octane naphtha (mostly paraffins) into high-octane motor fuels (isoparaffins, naphthenes and aromatics), light gases and hydrogen. In this study the catalytic reforming process is analyzed under differ...

  16. Application of a solar UV/chlorine advanced oxidation process to oil sands process-affected water remediation.

    PubMed

    Shu, Zengquan; Li, Chao; Belosevic, Miodrag; Bolton, James R; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal

    2014-08-19

    The solar UV/chlorine process has emerged as a novel advanced oxidation process for industrial and municipal wastewaters. Currently, its practical application to oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) remediation has been studied to treat fresh OSPW retained in large tailings ponds, which can cause significant adverse environmental impacts on ground and surface waters in Northern Alberta, Canada. Degradation of naphthenic acids (NAs) and fluorophore organic compounds in OSPW was investigated. In a laboratory-scale UV/chlorine treatment, the NAs degradation was clearly structure-dependent and hydroxyl radical-based. In terms of the NAs degradation rate, the raw OSPW (pH ∼ 8.3) rates were higher than those at an alkaline condition (pH = 10). Under actual sunlight, direct solar photolysis partially degraded fluorophore organic compounds, as indicated by the qualitative synchronous fluorescence spectra (SFS) of the OSPW, but did not impact NAs degradation. The solar/chlorine process effectively removed NAs (75-84% removal) and fluorophore organic compounds in OSPW in the presence of 200 or 300 mg L(-1) OCl(-). The acute toxicity of OSPW toward Vibrio fischeri was reduced after the solar/chlorine treatment. However, the OSPW toxicity toward goldfish primary kidney macrophages after solar/chlorine treatment showed no obvious toxicity reduction versus that of untreated OSPW, which warrants further study for process optimization.

  17. Applying the Cognitive-Affective Processing Systems Approach to Conceptualizing Rejection Sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Ayduk, Özlem; Gyurak, Anett

    2009-01-01

    The Cognitive-Affective Processing Systems or CAPS theory (Mischel & Shoda, 1995) was proposed to account for the processes that explain why and how people’s behavior varies stably across situations. Research on Rejection Sensitivity is reviewed as a programmatic attempt to illustrate how personality dispositions can be studied within the CAPS framework. This research reveals an if … then … (e.g., if situation X, he does A, but if situation Y, he does B) pattern of rejection sensitivity such that high rejection sensitive people’s goal to prevent rejection can lead to accommodating behavior; yet, the failure to achieve this goal can lead to aggression, reactivity, and lack of self-concept clarity. These situation–behavior relations or personality signatures reflect a stable activation network of distinctive personality processing dynamics. These dynamics link fears and expectations of rejection, perceptions/attributions of rejection, and affective/behavioral overreactions to perceived rejection. Self-regulatory and attentional mechanisms may interact with these dynamics as buffers against high rejection sensitivity, illustrating how multiple processes within a CAPS network play out in behavior. PMID:19890458

  18. Environmental changes affect the assembly of soil bacterial community primarily by mediating stochastic processes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ximei; Johnston, Eric R; Liu, Wei; Li, Linghao; Han, Xingguo

    2016-01-01

    Both 'species fitness difference'-based deterministic processes, such as competitive exclusion and environmental filtering, and 'species fitness difference'-independent stochastic processes, such as birth/death and dispersal/colonization, can influence the assembly of soil microbial communities. However, how both types of processes are mediated by anthropogenic environmental changes has rarely been explored. Here we report a novel and general pattern that almost all anthropogenic environmental changes that took place in a grassland ecosystem affected soil bacterial community assembly primarily through promoting or restraining stochastic processes. We performed four experiments mimicking 16 types of environmental changes and separated the compositional variation of soil bacterial communities caused by each environmental change into deterministic and stochastic components, with a recently developed method. Briefly, because the difference between control and treatment communities is primarily caused by deterministic processes, the deterministic change was quantified as (mean compositional variation between treatment and control) - (mean compositional variation within control). The difference among replicate treatment communities is primarily caused by stochastic processes, so the stochastic change was estimated as (mean compositional variation within treatment) - (mean compositional variation within control). The absolute of the stochastic change was greater than that of the deterministic change across almost all environmental changes, which was robust for both taxonomic and functional-based criterion. Although the deterministic change may become more important as environmental changes last longer, our findings showed that changes usually occurred through mediating stochastic processes over 5 years, challenging the traditional determinism-dominated view.

  19. Revegetation Plan for Areas of the Fitzner-Eberhardt Arid Lands Ecology Reserve Affected by Decommissioning of Buildings and Infrastructure and Debris Clean-up Actions

    SciTech Connect

    Downs, Janelle L.; Durham, Robin E.; Larson, Kyle B.

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Richland Operations Office is working to remove a number of facilities on the Fitzner Eberhardt Arid Lands Ecology Reserve (ALE), which is part of the Hanford Reach National Monument. Decommissioning and removal of buildings and debris on ALE will leave bare soils and excavated areas that need to be revegetated to prevent erosion and weed invasion. Four main areas within ALE are affected by these activities (DOE 2009;DOE/EA-1660F): 1) facilities along the ridgeline of Rattlesnake Mountain, 2) the former Nike missile base and ALE HQ laboratory buildings, 3) the aquatic research laboratory at Rattlesnake Springs area, and 4) a number of small sites across ALE where various types of debris remain from previous uses. This revegetation plan addresses the revegetation and restoration of those land areas disturbed by decommissioning and removal of buildings, facilities and associated infrastructure or debris removal. The primary objective of the revegetation efforts on ALE is to establish native vegetation at each of the sites that will enhance and accelerate the recovery of the native plant community that naturally persists at that location. Revegetation is intended to meet the direction specified by the Environmental Assessment (DOE 2009; DOE/EA-1660F) and by Stipulation C.7 of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the Rattlesnake Mountain Combined Community Communication Facility and InfrastructureCleanup on the Fitzner/Eberhardt Arid Lands Ecology Reserve, Hanford Site, Richland Washington(DOE 2009; Appendix B). Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) under contract with CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company (CPRC) and in consultation with the tribes and DOE-RL developed a site-specific strategy for each of the revegetation units identified within this document. The strategy and implementation approach for each revegetation unit identifies an appropriate native species mix and outlines the necessary site preparation activities

  20. Role of transportation in the persuasion process: cognitive and affective responses to antidrug narratives.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Smita C; Greene, Kathryn

    2012-01-01

    This study examined transportation effects of first- and third-person narratives as well as the role of transportation in the persuasion process. In particular, the authors evaluated the role of transportation in affecting cognitive and affective responses. Last, they addressed the relation between (a) cognitive and affective responses and (b) antidrug expectancies. Participants were 500 undergraduate students at a large northern university in the United Kingdom who were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 conditions: first- or third-person narratives on cocaine use. The results demonstrated that there was no difference between first- and third-person narratives in terms of transportation. However, overall, greater transportation was associated with more favorable cognitive responses, and more favorable cognitive response was associated with stronger anticocaine expectancies. In terms of affective responses, results indicated the mediating role of sadness and contentment in the association between transportation and anticocaine expectancies. In particular, increased transportation was associated with greater sadness and lower contentment. Lower sadness and contentment were associated with stronger anticocaine expectancies. Important theoretical and empirical implications are discussed.

  1. The power of emotional valence—from cognitive to affective processes in reading

    PubMed Central

    Altmann, Ulrike; Bohrn, Isabel C.; Lubrich, Oliver; Menninghaus, Winfried; Jacobs, Arthur M.

    2012-01-01

    The comprehension of stories requires the reader to imagine the cognitive and affective states of the characters. The content of many stories is unpleasant, as they often deal with conflict, disturbance or crisis. Nevertheless, unpleasant stories can be liked and enjoyed. In this fMRI study, we used a parametric approach to examine (1) the capacity of increasing negative valence of story contents to activate the mentalizing network (cognitive and affective theory of mind, ToM), and (2) the neural substrate of liking negatively valenced narratives. A set of 80 short narratives was compiled, ranging from neutral to negative emotional valence. For each story mean rating values on valence and liking were obtained from a group of 32 participants in a prestudy, and later included as parametric regressors in the fMRI analysis. Another group of 24 participants passively read the narratives in a three Tesla MRI scanner. Results revealed a stronger engagement of affective ToM-related brain areas with increasingly negative story valence. Stories that were unpleasant, but simultaneously liked, engaged the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which might reflect the moral exploration of the story content. Further analysis showed that the more the mPFC becomes engaged during the reading of negatively valenced stories, the more coactivation can be observed in other brain areas related to the neural processing of affective ToM and empathy. PMID:22754519

  2. Positive affect and health-related neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and inflammatory processes.

    PubMed

    Steptoe, Andrew; Wardle, Jane; Marmot, Michael

    2005-05-03

    Negative affective states such as depression are associated with premature mortality and increased risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and disability. It has been suggested that positive affective states are protective, but the pathways through which such effects might be mediated are poorly understood. Here we show that positive affect in middle-aged men and women is associated with reduced neuroendocrine, inflammatory, and cardiovascular activity. Positive affect was assessed by aggregating momentary experience samples of happiness over a working day and was inversely related to cortisol output over the day, independently of age, gender, socioeconomic position, body mass, and smoking. Similar patterns were observed on a leisure day. Happiness was also inversely related to heart rate assessed by using ambulatory monitoring methods over the day. Participants underwent mental stress testing in the laboratory, where plasma fibrinogen stress responses were smaller in happier individuals. These effects were independent of psychological distress, supporting the notion that positive well-being is directly related to health-relevant biological processes.

  3. The power of emotional valence-from cognitive to affective processes in reading.

    PubMed

    Altmann, Ulrike; Bohrn, Isabel C; Lubrich, Oliver; Menninghaus, Winfried; Jacobs, Arthur M

    2012-01-01

    The comprehension of stories requires the reader to imagine the cognitive and affective states of the characters. The content of many stories is unpleasant, as they often deal with conflict, disturbance or crisis. Nevertheless, unpleasant stories can be liked and enjoyed. In this fMRI study, we used a parametric approach to examine (1) the capacity of increasing negative valence of story contents to activate the mentalizing network (cognitive and affective theory of mind, ToM), and (2) the neural substrate of liking negatively valenced narratives. A set of 80 short narratives was compiled, ranging from neutral to negative emotional valence. For each story mean rating values on valence and liking were obtained from a group of 32 participants in a prestudy, and later included as parametric regressors in the fMRI analysis. Another group of 24 participants passively read the narratives in a three Tesla MRI scanner. Results revealed a stronger engagement of affective ToM-related brain areas with increasingly negative story valence. Stories that were unpleasant, but simultaneously liked, engaged the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which might reflect the moral exploration of the story content. Further analysis showed that the more the mPFC becomes engaged during the reading of negatively valenced stories, the more coactivation can be observed in other brain areas related to the neural processing of affective ToM and empathy.

  4. Application of ultrasound processed images in space: Quanitative assessment of diffuse affectations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Poch, A.; Bru, C.; Nicolau, C.

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate diffuse affectations in the liver using texture image processing techniques. Ultrasound diagnose equipments are the election of choice to be used in space environments as they are free from hazardous effects on health. However, due to the need for highly trained radiologists to assess the images, this imaging method is mainly applied on focal lesions rather than on non-focal ones. We have conducted a clinical study on 72 patients with different degrees of chronic hepatopaties and a group of control of 18 individuals. All subjects' clinical reports and results of biopsies were compared to the degree of affectation calculated by our computer system , thus validating the method. Full statistical results are given in the present paper showing a good correlation (r=0.61) between pathologist's report and analysis of the heterogenicity of the processed images from the liver. This computer system to analyze diffuse affectations may be used in-situ or via telemedicine to the ground.

  5. Acetyl-L-carnitine affects nonassociative learning processes in the leech Hirudo medicinalis.

    PubMed

    Ristori, C; Cataldo, E; Zaccardi, M L; Traina, G; Calvani, M; Lombardo, P; Scuri, R; Brunelli, M

    2006-11-03

    Acetyl-L-carnitine is a natural molecule widely distributed in vertebrate and invertebrate nervous system. It is known to have significant effects on neuronal activity playing a role as neuroprotective and anti-nociceptive agent, as well as neuromodulatory factor. About its capability of affecting learning processes the available data are controversial. In the present study, we utilized the simplified model system of the leech Hirudo medicinalis to analyze the effects of acetyl-L-carnitine, assessing whether and how it might affect elementary forms of nonassociative learning processes. In leeches with the head ganglion disconnected from the first segmental ganglion, repetitive application of weak electrical shocks onto the caudal portion of the body wall induces habituation of swim induction whereas brush strokes on the dorsal skin produces sensitization or dishabituation when the nociceptive stimulus is delivered on previously habituated animals. Herein, the effects of different concentrations of acetyl-L-carnitine (2 mM - 0.05 mM) have been tested at different times on both sensitization and dishabituation. The results show that a single treatment of acetyl-L-carnitine blocked the onset of sensitization in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In fact, the most effective concentration able to block this process was 2 mM, which induced its major effects 11 days after the treatment, whereas 0.05 mM was unable to affect the sensitization process at all considered time points. On the contrary, acetyl-L-carnitine did not completely abolish dishabituation at the tested concentrations and at every time point. Finally, acetyl-L-carnitine also impaired the habituation of swim induction, but only 11 days after treatment.

  6. How does context affect intimate relationships? linking external stress and cognitive processes within marriage.

    PubMed

    Neff, Lisa A; Karney, Benjamin R

    2004-02-01

    Stressors external to the marriage frequently affect the way spouses evaluate their marital quality. To date, however, understanding of the interplay between external stress and internal relationship processes has been limited in two ways. First, research has generally examined only the short-term consequences of stress. Second, the mechanisms through which external stressors influence relationship outcomes are unclear. This study addressed both limitations by examining relationship cognitions that may mediate the effects of external stress throughout 4 years of marriage. Analyses confirmed that stressful experiences were associated with the trajectory of marital quality overtime. Furthermore, both the content and the organization of spouses' specific relationship cognitions mediated this effect. That is, stress negatively influenced the nature of spouses' marital perceptions as well as the way spouses interpreted and processed those perceptions. These findings draw attention to ways that the context of relationships shapes and constrains relationship processes.

  7. The association between chronic exposure to video game violence and affective picture processing: an ERP study.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Kira; West, Robert; Anderson, Craig A

    2011-06-01

    Exposure to video game violence (VGV) is known to result in desensitization to violent material and may alter the processing of positive emotion related to facial expressions. The present study was designed to address three questions: (1) Does the association between VGV and positive emotion extend to stimuli other than faces, (2) is the association between VGV and affective picture processing observed with a single presentation of the stimuli, and (3) is the association between VGV and the response to violent stimuli sensitive to the relevance of emotion for task performance? The data revealed that transient modulations of the event-related potentials (ERPs) related to attentional orienting and sustained modulations of the ERPs related to evaluative processing were sensitive to VGV exposure.

  8. Ecological Exposure Research: Water

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Overview of ecological exposure water research, including invasive species, Functional Process Zones (FPZs), biomarkers, pharmaceuticals in water, headwater streams, DNA barcoding, wetland ecosystem services, and sediment remediation.

  9. Does the processing fluency of a syllabus affect the forecasted grade and course difficulty?

    PubMed

    Guenther, R Kim

    2012-06-01

    Processing fluency is known to affect a variety of cognitive assessments, but most research has not examined such effects in the context of a real-life experience. In the first experiment, college students, enrolled in either a statistics or cognitive psychology course, read a course syllabus which varied in the clarity of its font and frequency of its vocabulary. Based on the syllabus, students then forecasted their final course grade and the course's difficulty. Despite methodological similarity to other fluency experiments and adequate statistical power, there were no significant differences in forecasts across fluency conditions. Fluency may be discounted in a task which provides information that affects people's lives. This interpretation was bolstered by a second experiment whose participants were students in a statistics course. These students read the cognitive course's syllabus and forecasted better grades and less difficulty in the cognitive course when the font of the syllabus was more clear than unclear.

  10. Perceiving emotions in neutral faces: expression processing is biased by affective person knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Rabovsky, Milena; Abdel Rahman, Rasha

    2015-01-01

    According to a widely held view, basic emotions such as happiness or anger are reflected in facial expressions that are invariant and uniquely defined by specific facial muscle movements. Accordingly, expression perception should not be vulnerable to influences outside the face. Here, we test this assumption by manipulating the emotional valence of biographical knowledge associated with individual persons. Faces of well-known and initially unfamiliar persons displaying neutral expressions were associated with socially relevant negative, positive or comparatively neutral biographical information. The expressions of faces associated with negative information were classified as more negative than faces associated with neutral information. Event-related brain potential modulations in the early posterior negativity, a component taken to reflect early sensory processing of affective stimuli such as emotional facial expressions, suggest that negative affective knowledge can bias the perception of faces with neutral expressions toward subjectively displaying negative emotions. PMID:24948155

  11. Transcranial magnetic stimulation to the transverse occipital sulcus affects scene but not object processing.

    PubMed

    Ganaden, Rachel E; Mullin, Caitlin R; Steeves, Jennifer K E

    2013-06-01

    Traditionally, it has been theorized that the human visual system identifies and classifies scenes in an object-centered approach, such that scene recognition can only occur once key objects within a scene are identified. Recent research points toward an alternative approach, suggesting that the global image features of a scene are sufficient for the recognition and categorization of a scene. We have previously shown that disrupting object processing with repetitive TMS to object-selective cortex enhances scene processing possibly through a release of inhibitory mechanisms between object and scene pathways [Mullin, C. R., & Steeves, J. K. E. TMS to the lateral occipital cortex disrupts object processing but facilitates scene processing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 4174-4184, 2011]. Here we show the effects of TMS to the transverse occipital sulcus (TOS), an area implicated in scene perception, on scene and object processing. TMS was delivered to the TOS or the vertex (control site) while participants performed an object and scene natural/nonnatural categorization task. Transiently interrupting the TOS resulted in significantly lower accuracies for scene categorization compared with control conditions. This demonstrates a causal role of the TOS in scene processing and indicates its importance, in addition to the parahippocampal place area and retrosplenial cortex, in the scene processing network. Unlike TMS to object-selective cortex, which facilitates scene categorization, disrupting scene processing through stimulation of the TOS did not affect object categorization. Further analysis revealed a higher proportion of errors for nonnatural scenes that led us to speculate that the TOS may be involved in processing the higher spatial frequency content of a scene. This supports a nonhierarchical model of scene recognition.

  12. Transcranial Electrical Stimulation over Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Processing of Social Cognitive and Affective Information

    PubMed Central

    Conson, Massimiliano; Errico, Domenico; Mazzarella, Elisabetta; Giordano, Marianna; Grossi, Dario; Trojano, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    Recent neurofunctional studies suggested that lateral prefrontal cortex is a domain-general cognitive control area modulating computation of social information. Neuropsychological evidence reported dissociations between cognitive and affective components of social cognition. Here, we tested whether performance on social cognitive and affective tasks can be modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). To this aim, we compared the effects of tDCS on explicit recognition of emotional facial expressions (affective task), and on one cognitive task assessing the ability to adopt another person’s visual perspective. In a randomized, cross-over design, male and female healthy participants performed the two experimental tasks after bi-hemispheric tDCS (sham, left anodal/right cathodal, and right anodal/left cathodal) applied over DLPFC. Results showed that only in male participants explicit recognition of fearful facial expressions was significantly faster after anodal right/cathodal left stimulation with respect to anodal left/cathodal right and sham stimulations. In the visual perspective taking task, instead, anodal right/cathodal left stimulation negatively affected both male and female participants’ tendency to adopt another’s point of view. These findings demonstrated that concurrent facilitation of right and inhibition of left lateral prefrontal cortex can speed-up males’ responses to threatening faces whereas it interferes with the ability to adopt another’s viewpoint independently from gender. Thus, stimulation of cognitive control areas can lead to different effects on social cognitive skills depending on the affective vs. cognitive nature of the task, and on the gender-related differences in neural organization of emotion processing. PMID:25951227

  13. Transcranial Electrical Stimulation over Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Processing of Social Cognitive and Affective Information.

    PubMed

    Conson, Massimiliano; Errico, Domenico; Mazzarella, Elisabetta; Giordano, Marianna; Grossi, Dario; Trojano, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    Recent neurofunctional studies suggested that lateral prefrontal cortex is a domain-general cognitive control area modulating computation of social information. Neuropsychological evidence reported dissociations between cognitive and affective components of social cognition. Here, we tested whether performance on social cognitive and affective tasks can be modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). To this aim, we compared the effects of tDCS on explicit recognition of emotional facial expressions (affective task), and on one cognitive task assessing the ability to adopt another person's visual perspective. In a randomized, cross-over design, male and female healthy participants performed the two experimental tasks after bi-hemispheric tDCS (sham, left anodal/right cathodal, and right anodal/left cathodal) applied over DLPFC. Results showed that only in male participants explicit recognition of fearful facial expressions was significantly faster after anodal right/cathodal left stimulation with respect to anodal left/cathodal right and sham stimulations. In the visual perspective taking task, instead, anodal right/cathodal left stimulation negatively affected both male and female participants' tendency to adopt another's point of view. These findings demonstrated that concurrent facilitation of right and inhibition of left lateral prefrontal cortex can speed-up males' responses to threatening faces whereas it interferes with the ability to adopt another's viewpoint independently from gender. Thus, stimulation of cognitive control areas can lead to different effects on social cognitive skills depending on the affective vs. cognitive nature of the task, and on the gender-related differences in neural organization of emotion processing.

  14. Observing functional actions affects semantic processing of tools: evidence of a motor-to-semantic priming.

    PubMed

    De Bellis, Francesco; Ferrara, Antonia; Errico, Domenico; Panico, Francesco; Sagliano, Laura; Conson, Massimiliano; Trojano, Luigi

    2016-01-01

    Recent evidence shows that activation of motor information can favor identification of related tools, thus suggesting a strict link between motor and conceptual knowledge in cognitive representation of tools. However, the involvement of motor information in further semantic processing has not been elucidated. In three experiments, we aimed to ascertain whether motor information provided by observation of actions could affect processing of conceptual knowledge about tools. In Experiment 1, healthy participants judged whether pairs of tools evoking different functional handgrips had the same function. In Experiment 2 participants judged whether tools were paired with appropriate recipients. Finally, in Experiment 3 we again required functional judgments as in Experiment 1, but also included in the set of stimuli pairs of objects having different function and similar functional handgrips. In all experiments, pictures displaying either functional grasping (aimed to use tools) or structural grasping (just aimed to move tools independently from their use) were presented before each stimulus pair. The results demonstrated that, in comparison with structural grasping, observing functional grasping facilitates judgments about tools' function when objects did not imply the same functional manipulation (Experiment 1), whereas worsened such judgments when objects shared functional grasp (Experiment 3). Instead, action observation did not affect judgments concerning tool-recipient associations (Experiment 2). Our findings support a task-dependent influence of motor information on high-order conceptual tasks and provide further insights into how motor and conceptual processing about tools can interact.

  15. Sorting it out: bedding particle size and nesting material processing method affect nest complexity.

    PubMed

    Robinson-Junker, Amy; Morin, Amelia; Pritchett-Corning, Kathleen; Gaskill, Brianna N

    2017-04-01

    As part of routine husbandry, an increasing number of laboratory mice receive nesting material in addition to standard bedding material in their cages. Nesting material improves health outcomes and physiological performance in mice that receive it. Providing usable nesting material uniformly and efficiently to various strains of mice remains a challenge. The aim of this study was to determine how bedding particle size, method of nesting material delivery, and processing of the nesting material before delivery affected nest building in mice of strong (BALB/cAnNCrl) and weak (C3H/HeNCrl) gathering abilities. Our data suggest that processing nesting material through a grinder in conjunction with bedding material, although convenient for provision of bedding with nesting material 'built-in', negatively affects the integrity of the nesting material and subsequent nest-building outcomes. We also found that C3H mice, previously thought to be poor nest builders, built similarly scored nests to those of BALB/c mice when provided with unprocessed nesting material. This was true even when nesting material was mixed into the bedding substrate. We also observed that when nesting material was mixed into the bedding substrate, mice of both strains would sort their bedding by particle size more often than if it were not mixed in. Our findings support the utility of the practice of distributing nesting material mixed in with bedding substrate, but not that of processing the nesting material with the bedding in order to mix them.

  16. Inhomogeneous Point-Processes to Instantaneously Assess Affective Haptic Perception through Heartbeat Dynamics Information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valenza, G.; Greco, A.; Citi, L.; Bianchi, M.; Barbieri, R.; Scilingo, E. P.

    2016-06-01

    This study proposes the application of a comprehensive signal processing framework, based on inhomogeneous point-process models of heartbeat dynamics, to instantaneously assess affective haptic perception using electrocardiogram-derived information exclusively. The framework relies on inverse-Gaussian point-processes with Laguerre expansion of the nonlinear Wiener-Volterra kernels, accounting for the long-term information given by the past heartbeat events. Up to cubic-order nonlinearities allow for an instantaneous estimation of the dynamic spectrum and bispectrum of the considered cardiovascular dynamics, as well as for instantaneous measures of complexity, through Lyapunov exponents and entropy. Short-term caress-like stimuli were administered for 4.3–25 seconds on the forearms of 32 healthy volunteers (16 females) through a wearable haptic device, by selectively superimposing two levels of force, 2 N and 6 N, and two levels of velocity, 9.4 mm/s and 65 mm/s. Results demonstrated that our instantaneous linear and nonlinear features were able to finely characterize the affective haptic perception, with a recognition accuracy of 69.79% along the force dimension, and 81.25% along the velocity dimension.

  17. Inhomogeneous Point-Processes to Instantaneously Assess Affective Haptic Perception through Heartbeat Dynamics Information

    PubMed Central

    Valenza, G.; Greco, A.; Citi, L.; Bianchi, M.; Barbieri, R.; Scilingo, E. P.

    2016-01-01

    This study proposes the application of a comprehensive signal processing framework, based on inhomogeneous point-process models of heartbeat dynamics, to instantaneously assess affective haptic perception using electrocardiogram-derived information exclusively. The framework relies on inverse-Gaussian point-processes with Laguerre expansion of the nonlinear Wiener-Volterra kernels, accounting for the long-term information given by the past heartbeat events. Up to cubic-order nonlinearities allow for an instantaneous estimation of the dynamic spectrum and bispectrum of the considered cardiovascular dynamics, as well as for instantaneous measures of complexity, through Lyapunov exponents and entropy. Short-term caress-like stimuli were administered for 4.3–25 seconds on the forearms of 32 healthy volunteers (16 females) through a wearable haptic device, by selectively superimposing two levels of force, 2 N and 6 N, and two levels of velocity, 9.4 mm/s and 65 mm/s. Results demonstrated that our instantaneous linear and nonlinear features were able to finely characterize the affective haptic perception, with a recognition accuracy of 69.79% along the force dimension, and 81.25% along the velocity dimension. PMID:27357966

  18. Applications of the First Law to Ecological Systems. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Thermodynamics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, R. D.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This report describes concepts presented in another module called "The First Law of…

  19. fMRI of Two Measures of Phonological Processing in Visual Word Recognition: Ecological Validity Matters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Owen, William J.; Borowsky, Ron; Sarty, Gordon E.

    2004-01-01

    Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have investigated the role of phonological processing by utilizing nonword rhyming decision tasks (e.g., Pugh et al., 1996). Although such tasks clearly engage phonological components of visual word recognition, it is clear that decision tasks are more cognitively involved than the…

  20. Administrative Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGarity, Augustus C., III; Maulding, Wanda

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Nutritive value of corn silage as affected by maturity and mechanical processing: a contemporary review.

    PubMed

    Johnson, L; Harrison, J H; Hunt, C; Shinners, K; Doggett, C G; Sapienza, D

    1999-12-01

    Stage of maturity at harvest and mechanical processing affect the nutritive value of corn silage. The change in nutritive value of corn silage as maturity advances can be measured by animal digestion and macro in situ degradation studies among other methods. Predictive equations using climatic data, vitreousness of corn grain in corn silage, starch reactivity, gelatinization enthalpy, dry matter (DM) of corn grain in corn silage, and DM of corn silage can be used to estimate starch digestibility of corn silage. Whole plant corn silage can be mechanically processed either pre- or postensiling with a kernel processor mounted on a forage harvester, a recutter screen on a forage harvester, or a stationary roller mill. Mechanical processing of corn silage can improve ensiling characteristics, reduce DM losses during ensiling, and improve starch and fiber digestion as a result of fracturing the corn kernels and crushing and shearing the stover and cobs. Improvements in milk production have ranged from 0.2 to 2.0 kg/d when cows were fed mechanically processed corn silage. A consistent improvement in milk protein yield has also been observed when mechanically processed corn silage has been fed. With the advent of mechanical processors, alternative strategies are evident for corn silage management, such as a longer harvest window.

  2. Thermal processing differentially affects lycopene and other carotenoids in cis-lycopene containing, tangerine tomatoes.

    PubMed

    Cooperstone, Jessica L; Francis, David M; Schwartz, Steven J

    2016-11-01

    Tangerine tomatoes, unlike red tomatoes, accumulate cis-lycopenes instead of the all-trans isomer. cis-Lycopene is the predominating isomeric form of lycopene found in blood and tissues. Our objective was to understand how thermal processing and lipid concentration affect carotenoid isomerisation and degradation in tangerine tomatoes. We conducted duplicated factorial designed experiments producing tangerine tomato juice and sauce, varying both processing time and lipid concentration. Carotenoids were extracted and analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array detection. Phytoene, phytofluene, ζ-carotene, neurosporene, tetra-cis-lycopene, all-trans-lycopene and other-cis-lycopenes were quantified. Tetra-cis-lycopene decreased with increasing heating time and reached 80% of the original level in sauce after processing times of 180min. All-trans-lycopene and other-cis-lycopenes increased with longer processing times. Total carotenoids and total lycopene decreased with increased heating times while phytoene and phytofluene were unchanged. These data suggest limiting thermal processing of tangerine tomato products if delivery of tetra-cis-lycopene is desirable.

  3. How do how internal and external processes affect the behaviors of coupled marsh mudflat systems; infill, stabilize, retreat, or drown?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, J. A.; Mariotti, G.; Wiberg, P.; Fagherazzi, S.; McGlathery, K.

    2013-12-01

    Intertidal coastal environments are prone to changes induced by sea level rise, increases in storminess, and anthropogenic disturbances. It is unclear how changes in external drivers may affect the dynamics of low energy coastal environments because their response is non-linear, and characterized by many thresholds and discontinuities. As such, process-based modeling of the ecogeomorphic processes underlying the dynamics of these ecosystems is useful, not only to predict their change through time, but also to generate new hypotheses and research questions. Here, a three-point dynamic model was developed to investigate how internal and external processes affect the behavior of coupled marsh mudflat systems. The model directly incorporates ecogeomorphological feedbacks between wind waves, salt marsh vegetation, allochthonous sediment loading, tidal flat vegetation and sea level rise. The model was applied to examine potential trajectories of salt marshes on the Eastern seaboard of the United States, including those in the Plum Island Ecosystems (PIE), Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR) and Georgia Coastal Ecosystems (GCE) long term ecological research (LTER) sites. While these sites are undergoing similar rates of relative sea level rise (RSLR), they have distinct differences in site specific environmental drivers including tides, wind waves, allochthonous sediment supply and the presence or absence of seagrass. These differences lead to the emergence of altered behaviors in the coupled salt marsh-tidal flat system. For marsh systems without seagrass or significant riverine sediment supply, conditions similar to those at PIE, results indicated that horizontal and vertical marsh evolution respond in opposing ways to wave induced processes. Marsh horizontal retreat is triggered by large mudflats and strong winds, whereas small mudflats and weak winds reduce the sediment supply to the salt marsh, decreasing its capability to keep pace with sea level rise. Marsh expansion and

  4. Resource recovery and epidemiology of anaerobic wastewater treatment process in a controlled ecological life support system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Ku-Yen; Hunt, Madelyn D.

    1995-01-01

    The results of work accomplished under two different areas: (1) Resource Recovery of an Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment process, and (2) Epidemiological Study of an Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment Process are documented. The first part of the work was to set up and test three anaerobic digesters and then run these three digesters with a NASA-simulated wastewater. The second part of the work was to use a multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella choleraesuis as the indicator bacteria for the epidemiological study. Details of these two parts can be found in two master's theses and are described in Sections 3 and 4 of this report. Several important results condensed from these two parts are summarized in Section 2.

  5. A new standardized set of ecological pictures for experimental and clinical research on visual object processing.

    PubMed

    Viggiano, Maria Pia; Vannucci, Manila; Righi, Stefania

    2004-06-01

    A new set of 174 pictures in black-and-white, coloured and spatially filtered versions, taken from photographs of real objects belonging to different semantic categories, was realised for experimental and clinical research on visual object processing. Two samples, one of English speakers and one of Italian speakers, were tested in order to provide the normative data for each picture, in both black-and-white and coloured versions, in relation to familiarity, visual complexity and name agreement.

  6. How baryonic feedback processes can affect dark matter halos: a stochastic model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freundlich, J.; El-Zant, A.; Combes, F.

    2016-12-01

    Feedback processes from stars and active galactic nuclei result in gas density fluctuations which can contribute to `heating' dark matter haloes, decrease their density at the center and hence form more realistic `cores' than the steep `cusps' predicted by cold dark matter (CDM) simulations. We present a theoretical model deriving this effect from first principles: stochastic density variations in the gas distribution perturb the gravitational potential and hence affect the halo particles. We analytically derive the velocity dispersion imparted to the CDM particles and the corresponding relaxation time, and further perform numerical simulations to show that the assumed process can indeed lead to the formation of a core in an initially cuspy halo within a timescale comparable to the derived relaxation time. This suggests that feedback-induced cusp-core transformations observed in hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy formation may be understood and parametrized in relatively simple terms.

  7. Processes affecting reductive dechlorination of chlorinated solvents by zero-valent iron

    SciTech Connect

    Matheson, L.J.; Tratnyek, P.G.

    1993-12-31

    Zero-valent iron may participate in the reductive dechlorination process by three different mechanisms: direct, electrolytic reduction; reduction by hydrogen produced during the corrosion process; and reduction by dissolved (ferrous) iron that is also produced by corroding iron. The first step of electrolytic reduction is presumably, the transfer of one electron from the metal surface to the organic molecule. This results in an organic anion radical that may then lose a halide anion to give a carbon-centered radical, and oxidized iron, which is eventually released to the solution as Fe{sup 2+}. The goal of this research is to provide a comprehensive survey of the mechanisms that affect the performance of this reactive barrier technology.

  8. Oil sands process-affected water impairs feeding by Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Lari, Ebrahim; Steinkey, Dylan; Morandi, Garrett; Rasmussen, Joseph B; Giesy, John P; Pyle, Greg G

    2017-05-01

    Growth in extraction of bitumen from oil sands has raised concerns about influences of this industry on surrounding environments. Water clearance rate (a surrogate of feeding rate by Daphnia magna) in water containing D. magna exposed to oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) and its principal components, dissolved component (DC) and suspended particulate matter (SPM), was reduced to 72, 29, and 59% of controls, respectively. This study also examined several possible mechanisms for the observed changes algal cell density (i.e., feeding rate). There was no change in the digestive enzymes trypsin or amylase when D. magna were exposed to DC or SPM; however, exposure to total OSPW reduced trypsin activity. Mandible rolling or post-abdominal rejections, which are indicators of feeding and palatability of food, were not affected by any exposures to OSPW. Beating of thoracic limbs, which provides water flow toward the feeding groove, was reduced by exposure to SPM or total OSPW. Peristaltic activity was reduced by exposure to DC, which then might result in reduced digestion time in D. magna exposed to DC, SPM or whole OSPW. All treatments caused an increase in numbers of intact algae cells in the hindgut and excreted material. These results suggest that both DC and SPM affect feeding of D. magna by impairing actions of the digestive system, but most probably not by reducing rates of ingestion.

  9. ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF METALS IN STREAMS ON A DEFENSE MATERIALS PROCESSING SITE IN SOUTH CAROLINA, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Paller, M.; Dyer, S.

    2009-09-01

    The Savannah River Site (SRS) is a 780 km{sup 2} U.S. Department of Energy facility near Aiken SC established in 1950 to produce nuclear materials. SRS streams are 'integrators' that potentially receive water transportable contaminants from all sources within their watersheds necessitating a GIS-based watershed approach to organize contaminant distribution data and accurately characterize the effects of multiple contaminant sources on aquatic organisms. Concentrations of metals in sediments, fish, and water were elevated in streams affected by SRS operations, but contaminant exposure models for Lontra Canadensis and Ceryle alcyon indicated that toxicological reference values were exceeded only by Hg and Al. Macroinvertebrate community structure was unrelated to sediment metal concentrations. This study indicated that (1) modeling studies and field bioassessments provide a complementary basis for addressing the individual and cumulative effects of contaminants, (2) habitat effects must be controlled when assessing contaminant impacts, (3) sensitivity analyses of contaminant exposure models are helpful in apportioning sampling effort, and (4) contaminants released during fifty years of industrial operations have not resulted in demonstrable harm to aquatic organisms in SRS streams.

  10. 40 CFR 63.1037 - Alternative means of emission limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... regulated materials they handle. (2) A schematic of the process unit or affected facility, enclosure, and... limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities. 63.1037 Section 63.1037 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) NATIONAL EMISSION...

  11. 40 CFR 63.1037 - Alternative means of emission limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... regulated materials they handle. (2) A schematic of the process unit or affected facility, enclosure, and... limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities. 63.1037 Section 63.1037 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) NATIONAL EMISSION...

  12. 40 CFR 63.1037 - Alternative means of emission limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... regulated materials they handle. (2) A schematic of the process unit or affected facility, enclosure, and... limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities. 63.1037 Section 63.1037 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) NATIONAL EMISSION...

  13. 40 CFR 63.1037 - Alternative means of emission limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... regulated materials they handle. (2) A schematic of the process unit or affected facility, enclosure, and... limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities. 63.1037 Section 63.1037 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) NATIONAL EMISSION...

  14. 40 CFR 63.1037 - Alternative means of emission limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... regulated materials they handle. (2) A schematic of the process unit or affected facility, enclosure, and... limitation: Enclosed-vented process units or affected facilities. 63.1037 Section 63.1037 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) NATIONAL EMISSION...

  15. The Effect of Intrinsic Motivation on the Affect and Evaluation of the Creative Process among Fine Arts Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanko-Kaczmarek, Maja

    2012-01-01

    The main aim of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of the effect of intrinsic motivation on affect, subjective evaluation, and the creative process of young artists. Relations between motivation, affect, and evaluation were treated as a dynamic process and measured several times. The unique contribution of this study is that it…

  16. Marine coastal sediments microbial hydrocarbon degradation processes: contribution of experimental ecology in the omics’era

    PubMed Central

    Cravo-Laureau, Cristiana; Duran, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Coastal marine sediments, where important biological processes take place, supply essential ecosystem services. By their location, such ecosystems are particularly exposed to human activities as evidenced by the recent Deepwater Horizon disaster. This catastrophe revealed the importance to better understand the microbial processes involved on hydrocarbon degradation in marine sediments raising strong interests of the scientific community. During the last decade, several studies have shown the key role played by microorganisms in determining the fate of hydrocarbons in oil-polluted sediments but only few have taken into consideration the whole sediment’s complexity. Marine coastal sediment ecosystems are characterized by remarkable heterogeneity, owning high biodiversity and are subjected to fluctuations in environmental conditions, especially to important oxygen oscillations due to tides. Thus, for understanding the fate of hydrocarbons in such environments, it is crucial to study microbial activities, taking into account sediment characteristics, physical-chemical factors (electron acceptors, temperature), nutrients, co-metabolites availability as well as sediment’s reworking due to bioturbation activities. Key information could be collected from in situ studies, which provide an overview of microbial processes, but it is difficult to integrate all parameters involved. Microcosm experiments allow to dissect in-depth some mechanisms involved in hydrocarbon degradation but exclude environmental complexity. To overcome these lacks, strategies have been developed, by creating experiments as close as possible to environmental conditions, for studying natural microbial communities subjected to oil pollution. We present here a review of these approaches, their results and limitation, as well as the promising future of applying “omics” approaches to characterize in-depth microbial communities and metabolic networks involved in hydrocarbon degradation. In addition

  17. Integration of Science on Biological and Physical Processes to Understand Ecological Diversity of Stream Fishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rieman, B.; Dunham, J.

    2002-12-01

    The integration of biological and physical sciences has been important in efforts to understand and conserve aquatic species such as the stream fishes found in the Pacific Northwest. Traditionally that integration has focused at relatively fine scales and on what were perceived as more or less static conditions of stream habitats to explain the abundance and distribution of select species. Scientists and managers were intent on defining and creating optimal conditions to maximize the abundance of those species. There is growing recognition that habitats are dynamic and that populations of many species may be structured by biological and physical processes operating over much larger spatial and temporal scales. Natural disturbance, hydrology, and geomorphic constraints lead to variation in the distribution, size, and productivity of habitats for different species through time and space. That variation could influence the distribution and persistence of populations and the diversity that is expressed within and among those populations. It may even be critical to long-term evolutionary potential. Metapopulation theory, for example, suggests the geometry and interconnection of habitats will be key to the occurrence and persistence of many populations. Recent work with bull trout and Lahontan cutthroat trout support those predictions and demonstrate that the large-scale geometry of habitat networks is essentially defined by the variation in stream topology and temperature. Life history diversity and phenotypic plasticity are thought to be mechanisms that allow species populations to adapt to, fully exploit, and persist in variable and changing environments. The expression of that diversity may depend on historical patterns of disturbance and the interconnection and diversity of environments that are currently available. Conservation of aquatic biological diversity will depend on our understanding of the processes that generate that diversity. The application of new

  18. Marine coastal sediments microbial hydrocarbon degradation processes: contribution of experimental ecology in the omics'era.

    PubMed

    Cravo-Laureau, Cristiana; Duran, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Coastal marine sediments, where important biological processes take place, supply essential ecosystem services. By their location, such ecosystems are particularly exposed to human activities as evidenced by the recent Deepwater Horizon disaster. This catastrophe revealed the importance to better understand the microbial processes involved on hydrocarbon degradation in marine sediments raising strong interests of the scientific community. During the last decade, several studies have shown the key role played by microorganisms in determining the fate of hydrocarbons in oil-polluted sediments but only few have taken into consideration the whole sediment's complexity. Marine coastal sediment ecosystems are characterized by remarkable heterogeneity, owning high biodiversity and are subjected to fluctuations in environmental conditions, especially to important oxygen oscillations due to tides. Thus, for understanding the fate of hydrocarbons in such environments, it is crucial to study microbial activities, taking into account sediment characteristics, physical-chemical factors (electron acceptors, temperature), nutrients, co-metabolites availability as well as sediment's reworking due to bioturbation activities. Key information could be collected from in situ studies, which provide an overview of microbial processes, but it is difficult to integrate all parameters involved. Microcosm experiments allow to dissect in-depth some mechanisms involved in hydrocarbon degradation but exclude environmental complexity. To overcome these lacks, strategies have been developed, by creating experiments as close as possible to environmental conditions, for studying natural microbial communities subjected to oil pollution. We present here a review of these approaches, their results and limitation, as well as the promising future of applying "omics" approaches to characterize in-depth microbial communities and metabolic networks involved in hydrocarbon degradation. In addition, we

  19. Compensatory premotor activity during affective face processing in subclinical carriers of a single mutant Parkin allele.

    PubMed

    Anders, Silke; Sack, Benjamin; Pohl, Anna; Münte, Thomas; Pramstaller, Peter; Klein, Christine; Binkofski, Ferdinand

    2012-04-01

    Patients with Parkinson's disease suffer from significant motor impairments and accompanying cognitive and affective dysfunction due to progressive disturbances of basal ganglia-cortical gating loops. Parkinson's disease has a long presymptomatic stage, which indicates a substantial capacity of the human brain to compensate for dopaminergic nerve degeneration before clinical manifestation of the disease. Neuroimaging studies provide evidence that increased motor-related cortical activity can compensate for progressive dopaminergic nerve degeneration in carriers of a single mutant Parkin or PINK1 gene, who show a mild but significant reduction of dopamine metabolism in the basal ganglia in the complete absence of clinical motor signs. However, it is currently unknown whether similar compensatory mechanisms are effective in non-motor basal ganglia-cortical gating loops. Here, we ask whether asymptomatic Parkin mutation carriers show altered patterns of brain activity during processing of facial gestures, and whether this might compensate for latent facial emotion recognition deficits. Current theories in social neuroscience assume that execution and perception of facial gestures are linked by a special class of visuomotor neurons ('mirror neurons') in the ventrolateral premotor cortex/pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus (Brodmann area 44/6). We hypothesized that asymptomatic Parkin mutation carriers would show increased activity in this area during processing of affective facial gestures, replicating the compensatory motor effects that have previously been observed in these individuals. Additionally, Parkin mutation carriers might show altered activity in other basal ganglia-cortical gating loops. Eight asymptomatic heterozygous Parkin mutation carriers and eight matched controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging and a subsequent facial emotion recognition task. As predicted, Parkin mutation carriers showed significantly stronger activity in

  20. Applications of satellite image processing to the analysis of Amazonian cultural ecology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behrens, Clifford A.

    1991-01-01

    This paper examines the application of satellite image processing towards identifying and comparing resource exploitation among indigenous Amazonian peoples. The use of statistical and heuristic procedures for developing land cover/land use classifications from Thematic Mapper satellite imagery will be discussed along with actual results from studies of relatively small (100 - 200 people) settlements. Preliminary research indicates that analysis of satellite imagery holds great potential for measuring agricultural intensification, comparing rates of tropical deforestation, and detecting changes in resource utilization patterns over time.

  1. Effect of Affective Personality Information on Face Processing: Evidence from ERPs

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Qiu L.; Wang, Han L.; Dzhelyova, Milena; Huang, Ping; Mo, Lei

    2016-01-01

    This study explored the extent to which there are the neural correlates of the affective personality influence on face processing using event-related potentials (ERPs). In the learning phase, participants viewed a target individual’s face (expression neutral or faint smile) paired with either negative, neutral or positive sentences describing previous typical behavior of the target. In the following EEG testing phase, participants completed gender judgments of the learned faces. Statistical analyses were conducted on measures of neural activity during the gender judgment task. Repeated measures ANOVA of ERP data showed that faces described as having a negative personality elicited larger N170 than did those with a neutral or positive description. The early posterior negativity (EPN) showed the same result pattern, with larger amplitudes for faces paired with negative personality than for others. The size of the late positive potential was larger for faces paired with positive personality than for those with neutral and negative personality. The current study indicates that affective personality information is associated with an automatic, top–down modulation on face processing. PMID:27303359

  2. Health of domestic mallards (Anas platyrhynchos domestica) following exposure to oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Beck, Elizabeth M; Smits, Judit E G; St Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2014-01-01

    Bitumen extraction from the oil sands of northern Alberta produces large volumes of process-affected water that contains substances toxic to wildlife. Recent monitoring has shown that tens of thousands of birds land on ponds containing this water annually, creating an urgent need to understand its effects on bird health. We emulated the repeated, short-term exposures that migrating water birds are thought to experience by exposing pekin ducks (Anas platyrhynchos domestica) to recycled oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). As indicators of health, we measured a series of physiological (electrolytes, metabolites, enzymes, hormones, and blood cells) and toxicological (metals and minerals) variables. Relative to controls, juvenile birds exposed to OSPW had higher potassium following the final exposure, and males had a higher thyroid hormone ratio (T3/T4). In adults, exposed birds had higher vanadium, and, following the final exposure, higher bicarbonate. Exposed females had higher bile acid, globulin, and molybdenum levels, and males, higher corticosterone. However, with the exception of the metals, none of these measures varied from available reference ranges for ducks, suggesting OSPW is not toxic to juvenile or adult birds after three and six weekly, 1 h exposures, but more studies are needed to know the generality of this result.

  3. Physical processes affecting circulation and hydrography in the Sable Gully of Nova Scotia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shan, Shiliang; Sheng, Jinyu; Greenan, Blair J. W.

    2014-06-01

    The Sable Gully is the largest submarine canyon along the shelf break off the east coast of North America. The circulation and hydrography in the Gully have significant temporal and spatial variability. This paper presents a numerical study of the three-dimensional circulation and hydrography in the Gully using a multi-nested ocean circulation model. The model is forced by tides, wind stress and surface heat/freshwater fluxes. Model results are in fair agreement with the current and hydrographic observations made in the Gully in 2006 and 2007. A process study is conducted to examine the main physical processes affecting the circulation and hydrography, including tide-topography interaction, wind forcing, and the shelf-scale circulation over the eastern Canadian Shelf. The model results demonstrate that the circulation and hydrography above the canyon rim are influenced significantly by wind, particularly during storm events, while the subsurface flow over the shelf slope is affected by the shelf-scale circulation. There is also significant tide-topography interaction inside the Gully.

  4. Emotional Granularity Effects on Event-Related Brain Potentials during Affective Picture Processing

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ja Y.; Lindquist, Kristen A.; Nam, Chang S.

    2017-01-01

    There is debate about whether emotional granularity, the tendency to label emotions in a nuanced and specific manner, is merely a product of labeling abilities, or a systematic difference in the experience of emotion during emotionally evocative events. According to the Conceptual Act Theory of Emotion (CAT) (Barrett, 2006), emotional granularity is due to the latter and is a product of on-going temporal differences in how individuals categorize and thus make meaning of their affective states. To address this question, the present study investigated the effects of individual differences in emotional granularity on electroencephalography-based brain activity during the experience of emotion in response to affective images. Event-related potentials (ERP) and event-related desynchronization and synchronization (ERD/ERS) analysis techniques were used. We found that ERP responses during the very early (60–90 ms), middle (270–300 ms), and later (540–570 ms) moments of stimulus presentation were associated with individuals’ level of granularity. We also observed that highly granular individuals, compared to lowly granular individuals, exhibited relatively stable desynchronization of alpha power (8–12 Hz) and synchronization of gamma power (30–50 Hz) during the 3 s of stimulus presentation. Overall, our results suggest that emotional granularity is related to differences in neural processing throughout emotional experiences and that high granularity could be associated with access to executive control resources and a more habitual processing of affective stimuli, or a kind of “emotional complexity.” Implications for models of emotion are also discussed. PMID:28392761

  5. Pons to Posterior Cingulate Functional Projections Predict Affective Processing Changes in the Elderly Following Eight Weeks of Meditation Training.

    PubMed

    Shao, Robin; Keuper, Kati; Geng, Xiujuan; Lee, Tatia M C

    2016-08-01

    Evidence indicates meditation facilitates affective regulation and reduces negative affect. It also influences resting-state functional connectivity between affective networks and the posterior cingulate (PCC)/precuneus, regions critically implicated in self-referential processing. However, no longitudinal study employing active control group has examined the effect of meditation training on affective processing, PCC/precuneus connectivity, and their association. Here, we report that eight-week meditation, but not relaxation, training 'neutralized' affective processing of positive and negative stimuli in healthy elderly participants. Additionally, meditation versus relaxation training increased the positive connectivity between the PCC/precuneus and the pons, the direction of which was largely directed from the pons to the PCC/precuneus, as revealed by dynamic causal modeling. Further, changes in connectivity between the PCC/precuneus and pons predicted changes in affective processing after meditation training. These findings indicate meditation promotes self-referential affective regulation based on increased regulatory influence of the pons on PCC/precuneus, which new affective-processing strategy is employed across both resting state and when evaluating affective stimuli. Such insights have clinical implications on interventions on elderly individuals with affective disorders.

  6. Gas transport processes in sea ice: How convection and diffusion processes might affect biological imprints, a challenge for modellers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tison, J.-L.; Zhou, J.; Thomas, D. N.; Rysgaard, S.; Eicken, H.; Crabeck, O.; Deleu, F.; Delille, B.

    2012-04-01

    Recent data from a year-round survey of landfast sea ice growth in Barrow (Alaska) have shown how O2/N2 and O2/Ar ratios could be used to pinpoint primary production in sea ice and derive net productivity rates from the temporal evolution of the oxygen concentration at a given depth within the sea ice cover. These rates were however obtained surmising that neither convection, nor diffusion had affected the gas concentration profiles in the ice between discrete ice core collections. This paper discusses examples from three different field surveys (the above-mentioned Barrow experiment, the INTERICE IV tank experiment in Hamburg and a short field survey close to the Kapisilit locality in the South-East Greenland fjords) where convection or diffusion processes have clearly affected the temporal evolution of the gas profiles in the ice, therefore potentially affecting biological signatures. The INTERICE IV and Barrow experiment show that the initial equilibrium dissolved gas entrapment within the skeletal layer basically governs most of the profiles higher up in the sea ice cover during the active sea ice growth. However, as the ice layers age and cool down under the temperature gradient, bubble nucleation occurs while the concentration in the ice goes well above the theoretical one, calculated from brine equilibrium under temperature and salinity changes and observed brine volumes. This phase change locks the gases within the sea ice structure, preventing "degassing" of the ice, as is observed for salts under the mushy layer brine convection process. In some cases, mainly in the early stages of the freezing process (first 10-20 cm) where temperature gradients are strong and the ice still permeable on its whole thickness, repeated convection and bubble nucleation can actually increase the gas concentration in the ice above the one initially acquired within the skeletal layer. Convective processes will also occur on ice decay, when ice permeability is restored and the

  7. Screening of chemical oxidation processes and other methods for decolorization of urine for its re-use as toilet-flush liquid in ecological sanitation systems.

    PubMed

    Gulyas, H; Breuer, K; Lindner, B; Otterpohl, R

    2004-01-01

    Because of its potential use as fertilizer, urine ("yellow water") is a resource originating from sanitation. Its separate collection in no-mix toilets is a beneficial aspect of ecological (source control) sanitation. In order to avoid dilution of the fertilizing nutrients with toilet flush water, the utilization of yellow water as toilet flush liquid seems to be advantageous. To be accepted for this purpose, urine has to be decolorized (and also deodorized). In this study activated carbon adsorption, irradiation with UV light of different wavelengths, the advanced oxidation processes ultrasound, UV/H2O2, and photocatalytic oxidation have failed to decolorize urine. Biological treatment caused brown colour of the treated urine. Only ozonation was successful in colour removal, although it did not affect TOC. In spite of darkening of yellow water during biological treatment (generation of humic substances), smaller ozone doses were required for decolorizing the biologically pre-treated urine than for original urine. Photocatalytic oxidation of biologically treated urine also removed brown colour, but the original yellow colour remained. In ozonated urine, yellow colour was reconstituted unless hydrogen peroxide was added. In addition to colour removal, ozone contributed to deodorization as a consequence of ammonia stripping and probably of phenol oxidation.

  8. Odor-induced mood state modulates language comprehension by affecting processing strategies

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lin; Zhou, Bin; Zhou, Wen; Yang, Yufang

    2016-01-01

    It is controversial whether mood affects cognition by triggering specific processing strategies or by limiting processing resources. The current event-related potential (ERP) study pursued this issue by examining how mood modulates the processing of task relevant/irrelevant information. In question-answer pairs, a question context marked a critical word in the answer sentence as focus (and thus relevant) or non-focus (thereby irrelevant). At the same time, participants were exposed to either a pleasant or unpleasant odor to elicit different mood states. Overall, we observed larger N400s when the critical words in the answer sentences were semantically incongruent (rather than congruent) with the question context. However, such N400 effect was only found for focused words accompanied by a pleasant odor and for both focused and non-focused words accompanied by an unpleasant odor, but not for non-focused words accompanied by a pleasant odor. These results indicate top-down attentional shift to the focused information in a positive mood state and non-selective attention allocated to the focused and non-focused information in a less positive mood state, lending support to the “processing strategy” hypothesis. By using a novel approach to induce mood states, our study provides fresh insights into the mechanisms underlying mood modulation of language comprehension. PMID:27796356

  9. Processes affecting the spatial distribution of seagrass meadow sedimentary material on Yao Yai Island, Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quak, Michelle S. Y.; Ziegler, Alan D.; Benner, Shawn G.; Evans, Sam; Todd, Peter A.; Gillis, Lucy G.; Vongtanaboon, Sukanya; Jachowski, Nick; Bouma, Tjeerd J.

    2016-12-01

    Many islands throughout SE Asia are experiencing rapid development and land-cover conversion that potentially threaten sensitive coastal ecosystems, such as seagrasses, through increased loading of sediment and nutrients originating from disturbed catchments draining to the sea. To evaluate this threat for one such island in Southern Thailand (Yao Yai), we perform sediment source tracing via end-member mixing analysis using stable isotopes δ13C and δ15N in organic matter to explore sediment loading in a seagrass meadow. The analysis indicates that sedimentary material in the meadow originates mostly from ocean-associated sources (∼62% from seagrass detritus, seston, and ocean sediments). Terrestrial material comprises ∼19% of the organic material found in the seagrass meadow, with another 20% originating from an adjacent mangrove forest. Approximately one-fourth of the seagrass meadow material (24%) is detritus that has been (re)deposited internally. The high contribution of terrestrial-derived organic matter deposited near the river mouth demonstrates that substantial quantities of sediment are being transferred from upslope erosion sources into the seagrass meadow. However, only a small amount of this material is deposited throughout the entire bay because much of the terrestrial- and mangrove-derived sediment is transferred to the open ocean via channels that are periodically dredged to allow boat access to two small inland harbours. This positive affect of dredging has not received very much attention in existing literature. River water flowing to the channels during falling tide delivers sediment to these efficient pathways, where much of it bypasses the seagrass meadow at periods of time when sediment deposition would normally be the greatest. There is growing concern that ongoing land-cover changes and planned urbanization related to tourism and agriculture on the island may boost sediment/nutrients above a critical threshold, beyond that revealed in

  10. Factors affecting cashew processing by wild bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus, Kerr 1792).

    PubMed

    Visalberghi, Elisabetta; Albani, Alessandro; Ventricelli, Marialba; Izar, Patricia; Schino, Gabriele; Fragazsy, Dorothy

    2016-08-01

    Cashew nuts are very nutritious but so well defended by caustic chemicals that very few species eat them. We investigated how wild bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) living at Fazenda Boa Vista (FBV; Piauí, Brazil) process cashew nuts (Anacardium spp.) to avoid the caustic chemicals contained in the seed mesocarp. We recorded the behavior of 23 individuals toward fresh (N = 1282) and dry (N = 477) cashew nuts. Adult capuchins used different sets of behaviors to process nuts: rubbing for fresh nuts and tool use for dry nuts. Moreover, adults succeed to open dry nuts both by using teeth and tools. Age and body mass significantly affected success. Signs of discomfort (e.g., chemical burns, drooling) were rare. Young capuchins do not frequently closely observe adults processing cashew nuts, nor eat bits of nut processed by others. Thus, observing the behavior of skillful group members does not seem important for learning how to process cashew nuts, although being together with group members eating cashews is likely to facilitate interest toward nuts and their inclusion into the diet. These findings differ from those obtained when capuchins crack palm nuts, where observations of others cracking nuts and encounters with the artifacts of cracking produced by others are common and support young individuals' persistent practice at cracking. Cashew nut processing by capuchins in FBV appears to differ from that observed in a conspecific population living 320 km apart, where capuchins use tools to open both fresh and dry nuts. Moreover, in the latter population, chemical burns due to cashew caustic compounds appear to be common. The sources of these differences across populations deserve investigation, especially given that social influences on young monkeys learning to open cashew nuts at FBV seem to be nonspecific. Am. J. Primatol. 78:799-815, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Mapping ecological processes and ecosystem services for prioritizing restoration efforts in a semi-arid Mediterranean river basin.

    PubMed

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin.

  12. Mapping Ecological Processes and Ecosystem Services for Prioritizing Restoration Efforts in a Semi-arid Mediterranean River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J.; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A.

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin.

  13. ["'Vazanteiros' in motion": the process of "environmentalization" of their territorial fights in the context of ecological modernization policies].

    PubMed

    Anaya, Felisa Cançado

    2014-10-01

    This text presents the process of environmentalization of the social campaigns of Pau Preto, Pau de Légua and Quilombo da Lapinha in the north of the State of Minas Gerais that culminated in their being re-named as "'Vazanteiros' in Motion." The analysis of the territorial environmental conflict examines it from the perspective of Political Ecology and Critical Sociology. Documents from public environmental and judicial institutions were analyzed as well as meeting and research reports referring to the process of social mobilization and political formation of the "Vazanteiros in Motion." Ethnographic fieldwork was conducted from 2006 to 2012 and the different actors involved in the conflict were interviewed. The "extended-case method" or "situational analyses" were also used in order to demonstrate the ethnographic social events from a procedural and historical perspective. The results revealed the contradictions in sustainable development ideology, which made it possible to consolidate the agribusiness in that region through the creation of parks for irrigated fruit production projects as an environmental compensation strategy and the emergence of an important social movement of territorial claims in the environmental field.

  14. Exploring the ecological processes driving geographical patterns of breeding bird richness in British Columbia, Canada.

    PubMed

    Fitterer, Jessica L; Nelson, Trisalyn A; Coops, Nicholas C; Wulder, Michael A; Mahony, Nancy A

    2013-06-01

    British Columbia (BC), Canada, has a diverse landscape that provides breeding habitat for > 300 avian species, and the recent development of the BC Breeding Bird Atlas data set presents key information for exploring the landscape conditions which lead to biological richness. We used the volunteer-collected raw breeding bird evidence data set to analyze the effects of sampling biases on spatial distribution of observed breeding bird species and implemented regression tree analysis (Random Forests) to examine the influence of productivity, ambient energy, and habitat heterogeneity on independently measured breeding bird richness. Results indicated that total breeding species richness is correlated with total survey effort (alpha < 0.001). By stratifying species richness by survey effort, we observed that ambient energy is the top-ranked environmental predictor of breeding bird richness across BC, which, when used in combination with a number of other environmental variables, explains -40% of the variation in richness. Using our modeled relationships, we predicted breeding bird species richness in the areas of BC not presently surveyed between three and six hours. The majority of the productive Boreal Plains, the southern portion of the Taiga Plains region, the lowlands of the Southern and Central Interior, along the Rocky Mountain Trench, and the coastal areas of the Georgia Depression are predicted to have the highest categories of breeding richness (35-57 unique species). Our results support ongoing species diversity gradient research, which identifies ambient energy as an important factor influencing species diversity distributions in the Northern Hemisphere. By linking breeding bird richness to environmental data derived from remotely sensed data and systematically collected climate data, we demonstrate the potential to monitor shifts in ambient energy as a surrogate for vertebrate habitat condition affecting population levels. By analyzing the influence of

  15. The Berlin Affective Word List for Children (kidBAWL): Exploring Processing of Affective Lexical Semantics in the Visual and Auditory Modalities

    PubMed Central

    Sylvester, Teresa; Braun, Mario; Schmidtke, David; Jacobs, Arthur M.

    2016-01-01

    While research on affective word processing in adults witnesses increasing interest, the present paper looks at another group of participants that have been neglected so far: pupils (age range: 6–12 years). Introducing a variant of the Berlin Affective Wordlist (BAWL) especially adapted for children of that age group, the “kidBAWL,” we examined to what extent pupils process affective lexical semantics similarly to adults. In three experiments using rating and valence decision tasks in both the visual and auditory modality, it was established that children show the two ubiquitous phenomena observed in adults with emotional word material: the asymmetric U-shaped function relating valence to arousal ratings, and the inversely U-shaped function relating response times to valence decision latencies. The results for both modalities show large structural similarities between pupil and adult data (taken from previous studies) indicating that in the present age range, the affective lexicon and the dynamic interplay between language and emotion is already well-developed. Differential effects show that younger children tend to choose less extreme ratings than older children and that rating latencies decrease with age. Overall, our study should help to develop more realistic models of word recognition and reading that include affective processes and offer a methodology for exploring the roots of pleasant literary experiences and ludic reading. PMID:27445930

  16. The Effect of Affective Context on Visuocortical Processing of Neutral Faces in Social Anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Wieser, Matthias J.; Moscovitch, David A.

    2015-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that verbal context information alters the neural processing of ambiguous faces such as faces with no apparent facial expression. In social anxiety, neutral faces may be implicitly threatening for socially anxious individuals due to their ambiguous nature, but even more so if these neutral faces are put in self-referential negative contexts. Therefore, we measured event-related brain potentials (ERPs) in response to neutral faces which were preceded by affective verbal information (negative, neutral, positive). Participants with low social anxiety (LSA; n = 23) and high social anxiety (HSA; n = 21) were asked to watch and rate valence and arousal of the respective faces while continuous EEG was recorded. ERP analysis revealed that HSA showed elevated P100 amplitudes in response to faces, but reduced structural encoding of faces as indexed by reduced N170 amplitudes. In general, affective context led to an enhanced early posterior negativity (EPN) for negative compared to neutral facial expressions. Moreover, HSA compared to LSA showed enhanced late positive potentials (LPP) to negatively contextualized faces, whereas in LSA this effect was found for faces in positive contexts. Also, HSA rated faces in negative contexts as more negative compared to LSA. These results point at enhanced vigilance for neutral faces regardless of context in HSA, while structural encoding seems to be diminished (avoidance). Interestingly, later components of sustained processing (LPP) indicate that LSA show enhanced visuocortical processing for faces in positive contexts (happy bias), whereas this seems to be the case for negatively contextualized faces in HSA (threat bias). Finally, our results add further new evidence that top-down information in interaction with individual anxiety levels can influence early-stage aspects of visual perception. PMID:26648889

  17. Protein corona composition of gold nanoparticles/nanorods affects amyloid beta fibrillation process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirsadeghi, Somayeh; Dinarvand, Rassoul; Ghahremani, Mohammad Hossein; Hormozi-Nezhad, Mohammad Reza; Mahmoudi, Zohreh; Hajipour, Mohammad Javad; Atyabi, Fatemeh; Ghavami, Mahdi; Mahmoudi, Morteza

    2015-03-01

    Protein fibrillation process (e.g., from amyloid beta (Aβ) and α-synuclein) is the main cause of several catastrophic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases. During the past few decades, nanoparticles (NPs) were recognized as one of the most promising tools for inhibiting the progress of the disease by controlling the fibrillation kinetic process; for instance, gold NPs have a strong capability to inhibit Aβ fibrillations. It is now well understood that a layer of biomolecules would cover the surface of NPs (so called ``protein corona'') upon the interaction of NPs with protein sources. Due to the fact that the biological species (e.g., cells and amyloidal proteins) ``see'' the protein corona coated NPs rather than the pristine coated particles, one should monitor the fibrillation process of amyloidal proteins in the presence of corona coated NPs (and not pristine coated ones). Therefore, the previously obtained data on NPs effects on the fibrillation process should be modified to achieve a more reliable and predictable in vivo results. Herein, we probed the effects of various gold NPs (with different sizes and shapes) on the fibrillation process of Aβ in the presence and absence of protein sources (i.e., serum and plasma). We found that the protein corona formed a shell at the surface of gold NPs, regardless of their size and shape, reducing the access of Aβ to the gold inhibitory surface and, therefore, affecting the rate of Aβ fibril formation. More specifically, the anti-fibrillation potencies of various corona coated gold NPs were strongly dependent on the protein source and their concentrations (10% serum/plasma (simulation of an in vitro milieu) and 100% serum/plasma (simulation of an in vivo milieu)).Protein fibrillation process (e.g., from amyloid beta (Aβ) and α-synuclein) is the main cause of several catastrophic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases. During the past few decades

  18. Ecology of Listeria spp. in a fish farm and molecular typing of Listeria monocytogenes from fish farming and processing companies.

    PubMed

    Miettinen, Hanna; Wirtanen, Gun

    2006-11-01

    This study focused on the ecology of Listeria monocytogenes in a fish farm by following the changes in its occurrence in different types of samples for a three year period. In addition, L. monocytogenes isolates from different seafood industry areas were compared with pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing to discover possible associations between primary production, further processing and final products. Weather conditions were found to have a strong influence on the probability of finding Listeria spp. in a fish farm environment. The number of samples contaminated with Listeria spp. was typically bigger after rainy periods. Brook and river waters as well as other runoff waters seemed to be the main contamination source at the farm studied. The farmed fish originally found to carry L. monocytogenes become gradually Listeria free. The time needed for the purification of the fish was several months. The sea bottom soil samples were the ones that preserved the L. monocytogenes contamination the longest time. It can be stated that the fish and fish farm equipment studied did not spread listeria contamination. On the contrary, they were found to suffer from listeria contamination coming from outside sources like the brook water. There was a wide range of different L. monocytogenes PFGE-pulsotypes (30) found at 15 Finnish fish farms and fish processing factories. L. monocytogenes isolates from the final products often belonged to the same pulsotypes as did the isolates from the processing environment as well as from the raw fish. This suggests that, in addition to the fish processing factory environment, the fish raw materials are important sources of L. monocytogenes contamination in final products.

  19. Physical and ecological processes at a moving ice edge in the Fram Strait as observed with an AUV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wulff, Thorben; Bauerfeind, Eduard; von Appen, Wilken-Jon

    2016-09-01

    Small-scale investigations of physical and biogeochemical parameters have been carried out with an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) at a moving ice edge in the Fram Strait. The AUV was equipped with various sensors to study the complex interactions between physical and ecological processes along the ice edge and the associated meltwater front. The AUV covered two cross-front sections of 9 km and recorded high resolution vertical profiles of the physical and biogeochemical properties between 0 and 50 m water depth at a horizontal station spacing of 800-1000 m. In both physical and biogeochemical terms, the measurements revealed a complex structure of the water column. The distribution of phytoplankton biomass (chlorophyll a) and nutrients was highly inhomogeneous. Chlorophyll a concentrations of 5 μg l-1 were detected at the frontal interface in a small corridor just 2-4 km wide and only 5 m deep. Nutrients at the surface were depleted, yet, compared to previous studies of this region, were still present in the euphotic zone. Below the euphotic zone, nitrate concentrations of 8 μmol l-1 and oxygen saturation values of 100% resulted in a ;dome-like; pattern - suggestive of vertical transport processes. Based on these measurements, three different zones featuring individual biogeochemical characteristics were identified in the cross-front sections. Atmospheric forcing and the presence of the melt water front are assumed to be mainly responsible for the complexity of the water column. Localized vertical transport events seem to have occurred before our investigations. Furthermore, wind driven frontogenesis likely contributed to vertical water movements. All processes had an effect on the biological processes along the observed meltwater front.

  20. Ecological Schoolyards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danks, Sharon Gamson

    2000-01-01

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

  1. Comparison of simulation modeling and satellite techniques for monitoring ecological processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Box, Elgene O.

    1988-01-01

    In 1985 improvements were made in the world climatic data base for modeling and predictive mapping; in individual process models and the overall carbon-balance models; and in the interface software for mapping the simulation results. Statistical analysis of the data base was begun. In 1986 mapping was shifted to NASA-Goddard. The initial approach involving pattern comparisons was modified to a more statistical approach. A major accomplishment was the expansion and improvement of a global data base of measurements of biomass and primary production, to complement the simulation data. The main accomplishments during 1987 included: production of a master tape with all environmental and satellite data and model results for the 1600 sites; development of a complete mapping system used for the initial color maps comparing annual and monthly patterns of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), actual evapotranspiration, net primary productivity, gross primary productivity, and net ecosystem production; collection of more biosphere measurements for eventual improvement of the biological models; and development of some initial monthly models for primary productivity, based on satellite data.

  2. Effects of Noise on Ecological Invasion Processes: Bacteriophage-Mediated Competition in Bacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joo, Jaewook; Harvill, Eric; Albert, Réka

    2007-07-01

    Pathogen-mediated competition, through which an invasive species carrying and transmitting a pathogen can be a superior competitor to a more vulnerable resident species, is one of the principle driving forces influencing biodiversity in nature. Using an experimental system of bacteriophage-mediated competition in bacterial populations and a deterministic model, we have shown in Joo et al. [ Proc. R. Soc. B 273,1843-1848 (2006)] that the competitive advantage conferred by the phage depends only on the relative phage pathology and is independent of the initial phage concentration and other phage and host parameters such as the infection-causing contact rate, the spontaneous and infection-induced lysis rates, and the phage burst size. Here we investigate the effects of stochastic fluctuations on bacterial invasion facilitated by bacteriophage, and examine the validity of the deterministic approach. We use both numerical and analytical methods of stochastic processes to identify the source of noise and assess its magnitude. We show that the conclusions obtained from the deterministic model are robust against stochastic fluctuations, yet deviations become prominently large when the phage are more pathological to the invading bacterial strain.

  3. Effects of Noise on Ecological Invasion Processes: Bacteriophage-mediated Competition in Bacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joo, Jaewook; Eric, Harvill; Albert, Reka

    2007-03-01

    Pathogen-mediated competition, through which an invasive species carrying and transmitting a pathogen can be a superior competitor to a more vulnerable resident species, is one of the principle driving forces influencing biodiversity in nature. Using an experimental system of bacteriophage-mediated competition in bacterial populations and a deterministic model, we have shown in [Joo et al 2005] that the competitive advantage conferred by the phage depends only on the relative phage pathology and is independent of the initial phage concentration and other phage and host parameters such as the infection-causing contact rate, the spontaneous and infection-induced lysis rates, and the phage burst size. Here we investigate the effects of stochastic fluctuations on bacterial invasion facilitated by bacteriophage, and examine the validity of the deterministic approach. We use both numerical and analytical methods of stochastic processes to identify the source of noise and assess its magnitude. We show that the conclusions obtained from the deterministic model are robust against stochastic fluctuations, yet deviations become prominently large when the phage are more pathological to the invading bacterial strain.

  4. A risk-based approach for identifying constituents of concern in oil sands process-affected water from the Athabasca Oil Sands region.

    PubMed

    McQueen, Andrew D; Kinley, Ciera M; Hendrikse, Maas; Gaspari, Daniel P; Calomeni, Alyssa J; Iwinski, Kyla J; Castle, James W; Haakensen, Monique C; Peru, Kerry M; Headley, John V; Rodgers, John H

    2017-04-01

    Mining leases in the Athabasca Oil Sands (AOS) region produce large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) containing constituents that limit beneficial uses and discharge into receiving systems. The aim of this research is to identify constituents of concern (COCs) in OSPW sourced from an active settling basin with the goal of providing a sound rational for developing mitigation strategies for using constructed treatment wetlands for COCs contained in OSPW. COCs were identified through several lines of evidence: 1) chemical and physical characterization of OSPW and comparisons with numeric water quality guidelines and toxicity endpoints, 2) measuring toxicity of OSPW using a taxonomic range of sentinel organisms (i.e. fish, aquatic invertebrates, and a macrophyte), 3) conducting process-based manipulations (PBMs) of OSPW to alter toxicity and inform treatment processes, and 4) discerning potential treatment pathways to mitigate ecological risks of OSPW based on identification of COCs, toxicological analyses, and PBM results. COCs identified in OSPW included organics (naphthenic acids [NAs], oil and grease [O/G]), metals/metalloids, and suspended solids. In terms of species sensitivities to undiluted OSPW, fish ≥ aquatic invertebrates > macrophytes. Bench-scale manipulations of the organic fractions of OSPW via PBMs (i.e. H2O2+UV254 and granular activated charcoal treatments) eliminated toxicity to Ceriodaphnia dubia (7-8 d), in terms of mortality and reproduction. Results from this study provide critical information to inform mitigation strategies using passive or semi-passive treatment processes (e.g., constructed treatment wetlands) to mitigate ecological risks of OSPW to aquatic organisms.

  5. Leaf Aging of Amazonian Canopy Trees: Insights to Tropical Ecological Processes and Satellited Detected Canopy Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavana-Bryant, C.; Malhi, Y.; Gerard, F.

    2015-12-01

    Leaf aging is a fundamental driver of changes in leaf traits, thereby, regulating ecosystem processes and remotely-sensed canopy dynamics. Leaf age is particularly important for carbon-rich tropical evergreen forests, as leaf demography (leaf age distribution) has been proposed as a major driver of seasonal productivity in these forests. We explore leaf reflectance as a tool to monitor leaf age and develop a novel spectra-based (PLSR) model to predict age using data from a phenological study of 1,072 leaves from 12 lowland Amazonian canopy tree species in southern Peru. Our results demonstrate monotonic decreases in LWC and Pmass and increase in LMA with age across species; Nmass and Cmassshowed monotonic but species-specific age responses. Spectrally, we observed large age-related variation across species, with the most age-sensitive spectral domains found to be: green peak (550nm), red edge (680-750 nm), NIR (700-850 nm), and around the main water absorption features (~1450 and ~1940 nm). A spectra-based model was more accurate in predicting leaf age (R2= 0.86; %RMSE= 33) compared to trait-based models using single (R2=0.07 to 0.73; %RMSE=7 to 38) and multiple predictors (step-wise analysis; R2=0.76; %RMSE=28). Spectral and trait-based models established a physiochemical basis for the spectral age model. The relative importance of the traits modifying the leaf spectra of aging leaves was: LWC>LMA>Nmass>Pmass,&Cmass. Vegetation indices (VIs), including NDVI, EVI2, NDWI and PRI were all age-dependent. This study highlights the importance of leaf age as a mediator of leaf traits, provides evidence of age-related leaf reflectance changes that have important impacts on VIs used to monitor canopy dynamics and productivity, and proposes a new approach to predicting and monitoring leaf age with important implications for remote sensing.

  6. Emerging concepts on microbial processes in the bathypelagic ocean - ecology, biogeochemistry, and genomics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagata, Toshi; Tamburini, Christian; Arístegui, Javier; Baltar, Federico; Bochdansky, Alexander B.; Fonda-Umani, Serena; Fukuda, Hideki; Gogou, Alexandra; Hansell, Dennis A.; Hansman, Roberta L.; Herndl, Gerhard J.; Panagiotopoulos, Christos; Reinthaler, Thomas; Sohrin, Rumi; Verdugo, Pedro; Yamada, Namiha; Yamashita, Youhei; Yokokawa, Taichi; Bartlett, Douglas H.

    2010-08-01

    This paper synthesizes recent findings regarding microbial distributions and processes in the bathypelagic ocean (depth >1000 m). Abundance, production and respiration of prokaryotes reflect supplies of particulate and dissolved organic matter to the bathypelagic zone. Better resolution of carbon fluxes mediated by deep microbes requires further testing on the validity of conversion factors. Archaea, especially marine Crenarchaeota Group I, are abundant in deep waters where they can fix dissolved inorganic carbon. Viruses appear to be important in the microbial loop in deep waters, displaying remarkably high virus to prokaryote abundance ratios in some oceanic regions. Sequencing of 18S rRNA genes revealed a tremendous diversity of small-sized protists in bathypelagic waters. Abundances of heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF) and ciliates decrease with depth more steeply than prokaryotes; nonetheless, data indicated that HNF consumed half of prokaryote production in the bathypelagic zone. Aggregates are important habitats for deep-water microbes, which produce more extracellular enzymes (on a per-cell basis) than surface communities. The theory of marine gel formation provides a framework to unravel complex interactions between microbes and organic polymers. Recent data on the effects of hydrostatic pressure on microbial activities indicate that bathypelagic microbial activity is generally higher under in situ pressure conditions than at atmospheric pressures. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes revealed a remarkable diversity of Bacteria in the bathypelagic ocean. Metagenomics and comparative genomics of piezophiles reveal not only the high diversity of deep sea microbes but also specific functional attributes of these piezophilic microbes, interpreted as an adaptation to the deep water environment. Taken together, the data compiled on bathypelagic microbes indicate that, despite high-pressure and low-temperature conditions, microbes in the bathypelagic

  7. Ecological processes dominate the 13C land disequilibrium in a Rocky Mountain subalpine forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowling, D. R.; Ballantyne, A. P.; Miller, J. B.; Burns, S. P.; Conway, T. J.; Menzer, O.; Stephens, B. B.; Vaughn, B. H.

    2014-04-01

    Fossil fuel combustion has increased atmospheric CO2 by ≈ 115 µmol mol-1 since 1750 and decreased its carbon isotope composition (δ13C) by 1.7-2‰ (the 13C Suess effect). Because carbon is stored in the terrestrial biosphere for decades and longer, the δ13C of CO2 released by terrestrial ecosystems is expected to differ from the δ13C of CO2 assimilated by land plants during photosynthesis. This isotopic difference between land-atmosphere respiration (δR) and photosynthetic assimilation (δA) fluxes gives rise to the 13C land disequilibrium (D). Contemporary understanding suggests that over annual and longer time scales, D is determined primarily by the Suess effect, and thus, D is generally positive (δR > δA). A 7 year record of biosphere-atmosphere carbon exchange was used to evaluate the seasonality of δA and δR, and the 13C land disequilibrium, in a subalpine conifer forest. A novel isotopic mixing model was employed to determine the δ13C of net land-atmosphere exchange during day and night and combined with tower-based flux observations to assess δA and δR. The disequilibrium varied seasonally and when flux-weighted was opposite in sign than expected from the Suess effect (D = -0.75 ± 0.21‰ or -0.88 ± 0.10‰ depending on method). Seasonality in D appeared to be driven by photosynthetic discrimination (Δcanopy) responding to environmental factors. Possible explanations for negative D include (1) changes in Δcanopy over decades as CO2 and temperature have risen, and/or (2) post-photosynthetic fractionation processes leading to sequestration of isotopically enriched carbon in long-lived pools like wood and soil.

  8. General anesthesia as a possible GABAergic modulator affects visual processing in children

    PubMed Central

    Van den Boomen, C.; de Graaff, J. C.; de Jong, T. P. V. M.; Kalkman, C. J.; Kemner, C.

    2013-01-01

    Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) inhibitory interneurons play an important role in visual processing, as is revealed by studies administering drugs in human and monkey adults. Investigating this process in children requires different methodologies, due to ethical considerations. The current study aimed to investigate whether a new method, being general anesthesia using Sevoflurane, can be used to trace the effects of GABAergic modulation on visual brain functioning in children. To this aim, visual processing was investigated in children aged 4–12 years who were scheduled for minor urologic procedures under general anesthesia in day-care treatment. In a visual segmentation task, the difference in Event-Related Potential (ERP) response to homogeneous and textured stimuli was investigated. In addition, psychophysical performance on visual acuity and contrast sensitivity were measured. Results were compared between before and shortly after anesthesia. In two additional studies, effects at 1 day after anesthesia and possible effects of task-repetition were investigated. ERP results showed longer latency and lower amplitude of the Texture Negativity (TN) component shortly after compared to before anesthesia. No effects of anesthesia on psychophysical measurements were found. No effects at 1 day after anesthesia or of repetition were revealed either. These results show that GABAergic modulation through general anesthesia affects ERP reflections of visual segmentation in a similar way in children as benzodiazepine does in adults, but that effects are not permanent. This demonstrates that ERP measurement after anesthesia is a successful method to study effects of GABAergic modulation in children. PMID:23630461

  9. Interacting Physical and Biological Processes Affecting Nutrient Transport Through Human Dominated Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finlay, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    Human activities increasingly dominate biogeochemical cycles of limiting nutrients on Earth. Urban and agricultural landscapes represent the largest sources of excess nutrients that drive water quality degradation. The physical structure of both urban and agricultural watersheds has been extensively modified, and these changes have large impacts on water and nutrient transport. Despite strong physical controls over nutrient transport in human dominated landscapes, biological processes play important roles in determining the fates of both nitrogen and phosphorus. This talk uses examples from research in urban and agricultural watersheds in the Midwestern USA to illustrate interactions of physical and biological controls over nutrient cycles that have shifted nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) sources and cycling in unexpected ways in response to management changes. In urban watersheds, efforts to improve water quality have been hindered by legacy sources of phosphorus added to storm water through transport to drainage systems by vegetation. Similarly, reductions in field erosion in agricultural watersheds have not led to major reductions in phosphorus transport, because of continued release of biological sources of P. Where management of phosphorus has been most effective in reducing eutrophication of lakes, decreases in N removal processes have led to long term increases in N concentration and transport. Together, these examples show important roles for biological processes affecting nutrient movement in highly modified landscapes. Consideration of the downstream physical and biological responses of management changes are thus critical toward identification of actions that will most effectively reduce excess nutrients watersheds and coastal zones.

  10. Application of forward osmosis membrane technology for oil sands process-affected water desalination.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yaxin; Liang, Jiaming; Liu, Yang

    2016-01-01

    The extraction process used to obtain bitumen from the oil sands produces large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). As a newly emerging desalination technology, forward osmosis (FO) has shown great promise in saving electrical power requirements, increasing water recovery, and minimizing brine discharge. With the support of this funding, a FO system was constructed using a cellulose triacetate FO membrane to test the feasibility of OSPW desalination and contaminant removal. The FO systems were optimized using different types and concentrations of draw solution. The FO system using 4 M NH4HCO3 as a draw solution achieved 85% water recovery from OSPW, and 80 to 100% contaminant rejection for most metals and ions. A water backwash cleaning method was applied to clean the fouled membrane, and the cleaned membrane achieved 77% water recovery, a performance comparable to that of new FO membranes. This suggests that the membrane fouling was reversible. The FO system developed in this project provides a novel and energy efficient strategy to remediate the tailings waters generated by oil sands bitumen extraction and processing.

  11. Stem-loop RNA labeling can affect nuclear and cytoplasmic mRNA processing.

    PubMed

    Heinrich, Stephanie; Sidler, Corinne L; Azzalin, Claus M; Weis, Karsten

    2017-02-01

    The binding of sequence-specific RNA-interacting proteins, such as the bacteriophage MS2 or PP7 coat proteins, to their corresponding target sequences has been extremely useful and widely used to visualize single mRNAs in vivo. However, introduction of MS2 stem-loops into yeast mRNAs has recently been shown to lead to the accumulation of RNA fragments, suggesting that the loops impair mRNA decay. This result was questioned, because fragment occurrence was mainly assessed using ensemble methods, and their cellular localization and its implications had not been addressed on a single transcript level. Here, we demonstrate that the introduction of either MS2 stem-loops (MS2SL) or PP7 stem-loops (PP7SL) can affect the processing and subcellular localization of mRNA. We use single-molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization (smFISH) to determine the localization of three independent mRNAs tagged with the stem-loop labeling systems in glucose-rich and glucose starvation conditions. Transcripts containing MS2SL or PP7SL display aberrant localization in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm. These defects are most prominent in glucose starvation conditions, with nuclear mRNA processing being altered and stem-loop fragments abnormally enriching in processing bodies (PBs). The mislocalization of SL-containing RNAs is independent of the presence of the MS2 or PP7 coat protein (MCP or PCP).

  12. Ecology of prokaryotic viruses.

    PubMed

    Weinbauer, Markus G

    2004-05-01

    The finding that total viral abundance is higher than total prokaryotic abundance and that a significant fraction of the prokaryotic community is infected with phages in aquatic systems has stimulated research on the ecology of prokaryotic viruses and their role in ecosystems. This review treats the ecology of prokaryotic viruses ('phages') in marine, freshwater and soil systems from a 'virus point of view'. The abundance of viruses varies strongly in different environments and is related to bacterial abundance or activity suggesting that the majority of the viruses found in the environment are typically phages. Data on phage diversity are sparse but indicate that phages are extremely diverse in natural systems. Lytic phages are predators of prokaryotes, whereas lysogenic and chronic infections represent a parasitic interaction. Some forms of lysogeny might be described best as mutualism. The little existing ecological data on phage populations indicate a large variety of environmental niches and survival strategies. The host cell is the main resource for phages and the resource quality, i.e., the metabolic state of the host cell, is a critical factor in all steps of the phage life cycle. Virus-induced mortality of prokaryotes varies strongly on a temporal and spatial scale and shows that phages can be important predators of bacterioplankton. This mortality and the release of cell lysis products into the environment can strongly influence microbial food web processes and biogeochemical cycles. Phages can also affect host diversity, e.g., by 'killing the winner' and keeping in check competitively dominant species or populations. Moreover, they mediate gene transfer between prokaryotes, but this remains largely unknown in the environment. Genomics or proteomics are providing us now with powerful tools in phage ecology, but final testing will have to be performed in the environment.

  13. The reliability of the examination of foods, processed for safety, for enteric pathogens and Enterobacteriaceae: a mathematical and ecological study

    PubMed Central

    Drion, E. F.; Mossel, D. A. A.

    1977-01-01

    Because of the paucity of quantitative data on numbers of other enteric pathogens in food, the reliability of the examination of processed foods for Enterobacteriaceae was estimated taking Salmonella as a model. For this purpose an assessment was carried out of the risk of accepting Salmonella contaminated consignments of foods, despite a negative outcome of (i) examination of 1·5 kg samples for Salmonella; (ii) examination of one or two 1 g samples for Enterobacteriaceae; (iii) simultaneous application of both tests. The computations were based on the results of the examination of 6830 samples of dried foods, processed for safety, out of a total of 18170 samples. Only 69 samples permitted the exact calculation of the ε-factor, defined as c.f.u./g of Enterobacteriaceae/c.f.u./g of Salmonella; 4642 were positive for the former group but `free' from Salmonella, and the rest were negative in both tests. Numbers of c.f.u./g for both groups, and hence the ε-factors, varied widely between commodities and also between different consignments of the same food product. The average for ε amounted to 5·8 × 103, far from the base-line value of 0·75 × 103 assessed earlier. In only 0·1% of samples did the Enterobacteriaceae test fail to achieve the required consumer protection. This investigation therefore substantiates that testing foods processed for safety by examining accurately chosen quantities for ecologically well selected and taxonomically thoroughly defined index organisms is a most effective procedure in terms both of consumer protection and simplicity of examination without compelling the food industry to achieve hardly attainable microbiological quality standards. PMID:325125

  14. Affective processing in positive schizotypy: Loose control of social-emotional information.

    PubMed

    Papousek, Ilona; Weiss, Elisabeth M; Mosbacher, Jochen A; Reiser, Eva M; Schulter, Günter; Fink, Andreas

    2014-10-30

    Behavioral studies suggested heightened impact of emotionally laden perceptual input in schizophrenia spectrum disorders, in particular in patients with prominent positive symptoms. De-coupling of prefrontal and posterior cortices during stimulus processing, which is related to loosening of control of the prefrontal cortex over incoming affectively laden information, may underlie this abnormality. Pre-selected groups of individuals with low versus high positive schizotypy (lower and upper quartile of a large screening sample) were tested. During exposure to auditory displays of strong emotions (anger, sadness, cheerfulness), individuals with elevated levels of positive schizotypal symptoms showed lesser prefrontal-posterior coupling (EEG coherence) than their symptom-free counterparts (right hemisphere). This applied to negative emotions in particular and was most pronounced during confrontation with anger. The findings indicate a link between positive symptoms and a heightened impact particularly of threatening emotionally laden stimuli which might lead to exacerbation of positive symptoms and inappropriate behavior in interpersonal situations.

  15. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in sub-Saharan savannas of Benin, West Africa, as affected by agricultural land use intensity and ecological zone.

    PubMed

    Tchabi, Atti; Coyne, Danny; Hountondji, Fabien; Lawouin, Louis; Wiemken, Andres; Oehl, Fritz

    2008-04-01

    The rapid decline of soil fertility of cultivated lands in the sub-Saharan savannas of West Africa is considered to be the main cause of the increasingly severe constraints of food production. The soils in this tropical area are highly fragile, and crop yields are limited by characteristically low levels of available phosphorus. Under such preconditions, the multiple benefits of the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis are likely to play a pivotal role for maintaining natural soil fertility by enhancing plant nutrient use efficiency, plant health, and stabilization of a favorable soil structure. Thus, it is important to explore the impact of the commonly applied farming practices on the native AM fungal community. In the present study, we determined the AM fungal species composition in three ecological zones differing by an increasingly prolonged dry season from South to North, from the Southern Guinea Savanna (SG), to the Northern Guinea Savanna (NG), to the Sudan Savanna (SU). In each zone, four "natural" and four "cultivated" sites were selected. "Natural" sites were three natural forest savannas (at least 25-30 years old) and a long-term fallow (6-7 years old). "Cultivated" sites comprised a field with yam (Dioscorea spp.) established during the first year after forest clearance, a field under mixed cropping with maize (Zea mays) and peanut (Arachis hypogaea), a field under peanut, and a field under cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) which was the most intensively managed crop. Soil samples were collected towards the end of the wet season in each zone. AM fungal spores were extracted and morphologically identified. Soil subsamples were used to inoculate AM fungal trap cultures using Stylosanthes guianensis and Brachiaria humidicola as host plants to monitor AM root colonization and spore formation over 10 and 24 months, respectively. A total of 60 AM fungal species were detected, with only seven species sporulating in the trap cultures. Spore density and species

  16. Lycopene in tomatoes: chemical and physical properties affected by food processing.

    PubMed

    Shi, J; Le Maguer, M

    2000-01-01

    Lycopene is the pigment principally responsible for the characteristic deep-red color of ripe tomato fruits and tomato products. It has attracted attention due to its biological and physicochemical properties, especially related to its effects as a natural antioxidant. Although it has no provitamin A activity, lycopene does exhibit a physical quenching rate constant with singlet oxygen almost twice as high as that of beta-carotene. This makes its presence in the diet of considerable interest. Increasing clinical evidence supports the role of lycopene as a micronutrient with important health benefits, because it appears to provide protection against a broad range of epithelial cancers. Tomatoes and related tomato products are the major source of lycopene compounds, and are also considered an important source of carotenoids in the human diet. Undesirable degradation of lycopene not only affects the sensory quality of the final products, but also the health benefit of tomato-based foods for the human body. Lycopene in fresh tomato fruits occurs essentially in the all-trans configuration. The main causes of tomato lycopene degradation during processing are isomerization and oxidation. Isomerization converts all-trans isomers to cis-isomers due to additional energy input and results in an unstable, energy-rich station. Determination of the degree of lycopene isomerization during processing would provide a measure of the potential health benefits of tomato-based foods. Thermal processing (bleaching, retorting, and freezing processes) generally cause some loss of lycopene in tomato-based foods. Heat induces isomerization of the all-trans to cis forms. The cis-isomers increase with temperature and processing time. In general, dehydrated and powdered tomatoes have poor lycopene stability unless carefully processed and promptly placed in a hermetically sealed and inert atmosphere for storage. A significant increase in the cis-isomers with a simultaneous decrease in the all

  17. An examination of auditory processing and affective prosody in relatives of patients with auditory hallucinations

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Rachel; Farhall, John; Thomas, Neil; Groot, Christopher; Rossell, Susan L.

    2013-01-01

    Research on auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) indicates that AVH schizophrenia patients show greater abnormalities on tasks requiring recognition of affective prosody (AP) than non-AVH patients. Detecting AP requires accurate perception of manipulations in pitch, amplitude and duration. Schizophrenia patients with AVHs also experience difficulty detecting these acoustic manipulations; with a number of theorists speculating that difficulties in pitch, amplitude and duration discrimination underlie AP abnormalities. This study examined whether both AP and these aspects of auditory processing are also impaired in first degree relatives of persons with AVHs. It also examined whether pitch, amplitude and duration discrimination were related to AP, and to hallucination proneness. Unaffected relatives of AVH schizophrenia patients (N = 19) and matched healthy controls (N = 33) were compared using tone discrimination tasks, an AP task, and clinical measures. Relatives were slower at identifying emotions on the AP task (p = 0.002), with secondary analysis showing this was especially so for happy (p = 0.014) and neutral (p = 0.001) sentences. There was a significant interaction effect for pitch between tone deviation level and group (p = 0.019), and relatives performed worse than controls on amplitude discrimination and duration discrimination. AP performance for happy and neutral sentences was significantly correlated with amplitude perception. Lastly, AVH proneness in the entire sample was significantly correlated with pitch discrimination (r = 0.44) and pitch perception was shown to predict AVH proneness in the sample (p = 0.005). These results suggest basic impairments in auditory processing are present in relatives of AVH patients; they potentially underlie processing speed in AP tasks, and predict AVH proneness. This indicates auditory processing deficits may be a core feature of AVHs in schizophrenia, and are worthy of further study as a potential endophenotype

  18. IMNGS: A comprehensive open resource of processed 16S rRNA microbial profiles for ecology and diversity studies

    PubMed Central

    Lagkouvardos, Ilias; Joseph, Divya; Kapfhammer, Martin; Giritli, Sabahattin; Horn, Matthias; Haller, Dirk; Clavel, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The SRA (Sequence Read Archive) serves as primary depository for massive amounts of Next Generation Sequencing data, and currently host over 100,000 16S rRNA gene amplicon-based microbial profiles from various host habitats and environments. This number is increasing rapidly and there is a dire need for approaches to utilize this pool of knowledge. Here we created IMNGS (Integrated Microbial Next Generation Sequencing), an innovative platform that uniformly and systematically screens for and processes all prokaryotic 16S rRNA gene amplicon datasets available in SRA and uses them to build sample-specific sequence databases and OTU-based profiles. Via a web interface, this integrative sequence resource can easily be queried by users. We show examples of how the approach allows testing the ecological importance of specific microorganisms in different hosts or ecosystems, and performing targeted diversity studies for selected taxonomic groups. The platform also offers a complete workflow for de novo analysis of users’ own raw 16S rRNA gene amplicon datasets for the sake of comparison with existing data. IMNGS can be accessed at www.imngs.org. PMID:27659943

  19. IMNGS: A comprehensive open resource of processed 16S rRNA microbial profiles for ecology and diversity studies.

    PubMed

    Lagkouvardos, Ilias; Joseph, Divya; Kapfhammer, Martin; Giritli, Sabahattin; Horn, Matthias; Haller, Dirk; Clavel, Thomas

    2016-09-23

    The SRA (Sequence Read Archive) serves as primary depository for massive amounts of Next Generation Sequencing data, and currently host over 100,000 16S rRNA gene amplicon-based microbial profiles from various host habitats and environments. This number is increasing rapidly and there is a dire need for approaches to utilize this pool of knowledge. Here we created IMNGS (Integrated Microbial Next Generation Sequencing), an innovative platform that uniformly and systematically screens for and processes all prokaryotic 16S rRNA gene amplicon datasets available in SRA and uses them to build sample-specific sequence databases and OTU-based profiles. Via a web interface, this integrative sequence resource can easily be queried by users. We show examples of how the approach allows testing the ecological importance of specific microorganisms in different hosts or ecosystems, and performing targeted diversity studies for selected taxonomic groups. The platform also offers a complete workflow for de novo analysis of users' own raw 16S rRNA gene amplicon datasets for the sake of comparison with existing data. IMNGS can be accessed at www.imngs.org.

  20. Fairly processing rare and common species in multivariate analysis of ecological series. Application to macrobenthic communities from Algiers harbour.

    PubMed

    Manté, C; Claudet, J; Rebzani-Zahaf, C

    2003-01-01

    Systematic sampling of communities gives rise to large contingency tables summing up possible changes in the assemblages' structure. Such tables are generally analysed by multivariate statistical methods, which are ill-suited for simultaneously analysing rare and common species (Field et al., 1982). In order to separately process species belonging to either of these categories, we propose a statistical method to select common species in a sequence of ecological surveys. It is based on a precise definition of rarity, and depends on a rarity parameter. In this work, this parameter will be optimised so that the sub-table of common species captures the essential features of the complete table as well as possible. In this way we analysed the spatio-temporal evolution of macrobenthic communities from the Algiers harbour to study the pollution influence during a year. The examination of the communities' structuring was done through Principal Components Analysis (PCA) of the species proportions table. Environmental variables were simultaneously sampled. We show that the data structure can be explained by about 25% of the total number of present species. Two environmental gradients were brought to the fore inside the harbour, the first one representing pollution, and the second one representing hydrological instabilities. Since rare species can also convey information, the complete table was also coded according to a generalised presence/absence index and submitted to Correspondence Analysis. The results were consistent with those of PCA, but they depended on more species, and highlighted the influence of sedimentology on the assemblages composition.

  1. Petroleum coke adsorption as a water management option for oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Zubot, Warren; MacKinnon, Michael D; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Smith, Daniel W; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2012-06-15

    Water is integral to both operational and environmental aspects of the oil sands industry. A water treatment option based on the use of petroleum coke (PC), a by-product of bitumen upgrading, was examined as an opportunity to reduce site oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) inventories and net raw water demand. Changes in OSPW quality when treated with PC included increments in pH levels and concentrations of vanadium, molybdenum, and sulphate. Constituents that decreased in concentration after PC adsorption included total acid-extractable organics (TAO), bicarbonate, calcium, barium, magnesium, and strontium. Changes in naphthenic acids (NAs) speciation were observed after PC adsorption. A battery of bioassays was used to measure the OSPW toxicity. The results indicated that untreated OSPW was toxic towards Vibrio fischeri and rainbow trout. However, OSPW treated with PC at appropriate dosages was not acutely toxic towards these test organisms. Removal of TAO was found to be an adsorption process, fitting the Langmuir and Langmuir-Freundlich isotherm models. For TAO concentrations of 60 mg/L, adsorption capacities ranged between 0.1 and 0.46 mg/g. This study demonstrates that freshly produced PC from fluid cokers provides an effective treatment of OSPW in terms of key constituents' removal and toxicity reduction.

  2. Three Ways That Non-associative Knowledge May Affect Associative Learning Processes

    PubMed Central

    Thorwart, Anna; Livesey, Evan J.

    2016-01-01

    Associative learning theories offer one account of the way animals and humans assess the relationship between events and adapt their behavior according to resulting expectations. They assume knowledge about event relations is represented in associative networks, which consist of mental representations of cues and outcomes and the associative links that connect them. However, in human causal and contingency learning, many researchers have found that variance in standard learning effects is controlled by “non-associative” factors that are not easily captured by associative models. This has given rise to accounts of learning based on higher-order cognitive processes, some of which reject altogether the notion that humans learn in the manner described by associative networks. Despite the renewed focus on this debate in recent years, few efforts have been made to consider how the operations of associative networks and other cognitive operations could potentially interact in the course of learning. This paper thus explores possible ways in which non-associative knowledge may affect associative learning processes: (1) via changes to stimulus representations, (2) via changes to the translation of the associative expectation into behavior (3) via a shared source of expectation of the outcome that is sensitive to both the strength of associative retrieval and evaluation from non-associative influences. PMID:28082943

  3. Modeling Heterogeneity in Momentary Interpersonal and Affective Dynamic Processes in Borderline Personality Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Aidan G. C.; Hallquist, Michael N.; Stepp, Stephanie D.; Scott, Lori N.; Beeney, Joseph E.; Lazarus, Sophie A.; Pilkonis, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a diagnosis defined by impairments in several dynamic processes (e.g., interpersonal relating, affect regulation, behavioral control). Theories of BPD emphasize that these impairments appear in specific contexts, and emerging results confirm this view. At the same time, BPD is a complex construct that encompasses individuals with heterogeneous pathology. These features—dynamic processes, situational specificity, and individual heterogeneity—pose significant assessment challenges. In the current study, we demonstrate assessment and analytic methods that capture both between-person differences and within-person changes over time. Twenty-five participants diagnosed with BPD completed event-contingent, ambulatory assessment protocols over 21 days. We used p-technique factor analyses to identify person-specific psychological structures consistent with clinical theories of personality. Five exemplar cases are selected and presented in detail to showcase the potential utility of these methods. The presented cases' factor structures reflect not only heterogeneity but also suggest points of convergence. The factors also demonstrated significant associations with important clinical targets (self-harm, interpersonal violence). PMID:27317561

  4. Smoking during Pregnancy Affects Speech-Processing Ability in Newborn Infants

    PubMed Central

    Key, Alexandra P.F.; Ferguson, Melissa; Molfese, Dennis L.; Peach, Kelley; Lehman, Casey; Molfese, Victoria J.

    2007-01-01

    Background Tobacco smoking during pregnancy is known to adversely affect development of the central nervous system in babies of smoking mothers by restricting utero–placental blood flow and the amount of oxygen available to the fetus. Behavioral data associate maternal smoking with lower verbal scores and poorer performance on specific language/auditory tests. Objectives In the current study we examined the effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy on newborns’ speech processing ability as measured by event-related potentials (ERPs). Method High-density ERPs were recorded within 48 hr of birth in healthy newborn infants of smoking (n = 8) and nonsmoking (n = 8) mothers. Participating infants were matched on sex, gestational age, birth weight, Apgar scores, mother’s education, and family income. Smoking during pregnancy was determined by parental self-report and medical records. ERPs were recorded in response to six consonant–vowel syllables presented in random order with equal probability. Results Brainwaves of babies of nonsmoking mothers were characterized by typical hemisphere asymmetries, with larger amplitudes over the left hemisphere, especially over temporal regions. Further, infants of nonsmokers discriminated among a greater number of syllables whereas the newborns of smokers began the discrimination process at least 150 msec later and differentiated among fewer stimuli. Conclusions Our findings indicate that prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke in otherwise healthy babies is linked with significant changes in brain physiology associated with basic perceptual skills that could place the infant at risk for later developmental problems. PMID:17450234

  5. Understanding the Local Socio-political Processes Affecting Conservation Management Outcomes in Corbett Tiger Reserve, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastogi, Archi; Hickey, Gordon M.; Badola, Ruchi; Hussain, Syed Ainul

    2014-05-01

    Several measures have been recommended to guarantee a sustainable population of tigers: sufficient inviolate spaces for a viable population, sufficient prey populations, trained and skilled manpower to guard against poaching and intrusion, banning trade in tiger products to reduce poaching, and importantly, the political will to precipitate these recommendations into implementation. Of these, the creation of sufficient inviolate spaces (generally in the form of protected areas) has created the most issues with local resource-dependent communities, often resulting in significant challenges for tiger conservation policy and management. Very little empirical research has, however, been done to understand and contextualize the local-level socio-political interactions that may influence the efficacy of tiger conservation in India. In this paper, we present the results of exploratory research into the ways in which local-stakeholder groups affect the management of Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR). Using a combined grounded theory-case study research design, and the Institutional Analysis and Development framework for analysis, we identify the socio-political processes through which local-stakeholder groups are able to articulate their issues and elicit desirable actions from the management of CTR. Increasing our awareness of these processes can help inform the design and implementation of more effective tiger conservation management and policy strategies that have the potential to create more supportive coalitions of tiger conservation stakeholders at the local level.

  6. Assessment of processes affecting low-flow water quality of Cedar Creek, west-central Illinois

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, Arthur R.; Freeman, W.O.; McFarlane, R.D.

    1989-01-01

    Water quality and the processes that affect dissolved oxygen, nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus species), and algal concentrations were evaluated for a 23.8-mile reach of Cedar Creek near Galesburg, west-central Illinois, during periods of warm-weather, low-flow conditions. Water quality samples were collected and stream conditions were measured over a diel (24 hour) period on three occasions during July and August 1985. Analysis of data from the diel-sampling periods indicates that concentrations of iron, copper, manganese, phenols, and total dissolved-solids exceeded Illinois ' general-use water quality standards in some locations. Dissolved-oxygen concentrations were less than the State minimum standard throughout much of the study reach. These data were used to calibrate and verify a one-dimensional, steady-state, water quality model. The computer model was used to assess the relative effects on low-flow water quality of processes such as algal photosynthesis and respiration, ammonia oxidation, biochemical oxygen demand, sediment oxygen demand, and stream reaeration. Results from model simulations and sensitivity analysis indicate that sediment oxygen demand is the principal cause of low dissolved-oxygen concentrations in the creek. (USGS)

  7. Understanding the local socio-political processes affecting conservation management outcomes in Corbett Tiger Reserve, India.

    PubMed

    Rastogi, Archi; Hickey, Gordon M; Badola, Ruchi; Hussain, Syed Ainul

    2014-05-01

    Several measures have been recommended to guarantee a sustainable population of tigers: sufficient inviolate spaces for a viable population, sufficient prey populations, trained and skilled manpower to guard against poaching and intrusion, banning trade in tiger products to reduce poaching, and importantly, the political will to precipitate these recommendations into implementation. Of these, the creation of sufficient inviolate spaces (generally in the form of protected areas) has created the most issues with local resource-dependent communities, often resulting in significant challenges for tiger conservation policy and management. Very little empirical research has, however, been done to understand and contextualize the local-level socio-political interactions that may influence the efficacy of tiger conservation in India. In this paper, we present the results of exploratory research into the ways in which local-stakeholder groups affect the management of Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR). Using a combined grounded theory-case study research design, and the Institutional Analysis and Development framework for analysis, we identify the socio-political processes through which local-stakeholder groups are able to articulate their issues and elicit desirable actions from the management of CTR. Increasing our awareness of these processes can help inform the design and implementation of more effective tiger conservation management and policy strategies that have the potential to create more supportive coalitions of tiger conservation stakeholders at the local level.

  8. Pseudomonads biodegradation of aromatic compounds in oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yanyan; McPhedran, Kerry N; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2015-07-15

    Aromatic naphthenic acids (NAs) have been shown to be more toxic than the classical NAs found in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). To reduce this toxicity, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas putida were used to determine their ability to biodegrade aromatic compounds including treatments considering the impacts of external carbon and iron addition. Results showed that with added carbon P. fluorescens and P. putida have the capability of biodegrading these aromatics. In the presence of external carbon, gene expression of a functional PAH-ring hydroxylating dioxygenase (PAH-RHDα) was determined through reverse transcription real-time PCR, suggesting active degradation of OSPW aromatic compounds. Although no significant classical NAs removal was observed during this process, toxicity was reduced by 49.3% under optimal conditions. OSPW toxicity was eliminated with the combination of ozonation at a dose of 80 mg/L followed by biodegradation, indicating that it is a promising combined OSPW treatment approach for the safe discharge to the aquatic environment.

  9. Proteomic evidence of a paedomorphic evolutionary process within a marine snail species: a strategy for adapting to extreme ecological conditions?

    PubMed

    Diz, A P; Páez de la Cadena, M; Rolán-Alvarez, E

    2012-12-01

    The exposed and sheltered ecotypes of the marine snail Littorina saxatilis from European rocky shores are considered a key model system to study adaptation and ecological speciation. Previous studies showed that two ecotypes (RB and SU) of this species in NW Spain have adapted differently to different shore levels and microhabitats. In order to understand how this divergent adaptive process has been accomplished, we followed a quantitative proteomic approach to investigate the proteome variation in a number of different biological factors, that is, ecotype, ontogeny and their interactions. This approach allowed testing the hypothesis that one of the ecotypes has evolved by paedomorphosis, and also whether or not the molecular mechanisms related to ecotype differentiation are set up in early developmental stages. Additionally, the identification of some candidate proteins using mass spectrometry provides some functional insights into these evolutionary processes. Results from this study provided evidence of higher ontogenetic differentiation at proteome level in the RB (metamorphic) than in SU (paedomorphic) ecotype that point to the possibility of juvenile stage retention in this latter ecotype. The level of protein expression (proteome) differences between ecotypes maintained nearly constant from late embryonic stages to adulthood, although some proteins involved in these changes considerably differed in embryonic compared to other ontogenetic stages. Paedomorphosis may be the evolutionary response of the SU ecotype of solving the trade-off during sexually immaturity that is caused by the evolution of small size arising from adaptation to the wave-exposed habitat. Some potential candidate genes of adaptation related to energetic metabolism have been identified, providing a promising baseline for future functional analyses.

  10. Discourse Goals Affect the Process and Product of Nominal Metaphor Production.

    PubMed

    Utsumi, Akira; Sakamoto, Maki

    2015-10-01

    Although a large number of studies have addressed metaphor comprehension, only a few attempts have so far been made at exploring the process of metaphor production. Therefore, in this paper, we address the problem of how people generate nominal metaphors or identify an apt vehicle for a given topic of nominal metaphors. Specifically, we examine how the process and product of metaphor production differ between two discourse goals of metaphor, namely an explanatory purpose (e.g., to clarify) and a literary purpose (e.g., to aesthetically pleasing). Experiment 1 analyzed the metaphors (or vehicles) generated in the metaphor production task, and demonstrated that people identified more prototypical exemplars of the property to be attributed to the topic as a vehicle for explanatory metaphors than for literary metaphors. In addition, it was found that metaphors generated for the explanatory purpose were more apt and conventional, and had high topic-vehicle similarity than those generated for the literary purpose, while metaphors generated for the literary purpose were more familiar and imageable than those for the explanatory purpose. Experiment 2 used a priming paradigm to assess the online availability of prototypical and less prototypical members of the topic property during metaphor production. The result was that both prototypical and less prototypical members were activated in producing literary metaphors, while neither members were activated in the production of explanatory metaphors. These findings indicate that the process of metaphor production is affected by discourse goals of metaphor; less prototypical members of the category are searched for a vehicle during the production of literary metaphors, and thus literary metaphors are generated with less prototypical vehicles than explanatory metaphors.

  11. Nanomorphology of Itokawa regolith particles: Application to space-weathering processes affecting the Itokawa asteroid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsumoto, Toru; Tsuchiyama, Akira; Uesugi, Kentaro; Nakano, Tsukasa; Uesugi, Masayuki; Matsuno, Junya; Nagano, Takashi; Shimada, Akira; Takeuchi, Akihisa; Suzuki, Yoshio; Nakamura, Tomoki; Nakamura, Michihiko; Gucsik, Arnold; Nagaki, Keita; Sakaiya, Tatsuhiro; Kondo, Tadashi

    2016-08-01

    The morphological properties of 26 regolith particles from asteroid Itokawa were observed using scanning electron microscopes in combination with an investigation of their three-dimensional shapes obtained through X-ray microtomography. Surface observations of a cross section of the LL5 chondrite, and of crystals of olivine and pyroxene, were also performed for comparison. Some Itokawa particles have surfaces corresponding to walls of microdruses in the LL chondrite, where concentric polygonal steps develop and euhedral or subhedral grains exist. These formed through vapor growth owing to thermal annealing, which might have been caused by thermal metamorphism or shock-induced heating in Itokawa's parent body. Most of the Itokawa particles have more or less fractured surfaces, indicating that they were formed by disaggregation, probably caused by impacts. Itokawa particles with angular and rounded edges observed in computed tomography images are associated with surfaces exhibiting clear and faint structures, respectively. These surfaces can be interpreted by invoking different degrees of abrasion after regolith formation. A possible mechanism for the abrasion process is grain migration caused by impact-driven seismic waves. Space-weathered rims with blisters are distributed heterogeneously across the Itokawa regolith particles. This heterogeneous distribution can be explained by particle motion and fracturing, combined with solar-wind irradiation of the particle surfaces. The regolith activity-including grain motion, fracturing, and abrasion-might effectively act as refreshing process of Itokawa particles against space-weathered rim formation. The space-weathering processes affecting Itokawa would have developed simultaneously with space-weathered rim formation and regolith particle refreshment.

  12. Process-induced extracellular matrix alterations affect the mechanisms of soft tissue repair and regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hui; Sandor, Maryellen; Lombardi, Jared

    2013-01-01

    Extracellular matrices derived from animal tissues for human tissue repairs are processed by various methods of physical, chemical, or enzymatic decellularization, viral inactivation, and terminal sterilization. The mechanisms of action in tissue repair vary among bioscaffolds and are suggested to be associated with process-induced extracellular matrix modifications. We compared three non-cross-linked, commercially available extracellular matrix scaffolds (Strattice, Veritas, and XenMatrix), and correlated extracellular matrix alterations to in vivo biological responses upon implantation in non-human primates. Structural evaluation showed significant differences in retaining native tissue extracellular matrix histology and ultrastructural features among bioscaffolds. Tissue processing may cause both the condensation of collagen fibers and fragmentation or separation of collagen bundles. Calorimetric analysis showed significant differences in the stability of bioscaffolds. The intrinsic denaturation temperature was measured to be 51°C, 38°C, and 44°C for Strattice, Veritas, and XenMatrix, respectively, demonstrating more extracellular matrix modifications in the Veritas and XenMatrix scaffolds. Consequently, the susceptibility to collagenase degradation was increased in Veritas and XenMatrix when compared to their respective source tissues. Using a non-human primate model, three bioscaffolds were found to elicit different biological responses, have distinct mechanisms of action, and yield various outcomes of tissue repair. Strattice permitted cell repopulation and was remodeled over 6 months. Veritas was unstable at body temperature, resulting in rapid absorption with moderate inflammation. XenMatrix caused severe inflammation and sustained immune reactions. This study demonstrates that extracellular matrix alterations significantly affect biological responses in soft tissue repair and regeneration. The data offer useful insights into the rational design of

  13. Sampling frequency affects the processing of Actigraph raw acceleration data to activity counts.

    PubMed

    Brønd, Jan Christian; Arvidsson, Daniel

    2016-02-01

    ActiGraph acceleration data are processed through several steps (including band-pass filtering to attenuate unwanted signal frequencies) to generate the activity counts commonly used in physical activity research. We performed three experiments to investigate the effect of sampling frequency on the generation of activity counts. Ideal acceleration signals were produced in the MATLAB software. Thereafter, ActiGraph GT3X+ monitors were spun in a mechanical setup. Finally, 20 subjects performed walking and running wearing GT3X+ monitors. Acceleration data from all experiments were collected with different sampling frequencies, and activity counts were generated with the ActiLife software. With the default 30-Hz (or 60-Hz, 90-Hz) sampling frequency, the generation of activity counts was performed as intended with 50% attenuation of acceleration signals with a frequency of 2.5 Hz by the signal frequency band-pass filter. Frequencies above 5 Hz were eliminated totally. However, with other sampling frequencies, acceleration signals above 5 Hz escaped the band-pass filter to a varied degree and contributed to additional activity counts. Similar results were found for the spinning of the GT3X+ monitors, although the amount of activity counts generated was less, indicating that raw data stored in the GT3X+ monitor is processed. Between 600 and 1,600 more counts per minute were generated with the sampling frequencies 40 and 100 Hz compared with 30 Hz during running. Sampling frequency affects the processing of ActiGraph acceleration data to activity counts. Researchers need to be aware of this error when selecting sampling frequencies other than the default 30 Hz.

  14. Age of second language acquisition affects nonverbal conflict processing in children: an fMRI study

    PubMed Central

    Mohades, Seyede Ghazal; Struys, Esli; Van Schuerbeek, Peter; Baeken, Chris; Van De Craen, Piet; Luypaert, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Background In their daily communication, bilinguals switch between two languages, a process that involves the selection of a target language and minimization of interference from a nontarget language. Previous studies have uncovered the neural structure in bilinguals and the activation patterns associated with performing verbal conflict tasks. One question that remains, however is whether this extra verbal switching affects brain function during nonverbal conflict tasks. Methods In this study, we have used fMRI to investigate the impact of bilingualism in children performing two nonverbal tasks involving stimulus–stimulus and stimulus–response conflicts. Three groups of 8–11-year-old children – bilinguals from birth (2L1), second language learners (L2L), and a control group of monolinguals (1L1) – were scanned while performing a color Simon and a numerical Stroop task. Reaction times and accuracy were logged. Results Compared to monolingual controls, bilingual children showed higher behavioral congruency effect of these tasks, which is matched by the recruitment of brain regions that are generally used in general cognitive control, language processing or to solve language conflict situations in bilinguals (caudate nucleus, posterior cingulate gyrus, STG, precuneus). Further, the activation of these areas was found to be higher in 2L1 compared to L2L. Conclusion The coupling of longer reaction times to the recruitment of extra language-related brain areas supports the hypothesis that when dealing with language conflicts the specialization of bilinguals hampers the way they can process with nonverbal conflicts, at least at early stages in life. PMID:25328840

  15. 33 CFR 149.15 - What is the process for submitting alterations and modifications affecting the design and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... submitting alterations and modifications affecting the design and construction of a deepwater port? 149.15...) DEEPWATER PORTS DEEPWATER PORTS: DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, AND EQUIPMENT General § 149.15 What is the process for submitting alterations and modifications affecting the design and construction of a deepwater...

  16. Advances in Understanding Sorption and Transport Processes Affecting the Fate of Environmental Pollutants in the Subsurface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karapanagioti, H. K.; Werner, D.; Werth, C.

    2012-04-01

    The results of a call for a special issue that is now in press by the Journal of Contaminant Hydrology will be presented. This special issue is edited by the authors and is entitled "Sorption and Transport Processes Affecting the Fate of Environmental Pollutants in the Subsurface". A short abstract of each paper will be presented along with the most interesting results. Nine papers were accepted. Pollutants studied include: biocolloids, metals (arsenic, chromium, nickel), organic compounds such as hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, micropollutants (PAHs, PCBs), pesticides (glyphosate, 2,4-D). Findings presented in the papers include a modified batch reactor system to study equilibrium-reactive transport problems of metals. Column studies along with theoretical approximations evaluate the combined effects of grain size and pore water velocity on the transport in water saturated porous media of three biocolloids. A polluted sediment remediation method is evaluated considering site-specific conditions through monitoring results and modelling. A field study points to glogging and also sorption as mechanisms affecting the effectiveness of sub-surface flow constructed wetlands. A new isotherm model combining modified traditionally used isotherms is proposed that can be used to simulate pH-dependent metal adsorption. Linear free energy relationships (LFERs) demonstrate ability to predict slight isotope shifts into the groundwater due to sorption. Possible modifications that improve the reliability of kinetic models and parameter values during the evaluation of experiments that assess the sorption of pesticides on soils are tested. Challenges in selecting groundwater pollutant fate and transport models that account for the effect of grain-scale sorption rate limitations are evaluated based on experimental results and are discussed based on the Damköhler number. Finally, a thorough review paper presents the impact of mineral micropores on the transport and fate of

  17. Fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) reproduction is impaired in aged oil sands process-affected waters.

    PubMed

    Kavanagh, Richard J; Frank, Richard A; Oakes, Ken D; Servos, Mark R; Young, Rozlyn F; Fedorak, Phillip M; MacKinnon, Mike D; Solomon, Keith R; Dixon, D George; Van Der Kraak, Glen

    2011-01-17

    Large volumes of fluid tailings are generated during the extraction of bitumen from oil sands. As part of their reclamation plan, oil sands operators in Alberta propose to transfer these fluid tailings to end pit lakes and, over time, these are expected to develop lake habitats with productive capabilities comparable to natural lakes in the region. This study evaluates the potential impact of various oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW) on the reproduction of adult fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) under laboratory conditions. Two separate assays with aged OPSW (>15 years) from the experimental ponds at Syncrude Canada Ltd. showed that water containing high concentrations of naphthenic acids (NAs; >25 mg/l) and elevated conductivity (>2000 μS/cm) completely inhibited spawning of fathead minnows and reduced male secondary sexual characteristics. Measurement of plasma sex steroid levels showed that male fathead minnows had lower concentrations of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone whereas females had lower concentrations of 17β-estradiol. In a third assay, fathead minnows were first acclimated to the higher salinity conditions typical of OSPW for several weeks and then exposed to aged OSPW from Suncor Energy Inc. (NAs ∼40 mg/l and conductivity ∼2000 μS/cm). Spawning was significantly reduced in fathead minnows held in this effluent and male fathead minnows had lower concentrations of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that aged OSPW has the potential to negatively affect the reproductive physiology of fathead minnows and suggest that aquatic habitats with high NAs concentrations (>25 mg/l) and conductivities (>2000 μS/cm) would not be conducive for successful fish reproduction.

  18. Ionizing radiation affects human MART-1 melanoma antigen processing and presentation by dendritic cells.

    PubMed

    Liao, Yu-Pei; Wang, Chun-Chieh; Butterfield, Lisa H; Economou, James S; Ribas, Antoni; Meng, Wilson S; Iwamoto, Keisuke S; McBride, William H

    2004-08-15

    Radiation is generally considered to be an immunosuppressive agent that acts by killing radiosensitive lymphocytes. In this study, we demonstrate the noncytotoxic effects of ionizing radiation on MHC class I Ag presentation by bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs) that have divergent consequences depending upon whether peptides are endogenously processed and loaded onto MHC class I molecules or are added exogenously. The endogenous pathway was examined using C57BL/6 murine DCs transduced with adenovirus to express the human melanoma/melanocyte Ag recognized by T cells (AdVMART1). Prior irradiation abrogated the ability of AdVMART1-transduced DCs to induce MART-1-specific T cell responses following their injection into mice. The ability of these same DCs to generate protective immunity against B16 melanoma, which expresses murine MART-1, was also abrogated by radiation. Failure of AdVMART1-transduced DCs to generate antitumor immunity following irradiation was not due to cytotoxicity or to radiation-induced block in DC maturation or loss in expression of MHC class I or costimulatory molecules. Expression of some of these molecules was affected, but because irradiation actually enhanced the ability of DCs to generate lymphocyte responses to the peptide MART-1(27-35) that is immunodominant in the context of HLA-A2.1, they were unlikely to be critical. The increase in lymphocyte reactivity generated by irradiated DCs pulsed with MART-1(27-35) also protected mice against growth of B16-A2/K(b) tumors in HLA-A2.1/K(b) transgenic mice. Taken together, these results suggest that radiation modulates MHC class I-mediated antitumor immunity by functionally affecting DC Ag presentation pathways.

  19. HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK: CORRELATIONS AMONG HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    While all life is affected by the quality of the environment, environmental risk factors for human and wildlife health are typically assessed using independent processes that are dissimilar in scale and scope. However, the integrated analysis of human, ecological, and environmen...

  20. HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: ASSOCIATIONS AMONH HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    While all life is affected by the quality of the environment, environmental risk factors for human and wildlife health are typically assessed using independent processes that are dissimilar in scale and scope. However, the integrated analysis of human, ecological, and environmen...

  1. HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: ASSOCIATIONS AMONG HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING

    EPA Science Inventory

    While all life is affected by the quality of the environment, environmental risk factors for human and wildlife health are typically assessed using independent processes that are dissimilar in scale and scope. However, the integrated analysis of human, ecological, and environmen...

  2. HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT: ASSOCIATIONS AMONG HUMAN HEALTH, ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    While all life is affected by the quality of the environment, environmental risk factors for human and wildlife health are typically assessed using independent processes that are dissimilar in scale and scope. However, the integrated analysis of human, ecological, and environmen...

  3. Sorption processes affecting arsenic solubility in oxidized surface sediments from Tulare Lake Bed, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gao, S.; Goldberg, S.; Herbel, M.J.; Chalmers, A.T.; Fujii, R.; Tanji, K.K.

    2006-01-01

    Elevated concentrations of arsenic (As) in shallow groundwater in Tulare Basin pose an environmental risk because of the carcinogenic properties of As and the potential for its migration to deep aquifers that could serve as a future drinking water source. Adsorption and desorption are hypothesized to be the major processes controlling As solubility in oxidized surface sediments where arsenate [As(V)] is dominant. This study examined the relationship between sorption processes and arsenic solubility in shallow sediments from the dry Tulare Lake bed by determining sorption isotherms, pH effect on solubility, and desorption-readsorption behavior (hysteresis), and by using a surface complexation model to describe sorption. The sediments showed a high capacity to adsorb As(V). Estimates of the maximum adsorption capacity were 92 mg As kg- 1 at pH 7.5 and 70 mg As kg- 1 at pH 8.5 obtained using the Langmuir adsorption isotherm. Soluble arsenic [> 97% As(V)] did not increase dramatically until above pH 10. In the native pH range (7.5-8.5), soluble As concentrations were close to the lowest, indicating that As was strongly retained on the sediment. A surface complexation model, the constant capacitance model, was able to provide a simultaneous fit to both adsorption isotherms (pH 7.5 and 8.5) and the adsorption envelope (pH effect on soluble As), although the data ranges are one order of magnitude different. A hysteresis phenomenon between As adsorbed on the sediment and As in solution phase was observed in the desorption-readsorption processes and differs from conventional hysteresis observed in adsorption-desorption processes. The cause is most likely due to modification of adsorbent surfaces in sediment samples upon extensive extractions (or desorption). The significance of the hysteresis phenomenon in affecting As solubility and mobility may be better understood by further microscopic studies of As interaction mechanisms with sediments subjected to extensive leaching

  4. Neighborhood stressors, mastery, and depressive symptoms: racial and ethnic differences in an ecological model of the stress process in Chicago.

    PubMed

    Gilster, Megan E

    2014-08-01

    Neighborhood stressors are associated with depressive symptoms and are more likely to be experienced in poor, non-White neighborhoods. Neighborhood stress process theory suggests that neighborhood stressor affect mental health through personal coping resources, such as mastery. Mastery is thought to be both a pathway and a buffer of the ill effects of neighborhood stressors. This research examines the neighborhood stress process with a focus on racial and ethnic differences in the relationship between neighborhood stressors, mastery, and depressive symptoms in a multi-ethnic sample of Chicago residents. Findings suggest race-specific effects on depressive symptoms. Mastery is found to be a pathway from neighborhood stressors to depressive symptoms but not a buffer against neighborhood stressors. Mastery is most beneficial to Whites and those living in low stress neighborhoods.

  5. Topographic changes detection through Structure-from-Motion in agricultural lands affected by erosion processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prosdocimi, Massimo; Pradetto Sordo, Nicoletta; Burguet, Maria; Di Prima, Simone; Terol Esparza, Enric; Tarolli, Paolo; Cerdà, Artemi

    2016-04-01

    Throughout the world, soil erosion by water is a serious problem, especially in semi-arid and semi-humid areas (Cerdà et al., 2009; Cerdan et al., 2010; García-Ruiz, 2010). Although soil erosion by water consists of physical processes that vary significantly in severity and frequency according to when and where they occur, they are also strongly influenced by anthropic factors such as land-use changes on large scales and unsustainable farming practices (Boardman et al., 1990; Cerdà 1994; Montgomery, 2007). Tillage operations, combined with weather conditions, are recognized to primarily influence soil erosion rates. If, on one hand, tillage operations cause uniform changes based on the tool used, on the other, weather conditions, such as rainfalls, produce more random changes, less easily traceable (Snapir et al., 2014). Within this context, remote-sensing technologies can facilitate the detection and quantification of these topographic changes. In particular, a real opportunity and challenge is offered by the low-cost and flexible photogrammetric technique, called 'Structure-from-Motion' (SfM), combined with the use of smartphones (Micheletti et al., 2014; Prosdocimi et al., 2015). This represents a significant advance compared with more expensive technologies and applications (e.g. Terrestrial Laser Scanner - TLS) (Tarolli, 2014). This work wants to test the Structure from Motion to obtain high-resolution topography for the detection of topographic changes in agricultural lands affected by erosion processes. Two case studies were selected: i) a tilled plot characterized by bare soil and affected by rill erosion located in the hilly countryside of Marche region (central Italy), and ii) a Mediterranean vineyard located within the province of Valencia (south eastern Spain) where rainfall simulation experiments were carried out. Extensive photosets were obtained by using one standalone reflex digital camera and one smartphone built-in digital camera. Digital

  6. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) detection, avoidance, and chemosensory effects of oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Lari, Ebrahim; Pyle, Greg G

    2017-03-24

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) - a byproduct of the oil sands industry in Northern Alberta, Canada - is currently stored in on-site tailings ponds. The goal of the present study was to investigate the interaction of OSPW with the olfactory system and olfactory-mediated behaviours of fish upon the first encounter with OSPW. The response of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to different concentrations (0.1, 1, and 10%) of OSPW was studied using a choice maze and electro-olfactography (EOG), respectively. The results of the present study showed that rainbow trout are capable of detecting and avoiding OSPW at a concentration as low as 0.1%. Exposure to 1% OSPW impaired (i.e. reduced sensitivity) the olfactory response of rainbow trout to alarm and food cues within 5 min or less. The results of the present study demonstrated that fish could detect and avoid minute concentrations of OSPW. However, if fish were exposed to OSPW-contaminated water and unable to escape, their olfaction would be impaired.

  7. Power generation and oil sands process-affected water treatment in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jeongdong; Liu, Yang

    2014-10-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), a product of bitumen isolation in the oil sands industry, is a source of pollution if not properly treated. In present study, OSPW treatment and voltage generation were examined in a single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) under the effect of inoculated carbon source and temperature. OSPW treatment with an anaerobic sludge-inoculated MFC (AS-MFC) generated 0.55 ± 0.025 V, whereas an MFC inoculated with mature-fine tailings (MFT-MFC) generated 0.41 ± 0.01 V. An additional carbon source (acetate) significantly improved generated voltage. The voltage detected increased to 20-23% in MFCs when the condition was switched from ambient to mesophilic. The mesophilic condition increased OSPW treatment efficiency in terms of lowering the chemical oxygen demand and acid-extractable organics. Pyrosequencing analysis of microbial consortia revealed that Proteobacteria were the most abundant in MFCs and microbial communities in the AS-MFC were more diverse than those in the MFT-MFC.

  8. Cell phone electromagnetic field radiations affect rhizogenesis through impairment of biochemical processes.

    PubMed

    Singh, Harminder Pal; Sharma, Ved Parkash; Batish, Daizy Rani; Kohli, Ravinder Kumar

    2012-04-01

    Indiscriminate adoption and use of cell phone technology has tremendously increased the levels of electromagnetic field radiations (EMFr) in the natural environment. It has raised the concerns among the scientists regarding the possible risks of EMFr to living organisms. However, not much has been done to assess the damage caused to plants that are continuously exposed to EMFr present in the environment. The present study investigated the biochemical mechanism of interference of 900 MHz cell phone EMFr with root formation in mung bean (Vigna radiata syn. Phaseolus aureus) hypocotyls, a model system to study rhizogenesis in plants. Cell phone EMFr enhanced the activities of proteases (by 1.52 to 2.33 times), polyphenol oxidases (by 1.5 to 4.3 times), and peroxidases (by 1.5 to 2.0 times) in mung bean hypocotyls over control. Further, EMFr enhanced malondialdehyde (an indicator of lipid peroxidation), hydrogen peroxide, and proline content, indicating a reactive oxygen species-mediated oxidative damage in hypocotyls. It was confirmed by the upregulation in the activities of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, guaiacol peroxidase, catalase, and glutathione reductase) suggesting their possible role in providing protection against EMFr-induced oxidative damage. The study concluded that cell phone radiations affect the process of rhizogenesis through biochemical alterations that manifest as oxidative damage resulting in root impairment.

  9. Working Memory Load Affects Processing Time in Spoken Word Recognition: Evidence from Eye-Movements

    PubMed Central

    Hadar, Britt; Skrzypek, Joshua E.; Wingfield, Arthur; Ben-David, Boaz M.

    2016-01-01

    In daily life, speech perception is usually accompanied by other tasks that tap into working memory capacity. However, the role of working memory on speech processing is not clear. The goal of this study was to examine how working memory load affects the timeline for spoken word recognition in ideal listening conditions. We used the “visual world” eye-tracking paradigm. The task consisted of spoken instructions referring to one of four objects depicted on a computer monitor (e.g., “point at the candle”). Half of the trials presented a phonological competitor to the target word that either overlapped in the initial syllable (onset) or at the last syllable (offset). Eye movements captured listeners' ability to differentiate the target noun from its depicted phonological competitor (e.g., candy or sandal). We manipulated working memory load by using a digit pre-load task, where participants had to retain either one (low-load) or four (high-load) spoken digits for the duration of a spoken word recognition trial. The data show that the high-load condition delayed real-time target discrimination. Specifically, a four-digit load was sufficient to delay the point of discrimination between the spoken target word and its phonological competitor. Our results emphasize the important role working memory plays in speech perception, even when performed by young adults in ideal listening conditions. PMID:27242424

  10. Is cognitive processing affected in adults with hypospadias?: P300 study

    PubMed Central

    Tekeli, Hakan; Koçoğlu, Hasan; Alan, Cabir; Tavşanlı, Mustafa Emir; Yaşar, Halit; Malkoç, Ercan; Kendirli, Mustafa Tansel; Örs, Ceyda Hayretdağ; Ersay, Ahmet Reşit; Karaman, Handan Işın Özışık

    2015-01-01

    Background Hypospadias is a common urogenital system disorder. The frenulum, which is the most sensitive area of the glans penis, is not present in patients with hypospadias. This may lead to a failure in sexual and ejaculatory function, and cause emotional problems affecting cognitive processes. Aim We aimed to study auditory Event Related Potentials (ERP) in patients with hypospadias to understand the status of cognitive function. Materials and Methods Seventeen patients with hypospadias who presented to the Urology Outpatient Clinic of Çanakkale Military Hospital, and 11 healthy individuals of similar age were chosen. The auditory oddball paradigm with ERP from the Cz and Fz head regions were studied. The latency and amplitude of the P300 wave were measured. Results Both, the study and control groups consisted of young males. Although the study group had a longer P300 latency and lower P300 amplitude when compared to control group, the results were not statistically significant (p: 0.059 and 0.346 respectively). Conclusion Although the results are not statistically significant, our findings indicate that there may be cognitive changes in patients with hypospadias. Further studies of larger sample size and older patient cohorts are needed. PMID:28352719

  11. Power to Punish Norm Violations Affects the Neural Processes of Fairness-Related Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Xuemei; Zheng, Li; Li, Lin; Guo, Xiuyan; Wang, Qianfeng; Lord, Anton; Hu, Zengxi; Yang, Guang

    2015-01-01

    Punishing norm violations is considered an important motive during rejection of unfair offers in the ultimatum game (UG). The present study investigates the impact of the power to punish norm violations on people’s responses to unfairness and associated neural correlates. In the UG condition participants had the power to punish norm violations, while an alternate condition, the impunity game (IG), was presented where participants had no power to punish norm violations since rejection only reduced the responder’s income to zero. Results showed that unfair offers were rejected more often in UG compared to IG. At the neural level, anterior insula and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex were more active when participants received and rejected unfair offers in both UG and IG. Moreover, greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity was observed when participants rejected than accepted unfair offers in UG but not in IG. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex activation was higher in UG than IG when unfair offers were accepted as well as when rejecting unfair offers in IG as opposed to UG. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the power to punish norm violations affects not only people’s behavioral responses to unfairness but also the neural correlates of the fairness-related social decision-making process. PMID:26696858

  12. Factors Affecting Cervical Cancer Screening Behaviors Based On the Precaution Adoption Process Model: A Qualitative Study.

    PubMed

    Bahmani, Afshin; Baghianimoghadam, Mohammah Hossein; Enjezab, Behnaz; Mazloomy Mahmoodabad, Seyed Saeed; Askarshahi, Mohsen

    2015-11-17

    One of the most preventable cancers in women is cervical cancer. Pap smear test is an effective screening program; however, it is not conducted very frequently. The aim of this study is explaining the determinants affecting women's participation in the Pap smear test based on precaution adoption process model with a qualitative approach. This study was a qualitative approach using a Directed Content Analysis methodology which was conducted in 2014. Participants were 30 rural women who participated in this study voluntarily in sarvabad, Iran. Purposive sampling was initiated and continued until data saturation. Semi-structured interviews were the primary method of data collection. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis and continuous compar