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Sample records for affect litter size

  1. Does Litter Size Variation Affect Models of Terrestrial Carnivore Extinction Risk and Management?

    PubMed Central

    Devenish-Nelson, Eleanor S.; Stephens, Philip A.; Harris, Stephen; Soulsbury, Carl; Richards, Shane A.

    2013-01-01

    Background Individual variation in both survival and reproduction has the potential to influence extinction risk. Especially for rare or threatened species, reliable population models should adequately incorporate demographic uncertainty. Here, we focus on an important form of demographic stochasticity: variation in litter sizes. We use terrestrial carnivores as an example taxon, as they are frequently threatened or of economic importance. Since data on intraspecific litter size variation are often sparse, it is unclear what probability distribution should be used to describe the pattern of litter size variation for multiparous carnivores. Methodology/Principal Findings We used litter size data on 32 terrestrial carnivore species to test the fit of 12 probability distributions. The influence of these distributions on quasi-extinction probabilities and the probability of successful disease control was then examined for three canid species – the island fox Urocyon littoralis, the red fox Vulpes vulpes, and the African wild dog Lycaon pictus. Best fitting probability distributions differed among the carnivores examined. However, the discretised normal distribution provided the best fit for the majority of species, because variation among litter-sizes was often small. Importantly, however, the outcomes of demographic models were generally robust to the distribution used. Conclusion/Significance These results provide reassurance for those using demographic modelling for the management of less studied carnivores in which litter size variation is estimated using data from species with similar reproductive attributes. PMID:23469140

  2. Maternal immune activation affects litter success, size and neuroendocrine responses related to behavior in adult offspring.

    PubMed

    French, Susannah S; Chester, Emily M; Demas, Gregory E

    2013-07-01

    It is increasingly evident that influences other than genetics can contribute to offspring phenotype. In particular, maternal influences are an important contributing factor to offspring survival, development, physiology and behavior. Common environmental pathogens such as viral or bacterial microorganisms can induce maternal immune responses, which have the potential to alter the prenatal environment via multiple independent pathways. The effects of maternal immune activation on endocrine responses and behavior are less well studied and provide the basis for the current study. Our approach in the current study was two-pronged: 1) quantify sickness responses during pregnancy in adult female hamsters experiencing varying severity of immune responsiveness (i.e., differing doses of lipopolysaccharide [LPS]), and 2) assess the effects of maternal immune activation on offspring development, immunocompetence, hormone profiles, and social behavior during adulthood. Pregnancy success decreased with increasing doses of LPS, and litter size was reduced in LPS dams that managed to successfully reproduce. Unexpectedly, pregnant females treated with LPS showed a hypothermic response in addition to the more typical anorexic and body mass changes associated with sickness. Significant endocrine changes related to behavior were observed in the offspring of LPS-treated dams; these effects were apparent in adulthood. Specifically, offspring from LPS treated dams showed significantly greater cortisol responses to stressful resident-intruder encounters compared with offspring from control dams. Post-behavior cortisol was elevated in male LPS offspring relative to the offspring of control dams, and was positively correlated with the frequency of bites during agonistic interactions, and cortisol levels in both sexes were related to defensive behaviors, suggesting that changes in hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis responsiveness may play a regulatory role in the observed behavioral

  3. Size dependent differences in litter consumption of isopods: preliminary results

    PubMed Central

    Vilisics, Ferenc; Szekeres, Sándor; Hornung, Elisabeth

    2012-01-01

    Abstract A series of experiments were applied to test how leaf orientation within microcosms affect consumption rates (Experiment 1), and to discover intra-specific differences in leaf litter consumption (Experiment 2) of the common isopod species Porcellio scaber and Porcellionides pruinosus. A standardised microcosm setup was developed for feeding experiments to maintain standard conditions. A constant amount of freshly fallen black poplar litter was provided to three distinct size class (small, medium, large) of woodlice. We measured litter consumption after a fortnight. We maintained appr. constant isopod biomass for all treatments, and equal densities within each size class. We hypothesized that different size classes differ in their litter consumption, therefore such differences should occur even within populations of the species. We also hypothesized a marked difference in consumption rates for different leaf orientation within microcosms. Our results showed size-specific consumption patterns for Porcellio scaber: small adults showed the highest consumption rates (i.e. litter mass loss / isopod biomass) in high density microcosms, while medium-sized adults of lower densities ate the most litter in containers. Leaf orientation posed no significant effect on litter consumption. PMID:22536112

  4. Effects of neonatal litter size and age on ovarian gene expression and follicular development in gilts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gilts raised in small litters have greater ovulation rate, stay in the herd longer and produce more pigs. The objective was to understand how neonatal litter size affects gilt development. The hypothesis is that gilts reared in smaller litters have greater ovarian follicular development. Within 24 h...

  5. Analysis of candidate genes underlying two epistatic quantitative trait loci on SSC12 affecting litter size in pig.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Rodríguez, A; Rodríguez, C; Varona, L; Balcells, I; Noguera, J L; Ovilo, C; Fernández, A I

    2010-02-01

    The previous results from a genome scan for total number of piglets born and number of piglets born alive in a F(2) Iberian by Meishan intercross showed several single and epistatic QTL. One of the most interesting results was obtained for SSC12, where two QTL affecting both traits showed epistatic interaction. In this study, we proposed two genes (SLC9A3R1 and NOS2) as biological and potentially positional candidates underlying these QTL. Both cDNAs were characterized and 23 polymorphisms were detected. A chromosome scan was conducted with 12 markers, plus one SNP in SLC9A3R1 and one in NOS2, covering 110 cM of SSC12. The epistatic QTL (QTL1 at 15 cM and QTL2 at 97 cM) were confirmed, and SLC9A3R1 and NOS2 were mapped around the QTL1 and QTL2 regions respectively. Several SNPs in both genes were tested with standard animal model and marker assisted association tests. The most significant results were obtained with the NOS2 haplotype defined by one missense SNP c.2192C > T (Val to Ala) and a 15 bp duplication at the 3'UTR. This duplication seems to include AU-rich elements, and could be a target site for miRNA, therefore there are statistical and biological indications to consider this haplotype as the potential causal mutation underlying QTL2. SLC9A3R1 results were not conclusive. Although the interaction between the SNPs was not significant, we cannot reject the possibility of interaction of the NOS2 haplotype with other polymorphisms closely linked to the SL9A3R1 SNPs analysed. PMID:19793269

  6. Litter Size Predicts Adult Stereotypic Behavior in Female Laboratory Mice

    PubMed Central

    Bechard, Allison; Nicholson, Anthony; Mason, Georgia

    2012-01-01

    Stereotypic behaviors are repetitive invariant behaviors that are common in many captive species and potentially indicate compromised welfare and suitability as research subjects. Adult laboratory mice commonly perform stereotypic bar-gnawing, route-tracing, and back-flipping, although great individual variation in frequency occurs. Early life factors (for example, level of maternal care received) have lasting effects on CNS functioning and abilities to cope with stress and therefore may also affect stereotypic behavior in offspring. Access to maternal resources and care are influenced by the number of pups in a litter; therefore, we examined both litter size and its potential correlate, weight at weaning, as early environmental predictors of adult stereotypic behavior in laboratory mice. Further, we assessed the effects on offspring stereotypic behavior of delaying the separation of mother and pups (weaning) beyond the standard 21 d of age. Analyzing stereotypic behavior in 3 different mouse colonies composed of 2 inbred strains (C57BL/6N and C57BL/6J) and an outbred stock (CD1[ICR]) revealed significant positive correlation between litter size and stereotypic behavior in female, but not male, mice. Weight and age at weaning did not significantly affect levels of stereotypy in either sex. Litter size therefore may be a useful indicator of individual predisposition to stereotypic behavior in female laboratory mice. PMID:23043805

  7. Transcriptomic Analysis of Ovaries from Pigs with High And Low Litter Size

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yifang; Ding, Yueyun; Ye, Pengfei; Yin, Zongjun

    2015-01-01

    Litter size is one of the most important economic traits for pig production as it is directly related to the production efficiency. Litter size is affected by interactions between multiple genes and the environment. While recent studies have identified some genes associated with prolificacy in pigs, transcriptomic studies of specific genes affecting litter size in porcine ovaries are rare. In order to identify candidate genes associated with litter size in swine, we assessed gene expression differences between the ovaries of Yorkshire pigs with extremely high and low litter sizes using the RNA-Seq method. A total of 1 243 differentially expressed genes were identified: 897 genes were upregulated and 346 genes were downregulated in high litter size ovary samples compared with low litter size ovary samples. A large number of these genes related to steroid hormone regulation in animal ovaries, including 59 Gene Ontology terms and 27 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways involved in steroid biosynthesis and ovarian steroidogenesis. From these differentially expressed genes, we identified a total of 11 genes using a bioinformatics screen that may be associated with high litter size in Yorkshire pigs. These results provide a list of new candidate genes for porcine litter size and prolificacy to be further investigated. PMID:26426260

  8. Trans-generational exposure to low levels of rhodamine B does not adversely affect litter size or liver function in murine mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Ainslie L K; Fletcher, Janice M; Moore, Lynette; Byers, Sharon

    2010-01-01

    MPS IIIA is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the sulphamidase gene, resulting in the accumulation of heparan sulphate glycosaminoglycans (HS GAGs). Symptoms predominantly manifest in the CNS and there is no current therapy that effectively addresses neuropathology in MPS IIIA patients. Recent studies in MPS IIIA mice have shown that rhodamine B substrate deprivation therapy (SDT) (also termed substrate reduction therapy/SRT) inhibits GAG biosynthesis and, improves both somatic and CNS disease pathology. Acute overexposure to high doses of rhodamine B results in liver toxicity and is detrimental to reproductive ability. However, the long-term effects of decreasing GAG synthesis, at the low dose sufficient to alter neurological function are unknown. A trans-generational study was therefore initiated to evaluate the continuous exposure of rhodamine B treatment in MPS IIIA mice over 4 generations, including treatment during pregnancy. No alterations in litter size, liver histology or liver function were observed. Overall, there are no long-term issues with the administration of rhodamine B at the low dose tested and no adverse effects were noted during pregnancy in mice. PMID:20650670

  9. Accuracy of prediction of canine litter size and gestational age with ultrasound.

    PubMed

    Lenard, Z M; Hopper, B J; Lester, N V; Richardson, J L; Robertson, I D

    2007-06-01

    Different sonographic criteria have been developed to estimate canine fetal age, including fetal mensuration and assessment of fetal organ development. This retrospective study assessed the accuracy of gestational age and litter size predictions in 76 bitches using one of two techniques. The first method used the differential features of fetal organ development that occur in early and mid pregnancy, based on published tables for beagles. The second method used biparietal head and trunk diameters to predict gestational age based on tables published for late gestational Labrador Retrievers. The accuracy of the two methods was compared and the effect of maternal body weight and litter size evaluated. Litter size and maternal body weight did not affect the accuracy of gestational age prediction. Using a combination of both methods, the overall accuracy of predicting parturition date within 65 +/- 1 day and +/- 2 days was 70.8% and 86.1%, respectively. The correct litter size was predicted in 65% of cases, and in 89.5% of cases for +/- 1 pup. Pearson's correlation between actual litter size and predicted litter size was high (R = 0.957, P < 0.001). The organ development method of predicting gestational age was more accurate than late gestational fetal mensuration (P = 0.019). The optimum time for sonographic estimation of fetal age and litter size is early and mid pregnancy. PMID:17547634

  10. Experimental evidence that litter size imposes an oxidative challenge to offspring.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Alyssa B; Garratt, Michael; Brooks, Robert C

    2015-12-01

    The post-natal environment in which young develop can substantially impact development, adult phenotype and fitness. In wild mice, competition among litter-mates affects development rate and adult behaviour. We manipulated post-natal litter size in a cross-fostering design to investigate the effects of enlarged and reduced litter sizes on sexual signalling, oxidative stress and the links between them. Oxidative stress causes somatic damage that can limit reproductive success and lifespan, and is predicted to mediate investment in life-history traits, including sexual signals. We predicted that litter enlargement would cause an increase in potential oxidative stress, inhibit growth and reduce sexual signalling in male mice. Males reared in enlarged litters were smaller at weaning and, despite rapid growth immediately after weaning, remained smaller at 10 weeks of age than those reared in smaller litters. Females from enlarged litters were consistently smaller throughout post-weaning development and showed no increase in growth rate compared with females from reduced litters. In enlarged litters, protein thiol concentration was lower at weaning in the liver and kidneys, with this trend continuing at 10 weeks of age in the kidneys only. Aconitase enzyme activity was also lower in mice from enlarged litters at weaning and 10 weeks of age in the kidneys. Male mice from enlarged litters scent marked more frequently and had larger preputial glands than those from reduced litters, indicating greater sexual signalling investment irrespective of this increased oxidative challenge. The results of this study are the first to reveal oxidative costs of developmental stress in small mammals. PMID:26519509

  11. Variance component estimates for alternative litter size traits in swine.

    PubMed

    Putz, A M; Tiezzi, F; Maltecca, C; Gray, K A; Knauer, M T

    2015-11-01

    Litter size at d 5 (LS5) has been shown to be an effective trait to increase total number born (TNB) while simultaneously decreasing preweaning mortality. The objective of this study was to determine the optimal litter size day for selection (i.e., other than d 5). Traits included TNB, number born alive (NBA), litter size at d 2, 5, 10, 30 (LS2, LS5, LS10, LS30, respectively), litter size at weaning (LSW), number weaned (NW), piglet mortality at d 30 (MortD30), and average piglet birth weight (BirthWt). Litter size traits were assigned to biological litters and treated as a trait of the sow. In contrast, NW was the number of piglets weaned by the nurse dam. Bivariate animal models included farm, year-season, and parity as fixed effects. Number born alive was fit as a covariate for BirthWt. Random effects included additive genetics and the permanent environment of the sow. Variance components were plotted for TNB, NBA, and LS2 to LS30 using univariate animal models to determine how variances changed over time. Additive genetic variance was minimized at d 7 in Large White and at d 14 in Landrace pigs. Total phenotypic variance for litter size traits decreased over the first 10 d and then stabilized. Heritability estimates increased between TNB and LS30. Genetic correlations between TNB, NBA, and LS2 to LS29 with LS30 plateaued within the first 10 d. A genetic correlation with LS30 of 0.95 was reached at d 4 for Large White and at d 8 for Landrace pigs. Heritability estimates ranged from 0.07 to 0.13 for litter size traits and MortD30. Birth weight had an h of 0.24 and 0.26 for Large White and Landrace pigs, respectively. Genetic correlations among LS30, LSW, and NW ranged from 0.97 to 1.00. In the Large White breed, genetic correlations between MortD30 with TNB and LS30 were 0.23 and -0.64, respectively. These correlations were 0.10 and -0.61 in the Landrace breed. A high genetic correlation of 0.98 and 0.97 was observed between LS10 and NW for Large White and

  12. Maternal investment, sibling competition, and offspring survival with increasing litter size and parity in pigs (Sus scrofa).

    PubMed

    Andersen, Inger Lise; Nævdal, Eric; Bøe, Knut Egil

    2011-06-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the effects of litter size and parity on sibling competition, piglet survival, and weight gain. It was predicted that competition for teats would increase with increasing litter size, resulting in a higher mortality due to maternal infanticide (i.e., crushing) and starvation, thus keeping the number of surviving piglets constant. We predicted negative effects on weight gain with increasing litter size. Based on maternal investment theory, we also predicted that piglet mortality would be higher for litters born late in a sow's life and thus that the number of surviving piglets would be higher in early litters. As predicted, piglet mortality increased with increasing litter size both due to an increased proportion of crushed piglets, where most of them failed in the teat competition, and due to starvation caused by increased sibling competition, resulting in a constant number of survivors. Piglet weight at day 1 and growth until weaning also declined with increasing litter size. Sows in parity four had higher piglet mortality due to starvation, but the number of surviving piglets was not affected by parity. In conclusion, piglet mortality caused by maternal crushing of piglets, many of which had no teat success, and starvation caused by sibling competition, increased with increasing litter size for most sow parities. The constant number of surviving piglets at the time of weaning suggests that 10 to 11 piglets could be close to the upper limit that the domestic sow is capable of taking care of. PMID:21743767

  13. Discovery of Predictive Biomarkers for Litter Size in Boar Spermatozoa*

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Woo-Sung; Rahman, Md Saidur; Lee, June-Sub; Yoon, Sung-Jae; Park, Yoo-Jin; Pang, Myung-Geol

    2015-01-01

    Conventional semen analysis has been used for prognosis and diagnosis of male fertility. Although this tool is essential for providing initial quantitative information about semen, it remains a subject of debate. Therefore, development of new methods for the prognosis and diagnosis of male fertility should be seriously considered for animal species of economic importance as well as for humans. In the present study, we applied a comprehensive proteomic approach to identify global protein biomarkers in boar spermatozoa in order to increase the precision of male fertility prognoses and diagnoses. We determined that l-amino acid oxidase, mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase 2, NAD (MDH2), cytosolic 5′-nucleotidase 1B, lysozyme-like protein 4, and calmodulin (CALM) were significantly and abundantly expressed in high-litter size spermatozoa. We also found that equatorin, spermadhesin AWN, triosephosphate isomerase (TPI), Ras-related protein Rab-2A (RAB2A), spermadhesin AQN-3, and NADH dehydrogenase [ubiquinone] iron-sulfur protein 2 (NDUFS2) were significantly and abundantly expressed in low-litter size spermatozoa (>3-fold). Moreover, RAB2A, TPI, and NDUFS2 were negatively correlated with litter size, whereas CALM and MDH2 were positively correlated. This study provides novel biomarkers for the prediction of male fertility. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that shows significantly increased litter size using male fertility biomarkers in a field trial. Moreover, these protein markers may provide new developmental tools for the selection of superior sires as well as for the prognosis and diagnosis of male fertility. PMID:25693803

  14. Incidence of splayleg pigs in Nebraska litter size selection lines.

    PubMed

    Holl, J W; Johnson, R K

    2005-01-01

    Genetic parameters for the splayleg (SL) condition were estimated from 37,673 records of pigs from six lines derived from a Large White-Land-race base population. Random selection for 22 generations was practiced in Lines C1 and C2. Line C2 was derived from C1 at Generation 8. Selection lines were as follows: 1) Line I, selected 11 generations for an index of ovulation rate and embryonic survival followed by 11 generations of selection for litter size; 2) Line IOL, derived from Line I at Generation 8 and which underwent eight generations of two-stage selection for ovulation rate and number of fully formed pigs per litter followed by four generations of litter size selection; 3) Line COL, derived from Line C1 at Generation 8 and selected eight generations in two stages for ovulation rate and number of fully formed pigs followed by four generations of litter size selection; and 4) Line T, selected 12 generations for increased testis size. From logistic models, it was found that boars were 224% more likely to have SL than gilts (P < 0.01). Decreases in birth weight, dam age at puberty, dam nipple number, and dam embryonic survival, and increases in dam litter size and inbreeding increased the odds of SL (P < 0.05). Direct and maternal heritabilities of SL were 0.07 and 0.16, respectively, and the correlation between direct and maternal effects was -0.24. Correlations between direct genetic effects for SL and number born alive, nipple number, birth weight, age at puberty, and embryonic survival were -0.19, -0.36, 0.23, -0.19, and -0.32, respectively. Except for the correlation of 0.32 between maternal effects for SL and direct effects for number of live pigs, correlations of SL maternal genetic effects with direct genetic effects of other traits were less than 0.11. Annual direct genetic trends (%) for SL in I, IOL, COL, T, C1, and C2 were -0.003 +/- 0.003, 0.121 +/- 0.012, -0.273 +/-0.009, 0.243 +/-0.014, -0.274 +/-0.004, and 0.086 +/-0.008, respectively; annual

  15. Pelage insulation, litter size, and ambient temperature impact maternal energy intake and offspring development during lactation

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Matthew J.; Tuthill, Christiana; Kauffman, Alexander S.; Zucker, Irving

    2010-01-01

    Energy balance during lactation critically influences survival and growth of a mother’s offspring, and hence, her reproductive success. Most experiments have investigated the influence of a single factor (e.g., ambient temperature [Ta] or litter size) on the energetics of lactation. Here, we determined the impact of multiple interventions, including increased conductive heat loss consequent to dorsal fur removal, cold exposure (Ta of 5°C versus 23°C), and differential lactational load from litters of different sizes (2 or 4 pups), on maternal energy balance and offspring development of Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). Lower Ta, fur removal, and larger litters were associated with increased maternal food consumption. Females exposed to multiple challenges (e.g., both fur loss and lower Ta) ate substantially more food than those exposed to a single challenge, with no apparent ceiling to elevated food intake (increases up to 538%). Thus, energy intake of dams under these conditions does not appear to be limited by feeding behavior or the size of the digestive tract. Housing at 5°C attenuated pup weight gain and increased pup mortality to more than 5 times that of litters housed at 23°C. Increases in the dam’s conductive heat loss induced by fur removal did not affect pup weight gain or survival, suggesting that effects of low Ta on pup weight gain and survival reflect limitations in the pups’ ability to ingest or incorporate energy. PMID:20184907

  16. Embryologic changes in rabbit lines selected for litter size variability.

    PubMed

    García, M L; Blasco, A; Argente, M J

    2016-09-15

    A divergent selection experiment on litter size variability was carried out. Correlated response in early embryo survival, embryonic development, size of embryos, and size of embryonic coats after four generations of selection was estimated. A total of 429 embryos from 51 high-line females and 648 embryos from 80 low-line females were used in the experiment. The traits studied were percentage of normal embryos, embryo diameter, zona pellucida thickness, and mucin coat thickness. Traits were measured at 24, 48, and 72 hours postcoitum (hpc); mucin coat thickness was only measured at 48 and 72 hpc. The embryos were classified as zygotes or two-cell embryos at 24 hpc; 16-cell embryos or early morulae at 48 hpc; and early morulae, compacted morulae, or blastocyst at 72 hpc. At 24 hpc, the percentage of normal embryos in the high line was lower than in the low line (-2.5%), and embryos in the high line showed 10% higher zona pellucida thickness than those of the low line. No differences in percentage of zygotes or two-cell embryos were found. At 48 hpc, the high-line embryos were less developed, with a higher percentage of 16-cell embryos (23.4%) and a lower percentage of early morulae (-23.4%). At 72 hpc, high-line embryos continued to be less developed, showing higher percentages of early morulae and compact morulae and lower percentages of blastocyst (-1.8%). No differences in embryo diameter or mucin coat thickness were found at any time. In conclusion, selection for litter size variability has consequences on early embryonic survival and development, with embryos presenting a lower state of development and a lower percentage of normal embryos in the line selected for higher variability. PMID:27207473

  17. Paternal care and litter size coevolution in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Hobson, Liane

    2016-01-01

    Biparental care of offspring occurs in diverse mammalian genera and is particularly common among species with socially monogamous mating systems. Despite numerous well-documented examples, however, the evolutionary causes and consequences of paternal care in mammals are not well understood. Here, we investigate the evolution of paternal care in relation to offspring production. Using comparative analyses to test for evidence of evolutionary associations between male care and life-history traits, we explore if biparental care is likely to have evolved because of the importance of male care to offspring survival, or if evolutionary increases in offspring production are likely to result from the evolution of biparental care. Overall, we find no evidence that paternal care has evolved in response to benefits of supporting females to rear particularly costly large offspring or litters. Rather, our findings suggest that increases in offspring production are more likely to follow the evolution of paternal care, specifically where males contribute depreciable investment such as provisioning young. Through coevolution with litter size, we conclude that paternal care in mammals is likely to play an important role in stabilizing monogamous mating systems and could ultimately promote the evolution of complex social behaviours. PMID:27097924

  18. Paternal care and litter size coevolution in mammals.

    PubMed

    Stockley, Paula; Hobson, Liane

    2016-04-27

    Biparental care of offspring occurs in diverse mammalian genera and is particularly common among species with socially monogamous mating systems. Despite numerous well-documented examples, however, the evolutionary causes and consequences of paternal care in mammals are not well understood. Here, we investigate the evolution of paternal care in relation to offspring production. Using comparative analyses to test for evidence of evolutionary associations between male care and life-history traits, we explore if biparental care is likely to have evolved because of the importance of male care to offspring survival, or if evolutionary increases in offspring production are likely to result from the evolution of biparental care. Overall, we find no evidence that paternal care has evolved in response to benefits of supporting females to rear particularly costly large offspring or litters. Rather, our findings suggest that increases in offspring production are more likely to follow the evolution of paternal care, specifically where males contribute depreciable investment such as provisioning young. Through coevolution with litter size, we conclude that paternal care in mammals is likely to play an important role in stabilizing monogamous mating systems and could ultimately promote the evolution of complex social behaviours. PMID:27097924

  19. [Characteristics of pedigree cat breeding in the Netherlands: breeds, population increase and litter size].

    PubMed

    Gerrits, P O; Huisman, T; Knol, B W

    1999-03-01

    A survey of the Dutch Cat Fancy was carried out to determine reproductive, patterns of pedigree cats. The data of the present study were obtained by questioning the pedigree registers of the cat clubs participating in the foundation 'Overleg Platform van de Nederlandse Cat Fancy'. The Dutch Cat Fancy registers 34 different cat breeds. From 1992 up to 1996 a total of 25.985 litters were registered. Over this period the number of litters increased from 4989 to 5313. Litters from Longhair and Exotic Shorthair cats comprised the biggest group and accounted for 55% of the total number of litters. However, over this period, the number of Longhair and Exotic Shorthair litters decreased by 9%. Litters from British Shorthair, Birman, Maine Coon and Norwegian Forrest Cat increased in number as did litters from small breeds such as Ragdoll, Bengal and Sphynx. Litters from Abyssinian, Siamese, Oriental Shorthair cats remained relatively the same. The average litter size of the total cat population, based on pedigree certificates, was calculated at 3.3 kittens per litter. For different breeds litter size varied from 2.7 (Longhair and Exotic Shorthair) to 4.3 (Burmese and Maine Coon). Taking into account an average age of 14 years, the total Dutch pedigree cat population was estimated at 240,000 viz. about 10% of the total cat population. PMID:10084198

  20. Mechanisms of regulation of litter size in pigs on the genome level.

    PubMed

    Distl, O

    2007-09-01

    Improvement in litter size has become of great interest in pig industry as good fecundity is directly related to a sow's productive life. Genetic regulation of litter size is complex and the main component traits so far defined are ovulation rate, embryonic survival, uterus capacity, foetal survival and pre-weaning losses. Improvements using concepts of the quantitative genetics let expect only slow genetic progress due to its low heritability of approximately 0.09 for number of piglets born alive. Marker assisted selection allows to dissect litter size in its component traits and using molecular genetic markers for the components of litter size traits promises more progress and advantages in optimum balancing of the different physiological mechanisms influencing litter size. In this review, efforts being made to unravel the genetic determinants of litter size are accounted and discussed. For litter size traits, more than 50 quantitative trait loci (QTL) were mapped and in more than 12 candidate genes associations confirmed. The number of useful candidate genes is much larger as shown by expression profiles and in addition, much more QTL can be assumed. These functional genomic approaches, both QTL mapping and candidate gene analysis, have to be merged for a better understanding of a wider application across different pig breeds and lines. Newly developed tools based on microarray techniques comprising DNA variants or expressed tags of many genes or even the whole genome appear useful for in depth understanding of the genetics of litter size in pigs. PMID:17688597

  1. Inbreeding impact on litter size and survival in selected canine breeds.

    PubMed

    Leroy, Grégoire; Phocas, Florence; Hedan, Benoit; Verrier, Etienne; Rognon, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    Data obtained from the French Kennel Club and the Fichier National Canin were used to estimate the effect of inbreeding on average litter size and survival in seven French breeds of dog. Depending on the breed, litter sizes were 3.5-6.3 puppies and longevities were 7.7-12.2 years. Estimated heritabilities were 6.0-10.9% for litter size and 6.1-10.1% for survival at 2 years of age. Regression coefficients indicated a negative effect of inbreeding on both individual survival and litter size. Although the impact of baseline inbreeding within breeds appears to be limited, the improper mating of close relatives will reduce biological fitness through significant reduction of litter size and longevity. PMID:25475165

  2. Debris size and buoyancy influence the dispersal distance of stranded litter.

    PubMed

    Fazey, Francesca M C; Ryan, Peter G

    2016-09-15

    Recent at sea surveys of floating macro-debris in the southeast Atlantic Ocean found that debris increases in size with distance from shore, suggesting that many smaller items, which dominate litter close to urban source areas, sink before dispersing far into the ocean. We test whether this pattern is evident in beach litter in the same region. Freshly stranded beach litter was collected at increasing distances (0km, 100km, 200km and 2800km) from Cape Town, a major urban litter source. Mean size and buoyancy of litter items increased significantly with distance from Cape Town. Size-specific sedimentation due to the ballasting effect of biofouling is a plausible explanation for the disappearance of smaller, less buoyant items. Our results provide further evidence that many low buoyancy items sink and support the hypothesis that size and buoyancy are strong predictors of dispersal distance for floating debris. PMID:27389460

  3. Alum affects ammonia-producing microorganisms in poultry litter

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Scientists at the USDA-ARS in Bowling Green, KY and in Fayetteville, AR are working to uncover the microbiology of ammonia production in poultry litter. Poultry litter is a valuable nutrient source for plants and microorganisms that contains high levels of protein, nitrogen, and other minerals. Howe...

  4. Litter Size Variation in Hypothalamic Gene Expression Determines Adult Metabolic Phenotype in Brandt's Voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xue-Ying; Zhang, Qiang; Wang, De-Hua

    2011-01-01

    Background Early postnatal environments may have long-term and potentially irreversible consequences on hypothalamic neurons involved in energy homeostasis. Litter size is an important life history trait and negatively correlated with milk intake in small mammals, and thus has been regarded as a naturally varying feature of the early developmental environment. Here we investigated the long-term effects of litter size on metabolic phenotype and hypothalamic neuropeptide mRNA expression involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis, using the offspring reared from large (10–12) and small (3–4) litter sizes, of Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii), a rodent species from Inner Mongolia grassland in China. Methodology/Principal Findings Hypothalamic leptin signaling and neuropeptides were measured by Real-Time PCR. We showed that offspring reared from small litters were heavier at weaning and also in adulthood than offspring from large litters, accompanied by increased food intake during development. There were no significant differences in serum leptin levels or leptin receptor (OB-Rb) mRNA in the hypothalamus at weaning or in adulthood, however, hypothalamic suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) mRNA in adulthood increased in small litters compared to that in large litters. As a result, the agouti-related peptide (AgRP) mRNA increased in the offspring from small litters. Conclusions/Significance These findings support our hypothesis that natural litter size has a permanent effect on offspring metabolic phenotype and hypothalamic neuropeptide expression, and suggest central leptin resistance and the resultant increase in AgRP expression may be a fundamental mechanism underlying hyperphagia and the increased risk of overweight in pups of small litters. Thus, we conclude that litter size may be an important and central determinant of metabolic fitness in adulthood. PMID:21637839

  5. How does litter cover, litter diversity and fauna affect sediment discharge and runoff?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goebes, Philipp; Seitz, Steffen; Kühn, Peter; Scholten, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    Litter cover plays a major role in soil erosion processes. It is known that litter cover reduces erosivity of raindrops, decreases sediment discharge and lowers runoff volume compared to bare ground. However, in the context of biodiversity, the composition of litter cover, its effect on sediment discharge and runoff volume and their influence on soil erosion have not yet been analyzed in detail. Focusing on initial soil erosion (splash), our experimental design is designated to get a better understanding of these mechanisms. The experiments were carried out within the DFG research unit "Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning (BEF)-China" in subtropical China. The "New Integrated Litter Experiment (NILEx)" used as platform combining different subprojects of BEF-China dealing with "decomposition and nutrient cycling", "mechanisms of soil erosion" and "functional effects of herbivores, predators and saproxylics" in one experiment. In NILEx, 96 40cm x 40cm runoff plots on two hill slopes inside a castanea molissima forest plantation have been installed and filled with seven different types of litter cover. 16 one-species plots, 24 two-species plots, 4 four-species plots and 4 bare ground plots have been set up, each replicated once. We prepared 48 Plots with traps (Renner solution) for soil macrofauna (diplopods and collembola), so half of the plots were kept free from fauna while the other half was accessible for fauna. Rainfall was generated artificially by using a rainfall simulator with a continuous and stable intensity of 60 mm/h. Our experiments included two runs of 20 minutes duration each, both conducted at two different time steps (summer 2012 and autumn 2012). Runoff volume and sediment discharge were measured every 5 minutes during one rainfall run. Litter coverage and litter mass were recorded at the beginning (summer 2012) and at the end of the experiment (autumn 2012). Our results show that sediment discharge as well as runoff volume decreases

  6. Intestinal Microbiota of Broiler Chickens As Affected by Litter Management Regimens.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lingling; Lilburn, Mike; Yu, Zhongtang

    2016-01-01

    Poultry litter is a mixture of bedding materials and enteric bacteria excreted by chickens, and it is typically reused for multiple growth cycles in commercial broiler production. Thus, bacteria can be transmitted from one growth cycle to the next via litter. However, it remains poorly understood how litter reuse affects development and composition of chicken gut microbiota. In this study, the effect of litter reuse on the microbiota in litter and in chicken gut was investigated using 2 litter management regimens: fresh vs. reused litter. Samples of ileal mucosa and cecal digesta were collected from young chicks (10 days of age) and mature birds (35 days of age). Based on analysis using DGGE and pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicons, the microbiota of both the ileal mucosa and the cecal contents was affected by both litter management regimen and age of birds. Faecalibacterium, Oscillospira, Butyricicoccus, and one unclassified candidate genus closely related to Ruminococcus were most predominant in the cecal samples, while Lactobacillus was predominant in the ileal samples at both ages and in the cecal samples collected at day 10. At days 10 and 35, 8 and 3 genera, respectively, in the cecal luminal microbiota differed significantly in relative abundance between the 2 litter management regimens. Compared to the fresh litter, reused litter increased predominance of halotolerant/alkaliphilic bacteria and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, a butyrate-producing gut bacterium. This study suggests that litter management regimens affect the chicken GI microbiota, which may impact the host nutritional status and intestinal health. PMID:27242676

  7. Intestinal Microbiota of Broiler Chickens As Affected by Litter Management Regimens

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lingling; Lilburn, Mike; Yu, Zhongtang

    2016-01-01

    Poultry litter is a mixture of bedding materials and enteric bacteria excreted by chickens, and it is typically reused for multiple growth cycles in commercial broiler production. Thus, bacteria can be transmitted from one growth cycle to the next via litter. However, it remains poorly understood how litter reuse affects development and composition of chicken gut microbiota. In this study, the effect of litter reuse on the microbiota in litter and in chicken gut was investigated using 2 litter management regimens: fresh vs. reused litter. Samples of ileal mucosa and cecal digesta were collected from young chicks (10 days of age) and mature birds (35 days of age). Based on analysis using DGGE and pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicons, the microbiota of both the ileal mucosa and the cecal contents was affected by both litter management regimen and age of birds. Faecalibacterium, Oscillospira, Butyricicoccus, and one unclassified candidate genus closely related to Ruminococcus were most predominant in the cecal samples, while Lactobacillus was predominant in the ileal samples at both ages and in the cecal samples collected at day 10. At days 10 and 35, 8 and 3 genera, respectively, in the cecal luminal microbiota differed significantly in relative abundance between the 2 litter management regimens. Compared to the fresh litter, reused litter increased predominance of halotolerant/alkaliphilic bacteria and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, a butyrate-producing gut bacterium. This study suggests that litter management regimens affect the chicken GI microbiota, which may impact the host nutritional status and intestinal health. PMID:27242676

  8. Factors affecting arsenic and copper runoff from fields fertilized with poultry litter.

    PubMed

    DeLaune, P B; Moore, P A

    2014-07-01

    Arsenic (As) and copper (Cu) runoff from fields fertilized with poultry litter has received increasing attention in recent years, although it is not known if heavy metal runoff from poultry litter poses a significant threat to the environment. The objective of this study was to determine the main factors affecting As and Cu concentrations in runoff water from pastures receiving poultry litter applications. Rainfall simulation studies were conducted to determine the effects of the following treatments on metal runoff: (i) aluminum sulfate (alum) additions, (ii) diet modification using phytase or high available phosphorus corn, (iii) fertilizer type, (iv) poultry litter application rate, and (v) time until the first runoff event occurs after poultry litter application. Results showed that alum additions to poultry litter significantly decreased As and Cu concentrations in runoff water. Copper concentrations were highest in runoff from poultry litter from birds fed phytase diets compared with other diets; however, this effect may have been a result of wet storage conditions rather than diet. Triple superphosphate applications resulted in the lowest heavy metal concentrations in runoff water among all fertilizer treatments, while normal poultry litter resulted in the highest concentrations. Arsenic and Cu concentrations increased in runoff water as poultry litter application rates increased and decreased with increasing time until the first runoff event. These data indicate that adding alum to poultry litter, a cost-effective best management practice, which also results in lower P runoff and ammonia emissions, may also be an effective tool in reducing metal runoff. PMID:25603088

  9. Early life overnutrition induced by litter size manipulation decreases social play behavior in adolescent male rats.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Ana Laura O; Ferri, Bárbara G; de Sousa, Francielly A Lopes; Vilela, Fabiana C; Giusti-Paiva, Alexandre

    2016-10-01

    Several studies have investigated the effects of artificial litter size adjustment on offspring development. Social play behavior is important for neurobehavioral development and is impaired in several developmental psychiatric disorders. This study therefore investigated the effect of litter size on play behavior in adolescent rats. On postnatal day (PND) 2, litters were adjusted to a small litter (SL) size of 3 pups per dam or normal litter (NL) size of 12 pups per dam. Maternal behaviors scored daily during the first week of lactation (PND2-8) revealed that arched nursing and pup licking behaviors were increased in dams with SLs versus those with NLs. SL offspring exhibited accelerated weight gain and advanced development of physical landmarks and reflexes, possibly due to overnutrition. Social isolation lasting 3.5h prior to social play behavioral testing produced a higher frequency and duration of pouncing, pinning, sniffing, and grooming in both male and female offspring. However, male SL offspring exhibited a lower frequency of pouncing and pinning when compared with male NL offspring, while no litter size-dependent differences were observed in social behaviors unrelated to play (sniffing and grooming). These findings identify a possible sexually dimorphic influence of litter size in the development of social behavior. Given that social behaviors such as play behavior are vital for normal cognitive and social development, these findings have important implications for developmental and neuropsychiatric research. PMID:27469432

  10. Tadpoles of Early Breeding Amphibians are Negatively Affected by Leaf Litter From Invasive Chinese Tallow Trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonard, N. E.

    2005-05-01

    As wetlands are invaded by Chinese tallow trees (Triadica sebifera), native trees are displaced and detrital inputs to amphibian breeding ponds are altered. I used a mesocosm experiment to examine the effect of Chinese tallow leaf litter on the survival to, size at, and time to metamorphosis of amphibian larvae. Fifty 1000-L cattle watering tanks were treated with 1500 g dry weight of one of five leaf litter treatments: Chinese tallow, laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica), slash pine (Pinus elliottii), or a 3:1:1:1 mixture. Each tank received 45 tadpoles of Pseudacris feriarum, Bufo terrestris, and Hyla cinerea in sequence according to their natural breeding phonologies. Every Pseudacris feriarum and Bufo terrestris tadpole exposed to Chinese tallow died prior to metamorphosis. Hyla cinerea survival in tanks with tallow-only was significantly lower than that observed for all other leaf treatments. Hyla cinerea tadpoles from tallow-only and mixed-leaf treatments were larger at metamorphosis and transformed faster than those in tanks with native leaves only. These results suggest that Chinese tallow leaf litter may negatively affect tadpoles of early breeding frogs and that Chinese tallow invasion may change the structure of amphibian communities in temporary ponds.

  11. [Litter decomposition and its main affecting factors in tidal marshes of Minjiang River Estuary, East China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lin-Hai; Zeng, Cong-Sheng; Zhang, Wen-Juan; Wang, Tian-E; Tong, Chuan

    2012-09-01

    By using litterbag method, this paper studied the decomposition of the leaf- and flower litters of two emergent macrophytes, native species Phragmites australis and invasive species Spartina alterniflora, and related affecting factors in the Minjiang River estuary of East China. In the decomposition process of the litters, the decay of standing litter (0-90 days) was an important period, and the loss rate of the flower- and leaf litters dry mass of P. australis and S. alterniflora was 15.0 +/- 3.5% and 13.3 +/- 1.1%, and 31.9 +/- 1.1% and 20.8 +/- 1.4%, respectively. During lodging decay period (91-210 days), the loss rate of the flower- and leaf litters dry mass of P. australis and S. alterniflora was 69.5 +/- 0.6% and 71.5 +/- 2.5%, and 76.8 +/- 1.9% and 67.5 +/- 2.1%, respectively. In standing decay period, the decomposition rate of the two plants litters was positively correlated with the litters C/N but negatively correlated to the litters N/P, and the litters P was an important factor limiting the litters decay. In lodging decay period, the effects of the litters C/N, C/P, and N/P decreased, while the environment factors (climate, soil moisture, soil acidity and salinity, and sediment properties) acted more important roles. The differences in the factors affecting the decay of the litters in different decomposition periods were mainly related to the micro-environment and tidal process for the two plant communities. PMID:23285995

  12. Influence of early pregnancy on reproductive rate in lines of mice selected for litter size.

    PubMed

    Eisen, E J

    1980-09-01

    The influence of male-induced early puberty on female reproductive rate was determined in three lines of mice differing in litter size and body weight. The lines originated from a single base population and had undergone 20 generations of selection for the following criteria: large litter size at birth (L(+)), large litter size and small 6-week body weight (L(+)W(-)), or small litter size and large 6-week body weight (L(-)W(+)). Females were paired with a mature intact male of the same line at 3, 5 or 7 weeks of age. Mean mating age, averaged over lines, was 26.5 ± .3, 38.3 ± .3 and 52.7 ± .3 days. Exposure to a mature male accelerated female sexual maturation in each line. When contrasted with their sibs mated at a later age, early-pregnant females from each line exhibited a decline in one or more component of reproductive performance, suggesting that the physiological state of the very young female was not optimum for normal pregnancy. In comparisons of early and later mating ages, all three lines showed a decreased littering rate at first mating, number born alive, and individual birth weight of progeny adjusted for litter size; L(+) and L(+)W(-) mice showed an increased perinatal mortality rate; L(+) and L(-)W(+) had a reduction in litter size at birth. When the L(+), L(+)W(-) and L(-)W(+) lines were compared with an unselected strain and a line selected for high postweaning gain in similar experiments, a genotype by environment interaction was apparent since all lines did not respond in a similar manner to early mating. The line ranking for litter size at birth for each age at male-exposure was L(+)>L(+)W(-)>L(-)W(+), despite the significant line by age interaction. When litter size was adjusted by covariance for body weight at mating, the significant effects of age at male-exposure and line by age interaction were eliminated. All fertile females were remated after they had weaned their first litter to obtain information on litter size in parity two. Line

  13. Soil Fauna Affects Dissolved Carbon and Nitrogen in Foliar Litter in Alpine Forest and Alpine Meadow.

    PubMed

    Liao, Shu; Yang, Wanqin; Tan, Yu; Peng, Yan; Li, Jun; Tan, Bo; Wu, Fuzhong

    2015-01-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) are generally considered important active biogeochemical pools of total carbon and nitrogen. Many studies have documented the contributions of soil fauna to litter decomposition, but the effects of the soil fauna on labile substances (i.e., DOC and TDN) in litter during early decomposition are not completely clear. Therefore, a field litterbag experiment was carried out from 13th November 2013 to 23rd October 2014 in an alpine forest and an alpine meadow located on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Litterbags with different mesh sizes were used to provide access to or prohibit the access of the soil fauna, and the concentrations of DOC and TDN in the foliar litter were measured during the winter (the onset of freezing, deep freezing and thawing stage) and the growing season (early and late). After one year of field incubation, the concentration of DOC in the litter significantly decreased, whereas the TDN concentration in the litter increased. Similar dynamic patterns were detected under the effects of the soil fauna on both DOC and TDN in the litter between the alpine forest and the alpine meadow. The soil fauna showed greater positive effects on decreasing DOC concentration in the litter in the winter than in the growing season. In contrast, the dynamics of TND in the litter were related to seasonal changes in environmental factors, rather than the soil fauna. In addition, the soil fauna promoted a decrease in litter DOC/TDN ratio in both the alpine forest and the alpine meadow throughout the first year of decomposition, except for in the late growing season. These results suggest that the soil fauna can promote decreases in DOC and TDN concentrations in litter, contributing to early litter decomposition in these cold biomes. PMID:26406249

  14. Soil Fauna Affects Dissolved Carbon and Nitrogen in Foliar Litter in Alpine Forest and Alpine Meadow

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Shu; Yang, Wanqin; Tan, Yu; Peng, Yan; Li, Jun; Tan, Bo; Wu, Fuzhong

    2015-01-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) are generally considered important active biogeochemical pools of total carbon and nitrogen. Many studies have documented the contributions of soil fauna to litter decomposition, but the effects of the soil fauna on labile substances (i.e., DOC and TDN) in litter during early decomposition are not completely clear. Therefore, a field litterbag experiment was carried out from 13th November 2013 to 23rd October 2014 in an alpine forest and an alpine meadow located on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Litterbags with different mesh sizes were used to provide access to or prohibit the access of the soil fauna, and the concentrations of DOC and TDN in the foliar litter were measured during the winter (the onset of freezing, deep freezing and thawing stage) and the growing season (early and late). After one year of field incubation, the concentration of DOC in the litter significantly decreased, whereas the TDN concentration in the litter increased. Similar dynamic patterns were detected under the effects of the soil fauna on both DOC and TDN in the litter between the alpine forest and the alpine meadow. The soil fauna showed greater positive effects on decreasing DOC concentration in the litter in the winter than in the growing season. In contrast, the dynamics of TND in the litter were related to seasonal changes in environmental factors, rather than the soil fauna. In addition, the soil fauna promoted a decrease in litter DOC/TDN ratio in both the alpine forest and the alpine meadow throughout the first year of decomposition, except for in the late growing season. These results suggest that the soil fauna can promote decreases in DOC and TDN concentrations in litter, contributing to early litter decomposition in these cold biomes. PMID:26406249

  15. The influence of environmental and physiological factors on the litter size of wild boar (Sus scrofa) in an agriculture dominated area in Germany.

    PubMed

    Frauendorf, Magali; Gethöffer, Friederike; Siebert, Ursula; Keuling, Oliver

    2016-01-15

    The wild boar population has increased enormously in all of Europe over the last decades and caused problems like crop damage, transmission of diseases, and vehicle accidents. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the underlying causes of this increase in order to be able to manage populations effectively. The purpose of this study was to analyse how environmental (food and climate) and physiological factors (maternal weight and age) as well as hunting and population density influence the litter size of wild boar populations in Northern Germany. The mean litter size in the studied population for the whole period was 6.6 (range 1–12), which is one of the highest in all of Europe. Litter size was positively influenced by maternal body weight, higher mast yield of oak as well as higher temperature in combination with higher precipitation in summer. Only higher temperature or only higher precipitation in summer however had a negative effect on litter size production. Probably,weather and food conditions act via maternal bodyweight on the litter size variation in wild boar. Hunting as well a s population density did not affect the litter size variation in this study which might indicate that wild boar population did not reach carrying capacity yet. PMID:26437356

  16. Increasing shrub abundance and N addition in Arctic tundra affect leaf and root litter decomposition differently

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLaren, J.; van de Weg, M. J.; Shaver, G. R.; Gough, L.

    2013-12-01

    Changes in global climate have resulted in a ';greening' of the Arctic as the abundance of deciduous shrub species increases. Consequently, not only the living plant community, but also the litter composition changes, which in turn can affect carbon turnover patterns in the Arctic. We examined effects of changing litter composition (both root and leaf litter) on decomposition rates with a litter bag study, and specifically focused on the impact of deciduous shrub Betula nana litter on litter decomposition from two evergreen shrubs (Ledum palustre, and Vaccinium vitis-idaea) and one graminoid (Eriophorum vaginatum) species. Additionally, we investigated how decomposition was affected by nutrient availability by placing the litterbags in an ambient and a fertilized moist acidic tundra environment. Measurements were carried out seasonally over 2 years (after snow melt, mid-growing season, end growing season). We measured litter mass loss over time, as well as the respiration rates (standardized for temperature and moisture) and temperature sensitivity of litter respiration at the time of harvesting the litter bags. For leaves, Betula litter decomposed faster than the other three species, with Eriophorum leaves decomposing the slowest. This pattern was observed for both mass loss and litter respiration rates, although the differences in respiration became smaller over time. Surprisingly, combining Betula with any other species resulted in slower overall weight loss rates than would be predicted based on monoculture weight loss rates. This contrasted with litter respiration at the time of sampling, which showed a positive mixing effect of adding Betula leaf liter to the other species. Apparently, during the first winter months (September - May) Betula litter decomposition is negatively affected by mixing the species and this legacy can still be observed in the total mass loss results later in the year. For root litter there were fewer effects of species identity on root

  17. Differences in pup birth weight, pup variability within litters, and dam weight of mice selected for alternative criteria to increase litter size.

    PubMed

    van Engelen, M A; Nielsen, M K; Ribeiro, E L

    1995-07-01

    Selection for litter size had been practiced for 21 generations and relaxed selection for 13 generations in mice. Three replicates were used with four selection criteria: index of components (ovulation rate and ova success), uterine capacity, litter size, and an unselected control. Especially with selection for litter size and the index relative to the control, number of pups born had increased, and differences also occurred in mating weight. Dams of the three replicates and their litters were used to evaluate the effects of accumulated selection on pup birth weight, variability in weight of littermates, and dam's weight at mating and after littering. Total number born, number born alive, number of males, and number of females were also recorded and studied. Mean pup birth weight did not differ among the criteria; however, variability among littermates in pup weight tended to differ among criteria of selection. Regressions for pup weight and within-litter standard deviation of pup weight on number born were small and negative but significant (P < .001). The distribution of pup weight within litter was normal for 77.2% of the litters, with no differences among the criteria. The difference between weight of male and weight of female pups was significant (P < .001); overall males were 2.5% heavier than females. There was a difference (P < .02) among criteria in mating weight and littering weight; however, the maternal weight gain between mating and littering was not different among criteria. Number born differed (P < .003) among the criteria, but there was no significant difference among criteria in numbers of males and females.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7592078

  18. Litter Environment Affects Behavior and Brain Metabolic Activity of Adult Knockout Mice

    PubMed Central

    Crews, David; Rushworth, David; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco; Ogawa, Sonoko

    2009-01-01

    In mammals, the formative environment for social and anxiety-related behaviors is the family unit; in the case of rodents, this is the litter and the mother-young bond. A deciding factor in this environment is the sex ratio of the litter and, in the case of mice lacking functional copies of gene(s), the ratio of the various genotypes in the litter. Both Sex and Genotype ratios of the litter affect the nature and quality of the individual's behavior later in adulthood, as well as metabolic activity in brain nuclei that underlie these behaviors. Mice were raised in litters reconstituted shortly after to birth to control for sex ratio and genotype ratio (wild type pups versus pups lacking a functional estrogen receptor α). In both males and females, the Sex and Genotype of siblings in the litter affected aggressive behaviors as well as patterns of metabolic activity in limbic nuclei in the social behavior network later in adulthood. Further, this pattern in males varied depending upon the Genotype of their brothers and sisters. Principal Components Analysis revealed two components comprised of several amygdalar and hypothalamic nuclei; the VMH showed strong correlations in both clusters, suggesting its pivotal nature in the organization of two neural networks. PMID:19707539

  19. Effects of prolactin receptor genotype on the litter size of Mangalica.

    PubMed

    Tempfli, Károly; Farkas, Gergely; Simon, Zsolt; Bali Papp, Agnes

    2011-06-01

    The aim of this study was to detect different alleles of the prolactin receptor (PRLR) gene and to examine their effects on the litter size of the indigenous Hungarian pig, the Mangalica. G1789A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was investigated as a candidate for litter size. Samples from 80 purebred Mangalica sows and data of their 335 litters were provided by Olmos & Tóth Ltd. Hair follicles were used to isolate the required DNA. Allelic discrimination was performed by means of the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method using the AluI restriction enzyme and agarose gel electrophoresis. In the population examined, the A allele was found to be preferable in the Mangalica breed group. The most advantageous AA genotype was the least prevalent (8.75%), while the frequencies of AB and BB were 40% and 51.25%, respectively. Remarkably, the average number of piglets born alive per litter was 1.11 ± 0.39 higher in sows with AA as compared to those with BB genotype. By raising the frequency of the AA genotype, the litter size is likely to increase. However, the effect of PRLR genotypes can differ among pig breeds and even lines. Further studies may be required to observe and estimate possible pleiotropic effects of this polymorphism on other traits. PMID:21665580

  20. Effect of polymorphism in the leukemia inhibitory factor gene on litter size in Large White pigs.

    PubMed

    Lin, H C; Liu, G F; Wang, A G; Kong, L J; Wang, X F; Fu, J L

    2009-09-01

    DNA polymorphism of the porcine leukemia inhibitory factory (LIF) was investigated and used to study the effects on litter size in Large White pigs. A total of 2,167 litter records from 420 sows genotyped at two SNP loci (LIF1 and LIF2) within LIF gene were analyzed to determine whether LIF influenced total number born (TNB) and number born alive (NBA). The results indicated that B allele at LIF1 locus and A allele at LIF2 locus seem to have advantageous effects on litter size. However, the combined analyzed results demonstrated that genotype AAAA, ABBB, and BBBB are better than genotype AAAB, AABB, and ABAB for TNB and NBA in either third to eighth parity or all parities. In all parities, the sows with AAAA genotype had an advantage of 1.76 piglets (P < 0.001) for TNB and 1.44 piglets (P < 0.01) for NBA per litter over the AAAB sows, respectively. The results in this study demonstrated that LIF gene was significantly associated with litter size in pigs. PMID:19002603

  1. Identification and differential expression of microRNAs in the ovaries of pigs (Sus scrofa) with high and low litter sizes.

    PubMed

    Huang, L; Yin, Z J; Feng, Y F; Zhang, X D; Wu, T; Ding, Y Y; Ye, P F; Fu, K; Zhang, M Q

    2016-10-01

    Litter size affects profitability in the swine industry. Mammalian ovaries play important roles during reproduction, including ovulation and hormone secretion, which are tightly regulated by specific microRNAs (miRNAs). In this study, we investigated the effects of specific miRNAs on porcine litter size. We compared the ovarian miRNAs of Yorkshire pigs with high (YH) and low (YL) litter sizes using Solexa sequencing technology. We identified 327 and 320 miRNAs in the ovaries of YH and YL pigs respectively. A total of 297 miRNAs were co-expressed; 30 and 23 miRNAs respectively were specifically expressed in the two libraries. A total of 83 novel miRNAs were predicted; 37 specific miRNAs were obtained, of which 21 miRNAs were upregulated and 16 miRNAs were downregulated in YH compared with YL. Additionally, 19 628 and 19 250 target genes were predicted in the two libraries respectively. The results revealed that specific miRNAs (i.e., miR-224, miR-99a, let-7c, miR-181c, miR-214 and miR-21) may affect porcine litter size. The results of this study will help in gaining understanding of the role of miRNAs in porcine litter size regulation. PMID:27435155

  2. Habitat, food, and climate affecting leaf litter anuran assemblages in an Atlantic Forest remnant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rievers, Camila Rabelo; Pires, Maria Rita Silvério; Eterovick, Paula Cabral

    2014-07-01

    Leaf litter anuran assemblages include both species that have terrestrial development and species that, during the breeding season, aggregate around bodies of water where their tadpoles develop. The resources used by these two groups in the leaf litter are likely to differ, as well as their sampled species richness, abundance and biomass as resource availability changes. We conducted a 12-month survey of leaf litter anuran assemblages at three forest areas in the largest Atlantic Forest remnant in the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil. Each month we estimated, based on capture rates, anuran species richness, abundance, and biomass as assemblage descriptors. We also measured variables that could potentially affect these descriptors in space and time: invertebrate litter fauna (abundance and richness of taxa), leaf litter biomass, and microclimatic conditions (air humidity, air and soil temperature, soil water content, and rainfall). We tested for differences in these variables among areas. We used general linear models to search for the variables that best explained variation in anuran abundance (based on capture rates) throughout the year. We analyzed species with terrestrial development (TD) and with aquatic larvae (AL) separately. We recorded 326 anurans of 15 species. Sampled anuran abundance (correlated to species richness and biomass) was explained by air humidity and/or invertebrate abundance for species with TD, and by soil water content or air humidity and leaf litter biomass for species with AL. The variability in the results of studies on leaf litter frogs that try to find variables to explain changes in community descriptors may be due to spatial variation of resources among areas and also to the fact that TD and AL species are frequently analyzed together, when in fact they are likely to show different responses to resources present in the leaf litter habitat, reflected on capture rates.

  3. Nurse capacity, fertility, and litter size in crossbred sows and genetic correlation to purebred sow information.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, B; Christensen, O F; Velander, I

    2016-05-01

    In pigs litter size has increased during the last decades and number of weaned piglets is an important issue. The aim of this study was to develop a new trait of nurse capacity (NC) of crossbred sows viewed as crossbred performances in the two purebred parent lines, and estimate the genetic correlation to fertility and litter size five days after birth. An experiment recording phenotypes of crossbred sows was conducted in three large production herds with 11,247 first litter Danish Landrace x Yorkshire sows. All terminal sires used were Duroc AI boars. The experiment was running from 2010 to 2013. At farrowing, the total number born (TNB) was recorded. Five days after farrowing the litter size of the biological mother (LS5) was recorded. During the first three days after farrowing the number of piglets at each nurse sow was equalized to 14 piglets and after three weeks the NC was recorded and defined as the number of piglets nursed. Additional records on TNB and LS5 from related sows in nucleus and multiplier herds were added to obtain a data set with both purebred and crossbred information. A reduced animal model including both purebred and crossbred records was used and parameters were estimated. The results show that NC recorded on crossbred first litter sows had heritabilities of 0.05 and 0.07 for crossbred performance in the purebred populations of Landrace and Yorkshire, respectively. Estimated genetic correlations between TNB in purebreds and crossbreds show that nearly 50% of genetic gain in the purebred populations was transferred to crossbreds. Unfavorable genetic correlations between TNB in purebreds and NC in crossbreds were observed. For LS5 the genetic (co)variances show that 61% of the genetic gain in the two purebred lines was transferred to the commercial pig production of crossbred first litter sows, but no statistically significant genetic correlation to NC was obtained. PMID:27285680

  4. Effect of glucosamine supplementation on litter size in a commercial setting, NPB project #14-238

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Litter size is influenced by ovulation rate, fertilization rate, embryo mortality and uterine capacity. Of these, the most limiting factor is uterine capacity, because increased ovulation rate results in increased number of embryos on day 30 of gestation, but this advantage is lost during later gest...

  5. Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes Associated with Litter Size in Berkshire Pig Placenta

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Seul Gi; Hwang, Jung Hye; Park, Da Hye; Kim, Tae Wan; Kang, Deok Gyeong; Kang, Kyung Hee; Kim, Il-Suk; Park, Hwa Chun; Na, Chong-Sam; Ha, Jeongim; Kim, Chul Wook

    2016-01-01

    Improvement in litter size has become of great interest in the pig industry because fecundity is directly related to sow reproductive life. Improved reproduction has thus been achieved by elucidating the molecular functions of genes associated with fecundity. In the present study, we identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) via transcriptomic analysis using RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) in Berkshire pig placentas from larger (LLG, mean litter size >12) and smaller (SLG, mean litter size < 6.5) litter size groups. In total 588 DEGs were identified (p < 0.05, > 1.5-fold change), of which 98 were upregulated, while 490 were downregulated in the LLG compared with the SLG. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment was also performed. We concluded that 129 of the 588 DEGs were closely related to litter size according to reproduction related genes selected based on previous reports, as 110 genes were downregulated and 19 upregulated in the LLG compared with the SLG. RT-qPCR utilizing specific primers targeting the early growth response 2 (EGR2), pheromaxein c subunit (PHEROC) and endothelial lipase (LIPG) genes showed high accordance with RNA-Seq results. Furthermore, we investigated the upstream regulators of these three genes in the placenta. We found that WNT9B, a Wnt signaling pathway molecule, and IL-6, known inducers of EGR2 and LIPG, respectively, were significantly increased in LLG compared with SLG. We believe that the induction of IL-6 and LIPG may play an important role in increasing nutrition supply through the placenta from the sow to the piglet during gestation. These results provide novel molecular insights into pig reproduction. PMID:27078025

  6. Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes Associated with Litter Size in Berkshire Pig Placenta.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Seul Gi; Hwang, Jung Hye; Park, Da Hye; Kim, Tae Wan; Kang, Deok Gyeong; Kang, Kyung Hee; Kim, Il-Suk; Park, Hwa Chun; Na, Chong-Sam; Ha, Jeongim; Kim, Chul Wook

    2016-01-01

    Improvement in litter size has become of great interest in the pig industry because fecundity is directly related to sow reproductive life. Improved reproduction has thus been achieved by elucidating the molecular functions of genes associated with fecundity. In the present study, we identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) via transcriptomic analysis using RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) in Berkshire pig placentas from larger (LLG, mean litter size >12) and smaller (SLG, mean litter size < 6.5) litter size groups. In total 588 DEGs were identified (p < 0.05, > 1.5-fold change), of which 98 were upregulated, while 490 were downregulated in the LLG compared with the SLG. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment was also performed. We concluded that 129 of the 588 DEGs were closely related to litter size according to reproduction related genes selected based on previous reports, as 110 genes were downregulated and 19 upregulated in the LLG compared with the SLG. RT-qPCR utilizing specific primers targeting the early growth response 2 (EGR2), pheromaxein c subunit (PHEROC) and endothelial lipase (LIPG) genes showed high accordance with RNA-Seq results. Furthermore, we investigated the upstream regulators of these three genes in the placenta. We found that WNT9B, a Wnt signaling pathway molecule, and IL-6, known inducers of EGR2 and LIPG, respectively, were significantly increased in LLG compared with SLG. We believe that the induction of IL-6 and LIPG may play an important role in increasing nutrition supply through the placenta from the sow to the piglet during gestation. These results provide novel molecular insights into pig reproduction. PMID:27078025

  7. Investigation of candidate regions influencing litter size in Danish Landrace sows.

    PubMed

    Bjerre, D; Mark, T; Sørensen, P; Proschowsky, H F; Vernersen, A; Jørgensen, C B; Fredholm, M

    2010-05-01

    Selection for increased litter size has been one of the main objectives in Danish pig breeding since 1992. This selection has led to an average increase of 0.30 piglets/litter per year for Landrace and Yorkshire sows, resulting in an average litter size of 15.3 piglets born alive in 2007, with an SD of 3.5 piglets. The objective of this study was to investigate differences in identity by state relationships and allele effects associated with litter size across 17 selected microsatellite marker positions on chromosomes 11, 13, and 15. For this purpose, 357 Danish Landrace sows with high and low EBV for litter size were genotyped. An assignment test showed that 91 and 90% of the sows could be assigned correctly to the group of sows representing high and low EBV, respectively, based on genotype information. Allele effects were estimated separately for each marker by using deregressed EBV and a linear model that include both a polygenic and an allele effect. The investigated region on chromosome 13 was found to have a greater average identity by state relationship compared with the other regions, indicating that selection has taken place in this region. This is supported by an increased average allele effect of microsatellite alleles in the region. In spite of the apparent increased historical selection pressure on chromosome 13, fairly large variation in allele effects was observed, indicating that the markers within the region may be used for marker-assisted selection. However, substantial variation in allele effects was observed for several markers on all 3 investigated chromosomes, indicating that selection should preferably be based on several markers. PMID:20118429

  8. SOIL COMPACTION AND POULTRY LITTER EFFECTS ON FACTORS AFFECTING NITROGEN AVAILABILITY IN A CLAYPAN SOIL

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil compaction may affect N mineralization and the subsequent fate of N in agroecosystems. Laboratory incubation and field experiments were conducted to determine the effects of surface soil compaction on soil N mineralization in a claypan soil amended with poultry litter (i.e., turkey excrement mi...

  9. Evidence for mild sediment Pb contamination affecting leaf-litter decomposition in a lake.

    PubMed

    Oguma, Andrew Y; Klerks, Paul L

    2015-08-01

    Much work has focused on the effects of metal-contaminated sediment on benthic community structure, but effects on ecosystem functions have received far less attention. Decomposition has been widely used as an integrating metric of ecosystem function in lotic systems, but not for lentic ones. We assessed the relationship between low-level sediment lead (Pb) contamination and leaf-litter decomposition in a lentic system. We measured 30-day weight loss in 30 litter-bags that were deployed along a Pb-contamination gradient in a cypress-forested lake. At each deployment site we also quantified macrobenthos abundance, dissolved oxygen, water depth, sediment organic content, sediment silt/clay content, and both total sediment and porewater concentrations of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn. Principal components (PC) analysis revealed a negative relationship between Pb concentration and benthic macroinvertebrate abundance, and this covariation dominated the first PC axis (PC1). Subsequent correlation analyses revealed a negative relationship between PC1 and percent leaf-litter loss. Our results indicate that leaf-litter decomposition was related to sediment Pb and benthic macroinvertebrate abundance. They also showed that ecosystem function may be affected even where sediment Pb concentrations are mostly below threshold-effects sediment quality guidelines--a finding with potential implications for sediment risk assessment. Additionally, the litter-bag technique used in this study showed promise as a tool in risk assessments of metal-contaminated sediments in lentic systems. PMID:26115904

  10. Bayesian analysis of response to selection: a case study using litter size in Danish Yorkshire pigs.

    PubMed Central

    Sorensen, D; Vernersen, A; Andersen, S

    2000-01-01

    Implementation of a Bayesian analysis of a selection experiment is illustrated using litter size [total number of piglets born (TNB)] in Danish Yorkshire pigs. Other traits studied include average litter weight at birth (WTAB) and proportion of piglets born dead (PRBD). Response to selection for TNB was analyzed with a number of models, which differed in their level of hierarchy, in their prior distributions, and in the parametric form of the likelihoods. A model assessment study favored a particular form of an additive genetic model. With this model, the Monte Carlo estimate of the 95% probability interval of response to selection was (0.23; 0.60), with a posterior mean of 0.43 piglets. WTAB showed a correlated response of -7.2 g, with a 95% probability interval equal to (-33.1; 18.9). The posterior mean of the genetic correlation between TNB and WTAB was -0.23 with a 95% probability interval equal to (-0.46; -0.01). PRBD was studied informally; it increases with larger litters, when litter size is >7 piglets born. A number of methodological issues related to the Bayesian model assessment study are discussed, as well as the genetic consequences of inferring response to selection using additive genetic models. PMID:10978292

  11. Uterine blood flow in sows: effects of pregnancy stage and litter size.

    PubMed

    Père, M C; Etienne, M

    2000-01-01

    Female pigs were assigned to three groups at 94 days of age: a control group (CTR), a group undergoing the ligation and severing of the left oviduct (LIG), and a group undergoing right hysteroovariectomy (HHO). They were inseminated at 307 days of age. At 35 days of pregnancy, an ultrasonic transit time flow probe was implanted around the middle artery of one uterine horn in 33 sows and uterine blood flow was measured during thirteen 24-h periods between 44 and 111 days. Despite large differences in ovulation rate per uterine horn (4.8, 8.3 and 16.9 in the LIG, CTR and HHO groups, respectively), variation of litter size was considerably reduced with advancement of pregnancy (3.0, 6.6 and 10.8 foetuses per uterine horn at 35 days, and 3.0, 5.8 and 4.9 at 112 days (slaughter), respectively). Uterine blood flow increased linearly during pregnancy. It was lower in the LIG sows (0.82 to 1.74 L x min(-1) x horn(-1) from 44 to 111 days) than in the CTR and HHO sows (1.22 to 2.84 and 1.09 to 2.63 L x min(-1) x horn(1), respectively). It was more closely related to litter weight than to litter size and amounted to 0.42 L x min(-1) x kg foetus(-1) at 111 days. Uterine blood flow per foetus decreased when litter size increased. It increased from 0.31 to 0.72, 0.26 to 0.60 and 0.20 to 0.43 L x min(-1) x foetus(-1) from 44 to 111 days when there were 2 to 3, 4 to 5, and 6 to 8 foetuses in the uterine horn, respectively. This explains why piglets from large litters are lighter at birth. PMID:11081664

  12. Using climate data to predict grizzly bear litter size

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Picton, Harold D.; Knight, Richard R.

    1986-01-01

    A 5-year double-bind test was conducted to test the predictive capability of a previously published (Picton 1978) regression (Y= 2.01 + 0.042x), which described the relationship between the littler size of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) and an index of climate plus carrion availability (climate-carrion index). This regression showed an efficient in excess of 99% in predicting the observed grizzly bear littler size. The predictions made using the climate-carrion index had a mean absolute error of less than 25% of forecasts using other methods. The updated climate-carrion index regression, which includes all of the 16 years for which data are available, is Y= 2.009 + 0.042x (r = 0.078; P N = 16). We concluded that the climate-carrion index can be a helpful tool in predicting grizzly bear littler size. The relation of this information to the effects of the closure of Yellowstone Park garbage dumps is discussed.

  13. Joint Analysis of Binomial and Continuous Traits with a Recursive Model: A Case Study Using Mortality and Litter Size of Pigs

    PubMed Central

    Varona, Luis; Sorensen, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    This work presents a model for the joint analysis of a binomial and a Gaussian trait using a recursive parametrization that leads to a computationally efficient implementation. The model is illustrated in an analysis of mortality and litter size in two breeds of Danish pigs, Landrace and Yorkshire. Available evidence suggests that mortality of piglets increased partly as a result of successful selection for total number of piglets born. In recent years there has been a need to decrease the incidence of mortality in pig-breeding programs. We report estimates of genetic variation at the level of the logit of the probability of mortality and quantify how it is affected by the size of the litter. Several models for mortality are considered and the best fits are obtained by postulating linear and cubic relationships between the logit of the probability of mortality and litter size, for Landrace and Yorkshire, respectively. An interpretation of how the presence of genetic variation affects the probability of mortality in the population is provided and we discuss and quantify the prospects of selecting for reduced mortality, without affecting litter size. PMID:24414548

  14. Joint analysis of binomial and continuous traits with a recursive model: a case study using mortality and litter size of pigs.

    PubMed

    Varona, Luis; Sorensen, Daniel

    2014-03-01

    This work presents a model for the joint analysis of a binomial and a Gaussian trait using a recursive parametrization that leads to a computationally efficient implementation. The model is illustrated in an analysis of mortality and litter size in two breeds of Danish pigs, Landrace and Yorkshire. Available evidence suggests that mortality of piglets increased partly as a result of successful selection for total number of piglets born. In recent years there has been a need to decrease the incidence of mortality in pig-breeding programs. We report estimates of genetic variation at the level of the logit of the probability of mortality and quantify how it is affected by the size of the litter. Several models for mortality are considered and the best fits are obtained by postulating linear and cubic relationships between the logit of the probability of mortality and litter size, for Landrace and Yorkshire, respectively. An interpretation of how the presence of genetic variation affects the probability of mortality in the population is provided and we discuss and quantify the prospects of selecting for reduced mortality, without affecting litter size. PMID:24414548

  15. Intermittent breeding and constraints on litter size: consequences for effective population size per generation (Ne ) and per reproductive cycle (Nb ).

    PubMed

    Waples, Robin S; Antao, Tiago

    2014-06-01

    In iteroparous species, it is easier to estimate Nb (effective number of breeders in one reproductive cycle) than Ne (effective population size per generation). Nb can be used as a proxy for Ne and also can provide crucial insights into eco-evolutionary processes that occur during reproduction. We used analytical and numerical methods to evaluate effects of intermittent breeding and litter/clutch size on inbreeding Nb and Ne . Fixed or random litter sizes ≥ 3 have little effect on either effective-size parameter; however, in species (e.g., many large mammals) in which females can produce only one offspring per cycle, female Nb  = ∞ and overall Nb  = 4Nb (male) . Intermittent breeding reduces the pool of female breeders, which reduces both female and overall Nb ; reductions are larger in high-fecundity species with high juvenile mortality and increase when multiple reproductive cycles are skipped. Simulated data for six model species showed that both intermittent breeding and litter-size constraints increase Ne , but only slightly. We show how to quantitatively account for these effects, which are important to consider when (1) using Nb to estimate Ne , or (2) drawing inferences about male reproductive success based on estimates of female Nb . PMID:24611912

  16. Increased incidence of spontaneous malformations in pups and increased litter size from pinealectomized dams.

    PubMed

    Kachi, Takashi; Tanaka, Dai; Watanabe, Seiji; Suzuki, Reiko; Tonosaki, Yoshikazu

    2004-06-01

    The aim of the present study was to clarify whether maternal pinealectomy increases: (i) the incidence of spontaneous malformations in offspring; and (ii) litter size. More than 30 female rats in each of the control groups (normal and sham-pinealectomized) and the pinealectomized group were mated repeatedly with normal male rats and pups were autopsied mostly before weaning. No malformations were seen in offspring from the normal and sham-pinealectomized groups (n = 350 and n = 736, respectively). In contrast, in offspring from pinealectomized mothers (n = 1123), spontaneous malformations were found in five (taillessness in three and unilateral hydronephrosis or large renal cyst in the other two) or maybe six (unilateral renal hypoplasia in another) pups. This increased incidence of malformations in the latter group was statistically significant (P < 0.034 or 0.017 (Fisher's exact test), respectively). The frequency of still-born cases was not higher in pups born from pinealectomized mothers. The mean litter size was larger in the pinealectomized group compared with the control groups (P < 0.005-0.001, Student's t-test) at the first delivery (at approximately 100 days of age), but was not different at later deliveries at older ages. Our results suggest that the maternal pineal hormone suppresses: (i) the incidence of spontaneous malformations in offspring until mothers reach an old age; and (ii) litter size during the reproductively maturational phase of life. PMID:15218625

  17. Prior Hydrologic Disturbance Affects Competition between Aedes Mosquitoes via Changes in Leaf Litter

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Cassandra D.; Freed, T. Zachary; Leisnham, Paul T.

    2015-01-01

    Allochthonous leaf litter is often the main resource base for invertebrate communities in ephemeral water-filled containers, and detritus quality can be affected by hydrologic conditions. The invasive mosquito Aedes albopictus utilizes container habitats for its development where it competes as larvae for detritus and associated microorganisms with the native Aedes triseriatus. Different hydrologic conditions that containers are exposed to prior to mosquito utilization affect litter decay and associated water quality. We tested the hypothesis that larval competition between A. albopictus and A. triseriatus would be differentially affected by prior hydrologic conditions. Experimental microcosms provisioned with Quercus alba L. litter were subjected to one of three different hydrologic treatments prior to the addition of water and mosquito larvae: dry, flooded, and a wet/dry cycle. Interspecific competition between A. albopictus and A. triseriatus was mediated by hydrologic treatment, and was strongest in the dry treatment vs. the flooded or wet/dry treatments. Aedes triseriatus estimated rate of population change (λ') was lowest in the dry treatment. Aedes albopictus λ' was unaffected by hydrologic treatment, and was on average always increasing (i.e., > 1). Aedes triseriatus λ' was affected by the interaction of hydrologic treatment with interspecific competition, and was on average declining (i.e., < 1.0), at the highest interspecific densities in the dry treatment. Dry treatment litter had the slowest decay rate and leached the highest concentration of tannin-lignin, but supported more total bacteria than the other treatments. These results suggest that dry conditions negatively impact A. triseriatus population performance and may result in the competitive exclusion of A. triseriatus by A. albopictus, possibly by reducing microbial taxa that Aedes species browse. Changing rainfall patterns with climate change are likely to affect competition between A

  18. Prior Hydrologic Disturbance Affects Competition between Aedes Mosquitoes via Changes in Leaf Litter.

    PubMed

    Smith, Cassandra D; Freed, T Zachary; Leisnham, Paul T

    2015-01-01

    Allochthonous leaf litter is often the main resource base for invertebrate communities in ephemeral water-filled containers, and detritus quality can be affected by hydrologic conditions. The invasive mosquito Aedes albopictus utilizes container habitats for its development where it competes as larvae for detritus and associated microorganisms with the native Aedes triseriatus. Different hydrologic conditions that containers are exposed to prior to mosquito utilization affect litter decay and associated water quality. We tested the hypothesis that larval competition between A. albopictus and A. triseriatus would be differentially affected by prior hydrologic conditions. Experimental microcosms provisioned with Quercus alba L. litter were subjected to one of three different hydrologic treatments prior to the addition of water and mosquito larvae: dry, flooded, and a wet/dry cycle. Interspecific competition between A. albopictus and A. triseriatus was mediated by hydrologic treatment, and was strongest in the dry treatment vs. the flooded or wet/dry treatments. Aedes triseriatus estimated rate of population change (λ') was lowest in the dry treatment. Aedes albopictus λ' was unaffected by hydrologic treatment, and was on average always increasing (i.e., > 1). Aedes triseriatus λ' was affected by the interaction of hydrologic treatment with interspecific competition, and was on average declining (i.e., < 1.0), at the highest interspecific densities in the dry treatment. Dry treatment litter had the slowest decay rate and leached the highest concentration of tannin-lignin, but supported more total bacteria than the other treatments. These results suggest that dry conditions negatively impact A. triseriatus population performance and may result in the competitive exclusion of A. triseriatus by A. albopictus, possibly by reducing microbial taxa that Aedes species browse. Changing rainfall patterns with climate change are likely to affect competition between A

  19. Relationships between day one piglet serum immunoglobulin immunocrit and subsequent growth, puberty attainment, litter size, and lactation performance.

    PubMed

    Vallet, J L; Miles, J R; Rempel, L A; Nonneman, D J; Lents, C A

    2015-06-01

    Colostrum affects gut and uterine gland development in the neonatal piglet, suggesting that subsequent growth and reproductive performance may be affected. Measuring immunoglobulin in piglet serum using the immunoglobulin immunocrit on Day 1 of age provides a simple, inexpensive indication of the amount of colostrum acquired by the piglet in the first day of life. Relationships between serum immunoglobulin immunocrit measures and subsequent growth rates, age at puberty, incidence of puberty failure, litter size, and lactation performance were examined in pigs born and subsequently farrowing between 2009 and 2013. Immunoglobulin immunocrit measures were collected on 16,762 piglets on Day 1 of age. Of these piglets, BW measurements were available from 15,324 (7,684 males and 7,640 females) piglets at a range of ages from weaning to 200 d of age, allowing an assessment of growth rates. Age at puberty was recorded from a subset of 2,857 of the females after observing them for estrous behavior from approximately 170 to 250 d of age. To examine relationships between d 1 immunocrit and puberty failure, gilts with immunocrit measures that failed to reach puberty (n = 119) were matched with littermate gilts with immunocrit measures that achieved puberty (n = 167). Similarly, number born alive was collected on a subset (n = 799) of females from first to fourth parities for which d 1 immunocrits were measured on them as neonates. Finally, d 1 immunocrit effect on adult lactational competence was assessed by measuring litter average (offspring of 440 females) and litter average piglet preweaning growth rate (offspring of 774 females) in females where d 1 immunocrits were available from them as neonates. Results indicated that low d 1 immunocrits were subsequently associated with reduced growth (P < 0.01), increased age at puberty (P < 0.01), reduced number born alive (P < 0.05), reduced litter average immunocrit (P < 0.05), and reduced litter average preweaning growth rate

  20. Distribution of plant nutrient elements and carbon in particle size fractions of broiler litter ash

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An estimated 10.8 million tons of broiler litter and 3.0 million tons of turkey litter were produced in the United States in 2009. Poultry litter is a mixture of manure, bedding material (e.g., wood chips, sawdust, or straw), feathers, and spilled feed. Poultry litter contains high levels of Ca, N...

  1. Prevalence and effect of uterine luminal free fluid on pregnancy and litter size in bitches.

    PubMed

    Freeman, S L; Green, M J; England, G C W

    2013-07-15

    Free fluid within the uterine lumen has been identified ultrasonographically as a transient finding in normal bitches in the period immediately after mating, and delayed clearance of the fluid has been documented in bitches with endometrial hyperplasia. This study used B-mode ultrasonography to investigate the prevalence of free fluid in the uterine lumen in normal bitches (n = 53) and bitches with endometrial hyperplasia (n = 10) on Days -7, 0, +5, and +14 in relation to estimated ovulation. For normal bitches without endometrial hyperplasia, 47 (86.6%) bitches become pregnant, whereas for bitches with endometrial hyperplasia, 3 (30%) become pregnant. In both the groups, the presence of uterine fluid on Days -7 and 0 was not associated with the probability of a bitch becoming pregnant, whereas the presence of uterine fluid on either Day +5 or +14 was significantly associated with a reduced likelihood of pregnancy. In pregnant bitches, uterine luminal fluid present on Day 0 was associated with a smaller litter size. This is the first study to establish the prevalence and effect of uterine luminal free fluid in bitches. We postulate that as the uterine luminal free fluid may be detected in normal bitches before mating and has no effect on the pregnancy rate or litter size in either group, this fluid is "physiological." However, it seems that the later in estrus the uterine fluid is present, the more likely it is to have an adverse effect on fertility. In some cases, this is manifest as a reduced litter size, while, importantly, the presence of fluid 5 to 14 days after ovulation is strongly associated with an absence of pregnancy, both in bitches with and without endometrial hyperplasia. We propose that ultrasonographic detection of uterine luminal free fluid after mating may be a useful prognostic indicator for pregnancy outcome, which may allow the targeting of treatments specifically to a population of animals that presumably develop mating-induced endometritis

  2. Oxidative Damage Does Not Occur in Striped Hamsters Raising Natural and Experimentally Increased Litter Size.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiao-Ya; Zhang, Ji-Ying; Cao, Jing; Zhao, Zhi-Jun

    2015-01-01

    Life-history theory assumes that animals can balance the allocation of limited energy or resources to the competing demands of growth, reproduction and somatic maintenance, while consequently maximizing their fitness. However, somatic damage caused by oxidative stress in reproductive female animals is species-specific or is tissue dependent. In the present study, several markers of oxidative stress (hydrogen peroxide, H2O2 and malonadialdehyde, MDA) and antioxidant (catalase, CAT and total antioxidant capacity, T-AOC) were examined in striped hamsters during different stages of reproduction with experimentally manipulated litter size. Energy intake, resting metabolic rate (RMR), and mRNA expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and UCP3 in skeletal muscle were also examined. H2O2 and MDA levels did not change in BAT and liver, although they significantly decreased in skeletal muscle in the lactating hamsters compared to the non-reproductive group. However, H2O2 levels in the brain were significantly higher in lactating hamsters than non-reproductive controls. Experimentally increasing litter size did not cause oxidative stress in BAT, liver and skeletal muscle, but significantly elevated H2O2 levels in the brain. CAT activity of liver decreased, but CAT and T-AOC activity of BAT, skeletal muscle and the brain did not change in lactating hamsters compared to non-reproductive controls. Both antioxidants did not change with the experimentally increasing litter size. RMR significantly increased, but BAT UCP1 mRNA expression decreased with the experimentally increased litter size, suggesting that it was against simple positive links between metabolic rate, UCP1 expression and free radicals levels. It may suggest that the cost of reproduction has negligible effect on oxidative stress or even attenuates oxidative stress in some active tissues in an extensive range of animal species. But the increasing reproductive effort may cause oxidative

  3. The contribution of dominance and inbreeding depression in estimating variance components for litter size in Pannon White rabbits.

    PubMed

    Nagy, I; Gorjanc, G; Curik, I; Farkas, J; Kiszlinger, H; Szendrő, Zs

    2013-08-01

    In a synthetic closed population of Pannon White rabbits, additive (VA ), dominance (VD ) and permanent environmental (VPe ) variance components as well as doe (bF d ) and litter (bF l ) inbreeding depression were estimated for the number of kits born alive (NBA), number of kits born dead (NBD) and total number of kits born (TNB). The data set consisted of 18,398 kindling records of 3883 does collected from 1992 to 2009. Six models were used to estimate dominance and inbreeding effects. The most complete model estimated VA and VD to contribute 5.5 ± 1.1% and 4.8 ± 2.4%, respectively, to total phenotypic variance (VP ) for NBA; the corresponding values for NBD were 1.9 ± 0.6% and 5.3 ± 2.4%, for TNB, 6.2 ± 1.0% and 8.1 ± 3.2% respectively. These results indicate the presence of considerable VD . Including dominance in the model generally reduced VA and VPe estimates, and had only a very small effect on inbreeding depression estimates. Including inbreeding covariates did not affect estimates of any variance component. A 10% increase in doe inbreeding significantly increased NBD (bF d  = 0.18 ± 0.07), while a 10% increase in litter inbreeding significantly reduced NBA (bF l  = -0.41 ± 0.11) and TNB (bF l  = -0.34 ± 0.10). These findings argue for including dominance effects in models of litter size traits in populations that exhibit significant dominance relationships. PMID:23855632

  4. Decreasing litter size of marmots over time: a life history response to climate change?

    PubMed

    Tafani, Marion; Cohas, Aurélie; Bonenfant, Christophe; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Allainé, Dominique

    2013-03-01

    The way that plants and animals respond to climate change varies widely among species, but the biological features underlying their actual response remains largely unknown. Here, from a 20-year monitoring study, we document a continuous decrease in litter size of the Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota) since 1990. To cope with harsh winters, Alpine marmots hibernate in burrows and their reproductive output should depend more on spring conditions compared to animals that are active year-round. However, we show that litter size decreased over time because of the general thinning of winter snow cover that has been repeatedly reported to occur in the Alps over the same period, despite a positive effect of an earlier snowmelt in spring. Our results contrast markedly with a recent study on North American yellow-bellied marmots, suggesting that between-species differences in life histories can lead to opposite responses to climate change, even between closely related species. Our case study therefore demonstrates the idiosyncratic nature of the response to climate change and emphasizes, even for related species with similar ecological niches, that it may be hazardous to extrapolate life history responses to climate change from one species to another. PMID:23687884

  5. Age at puberty, fertility and litter size of ewe lambs reared under different photoregimens.

    PubMed

    Ainsworth, L; Heaney, D P; Shrestha, J N

    1991-09-01

    Age at puberty, fertility and litter size of ewe lambs of synthetic sire and dam strains raised under different photoregimens were determined. The lambs were bred during January, May or September at 30 to 32 weeks of age. Irrespective of birth date, the lambs were reared under continuous light from birth to 5 weeks of age. From 5 to 20 weeks of age, they were kept under 16 hours of light dairy (16L:8D; Treatment A), 8 hours of light daily (8L:16D; Treatment B), or a split photoperiod of 8 hours total light daily (7L:9D:1L:7D; Treatment C). Subsequently, all lambs were exposed to 9 hours of light daily until after breeding. Lambs were exposed to rams for two estrous periods after treatment with fluorogestone acetate-impregnated intravaginal sponges and pregnant mares' serum gonadotropin (PMSG) to induce synchronized estrus. Although the age at puberty (174 days) was similar among treatments, the incidence of puberty prior to progestagen sponge treatment was higher (approximately 50%) for lambs reared under Treatments A and C than under Treatment B. Fertility and litter size of lambs were not influenced by the previous photoperiod history or by sexual maturity, i.e., puberal or prepuberal, at the start of the sponge treatment. However, strain, age and weight of lambs at breeding influenced significantly the reproductive outcome. PMID:16727011

  6. Calcium Availability Influences Litter Size and Sex Ratio in White-Footed Mice (Peromyscus leucopus)

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Christina M.; Hood, Wendy R.

    2012-01-01

    The production of offspring typically requires investment of resources derived from both the environment and maternal somatic reserves. As such, the availability of either of these types of resources has the potential to limit the degree to which resources are allocated to reproduction. Theory and empirical studies have argued that mothers modify reproductive performance relative to exogenous resource availability and maternal condition by adjusting size, number or sex of offspring produced. These relationships have classically been defined relative to availability of energy sources; however, in vertebrates, calcium also plays a critical role in offspring production, as a considerable amount of calcium is required to support the development of offspring skeleton(s). We tested whether the availability of calcium influences reproductive output by providing female white-footed mice with a low-calcium or standard diet from reproductive maturity to senescence. We then compared maternal skeletal condition and reproductive output, based on offspring mass, offspring number and litter sex ratio, between dietary treatments. Mothers on the low-calcium diet exhibited diminished skeletal condition at senescence and produced smaller and strongly female-biased litters. We show that skeletal condition and calcium intake can influence sex ratio and reproductive output following general theoretical models of resource partitioning during reproduction. PMID:22870218

  7. Increased Litter Size and Suckling Intensity Stimulate mRNA of RFamide-related Peptide in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Noroozi, Atefeh; Jafarzadeh Shirazi, Mohammad Reza; Tamadon, Amin; Moghadam, Ali; Niazi, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Background RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3) inhibits gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in rats. This study evaluates the effects of litter size and suckling intensity on RFRP mRNA expression in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMH) of rats. Materials and Methods A total of 32 pregnant and 4 non-lactating ovariectomized (control group) Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this experimental study. Lactating rats were allotted to 8 equal groups. In 3 groups, the litter size was adjusted to 5, 10, or 15 pups upon parturition. Dams were allowed to suckle their pups continuously until 8 days postpartum. In the other 3 groups, the litter size was adjusted to 5 pups following birth. These pups were separated from the dams for 6 hours on day 8 postpartum, after which the pups were allowed to suckle for 2.5, 5, or 7.5 minutes prior to killing the dams. In 2 groups, lactating rats with 10 and 15 pups were separated from their pups for 6 hours on day 8 postpartum. In these groups, the pups were allowed to suckle their dams for 5 minutes before the dams were killed. All rats were killed on day 8 postpartum and the DMH was removed from each rat. We evaluated RFRP mRNA expression using realtime polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results The expression of RFRP mRNA in the DMH increased with increased litter size and suckling intensity compared to the controls. The effect of suckling intensity on the expression of RFRP mRNA was more pronounced compared to the litter size. Conclusion Increased litter size and suckling intensity stimulated RFRP mRNA expression in the DMH which might contribute to lactation anestrus in rats. PMID:26644862

  8. Does Proximity to Subsurface Poultry Litter Affect Corn Seedling Survival and Growth?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Poultry litter provides a rich nutrient source for crops, but the usual practice of surface broadcasting litter can degrade water quality by allowing storm runoff to transport nutrients into streams and lakes, while much of the ammonia N escapes into the atmosphere. Subsurface application of litter...

  9. Improving litter size by boar spermatozoa: application of combined H33258/CTC staining in field trial with artificial insemination.

    PubMed

    Kwon, W-S; Rahman, M S; Lee, J-S; You, Y-A; Pang, M-G

    2015-05-01

    Conventional semen analysis offers basic information on infertility; however, its clinical value in predicting fertility status is unclear. To establish an accurate diagnosis of male fertility, semen analysis under capacitation condition is necessary because only capacitated spermatozoa are capable of fertilizing oocytes. The objective of this study was to verify male fertility based on conventional semen analysis before and after capacitation, including the assessment of motility (%), motion kinematics, and capacitation status of spermatozoa. A computer-assisted sperm analysis system and chlortetracycline staining were applied to evaluate the motility parameters and capacitation status, respectively. To enable efficacy of the two methods for predicting fertility, correlation analysis was performed with the historic litter size. Our results showed that sperm motility (%), motion kinematics, and their variations before and after capacitation represented a statistical non-significant correlation with litter size. Litter size showed significant correlation with acrosome reaction (AR) after capacitation (r = 0.375), as well as differences (Δ) in AR (r = 0.333) and capacitated (B) pattern (r = -0.447) before and after capacitation. The overall accuracy of the assay for predicting litter sizes using the AR and differences (Δ) in the AR and B pattern was 70%. On the basis of these results, we propose that capacitation status of spermatozoa is a more reliable indicator for evaluating male fertility status compared to motility parameters. Therefore, we suggest that analysis of capacitation status in company with conventional semen analysis may accept to evaluate more accurate diagnosis or prognosis of male fertility. PMID:25767078

  10. Do mothers prefer helpers or smaller litters? Birth sex ratio and litter size adjustment in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus)

    PubMed Central

    Boulton, Rebecca A; Fletcher, Alison W

    2015-01-01

    Sex allocation theory has been a remarkably productive field in behavioral ecology with empirical evidence regularly supporting quantitative theoretical predictions. Across mammals in general and primates in particular, however, support for the various hypotheses has been more equivocal. Population-level sex ratio biases have often been interpreted as supportive, but evidence for small-scale facultative adjustment has rarely been found. The helper repayment (HR) also named the local resource enhancement (LRE) hypothesis predicts that, in cooperatively breeding species, mothers invest more in the sex which assists with rearing future offspring and that this bias will be more pronounced in mothers who require extra assistance (i.e., due to inexperience or a lack of available alloparents). We tested these hypotheses in captive cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) utilizing the international studbook and birth records obtained through a questionnaire from ISIS-registered institutions. Infant sex, litter size, mother's age, parity, and group composition (presence of nonreproductive subordinate males and females) were determined from these records. The HR hypothesis was supported over the entire population, which was significantly biased toward males (the “helpful” sex). We found little support for helper repayment at the individual level, as primiparous females and those in groups without alloparents did not exhibit more extreme tendencies to produce male infants. Primiparous females were, however, more likely to produce singleton litters. Singleton births were more likely to be male, which suggests that there may be an interaction between litter size adjustment and sex allocation. This may be interpreted as supportive of the HR hypothesis, but alternative explanations at both the proximate and ultimate levels are possible. These possibilities warrant further consideration when attempting to understand the ambiguous results of primate sex ratio studies so far

  11. Do mothers prefer helpers or smaller litters? Birth sex ratio and litter size adjustment in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus).

    PubMed

    Boulton, Rebecca A; Fletcher, Alison W

    2015-02-01

    Sex allocation theory has been a remarkably productive field in behavioral ecology with empirical evidence regularly supporting quantitative theoretical predictions. Across mammals in general and primates in particular, however, support for the various hypotheses has been more equivocal. Population-level sex ratio biases have often been interpreted as supportive, but evidence for small-scale facultative adjustment has rarely been found. The helper repayment (HR) also named the local resource enhancement (LRE) hypothesis predicts that, in cooperatively breeding species, mothers invest more in the sex which assists with rearing future offspring and that this bias will be more pronounced in mothers who require extra assistance (i.e., due to inexperience or a lack of available alloparents). We tested these hypotheses in captive cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) utilizing the international studbook and birth records obtained through a questionnaire from ISIS-registered institutions. Infant sex, litter size, mother's age, parity, and group composition (presence of nonreproductive subordinate males and females) were determined from these records. The HR hypothesis was supported over the entire population, which was significantly biased toward males (the "helpful" sex). We found little support for helper repayment at the individual level, as primiparous females and those in groups without alloparents did not exhibit more extreme tendencies to produce male infants. Primiparous females were, however, more likely to produce singleton litters. Singleton births were more likely to be male, which suggests that there may be an interaction between litter size adjustment and sex allocation. This may be interpreted as supportive of the HR hypothesis, but alternative explanations at both the proximate and ultimate levels are possible. These possibilities warrant further consideration when attempting to understand the ambiguous results of primate sex ratio studies so far. PMID

  12. Differences in the sensitivity of fungi and bacteria to season and invertebrates affect leaf litter decomposition in a Mediterranean stream.

    PubMed

    Mora-Gómez, Juanita; Elosegi, Arturo; Duarte, Sofia; Cássio, Fernanda; Pascoal, Cláudia; Romaní, Anna M

    2016-08-01

    Microorganisms are key drivers of leaf litter decomposition; however, the mechanisms underlying the dynamics of different microbial groups are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of seasonal variation and invertebrates on fungal and bacterial dynamics, and on leaf litter decomposition. We followed the decomposition of Populus nigra litter in a Mediterranean stream through an annual cycle, using fine and coarse mesh bags. Irrespective of the season, microbial decomposition followed two stages. Initially, bacterial contribution to total microbial biomass was higher compared to later stages, and it was related to disaccharide and lignin degradation; in a later stage, bacteria were less important and were associated with hemicellulose and cellulose degradation, while fungi were related to lignin decomposition. The relevance of microbial groups in decomposition differed among seasons: fungi were more important in spring, whereas in summer, water quality changes seemed to favour bacteria and slowed down lignin and hemicellulose degradation. Invertebrates influenced litter-associated microbial assemblages (especially bacteria), stimulated enzyme efficiencies and reduced fungal biomass. We conclude that bacterial and fungal assemblages play distinctive roles in microbial decomposition and differ in their sensitivity to environmental changes, ultimately affecting litter decomposition, which might be particularly relevant in highly seasonal ecosystems, such as intermittent streams. PMID:27288197

  13. Factors affecting arsenic and copper runoff from pastures fertilized with poultry litter

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Heavy metal runoff from soils fertilized with poultry litter has received increasing attention in recent years, although it is not really known if heavy runoff from poultry litter poses a significant threat to the environment. The objective of this study was to evaluate arsenic (As) and copper (Cu)...

  14. On the evolutionary consequences of increasing litter size with multiple paternity in wild boar (Sus scrofa scrofa).

    PubMed

    Gayet, Thibault; Devillard, Sébastien; Gamelon, Marlène; Brandt, Serge; Say, Ludovic; Baubet, Eric

    2016-06-01

    Understanding how some species may be able to evolve quickly enough to deal with anthropogenic pressure is of prime interest in evolutionary biology, conservation, and management. Wild boar (Sus scrofa scrofa) populations keep growing all over Europe despite increasing hunting pressure. In wild boar populations subject to male-selective harvesting, the initially described polygynous mating system may switch to a promiscuous/polyandrous one. Such a change in the mating system, where potentially more males sire a litter at one reproductive event, may be associated with the retention of high genetic diversity and an increase of litter size. We tested these hypotheses by estimating the number of sires per litter based on a six-year long monitoring of a wild boar population subject to particularly high harvesting pressure. Our results show a high and stable genetic diversity and high rates of multiple paternity compared to other populations, thus depicting a promiscuous/polyandrous mating system in this population. We also show that litter size is positively linked to the number of sires, suggesting that multiple paternity increases fecundity. We finally discuss that multiple paternity may be one of the factors allowing rapid evolution of this population by maintaining both genetic and phenotypic diversity. PMID:27166953

  15. Litter size manipulation in laboratory mice: an example of how proteomic analysis can uncover new mechanisms underlying the cost of reproduction

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Life history theories predict that investment in current reproduction comes at a cost for future reproduction and survival. Oxidative stress is one of the best documented mechanisms underlying costs of reproduction to date. However, other, yet to be described molecular mechanisms that play a short term role during reproduction may explain the negative relationships underlying the cost of reproduction. To identify such new mechanisms, we used a global proteomic determination of liver protein profiles in laboratory adult female mice whose litter size had been either reduced or enlarged after birth. This litter size manipulation was expected to affect females by either raising or decreasing their current reproductive effort. At the same time, global parameters and levels of oxidative stress were also measured in all females. Results Based on plasma analyses, females with enlarged litters exhibited increased levels of oxidative stress at the date of weaning compared to females with reduced litters, while no significant difference was found between both the latter groups and control females. None of the liver proteins related to oxidative balance were significantly affected by the experimental treatment. In contrast, the liver protein profiles of females with enlarged and reduced litters suggested that calcium metabolism and cell growth regulation were negatively affected by changes in the number of pup reared. Conclusions Plasma oxidative stress levels in reproductive mice revealed that the degree of investment in reproduction can actually incur a cost in terms of plasmatic oxidative stress, their initial investment in reproduction being close to maximum and remaining at a same level when the energy demand of lactation is reduced. Liver proteomic profiles in reproductive females show that hepatic oxidative stress is unlikely to be involved in the cost of reproduction. Reproductive females rather exhibited liver protein profiles similar to those previously

  16. Initial phylogenetic relatedness of saprotrophic fungal communities affects subsequent litter decomposition rates.

    PubMed

    Kivlin, Stephanie N; Treseder, Kathleen K

    2015-05-01

    Ecosystem-level consequences of biodiversity loss of macroorganisms are well understood, while the repercussions of species extirpation in microbial systems are not. We manipulated species richness and phylogenetic relatedness of saprotrophic fungi in situ in a boreal forest to address this issue. Litter decomposition rates (as total mass loss) after 2 months were significantly higher in the least phylogenetically related fungal assemblages. Likewise, cellulose loss was also highest in the most distantly related treatments after 1 year. There were marginal effects of species richness on mass loss that only affected decomposition after 2 months. At the end of 1 year of decomposition, most fungal communities had collapsed from their original diversity to two species, mainly in the Penicillium or Hypocrea clades. Two concurrent processes may explain these results: competition between closely related fungal taxa and phylogenetic conservation in cellulose decomposition. Our results suggest that phylogenetic relatedness of fungal communities may be a more appropriate metric than species richness or community composition to predict functional responses of fungal communities to global change. PMID:25331109

  17. Estrous length, pregnancy rate, gestation and parturition lengths, litter size, and juvenile mortality in the domestic cat.

    PubMed

    Root, M V; Johnston, S D; Olson, P N

    1995-01-01

    Reproductive performance in a feline research colony of 14 queens is reported. Average estrous length in 38 cycles was 5.8 +/- 3.3 days, with a range of two to 19 days. Estrous length in 23 bred cycles was not shorter (p greater than 0.05) than in 15 nonbred cycles, suggesting that induction of ovulation does not decrease estrous length. Pregnancy rate in 23 bred cycles was 73.9%. Gestation length averaged 66.9 +/- 2.9 days with a range of 62 to 71 days (n = 15). Average parturition length was 16.1 +/- 14.3 hours (n = 7), with a range of four to 42 hours. Litter size ranged from one to five kittens, with an average of 3.7 kittens per litter (n = 15). Percent mortality by eight weeks of age was 29.1%, with 4.7% stillbirths. PMID:8542362

  18. Assessing effective population size, coancestry and inbreeding effects on litter size using the pedigree and SNP data in closed lines of the Iberian pig breed.

    PubMed

    Silió, L; Barragán, C; Fernández, A I; García-Casco, J; Rodríguez, M C

    2016-04-01

    The complete pedigree of two closed Iberian pig lines (Gamito and Torbiscal), with 798 and 4077 reproducers, has been used to measure the evolution of coancestry (f) and inbreeding (F) for autosomal and X-linked genes along 16 and 28 respective equivalent discrete generations. At the last generation, the mean values of each line were f = 0.41 and 0.22, F = 0.35 and 0.18, fX  = 0.46 and 0.22 and FX  = 0.47 and 0.19, respectively. Other calculated parameters were the effective number of founders (final values, 6.8 and 35.2) and non-founders (1.5 and 2.4), founder genome equivalents (1.2 and 2.3) and effective population size (16.0 and 57.7). Measures of Torbiscal effective size based on rates of coancestry (66.1), inbreeding (65.0) and linkage disequilibrium (71.0) were estimated from whole-genome SNP genotyping data. Values of new and old inbreeding and their respective rates by generation were computed to detect purging effects of natural selection. The analysis of 6854 Torbiscal litters showed significant negative impacts of new and fast inbreeding on litter size, as expected from the purging hypothesis: -0.20 born piglets per litter by a 10% of new inbreeding, and -0.03 and -0.02 piglets by 1% of total and new inbreeding rates, respectively. The analysis performed on 1274 litters of the Gamito line failed to show purging effects. The only significant results were reductions in -0.91 and -0.17 piglets by a 10% of old and X-linked genes inbreeding, respectively. These results may be useful for some practical issues in conservation programs of farm or captive wild animals. PMID:26059912

  19. MINERALIZATION OF NITROGEN FROM BROILER LITTER AS AFFECTED BY SOIL TEXTURE IN THE SOUTHEASTERN COASTAL PLAIN

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A field study was conducted during 2004-2005 to determine nitrogen (N) mineralization of broiler litter (BL) in two Coastal Plain soils of differing texture, sandy or clayey. The soils were a Tifton loamy sand (fine-loamy, siliceous, thermic, Plinthic Kandiudults) and a Greenville sandy clay loam (...

  20. Leaf litter quality affects aquatic insect emergence: contrasting patterns from two foundation trees.

    PubMed

    Compson, Zacchaeus G; Adams, Kenneth J; Edwards, Joeseph A; Maestas, Jesse M; Whitham, Thomas G; Marks, Jane C

    2013-10-01

    Reciprocal subsidies between rivers and terrestrial habitats are common where terrestrial leaf litter provides energy to aquatic invertebrates while emerging aquatic insects provide energy to terrestrial predators (e.g., birds, lizards, spiders). We examined how aquatic insect emergence changed seasonally with litter from two foundation riparian trees, whose litter often dominates riparian streams of the southwestern United States: Fremont (Populus fremontii) and narrowleaf (Populus angustifolia) cottonwood. P. fremontii litter is fast-decomposing and lower in defensive phytochemicals (i.e., condensed tannins, lignin) relative to P. angustifolia. We experimentally manipulated leaf litter from these two species by placing them in leaf enclosures with emergence traps attached in order to determine how leaf type influenced insect emergence. Contrary to our initial predictions, we found that packs with slow-decomposing leaves tended to support more emergent insects relative to packs with fast-decomposing leaves. Three findings emerged. Firstly, abundance (number of emerging insects m(-2) day(-1)) was 25% higher on narrowleaf compared to Fremont leaves for the spring but did not differ in the fall, demonstrating that leaf quality from two dominant trees of the same genus yielded different emergence patterns and that these patterns changed seasonally. Secondly, functional feeding groups of emerging insects differed between treatments and seasons. Specifically, in the spring collector-gatherer abundance and biomass were higher on narrowleaf leaves, whereas collector-filterer abundance and biomass were higher on Fremont leaves. Shredder abundance and biomass were higher on narrowleaf leaves in the fall. Thirdly, diversity (Shannon's H') was higher on Fremont leaves in the spring, but no differences were found in the fall, showing that fast-decomposing leaves can support a more diverse, complex emergent insect assemblage during certain times of the year. Collectively, these

  1. Field Experiments in Litter Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finnie, William C.

    1973-01-01

    A series of urban and highway litter experiments in Richmond (Virginia), St. Louis, and Philadelphia indicated well-designed litter cans reduced littering about 15 percent along city streets and nearly 30 percent along highways. Also, the propensity to litter is critically affected by the characteristics of the individual and environmental…

  2. Recruitment in a Colorado population of big brown bats: Breeding probabilities, litter size, and first-year survival

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, T.J.; Ellison, L.E.; Neubaum, D.J.; Neubaum, M.A.; Reynolds, C.A.; Bowen, R.A.

    2010-01-01

    We used markrecapture estimation techniques and radiography to test hypotheses about 3 important aspects of recruitment in big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) in Fort Collins, Colorado: adult breeding probabilities, litter size, and 1st-year survival of young. We marked 2,968 females with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags at multiple sites during 2001-2005 and based our assessments on direct recaptures (breeding probabilities) and passive detection with automated PIT tag readers (1st-year survival). We interpreted our data in relation to hypotheses regarding demographic influences of bat age, roost, and effects of years with unusual environmental conditions: extreme drought (2002) and arrival of a West Nile virus epizootic (2003). Conditional breeding probabilities at 6 roosts sampled in 2002-2005 were estimated as 0.64 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 0.530.73) in 1-year-old females, but were consistently high (95% CI = 0.940.96) and did not vary by roost, year, or prior year breeding status in older adults. Mean litter size was 1.11 (95% CI = 1.051.17), based on examination of 112 pregnant females by radiography. Litter size was not higher in older or larger females and was similar to results of other studies in western North America despite wide variation in latitude. First-year survival was estimated as 0.67 (95% CI = 0.610.73) for weaned females at 5 maternity roosts over 5 consecutive years, was lower than adult survival (0.79; 95% CI = 0.770.81), and varied by roost. Based on model selection criteria, strong evidence exists for complex roost and year effects on 1st-year survival. First-year survival was lowest in bats born during the drought year. Juvenile females that did not return to roosts as 1-year-olds had lower body condition indices in late summer of their natal year than those known to survive. ?? 2009 American Society of Mammalogists.

  3. Factors affecting the abundance of leaf-litter arthropods in unburned and thrice-burned seasonally-dry Amazonian forests.

    PubMed

    Silveira, Juliana M; Barlow, Jos; Louzada, Julio; Moutinho, Paulo

    2010-01-01

    Fire is frequently used as a land management tool for cattle ranching and annual crops in the Amazon. However, these maintenance fires often escape into surrounding forests, with potentially severe impacts for forest biodiversity. We examined the effect of experimental fires on leaf-litter arthropod abundance in a seasonally-dry forest in the Brazilian Amazon. The study plots (50 ha each) included a thrice-burned forest and an unburned control forest. Pitfall-trap samples were collected at 160 randomly selected points in both plots, with sampling stratified across four intra-annual replicates across the dry and wet seasons, corresponding to 6, 8, 10 and 12 months after the most recent fire. Arthropods were identified to the level of order (separating Formicidae). In order to better understand the processes that determine arthropod abundance in thrice-burned forests, we measured canopy openness, understory density and litter depth. All arthropod taxa were significantly affected by fire and season. In addition, the interactions between burn treatment and season were highly significant for all taxa but Isoptera. The burned plot was characterized by a more open canopy, lower understory density and shallower litter depth. Hierarchical partitioning revealed that canopy openness was the most important factor explaining arthropod order abundances in the thrice-burned plot, whereas all three environmental variables were significant in the unburned control plot. These results reveal the marked impact of recurrent wildfires and seasonality on litter arthropods in this transitional forest, and demonstrate the overwhelming importance of canopy-openness in driving post-fire arthropod abundance. PMID:20877720

  4. Factors Affecting the Abundance of Leaf-Litter Arthropods in Unburned and Thrice-Burned Seasonally-Dry Amazonian Forests

    PubMed Central

    Silveira, Juliana M.; Barlow, Jos; Louzada, Julio; Moutinho, Paulo

    2010-01-01

    Fire is frequently used as a land management tool for cattle ranching and annual crops in the Amazon. However, these maintenance fires often escape into surrounding forests, with potentially severe impacts for forest biodiversity. We examined the effect of experimental fires on leaf-litter arthropod abundance in a seasonally-dry forest in the Brazilian Amazon. The study plots (50 ha each) included a thrice-burned forest and an unburned control forest. Pitfall-trap samples were collected at 160 randomly selected points in both plots, with sampling stratified across four intra-annual replicates across the dry and wet seasons, corresponding to 6, 8, 10 and 12 months after the most recent fire. Arthropods were identified to the level of order (separating Formicidae). In order to better understand the processes that determine arthropod abundance in thrice-burned forests, we measured canopy openness, understory density and litter depth. All arthropod taxa were significantly affected by fire and season. In addition, the interactions between burn treatment and season were highly significant for all taxa but Isoptera. The burned plot was characterized by a more open canopy, lower understory density and shallower litter depth. Hierarchical partitioning revealed that canopy openness was the most important factor explaining arthropod order abundances in the thrice-burned plot, whereas all three environmental variables were significant in the unburned control plot. These results reveal the marked impact of recurrent wildfires and seasonality on litter arthropods in this transitional forest, and demonstrate the overwhelming importance of canopy-openness in driving post-fire arthropod abundance. PMID:20877720

  5. Effect of polymorphisms in four candidate genes for fertility on litter size in a German pig line.

    PubMed

    Spötter, A; Hamann, H; Müller, S; Distl, O

    2010-08-01

    We carried out an SNP discovery project in pigs for candidate genes playing potentially important roles in embryonic development. Using eight pigs one each from eight breeds (Meishan, Mangalitza, Duroc, Pietrain, German Landrace, Hampshire, Husum Red Pied, German Large White), 36 SNPs were identified in intronic sequences of 21 porcine candidate genes based on sequencing of PCR products. The primer pairs were designed using porcine EST sequences allowing amplification of introns. These SNPs were tested for their association with the number of piglets born alive in German Large White sows using a discordant approach. Significant effects (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05, respectively) of intronic SNPs on litter size were found for four genes: mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 3 (MAP3K3), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (KDR), erbb2 interacting protein (ERBB2IP) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta (PPARD). These SNPs can be further tested in upcoming association studies for their influence on litter size in different breeds using larger sample sizes. PMID:19090827

  6. The influence of environmental temperatures on farrowing rates and litter sizes in South African pig breeding units.

    PubMed

    van Rensburg, Leana Janse; Spencer, Brian T

    2014-01-01

    The reproductive performance of pigs is one of the main determinants of the profit farmers make from pig production. This study was undertaken to describe whether periods of high environmental temperature have an effect on the farrowing rate, litter sizes and number of stillbirths in commercial breeding units in South Africa. Data were collected weekly from four commercial breeding units with good records from December 2010 to August 2012. These data included the number of sows mated, number of sows farrowed and number of piglets born alive, as well as the number of stillbirths. Note was also taken of whether environmental temperature control mechanisms were employed. Temperature data from weather stations within 100 km of the breeding units were obtained from the South African Weather Service. In all breeding units a decrease in farrowing rate following mating during severe average temperatures (> 30 °C) when compared to the farrowing rate following mating during mild average temperatures (< 22 °C) was observed. When mating occurred at higher temperatures, the resultant litter size was marginally decreased in the breeding units that did not employ environmental temperature control, but was unaffected in the breeding units that did. In all four breeding units the trend was for the average number of piglets born alive to increase as the environmental temperature around the time of farrowing increased and the trend in three of the four breeding units was for the percentage of stillbirths per litter to decrease with increased temperature around the time of farrowing. The most significant observation in this study was the trend for farrowing rates to decrease following inseminations during times of high ambient temperatures (> 30 °C). Environmental temperature control did not negate this effect, but the breeding units employing the environmental temperature control did show higher average farrowing rates overall. PMID:25686093

  7. Enrichment of uranium in particulate matter during litter decomposition affected by Gammarus pulex L.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg; Weiske, Arndt; Mkandawire, Martin; Dudel, E Gert

    2008-12-01

    Plant litter and organic matter of aquatic sediments provide a significant sink of soluble inorganic uranium species in contaminated ecosystems. The uranium content in detritus has been observed to increase significantly during decomposition. However, the influence of the decomposer community on uranium fixation remains unclear. In view of this, we investigated the influence of a shredder (the freshwater shrimp Gammarus pulex L) on uranium fixation and mobilization during the degradation of plant litter. Leaf litter from Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn. with 1152 mg kg(-1) U of dry biomass (DM) and without uranium was used in a 14-day laboratory experiment. The uranium concentration in the particulate organic material (POM) at the end of experiment was 1427 mg kg(-1) DM. After 14 days of decay, the residues of the leaves show a uranium concentration of 644 mg kg(-1) DM. Uranium concentrations in the media initially increased reaching up to 63.9 microg L(-1) but finally decreased to an average value of 34.3 microg L(-1). Atthe same time, DOC levels increased from 2.43 mg L(-1) up to 11.4 mg L(-1) in the course of the experiment Hence, inorganic uranium fixation onto particulate organic matter was enhanced by the activity of G. pulex. PMID:19192788

  8. A SNP in the miR-27a gene is associated with litter size in pigs.

    PubMed

    Lei, B; Gao, S; Luo, L F; Xia, X Y; Jiang, S W; Deng, C Y; Xiong, Y Z; Li, F E

    2011-08-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are 20-25 nt, endogenous non-coding RNA molecules that act by binding to the complementary sequence of target messenger RNAs. Many evidences showed that miRNAs were involved in the process of germ proliferation and differentiation. In the present study, miR-27a gene was selected as a candidate gene for litter size due to its biological function, its location near a mummified pigs QTL, and its differentially expressed profile in Large White and Chinese Erhualian PMSG-hCG stimulated preovulatory ovaries. By comparative sequencing of miR-27a gene in Large White and Chinese Meishan pigs, one SNP (T/C) which created an additional HpaII site was detected. Then associations of this SNP with litter size traits were assessed in Large White (n=142) and DIV (n=140) pig populations. The statistical analysis demonstrated that AA differed from AB (P<0.01) and BB (P<0.05) for total number of piglets born in the first parities, and also differed from AB (P<0.01) for the number of piglets born alive in all parities (P<0.05) in DIV pigs. No significant difference was observed between different genotypes in Large White pigs. PMID:21104015

  9. Associations of TCF12, CTNNAL1 and WNT10B gene polymorphisms with litter size in pigs.

    PubMed

    Tao, Hu; Mei, Shuqi; Sun, Xiaojie; Peng, Xianwen; Zhang, Xuying; Ma, Changping; Wang, Lei; Hua, Lun; Li, Fenge

    2013-08-01

    In previous research, several WNT signaling pathway genes including transcription factor 12 (TCF12), catenin alpha-like protein 1 (CTNNAL1) and wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 10B (WNT10B) were differentially expressed in PMSG-hCG stimulated preovulatory ovarian follicles of Large White and Chinese Taihu sows. In the present research, these three genes were selected as the candidate genes for litter size traits in pigs. Four mutations (TCF12 c.-201+65 G>A, TCF12 c.-200-300 G>A, CTNNAL1 c.1878 G>C and WNT10B c.*12 C>T) were detected in eleven pig populations, and results indicated CTNNAL1 c.1878 G and WNT10B c.*12 C were the major alleles in all tested pig populations, while TCF12 c.-201+65 A and TCF12 c.-200-300 A were the major alleles in several Chinese native pig breeds. Association analysis of four mutations with litter size in Large White and DIV pigs showed that both the signficant differences of total number born (TNB) and number born alive (NBA) among three genotypes and the significance of additive effects appeared at TCF12 c.-200-300 G>A and CTNNAL1 c.1878 G>C loci, suggesting these two mutations might be reliable markers for pig selection and breeding. PMID:23820070

  10. How Tongue Size and Roughness Affect Lapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, M. J.; Hay, K. M.

    2012-10-01

    The biomechanics of domestic cat lapping (Felis catus) and domestic dog lapping (Canis familiaris) is currently under debate. Lapping mechanics in vertebrates with incomplete cheeks, such as cats and dogs, is a balance of inertia and the force of gravity likely optimized for ingestion and physical necessities. Physiology dictates vertebrate mass, which dictates vertebrate tongue size, which dictates lapping mechanics to achieve optimum liquid ingestion; with either touch lapping, scooping, or a hybrid lapping method. The physics of this optimized system then determines how high a column of liquid can be raised before it collapses due to gravity, and therefore, lapping frequency. Through tongue roughness model variation experiments it was found that pore-scale geometrical roughness does not appear to affect lapping or liquid uptake. Through tongue size model variation experiments it was found that there is a critical tongue radius in the range of 25 mm to 35 mm above which touch lapping is no longer an efficient way to uptake liquid. Vertebrates with incomplete cheeks may use a touch lapping method to ingest water if their tongue radius is less than this critical radius and use an alternative ingestion method if their tongue radius is larger.

  11. Invasibility of a nutrient-poor pasture through resident and non-resident herbs is controlled by litter, gap size and propagule pressure.

    PubMed

    Eckstein, R Lutz; Ruch, Diana; Otte, Annette; Donath, Tobias W

    2012-01-01

    Since inference concerning the relative effects of propagule pressure, biotic interactions, site conditions and species traits on the invasibility of plant communities is limited, we carried out a field experiment to study the role of these factors for absolute and relative seedling emergence in three resident and three non-resident confamilial herb species on a nutrient-poor temperate pasture. We set up a factorial field experiment with two levels each of the factors litter cover (0 and 400 g m(-2)), gap size (0.01 and 0.1 m(2)) and propagule pressure (5 and 50 seeds) and documented soil temperature, soil water content and relative light availability. Recruitment was recorded in spring and autumn 2010 and in spring 2011 to cover initial seedling emergence, establishment after summer drought and final establishment after the first winter. Litter alleviated temperature and moisture conditions and had positive effects on proportional and absolute seedling emergence during all phases of recruitment. Large gaps presented competition-free space with high light availability but showed higher temperature amplitudes and lower soil moisture. Proportional and absolute seedling recruitment was significantly higher in large than in small gaps. In contrast, propagule pressure facilitated absolute seedling emergence but had no effects on proportional emergence or the chance for successful colonisation. Despite significantly higher initial seedling emergence of resident than non-resident species, seed mass and other species-specific traits may be better predictors for idiosyncratic variation in seedling establishment than status. Our data support the fluctuating resource hypothesis and demonstrate that the reserve effect of seeds may facilitate seedling emergence. The direct comparison of propagule pressure with other environmental factors showed that propagule pressure affects absolute seedling abundance, which may be crucial for species that depend on other individuals for

  12. Invasibility of a Nutrient-Poor Pasture through Resident and Non-Resident Herbs Is Controlled by Litter, Gap Size and Propagule Pressure

    PubMed Central

    Eckstein, R. Lutz; Ruch, Diana; Otte, Annette; Donath, Tobias W.

    2012-01-01

    Since inference concerning the relative effects of propagule pressure, biotic interactions, site conditions and species traits on the invasibility of plant communities is limited, we carried out a field experiment to study the role of these factors for absolute and relative seedling emergence in three resident and three non-resident confamilial herb species on a nutrient-poor temperate pasture. We set up a factorial field experiment with two levels each of the factors litter cover (0 and 400 g m−2), gap size (0.01 and 0.1 m2) and propagule pressure (5 and 50 seeds) and documented soil temperature, soil water content and relative light availability. Recruitment was recorded in spring and autumn 2010 and in spring 2011 to cover initial seedling emergence, establishment after summer drought and final establishment after the first winter. Litter alleviated temperature and moisture conditions and had positive effects on proportional and absolute seedling emergence during all phases of recruitment. Large gaps presented competition-free space with high light availability but showed higher temperature amplitudes and lower soil moisture. Proportional and absolute seedling recruitment was significantly higher in large than in small gaps. In contrast, propagule pressure facilitated absolute seedling emergence but had no effects on proportional emergence or the chance for successful colonisation. Despite significantly higher initial seedling emergence of resident than non-resident species, seed mass and other species-specific traits may be better predictors for idiosyncratic variation in seedling establishment than status. Our data support the fluctuating resource hypothesis and demonstrate that the reserve effect of seeds may facilitate seedling emergence. The direct comparison of propagule pressure with other environmental factors showed that propagule pressure affects absolute seedling abundance, which may be crucial for species that depend on other individuals for sexual

  13. Impact of piglet birth weight, birth order, and litter size on subsequent growth performance, carcass quality, muscle composition, and eating quality of pork.

    PubMed

    Beaulieu, A D; Aalhus, J L; Williams, N H; Patience, J F

    2010-08-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the relationships among birth weight, birth order, or litter size on growth performance, carcass quality, and eating quality of the ultimate pork product. Data were collected from 98 pig litters and, with the addition of recording birth weight and birth order, farrowing and piglet management were according to normal barn practices. In the nursery and during growout, the pigs received the normal feeding program for the barn and, with the addition of individual tattooing, were marketed as per standard procedure. From 24 litters, selected because they had at least 12 pigs born alive and represented a range of birth weights, 4 piglets were chosen (for a total of 96 piglets) and sent to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-Lacombe Research Centre (Lacombe, Alberta, Canada) when they reached 120 kg for extensive meat quality and sensory analysis. Individual BW was measured at birth, on the day of weaning, 5 wk after weaning, at nursery exit, at first pull, and at the time of marketing. Litter sizes were divided into 3 categories: small (3 to 10 piglets), medium (11 to 13 piglets), and large (14 to 19 piglets). There were 4 birth-weight quartiles: 0.80 to 1.20, 1.25 to 1.45, 1.50 to 1.70, and 1.75 to 2.50 kg. Increased litter size resulted in reduced mean birth weight (P < 0.05), but had no effect on within litter variability or carcass quality (P > 0.05) when slaughtered at the same endpoint. Lighter birth-weight pigs had reduced BW at weaning, 5 and 7 wk postweaning, and at first pull and had increased days to market (P < 0.05). Birth weight had limited effects on carcass quality, weight of primal cuts, objective quality, and overall palatability of the meat at the same slaughter weight (P > 0.05). In conclusion, increased litter size resulted in decreased mean birth weight but no change in days to market. Lighter birth-weight pigs took longer to reach market. Despite some differences in histological properties, birth weight

  14. TRIXcell+, a new long-term boar semen extender containing whey protein with higher preservation capacity and litter size

    PubMed Central

    van den Berg, B.M.; Reesink, J.; Reesink, W.

    2014-01-01

    It was the aim of the present study to test whey as protective protein for the sperm cell in the long-term boar semen preservation medium TRIXcell. Analyses of sperm cell motility using computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) indicated that the whey protein Porex has a similar protective effect as bovine serum albumin (BSA) in maintaining viability of stored boar sperm. Boar sperm diluted in TRIXcell+ maintains commercially acceptable motility (>60%) for 10 days, while swine sperm diluted in the semen preservation medium Beltsville Thawing Solution (BTS) maintains commercially acceptable motility (>60%) for 3-5 days for most boars. To test the on-farm fertility performance of TRIXcell+ compared to BTS, inseminations were started on 35 commercial pig production farms in the summer of 2006. During the period of July 2006 until July 2012 for each farm and each calendar year the mean farrowing rate and litter size for semen diluted in TRIXcell+ and stored for 3-5 days was found higher than that of semen stored for 1-2 days in BTS. Based on data gained from a total of 583.749 sows inseminated through the years 2006-2012, the mean farrowing rate for semen diluted in TRIXcell+ and BTS was 90.4 ± 4.0 and 87.9 ± 3.6, respectively, which is not significantly different. Based on the same data, the mean total number of piglets born alive for semen diluted in TRIXcell+ and BTS was 14.2 ± 0.7 and 13.6 ± 0.6, respectively, which is significantly different. We conclude that whey protein can effectively be used in the long-term preservation medium TRIXcell resulting in a higher litter size. PMID:26623335

  15. TRIXcell+, a new long-term boar semen extender containing whey protein with higher preservation capacity and litter size.

    PubMed

    van den Berg, B M; Reesink, J; Reesink, W

    2014-01-01

    It was the aim of the present study to test whey as protective protein for the sperm cell in the long-term boar semen preservation medium TRIXcell. Analyses of sperm cell motility using computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) indicated that the whey protein Porex has a similar protective effect as bovine serum albumin (BSA) in maintaining viability of stored boar sperm. Boar sperm diluted in TRIXcell+ maintains commercially acceptable motility (>60%) for 10 days, while swine sperm diluted in the semen preservation medium Beltsville Thawing Solution (BTS) maintains commercially acceptable motility (>60%) for 3-5 days for most boars. To test the on-farm fertility performance of TRIXcell+ compared to BTS, inseminations were started on 35 commercial pig production farms in the summer of 2006. During the period of July 2006 until July 2012 for each farm and each calendar year the mean farrowing rate and litter size for semen diluted in TRIXcell+ and stored for 3-5 days was found higher than that of semen stored for 1-2 days in BTS. Based on data gained from a total of 583.749 sows inseminated through the years 2006-2012, the mean farrowing rate for semen diluted in TRIXcell+ and BTS was 90.4 ± 4.0 and 87.9 ± 3.6, respectively, which is not significantly different. Based on the same data, the mean total number of piglets born alive for semen diluted in TRIXcell+ and BTS was 14.2 ± 0.7 and 13.6 ± 0.6, respectively, which is significantly different. We conclude that whey protein can effectively be used in the long-term preservation medium TRIXcell resulting in a higher litter size. PMID:26623335

  16. Association of polymorphisms at the microRNA binding site of the caprine KITLG 3'-UTR with litter size.

    PubMed

    An, Xiaopeng; Song, Yuxuan; Bu, Shuhai; Ma, Haidong; Gao, Kexin; Hou, Jinxing; Wang, Shan; Lei, Zhang; Cao, Binyun

    2016-01-01

    This study identified three novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (c.1389C > T, c.1457A > C and c.1520G > A) in the caprine KITLG 3'-UTR through DNA sequencing. The three SNP loci were closely linked in Guanzhong dairy (GD) goats. Two alleles of the c.1457A > C SNP introduced two miRNA sites (chi-miR-204-5p and chi-miR-211). Individuals with combined genotype TT-CC-AA had a higher litter size compared with those with combined genotypes CC-AA-GG, TC-CC-GA and CC-AC-GG (P < 0.05). Luciferase assays showed that chi-miR-204-5p and chi-miR-211 suppressed luciferase expression in the presence of allele 1457A compared with negative control (NC) and allele 1457C (P < 0.05). Western blot revealed that KITLG significantly decreased in the granulosa cells (GCs) of genotype AA compared with that in the GCs of genotype CC and NC (P < 0.05). The KITLG mRNA levels of the CC-AA-GG carriers significantly decreased compared with those of the TT-CC-AA, TC-CC-GA and CC-AC-GG carriers. In addition, cell proliferation was reduced in haplotype C-A-G GCs compared with that in haplotype T-C-A GCs. These results suggest that SNPs c.1389C > T, c.1457A > C and c.1520G > A account for differences in the litter size of GD goats because chi-miR-204-5p and chi-miR-211 could change the expression levels of the KITLG gene and reduce GC proliferation. PMID:27168023

  17. Suberin-derived aliphatic monomers as biomarkers for SOM affected by root litter contribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kogel-Knabner, I.; Spielvogel, S.-; Prietzel, J.-

    2012-12-01

    The patchy distribution of trees and ground vegetation may have major impact on SOC variability and stability at the small scale. Knowledge about correlations between the pattern of tree and ground vegetation, SOC stocks in different soil depths and the contribution of root- vs. shoot-derived carbon to different SOC fractions is scarce. We have tested analysis of hydrolysable aliphatic monomers derived from the biopolyesters cutin- and suberin to investigate whether their composition can be traced back after decay and transformation into soil organic matter (SOM) to study SOM source, degradation, and stand history. The main objective of this study was to elucidate the relative abundance of cutin and suberin in different particle size and density fractions of a Norway spruce and a European beech site with increasing distance to stems. Soil samples, root, bark and needle/leave samples were analyzed for their cutin and/or suberin signature. Previous to isolation of bound lipids, sequential solvent extraction was used to remove free lipids and other solvent extractable compounds. Cutin- and suberin-derived monomers were extracted from the samples using base hydrolysis. Before analysis by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS), extracts were derivatized to convert compounds to trimethylsilyl derivatives. Statistical analysis identified four variables which as combined factors discriminated significantly between cutin and suberin based on their structural units. We found a relative enrichment of cutin and suberin contents in the occluded fraction at both sites that decreased with increasing distance to the trees. We conclude from our results that (i) patchy above- and belowground carbon input caused by heterogeneous distribution of trees and ground vegetation has major impact on SOC variability and stability at the small scale, (ii) tree species is an important factor influencing SOC heterogeneity at the stand scale due to pronounced differences in above- and

  18. Maternal Weight Gain as a Predictor of Litter Size in Swiss Webster, C57BL/6J, and BALB/cJ mice

    PubMed Central

    Finlay, James B; Liu, Xueli; Ermel, Richard W; Adamson, Trinka W

    2015-01-01

    An important task facing both researchers and animal core facilities is producing sufficient mice for a given project. The inherent biologic variability of mouse reproduction and litter size further challenges effective research planning. A lack of precision in project planning contributes to the high cost of animal research, overproduction (thus waste) of animals, and inappropriate allocation of facility resources. To examine the extent daily prepartum maternal weight gain predicts litter size in 2 commonly used mouse strains (BALB/cJ and C57BL/6J) and one mouse stock (Swiss Webster), we weighed ≥ 25 pregnant dams of each strain or stock daily from the morning on which a vaginal plug (day 0) was present. On the morning when dams delivered their pups, we recorded the weight of the dam, the weight of the litter itself, and the number of pups. Litter sizes ranged from 1 to 7 pups for BALB/cJ, 2 to 13 for Swiss Webster, and 5 to 11 for C57BL/6J mice. Linear regression models (based on weight change from day 0) demonstrated that maternal weight gain at day 9 (BALB/cJ), day 11 (Swiss Webster), or day 14 (C57BL/6J) was a significant predictor of litter size. When tested prospectively, the linear regression model for each strain or stock was found to be accurate. These data indicate that the number of pups that will be born can be estimated accurately by using maternal weight gain at specific or stock-specific time points. PMID:26632778

  19. The effects of parity, litter size, physiological state, and milking frequency on the metabolic profile of Lacaune dairy ewes.

    PubMed

    González-García, E; Tesniere, A; Camous, S; Bocquier, F; Barillet, F; Hassoun, P

    2015-01-01

    Effects of parity (primiparous, PRIM vs multiparous, MULT) and litter size (singletons, SING vs twins, TWIN) on metabolic profiles from 1 wk before lambing to the end of lactation were studied in 48 Lacaune dairy ewes reared in confinement during most of the year and grazed on improved pastures at the end of lactation (summer). Another group of 48 ewes was incorporated during the milking period (ie, from 1 wk after weaning), to measure the effects of milking frequency (1 vs 2 milkings per day) on intake, milk production and composition, and body energy usage. Thus, in a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design, ewes (n = 96) were allocated to homogeneous groups according to body weight (BW) and body condition score (BCS) and were monitored from late pregnancy to late lactation as a function of parity (PRIM, n = 48; MULT, n = 48), litter size (LSi) (SING, n = 40; TWIN, n = 56) and daily milking frequency (FREQ; milked once, ONE; n = 48; or twice, TWO; n = 48). Individual BW, BCS, plasma metabolites, and metabolic hormones were measured regularly (ie, 9 consecutive sampling dates). The BW was higher in MULT but no differences because of LSi or FREQ were detected at the intra-parity group level. The BCS was higher in MULT and in ewes with SING throughout the experiment. The latter was related to the demands for body reserves mobilization, as expressed by higher nonesterified fatty acids and β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations in ewes with TWIN from late pregnancy to weaning (35 d postpartum) in both PRIM and MULT ewes. This was consistent with higher insulin in MULT and higher triiodothyronine, leptin and insulin-like growth factor 1 in ewes with SING during this period. Differences in energy balance because of FREQ were evident after interpretation of plasma nonesterified fatty acids, glucose, insulin, and leptin concentration during the milking period. At similar feed intakes, ewes in ONE were in positive balance with regard to TWO. Overall, clear effects of parity, LSi

  20. Habitat structure alters top-down control in litter communities.

    PubMed

    Kalinkat, Gregor; Brose, Ulrich; Rall, Björn Christian

    2013-07-01

    The question whether top-down or bottom-up forces dominate trophic relationships, energy flow, and abundances within food webs has fuelled much ecological research with particular focus on soil litter ecosystems. Because litter simultaneously provides habitat structure and a basal resource, disentangling direct trophic and indirect non-trophic effects on different trophic levels remains challenging. Here, we focussed on short-term per capita interaction strengths of generalist predators (centipedes) on their microbi-detritivore prey (springtails) and addressed how the habitat structuring effects of the leaf litter modifies this interaction. We performed a series of laboratory functional response experiments where four levels of habitat structure were constructed by adding different amounts of leaf litter to the experimental arenas. We found that increased leaf litter reduced the consumption rate of the predator. We interpreted this as a dilution effect of the augmented habitat size provided by the increasing leaf litter surface available to the species. Dilution of the prey population decreased encounter rates, whereas the capture success was not affected. Interestingly, our results imply that top-down control by centipedes decreased with increasing resource supply for the microbi-detritivore prey (i.e. the leaf litter that simultaneously provides habitat structure). Therefore, effective top-down control of predators on microbi-detritvore populations seems unlikely in litter-rich ecosystems due to the non-trophic, habitat-structuring effect of the basal litter resource. PMID:23188055

  1. Seasonal, litter size and birth order effects on farrowing intervals and stillbirth rate in swine

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The number of piglets weaned is affected by the farrowing process through its impact primarily on stillbirth rate (SR). The effects of season and birth order on the farrowing process and SR are not well characterized. To examine these relationships, farrowing was recorded in first parity gilts of ou...

  2. A Fungal Endosymbiont Affects Host Plant Recruitment Through Seed- and Litter-mediated Mechanisms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Many grass species are associated with maternally transmitted fungal endophytes. Increasing evidence shows that endophytes enhance host plant success under varied conditions, yet studies have rarely considered alternative mechanisms whereby these mutualistic symbionts may affect regeneration from...

  3. Fukushima simulation experiment: assessing the effects of chronic low-dose-rate internal 137Cs radiation exposure on litter size, sex ratio, and biokinetics in mice

    PubMed Central

    Nakajima, Hiroo; Yamaguchi, Yoshiaki; Yoshimura, Takashi; Fukumoto, Manabu; Todo, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the transgenerational effects of chronic low-dose-rate internal radiation exposure after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in Japan, 18 generations of mice were maintained in a radioisotope facility, with free access to drinking water containing 137CsCl (0 and 100 Bq/ml). The 137Cs distribution in the organs of the mice was measured after long-term ad libitum intake of the 137CsCl water. The litter size and the sex ratio of the group ingesting the 137Cs water were compared with those of the control group, for all 18 generations of mice. No significant difference was noted in the litter size or the sex ratio between the mice in the control group and those in the group ingesting the 137Cs water. The fixed internal exposure doses were ∼160 Bq/g and 80 Bq/g in the muscles and other organs, respectively. PMID:26825299

  4. Fukushima simulation experiment: assessing the effects of chronic low-dose-rate internal 137Cs radiation exposure on litter size, sex ratio, and biokinetics in mice.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Hiroo; Yamaguchi, Yoshiaki; Yoshimura, Takashi; Fukumoto, Manabu; Todo, Takeshi

    2015-12-01

    To investigate the transgenerational effects of chronic low-dose-rate internal radiation exposure after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in Japan, 18 generations of mice were maintained in a radioisotope facility, with free access to drinking water containing (137)CsCl (0 and 100 Bq/ml). The (137)Cs distribution in the organs of the mice was measured after long-term ad libitum intake of the (137)CsCl water. The litter size and the sex ratio of the group ingesting the (137)Cs water were compared with those of the control group, for all 18 generations of mice. No significant difference was noted in the litter size or the sex ratio between the mice in the control group and those in the group ingesting the (137)Cs water. The fixed internal exposure doses were ∼160 Bq/g and 80 Bq/g in the muscles and other organs, respectively. PMID:26825299

  5. Association with litter size of new polymorphisms on ESR1 and ESR2 genes in a Chinese-European pig line

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Gloria; Ovilo, Cristina; Estellé, Jordi; Silió, Luis; Fernández, Almudena; Rodriguez, Carmen

    2007-01-01

    The objective of this study was to search for polymorphisms in the coding region of the estrogen receptors 1 and 2 (ESR1 and ESR2 )and to analyze the effects of these variants and the well known intronic ESR1 Pvu II polymorphism on litter size in a Chinese-European pig line. We identified five silent single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the ESR1 cDNA: c.669T > C (exon 3), c.1227C > T (exon 5), c.1452C > T (exon 7), c.1665T > C and c.1755A > G (exon 8). One pair of these SNP (c.1665T > C and c.1755A > G) co-segregated in the analyzed line, and the SNP c.669T > C showed the same segregation pattern as the Pvu II polymorphism. These polymorphisms were tested in this study, although the c.1452C > T SNP within exon 7 was not analyzed due to its low informativeness. In the ESR2 cDNA, one missense SNP was found within exon 5, which caused an amino acid substitution in the coded protein: "c.949G > A (p.Val317Met)" and was tested on sow litter size. Information on 1622 litter records from 408 genotyped sows was analyzed to determine whether these SNP influenced the total number of piglets born (TNB) or the number of born alive (NBA). The polymorphisms ESR1: [Pvu II; c.669T > C], ESR1: [c.1665T > C; c.1755A > G] and ESR2: c.949G > A showed no statistically significant association with litter size. However, the ESR1: c.1227T allele was significantly associated with TNB. The additive substitution effect was estimated to be 0.40 piglets born per litter (P < 0.03), and no dominance effects were observed. This SNP could be useful in assisted selection for litter size in some pig lines, as a new genetic marker in linkage disequilibrium with the causative mutation. PMID:17306201

  6. Environmentally friendly animal litter

    DOEpatents

    Chett, Boxley; McKelvie, Jessica

    2013-08-20

    A method of making an animal litter that includes geopolymerized ash, wherein, the animal litter is made from a quantity of a pozzolanic ash mixed with a sufficient quantity of water and an alkaline activator to initiate a geopolymerization reaction that forms geopolymerized ash. After the geopolymerized ash is formed, it is dried, broken into particulates, and sieved to a desired size. These geopolymerized ash particulates are used to make a non-clumping or clumping animal litter. Odor control may be accomplished with the addition of a urease inhibitor, pH buffer, an odor eliminating agent, and/or fragrance.

  7. The association of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in growth hormone (GH) gene with litter size and superovulation response in goat-breeds

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Chunyan; Liu, Yun; Huang, Kunkun; Zeng, Wenbing; Xu, Deqing; Wen, Qunying; Yang, Liguo

    2011-01-01

    Two active mutations (A 781 G and A 1575 G) in growth hormone (GH) gene, and their associations with litter size (LS), were investigated in both a high prolificacy (Matou, n = 182) and a low prolificacy breed (Boer, n = 352) by using the PCR-RFLP method. Superovulation experiments were designed in 57 dams, in order to evaluate the effect of different genotypes of the GH gene on superovulation response. Two genotypes (AA and AB, CC and CD) in each mutation were detected in these two goat breeds. Neither BB nor DD homozygous genotypes were observed. The genotypic frequencies of AB and CC were significantly higher than those of AA and CD. In the third parity, Matou dams with AB or CC genotypes had significantly larger litter sizes than those with AA and CD (p < 0.05). On combining the two loci, both Matou and Boer dams with ABCD genotype had the largest litter sizes when compared to the other genotypes (p < 0.05). When undergoing like superovulation treatments, a significantly higher number of corpora lutea and ova, with a lower incidence of ovarian cysts, were harvested in the AB and CC genotypes than in AA and CD. These results show that the two loci of GH gene are highly associated with abundant prolificacy and superovulation response in goat breeds. PMID:21637543

  8. Genetic parameters for litter size, piglet growth and sow's early growth and body composition in the Chinese-European line Tai Zumu.

    PubMed

    Banville, M; Riquet, J; Bahon, D; Sourdioux, M; Canario, L

    2015-08-01

    Genetics of piglet growth in association with sow's early growth and body composition were estimated in the Tai Zumu line. Piglet and sow's litter growth traits were calculated from individual weights collected at birth and at 3 weeks of age. Sow's litter traits included the number of piglets born alive (NBA), the mean piglet weight (MW) and the standard deviation of weights within the litter (SDW). Sow's early growth was measured by the age at 100 kg (A100), and body composition included backfat thickness (BF100). A main objective of this study was to estimate separately the direct genetic effect (d) and the maternal genetic effect (m) on piglet weight and daily weight gain during lactation. Variance components were estimated using the restricted maximum likelihood methodology based on animal models. The heritability estimates were 0.19 for NBA, 0.15 and 0.26 for SDW and MW at 3 weeks and 0.42 and 0.70 for A100 and BF100. The NBA was almost independent from SDW. Conversely, the A100 and BF100 were correlated unfavourably with SDW (rg <-0.24, SE<0.12). A stronger selection for litter size should have little effect on litter homogeneity in weights. Selection for lean growth rate tends to favour heterogeneity in weights. The direct effect on piglet weight at birth and daily weight gain accounted for 12% (h(²) (d) = 0.02) and 50% (h(²) (d) = 0.11) of the genetic variance, respectively. The association between d and m for piglet weight was not different from zero at birth (rg = 0.19, SE = 0.27), but a strong antagonism between d and m for daily weight gain from birth to 3 weeks was found (rg = -0.41, SE = 0.17). Substantial direct and maternal genetic effects influenced piglet growth until weaning in opposite way. PMID:25424416

  9. Improving genetic evaluation of litter size and piglet mortality for both genotyped and nongenotyped individuals using a single-step method.

    PubMed

    Guo, X; Christensen, O F; Ostersen, T; Wang, Y; Lund, M S; Su, G

    2015-02-01

    A single-step method allows genetic evaluation using information of phenotypes, pedigree, and markers from genotyped and nongenotyped individuals simultaneously. This paper compared genomic predictions obtained from a single-step BLUP (SSBLUP) method, a genomic BLUP (GBLUP) method, a selection index blending (SELIND) method, and a traditional pedigree-based method (BLUP) for total number of piglets born (TNB), litter size at d 5 after birth (LS5), and mortality rate before d 5 (Mort; including stillbirth) in Danish Landrace and Yorkshire pigs. Data sets of 778,095 litters from 309,362 Landrace sows and 472,001 litters from 190,760 Yorkshire sows were used for the analysis. There were 332,795 Landrace and 207,255 Yorkshire animals in the pedigree data, among which 3,445 Landrace pigs (1,366 boars and 2,079 sows) and 3,372 Yorkshire pigs (1,241 boars and 2,131 sows) were genotyped with the Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip. The results showed that the 3 methods with marker information (SSBLUP, GBLUP, and SELIND) produced more accurate predictions for genotyped animals than the pedigree-based method. For genotyped animals, the average of reliabilities for all traits in both breeds using traditional BLUP was 0.091, which increased to 0.171 w+hen using GBLUP and to 0.179 when using SELIND and further increased to 0.209 when using SSBLUP. Furthermore, the average reliability of EBV for nongenotyped animals was increased from 0.091 for traditional BLUP to 0.105 for the SSBLUP. The results indicate that the SSBLUP is a good approach to practical genomic prediction of litter size and piglet mortality in Danish Landrace and Yorkshire populations. PMID:25549983

  10. First-generation litter-size reduction following irradiation of spermatogonial stem cells in mice and its use in risk estimation

    SciTech Connect

    Selby, P.B.; Russell, W.L.

    1985-01-01

    Litter-size reduction (LSR) is a useful measure of part of the overall F/sub 1/ radiation-induced damage. Extensive LSR data were obtained as a by-product of specific-locus experiments. Fourteen such experiments involving 158,490 F/sub 1/ litters have been analyzed for the extent of LSR induced by x- or gamma-irradiation of spermatogonia. Litter sizes were compared between experimental and control groups at about 3 weeks after birth. At the high dose rate of 90 R/min, the LSRs showed a humped dose-response curve. There was a pronounced dose-rate effect, the mutational responses being much less at dose rates of 0.009 R/min and 0.001 R/min. It is estimated that if men were exposed to 1 R of radiation delivered at low linear energy transfer (low LET) and low dose rate, the number of deaths caused by induced dominant mutations among their children before late childhood would be about 19 per million live-born. This can be added to the earlier estimate of an approximately equal number of viable disorders in all body systems as based on dominant skeletal mutations. This gives a total estimate of induced dominant damage, but much of this addition represents death in very early embryonic life that would not be recognized in humans. The LSR data also permit the conclusion that only an extremely small proportion of serious radiation-induced genetic disorders among live-born humans would be expected to result from segmental aneuploidy.

  11. Understanding Correlation: Factors that Affect the Size of r

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodwin, Laura D.; Leech, Nancy L.

    2006-01-01

    The authors describe and illustrate 6 factors that affect the size of a Pearson correlation: (a) the amount of variability in the data, (b) differences in the shapes of the 2 distributions, (c) lack of linearity, (d) the presence of 1 or more "outliers," (e) characteristics of the sample, and (f) measurement error. Also discussed are ways to…

  12. Offspring size in a resident species affects community assembly.

    PubMed

    Davis, Kurt; Marshall, Dustin J

    2014-03-01

    Offspring size is a trait of fundamental importance that affects the ecology and evolution of a range of organisms. Despite the pervasive impact of offspring size for those offspring, the influence of offspring size on other species in the broader community remains unexplored. Such community-wide effects of offspring size are likely, but they have not been anticipated by theory or explored empirically. For a marine invertebrate community, we manipulated the size and density of offspring of a resident species (Watersipora subtorquata) in the field and examined subsequent community assembly around that resident species. Communities that assembled around larger offspring were denser and less diverse than communities that assembled around smaller offspring. Differences in niche usage by colonies from smaller and larger offspring may be driving these community-level effects. Our results suggest that offspring size is an important but unexplored source of ecological variation and that life-history theory must accommodate the effects of offspring size on community assembly. Life-history theory often assumes that environmental variation drives intraspecific variation in offspring size, and our results show that the converse can also occur. PMID:26046291

  13. Plant structure predicts leaf litter capture in the tropical montane bromeliad Tillandsia turneri.

    PubMed

    Ospina-Bautista, F; Estévez Varón, J V

    2016-05-01

    Leaves intercepted by bromeliads become an important energy and matter resource for invertebrate communities, bacteria, fungi, and the plant itself. The relationship between bromeliad structure, defined as its size and complexity, and accumulated leaf litter was studied in 55 bromeliads of Tillandsia turneri through multiple regression and the Akaike information criterion. Leaf litter accumulation in bromeliads was best explained by size and complexity variables such as plant cover, sheath length, and leaf number. In conclusion, plant structure determines the amount of litter that enters bromeliads, and changes in its structure could affect important processes within ecosystem functioning or species richness. PMID:27143067

  14. Conception rate and litter size in multiparous sows after intrauterine insemination using frozen-thawed boar semen in a commercial swine herd in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Chanapiwat, Panida; Olanratmanee, Em-On; Kaeoket, Kampon; Tummaruk, Padet

    2014-10-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the conception rate and litter size in sows after fixed time intra-uterine insemination using frozen-thawed boar semen in a commercial swine herd in Thailand. Sixty-nine Landrace multiparous sows were randomly allocated into two groups, including control (n=36) and treatment (n=33). The control sows were inseminated with extended fresh semen (3 × 10(9) motile sperm/dose, 100 ml) at 24, 36 and 48 hr after the onset of estrus. The treatment sows were inseminated with frozen-thawed semen (2 × 10(9) motile sperm/dose, 20 ml) at 24 and 36 hr after induction of ovulation by human chorionic gonadotropin. All inseminations were carried out by using an intra-uterine insemination technique. The time of ovulation was determined by using transrectal real-time B-mode ultrasonography. The conception rate, farrowing rate, total number of piglets born/litter (TB) and number of piglets born alive/litter (BA) were evaluated. The sows inseminated with extended fresh semen yield a higher TB (10.8 versus 9.0 piglets/l, P=0.015) and tended to have a higher conception rate (88.9% versus 75.8%, P=0.150) than sows inseminated with frozen-thawed semen. In conclusion, insemination using frozen-thawed boar semen can be practiced with convinced fertility under field conditions by fixed-time intrauterine insemination with 2 × 10(9) sperm/ dose of 20 ml at 24 and 36 hr after the onset of estrus. PMID:24954517

  15. Conception Rate and Litter Size in Multiparous Sows after Intrauterine Insemination Using Frozen-Thawed Boar Semen in a Commercial Swine Herd in Thailand

    PubMed Central

    CHANAPIWAT, Panida; OLANRATMANEE, Em-On; KAEOKET, Kampon; TUMMARUK, Padet

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The aim of the present study was to determine the conception rate and litter size in sows after fixed time intra-uterine insemination using frozen-thawed boar semen in a commercial swine herd in Thailand. Sixty-nine Landrace multiparous sows were randomly allocated into two groups, including control (n=36) and treatment (n=33). The control sows were inseminated with extended fresh semen (3 × 109 motile sperm/dose, 100 ml) at 24, 36 and 48 hr after the onset of estrus. The treatment sows were inseminated with frozen-thawed semen (2 × 109 motile sperm/dose, 20 ml) at 24 and 36 hr after induction of ovulation by human chorionic gonadotropin. All inseminations were carried out by using an intra-uterine insemination technique. The time of ovulation was determined by using transrectal real-time B-mode ultrasonography. The conception rate, farrowing rate, total number of piglets born/litter (TB) and number of piglets born alive/litter (BA) were evaluated. The sows inseminated with extended fresh semen yield a higher TB (10.8 versus 9.0 piglets/l, P=0.015) and tended to have a higher conception rate (88.9% versus 75.8%, P=0.150) than sows inseminated with frozen-thawed semen. In conclusion, insemination using frozen-thawed boar semen can be practiced with convinced fertility under field conditions by fixed-time intrauterine insemination with 2 × 109 sperm/ dose of 20 ml at 24 and 36 hr after the onset of estrus. PMID:24954517

  16. Effects of litter manipulation on litter decomposition in a successional gradients of tropical forests in southern China.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hao; Gurmesa, Geshere A; Liu, Lei; Zhang, Tao; Fu, Shenglei; Liu, Zhanfeng; Dong, Shaofeng; Ma, Chuan; Mo, Jiangming

    2014-01-01

    Global changes such as increasing CO2, rising temperature, and land-use change are likely to drive shifts in litter inputs to forest floors, but the effects of such changes on litter decomposition remain largely unknown. We initiated a litter manipulation experiment to test the response of litter decomposition to litter removal/addition in three successional forests in southern China, namely masson pine forest (MPF), mixed coniferous and broadleaved forest (MF) and monsoon evergreen broadleaved forest (MEBF). Results showed that litter removal decreased litter decomposition rates by 27%, 10% and 8% and litter addition increased litter decomposition rates by 55%, 36% and 14% in MEBF, MF and MPF, respectively. The magnitudes of changes in litter decomposition were more significant in MEBF forest and less significant in MF, but not significant in MPF. Our results suggest that change in litter quantity can affect litter decomposition, and this impact may become stronger with forest succession in tropical forest ecosystem. PMID:24901698

  17. Sneaker Males Affect Fighter Male Body Size and Sexual Size Dimorphism in Salmon.

    PubMed

    Weir, Laura K; Kindsvater, Holly K; Young, Kyle A; Reynolds, John D

    2016-08-01

    Large male body size is typically favored by directional sexual selection through competition for mates. However, alternative male life-history phenotypes, such as "sneakers," should decrease the strength of sexual selection acting on body size of large "fighter" males. We tested this prediction with salmon species; in southern populations, where sneakers are common, fighter males should be smaller than in northern populations, where sneakers are rare, leading to geographical clines in sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Consistent with our prediction, fighter male body size and SSD (fighter male∶female size) increase with latitude in species with sneaker males (Atlantic salmon Salmo salar and masu salmon Oncorhynchus masou) but not in species without sneakers (chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta and pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha). This is the first evidence that sneaker males affect SSD across populations and species, and it suggests that alternative male mating strategies may shape the evolution of body size. PMID:27420790

  18. Litter chemistry prevails over litter consumers in mediating effects of past steel industry activities on leaf litter decomposition.

    PubMed

    Lucisine, Pierre; Lecerf, Antoine; Danger, Michaël; Felten, Vincent; Aran, Delphine; Auclerc, Apolline; Gross, Elisabeth M; Huot, Hermine; Morel, Jean-Louis; Muller, Serge; Nahmani, Johanne; Maunoury-Danger, Florence

    2015-12-15

    Soil pollution has adverse effects on the performance and life history traits of microorganisms, plants, and animals, yet evidence indicates that even the most polluted sites can support structurally-complex and dynamic ecosystems. The present study aims at determining whether and how litter decomposition, one of the most important soil ecological processes leaf, is affected in a highly trace-metal polluted site. We postulated that past steel mill activities resulting in soil pollution and associated changes in soil characteristics would influence the rate of litter decomposition through two non-exclusive pathways: altered litter chemistry and responses of decomposers to lethal and sub-lethal toxic stress. We carried out a litter-bag experiment using Populus tremula L. leaf litter collected at, and allowed to decompose in, a trace metal polluted site and in three unpolluted sites used as controls. We designed a fully-factorial transplant experimental design to assess effects of litter origin and exposure site on the rate of litter decomposition. We further determined initial litter chemistry, fungal biomass, mesofauna abundance in litter bags, and the soil macrofauna community. Irrespective of the site of litter exposure, litter originating from the polluted site had a two-fold faster decomposition than litter from the unpolluted sites. Litter chemistry, notably the lignin content, seemed most important in explaining the degradation rate of the leaf litter. Abundance of meso and macro-detritivores was higher at the polluted site than at the unpolluted sites. However, litter decomposition proceeded at similar rates in polluted and unpolluted sites. Our results show that trace metal pollution and associated soil and litter changes do not necessarily weaken consumer control on litter decomposition through lethal and sub-lethal toxic stress. PMID:26282755

  19. Hypergravity effects on litter size, nursing activity, prolactin, TSH, T3, and T4 in the rat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Megory, E.; Oyama, J.

    1984-01-01

    In a recent study of the effects of hypergravity (HG) on the reproductive system of the rat, it was found that the estrous cycle is perturbed in a pseudopregnancy-like pattern upon first exposure of animals to HG. This can be prevented by previous exposure to HG or by administration of bromergo cryptin. Adapted rats can mate and deliver in HG. However, little is known of the condition of the individual pregnant rat, fetuses, and newborn pups in this environment. There are also questions regarding the effects of HG on the number of fetuses, the mortality rate in different HG levels, and the effects on production and secretion of PRL and TSH. The present investigation is concerned with such questions, taking into account possible approaches to avoid or minimize the lethal effects of HG. The obtained results suggest that peripartum plasma PRL levels and thyroid hormone levels are critical for the survival of the litter.

  20. Climate and litter quality differently modulate the effects of soil fauna on litter decomposition across biomes

    PubMed Central

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Maestre, Fernando T.; Kattge, Jens; Wall, Diana H.

    2015-01-01

    Climate and litter quality have been identified as major drivers of litter decomposition at large spatial scales. However, the role played by soil fauna remains largely unknown, despite its importance for litter fragmentation and microbial activity. We synthesized litterbag studies to quantify the effect sizes of soil fauna on litter decomposition rates at the global and biome scales, and to assess how climate, litter quality and soil fauna interact to determine such rates. Soil fauna consistently enhanced litter decomposition at both global and biome scales (average increment ~27%). However, climate and litter quality differently modulated the effects of soil fauna on decomposition rates between biomes, from climate-driven biomes to those where climate effects were mediated by changes in litter quality. Our results advocate for the inclusion of biome-specific soil fauna effects on litter decomposition as a mean to reduce the unexplained variation in large-scale decomposition models. PMID:23763716

  1. Non-additive effects of RBP4, ESR1 and IGF2 polymorphisms on litter size at different parities in a Chinese-European porcine line

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The aim of this work was to study the effects on litter size of variants of the porcine genes RBP4, ESR1 and IGF2, currently used in genetic tests for different purposes. Moreover, we investigated a possible effect of the interaction between RBP4-MspI and ESR1-PvuII polymorphisms. The IGF2-intron3-G3072A polymorphism is actually used to select lean growth, but other possible effects of this polymorphism on reproductive traits need to be evaluated. Methods Detection of polymorphisms in the genomic and cDNA sequences of RBP4 gene was carried out. RBP4-MspI and IGF2-intron3-G3072A were genotyped in a hyperprolific Chinese-European line (Tai-Zumu) and three new RBP4 polymorphisms were genotyped in different pig breeds. A bivariate animal model was implemented in association analyses considering the number of piglets born alive at early (NBA12) and later parities (NBA3+ ) as different traits. A joint analysis of RBP4-MspI and ESR1-PvuII was performed to test their possible interaction. In the IGF2 analysis, paternal or maternal imprinting effects were also considered. Results Four different RBP4 haplotypes were detected (TGAC, GGAG, GAAG and GATG) in different pig breeds and wild boars. A significant interaction effect between RBP4-MspI and ESR1-PvuII polymorphisms of 0.61 ± 0.29 piglets was detected on NBA3+. The IGF2 analysis revealed a significant increase on NBA3+ of 0.74 ± 0.37 piglets for the paternally inherited allele A. Conclusions All the analyzed pig and wild boar populations shared one of the four detected RBP4 haplotypes. This suggests an ancestral origin of the quoted haplotype. The joint use of RBP4-MspI and ESR1-PvuII polymorphisms could be implemented to select for higher prolificacy in the Tai-Zumu line. In this population, the paternal allele IGF2-intron3-3072A increased litter size from the third parity. The non-additive effects on litter size reported here should be tested before implementation in other pig breeding schemes. PMID

  2. Effects of anthropogenic heavy metal contamination on litter decomposition in streams - A meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Verónica; Koricheva, Julia; Duarte, Sofia; Niyogi, Dev K; Guérold, François

    2016-03-01

    Many streams worldwide are affected by heavy metal contamination, mostly due to past and present mining activities. Here we present a meta-analysis of 38 studies (reporting 133 cases) published between 1978 and 2014 that reported the effects of heavy metal contamination on the decomposition of terrestrial litter in running waters. Overall, heavy metal contamination significantly inhibited litter decomposition. The effect was stronger for laboratory than for field studies, likely due to better control of confounding variables in the former, antagonistic interactions between metals and other environmental variables in the latter or differences in metal identity and concentration between studies. For laboratory studies, only copper + zinc mixtures significantly inhibited litter decomposition, while no significant effects were found for silver, aluminum, cadmium or zinc considered individually. For field studies, coal and metal mine drainage strongly inhibited litter decomposition, while drainage from motorways had no significant effects. The effect of coal mine drainage did not depend on drainage pH. Coal mine drainage negatively affected leaf litter decomposition independently of leaf litter identity; no significant effect was found for wood decomposition, but sample size was low. Considering metal mine drainage, arsenic mines had a stronger negative effect on leaf litter decomposition than gold or pyrite mines. Metal mine drainage significantly inhibited leaf litter decomposition driven by both microbes and invertebrates, independently of leaf litter identity; no significant effect was found for microbially driven decomposition, but sample size was low. Overall, mine drainage negatively affects leaf litter decomposition, likely through negative effects on invertebrates. PMID:26774191

  3. Association of polymorphisms at the microRNA binding site of the caprine KITLG 3′-UTR with litter size

    PubMed Central

    An, Xiaopeng; Song, Yuxuan; Bu, Shuhai; Ma, Haidong; Gao, Kexin; Hou, Jinxing; Wang, Shan; Lei, Zhang; Cao, Binyun

    2016-01-01

    This study identified three novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (c.1389C > T, c.1457A > C and c.1520G > A) in the caprine KITLG 3′-UTR through DNA sequencing. The three SNP loci were closely linked in Guanzhong dairy (GD) goats. Two alleles of the c.1457A > C SNP introduced two miRNA sites (chi-miR-204-5p and chi-miR-211). Individuals with combined genotype TT-CC-AA had a higher litter size compared with those with combined genotypes CC-AA-GG, TC-CC-GA and CC-AC-GG (P < 0.05). Luciferase assays showed that chi-miR-204-5p and chi-miR-211 suppressed luciferase expression in the presence of allele 1457A compared with negative control (NC) and allele 1457C (P < 0.05). Western blot revealed that KITLG significantly decreased in the granulosa cells (GCs) of genotype AA compared with that in the GCs of genotype CC and NC (P < 0.05). The KITLG mRNA levels of the CC-AA-GG carriers significantly decreased compared with those of the TT-CC-AA, TC-CC-GA and CC-AC-GG carriers. In addition, cell proliferation was reduced in haplotype C-A-G GCs compared with that in haplotype T-C-A GCs. These results suggest that SNPs c.1389C > T, c.1457A > C and c.1520G > A account for differences in the litter size of GD goats because chi-miR-204-5p and chi-miR-211 could change the expression levels of the KITLG gene and reduce GC proliferation. PMID:27168023

  4. Does body size affect a bird's sensitivity to patch size and landscape structure?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winter, M.; Johnson, D.H.; Shaffer, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    Larger birds are generally more strongly affected by habitat loss and fragmentation than are smaller ones because they require more resources and thus larger habitat patches. Consequently, conservation actions often favor the creation or protection of larger over smaller patches. However, in grassland systems the boundaries between a patch and the surrounding landscape, and thus the perceived size of a patch, can be indistinct. We investigated whether eight grassland bird species with different body sizes perceived variation in patch size and landscape structure in a consistent manner. Data were collected from surveys conducted in 44 patches of northern tallgrass prairie during 1998-2001. The response to patch size was very similar among species regardless of body size (density was little affected by patch size), except in the Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido), which showed a threshold effect and was not found in patches smaller than 140 ha. In landscapes containing 0%-30% woody vegetation, smaller species responded more negatively to increases in the percentage of woody vegetation than larger species, but above an apparent threshold of 30%, larger species were not detected. Further analyses revealed that the observed variation in responses to patch size and landscape structure among species was not solely due to body size per se, but to other differences among species. These results indicate that a stringent application of concepts requiring larger habitat patches for larger species appears to limit the number of grassland habitats that can be protected and may not always be the most effective conservation strategy. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2006.

  5. Environmentally-friendly animal litter

    DOEpatents

    Boxley, Chett; McKelvie, Jessica

    2013-09-03

    An animal litter composition that includes geopolymerized ash particulates having a network of repeating aluminum-silicon units is described herein. Generally, the animal litter is made from a quantity of a pozzolanic ash mixed with an alkaline activator to initiate a geopolymerization reaction that forms geopolymerized ash. This geopolymerization reaction may occur within a pelletizer. After the geopolymerized ash is formed, it may be dried and sieved to a desired size. These geopolymerized ash particulates may be used to make a non-clumping or clumping animal litter or other absorbing material. Aluminum sulfate, clinoptilolite, silica gel, sodium alginate and mineral oil may be added as additional ingredients.

  6. Environmentally-friendly animal litter

    DOEpatents

    Boxley, Chett; McKelvie, Jessica

    2012-08-28

    An animal litter composition including geopolymerized ash particulates having a network of repeating aluminum-silicon units is described herein. Generally, the animal litter is made from a quantity of a pozzolanic ash mixed with a sufficient quantity of water and an alkaline activator to initiate a geopolymerization reaction that forms geopolymerized ash. After the geopolymerized ash is formed, it is dried, broken into particulates, and sieved to a desired size. These geopolymerized ash particulates are used to make a non-clumping or clumping animal litter. Odor control is accomplished with the addition of a urease inhibitor, pH buffer, an odor eliminating agent, and/or fragrance.

  7. Rate of language evolution is affected by population size.

    PubMed

    Bromham, Lindell; Hua, Xia; Fitzpatrick, Thomas G; Greenhill, Simon J

    2015-02-17

    The effect of population size on patterns and rates of language evolution is controversial. Do languages with larger speaker populations change faster due to a greater capacity for innovation, or do smaller populations change faster due to more efficient diffusion of innovations? Do smaller populations suffer greater loss of language elements through founder effects or drift, or do languages with more speakers lose features due to a process of simplification? Revealing the influence of population size on the tempo and mode of language evolution not only will clarify underlying mechanisms of language change but also has practical implications for the way that language data are used to reconstruct the history of human cultures. Here, we provide, to our knowledge, the first empirical, statistically robust test of the influence of population size on rates of language evolution, controlling for the evolutionary history of the populations and formally comparing the fit of different models of language evolution. We compare rates of gain and loss of cognate words for basic vocabulary in Polynesian languages, an ideal test case with a well-defined history. We demonstrate that larger populations have higher rates of gain of new words whereas smaller populations have higher rates of word loss. These results show that demographic factors can influence rates of language evolution and that rates of gain and loss are affected differently. These findings are strikingly consistent with general predictions of evolutionary models. PMID:25646448

  8. Rate of language evolution is affected by population size

    PubMed Central

    Bromham, Lindell; Hua, Xia; Fitzpatrick, Thomas G.; Greenhill, Simon J.

    2015-01-01

    The effect of population size on patterns and rates of language evolution is controversial. Do languages with larger speaker populations change faster due to a greater capacity for innovation, or do smaller populations change faster due to more efficient diffusion of innovations? Do smaller populations suffer greater loss of language elements through founder effects or drift, or do languages with more speakers lose features due to a process of simplification? Revealing the influence of population size on the tempo and mode of language evolution not only will clarify underlying mechanisms of language change but also has practical implications for the way that language data are used to reconstruct the history of human cultures. Here, we provide, to our knowledge, the first empirical, statistically robust test of the influence of population size on rates of language evolution, controlling for the evolutionary history of the populations and formally comparing the fit of different models of language evolution. We compare rates of gain and loss of cognate words for basic vocabulary in Polynesian languages, an ideal test case with a well-defined history. We demonstrate that larger populations have higher rates of gain of new words whereas smaller populations have higher rates of word loss. These results show that demographic factors can influence rates of language evolution and that rates of gain and loss are affected differently. These findings are strikingly consistent with general predictions of evolutionary models. PMID:25646448

  9. Developmental plasticity of the microscopic placental architecture in relation to litter size variation in the common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus)

    PubMed Central

    Rutherford, Julienne N.; Tardif, Suzette D.

    2012-01-01

    Fetal demand, shaped by factors such as number of fetuses, may alter placental regulation of exchange, even when maternal nutrition restriction is not overt. The marmoset is an interesting model in which to examine this aspect of placental function due to unique placentation that leads to multiple fetuses sharing a unified placental mass. We demonstrated previously that the triplet marmoset placenta exhibits significantly higher efficiency than does the twin placenta. Here, we test the hypothesis that this increased efficiency is due to changes in the microscopic morphology of the placenta. Stereology was employed to analyze the microscopic architecture of placentas from twin and triplet pregnancies. Compartments of interest were the trabeculae, intertrabecular space, fetal capillaries, and the surface area of the maternal-fetal interface. Placentas from the two litters did not differ significantly in overall volume or individual volumetric compartments, but triplet placentas exhibited significant expansion of the trabecular surface area in comparison to twins (p=0.039). Further, the two groups differed in the isomorphy coefficient, with triplet placentas having a significantly higher coefficient (p=0.001) and potentially a more complex microscopic topography. Differences in the maternal-fetal interface may be due to developmental constraints on gross placental growth that occur earlier in gestation, such that the only option for maintaining sufficient access to maternal resources or signaling pathways late in gestation is via an expansion of the interface. Despite the significant increase in overall surface area, individual triplet fetuses are associated with much less surface area than are individual twins, suggestive of alterations in metabolic efficiency, perhaps via differential amino acid transport regulation. PMID:19038443

  10. Developmental plasticity of the microscopic placental architecture in relation to litter size variation in the common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus).

    PubMed

    Rutherford, J N; Tardif, S D

    2009-01-01

    Fetal demand, shaped by factors such as number of fetuses, may alter placental regulation of exchange, even when maternal nutrition restriction is not overt. The marmoset is an interesting model in which to examine this aspect of placental function due to unique placentation that leads to multiple fetuses sharing a unified placental mass. We demonstrated previously that the triplet marmoset placenta exhibits significantly higher efficiency than does the twin placenta. Here, we test the hypothesis that this increased efficiency is due to increases in changes in the microscopic morphology of the placenta. Stereology was employed to analyze the microscopic architecture of placentas from twin and triplet pregnancies. Compartments of interest were the trabeculae, intertrabecular space, fetal capillaries, and the surface area of the maternal-fetal interface. Placentas from the two litters did not differ significantly in overall volume or individual volumetric compartments, but triplet placentas exhibited significant expansion of the trabecular surface area in comparison to twins (p=0.039). Further, the two groups differed in the isomorphy coefficient, with triplet placentas having a significantly higher coefficient (p=0.001) and potentially a more complex microscopic topography. Differences in the maternal-fetal interface may be due to developmental constraints on gross placental growth that occur earlier in gestation, such that the only option for maintaining sufficient access to maternal resources or signaling pathways late in gestation is via an expansion of the interface. Despite the significant increase in overall surface area, individual triplet fetuses are associated with much less surface area than are individual twins, suggestive of alterations in metabolic efficiency, perhaps via differential amino acid transport regulation. PMID:19038443

  11. INFLUENCE OF LITTER SIZE AND CREEP FEEDING ON PREWEANING GAIN AND INFLUENCE OF PREWEANING GROWTH ON GROWTH TO SLAUGHTER IN BARROWS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Objective of this study was to assess importance of birth-to-weaning average daily gain (ADG) as a determinant of weight at a final age and yield of marketable pork. Newborn pigs were cross-fostered to create assigned litters of 4 through 14 pigs/litter. Creep feed was offered to pigs from five d ...

  12. Responses of litter invertebrate communities to litter manipulation in a Japanese conifer plantation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshida, Tomohiro; Takito, Yuki; Soga, Masashi; Hijii, Naoki

    2013-08-01

    We examined how the litter invertebrate communities were affected by the temporal changes in the mass and structural complexity of the litter resources by adding and removing litter on the forest floor of a temperate conifer plantation (Cryptomeria japonica) in Japan. We showed that litter mass and depth in the litter-addition (L+) plots changed rapidly into a steady-state condition similar to those in the control plots, mainly due to accelerated decomposition processes during the rainy season. Higher area-based densities of litter invertebrates in the L+ plots, similar mass-based densities between the L+ and control plots, and significant positive correlations between litter mass and the number of individuals implied that the abundance of litter invertebrates would be governed by litter mass rather than by the litter depth. Many litter invertebrates including detritivores were collected even in the litter-removal (L-) area. The relative abundances of invertebrate predators collecting pitfall traps were higher in the L- plots and lower in the L+ plots compared to those in the control plots, whereas those collecting Tullgren funnels were higher in the L+ plots than in the control plots. In the L+ plots, the range of variation in the community compositions among the samples decreased significantly over time in response to a drastic decrease in litter mass, in contrast to the control plots, which showed a relatively constant community composition during the study period. Our litter manipulation experiment reveals some of the mechanisms responsible for maintaining an equilibrium state of forest-floor litter mass and for the responses of litter invertebrate communities to temporal changes in the litter.

  13. Above and belowground controls on litter decomposition in semiarid ecosystems: effects of solar radiation, water availability and litter quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austin, A. T.; Araujo, P. I.; Leva, P. E.; Ballare, C. L.

    2008-12-01

    The integrated controls on soil organic matter formation in arid and semiarid ecosystems are not well understood and appear to stem from a number of interacting controls affecting above- and belowground carbon turnover. While solar radiation has recently been shown to have an important direct effect on carbon loss in semiarid ecosystems as a result of photochemical mineralization of aboveground plant material, the mechanistic basis for photodegradative losses is poorly understood. In addition, there are large potential differences in major controls on above- and belowground decomposition in low rainfall ecosystems. We report on a mesocosm and field study designed to examine the relative importance of different wavelengths of solar radiation, water availability, position of senescent material above- and belowground and the importance of carbon litter quality in determining rates of abiotic and biotic decomposition. In a factorial experiment of mesocosms, we incubated leaf and root litter simultaneously above- and belowground and manipulated water availability with large and small pulses. Significant interactions between position-litter type and position-pulse sizes demonstrated interactive controls on organic mass loss. Aboveground decomposition showed no response to pulse size or litter type, as roots and leaves decomposed equally rapidly under all circumstances. In contrast, belowground decomposition was significantly altered by litter type and water pulses, with roots decomposing significantly slower and small water pulses reducing belowground decomposition. In the field site, using plastic filters which attenuated different wavelengths of natural solar radiation, we found a highly significant effect of radiation exclusion on mass loss and demonstrated that both UV-A and short-wave visible light can have important impacts on photodegradative carbon losses. The combination of position and litter quality effects on litter decomposition appear to be critical for the

  14. Litter sex composition influences dominance status of Alpine marmots (Marmota marmota).

    PubMed

    Dupont, Pierre; Pradel, Roger; Lardy, Sophie; Allainé, Dominique; Cohas, Aurélie

    2015-11-01

    In social species, the hierarchical status of an individual has important consequences for its fitness. While many studies have focused on individual condition to explain access to dominance, very few have investigated the influence of the social environment, especially during early life. Yet it is known that environmental conditions early in life may influence several traits at adulthood. Here, we examine the influence of early social environment on accession to dominance by investigating the influence of litter size and sex composition on survival and the probability of ascending to dominance later in life using a 20-year dataset from a wild population of Alpine marmots (Marmota marmota). Although litter size had no effect on the fate of individuals, litter sex composition affected male juvenile survival and both male and female probabilities of reaching dominant status when adult. Male juveniles incur lower survival when the number of male juveniles in the litter increases, and individuals of both sexes from male-biased litters are more likely to become dominant than individuals from female-biased litters. However, the absolute number of sisters in the litter, rather than the sex ratio, seems to be an important predictor of the probability of acquiring dominant status: pups having more sisters are less likely to become dominant. Several potential mechanisms to explain these results are discussed. PMID:26169393

  15. Use of meta-analysis to combine candidate gene association studies: application to study the relationship between the ESR PvuII polymorphism and sow litter size

    PubMed Central

    Alfonso, Leopoldo

    2005-01-01

    This article investigates the application of meta-analysis on livestock candidate gene effects. The PvuII polymorphism of the ESR gene is used as an example. The association among ESR PvuII alleles with the number of piglets born alive and total born in the first (NBA1, TNB1) and later parities (NBA, TNB) is reviewed by conducting a meta-analysis of 15 published studies including 9329 sows. Under a fixed effects model, litter size values were significantly lower in the "AA" genotype groups when compared with "AB" and "BB" homozygotes. Under the random effects model, the results were similar although differences between "AA" and "AB" genotype groups were not clearly significant for NBA and TNB. Nevertheless, the most noticeable result was the high and significant heterogeneity estimated among studies. This heterogeneity could be assigned to error sampling, genotype by environment interaction, linkage or epistasis, as referred to in the literature, but also to the hypothesis of population admixture/stratification. It is concluded that meta-analysis can be considered as a helpful analytical tool to synthesise and discuss livestock candidate gene effects. The main difficulty found was the insufficient information on the standard errors of the estimated genotype effects in several publications. Consequently, the convenience of publishing the standard errors or the concrete P-values instead of the test significance level should be recommended to guarantee the quality of candidate gene effect meta-analyses. PMID:15943920

  16. Water addition, evaporation and water holding capacity of poultry litter.

    PubMed

    Dunlop, Mark W; Blackall, Patrick J; Stuetz, Richard M

    2015-12-15

    Litter moisture content has been related to ammonia, dust and odour emissions as well as bird health and welfare. Improved understanding of the water holding properties of poultry litter as well as water additions to litter and evaporation from litter will contribute to improved litter moisture management during the meat chicken grow-out. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how management and environmental conditions over the course of a grow-out affect the volume of water A) applied to litter, B) able to be stored in litter, and C) evaporated from litter on a daily basis. The same unit of measurement has been used to enable direct comparison-litres of water per square metre of poultry shed floor area, L/m(2), assuming a litter depth of 5cm. An equation was developed to estimate the amount of water added to litter from bird excretion and drinking spillage, which are sources of regular water application to the litter. Using this equation showed that water applied to litter from these sources changes over the course of a grow-out, and can be as much as 3.2L/m(2)/day. Over a 56day grow-out, the total quantity of water added to the litter was estimated to be 104L/m(2). Litter porosity, water holding capacity and water evaporation rates from litter were measured experimentally. Litter porosity decreased and water holding capacity increased over the course of a grow-out due to manure addition. Water evaporation rates at 25°C and 50% relative humidity ranged from 0.5 to 10L/m(2)/day. Evaporation rates increased with litter moisture content and air speed. Maintaining dry litter at the peak of a grow-out is likely to be challenging because evaporation rates from dry litter may be insufficient to remove the quantity of water added to the litter on a daily basis. PMID:26367067

  17. Soil moisture regime and soil type affect the decomposition of graminoid litter grown under three levels of atmospheric CO2

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increases in atmospheric CO2 can augment the quantity and change the quality of plant carbon (C) inputs into grassland soils. Soil moisture interacts with substrate characteristics and soil properties to affect decomposition and transfer of plant-derived C into soil organic matter (SOM). Thus, pre...

  18. The structure and size of sensory bursts encode stimulus information but only size affects behavior.

    PubMed

    Marsat, Gary; Pollack, Gerald S

    2010-04-01

    Cricket ultrasound avoidance is a classic model system for neuroethology. Avoidance steering is triggered by high-firing-rate bursts of spikes in the auditory command neuron AN2. Although bursting is common among sensory neurons, and although the detailed structure of bursts may encode information about the stimulus, it is as yet unclear whether this information is decoded. We address this question in two ways: from an information coding point of view, by showing the relationship between stimulus and burst structure; and also from a functional point of view by showing the relationship between burst structure and behavior. We conclude that the burst structure carries detailed temporal information about the stimulus but that this has little impact on the behavioral response, which is affected mainly by burst size. PMID:20213110

  19. The effect of diet and litter size on the elimination of 2,4,5,2 prime ,4 prime ,5 prime -( sup 14 C)hexachlorobiphenyl from lactating mice

    SciTech Connect

    Ring, B.J.; Seitz, K.R.; Gallenberg, L.A.; Vodicnik, M.J. )

    1990-06-01

    It was shown that 2,4,5,2',4',5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (6-CB) administered to adult female mice accumulated in their nursing offspring more rapidly than a dose administered to weanling mice when treated animals were bred at equivalent ages. This suggested that the PCB was eliminated from the maternal animal relative to its time of sequestration into storage depots. Using a model which more closely approximates conditions during human lactation, the influence of a high-fat diet and decreased litter size on this phenomenon was examined. Female ICR mice were treated with 4 mg/kg (14C)-6-CB as 13-g weanlings (dW) at 3 weeks of age or as adults (dA) at 11 weeks of age. All animals were mated at 11 weeks of age. On Day 1 of pregnancy, mice were placed on a low-fat (11.5% of the total calories) or high-fat (43.8% of total calories) diet. At parturition, litters were adjusted to either two or eight within each diet group. Elimination of maternal 6-CB was determined by assessing radioactivity in offspring carcasses on Day 15 of gestation or Day 1, 3, 5, 10, or 15 postpartum. Consumption of a high-fat diet significantly extended the t1/2 of elimination of 6-CB from mothers nursing a litter of two in the dW group (low fat = 7.3 days; high fat = 12.4 days) and in both the dW and dA groups nursing litters of eight (dW: low fat = 4.6 days; high fat = 6.8 days; and dA: low fat = 1.8 days; high fat = 3.0 days). Within diet and group, reducing litter size to two also significantly decreased the rate of elimination of 6-CB from maternal animals. 6-CB was eliminated to offspring more rapidly from the dA group when compared to the dW group regardless of diet in animals nursing litters of eight. This relationship was not observed in maternal animals nursing litters of two. In general, exposure to a high-fat diet increased the t1/2 of elimination of 6-CB from maternal animals.

  20. Statistical analysis of litter experiments in teratology

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, R.; Buschbom, R.L.

    1982-11-01

    Teratological data is binary response data (each fetus is either affected or not) in which the responses within a litter are usually not independent. As a result, the litter should be taken as the experimental unit. For each litter, its size, n, and the number of fetuses, x, possessing the effect of interest are recorded. The ratio p = x/n is then the basic data generated by the experiment. There are currently three general approaches to the analysis of teratological data: nonparametric, transformation followed by t-test or ANOVA, and parametric. The first two are currently in wide use by practitioners while the third is relatively new to the field. These first two also appear to possess comparable power levels while maintaining the nominal level of significance. When transformations are employed, care must be exercised to check that the transformed data has the required properties. Since the data is often highly asymmetric, there may be no transformation which renders the data nearly normal. The parametric procedures, including the beta-binomial model, offer the possibility of increased power.

  1. Litter-Spinning Retarders

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, John C.

    1995-01-01

    Aerodynamic plates stop litter from spinning during hoisting by helicopter. Features of proposed litter-spinning retarders include convenience of deployment and independence from ground restraint. Retarder plate(s) folded flat against bottom of litter during storage or while litter is loaded. Plate(s) held in storage position by latch that releases manually or automatically as litter is hoisted. Upon release, springs move plates into deployed position.

  2. Evaluation of broiler litter transportation in northern Alabama, USA.

    PubMed

    Paudel, Krishna P; Adhikari, Murali; Martin, Neil R

    2004-10-01

    The profitability of using broiler litter as a source of crop nutrients was calculated using a phosphorus-consistent litter application rule. A ton of litter can cost effectively be transported up to 164 miles from the production facility. A cost-minimizing phosphorus-consistent transportation model developed to meet the nutrient needs of 29 counties in northern Alabama revealed that not all of the litter can be utilized in the region. The total cost increased when transportation of the litter out of the heavily surplus counties was prioritized. Total litter use was minimally affected by changes in chemical fertilizer prices. Shadow prices indicated the robustness of the model. PMID:15327843

  3. How Methodological Features Affect Effect Sizes in Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheung, Alan; Slavin, Robert

    2016-01-01

    As evidence-based reform becomes increasingly important in educational policy, it is becoming essential to understand how research design might contribute to reported effect sizes in experiments evaluating educational programs. The purpose of this study was to examine how methodological features such as types of publication, sample sizes, and…

  4. Consequences of a low litter birth weight phenotype for postnatal lean growth performance and neonatal testicular morphology in the pig.

    PubMed

    Smit, M N; Spencer, J D; Almeida, F R C L; Patterson, J L; Chiarini-Garcia, H; Dyck, M K; Foxcroft, G R

    2013-10-01

    The consequences of a low litter average birth weight phenotype for postnatal growth performance and carcass quality of all progeny, and testicular development in male offspring, were investigated. Using data from 25 sows with one, and 223 sows with two consecutive farrowing events, individual birth weight (BW) was measured and each litter between 9 and 16 total pigs born was classified as low (LBW), medium (MBW) or high (HBW) birth weight: low and high BW being defined as >1 standard deviation below or above, respectively, the population mean for each litter size. Litter average BW was repeatable within sows. At castration, testicular tissue was collected from 40 male pigs in LBW and HBW litters with individual BW close to their litter average BW and used for histomorphometric analysis. LBW piglets had a lower absolute number of germ cells, Sertoli cells and Leydig cells in their testes and a higher brain : testis weight ratio than HBW piglets. Overall, LBW litters had lower placental weight and higher brain : liver, brain : intestine and brain : Semitendinosus muscle weight ratios than MBW and HBW litters. In the nursery and grow-finish (GF) phase, pigs were kept in pens by BW classification (9 HBW, 17 MBW and 10 LBW pens) with 13 males and 13 females per pen. Average daily gain tended to be lower in LBW than HBW litters in lactation (P = 0.06) and throughout the nursery and GF phases (P < 0.01), resulting in an increasing difference in body weight between LBW, MBW and HBW litters (P < 0.05). Average daily feed intake was lower (P < 0.001) in LBW than HBW litters in the nursery and GF phases. Feed utilization efficiency (feed/gain) was similar for LBW and HBW litters in the nursery, but was lower (P < 0.001) in HBW than LBW litters in the GF phase. By design, slaughter weight was similar between BW classifications; however, LBW litters needed 9 more days to reach the same slaughter weight than HBW litters (P < 0.001). BW classification did not affect carcass

  5. How Supernova Feedback Affects Observed Galaxy Sizes and Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joung, M. K. Ryan; Cen, R.; Bryan, G. L.

    2009-01-01

    Feedback from massive stars is perhaps the least understood aspect of galaxy formation. Based on adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) cosmological simulations and stellar population synthesis models, we compute half-light radii of high redshift galaxies and use them to compare simulated and observed size-mass and size-luminosity relations in the rest-frame UV/optical. The sizes of the simulated galaxies depend on the assumed strength of supernova feedback; we investigate the origin of this relation. We discuss minimum requirements for correct numerical modeling of supernova feedback in starburst galaxies.

  6. Effects of prescribed burning and litter type on litter decomposition and nutrient release in mixed-grass prairie in Eastern Montana

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fire can affect litter decomposition and carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics. Here, we examined the effect of summer fire and three litter types on litter decomposition and litter C and N dynamics in a northern mixed-grass prairie over a 24 month period starting ca. 14 months after fire. Over all...

  7. Radish (Raphanus sativus) seed size affects germination response to coumarin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The inhibition of seed germination by an allelochemical is generally greater in small seeds than in large seeds. Studies reporting these results used a large number of plant species that varied in seed size, which might have introduced differences in germination characteristics or various parameter...

  8. Brood size modifications affect plumage bacterial assemblages of European starlings.

    PubMed

    Lucas, Françoise S; Moureau, Benoit; Jourdie, Violaine; Heeb, Philipp

    2005-02-01

    During reproduction, birds face trade-offs between time and energy devoted to parental effort and traits associated with self-maintenance. We manipulated brood sizes to investigate the effects of such trade-offs on feather bacterial densities and the structure of bacterial assemblages on feathers in adult European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, and in vitro feather degradation. As predicted by a trade-off between parental effort and self-maintenance, we found that birds with enlarged broods had more free-living bacteria on their feathers than birds with reduced broods. Furthermore, we found a significant interaction between brood manipulation and original brood size on free-living bacterial densities suggesting that the trade-off is mediated by the adults' initial reproductive investment. In contrast, brood size manipulations had no significant effect on densities of attached bacteria. Using ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA), we demonstrated that brood manipulations significantly modified the structure (band pattern) of feather-degrading bacterial assemblages, but had no significant effect on their richness (number of bands) or the in vitro feather degradation. In vitro feather degradation varied in relation to the premanipulation brood size and positively with the richness of the feather degrading bacterial community. Besides brood manipulation effect, we found that ecological factors and individual traits, such as the age, the nest location or the capture date, shaped bacterial assemblages and feather degradation capacities. PMID:15660952

  9. How Methodological Features Affect Effect Sizes in Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheung, Alan C. K.; Slavin, Robert E.

    2016-01-01

    As evidence becomes increasingly important in educational policy, it is essential to understand how research design might contribute to reported effect sizes in experiments evaluating educational programs. A total of 645 studies from 12 recent reviews of evaluations of preschool, reading, mathematics, and science programs were studied. Effect…

  10. Microarthropods accelerate litter decomposition and alter the fate of litter carbon and nitrogen in the soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soong, Jennifer; Horton, Andrew; Wall, Diana; Cotrufo, Francesca

    2015-04-01

    Soil fauna have been found to accelerate litter decomposition in some ecosystems, with calls for the need to include them in global models of C and N cycling. However, their influence on the fate of decomposing litter C and N is not clear. Does the acceleration of mass loss affect how much litter C and N end up stored as soil organic matter (SOM), or how much C and N are lost to the atmosphere during decomposition? We will present the results from our three-year, 100% mass loss, tracking of 13C and 15N labeled Andropogon gerardii leaf litter decomposing at a tallgrass prairie site, where we used a naphthalene treatment to suppress microarthropods and examine their effects on the fate of decomposing litter C and N. Initially, leaching was the main pathway of litter inputs to the mineral associated SOM. We found that microarthropods accelerated the first 18 months of litter mass loss, but after 24 months mass loss rates converged. This early acceleration of mass loss was associated with an increase of litter fragment inputs to the soil. This increase in litter inputs to the soil caused by microarthropods resulted in an increase in microbial uptake of litter C (measured by tracing 13C into phospholipid fatty acids), and a shift in the microbial community. The C:N ratio of litter inputs to the soil was significantly increased by the presence of microarthropods. Together these results demonstrate how microarthropods accelerate shredding, mass loss, and litter fragment inputs to the soil during the early stages of decomposition but they do not affect the total amount of litter contribution to SOM over the entire course of decomposition. However, microarthropods do alter the C:N composition of litter inputs to the soil through their top-down influence on the microbial community responsible for decomposing and transforming litter inputs to the soil. Our results reveal the complex interactions between microarthropods, litter mass loss, soil microbes and C:N dynamics, and

  11. Natural zeolites in diet or litter of broilers.

    PubMed

    Schneider, A F; Almeida, D S De; Yuri, F M; Zimmermann, O F; Gerber, M W; Gewehr, C E

    2016-04-01

    This study aims to analyse the influence of adding natural zeolites (clinoptilolite) to the diet or litter of broilers and their effects on growth performance, carcass yield and litter quality. Three consecutive flocks of broilers were raised on the same sawdust litter, from d 1 to d 42 of age, and distributed in three treatments (control with no added zeolites, addition of 5 g/kg zeolite to diet and addition of 100 g/kg zeolites to litter). The addition of zeolites to the diet or litter did not affect growth performance or carcass yield. The addition of zeolites to the diet did not influence moisture content of the litter, ammonia volatilisation was reduced only in the first flock and pH of litter was reduced in the second and third flock. However, the addition of zeolites to the litter reduced moisture content, litter pH and ammonia volatilisation in all flocks analysed. The addition of 5 g/kg zeolite to the diet in three consecutive flocks was not effective in maintaining litter quality, whereas the addition of 100 g/kg natural zeolites to sawdust litter reduced litter moisture and ammonia volatilisation in three consecutive flocks raised on the same litter. PMID:26879673

  12. Microhabitat use affects brain size and structure in intertidal gobies.

    PubMed

    White, Gemma E; Brown, Culum

    2015-01-01

    The ecological cognition hypothesis poses that the brains and behaviours of individuals are largely shaped by the environments in which they live and the associated challenges they must overcome during their lives. Here we examine the effect of environmental complexity on relative brain size in 4 species of intertidal gobies from differing habitats. Two species were rock pool specialists that lived on spatially complex rocky shores, while the remainder lived on dynamic, but structurally simple, sandy shores. We found that rock pool-dwelling species had relatively larger brains and telencephalons in particular, while sand-dwelling species had a larger optic tectum and hypothalamus. In general, it appears that various fish species trade off neural investment in specific brain lobes depending on the environment in which they live. Our previous research suggests that rock pool species have greater spatial learning abilities, enabling them to navigate their spatially complex environment, which may account for their enlarged telencephalon, while sand-dwelling species likely have a reduced need for spatial learning, due to their spatially simple habitat, and a greater need for visual acuity. The dorsal medulla and cerebellum size was unaffected by the habitat in which the fish lived, but there were differences between species indicative of species-specific trade-offs in neural investment. PMID:25896449

  13. Body size affects the evolution of eyespots in caterpillars

    PubMed Central

    Skelhorn, John; Breinholt, Jesse W.; Kawahara, Akito Y.; Sherratt, Thomas N.

    2015-01-01

    Many caterpillars have conspicuous eye-like markings, called eyespots. Despite recent work demonstrating the efficacy of eyespots in deterring predator attack, a fundamental question remains: Given their protective benefits, why have eyespots not evolved in more caterpillars? Using a phylogenetically controlled analysis of hawkmoth caterpillars, we show that eyespots are associated with large body size. This relationship could arise because (i) large prey are innately conspicuous; (ii) large prey are more profitable, and thus face stronger selection to evolve such defenses; and/or (iii) eyespots are more effective on large-bodied prey. To evaluate these hypotheses, we exposed small and large caterpillar models with and without eyespots in a 2 × 2 factorial design to avian predators in the field. Overall, eyespots increased prey mortality, but the effect was particularly marked in small prey, and eyespots decreased mortality of large prey in some microhabitats. We then exposed artificial prey to naïve domestic chicks in a laboratory setting following a 2 × 3 design (small or large size × no, small, or large eyespots). Predators attacked small prey with eyespots more quickly, but were more wary of large caterpillars with large eyespots than those without eyespots or with small eyespots. Taken together, these data suggest that eyespots are effective deterrents only when both prey and eyespots are large, and that innate aversion toward eyespots is conditional. We conclude that the distribution of eyespots in nature likely results from selection against eyespots in small caterpillars and selection for eyespots in large caterpillars (at least in some microhabitats). PMID:25964333

  14. Body size affects the evolution of eyespots in caterpillars.

    PubMed

    Hossie, Thomas John; Skelhorn, John; Breinholt, Jesse W; Kawahara, Akito Y; Sherratt, Thomas N

    2015-05-26

    Many caterpillars have conspicuous eye-like markings, called eyespots. Despite recent work demonstrating the efficacy of eyespots in deterring predator attack, a fundamental question remains: Given their protective benefits, why have eyespots not evolved in more caterpillars? Using a phylogenetically controlled analysis of hawkmoth caterpillars, we show that eyespots are associated with large body size. This relationship could arise because (i) large prey are innately conspicuous; (ii) large prey are more profitable, and thus face stronger selection to evolve such defenses; and/or (iii) eyespots are more effective on large-bodied prey. To evaluate these hypotheses, we exposed small and large caterpillar models with and without eyespots in a 2 × 2 factorial design to avian predators in the field. Overall, eyespots increased prey mortality, but the effect was particularly marked in small prey, and eyespots decreased mortality of large prey in some microhabitats. We then exposed artificial prey to naïve domestic chicks in a laboratory setting following a 2 × 3 design (small or large size × no, small, or large eyespots). Predators attacked small prey with eyespots more quickly, but were more wary of large caterpillars with large eyespots than those without eyespots or with small eyespots. Taken together, these data suggest that eyespots are effective deterrents only when both prey and eyespots are large, and that innate aversion toward eyespots is conditional. We conclude that the distribution of eyespots in nature likely results from selection against eyespots in small caterpillars and selection for eyespots in large caterpillars (at least in some microhabitats). PMID:25964333

  15. Luminance controlled pupil size affects Landolt C task performance. Revision

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, S.M.; Fein, G.; Jewett, D.L.; Ashford, F.

    1993-02-01

    Subjects judged the orientation of a 2 min. gap Landolt C located at a distance of 2.4 m. The stimuli were presented in central vision on a CRT, at low to medium contrast. The effects of varying the spectrum and luminance of surround lighting were assessed on both pupil size (measured using infrared pupillometry during task performance) and task accuracy. The task display was protected from the surround lighting, so that its luminance and contrast could be varied independently of the changes in the surround lighting. Indirect surround illumination was provided by either two illuminants of very different scotopic spectral content but with the same photopic luminance (Experiments 1 and 3), or by using the same illuminant at two different luminance levels (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, the effect of changing surround spectrum was compared to the effect of varying task background luminance between 12 cd/m{sup 2} and 73 cd/m{sup 2}. In all experiments, scotopically enhanced surround lighting produced pupil areas which were reduced by almost 50% in comparison with surround lighting with relatively less scotopic luminance. Concomitantly there was improvement in Landolt C task performance with the scotopically enhanced surround lighting at all contrast and luminance levels. In these experiments, smaller pupil sizes were associated with significantly better visual-task performance in spite of lower task retinal illuminance when compared to the condition with larger pupils. These results suggest that changes in surround spectrum can compensate for the effect on task performance of a reduction in task luminance and supports the hypothesis that lighting energy savings could accrue in the workplace by shifting lamp spectra to obtain greater scotopic efficacy.

  16. Luminance controlled pupil size affects Landolt C task performance

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, S.M. ); Fein, G. ); Jewett, D.L.; Ashford, F. )

    1993-02-01

    Subjects judged the orientation of a 2 min. gap Landolt C located at a distance of 2.4 m. The stimuli were presented in central vision on a CRT, at low to medium contrast. The effects of varying the spectrum and luminance of surround lighting were assessed on both pupil size (measured using infrared pupillometry during task performance) and task accuracy. The task display was protected from the surround lighting, so that its luminance and contrast could be varied independently of the changes in the surround lighting. Indirect surround illumination was provided by either two illuminants of very different scotopic spectral content but with the same photopic luminance (Experiments 1 and 3), or by using the same illuminant at two different luminance levels (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, the effect of changing surround spectrum was compared to the effect of varying task background luminance between 12 cd/m[sup 2] and 73 cd/m[sup 2]. In all experiments, scotopically enhanced surround lighting produced pupil areas which were reduced by almost 50% in comparison with surround lighting with relatively less scotopic luminance. Concomitantly there was improvement in Landolt C task performance with the scotopically enhanced surround lighting at all contrast and luminance levels. In these experiments, smaller pupil sizes were associated with significantly better visual-task performance in spite of lower task retinal illuminance when compared to the condition with larger pupils. These results suggest that changes in surround spectrum can compensate for the effect on task performance of a reduction in task luminance and supports the hypothesis that lighting energy savings could accrue in the workplace by shifting lamp spectra to obtain greater scotopic efficacy.

  17. Non-native plant litter enhances soil carbon dioxide emissions in an invaded annual grassland.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ling; Wang, Hong; Zou, Jianwen; Rogers, William E; Siemann, Evan

    2014-01-01

    Litter decomposition is a fundamental ecosystem process in which breakdown and decay of plant detritus releases carbon and nutrients. Invasive exotic plants may produce litter that differs from native plant litter in quality and quantity. Such differences may impact litter decomposition and soil respiration in ways that depend on whether exotic and native plant litters decompose in mixtures. However, few field experiments have examined how exotic plants affect soil respiration via litter decomposition. Here, we conducted an in situ study of litter decomposition of an annual native grass (Eragrostis pilosa), a perennial exotic forb (Alternanthera philoxeroides), and their mixtures in an annual grassland in China to examine potential invasion effects on soil respiration. Alternanthera litter decomposed faster than Eragrostis litter when each was incubated separately. Mass loss in litter mixes was more rapid than predicted from rates in single species bags (only 35% of predicted mass remained at 8 months) showing synergistic effects. Notably, exotic plant litter decomposition rate was unchanged but native plant litter decomposition rate was accelerated in mixtures (decay constant k = 0.20 month(-1)) compared to in isolation (k = 0.10 month(-1)). On average, every litter type increased soil respiration compared to bare soil from which litter was removed. However, the increases were larger for mixed litter (1.82 times) than for Alternanthera litter (1.58 times) or Eragrostis litter (1.30 times). Carbon released as CO2 relative to litter carbon input was also higher for mixed litter (3.34) than for Alternathera litter (2.29) or Eragrostis litter (1.19). Our results indicated that exotic Alternanthera produces rapidly decomposing litter which also accelerates the decomposition of native plant litter in litter mixtures and enhances soil respiration rates. Thus, this exotic invasive plant species will likely accelerate carbon cycling and increase soil respiration

  18. Growth in body size affects rotational performance in women's gymnastics.

    PubMed

    Ackland, Timothy; Elliott, Bruce; Richards, Joanne

    2003-07-01

    National and state representative female gymnasts (n = 37), aged initially between 10 and 12 years, completed a mixed longitudinal study over 3.3 years, to investigate the effect of body size on gymnastic performance. Subjects were tested at four-monthly intervals on a battery of measures including structural growth, strength and gymnastic performance. The group were divided into 'high growers' and 'low growers' based on height (> 18 cm or < 14 cm/37 months, respectively) and body mass (> 15 kg or < 12 kg/37 months, respectively) for comparative purposes. Development of gymnastic performance was assessed through generic skills (front and back rotations, a twisting jump and a V-sit action) and a vertical jump for maximum height. The results show that the smaller gymnast, with a high strength to mass ratio, has greater potential for performing skills involving whole-body rotations. Larger gymnasts, while able to produce more power and greater angular momentum, could not match the performance of the smaller ones. The magnitude of growth experienced by the gymnast over this period has a varying effect on performance. While some activities were greatly influenced by rapid increases in whole-body moment of inertia (e.g. back rotation), performance on others like the front rotation and vertical jump, appeared partly immune to the physical and mechanical changes associated with growth. PMID:14737925

  19. How does poaching affect the size of national parks?

    PubMed

    Dobson, Andy; Lynes, Laura

    2008-04-01

    A variety of human activities have detrimental impacts on populations of species the park is designed to protect. These impacts range from direct hunting for trophy or subsistence needs, through vehicular collisions, to the direct loss of habitat due to forestry and agricultural activity. These impacts reduce the effective size of the parks and require changes in management policy that deal both with the direct cause of the problem and the underlying social conflicts that the presence of parks can place on humans in the surrounding communities. Recent studies from the Serengeti illustrate that increases in anti-poaching patrols increase the risk of poacher detection and lead to dramatic declines in levels of poaching. The economic arguments that support investment in anti-poaching patrols, rather than increased sentences for poachers who are caught, can be generalized to examine the costs and benefits of other changes in natural resource management that arise when attempting to manage the impact of anthropogenic activities in and around national parks. PMID:18313793

  20. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Loads in an Agricultural Watershed Affected by Poultry Litter Application and Wastewater Effluent, Northeastern Oklahoma and Northwestern Arkansas, 2002-2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esralew, R.; Tortorelli, R. L.

    2010-12-01

    The Eucha-Spavinaw Basin in Northeastern Oklahoma and Northwestern Arkansas is the source of water for Lake Eucha and Spavinaw Lake, which are part of the water supply for the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Lake Eucha and Spavinaw Lakes have experienced deteriorating water quality largely due to growth of algae, notably cyanobacteria, from the excess input of nutrients. As a result, the city of Tulsa has spent millions of dollars to eliminate taste and odor problems resulting from production of algal and bacterial byproducts. To evaluate changes in nutrient loading resulting from a reduction in land application of poultry litter, installation of best management practices, and reductions in the phosphorus concentrations in wastewater effluent, the U.S. Geological Survey investigated nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations from samples collected during baseflow and runoff and used regression models to estimate nitrogen and phosphorus loads, yields, and flow-weighted concentrations in two major tributaries to Lake Eucha, Spavinaw and Beaty Creeks, for the period 2002-2009. Estimated mean flow-weighted total unfiltered nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in the basin were about 5 to 10 times greater than the 75th percentile of flow-weighted nutrient concentrations in other mostly undeveloped basins of the United States. Spavinaw and Beaty Creeks contributed an estimated mean annual total load of about 762,500 kilograms of nitrogen and 49,200 kilograms of phosphorus per year, 76 to 91 percent of which was transported to Lake Eucha by runoff. Thirty-four percent of the nitrogen load and 48 percent of the phosphorus load to Lake Eucha occurred during the year 2008 which was the wettest year on record for the Eucha-Spavinaw Basin. The results of this analysis indicate that although efforts were made to control nutrient loading, nutrient concentrations, especially phosphorus, were substantially augmented by non-point sources and that most loading occurs during runoff events

  1. Placental insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) and its relation to litter size in the common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus)

    PubMed Central

    Rutherford, Julienne N.; Ecklund, Amy; Tardif, Suzette

    2012-01-01

    The primate placenta produces a wide variety of hormones throughout gestation that regulate placental function and fetal growth. One such hormone is insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II), a peptide implicated in cell division, differentiation, and amino acid transport. IGF-II concentrations were measured in 23 common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) term placentas from twin and triplet litters in order to determine whether previously described differences in fetoplacental phenotype such as placental and litter mass and placental surface area were related to differences in endocrine function. IGF-II was extracted from frozen tissue samples and measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit designed for human tissue which was validated for marmoset placenta. IGF-II concentrations were not related to placental or litter mass, and twin and triplet placentas did not differ in total concentration. However, per individual fetus, triplets were associated with a significant 42% reduction in IGF-II concentration (p=0.03), and IGF-II concentration per gram of fetal mass was a third lower in triplet litters. The triplet placenta exhibits a global expansion of the surface area which was contrasted by a per unit area reduction in IGF-II concentration (r=−0.75, p=0.01), a pattern which explains why twin and triplet placentas overall did not differ in concentration. Per fetus, triplet pregnancies are associated with relatively less maternal mass, placental mass, microscopic surface area, suggesting that the intrauterine growth of triplets is supported by systems that increase the efficiency of nutrient transfer. The finding that individual triplet fetuses are also associated with significantly lower IGF-II concentrations is consistent with the view that the marmoset fetoplacental unit exhibits a flexible pattern of placental allocation and metabolism. Plasticity in placental endocrine and metabolic function is likely to play an important role in the ability of the fetus

  2. SOA Formation Potential of Emissions from Soil and Leaf Litter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faiola, C. L.; Vanderschelden, G. S.; Wen, M.; Cobos, D. R.; Jobson, B. T.; VanReken, T. M.

    2013-12-01

    In the United States, emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from natural sources exceed all anthropogenic sources combined. VOCs participate in oxidative chemistry in the atmosphere and impact the concentrations of ozone and particulate material. The formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is particularly complex and is frequently underestimated using state-of-the-art modeling techniques. We present findings that suggest emissions of important SOA precursors from soil and leaf litter are higher than current inventories would suggest, particularly under conditions typical of Fall and Spring. Soil and leaf litter samples were collected at Big Meadow Creek from the University of Idaho Experimental Forest. The dominant tree species in this area of the forest are ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, and western larch. Samples were transported to the laboratory and housed within a 0.9 cubic meter Teflon dynamic chamber where VOC emissions were continuously monitored with a GC-FID-MS and PTR-MS. Aerosol was generated from soil and leaf litter emissions by pumping the emissions into a 7 cubic meter Teflon aerosol growth chamber where they were oxidized with ozone in the absence of light. The evolution of particle microphysical and chemical characteristics was monitored over the following eight hours. Particle size distribution and chemical composition were measured with a SMPS and HR-ToF-AMS respectively. Monoterpenes dominated the emission profile with emission rates up to 283 micrograms carbon per meter squared per hour. The dominant monoterpenes emitted were beta-pinene, alpha-pinene, and delta-3-carene in descending order. The composition of the SOA produced was similar to biogenic SOA formed from oxidation of ponderosa pine emissions and alpha-pinene. Measured soil/litter monoterpene emission rates were compared with modeled canopy emissions. Results suggest that during fall and spring when tree emissions are lower, monoterpene emissions within forests may be

  3. Mixing effects on litter decomposition rates in a young tree diversity experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Setiawan, Nuri Nurlaila; Vanhellemont, Margot; De Schrijver, An; Schelfhout, Stephanie; Baeten, Lander; Verheyen, Kris

    2016-01-01

    Litter decomposition is an essential process for biogeochemical cycling and for the formation of new soil organic matter. Mixing litter from different tree species has been reported to increase litter decomposition rates through synergistic effects. We assessed the decomposition rates of leaf litter from five tree species in a recently established tree diversity experiment on a post-agriculture site in Belgium. We used 20 different leaf litter compositions with diversity levels ranging from 1 up to 4 species. Litter mass loss in litterbags was assessed 10, 20, 25, 35, and 60 weeks after installation in the field. We found that litter decomposition rates were higher for high-quality litters, i.e., with high nitrogen content and low lignin content. The decomposition rates of mixed litter were more affected by the identity of the litter species within the mixture than by the diversity of the litter per se, but the variability in litter decomposition rates decreased as the litter diversity increased. Among the 15 different mixed litter compositions in our study, only three litter combinations showed synergistic effects. Our study suggests that admixing tree species with high-quality litter in post-agricultural plantations helps in increasing the mixture's early-stage litter decomposition rate.

  4. Nano-sized and micro-sized polystyrene particles affect phagocyte function

    PubMed Central

    Prietl, B.; Meindl, C.; Roblegg, E.; Pieber, T. R.; Lanzer, G.; Fröhlich, E.

    2015-01-01

    Adverse effect of nanoparticles may include impairment of phagocyte function. To identify the effect of nanoparticle size on uptake, cytotoxicity, chemotaxis, cytokine secretion, phagocytosis, oxidative burst, nitric oxide production and myeloperoxidase release, leukocytes isolated from human peripheral blood, monocytes and macrophages were studied. Carboxyl polystyrene (CPS) particles in sizes between 20 and 1,000 nm served as model particles. Twenty nanometers CPS particles were taken up passively, while larger CPS particles entered cells actively and passively. Twenty nanometers CPS were cytotoxic to all phagocytes, ≥500 nm CPS particles only to macrophages. Twenty nanometers CPS particles stimulated IL-8 secretion in human monocytes and induced oxidative burst in monocytes. Five hundred nanometers and 1,000 nm CPS particles stimulated IL-6 and IL-8 secretion in monocytes and macrophages, chemotaxis towards a chemotactic stimulus of monocytes and phagocytosis of bacteria by macrophages and provoked an oxidative burst of granulocytes. At very high concentrations, CPS particles of 20 and 500 nm stimulated myeloperoxidase release of granulocytes and nitric oxide generation in macrophages. Cytotoxic effect could contribute to some of the observed effects. In the absence of cytotoxicity, 500 and 1,000 nm CPS particles appear to influence phagocyte function to a greater extent than particles in other sizes. PMID:24292270

  5. Antibiotic resistance of bacterial litter isolates.

    PubMed

    Kelley, T R; Pancorbo, O C; Merka, W C; Barnhart, H M

    1998-02-01

    Use of antibiotics in subtherapeutic doses as growth-promoting feed additives for animal production is widespread in the U.S. and throughout the world. Previous studies by our research group concluded that size fractionation of poultry (broiler) litter followed by storage facilitated reutilization of litter as a soil amendment or bedding supplement. However, litter microbial contamination, including antibiotic-resistant populations, and accumulation of metals and other elements may limit litter reutilization. Litter from four broiler houses was separated into a fine fraction for use as a soil amendment, and a coarse fraction for reutilization as a bedding supplement in growing subsequent flocks of broilers. Fractions and whole litter were stored in indoor piles simulating farm storage conditions for 4 mo with periodic analysis for metals, other elements, and culturable bacteria (including total and fecal coliform, Aeromonas hydrophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Campylobacter jejuni). Representative bacterial isolates were tested for their sensitivity to 12 common antibiotics (ampicillin, bacitracin, cephalothin, erythromycin, gentamicin, kanamycin, nalidixic acid, neomycin, penicillin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline) using the Kirby-Bauer technique. Pathogens and indicator bacteria tested were found to be resistant to multiple antibiotics. Data suggest that microbial contamination of litter should be reduced or eliminated prior to reutilization to minimize environmental health risks related to transfer of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to humans or other animals. PMID:9495488

  6. Within-litter variation in birth weight: impact of nutritional status in the sow*

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Tao-lin; Zhu, Yu-hua; Shi, Meng; Li, Tian-tian; Li, Na; Wu, Guo-yao; Bazer, Fuller W.; Zang, Jian-jun; Wang, Feng-lai; Wang, Jun-jun

    2015-01-01

    Accompanying the beneficial improvement in litter size from genetic selection for high-prolificacy sows, within-litter variation in birth weight has increased with detrimental effects on post-natal growth and survival due to an increase in the proportion of piglets with low birth-weight. Causes of within-litter variation in birth weight include breed characteristics that affect uterine space, ovulation rate, degree of maturation of oocytes, duration of time required for ovulation, interval between ovulation and fertilization, uterine capacity for implantation and placentation, size and efficiency of placental transport of nutrients, communication between conceptus/fetus and maternal systems, as well as nutritional status and environmental influences during gestation. Because these factors contribute to within-litter variation in birth weight, nutritional status of the sow to improve fetal-placental development must focus on the following three important stages in the reproductive cycle: pre-mating or weaning to estrus, early gestation and late gestation. The goal is to increase the homogeneity of development of oocytes and conceptuses, decrease variations in conceptus development during implantation and placentation, and improve birth weights of newborn piglets. Though some progress has been made in nutritional regulation of within-litter variation in the birth weight of piglets, additional studies, with a focus on and insights into molecular mechanisms of reproductive physiology from the aspects of maternal growth and offspring development, as well as their regulation by nutrients provided to the sow, are urgently needed. PMID:26055904

  7. Factors Affecting Crater Size-Frequency Distribution Measurements: Insights Supported by the LRO Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Bogert, C. H.; Hiesinger, H.; Zanetti, M.; Plescia, J. B.; Ostrach, L. R.; Mahanti, P.; Meyer, H. M.; McEwen, A. S.; Pasckert, J. H.; Michael, G.; Kneissl, T.; Robinson, M. S.

    2016-05-01

    CSFD measurements are affected by illumination angle, count area size/slope, secondary cratering, target property effects, and differential degradation. Investigations using LRO data have made progress characterizing and quantifying these factors.

  8. Effects of dietary enrichment with a marine oil-based n-3 LCPUFA supplement in sows with predicted birth weight phenotypes on birth litter quality and growth performance to weaning.

    PubMed

    Smit, M N; Spencer, J D; Patterson, J L; Dyck, M K; Dixon, W T; Foxcroft, G R

    2015-03-01

    , but was higher (P<0.01) in LBW than MHBW litters. IgG concentration in sow serum was similar between treatments and litter birth weight categories. In conclusion, litter birth weight phenotype was repeatable within sows and LBW litters showed the benchmarks of intra-uterine growth retardation (lower placental weight and brain sparing effects). As maternal mLCPUFA supplementation decreased litter size overall, only improved litter growth rate until weaning in MHBW litters, and did not affect pre-weaning mortality, maternal mLCPUFA supplementation was not an effective strategy in our study for mitigating negative effects of a LBW litter phenotype. PMID:25263665

  9. Abundance of litter on Condor seamount (Azores, Portugal, Northeast Atlantic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pham, C. K.; Gomes-Pereira, J. N.; Isidro, E. J.; Santos, R. S.; Morato, T.

    2013-12-01

    Marine litter is an emerging problem for the world's ocean health but little is known on its distribution and abundance on seamounts and how it affects deep-sea ecosystems. The scientific underwater laboratory set up on Condor seamount offered an ideal case study for the first documentation of litter distribution on a shallow seamount with historical fishing. A total of 48 video transects deployed on the summit (n=45) and the northern flank (n=3) covered an area of 0.031 and 0.025km2, respectively, revealing 55 litter items. Litter density on the summit was 1439 litter items km-2, whilst on the deeper northern flank, estimates indicate densities of 397 litter items km-2. Lost fishing line was the dominant litter item encountered on both areas (73% of total litter on the summit and 50% on northern flank), all being entirely or partly entangled in the locally abundant gorgonians Dentomuricea cf. meteor and Viminella flagellum. Other items included lost weights, anchors and glass bottles. The predominance of lost fishing gear identifies the source of litter on Condor seamount as exclusively ocean-based and related to fishing activities. Abundance of litter on the Condor seamount was much lower than that reported from other locations closer to populated areas.

  10. Littering Behavior in Public Places

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Stuart N.

    1976-01-01

    This review summarizes the present state of knowledge concerning littering behavior. Available studies are categorized according to the variables that influence littering--individual and environmental. Theoretical issues of attitude-behavior consistency and incentive effectiveness are analyzed with respect to littering and litter control. Results…

  11. A comparative study of marine litter on the seafloor of coastal areas in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Seas.

    PubMed

    Ioakeimidis, C; Zeri, C; Kaberi, H; Galatchi, M; Antoniadis, K; Streftaris, N; Galgani, F; Papathanassiou, E; Papatheodorou, G

    2014-12-15

    In the present work, abundance, spatial distribution and qualitative composition, of benthic marine litter, were investigated in five study areas from the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Seas (Saronikos, Patras and Echinades Gulfs; Limassol Gulf; Constanta Bay). Surveys were performed using the monitoring protocol proposed by the Technical Group for Marine Litter. Densities ranged from 24items/km(2) to 1211items/km(2), with the Saronikos Gulf being the most affected area. Plastics were predominant in all study areas ranging from 45.2% to 95%. Metals and Glass/Ceramics reached maximum values of 21.9% and of 22.4%. The size distribution of litter items showed that ⩾50% fall into medium size categories (10×10cm, 20×20cm) along with an elevated percentage of small-sized (<5×5cm) plastic litter items. The comparative analysis of the data highlighted the dependence of the marine litter problem on many local factors (human sources and oceanographic conditions) and the urgent need for specific actions. PMID:25440189

  12. Ingestion of marine litter by loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, in Portuguese continental waters.

    PubMed

    Nicolau, Lídia; Marçalo, Ana; Ferreira, Marisa; Sá, Sara; Vingada, José; Eira, Catarina

    2016-02-15

    The accumulation of litter in marine and coastal environments is a major threat to marine life. Data on marine litter in the gastrointestinal tract of stranded loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, found along the Portuguese continental coast was presented. Out of the 95 analysed loggerheads, litter was present in 56 individuals (59.0%) and most had less than 10 litter items (76.8%) and less than 5 g (dm) (96.8%). Plastic was the main litter category (frequency of occurrence=56.8%), while sheet (45.3%) was the most relevant plastic sub-category. There was no influence of loggerhead stranding season, cause of stranding or size on the amount of litter ingested (mean number and dry mass of litter items per turtle). The high ingested litter occurrence frequency in this study supports the use of the loggerhead turtle as a suitable tool to monitor marine litter trends, as required by the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive. PMID:26763321

  13. Control of climate and litter quality on leaf litter decomposition in different climatic zones.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xinyue; Wang, Wei

    2015-09-01

    Climate and initial litter quality are the major factors influencing decomposition rates on large scales. We established a comprehensive database of terrestrial leaf litter decomposition, including 785 datasets, to examine the relationship between climate and litter quality and evaluate the factors controlling decomposition on a global scale, the arid and semi-arid (AS) zone, the humid middle and humid low (HL) latitude zones. Initial litter nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentration only increased with mean annual temperature (MAT) in the AS zone and decreased with mean annual precipitation (MAP) in the HL zone. Compared with nutrient content, MAT imposed less effect on initial litter lignin content than MAP. MAT were the most important decomposition driving factors on a global scale as well as in different climatic zones. MAP only significantly affected decomposition constants in AS zone. Although litter quality parameters also showed significant influence on decomposition, their importance was less than the climatic factors. Besides, different litter quality parameters exerted significant influence on decomposition in different climatic zones. Our results emphasized that climate consistently exerted important effects on decomposition constants across different climatic zones. PMID:26135888

  14. The maternal environment affects offspring viability via an indirect effect of yolk investment on offspring size.

    PubMed

    Warner, Daniel A; Lovern, Matthew B

    2014-01-01

    Environmental conditions that reproductive females experience can influence patterns of offspring provisioning and fitness. In particular, prey availability can influence maternal reproduction and, in turn, affect the viability of their offspring. Although such maternal effects are widespread, the mechanisms by which these effects operate are poorly understood. We manipulated the amount of prey available to female brown anole lizards (Anolis sagrei) to evaluate how this factor affects patterns of reproductive investment (total egg output, egg size, yolk steroids) and offspring viability (morphology, growth, survival). Experimental reduction of yolk in a subset of eggs enabled us to evaluate a potential causal mechanism (yolk investment) that mediates the effect of maternal prey availability on offspring viability. We show that limited prey availability significantly reduced egg size, which negatively influenced offspring size, growth, and survival. Experimental yolk removal from eggs directly reduced offspring size, which, in turn, negatively affected offspring growth and survival. These findings show that maternal environments (i.e., low prey) can affect offspring fitness via an indirect effect of yolk investment on offspring size and highlight the complex set of indirect effects by which maternal effects can operate. PMID:24642545

  15. Decay Rates and Semi-stable Fraction Formation after 12 years of Foliar Litter Decomposition in Canadian Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trofymow, J. A.; Smyth, C.; Moore, T.; Prescott, C.; Titus, B.; Siltanen, M.; Visser, S.; Preston, C. M.; Nault, J.

    2009-12-01

    relative importance of factors eg. temperature, which affect decomposition. Initial litter quality will have little influence during the later phase as chemical properties of well decayed litter converge. Since site factors other than climate were related to the size of the semi-stable fraction, this may reflect the role site chemistry and biota on decay rates during the semi-stable phase. Even with 12 years of data, results were not sufficient to determine late phase decay rates suggesting either even longer-term studies or other experimental approaches will be needed to determine the fate and factors affecting rates of organic matter sequestration and loss.

  16. The Effect of Litter Position on Ultraviolet Photodegradation of Standing Dead Litter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Y.; King, J. Y.

    2012-12-01

    In dryland ecosystems, models incorporating only biotic mechanisms usually underestimate the decay rate of plant litter. Photodegradation, an abiotic process through which solar radiation breaks down organic matter, has recently been proposed as an important pathway of litter decomposition in dryland ecosystems, accounting for as much as 25 to 60% of mass loss. However, it remains unclear what factors control the relative importance of photodegradation and biotic decomposition. It is hypothesized that this balance is affected by the location of litter within the litter layer (or thatch): in upper layers of thatch, photodegradation is significant because litter is exposed to sunlight; in lower layers where litter is strongly shaded, photodegradation is negligible compared to biotic decomposition. In August 2011, a field experiment was initiated at the University of California's Sedgwick Reserve, Santa Ynez, CA, in order to understand how ultraviolet (UV) radiation and litter position within the thatch affect litter decomposition. Two levels of UV radiation (280-400 nm) are achieved by screens: "UV-Pass" (transmitting > 81% of UV radiation) and "UV-Block" (transmitting < 8% of UV radiation). Litterbags were placed either at the top or at the bottom of the thatch. Results after 9 months of field exposure show that at the top of the thatch, litter mass loss was 13% higher in UV-Pass than in UV-Block, suggesting the occurrence of UV photodegradation. Surprisingly, litter mass loss was 52% higher in UV-Pass at the bottom of the thatch, even though very limited UV radiation penetrated through the thatch (at least 10 cm thick). The relative humidity in the thatch was higher in UV-Pass than in UV-Block treatments, especially at night; thus it is speculated that the UV manipulation not only alters the incoming radiation spectrum but also affects microclimate, consequently changing biotic decomposition. At the bottom of the thatch, lignin concentration of plant litter was 19

  17. The Unintended Effects of a Posted Sign on Littering Attitudes and Stated Intentions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horsley, A. Doyne

    1988-01-01

    Compares the effect of two different anti-littering signs. Results suggest that the ambiguously worded litterbug sign was interpreted differently by individuals and that it did not encourage an anti-littering attitude or affect stated intention to litter. (CW)

  18. Highly reduced mass loss rates and increased litter layer in radioactively contaminated areas.

    PubMed

    Mousseau, Timothy A; Milinevsky, Gennadi; Kenney-Hunt, Jane; Møller, Anders Pape

    2014-05-01

    The effects of radioactive contamination from Chernobyl on decomposition of plant material still remain unknown. We predicted that decomposition rate would be reduced in the most contaminated sites due to an absence or reduced densities of soil invertebrates. If microorganisms were the main agents responsible for decomposition, exclusion of large soil invertebrates should not affect decomposition. In September 2007 we deposited 572 bags with uncontaminated dry leaf litter from four species of trees in the leaf litter layer at 20 forest sites around Chernobyl that varied in background radiation by more than a factor 2,600. Approximately one quarter of these bags were made of a fine mesh that prevented access to litter by soil invertebrates. These bags were retrieved in June 2008, dried and weighed to estimate litter mass loss. Litter mass loss was 40% lower in the most contaminated sites relative to sites with a normal background radiation level for Ukraine. Similar reductions in litter mass loss were estimated for individual litter bags, litter bags at different sites, and differences between litter bags at pairs of neighboring sites differing in level of radioactive contamination. Litter mass loss was slightly greater in the presence of large soil invertebrates than in their absence. The thickness of the forest floor increased with the level of radiation and decreased with proportional loss of mass from all litter bags. These findings suggest that radioactive contamination has reduced the rate of litter mass loss, increased accumulation of litter, and affected growth conditions for plants. PMID:24590204

  19. Agricultural Activities of a Meadow Eliminated Plant Litter from the Periphery of a Farmland in Inner Mongolia, China

    PubMed Central

    Kawada, Kiyokazu; Borjigin, Wuyunna; Nakamura, Toru

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of our investigation was to clarify the effects of agriculture on the process of loss of litter at the periphery of a farmland. This study revealed the generation process of an ecologically unusual phenomenon that is observed around cropland in semi-arid regions. We hypothesized that the vegetation around a farmland cannot supply plant litter to the ground surface because the ecological structure has been changed by agricultural activities. The study was conducted at Xilingol steppe, Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. Four study lines were established from the edge of an arable field to the surrounding meadow and parallel to the wind direction during the strong wind season. Key measurement for each line was set at the border between the farmland and steppe. Four study sites were set at intervals along each line. Plant litter, soil particle size distribution, plant species composition, plant volume, and species diversity were investigated. Despite using the same mowing method at the meadows of all study sites, the litter at the only periphery of the farmland completely disappeared. Soil particle size distribution in steppe, which was adjacent to the farmland, was similar to that of the farmland. Plant community structure at the periphery of the farmland was different from that of the far side from the farmland. This implies that soil scattered from the farmland affected the species composition of the steppe. Consequently, the change in plant community structure induced litter loss because of mowing. We concluded that plant litter was lost near the farmland because of the combined effects of farming and mowing. The results support our hypothesis that the vegetation around a farmland cannot supply plant litter because the ecological structure has been changed by agricultural activities. PMID:26241943

  20. Brain size affects female but not male survival under predation threat

    PubMed Central

    Kotrschal, Alexander; Buechel, Séverine D; Zala, Sarah M; Corral-Lopez, Alberto; Penn, Dustin J; Kolm, Niclas; Sorci, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    There is remarkable diversity in brain size among vertebrates, but surprisingly little is known about how ecological species interactions impact the evolution of brain size. Using guppies, artificially selected for large and small brains, we determined how brain size affects survival under predation threat in a naturalistic environment. We cohoused mixed groups of small- and large-brained individuals in six semi-natural streams with their natural predator, the pike cichlid, and monitored survival in weekly censuses over 5 months. We found that large-brained females had 13.5% higher survival compared to small-brained females, whereas the brain size had no discernible effect on male survival. We suggest that large-brained females have a cognitive advantage that allows them to better evade predation, whereas large-brained males are more colourful, which may counteract any potential benefits of brain size. Our study provides the first experimental evidence that trophic interactions can affect the evolution of brain size. PMID:25960088

  1. Brain size affects female but not male survival under predation threat.

    PubMed

    Kotrschal, Alexander; Buechel, Séverine D; Zala, Sarah M; Corral-Lopez, Alberto; Penn, Dustin J; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-07-01

    There is remarkable diversity in brain size among vertebrates, but surprisingly little is known about how ecological species interactions impact the evolution of brain size. Using guppies, artificially selected for large and small brains, we determined how brain size affects survival under predation threat in a naturalistic environment. We cohoused mixed groups of small- and large-brained individuals in six semi-natural streams with their natural predator, the pike cichlid, and monitored survival in weekly censuses over 5 months. We found that large-brained females had 13.5% higher survival compared to small-brained females, whereas the brain size had no discernible effect on male survival. We suggest that large-brained females have a cognitive advantage that allows them to better evade predation, whereas large-brained males are more colourful, which may counteract any potential benefits of brain size. Our study provides the first experimental evidence that trophic interactions can affect the evolution of brain size. PMID:25960088

  2. Genome size variation affects song attractiveness in grasshoppers: evidence for sexual selection against large genomes.

    PubMed

    Schielzeth, Holger; Streitner, Corinna; Lampe, Ulrike; Franzke, Alexandra; Reinhold, Klaus

    2014-12-01

    Genome size is largely uncorrelated to organismal complexity and adaptive scenarios. Genetic drift as well as intragenomic conflict have been put forward to explain this observation. We here study the impact of genome size on sexual attractiveness in the bow-winged grasshopper Chorthippus biguttulus. Grasshoppers show particularly large variation in genome size due to the high prevalence of supernumerary chromosomes that are considered (mildly) selfish, as evidenced by non-Mendelian inheritance and fitness costs if present in high numbers. We ranked male grasshoppers by song characteristics that are known to affect female preferences in this species and scored genome sizes of attractive and unattractive individuals from the extremes of this distribution. We find that attractive singers have significantly smaller genomes, demonstrating that genome size is reflected in male courtship songs and that females prefer songs of males with small genomes. Such a genome size dependent mate preference effectively selects against selfish genetic elements that tend to increase genome size. The data therefore provide a novel example of how sexual selection can reinforce natural selection and can act as an agent in an intragenomic arms race. Furthermore, our findings indicate an underappreciated route of how choosy females could gain indirect benefits. PMID:25200798

  3. Photodegradation of roxarsone in poultry litter leachates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bednar, A.J.; Garbarino, J.R.; Ferrer, I.; Rutherford, D.W.; Wershaw, R. L.; Ranville, J.F.; Wildeman, T.R.

    2003-01-01

    Arsenic compounds have been used extensively in agriculture in the US for applications ranging from cotton herbicides to animal feed supplements. Roxarsone (3-nitro-4-hydroxyphenylarsonic acid), in particular, is used widely in poultry production to control coccidial intestinal parasites. It is excreted unchanged in the manure and introduced into the environment when litter is applied to farmland as fertilizer. Although the toxicity of roxarsone is less than that of inorganic arsenic, roxarsone can degrade, biotically and abiotically, to produce more toxic inorganic forms of arsenic, such as arsenite and arsenate. Experiments were conducted on aqueous litter leachates to test the stability of roxarsone under different conditions. Laboratory experiments have shown that arsenite can be cleaved photolytically from the roxarsone moiety at pH 4-8 and that the degradation rate increases with increasing pH. Furthermore, the rate of photodegradation increases with nitrate and natural organic matter concentration, reactants that are commonly found in poultry-litter-water leachates. Additional photochemical reactions rapidly oxidize the cleaved arsenite to arsenate. The formation of arsenate is not entirely undesirable, because it is less mobile in soil systems and less toxic than arsenite. A possible mechanism for the degradation of roxarsone in poultry litter leachates is proposed. The results suggest that poultry litter storage and field application practices could affect the degradation of roxarsone and subsequent mobilization of inorganic arsenic species. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Poultry litter as a source of gastrointestinal helminth infections.

    PubMed

    Maurer, V; Amsler, Z; Perler, E; Heckendorn, F

    2009-05-12

    worm burdens in tracer animals were low compared to a similar study with tracers kept in poultry runs. The reasons for this may be that poultry litter negatively affects viability and infectiousness of helminth eggs. However, underlying mechanisms need to be clarified. PMID:19251370

  5. The Experimental Control of Littering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Roger N.; And Others

    1972-01-01

    Behavior, incentives, and education programs were researched as factors relating to littering. Experiments in theaters, forest campgrounds, and hiking and dispersed car camping areas indicate incentive systems are necessary and feasible for curbing litter problems. (BL)

  6. Orchestrating immune responses: How size, shape and rigidity affect the immunogenicity of particulate vaccines.

    PubMed

    Benne, Naomi; van Duijn, Janine; Kuiper, Johan; Jiskoot, Wim; Slütter, Bram

    2016-07-28

    Particulate carrier systems are promising drug delivery vehicles for subunit vaccination as they can enhance and direct the type of T cell response. In order to develop vaccines with optimal immunogenicity, a thorough understanding of parameters that could affect the strength and quality of immune responses is required. Pathogens have different dimensions and stimulate the immune system in a specific way. It is therefore not surprising that physicochemical characteristics of particulate vaccines, such as particle size, shape, and rigidity, affect multiple processes that impact their immunogenicity. Among these processes are the uptake of the particles from the site of administration, passage through lymphoid tissue and the uptake, antigen processing and activation of antigen-presenting cells. Herein, we systematically review the role of the size, shape and rigidity of particulate vaccines in enhancing and skewing T cell response and attempted to provide a "roadmap" for rational vaccine design. PMID:27221070

  7. Increasing the size of portion options affects intake but not portion selection at a meal.

    PubMed

    Zuraikat, Faris M; Roe, Liane S; Privitera, Gregory J; Rolls, Barbara J

    2016-03-01

    In an environment with large portion sizes, allowing consumers more control over their portion selection could moderate the effects on energy intake. We tested whether having subjects choose a portion from several options influenced the amount selected or consumed when all portion sizes were systematically increased. In a crossover design, 24 women and 26 men ate lunch in the lab once a week for 3 weeks. At each meal, subjects chose a portion of macaroni and cheese from a set of 3 portion options and consumed it ad libitum. Across 3 conditions, portion sizes in the set were increased; the order of the conditions was counterbalanced across subjects. For women the portion sets by weight (g) were 300/375/450, 375/450/525, and 450/525/600; for men the portions were 33% larger. The results showed that increasing the size of available portions did not significantly affect the relative size selected; across all portion sets, subjects chose the smallest available portion at 59% of meals, the medium at 27%, and the largest at 15%. The size of portions offered did, however, influence meal intake (P < 0.0001). Mean intake (±SEM) was 16% greater when the largest set was offered (661 ± 34 kcal) than when the medium and smallest sets were offered (both 568 ± 18 kcal). These results suggest that portions are selected in relation to the other available options, and confirm the robust effect of portion size on intake. Although presenting a choice of portions can allow selection of smaller amounts, the sizes offered are a critical determinant of energy intake. Thus, the availability of choices could help to moderate intake if the portions offered are within an appropriate range for energy needs. PMID:26721718

  8. Clonal Patch Size and Ramet Position of Leymus chinensis Affected Reproductive Allocation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhuo; Yang, Yunfei

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive allocation is critically important for population maintenance and usually varies with not only environmental factors but also biotic ones. As a typical rhizome clonal plant in China's northern grasslands, Leymus chinensis usually dominates the steppe communities and grows in clonal patches. In order to clarify the sexual reproductive allocation of L. chinensis in the process of the growth and expansion, we selected L. chinensis clonal patches of a range of sizes to examine the reproductive allocation and allometric growth of the plants. Moreover, the effects of position of L. chinensis ramets within the patch on their reproductive allocation were also examined. Clonal patch size and position both significantly affected spike biomass, reproductive tiller biomass and SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio. From the central to the marginal zone, both the spike biomass and reproductive tiller biomass displayed an increasing trend in all the five patch size categories except for reproductive tiller biomass in 15–40m2 category. L. chinensis had significantly larger SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio in marginal zone than in central zone of clonal patches that are larger than 15 m2 in area. Regression analysis showed that the spike biomass and SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio were negatively correlated with clonal patch size while patch size showed significantly positive effect on SEED/SPIKE biomass ratio, but the reproductive tiller biomass and SEED/TILLER biomass ratio were not dependent on clonal patch size. The relationships between biomass of spike and reproductive tiller, between mature seed biomass and spike biomass and between mature seed biomass and reproductive tiller biomass were significant allometric for all or some of patch size categories, respectively. The slopes of all these allometric relationships were significantly different from 1. The allometric growth of L. chinensis is patch size-dependent. This finding will be helpful for developing appropriate practices for

  9. Labile compounds in plant litter reduce the sensitivity of decomposition to warming and altered precipitation.

    PubMed

    Suseela, Vidya; Tharayil, Nishanth; Xing, Baoshan; Dukes, Jeffrey S

    2013-10-01

    Together, climate and litter quality strongly regulate decomposition rates. Although these two factors and their interaction have been studied across species in continent-scale experiments, few researchers have studied how labile and recalcitrant compounds interact to influence decomposition, or the climate sensitivity of decomposition, within a litter type. Over a period of 3 yr, we studied the effects of warming and altered precipitation on mass loss and compound-specific decomposition using two litter types that possessed similar heteropolymer chemistry, but different proportions of labile and recalcitrant compounds. Climate treatments immediately affected the mass loss of the more recalcitrant litter, but affected the more labile litter only after 2 yr. After 3 yr, although both litter types had lost similar amounts of mass, warming (c. 4°C) and supplemental precipitation (150% of ambient) together accelerated the degradation of alkyl-carbon and lignin only in the more recalcitrant litter, highlighting the role of initial litter quality in determining whether the chemistry of litter residues converges or diverges under different climates. Our finding that labile compounds in litter reduce the climate sensitivity of mass loss and the decomposition of recalcitrant matrix is novel. Our results highlight the potential for litter quality to regulate the effect of climatic changes on the sequestration of litter-derived carbon. PMID:23822593

  10. Effects of Enrichment and Litter Parity on Reproductive Performance and Behavior in BALB/c and 129/Sv Mice.

    PubMed

    Whitaker, Julia W; Moy, Sheryl S; Pritchett-Corning, Kathleen R; Fletcher, Craig A

    2016-01-01

    We examined the effect of adding species-appropriate environmental enrichment items to breeding cages of BALB/cAnNCrl and 129S2/SvPasCrl mice. The 3 enrichment conditions were: 1) cotton nesting material; 2) nesting material plus a paper shelter and rolled paper bedding; and 3) an igloo dome with an exercise wheel in addition to the shelter-group enrichments. We measured litter size, litter survival to weaning age, average pup weight at 21 d, and the interlitter interval to evaluate reproductive performance. A random subset of the first- or second-litter offspring from each enrichment condition and strain was assessed in multiple behavioral tests. Enrichment significantly affected anxiety-like behavior and sociability, with the direction of change dependent on strain and sex. Litter parity had greater effects on some reproductive parameters than did the enrichment condition, and this effect was not solely due to a difference between the first compared with subsequent litters. The significant effects of litter parity on the number of pups born and weaned, female pup weight, and interlitter interval were dependent on the enrichment condition in BALB/c but not 129/Sv mice. Offspring from the first or second litter were included in a generational component to investigate whether enrichment effects on reproduction persist in adult offspring after transfer to a different facility for breeding. Natal cage enrichment had no effect on any reproductive parameter in the transferred mice. Overall, additional enrichment beyond nesting material had a beneficial effect on the interlitter interval in BALB/c mice and on the number of pups weaned in 129/Sv mice. PMID:27423144

  11. Sediment size distribution and composition in a reservoir affected by severe water level fluctuations.

    PubMed

    López, Pilar; López-Tarazón, José A; Casas-Ruiz, Joan P; Pompeo, Marcelo; Ordoñez, Jaime; Muñoz, Isabel

    2016-01-01

    The reservoir sediments are important sinks for organic carbon (OC), the OC burial being dependent on two opposite processes, deposition and mineralization. Hence factors such as severe water level fluctuations are expected to influence the rate of OC accumulation as they may affect both deposition and mineralization. The Barasona Reservoir has been historically threatened by siltation, whilst the use of water for irrigation involves a drastic decrease of the water level. In this context, we have studied the physical and chemical characteristics (grain size, major and minor elemental compositions, organic and inorganic carbon, and nitrogen) of the recent sediments of the Barasona Reservoir and the relationships among them in order to: a) elucidate the main processes governing OC accumulation, b) evaluate the rate of OC mineralization and c) approach the effect of drought on the sediment characteristics in this system. Our results indicated that Barasona sediments were dominated by fine silts (>60%) and clays (>20%), the mean particle size decreasing from tail to dam. Desiccation increased particle sorting and size distribution became bimodal, but no effect on average size was observed. Attending to the composition, Barasona sediments were very homogeneous with low concentrations of nitrogen (TN) and phosphorus (<1.2 g kg(-1) dw and <0.6 g kg(-1) dw, respectively) and high concentration of OC (≈36 g kg(-1) dw). TN was negatively related to dry weight. Sediment mixing due to drastic changes in water level may have favoured the observed homogeneity of Barasona sediments affecting carbon, major ions and grain size. The high amount of OC deposited in Barasona sediment suggested that the adsorption of OC onto fine particles was more important than in boreal lakes. The rate of oxygen consumption by wet sediment ranged from 2.26 to 3.15 mg O2 m(-2) day(-1), values close to those compiled for Mediterranean running waters. PMID:26105704

  12. Labile Compounds in Plant Litter Reduce the Sensitivity of Decomposition to Warming and Altered Precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suseela, V.; Tharayil, N.; Xing, B.; Dukes, J. S.

    2013-12-01

    Together, climate and litter quality strongly regulate decomposition rates. While these two factors and their interaction have been studied across species in continent-scale experiments, few researchers have studied how labile and recalcitrant compounds interact to influence decomposition, or the climate sensitivity of decomposition, within a litter type. Over a period of three years, we studied the effects climate change on mass loss and compound-specific decomposition using two litter types that differed in the relative proportions of labile and recalcitrant compounds, but that had heteropolymers with similar molecular structure. We examined how warming and altered precipitation affected the decomposition of two types of Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed) litter (stem litter that was either newly senesced or one year old), at the Boston-Area Climate Experiment (BACE), in Massachusetts, USA. We placed litter bags in an old-field ecosystem exposed to four levels of warming (up to 4oC) and three levels of precipitation (ambient, drought (-50%) and wet (+50%) treatments. The compound-specific degradation of litter was assessed using Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy and 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Climate treatments immediately affected mass loss of the more recalcitrant litter, but affected the more labile litter only after two years. After three years, although both litter types had lost similar amounts of mass, warming (~4oC) and supplemental precipitation (150% of ambient) together accelerated degradation of alkyl-carbon and lignin only in the more recalcitrant litter, highlighting the role of initial litter quality in determining whether the chemistry of litter residues converges or diverges under different climates. The results from this study indicate that the effect of climate on litter decomposition depends on the quality of litter; litter with a greater initial proportion of labile compounds was less

  13. Leaf litter decomposition in three Adirondack lakes

    SciTech Connect

    Francis, A.J.; Quinby, H.L.; Hendrey, G.R.; Hoogendyk, C.G.

    1983-04-01

    Decomposition of terrestrial leaf litter in three Adirondack lakes with water pH values approximately 5, 6, and 7 was studied. Litter bags containing leaves of American beech, sugar maple, red maple, leather leaf, and red spruce were placed in the lakes. Samples were removed periodically over a 3-year period and analyzed for loss in weight, changes in leaf surface area, carbon, nitrogen, and bacterial populations. The rate of decomposition of litter depended on the leaf species tested as well as on the lake water in which they were incubated. Of the five leaf species tested, red maple decomposed much faster and red spruce more slowly, i.e., red maple > sugar maple > beech > leather leaf > red spruce. Further, the data indicated that the rate of decomposition of the leaves differed among the lakes in the order Woods (pH approx. 5) < Sagamore (pH approx. 6) < Panther (pH approx. 7), and that the microbial colonization of some leaf species was affected. Accumulations of leaf litter in acid lakes due to reduction in microbial decomposition may affect nutrient recycling in lake ecosystems. 8 references, 4 tables.

  14. Arsenic species in broiler (Gallus gallus domesticus) litter, soils, maize (Zea mays L.), and groundwater from litter-amended fields.

    PubMed

    D'Angelo, Elisa; Zeigler, Georgia; Beck, E Glenn; Grove, John; Sikora, Frank

    2012-11-01

    Manure and bedding material (litter) generated by the broiler industry (Gallus gallus domesticus) often contain high levels of arsenic (As) when organoarsenical roxarsone and p-arsanilic acid are included in feed to combat disease and improve weight gain of the birds. This study was conducted to determine As levels and species in litter from three major broiler producing companies, and As levels in soils, corn tissue (Zea mays L.), and groundwater in fields where litter was applied. Total As in litter from the three different integrators ranged between <1 and 44 mg kg(-1). Between 15 and 20% of total As in litter consisted of mostly of arsenate, with smaller amounts of roxarsone and several transformation products that were extractable with phosphate buffer. Soils amended with litter had higher levels of bioavailable As (extractable with Mehlich 3 solution and taken up by corn leaves). Arsenic concentrations in plant tissue and groundwater, however, were below the World Health Organization thresholds, which was attributed to strong sorption/precipitation of arsenate in Fe- and Al-rich soils. Ecological impacts of amending soils with As-laden litter depend on the As species in the litter, and chemical and physical properties of soil that strongly affect As mobility and bioavailability in the environment. PMID:23010102

  15. How do different data logger sizes and attachment positions affect the diving behaviour of little penguins?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Knott, Nathan; Chiaradia, André; Kato, Akiko

    2007-02-01

    It is crucial in any bio-logging study to establish the potential effect that attachment of loggers may have on the animal. This ensures that the behaviour monitored by the loggers has a biological relevance, as well as for ethical reasons. Evaluation of the effects of externally attached loggers shows that they increase the drag of swimming animals and increase their energy expenditure. Nevertheless, little research has been done on the effects of size or position of such loggers. In this study, we tested whether the size (i.e. large: 4.9% versus small: 3.4% of the bird's frontal area) or the place of attachment (middle versus lower back) affected the diving behaviour of male and female little penguins ( Eudyptula minor). The positioning of the data logger on the middle or lower section of little penguins' back had little, if no effect, on the diving variables measured in this study. Size of the loggers, however, had strong effects. Birds with large loggers made shorter dives and reached shallower depths than those with small loggers. In addition, birds with large loggers made more dives probably to compensate for the extra cost of carrying a large logger. The measured variables also differed between the sexes, with males diving deeper and longer than females. Logger size had a sex-specific effect on the trip duration and descent speed, with males equipped with large loggers staying longer at sea than those with small loggers, and females with large loggers descending faster than those with small loggers. From our results, it appears that effects of logger position do not exist or are very small in comparison with the effects of logger size. The results of the current study indicate that the effects of size of loggers be evaluated more commonly in bio-logging research into the diving activity of free-ranging birds.

  16. Airborne endotoxin associated with particles of different sizes and affected by water content in handled straw.

    PubMed

    Madsen, A M; Nielsen, S H

    2010-07-01

    makes attempts to influence the endotoxin exposure a possibility. Water content in straw affected the concentration, exposure level and size distribution of airborne endotoxin. PMID:20362504

  17. Factors affecting ground-water exchange and catchment size for Florida lakes in mantled karst terrain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Terrie Mackin

    2002-01-01

    In the mantled karst terrain of Florida, the size of the catchment delivering ground-water inflow to lakes is often considerably smaller than the topographically defined drainage basin. The size is determined by a balance of factors that act individually to enhance or diminish the hydraulic connection between the lake and the adjacent surficial aquifer, as well as the hydraulic connection between the surficial aquifer and the deeper limestone aquifer. Factors affecting ground-water exchange and the size of the ground-water catchment for lakes in mantled karst terrain were examined by: (1) reviewing the physical and hydrogeological characteristics of 14 Florida lake basins with available ground-water inflow estimates, and (2) simulating ground-water flow in hypothetical lake basins. Variably-saturated flow modeling was used to simulate a range of physical and hydrogeologic factors observed at the 14 lake basins. These factors included: recharge rate to the surficial aquifer, thickness of the unsaturated zone, size of the topographically defined basin, depth of the lake, thickness of the surficial aquifer, hydraulic conductivity of the geologic units, the location and size of karst subsidence features beneath and onshore of the lake, and the head in the Upper Floridan aquifer. Catchment size and the magnitude of ground-water inflow increased with increases in recharge rate to the surficial aquifer, the size of the topographically defined basin, hydraulic conductivity in the surficial aquifer, the degree of confinement of the deeper Upper Floridan aquifer, and the head in the Upper Floridan aquifer. The catchment size and magnitude of ground-water inflow increased with decreases in the number and size of karst subsidence features in the basin, and the thickness of the unsaturated zone near the lake. Model results, although qualitative, provided insights into: (1) the types of lake basins in mantled karst terrain that have the potential to generate small and large

  18. Gephyrin expression and clustering affects the size of glutamatergic synaptic contacts

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Wendou; De Blas, Angel L.

    2009-01-01

    We have recently shown that disrupting the expression and postsynaptic clustering of gephyrin in cultured hippocampal pyramidal cells, by either gephyrin RNAi (RNA interference) or overexpression of a dominant negative gephyrin-EGFP fusion protein, leads to decreased number of postsynaptic gephyrin and GABAA receptor clusters and to reduced GABAergic innervation of these cells. On the other hand, increasing gephyrin expression led to a small increase in the number of gephyrin and GABAA receptor clusters and to little or no effect on GABAergic innervation. We are now reporting that altering gephyrin expression and clustering affects the size but not the density of glutamatergic synaptic contacts. Knocking down gephyrin with gephyrin RNAi, or preventing gephyrin clustering by overexpression of the dominant negative gephyrin-EGFP fusion protein, leads to larger postsynaptic PSD-95 clusters and larger presynaptic glutamatergic terminals. On the other hand, overexpression of gephyrin leads to slightly smaller PSD-95 clusters and presynaptic glutamatergic terminals. The change in size of PSD-95 clusters were accompanied by a parallel change in the size of NR2-NMDA receptor clusters. It is concluded that the levels of expression and clustering of gephyrin, a protein that concentrates at the postsynaptic complex of the inhibitory synapses, not only has homotypic effects on GABAergic synaptic contacts, but also has heterotypic effects on glutamatergic synaptic contacts. We are proposing that gephyrin is a counterpart of the postsynaptic glutamatergic scaffold protein PSD-95 in regulating the number and/or size of the excitatory and inhibitory synaptic contacts. PMID:18199120

  19. Population size and relatedness affect fitness of a self-incompatible invasive plant.

    PubMed

    Elam, Diane R; Ridley, Caroline E; Goodell, Karen; Ellstrand, Norman C

    2007-01-01

    One of the lingering paradoxes in invasion biology is how founder populations of an introduced species are able to overcome the limitations of small size and, in a "reversal of fortune," proliferate in a new habitat. The transition from colonist to invader is especially enigmatic for self-incompatible species, which must find a mate to reproduce. In small populations, the inability to find a mate can result in the Allee effect, a positive relationship between individual fitness and population size or density. Theoretically, the Allee effect should be common in founder populations of self-incompatible colonizing species and may account for the high rate of failed introductions, but little supporting evidence exists. We created a field experiment to test whether the Allee effect affects the maternal fitness of a self-incompatible invasive species, wild radish (Raphanus sativus). We created populations of varying size and relatedness. We measured maternal fitness in terms of both fruit set per flower and seed number per fruit. We found that both population size and the level of genetic relatedness among individuals influence maternal reproductive success. Our results explicitly define an ecological genetic obstacle faced by populations of an exotic species on its way to becoming invasive. Such a mechanistic understanding of the invasions of species that require a mate can and should be exploited for both controlling current outbreaks and reducing their frequency in the future. PMID:17197422

  20. Cotyledon damage affects seed number through final plant size in the annual grassland species Medicago lupulina

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shiting; Zhao, Chuan; Lamb, Eric G.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The effects of cotyledon damage on seedling growth and survival are relatively well established, but little is known about the effects on aspects of plant fitness such as seed number and size. Here the direct and indirect mechanisms linking cotyledon damage and plant fitness in the annual species Medicago lupulina are examined. Methods Growth and reproductive traits, including mature plant size, time to first flowering, flower number, seed number and individual seed mass were monitored in M. lupulina plants when zero, one or two cotyledons were removed at 7 d old. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to examine the mechanisms linking cotyledon damage to seed number and seed mass. Key Results Cotyledon damage reduced seed number but not individual seed mass. The primary mechanism was a reduction in plant biomass with cotyledon damage that in turn reduced seed number primarily through a reduction in flower numbers. Although cotyledon damage delayed flower initiation, it had little effect on seed number. Individual seed mass was not affected by cotyledon removal, but there was a trade-off between seed number and seed mass. Conclusions It is shown how a network of indirect mechanisms link damage to cotyledons and fitness in M. lupulina. Cotyledon damage had strong direct effects on both plant size and flowering phenology, but an analysis of the causal relationships among plant traits and fitness components showed that a reduction in plant size associated with cotyledon damage was an important mechanism influencing fitness. PMID:21196450

  1. Brain size affects the behavioural response to predators in female guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

    PubMed Central

    van der Bijl, Wouter; Thyselius, Malin; Kotrschal, Alexander; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-01-01

    Large brains are thought to result from selection for cognitive benefits, but how enhanced cognition leads to increased fitness remains poorly understood. One explanation is that increased cognitive ability results in improved monitoring and assessment of predator threats. Here, we use male and female guppies (Poecilia reticulata), artificially selected for large and small brain size, to provide an experimental evaluation of this hypothesis. We examined their behavioural response as singletons, pairs or shoals of four towards a model predator. Large-brained females, but not males, spent less time performing predator inspections, an inherently risky behaviour. Video analysis revealed that large-brained females were further away from the model predator when in pairs but that they habituated quickly towards the model when in shoals of four. Males stayed further away from the predator model than females but again we found no brain size effect in males. We conclude that differences in brain size affect the female predator response. Large-brained females might be able to assess risk better or need less sensory information to reach an accurate conclusion. Our results provide experimental support for the general idea that predation pressure is likely to be important for the evolution of brain size in prey species. PMID:26203003

  2. Brain size affects the behavioural response to predators in female guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    van der Bijl, Wouter; Thyselius, Malin; Kotrschal, Alexander; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-08-01

    Large brains are thought to result from selection for cognitive benefits, but how enhanced cognition leads to increased fitness remains poorly understood. One explanation is that increased cognitive ability results in improved monitoring and assessment of predator threats. Here, we use male and female guppies (Poecilia reticulata), artificially selected for large and small brain size, to provide an experimental evaluation of this hypothesis. We examined their behavioural response as singletons, pairs or shoals of four towards a model predator. Large-brained females, but not males, spent less time performing predator inspections, an inherently risky behaviour. Video analysis revealed that large-brained females were further away from the model predator when in pairs but that they habituated quickly towards the model when in shoals of four. Males stayed further away from the predator model than females but again we found no brain size effect in males. We conclude that differences in brain size affect the female predator response. Large-brained females might be able to assess risk better or need less sensory information to reach an accurate conclusion. Our results provide experimental support for the general idea that predation pressure is likely to be important for the evolution of brain size in prey species. PMID:26203003

  3. Animal Slurry Acidification Affects Particle Size Distribution and Improves Separation Efficiency.

    PubMed

    Regueiro, I; Pociask, M; Coutinho, J; Fangueiro, D

    2016-05-01

    Solid-liquid separation is performed to improve slurry management, and acidification of the slurry is used to reduce ammonia emissions. Acidification is known to affect slurry characteristics, and we hypothesized that it may affect mechanical separation. Our objective in this study was to assess the effects of slurry acidification on particle size distribution and separation efficiency. Two types of slurry, aged pig and fresh dairy, and two different acidification additives, sulfuric acid and aluminum sulfate (alum), were studied. We found that acidification with sulfuric acid promoted phosphorus (P) solubilization for both slurries, but no change was observed with alum. More ammonium was found in the acidified dairy slurry compared with raw dairy slurry, but no difference was found in aged pig slurry. Acidification before separation increased the proportion of the solid fraction in the slurries, and the effect was significantly higher with alum. When alum was used to acidify the slurries, the proportion of particles larger than 100 μm increased significantly, as did the P concentration in this particle size range. The efficiency of P separation increased markedly in both slurries when alum was used, with the removal to the solid fraction of the dairy slurry being almost complete (90%). Because the priority in mechanical separation is to increase the P content in the solid fraction, the use of alum before centrifugation may be the most suitable option for enhancing its nutrient content. We conclude that separation efficiency and particle size distribution are significantly affected by acidification, but the extent of the effects depends on slurry type and on the type of additive used for acidification. PMID:27136179

  4. Size, but not experience, affects the ontogeny of constriction performance in ball pythons (Python regius).

    PubMed

    Penning, David A; Dartez, Schuyler F

    2016-03-01

    Constriction is a prey-immobilization technique used by many snakes and is hypothesized to have been important to the evolution and diversification of snakes. However, very few studies have examined the factors that affect constriction performance. We investigated constriction performance in ball pythons (Python regius) by evaluating how peak constriction pressure is affected by snake size, sex, and experience. In one experiment, we tested the ontogenetic scaling of constriction performance and found that snake diameter was the only significant factor determining peak constriction pressure. The number of loops applied in a coil and its interaction with snake diameter did not significantly affect constriction performance. Constriction performance in ball pythons scaled differently than in other snakes that have been studied, and medium to large ball pythons are capable of exerting significantly higher pressures than those shown to cause circulatory arrest in prey. In a second experiment, we tested the effects of experience on constriction performance in hatchling ball pythons over 10 feeding events. By allowing snakes in one test group to gain constriction experience, and manually feeding snakes under sedation in another test group, we showed that experience did not affect constriction performance. During their final (10th) feedings, all pythons constricted similarly and with sufficiently high pressures to kill prey rapidly. At the end of the 10 feeding trials, snakes that were allowed to constrict were significantly smaller than their non-constricting counterparts. J. Exp. Zool. 9999A:XX-XX, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26847931

  5. Sex allocation in a polygynous mammal with large litters: the wild boar.

    PubMed

    FernáNdez-Llario; Carranza; Mateos-Quesada

    1999-11-01

    Predictions from Trivers & Willard's (1973, Science, 179, 90-92) hypothesis of sex-biased maternal investment in polygynous species do not apply well to species where mothers produce more than one offspring per reproductive attempt. First, as litter size increases, the benefits to the mother of adjusting sex ratio decrease because (1) she could benefit more by adjusting litter size and (2) sex differences in reproductive potential are negatively related to litter size. Second, testing sex-biased investment in these species requires predictions about the simultaneous adjustment of sex ratio and litter size. The wild boar, Sus scrofa, although polygynous, produces large litters. Here we present data for 58 litters from a free-ranging wild boar population in central Spain. Maternal expenditure per individual offspring, as measured by piglet weight, was higher for male than female fetuses. In more than 81% of cases the heaviest fetus in the litter was a male regardless of the quality of the mother; this might have influenced his ranking within the 'teat order' and consequently his development and survival. Mother quality (size and weight) appeared to be related to litter size but not to the sex ratio of the litter. However, it was highly related to a variable that combined the effects of litter size and sex ratio within the litter, thus supporting Williams' (1979, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 205, 567-580) hypothesis that mothers should adjust both litter size and offspring sex. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10564610

  6. Species-abundance--seed-size patterns within a plant community affected by grazing disturbance.

    PubMed

    Wu, Gao-lin; Shang, Zhan-huan; Zhu, Yuan-jun; Ding, Lu-ming; Wang, Dong

    2015-04-01

    Seed size has been advanced as a key factor that influences the dynamics of plant communities, but there are few empirical or theoretical predictions of how community dynamics progress based on seed size patterns. Information on the abundance of adults, seedlings, soil seed banks, seed rains, and the seed mass of 96 species was collected in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (China), which had different levels of grazing disturbance. The relationships between seed-mass-abundance patterns for adults, seedlings, the soil seed bank, and seed rain in the plant community were evaluated using regression models. Results showed that grazing levels affected the relationship between seed size and abundance properties of adult species, seedlings, and the soil seed bank, suggesting that there is a shift in seed-size--species-abundance relationships as a response to the grazing gradient. Grazing had no effect on the pattern of seed-size-seed-rain-abundance at four grazing levels. Grazing also had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--species-abundance and pattern of seed-size--soil-seed-bank-abundance in meadows with no grazing, light grazing, and moderate grazing), but there was a significant negative effect in meadows with heavy grazing. Grazing had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--seedling-abundance with no grazing, but had significant negative effects with light, moderate, and heavy grazing, and the |r| values increased with grazing levels. This indicated that increasing grazing pressure enhanced the advantage of smaller-seeded species in terms of the abundances of adult species, seedlings, and soil seed banks, whereas only the light grazing level promoted the seed rain abundance of larger-seeded species in the plant communities. This study suggests that grazing disturbances are favorable for increasing the species abundance for smaller-seeded species but not for the larger-seeded species in an alpine meadow community. Hence, there is a clear

  7. Microbial mineralization of organic nitrogen forms in poultry litters.

    PubMed

    Rothrock, Michael J; Cook, Kimberly L; Warren, Jason G; Eiteman, Mark A; Sistani, Karamat

    2010-01-01

    Ammonia volatilization from the mineralization of uric acid and urea has a major impact on the poultry industry and the environment. Dry acids are commonly used to reduce ammonia emissions from poultry houses; however, little is known about how acidification affects the litter biologically. The goal of this laboratory incubation was to compare the microbiological and physiochemical effects of dry acid amendments (Al+Clear, Poultry Litter Treatment, Poultry Guard) on poultry litter to an untreated control litter and to specifically correlate uric acid and urea contents of these litters to the microbes responsible for their mineralization. Although all three acidifiers eventually produced similar effects within the litter, there was at least a 2-wk delay in the microbiological responses using Poultry Litter Treatment. Acidification of the poultry litter resulted in >3 log increases in total fungal concentrations, with both uricolytic (uric acid degrading) and ureolytic (urea degrading) fungi increasing by >2 logs within the first 2 to 4 wk of the incubation. Conversely, total, uricolytic, and ureolytic bacterial populations all significantly declined during this same time period. While uric acid and urea mineralization occurred within the first 2 wk in the untreated control litter, acidification resulted in delayed mineralization events for both uric acid and urea (2 and 4 wk delay, respectively) once fungal cell concentrations exceeded a threshold level. Therefore, fungi, and especially uricolytic fungi, appear to have a vital role in the mineralization of organic N in low-pH, high-N environments, and the activity of these fungi should be considered in best management practices to reduce ammonia volatilization from acidified poultry litter. PMID:21043291

  8. Hydroxyapatite crystallinity does not affect the repair of critical size bone defects

    PubMed Central

    CONZ, Marcio Baltazar; GRANJEIRO, José Mauro; SOARES, Gloria de Almeida

    2011-01-01

    Objective The physicochemical properties of hydroxyapatite (HA) granules were observed to affect the biological behavior of graft materials. The aim of this work was to analyze the tissue response of two HA granules with different crystallinity and Ca/P ratio in vivo. Material and Methods The HA granules were produced in the Biomaterials Laboratory (COPPE/UFRJ). The testing materials were HA granules presenting a Ca/P molar ratio of 1.60 and 28% crystallinity (HA-1), and a Ca/P molar ratio of 1.67 and 70% crystallinity (HA-2). Both HAs were implanted into a critical-size calvaria rat defects. Results To note, in the control group, the bone defects were filled with blood clot only. Descriptive and histomorphometric analyses after 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively showed mild inflammatory infiltrate, mainly comprising macrophage-like and multinucleated giant cells, and an increase in the volume density of the fibrous tissues (p<0.05), which was in contrast to the similar volume density of the newly formed bone and biomaterials in relation to the control group. Conclusion Thus, we concluded that HA-1 and HA-2 are biocompatible and non-degradable, and that crystallinity does not affect bone repair of critical size defects. PMID:21655775

  9. Atrazine exposure affects longevity, development time and body size in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Marcus, Sarah R; Fiumera, Anthony C

    2016-01-01

    Atrazine is the one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States and non-target organisms may encounter it in the environment. Atrazine is known to affect male reproduction in both vertebrates and invertebrates but less is known about its effects on other fitness traits. Here we assessed the effects of five different chronic exposure levels on a variety of fitness traits in Drosophila melanogaster. We measured male and female longevity, development time, proportion pupated, proportion emerged, body size, female mating rate, fertility and fecundity. Atrazine exposure decreased the proportion pupated, the proportion emerged and adult survival. Development time was also affected by atrazine and exposed flies pupated and emerged earlier than controls. Although development time was accelerated, body size was actually larger in some of the exposures. Atrazine exposure had no effect on female mating rate and the effects on female fertility and fecundity were only observed in one of the two independent experimental blocks. Many of the traits showed non-monotonic dose response curves, where the intermediate concentrations showed the largest effects. Overall this study shows that atrazine influences a variety of life history traits in the model genetic system, D. melanogaster, and future studies should aim to identify the molecular mechanisms of toxicity. PMID:27317622

  10. Factors Affecting Pathogen Survival in Finished Dairy Compost with Different Particle Sizes Under Greenhouse Conditions.

    PubMed

    Diao, Junshu; Chen, Zhao; Gong, Chao; Jiang, Xiuping

    2015-09-01

    This study investigated the survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Typhimurium in finished dairy compost with different particle sizes during storage as affected by moisture content and temperature under greenhouse conditions. The mixture of E. coli O157:H7 and S. Typhimurium strains was inoculated into the finished composts with moisture contents of 20, 30, and 40%, separately. The finished compost samples were then sieved into 3 different particle sizes (>1000, 500-1000, and <500 μm) and stored under greenhouse conditions. For compost samples with moisture contents of 20 and 30%, the average Salmonella reductions in compost samples with particle sizes of >1000, 500-1000, and <500 μm were 2.15, 2.27, and 2.47 log colony-forming units (CFU) g(-1) within 5 days of storage in summer, respectively, as compared with 1.60, 2.03, and 2.26 log CFU g(-1) in late fall, respectively, and 2.61, 3.33, and 3.67 log CFU g(-1) in winter, respectively. The average E. coli O157:H7 reductions in compost samples with particle sizes of >1000, 500-1000, and <500 μm were 1.98, 2.30, and 2.54 log CFU g(-1) within 5 days of storage in summer, respectively, as compared with 1.70, 2.56, and 2.90 log CFU g(-1) in winter, respectively. Our results revealed that both Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 in compost samples with larger particle size survived better than those with smaller particle sizes, and the initial rapid moisture loss in compost may contribute to the fast inactivation of pathogens in the finished compost. For the same season, the pathogens in the compost samples with the same particle size survived much better at the initial moisture content of 20% compared to 40%. PMID:26153914

  11. Offspring size at weaning affects survival to recruitment and reproductive performance of primiparous gray seals

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, William D; den Heyer, Cornelia E; McMillan, Jim I; Iverson, Sara J

    2015-01-01

    Offspring size affects survival and subsequent reproduction in many organisms. However, studies of offspring size in large mammals are often limited to effects on juveniles because of the difficulty of following individuals to maturity. We used data from a long-term study of individually marked gray seals (Halichoerus grypus; Fabricius, 1791) to test the hypothesis that larger offspring have higher survival to recruitment and are larger and more successful primiparous mothers than smaller offspring. Between 1998 and 2002, 1182 newly weaned female pups were branded with unique permanent marks on Sable Island, Canada. Each year through 2012, all branded females returning to the breeding colony were identified in weekly censuses and a subset were captured and measured. Females that survived were significantly longer offspring than those not sighted, indicating size-selective mortality between weaning and recruitment. The probability of female survival to recruitment varied among cohorts and increased nonlinearly with body mass at weaning. Beyond 51.5 kg (mean population weaning mass) weaning mass did not influence the probability of survival. The probability of female survival to recruitment increased monotonically with body length at weaning. Body length at primiparity was positively related to her body length and mass at weaning. Three-day postpartum mass (proxy for birth mass) of firstborn pups was also positively related to body length of females when they were weaned. However, females that were longer or heavier when they were weaned did not wean heavier firstborn offspring. PMID:25897381

  12. Offspring size at weaning affects survival to recruitment and reproductive performance of primiparous gray seals.

    PubMed

    Bowen, William D; den Heyer, Cornelia E; McMillan, Jim I; Iverson, Sara J

    2015-04-01

    Offspring size affects survival and subsequent reproduction in many organisms. However, studies of offspring size in large mammals are often limited to effects on juveniles because of the difficulty of following individuals to maturity. We used data from a long-term study of individually marked gray seals (Halichoerus grypus; Fabricius, 1791) to test the hypothesis that larger offspring have higher survival to recruitment and are larger and more successful primiparous mothers than smaller offspring. Between 1998 and 2002, 1182 newly weaned female pups were branded with unique permanent marks on Sable Island, Canada. Each year through 2012, all branded females returning to the breeding colony were identified in weekly censuses and a subset were captured and measured. Females that survived were significantly longer offspring than those not sighted, indicating size-selective mortality between weaning and recruitment. The probability of female survival to recruitment varied among cohorts and increased nonlinearly with body mass at weaning. Beyond 51.5 kg (mean population weaning mass) weaning mass did not influence the probability of survival. The probability of female survival to recruitment increased monotonically with body length at weaning. Body length at primiparity was positively related to her body length and mass at weaning. Three-day postpartum mass (proxy for birth mass) of firstborn pups was also positively related to body length of females when they were weaned. However, females that were longer or heavier when they were weaned did not wean heavier firstborn offspring. PMID:25897381

  13. Quantifying the effect size of changing environmental controls on carbon release from permafrost-affected soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaedel, C.; Bader, M. K. F.; Schuur, E. A. G.; Bracho, R. G.; Capek, P.; De Baets, S. L.; Diakova, K.; Ernakovich, J. G.; Hartley, I. P.; Iversen, C. M.; Kane, E. S.; Knoblauch, C.; Lupascu, M.; Natali, S.; Norby, R. J.; O'Donnell, J. A.; Roy Chowdhury, T.; Santruckova, H.; Shaver, G. R.; Sloan, V. L.; Treat, C. C.; Waldrop, M. P.

    2014-12-01

    High-latitude surface air temperatures are rising twice as fast as the global mean, causing permafrost to thaw and thereby exposing large quantities of previously frozen organic carbon (C) to microbial decomposition. Increasing temperatures in high latitude ecosystems not only increase C emissions from previously frozen C in permafrost but also indirectly affect the C cycle through changes in regional and local hydrology. Warmer temperatures increase thawing of ice-rich permafrost, causing land surface subsidence where soils become waterlogged, anoxic conditions prevail and C is released in form of anaerobic CO2 and CH4. Although substrate quality, physical protection, and nutrient availability affect C decomposition, increasing temperatures and changes in surface and sub-surface hydrology are likely the dominant factors affecting the rate and form of C release from permafrost; however, their effect size on C release is poorly quantified. We have compiled a database of 24 incubation studies with soils from active layer and permafrost from across the entire permafrost zone to quantify a) the effect size of increasing temperatures and b) the changes from aerobic to anaerobic environmental soil conditions on C release. Results from two different meta-analyses show that a 10°C increase in temperature increased C release by a factor of two in boreal forest, peatland and tundra ecosystems. Under aerobic incubation conditions, soils released on average three times more C than under anaerobic conditions with large variation among the different ecosystems. While peatlands showed similar amounts of C release under aerobic and anaerobic soil conditions, tundra and boreal forest ecosystems released up to 8 times more C under anoxic conditions. This pan-arctic synthesis shows that boreal forest and tundra soils will have a larger impact on climate change when newly thawed permafrost C decomposes in an aerobic environment compared to an anaerobic environment even when

  14. Reducing Children's Littering on a Nature Trail

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaHart, David E.; Bailey, Jon S.

    1975-01-01

    This study compared incentives and educational methods to motivate children to pick up litter and to prevent littering. Incentives did aid in getting litter picked up. One-sentence anti-litter statements, educational materials, and lectures reduced littering, but incentives did not. (MR)

  15. Nano-sized polystyrene affects feeding, behavior and physiology of brine shrimp Artemia franciscana larvae.

    PubMed

    Bergami, Elisa; Bocci, Elena; Vannuccini, Maria Luisa; Monopoli, Marco; Salvati, Anna; Dawson, Kenneth A; Corsi, Ilaria

    2016-01-01

    Nano-sized polymers as polystyrene (PS) constitute one of the main challenges for marine ecosystems, since they can distribute along the whole water column affecting planktonic species and consequently disrupting the energy flow of marine ecosystems. Nowadays very little knowledge is available on the impact of nano-sized plastics on marine organisms. Therefore, the present study aims to evaluate the effects of 40nm anionic carboxylated (PS-COOH) and 50nm cationic amino (PS-NH2) polystyrene nanoparticles (PS NPs) on brine shrimp Artemia franciscana larvae. No signs of mortality were observed at 48h of exposure for both PS NPs at naplius stage but several sub-lethal effects were evident. PS-COOH (5-100μg/ml) resulted massively sequestered inside the gut lumen of larvae (48h) probably limiting food intake. Some of them were lately excreted as fecal pellets but not a full release was observed. Likewise, PS-NH2 (5-100µg/ml) accumulated in larvae (48h) but also adsorbed at the surface of sensorial antennules and appendages probably hampering larvae motility. In addition, larvae exposed to PS-NH2 undergo multiple molting events during 48h of exposure compared to controls. The activation of a defense mechanism based on a physiological process able to release toxic cationic NPs (PS-NH2) from the body can be hypothesized. The general observed accumulation of PS NPs within the gut during the 48h of exposure indicates a continuous bioavailability of nano-sized PS for planktonic species as well as a potential transfer along the trophic web. Therefore, nano-sized PS might be able to impair food uptake (feeding), behavior (motility) and physiology (multiple molting) of brine shrimp larvae with consequences not only at organism and population level but on the overall ecosystem based on the key role of zooplankton on marine food webs. PMID:26422775

  16. Pack size and wolf pup survival: their relationship under varying ecological conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harrington, F.H.; Mech, L.D.; Fritts, S.H.

    1983-01-01

    The relationship between pack size and two parameters of reproductive success (litter size at 7?8 months and pup weights at 5?6 months) were determined for two wolf (Canis lupus) populations in northern Minnesota. Pup weights were not correlated with pack size for either population. Litter size, however, was correlated with pack size, but the direction of the relationship varied between the two study populations. In the superior National Forest, where prey were scarce and the wolf population was declining from high densities, litter size and pack size were inversely related. Pairs produced more surviving pups than did larger packs with one or more potential helpers. In the Beltrami Island State Forest, where prey were relatively abundant and the wolf population was increasing, pack size and litter size were positively correlated. The results suggest that ecological factors, such as prey availability, affected the ability or willingness of various pack members to provide food or other care for the pups. The lack of correlation between number of auxiliaries and number of pups in canid populations with low and declining prey densities may be explained on the basis of heterogeneous prey density resulting in drastic annual variation in litter production. No study to date has measured the actual benefit that pups derive from helping by auxiliaries, and the costs and benefits of it. The relationships discussed herein can be considered valid only after such research is completed.

  17. Sex allocation and secondary sex ratio in Cuban boa (Chilabothrus angulifer): mother's body size affects the ratio between sons and daughters.

    PubMed

    Frynta, Daniel; Vejvodová, Tereza; Šimková, Olga

    2016-06-01

    Secondary sex ratios of animals with genetically determined sex may considerably deviate from equality. These deviations may be attributed to several proximate and ultimate factors. Sex ratio theory explains some of them as strategic decisions of mothers improving their fitness by selective investment in sons or daughters, e.g. local resource competition hypothesis (LRC) suggests that philopatric females tend to produce litters with male-biased sex ratios to avoid future competition with their daughters. Until now, only little attention has been paid to examine predictions of sex ratio theory in snakes possessing genetic sex determination and exhibiting large variance in allocation of maternal investment. Cuban boa is an endemic viviparous snake producing large-bodied newborns (∼200 g). Extremely high maternal investment in each offspring increases importance of sex allocation. In a captive colony, we collected breeding records of 42 mothers, 62 litters and 306 newborns and examined secondary sex ratios (SR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) of newborns. None of the examined morphometric traits of neonates appeared sexually dimorphic. The sex ratio was slightly male biased (174 males versus 132 females) and litter sex ratio significantly decreased with female snout-vent length. We interpret this relationship as an additional support for LRC as competition between mothers and daughters increases with similarity of body sizes between competing snakes. PMID:27216175

  18. Sex allocation and secondary sex ratio in Cuban boa ( Chilabothrus angulifer): mother's body size affects the ratio between sons and daughters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frynta, Daniel; Vejvodová, Tereza; Šimková, Olga

    2016-06-01

    Secondary sex ratios of animals with genetically determined sex may considerably deviate from equality. These deviations may be attributed to several proximate and ultimate factors. Sex ratio theory explains some of them as strategic decisions of mothers improving their fitness by selective investment in sons or daughters, e.g. local resource competition hypothesis (LRC) suggests that philopatric females tend to produce litters with male-biased sex ratios to avoid future competition with their daughters. Until now, only little attention has been paid to examine predictions of sex ratio theory in snakes possessing genetic sex determination and exhibiting large variance in allocation of maternal investment. Cuban boa is an endemic viviparous snake producing large-bodied newborns (˜200 g). Extremely high maternal investment in each offspring increases importance of sex allocation. In a captive colony, we collected breeding records of 42 mothers, 62 litters and 306 newborns and examined secondary sex ratios (SR) and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) of newborns. None of the examined morphometric traits of neonates appeared sexually dimorphic. The sex ratio was slightly male biased (174 males versus 132 females) and litter sex ratio significantly decreased with female snout-vent length. We interpret this relationship as an additional support for LRC as competition between mothers and daughters increases with similarity of body sizes between competing snakes.

  19. In situ characterization of forest litter using ground-penetrating radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    André, Frédéric; Jonard, François; Jonard, Mathieu; Lambot, Sébastien

    2016-03-01

    Decomposing litter accumulated on the soil surface in forests plays a major role in several ecosystem processes; its detailed characterization is therefore essential for thorough understanding of ecosystem functioning. In addition, litter is known to affect remote sensing radar data over forested areas and their proper processing requires accurate quantification of litter scattering properties. In the present study, ultrawideband (0.8-2.2 GHz) ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data were collected in situ for a wide range of litter types to investigate the potential of the technique to reconstruct litter horizons in undisturbed natural conditions. Radar data were processed resorting to full-wave inversion. Good agreement was generally found between estimated and measured litter layer thicknesses, with root-mean-square error values around 1 cm for recently fallen litter (OL layer) and around 2 cm for fragmented litter in partial decomposition (OF layer) and total litter (OL + OF). Nevertheless, significant correlations between estimated and measured thicknesses were found for total litter only. Inaccuracies in the reconstruction of the individual litter horizons were mainly attributed to weak dielectric contrasts amongst litter layers, with absolute differences in relative dielectric permittivity values often lower than 2 between humus horizons, and to uncertainties in the ground truth values. Radar signal inversions also provided reliable estimates of litter electromagnetic properties, with average relative dielectric permittivity values around 2.9 and 6.3 for OL and OF litters, respectively. These results are encouraging for the use of GPR for noninvasive characterization and mapping of forest litter. Perspectives for the application of the technique in biogeosciences are discussed.

  20. Warming and Nitrogen Addition Increase Litter Decomposition in a Temperate Meadow Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Shiwei; Guo, Rui; Zhang, Tao; Guo, Jixun

    2015-01-01

    Background Litter decomposition greatly influences soil structure, nutrient content and carbon sequestration, but how litter decomposition is affected by climate change is still not well understood. Methodology/Principal Findings A field experiment with increased temperature and nitrogen (N) addition was established in April 2007 to examine the effects of experimental warming, N addition and their interaction on litter decomposition in a temperate meadow steppe in northeastern China. Warming, N addition and warming plus N addition reduced the residual mass of L. chinensis litter by 3.78%, 7.51% and 4.53%, respectively, in 2008 and 2009, and by 4.73%, 24.08% and 16.1%, respectively, in 2010. Warming, N addition and warming plus N addition had no effect on the decomposition of P. communis litter in 2008 or 2009, but reduced the residual litter mass by 5.58%, 15.53% and 5.17%, respectively, in 2010. Warming and N addition reduced the cellulose percentage of L. chinensis and P. communis, specifically in 2010. The lignin percentage of L. chinensis and P. communis was reduced by warming but increased by N addition. The C, N and P contents of L. chinensis and P. communis litter increased with time. Warming and N addition reduced the C content and C:N ratios of L. chinensisand P. communis litter, but increased the N and P contents. Significant interactive effects of warming and N addition on litter decomposition were observed (P<0.01). Conclusion/Significance The litter decomposition rate was highly correlated with soil temperature, soil water content and litter quality. Warming and N addition significantly impacted the litter decomposition rate in the Songnen meadow ecosystem, and the effects of warming and N addition on litter decomposition were also influenced by the quality of litter. These results highlight how climate change could alter grassland ecosystem carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus contents in soil by influencing litter decomposition. PMID:25774776

  1. Riparian litter inputs to streams in the central Oregon Coast Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, Stephanie K.; Hibbs, David E.; Perakis, Steven S.

    2013-01-01

    Riparian-zone vegetation can influence terrestrial and aquatic food webs through variation in the amount, timing, and nutritional content of leaf and other litter inputs. We investigated how riparian-forest community composition, understory density, and lateral slope shaped vertical and lateral litter inputs to 16 streams in the Oregon Coast Range. Riparian forests dominated by deciduous red alder delivered greater annual vertical litter inputs to streams (504 g m−2 y−1) than did riparian forests dominated by coniferous Douglas-fir (394 g m−2 y−1). Deciduous forests also contributed greater lateral litter inputs per meter of stream bank on one side (109 g m−1 y−1) than did coniferous forests (63 g m−1 y−1). Total litter inputs from deciduous forests exceeded those from coniferous forests most strongly in November, coincident with an autumn peak in litter inputs. Lateral litter inputs contributed most to total inputs during winter in both forest types. Annual lateral litter movement increased with slope at deciduous sites, but only in spring/summer months at coniferous sites. Neither experimental removal of understory vegetation nor installation of mesh fences to block downslope litter movement affected lateral litter inputs to streams, suggesting that ground litter moves <5 m downslope annually. N concentrations of several litter fractions were higher at deciduous sites and, when combined with greater litter amounts, yielded twice as much total litter N flux to streams in deciduous than coniferous sites. The presence of red alder in riparian forests along many small streams of the deeply incised and highly dendritic basins of the Oregon Coast Range enhances total fluxes and seasonality of litter delivery to both terrestrial and aquatic food webs in this region and complements the shade and large woody debris provided by large coniferous trees.

  2. The Effects of Litter on Littering Behavior in a Forest Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crump, S. Larry; And Others

    1977-01-01

    The effects of littered and nonlittered areas on littering behavior were determined in picnic areas in the Uinta National Forest, Utah. Littered and nonlittered conditions were controlled by spreading or removing litter from specified areas. Observations revealed that in the nonlittered areas there was more litter than in the littered areas. (CS)

  3. Study type and plant litter identity modulating the response of litter decomposition to warming, elevated CO2, and elevated O3: A meta-analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yue, Kai; Peng, Changhui; Yang, Wanqin; Peng, Yan; Fang, Junmin; Wu, Fuzhong

    2015-03-01

    Plant litter decomposition is one of the most important ecosystem carbon flux processes in terrestrial ecosystems and is usually regarded as sensitive to climate change. The goal of the present study was to examine the effects of changing climate variables on litter decomposition. By synthesizing data from multiple terrestrial ecosystems, we quantified the response of the litter decomposition rate to the independent effects of warming, elevated carbon dioxide (CO2), elevated ozone (O3), and the combined effects of elevated CO2 + elevated O3. Across all case studies, warming increased the litter decomposition rate significantly by 4.4%, but this effect could be reduced as a result of the negatively significant effects of elevated CO2 and elevated CO2 + elevated O3. The combined effects of elevated CO2 + elevated O3 decreased the litter decomposition rate significantly, and the magnitude appeared to be higher than that of the elevated CO2 per se. Moreover, the study type (field versus laboratory), ecosystem type, and plant litter identity and functional traits (growth form and litter form) were all important moderators regulating the response of litter decomposition to climate warming and elevated CO2 and O3. Although litter decomposition rate may show a moderate change as a result of the effects of multiple changing climate variables, the process of litter decomposition would be strongly altered due to the differing mechanisms of the effects of each climate change variable, suggesting that the global carbon cycle and biogeochemistry could be substantially affected.

  4. Exon size affects competition between splicing and cleavage-polyadenylation in the immunoglobulin mu gene.

    PubMed

    Peterson, M L; Bryman, M B; Peiter, M; Cowan, C

    1994-01-01

    The alternative RNA processing of microseconds and microns mRNAs from a single primary transcript depends on competition between a cleavage-polyadenylation reaction to produce microseconds mRNA and a splicing reaction to produce microns mRNA. The ratio of microseconds to microns mRNA is regulated during B-cell maturation; relatively more spliced microns mRNA is made in B cells than in plasma cells. The balance between the efficiencies of splicing and cleavage-polyadenylation is critical to the regulation. The mu gene can be modified to either reduce or improve the efficiency of each reaction and thus alter the ratio of the two RNAs produced. However, as long as neither reaction is so strong that it totally dominates, expression of the modified mu genes is regulated in B cells and plasma cells. The current experiments reveal a relationship between the C mu 4 exon size and the microseconds/microns expression ratio. The shorter the distance between the C mu 4 5' splice site and the nearest upstream 3' splice site, the more spliced microns mRNA was produced. Conversely, when this exon was expanded, more microseconds mRNA was produced. Expression from these mu genes with altered exon sizes were regulated between B cells and plasma cells. Since RNA processing in the mu gene can be considered a competition between defining the C mu 4 exon as an internal exon (in microns mRNA) versus a terminal exon (in microseconds mRNA), exon size may affect the competition among factors interacting with this exon. PMID:7903422

  5. Fewer but better: Proportionate size of the group affects evaluation of transgressive leaders.

    PubMed

    Travaglino, Giovanni A; Abrams, Dominic; Randsley de Moura, Georgina; Yetkili, Orkun

    2016-06-01

    A group may be badly affected if its leader transgresses important rules. Nonetheless, an emerging body of evidence suggests that in intergroup contexts, group members apply a double standard when judging ingroup leaders - They respond less punitively to transgressions by their leader than by non-leaders. In this article, two experiments investigated how proportionate ingroup size affects reactions to transgressive ingroup leaders. We demonstrate that ingroup leaders from larger, but not smaller, groups benefit from the double standard. The experiments testing the effects of two different types of transgressions (nepotistic favouritism and corruption, respectively) show that transgressive leaders from larger groups are evaluated more positively than both comparable non-leaders and leaders from smaller groups. In contrast, transgressive leaders from smaller groups are evaluated similarly to comparable transgressive non-leaders. Experiment 2 investigated a potential explanation for this phenomenon. Faced with a transgressive leader, members of a smaller group report greater embarrassment than do members of larger groups in relation to the leaders' actions. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed. PMID:26334165

  6. Mower/Litter Removal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    The Burg Corporation needed to get more power out of the suction system in their Vac 'N Bag grass mower/litter remover. The president submitted a problem statement to the Marshall Space Flight Center Technology Transfer Office, which devised a way to guide heavier items of trash to a point where suction was greatest, and made changes to the impeller and the exhaust port, based on rocket propulsion technology. The improved system is used by highway departments, city governments and park authorities, reducing work time by combining the tasks of grass cutting and vacuuming trash and grass clippings.

  7. Phosphatase activities in soil after repeated untreated and alum-treated poultry litter applications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Repeated additions of untreated and aluminum sulfate (alum)-treated poultry litter to soil affect ecology and consequent nutrient dynamics. The objective of this study was to determine how repeated annual poultry litter additions affected phosphatase activities in concert with changes in soil phosph...

  8. Effect of mountain climatic elevation gradient and litter origin on decomposition processes: long-term experiment with litter-bags

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klimek, Beata; Niklińska, Maria; Chodak, Marcin

    2013-04-01

    Temperature is one of the most important factors affecting soil organic matter decomposition. Mountain areas with vertical gradients of temperature and precipitation provide an opportunity to observe climate changes similar to those observed at various latitudes and may serve as an approximation for climatic changes. The aim of the study was to compare the effects of climatic conditions and initial properties of litter on decomposition processes and thermal sensitivity of forest litter. The litter was collected at three altitudes (600, 900, 1200 m a.s.l.) in the Beskidy Mts (southern Poland), put into litter-bags and exposed in the field since autumn 2011. The litter collected at single altitude was exposed at the altitude it was taken and also at the two other altitudes. The litter-bags were laid out on five mountains, treated as replicates. Starting on April 2012, single sets of litter-bags were collected every five weeks. The laboratory measurements included determination of dry mass loss and chemical composition (Corg, Nt, St, Mg, Ca, Na, K, Cu, Zn) of the litter. In the additional litter-bag sets, taken in spring and autumn 2012, microbial properties were measured. To determine the effect of litter properties and climatic conditions of elevation sites on decomposing litter thermal sensitivity the respiration rate of litter was measured at 5°C, 15°C and 25°C and calculated as Q10 L and Q10 H (ratios of respiration rate between 5° and 15°C and between 15°C and 25°C, respectively). The functional diversity of soil microbes was measured with Biolog® ECO plates, structural diversity with phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA). Litter mass lost during first year of incubation was characterized by high variability and mean mass lost ranged up to a 30% of initial mass. After autumn sampling we showed, that mean respiration rate of litter (dry mass) from the 600m a.s.l site exposed on 600m a.s.l. was the highest at each tested temperature. In turn, the lowest mean

  9. Influence of habitat, litter type, and soil invertebrates on leaf-litter decomposition in a fragmented Amazonian landscape.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Heraldo L; Laurance, William F

    2005-07-01

    Amazonian forest fragments and second-growth forests often differ substantially from undisturbed forests in their microclimate, plant-species composition, and soil fauna. To determine if these changes could affect litter decomposition, we quantified the mass loss of two contrasting leaf-litter mixtures, in the presence or absence of soil macroinvertebrates, and in three forest habitats. Leaf-litter decomposition rates in second-growth forests (>10 years old) and in fragment edges (<100 m from the edge) did not differ from that in the forest interior (>250 m from the edges of primary forests). In all three habitats, experimental exclusion of soil invertebrates resulted in slower decomposition rates. Faunal-exclosure effects were stronger for litter of the primary forest, composed mostly of leaves of old-growth trees, than for litter of second-growth forests, which was dominated by leaves of successional species. The latter had a significantly lower initial concentration of N, higher C:N and lignin:N ratios, and decomposed at a slower rate than did litter from forest interiors. Our results indicate that land-cover changes in Amazonia affect decomposition mainly through changes in plant species composition, which in turn affect litter quality. Similar effects may occur on fragment edges, particularly on very disturbed edges, where successional trees become dominant. The drier microclimatic conditions in fragment edges and second-growth forests (>10 years old) did not appear to inhibit decomposition. Finally, although soil invertebrates play a key role in leaf-litter decomposition, we found no evidence that differences in the abundance, species richness, or species composition of invertebrates between disturbed and undisturbed forests significantly altered decomposition rates. PMID:15942762

  10. Forest composition modifies litter dynamics and decomposition in regenerating tropical dry forest.

    PubMed

    Schilling, Erik M; Waring, Bonnie G; Schilling, Jonathan S; Powers, Jennifer S

    2016-09-01

    We investigated how forest composition, litter quality, and rainfall interact to affect leaf litter decomposition across three successional tropical dry forests in Costa Rica. We monitored litter stocks and bulk litter turnover in 18 plots that exhibit substantial variation in soil characteristics, tree community structure, fungal communities (including forests dominated by ecto- or arbuscular mycorrhizal host trees), and forest age. Simultaneously, we decomposed three standard litter substrates over a 6-month period spanning an unusually intense drought. Decay rates of standard substrates depended on the interaction between litter identity and forest type. Decomposition rates were correlated with tree and soil fungal community composition as well as soil fertility, but these relationships differed among litter types. In low fertility soils dominated by ectomycorrhizal oak trees, bulk litter turnover rates were low, regardless of soil moisture. By contrast, in higher fertility soils that supported mostly arbuscular mycorrhizal trees, bulk litter decay rates were strongly dependent on seasonal water availability. Both measures of decomposition increased with forest age, as did the frequency of termite-mediated wood decay. Taken together, our results demonstrate that soils and forest age exert strong control over decomposition dynamics in these tropical dry forests, either directly through effects on microclimate and nutrients, or indirectly by affecting tree and microbial community composition and traits, such as litter quality. PMID:27236291

  11. Runoff quality from no-till cotton fertilized with broiler litter in subsurface bands.

    PubMed

    Adeli, A; Tewolde, H; Shankle, M W; Way, T R; Brooks, J P; McLaughlin, M R

    2013-01-01

    Surface broadcast of broiler litter to no-till row crops exposes the litter and its nutrients to risks of loss in runoff water and volatilization and may limit the potential benefit of litter to the crops. Subsurface banding of litter could alleviate these risks. A field study was conducted in 2008 and 2009 on an upland Falkner silt loam soil to determine the effect of broiler litter placement on runoff nutrient losses from no-till cotton ( L.). Treatments included surface broadcast broiler litter applied manually, subsurface-banded litter applied by tractor-drawn equipment, and no broiler litter, all in combination with or without winter wheat ( L.) cover crop residue. Broiler litter rate was 5.6 Mg ha. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with a split-plot arrangement of treatments replicated three times. In 2008, simulated rainfall was used to generate runoff 27 d after litter application. Subsurface-banded litter reduced runoff total C, N, P, NH, NO, Cu, Zn and water-soluble P (WP) concentrations by 72, 64, 51, 49, 70, 36, 65, and 77%, respectively, compared with surface broadcast. The reductions were greater in 2009 where runoff occurred 1 d after litter application. Bacterial runoff was decreased by one log with subsurface-banded litter compared to surface broadcast. Except for C, NH, N, and WP, the presence of winter cover crop residue did not affect the load or runoff nutrient concentrations in either year. The results indicate that subsurface banding litter to no-till cotton substantially reduces nutrient and bacterial losses in runoff compared with surface broadcasting. PMID:23673763

  12. Countervailing effects on pine and oak leaf litter decomposition in human-altered Mediterranean ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sheffer, Efrat; Canham, Charles D; Kigel, Jaime; Perevolotsky, Avi

    2015-04-01

    Species affect the dynamics of litter decay through the intrinsic properties of their litter, but also by influencing the environmental conditions imposed by their canopy, roots, and litter layers. We examined how human-induced changes in the relative abundances of two dominant Mediterranean trees-Pinus halepensis and Quercus calliprinos-impact leaf litter decomposition. A reciprocal transplant experiment tested decomposition of pine, oak, and mixed leaf litter in oak woodland and pine forest ecosystems with different relative abundances of pine and oak. Using likelihood methods, we tested the importance and magnitude of the environmental effects of local species abundance, litter layer composition, and soil properties on litter mass loss. Oak litter decomposition was slower than pine, and had an antagonistic effect on mixed litter decay. These results differ from other reported pine-oak associations, and are probably associated with a higher content of tannins and phenols in oak compared to pine litter in our study sites. The environmental effects of the two species were opposite to their litter decomposition dynamics. An increased proportion of pine in the oak woodlands and a higher content of pine needles in the litter layer of pine forests reduced decay rates. The presence of more oak and broadleaf litter in the litter layer accelerated decomposition in pine forests. Our results highlight the importance of considering multidimensional species effects mediated by both chemical and physical properties, and imply that man-made changes in the composition and configuration of plant communities may result in complex unpredicted consequences to ecosystem biogeochemistry. PMID:25680333

  13. Centrifugal spreader mass and nutrients distribution patterns for application of fresh and aged poultry litter.

    PubMed

    Temple, W D; Skowrońska, M; Bomke, A A

    2014-06-15

    A spin-type centrifugal spreader was evaluated using fresh and aged poultry litter upon dry mass, product nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), incubation study soil available N and particle size distribution patterns. Relative to the aged litter (37% moisture content), the fresh litter (17% moisture content) had greater <1.00 mm particle size fraction weights and atmospheric particulate was launched, which posed as a potential fallout to adjacent fields, waterways and residences. Relative to the aged litter, the broadcast fresh litter resulted in higher coefficients of variation (CV) over its transverse distance, a narrower calculated space distance between passes for uniform spread and lower soil available N concentrations. For nitrogen application over the broadcast transverse distance the fresh litter displayed a high R(2) best fit 4th order polynomial distribution pattern, while the aged litter showed high R(2) best fit 6th order polynomial distribution pattern. A soil incubation study of the fresh and aged broadcast litter resulted in a more variable or lower R(2) best fit 2nd order polynomial distribution pattern. For both the fresh and aged litter, the calculated distance between passes to achieve a uniform mass distribution was greater than that required for the broadcast of soil available N. For the fresh litter, the soil available N and litter P concentration levels strongly correlated (relatively high p and R(2) values) with the <1.00 mm fraction weight, while for the aged litter this relationship was not as significant. In addition to reducing the health risk (i.e. pathogens, antibiotic residues and resistant bacteria) and/or environment issues (particulate fallout onto waterways, adjacent fields and/or residences) our study mass, particulate and N distribution patterns results suggest that poultry litter should be allowed to age before broadcast application is attempted. PMID:24705099

  14. Group Size and Nest Spacing Affect Buggy Creek Virus (Togaviridae: Alphavirus) Infection in Nestling House Sparrows

    PubMed Central

    O'Brien, Valerie A.; Brown, Charles R.

    2011-01-01

    The transmission of parasites and pathogens among vertebrates often depends on host population size, host species diversity, and the extent of crowding among potential hosts, but little is known about how these variables apply to most vector-borne pathogens such as the arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses). Buggy Creek virus (BCRV; Togaviridae: Alphavirus) is an RNA arbovirus transmitted by the swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius) to the cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) and the introduced house sparrow (Passer domesticus) that has recently invaded swallow nesting colonies. The virus has little impact on cliff swallows, but house sparrows are seriously affected by BCRV. For house sparrows occupying swallow nesting colonies in western Nebraska, USA, the prevalence of BCRV in nestling sparrows increased with sparrow colony size at a site but decreased with the number of cliff swallows present. If one nestling in a nest was infected with the virus, there was a greater likelihood that one or more of its nest-mates would also be infected than nestlings chosen at random. The closer a nest was to another nest containing infected nestlings, the greater the likelihood that some of the nestlings in the focal nest would be BCRV-positive. These results illustrate that BCRV represents a cost of coloniality for a vertebrate host (the house sparrow), perhaps the first such demonstration for an arbovirus, and that virus infection is spatially clustered within nests and within colonies. The decreased incidence of BCRV in sparrows as cliff swallows at a site increased reflects the “dilution effect,” in which virus transmission is reduced when a vector switches to feeding on a less competent vertebrate host. PMID:21966539

  15. Litter manipulation and associated invertebrate fauna in secondary forest, central Amazonia, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, Evanira M. R.; Franklin, Elizabeth; Luizão, Flávio J.

    2008-11-01

    Plant litter from selected tree species has been used for improving soil productivity in low-input systems of secondary vegetation in Central Amazon, leading to different conditions for invertebrates. Soil invertebrate assemblages were monitored to test the effects of adding litter types of contrasting nutritional quality and periods of exposure on the development of the community. We established four second growth plots with 80 subplots of 3 m 2 from which the original litter was removed and replaced in 60 subplots. Twenty subplots received Hevea brasiliensis leaves, 20 others Carapa guianensis leaves, and another 20 an equal mixture of H. brasiliensis, C. guianensis and Vismia guianensis. Twenty subplots were left with the original litter. Litter and mineral soil (5 cm deep) sub-horizons were collected after 45, 100, 160, 240 and 300 days of exposure. The invertebrates were extracted using Kempson apparatus. At the day 210, the litter was replenished to match the surrounding litter. Regression analyses showed no significant effect of litter type, but the period of exposure did affect the community in both sub-horizons. Only after the litter replenishment, the type of litter and periods of exposure affected the community in the litter sub-horizon. Because we tried to isolate the effects of litter composition from other large-scale phenomena, several factors interfered in the experiment and potential problems were identified to optimize the investigation. The sampling design must be improved by using a larger number of subsamples for each kind of litter within each plot. Coarse parameters of Order and Family were suited to detect major environmental patterns on soil invertebrates, but taxonomic resolution to species and/or morphospecies is required to detect more subtle effects. Future manipulations should also be done on a longer time scale, and the replicates need to be spread over larger areas to capture the natural variations within the ecosystems.

  16. Fractal Scaling of Particle Size Distribution and Relationships with Topsoil Properties Affected by Biological Soil Crusts

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Guang-Lei; Ding, Guo-Dong; Wu, Bin; Zhang, Yu-Qing; Qin, Shu-Gao; Zhao, Yuan-Yuan; Bao, Yan-Feng; Liu, Yun-Dong; Wan, Li; Deng, Ji-Feng

    2014-01-01

    Background Biological soil crusts are common components of desert ecosystem; they cover ground surface and interact with topsoil that contribute to desertification control and degraded land restoration in arid and semiarid regions. Methodology/Principal Findings To distinguish the changes in topsoil affected by biological soil crusts, we compared topsoil properties across three types of successional biological soil crusts (algae, lichens, and mosses crust), as well as the referenced sandland in the Mu Us Desert, Northern China. Relationships between fractal dimensions of soil particle size distribution and selected soil properties were discussed as well. The results indicated that biological soil crusts had significant positive effects on soil physical structure (P<0.05); and soil organic carbon and nutrients showed an upward trend across the successional stages of biological soil crusts. Fractal dimensions ranged from 2.1477 to 2.3032, and significantly linear correlated with selected soil properties (R2 = 0.494∼0.955, P<0.01). Conclusions/Significance Biological soil crusts cause an important increase in soil fertility, and are beneficial to sand fixation, although the process is rather slow. Fractal dimension proves to be a sensitive and useful index for quantifying changes in soil properties that additionally implies desertification. This study will be essential to provide a firm basis for future policy-making on optimal solutions regarding desertification control and assessment, as well as degraded ecosystem restoration in arid and semiarid regions. PMID:24516668

  17. Loss of phylloquinone in Chlamydomonas affects plastoquinone pool size and photosystem II synthesis.

    PubMed

    Lefebvre-Legendre, Linnka; Rappaport, Fabrice; Finazzi, Giovanni; Ceol, Mauro; Grivet, Chantal; Hopfgartner, Gérard; Rochaix, Jean-David

    2007-05-01

    Phylloquinone functions as the electron transfer cofactor at the A(1) site of photosystem I. We have isolated and characterized a mutant of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, menD1, that is deficient in MenD, which encodes 2-succinyl-6-hydroxy-2,4-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxylate synthase, an enzyme that catalyzes the first specific step of the phylloquinone biosynthetic pathway. The mutant is photosynthetically active but light-sensitive. Analysis of total pigments by mass spectrometry reveals that phylloquinone is absent in menD1, but plastoquinone levels are not affected. This is further confirmed by the rescue of menD1 by addition of phylloquinone to the growth medium. Analysis of electron transfer by absorption spectroscopy indicates that plastoquinone replaces phylloquinone in photosystem I and that electron transfer from A(1) to the iron-sulfur centers is slowed down at least 40-fold. Consistent with a replacement of phylloquinone by plastoquinone, the size of the free plastoquinone pool of menD1 is reduced by 20-30%. In contrast to cyanobacterial MenD-deficient mutants, photosystem I accumulates normally in menD1, whereas the level of photosystem II declines. This decrease is because of reduced synthesis of the photosystem II core subunits. The relationship between plastoquinone occupancy of the A(1) site in photosystem I and the reduced accumulation of photosystem II is discussed. PMID:17339322

  18. Effects of Litter Removal and Addition on the Nutrient Mineralization Dynamics in Hyperseasonal Tropical Savannas of the Brazilian Pantanal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hentz, C. S.; Pinto-Jr, O. B.; Vourlitis, G. L.

    2015-12-01

    The tropical savanna of Brazil (cerrado) is extremely species diverse and it encompasses many different physiognomic features, which are influenced by rainfall, fire, and soil nutrient availability. Plant litter decomposition recycles nutrients to the soil, and in turn, assists plant growth. However the rate at which these nutrients become available to the soil is poorly understood. Thus, a six month field experiment that encompassed the wet and dry seasons was conducted to assess how different quantities of litter inputs affect nutrient (P, N, C, K, Ca, and Mg) availability. It was hypothesized that nutrient mineralization would be significantly influenced by manipulation of the surface litter and that there would be a positive correlation between soil moisture and nutrient mineralization. Initial results indicate that there were significant differences in mineralization over time for all nutrients, except P, supporting our hypothesis of changes in mineralization with soil moisture. However, there were no significant differences between litter treatments and net mineralization rates for all the nutrients tested. Our results indicate that litterpool size has little effect on short-term nutrient mineralization dynamics.

  19. Foliar litter decomposition in an alpine forest meta-ecosystem on the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Yue, Kai; Yang, Wanqin; Peng, Changhui; Peng, Yan; Zhang, Chuan; Huang, Chunping; Tan, Yu; Wu, Fuzhong

    2016-10-01

    Litter decomposition is a biological process fundamental to element cycling and a main nutrient source within forest meta-ecosystems, but few studies have looked into this process simultaneously in individual ecosystems, where environmental factors can vary substantially. A two-year field study conducted in an alpine forest meta-ecosystem with four litter species (i.e., willow: Salix paraplesia, azalea: Rhododendron lapponicum, cypress: Sabina saltuaria, and larch: Larix mastersiana) that varied widely in chemical traits showed that both litter species and ecosystem type (i.e., forest floor, stream and riparian zone) are important factors affecting litter decomposition, and their effects can be moderated by local-scale environmental factors such as temperature and nutrient availability. Litter decomposed fastest in the streams followed by the riparian zone and forest floor regardless of species. For a given litter species, both the k value and limit value varied significantly among ecosystems, indicating that the litter decomposition rate and extent (i.e., reaching a limit value) can be substantially affected by ecosystem type and the local-scale environmental factors. Apart from litter initial acid unhydrolyzable residue (AUR) concentration and its ratio to nitrogen concentration (i.e., AUR/N ratio), the initial nutrient concentrations of phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) were also important litter traits that affected decomposition depending on the ecosystem type. PMID:27220105

  20. Effects of chemically amended litter on broiler performances, atmospheric ammonia concentration, and phosphorus solubility in litter.

    PubMed

    Do, J C; Choi, I H; Nahm, K H

    2005-05-01

    The effects of 6 different litter amendments on broiler performance, level of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) concentration, and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) in litter was determined. Through 3 experiments conducted on 2 different commercial farms, one chemical amendment was added to the litter and then was compared with a control. Broiler performance was not affected by any of the amendments except the ferrous sulfate amendment for which mortality was 25.5%. Application of aluminum chloride (AlCl3 x 6H2O) to the litter lowered atmospheric ammonia concentrations at 42 d by 97.2%, whereas ferrous sulfate (FeSO4 x 7H2O) lowered it by 90.77%. Ammonia concentrations were reduced by 86.18, 78.66, 75.52, and 69.00% by aluminum sulfate [alum or Al2(SO4)3 x 14H2O)], alum + CaCO3, aluminum chloride + CaCO3, and potassium permanganate (KMnO4), respectively, when compared with each control at 42 d. Each amendment except KMnO4 significantly reduced SRP contents. Alum and aluminum chloride were the effective compounds evaluated on the commercial farms with respect to reducing ammonia contents, phosphorus solubility, and mortality. PMID:15913178

  1. Litter contribution to soil organic carbon in the agriculture abandons processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novara, Agata; Francaviglia, Dario; La Mantia, tommaso; Gristina, Luciano; La Bella, Salvatore; Tuttolomondo, Teresa

    2015-04-01

    Mechanisms of litter decomposition, translocation and stabilization into soil layers are fundamental processes in ecosystem functioning as it regulates the cycle of soil organic matter (SOM), CO2 emission into the atmosphere, carbon sequestration into the soil. In this study, it was investigated the contribution of litters of different stages of Mediterranean secondary succession on Carbon sequestration, analyzing the role of earthworms on translocation of SOM into soil profile. For this purpose δ13C difference between meadow C4-C soil and C3-C litter were used in a field experiment. Four undisturbed litters of different stages of succession were collected (45, 70, 100 and 120 since agriculture abandon) and placed on the top of isolated soil cores. The litter contribution to C stock was affected by plant species and increased with the age of the stage of secondary succession. The soil organic carbon after 1 year since litter position increased up to 40% in comparison to no litter treatment in soil with litter of 120 years since abandon. The new carbon derived from C3-litter was decomposed and transferred into soil profile thanks to earthworms and dissolved organic carbon leaching. After 1 years the carbon increase attributed to earthworm activity ranged from 6% to 13% in soil under litter in field abandoned since 120 and 45 years, respectively.

  2. Increased rainfall variability and N addition accelerate litter decomposition in a restored prairie.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Michael J

    2016-03-01

    Anthropogenic nitrogen deposition and projected increases in rainfall variability (the frequency of drought and heavy rainfall events) are expected to strongly influence ecosystem processes such as litter decomposition. However, how these two global change factors interact to influence litter decomposition is largely unknown. I examined how increased rainfall variability and nitrogen addition affected mass and nitrogen loss of litter from two tallgrass prairie species, Schizachyrium scoparium and Solidago canadensis, and isolated the effects of each during plant growth and during litter decomposition. I increased rainfall variability by consolidating ambient rainfall into larger events and simulated chronic nitrogen deposition using a slow-release urea fertilizer. S. scoparium litter decay was more strongly regulated by the treatments applied during plant growth than by those applied during decomposition. During plant growth, increased rainfall variability resulted in S. scoparium litter that subsequently decomposed more slowly and immobilized more nitrogen than litter grown under ambient conditions, whereas nitrogen addition during plant growth accelerated subsequent mass loss of S. scoparium litter. In contrast, S. canadensis litter mass and N losses were enhanced under either N addition or increased rainfall variability both during plant growth and during decomposition. These results suggest that ongoing changes in rainfall variability and nitrogen availability are accelerating nutrient cycling in tallgrass prairies through their combined effects on litter quality, environmental conditions, and plant community composition. PMID:26216200

  3. Decomposition of Phragmites australis litter retarded by invasive Solidago canadensis in mixtures: an antagonistic non-additive effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ling; Zhang, Yaojun; Zou, Jianwen; Siemann, Evan

    2014-06-01

    Solidago canadensis is an aggressive invader in China. Solidago invasion success is partially attributed to allelopathic compounds release and more benefits from AM fungi, which potentially makes the properties of Solidago litter different from co-occurring natives. These properties may comprehensively affect litter decomposition of co-occurring natives. We conducted a field experiment to examine litter mixing effects in a Phragmites australis dominated community invaded by Solidago in southeast China. Solidago had more rapid mass and N loss rate than Phragmites when they decomposed separately. Litter mixing decreased N loss rate in Phragmites litter and increased that of Solidago. Large decreases in Phragmites mass loss and smaller increases in Solidago mass loss caused negative non-additive effect. Solidago litter extracts reduced soil C decomposition and N processes, suggested an inhibitory effect of Solidago secondary compounds. These results are consistent with the idea that nutrient transfer and secondary compounds both affected litter mixtures decomposition.

  4. Decomposition of Phragmites australis litter retarded by invasive Solidago canadensis in mixtures: an antagonistic non-additive effect

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ling; Zhang, Yaojun; Zou, Jianwen; Siemann, Evan

    2014-01-01

    Solidago canadensis is an aggressive invader in China. Solidago invasion success is partially attributed to allelopathic compounds release and more benefits from AM fungi, which potentially makes the properties of Solidago litter different from co-occurring natives. These properties may comprehensively affect litter decomposition of co-occurring natives. We conducted a field experiment to examine litter mixing effects in a Phragmites australis dominated community invaded by Solidago in southeast China. Solidago had more rapid mass and N loss rate than Phragmites when they decomposed separately. Litter mixing decreased N loss rate in Phragmites litter and increased that of Solidago. Large decreases in Phragmites mass loss and smaller increases in Solidago mass loss caused negative non-additive effect. Solidago litter extracts reduced soil C decomposition and N processes, suggested an inhibitory effect of Solidago secondary compounds. These results are consistent with the idea that nutrient transfer and secondary compounds both affected litter mixtures decomposition. PMID:24976274

  5. Evidence for extraintestinal growth of bacteroidales originating from poultry litter.

    PubMed

    Weidhaas, Jennifer; Mantha, Sirisha; Hair, Elliott; Nayak, Bina; Harwood, Valerie J

    2015-01-01

    Water quality monitoring techniques that target microorganisms in the order Bacteroidales are potential alternatives to conventional methods for detection of fecal indicator bacteria. Bacteroidales and members of the genus Bacteroides have been the focus of microbial source tracking (MST) investigations for discriminating sources of fecal pollution (e.g., human or cattle feces) in environmental waters. For accurate source apportionment to occur, one needs to understand both the abundance of Bacteroides in host feces and the survival of these host-associated microbial markers after deposition in the environment. Studies were undertaken to evaluate the abundance, persistence, and potential for growth of Bacteroidales originating from poultry litter under oxic and anoxic environmental conditions. Bacteroidales abundance, as determined by quantitative PCR (qPCR) with GenBac primers and probe, increased 2 to 5 log gene copies ml(-1) and 2 log gene copies g litter(-1) under most conditions during incubation of poultry litter in a variety of laboratory microcosm and field mesocosm studies. DNA sequencing of the Bacteroidales organisms in the litter identified taxa with sequences corresponding exactly to the GenBac primer and probe sequences and that were closely related to Bacteroides uniformis, B. ovatus, and B. vulgatus. These results suggest that MST studies using qPCR methods targeting Bacteroidales in watersheds that are affected by poultry litter should be interpreted cautiously. Growth of Bacteroidales originating from poultry litter in environmental waters may occur while Bacteroidales growth from other fecal sources declines, thus confounding the interpretation of MST results. PMID:25326306

  6. Consequences of biodiversity loss for litter decomposition across biomes.

    PubMed

    Handa, I Tanya; Aerts, Rien; Berendse, Frank; Berg, Matty P; Bruder, Andreas; Butenschoen, Olaf; Chauvet, Eric; Gessner, Mark O; Jabiol, Jérémy; Makkonen, Marika; McKie, Brendan G; Malmqvist, Björn; Peeters, Edwin T H M; Scheu, Stefan; Schmid, Bernhard; van Ruijven, Jasper; Vos, Veronique C A; Hättenschwiler, Stephan

    2014-05-01

    The decomposition of dead organic matter is a major determinant of carbon and nutrient cycling in ecosystems, and of carbon fluxes between the biosphere and the atmosphere. Decomposition is driven by a vast diversity of organisms that are structured in complex food webs. Identifying the mechanisms underlying the effects of biodiversity on decomposition is critical given the rapid loss of species worldwide and the effects of this loss on human well-being. Yet despite comprehensive syntheses of studies on how biodiversity affects litter decomposition, key questions remain, including when, where and how biodiversity has a role and whether general patterns and mechanisms occur across ecosystems and different functional types of organism. Here, in field experiments across five terrestrial and aquatic locations, ranging from the subarctic to the tropics, we show that reducing the functional diversity of decomposer organisms and plant litter types slowed the cycling of litter carbon and nitrogen. Moreover, we found evidence of nitrogen transfer from the litter of nitrogen-fixing plants to that of rapidly decomposing plants, but not between other plant functional types, highlighting that specific interactions in litter mixtures control carbon and nitrogen cycling during decomposition. The emergence of this general mechanism and the coherence of patterns across contrasting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems suggest that biodiversity loss has consistent consequences for litter decomposition and the cycling of major elements on broad spatial scales. PMID:24805346

  7. Subsurface band application of poultry litter

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Broiler litter is commonly used as a fertilizer on pastures and cropland. Poultry litter is typically land-applied by broadcasting the litter on the soil surface. Rain falling on soil to which poultry litter has been applied, may carry phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) nutrients from the soil into s...

  8. Mechanics of lipid bilayer junctions affecting the size of a connecting lipid nanotube

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karlsson, Roger; Kurczy, Michael; Grzhibovskis, Richards; Adams, Kelly L.; Ewing, Andrew G.; Cans, Ann-Sofie; Voinova, Marina V.

    2011-06-01

    In this study we report a physical analysis of the membrane mechanics affecting the size of the highly curved region of a lipid nanotube (LNT) that is either connected between a lipid bilayer vesicle and the tip of a glass microinjection pipette (tube-only) or between a lipid bilayer vesicle and a vesicle that is attached to the tip of a glass microinjection pipette (two-vesicle). For the tube-only configuration (TOC), a micropipette is used to pull a LNT into the interior of a surface-immobilized vesicle, where the length of the tube L is determined by the distance of the micropipette to the vesicle wall. For the two-vesicle configuration (TVC), a small vesicle is inflated at the tip of the micropipette tip and the length of the tube L is in this case determined by the distance between the two interconnected vesicles. An electrochemical method monitoring diffusion of electroactive molecules through the nanotube has been used to determine the radius of the nanotube R as a function of nanotube length L for the two configurations. The data show that the LNT connected in the TVC constricts to a smaller radius in comparison to the tube-only mode and that tube radius shrinks at shorter tube lengths. To explain these electrochemical data, we developed a theoretical model taking into account the free energy of the membrane regions of the vesicles, the LNT and the high curvature junctions. In particular, this model allows us to estimate the surface tension coefficients from R( L) measurements.

  9. Epigenetic Mutation of RAV6 Affects Leaf Angle and Seed Size in Rice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiangqian; Sun, Jing; Cao, Xiaofeng; Song, Xianwei

    2015-11-01

    Heritable epigenetic variants of genes, termed epialleles, can broaden genetic and phenotypic diversity in eukaryotes. Epialleles may also provide a new source of beneficial traits for crop breeding, but very few epialleles related to agricultural traits have been identified in crops. Here, we identified Epi-rav6, a gain-of-function epiallele of rice (Oryza sativa) RELATED TO ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE3 (ABI3)/VIVIPAROUS1 (VP1) 6 (RAV6), which encodes a B3 DNA-binding domain-containing protein. The Epi-rav6 plants show larger lamina inclination and smaller grain size; these agronomically important phenotypes are inherited in a semidominant manner. We did not find nucleotide sequence variation of RAV6. Instead, we found hypomethylation in the promoter region of RAV6, which caused ectopic expression of RAV6 in Epi-rav6 plants. Bisulfite analysis revealed that cytosine methylation of four CG and two CNG loci within a continuous 96-bp region plays essential roles in regulating RAV6 expression; this region contains a conserved miniature inverted repeat transposable element transposon insertion in cultivated rice genomes. Overexpression of RAV6 in the wild type phenocopied the Epi-rav6 phenotype. The brassinosteroid (BR) receptor BR INSENSITIVE1 and BR biosynthetic genes EBISU DWARF, DWARF11, and BR-DEFICIENT DWARF1 were ectopically expressed in Epi-rav6 plants. Also, treatment with a BR biosynthesis inhibitor restored the leaf angle defects of Epi-rav6 plants. This indicates that RAV6 affects rice leaf angle by modulating BR homeostasis and demonstrates an essential regulatory role of epigenetic modification on a key gene controlling important agricultural traits. Thus, our work identifies a unique rice epiallele, which may represent a common phenomenon in complex crop genomes. PMID:26351308

  10. Controls on mass loss and nitrogen dynamics of oak leaf litter along an urban-rural land-use gradient.

    PubMed

    Pouyat, Richard V; Carreiro, Margaret M

    2003-04-01

    Using reciprocal leaf litter transplants, we investigated the effects of contrasting environments (urban vs. rural) and intraspecific variations in oak leaf litter quality on mass loss rates and nitrogen (N) dynamics along an urban-rural gradient in the New York City metropolitan area. Differences in earthworm abundances and temperature had previously been documented in the stands along this gradient. Red oak leaf litter was collected and returned to its original source stand as native litter to measure decay rates along the gradient. To separate site effects from litter quality effects on decay, reciprocal transplants of litter were also made between stands at the extremes of the environmental gradient (urban and rural stands). Land-use had no effect on mass loss and N dynamics of native litter by the end of the 22-month incubation period. The lack of differences in native litter suggests the factors affecting decay were similar across the stands in this study. However, in the transplant study both environment and litter type strongly affected decay of oak leaf litter. On average urban and rural litter decomposed faster over the incubation period in urban than in rural stands (P=0.016 and P=0.001, respectively, repeated measures ANOVA). Differences in mass loss between urban and rural stands resulted in rural environments having less mass remaining than urban environments at the end of the incubation period (25.6 and 46.2% for urban and rural sites, respectively). Likewise, less N remained in leaf residue in urban sites (71.3%) compared to that in rural sites (115.1%). Litter type also affected mass loss rates during the 22-month incubation period. On average rural litter mass loss rates were faster than urban litter rates in both urban and rural stands (P=0.030 and P=0.026, respectively, repeated measures ANOVA). By the end of the incubation period, rural litter exhibited 43 and 20% greater mass loss and retained 44 and 5% less N than urban litter decomposing in

  11. The Binding Ring Illusion: assimilation affects the perceived size of a circular array

    PubMed Central

    Caplovitz, Gideon P

    2013-01-01

    Our perception of an object’s size arises from the integration of multiple sources of visual information including retinal size, perceived distance and its size relative to other objects in the visual field. This constructive process is revealed through a number of classic size illusions such as the Delboeuf Illusion, the Ebbinghaus Illusion and others illustrating size constancy. Here we present a novel variant of the Delbouef and Ebbinghaus size illusions that we have named the Binding Ring Illusion. The illusion is such that the perceived size of a circular array of elements is underestimated when superimposed by a circular contour – a binding ring – and overestimated when the binding ring slightly exceeds the overall size of the array. Here we characterize the stimulus conditions that lead to the illusion, and the perceptual principles that underlie it. Our findings indicate that the perceived size of an array is susceptible to the assimilation of an explicitly defined superimposed contour. Our results also indicate that the assimilation process takes place at a relatively high level in the visual processing stream, after different spatial frequencies have been integrated and global shape has been constructed. We hypothesize that the Binding Ring Illusion arises due to the fact that the size of an array of elements is not explicitly defined and therefore can be influenced (through a process of assimilation) by the presence of a superimposed object that does have an explicit size. PMID:24555042

  12. Nutrient demand interacts with legume maturity to affect rumen pool sizes in dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Kammes, K L; Ying, Y; Allen, M S

    2012-05-01

    Effects of legume maturity on dry matter intake (DMI), milk production, ruminal fermentation and pool sizes, and digestion and passage kinetics, and the relationship of these effects with preliminary DMI (pDMI) were evaluated using 16 ruminally and duodenally cannulated Holstein cows in a crossover design with a 14-d preliminary period and two 17-d treatment periods. During the preliminary period, the pDMI of individual cows ranged from 22.9 to 30.0 kg/d (mean=25.9 kg/d) and the 3.5% fat-corrected milk yield ranged from 34.1 to 68.2 kg/d (mean=43.7 kg/d). Experimental treatments were diets containing alfalfa silage harvested either a) early-cut, less mature (EC) or b) late-cut, more mature (LC) as the sole forage. Early- and late-cut alfalfa contained 40.8 and 53.1% neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and 23.7 and 18.1% crude protein, respectively. Forage:concentrate ratios were 53:47 and 42:58 for EC and LC, respectively; both diets contained approximately 22% forage NDF and 27% total NDF. Preliminary DMI, an index of nutrient demand, was determined during the last 4d of the preliminary period when cows were fed a common diet and used as a covariate. Main effects of alfalfa maturity and their interaction with pDMI were tested by ANOVA. Alfalfa maturity and its interaction with pDMI did not affect milk yield but EC increased DMI compared with LC; thus, EC had lower efficiency of milk production than LC. The EC diet decreased milk fat concentration more per kilogram of pDMI increase than the LC diet, but milk fat yield was not affected. The lower concentration and faster passage rate of indigestible NDF for EC resulted in lower rumen pools of indigestible NDF, total NDF, and dry matter than did LC, which EC increased at a slower rate than did LC as pDMI increased. The EC diet decreased starch intake and increased ruminal pH compared with the LC diet. The rate of ruminal starch digestion was related to level of intake, but this did not affect ruminal or postruminal starch

  13. The Effect of Leaf Litter Cover on Surface Runoff and Soil Erosion in Northern China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiang; Niu, Jianzhi; Xie, Baoyuan

    2014-01-01

    The role of leaf litter in hydrological processes and soil erosion of forest ecosystems is poorly understood. A field experiment was conducted under simulated rainfall in runoff plots with a slope of 10%. Two common types of litter in North China (from Quercus variabilis, representing broadleaf litter, and Pinus tabulaeformis, representing needle leaf litter), four amounts of litter, and five rainfall intensities were tested. Results revealed that the litter reduced runoff and delayed the beginning of runoff, but significantly reduced soil loss (p<0.05). Average runoff yield was 29.5% and 31.3% less than bare-soil plot, and for Q. variabilis and P. tabulaeformis, respectively, and average sediment yield was 85.1% and 79.9% lower. Rainfall intensity significantly affected runoff (R = 0.99, p<0.05), and the efficiency in runoff reduction by litter decreased considerably. Runoff yield and the runoff coefficient increased dramatically by 72.9 and 5.4 times, respectively. The period of time before runoff appeared decreased approximately 96.7% when rainfall intensity increased from 5.7 to 75.6 mm h−1. Broadleaf and needle leaf litter showed similarly relevant effects on runoff and soil erosion control, since no significant differences (p≤0.05) were observed in runoff and sediment variables between two litter-covered plots. In contrast, litter mass was probably not a main factor in determining runoff and sediment because a significant correlation was found only with sediment in Q. variabilis litter plot. Finally, runoff yield was significantly correlated (p<0.05) with sediment yield. These results suggest that the protective role of leaf litter in runoff and erosion processes was crucial, and both rainfall intensity and litter characteristics had an impact on these processes. PMID:25232858

  14. How mothers influence the development of litter-mate preferences in Belding's ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Holmes; Mateo

    1998-06-01

    We performed three experiments to examine the role of mothers in the development of litter-mate preferences in captive juvenile Belding's ground squirrels, Spermophilus beldingi. First, when observed in the absence of mothers, juveniles did not play preferentially with litter-mates, which suggests that mothers somehow influence the ontogeny of litter-mate preferences. Second, when mothers were present but unable to intervene in social interactions, juveniles displayed litter-mate preferences, which suggests that mothers do not influence their offsprings' social development by directly intervening in social interactions. In another group, mothers were removed daily, a few hours before nocturnal immergence, and returned the following morning. Juveniles in this group did not display litter-mate preferences and at night they occupied burrows with many more non-litter-mates than litter-mates. These results suggest that associating with non-litter-mates can compromise the development of litter-mate preferences, and implies that mothers indirectly influence social development by affecting the identities of sleeping partners. Third, newly emergent juveniles that interacted only with litter-mates for 3 days in the absence of mothers subsequently preferred litter-mates over non-litter-mates as play partners. This result demonstrates that once litter-mate preferences are instilled, due in part to social experiences during juveniles' initial days above-ground, the preferences are expressed even in the absence of mothers. Collectively, the results demonstrate that the presence of S. beldingi mothers is important to juvenile social development, but that mothers do not actively direct the ontogeny of their offsprings' social relationships. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:9642000

  15. Manganese Cycling in a Long-term Plant Litter Decomposition Time Series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiluweit, M.; Nico, P. S.; Kleber, M.; Bougoure, J.; Harmon, M. E.; Pett-Ridge, J.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change is predicted to affect the chemical composition of plant litter, and global warming may increase microbial and enzymatic activity, with uncertain consequences for litter decomposition rates in soils. This uncertainty has highlighted the need to better understand the controls on litter decomposition rates and pathways. A key controlling processes that is poorly understood is the coupling between decomposition pathways and the inorganic resources available in fresh litter or the underlying soil. For example, a strong correlation was established between the concentration of manganese (Mn) in needle litter and the degradation of litter lignocellulose across boreal forest ecosystems, suggesting that litter decomposition proceeds more efficiently in the presence of Mn. There is good reason to assume that this is due to the critical role of Mn(III)-ligand complexes acting as potent oxidizers in the fungal decomposition of lignocellulose. Here we investigated how litter decomposing organisms redistribute and repurpose the Mn inherently present in fresh plant litter in order to enhance decomposition. For this purpose, we used two 7-year litter decomposition time series collected at sites at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest with widely differing decomposition rates. Spatially-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy and wet-chemical extractions were used to track pathways of microbially-mediated Mn transport and associated changes in its speciation in each annual litter layer. The cycling of Mn and other metal cations (e.g., Ca and Fe) was then related to changes in the litter chemistry as documented by 13C TMAH and FTIR. Our results show that, as litter decomposition progresses, reduced Mn in the vascular system of fresh needles is transformed into oxidized forms concentrated in Mn oxide precipitates. This transformation of Mn into more reactive forms proceeds faster at the site of greater decomposition. Our imaging data suggests that during this process Mn

  16. The granule size distribution in an anammox-based granular sludge reactor affects the conversion--implications for modeling.

    PubMed

    Volcke, E I P; Picioreanu, C; De Baets, B; van Loosdrecht, M C M

    2012-07-01

    Mathematical models are useful tools to optimize the performance of granular sludge reactors. In these models, typically a uniform granule size is assumed for the whole reactor, even though in reality the granules follow a size distribution and the granule size as such affects the process performance. This study assesses the effect of the granule size distribution on the performance of a granular sludge reactor in which autotrophic nitrogen removal is realized through one-stage partial nitritation-anammox. A comparison is made between different approaches to deal with particle size distributions in one-dimensional biofilm models, from the use of a single characteristic diameter to applying a multiple compartment model. The results show a clear impact on the conversion efficiency of the way in which particle size distribution is modeled, resulting from the effect of the granule size on the competition between nitrite oxidizing and anammox bacteria and from the interaction between granules of different sizes in terms of the exchange of solutes. Whereas the use of a uniform granule size is sufficient in case only the overall reactor behavior needs to be assessed, taking into account the detailed granule size distribution is required to study the solute exchange between particles of different sizes. For the latter purpose, the application of the widespread software package Aquasim is limited and the development of dedicated software applications is required. PMID:22252967

  17. Effects of parity and selection for uterine capacity on sow litter performance traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Selection for 11 generations for uterine capacity (UC) was previously reported to increase litter size in gilts by 1.6 more fully formed pigs at birth compared to an unselected control line (CO) despite averaging 1 less ova shed. Our objective was to characterize litter performance traits in each li...

  18. Interactions of tissue and fertilizer nitrogen on decomposition dynamics of lignin-rich conifer litter

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perakis, Steven S.; Matkins, Joselin J.; Hibbs, David E.

    2012-01-01

    High tissue nitrogen (N) accelerates decomposition of high-quality leaf litter in the early phases of mass loss, but the influence of initial tissue N variation on the decomposition of lignin-rich litter is less resolved. Because environmental changes such as atmospheric N deposition and elevated CO2 can alter tissue N levels within species more rapidly than they alter the species composition of ecosystems, it is important to consider how within-species variation in tissue N may shape litter decomposition and associated N dynamics. Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii ) is a widespread lignin-rich conifer that dominates forests of high carbon (C) storage across western North America, and displays wide variation in tissue and litter N that reflects landscape variation in soil N. We collected eight unique Douglas-fir litter sources that spanned a two-fold range in initial N concentrations (0.67–1.31%) with a narrow range of lignin (29–35%), and examined relationships between initial litter chemistry, decomposition, and N dynamics in both ambient and N fertilized plots at four sites over 3 yr. High initial litter N slowed decomposition rates in both early (0.67 yr) and late (3 yr) stages in unfertilized plots. Applications of N fertilizer to litters accelerated early-stage decomposition, but slowed late-stage decomposition, and most strongly affected low-N litters, which equalized decomposition rates across litters regardless of initial N concentrations. Decomposition of N-fertilized litters correlated positively with initial litter manganese (Mn) concentrations, with litter Mn variation reflecting faster turnover of canopy foliage in high N sites, producing younger litterfall with high N and low Mn. Although both internal and external N inhibited decomposition at 3 yr, most litters exhibited net N immobilization, with strongest immobilization in low-N litter and in N-fertilized plots. Our observation for lignin-rich litter that high initial N can slow decomposition

  19. Litter quality and decomposability of species from a Mediterranean succession depend on leaf traits but not on nitrogen supply

    PubMed Central

    Kazakou, Elena; Violle, Cyrille; Roumet, Catherine; Pintor, Cristina; Gimenez, Olivier; Garnier, Eric

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims The rate of plant decomposition depends on both the decomposition environment and the functional traits of the individual species (e.g. leaf and litter quality), but their relative importance in determining interspecific differences in litter decomposition remains unclear. The aims of this study were to: (a) determine if species from different successional stages grown on soils with low and high nitrogen levels produce leaf and litter traits that decompose differently under identical conditions; and (b) assess which trait of living leaves best relates to litter quality and litter decomposability Methods The study was conducted on 17 herbaceous species representative of three stages of a Mediterranean successional sere of Southern France. Plants were grown in monocultures in a common garden under two nitrogen levels. To elucidate how different leaf traits affected litter decomposition a microcosm experiment was conducted to determine decomposability under standard conditions. Tests were also carried out to determine how successional stage and nitrogen supply affected functional traits of living leaves and how these traits then modified litter quality and subsequent litter decomposability. Key Results The results demonstrated that leaf traits and litter decomposability varied according to species and successional stage. It was also demonstrated that while nitrogen addition affected leaf and litter traits, it had no effect on decomposition rates. Finally, leaf dry matter content stood out as the leaf trait best related to litter quality and litter decomposability Conclusions In this study, species litter decomposability was affected by some leaf and litter traits but not by soil nitrogen supply. The results demonstrated the strength of a trait-based approach to predict changes in ecosystem processes as a result of species shifts in ecosystems. PMID:19710073

  20. Evaluation of litter type and dietary coarse ground corn inclusion on broiler live performance, gastrointestinal tract development, and litter characteristics.

    PubMed

    Xu, Y; Stark, C R; Ferket, P R; Williams, C M; Nusairat, B; Brake, J

    2015-03-01

    Two 49 d floor pen studies were conducted to evaluate the effects of litter type and dietary coarse ground corn (CC) inclusion on broiler live performance, gastrointestinal tract (GIT) development, and litter characteristics. Experiment 1 was a 2×2 factorial arrangement of 2 genders (male or female) and 2 CC levels (0 or 50%). From 15 to 35 d, the addition of CC decreased feed intake (P<0.01) and BW gain (P<0.05) of males but not females. The inclusion of CC decreased feed intake (P<0.01) and BW gain (P<0.01) from 0 to 49 d but improved adjusted feed conversion ratio (AdjFCR) from 35 to 49 d (P<0.05). Male broilers exhibited better live performance than females during the study as evidenced by greater feed intake (P<0.01) and BW gain (P<0.01), and improved FCR (P<0.01), but with increased mortality (P<0.05). The inclusion of CC increased relative gizzard weight (P<0.01) and decreased relative proventriculus weight (P<0.01) at 49 d. Experiment 2 was a 2×2 factorial arrangement of 2 CC levels (0 or 50%) and 2 litter types (ground old litter or new wood shavings litter). The inclusion of CC decreased feed intake throughout the experiment without affecting final BW when only males were used and improved FCR after 25 d (P<0.01). New litter improved FCR from 1 to 14 d (P<0.01). At 49 d, the birds fed the CC diet had reduced excreta nitrogen (P<0.05) and litter moisture (P<0.05). In conclusion, 50% CC inclusion initially produced negative effects on live performance that became positive as BW increased. The effects of CC became evident at an earlier age for males. New litter had only a marginal benefit on broiler live performance. PMID:25681480

  1. Effect of moisture content on the heating profile in composted broiler litter

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Moisture content can affect the magnitude of heat generation during composting. Temperature was recorded every 2 min for 7 d at 10-cm increments throughout the vertical profile of broiler litter treated with five quantities of water addition. Water additions were applied to achieve litter moisture...

  2. Nitrous Oxide Emissions from a Bermudagrass Pasture: Interseeded Winter Rye and Poultry Litter

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The impact of poultry litter applications and interseeded winter rye on nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from pasture is not well documented. This study was conducted to estimate soil surface N2O fluxes as affect by poultry litter applications and interseeded winter rye as well as weather and soil vari...

  3. Effects of broiler litter rate, timing and cover crop on cotton yield and residual soil N

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Timing of broiler litter applications has critical effect on the availability of litter-derived nutrients and should affect cotton (Gossypium spp.) growth and yield. This experiment was conducted on a Leeper silty clay loam (fine, montmorillionitic, nonacid, thermic Vertic Haplaquepts) soil at Missi...

  4. The likelihood of being affected with Huntington disease by a particular age, for a specific CAG size.

    PubMed Central

    Brinkman, R R; Mezei, M M; Theilmann, J; Almqvist, E; Hayden, M R

    1997-01-01

    Prior studies describing the relationship between CAG size and the age at onset of Huntington disease (HD) have focused on affected persons. To further define the relationship between CAG repeat size and age at onset of HD, we now have analyzed a large cohort of affected and asymptomatic at-risk persons with CAG expansion. This cohort numbered 1,049 persons, including 321 at-risk and 728 affected individuals with a CAG size of 29-121 repeats. Kaplan-Meier analysis has provided curves for determining the likelihood of onset at a given age, for each CAG repeat length in the 39-50 range. The curves were significantly different (P < .0005), with relatively narrow 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) (+/-10%). Penetrance of the mutation for HD also was examined. Although complete penetrance of HD was observed for CAG sizes of > or = 42, only a proportion of those with a CAG repeat length of 36-41 showed signs or symptoms of HD within a normal life span. These data provide information concerning the likelihood of being affected, by a specific age, with a particular CAG size, and they may be useful in predictive-testing programs and for the design of clinical trials for persons at increased risk for HD. PMID:9150168

  5. Experimental investigation of surface litter ignition by bark firebrands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filkov, Alexander; Kasymov, Denis; Zima, Vladislav; Matvienko, Oleg

    2016-01-01

    Probability and conditions for ignition of surface litter (pine needles) caused by firebrands is studied in the laboratory conditions. For modeling of firebrands, pine bark of various sizes 10×10, 15×15, 20×20, 25×25, 30×30 mm2 and 5 mm in thickness is used. The experiment was conducted in the absence of wind and at different wind velocities: 1, 1.5, 2 and 3 m/s. To conduct investigations, an experimental setup was constructed for generation of firebrands and their impact on surface litter. The results of experiments have shown that the increase in air velocity leads to the increase in probability of surface litter ignition. Thus, wind plays a role of catalyst in the ignition process, bringing an oxidizing agent to firebrands and supporting the process of smoldering. However, if the wind velocity is insufficient for ignition, then there is only the process of smoldering. The area of "uncertainty", where there is smoldering of surface litter without transition to ignition, is found to decrease with increasing the wind velocity. Based on the received results, it can be concluded that the ignition curve of surface liter by firebrands is nonlinear and depends on the wind velocity. At the same time, there is no smoldering and ignition of surface litter for all the wind velocities and the particles with a size of 10 × 10 mm2, regardless of their number.

  6. Climate change affects low trophic level marine consumers: warming decreases copepod size and abundance.

    PubMed

    Garzke, Jessica; Ismar, Stefanie M H; Sommer, Ulrich

    2015-03-01

    Concern about climate change has re-ignited interest in universal ecological responses to temperature variations: (1) biogeographical shifts, (2) phenology changes, and (3) size shifts. In this study we used copepods as model organisms to study size responses to temperature because of their central role in the pelagic food web and because of the ontogenetic length constancy between molts, which facilitates the definition of size of distinct developmental stages. In order to test the expected temperature-induced shifts towards smaller body size and lower abundances under warming conditions, a mesocosm experiment using plankton from the Baltic Sea at three temperature levels (ambient, ambient +4 °C, ambient -4 °C) was performed in summer 2010. Overall copepod and copepodit abundances, copepod size at all life stages, and adult copepod size in particular, showed significant temperature effects. As expected, zooplankton peak abundance was lower in warm than in ambient treatments. Copepod size-at-immature stage significantly increased in cold treatments, while adult size significantly decreased in warm treatments. PMID:25413864

  7. High litter moisture content suppresses litter ammonia volatilization.

    PubMed

    Miles, D M; Rowe, D E; Cathcart, T C

    2011-07-01

    With global food demand expected to increase by 100% in the next 50 yr, urgency to combine comprehensive strategies for sustainable, efficacious, and environmentally sensible agronomic practices has never been greater. One effort for US meat bird management is to reduce NH(3) volatilization from litter to create a better growing environment for the birds, improve production efficiency, retain N in litter for fertilizer value, and negate the detrimental environmental impacts of NH(3) loss to the air. To derive the fundamental effects of temperature and moisture on litter NH(3) volatilization over the range of conditions found in commercial houses, experiments were conducted using commercial broiler litter that had moisture contents of approximately 20 to 55% while controlling temperatures ranging from 18.3 to 40.6°C. Litter samples (100 g) were placed in 1-L containers that received humidified air at approximately 113 mL/min. Volatilized NH(3) in exhaust air was captured in H(3)BO(3) traps. Ammonia loss (log(10) transformation) was modeled via an equation using linear coefficients for temperature and moisture, an interaction term for temperature × moisture, and a quadratic term for moisture. The surface responses resembled parabolic cylinders, indicating a critical moisture level at which NH(3) no longer increases but is diminished as moisture continues to increase. The critical moisture level lies between 37.4 and 51.1% litter moisture, depending on the temperature. An increase in temperature consistently increased NH(3) generation. When the temperature extremes were compared, the maximum NH(3) was up to 7 times greater at 40.6 vs. 18.3°C. The upper moisture limit at which NH(3) release is maximized and subsequently arrested as moisture continues to increase had not been defined previously for commercial broiler litter. The poultry industry and researchers can use these results as a decision tool to enable management strategies that limit NH(3) production. PMID

  8. Influence of Rabbit Sire Genetic Origin, Season of Birth and Parity Order on Doe and Litter Performance in an Organic Production System

    PubMed Central

    Zotte, Antonella Dalle; Paci, Gisella

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare both the performance of litters derived from two sire genetic origins (SGO), Vienna Blue (VB) and Burgundy Fawn (BF), along successive seasons of birth (SB; winter, spring, summer and autumn), and doe reproductive performance in an organic production system. A total of fifty-eight does consisting of a mixture of crosses of several medium-large size breeds at different parity order (P, 1 = nulliparous; 2 = primiparous; ≥3 = multiparous) and twelve males (6 VB and 6 BF) were housed indoors at environmental conditions that followed seasonality. An extensive reproductive rhythm was used and kits were weaned at 46±6 d of age. Doe reproductive performance and the data of 105 litters (55 from VB and 50 from BF SGO) were recorded throughout the SB. No statistically significant differences related to SGO effect were observed. As regards parity order, multiparous does showed higher live weights (LW) (p<0.05), total born (p<0.01), total born alive (p<0.05) per delivery, and litter weight of born alive (p<0.05), but lower milk output at 21st d than primiparous does (p<0.05). The extensive reproductive rhythm mainly increased litter performance at birth in multiparous does but was not sufficient to permit a complete recovery of body reserves lost during lactation. Autumn SB negatively affected doe LW variation between deliveries. The number of pups born and born alive per delivery (p<0.05) and litter size at 21 d of age and at weaning (p<0.01) were lower during hot SB. Due to the lower litter size of pups born in summer and autumn, their individual weight at 21st d of age and daily individual growth rate 0 to 21 d were higher than those of pups born in winter (p<0.001). Litter performance at 21st d of age and individual pup pre-weaning growth rate were poorer for those born in spring than in other seasons due to the harmful effects of increased environmental temperatures. SB affected most of the performance traits of does and young

  9. Universal Distribution of Litter Decay Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forney, D. C.; Rothman, D. H.

    2008-12-01

    Degradation of litter is the result of many physical, chemical and biological processes. The high variability of these processes likely accounts for the progressive slowdown of decay with litter age. This age dependence is commonly thought to result from the superposition of processes with different decay rates k. Here we assume an underlying continuous yet unknown distribution p(k) of decay rates [1]. To seek its form, we analyze the mass-time history of 70 LIDET [2] litter data sets obtained under widely varying conditions. We construct a regularized inversion procedure to find the best fitting distribution p(k) with the least degrees of freedom. We find that the resulting p(k) is universally consistent with a lognormal distribution, i.e.~a Gaussian distribution of log k, characterized by a dataset-dependent mean and variance of log k. This result is supported by a recurring observation that microbial populations on leaves are log-normally distributed [3]. Simple biological processes cause the frequent appearance of the log-normal distribution in ecology [4]. Environmental factors, such as soil nitrate, soil aggregate size, soil hydraulic conductivity, total soil nitrogen, soil denitrification, soil respiration have been all observed to be log-normally distributed [5]. Litter degradation rates depend on many coupled, multiplicative factors, which provides a fundamental basis for the lognormal distribution. Using this insight, we systematically estimated the mean and variance of log k for 512 data sets from the LIDET study. We find the mean strongly correlates with temperature and precipitation, while the variance appears to be uncorrelated with main environmental factors and is thus likely more correlated with chemical composition and/or ecology. Results indicate the possibility that the distribution in rates reflects, at least in part, the distribution of microbial niches. [1] B. P. Boudreau, B.~R. Ruddick, American Journal of Science,291, 507, (1991). [2] M

  10. Prospects for phosphorus recovery from poultry litter.

    PubMed

    Szogi, A A; Vanotti, M B

    2009-11-01

    Land disposal of poultry litter is an environmental concern often associated to excess phosphorus (P) in soils and potential water pollution in regions with intense poultry production. Although poultry litter can be moved off the farm and traded as fertilizer, its transportation becomes less economical with increasing distances from the farm. Thus, new litter management alternatives are needed to reduce the environmental impact of P litter application to land. This paper summarizes established and emerging alternative technologies in the U.S. that facilitate handling, concentration, and transporting of litter P. Furthermore, it examines the potential integration of technologies into poultry litter management systems that could reduce poultry litter volume and increase P content in litter byproducts. The adoption of alternative technologies may encourage new opportunities to produce bio-energy, fertilizer, and other valuable P byproducts from poultry litter while reducing environmental impact and promoting sustainable poultry production. PMID:19394817

  11. Negative and positive interactions among plants: effects of competitors and litter on seedling emergence and growth of forest and grassland species.

    PubMed

    Loydi, A; Donath, T W; Otte, A; Eckstein, R L

    2015-05-01

    Living plant neighbours, but also their dead aboveground remains (i.e. litter), may individually exert negative or positive effects on plant recruitment. Although living plants and litter co-occur in most ecosystems, few studies have addressed their combined effects, and conclusions are ambivalent. Therefore, we examined the response in terms of seedling emergence and growth of herbaceous grassland and forest species to different litter types and amounts and the presence of competitors. We conducted a pot experiment testing the effects of litter type (grass, oak), litter amount (low, medium, high) and interspecific competition (presence or absence of four Festuca arundinacea individuals) on seedling emergence and biomass of four congeneric pairs of hemicryptophytes from two habitat types (woodland, grassland). Interactions between litter and competition were weak. Litter presence increased competitor biomass. It also had positive effects on seedling emergence at low litter amounts and negative effects at high litter amounts, while competition had no effect on seedling emergence. Seedling biomass was negatively affected by the presence of competitors, and this effect was stronger in combination with high amounts of litter. Litter affected seedling emergence while competition determined the biomass of the emerged individuals, both affecting early stages of seedling recruitment. High litter accumulation also reduced seedling biomass, but this effect seemed to be additive to competitor effects. This suggests that live and dead plant mass can affect species recruitment in natural systems, but the mechanisms by which they operate and their timing differ. PMID:25381837

  12. Both population size and patch quality affect local extinctions and colonizations.

    PubMed

    Franzén, Markus; Nilsson, Sven G

    2010-01-01

    Currently, the habitat of many species is fragmented, resulting in small local populations with individuals occasionally dispersing between the remaining habitat patches. In a solitary bee metapopulation, extinction probability was related to both local bee population sizes and pollen resources measured as host plant population size. Patch size, on the other hand, had no additional predictive power. The turnover rate of local bee populations in 63 habitat patches over 4 years was high, with 72 extinction events and 31 colonization events, but the pollen plant population was stable with no extinctions or colonizations. Both pollen resources and bee populations had strong and independent effects on extinction probability, but connectivity was not of importance. Colonizations occurred more frequently within larger host plant populations. For metapopulation survival of the bee, large pollen plant populations are essential, independent of current bee population size. PMID:19793747

  13. Patterns of litter disappearance in a northern hardwood forest invaded by exotic earthworms.

    PubMed

    Suárez, Esteban R; Fahey, Timothy J; Yavitt, Joseph B; Groffman, Peter M; Bohlen, Patrick J

    2006-02-01

    A field study was conducted to evaluate the effects of exotic earthworm invasions on the rates of leaf litter disappearance in a northern hardwood forest in southcentral New York, USA. Specifically, we assessed whether differences in litter quality and the species composition of exotic earthworm communities affected leaf litter disappearance rates. Two forest sites with contrasting communities of exotic earthworms were selected, and disappearance rates of sugar maple and red oak litter were estimated in litter boxes in adjacent earthworm-free, transition, and earthworm-invaded plots within each site. After 540 days in the field, 1.7-3 times more litter remained in the reference plots than in the earthworm-invaded plots. In the earthworm-invaded plots, rates of disappearance of sugar maple litter were higher than for oak litter during the first year, but by the end of the experiment, the amount of sugar maple and oak litter remaining in the earthworm-invaded plots was identical within each site. The composition of the earthworm communities significantly affected the patterns of litter disappearance. In the site dominated by the anecic earthworm Lumbricus terrestris and the endogeic Aporrectodea tuberculata, the percentage of litter remaining after 540 days (approximately 17%) was significantly less than at the site dominated by L. rubellus and Octolasion tyrtaeum (approximately 27%). This difference may be attributed to the differences in feeding behavior of the two litter-feeding species: L. terrestris buries entire leaves in vertical burrows, whereas L. rubellus usually feeds on litter at the soil surface, leaving behind leaf petioles and veins. Our results showed that earthworms not only accelerate litter disappearance rates, but also may reduce the differences in decomposition rates that result from different litter qualities at later stages of decay. Similarly, our results indicate that earthworm effects on decomposition vary with earthworm community

  14. Effect of Leaf Litter Diversity on Dissolved Organic Matter Export in a Deciduous Forest Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheibe*, A.; Eißfeller, V.; Langenbruch, C.; Seven, J.; Gleixner, G.

    2012-04-01

    We investigated sources and fate of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in soils in order to understand the effect of tree diversity on below ground processes. We established a leaf litter exchange experiment in the National Park Hainich (Thuringia, Germany) in December 2008. Labeled (13C) and unlabeled leaf litter of beach (Fagus sylvatica) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior) were exposed to study the decomposition process. Soil water was collected biweekly with glass suction plates (1 μm pore size, UMS, Munich, Germany) in 5 cm soil depth and pH, conductivity, DOC and anions (Cl-, NO3-, NO2-, PO43-, SO42-, F-) were determined. The 13DOC values were measured using high performance liquid chromatography - isotope ratio mass spectrometry (HPLC-IRMS). The values of conductivity and pH in the soil water indicate slower decomposition processes for leaf litter of beech in comparison to ash leaf litter. The conductivity was correlated with the Cl- ion during the first spring, which suggests the export of carbon due to leaching processes. However during the summer the conductivity correlated with the NO3- ions, which indicates mineralization as driving process. Surprisingly, the contribution of litter 13C into the dissolved carbon pool was very low. The highest contribution with up to 8.6% DOC labeled by ash litter derived carbon was found in the first 3 month of application. However, in the mean only 1.2% and 2.6% of DOC was labeled by carbon of the beech and ash litter, respectively. This represents in total only up to 0.41% of labeled litter carbon that was added. The higher percentages of ash litter derived 13C in DOM of soil water compared to beech indicates a positive effect of litter quality on decomposition. However, we did not find a faster decomposition or higher ash litter derived carbon export in mixed (ash and beech litter) treatments, which would indicate food selection or biodiversity effects.

  15. The generation and cost of litter resulting from the curbside collection of recycling.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Travis P; Broaddus, Nathan

    2016-04-01

    This study examined the generation of litter, defined as spillage and uncollected residue, from a curbside collection system for residential recycling. The primary recycling containers used in the study were 18-gal (68 L), open-top bins. The study, conducted over a seven-week period, was comprised of both an urban and suburban area. Six litter characterizations were conducted in which all new litter larger than 1 in.(2) was collected, segregated, counted, and weighed. We found that each week the open-top recycling bins contributed approximately 20,590 pieces of litter over 1 in. in size per every 1000 households, which resulted in the generation of 3.74 tons of litter per 1000 households per year. In addition to the bins having no top, the primary root causes of the litter were constantly overflowing recycling bins, the method of collection, and material scavenging. Based on an estimated cost of litter cleanup ranging from $0.17 to $0.79 per piece of litter, the direct economic costs from the collection of litter and loss in recycling revenues were estimated at US$3920 to US$19,250 per 1000 households per year. Other notable impacts from the litter, such as increased risk of flood damage from storm drain impairment and marine ecosystem damages exist, but were not monetized. The results strongly suggest that modification of the curbside collection system would decrease the amount and associated cost of litter by replacing existing curbside collection containers with larger volume containers with covers and by modifying the task-based incentive system to emphasize litter prevention rather than the current aim of completing the task most quickly. PMID:26882867

  16. Body ownership affects visual perception of object size by rescaling the visual representation of external space.

    PubMed

    van der Hoort, Björn; Ehrsson, H Henrik

    2014-07-01

    Size perception is most often explained by a combination of cues derived from the visual system. However, this traditional cue approach neglects the role of the observer's body beyond mere visual comparison. In a previous study, we used a full-body illusion to show that objects appear larger and farther away when participants experience a small artificial body as their own and that objects appear smaller and closer when they assume ownership of a large artificial body ("Barbie-doll illusion"; van der Hoort, Guterstam, & Ehrsson, PLoS ONE, 6(5), e20195, 2011). The first aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that this own-body-size effect is distinct from the role of the seen body as a direct familiar-size cue. To this end, we developed a novel setup that allowed for occlusion of the artificial body during the presentation of test objects. Our results demonstrate that the feeling of ownership of an artificial body can alter the perceived sizes of objects without the need for a visible body. Second, we demonstrate that fixation shifts do not contribute to the own-body-size effect. Third, we show that the effect exists in both peri-personal space and distant extra-personal space. Finally, through a meta-analysis, we demonstrate that the own-body-size effect is independent of and adds to the classical visual familiar-size cue effect. Our results suggest that, by changing body size, the entire spatial layout rescales and new objects are now perceived according to this rescaling, without the need to see the body. PMID:24806404

  17. Particulate Size of Microalgal Biomass Affects Hydrolysate Properties and Bioethanol Concentration

    PubMed Central

    Harun, Razif; Danquah, Michael K.; Thiruvenkadam, Selvakumar

    2014-01-01

    Effective optimization of microalgae-to-bioethanol process systems hinges on an in-depth characterization of key process parameters relevant to the overall bioprocess engineering. One of the such important variables is the biomass particle size distribution and the effects on saccharification levels and bioethanol titres. This study examined the effects of three different microalgal biomass particle size ranges, 35 μm ≤ x ≤ 90 μm, 125 μm ≤ x ≤ 180 μm, and 295 μm ≤ x ≤ 425 μm, on the degree of enzymatic hydrolysis and bioethanol production. Two scenarios were investigated: single enzyme hydrolysis (cellulase) and double enzyme hydrolysis (cellulase and cellobiase). The glucose yield from biomass in the smallest particle size range (35 μm ≤ x ≤ 90 μm) was the highest, 134.73 mg glucose/g algae, while the yield from biomass in the larger particle size range (295 μm ≤ x ≤ 425 μm) was 75.45 mg glucose/g algae. A similar trend was observed for bioethanol yield, with the highest yield of 0.47 g EtOH/g glucose obtained from biomass in the smallest particle size range. The results have shown that the microalgal biomass particle size has a significant effect on enzymatic hydrolysis and bioethanol yield. PMID:24971327

  18. Habitat traits and species interactions differentially affect abundance and body size in pond-breeding amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ousterhout, Brittany H; Anderson, Thomas L; Drake, Dana L; Peterman, William E; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2015-07-01

    In recent studies, habitat traits have emerged as stronger predictors of species occupancy, abundance, richness and diversity than competition. However, in many cases, it remains unclear whether habitat also mediates processes more subtle than competitive exclusion, such as growth, or whether intra- and interspecific interactions among individuals of different species may be better predictors of size. To test whether habitat traits are a stronger predictor of abundance and body size than intra- and interspecific interactions, we measured the density and body size of three species of larval salamanders in 192 ponds across a landscape. We found that the density of larvae was best predicted by models that included habitat features, while models incorporating interactions among individuals of different species best explained the body size of larvae. Additionally, we found a positive relationship between focal species density and congener density, while focal species body size was negatively related to congener density. We posit that salamander larvae may not experience competitive exclusion and thus reduced densities, but instead compensate for increased competition behaviourally (e.g. reduced foraging), resulting in decreased growth. The discrepancy between larval density and body size, a strong predictor of fitness in this system, also highlights a potential shortcoming in using density or abundance as a metric of habitat quality or population health. PMID:25643605

  19. Litter contribution to soil organic carbon in the agriculture abandons processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novara, A.; Rühl, J.; La Mantia, T.; Gristina, L.; La Bella, S.; Tuttolomondo, T.

    2015-02-01

    Mechanisms of litter decomposition, translocation and stabilization into soil layers are fundamental processes in ecosystem functioning as it regulates the cycle of soil organic matter (SOM), CO2 emission into the atmosphere, carbon sequestration into the soil. In this study, it was investigated the contribution of litters of different stages of Mediterranean secondary succession on Carbon sequestration, analyzing the role of earthworms on translocation of SOM into soil profile. For this purpose δ13C difference between meadow C4-Csoil and C3-Clitter were used in a field experiment. Four undisturbed litters of different stages of succession were collected (45, 70, 100 and 120 since agriculture abandon) and placed on the top of isolated soil cores. The litter contribution to C stock was affected by plant species and increased with the age of the stage of secondary succession. The soil organic carbon after 1 year since litter position increased up to 40% in comparison to no litter treatment in soil with litter of 120 years since abandon. The new carbon derived from C3-litter was decomposed and transferred into soil profile thanks to earthworms and dissolved organic carbon leaching. After 1 years the carbon increase attributed to earthworm activity ranged from 6 to 13% in soil under litter in field abandoned since 120 and 45 years, respectively.

  20. Litter contribution to soil organic carbon in the processes of agriculture abandon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novara, A.; Rühl, J.; La Mantia, T.; Gristina, L.; La Bella, S.; Tuttolomondo, T.

    2015-04-01

    The mechanisms of litter decomposition, translocation and stabilization into soil layers are fundamental processes in the functioning of the ecosystem, as they regulate the cycle of soil organic matter (SOM) and CO2 emission into the atmosphere. In this study the contribution of litters of different stages of Mediterranean secondary succession on carbon sequestration was investigated, analyzing the role of earthworms in the translocation of SOM into the soil profile. For this purpose the δ13C difference between meadow C4-C soil and C3-C litter was used in a field experiment. Four undisturbed litters of different stages of succession (45, 70, 100 and 120 since agriculture abandon) were collected and placed on the top of isolated C4 soil cores. The litter contribution to C stock was affected by plant species and it increased with the age of the stage of secondary succession. One year after the litter position, the soil organic carbon increased up to 40% in comparison to soils not treated with litter after 120 years of abandon. The new carbon derived from C3 litter was decomposed and transferred into soil profile thanks to earthworms and the leaching of dissolved organic carbon. After 1 year the carbon increase attributed to earthworm activity was 6 and 13% in the soils under litter of fields abandoned for 120 and 45 years, respectively.

  1. Strong stoichiometric resilience after litter manipulation experiments; a case study in a Chinese grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, C. W.; Janssens, I. A.; Zhou, Y.; Su, J. Q.; Liang, Y.; Guenet, B.

    2014-07-01

    Global climate change has generally increased net primary production which leads to increasing litter inputs. Therefore assessing the impacts of increasing litter inputs on soil nutrients, plant growth and ecological Carbon (C) : nitrogen (N) : phosphorus (P) stoichiometry is critical for an understanding of C, N and P cycling and their feedback processes to climate change. In this study, we added plant litter to the 10-20 cm subsoil layer under a steppe community at rates equivalent to 0, 150, 300, 600 and 1200 g (dry mass) m-2 and measured the resulting C, N and P content of different pools (above and below ground plant biomass, litter, microbial biomass). High litter addition (120% of the annual litter inputs) significantly increased soil inorganic N and available P, aboveground biomass, belowground biomass and litter. Nevertheless small litter additions, which are more realistic compared to the future predictions, had no effect on the variables examined. Our results suggest that while very high litter addition can strongly affect C : N : P stoichiometry, the grassland studied here is quite resilient to more realistic inputs in terms of stoichiometric functioning. This result highlights the complexity of the ecosystem's response to climate change.

  2. Role of leaf litter nitrogen immobilization in the nitrogen budget of a swamp stream

    SciTech Connect

    Qualls, R.G.

    1984-01-01

    Attempts were made to determine if immobilization-mobilization of N in the litter layer is of a sufficient magnitude to affect the concentrations of inorganic N in the overlying water, and to determine the effect of concentrations of dissolved nutrients and hydroperiod on litter decomposition, N uptake, and N release by litter. The study was conducted in two blackwater stream swamps in North Carolina: Creeping Swamp (CR) and Chicod Creek (CH). With the low levels of dissolved nutrients in CR, there was little difference in litter decomposition rate along elevation gradients. Decomposition was faster at the inundated sites in CH and the faster decomposition was associated with nutrient enrichment. Exogenous N immobilized in litter reached higher levels in the enriched swamp CH. Despite faster decomposition in CH, no substantial mineralization of litter N had occurred prior to June. A budget of litter N and dissolved inorganic N inflow showed that immobilization by flooded litter over 1 linear km of CR during the sampling period was 87 kg, equivalent to about 25% of the inorganic N inflow. This proportion shows that litter can play a significant role in controlling N concentration in stream water in small swamp streams. 24 references, 3 figures, 3 tables.

  3. Effects of Elevated CO2 on Litter Chemistry and Subsequent Invertebrate Detritivore Feeding Responses

    PubMed Central

    Dray, Matthew W.; Crowther, Thomas W.; Thomas, Stephen M.; A’Bear, A. Donald; Godbold, Douglas L.; Ormerod, Steve J.; Hartley, Susan E.; Jones, T. Hefin

    2014-01-01

    Elevated atmospheric CO2 can change foliar tissue chemistry. This alters leaf litter palatability to macroinvertebrate detritivores with consequences for decomposition, nutrient turnover, and food-web structure. Currently there is no consensus on the link between CO2 enrichment, litter chemistry, and macroinvertebrate-mediated leaf decomposition. To identify any unifying mechanisms, we presented eight invertebrate species from aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems with litter from Alnus glutinosa (common alder) or Betula pendula (silver birch) trees propagated under ambient (380 ppm) or elevated (ambient +200 ppm) CO2 concentrations. Alder litter was largely unaffected by CO2 enrichment, but birch litter from leaves grown under elevated CO2 had reduced nitrogen concentrations and greater C/N ratios. Invertebrates were provided individually with either (i) two litter discs, one of each CO2 treatment (‘choice’), or (ii) one litter disc of each CO2 treatment alone (‘no-choice’). Consumption was recorded. Only Odontocerum albicorne showed a feeding preference in the choice test, consuming more ambient- than elevated-CO2 birch litter. Species’ responses to alder were highly idiosyncratic in the no-choice test: Gammarus pulex and O. albicorne consumed more elevated-CO2 than ambient-CO2 litter, indicating compensatory feeding, while Oniscus asellus consumed more of the ambient-CO2 litter. No species responded to CO2 treatment when fed birch litter. Overall, these results show how elevated atmospheric CO2 can alter litter chemistry, affecting invertebrate feeding behaviour in species-specific ways. The data highlight the need for greater species-level information when predicting changes to detrital processing–a key ecosystem function–under atmospheric change. PMID:24465985

  4. Differential responses of ammonia/ammonium-oxidizing microorganisms in mangrove sediment to amendment of acetate and leaf litter.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yong-Feng; Li, Xiao-Yan; Gu, Ji-Dong

    2014-04-01

    The effects of acetate and leaf litter powder on ammonia/ammonium-oxidizing microorganisms (AOMs) in mangrove sediment were investigated in a laboratory incubation study for a period of 60 days. The results showed that different AOMs responded differently to the addition of acetate and leaf litter. A higher diversity of anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacteria was observed when acetate or leaf litter was added than the control. However, acetate and leaf litter generally inhibited the growth of anammox bacteria despite that leaf litter promoted their growth in the first 5 days. The inhibitory effects on anammox bacteria were more pronounced by acetate than by leaf litter. Neither acetate nor leaf litter affected ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) community structures, but promoted their growth. For ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), the addition of acetate or leaf litter resulted in changes of community structures and promoted their growth in the early phase of the incubation. In addition, the promoting effects by leaf litter on AOB growth were more obvious than acetate. These results indicated that organic substances affect AOM community structures and abundances. The study suggests that leaf litter has an important influence on the community structures and abundances of AOMs in mangrove sediment and affects the nitrogen cycle in such ecosystem. PMID:24169949

  5. Radiocesium leaching from contaminated litter in forest streams.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Masaru; Gomi, Takashi; Naito, Risa S; Negishi, Junjiro N; Sasaki, Michiko; Toda, Hiroto; Nunokawa, Masanori; Murase, Kaori

    2015-06-01

    In Japanese forests suffering from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, litter fall provides a large amount of radiocesium from forests to streams. Submerged litter is processed to become a vital food resource for various stream organisms through initial leaching and subsequent decomposition. Although leaching from litter can detach radiocesium similarly to potassium, radiocesium leaching and its migration are poorly understood. We examined both radiocesium and potassium leaching to the water column and radiocesium allocation to minerals (glass beads, silica sand, and vermiculite) in the laboratory using soaked litter with and without minerals on a water column. The mineral types did not affect radiocesium leaching from litter, but soaking in water for 1, 7, and 30 days decreased the radiocesium concentration in litter by ×0.71, ×0.66, and ×0.56, respectively. Meanwhile, the 1-, 7-, and 30-day experiments decreased potassium concentration in litter by ×0.17, ×0.11, and ×0.09, respectively. Leached radiocesium remained in a dissolved form when there was no mineral phases present in the water, whereas there was sorption onto the minerals when they were present. In particular, vermiculite adsorbed radiocesium by two to three orders of magnitude more effectively than the other minerals. Because radiocesium forms (such as that dissolved or adsorbed to organic matter or minerals) can further mobilize to ecosystems, our findings will increase our understanding regarding the dynamics of radiocesium in stream ecosystems. PMID:25791899

  6. Does population size affect genetic diversity? A test with sympatric lizard species.

    PubMed

    Hague, M T J; Routman, E J

    2016-01-01

    Genetic diversity is a fundamental requirement for evolution and adaptation. Nonetheless, the forces that maintain patterns of genetic variation in wild populations are not completely understood. Neutral theory posits that genetic diversity will increase with a larger effective population size and the decreasing effects of drift. However, the lack of compelling evidence for a relationship between genetic diversity and population size in comparative studies has generated some skepticism over the degree that neutral sequence evolution drives overall patterns of diversity. The goal of this study was to measure genetic diversity among sympatric populations of related lizard species that differ in population size and other ecological factors. By sampling related species from a single geographic location, we aimed to reduce nuisance variance in genetic diversity owing to species differences, for example, in mutation rates or historical biogeography. We compared populations of zebra-tailed lizards and western banded geckos, which are abundant and short-lived, to chuckwallas and desert iguanas, which are less common and long-lived. We assessed population genetic diversity at three protein-coding loci for each species. Our results were consistent with the predictions of neutral theory, as the abundant species almost always had higher levels of haplotype diversity than the less common species. Higher population genetic diversity in the abundant species is likely due to a combination of demographic factors, including larger local population sizes (and presumably effective population sizes), faster generation times and high rates of gene flow with other populations. PMID:26306730

  7. Habitat richness affects home range size in a monogamous large rodent.

    PubMed

    Lovari, Sandro; Sforzi, Andrea; Mori, Emiliano

    2013-10-01

    In monogamous species, after pair formation, the main reason for ranging movements is not searching for a mate, but for other important resources e.g. food. We monitored a total of 20 radio-tagged adult, paired crested porcupines in four areas of different habitat richness. No sexual size dimorphism was assessed. Body mass and habitat richness showed collinearity. For both sexes, home range size was correlated to habitat richness, with a significant inverse exponential regression. Opposite to natural foragers, living in poor habitats, crop foragers had smaller home ranges, with their dens significantly closer to cultivations. Both availability of food resources and den sites are key variables to determine home range size. PMID:23796772

  8. Perturbation of nucleo-cytoplasmic transport affects size of nucleus and nucleolus in human cells.

    PubMed

    Ganguly, Abira; Bhattacharjee, Chumki; Bhave, Madhura; Kailaje, Vaishali; Jain, Bhawik K; Sengupta, Isha; Rangarajan, Annapoorni; Bhattacharyya, Dibyendu

    2016-03-01

    Size regulation of human cell nucleus and nucleolus are poorly understood subjects. 3D reconstruction of live image shows that the karyoplasmic ratio (KR) increases by 30-80% in transformed cell lines compared to their immortalized counterpart. The attenuation of nucleo-cytoplasmic transport causes the KR value to increase by 30-50% in immortalized cell lines. Nucleolus volumes are significantly increased in transformed cell lines and the attenuation of nucleo-cytoplasmic transport causes a significant increase in the nucleolus volume of immortalized cell lines. A cytosol and nuclear fraction swapping experiment emphasizes the potential role of unknown cytosolic factors in nuclear and nucleolar size regulation. PMID:26813731

  9. Propagule size and predispersal damage by insects affect establishment and early growth of mangrove seedlings.

    PubMed

    Sousa, Wayne P; Kennedy, Peter G; Mitchell, Betsy J

    2003-05-01

    Variation in rates of seedling recruitment, growth, and survival can strongly influence the rate and course of forest regeneration following disturbance. Using a combination of field sampling and shadehouse experiments, we investigated the influence of propagule size and predispersal insect damage on the establishment and early growth of the three common mangrove species on the Caribbean coast of Panama: Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, and Rhizophora mangle. In our field samples, all three species exhibited considerable intraspecific variation in mature propagule size, and suffered moderate to high levels of predispersal attack by larval insects. Rates of insect attack were largely independent of propagule size both within and among trees. Our experimental studies using undamaged mature propagules showed that, for all three species, seedlings established at high rates regardless of propagule size. However, propagule size did have a marked effect on early seedling growth: seedlings that developed from larger propagules grew more rapidly. Predispersal insect infestations that had destroyed or removed a substantial amount of tissue, particularly if that tissue was meristematic or conductive, reduced the establishment of propagules of all three species. The effect of sublethal tissue damage or loss on the subsequent growth of established seedlings varied among the three mangrove species. For Avicennia, the growth response was graded: for a propagule of a given size, the more tissue lost, the slower the growth of the seedling. For Laguncularia, the response to insect attack appeared to be all-or-none. If the boring insect penetrated the outer spongy seed coat and reached the developing embryo, it usually caused sufficient damage to prevent a seedling from developing. On the other hand, if the insect damaged but did not penetrate the seed coat, a completely healthy seedling developed and its growth rate was indistinguishable from a seedling developing from an

  10. Microbial mineralization of organic nitrogen forms in poultry litters

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ammonia volatilization from the mineralization of uric acid and urea has a major impact on the poultry industry and the environment. Dry acids are a common management practice to reduce ammonia emissions from poultry houses, however little is known about how acidification affects the litter biologic...

  11. Litter-of-origin trait effects on gilt development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The preweaning litter environment of gilts can affect subsequent development. In a recent experiment designed to test the effects of diet on gilt development, individual birth weights, immunocrits, sow parity, number weaned, and individual weaning weights were collected for gilts during the preweani...

  12. Why does offspring size affect performance? Integrating metabolic scaling with life-history theory.

    PubMed

    Pettersen, Amanda K; White, Craig R; Marshall, Dustin J

    2015-11-22

    Within species, larger offspring typically outperform smaller offspring. While the relationship between offspring size and performance is ubiquitous, the cause of this relationship remains elusive. By linking metabolic and life-history theory, we provide a general explanation for why larger offspring perform better than smaller offspring. Using high-throughput respirometry arrays, we link metabolic rate to offspring size in two species of marine bryozoan. We found that metabolism scales allometrically with offspring size in both species: while larger offspring use absolutely more energy than smaller offspring, larger offspring use proportionally less of their maternally derived energy throughout the dependent, non-feeding phase. The increased metabolic efficiency of larger offspring while dependent on maternal investment may explain offspring size effects-larger offspring reach nutritional independence (feed for themselves) with a higher proportion of energy relative to structure than smaller offspring. These findings offer a potentially universal explanation for why larger offspring tend to perform better than smaller offspring but studies on other taxa are needed. PMID:26559952

  13. Factors Affecting Teachers' Adoption of Technology in Classrooms: Does School Size Matter?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Hsin-Kai; Hsu, Ying-Shao; Hwang, Fu-Kwun

    2008-01-01

    Researchers in educational technology have searched for factors to explain teachers' acceptance and resistance to using technology for instruction. Among the many identified factors, however, organizational and school factors have not yet been explored and discussed. This study investigates the effects of school size on science and mathematics…

  14. Primary particle size distribution of eroded material affected by degree of aggregate slaking and seal development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Primary particle size distribution (PSD) of eroded sediments can be used to estimate potential nutrient losses from soil and pollution hazards to the environment. We studied eroded sediment PSDs from three saturated soils, packed in trays (20 x 40 x 4 cm), that had undergone either minimal aggregate...

  15. Navy bean flour particle size and protein content affect cake baking and batter quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Whole navy bean flour and its fine and coarse particle size fractions were used to completely replace wheat flour in cakes. Replacement of wheat flour with whole bean flour significantly increased the protein content. The protein content was adjusted to three levels with navy bean starch. The effect...

  16. Do Birth Order, Family Size and Gender Affect Arithmetic Achievement in Elementary School?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Desoete, Annemie

    2008-01-01

    Introduction: For decades birth order and gender differences have attracted research attention. Method: Birth order, family size and gender, and the relationship with arithmetic achievement is studied among 1152 elementary school children (540 girls, 612 boys) in Flanders. Children were matched on socioeconomic status of the parents and…

  17. Foraging mode affects the evolution of egg size in generalist predators embedded in complex food webs.

    PubMed

    Verdeny-Vilalta, O; Fox, C W; Wise, D H; Moya-Laraño, J

    2015-06-01

    Ecological networks incorporate myriad biotic interactions that determine the selection pressures experienced by the embedded populations. We argue that within food webs, the negative scaling of abundance with body mass and foraging theory predict that the selective advantages of larger egg size should be smaller for sit-and-wait than active-hunting generalist predators, leading to the evolution of a difference in egg size between them. Because body mass usually scales negatively with predator abundance and constrains predation rate, slightly increasing egg mass should simultaneously allow offspring to feed on more prey and escape from more predators. However, the benefits of larger offspring would be relatively smaller for sit-and-wait predators because (i) due to their lower mobility, encounters with other predators are less common, and (ii) they usually employ a set of alternative hunting strategies that help to subdue relatively larger prey. On the other hand, for active predators, which need to confront prey as they find them, body-size differences may be more important in subduing prey. This difference in benefits should lead to the evolution of larger egg sizes in active-hunting relative to sit-and-wait predators. This prediction was confirmed by a phylogenetically controlled analysis of 268 spider species, supporting the view that the structure of ecological networks may serve to predict relevant selective pressures acting on key life history traits. PMID:25882583

  18. Mating status and body size in Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) affect host finding and DEET repellency

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Variations in the conditions accompanying mosquito development and mating can result in females of variable size that have not been inseminated. In this study, we compared the host finding activity of mated and unmated large and small Aedes albopictus and the repellency to these mosquitoes of 25% D...

  19. How the Assumed Size Distribution of Dust Minerals Affects the Predicted Ice Forming Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perlwitz, Jan P.; Fridlind, Ann M.; Garcia-Pando, Carlos Perez; Miller, Ron L.; Knopf, Daniel A.

    2015-01-01

    The formation of ice in clouds depends on the availability of ice forming nuclei (IFN). Dust aerosol particles are considered the most important source of IFN at a global scale. Recent laboratory studies have demonstrated that the mineral feldspar provides the most efficient dust IFN for immersion freezing and together with kaolinite for deposition ice nucleation, and that the phyllosilicates illite and montmorillonite (a member of the smectite group) are of secondary importance.A few studies have applied global models that simulate mineral specific dust to predict the number and geographical distribution of IFN. These studies have been based on the simple assumption that the mineral composition of soil as provided in data sets from the literature translates directly into the mineral composition of the dust aerosols. However, these tables are based on measurements of wet-sieved soil where dust aggregates are destroyed to a large degree. In consequence, the size distribution of dust is shifted to smaller sizes, and phyllosilicates like illite, kaolinite, and smectite are only found in the size range 2 m. In contrast, in measurements of the mineral composition of dust aerosols, the largest mass fraction of these phyllosilicates is found in the size range 2 m as part of dust aggregates. Conversely, the mass fraction of feldspar is smaller in this size range, varying with the geographical location. This may have a significant effect on the predicted IFN number and its geographical distribution.An improved mineral specific dust aerosol module has been recently implemented in the NASA GISS Earth System ModelE2. The dust module takes into consideration the disaggregated state of wet-sieved soil, on which the tables of soil mineral fractions are based. To simulate the atmospheric cycle of the minerals, the mass size distribution of each mineral in aggregates that are emitted from undispersed parent soil is reconstructed. In the current study, we test the null

  20. Evidence for Extraintestinal Growth of Bacteroidales Originating from Poultry Litter

    PubMed Central

    Mantha, Sirisha; Hair, Elliott; Nayak, Bina; Harwood, Valerie J.

    2014-01-01

    Water quality monitoring techniques that target microorganisms in the order Bacteroidales are potential alternatives to conventional methods for detection of fecal indicator bacteria. Bacteroidales and members of the genus Bacteroides have been the focus of microbial source tracking (MST) investigations for discriminating sources of fecal pollution (e.g., human or cattle feces) in environmental waters. For accurate source apportionment to occur, one needs to understand both the abundance of Bacteroides in host feces and the survival of these host-associated microbial markers after deposition in the environment. Studies were undertaken to evaluate the abundance, persistence, and potential for growth of Bacteroidales originating from poultry litter under oxic and anoxic environmental conditions. Bacteroidales abundance, as determined by quantitative PCR (qPCR) with GenBac primers and probe, increased 2 to 5 log gene copies ml−1 and 2 log gene copies g litter−1 under most conditions during incubation of poultry litter in a variety of laboratory microcosm and field mesocosm studies. DNA sequencing of the Bacteroidales organisms in the litter identified taxa with sequences corresponding exactly to the GenBac primer and probe sequences and that were closely related to Bacteroides uniformis, B. ovatus, and B. vulgatus. These results suggest that MST studies using qPCR methods targeting Bacteroidales in watersheds that are affected by poultry litter should be interpreted cautiously. Growth of Bacteroidales originating from poultry litter in environmental waters may occur while Bacteroidales growth from other fecal sources declines, thus confounding the interpretation of MST results. PMID:25326306

  1. The effects of litter carrying on rifle shooting.

    PubMed

    Tharion, W J; Rice, V; Sharp, M A; Marlowe, B E

    1993-08-01

    This study investigated whether the use of a shoulder harness would affect shooting accuracy after patient litter carrying. Two- and four-person teams, 12 male and 9 female soldiers, fired at targets before and after (1) a 15-minute bout of rapid, short litter carries and lifts, and (2) a moderate speed 30-minute litter carry with and without a harness for both types of carries. Shooting accuracy was 10% poorer (p < 0.05) after the 15-minute bout (mean +/- SD = 8.9 +/- 1.9 mm) than after the 30-minute carry (8.1 +/- 1.7 mm). Four-person teams using litter-carriage harnesses had 17% tighter shot groups (45.5 +/- 30.4 mm2) (p < 0.05) than four-person teams that did not use harnesses (54.5 +/- 26.1 mm2) and two-person teams with (56.3 +/- 29.1 mm2) or without harnesses (54.9 +/- 30.7 mm2). The harness can potentially improve shooting accuracy after litter carrying. PMID:8414084

  2. Decreased Toxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis to Mosquito Larvae after Contact with Leaf Litter

    PubMed Central

    Stalinski, Renaud; Kersusan, Dylann; Veyrenc, Sylvie; David, Jean-Philippe; Reynaud, Stéphane; Després, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis is a bacterium producing crystals containing Cry and Cyt proteins, which are toxic for mosquito larvae. Nothing is known about the interaction between crystal toxins and decaying leaf litter, which is a major component of several mosquito breeding sites and represents an important food source. In the present work, we investigated the behavior of B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis toxic crystals sprayed on leaf litter. In the presence of leaf litter, a 60% decrease in the amount of Cyt toxin detectable by immunology (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays [ELISAs]) was observed, while the respective proportions of Cry toxins were not affected. The toxicity of Cry toxins toward Aedes aegypti larvae was not affected by leaf litter, while the synergistic effect of Cyt toxins on all B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis Cry toxins was decreased by about 20% when mixed with leaf litter. The toxicity of two commercial B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis strains (VectoBac WG and VectoBac 12AS) and a laboratory-produced B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis strain decreased by about 70% when mixed with leaf litter. Taken together, these results suggest that Cyt toxins interact with leaf litter, resulting in a decreased toxicity of B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis in litter-rich environments and thereby dramatically reducing the efficiency of mosquitocidal treatments. PMID:22610426

  3. Orthographic Consistency Affects Spoken Word Recognition at Different Grain-Sizes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dich, Nadya

    2014-01-01

    A number of previous studies found that the consistency of sound-to-spelling mappings (feedback consistency) affects spoken word recognition. In auditory lexical decision experiments, words that can only be spelled one way are recognized faster than words with multiple potential spellings. Previous studies demonstrated this by manipulating…

  4. Gum tragacanth dispersions: Particle size and rheological properties affected by high-shear homogenization.

    PubMed

    Farzi, Mina; Yarmand, Mohammad Saeed; Safari, Mohammad; Emam-Djomeh, Zahra; Mohammadifar, Mohammad Amin

    2015-08-01

    The effect of high-shear homogenization on the rheological and particle size characteristics of three species of gum tragacanth (GT) was detected. Dispersions were subjected to 0-20 min treatment. Static light scattering techniques and rheological tests were used to study the effect of treatment. The results showed that the process caused a decrease in particle size parameters for all three species, but interestingly, the apparent viscosities increased. The highest increase of apparent viscosity was found for solutions containing Astragalus gossypinus, which possessed the highest insoluble fraction. The viscoelastic behaviors of dispersions were also significantly influenced by the process. Homogenization caused an increase in both G' and G″, in all three species. The alterations seem to be highly dependent on GT species and structure. The results could be of high importance in the industry, since the process will lead to textural modifications of food products containing GT. PMID:25987462

  5. Does size and buoyancy affect the long-distance transport of floating debris?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, Peter G.

    2015-08-01

    Floating persistent debris, primarily made from plastic, disperses long distances from source areas and accumulates in oceanic gyres. However, biofouling can increase the density of debris items to the point where they sink. Buoyancy is related to item volume, whereas fouling is related to surface area, so small items (which have high surface area to volume ratios) should start to sink sooner than large items. Empirical observations off South Africa support this prediction: moving offshore from coastal source areas there is an increase in the size of floating debris, an increase in the proportion of highly buoyant items (e.g. sealed bottles, floats and foamed plastics), and a decrease in the proportion of thin items such as plastic bags and flexible packaging which have high surface area to volume ratios. Size-specific sedimentation rates may be one reason for the apparent paucity of small plastic items floating in the world’s oceans.

  6. Formation of vitamin E emulsion stabilized by octenylsuccinic starch: factors affecting particle size and oil load.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Dan; Yang, Lei; Shi, Yong-Cheng

    2015-04-01

    Vitamin E (VE) emulsions were formed by adding VE acetate in an octenylsuccinic (OS) starch solution with distilled water and homogenizing with a microfluidizer at 20000 psi. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of total concentration of starch and oil, ratio of oil to starch, pH value, and free OS content on emulsion properties. A method using HPLC was developed to analyze VE in emulsion, and the results were used to estimate the amount of surface VE oil. Lower total concentration of starch and oil and lower ratio of oil to starch resulted in more stable emulsions, whereas differences in the pH between 3 and 8 had little effect. Free OS content increased with greater particle size and decreased oil load. Increasing the number of passes reduced the initial particle size of the emulsion but increased free OS content. PMID:25808448

  7. [Decomposition and phosphorus dynamics of the litters in standing and litterbag of the Hangzhou Bay coastal wetland ].

    PubMed

    Shao, Xue-xin; Liang, Xin-qiang; Wu, Ming; Ye, Xiao-qi; Jiang, Ke-yi

    2014-09-01

    Wetlands litter decomposition affects wetlands nutrient cycling. The decomposition progress of standing litter was monitored and the litterbag simulation experiment was carried out in order to analyze dynamics of litter decomposition and phosphorus release in Phragmites australis (PA), Spartina alterniflora (SA) and Scirpus mariqueter (SM) marshes of Hangzhou Bay coastal wetland. Results show that the dry mass of standing litter and P concentration decrease gradually and the litter drops to the sediment surface after 180 d. There are distinctive stages of the plant litter decomposition in litterbag simulation experiments. The loss rate is faster during 0- 15 d than that of later days. The loss rate in root decomposition of three plants are SM > PA > SA, while the trend is opposite for that of aboveground tissues. The time needed for 95% of dry mass decomposition in the plant tissues is between 1. 2- 8. 3 a. The P concentration in litters decreases rapidly in the initial stage and then increases slowly while the net P pools decreases all the time. Pearson's correlation coefficient shows that there is no significant correlation between the litter decomposition rate and C/N ratio. However, the litter C/P ratio affects greatly on plant decomposition rate. Environmental factors in the atmospheric temperature also have an impact on the decomposition rate of leaves. The different decomposition progresses between standing litter and litterbag are caused by environmental factors. PMID:25518655

  8. Injecting poultry litter into orchardgrass hay

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Traditional surface application of poultry litter leaves nutrients vulnerable to loss through volatilization and runoff. However, injection can increase capture of these nutrients in agricultural fields. Therefore, a field experiment was conducted to determine the effects of poultry litter injection...

  9. Flocculation and particle size analysis of expansive clay sediments affected by biological, chemical, and hydrodynamic factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Xiaoling; Hu, Liming; Reed, Allen H.; Furukawa, Yoko; Zhang, Guoping

    2014-01-01

    Expansive clay sediments are abundant in riverine and estuarine waters and bottom beds, and their particle size distributions (PSD) are important for the analysis of sediment transport. This paper presents an experimental study to evaluate, using a laser particle size analyzer under varying flow conditions, the intrinsic PSD of two expansive clays, a Ca- and a Na-montmorillonite and the influence of biological, chemical, and hydrodynamic factors on their flocculation and PSD. The considered biological factor consists of three extracellular polymeric substances of varying polarity, including xanthan gum, guar gum, and chitosan; the chemical factor is the salinity; and the hydrodynamic factor is the types of flow indicated by the Reynolds number and shear rate. The intrinsic PSD of both clays show a multimodal lognormal distribution with sizes ranging from 0.2 to 50 μm. All three biopolymers, xanthan gum, guar gum, and chitosan, can facilitate flocculation through long-range polymer bridging and short-range ion-dipole interaction, hydrogen bonding, and Coulomb force. The influence of salinity is different for the two clays: the particle size of the Na-montmorillonite increases with salinity, which is caused by flocculation resulting from the suppressed electrical double layer, while that of the Ca-montmorillonite is slightly reduced owing to the decreased basal spacing and cation exchange. For different hydrodynamic conditions, higher shear rate promotes the flocculation of Ca-montmorillonite, but breaks the Na-montmorillonite flocs. The significance of understanding the flocculation and PSD of expansive clays is also discussed in terms of sediment transport under different aquatic environments.

  10. Acute sleep deprivation increases portion size and affects food choice in young men.

    PubMed

    Hogenkamp, Pleunie S; Nilsson, Emil; Nilsson, Victor C; Chapman, Colin D; Vogel, Heike; Lundberg, Lina S; Zarei, Sanaz; Cedernaes, Jonathan; Rångtell, Frida H; Broman, Jan-Erik; Dickson, Suzanne L; Brunstrom, Jeffrey M; Benedict, Christian; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2013-09-01

    Acute sleep loss increases food intake in adults. However, little is known about the influence of acute sleep loss on portion size choice, and whether this depends on both hunger state and the type of food (snack or meal item) offered to an individual. The aim of the current study was to compare portion size choice after a night of sleep and a period of nocturnal wakefulness (a condition experienced by night-shift workers, e.g. physicians and nurses). Sixteen men (age: 23 ± 0.9 years, BMI: 23.6 ± 0.6 kg/m(2)) participated in a randomized within-subject design with two conditions, 8-h of sleep and total sleep deprivation (TSD). In the morning following sleep interventions, portion size, comprising meal and snack items, was measured using a computer-based task, in both fasted and sated state. In addition, hunger as well as plasma levels of ghrelin were measured. In the morning after TSD, subjects had increased plasma ghrelin levels (13%, p=0.04), and chose larger portions (14%, p=0.02), irrespective of the type of food, as compared to the sleep condition. Self-reported hunger was also enhanced (p<0.01). Following breakfast, sleep-deprived subjects chose larger portions of snacks (16%, p=0.02), whereas the selection of meal items did not differ between the sleep interventions (6%, p=0.13). Our results suggest that overeating in the morning after sleep loss is driven by both homeostatic and hedonic factors. Further, they show that portion size choice after sleep loss depend on both an individual's hunger status, and the type of food offered. PMID:23428257

  11. Flowering synchrony and floral display size affect pollination success in a deceit-pollinated tropical orchid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parra-Tabla, Victor; Vargas, Carlos F.

    2007-07-01

    ue to frequency-dependent negative selection, a strong relationship between reproductive phenology traits and pollination success is expected in deceit-pollinated species. This paper assesses the effects of floral display size on both female (fruit production) and male (pollen removal) pollination success in a population of the deceit-pollinated tropical orchid Myrmecophila christinae during two consecutive years (1998-1999). Low pollen removal (˜9% of total flowers) and fruit production values (˜3% of total flowers) were recorded during both years. As expected, binary logistic regressions showed a significant negative effect of floral synchrony, and a positive effect of floral display size on both male and female success, although these effects varied across years. Pollination rates in the field and in hand pollinations suggest a doubling in pollinator abundance between years. Results suggest that floral display size and flowering synchrony are of adaptive value for M. christinae. However, between-year fluctuations might indicate that reproductive phenology traits in deceit-pollinated species undergo fluctuating selection regimes among years and are probably linked to short-term changes in environmental (abiotic and biotic) conditions.

  12. COVERING THEIR BUTTS: RESPONSES TO THE CIGARETTE LITTER PROBLEM

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Elizabeth A.; McDaniel, Patricia A.

    2011-01-01

    Background Cigarette butt litter is a potential target of tobacco control. In addition to its toxicity and non-biodegradability, it can justify environmental regulation and policies that raise the price of tobacco and further denormalize its use. This paper examines how the tobacco industry has managed the cigarette butt litter issue and how the issue has been covered in the media. Methods We searched the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu) using a snowball strategy. We analyzed data from approximately 700 documents, dated 1959–2006, using an interpretive approach. We also searched two newspaper databases, Lexis/Nexis and Newsbank, and found 406 relevant articles, dated 1982–2009 which we analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Results The tobacco industry monitored and developed strategies for dealing with the cigarette litter issue because it affected the social acceptability of smoking, created the potential for alliances between tobacco control and environmental advocates, and created a target for regulation. The industry developed anti-litter programs with Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and similar organizations. Media coverage focused on industry-acceptable solutions, such as volunteer clean-ups and installation of ashtrays; stories that mentioned KAB were also more frequently positive toward the tobacco industry. Among alternative approaches, clean outdoor air laws received the most media attention. Conclusions Cigarette litter, like secondhand smoke, is the result of smoker behavior and affects nonsmokers. The tobacco industry has tried and failed to mitigate the impact of cigarette litter. Tobacco control advocates should explore alliances with environmental groups and propose policy options that hold the industry accountable for cigarette waste. PMID:20966130

  13. Effects of subsidy quality on reciprocal subsidies: how leaf litter species changes frog biomass export.

    PubMed

    Earl, Julia E; Castello, Paula O; Cohagen, Kara E; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2014-05-01

    Spatial subsidies are resources transferred from one ecosystem to another and which can greatly affect recipient systems. Increased subsidy quantity is known to increase these effects, but subsidy quality is likely also important. We examined the effects of leaf litter quality (varying in nutrient and tannin content) in pond mesocosms on gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor) biomass export, as well as water quality and ecosystem processes. We used litter from three different tree species native to Missouri [white oak (Quercus alba), northern red oak (Quercus rubra), and sugar maple (Acer saccharum)], one non-native tree [white pine (Pinus strobus)], and a common aquatic grass [prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata)]. We found that leaf litter species affected almost every variable we measured. Gray treefrog biomass export was greatest in mesocosms with grass litter and lowest with white oak litter. Differences in biomass export were affected by high tannin concentrations (or possibly the correlated variable, dissolved oxygen) via their effects on survival, and by primary production, which altered mean body mass. Effects of litter species could often be traced back to the characteristics of the litter itself: leaf nitrogen, phosphorus, and tannin content, which highlights the importance of plant functional traits in affecting aquatic ecosystems. This work and others stress that changes in forest species composition could greatly influence aquatic systems and aquatic-terrestrial linkages. PMID:24399483

  14. Variability of aboveground litter inputs alters soil physicochemical and biological processes: a meta-analysis of litterfall-manipulation experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, S.; Liu, L.; Sayer, E. J.

    2013-03-01

    Global change has been shown to greatly alter the amount of aboveground litter inputs to soil, which could cause substantial cascading effects on belowground biogeochemical cyling. Although having been studied extensively, there is uncertainty about how changes in aboveground litter inputs affect soil carbon and nutrient turnover and transformation. Here, we conducted a comprehensive compilation of 68 studies on litter addition or removal experiments, and used meta-analysis to assess the responses of soil physicochemical properties and carbon and nutrient cycling under changed aboveground litter inputs. Our results suggested that litter addition or removal could significantly alter soil temperature and moisture, but not soil pH. Litter inputs were more crucial in buffering soil temperature and moisture fluctuations in grassland than in forest. Soil respiration, soil microbial biomass carbon and total carbon in the mineral soil increased with increasing litter inputs, suggesting that soil acted as a~net carbon sink although carbon loss and transformation increased with increasing litter inputs. Total nitrogen and the C : N ratio in the mineral soil increased with increased litter inputs. However, there was no correlation between litter inputs and extractable inorganic nitrogen in the mineral soil. Compared to other ecosystems, tropical and subtropical forests are more sensitive to variation in litter inputs. Increased or decreased litter inputs altered the turnover and accumulation of soil carbon and nutrient in tropical and subtropical forests more substantially over a shorter time period compared to other ecosystems. Overall, our study suggested that, although the magnitude of responses differed greatly among ecosystems, increased litter inputs generally accelerated the decomposition and accumulation of carbon and nutrients in soil, and decreased litter inputs reduced them.

  15. Use of rice husk litter at different depths for broiler chicks during summer.

    PubMed

    Haque, M I; Chowdhury, S D

    1994-12-01

    1. Four groups of 36 one-day-old broiler chicks were reared for 8 weeks during summer on rice husk litter spread to depths of 20, 30, 40 or 50 mm. 2. The depth of the litter did not significantly affect live weight gain, food consumption, food conversion ratio, liveability or production number. 3. It was concluded that rice husks can be used as litter at depths of between 20 and 50 mm during summer to raise broilers without affecting performance. PMID:7719744

  16. Microclimatic Divergence in a Mediterranean Canyon Affects Richness, Composition, and Body Size in Saproxylic Beetle Assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Buse, Jörn; Fassbender, Samuel; Entling, Martin H.; Pavlicek, Tomas

    2015-01-01

    Large valleys with opposing slopes may act as a model system with which the effects of strong climatic gradients on biodiversity can be evaluated. The advantage of such comparisons is that the impact of a change of climate can be studied on the same species pool without the need to consider regional differences. The aim of this study was to compare the assemblage of saproxylic beetles on such opposing slopes at Lower Nahal Oren, Mt. Carmel, Israel (also known as “Evolution Canyon”) with a 200–800% higher solar radiation on the south-facing (SFS) compared to the north-facing slope (NFS). We tested specific hypotheses of species richness patterns, assemblage structure, and body size resulting from interslope differences in microclimate. Fifteen flight-interception traps per slope were distributed over three elevation levels ranging from 50 to 100 m a.s.l. Richness of saproxylic beetles was on average 34% higher on the SFS compared with the NFS, with no detected influence of elevation levels. Both assemblage structure and average body size were determined by slope aspect, with more small-bodied beetles found on the SFS. Both the increase in species richness and the higher prevalence of small species on the SFS reflect ecological rules present on larger spatial grain (species-energy hypothesis and community body size shift hypothesis), and both can be explained by the metabolic theory of ecology. This is encouraging for the complementary use of micro- and macroclimatic gradients to study impacts of climate warming on biodiversity. PMID:26047491

  17. Body size affects individual winter foraging strategies of thick-billed murres in the Bering Sea.

    PubMed

    Orben, Rachael A; Paredes, Rosana; Roby, Daniel D; Irons, David B; Shaffer, Scott A

    2015-11-01

    Foraging and migration often require different energetic and movement strategies. Though not readily apparent, constraints during one phase might influence the foraging strategies observed in another. For marine birds that fly and dive, body size constraints likely present a trade-off between foraging ability and migration as smaller bodies reduce flight costs, whereas larger bodies are advantageous for diving deeper. This study examines individual wintering strategies of deep diving thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) breeding at three colonies in the south-eastern Bering Sea: St Paul, St George and Bogoslof. These colonies, arranged north to south, are located such that breeding birds forage in a gradient from shelf to deep-water habitats. We used geolocation time-depth recorders and stable isotopes from feathers to determine differences in foraging behaviour and diet of murres during three non-breeding periods, 2008-2011. Body size was quantified by a principal component analysis (wing, culmen, head+bill and tarsus length). A hierarchical cluster analysis identified winter foraging strategies based on individual movement, diving behaviour and diet (inferred from stable isotopes). Structural body size differed by breeding island. Larger birds from St Paul had higher wing loading than smaller birds from St George. Larger birds, mainly from St Paul, dove to deeper depths, spent more time in the Bering Sea, and likely consumed higher trophic-level prey in late winter. Three winter foraging strategies were identified. The main strategy, employed by small birds from all three breeding colonies in the first 2 years, was characterized by high residency areas in the North Pacific south of the Aleutians and nocturnal diving. In contrast, 31% of birds from St Paul remained in the Bering Sea and foraged mainly during the day, apparently feeding on higher trophic-level prey. Throat feather stable isotopes indicated that individuals exhibited flexibility in the use of this

  18. Rheological quality of pearl millet porridge as affected by grits size.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Deep N; Chhikara, Navnidhi; Anand, Tanupriya; Sharma, Monika; Singh, Ashish K

    2014-09-01

    Study was conducted to optimize pearl millet grits size for the preparation of acceptable porridge with skimmed milk powder (SMP). Pearl millet porridge was prepared with different grits size (1.410, 0.841, 0.595, and 0.420 mm). A positive (r = 0.904) correlation was observed between water absorption index and grits size. Porridge showed shear thinning behavior as, initially shear stress increased with increase in shear rate and later on decreased. Porridge prepared with larger grits (1.410 mm) exhibited higher firmness (38.4 ± 1.27 N) and viscosity (446 ± 3.9 cP), whereas smaller grits (0.420 mm) resulted in less viscous (118.8 ± 1.74 cP) and firm (20.4 ± 1.85 N) porridge. The medium grits (0.841 mm) produced porridge with acceptable firmness (30.7 ± 1.56 N) and viscosity (298.1 ± 8.81 cP) with moderate (6.0 ± 0.10) acceptability. To improve sensory quality of porridge (grits size 0.841 mm); skimmed milk powder at different levels (0, 5, 10 and 15 %) was added and its effect on various quality parameters was studied. SMP addition significantly (P ≤ 0.05) modified the gelatinization and gelling behavior of grits and decreased (P ≤ 0.05) all the pasting characteristics except pasting temperature, which increased from 77.1 ± 1.85 to 85.9 ± 3.46 °C. The peak (499 ± 6.6 cP) and final viscosity (450 ± 11.9 cP) of porridge (0.841 mm) prepared with 15 % SMP are quite similar. Hence, it maintains viscosity on cooling, similar to maximum viscosity attained during cooking. Keeping in view the rheological, firmness and sensory quality, 0.841 mm grits of pearl millet with 15 % SMP was found optimum for preparation of acceptable porridge. PMID:25190879

  19. 46 CFR 108.709 - Litter.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Litter. 108.709 Section 108.709 Shipping COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (CONTINUED) A-MOBILE OFFSHORE DRILLING UNITS DESIGN AND EQUIPMENT Miscellaneous Equipment § 108.709 Litter. Each unit must have a litter that is— (a) Stowed in a location that...

  20. Poultry Industry Trends for Litter Utilization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Broiler litter utilization falls primarily into two broad categories, as fertilizer or in litter-to-energy processes. Without economic, environmentally sound litter uses, potential or real regional litigation may force alternative management that can be detrimental to the grower’s bottom line as wel...

  1. Galling by Rhopalomyia solidaginis alters Solidago altissima architecture and litter nutrient dynamics in an old-field ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Crutsinger, Greg; Habenicht, Melissa N; Classen, Aimee T; Schweitzer, Jennifer A; Sanders, Dr. Nathan James

    2008-01-01

    Plant-insect interactions can alter ecosystem processes, especially if the insects modify plant architecture, quality, or the quantity of leaf litter inputs. In this study, we investigated the interactions between the gall midge Rhopalomyia solidaginis and tall goldenrod, Solidago altissima, to quantify the degree to which the midge alters plant architecture and how the galls affect rates of litter decomposition and nutrient release in an old-field ecosystem. R. solidaginis commonly leads to the formation of a distinct apical rosette gall on S. altissima and approximately 15% of the ramets in a S. altissima patch were galled (range: 3-34%). Aboveground biomass of galled ramets was 60% higher and the leaf area density was four times greater on galled leaf tissue relative to the portions of the plant that were not affected by the gall. Overall decomposition rate constants did not differ between galled and ungalled leaf litter. However, leaf-litter mass loss was lower in galled litter relative to ungalled litter, which was likely driven by modest differences in initial litter chemistry; this effect diminished after 12 weeks of decomposition in the field. The proportion of N remaining was always higher in galled litter than in ungalled litter at each collection date indicating differential release of nitrogen in galled leaf litter. Several studies have shown that plant-insect interactions on woody species can alter ecosystem processes by affecting the quality or quantity of litter inputs. Our results illustrate how plant-insect interactions in an herbaceous species can affect ecosystem processes by altering the quality and quantity of litter inputs. Given that S. altissima dominates fields and roadsides and that R. solidaginis galls are highly abundant throughout eastern North America, these interactions are likely to be important for both the structure and function of old-field ecosystems.

  2. Annual litter fall in an intact mixed dipterocarp forest of Brunei Darussalam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roh, Yujin; Lee, Jongyeol; Lee, Sohye; Abu Salim, Kamariah; Davies, Stuart James; Son, Yowhan

    2016-04-01

    Estimating litter dynamics in an intact tropical forests is important for understanding tropical forests. Litter fall varies with seasonality, forest type or species composition, forest age, soil water retention, and soil fertility. These parameters are known to be strongly affected by elevation. The objective of this study was to estimate annual litter fall along a relative elevation in an intact mixed dipterocarp forest of Brunei Darussalam. This study was conducted in the Kuala Belalong lowland MDF, which is part of the Ulu Tembulong National Park, Brunei Darussalam. Five 0.36 ha plots were established within the permanent 25 ha UBD-CTFS plot. The plots were divided into three groups by relative elevation of the site: 1) high (N = 1), 2) middle (N = 2) and 3) low (N = 2). In January 2015, nine litter traps were installed in each plot and falling litter was collected every month from February to November, 2015. The collected litter was separated into leaves and other materials, and then weighed after drying at 80oC. The average annual litter fall in this site was 8.70 ± 0.16 Mg ha-1 yr-1, and this was within the range reported in previous studies which were conducted in tropical forests. Litter fall at high, middle and low plots was 9.09 ± 0.46, 8.90 ± 0.29 and 8.06 ± 0.29 Mg ha-1 yr-1, respectively. Litter fall was not significantly different among the groups (P>0.05). The results of regression analysis showed that litter fall was not significantly increased with altitude. We suppose that litter fall may be relatively constant in this site. *Supported by research grants from the Korea Forest Service (S121314L130100)

  3. Winter broiler litter gases and nitrogen compounds: Temporal and spatial trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miles, D. M.; Rowe, D. E.; Owens, P. R.

    Understanding how animal activities, management, and barn structure affect litter gases and nutrients is fundamental to developing accurate emission models for meat-bird facilities. This research characterized the temporal and spatial variability of litter ammonia (NH 3) and nitrous oxide (N 2O) flux via a chamber method, as well as determined litter nitrogen (N) compounds by intensive sampling in two commercial broiler houses on aged litter. Thirty-six grid samples were taken during a winter flock in Mississippi on days 2, 22, and 45. On day 45, eight additional samples were taken near the feeders and waterers (F/W). Geostatistical contour plots indicate NH 3 flux on day 2 was elevated in the brood area of house one (H1) where litter and air temperatures were highest; a commercial litter treatment held the NH 3 flux near zero for approximately 45% of the brood area in house two (H2). Day 45 NH 3 fluxes were similar, averaging 694 mg m -2 h -1 in H1 vs. 644 mg m -2 h -1 in H2; both houses exhibited greater NH 3 flux near the cooling pads. Ammonia flux, litter moisture and pH were diminished at the F/W locations. Heavy cake near the exhaust fans provided the lowest recorded litter pH, highest litter moisture and ammonium (NH 4) with no NH 3 flux at the flock's end. Trends in litter condition based on bird activity were evident, but individual differences persisted between the houses. The importance of cake formation over the litter surface and differences based on location, both related to bird activity and house structure, should be considered in NH 3 mitigation strategies.

  4. Litter ammonia generation: moisture content and organic versus inorganic bedding materials.

    PubMed

    Miles, D M; Rowe, D E; Cathcart, T C

    2011-06-01

    Negative impacts on the environment, bird well-being, and farm worker health indicate the need for abatement strategies for poultry litter NH(3) generation. Type of bedding affects many parameters related to poultry production including NH(3) losses. In a randomized complete block design, 3 trials compared the cumulative NH(3) volatilization for laboratory-prepared litter (4 bedding types mixed with excreta) and commercial litter (sampled from a broiler house during the second flock on reused pine wood chips). Litters were assessed at the original moisture content and 2 higher moisture contents. Broiler excrement was mixed with pine wood shavings, rice hulls, sand, and vermiculite to create litter samples. Volumetrically uniform litter samples were placed in chambers receiving humidified air where the exhaust passed through H(3)BO(3) solution, trapping litter-emitted NH(3). At the original moisture content, sand and vermiculite litters generated the most NH(3) (5.3 and 9.1 mg of N, respectively) whereas wood shavings, commercial, and rice hull litters emitted the least NH(3) (0.9-2.6 mg of N). For reducing NH(3) emissions, the results support recommendations for using wood shavings and rice hulls, already popular bedding choices in the United States and worldwide. In this research, the organic bedding materials generated the least NH(3) at the original moisture content when compared with the inorganic materials. For each bedding type, incremental increases in litter moisture content increased NH(3) volatilization. However, the effects of bedding material on NH(3) volatilization at the increased moisture levels were not clearly differentiated across the treatments. Vermiculite generated the most NH(3) (26.3 mg of N) at the highest moisture content. Vermiculite was a novel bedding choice that has a high water absorption capacity, but because of high NH(3) generation, it is not recommended for further study as broiler bedding material. Controlling unnecessary moisture

  5. Putting Up a Big Front: Car Design and Size Affect Road-Crossing Behaviour.

    PubMed

    Klatt, Wilhelm K; Chesham, Alvin; Lobmaier, Janek S

    2016-01-01

    Previous research suggests that people tend to see faces in car fronts and that they attribute personality characteristics to car faces. In the present study we investigated whether car design influences pedestrian road-crossing behaviour. An immersive virtual reality environment with a zebra crossing scenario was used to determine a) whether the minimum accepted distance for crossing the street is larger for cars with a dominant appearance than for cars with a friendly appearance and b) whether the speed of dominant-looking cars is overestimated as compared to friendly-looking cars. Participants completed both tasks while either standing on the pavement or on the centre island. We found that people started to cross the road later in front of friendly-looking low-power cars compared to dominant-looking high-power cars, but only if the cars were relatively large in size. For small cars we found no effect of power. The speed of smaller cars was estimated to be higher compared to large cars (size-speed bias). Furthermore, there was an effect of starting position: From the centre island, participants entered the road significantly later (i. e. closer to the approaching car) and left the road later than when starting from the pavement. Similarly, the speed of the cars was estimated significantly lower when standing on the centre island compared to the pavement. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that car fronts elicit responses on a behavioural level. PMID:27434187

  6. Putting Up a Big Front: Car Design and Size Affect Road-Crossing Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Klatt, Wilhelm K.; Chesham, Alvin; Lobmaier, Janek S.

    2016-01-01

    Previous research suggests that people tend to see faces in car fronts and that they attribute personality characteristics to car faces. In the present study we investigated whether car design influences pedestrian road-crossing behaviour. An immersive virtual reality environment with a zebra crossing scenario was used to determine a) whether the minimum accepted distance for crossing the street is larger for cars with a dominant appearance than for cars with a friendly appearance and b) whether the speed of dominant-looking cars is overestimated as compared to friendly-looking cars. Participants completed both tasks while either standing on the pavement or on the centre island. We found that people started to cross the road later in front of friendly-looking low-power cars compared to dominant-looking high-power cars, but only if the cars were relatively large in size. For small cars we found no effect of power. The speed of smaller cars was estimated to be higher compared to large cars (size-speed bias). Furthermore, there was an effect of starting position: From the centre island, participants entered the road significantly later (i. e. closer to the approaching car) and left the road later than when starting from the pavement. Similarly, the speed of the cars was estimated significantly lower when standing on the centre island compared to the pavement. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that car fronts elicit responses on a behavioural level. PMID:27434187

  7. β-lactoglobulin stabilized nanemulsions--Formulation and process factors affecting droplet size and nanoemulsion stability.

    PubMed

    Ali, Ali; Mekhloufi, Ghozlene; Huang, Nicolas; Agnely, Florence

    2016-03-16

    To avoid the toxicological concerns associated to synthetic surfactants, proteins might be an alternative for the stabilization of pharmaceutical nanoemulsions. The present study investigates the use of β-lactoglobulin (β-lg) to stabilize oil in water biocompatible nanoemulsions intended for a pharmaceutical use and prepared by high pressure homogenization (HPH). The effects of composition (nature and weight fraction of oil, β-lg concentration) and of process parameters (pressure and number of cycles) on the droplet size and on the stability of nanoemulsions were thoroughly assessed. The nanoemulsions prepared with β-lg at 1 wt% and with 5 wt% Miglyol 812 (the oil with the lowest viscosity) displayed a relatively small particle size (about 200 nm) and a low polydispersity when a homogenization pressure of 100 MPa was applied for 4 cycles. These nanoemulsions were the most stable formulations over 30 days at least. Emulsification efficiency of β-lg was reduced at higher homogenization pressures (200 MPa and 300 MPa). The effect of HPH process on the interfacial properties of β-lg was evaluated by drop shape analysis. This treatment had an effect neither on the interfacial tension nor on the interfacial dilatational rheology of β-lg at the Miglyol 812/water interface. PMID:26784982

  8. Recruitment and post-recruit immigration affect the local population size of coral reef fishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, A. R.

    1997-07-01

    This study quantifies the contributions of larval recruitment and post-recruit (juvenile and adult) immigration to net increases in population size for 150 species of fishes found on ten isolated coral patches or `bommies' (108-267 m2) within a typical reef of the Great Barrier Reef system. At least one third of the total number of recruits and immigrants to all bommies were post-recruit fishes, and movement between bommies in 136 species was detected at some time during the 22 month sampling period. The relative numbers of recruits and post-recruit immigrants per species varied widely within the assemblage, and between the replicate bommies. Populations of 95 species received both types of immigrants, 41 species had only post-recruit immigrants, and 14 species received only larval recruitment. In most species, recruitment occurred over the austral summer between October and February, while post-recruit movements occurred in both summer and winter. Rates of post-recruit immigration varied temporally within bommies, and pulses of post-recruits were less temporally concordant between bommies than pulses of recruits. This study is further evidence that post-settlement processes can have a significant effect on the local population size of reef fishes.

  9. Influence of litter chemistry and stoichiometry on glucan depolymerization during decomposition of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) litter

    PubMed Central

    Leitner, Sonja; Wanek, Wolfgang; Wild, Birgit; Haemmerle, Ieda; Kohl, Lukas; Keiblinger, Katharina M.; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, Sophie; Richter, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    highly correlated to cellulase activities, suggesting that cellulose was the primary substrate for glucan depolymerization at this stage of decomposition. Litter stoichiometry did not affect glucan depolymerization or glucose consumption rates early in decomposition. At later stages, however, we found significant negative relationships between glucan depolymerization and litter C:N and AUR:N ratio and a positive relationship between glucan depolymerization and litter N concentration. Litter C:N and C:P ratios were negatively related to cellulase, peroxidase and phenoloxidase activities three and six months after incubation, further corroborating the importance of resource stoichiometry for glucan depolymerization after the initial pulse of starch degradation. PMID:22761539

  10. Formation of soil organic matter via biochemical and physical pathways of litter mass loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotrufo, M. Francesca; Soong, Jennifer L.; Horton, Andrew J.; Campbell, Eleanor E.; Haddix, Michelle L.; Wall, Diana H.; Parton, William J.

    2015-10-01

    Soil organic matter is the largest terrestrial carbon pool. The pool size depends on the balance between formation of soil organic matter from decomposition of plant litter and its mineralization to inorganic carbon. Knowledge of soil organic matter formation remains limited and current C numerical models assume that stable soil organic matter is formed primarily from recalcitrant plant litter. However, labile components of plant litter could also form mineral-stabilized soil organic matter. Here we followed the decomposition of isotopically labelled above-ground litter and its incorporation into soil organic matter over three years in a grassland in Kansas, USA, and used laboratory incubations to determine the decay rates and pool structure of litter-derived organic matter. Early in decomposition, soil organic matter formed when non-structural compounds were lost from litter. Soil organic matter also formed at the end of decomposition, when both non-structural and structural compounds were lost at similar rates. We conclude that two pathways yield soil organic matter efficiently. A dissolved organic matter-microbial path occurs early in decomposition when litter loses mostly non-structural compounds, which are incorporated into microbial biomass at high rates, resulting in efficient soil organic matter formation. An equally efficient physical-transfer path occurs when litter fragments move into soil.

  11. Low contribution of litter derived carbon to dissolved organic matter in soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheibe, A.; Krantz, L.; Gleixner, G.

    2010-12-01

    This study investigates the contribution of litter derived carbon to dissolved organic matter (DOM) pool because our knowledge on sources of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is still very controversial. Here, a labeled litter exchange experiment was started in the National Park Hainich, Germany, in November 2008. In this experiment the native litter was exchanged with 13C and 15N labeled litter of ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and beech (Fagus sylvatica). Soil water was collected biweekly with glass suction plates (1 µm pore size, UMS, Munich, Germany), installed in a depth of 5 cm. The amount and isotopic content of the DOC in natural samples was measured using a newly developed method: a high pressure liquid chromatography which was on-line coupled to isotope ratio mass spectrometry (HPLC-IRMS) via wet chemical combustion. Reference measurements proved the excellent performance of the method. Unexpected was the very low contribution of litter 13C into the dissolved carbon pool. The highest contribution with up to 5% DOC labeled by ash litter derived carbon was found in the first month of application. Furthermore we found that only 1.1% and 2.8% (mean values) of DOC was labeled by carbon of the beech and ash litter, respectively. These results suggest that litter derived carbon is of low importance for DOM formation and consequently root / rhizosphere and soil derived carbon drives the DOM loss.

  12. Family size preference and factors affecting the fertility rate in Hyogo, Japan

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Japan has consistently shown a low fertility rate, which has been lower than the replacement level since 1974, and represents one of the least fertile countries in the world. This study was designed to determine the family size preference of and its effect on Japanese women. Methods We conducted a questionnaire survey among women who visited the obstetrics and gynecology department of 18 hospitals and clinics in the Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, between October 2011 and February 2012. All the women were categorized according to age group and area of residence, and the survey results were statistically analyzed using a t test. Results A total of 1616 women were included in this study. There was no significant difference between the mean desired and actual marital ages (26.70 and 26.67 years, respectively). The mean desired number of children was 2.55, which was significantly more than the mean actual number of children (1.77) in all generations. The mean desired and actual numbers of children were more in the rural areas (2.73 and 2.09, respectively) than in the urban (2.54 and 1.70, respectively) and semi-urban areas (2.49 and 1.60, respectively). The mean number of family members was significantly greater in the rural areas (3.84) than in the urban (3.25) and semi-urban areas (3.05). The most important concern among women who had never delivered a baby was childbearing itself, followed by the expenses related to pregnancy and childbearing. Conclusions The family size preference of the women in our study was higher than the actual numbers of children. The fertility intentions were low among the younger women but high among those living in rural areas with larger families. PMID:23363875

  13. Using experimental manipulation to assess the roles of leaf litter in the functioning of forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sayer, Emma J

    2006-02-01

    The widespread use of forest litter as animal bedding in central Europe for many centuries gave rise to the first litter manipulation studies, and their results demonstrated that litter and its decomposition are a vital part of ecosystem function. Litter plays two major roles in forest ecosystems: firstly, litterfall is an inherent part of nutrient and carbon cycling, and secondly, litter forms a protective layer on the soil surface that also regulates microclimatic conditions. By reviewing 152 years of litter manipulation experiments, I show that the effects of manipulating litter stem from changes in one, or both, of these two functions, and interactions between the variables influenced by the accumulation of litter can result in feedback mechanisms that may intensify treatment effects or mask responses, making the interpretation of results difficult.Long-term litter removal increased soil bulk density, overland flow, erosion, and temperature fluctuations and upset the soil water balance, causing lower soil water content during dry periods. Soil pH increased or decreased in response to manipulation treatments depending on forest type and initial soil pH, but it is unclear why there was no uniform response. Long-term litter harvesting severely depleted the forests of nutrients. Decreases in the concentrations of available P, Ca, Mg, and K in the soil occurred after only three to five years. The decline in soil N occurred over longer periods of time, and the relative loss was greater in soils with high initial nitrogen concentration. Tree growth declined with long-term litter removal, probably due to lower nutrient availability. Litter manipulation also added or removed large amounts of carbon thereby affecting microbial communities and altering soil respiration rates. Litter manipulation experiments have shown that litter cover acts as a physical barrier to the shoot emergence of small-seeded species; further, the microclimate maintained by the litter layer may be

  14. CO-FIRING COAL: FEEDLOT AND LITTER BIOMASS FUELS

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Kalyan Annamalai; Dr. John Sweeten; Dr. Sayeed Mukhtar

    2001-05-10

    The following are proposed activities for quarter 3 (12/15/00-3/14/01): (1) Conduct TGA and fuel characterization studies - Task 1; (2) Continue to perform re-burn experiments. - Task 2; (3) Design fixed bed combustor. - Task 3; and (4) Modify the PCGC2 code to include moisture evaporation model - Task 4. The following were achieved During Quarter 3 (12/15/0-3/14/01): (1) Conducted TGA and Fuel Characterization studies (Appendix I). A comparison of -fuel properties, TGA traces etc is given in Appendix I. Litter has 3 and 6 times more N compared to coal on mass and heat basis. The P of litter is almost 2 % (Task 1). Both litter biomass (LB) and feedlot biomass (FB) have been pulverized. The size distributions are similar for both litter and FB in that 75 % pass through 150 {micro}m sieve while for coal 75 % pass through 60 {micro}m sieve. Rosin Rammler curve parameters are given. The TGA characteristics of FB and LB are similar and pyrolysis starts at 100 C below that of coal; (2) Reburn experiments with litter and with FB have been performed (Appendix II) -Task 2. Litter is almost twice effective (almost 70--90 % reduction) compared to coal in reducing the NOx possibly due to presence of N in the form of NH{sub 3}; (3) Designed fixed bed gasifier/combustor (Appendix III) - Task 3; and (4) Modified PCGC2 to include moisture evaporation model in coal and biomass particles. (Appendix IV) - Task 4.

  15. Impacts of Poultry House Environment on Poultry Litter Bacterial Community Composition

    PubMed Central

    Dumas, Michael D.; Polson, Shawn W.; Ritter, Don; Ravel, Jacques; Gelb, Jack; Morgan, Robin; Wommack, K. Eric

    2011-01-01

    Viral and bacterial pathogens are a significant economic concern to the US broiler industry and the ecological epicenter for poultry pathogens is the mixture of bedding material, chicken excrement and feathers that comprises the litter of a poultry house. This study used high-throughput sequencing to assess the richness and diversity of poultry litter bacterial communities, and to look for connections between these communities and the environmental characteristics of a poultry house including its history of gangrenous dermatitis (GD). Cluster analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed differences in the distribution of bacterial phylotypes between Wet and Dry litter samples and between houses. Wet litter contained greater diversity with 90% of total bacterial abundance occurring within the top 214 OTU clusters. In contrast, only 50 clusters accounted for 90% of Dry litter bacterial abundance. The sixth largest OTU cluster across all samples classified as an Arcobacter sp., an emerging human pathogen, occurring in only the Wet litter samples of a house with a modern evaporative cooling system. Ironically, the primary pathogenic clostridial and staphylococcal species associated with GD were not found in any house; however, there were thirteen 16S rRNA gene phylotypes of mostly Gram-positive phyla that were unique to GD-affected houses and primarily occurred in Wet litter samples. Overall, the poultry house environment appeared to substantially impact the composition of litter bacterial communities and may play a key role in the emergence of food-borne pathogens. PMID:21949751

  16. Genetic Based Plant Resistance and Susceptibility Traits to Herbivory Influence Needle and Root Litter Nutrient Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Classen, Aimee T; Chapman, Samantha K.; Whitham, Thomas G; Hart, Stephen C; Koch, George W

    2007-01-01

    It is generally assumed that leaf and root litter decomposition have similar drivers and that nutrient release from these substrates is synchronized. Few studies have examined these assumptions, and none has examined how plant genetics (i.e., plant susceptibility to herbivory) could affect these relationships. Here we examine the effects of herbivore susceptibility and resistance on needle and fine root litter decomposition of pi on pine, Pinus edulis. The study population consists of individual trees that are either susceptible or resistant to herbivory by the pi on needle scale, Matsucoccus acalyptus, or the stem-boring moth, Dioryctria albovittella. Genetic analyses and experimental removals and additions of these insects have identified trees that are naturally resistant and susceptible to these insects. These herbivores increase the chemical quality of litter inputs and alter soil microclimate, both of which are important decomposition drivers. Our research leads to four major conclusions: Herbivore susceptibility and resistance effects on 1) needle litter mass loss and phosphorus (P) retention in moth susceptible and resistant litter are governed by microclimate, 2) root litter nitrogen (N) and P retention, and needle litter N retention are governed by litter chemical quality, 3) net nutrient release from litter can reverse over time, 4) root and needle litter mass loss and nutrient release are determined by location (above- vs. belowground), suggesting that the regulators of needle and root decomposition differ at the local scale. Understanding of decomposition and nutrient retention in ecosystems requires consideration of herbivore effects on above- and belowground processes and how these effects may be governed by plant genotype. Because an underlying genetic component to herbivory is common to most ecosystems of the world and herbivory may increase in climatic change scenarios, it is important to evaluate the role of plant genetics in affecting carbon and

  17. Portion Size Variably Affects Food Intake of 6-year-old and 4-year-old Children in Kunming, China

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Lindsey; Conroy, Katharine; Wen, Hongmei; Rui, Li; Humphries, Debbie

    2015-01-01

    Age and portion size have been found to influence food intake in American children but have not been examined in an international context. This study evaluated the association between age and the effects of portion size on the food intake of kindergarteners in Kunming, China. Using a within-subjects crossover design in a classroom setting, 173 children in two age groups, mean age 4.2 years and 6.1 years, were served a predefined reference, small (-30%) and large (+30%) portion of rice, vegetables, and a protein source during lunchtime over three consecutive days. Each portion was weighed before and after the meal to determine amount of food consumed. Linear mixed modeling, controlling for repeated measures and clustering by classroom, was used to compare food intake under small and large portion size conditions to the reference portion. Children ate significantly less food when served small portions. When served a large portion, 6-year-old children increased food intake while 4-year-old children decreased food intake in comparison to the reference portion. Findings indicate that portion size affects food intake in Chinese children 4- to 6-years old. Older children show larger increases in food intake with increased portion size than do younger children. PMID:23702260

  18. Estimating the Size of HIV Key Affected Populations in Chongqing, China, Using the Network Scale-Up Method

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Wen; Wu, Guohui; Zhang, Wei; Hladik, Wolfgang; Abdul-Quader, Abu; Bulterys, Marc; Fuller, Serena; Wang, Lu

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To estimate the average social network size in the general population and the size of HIV key affected populations (KAPs) in Chongqing municipality using the network scale-up method (NSUM). Methods A general population survey was conducted in 2011 through a multistage random sampling method. Participants aged between 18 and 60 years were recruited. The average social network size (c) was estimated and adjusted by known population method. The size of HIV KAP in Chongqing municipality was estimated using the adjusted c value with adjustment for the transmission effect using the scaled respect factor. Results 3,026 inhabitants of Chongqing agreed to the survey, and 2,957 (97.7%) completed the questionnaire. The adjusted c value was 310. The estimated size of KAP was 28,418(95% Confidence Interval (CI):26,636∼30,201) for female sex workers (FSW), 163,199(95%CI:156,490∼169,908) for clients of FSW, 37,959(95%CI: 34,888∼41,030) for drug users (DU), 14,975(95%CI:13,047∼16,904) for injecting drug users (IDU) and 16,767(95%CI:14,602∼18,932) for men who have sex with men (MSM). The ratio of clients to FSW was 5.74∶1, and IDU accounted for 39.5% of the DU population. The estimates suggest that FSW account for 0.37% of the female population aged 15–49 years in Chongqing, and clients of FSW and MSM represent 2.09% and 0.21% of the male population aged 15–49 years in the city, respectively. Conclusion NSUM provides reasonable population size estimates for FSW, their clients, DU and IDU in Chongqing. However, it is likely to underestimate the population size of MSM even after adjusting for the transmission effect. PMID:23967246

  19. Effects of nutrient enrichment on mangrove leaf litter decomposition.

    PubMed

    Keuskamp, Joost A; Hefting, Mariet M; Dingemans, Bas J J; Verhoeven, Jos T A; Feller, Ilka C

    2015-03-01

    Nutrient enrichment of mangroves, a common phenomenon along densely populated coastlines, may negatively affect mangrove ecosystems by modifying internal carbon and nutrient cycling. The decomposition of litter exerts a strong influence on these processes and is potentially modified by eutrophication. This study describes effects of N and P enrichment on litter decomposition rate and mineralisation/immobilisation patterns. By making use of reciprocal litter transplantation experiments among fertiliser treatments, it was tested if nutrient addition primarily acts on the primary producers (i.e. changes in litter quantity and quality) or on the microbial decomposers (i.e. changes in nutrient limitation for decomposition). Measurements were done in two mangrove forests where primary production was either limited by N or by P, which had been subject to at least 5 years of experimental N and P fertilisation. Results of this study indicated that decomposers were always N-limited regardless of the limitation of the primary producers. This leads to a differential nutrient limitation between decomposers and primary producers in sites where mangrove production was P-limited. In these sites, fertilisation with P caused litter quality to change, resulting in a higher decomposition rate. This study shows that direct effects of fertilisation on decomposition through an effect on decomposer nutrient availability might be non-significant, while the indirect effects through modifying litter quality might be quite substantial in mangroves. Our results show no indication that eutrophication increases decomposition without stimulating primary production. Therefore we do not expect a decline in carbon sequestration as a result of eutrophication of mangrove ecosystems. PMID:25497680

  20. Does the Finite Size of Electrons Affect Quantum Noise in Electronic Devices?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colomés, E.; Marian, D.; Oriols, X.

    2015-10-01

    Quantum transport is commonly studied with the use of quasi-particle infinite- extended states. This leads to a powerful formalism, the scattering-states theory, able to capture in compact formulas quantities of interest, such as average current, noise, etc.. However, when investigating the spatial size-dependence of quasi-particle wave packets in quantum noise with exchange and tunneling, unexpected new terms appear in the quantum noise expression. For this purpose, the two particle transmission and reflection probabilities for two initial one-particle wave packets (with opposite central momentums) spatially localized at each side of a potential barrier are studied. After the interaction, each wave packet splits into a transmitted and a reflected component. It can be shown that the probability of detecting two (identically injected) electrons at the same side of the barrier is different from zero in very common (single or double barrier) scenarios. This originates an increase of quantum noise which cannot be obtained through the scattering states formalism.

  1. Granular size of potato starch affects structural properties, octenylsuccinic anhydride modification and flowability.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chan; Tang, Chuan-He; Fu, Xiong; Huang, Qiang; Zhang, Bin

    2016-12-01

    Native potato starch (PS) granules were separated into three size fractions: larger than 30μm (P-L), 15-30μm (P-M), and smaller than 15μm (P-S). The morphological and crystalline structure of fractionated potato starches were investigated by light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The P-L fraction showed ellipsoidal shape and B-type X-ray pattern, whereas the P-S fraction had spherical shape and A-type pattern. The fluorophore-assisted capillary electrophoresis data showed that the P-L fraction had more B2 chains and less short A and B1 chains than the P-S counterparts. Smaller granules with larger specific surface area had higher degree of substitution when reacted with octenylsuccinic anhydride (OSA), and showed more uniform distribution of octenylsuccinate substituents. Both OSA modified and unmodified P-S samples showed higher flowability compared with the P-L counterparts. PMID:27374555

  2. Navy Bean Flour Particle Size and Protein Content Affect Cake Baking and Batter Quality(1).

    PubMed

    Singh, Mukti; Byars, Jeffrey A; Liu, Sean X

    2015-06-01

    Whole navy bean flour and its fine and coarse particle size fractions were used to completely replace wheat flour in cakes. Replacement of wheat flour with whole bean flour significantly increased the protein content. The protein content was adjusted to 3 levels with navy bean starch. The effect of navy bean flour and its fractions at 3 levels of protein on cake batter rheology and cake quality was studied and compared with wheat flour samples. Batters prepared from navy bean flour and its fractions had higher viscosity than the cake flour. Reducing the protein content by addition of starch significantly lowered the viscosity of cake batters. The whole navy bean flour and coarse bean fraction cakes were softer than cakes made with wheat flour but had reduced springiness. Principal component analysis showed a clear discrimination of cakes according to protein. It also showed that low protein navy bean flour cakes were similar to wheat flour cakes. Navy bean flour with protein content adjusted to the level of cake (wheat) flour has potential as a healthy alternative in gluten-free cakes. PMID:25922214

  3. Overexpression of diacylglycerol acyltransferase in Yarrowia lipolytica affects lipid body size, number and distribution.

    PubMed

    Gajdoš, Peter; Ledesma-Amaro, Rodrigo; Nicaud, Jean-Marc; Čertík, Milan; Rossignol, Tristan

    2016-09-01

    In the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica, the diacylglycerol acyltransferases (DGATs) are major factors for triacylglycerol (TAG) synthesis. The Q4 strain, in which the four acyltransferases have been deleted, is unable to accumulate lipids and to form lipid bodies (LBs). However, the expression of a single acyltransferase in this strain restores TAG accumulation and LB formation. Using this system, it becomes possible to characterize the activity and specificity of an individual DGAT. Here, we examined the effects of DGAT overexpression on lipid accumulation and LB formation in Y. lipolytica Specifically, we evaluated the consequences of introducing one or two copies of the Y. lipolytica DGAT genes YlDGA1 and YlDGA2 Overall, multi-copy DGAT overexpression increased the lipid content of yeast cells. However, the size and distribution of LBs depended on the specific DGAT overexpressed. YlDGA2 overexpression caused the formation of large LBs, while YlDGA1 overexpression generated smaller but more numerous LBs. This phenotype was accentuated through the addition of a second copy of the overexpressed gene and might be linked to the distinct subcellular localization of each DGAT, i.e. YlDga1 being localized in LBs, while YlDga2 being localized in a structure strongly resembling the endoplasmic reticulum. PMID:27506614

  4. Effects of litter addition on ectomycorrhizal associates of a lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) stand in Yellowstone National Park

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cullings, Kenneth W.; New, Michael H.; Makhija, Shilpa; Parker, V. Thomas

    2003-01-01

    Increasing soil nutrients through litter manipulation, pollution, or fertilization can adversely affect ectomycorrhizal (EM) communities by inhibiting fungal growth. In this study, we used molecular genetic methods to determine the effects of litter addition on the EM community of a Pinus contorta stand in Yellowstone National Park that regenerated after a stand-replacing fire. Two controls were used; in unmodified control plots nothing was added to the soil, and in perlite plots perlite, a chemically neutral substance, was added to maintain soil moisture and temperature at levels similar to those under litter. We found that (i) species richness did not change significantly following perlite addition (2.6 +/- 0.3 species/core in control plots, compared with 2.3 +/- 0.3 species/core in perlite plots) but decreased significantly (P < 0.05) following litter addition (1.8 +/- 0.3 species/core); (ii) EM infection was not affected by the addition of perlite but increased significantly (P < 0.001) in response to litter addition, and the increase occurred only in the upper soil layer, directly adjacent to the added litter; and (iii) Suillus granulatus, Wilcoxina mikolae, and agaricoid DD were the dominant organisms in controls, but the levels of W. mikolae and agaricoid DD decreased significantly in response to both perlite and litter addition. The relative levels of S. granulatus and a fourth fungus, Cortinariaceae species 2, increased significantly (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively) following litter addition. Thus, litter addition resulted in some negative effects that may be attributable to moisture-temperature relationships rather than to the increased nutrients associated with litter. Some species respond positively to litter addition, indicating that there are differences in their physiologies. Hence, changes in the EM community induced by litter accumulation also may affect ecosystem function.

  5. [Relationships between decomposition rate of leaf litter and initial quality across the alpine timberline ecotone in Western Sichuan, China].

    PubMed

    Yang, Lin; Deng, Chang-chun; Chen Ya-mei; He, Run-lian; Zhang, Jian; Liu, Yang

    2015-12-01

    The relationships between litter decomposition rate and their initial quality of 14 representative plants in the alpine forest ecotone of western Sichuan were investigated in this paper. The decomposition rate k of the litter ranged from 0.16 to 1.70. Woody leaf litter and moss litter decomposed much slower, and shrubby litter decomposed a little faster. Then, herbaceous litters decomposed fastest among all plant forms. There were significant linear regression relationships between the litter decomposition rate and the N content, lignin content, phenolics content, C/N, C/P and lignin/N. Lignin/N and hemicellulose content could explain 78.4% variation of the litter decomposition rate (k) by path analysis. The lignin/N could explain 69.5% variation of k alone, and the direct path coefficient of lignin/N on k was -0.913. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that the contribution rate of the first sort axis to k and the decomposition time (t) reached 99.2%. Significant positive correlations existed between lignin/N, lignin content, C/N, C/P and the first sort axis, and the closest relationship existed between lignin/N and the first sort axis (r = 0.923). Lignin/N was the key quality factor affecting plant litter decomposition rate across the alpine timberline ecotone, with the higher the initial lignin/N, the lower the decomposition rate of leaf litter. PMID:27111995

  6. Gene size differentially affects the binding of yeast transcription factor tau to two intragenic regions.

    PubMed Central

    Baker, R E; Camier, S; Sentenac, A; Hall, B D

    1987-01-01

    Yeast transcription factor tau (transcription factor IIIC) specifically interacts with tRNA genes, binding to both the A block and the B block elements of the internal promoter. To study the influence of A block-B block spacing, we analyzed the binding of purified tau protein to a series of internally deleted yeast tRNA(3Leu) genes with A and B blocks separated by 0 to 74 base pairs. Optimal binding occurred with genes having A block-B block distances of 30-60 base pairs; the relative helical orientation of the A and B blocks was unimportant. Results from DNase I "footprinting" and lambda exonuclease protection experiments were consistent with these findings and further revealed that changes in A block-B block distance primarily affect the ability of tau to interact with A block sequences; B block interactions are unaltered. When the A block-B block distance is 17 base pairs or less, tau interacts with a sequence located 15 base pairs upstream of the normal A block, and a new RNA initiation site is observed by in vitro transcription. We propose that the initial binding of tau to the B block activates transcription by enhancing its ability to bind at the A block, and that the A block interaction ultimately directs initiation by RNA polymerase III. Images PMID:2827154

  7. Processing Conditions Affecting Grain Size and Mechanical Properties in Nanocomposites Produced via Cold Spray

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavaliere, P.; Perrone, A.; Silvello, A.

    2014-10-01

    Cold spray is a coating technology based on aerodynamics and high-speed impact dynamics. In this process, spray particles (usually 1-50 μm in diameter) are accelerated to a high velocity (typically 300-1200 m/s) by a high-speed gas (pre-heated air, nitrogen, or helium) flow that is generated through a convergent-divergent de Laval-type nozzle. A coating is formed through the intensive plastic deformation of particles impacting on a substrate at a temperature below the melting point of the spray material. In the present paper the main processing parameters affecting the microstructural and mechanical behavior of metal-metal cold spray deposits are described. The effect of process parameters on grain refinement and mechanical properties were analyzed for composite particles of Al-Al2O3, Ni-BN, Cu-Al2O3, and Co-SiC. The properties of the formed nanocomposites were compared with those of the parent materials sprayed under the same conditions. The process conditions, leading to a strong grain refinement with an acceptable level of the deposit mechanical properties such as porosity and adhesion strength, are discussed.

  8. Parameter sensitivities affecting the flutter speed of a MW-sized blade.

    SciTech Connect

    Lobitz, Donald Wayne, Jr.

    2004-10-01

    With the current trend toward larger and larger horizontal axis wind turbines, classical flutter is becoming a more critical issue. Recent studies have indicated that for a single blade turning in still air the flutter speed for a modern 35 m blade occurs at approximately twice its operating speed (2 per rev), whereas for smaller blades (5-9 m), both modern and early designs, the flutter speeds are in the range of 3.5-6 per rev. Scaling studies demonstrate that the per rev flutter speed should not change with scale. Thus, design requirements that change with increasing blade size are producing the concurrent reduction in per rev flutter speeds. In comparison with an early small blade design (5 m blade), flutter computations indicate that the non rotating modes which combine to create the flutter mode change as the blade becomes larger (i.e., for the larger blade the second flapwise mode, as opposed to the first flapwise mode for the smaller blade, combines with the first torsional mode to produce the flutter mode). For the more modern smaller blade design (9 m blade), results show that the non rotating modes that couple are similar to those of the larger blade. For the wings of fixed-wing aircraft, it is common knowledge that judicious selection of certain design parameters can increase the airspeed associated with the onset of flutter. Two parameters, the chordwise location of the center of mass and the ratio of the flapwise natural frequency to the torsional natural frequency, are especially significant. In this paper studies are performed to determine the sensitivity of the per rev flutter speed to these parameters for a 35 m wind turbine blade. Additional studies are performed to determine which structural characteristics of the blade are most significant in explaining the previously mentioned per rev flutter speed differences. As a point of interest, flutter results are also reported for two recently designed 9 m twist/coupled blades.

  9. Parameter sensitivities affecting the flutter speed of a MW-sized blade.

    SciTech Connect

    Lobitz, Donald Wayne, Jr.

    2005-08-01

    With the current trend toward larger and larger horizontal axis wind turbines, classical flutter is becoming a more critical issue. Recent studies have indicated that for a single blade turning in still air the flutter speed for a modern 35 m blade occurs at approximately twice its operating speed (2 per rev), whereas for smaller blades (5-9 m), both modern and early designs, the flutter speeds are in the range of 3.5-6 per rev. Scaling studies demonstrate that the per rev flutter speed should not change with scale. Thus, design requirements that change with increasing blade size are producing the concurrent reduction in per rev flutter speeds. In comparison with an early small blade design (5 m blade), flutter computations indicate that the non rotating modes which combine to create the flutter mode change as the blade becomes larger (i.e., for the larger blade the second flapwise mode, as opposed to the first flapwise mode for the smaller blade, combines with the first torsional mode to produce the flutter mode). For the more modern smaller blade design (9 m blade), results show that the non rotating modes that couple are similar to those of the larger blade. For the wings of fixed-wing aircraft, it is common knowledge that judicious selection of certain design parameters can increase the airspeed associated with the onset of flutter. Two parameters, the chordwise location of the center of mass and the ratio of the flapwise natural frequency to the torsional natural frequency, are especially significant. In this paper studies are performed to determine the sensitivity of the per rev flutter speed to these parameters for a 35 m wind turbine blade. Additional studies are performed to determine which structural characteristics of the blade are most significant in explaining the previously mentioned per rev flutter speed differences. As a point of interest, flutter results are also reported for two recently designed 9 m twist/coupled blades.

  10. Fire affects size and shape of Fabiana imbricata Shurblands in northwestern Patagonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oddi, Facundo; Ghermandi, Luciana

    2010-05-01

    Fire is a major environmental ecological agent acting in the landscape configuration and a factor that models vegetation in Mediterranean environments. Fire impacts differently in the landscape due to the intrinsic heterogeneity of the environments and the characteristics associated with each fire event. After fire, density of patches may be increased and the size of them may be reduced because fire generates areas of different successional stages. Landscape ecology seems to be the ideal theoretical approach to study the fire impact in fire prone environments. Landscape ecology has been greatly favoured by a significant progress in the last years of geographic information technologies (GIT) (remote sensing, GIS, GPS). The study area of this work is the San Ramon ranch (22,000 ha) located in Northwester Patagonia in the ecotone between the sub Antarctic forest in the West and the Patagonian steppe in the East. We studied sectors of the ranch with different fire recurrence in the last 40 years and we mapped Fabiana imbricata shrubland with GPS. This specie is a native shrub characteristic of Northwester Patagonia grasslands and its dynamic is not very known. Shrublands compete for the space with palatable grasses that are used for forage and livestock production, the main economic resource of the region. We analysed the mapped patches with GIS software, and we assessed landscape metrics to determine differences between sites with different fire recurrence. In the future we foresee the integrated use of satellite imagery with different resolution to add to GIS other important spatial variables (topography, hydrography, aspect, soil) to develop models that can explain landscape metrics, spatial configuration and the potential shrub invasion in the grassland.

  11. Urban bat communities are affected by wetland size, quality, and pollution levels.

    PubMed

    Straka, Tanja Maria; Lentini, Pia Eloise; Lumsden, Linda Faye; Wintle, Brendan Anthony; van der Ree, Rodney

    2016-07-01

    Wetlands support unique biota and provide important ecosystem services. These services are highly threatened due to the rate of loss and relative rarity of wetlands in most landscapes, an issue that is exacerbated in highly modified urban environments. Despite this, critical ecological knowledge is currently lacking for many wetland-dependent taxa, such as insectivorous bats, which can persist in urban areas if their habitats are managed appropriately. Here, we use a novel paired landscape approach to investigate the role of wetlands in urban bat conservation and examine local and landscape factors driving bat species richness and activity. We acoustically monitored bat activity at 58 urban wetlands and 35 nonwetland sites (ecologically similar sites without free-standing water) in the greater Melbourne area, southeastern Australia. We analyzed bat species richness and activity patterns using generalized linear mixed-effects models. We found that the presence of water in urban Melbourne was an important driver of bat species richness and activity at a landscape scale. Increasing distance to bushland and increasing levels of heavy metal pollution within the waterbody also negatively influenced bat richness and individual species activity. Areas with high levels of artificial night light had reduced bat species richness, and reduced activity for all species except those adapted to urban areas, such as the White-striped free-tailed bat (Austronomus australis). Increased surrounding tree cover and wetland size had a positive effect on bat species richness. Our findings indicate that wetlands form critical habitats for insectivorous bats in urban environments. Large, unlit, and unpolluted wetlands flanked by high tree cover in close proximity to bushland contribute most to the richness of the bat community. Our findings clarify the role of wetlands for insectivorous bats in urban areas and will also allow for the preservation, construction, and management of wetlands

  12. Interaction of position, litter type, and water pulses on decomposition of grasses from the semiarid Patagonian steppe.

    PubMed

    Austin, Amy T; Araujo, Patricia I; Leva, Paula E

    2009-09-01

    Litter lignin and nutrient content, annual rainfall, and biotic activity are not good predictors of litter decomposition in arid and semiarid ecosystems, suggesting that other factors may be important in controlling carbon turnover. We explored the relative importance of litter position (above- vs. belowground), litter type (leaf vs. root), and pulsed water events (large vs. small) on mass loss with grass species of the semiarid Patagonian steppe. In a factorial experiment of mesocosms, we incubated leaf and root litter simultaneously above- and belowground and manipulated water availability with large and small pulses. Significant interactions between position and litter type and position and pulse sizes demonstrated interactive controls on organic mass loss. Aboveground decomposition showed no response to pulse size or litter type, as roots and leaves decomposed equally rapidly under all circumstances. In contrast, belowground decomposition was significantly altered by litter type and water pulses, with roots decomposing significantly slower and small water pulses reducing belowground decomposition. The results of this mesocosm experiment support the idea that controls other than water availability may dominate aboveground mass loss, while a combination of recalcitrant litter and water penetration in the soil profile are critical factors determining belowground decomposition, which is ultimately mediated by biotic degradation. PMID:19769141

  13. Interdisciplinary mathematics and science: Characteristics, forms, and related effect sizes for student achievement and affective outcomes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurley, Marlene M.

    1999-12-01

    This study provides an analytic description of quasi-experimental studies that may either support or deny the wisdom of educational reform through interdisciplinary mathematics and science. Interdisciplinarity is examined on two dimensions, the philosophic and the pedagogic, and by two methodologies, meta-analytic and qualitative, in a search for greater understanding of the definitions, forms, characteristics, and effects from studies of interdisciplinary mathematics and science. Thirty-four studies were collected from a search of the literature that spanned the century, the grade levels, and included many forms of interdisciplinarity. Several research questions were asked: (1) What forms of interdisciplinarity, philosophically and practically, are represented by the studies? (2) What are their qualitative effects in school settings? (3) What are the characteristics of interdisciplinary quasi-experimental research? (4) What achievement effects typify the interdisciplinary comparative studies? (5) What factors account for variation in these achievement effects? (6) What claims or criticisms regarding interdisciplinarity are supported or refuted by the qualitative analysis of forms and effects and the quantitative meta-analytic study? Results from this study support the concerns that terms of interdisciplinarity are used without regard for context and that there is a trend toward a great diversity of ideas regarding the nature of interdisciplinary education. Student achievement data were provided by the 34 studies for mathematics and/or science. The mean effect sizes for student achievement were computed as: mathematics achievement, .27 (SE = .09); science achievement, .37 (SE = .12). Curricular materials developed by teachers were significantly less related to student achievement than materials developed by researchers or commercially. The methods of integration employed by the 34 studies formed a continuum from sequenced instructional integration to total

  14. What can litter bags tell us about fauna effect on decomposition?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frouz, J.

    2009-04-01

    Litter bags with various mesh sizes are common method to investigate role of individual size classes of soil organisms on litter decomposition in particular in investigation of fauna effect. These experiments showed that fauna in generally increased litter loss from the bags, which is interpreted as positive effect of fauna on decomposition. If the litter is presented in fine bags, all loss from the bags is likely to occur as CO2 or leaching however, in fauna accessible bags substantial amount of organic matter may loss bags as fauna excitements either because fauna migration out of the bag or just because excrement may mechanically fall out of the bag. Fauna have low assimilation efficiency so these excrements contain large amount of organic matter which is in fact not decomposed but just moved in soil profile. In order to detect this specialized microcosms techniques was applied, using two layer microcosms with litter and mineral layer, this techniques allow to measure not only amount of c that was lost from the litter bag nut also amount of c that accumulate below the bag. Thirteen experiments using these techniques in various parts of the world are revived here, these experiments showed no positive effect of fauna on C loss from the system but positive effect of fauna in litter removal from soil surface and its accumulation in mineral soil.

  15. Sample Size Calculation: Inaccurate A Priori Assumptions for Nuisance Parameters Can Greatly Affect the Power of a Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Tavernier, Elsa; Giraudeau, Bruno

    2015-01-01

    We aimed to examine the extent to which inaccurate assumptions for nuisance parameters used to calculate sample size can affect the power of a randomized controlled trial (RCT). In a simulation study, we separately considered an RCT with continuous, dichotomous or time-to-event outcomes, with associated nuisance parameters of standard deviation, success rate in the control group and survival rate in the control group at some time point, respectively. For each type of outcome, we calculated a required sample size N for a hypothesized treatment effect, an assumed nuisance parameter and a nominal power of 80%. We then assumed a nuisance parameter associated with a relative error at the design stage. For each type of outcome, we randomly drew 10,000 relative errors of the associated nuisance parameter (from empirical distributions derived from a previously published review). Then, retro-fitting the sample size formula, we derived, for the pre-calculated sample size N, the real power of the RCT, taking into account the relative error for the nuisance parameter. In total, 23%, 0% and 18% of RCTs with continuous, binary and time-to-event outcomes, respectively, were underpowered (i.e., the real power was < 60%, as compared with the 80% nominal power); 41%, 16% and 6%, respectively, were overpowered (i.e., with real power > 90%). Even with proper calculation of sample size, a substantial number of trials are underpowered or overpowered because of imprecise knowledge of nuisance parameters. Such findings raise questions about how sample size for RCTs should be determined. PMID:26173007

  16. Factors affecting size and swelling of poly(ethylene glycol) microspheres formed in aqueous sodium sulfate solutions without surfactants.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Michael D; Scott, Evan A; Elbert, Donald L

    2009-10-01

    The LCST behavior of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) in aqueous sodium sulfate solutions was exploited to fabricate microspheres without the use of other monomers, polymers, surfactants or organic solvents. Reactive PEG derivatives underwent thermally induced phase separation to produce spherical PEG-rich domains that coarsened in size pending gelation, resulting in stable hydrogel microspheres between approximately 1 and 100 microns in size. The time required to reach the gel point during the coarsening process and the extent of crosslinking after gelation both affected the final microsphere size and swelling ratio. The gel point could be varied by pre-reaction of the PEG derivatives below the cloud point, or by controlling pH and temperature above the cloud point. Pre-reaction brought the PEG derivatives closer to the gel point prior to phase separation, while the pH and temperature influenced the rate of reaction. Dynamic light scattering indicated a percolation-to-cluster transition about 3-5 min following phase separation. The mean radius of PEG-rich droplets subsequently increased with time to the 1/4th power until gelation. PEG microspheres produced by these methods with controlled sizes and densities may be useful for the production of modular scaffolds for tissue engineering. PMID:19615738

  17. Effects of snow condition on microbial respiration of Scots pine needle litter in a boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohnuki, Masataka; Domisch, Timo; Dannoura, Masako; Ataka, Mioko; Finér, Leena; Repo, Tapani; Osawa, Akira

    2016-04-01

    Climate warming scenarios predict decreasing snow depths and increasing winter precipitation in boreal forests ("rain on snow"). I These conditions may affect the decomposition and the microbial respiration of leaf litter, contributing a major part of tree litters, To understand how different snow conditions during winter would affect the microbial respiration of Scots pine needle litter in a boreal forest, we conducted a laboratory experiment using needle litter of two age classes (newly dropped and older litter). The experiment simulated four different winter treatments, followed by spring and early summer : (1) ambient snow cover (SNOW), (2) Compressed snow and ice encasement (ICE), (3) frozen flood (FLOOD) and (4) no snow cover at all (NO SNOW). The experiment was carried out in four walk-in dasotrons (n=3) with soil temperatures of -2° C and air temperatures of 2° C during winter and increased to 15° C and 20° C during spring, respectively . Needle litter samples were collected three times (prior to the winter, just after winter and at the end of the experiment). We evaluated the microbial respiration from the litter at several temperatures (-5° C, 0° C, 5° C and 12° C), the SIR index (an index estimating the microbial biomass), and the C/N ratio .And we calculated Q10 value (index of microbial respiration activity) using microbial respiration data. We found significant differences in microbial respiration between the newly dropped and older litter at the beginning and at the end of the experiment. However, there were no significant differences in Q10 value and the SIR (index of microbial biomass) between the different winter treatments. All samples showed decrease of microbial activity with time. Finally, we conclude that the winter snow conditions with mild air temperatures as used in our experiment, are not detrimentally affecting the Scots pine needle litter decomposition and its respiration.

  18. Influence of some sow characteristics on within-litter variation of piglet birth weight.

    PubMed

    Quesnel, H; Brossard, L; Valancogne, A; Quiniou, N

    2008-12-01

    Within-litter variation of piglet birth weight (BW0) is associated with an increased piglet mortality and a high variability in pig weight at weaning and weight or age at slaughter. Data collected in two experimental herds were used to quantify within-litter variability in BW0 and to assess the influence of factors mainly related to the sow. Within 24 h after birth, piglets born alive were individually weighed and stillborn piglets were collectively (first data set) or individually (second data set) weighed. The first data set was restricted to litters with no or only one stillborn piglet (3338 litters). It was used to assess the influence of genetic selection on BW0 variation by comparing litter characteristics before (1994 to 1996) and after (2001 to 2004) the development of hyperprolific sows in this herd. The second data set included all litters (n = 1596) from sows born between 2000 and 2004. For each litter, mean BW0 (mBW0) and its coefficient of variation (CVBW0) were calculated. Then, variance analyses were performed to test the influence of litter size, parity, year of sow birth and season at conception. Prolificacy improvement was associated with an increased CVBW0 in litters from pure Large White (LW) and Landrace × Large White (LR × LW) crossbred sows. The CVBW0 averaged 21% and was significantly influenced by litter size and parity. It increased from 15% to 24% when litter size varied from less than 10 piglets to more than 15 piglets. The proportion of small piglets (i.e. weighing less than 1 kg) increased concomitantly. The CVBW0 was not repeatable from a parity to the following. It was lowest for first and second parities (20%) and thereafter increased progressively. The CVBW0 was positively related to sow's backfat thickness gain during gestation. Taking into account litter size, parity, year of sow birth and season at conception explained 20% of BW0 variation. Thus, major part of heterogeneity is due to other factors, presumably including embryo

  19. Can interface features affect aggression resulting from violent video game play? An examination of realistic controller and large screen size.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ki Joon; Sundar, S Shyam

    2013-05-01

    Aggressiveness attributed to violent video game play is typically studied as a function of the content features of the game. However, can interface features of the game also affect aggression? Guided by the General Aggression Model (GAM), we examine the controller type (gun replica vs. mouse) and screen size (large vs. small) as key technological aspects that may affect the state aggression of gamers, with spatial presence and arousal as potential mediators. Results from a between-subjects experiment showed that a realistic controller and a large screen display induced greater aggression, presence, and arousal than a conventional mouse and a small screen display, respectively, and confirmed that trait aggression was a significant predictor of gamers' state aggression. Contrary to GAM, however, arousal showed no effects on aggression; instead, presence emerged as a significant mediator. PMID:23505967

  20. Influence of Poultry Litter Applications on Nematode Communities in Cotton Agroecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Koenning, S. R.; Barker, K. R.

    2004-01-01

    The effects of the application of poultry litter at 0.0, 6.7, 13.4, and 20.1 tons/ha on population changes during the growing season on nematode communities were evaluated in two cotton production fields in North Carolina. Numbers of bactivorous nematodes increased at midseason in response to the rate at which litter was applied but decreased with increasing litter application rates at cotton harvest. Numbers of fungivores at cotton harvest were related positively to the rate of litter applied, and this affected a positive increase in the fungivore-to-bacterivore ratio at this sampling date. The rate at which poultry litter was applied resulted in an increase in the bacterivore to plant-parasite ratio, and this corresponded with increased cotton lint yield. Trophic diversity was increased by litter application rate at cotton harvest at one location but not at another. The plant-parasite maturity index was greater consistently at one site than at a second site where the Hoplolaimus columbus population density was above the damage threshold for cotton. The population density of H. columbus was suppressed with increasing rates of poultry litter application, but other plant-parasitic nematodes were affected marginally. PMID:19262834

  1. 7 CFR 4290.760 - How a change in size or activity of a Portfolio Concern affects the RBIC and the Portfolio Concern.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false How a change in size or activity of a Portfolio Concern affects the RBIC and the Portfolio Concern. 4290.760 Section 4290.760 Agriculture Regulations of... size or activity of a Portfolio Concern affects the RBIC and the Portfolio Concern. (a) Effect on...

  2. Effects of top-dressing recycled broiler litter on litter production, litter characteristics, and nitrogen mass balance.

    PubMed

    Coufal, C D; Chavez, C; Niemeyer, P R; Carey, J B

    2006-03-01

    Top-dressing is a method of broiler litter management in which a thin layer of new, clean litter material is spread over the top of previously used litter prior to placement of a new flock. This fresh layer of bedding material increases the absorptive capacity of the litter and decreases litter caking. Although this practice has been widely used in the poultry industry for many years, no research has been conducted to quantify the effects the practice has on broiler performance, litter production rates, and nutrient content, or the ability of broiler litter to retain manure N and prevent volatilization. An experiment was conducted to quantify these parameters under simulated commercial conditions in a research facility. Nine consecutive flocks of broilers were reared on recycled broiler litter that had previously been used for 9 flocks. Control pens received no litter treatment whereas top-dressed pens received a thin layer of new rice hulls (1 to 2 cm) before the placement of each flock. Nitrogen loss was calculated using the mass balance method. Average broiler performance was not different between the top-dressed and control pens. Top-dressing of litter significantly (P < 0.05) reduced caked litter production compared with control pens in 6 of 9 flocks. However, average total litter production over all 9 flocks was not different between the 2 litter management strategies. In all flocks, litter N content was significantly reduced in top-dressed pens compared with control pens. As a result, litter C:N ratios were significantly higher for pens with top-dressed litter. Differences in N loss between the treatments were not consistent. Average N loss for all flocks was 10.61 and 11.92 g of N/kg of marketed broiler for control and top-dressed pens, respectively, or 20.1 and 22.5% of N inputs, respectively. Based on this experiment, top-dressing of recycled broiler litter would not be recommended as a strategy to reduce the volatilization of N from broiler rearing

  3. THE EFFECT OF CO-MINGLING LITTERS ON PIGLETS' GROWTH, SUCKLING BEHAVIOR AND RESPONSES TO BEHAVIORAL TESTS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Co-mingling litters prior to weaning alters piglet development and ability to cope with post-stress. The purpose of this study was to determine how co-mingling litters affected piglet growth, suckling behavior and responses to behavioral tests used to measure coping abilities before weaning. Thirty ...

  4. Floral display size, conspecific density and florivory affect fruit set in natural populations of Phlox hirsuta, an endangered species

    PubMed Central

    Ruane, Lauren G.; Rotzin, Andrew T.; Congleton, Philip H.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Natural variation in fruit and seed set may be explained by factors that affect the composition of pollen grains on stigmas. Self-incompatible species require compatible outcross pollen grains to produce seeds. The siring success of outcross pollen grains, however, can be hindered if self (or other incompatible) pollen grains co-occur on stigmas. This study identifies factors that determine fruit set in Phlox hirsuta, a self-sterile endangered species that is prone to self-pollination, and its associated fitness costs. Methods Multiple linear regressions were used to identify factors that explain variation in percentage fruit set within three of the five known populations of this endangered species. Florivorous beetle density, petal colour, floral display size, local conspecific density and pre-dispersal seed predation were quantified and their effects on the ability of flowers to produce fruits were assessed. Key Results In all three populations, percentage fruit set decreased as florivorous beetle density increased and as floral display size increased. The effect of floral display size on fruit set, however, often depended on the density of nearby conspecific plants. High local conspecific densities offset – even reversed – the negative effects of floral display size on percentage fruit set. Seed predation by mammals decreased fruit set in one population. Conclusions The results indicate that seed production in P. hirsuta can be maximized by selectively augmenting populations in areas containing isolated large plants, by reducing the population sizes of florivorous beetles and by excluding mammals that consume unripe fruits. PMID:24557879

  5. Allelopathy of Bracken Fern (Pteridium arachnoideum): New Evidence from Green Fronds, Litter, and Soil.

    PubMed

    de Jesus Jatoba, Luciana; Varela, Rosa Maria; Molinillo, José Maria Gonzalez; Ud Din, Zia; Juliano Gualtieri, Sonia Cristina; Rodrigues-Filho, Edson; Macías, Francisco Antonio

    2016-01-01

    The neotropical bracken fern Pteridium arachnoideum (Kaulf.) Maxon. (Dennstaedtiaceae) is described as an aggressive pioneer plant species. It invades abandoned or newly burned areas and represents a management challenge at these invaded sites. Native to the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado (Tropical Savanna) Brazilian biomes, P. arachnoideum has nevertheless become very problematic in these conservation hotspots. Despite some reports suggesting a possible role of allelopathy in this plant's dominance, until now there has been little evidence of isolated and individually identified compounds with phytotoxic activities present in its tissues or in the surrounding environment. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the allelopathic potential of P. arachnoideum by isolating and identifying any secondary metabolites with phytotoxic activity in its tissues, litter, and soil. Bioguided phytochemical investigation led to the isolation and identification of the proanthocyanidin selligueain A as the major secondary compound in the green fronds and litter of this fern. It is produced by P. arachnoideum in its green fronds, remains unaltered during the senescence process, and is the major secondary compound present in litter. Selligueain A showed phytotoxic activity against the selected target species sesame (Sesamum indicum) early development. In particular, the compound inhibited root and stem growth, and root metaxylem cell size but did not affect chlorophyll content. This compound can be considered as an allelochemical because it is present in the soil under P. arachnoideum patches as one of the major compounds in the soil solution. This is the first report of the presence of selligueain A in any member of the Dennstaedtiaceae family and the first time an isolated and identified allelochemical produced by members of the Pteridium species complex has been described. This evidence of selligueain A as a putative allelochemical of P. arachnoideum reinforces the role of

  6. Allelopathy of Bracken Fern (Pteridium arachnoideum): New Evidence from Green Fronds, Litter, and Soil

    PubMed Central

    Juliano Gualtieri, Sonia Cristina; Rodrigues-Filho, Edson; Macías, Francisco Antonio

    2016-01-01

    The neotropical bracken fern Pteridium arachnoideum (Kaulf.) Maxon. (Dennstaedtiaceae) is described as an aggressive pioneer plant species. It invades abandoned or newly burned areas and represents a management challenge at these invaded sites. Native to the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado (Tropical Savanna) Brazilian biomes, P. arachnoideum has nevertheless become very problematic in these conservation hotspots. Despite some reports suggesting a possible role of allelopathy in this plant’s dominance, until now there has been little evidence of isolated and individually identified compounds with phytotoxic activities present in its tissues or in the surrounding environment. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the allelopathic potential of P. arachnoideum by isolating and identifying any secondary metabolites with phytotoxic activity in its tissues, litter, and soil. Bioguided phytochemical investigation led to the isolation and identification of the proanthocyanidin selligueain A as the major secondary compound in the green fronds and litter of this fern. It is produced by P. arachnoideum in its green fronds, remains unaltered during the senescence process, and is the major secondary compound present in litter. Selligueain A showed phytotoxic activity against the selected target species sesame (Sesamum indicum) early development. In particular, the compound inhibited root and stem growth, and root metaxylem cell size but did not affect chlorophyll content. This compound can be considered as an allelochemical because it is present in the soil under P. arachnoideum patches as one of the major compounds in the soil solution. This is the first report of the presence of selligueain A in any member of the Dennstaedtiaceae family and the first time an isolated and identified allelochemical produced by members of the Pteridium species complex has been described. This evidence of selligueain A as a putative allelochemical of P. arachnoideum reinforces the role of

  7. Biochemical Composition Suggests Different Roles of Leaf Litter and Fine Roots in Soil Carbon Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, M.; Pregitzer, K. S.; Talhelm, A. F.

    2012-12-01

    stimulate the decay of lignin by providing required energy. Therefore, fine roots of Acer saccharum have a relatively recalcitrant nature based on their distinct biochemical composition, suggesting fine roots may be the major driver of soil carbon formation in the ecosystems we studied. Litter type and N addition had significant interactions on lignin, holocellulose, and NSC (P< 0.05), indicating these traits of different litter types respond differently to N addition. In leaf litter, the concentrations of lignin, NSC, and bound CT were affected by N addition (P< 0.05). By contrast, N addition only reduced the soluble protein concentration in fine roots (P< 0.05). Hence, substrate quality of leaf litter and fine roots responds differently to the simulated N deposition, and may eventually lead to different responses in decomposition pattern. This is one of few studies comparing the detailed biochemical profile of leaf litter and fine roots in a dominant tree species. Different biochemical traits of fine roots and leaf litter may reflect the different specializations for their physiological functions. This work highlights the importance of fine root in the soil carbon formation due to its recalcitrant nature, and emphasizes the necessity of differentiating the responses of leaf litter and fine root decompositions to environmental changes when modeling biogeochemical cycles.

  8. How group size affects vigilance dynamics and time allocation patterns: the key role of imitation and tempo.

    PubMed

    Michelena, Pablo; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis

    2011-01-01

    In the context of social foraging, predator detection has been the subject of numerous studies, which acknowledge the adaptive response of the individual to the trade-off between feeding and vigilance. Typically, animals gain energy by increasing their feeding time and decreasing their vigilance effort with increasing group size, without increasing their risk of predation ('group size effect'). Research on the biological utility of vigilance has prevailed over considerations of the mechanistic rules that link individual decisions to group behavior. With sheep as a model species, we identified how the behaviors of conspecifics affect the individual decisions to switch activity. We highlight a simple mechanism whereby the group size effect on collective vigilance dynamics is shaped by two key features: the magnitude of social amplification and intrinsic differences between foraging and scanning bout durations. Our results highlight a positive correlation between the duration of scanning and foraging bouts at the level of the group. This finding reveals the existence of groups with high and low rates of transition between activities, suggesting individual variations in the transition rate, or 'tempo'. We present a mathematical model based on behavioral rules derived from experiments. Our theoretical predictions show that the system is robust in respect to variations in the propensity to imitate scanning and foraging, yet flexible in respect to differences in the duration of activity bouts. The model shows how individual decisions contribute to collective behavior patterns and how the group, in turn, facilitates individual-level adaptive responses. PMID:21525987

  9. How Group Size Affects Vigilance Dynamics and Time Allocation Patterns: The Key Role of Imitation and Tempo

    PubMed Central

    Michelena, Pablo; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis

    2011-01-01

    In the context of social foraging, predator detection has been the subject of numerous studies, which acknowledge the adaptive response of the individual to the trade-off between feeding and vigilance. Typically, animals gain energy by increasing their feeding time and decreasing their vigilance effort with increasing group size, without increasing their risk of predation (‘group size effect’). Research on the biological utility of vigilance has prevailed over considerations of the mechanistic rules that link individual decisions to group behavior. With sheep as a model species, we identified how the behaviors of conspecifics affect the individual decisions to switch activity. We highlight a simple mechanism whereby the group size effect on collective vigilance dynamics is shaped by two key features: the magnitude of social amplification and intrinsic differences between foraging and scanning bout durations. Our results highlight a positive correlation between the duration of scanning and foraging bouts at the level of the group. This finding reveals the existence of groups with high and low rates of transition between activies, suggesting individual variations in the transition rate, or ‘tempo’. We present a mathematical model based on behavioral rules derived from experiments. Our theoretical predictions show that the system is robust in respect to variations in the propensity to imitate scanning and foraging, yet flexible in respect to differences in the duration of activity bouts. The model shows how individual decisions contribute to collective behavior patterns and how the group, in turn, facilitates individual-level adaptive responses. PMID:21525987

  10. Sequential monitoring of beach litter using webcams.

    PubMed

    Kako, Shin'ichiro; Isobe, Atsuhiko; Magome, Shinya

    2010-05-01

    This study attempts to establish a system for the sequential monitoring of beach litter using webcams placed at the Ookushi beach, Goto Islands, Japan, to establish the temporal variability in the quantities of beach litter every 90 min over a one and a half year period. The time series of the quantities of beach litter, computed by counting pixels with a greater lightness than a threshold value in photographs, shows that litter does not increase monotonically on the beach, but fluctuates mainly on a monthly time scale or less. To investigate what factors influence this variability, the time derivative of the quantity of beach litter is compared with satellite-derived wind speeds. It is found that the beach litter quantities vary largely with winds, but there may be other influencing factors. PMID:20392465

  11. Effects of natural and anthropogenic processes in the distribution of marine litter in the deep Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez-Llodra, Eva; De Mol, Ben; Company, Joan B.; Coll, Marta; Sardà, Francesc

    2013-11-01

    The distribution, type and quantity of marine litter accumulated on the bathyal and abyssal Mediterranean seafloor has been studied in the framework of the Spanish national projects PROMETEO and DOS MARES and the ESF-EuroDEEP project BIOFUN. Litter was collected with an otter trawl and Agassiz trawl while sampling for megafauna on the Blanes canyon and adjacent slope (Catalan margin, north-western Mediterranean) between 900 and 2700 m depth, and on the western, central and eastern Mediterranean basins at 1200, 2000 and 3000 m depth. All litter was sorted into 8 categories (hard plastic, soft plastic, glass, metal, clinker, fabric, longlines and fishing nets) and weighed. The distribution of litter was analysed in relation to depth, geographic area and natural (bathymetry, currents and rivers) and anthropogenic (population density and shipping routes) processes. The most abundant litter types were plastic, glass, metal and clinker. Lost or discarded fishing gear was also commonly found. On the Catalan margin, although the data indicated an accumulation of litter with increasing depth, mean weight was not significantly different between depths or between the open slope and the canyon. We propose that litter accumulated in the canyon, with high proportions of plastics, has predominantly a coastal origin, while litter collected on the open slope, dominated by heavy litter, is mostly ship-originated, especially at sites under major shipping routes. Along the trans-Mediterranean transect, although a higher amount of litter seemed to be found on the Western Mediterranean, differences of mean weight were not significant between the 3 geographic areas and the 3 depths. Here, the shallower sites, also closer to the coast, had a higher proportion of plastics than the deeper sites, which had a higher proportion of heavy litter and were often affected by shipping routes. The weight of litter was also compared to biomass of megafauna from the same samples. On the Blanes slope

  12. Enhancement of broiler litter to improve the fertilizer quality of litter

    SciTech Connect

    Ransom, J.M.; Strickland, R.C.

    1992-01-01

    This document presents efforts to utilize poultry litter for feed, fertilizer, and soil amendments. Historical and programmatic efforts by TVA are discussed. Current methods of drying and pelleting the litter, along with more direct methods of composting are reported.

  13. Enhancement of broiler litter to improve the fertilizer quality of litter

    SciTech Connect

    Ransom, J.M.; Strickland, R.C.

    1992-12-01

    This document presents efforts to utilize poultry litter for feed, fertilizer, and soil amendments. Historical and programmatic efforts by TVA are discussed. Current methods of drying and pelleting the litter, along with more direct methods of composting are reported.

  14. Developmental 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) impairs sequential and spatial but not cued learning independent of growth, litter effects or injection stress.

    PubMed

    Williams, Michael T; Morford, LaRonda L; Wood, Sandra L; Rock, Stephanie L; McCrea, Anne E; Fukumura, Masao; Wallace, Tanya L; Broening, Harry W; Moran, Mary S; Vorhees, Charles V

    2003-04-01

    Previously, we have shown that rats administered MDMA from postnatal (P) days 11-20 had reductions in body weight during the period of treatment and as adults they had deficits in sequential and spatial learning and memory. In the present study, to control for weight reductions, we used litters with double the number of offspring to induce growth restriction comparable to that of standard size litters treated with MDMA. Litters were treated twice daily from P11 to 20 with vehicle or MDMA (20 mg/kg) or only weighed. Males, but not females, exposed to MDMA had longer latencies and more errors in the Cincinnati water maze compared to males of the other treatments. In the Morris water maze (210 cm pool, 10x10 cm platform), the MDMA animals were impaired relative to all other treatments during acquisition. Only the MDMA females showed deficits when the platform was shifted to a new location, however, both MDMA males and females were impaired when the location of the platform was again shifted and a reduced platform (5x5 cm) used. No differences were observed in the ability to swim a straight channel, locate a platform with a cue, or the endocrine response to forced swim among the treatment groups. No differences were seen between animals injected with saline and those only weighed. The data suggest that factors, such as growth retardation, multiple injections, or the composition of the litter, do not affect the development of learning and memory impairments resulting from P11 to 20 MDMA exposure. The large litter approach offers a novel method to control for undernutrition during the preweaning period in rodents. PMID:12644267

  15. [Litter decomposition and associated macro-invertebrate functional feeding groups in a third-order stream of northern Guangdong].

    PubMed

    Yan, Ling; Zhao, Ying; Han, Cui-xiang; Tong, Xiao-li

    2007-11-01

    By placing 5 mm- and 0.1 mm mesh bags with Dracontomelon duperreanum (Anacardiaceae) and Syzygium jambos (Myrtaceae) litters in the Hengshishui Stream, a third-order stream in northern Guangdong of China, this paper studied the decomposition of the litters and the colonization of macro-invertebrates over a 101-day period. The results showed that the decomposition rate of D. duperreanum litter in 5 mm- and 0.1 mm mesh bags was 0.0247 d(-1) and 0.0151 d(-1), while that of S. jambos litter was 0.0108 d(-1) and 0.0095 d(-1), respectively, indicating that D. duperreanum litter decomposed faster than S. jambos litter, and the decomposition rates of these two kinds of litters were higher in coarse mesh bag than in fine mesh bag. Among the colonized macro-invertebrate functional feeding groups, scraper occupied the highest proportion (36%), followed by collector (33%), predator (25%), and shredder (6%). At the middle and late stages of the experiment, the total number of individuals and the numbers and densities of dominant groups of macroinvertebrates on D. duperreanum litter were significantly higher than those on S. jambos litter. It was suggested that in the subtropical medium-size streams where shredders are few or absent, scrapers play an important role in the breakdown of litter. The low decomposition rate of S. jambos litter was mainly due to its high content of polyphenols which inhibits microbial activity and makes the litter less eatable to the macro-invertebrates. PMID:18260466

  16. Combined effects of leaf litter and soil microsite on decomposition process in arid rangelands.

    PubMed

    Carrera, Analía Lorena; Bertiller, Mónica Beatriz

    2013-01-15

    The objective of this study was to analyze the combined effects of leaf litter quality and soil properties on litter decomposition and soil nitrogen (N) mineralization at conserved (C) and disturbed by sheep grazing (D) vegetation states in arid rangelands of the Patagonian Monte. It was hypothesized that spatial differences in soil inorganic-N levels have larger impact on decomposition processes of non-recalcitrant than recalcitrant leaf litter (low and high concentration of secondary compounds, respectively). Leaf litter and upper soil were extracted from modal size plant patches (patch microsite) and the associated inter-patch area (inter-patch microsite) in C and D. Leaf litter was pooled per vegetation state and soil was pooled combining vegetation state and microsite. Concentrations of N and secondary compounds in leaf litter and total and inorganic-N in soil were assessed at each pooled sample. Leaf litter decay and soil N mineralization at microsites of C and D were estimated in 160 microcosms incubated at field capacity (16 month). C soils had higher total N than D soils (0.58 and 0.41 mg/g, respectively). Patch soil of C and inter-patch soil of D exhibited the highest values of inorganic-N (8.8 and 8.4 μg/g, respectively). Leaf litter of C was less recalcitrant and decomposed faster than that of D. Non-recalcitrant leaf litter decay and induced soil N mineralization had larger variation among microsites (coefficients of variation = 25 and 41%, respectively) than recalcitrant leaf litter (coefficients of variation = 12 and 32%, respectively). Changes in the canopy structure induced by grazing disturbance increased leaf litter recalcitrance, and reduced litter decay and soil N mineralization, independently of soil N levels. This highlights the importance of the combined effects of soil and leaf litter properties on N cycling probably with consequences for vegetation reestablishment and dynamics, rangeland resistance and resilience with implications

  17. Inhibitory and toxic effects of extracellular self-DNA in litter: a mechanism for negative plant-soil feedbacks?

    PubMed

    Mazzoleni, Stefano; Bonanomi, Giuliano; Incerti, Guido; Chiusano, Maria Luisa; Termolino, Pasquale; Mingo, Antonio; Senatore, Mauro; Giannino, Francesco; Cartenì, Fabrizio; Rietkerk, Max; Lanzotti, Virginia

    2015-02-01

    Plant-soil negative feedback (NF) is recognized as an important factor affecting plant communities. The objectives of this work were to assess the effects of litter phytotoxicity and autotoxicity on root proliferation, and to test the hypothesis that DNA is a driver of litter autotoxicity and plant-soil NF. The inhibitory effect of decomposed litter was studied in different bioassays. Litter biochemical changes were evaluated with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. DNA accumulation in litter and soil was measured and DNA toxicity was assessed in laboratory experiments. Undecomposed litter caused nonspecific inhibition of root growth, while autotoxicity was produced by aged litter. The addition of activated carbon (AC) removed phytotoxicity, but was ineffective against autotoxicity. Phytotoxicity was related to known labile allelopathic compounds. Restricted (13) C NMR signals related to nucleic acids were the only ones negatively correlated with root growth on conspecific substrates. DNA accumulation was observed in both litter decomposition and soil history experiments. Extracted total DNA showed evident species-specific toxicity. Results indicate a general occurrence of litter autotoxicity related to the exposure to fragmented self-DNA. The evidence also suggests the involvement of accumulated extracellular DNA in plant-soil NF. Further studies are needed to further investigate this unexpected function of extracellular DNA at the ecosystem level and related cellular and molecular mechanisms. PMID:25354164

  18. Litter quality, decomposition rates and saprotrophic mycoflora in Fallopia japonica (Houtt.) Ronse Decraene and in adjacent native grassland vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mincheva, T.; Barni, E.; Varese, G. C.; Brusa, G.; Cerabolini, B.; Siniscalco, C.

    2014-01-01

    Fallopia japonica succeeds in invading different ecosystems likely because of its huge biomass production. This biomass is characterized by low nutritional quality and low decomposition rates but knowledge on whether these features are correlated to microbial decomposers is still lacking. The aims of this work were: i) to determine litter decomposition rates of native grassland vegetation and F. japonica under different conditions in a year-round experiment; ii) to evaluate litter quality and/or site effect on the decomposition of the invader and native vegetation and iii) to characterize mycoflora isolated from F. japonica and native vegetation litter. The results showed that F. japonica litter decomposes 3-4 times slower than that of native grassland, mainly due to its low N content and consequently high C/N ratio both in leaves and stems. As decomposition proceeds C/N in F. japonica litter decreases to values approaching those of the grassland litter. Site had no effect on the decomposition rates of F. japonica and grassland litter. Total fungal load and composition differed between F. japonica and native litter, and also varied across sites. These results indicate that the successful invasive plant F. japonica affects the structure and functions of the invaded ecosystem through a huge production of low quality, slow-decomposing litter that selects saprotrophic fungi.

  19. Cigarette Litter: Smokers’ Attitudes and Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Rath, Jessica M.; Rubenstein, Rebecca A.; Curry, Laurel E.; Shank, Sarah E.; Cartwright, Julia C.

    2012-01-01

    Cigarette butts are consistently the most collected items in litter clean-up efforts, which are a costly burden to local economies. In addition, tobacco waste may be detrimental to our natural environment. The tobacco industry has conducted or funded numerous studies on smokers’ littering knowledge and behavior, however, non-industry sponsored research is rare. We sought to examine whether demographics and smokers’ knowledge and beliefs toward cigarette waste as litter predicts littering behavior. Smokers aged 18 and older (n = 1,000) were interviewed about their knowledge and beliefs towards cigarette waste as litter. Respondents were members of the Research Now panel, an online panel of over three million respondents in the United States. Multivariate logistic regressions were conducted to determine factors significantly predictive of ever having littered cigarette butts or having littered cigarette butts within the past month (p-value < 0.05). The majority (74.1%) of smokers reported having littered cigarette butts at least once in their life, by disposing of them on the ground or throwing them out of a car window. Over half (55.7%) reported disposing of cigarette butts on the ground, in a sewer/gutter, or down a drain in the past month. Those who did not consider cigarette butts to be litter were over three and half times as likely to report having ever littered cigarette butts (OR = 3.68, 95%CI = 2.04, 6.66) and four times as likely to have littered cigarette butts in the past month (OR = 4.00, 95%CI = 2.53, 6.32). Males were significantly more likely to have littered cigarette butts in the past month compared to females (OR = 1.49, 95%CI = 1.14, 1.94). Holding the belief that cigarette butts are not litter was the only belief in this study that predicted ever or past-month littering of cigarette waste. Messages in anti-cigarette-litter campaigns should emphasize that cigarette butts are not just litter but are toxic waste and are harmful when disposed of

  20. Cigarette litter: smokers' attitudes and behaviors.

    PubMed

    Rath, Jessica M; Rubenstein, Rebecca A; Curry, Laurel E; Shank, Sarah E; Cartwright, Julia C

    2012-06-01

    Cigarette butts are consistently the most collected items in litter clean-up efforts, which are a costly burden to local economies. In addition, tobacco waste may be detrimental to our natural environment. The tobacco industry has conducted or funded numerous studies on smokers' littering knowledge and behavior, however, non-industry sponsored research is rare. We sought to examine whether demographics and smokers' knowledge and beliefs toward cigarette waste as litter predicts littering behavior. Smokers aged 18 and older (n = 1,000) were interviewed about their knowledge and beliefs towards cigarette waste as litter. Respondents were members of the Research Now panel, an online panel of over three million respondents in the United States. Multivariate logistic regressions were conducted to determine factors significantly predictive of ever having littered cigarette butts or having littered cigarette butts within the past month (p-value < 0.05). The majority (74.1%) of smokers reported having littered cigarette butts at least once in their life, by disposing of them on the ground or throwing them out of a car window. Over half (55.7%) reported disposing of cigarette butts on the ground, in a sewer/gutter, or down a drain in the past month. Those who did not consider cigarette butts to be litter were over three and half times as likely to report having ever littered cigarette butts (OR = 3.68, 95%CI = 2.04, 6.66) and four times as likely to have littered cigarette butts in the past month (OR = 4.00, 95%CI = 2.53, 6.32). Males were significantly more likely to have littered cigarette butts in the past month compared to females (OR = 1.49, 95%CI = 1.14, 1.94). Holding the belief that cigarette butts are not litter was the only belief in this study that predicted ever or past-month littering of cigarette waste. Messages in anti-cigarette-litter campaigns should emphasize that cigarette butts are not just litter but are toxic waste and are harmful when disposed of

  1. Who is who in litter decomposition? Metaproteomics reveals major microbial players and their biogeochemical functions

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Thomas; Keiblinger, Katharina M; Schmid, Emanuel; Sterflinger-Gleixner, Katja; Ellersdorfer, Günther; Roschitzki, Bernd; Richter, Andreas; Eberl, Leo; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, Sophie; Riedel, Kathrin

    2012-01-01

    Leaf-litter decomposition is a central process in carbon cycling; however, our knowledge about the microbial regulation of this process is still scarce. Metaproteomics allows us to link the abundance and activity of enzymes during nutrient cycling to their phylogenetic origin based on proteins, the ‘active building blocks' in the system. Moreover, we employed metaproteomics to investigate the influence of environmental factors and nutrients on the decomposer structure and function during beech litter decomposition. Litter was collected at forest sites in Austria with different litter nutrient content. Proteins were analyzed by 1-D-SDS-PAGE followed by liquid-chromatography and tandem mass-spectrometry. Mass spectra were assigned to phylogenetic and functional groups by a newly developed bioinformatics workflow, assignments being validated by complementary approaches. We provide evidence that the litter nutrient content and the stoichiometry of C:N:P affect the decomposer community structure and activity. Fungi were found to be the main producers of extracellular hydrolytic enzymes, with no bacterial hydrolases being detected by our metaproteomics approach. Detailed investigation of microbial succession suggests that it is influenced by litter nutrient content. Microbial activity was stimulated at higher litter nutrient contents via a higher abundance and activity of extracellular enzymes. PMID:22402400

  2. Litter composition effects on decomposition across the litter-soil interface

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background/Question/Methods Many studies have investigated the influence of plant litter species composition on decomposition dynamics, but given the variety of communities and environments around the world, a variety of consequences of litter-mixing have been reported. Litter ...

  3. McDonald's Litter Hunt: A Community Litter Control System for Youth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNees, M. Patrick; And Others

    1979-01-01

    Describes a community litter control program. Special adhesive stickers were randomly placed on existing litter throughout a community and youth were rewarded with special prizes for participating in the program. Litter was reduced 32 percent across the city. (Author/MA)

  4. Earthworms and legumes control litter decomposition in a plant diversity gradient.

    PubMed

    Milcu, Alexandru; Partsch, Stephan; Scherber, Christoph; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Scheu, Stefan

    2008-07-01

    The role of species and functional group diversity of primary producers for decomposers and decomposition processes is little understood. We made use of the "Jena Biodiversity Experiment" and tested the hypothesis that increasing plant species (1, 4, and 16 species) and functional group diversity (1, 2, 3, and 4 groups) beneficially affects decomposer density and activity and therefore the decomposition of plant litter material. Furthermore, by manipulating the densities of decomposers (earthworms and springtails) within the plant diversity gradient we investigated how the interactions between plant diversity and decomposer densities affect the decomposition of litter belonging to different plant functional groups (grasses, herbs, and legumes). Positive effects of increasing plant species or functional group diversity on earthworms (biomass and density) and microbial biomass were mainly due to the increased incidence of legumes with increasing diversity. Neither plant species diversity nor functional group diversity affected litter decomposition, However, litter decomposition varied with decomposer and plant functional group identity (of both living plants and plant litter). While springtail removal generally had little effect on decomposition, increased earthworm density accelerated the decomposition of nitrogen-rich legume litter, and this was more pronounced at higher plant diversity. The results suggest that earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris L.) and legumes function as keystone organisms for grassland decomposition processes and presumably contribute to the recorded increase in primary productivity with increasing plant diversity. PMID:18705374

  5. The effects of fire severity on macroinvertebrate detritivores and leaf litter decomposition.

    PubMed

    Buckingham, Sebastian; Murphy, Nick; Gibb, Heloise

    2015-01-01

    High severity wildfire events are a feature of forests globally and are likely to be more prevalent with climate change. As a disturbance process, fire has the potential to change important ecological functions, such as decomposition, through its impact on biodiversity. Despite the recognised importance of decomposition in terms of fuel loads and energy flow, little is known about the post-fire effects of fire severity on decomposition by litter-dwelling macroinvertebrate detritivores. We tested the hypotheses that: 1) increasing fire severity is associated with decreased rates of leaf litter decomposition by macroinvertebrate detritivores; and 2) the abundance and biomass of macroinvertebrate detritivores decreases with increasing fire severity, while body size increases. We used a litterbag experiment at long-unburnt, ground-burnt and crown-burnt sites (n = 7 for all treatments) to test the effect of fire severity on: a) macroinvertebrate-driven break-down of litter fuel loads; and b) the size and abundance of macroinvertebrate detritivores three years after fire. Microhabitat conditions differed among fire severity classes. Macroinvertebrate exclusion reduced litter decomposition by 34.7%. Macroinvertebrate detritivores were larger and less abundant following higher severity fires, possibly as a result of fire-induced changes in habitat structure. Opposing effects of fire severity on macroinvertebrate abundance and body size resulted in both similar detritivore biomass and, most interestingly, no differences in leaf litter decomposition under different fire severities. This suggests that the diversity of macroinvertebrates enhances functional resilience of litter decomposition to fire and that litter-breakdown is not inhibited within three years following a high severity fire in this forest type and where recolonisation sources are readily available. We found no support for the hypothesis that high severity fires reduce litter decomposition and therefore

  6. The Effects of Fire Severity on Macroinvertebrate Detritivores and Leaf Litter Decomposition

    PubMed Central

    Buckingham, Sebastian; Murphy, Nick; Gibb, Heloise

    2015-01-01

    High severity wildfire events are a feature of forests globally and are likely to be more prevalent with climate change. As a disturbance process, fire has the potential to change important ecological functions, such as decomposition, through its impact on biodiversity. Despite the recognised importance of decomposition in terms of fuel loads and energy flow, little is known about the post-fire effects of fire severity on decomposition by litter-dwelling macroinvertebrate detritivores. We tested the hypotheses that: 1) increasing fire severity is associated with decreased rates of leaf litter decomposition by macroinvertebrate detritivores; and 2) the abundance and biomass of macroinvertebrate detritivores decreases with increasing fire severity, while body size increases. We used a litterbag experiment at long-unburnt, ground-burnt and crown-burnt sites (n = 7 for all treatments) to test the effect of fire severity on: a) macroinvertebrate-driven break-down of litter fuel loads; and b) the size and abundance of macroinvertebrate detritivores three years after fire. Microhabitat conditions differed among fire severity classes. Macroinvertebrate exclusion reduced litter decomposition by 34.7%. Macroinvertebrate detritivores were larger and less abundant following higher severity fires, possibly as a result of fire-induced changes in habitat structure. Opposing effects of fire severity on macroinvertebrate abundance and body size resulted in both similar detritivore biomass and, most interestingly, no differences in leaf litter decomposition under different fire severities. This suggests that the diversity of macroinvertebrates enhances functional resilience of litter decomposition to fire and that litter-breakdown is not inhibited within three years following a high severity fire in this forest type and where recolonisation sources are readily available. We found no support for the hypothesis that high severity fires reduce litter decomposition and therefore

  7. Distinct Microbial Limitations in Litter and Underlying Soil Revealed by Carbon and Nutrient Fertilization in a Tropical Rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Fanin, Nicolas; Barantal, Sandra; Fromin, Nathalie; Schimann, Heidy; Schevin, Patrick; Hättenschwiler, Stephan

    2012-01-01

    Human-caused alterations of the carbon and nutrient cycles are expected to impact tropical ecosystems in the near future. Here we evaluated how a combined change in carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability affects soil and litter microbial respiration and litter decomposition in an undisturbed Amazonian rainforest in French Guiana. In a fully factorial C (as cellulose), N (as urea), and P (as phosphate) fertilization experiment we analyzed a total of 540 litterbag-soil pairs after a 158-day exposure in the field. Rates of substrate-induced respiration (SIR) measured in litter and litter mass loss were similarly affected by fertilization showing the strongest stimulation when N and P were added simultaneously. The stimulating NP effect on litter SIR increased considerably with increasing initial dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in litter, suggesting that the combined availability of N, P, and a labile C source has a particularly strong effect on microbial activity. Cellulose fertilization, however, did not further stimulate the NP effect. In contrast to litter SIR and litter mass loss, soil SIR was reduced with N fertilization and showed only a positive effect in response to P fertilization that was further enhanced with additional C fertilization. Our data suggest that increased nutrient enrichment in the studied Amazonian rainforest can considerably change microbial activity and litter decomposition, and that these effects differ between the litter layer and the underlying soil. Any resulting change in relative C and nutrient fluxes between the litter layer and the soil can have important consequences for biogeochemical cycles in tropical forest ecosystems. PMID:23272052

  8. Spectral albedo/reflectance of littered forest snow during the melt season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melloh, Rae A.; Hardy, Janet P.; Davis, Robert E.; Robinson, Peggy B.

    2001-12-01

    Despite the importance of litter on forest floor albedo and brightness, previous studies have not documented forest floor albedo or litter cover in any detail. Our objective was to describe the seasonal influence of litter on spectral albedos and nadir reflectances of a forest snowpack in a mixed-hardwood stand in the Sleepers River Research Watershed (SRRW) in Danville, Vermont (37°39 N, 119°2 W). Experimental measurements in a nearby open area at the Snow Research Station of the SRRW nearly duplicated the spectral trend observed in the forest. Spectral albedo and nadir reflectance measurements in the visible and near infrared (350-2500 nm) transitioned from a gently curved shape through the visible range (for finer-grained, lightly littered snow) to one having a peak in the red/near-infrared (near 760 nm) as the snowmelt season progressed (for coarser-grained, more heavily littered snow). The snowpack became optically thin as surface litter reached high percentages. A point-in-time digital photographic survey of the late-lying snowpacks of three forest stands and the open showed that median litter cover percentages in the coniferous, deciduous, mixed-forest, and an open area were 17·5, 6·1, 1·2, and 0·04 respectively. A Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA on ranks and pairwise comparisons using Dunn's test indicated that the litter covers of the three forest stands were significantly different with >95% confidence. The snowpack was relatively shallow (<1 m), as is typical for this area of Vermont. From a remote-sensing standpoint, and since shallow snow and increased grain size also lower the visible albedo, we can expect that snowpack litter will cause decreased albedo earlier in the snowmelt season, at deeper snow depths, and will tend to shift the maximum albedo peak to the red/NIR range as the melt season progresses. Published in 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Assessment of litter degradation in medicinal plants subjected to ultraviolet-B radiation.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, S B; Kumari, Rima

    2013-07-01

    Litter decomposition is an important component of global carbon budget. Elevated influx of ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B) as a consequence of depletion of stratospheric ozone (O3) layer may affect litter decomposition directly or/modifying the plant tissue quality. Chemical composition of plant can affect litter decomposition. In the present study, three important medicinal plant species i.e. Acorus calamus, Ocimum sanctum and Cymbopogon citratus were exposed to two levels of supplemental UV-B (sUV and sUV,) during the growth period and examined the changes in leaf quality and degradation of leaf litters. The sUV, treatment (+3.6 kJ m(-2) d(-1)) increased the rate of decomposition by 45% and 31% respectively; in leaf litters from O. sanctum and C. citratus, while no significant effect was noticed in A. calamus leaf litter. Higher accumulation of sclerenchymatous tissue around vascular bundles and increased concentrations of total phenols by 39 mg g(-1) probably lowered the decomposition rate; finding k value: 0.0049 g g(-1) d(-1) in leaf litters of A. calamus. The C/N ratio was increased by 14% at sUV2 in C. citratus, whereas in O. sanctum it decreased by 13.6% after treatment. Results of the present experiment illustrates that firstly UV-B can modify the decomposition rate of leaf litter of test plant species, secondly it can alter the tissue chemistry particularly leaf phenolics, N and P concentrations strongly and thus affecting the decay rate and thirdly UV-B effects on decay rate and leaf chemistry is species specific. PMID:24640251

  10. Response of leaf litter decomposition to rises in atmospheric CO2 and temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammrich, A.; Flury, S.; Gessner, M. O.

    2007-05-01

    Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have considerably increased in the last century and are expected to rise further. Elevated CO2 concentrations not only increase global temperature but also have potential to change plant litter quality, for example by increasing lignin content, changing C:N ratios and altering tannin contents. These chemical changes may interact with increased temperature to alter litter decomposition. To test whether changes in litter quality and warming affect decomposition, we conducted a field experiment with leaf litter collected from six species of mature deciduous trees exposed to either ambient or elevated CO2 levels. We used a set of 16 enclosures installed in four blocks in a freshwater marsh in a prealpine lake to test for the effects of CO2-mediated litter quality and temperature and the interaction of both factors. We measured leaf mass loss of the twelve litter types in control and heated enclosures (4 °C above ambient) and also in the open marsh. In contrast to expectations, species decomposing at low (oak and beech) and medium (hornbeam and maple) rates showed faster mass loss when leaves were grown under elevated CO2 conditions, whereas fast-decomposing species (cherry and basswood) showed no clear response. The accelerated decomposition of CO2-enriched litter could be due to higher amounts of nonstructural carbohydrates, which may have been either leached or readily degraded. Warming had a surprisingly small influence on mass loss of the tested litter species, and interactive effects were weak. These results suggest that direct and indirect effects of elevated CO2 levels on litter decomposition may not be readily predictable from first principles.

  11. Effects of stoichiometry and temperature perturbations on beech litter decomposition, enzyme activities and protein expression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiblinger, K. M.; Schneider, T.; Roschitzki, B.; Schmid, E.; Eberl, L.; Hämmerle, I.; Leitner, S.; Richter, A.; Wanek, W.; Riedel, K.; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, S.

    2011-12-01

    Microbes are major players in leaf litter decomposition and therefore advances in the understanding of their control on element cycling are of paramount importance. Our aim was to investigate the influence of leaf litter stoichiometry in terms of carbon (C) : nitrogen (N) : phosphorus (P) on the decomposition process, and to follow changes in microbial community structure and function in response to temperature-stress treatments. To elucidate how the stoichiometry of beech litter (Fagus sylvatica L.) and stress treatments interactively affect the decomposition processes, a terrestrial microcosm experiment was conducted. Beech litter from different Austrian sites covering C:N ratios from 39 to 61 and C:P ratios from 666 to 1729 were incubated at 15 °C and 60% moisture for six months. Part of the microcosms were then subjected to severe changes in temperature (+30 °C and -15 °C) to monitor the influence of temperature stress. Extracellular enzyme activities were assayed and respiratory activities measured. A semi-quantitative metaproteomics approach (1D-SDS PAGE combined with liquid chromatography and tandem mass-spectrometry; unique spectral counting) was employed to investigate the impact of the applied stress treatments in dependency of litter stoichiometry on structure and function of the decomposing community. In litter with narrow C:nutrient ratios microbial decomposers were most abundant. Cellulase, chitinase, phosphatase and protease activity decreased after heat and frost treatments. Decomposer communities and specific functions varied with site i.e. stoichiometry. The applied stress evoked strong changes of enzyme activities, dissolved organic nitrogen and litter pH. Freeze treatments resulted in a decline in residual plant litter material, and increased fungal abundance indicating slightly accelerated decomposition. Overall, we could detect a strong effect of litter stoichiometry on microbial community structure as well as function. Temperature

  12. Biochemical Control of Fungal Biomass and Enzyme Production During Native Hawaiian Litter Degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amatangelo, K. L.; Cordova, T. P.; Vitousek, P. M.

    2007-12-01

    Microbial growth and enzyme production during decomposition is controlled by the availability of carbon substrates, essential elements, and the ratios of these (such as lignin:N). We manipulated carbon:nutrient stoichiometry during decomposition using a natural fertility gradient in Hawaii and litter of varying initial biochemistry. We collected freshly senesced litter of seven biochemically distinct species from three sites offering differing levels of N, P, cations, and 15N , but similar yearly rainfall and temperature patterns. Litter types were decomposed at both the sites they were collected, and at the other site(s) that species was found. Litter was collected at multiple time points, and after one year of decomposition, calculated K constants varied an order of magnitude, from 0.276 to 2.76. Decomposition rates varied significantly with both litter site of origin and deployment, except at the oldest, P-limited site, where litter site of origin was not significantly correlated with decomposition within species. As microbial exocellular enzymes provide the catalyst for the breakdown of organic molecules including phenols, cellulose, and cutin, we assayed polyphenol oxidase, cellobiohydrolase, cutinase, chitinase, and lignin peroxidase to evaluate the breakdown sequence of different litter types. To measure the fungal biomass accumulating during decomposition, we extracted (22E)-Ergosta-5,7,22-trien-3beta- ol (ergosterol) on a subset of samples. The production of particular exocellular enzymes on litter species responded distinctly to origin and decomposition sites: after six months, chitinase and cellobiohydrolase were significantly affected by origin site, whereas polyphenol oxidase activity was controlled by deployment site. We conclude that site characteristics can alter the interaction between litter carbon:nutrient ratios and decomposition rate, mediated through microbial biomass and enzyme production.

  13. Leaf Litter Mixtures Alter Microbial Community Development: Mechanisms for Non-Additive Effects in Litter Decomposition

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, Samantha K.; Newman, Gregory S.; Hart, Stephen C.; Schweitzer, Jennifer A.; Koch, George W.

    2013-01-01

    To what extent microbial community composition can explain variability in ecosystem processes remains an open question in ecology. Microbial decomposer communities can change during litter decomposition due to biotic interactions and shifting substrate availability. Though relative abundance of decomposers may change due to mixing leaf litter, linking these shifts to the non-additive patterns often recorded in mixed species litter decomposition rates has been elusive, and links community composition to ecosystem function. We extracted phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) from single species and mixed species leaf litterbags after 10 and 27 months of decomposition in a mixed conifer forest. Total PLFA concentrations were 70% higher on litter mixtures than single litter types after 10 months, but were only 20% higher after 27 months. Similarly, fungal-to-bacterial ratios differed between mixed and single litter types after 10 months of decomposition, but equalized over time. Microbial community composition, as indicated by principal components analyses, differed due to both litter mixing and stage of litter decomposition. PLFA biomarkers a15∶0 and cy17∶0, which indicate gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria respectively, in particular drove these shifts. Total PLFA correlated significantly with single litter mass loss early in decomposition but not at later stages. We conclude that litter mixing alters microbial community development, which can contribute to synergisms in litter decomposition. These findings advance our understanding of how changing forest biodiversity can alter microbial communities and the ecosystem processes they mediate. PMID:23658639

  14. Establishment of Rabbiteye Blueberries in Poultry Litter

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Poultry litter is abundant in the Southeast where there is also a growing blueberry production. Poultry litter has been used for fertilization of other crops such as cotton and grass with increased yields and growth. This study was conducted to determine if rabbiteye blueberries ‘Tifblue’ and ‘Pre...

  15. 33 CFR 144.01-35 - Litter.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Litter. 144.01-35 Section 144.01-35 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (CONTINUED) OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF ACTIVITIES LIFESAVING APPLIANCES Manned Platforms § 144.01-35 Litter. On each...

  16. Broiler house litter sampling: the final frontier

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Today, the sustainability of broiler operations reaches beyond the need for litter nutrient management plans that came to the forefront of the industry’s attention in the last fifteen years. Thorough characterization of litter within houses provides the basis for emission models to benefit growers,...

  17. Poultry industry trends for litter usage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Broiler litter, a combination of primarily organic bedding material and excreta, has been routinely applied for decades as fertilizer. Poultry litter improves soil quality by adding organic material, an advantage over commercial fertilizers. Once a hindrance to be disposed, rising costs of commerc...

  18. Comparing intra- and inter-specific effects on litter decomposition in an old-field ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Crutsinger, Greg; Sanders, Dr. Nathan James; Classen, Aimee T

    2009-09-01

    Plant species can differ in the quantity and quality of leaf litter they produce, and many studies have examined whether plant species diversity affects leaf-litter decomposition and nutrient release. A growing number of studies have indicated that intra-specific variation within plant species can also affect key ecosystem processes. However, the relative importance of intra- versus inter-specific variation for the functioning of ecosystems remains poorly known. Here, we investigate the effects of intra-specific variation in a dominant old-field plant species, tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima), and inter-specific variation among goldenrod species on litter quality, decomposition, and nitrogen (N) release. We found that the nutrient concentration of leaf litter varied among genotypes, which translated into 50% difference in decomposition rates. Variation among other goldenrod species in decomposition rate was more than twice that of genetic variation within S. altissima. Furthermore, by manipulating litterbags to contain 1, 3, 6, or 9 genotypes, we found that S. altissima genotype identity had much stronger effects than did genotypic diversity on leaf-litter quality, decomposition, and N release. Taken together, these results suggest that the order of ecological importance for controlling leaf-litter decomposition and N release dynamics is plant species identitygenotype identity>genotypic diversity.

  19. Poultry litter toxicity comparison from various bioassays

    SciTech Connect

    Gupta, G.; Kelly, P. )

    1992-01-01

    Poultry litter contains many toxic chemicals including Cu, As, Pb, Cd, Hg, Se and PCBs. Poultry litter leachate has been shown to be more toxic to marine luminescent organisms (Photobacterium phosphoreum) than other farm animal manures. A comparison of toxicity of the poultry litter leachate was undertaken using various bioassays. The EC{sub 50} (or LC{sub 50}) value for the leachate with the Microtox and Daphnia bioassays was 2.9 g/L/ Nitrobacter and Pseudomonas bioassays were not useful in determining the leachate toxicity because of the nutritional properties of the litter. Poultry litter leachate was found to be mutagenic to strains TA 97, TA 98, TA 100 and TA 102 using the Ames Test.

  20. Litter effects on seedling establishment interact with seed position and earthworm activity.

    PubMed

    Donath, T W; Eckstein, R L

    2012-01-01

    Seedling establishment is influenced by litter cover and by seed predators, but little is known about interactions between these two factors. We tested their effects on emergence of five typical grassland species in a microcosm experiment. We manipulated the amounts of grass litter, seed sowing position and earthworm activity to determine whether: (i) the protective effect of litter against seed predation depends on cover amount and seed sowing position, i.e., on top or beneath litter; (ii) seed transport by earthworms changes the effect of seed sowing position on seedling emergence; and (iii) seeds transported into deeper soil layers by earthworms are still germinable. Litter cover and presence of earthworms lowered seedling emergence. The impact of seed position increased with seed size. Emergence of large-seeded species was reduced when sown on the surface. Additionally, we found an important seed position × earthworm interaction related to seed size. Emergence of large-seeded species sown on top of the litter was up to three times higher when earthworms were present than without earthworms. Earthworms also significantly altered the depth distribution of seeds in the soil and across treatments: on average 6% of seeds germinated after burial. In contrast to the seed position effect, we found no size effect on mobility and germinability of seeds after burial in the soil. Nevertheless, the fate of different-sized seeds may differ. While burial will remove large seeds from the regeneration pool, it may enhance seed bank build up in small-seeded species. Consequently, changes in the amount of litter cover and the invertebrate community play a significant role in plant community composition. PMID:21972886

  1. Salmonella and fecal indicator bacteria in tile waters draining poultry litter application fields in central Iowa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hruby, C.; Soupir, M.

    2012-12-01

    E. coli and enterococci are commonly used as pathogen indicators in surface waters. Along with these indicators, pathogenic Salmonella are prevalent in poultry litter, and have the potential to be transported from land-application areas to tile waters and ultimately to impact waters that are used for drinking-water and recreation. The fate and transport of these bacteria to drainage tiles from application fields, and the correlation of fecal indicator bacteria to pathogens in this setting, is poorly understood. In this field study, samples were obtained from poultry litter, soil, and drainage tile waters below chisel-plowed and no-till cornfields in central Iowa where poultry litter was applied each year in late spring prior to planting. Litter was applied at three different rates; commercial fertilizer with no litter, a low application rate based on the nitrogen requirements of the corn (PL1), and double the low rate (PL2). This site is characterized by low sloping (0-9%) Clarion and Nicollet soils, which are derived from glacial till. Samples were collected from April to September for three years (2010-12) when tiles were flowing. Record high precipitation fell during the sampling period in 2010, while 2011 and 2012 were exceptionally dry years at this location. Grab samples were taken directly from flowing tiles after every rainfall event (>2 cm in less than 24 hours) and samples were collected hourly throughout selected events using an automatic sampling device. Concentrations of E. coli, enterococci and Salmonella spp. were quantified by membrane filtration and growth on selective agars. Peak bacteria concentrations following rainfall events were often one order of magnitude higher in tile waters discharging from no-till plots, despite the smaller size and lower tile flow rates at these plots compared to the chisel-plowed plots. Bacteria concentrations regularly varied by two orders of magnitude in response to rainfall events. Bacteria transport via macropores

  2. Litter quality versus soil microbial community controls over decomposition: a quantitative analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cleveland, Cory C.; Reed, Sasha C.; Keller, Adrienne B.; Nemergut, Diana R.; O'Neill, Sean P.; Ostertag, Rebecca; Vitousek, Peter M.

    2014-01-01

    The possible effects of soil microbial community structure on organic matter decomposition rates have been widely acknowledged, but are poorly understood. Understanding these relationships is complicated by the fact that microbial community structure and function are likely to both affect and be affected by organic matter quality and chemistry, thus it is difficult to draw mechanistic conclusions from field studies. We conducted a reciprocal soil inoculum × litter transplant laboratory incubation experiment using samples collected from a set of sites that have similar climate and plant species composition but vary significantly in bacterial community structure and litter quality. The results showed that litter quality explained the majority of variation in decomposition rates under controlled laboratory conditions: over the course of the 162-day incubation, litter quality explained nearly two-thirds (64 %) of variation in decomposition rates, and a smaller proportion (25 %) was explained by variation in the inoculum type. In addition, the relative importance of inoculum type on soil respiration increased over the course of the experiment, and was significantly higher in microcosms with lower litter quality relative to those with higher quality litter. We also used molecular phylogenetics to examine the relationships between bacterial community composition and soil respiration in samples through time. Pyrosequencing revealed that bacterial community composition explained 32 % of the variation in respiration rates. However, equal portions (i.e., 16 %) of the variation in bacterial community composition were explained by inoculum type and litter quality, reflecting the importance of both the meta-community and the environment in bacterial assembly. Taken together, these results indicate that the effects of changing microbial community composition on decomposition are likely to be smaller than the potential effects of climate change and/or litter quality changes in

  3. Diet supplementation with the cis-9,trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid isomer affects the size of adipocytes in Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Paula A; Martins, Susana V; Pinho, Mário S; Alfaia, Cristina M; Fontes, Carlos M G A; Rodrigues, Pedro O; Morais, Graça S L; Castro, Matilde F; Pinto, Rui; Prates, José A M

    2008-07-01

    Previous reports have demonstrated that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) acts on body fat accumulation in a variety of animal models. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of cis (c)-9,trans (t)-11 and t10,c12 CLA isomers on the number and size of adipocytes from the inguinal and retroperitoneal fats in Wistar male rats. A 5.1% palm oil-based diet was supplemented with CLA isomers as follows: 0.6% of c9,t11, 0.6% of t10,c12, 1.3% of c9,t11 and t10,c12 isomers in mixture, and a control nonsupplemented group for comparative purposes. Fat tissues were prepared on microscope slides for histologic examination using an image-analysis software to count the number of adipocytes and measure cell sizes. The results showed that CLA isomers did not affect (P > .05) either final body and fat depot weights or serum lipids (with the exception of triacylglycerols) and adipocytokines (leptin and adiponectin). Animals fed the c9,t11 CLA isomer diet showed larger adipocytes when compared to other groups. Independently of the CLA dietary treatment, retroperitoneal fat showed larger adipocytes (3319 microm(2)) and therefore a smaller number of adipocytes per unit of area, compared to inguinal fat (3055 microm(2)). Taken together, the data suggest that a palm oil-based diet supplemented with the c9,t11 CLA isomer in Wistar rats, in contrast to the t10,c12 isomer and the mixture of both isomers, increases adipocyte dimensions in inguinal and retroperitoneal fat depots, while having a minor effect in serum lipids and adipocytokines. PMID:19083449

  4. Variability of above-ground litter inputs alters soil physicochemical and biological processes: a meta-analysis of litterfall-manipulation experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, S.; Liu, L. L.; Sayer, E. J.

    2013-11-01

    Global change has been shown to alter the amount of above-ground litter inputs to soil greatly, which could cause substantial cascading effects on below-ground biogeochemical cycling. Despite extensive study, there is uncertainty about how changes in above-ground litter inputs affect soil carbon and nutrient turnover and transformation. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis on 70 litter-manipulation experiments in order to assess how changes in above-ground litter inputs alter soil physicochemical properties, carbon dynamics and nutrient cycles. Our results demonstrated that litter removal decreased soil respiration by 34%, microbial biomass carbon in the mineral soil by 39% and total carbon in the mineral soil by 10%, whereas litter addition increased them by 31, 26 and 10%, respectively. This suggests that greater litter inputs increase the soil carbon sink despite higher rates of carbon release and transformation. Total nitrogen and extractable inorganic nitrogen in the mineral soil decreased by 17 and 30%, respectively, under litter removal, but were not altered by litter addition. Overall, litter manipulation had a significant impact upon soil temperature and moisture, but not soil pH; litter inputs were more crucial in buffering soil temperature and moisture fluctuations in grassland than in forest. Compared to other ecosystems, tropical and subtropical forests were more sensitive to variation in litter inputs, as altered litter inputs affected the turnover and accumulation of soil carbon and nutrients more substantially over a shorter time period. Our study demonstrates that although the magnitude of responses differed greatly among ecosystems, the direction of the responses was very similar across different ecosystems. Interactions between plant productivity and below-ground biogeochemical cycling need to be taken into account to predict ecosystem responses to environmental change.

  5. Study on Hydrological Functions of Litter Layers in North China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiang; Niu, Jianzhi; Xie, Baoyuan

    2013-01-01

    Canopy interception, throughfall, stemflow, and runoff have received considerable attention during the study of water balance and hydrological processes in forested ecosystems. Past research has either neglected or underestimated the role of hydrological functions of litter layers, although some studies have considered the impact of various characteristics of rainfall and litter on litter interception. Based on both simulated rainfall and litter conditions in North China, the effect of litter mass, rainfall intensity and litter type on the maximum water storage capacity of litter (S) and litter interception storage capacity (C) were investigated under five simulated rainfall intensities and four litter masses for two litter types. The results indicated: 1) the S values increased linearly with litter mass, and the S values of broadleaf litter were on average 2.65 times larger than the S values of needle leaf litter; 2) rainfall intensity rather than litter mass determined the maximum interception storage capacity (Cmax); Cmax increased linearly with increasing rainfall intensity; by contrast, the minimum interception storage capacity (Cmin) showed a linear relationship with litter mass, but a poor correlation with rainfall intensity; 3) litter type impacted Cmax and Cmin; the values of Cmax and Cmin for broadleaf litter were larger than those of needle leaf litter, which indicated that broadleaf litter could intercepte and store more water than needle leaf litter; 4) a gap existed between Cmax and Cmin, indicating that litter played a significant role by allowing rainwater to infiltrate or to produce runoff rather than intercepting it and allowing it to evaporate after the rainfall event; 5) Cmin was always less than S at the same litter mass, which should be considered in future interception predictions. Vegetation and precipitation characteristics played important roles in hydrological characteristics. PMID:23936188

  6. Effects of Nitrogen Addition on Litter Decomposition and CO2 Release: Considering Changes in Litter Quantity

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hui-Chao; Hu, Ya-Lin; Mao, Rong; Zhao, Qiong; Zeng, De-Hui

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to evaluate the impacts of changes in litter quantity under simulated N deposition on litter decomposition, CO2 release, and soil C loss potential in a larch plantation in Northeast China. We conducted a laboratory incubation experiment using soil and litter collected from control and N addition (100 kg ha−1 year−1 for 10 years) plots. Different quantities of litter (0, 1, 2 and 4 g) were placed on 150 g soils collected from the same plots and incubated in microcosms for 270 days. We found that increased litter input strongly stimulated litter decomposition rate and CO2 release in both control and N fertilization microcosms, though reduced soil microbial biomass C (MBC) and dissolved inorganic N (DIN) concentration. Carbon input (C loss from litter decomposition) and carbon output (the cumulative C loss due to respiration) elevated with increasing litter input in both control and N fertilization microcosms. However, soil C loss potentials (C output–C input) reduced by 62% in control microcosms and 111% in N fertilization microcosms when litter addition increased from 1 g to 4 g, respectively. Our results indicated that increased litter input had a potential to suppress soil organic C loss especially for N addition plots. PMID:26657180

  7. Effects of Chicken Litter Storage Time and Ammonia Content on Thermal Resistance of Desiccation-Adapted Salmonella spp.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zhao; Wang, Hongye; Ionita, Claudia; Luo, Feng

    2015-01-01

    Broiler chicken litter was kept as a stacked heap on a poultry farm, and samples were collected up to 9 months of storage. Chicken litter inoculated with desiccation-adapted Salmonella cells was heat-treated at 75, 80, 85, and 150°C. Salmonella populations decreased in all these samples during heat treatment, and the inactivation rates became lower in chicken litter when storage time was extended from 0 to 6 months. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in thermal resistance of Salmonella in 6- and 9-month litter samples, indicating that a threshold for thermal resistance was reached after 6 months. Overall, the thermal resistance of Salmonella in chicken litter was affected by the storage time of the litter. The changes in some chemical, physical, and microbiological properties during storage could possibly contribute to this difference. Moisture and ammonia could be two of the most significant factors influencing the thermal resistance of Salmonella cells in chicken litter. Our results emphasize the importance of adjusting time and temperature conditions for heat processing chicken litter when it is removed from the chicken house at different time intervals. PMID:26209673

  8. Treatment of broiler litter with organic acids.

    PubMed

    Ivanov, I E

    2001-04-01

    Experiments for treatment of contaminated broiler litter with citric, tartaric and salicylic acids were performed. At days 2 and 6 after the treatment, pH values (using a pH-meter), the ammonia concentrations (titration with 0.1 N HCl) and the microbial cells counts were determined in both experimental and control specimens of litter. The cost of acidification of litter was also determined. Our studies showed that the treatment of the contaminated litter with 5 per cent citric acid, 4 per cent tartaric acid and 1.5 per cent salicylic acid created an acid medium with pH under 5.0 and thus reduced the microbial counts to 2.2 x 10(3)colony forming units per gram manure litter. The treatment reduced the content of ammonia in the litter and in the air under the hygienic limits, i.e. 25-50 ppm. The cost of acidification of litter with these organic acids amounted to 0.1 $ per bird and 1.5 $ per 15 birds on one square metre in a growth period of 50 days. PMID:11356097

  9. Litter use by laying hens in a commercial aviary: dust bathing and piling.

    PubMed

    Campbell, D L M; Makagon, M M; Swanson, J C; Siegford, J M

    2016-01-01

    The laying hen industry, including in the United States, is responding to social concerns about hen welfare by implementing alternative housing systems such as the aviary, to provide more space and resources to large groups of hens. Data detailing the behavior of hens in commercial aviaries is needed to determine hens' use of the resources in order to understand their impact on hen welfare. The open litter area of aviaries provides additional space for hens during the day. Litter is also a substrate for dust bathing which is a strongly motivated natural behavior. Hens are often synchronous in their performance of dust bathing, which may lead to overcrowding in the litter area. Additionally, the open litter area can facilitate expression of unusual behavior such as flock piling (defined as the occurrence of densely grouped clusters of hens, resulting from no obvious cause and occurring randomly throughout the day and flock cycle) which may be a welfare concern. Therefore, we conducted observations of hen occupancy of the open litter area and the performance of dust bathing and flock piling across 3 production points (peak lay, mid lay and end of lay) for two flocks of Lohmann White laying hens housed in a commercial aviary. All areas of the open litter area were occupied to the same degree. Hens performed dust bathing throughout the day but showed peak dust bathing activity in the afternoon for Flock 1 (all P < 0.001) and in the late morning for Flock 2 (all P < 0.001). Overall, 174 incidents of piling behavior were observed between the 2 flocks, with piles varying in size, duration, and time of occurrence; however, no smothering was detected. Crowding on the open litter area sometimes occurred during peak periods of synchronous dust bathing and when hens piled. Further research is needed to understand the welfare implications of individual hen use of the open litter area and the causes and welfare implications of hen piling. PMID:26354762

  10. Climate change effects on macrofaunal litter decomposition: the interplay of temperature, body masses and stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Ott, David; Rall, Björn C; Brose, Ulrich

    2012-11-01

    Macrofauna invertebrates of forest floors provide important functions in the decomposition process of soil organic matter, which is affected by the nutrient stoichiometry of the leaf litter. Climate change effects on forest ecosystems include warming and decreasing litter quality (e.g. higher C : nutrient ratios) induced by higher atmospheric CO(2) concentrations. While litter-bag experiments unravelled separate effects, a mechanistic understanding of how interactions between temperature and litter stoichiometry are driving decomposition rates is lacking. In a laboratory experiment, we filled this void by quantifying decomposer consumption rates analogous to predator-prey functional responses that include the mechanistic parameters handling time and attack rate. Systematically, we varied the body masses of isopods, the environmental temperature and the resource between poor (hornbeam) and good quality (ash). We found that attack rates increased and handling times decreased (i) with body masses and (ii) temperature. Interestingly, these relationships interacted with litter quality: small isopods possibly avoided the poorer resource, whereas large isopods exhibited increased, compensatory feeding of the poorer resource, which may be explained by their higher metabolic demands. The combination of metabolic theory and ecological stoichiometry provided critically important mechanistic insights into how warming and varying litter quality may modify macrofaunal decomposition rates. PMID:23007091

  11. Carbon redistribution during interrill erosion in subtropical forests: Effects of leaf litter diversity and soil fauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goebes, Philipp; Seitz, Steffen; Kühn, Peter; Scholten, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Soil erosion is crucial for degradation of carbon (C) from their pools in the soil. If C of the eroded sediment and runoff are not only related to soil pools but also resulting additively from decomposition of litter cover, the system gets more complex. The role of these amounts for C cycling in a forest environment is not yet known properly and thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of leaf litter diversity, litter cover and soil fauna on C redistribution during interrill erosion. We established 96 runoff plots that were deployed with seven domestic leaf litter species resulting in none species (bare ground), 1-species, 2-species and 4-species mixtures. Every second runoff plot was equipped with a fauna extinction feature to investigate the role of soil meso- and macrofauna. Erosion processes were initiated using a rainfall simulator at two time steps (summer 2012 and autumn 2012) to investigate the role of leaf litter decomposition on C redistribution. C fluxes during 20 min rainfall simulation were 99.13 ± 94.98 g/m². C fluxes and C contents both were affected by soil fauna. C fluxes were higher with presence of soil fauna due to loosening and slackening of the soil surface rather than due to faster decomposition of leaves. In contrast, C contents were higher in the absence of soil fauna possibly resulting from a missing dilution effect in the top soil layer. Leaf litter diversity did not affect C fluxes, but indirectly affected C contents as it increased the soil fauna effect with higher leaf litter diversity due to superior food supply. Initial C contents in the soil mainly determined those of the eroded sediment. For future research, it will be essential to introduce a long-term decomposition experiment to get further insights into the processes of C redistribution.

  12. An implement for subsurface band application of poultry litter

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Broiler litter is commonly used as a fertilizer on pastures and cropland. Poultry litter is typically land-applied by broadcasting the litter on the soil surface. Rain falling on soil to which poultry litter has been applied, may carry phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) nutrients from the soil into s...

  13. Potassium and magnesium nutrition of cotton fertilized with broiler litter

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Poultry litter has been shown to be an effective cotton fertilizer and is usually applied as a source of N. Litter contains substantial amounts of K also, but whether the K need of cotton can be met by the commonly recommended litter rate has not been investigated or documented. Litter also contai...

  14. The Litter Problem. Environmental Education Supplementary Instructional Guide, Secondary Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawaii State Dept. of Education, Honolulu. Office of Instructional Services.

    Presented is a guide for helping secondary school students investigate the litter problem, acquire litter control skills, and develop an anti-litter ethic. The manual contains a hierarchy of learning objectives, a pretest/posttest, background information on litter, and activities keyed to the learning objectives. Each lesson includes brief…

  15. The Litter Problem. Environmental Education Supplementary Instructional Guide, Elementary Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawaii State Dept. of Education, Honolulu. Office of Instructional Services.

    Presented is a guide for helping elementary school students become aware of the litter problem, acquire litter control skills, and develop an anti-litter ethic. The manual contains a hierarchy of learning objectives, a pretest/posttest instrument, background information on litter, and 12 lessons designed to promote attainment of the learning…

  16. Androgen receptor blockade using flutamide skewed sex ratio of litters in mice.

    PubMed

    Gharagozlou, Faramarz; Youssefi, Reza; Vojgani, Mehdi; Akbarinejad, Vahid; Rafiee, Ghazaleh

    2016-01-01

    Maternal testosterone has been indicated to affect sex ratio of offspring. The present study was conducted to elucidate the role of androgen receptor in this regard by blockade of androgen receptor using flutamide in female mice. Mice were randomly assigned to two experimental groups. Mice in the control (n = 20) and treatment (n = 20) groups received 8 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) followed by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) injection (8 IU) 47 hr later. In addition, mice in the control and treatment groups received four injections of ethanol-saline vehicle and flutamide solution (2.50 mg), respectively, started from 1 hr before eCG injection until hCG injection at 12-hr intervals. Conception rate was not different between the treatment (18/20: 90.00%) and control (19/20: 95.00%) groups (p > 0.05). Litter size was higher in the treatment (8.22 ± 0.26) than control (7.21 ± 0.28) group (p < 0.05). Male sex ratio was lower in the flutamide-treated mice (67/148: 45.30%) as compared with the untreated ones (80/137: 58.40%; odds ratio = 1.69; p < 0.05). In conclusion, the results showed that androgen receptor blockade could skew sex ratio of offspring toward females implying that the effect of testosterone on sex ratio might be through binding to androgen receptor. In addition, the blockade of androgen receptor using flutamide appeared to enhance litter size. PMID:27482363

  17. Androgen receptor blockade using flutamide skewed sex ratio of litters in mice

    PubMed Central

    Gharagozlou, Faramarz; Youssefi, Reza; Vojgani, Mehdi; Akbarinejad, Vahid; Rafiee, Ghazaleh

    2016-01-01

    Maternal testosterone has been indicated to affect sex ratio of offspring. The present study was conducted to elucidate the role of androgen receptor in this regard by blockade of androgen receptor using flutamide in female mice. Mice were randomly assigned to two experimental groups. Mice in the control (n = 20) and treatment (n = 20) groups received 8 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) followed by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) injection (8 IU) 47 hr later. In addition, mice in the control and treatment groups received four injections of ethanol-saline vehicle and flutamide solution (2.50 mg), respectively, started from 1 hr before eCG injection until hCG injection at 12-hr intervals. Conception rate was not different between the treatment (18/20: 90.00%) and control (19/20: 95.00%) groups (p > 0.05). Litter size was higher in the treatment (8.22 ± 0.26) than control (7.21 ± 0.28) group (p < 0.05). Male sex ratio was lower in the flutamide-treated mice (67/148: 45.30%) as compared with the untreated ones (80/137: 58.40%; odds ratio = 1.69; p < 0.05). In conclusion, the results showed that androgen receptor blockade could skew sex ratio of offspring toward females implying that the effect of testosterone on sex ratio might be through binding to androgen receptor. In addition, the blockade of androgen receptor using flutamide appeared to enhance litter size. PMID:27482363

  18. Leaf litter resource quality induces morphological changes in wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) metamorphs.

    PubMed

    Stoler, Aaron B; Stephens, Jeffrey P; Relyea, Rick A; Berven, Keith A; Tiegs, Scott D

    2015-11-01

    For organisms that exhibit complex life cycles, resource conditions experienced by individuals before metamorphosis can strongly affect phenotypes later in life. Such resource-induced effects are known to arise from variation in resource quantity, yet little is known regarding effects stemming from variation in resource quality (e.g., chemistry). For larval anurans, we hypothesized that variation in resource quality will induce a gradient of effects on metamorph morphology. We conducted an outdoor mesocosm experiment in which we manipulated resource quality by rearing larval wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) under 11 leaf litter treatments. The litter species represented plant species found in open- and closed-canopy wetlands and included many plant species of current conservation concern (e.g., green ash, common reed). Consistent with our hypothesis, we found a gradient of responses for nearly all mass-adjusted morphological dimensions. Hindlimb dimensions and gut mass were positively associated with litter nutrient content and decomposition rate. In contrast, forelimb length and head width were positively associated with concentrations of phenolic acids and dissolved organic carbon. Limb lengths and widths were positively related with the duration of larval period, and we discuss possible hormonal mechanisms underlying this relationship. There were very few, broad differences in morphological traits of metamorphs between open- and closed-canopy litter species or between litter and no-litter treatments. This suggests that the effects of litter on metamorph morphology are litter species-specific, indicating that the effects of changing plant community structure in and around wetlands will largely depend on plant species composition. PMID:26188520

  19. Factors Controlling Decomposition Rates of Fine Root Litter in Temperate Forests and Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solly, E.; Schöning, I.; Trumbore, S.; Michalzik, B.; Schrumpf, M.

    2013-12-01

    Fine root decomposition contributes significantly to biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Recent studies suggest that root litter is stabilized preferentially compared to shoot litter, contributing in high amounts to soil organic matter. Land use and management may affect root litter decomposition through changes in plant species composition, effects on the decomposer community and differences in soil nutrient availability. We established a large scale root litter decomposition study in three German study regions using a combination of litterbags deployed in forest and grassland sites under different management and soil types. In all three study regions, we compared site-level differences in decomposition by deploying bags containing standardized forest litter in a total of 150 forest plots (50 in each of the three study regions). Bags with standardized grass litter, which had lower lignin content and lignin:N than standardized forest root litter, were similarly distributed across 50 grassland sites in each of the three regions. Standardized fine grass roots decomposed on average faster 23.5 × 6.3% compared to forest roots 11.7 × 4.4% (p < 0.001) when deployed in their respective land use. Fine root decomposition of standardized litter was affected by study region with higher mass losses in northern Germany followed by mass loss rates in central and southern Germany (p < 0.05). Given the standardized litter chemistry, these differences mainly reflect the influence of climate and soil differences between study regions. Within the central German region (Hainich-Dün), we also compared rates of mass loss of root litter collected on-site as part of a second, parallel litterbag deployment to tease apart the influences of litter quality from other factors (such as soil properties and climate) that affect mass loss rates. Despite differences in the initial fine root litter quality, the average mass lost during 12 months for on-site litter was similar to

  20. An isotopic method for testing the influence of leaf litter quality on carbon fluxes during decomposition.

    PubMed

    Rubino, Mauro; Lubritto, C; D'Onofrio, A; Terrasi, F; Gleixner, G; Cotrufo, M F

    2007-11-01

    During microbial breakdown of leaf litter a fraction of the C lost by the litter is not released to the atmosphere as CO(2) but remains in the soil as microbial byproducts. The amount of this fraction and the factors influencing its size are not yet clearly known. We performed a laboratory experiment to quantify the flow of C from decaying litter into the soil, by means of stable C isotopes, and tested its dependence on litter chemical properties. Three sets of (13)C-depleted leaf litter (Liquidambar styraciflua L., Cercis canadensis L. and Pinus taeda L.) were incubated in the laboratory in jars containing (13)C-enriched soil (i.e. formed C4 vegetation). Four jars containing soil only were used as a control. Litter chemical properties were measured using thermogravimetry (Tg) and pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry-combustion interface-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS-C-IRMS). The respiration rates and the delta(13)C of the respired CO(2) were measured at regular intervals. After 8 months of incubation, soils incubated with both L. styraciflua and C. canadensis showed a significant change in delta(13)C (delta(13)C(final) = -20.2 +/- 0.4 per thousand and -19.5 +/- 0.5 per thousand, respectively) with respect to the initial value (delta(13)C(initial) = -17.7 +/- 0.3 per thousand); the same did not hold for soil incubated with P. taeda (delta(13)C(final:)-18.1 +/- 0.5 per thousand). The percentages of litter-derived C in soil over the total C loss were not statistically different from one litter species to another. This suggests that there is no dependence of the percentage of C input into the soil (over the total C loss) on litter quality and that the fractional loss of leaf litter C is dependent only on the microbial assimilation efficiency. The percentage of litter-derived C in soil was estimated to be 13 +/- 3% of total C loss. PMID:17665218

  1. High-frequency fire alters C : N : P stoichiometry in forest litter.

    PubMed

    Toberman, Hannah; Chen, Chengrong; Lewis, Tom; Elser, James J

    2014-07-01

    Fire is a major driver of ecosystem change and can disproportionately affect the cycling of different nutrients. Thus, a stoichiometric approach to investigate the relationships between nutrient availability and microbial resource use during decomposition is likely to provide insight into the effects of fire on ecosystem functioning. We conducted a field litter bag experiment to investigate the long-term impact of repeated fire on the stoichiometry of leaf litter C, N and P pools, and nutrient-acquiring enzyme activities during decomposition in a wet sclerophyll eucalypt forest in Queensland, Australia. Fire frequency treatments have been maintained since 1972, including burning every 2 years (2yrB), burning every 4 years (4 yrB) and no burning (NB). C : N ratios in freshly fallen litter were 29-42% higher and C : P ratios were 6-25% lower for 2 yrB than NB during decomposition, with correspondingly lower 2yrB N : P ratios (27-32) than for NB (34-49). Trends in litter soluble and microbial N : P ratios were similar to the overall litter N : P ratios across fire treatments. Consistent with these, the ratio of activities for N-acquiring to P-acquiring enzymes in litter was higher for 2 yrB than NB, whereas 4 yrB was generally intermediate between 2 yrB and NB. Decomposition rates of freshly fallen litter were significantly lower for 2 yrB (72 ± 2% mass remaining at the end of experiment) than for 4 yrB (59 ± 3%) and NB (62 ± 3%), a difference that may be related to effects of N limitation, lower moisture content, and/or litter C quality. Results for older mixed-age litter were similar to those for freshly fallen litter although treatment differences were less pronounced. Overall, these findings show that frequent fire (2 yrB) decoupled N and P cycling, as manifested in litter C : N : P stoichiometry and in microbial biomass N : P ratio and enzymatic activities. Furthermore, these data indicate that fire induced a transient shift to N-limited ecosystem conditions

  2. Can't See the Wood for the Litter: Evaluation of Litter Behavior Modification in a Forest

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindemann-Matthies, Petra; Bonigk, Isabel; Benkowitz, Dorothee

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated elementary school children's (n = 171) litter behavior during guided forest tours following two different treatments. Four classes received a verbal appeal not to litter in the forest, while another four classes received both a verbal appeal and a demonstration of the desired litter behavior (picking up litter, putting it…

  3. No Litter Will Make a Better Place.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodgers, Amy

    1987-01-01

    Describes a community anti-litter campaign developed by second grades, involving letter writing, dramatics, photography, and the creation of posters and a videotape. Identifies skills from the Kentucky Essential Skills list that were taught by the project. (SV)

  4. Microbial biomass and soil carbon after 8 and 9 years of field applications of alum-treated and untreated poultry litter and inorganic nitrogen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Amendment with aluminum sulfate (alum) is considered a best management practice for its benefits in poultry production and increased retention of nutrients in the litter. However, little is known about how long-term applications of alum-treated litter to soil will affect the microbial community and ...

  5. Microscopic anthropogenic litter in terrestrial birds from Shanghai, China: Not only plastics but also natural fibers.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Shiye; Zhu, Lixin; Li, Daoji

    2016-04-15

    The level of contamination by microscopic anthropogenic litter (0.5-5mm) in terrestrial ecosystems is not well understood. After chemical digestion in 10% KOH, microscopic anthropogenic litter from the gastrointestinal tracts of 17 terrestrial birds was identified and categorized under a stereomicroscope based on its physical properties and melting tests. In total, 364 items from 16 birds were identified as microscopic anthropogenic litter, ranging in size from 0.5 to 8.5mm. No relationship between plastic load and body condition was found. Natural fibers, plastic fibers and fragmented plastics represented, respectively, 37.4% (136 items), 54.9% (200 items) and 7.7% (28 items) of total litter items. Small sample sizes limited our ability to draw strong conclusions about the metabolism of natural fibers, but the decline in the proportion of natural fibers from the esophagus to stomach to intestine suggested that they may be digestible. Particles smaller than 5mm represented more than 90% of the total number of pollutant items. Particles with colors in the mid-tones and fibrous shapes were overwhelmingly common particles. The results reflect pollution by microscopic anthropogenic litter in the terrestrial ecosystem of the study area. Microscopic natural fibers, which may disperse and adsorb chemical pollutants differently from microplastic and may pose an even greater risk, are in urgent need of further research. PMID:26874248

  6. Nutrient demand interacts with legume particle length to affect digestion responses and rumen pool sizes in dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Kammes, K L; Ying, Y; Allen, M S

    2012-05-01

    Effects of legume particle length on dry matter intake (DMI), milk production, ruminal fermentation and pool sizes, and digestion and passage kinetics, and the relationship of these effects with preliminary DMI (pDMI) were evaluated using 13 ruminally and duodenally cannulated Holstein cows in a crossover design with a 14-d preliminary period and two 19-d treatment periods. During the preliminary period, pDMI of individual cows ranged from 22.8 to 32.4 kg/d (mean=26.5 kg/d) and 3.5% fat-corrected milk yield ranged from 22.9 to 62.4 kg/d (mean=35.1 kg/d). Experimental treatments were diets containing alfalfa silage chopped to (1) 19 mm (long cut, LC) or (2) 10 mm (short cut, SC) theoretical length of cut as the sole forage. Alfalfa silages contained approximately 43% neutral detergent fiber (NDF); diets contained approximately 47% forage and 20% forage NDF. Preliminary DMI, an index of nutrient demand, was determined during the last 4 d of the preliminary period, when cows were fed a common diet, and used as a covariate. Main effects of legume particle length and their interaction with pDMI were tested by ANOVA. Alfalfa particle length and its interaction with pDMI did not affect milk yield or rumen pH. The LC diet decreased milk fat concentration more per kilogram of pDMI increase than the SC diet and increased yields of milk fat and fat-corrected milk less per kilogram of pDMI increase than the SC diet, resulting in a greater benefit for LC at low pDMI and for SC at high pDMI. The LC diet tended to decrease DMI compared with the SC diet. Ruminal digestion and passage rates of feed fractions did not differ between LC and SC and were not related to level of intake. The LC diet tended to decrease the rate of ruminal turnover for NDF but increased NDF rumen pools at a slower rate than the SC diet as pDMI increased. This indicated that the faster NDF turnover rate did not counterbalance the higher DMI for SC, resulting in larger NDF rumen pools for SC than LC. As p

  7. Pore size distribution of soil near saturation as affected by soil type, land use, and soil amendments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Storage and flow of water in soil voids, which are related to the size and geometry of the voids and flow rate are usually controlled by the void of the smallest size. Another reason for the complexity of water flow in soils is the intricate nature and change of the soil pores due to the modificatio...

  8. Effect of Fresh Poultry Litter and Compost on Soil Physical and Chemical Properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carr, Stacy; Tsegaye, Teferi; Coleman, Tommy

    1998-01-01

    Application of poultry litter and compost as a substitute for fertilizer not only uses unwanted waste and decreases expenditures for commercial fertilizer, it adds nutrients to soil for plant uptake. The properties of soil affected by poultry litter were analyzed to determine the positive and negative aspects of using this substitute fertilizer. This study focused on changes associated with saturated hydraulic conductivity, bulk density, nitrate concentrations, and pH after application of varying concentrations of poultry litter and compost. Soil samples from Tennessee Valley Substation in Alabama were analyzed in a laboratory at Alabama A&M University. As a result of the application of fresh poultry litter and compost, we found that the saturated hydraulic conductivity increased and the bulk density decreased, while the pH was generally not affected. Using poultry litter and compost as an alternative commercial fertilizers could be adapted by the farming community to protect the sustainability of our environment. Unwanted waste is used productively and soil is enriched for farming.

  9. Canine dysautonomia in a litter of Havanese puppies.

    PubMed

    Hull, Noah C; O'Toole, Donal; Miller, Myrna M; Shoults, Hannah; Deck, Robin; Jones, Warren; Johnson, Gayle C; Shaw, Daniel P; Schumaker, Brant A

    2015-09-01

    Canine dysautonomia is a sporadic, generally fatal disease that rarely affects groups of related animals. Four 10-week-old Havanese puppies from a litter of 5 developed clinical signs of canine dysautonomia. The 4 affected dogs were exposed to an outdoor environment, whereas the fifth littermate was not exposed to the outdoors and remained clinically healthy. Clinical signs of dysautonomia developed 10-16 days after going outside the house. An unrelated dog also developed dysautonomia after exposure to 1 of the affected Havanese littermates. All 5 dogs had morphological changes consistent with dysautonomia (widespread neuronal degeneration in autonomic ganglia, select brainstem nuclei, and ventral horn motor neurons). Differential diagnoses were excluded through negative toxicological evaluation, fecal parasite screening, negative Canine distemper virus reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, fluorescent antibody testing, attempted virus isolation, and electron microscopy. The 5 affected dogs were in the Kansas City, Missouri area, where there is a high incidence of dysautonomia. PMID:26179098

  10. Shifts in leaf litter breakdown along a forest-pasture-urban gradient in Andean streams.

    PubMed

    Iñiguez-Armijos, Carlos; Rausche, Sirkka; Cueva, Augusta; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Aminael; Espinosa, Carlos; Breuer, Lutz

    2016-07-01

    Tropical montane ecosystems of the Andes are critically threatened by a rapid land-use change which can potentially affect stream variables, aquatic communities, and ecosystem processes such as leaf litter breakdown. However, these effects have not been sufficiently investigated in the Andean region and at high altitude locations in general. Here, we studied the influence of land use (forest-pasture-urban) on stream physico-chemical variables (e.g., water temperature, nutrient concentration, and pH), aquatic communities (macroinvertebrates and aquatic fungi) and leaf litter breakdown rates in Andean streams (southern Ecuador), and how variation in those stream physico-chemical variables affect macroinvertebrates and fungi related to leaf litter breakdown. We found that pH, water temperature, and nutrient concentration increased along the land-use gradient. Macroinvertebrate communities were significantly different between land uses. Shredder richness and abundance were lower in pasture than forest sites and totally absent in urban sites, and fungal richness and biomass were higher in forest sites than in pasture and urban sites. Leaf litter breakdown rates became slower as riparian land use changed from natural to anthropogenically disturbed conditions and were largely determined by pH, water temperature, phosphate concentration, fungal activity, and single species of leaf-shredding invertebrates. Our findings provide evidence that leaf litter breakdown in Andean streams is sensitive to riparian land-use change, with urban streams being the most affected. In addition, this study highlights the role of fungal biomass and shredder species (Phylloicus; Trichoptera and Anchytarsus; Coleoptera) on leaf litter breakdown in Andean streams and the contribution of aquatic fungi in supporting this ecosystem process when shredders are absent or present low abundance in streams affected by urbanization. Finally, we summarize important implications in terms of managing of

  11. UVB Exposure Does Not Accelerate Rates of Litter Decomposition in a Semiarid Riparian Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uselman, S. M.; Snyder, K. A.; Blank, R. R.; Jones, T. J.

    2010-12-01

    Aboveground litter decomposition is controlled mainly by substrate quality and climate factors across terrestrial ecosystems, but photodegradation from exposure to high-intensity ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation may also be important in arid and semi-arid environments. We investigated the interactive effects of UVB exposure and litter quality on decomposition in a Tamarix-invaded riparian ecosystem during the establishment of an insect biological control agent in northern Nevada. Feeding by the northern tamarisk beetle (Diorhabda carinulata) on Tamarix spp. trees leads to altered leaf litter quality and increased exposure to solar UVB radiation from canopy opening. In addition, we examined the dynamics of litter decomposition of the invasive exotic Lepidium latifolium, because it is well-situated to invade beetle-infested Tamarix sites. Three leaf litter types (natural Tamarix, beetle-affected Tamarix, and L. latifolium) differing in substrate quality were decomposed in litterbags for one year in the field. Litterbags were subjected to one of three treatments: (1) Ambient UVB or (2) Reduced UVB (where UVB was manipulated by using clear plastic films that transmit or block UVB), and (3) No Cover (a control used to test for the effect of using the plastic films, i.e. a cover effect). Results showed a large cover effect on rates of decomposition and nutrient release, and our findings suggested that frequent cycles of freeze-thaw, and possibly rainfall intensity, influenced decomposition at this site. Contrary to our expectations, greater UVB exposure did not result in faster rates of decomposition. Greater UVB exposure resulted in decreased rates of decomposition and P release for the lower quality litter and no change in rates of decomposition and nutrient release for the two higher quality litter types, possibly due to a negative effect of UVB on soil microbes. Among litter types, rates of decomposition and net release of N and P followed this ranking: L. latifolium

  12. Watching eyes on potential litter can reduce littering: evidence from two field experiments

    PubMed Central

    Bateson, Melissa; Robinson, Rebecca; Abayomi-Cole, Tim; Greenlees, Josh; O’Connor, Abby

    2015-01-01

    Littering constitutes a major societal problem, and any simple intervention that reduces its prevalence would be widely beneficial. In previous research, we have found that displaying images of watching eyes in the environment makes people less likely to litter. Here, we investigate whether the watching eyes images can be transferred onto the potential items of litter themselves. In two field experiments on a university campus, we created an opportunity to litter by attaching leaflets that either did or did not feature an image of watching eyes to parked bicycles. In both experiments, the watching eyes leaflets were substantially less likely to be littered than control leaflets (odds ratios 0.22–0.32). We also found that people were less likely to litter when there other people in the immediate vicinity than when there were not (odds ratios 0.04–0.25) and, in one experiment but not the other, that eye leaflets only reduced littering when there no other people in the immediate vicinity. We suggest that designing cues of observation into packaging could be a simple but fruitful strategy for reducing littering. PMID:26644979

  13. Watching eyes on potential litter can reduce littering: evidence from two field experiments.

    PubMed

    Bateson, Melissa; Robinson, Rebecca; Abayomi-Cole, Tim; Greenlees, Josh; O'Connor, Abby; Nettle, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Littering constitutes a major societal problem, and any simple intervention that reduces its prevalence would be widely beneficial. In previous research, we have found that displaying images of watching eyes in the environment makes people less likely to litter. Here, we investigate whether the watching eyes images can be transferred onto the potential items of litter themselves. In two field experiments on a university campus, we created an opportunity to litter by attaching leaflets that either did or did not feature an image of watching eyes to parked bicycles. In both experiments, the watching eyes leaflets were substantially less likely to be littered than control leaflets (odds ratios 0.22-0.32). We also found that people were less likely to litter when there other people in the immediate vicinity than when there were not (odds ratios 0.04-0.25) and, in one experiment but not the other, that eye leaflets only reduced littering when there no other people in the immediate vicinity. We suggest that designing cues of observation into packaging could be a simple but fruitful strategy for reducing littering. PMID:26644979

  14. Impacts of Photodegradation on Surface Litter Decomposition and Organic Matter Cycling in Semi-Arid Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, J. Y.; Brandt, L. A.; Milchunas, D. G.

    2006-12-01

    Litter decomposition is typically modeled as a biological process controlled primarily by moisture and temperature effects on faunal decomposers. The role of ultraviolet (UV) radiation in surface plant litter decomposition via the abiotic process of photodegradation is not well understood or quantified. We hypothesized that photodegradation by UV radiation may significantly influence decomposition rates and organic matter cycling in the semi-arid environment of the Colorado shortgrass steppe. We conducted a 3-year field litterbag experiment to investigate the effects of UV radiation on litter decomposition under high and low precipitation conditions for litter of differing tissue chemistry. The experimental treatments included UV (10% and 90% of ambient), precipitation (wet and dry), and litter chemistry (high and low carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N)) in a factorial design. UV radiation can suppress biotic decomposition by inhibiting faunal activity; UV radiation can also enhance abiotic decomposition via photodegradation. We therefore imposed the precipitation and litter chemistry treatments in order to examine responses to UV radiation with different levels of biotic decomposition. Our results demonstrate that UV radiation plays an important role in litter decomposition. Under dry conditions, decomposition rates were significantly higher (18-30%) for litter exposed to higher UV compared to lower UV radiation. Under wet conditions, decomposition rates were not significantly affected by level of UV radiation. Under dry conditions, high C:N litter showed a greater increase in decomposition rates with UV radiation than low C:N litter. Nitrogen immobilization did not increase with higher decomposition rates under higher UV radiation. These observations are consistent with our hypothesis that UV radiation is an important abiotic mechanism of decomposition. Our results indicate that photodegradation is responsible for as much as 23% of mass loss under dry conditions

  15. Lignin degradation during plant litter photodegradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Y.; King, J. Y.

    2014-12-01

    Lignin is the second most abundant compound, after cellulose, synthesized by plants. Numerous studies have demonstrated that initial lignin concentration is negatively correlated with litter decomposition rate under both laboratory and field conditions. Thus lignin is commonly considered to be a "recalcitrant" compound during litter decomposition. However, lignin can also serve as a radiation-absorbing compound during photodegradation, the process through which solar radiation breaks down organic matter. Here, we synthesize recent studies concerning lignin degradation during litter photodegradation and report results from our study on how photodegradation changes lignin chemistry at a molecular scale. Recent field studies have found that litter with high initial lignin concentration does not necessarily exhibit high mass loss during photodegradation. A meta-analysis (King et al. 2012) even found a weak negative correlation between initial lignin concentration and photodegradation rate. Contradicting results have been reported with regard to the change in lignin concentration during photodegradation. Some studies have found significant loss of lignin during photodegradation, while others have not. In most studies, loss of lignin only accounts for a small proportion of the overall mass loss. Using NMR spectroscopy, we found significant loss of lignin structural units containing beta-aryl ether linkages during photodegradation of a common grass litter, Bromus diandrus, even though conventional forage fiber analysis did not reveal changes in lignin concentration. Both our NMR and fiber analyses supported the idea that photodegradation induced loss of hemicellulose, which was mainly responsible for the litter mass loss during photodegradation. Our results suggest that photodegradation induces degradation, but not necessarily complete breakdown, of lignin structures and consequently exposes hemicellulose and cellulose to microbial decomposition. We conclude that lignin

  16. [Tropical forest restoration in Costa Rica: the effect of several strategies on litter production, accumulation and decomposition].

    PubMed

    Celentano, Danielle; Zahawi, Rakan A; Finegan, Bryan; Casanoves, Fernando; Ostertag, Rebecca; Cole, Rebecca J; Holl, Karen D

    2011-09-01

    Tropical forest restoration strategies have the potential to accelerate the recovery of the nutrient cycles in degraded lands. Litter production and its decomposition represent the main transfer of organic material and nutrients into the soil substrate. We evaluated litter production, accumulation on the forest floor, and its decomposition under three restoration strategies: plantation (entire area planted with trees), island (trees planted in patches of three different sizes) and control (natural regeneration) plots. We also compared restoration strategies to young secondary forest (7-9 yr). Restoration treatments were established in 50 x 50m plots in June 2004 at six sites in Southern Costa Rica. Planted tree species included two native timber species (Terminalia amazonia and Vochysia guatemalensis) interplanted with two N fixers (Erythrina poeppigiana and Inga edulis). Litter was collected every 15 days between September 2008 and August 2009 in 12 0.25m2 litter traps distributed within each plot; litter that accumulated on the soil surface was collected at four locations (0.25m2 quadrats) within each plot in February and May 2009. Total litter production in plantation (6.3Mg/ha) and secondary forest (7.3Mg/ha) did not differ, but were greater than in islands (3.5Mg/ha) and control (1.4 Mg/ha). Plantation had greatest accumulation of litter on the soil surface (10.6 Mg/ha) as compared to the other treatments (SF = 7.2; I = 6.7; C = 4.9). Secondary forest was the only treatment with a greater annual production of litter than litter accumulation on the soil surface. Carbon storage in litter was similar between plantation and secondary forest, and significantly greater than the other treatments. No differences were found for carbon concentration and storage in the soil among treatments. There was also high variability in the production and accumulation of litter and carbon among sites. Active restoration treatments accelerated the production of litter and carbon

  17. Effects of a trait-based parameterisation of litter decomposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinen, Thomas; Brovkin, Victor; van Bodegom, Peter; Kattge, Jens; Wirth, Christian

    2013-04-01

    Stocks of plant litter play an important role in the terrestrial carbon cycle. On a regional scale, litter stocks influence fire regimes, soil fertility, and soil organic matter formation. On the global scale, these factors influence global CO2 and climate. In many dynamic global vegetation models, the decomposition of plant litter is treated rather simplistically by aggregating leaf and woody litter into a single litter pool and using a common decomposition rate for all litter pools without taking different plant species or litter types into account. Measurements, on the other hand, clearly show that a) leaf litter decomposes much faster than woody litter, b) litter from different plant species decomposes at different rates, and c) the temperature sensitivity of woody litter decomposition also is species-dependent. The common modelling approach therefore clearly is incompatible with measurements. As a consequence, we modified the dynamic global vegetation model LPJ by a) introducing different litter pools for leaf and woody litter and by b) linking plant functional types to decomposition rates, as well as temperature sensitivities, of wood and leaf litter determined from two databases of plant traits. These changes give a more realistic distribution of litter stocks in most biomes, with the exception of boreal forests. In a projection for future climate, using the SRES A2 scenario, the modified parameterisation leads to an increase in litter stocks by 35 PgC, as well as a decrease in atmospheric CO2 by 3 ppm by 2100. Despite the increase in litter stocks, the fire emissions increase less than when using the original parameterization, since the litter is redistributed to more humid regions.

  18. THE SIZE AND SURFACE COATING OF NANOSILVER DIFFERENTIALLY AFFECTS BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY IN BLOOD BRAIN BARRIER (RBEC4) CELLS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Linking the physical properties of nanoparticles with differences in their biological activity is critical for understanding their potential toxicity and mode of action. The influence of aggregate size, surface coating, and surface charge on nanosilver's (nanoAg) movement through...

  19. 78 FR 51746 - Trade Barriers That U.S. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Perceive as Affecting Exports to the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-21

    ... European Union; Scheduling of an Additional Public Hearing With Simplified Filing Procedures AGENCY: United... Barriers that U.S. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Perceive as Affecting Exports to the European Union... and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with the European Union (EU), is seeking to...

  20. THE ESTROGENIC AND ANTIANDROGENIC PESTICIDE METHOXYCHLOR ALTERS THE REPRODUCTIVE TRACT AND BEHAVIOR WITHOUT AFFECTING PITUITARY SIZE OR LH AND PROLACTIN SECRETION IN MALE RATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The estrogenic and antiandrogenic pesticide methoxychlor alters the reproductive tract and behavior without affecting pituitary size or LH and prolactin secretion in male rats.

    Gray LE Jr, Ostby J, Cooper RL, Kelce WR.

    Endocrinology Branch, United States Environment...

  1. Growth of salmonellae on sprouting alfalfa seeds as affected by the inoculum size, native microbial load, and Pseudomonas fluorescens 2-79

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The incidence of human illness associated with the consumption of fresh sprouts has increased very sharply during the past decade. The objective of this study was to investigate the growth dynamics of salmonellae on sprouting alfalfa seeds as affected by the inoculum size, native microbial load, an...

  2. Season mediates herbivore effects on litter and soil microbial abundance and activity in a semi-arid woodland

    SciTech Connect

    Classen, Aimee T; Overby, Stephen; Hart, Stephen C; Koch, George W; Whitham, Thomas G

    2007-01-01

    Herbivores can directly impact ecosystem function by altering litter quality entering an ecosystem or indirectly by affecting a shift in the microbial community that mediate nutrient processes. We examine herbivore susceptibility and resistance effects on litter microarthropod and soil microbial communities to test the general hypothesis that herbivore driven changes in litter inputs will feedback to the microbial community. Our study population consisted of individual trees that are susceptible or resistant to the stem-boring moth (Dioryctria albovittella) and trees that herbivores have been manually removed since 1982. Moth herbivory increased pi on litter nitrogen concentrations (16%) and canopy precipitation infiltration (28%), both significant factors influencing litter and soil microbial populations. Our research resulted in three major conclusions: 1) In spite of an increase in litter quality, herbivory does not change litter microarthropod abundance or species richness. 2) Herbivore susceptibility alters bulk soil microbial communities, but not soil properties. 3) Season has a strong influence on microbial communities, and their response to herbivore inputs, in this semi-arid ecosystem.

  3. On-farm agro-economic effects of fertilizing cropland with poultry litter

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As animal feeding operations increase in size, public and regulatory pressure is being exerted on the animal industry to develop and implement appropriate by-product utilization practices. One such practice is offsite application of litter and manure as fertilizer for cultivated crop production. How...

  4. On-farm agro-economic effects of fertilizing cropland with poultry litter

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As animal feeding operations increase in size, public and regulatory pressure is being exerted on the animal industry to develop and implement appropriate uses for the wastes produced. One option is applying the litter and manure waste as fertilizer for cultivated crop production. However, this prac...

  5. Broiler diet modification and litter storage: impacts on phosphorus in litters, soils, and runoff.

    PubMed

    McGrath, Joshua M; Sims, J Thomas; Maguire, Rory O; Saylor, William W; Angel, C Roselina; Turner, Benjamin L

    2005-01-01

    Modifying broiler diets to mitigate water quality concerns linked to excess phosphorus (P) in regions of intensive broiler production has recently increased. Our goals were to evaluate the effects of dietary modification, using phytase and reduced non-phytate phosphorus (NPP) supplementation, on P speciation in broiler litters, changes in litter P forms during long-term storage, and subsequent impacts of diets on P in runoff from litter-amended soils. Four diets containing two levels of NPP with and without phytase were fed to broilers in a three-flock floor pen study. After removal of the third flock, litters were stored for 440 d at their initial moisture content (MC; 24%) and at a MC of 40%. Litter P fractions and orthophosphate and phytate P concentrations were determined before and after storage. After storage, litters were incorporated with a sandy and silt loam and simulated rainfall was applied. Phytase and reduced dietary NPP significantly reduced litter total P. Reducing dietary NPP decreased water-extractable inorganic phosphorus (IP) and the addition of dietary phytase reduced NaOH- and HCl-extractable organic P in litter, which correlated well with orthophosphate and phytic acid measured by 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), respectively. Although dry storage caused little change in P speciation, wet storage increased concentrations of water-soluble IP, which increased reactive P in runoff from litter-amended soils. Therefore, diet modification with phytase and reduced NPP could be effective in reducing P additions on a watershed scale. Moreover, efforts to minimize litter MC during storage may reduce the potential for dissolved P losses in runoff. PMID:16151241

  6. Litter quality and its response to water level drawdown in boreal peatlands at plant species and community level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straková, Petra; Anttila, Jani; Spetz, Peter; Kitunen, Veikko; Tapanila, Tarja; Laiho, Raija

    2010-05-01

    drawdown, compared to respective values of 394-658, 5.6-9.3, 0.22-24.4, 161-293 and 44-81 for the pristine conditions. The direct effects of WL drawdown on litter quality were overruled by the indirect effects via changes in vegetation composition. The short-term (reflecting transient conditions) and long-term (reflecting longer-lasting situation of already adapted ecosystem) effects were very different. Our results imply that the long-term effects will strongly affect the soil properties and C cycle of peatlands.

  7. Marine litter on the floor of deep submarine canyons of the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea: The role of hydrodynamic processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tubau, Xavier; Canals, Miquel; Lastras, Galderic; Rayo, Xavier; Rivera, Jesus; Amblas, David

    2015-05-01

    Marine litter represents a widespread type of pollution in the World's Oceans. This study is based on direct observation of the seafloor by means of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives and reports litter abundance, type and distribution in three large submarine canyons of the NW Mediterranean Sea, namely Cap de Creus, La Fonera and Blanes canyons. Our ultimate objective is establishing the links between active hydrodynamic processes and litter distribution, thus going beyond previous, essentially descriptive studies. Litter was monitored using the Liropus 2000 ROV. Litter items were identified in 24 of the 26 dives carried out in the study area, at depths ranging from 140 to 1731 m. Relative abundance of litter objects by type, size and apparent weight, and distribution of litter in relation to depth and canyon environments (i.e. floor and flanks) were analysed. Plastics are the dominant litter component (72%), followed by lost fishing gear, disregarding their composition (17%), and metal objects (8%). Most of the observed litter seems to be land-sourced. It reaches the ocean through wind transport, river discharge and after direct dumping along the coastline. While coastal towns and industrial areas represent a permanent source of litter, tourism and associated activities relevantly increase litter production during summer months ready to be transported to the deep sea by extreme events. After being lost, fishing gear such as nets and long-lines has the potential of being harmful for marine life (e.g. by ghost fishing), at least for some time, but also provides shelter and a substrate on which some species like cold-water corals are capable to settle and grow. La Fonera and Cap de Creus canyons show the highest mean concentrations of litter ever seen on the deep-sea floor, with 15,057 and 8090 items km-2, respectively, and for a single dive litter observed reached 167,540 items km-2. While most of the largest concentrations were found on the canyon floors at

  8. Metal/metalloid accumulation/remobilization during aquatic litter decomposition in freshwater: a review.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg; Brackhage, Carsten; Mkandawire, Martin; Dudel, E Gert

    2011-11-01

    The focus of this article is to combine two main areas of research activities in freshwater ecosystems: the effect of inorganic pollutants on freshwater ecosystems and litter decomposition as a fundamental ecological process in streams. The decomposition of plant litter in aquatic systems as a main energy source in running water ecosystems proceeds in three distinct temporal stages of leaching, conditioning and fragmentation. During these stages metals and metalloids may be fixed by litter, its decay products and the associated organisms. The global-scale problem of contaminated freshwater ecosystems by metals and metalloids has led to many investigations on the acute and chronic toxicity of these elements to plants and animals as well as the impact on animal activity under laboratory conditions. Where sorption properties and accumulation/remobilization potential of metals in sediments and attached microorganisms are quite well understood, the combination of both research areas concerning the impact of higher trophic levels on the modification of sediment sorption conditions and the influence of metal/metalloid pollution on decomposition of plant litter mediated by decomposer community, as well as the effect of high metal load during litter decay on organism health under field conditions, has still to be elucidated. So far it was found that microbes and invertebrate shredder (species of the genera Gammarus and Asellus) have a significant influence on metal fixation on litter. Not many studies focus on the impact of other functional groups affecting litter decay (e.g. grazer and collectors) or other main processes in freshwater ecosystems like bioturbation (e.g. Tubifex, Chironomus) on metal fixation/release. PMID:21907393

  9. Vegetation exerts a greater control on litter decomposition than climate warming in peatlands.

    PubMed

    Ward, Susan E; Orwin, Kate H; Ostle, Nicholas J; Briones, J I; Thomson, Bruce C; Griffiths, Robert I; Oakley, Simon; Quirk, Helen; Bardget, Richard D

    2015-01-01

    Historically, slow decomposition rates have resulted in the accumulation of large amounts of carbon in northern peatlands. Both climate warming and vegetation change can alter rates of decomposition, and hence affect rates of atmospheric CO2 exchange, with consequences for climate change feedbacks. Although warming and vegetation change are happening concurrently, little is known about their relative and interactive effects on decomposition processes. To test the effects of warming and vegetation change on decomposition rates, we placed litter of three dominant species (Calluna vulgaris, Eriophorum vaginatum, Hypnum jutlandicum) into a peatland field experiment that combined warming.with plant functional group removals, and measured mass loss over two years. To identify potential mechanisms behind effects, we also measured nutrient cycling and soil biota. We found that plant functional group removals exerted a stronger control over short-term litter decomposition than did approximately 1 degrees C warming, and that the plant removal effect depended on litter species identity. Specifically, rates of litter decomposition were faster when shrubs were removed from the plant community, and these effects were strongest for graminoid and bryophyte litter. Plant functional group removals also had strong effects on soil biota and nutrient cycling associated with decomposition, whereby shrub removal had cascading effects on soil fungal community composition, increased enchytraeid abundance, and increased rates of N mineralization. Our findings demonstrate that, in addition to litter quality, changes in vegetation composition play a significant role in regulating short-term litter decomposition and belowground communities in peatland, and that these impacts can be greater than moderate warming effects. Our findings, albeit from a relatively short-term study, highlight the need to consider both vegetation change and its impacts below ground alongside climatic effects when

  10. Factors influencing leaf litter decomposition: An intersite decomposition experiment across China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhou, G.; Guan, L.; Wei, X.; Tang, X.; Liu, S.; Liu, J.; Zhang, Dongxiao; Yan, J.

    2008-01-01

    The Long-Term Intersite Decomposition Experiment in China (hereafter referred to as LTIDE-China) was established in 2002 to study how substrate quality and macroclimate factors affect leaf litter decomposition. The LTIDE-China includes a wide variety of natural and managed ecosystems, consisting of 12 forest types (eight regional broadleaf forests, three needle-leaf plantations and one broadleaf plantation) at eight locations across China. Samples of mixed leaf litter from the south subtropical evergreen broadleaf forest in Dinghushan (referred to as the DHS sample) were translocated to all 12 forest types. The leaf litter from each of other 11 forest types was placed in its original forest to enable comparison of decomposition rates of DHS and local litters. The experiment lasted for 30 months, involving collection of litterbags from each site every 3 months. Our results show that annual decomposition rate-constants, as represented by regression fitted k-values, ranged from 0.169 to 1.454/year. Climatic factors control the decomposition rate, in which mean annual temperature and annual actual evapotranspiration are dominant and mean annual precipitation is subordinate. Initial C/N and N/P ratios were demonstrated to be important factors of regulating litter decomposition rate. Decomposition process may apparently be divided into two phases controlled by different factors. In our study, 0.75 years is believed to be the dividing line of the two phases. The fact that decomposition rates of DHS litters were slower than those of local litters may have been resulted from the acclimation of local decomposer communities to extraneous substrate. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  11. Do changes in the size of mud flocs affect the acoustic backscatter values recorded by a Vector ADV?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rouhnia, Mohamad; Keyvani, Ali; Strom, Kyle

    2014-08-01

    A series of experiments were conducted to examine the effect of mud floc growth on the acoustic back-scatter signal recorded by a Nortek Vector acoustic Doppler velocimeter (ADV). Several studies have shown that calibration equations can be developed to link the backscatter strength with average suspended sediment concentration (SSC) when the sediment particle size distribution remains constant. However, when mud is present, the process of flocculation can alter the suspended particle size distribution. Past studies have shown that it is still unclear as to the degree of dependence of the calibration equation on changes in floc size. Part of the ambiguity lies in the fact that flocs can be porous and rather loosely packed and therefore will not scatter sound waves as a solid particle would. In addition, direct, detailed measurements of floc size have not accompanied experiments examining the dependence of ADV backscatter and suspended sediment concentration. In this set of experiments, direct measurement of the floc size distribution is made with time in a mixing chamber using a floc camera system. A Vector ADV and an OBS are also placed within the tank to measure acoustic backscatter and SSC as the flocs change size with time; concentration in the experiments ranges from 15 to 90 mg/l. Results showed that the growth of mud flocs did influence the SNR recorded by the Vector ADV, and that the sensitivity of the SNR signal to changes in floc size was higher for flocs with diameters less than ≈80 μm (it kr=1 at a diameter of 80 μm). The response of SNR to changes in floc size and SSC was modeled with a modified sonar equation. If properly calibrated, the model was able to capture the functional behavior of SNR with changes in floc size and concentration. Values of the calibration coefficients showed that while changes in floc diameter up to about 80 μm did alter the SNR, the change was less than what would be expected from a similar change in the size of solid

  12. Biological and climatic controls on leaf litter decomposition across European forests and grasslands revealed by reciprocal litter transplantation experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portillo-Estrada, M.; Pihlatie, M.; Korhonen, J. F. J.; Levula, J.; Frumau, A. K. F.; Ibrom, A.; Lembrechts, J. J.; Morillas, L.; Horváth, L.; Jones, S. K.; Niinemets, Ü.

    2015-11-01

    Projection of carbon and nitrogen cycles to future climates is associated with large uncertainties, in particular due to uncertainties how changes in climate alter soil turnover, including litter decomposition. In addition, future conditions are expected to result in changes in vegetation composition, and accordingly in litter type and quality, but it is unclear how such changes could potentially alter litter decomposition. Litter transplantation experiments were carried out across 6 European sites (4 forest and 2 grasslands) spanning a large geographical and climatic gradient (5.6-11.4 °C in annual temperature 511-878 mm in precipitation) to gain insight into biological (litter origin and type, soil type) and climatic controls on litter decomposition. The decomposition k rates were overall higher in warmer and wetter sites than in colder and drier sites, and positively correlated to the litter total specific leaf area. Also, litter N content increased as less litter mass remained and decay went further. Surprisingly, this study demonstrates that climatic controls on litter decomposition are quantitatively more important than species, litter origin and soil type. Cumulative climatic variables, precipitation and air temperature (ignoring days with air temperatures below 0 °C), were appropriate to predict the litter remaining mass during decomposition (Mr). And Mr and cumulative air temperature were found to be the best predictors for litter carbon and nitrogen remaining during decomposition. We concluded with an equation for predicting the decomposition k rate by using mean annual air temperature and litter total specific leaf area.

  13. Modeling the contribution of soil fauna to litter decomposition influenced by acidic deposition

    SciTech Connect

    Cai, B.; Loucks, O.L; Kuperman, R. Argonne National Lab., IL )

    1993-06-01

    The effect of acidic deposition on soil pH and therefore on soil invertebrates and litter decomposition is being investigated in oak-hickory forests across a three-state, midwest, pollution gradient. The role of soil invertebrates has been assessed previously through the use of feeding, assimilation and respiratory rates. These energetic parameters depend strongly on the form of the allometric equations which have been improved here by incorporating uncertainties in body and population size. Results show that changes in reproduction and turnover dynamics of soil invertebrates (particularly of earthworms) due to acid-induced changes in soil pH explains observed patterns in litter depth.

  14. Lateral spike conduction velocity in the visual cortex affects spatial range of synchronization and receptive field size without visual experience: a learning model with spiking neurons.

    PubMed

    Saam, M; Eckhorn, R

    2000-07-01

    Classical receptive fields (cRF) increase in size from the retina to higher visual centers. The present work shows how temporal properties, in particular lateral spike velocity and spike input correlation, can affect cRF size and position without visual experience. We demonstrate how these properties are related to the spatial range of cortical synchronization if Hebbian learning dominates early development. For this, a largely reduced model of two successive levels of the visual cortex is developed (e.g., areas V1 and V2). It consists of retinotopic networks of spiking neurons with constant spike velocity in lateral connections. Feedforward connections between level 1 and 2 are additive and determine cRF size and shape, while lateral connections within level 1 are modulatory and affect the cortical range of synchronization. Input during development is mimicked by spike trains with spatially homogeneous properties and a confined temporal correlation width. During learning, the homogeneous lateral coupling shrinks to limited coupling structures defining synchronization and related association fields (AF). The size of level-1 synchronization fields determines the lateral coupling range of developing level-1-to-2 connections and, thus, the size of level-2 cRFs, even if the feedforward connections have distance-independent delays. AFs and cRFs increase with spike velocity in the lateral network and temporal correlation width of the input. Our results suggest that AF size of V1 and cRF size of V2 neurons are confined during learning by the temporal width of input correlations and the spike velocity in lateral connections without the need of visual experience. During learning from visual experience, a similar influence of AF size on the cRF size may be operative at successive levels of processing, including other parts of the visual system. PMID:10933233

  15. Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and leaf litter chemistry: Influences on microbial respiration and net nitrogen mineralization

    SciTech Connect

    Randlett, D.L.; Zak, D.R.; Pregitzer, K.S.; Curtis, P.S.

    1996-09-01

    Elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} has the potential to influence rates of C and N cycling in terrestrial ecosystems by altering plant litter chemistry and slowing rates of organic matter decomposition. We tested the hypothesis that the chemistry of leaf litter produced at elevated CO{sub 2} would slow C and N transformations in soil. Soils were amended with Populus leaf produced under two levels of atmospheric CO{sub 2} (ambient and twice-ambient) and soil N availability (low and high). Kinetic parameters for microbial respiration and net N mineralization were determined on soil with and without litter during a 32-wk lab incubation. Product accumulation curves for CO{sub 2}-C and inorganic N were fit to a first order rate equation [y=A(1-e{sup -kt})] using nonlinear regression analyses. Although CO{sub 2} treatment affected soluble sugar concentration in leaf litter (ambient =120 g kg{sup -1}, elevated =130 g kg{sup -1}), it did not affect starch concentration or C/N ratio. Microbial respiration, microbial biomass, and leaf litter C/N ratio were affected by soil N availability but not by atmospheric CO{sub 2}. Net N mineralization was a linear function of time and was not significantly different for leaves grown at ambient (50 mg N kg{sup -1}) and elevated CO{sub 2} (35 mg N kg{sup -1}). Consequently, we found no evidence for the hypothesis that leaf litter produced at elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} will dampen the rates of C and N cycling in soil. 35 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs.

  16. Freeze-drying of polycaprolactone and poly(D,L-lactic-glycolic) nanoparticles induce minor particle size changes affecting the oral pharmacokinetics of loaded drugs.

    PubMed

    Saez, A; Guzmán, M; Molpeceres, J; Aberturas, M R

    2000-11-01

    The present study was geared at identifying the conditions to stabilize poly (D,L-lactic-glycolic) (PLGA) and polycaprolactone (PCL) nanoparticles (NP) by freeze-drying with several cryoprotective agents. Differential scanning calorimetry and freeze-thawing studies were used to optimize the lyophilization process. These studies showed that all samples were totally frozen at -45 degrees C and evidenced the necessity of adding sucrose, glucose, trehalose or gelatine to preserve the properties of NP regardless of the freezing procedure. However, only 20% sucrose and 20% glucose exerted an acceptable lyoprotective effect on PLGA and PCL NP, respectively. Nonetheless, the final to initial size ratios ( approximately 1.5) indicated that particle size was slightly affected in both cases. In vivo studies with CyA-loaded PCL NP whose sizes matched those obtained after NP preparation (100 nm) and after being lyophilized (160 nm) showed that the changes of particle size might have some relevance on drug pharmacokinetics. The MRT was significantly (P<0.05) modified after an oral CyA dose of 5 mg/kg and the treatment with 160-nm sized CyA-loaded NP produced a higher drug partition into the liver of Wistar rats potentially affecting the toxic and immunosuppressive profile of the drug. Therefore, although the particle size changes induced by NP lyophilization were slight, they need to be carefully evaluated and cannot be neglected. PMID:11072195

  17. Factors affecting reproductive performance of white-tailed deer subjected to fixed-time artificial insemination or natural mating.

    PubMed

    Mellado, Miguel; Orta, Claudia G; Lozano, Eloy A; García, Jose E; Veliz, Francisco G; de Santiago, Angeles

    2013-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of several factors affecting fawning rate, litter size, litter weight and neonatal fawn mortality in white-tailed deer inseminated either transcervically or by means of laparoscopy. Oestrus synchronisation with a controlled internal drug release (CIDR)-based protocol and fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) was conducted in 130 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus texanus) during three reproductive seasons (2007-2009; 271 services) in a game-hunting ranch in a hot-arid environment (26°4' N, 101°25' W). Ninety additional non-treated does were exposed to bucks for natural mating. Fawning rate did not differ between AI methods (40.0 vs 45.0% for transcervical and laparoscopic AI, respectively). Overall fawning rate (proportion of all does fawning after FTAI and a subsequent period of buck exposure) did not differ between transcervical (89.5%), laparoscopic (80.3%) or natural (88.9%) insemination. Litter size per fawning doe was higher (P<0.05) in naturally-served does (1.65±0.48) than in transcervically-inseminated does (1.40±0.51) or in laparoscopically-inseminated does (1.48±0.50). The main conclusion was that no enhancement of fawning rate or litter size occurred as a result of intrauterine deposition of semen by laparoscopy compared with the transcervical insemination technique. PMID:23464502

  18. Body size affects the predatory interactions between introduced American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) and native anurans in China: An experimental study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wang, Y.; Guo, Z.; Pearl, C.A.; Li, Y.

    2007-01-01

    Introduced American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) have established breeding populations in several provinces in China since their introduction in 1959. Although Bullfrogs are viewed as a potentially important predator of Chinese native anurans, their impacts in the field are difficult to quantify. We used two experiments to examine factors likely to mediate Bullfrog predation on native anurans. First, we examined effects of Bullfrog size and sex on daily consumption of a common Chinese native (Rana limnocharis). Second, we examined whether Bullfrogs consumed similar proportions of four Chinese natives: Black-Spotted Pond Frog (Rana nigromaculata), Green Pond Frog (Rana plancyi plancyi), Rice Frog (R. limnocharis), and Zhoushan Toad (Bufo bufo gargarizans). We found that larger Rana catesbeiana consumed more R. limnocharis per day than did smaller R. catesbeiana, and that daily consumption of R. limnocharis was positively related to R. catesbeiana body size. When provided with adults of four anurans that differed significantly in body size, R. catesbeiana consumed more individuals of the smallest species (R. limnocharis). However, when provided with similarly sized juveniles of the same four species, R. catesbeiana did not consume any species more than expected by chance. Ou